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Old 05-30-2017, 12:56 PM
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benjrblant benjrblant is offline
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Default TrailDamage.com paid subscription?

Looks like traildamage has revised the website and is moving to $15/yr subscription for access to their trail and trip reports. This is somewhat disappointing as it had been a free resource for so many years. I understand it costs money to keep a website running, but I'm not sure how I feel about this.

https://traildamage.com/membership/
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:09 PM
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Well this is a big bummer. I use this website a lot.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajordan1975 View Post
Well this is a big bummer. I use this website a lot.
I mean, you still can. There's dozens of websites that take constant snapshots of "historical" web pages per se for the purpose of documenting the web. Case in point:
https://web.archive.org/web/20170305...ails/index.php

IMO, $15/year isn't an unreasonable ask, especially for the quantity of info they've got posted, but $15 means that its no longer about helping or supporting the 4wd community, its a for-profit company selling a service now.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:14 PM
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It's a pretty good service. I've actually donated money in the past to help support it. At $15 a year I'll probably go for it. There are definitely other sites that have some or all of the same data, some of it probably sourced directly from Traildamage, a login might in part be to mitigate some of that. Hopefully she gets enough subscribers to keep it rolling.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:19 PM
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If they're charging, it would be nice to see trip reports that are newer than a decade+ old on there, as many don't relate anything about the current condition of a trail.

There are also a ton of Jeep-specific reports too that don't tell much about whether a LC could make it through where a SWB Wrangler can... Maybe this change will allow them to improve the 'product'.
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:01 PM
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I just bought the subscription. It was $1 for the first year. After perusing some of the trail reports I feel like I will not spend $15 next year if the reports don't get updated. I will add to any trip report I make what size vehicle the trail will accommodate as well as chance of pinstriping and vehicle height.

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Old 05-30-2017, 05:41 PM
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i can understand them going with a fee. i have a friend who is the founder of trailsoffroad.com and he keeps telling me how stupid expensive it is. his will go for profit eventually too, but at least some of the money he makes off it will go to the people who write up the trail reports and keep them updated. one way to keep people motivated to update their trails
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:55 PM
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As much as we might not like it much as a consumer, ad revenue can be a game-changer for niche sites like these...

These are back-of-the-napkin numbers, but conventional (ad) wisdom is that a site in the 'travel' vertical can make something along the lines of a $2.50/CPM (1000 page views), so if trailsoffroad.com is seeing 100k page views a month (I honestly don't know if they're seeing 100k, or 1m, or 10m, etc), while that's only $250 in revenue, that frequently will cover virtual hosting for a site with 1TB of transfer by a factor of 10x.

Subscriptions might be even more lucrative, not sure, or maybe the traildamage folks are against monetizing the site through ads which I can also understand, or if a site is super content-heavy then bandwidth costs can be far higher, etc. Many many variables! Either way there can be decent ways to cover costs without it turning into a boondoggle for the owner.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:22 PM
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If you read the Trail Damage Facebook post about their update, they are doing away with their trail reports entirely. The subscription is only really going to give you access to photo blogs of their trips. They will no longer provide .gpx files, trail ratings, trail descriptions, or trip reports.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:31 AM
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That's not what the site itself says. Free gets you a photo blog, fee gets the goodies.

I think this is great. If they can make money, they'll keep doing it. Gotta love free markets.

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