At the request of users (and having heard almost no dissent) we have consolidated a lot of the forums to increase the volume of people in the conversations and keep it lively.
When the Internet was invented, forums were one of the few ways to interact with others on niche subject matter. Social media has changed that. There is still a specific and valuable role for forums, but the fact is, there are not as many people using forums across the internet. Many people have moved their discussions to Facebook groups. This isn't the best solution for all applications, which is why we strive to protect and improve our discussion forums at BeginnerTriathlete. It's easier to lose track of an ongoing discussion on social media, and to maintain a historical record.
Dividing the user traffic among specific forums was losing effectiveness, so we've combined the Injuries forum, Gear forum and state forums into Tri Talk.
Please be tolerant of the occasional "local" posting, such as "Where can I find tri clubs in San Francisco?" Previously, we would have reminded the poster to check their state forum, or moved the post thread to a state forum. Now Tri Talk is the appropriate place for this type of thread. The overall consolidation will benefit everyone, but we will all need to have increased tolerance for posts such as the example above. Also, injury and gear posts are now welcome in Tri Talk, as that is where they belong.
In order to facilitate triathletes meeting each other in real life, or connecting with others for training, we have added functionality to the "Friends" area of the site. There is now a button called "Friends Near You" that displays other users in your state or country, organized in order of recent activity on the website.In addition, if your user profile includes your state or country, this is now a hyperlink that will take you to a similar page displaying all of the users in your area. This only works for users who have location information in their profiles. If they have chosen not to disclose their location, they will not appear in these pages/search results.
We moved the Classifieds out of the list of discussion forums, since they are not actually a discussion forum, but they can be easily accessed in two prominent places: Under the Gear dropdown menu, and under the Community dropdown menu in the main navigation.Thank you all for the feedback and for helping to make this transition with us.
Editor at Beginner Triathlete, web marketing consultant at SiteInSight, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for unstructured nature play for kids.