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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why doesn't MTBR/CO support...or maybe better asked would it be possible to sticky/direct users to Twitter for the #FRmtbTrails hashtag for trail conditions? I don't know who started this hashtag or why it isn't used that often, but it certainly seems to me it is more efficient and possible to get realtime trail conditions doing a quick search on #FRmtbTrails in twitter (as well as posting from the trailside) than it is to come to the MTBR forums...even from a smart phone.

Just a thought....
 

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Awesomist™
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I agree with you, it would be WAY more efficient than having to check MTBR, Facebook, and a bunch of other sites. I agree with you so much, that I started that Twitter account and hashtag.

The #BoCo_trails hashtag (started way before #FRmtbTrails) has been pretty successful, with a solid user base as well as Boulder County Open Space and several Boulder County Rangers contributing to it. Right now, the FRmtbTrails auto-retweets from the #BoCo_trails hashtag, changing the tag to #FRmtbTrails, in addition to picking up any tweets with the FRmtbTails tag.

I had "big plans" for it, but after spending quite a bit of last winter spreading the word and trying to get people to use the hashtag unsuccessfully, I kind of lost a bit of interest. And it's strange, because every week the account gets quite a few new followers, but still no one tweets any trail conditions with that hashtag.

Well, except for myself and Jeff Kerkove, apparently. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I imagine there is that initial challenge of getting enough to switch over, but perhaps with some MTBR support (STICKY!) as well as the constant conundrum of early spring trail condition posts might get more people using it. I'm not a big twitter user, but this alone would make the app worth it to me.

I think it helps MTBR too because all these trail condition posts are chaotic. Twitter hashtags seem better use for chaos then MTBR Forums. :)
 

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Take a close look at the amount of trail condition post views here. 100s of people are looking but not responding. It's because of all the reprimands that pop up if anyone mentions riding on a trail that isn't 100% dry. Same must go for twitter.
 

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nitecrwlr said:
Take a close look at the amount of trail condition post views here. 100s of people are looking but not responding. It's because of all the reprimands that pop up if anyone mentions riding on a trail that isn't 100% dry.Same must go for twitter.
I haven't really seen a lot of reprimanding on Twitter, or at least not in the hashtag search or on the FRmtbTrails account. It's much more difficult to publicly reprimand someone on Twitter, as it's much less of a forum and more like little mini-blogs, it's more individual and less community really.

I think the big reason is simply most Twitter users don't really use hashtags, or if they do it's part of a larger trending movement like Follow Friday or Music Monday. The use of non-established hashtags seem to be more limited to "Twitter power users" or something or other. Hashtags really are a phenomenon of the Twittersphere (did I just type Twittersphere?) as I understand, so unless a person is REALLY into Twitter, they may not even know what those funny little "number signs" mean.
 

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I follow FRmtbTrails and it's been super helpful, but it does seem to not have the traffic that posts do here. Also, for some reason, I get the tweets several times...
 

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I imagine MTBR sells advertising partially based on the amount of hits they get, so they probably don't want to help steer traffic away from the site.

I have to claim Twitter ignorance. Is the hashtag thing like a page you can look up? How does it work?
 

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BigSteve in CO said:
I imagine MTBR sells advertising partially based on the amount of hits they get, so they probably don't want to help steer traffic away from the site.

I have to claim Twitter ignorance. Is the hashtag thing like a page you can look up? How does it work?
Same here. I thought only Ashton Kutcher used Twitter. Maybe it's a matter of educating the mtb public.
 

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alshead said:
I follow FRmtbTrails and it's been super helpful, but it does seem to not have the traffic that posts do here. Also, for some reason, I get the tweets several times...
Yeah, sorry about that. Basically I tried to set up the account so it searches Twitter for either the #FRmtbTrails or the #BoCo_trails hashtag, then automagically re-tweets them. The idea is that instead of doing a search for #FRmtbTrails, you could just bookmark http://twitter.com/FRmtbTrails and see all the posts from BOTH hastags in one place. To accomplish this, I've used free online tools like Feedburner and Yahoo! Pipes, and although I've tried to set everything up to minimize duplicates it's not always perfect. For instance, FRmtbTrails takes every tweet with the BoCo tag and reformats it with the FR tag, so if you follow both BoCo_Trails and FRmtbTrails you'll get dupes.

BigSteve in CO said:
I have to claim Twitter ignorance. Is the hashtag thing like a page you can look up? How does it work?
Sort of, kind of... a "hashtag" is more like a keyword, preceded by the pound sign (#) that's included in a Twitter post (tweet). The Twitter user has to manually include it in their tweet, but then it becomes easily searchable on Twitter, especially if many people agree to use the same hashtag for unique topics (trail conditions in this case). Also, you don't have to be a Twitter user to search for the hastag, you can go to http://search.twitter.com/ and enter the hastag to search for, like this one for the #FRmtbTrails tag:

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=#FRmtbTrails
 

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BigSteve in CO said:
I imagine MTBR sells advertising partially based on the amount of hits they get, so they probably don't want to help steer traffic away from the site.

I have to claim Twitter ignorance.
+1.

Plus I am happy maintaining Twitter ignorance...

No help to you guys, I realize.
 

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rmac said:
+1.

Plus I am happy maintaining Twitter ignorance...

No help to you guys, I realize.
I'm not a huge Twitter fan, but I started the BoCo_Trails hashtag idea as an easy way to update trail conditions or to get trail conditions updates from my mobile device. MTBR.com pretty much sucks on a mobile device, but having a bookmark to the Twitter search is fast on a mobile device.

Also I'm much more likely to send out an update on trail conditions if I do it right as I'm done riding or have scouted something out as opposed to driving home, cleaning up, eating dinner and then remembering to go update it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I mean you can have your pre-conceived notions about Twitter, and some of it is really justified, but there are some really nice uses. This is certainly one - CDOT also uses it really effectively for road conditions/closures this winter.
 

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If it is good enough to start a revolution in Egypt and Tunisia, it should be good enough for trail conditions right? #hashtagsrule

I have to say, I have send updates and it has taken almost 24 hrs to have it resend out and that was not helpful.

So I live down by Chatfield and when I look outside the window and know that I am not going to be able to ride offroad, I dont really give it a second thought to post a trail report. My bad for not helping out the community.
 

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yetirich said:
I have to say, I have send updates and it has taken almost 24 hrs to have it resend out and that was not helpful.
This is definitely a problem... so if you happen to know of anyone experienced with the Twitter API that would like to help work on a dedicated auto-retweet function with me, so I didn't have to rely on sketchy-at-best-free-internet-tools, let me know. ;)
 

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hypokondriak said:
In the interim it's not all that hard just to add the hashtag at the end of the tweet, eh?
Oh totally, and then just bookmark the hashtag search <http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23FRmtbTrails> on your mobile and you're all set.
 
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