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Old 12-29-2009, 12:58 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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My virtual run across America, and a business idea.

So I'm getting over my little knee problem and have started running again, and I thought it'd be cool to plot my progress on a map of the U.S., running across the country. I've always thought it would be cool to walk across the U.S., but I can't figure out how to get my work done in that scenario, so this is my fallback.

And then I thought, "Hmm, this is a pretty good idea for a website. If I started a website, could I get enough people to sell some advertising and stuff and maybe make some money?"

So I went out looking to see if it's already out there. The concept isn't overly innovative, so I see a fair amount of sites out there that talk about it, but they all seem to be pretty lame. Here's a map, print it, color in your progress with a crayon kind of stuff.

What I'd like is a web site where you plot your progress and then see a google maps street view of your location, and then a virtual tour of towns that you walk through, and an atlas so you can pick your route as you go, and an interactive map so you can plot your route. That doesn't exist.

Is there money in this? What's the revenue model? Any web designers out there who would want to collaborate on this?

In my 15 minutes of looking, I found one web site that's actually kind of close, though it's still basic. http://exercise.lbl.gov/index.html is a federal government site, and they do the street view pictures, which is pretty cool, and the online log. However, they only give you one route, an inexplicable Yorktown, Virginia, to Florence, Oregon, route, and you can't vary from that. Also, you don't get local information along your route as far as I can tell.

I signed up for it, though, since it's the best option out there, and am now 11 miles into my journey. I've left Yorktown and am now on this nice road about 2 miles from Williamsburg. Anyone else want to wander along?

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Old 12-29-2009, 03:09 PM   #31
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I applaud your ingenuity of a great concept to make money. Follow it thru. I could see this as a good idea!
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:16 PM   #32
ziggysocki ziggysocki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
Oh, hey. If I go to the map and ask it to show me the teams, it shows two Chiefsplaneteers teams. I'm not sure what that means. I tried twice to create a team and got errors, so it could be mine showing up, or it could be rageumr's team showing up on at least one of them.

You're both showing up as my partners, too, both with 11 miles.
When I do that, it shows us all with 0 miles...

here is the explanation, makes sense I guess...

We have adjusted your partner(s) mileage so that both you and your partners start at the same point. Virtual partners who started before you have had their mileage set to your mileage on your start date.


So it is just an "Go Forward" Comparison
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:21 PM   #33
rageeumr rageeumr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
Oh, hey. If I go to the map and ask it to show me the teams, it shows two Chiefsplaneteers teams. I'm not sure what that means. I tried twice to create a team and got errors, so it could be mine showing up, or it could be rageumr's team showing up on at least one of them.

You're both showing up as my partners, too, both with 11 miles.
Hmm.... mine shows everyone at 0 miles and no teams (I deleted the one I created).
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:22 PM   #34
ziggysocki ziggysocki is offline
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I just entered distances from sunday, and now it shows me at 13.3, and you both at 9.2. So I am guessing Rain Man has entered 9.2 since sunday?
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
And then I thought, "Hmm, this is a pretty good idea for a website. If I started a website, could I get enough people to sell some advertising and stuff and maybe make some money?"
Good idea and not hard at all to implement. If you find someone who is adept at the google API... this thing basically writes itself.

The hard part is getting traffic to the site... once you have the traffic and a good community... it could make some money.

The problem I see is that it's novelty isn't interactive enough... coem up with some further "hooks" and you have a winner. Think in terms of making it more of a community or a competition.

...but from a technical standpoint... not hard to do at all.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:28 PM   #36
rageeumr rageeumr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggysocki View Post
I just entered distances from sunday, and now it shows me at 13.3, and you both at 9.2. So I am guessing Rain Man has entered 9.2 since sunday?
Backdating the log, huh, cheater?

You're showing 4.1 on mine now with Rain Man and I at 0.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:30 PM   #37
ziggysocki ziggysocki is offline
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Originally Posted by rageeumr View Post
Backdating the log, huh, cheater?

You're showing 4.1 on mine now with Rain Man and I at 0.
so you just entered today's run, cause that is what I did this morning... And I did not cheat! If I wanted to cheat, I would go back and enter the 1191.9 miles that I have logged since 7/22/08...
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:32 PM   #38
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Okay, I've now got you both in my own team called ChiefsPlaneteers. Do you see anything?

I'm starting to think that teams and partners are invisible to the other people. If true, I think it's a bit of a mistake on their part since it limits the community aspect that would be valuable. Another competitive advantage to my own web site.

Any web designers out there who want to partner on this?
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:35 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Good idea and not hard at all to implement. If you find someone who is adept at the google API... this thing basically writes itself.

The hard part is getting traffic to the site... once you have the traffic and a good community... it could make some money.

The problem I see is that it's novelty isn't interactive enough... coem up with some further "hooks" and you have a winner. Think in terms of making it more of a community or a competition.

...but from a technical standpoint... not hard to do at all.


I can come up with hooks. And yeah, I think the key is making a community out of it. How much would it cost to build this if I hired someone? (Roughly.)
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Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:37 PM   #40
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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I'm showing ziggy at 15.1 and rage and myself at 11. I can see us all having 11 because that's what I've entered.

Ah, I think I see what's happening. If ziggy entered 4.1 after we became partners, that's where we start diverging. So it only puts us all at the same starting point, which is the mileage we had when we selected partners.

So this means that we can track each other, but there's no communication or anything.
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Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:39 PM   #41
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The team is showing us at 4.1 collectively, so I bet it just adds our distances together. Do you guys see a team yet? It's working on mine, but I bet you each have to build the team yourself.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:45 PM   #42
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Quote:
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I can come up with hooks. And yeah, I think the key is making a community out of it. How much would it cost to build this if I hired someone? (Roughly.)
Depends on the scope of the project.

Your best bet lies in one of two routes...

#1 Set out EXACTLY what you want the site to be able to do... make mock ups and write descriptions of every detail. THEN outsource the project on one of the many programming outsourcing sites where people bid for the job. (if I had to guess... shouldn't cost more than $5000)

#2 Find a capable programmer that you trust and partner with them... keeping your cost at ZERO (minus server costs which are almost nothing for a project like this)
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #43
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:49 PM   #44
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Yep, you're right, I had to recreate the team.

I'm planning on a sixer tonight, so we'll see how that affects everything.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:50 PM   #45
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