How Much for ClubTread? - Page 3 - ClubTread Community

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post #31 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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New forum from scratch in this age of social media would most likely be doomed to fail. CT has value because of brand name that's been around. It's like smartphones; people buy overpriced iPhone because of hype and status, not because it has something others don't.

You have to rescue both name and content. But yes, there is fair amount of effort associated with it, even if you could get funding & get it from VS. This would be IT project. Database migration is straightforward, but you have front end issue that requires both skill and time. When VS took over I thought they would tweak Bulletin Board based on user complaints, then engage the community to bring it back to old days. Instead they plastered the site with viglinks and gun adds.

Last edited by zeljkok; 12-11-2018 at 01:59 PM.
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 02:31 PM
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I would argue that the value of the forum is in the members. VS can own the brand and historical content, but these will slowly lose their value without ongoing contributions by active members. So it's really the members that make the site valuable.

A new site generating new content will eventually be better than current CT as the TRs will have more recent beta. TRs will show up in searches and attract members and lurkers, who tend to click on the more recent TR. Better photo upload feature, ad-free experience (even for visitors), and good mobile experience would be advantages as well.

As for the CT brand, don't believe in it much. People will find TRs through Google search, not by typing www.clubtread.com into the address bar (do people even do this anymore, especially using mobile?).
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, but then isn't it way easier to simply start "Club Tread" Facebook group? No cost, no IT effort, just reuse what is already out there. I personally despise FB for reasons that are off-topic, but maybe this is realistic solution. It would be nothing different from other vanilla social media hangouts though and biggest loss is historical content that has immense value IMHO despite fact that conditions do change. I am not talking about 10000 Seymour or Garibaldi TR's but posts from rarely accessed areas of people like simonc etc that will continue to have invaluable beta for many more years.
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 03:02 PM
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Sure it's easier to start a FB Group, but what's our objective here?

If it's mainly about preserving the historical content, then I wouldn't worry about it. Hosting doesn't cost much and VS will probably keep the content online even if the site fades away. There will always be some clicks generating revenue at minimal cost to them.

If it's about keeping the CT community alive in it's present form, then either (1) start your own site, or (2) buy the site from VS.

I don't think anyone is interested in another FB Group.
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 5thhorseman View Post

If it's about keeping the CT community alive in it's present form, then either (1) start your own site, or (2) buy the site from VS.

Exactly. And this community is prob. 20% now from what it once was (in Alberta it is less than that). Taking over the site is the only way IMHO, then run it democratically, non-profit. I.e. hypothetically if I was new CT owner I'd:


  1. Make it 100% add free
  2. Build UI via iterative approach constantly gathering feedback until even the pickiest, most computer challenged user is comfortable posting reports and uploading pics
  3. Engage community via small things like photo contests, TR of the month contest, calendar, periodic dinner gatherings/hikes etc
  4. Constantly keep the line open i.e on-going thread "What else would you like to see in CT"



Once all this is built and users start coming back I'd start discussion completely disclosing annual maintenance cost, and provide interface through which voluntary PayPal donations could be made to cover for it. User names and donation amounts would be public too. But I'd do this only after product everyone is happy with has been built. You never ask for $$ while selling crap.
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 04:16 PM
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PM'd you.
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 06:52 PM
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Checked in today without adblock and still see the gun/hunting ads on this very thread. Ironic. And total BS.
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Sack View Post
Checked in today without adblock and still see the gun/hunting ads on this very thread. Ironic. And total BS.

You don't need better evidence of what current ownership is. This is water under the bridge; it is not going to change and we can't expect anything from them. But CT backbone still exists; I am getting private emails of some old members with words of appreciation and encouragement just based on contents of this thread. So main task in my view is to take CT away from VS hands ASAP because they are flat out tearing it into the ground.


At this point it would be good idea to approach VS directly and inquire about selling. However I will be away for about 3 months and won't be able to carry on that task right now. If CT is still around come March I will try to see what is involved in takeover and then take it from there.
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post #39 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 11:58 PM
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I asked if I could buy it in 2016 and was told "VerticalScope is not in the business of selling sites and not up for sale."
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post #40 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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I asked if I could buy it in 2016 and was told "VerticalScope is not in the business of selling sites and not up for sale."

You did.
But that was 2016 and things change. They had layoffs in August. In 2016 they were still supporting CT, however meekly. Now its all gun adds and nothing else.

Would you have any idea about the price? Did you ask?
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post #41 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
You did.
But that was 2016 and things change. They had layoffs in August. In 2016 they were still supporting CT, however meekly. Now its all gun adds and nothing else.

Would you have any idea about the price? Did you ask?
Yep agree things have changed and that it's worth another conversation. Just providing you with a data point. I would love to see someone take CT back. I am not interested in taking the lead at this point.

They were not interested in discussing the price since it was not for sale.

In general, I think you would value a site like this based on a few metrics: ad revenue, number of active users, number of users that have provided e-mail addresses and consent to be e-mailed, etc.

At this point, I would suggest that a good arrangement would be as follows:
- They sell the site for $1000 to someone who has the knowledge, passion and resources to revive it.
- They put in an earn-out clause that allows them to skim 30% of the profits until $X is earned back

The $1000 makes sure that whoever buys it is serious.
The earn-out clause provides a safe way for them to be compensated if the site is as valuable as they estimate while also protecting the buyer from overpaying if it is not that valuable afterall.
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Steventy.

Earn-out shouldn't be an issue as non-profit business model is only reasonable scenario in my view. No adds, only income via voluntary donations to cover hosting expenses; if exceeded return back to community via calendars of whatever. If buyout is really in that range ($1000) it is seriously worth looking into.

There is so much wealth in CT reports. Just this evening I pulled out Athabasca Pass / Whirlpool River TR by lobo and spent good 20 minutes admiring it. Athabasca Pass is Canadian Heritage, first recorded crossing in 1811 by fur trader David Thompson, and no you can't find this so easily on Internet as people rarely go there. CT has that, not Facebook, not Instagram or some other social media nonsense. It is downright a crime to have things like that vanish - or treated as it is now with "shoot the wolfie" gun adds.

Last edited by zeljkok; 12-14-2018 at 02:33 AM.
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post #43 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Thank you Steventy.

Earn-out shouldn't be an issue as non-profit business model is only reasonable scenario in my view. No adds, only income via voluntary donations to cover hosting expenses; if exceeded return back to community via calendars of whatever. If buyout is really in that range ($1000) it is seriously worth looking into.

There is so much wealth in CT reports. Just this evening I pulled out Athabasca Pass / Whirlpool River TR by lobo and spent good 20 minutes admiring it. Athabasca Pass is Canadian Heritage, first recorded crossing in 1811 by fur trader David Thompson, and no you can't find this so easily on Internet as people rarely go there. CT has that, not Facebook, not Instagram or some other social media nonsense. It is downright a crime to have things like that vanish - or treated as it is now with "shoot the wolfie" gun adds.
They wouldn't want to hear that you don't plan on having ads and that you don't want to run it as a for-profit site. Under that case, there is basically 0 chance that they get the earn-out back and so they would want you to pay them for the full value ahead of the site at the time of purchase.

The intent of that structure is to make the upfront "purchase" price low with an agreement that the remainder of the value would be paid out over time based on the profitable operation of the site.
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post #44 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 03:04 PM
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It would take a lot of time to migrate the site to new hosting infrastructure / software; time that is better spent outside.

I say cut our losses, start a new site. We could have a thread listing favourite old TRs that deserve to be preserved (with links to old CT) and members could take up the task of repeating them to create a new TR with up-to-date beta on the routes. It would be fun!

That, and we could also have lively discussions on oil tankers and tar sands, lol.
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post #45 of (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 06:25 PM
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Name:  Welcom.JPG
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* or take all the old trip reports and start our own damn site.
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