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Author Topic: The end of Gribblenation  (Read 7438 times)

Dougtone

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The end of Gribblenation
« on: July 27, 2016, 09:28:47 PM »

Gribblenation is being phased out. Gribblenation.com is going offline now and Gribblenation.net will be around until January 2017.

From Brian LeBlanc...
Y'all - it's a sad day. Gribblenation.com is no more.

Things have obviously changed in the years since we launched the site in 2001. Back then, there was no Facebook, no Wikipedia, IRC was a thing, and the only texts people sent were on AIM. The world has changed in the intervening 15 years to the point that Adam and I agreed that it isn't economical anymore to continue to maintain a static site when things change so quickly.

Adam, as you've probably noticed, is moving a lot of his stuff over to the Sure, Why Not blog. I'm not sure what will become of Wake County Roads, which was a great idea that never got around to being completed to the final product I first envisioned when I started the site in 1999. (1999!!! Has it really been 17 years?)

I do have the entire site archived and saved on a backup drive, so if anyone wants a piece of it, let me know and I'll be glad to share. And this page will stay active, if nothing else to serve as a memorial and a water cooler.

I'm surprisingly wistful pulling the plug on the site, more than I thought I'd be. It was time, though, and I hope you all enjoyed visiting it as much as we did putting it together over the years.

From Doug Kerr...
Other things to know. Gribblenation.net will still be up until January 2017 (which is when the domain expires). This doesn't mean that we will stop paying attention to the hobby either. There's blog sites, Flickr, Facebook, AARoads Forum where we should still be active. In fact, I've been paying attention to those types of media more than my own web page for the past few years.

I do want to thank everyone for their support over the years and give special recognition to those who enjoyed reading or looking at our material over the years.

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2016, 10:01:03 PM »

Gribblenation is used as a source for many road-related Wikipedia articles.
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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 10:04:28 PM »

Doug and Brian:

I have never met either of you. I don't believe I have even conversed directly with you on here or MTR for that matter. Adam, only a couple of times, as I contributed a couple of pictures to his AllthingsNC site. But hear me when I say the 3 of you are absolute titans of our hobby, and if there were a Mt Rushmore for roadgeeks y'all would be on it.

To you, and to Gribblenation, the site that ultimately led me here all these years later, I raise my glass!
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Dougtone

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 10:32:32 PM »

Doug and Brian:

I have never met either of you. I don't believe I have even conversed directly with you on here or MTR for that matter. Adam, only a couple of times, as I contributed a couple of pictures to his AllthingsNC site. But hear me when I say the 3 of you are absolute titans of our hobby, and if there were a Mt Rushmore for roadgeeks y'all would be on it.

To you, and to Gribblenation, the site that ultimately led me here all these years later, I raise my glass!

Thank you. One thing that I am proud about is how these sites got people interested in our hobby.

CanesFan27

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 10:56:59 PM »

Thank you for the kind words.  We had a blast - and enjoyed getting a lot of people interested and involved in the hobby.  As Doug states we are all still active but it's a lot different than just five years ago.  I will say that as I post the old features to the blog and also share them on facebook groups - I must admit that I do miss working on various updates and writing the features and discovering the story behind a road, bridge or what have you.
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rickmastfan67

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 11:11:52 PM »

So, anybody have any idea where Bob's going to move the I-73/74 site to now? lol.

Zeffy

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 11:32:05 PM »

Such a fantastic site. It's sad to see it go. It's even worse when people like me don't like social media sites like Facebook and still heavily prefer sites where you don't have to be a member to look at things.

Thanks for maintaining a great resource for road enthusiasts around the globe!  :clap:
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MaxConcrete

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 11:59:56 PM »

As webmaster for DFWFreeways.com and http://HoustonFreeways.com, I can certainly relate to the trends that make it more difficult to justify the effort involved in maintaining and updating highway information sites. Google is certainly the biggest factor, with its comprehensive ground and aerial photography, and image results on searches. And then there's YouTube for video. Ten to fifteen years ago, TxDOT posted very little in terms of video, and now they have a Youtube channel.

Maintenance is on ongoing huge commitment to keep a site fresh and credible. In spring 2015 I realized that most of my DFWFreeways.com content was from the 2007-2009 period, and much of it was obsolete. I spent more than month full time (between jobs) on a massive effort to bring the site up-to-date and add content, which will of course be substantially obsolete in a few years.

So now I'm reducing new content additions to just a few per year, and I'm trying to focus on content which does not become obsolete as quickly. Construction photos are now my main focus, since they capture a moment in time. By far my most heavily-visited page is the old road maps page, which never becomes obsolete. http://dfwfreeways.com/old-highway-maps

I'm generally seeing a slow but steady decline in traffic on my sites, which can probably be expected due to more competing sources of information and lack of new content on my sites. If I were to make a prediction, I think we'll see more photo-oriented highway sites become static (i.e. more like an archive) or go permanently offline. The sites best-suited for long-term survival are pure historical sites, like cahighways.org
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 02:10:18 PM by MaxConcrete »
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kurumi

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2016, 12:03:11 AM »

Thank you for creating and maintaining one of the classic road sites. I'll toast you guys this Friday (BBQ with tri-tip and plenty of beer).
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amroad17

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2016, 03:59:59 AM »

I personally would like to thank all involved in the Gribblenation site.  This site was one of the first sites I perused when I began roadgeeking on the internet.  Good luck to you, Brian and you, Doug in your future endeavors.
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74/171FAN

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2016, 07:00:41 AM »

I guess this post more relates to Adam but still.

I vividly remember reading about the 4 US 70s of Selma-Smithfield (I guess one may be eliminated via I-42), obviously Bob's I-73/I-74 site which got me into keeping track of those routes, the US 29 Seminole Trail history, the one that states that SC 22 is not truly quicker for most Myrtle Beach destinations, etc.

I would not say that one particular person from any site got me into roads, but it was great to read sites such as Gribblenation that kept me interested in the hobby and I thank everyone involved for that.  It was great as a child to learn about routes in your state that I really did not even see that often until I went to college at Virginia Tech.

I guess it is time to favorite Adam's blog.
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Mapmikey

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 07:38:22 AM »

A lot of the Gribblenation content for VA, NC, and SC will be resurrected in one form or another on the vahighways.com site...
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DOIG

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 07:52:58 AM »

Folks - thanks for the kind words. This wasn't an easy decision. In fact, it's one I've been putting off for a few years now simply because I know how much a part of the community the site has been. It just got to the point that even at about $100 a year, it wasn't an expense we could justify anymore.

Doug already peeled his stuff off onto his own server 6-7 years ago, and while Adam and I remain very close (literally - we live in the same neighborhood!), our lives have changed from where they were fifteen years ago. Adam has two kids now, I have one, and every August when the site renewal came up our wives gave us the side eye to remind us that the money we're spending on GN could be put to use buying, y'know, food and clothes.

It's amazing to me to think back to how different the world was before we started GN. Myspace wasn't even a thing yet, never mind Facebook or any of the photo sharing sites. Instead of this forum, we were all on MTR. Wikipedia and YouTube didn't exist. Road photography actually consisted of hauling out a clunky camera, getting photos developed, scanning them, uploading them and creating a page to display them on. Can you imagine doing that today?

Obviously I'm not all that active on here - in fact, this is my first post, seven years after I registered. But I do appreciate all who are active who used GN as a resource or a source of entertainment over the years. Wake County Roads update jokes aside, it's been a pleasure to have contributed in our own small way to the development of this hobby over the years, and while I'm not going anywhere, I do feel like an era has ended in a way.

As I mentioned on Facebook, I have an archive of the entire site on a backup drive at home. If anyone would like a piece of GN to host on their own, just shoot me an email - bdleblanc at gmail. Thank you all, again, for your kind words and your support through the last fifteen years. It's been a fun ride, one that I will miss for sure.

Brian
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 09:47:24 AM »

The end of an era for sure.  I was talking to Doug earlier in the spring about his tour of Ontario page, which I think dated back to something like 2002 or so.  At that point, I think that may have been the first time that I had ever seen a picture of a road on the internet.

It's amazing how much things have changed since that time.  As has been said above,  these sites predated the Facebook's and Flickr's of the internet by many, many years.  At that time too, it seemed like a much smaller amount of roadgeeks bothered to put photos on the internet as compared to now.

I still maintain an old school website.  For all of the convenience of the new forms of social media, there are things I miss about the old era.  Sometimes the internet seems like a yelling match now, with so many people vying for attention.  Maybe it's always been that way, it just didn't always seem like it.

usends

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 09:56:20 AM »

Most of you GN participants contributed a lot of endpoint photos to usends.com over the years... thank you! 
For those who have moved their photos to Flickr (or any other host), can you post the links here?
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baugh17

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2016, 09:12:12 PM »

It is now official...New York Routes will be moving to its own domain, appropriately named NewYorkRoutes.net, starting on January 1.

More to come...
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OracleUsr

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2016, 11:26:49 PM »

Gonna miss Gribblenatiion, but good luck with the future.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 11:07:53 AM »

We still have part of some souvenirs of Gribblenation archived on the Internet Archive alias the Wayback Machine https://web.archive.org/web/20160722023734/http://www.gribblenation.com/ and one more souvenir on Archive.is. http://archive.is/7RB90
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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2016, 11:28:22 AM »

It's too bad I never was around in this era...but still, I loved the site because it was a way to gather info on some obscure roads. Sad to see it go.
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kurumi

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2016, 12:55:09 PM »

We should all pour one out for GN at the next roadmeet. In the meantime, Doug's Flickr site (679,228 photos) should slake your road thirst for a while :-)
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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2016, 05:18:41 PM »

Gribblenation.net is still around, and as far as I know, it's the same content, so you have a couple more months.  A lot of the old stuff is moving to the Sure, Why Not? blog.
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Otto Yamamoto

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2016, 02:57:42 PM »

I have some things on the .net site, and will probably find a means to parcel them out to Flickr and Google, depending on what time I have to spare.

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D-Dey65

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2016, 12:06:42 AM »

I don't have a website I can move any of the material to, but I still have to ask; How much of the site has been swiped from it so far?

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CanesFan27

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2016, 04:35:25 PM »

I don't have a website I can move any of the material to, but I still have to ask; How much of the site has been swiped from it so far?



Not a lot.  I had a break in my MBA classes over the summer and did begin to move some NC stuff.  This is my final semester of grad school, throw in converting to SAP and Arina at work and two kids - I won't get back to moving items to the blog or Facebook groups until after  Christmas.

Then throw in Flickr items for features that never made it to the site, and flickr items thay can easily be folded into existinf features, or projects that were up behind the scenes and not ready to go. There's a lot of material from myself and Doug that will keep us busy for sometime - when either of us have the time.

Also I am double checking with contributors etc to make sure it is ok to move their items to the blog and that may take time.

We were slowly transforming gn.com to a feature type site as that's where my and Doug's work was moving towards.  The blog allows that to continue - the Facebook groups allows for the essentials like sign photos etc to continue as well.

Prior to classes starting this semester - I was moving the Blue Ridge Parkway drive feature to the blog.  The existing site pages have moved but I have photos from a few trips on the Parkway since then that I am adding.  Those will be announced when completed once I graduate and work on them in December.
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Dougtone

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Re: The end of Gribblenation
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2016, 07:51:49 PM »

For anyone who wants to take over parts of my own work on GN.net, please contact me directly as a common courtesy. While there are features and some other odds and sods that I will be moving over to the blog over time, if you want to take a shot at some of my work, have at it.

 


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