dailymile_badge_143x56_grey.pngI've been using Fetcheveryone to log all my running since July 2009 and overall I'm quite pleased with it. I recently discovered dailymile and it certainly looks very pretty (lots of Web2.0rhea) but I'm not convinced by the whole idea of "social training" or whatever they want to call it nor dailymile's overall functionality and behaviour. It seems lacking and buggy.

When developing the the "Latest Training" section in my sidebar, I went hunting for some other site that offers some sort of official widget or gadget to display recent training etc in my site's sidebar. This is how I stumbled upon dailymile. It's got a few interesting widgets so I signed up and hit my first hurdle - no Garmin import support. I quite like and now rely on the import functionality Fetcheveryone has and I now deem it an essential. Accordingly, I put things on hold and didn't even bother trying to use dailymile.

This week I discovered dailymile have finally introduced Garmin import support (beta still): it imports it from the incredibly useless Garmin Connect. With this news, I imported all my training from Garmin. So far so good. It seemed to work quite well, though it didn't import any of the limited notes I put up on Garmin Connect. It seems to have just imported the raw GPS data.

Anyway, with my runs imported I manually set to updating each one and copying my notes across from Fetcheveryone into each run. I then manually entered all this year's runs from Fetcheveryone. It was during all this laborious work that I realised I don't think dailymile is for me.

My current annoyances are:

  • You can't independently import routes from anywhere - not MapMyRun, not Fetcheveryone, not from a GPX or TPX file or even directly from your Garmin device unless it's part of importing a run.
  • What routes you do have, you can't completely hide. They're either viewable by everyone or just your friends.
  • You can't import previous training data from any external source, not even a simple CSV file - this leads to the ball-arch that is manually importing all your data.
  • You can't export any of your training, in case you want to switch to somewhere else, or even just so you can perform you own local analysis.
  • The website is trying to live up to the hype that is Web 2.0, but sadly this doesn't always work. The javascript that powers most of the site stops responding so you have to refresh the page to give it a kick. This happens on Safari, Firefox and Chrome, all on a Mac. I've not tested on other operating systems, but I doubt it'll be any better.
  • You can't edit your "gear" entries, or if you can, it's certainly not intuitive and I didn't find out how short of adding a new item and removing the old.
  • The preferences and settings are not all centralised in one place. You have to hunt around for the various settings.

It's not all bad. I quite like the idea of their widgets, the fact the site isn't smothered in advertising and it's fresh modern look, though it could do with looking a lot less like Facebook in places, but that's about it.

My only issues, and these are really just niggles, with Fetcheveryone are:

  • it's not the prettiest of sites
  • the "Barefoot" shoe type doesn't show up in the sidebar (I like to be able to quickly glance and see how much of my running has been barefoot)
  • and there are no widgets for easy sharing of data onto any other site, though they do offer several methods to export different data.

Otherwise everything it intuitive and seems to just work and work well.

I'm not going to stop using dailymile just yet. I'll keep entering data on it for a while longer to see if it grows on me and to see if the issues I've highlighted are resolved anytime soon (I'm not holding my breath though as the Garmin import support took forever to arrive, despite being advertised as "coming soon" since dailymile's inception). Time will tell. Until then, I think I'll keep hacking away at my own "widgets" for Fetcheveryone.

Over all I think dailymile is aimed more at the Facebook/Twitter addicted fun runners who want to natter than those who want a highly functional and detailed online location to store their training runs.