My name is Jeff and as of last Thursday, my wife Kristen and I are the new site owners.
We are still coming up to speed on things--we just got the last half of the login credentials Monday, and so most of our time so far has just been resetting passwords, updating contact info, and exploring how the software that runs this site is architected. A lot more exploring left to do on that front...
The primary thing I wanted to say in this post is that my wife and I *care* about creating a good experience for users and staff, and starting right now, we are here to support you.
I'm not sure exactly what a good experience for users and staff looks like long term--a lot of questions that need answers first--but in the short term, the obvious highest priority thing is implementing better anti-spam measures. Spam sucks. We haven't ever tried to architect anti-spam features before so if you have suggestions on what to do, use this thread: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ost=2637993;#2637993
My wife and I both work full time, so it's not all going to get fixed tomorrow or next week or even this coming year, but we're gonna start chipping away at things.
I have a bunch of questions for you guys about the history of the site and where you'd like to see the site go in the future. I would love your help, but I also totally understand if anyone decides to hit the eject button because there's a new owner.
Right now, the plan is:
1) finish the technical aspects of the site transfer
2) get spam under control
3) understand current site staff structure & remove people who no longer want to be involved
4) Have a discussion with the community about where we are now and where we want to take this site--I've got lots of ideas, and I've no problem being a benevolent dictator when needed, but setting future direction of the site is a conversation, not me showing up in my dilbert costume saying "I'm the new owner, now we do things my way" (at least not too often)
5) start to evaluate the current software platform--what parts can we modify, what parts need to be completely swapped out (have you seen http://www.discourse.org
? it's light years better than our current forum software, although integrating it with the other parts of the site would be a very complex project)
Regarding site culture:
There are just a couple of things that are non-negotiable based on who I am as a person and what kind of site I want to be associated with. You can sum most of them up as be friendly, treat people, including women, with respect, don't be a jerk, and treat others how you'd want to be treated. The rockclimbing community tends to be a little rough around the edges, thrill-seeking, rules-pushing, heart-pounding awesomeness. No problems there--I was the kid growing up who drove the town roundabout backwards every so often just to feel like a rebel. But I'm not going to tolerate sexually crude remarks or slamming n00bs. People who want to do those things can go find another site. I haven't seen problems with these things so far, but just wanted to set the ground rules.
As far as who are we--my wife and I love the outdoors, particularly the mountains--I grew up in the North Cascades north of Seattle, and my wife grew up in the Rockies of Colorado and although we currently live in Silicon Valley, our hearts pine for real mountains with rock and snow. We're also both pretty nerdy and we like to push ourselves physically and mentally. Kristen's done a half Ironman and I've hiked 50 miles in 24 hours.
I first got exposed to rock climbing when I took the Mountaineers Basic Climbing Course in highschool. My current favorite climb is probably the summit pyramid on Mount Challenger, which is only rated at 5.6 if I remember right, but climbing 5.6 in plastic mountaineering boots is a whole different level of difficulty than doing it in rock shoes. Plus it was a difficult two-day approach through some of the most heavily glaciated terrain in the lower 48, so my friends and I definitely felt legit on that one.
If you have questions for me/us, post them in this thread.
Jeff and Kristen