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dr_feelgood


Nov 1, 2013, 11:24 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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Good luck.
Find mods that will cut down on sexist/racist crap, but leave the honest n00b bashing. Gotta learn somehow. I did.
Make 'campground' controversial again. Consolidate it and the soapbox, and use it as a dumpster for non-spam shit. Cagefighting if you get my meaning.
Better User Interface.
Don't try to be a mountainproject, where everyone is friendly and spraying about the routes they've photographed. Don't try to be a supertopo; the last bastion of the california hardman. Bring rockclimbing.com back to its shitty awesomeness.

And keep folks from linking their blogs/personal websites. If they want to post something, post it!

Doc


singletrackmike


Nov 2, 2013, 4:37 AM
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Re: [Jeff] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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Hi Jeff & Kristen! Thank you for that post and stating your intentions of what you want to accomplish. I hope you're able to do what you want to do and have a great time doing it!


edge


Nov 2, 2013, 7:53 AM
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Re: [dr_feelgood] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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dr_feelgood wrote:

And keep folks from linking their blogs/personal websites. If they want to post something, post it!

Doc

+1

Agreed, these are spam, pure & simple. As are the front page pics that are voted in by the submitter and two of their friends as soon as they are submitted; working the system for free advertising.


iknowfear


Nov 2, 2013, 8:16 AM
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Re: [edge] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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edge wrote:
dr_feelgood wrote:

And keep folks from linking their blogs/personal websites. If they want to post something, post it!

Doc

+1

Agreed, these are spam, pure & simple. As are the front page pics that are voted in by the submitter and two of their friends as soon as they are submitted; working the system for free advertising.

+1 you should not be allowed to rate your own pictures...


Partner happiegrrrl


Nov 2, 2013, 8:24 AM
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Why not develop a blog ON this site and offer the opportunity for bloggers to post guest pieces?

Same as any major blog that uses guests, the writers create pieces which would appeal to the site's audience(informational posts as opposed to personal trip reports), the pieces are submitted and accepted or not, and when published they include a byline for the author with a link to their personal blog.

Win/win for both RC and for the writers.


Partner macherry


Nov 2, 2013, 10:08 AM
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dr_feelgood wrote:
Good luck.
Find mods that will cut down on sexist/racist crap, but leave the honest n00b bashing. Gotta learn somehow. I did.
Make 'campground' controversial again. Consolidate it and the soapbox, and use it as a dumpster for non-spam shit. Cagefighting if you get my meaning.
Better User Interface.
Don't try to be a mountainproject, where everyone is friendly and spraying about the routes they've photographed. Don't try to be a supertopo; the last bastion of the california hardman. Bring rockclimbing.com back to its shitty awesomeness.

And keep folks from linking their blogs/personal websites. If they want to post something, post it!

Doc


yes


Partner Jeff
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Nov 2, 2013, 1:03 PM
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Re: [Jeff] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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Hey All--I'm definitely reading all this feedback, so keep it coming.

A community that tries to appeal to everyone appeals to no one, so there *will* come a time when I have to make some decisions about this site's direction/culture in the future.

When that happens, I'm sure some of you will choose to leave and others of you will choose to become more involved. That's just the way it goes.

Those aren't decisions I want to make hastily, so I'm first waiting until I've had a chance to connect with the staff 1:1 and as many active users as I can to understand a bit more about the history and current state of RC.

All I ask is you stick around a few weeks until I'm ready to make those decisions.

And if you've got the time to help educate me about the site, drop me a PM and we'll set up a time to chat.


granite_grrl


Nov 2, 2013, 5:07 PM
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Re: [Jeff] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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FWIW I think many of the people who post on here like that things are a little more "raw". If you're an idiot, you get called on it. If you're being sexist, you get called on it. Yeah, people can be dicks on here, but if you're an asshole, you get called on it.

I'm very glad that there are new owners for this site, extremely happy that the new owners are climbers. But as stated, I don't want this place to turn into a mountain project or a supertopo.


USnavy


Nov 3, 2013, 12:16 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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Keep things civilized, promote education and learning, and you MIGHT see a small trickle of people rolling back in. The majority of those left pre-spam era did so because they got tired of everything being an axe murdering fest or dick measuring contest. I too have grown tired of all the constant bashing, which is why I dont visit this site very often anymore.

Also, it would be nice for a complete website overhaul. This site has been using the same layout and forum software for the last 10 years. If you look at any major website, they change the design every year if not sooner. Facebook changes their site once every few months. The reason why the spam bots are attacking the site so easily is because the forum software is from the Windows 98 era. Maybe consider scrapping the forum software and going with something completely new?


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 3, 2013, 12:39 AM)


marc801


Nov 3, 2013, 7:20 AM
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Re: [USnavy] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
The majority of those left pre-spam era did so because they got tired of everything being an axe murdering fest or dick measuring contest. I too have grown tired of all the constant bashing, which is why I dont visit this site very often anymore.

Dude, you post almost every other day or two.
USnavy History wrote:
Registered: Nov 5, 2007, 6:40 PM
Last Logon: Nov 2, 2013, 11:57 PM
Posts: 2622 (1.2 per day)

And take a look at this: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...y;sb=post_time;mh=25
That;s what you call not very often?

There seems to be this "common knowledge" that there was a massive exodus from the site before the spam flood. Does anyone have any numbers to back up this assertion? Yes, there were a few high profile departures, but an awful lot of the same names remain and still post. And assigning reasons for mass departures is even more suspect.

IOW, I just don't buy that answer.
I also agree that both turning this site into the over-moderated spray-a-thon of MP or the school-yard free-for-all of supertopo would remove a lot of the reasons why this site is a viable alternative.


(This post was edited by marc801 on Nov 3, 2013, 7:22 AM)


ncrockclimber


Nov 3, 2013, 7:47 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
FWIW I think many of the people who post on here like that things are a little more "raw"...


IMHO there is a SMALL minority of users that revel in being rude and sometimes abusive. For every user that likes it "raw" and has 1000s of intentionally inflammatory posts, there are 100s of users that would prefer to talk about rock climbing in the a more civil manner, similar to what we do when we meet face to face. By catering to the vocal minority, I think that you drive away the larger and more civil user group. I don't want to see a whitewashed and heavily moderated site, but don't particularly enjoy participating in a site where threads commonly devolve into insult contests. Although I do not have data to support this, I believe that the mass exodus of users happened way before the spamming. I quit visiting due to the site becoming progressively more toxic. I am sure others had different reasons.


Partner happiegrrrl


Nov 3, 2013, 8:04 AM
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Re: [ncrockclimber] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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In reply to:
IMHO there is a SMALL minority of users that revel in being rude and sometimes abusive.

Yes, but that small minority seemed to have had/has the same strategy as the Tea Party - boisterous, ignorant, unrelenting, and giving a bad name to anyone tangentially related to them!


On an aside, due to one of those flukes of the universe, I have gleaned a tidbit that tells me it looks like rc.com may be in for a makeover that is going to astound.


a4a52041


Nov 3, 2013, 8:38 AM
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Thanks for taking this on.

The suggestions that I have are:
- we need to have a mapping feature like "Mountain Project"....its very useful. Especially when planning road trips.
- most other sites allow users to upload pics without being filtered by the administrators or owners. This would save time on your end. Pics that aren't tasteful would be reported by the online community.


jt512


Nov 3, 2013, 2:00 PM
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marc801 wrote:
There seems to be this "common knowledge" that there was a massive exodus from the site before the spam flood. Does anyone have any numbers to back up this assertion?

I don't know where to get the stats from, but others who do have posted them before. IIRC, site traffic took an order-of-magnitude drop just after the previous owners bought the site for the first time (they bought it, sold it to Namemedia, and then bought it back—or something like that). Why the plunge? My impression is that the overarching cause was that the then-new owners killed the sense of community that the site had had. I sense that the following factors contributed to this loss of community. These are not in any particular order, nor are they mutually orthogonal:
  1. The new owners were perceived as outsiders, specifically, non-climbers who were only interested in the site to make money from it.

  2. The owners gave the impression that they had little interest in input from users about the site: its look and feel, its features, its direction, etc.

  3. The owners drastically changed the look of the site, from one that felt warm and welcoming to one that felt cold and off-putting.

  4. Under the original owners, moderation and forum rules seemed to bubble up from the user base; under the new owners, they seemed to be dicta handed down from the new bosses.

  5. The new owners drastically commercialized the website, first drastically increasing the amount of advertising (including a good deal of non-climbing-related ads), and then eventually turning the site into essentially an on-line store, where, like in network television, substantive content is just an inconvenient necessity to sell product.

I'm sure that this list is incomplete, but maybe it will serve as a springboard for additional feedback from users who were around when the original disaster struck.

Note to the new owners: the two successful (existentially, if not financially) global climbing sites, supertopo.com and mountainproject.com, both have the grassroots, community feeling that site once, too, had.


USnavy


Nov 3, 2013, 4:01 PM
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marc801 wrote:
USnavy wrote:
The majority of those left pre-spam era did so because they got tired of everything being an axe murdering fest or dick measuring contest. I too have grown tired of all the constant bashing, which is why I dont visit this site very often anymore.

Dude, you post almost every other day or two.
USnavy History wrote:
Registered: Nov 5, 2007, 6:40 PM
Last Logon: Nov 2, 2013, 11:57 PM
Posts: 2622 (1.2 per day)

And take a look at this: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...y;sb=post_time;mh=25
That;s what you call not very often?

There seems to be this "common knowledge" that there was a massive exodus from the site before the spam flood. Does anyone have any numbers to back up this assertion? Yes, there were a few high profile departures, but an awful lot of the same names remain and still post. And assigning reasons for mass departures is even more suspect.

IOW, I just don't buy that answer.
I also agree that both turning this site into the over-moderated spray-a-thon of MP or the school-yard free-for-all of supertopo would remove a lot of the reasons why this site is a viable alternative.
Comparatively as often.* I used to post solely on this site and now it is the last site I visit when I am bored. I spend far more time elsewhere.

As far as the departures go, I used to click on the general category and the entire page would be flagged as unread posts. Now I click on it and the first two are flagged as unread. I am not sure what other proof you need. The timestamps on the posts still exist so you can go back and look.

Last, MP.com is not a mod-heavy communist society. Of the 750 posts I have on there, one was edited by a mod. They used to throw the gavel around, but they dont throw it around nearly as much anymore.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 3, 2013, 4:03 PM)


Partner happiegrrrl


Nov 3, 2013, 4:23 PM
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Responding to JT512's post:

Interesting -I wouldn't have said that was the prime reasons the site traffic dropped.

In the early days, there was not a lot of competition for the traffic. YouTube didn't exist, and neither did Facebook. Discussion forums, in and of themselves, were enough to interest people.

Climbers who had put up major FA's and pushed the grades posted here as part of the community.

RC has always had a bit of a gumby flair, at least as far back as I can recall. But because there were enough people who walked the walk and didn't feel the need to be shitty, combined with the advent of socializing via the net and limited other options, the place had a healthy number and variety of users.

When other sites came available, people naturally began moving to those, but RC still had a decent share.

Remember when the servers were so sluggish and bogged down that it was nearly futile to navigate the site, and often it was down completely? To me, that was the first obvious move away in numbers, and that was before DDT and Sangiro bought the site.

When DDT came on, the repair on servers was appreciated, but momentum had been lost.

At first the new owners were excited about the project and users were happy with the improvements, Yes - the blandness of the look was an issue, but I don't really think it was anything like a deal-breaker for most.

Regarding advertising - I wouldn't know, since I have blocked ads for years. But I don't think they were seriously courting specific climbing-related companies - rather, using Google ads, which would have served up what this audience cued them towards.

I don't recall any big enough objection to advertising or a push towards monetizing this site that would have been a genuine influence on the departure.

It seemed that DDT pretty early realized that he didn't have the resources/desire to guide the website's evolution and also(I believe) that the return on investment wasn't what he had anticipated. He tended to be hands-off, and perhaps when some of the buffoonery that was entertaining a subset of the community actually drove numbers, he accepted it simply because it was driving traffic in the short run.

When NameMedia bought the site, it WAS seen as a negative by users, because the stable of websites NameMedia owned was pretty embarrassing and obviously commercially oriented.

JUNG was hired to do some managing and he was GREAT. And then they realized that the site was bleeding money(I assume) and didn't want to have the expense. They terminated a widely liked and respected user of this site and that was really a decision that had an impact of the way users viewed the owners of the site.

Then, there seemed to be nobody minding the door, and things began to devolve. There came a time when it became sport to be as rude as possible to some people, and the monkey-piling on others was disgusting, The same people also found it entertaining to hack into parts of the site and wreak general havok. Some of it was funny, but many people found it tiring. Any requests, made even in a general way, to stop being suck dicks(edit: oh, that was a typo! Should have been "such" dicks) resulted in those people being attacked. A few of the mods were among the assholes. Those few enabled the rank behavior and provided the assholes with information they had insider access to.

The diaspora continued, and in the process it acted as a filter, homogenizing the neighborhood. People who weren't interested in a combatitive sort of interaction simply stopped posting. Some remained on the site, but were silent.

The interesting thing is that there ARE still a number of users who have been on the site for years, and that the climbers on other sites WILL talk about it if changes here become evident. Also, according to Alexa, nearly a quarter of unique visitors to the site come here from Google. So, as long as value can be brought back into the site, the domain is valuable, at least as far as climbing-related properties go.


(This post was edited by happiegrrrl on Nov 3, 2013, 4:29 PM)


evosteve


Nov 3, 2013, 7:07 PM
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Glad to see someone new. I don't post a lot , but like to cruise around and learn stuff from others. Maybe things will change for good. Congrats!


curt


Nov 3, 2013, 8:42 PM
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USnavy wrote:
Last, MP.com is not a mod-heavy communist society.

Compared to what? It certainly isn't the open forum that supertopo.com is, or even what this site historically has been.

USnavy wrote:
Of the 750 posts I have on there, one was edited by a mod. They used to throw the gavel around, but they dont throw it around nearly as much anymore.

That's likely because they have already suppressed those they view as troublemakers. Don't get me wrong, MP.com certainly fills a need and currently dominates its niche. For information about specific climbing routes (i.e. online guidebook information) MP.com is great. The interactive forum there, however, is severely lacking compared to RC.com.

To me (and this is obviously just my opinion) it makes little sense for RC.com to try and be another MP.com or even another Supertopo.com. Why simply duplicate what already exists on another website? That really doesn't seem like a recipe for success.

Curt


curt


Nov 3, 2013, 9:43 PM
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Jeff wrote:
A community that tries to appeal to everyone appeals to no one, so there *will* come a time when I have to make some decisions about this site's direction/culture in the future.

When that happens, I'm sure some of you will choose to leave and others of you will choose to become more involved. That's just the way it goes...

That's fair enough. Just please don't fuck it up.

Curt


JAB


Nov 4, 2013, 1:31 AM
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My 2 cents: focus on the noobs.

RC has the most obvious domain name, so a lot of new climbers will find RC first. It also has a nice Beginners forum, where you can ask stupid questions without getting bashed.

Except that is of course a big lie today. Even good questions in the beginners forum get bashed to hell.

So cater for the noobs. This is also easy, as you don't really need a lot of unique content. With more traffic, the online mentors will come back, and at some point we might even get some kind of community back.

Another point to remeber is that climbing is getting more and more popular, and most (almost all I guess) start out by climbing on plastic and maybe taking a course or two. At the moment these thousands of people have nowhere to hang out on the web.


adatesman


Nov 4, 2013, 5:53 AM
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Haven't been here in years, and thanks to NCRock for tipping me off about this as it just so happens that a friend I hadn't heard from in years dropped me a PM here a couple days ago. Had I not logged in I'd have never seen it.

Anyway, good luck to you, Jeff. You're going to need it, as there's quite a bit of ugly to fix.

My suggestion is to pretty much ignore what most everyone says here, develop *your own* vision for what *you* want RC to be, and then make that happen. This is *exactly* what j_ung was doing during his tenure, and why the site was so successful then. IIRC his focus was to make RC a noob-friendly *resource* rather than a chatroom cesspool, which is actually something MP, ST, UKC, etc don't do so well. Some folks here like the no-holds-barred-chatroom thing, which is fine. Lots of other places to go for that sort of thing; no reason it should be here. Hell, that's basically what ST is, and I find it very amusing that those folks advocating for it here aren't over there. Their brand of bashing and ugliness simply isn't tolerated there, and they get shut down fast. By the other users, I might add; Mod action is basically non-existant over there.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. Not that it matters, because I'm one of those who won't be coming back. I soured on the place after spending several hours a day for several years on here modding and developing The Lab, only to get thrown under the bus by DDT. Good luck to you.


Oh BTW, does this mean Dingus might finally get his wish and have Management delete all his posts? I hope so, but case I can say that deleting every one of several thousand posts by hand is a major pain in the ass.


EDIT- Oh, and track down user sp00ki and tell him to give me my Haycock bouldering guide back. It's been 5 years now.


Edit x2 to clarify the point re: ST and the folks wanting a chat room here not participating in the one there. IMO they just like bashing noobs, and RC provides ample opportunity for it. ST, not so much, as aside from the obligatory "yer gonna die" post, noob questions are generally answered quick or ignored, and either way fall off the front page quickly. Not the perfect system, but avoids the endless stream of noob bashing like there is/was here.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Nov 4, 2013, 9:42 AM)


adatesman


Nov 4, 2013, 9:52 AM
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Ah, one other thing.... The star rating system. That's gotta go. Time was a random percentage of users each day could rate a couple posts with a trophy or poo, and iirc you could see who did it. The stars thing was a plan of j_ung's that was started but never fully implemented due to him being shown the door. Plan was to have it be a way to bias search results on a topic, to make searches more fruitful. Instead it never got fully fleshed out and became subject to abuse (which I admit I was party to.)

Gah.... Here I was thinking I had finally gotten the RC monkey off my back, only to be sucked in again thinking how good a resource it could be. Damn you Jeff!

On a side note, Jeff, I might still have flat file copies of most of the threads in The Lab I was involved with, and if DDT is indeed out of the picture might be willing to pass them along to rebuild what I had been doing there.


Partner macherry


Nov 4, 2013, 10:23 AM
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adatesman wrote:
Ah, one other thing.... The star rating system. That's gotta go. Time was a random percentage of users each day could rate a couple posts with a trophy or poo, and iirc you could see who did it. The stars thing was a plan of j_ung's that was started but never fully implemented due to him being shown the door. Plan was to have it be a way to bias search results on a topic, to make searches more fruitful. Instead it never got fully fleshed out and became subject to abuse (which I admit I was party to.)

Gah.... Here I was thinking I had finally gotten the RC monkey off my back, only to be sucked in again thinking how good a resource it could be. Damn you Jeff!

On a side note, Jeff, I might still have flat file copies of most of the threads in The Lab I was involved with, and if DDT is indeed out of the picture might be willing to pass them along to rebuild what I had been doing there.


they always come back (TM)


JimTitt


Nov 4, 2013, 10:27 AM
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Re: [macherry] Hi--I'm the new RockClimbing.com owner--ask me anything [In reply to]
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"You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!"


adatesman


Nov 4, 2013, 11:20 AM
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macherry wrote:
they always come back (TM)

Funniest part is that is actually quoting Lena_chita from my FB feed. Tongue

But, yes. I'm a recovering RC addict. Hopes are up given the ownership change, but I'm withholding judgement until I see what direction Jeff takes.

Btw- Who's 1-starring my posts? Seriously, it's been *years*, and USNavy and I have long since buried the hatchet and might even consider each other *friends*. So it's not him. Is there someone else needing a hug?


(This post was edited by adatesman on Nov 4, 2013, 11:27 AM)

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