Trailspace & Facebook

7:00 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Does every forum topic really have to be posted to Facebook? Does this not bother anyone else?(ok i see its really not EVERY topic, but its quite a few of them in any case)

Post some things to facebook if yall feel the urge, but i think the forum discussions here on the actual trailspace site should stay on the site.

How does everyone else feel about this?

8:03 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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This is one of the problems with expansion.

10:30 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

Does every forum topic really have to be posted to Facebook? Does this not bother anyone else?(ok i see its really not EVERY topic, but its quite a few of them in any case)

Post some things to facebook if yall feel the urge, but i think the forum discussions here on the actual trailspace site should stay on the site.

How does everyone else feel about this?

I would have to agree with you Rambler.  If I wanted my posts on Facebook then I'd post them to Facebook.

10:58 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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From the Terms of Service we all agreed to when signing on:

By submitting Content to Trailspace for inclusion on the Website, you grant Trailspace an irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free, transferable and non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, publicly perform and publicly display and distribute such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

11:16 p.m. on May 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Yes, yes we did.  But with that being said I assuming we also have the right to express our likes and dislikes regarding the site.  There is much that I really, really like about Trailspace but in this case I would have to agree with TheRambler.

12:00 a.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I didn't even know that was happening. Probably cause i hardly ever look at facebook.

Not sure i like the idea much myself. But honestly, not sure what about it bothers me either. Not a huge fan of facebook, especially now that they've gone corporate.

6:23 a.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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My issue isn't with the terms of service. I am fully aware that I technically agreed to it. It's just the practice in general that bothers me. And the reason i bothers me is because facebook is a VERY VERY public place and trailspace does not own facebook. So once trailspace decides to post something there they no long have control over it, and I did not give trailspace permission to do that(as far as i know)

Don't get me wrong, i kinda like and even sometimes use facebook. But it's really shedding more light on some forum topics than neccesary. I am not sure how some posts end up there and some don't, maybe its a post amount etc.

Example: I post a topic in trip planning and say i am planning a trip from X date to X date, and end up getting a few other trailspace members to come on said trip with me. Well trailspace posts this topic to facebook. Now the entire world knows we wont be around from x date to x date. And that I am NOT ok with. Whereas if it wasn't posted on facebook, a person would have to really really really want to be finding information about me to locate that post if not a member of trailspace.

I like the outdoor news the post, and other informative posts, like the headlamp on a milk jug thing they posted. Just not reproducing forum posts.

9:29 a.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Rambler, I understand your concerns. And I had reservations about TS going on FB. I understand the move but I thought we would get allot of crap talk (like FB does). To tell the truth I'm kind of surprised that we have stayed stable and on subject.

The fact is, when anyone post something on the Internet we risk being seen world wide. How many times have you searched for information on gear and read forum post on sites that you have nothing to do with? It happens many times for me. For TS to grow we need more members not just the top 10 posters. I kind of like seeing the new faces here.

IMHO anytime you post ANYTHING on the Internet you take a risk. So post with care. Anyone could be reading if they think it is interesting enough. 

Just looked at your profile. You don't give out any information for me to find you. So I would have to say that you are safe to go on a trip with out any worries. 

11:17 a.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm with Rambler. 

I'd rather not be on Facebook.  If I wanted to be there I'd open an account.

Still, its not my forum and they can run it as they see fit. 

But if TS wants to know what I think of the idea, I am not in favor of posting our stuff from here on FB.

12:56 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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That sucks. Facebook is like a bad smell.

1:13 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I have to admit a bit of ignorance on this issue.  I shut down my FaceBook account about a year ago, so I can't see what actually goes on that site fully.

Do the full conversations get posted over there or just a link to the conversations here?

I completely understand cross-pollination (the latter) and think that's a necessary way to grow a social community and forum like this.

1:25 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I understand that anything posted on the Internet is considered public and able to be viewed by all. I have no qualms if someone is googling some outdoor related topic etc and stumbles across one of my posts. I also welcome new users to Trailspace.

My sole and only concern is the reposting of forum topics on Facebook. If someone stumbles across the forum on their own great, but when it's on Facebook it is visible to a MUCH larger audience wether they are actively looking for it or not. I just don't think it's a wise decision, and simply put I am strongly against it. I gave Trailspace permission to use my information/posts but I did not give that permission to Facebook.

Facebook can be a good resource, and can be used for lots of things. People by all means start topics on the Trailspace FB page, post polls, outdoor news etc. But leave the forum posts generated here on the parent site here.

2:10 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Rambler it was a few years ago that FB was mentioned. I remember discussing it.

 One must like TS on FB to see any post. So far less than 2000 people have liked it. That's a very small sub group. So you aren't being exposed to the full site. I feel pretty sure those that have liked TS are interested in reading post from here.

Once again I do agree with you. I just don't see it as a big compromise of our discussions. So far I think it has worked out better than I thought it would when it was discussed  years ago. BTW I was against it.

I would be wondering how many of those 2000 people on FB that get the TS updates come here and read the forums. You know, the lurkers. I was one for two years before I joined. Also wondering how many people have joined TS because of FB. 

I'm hoping that another moderator will respond to your concerns.  I understand how you feel. And I think it is an important issue that needs to be resolved.

2:23 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Actually far more people can see it. Anyone that is a friend or a friend of a friend can see it (depending on their FB settings). So the actual number of people that can potentially see it is quite large.

2:30 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I checked with Rita if she has ever seen anything on FB about TS. She sees nothing. But you might be right about the persons personal FB settings.

5:26 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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mikemorrow said:

Rambler, I understand your concerns. And I had reservations about TS going on FB. I understand the move but I thought we would get allot of crap talk (like FB does). To tell the truth I'm kind of surprised that we have stayed stable and on subject.

The fact is, when anyone post something on the Internet we risk being seen world wide. How many times have you searched for information on gear and read forum post on sites that you have nothing to do with? It happens many times for me. For TS to grow we need more members not just the top 10 posters. I kind of like seeing the new faces here.

IMHO anytime you post ANYTHING on the Internet you take a risk. So post with care. Anyone could be reading if they think it is interesting enough. 

Just looked at your profile. You don't give out any information for me to find you. So I would have to say that you are safe to go on a trip with out any worries. 

Actually Mike. If I have your first and last name, and your email address I can then do a search and find out how many people there are in the United states with that name. With a little investigation I can quite often find out what state your in with just a couple more clicks. I can also find out what other web sites you might be a member of and what you have posted and go look at those profile pages.  It's then quite easy to get phone numbers as well as addresses once I'm sure I have the right person. People think there being careful using only there email address and giving no other information. One of the easiest ways to track someone down is if they use there first and last name in their email address. Then, no matter how careful you are if you are married I can find that out and search all of that wealth of information to see if that person slipped up and gave me the information I might want. It's just to easy and people make it that much easier. A person can do this without paying any of the infornation pay sites. If one uses the information pay sites then there is even that much more information. If I can't find your exact address but I know you own a house or some property I can search that for free tax records for free and find your address that way.   There are many more ways to do this but I'm assuming I've made my point.  I would say that TheRambler is completely correct in that one most certainly should not give any information on when they might be taking a trip. That can be done after the person gets back in Trip reports. In my mind its just down right stupid to say that you are leaving on a backpacking trip for xxdate-thru xxdate. Then all one would have to do is track a person down and thru reading much of what's available on Trailspace and other sites like Facebook, Myspace, etc. to find out all they need to know about you and quite often what you have. Quite often all a person would have to do is read the trip planning page to and find out when you will be out of town. Then go to your profile page and get what ever information is available. If there is not enough information available it's just a couple of clicks down the information highway to tell me quite often all I want to know about you including where you live, ie. address, and quite often you phone number. Scary to know but so very true.  Remember this is the information age!!!

6:47 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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My point exactly. If you are posting on the Internet all you have to do is Google your own name. Facebook or no Facebook you are there for all to see. That's why I don't see any real negative results of TS doing this on FB. That is why I said to be careful of what you say on the Internet.

IMO TS reposting to FB will not do any real harm. But I do understand the concern. But one must understand the risk they take wherever they post. Privacy is not, and can not, be an issue if you choose to make a post or even use the Internet. If privacy is an issue, don't use the a social media . Don't use a credit card. A bank. A cordless phone. A cell phone, and for god sake don't get a app for that cell phone.  Don't carry any GPS device. Which might just mean you will never again buy a new car.  The fact is we are tracked everyday. And I would say that this problem is very small compared to what most people do everyday without thinking about it. 

6:57 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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mikemorrow said:

The fact is we are tracked everyday.

Thats a good thing because I don't have to worry about being lost...

jay-n-silent-bob.jpg

Oh, so true Jay, so so true...

7:07 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I see no harm in posting whats being talked about. But i personally would leave the trip planning to TS WEbsite do to what problems it could cause.The rest get very little reply from what I have seen.

7:08 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Yall are getting a little off the main topic here. I , as I am sure most others do as well, fully understand that if you post something on the internet its pretty much guranteed to be able to be accessed by the majority of the public. And I also know that its very easy with a little effort to find out all kinds of information about people.

My whole reason for bringing this up isn't solely because of id theft or someone finding personal information, in fact its very low on the list of reasons, it was just one example i posted. I am simply concerned for the fact that forum posts are being put on facebook in general. It really has nothing to do about someone being able to find out any information about me or anyone else. Its just the principal of the matter that bothers me. Big brother and corporations are already watching and spying on us like hawks, I don't really feel like my hobby should be contributing to that cause.

I have a very simple solution that Trailspace could consider if they so desire.

Simply post a brief reworded version of the main subject of a given post, and have the discussion completely isolated to the facebook/twitter site itself. For example, a post that got put on face book today

"What's your water bottle of choice? Nalgene, Klean Kanteen, Liberty Bottle Works, or just an old Gatorade bottle?"

Then have people post on facebook or tweet to their hearts content about the subject. Simply do not link to the forum topic itself on the parent website. If people are interested they can make their own way to Trailspace forum to join the discussion here. People are smart, they can find the forum if they want to I assure you.

Its just the principle of the forum post itself being put on facebook/twitter that bothers me, call it privacy or whatever you want. In my opinion its just a moraly low thing to do, to willing and blatantly completely strip away any resemblence of privacy that is left(even though its all available to the public anyway).

Something isolated to the Trailspace forum itself, still in a very slight way maintains some form of privacy/anomity. But that it completely stripped away when it is posted on an EXTREMELY public forum/social media site such as facebook or twitter.

Maybe others understand where I am coming from, maybe they don't.

8:09 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing your concerns, guys -- online privacy is an important and complex topic, and we appreciate your thoughts on this subject. While I am in listening mode, I do want to clarify a few points about our current practices:

Everything you post on Trailspace (except for private messages) is completely public. Anyone, including search engines and social media sites, can read it and share a link to it if they so choose.

We regularly share links to Trailspace site content with our Facebook fans, many of whom are also members here. We do not reproduce entire forum posts, reviews, blogs, articles, or other site content on Facebook (or on other social media sites) -- just links to the content here on the site.

For each link that we share, Facebook displays a small picture, headline, and the first sentence or so of the linked review/article/thread. This is the same information that appears when any individual shares that link. In all cases, readers must click the link to read the original content on Trailspace. 

Typically we share about two community-related links a day -- usually a link to a well-written gear review and a link to an interesting forum discussion. You can see examples of what we post here: http://www.facebook.com/Trailspace

We do make an effort not to share members' personal info, which sounds like the main concern here. If there are any specific posts that you feel may have crossed a line in this regard, please let us know.

8:15 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Maybe TS could set up an app that you could take yourself off the FB app. 

Another words, you would tell TS not to send any post by you to be used on FB. Might be done in your profile settings. Just a box to click, that would say something like "Please don't share my post with other sites"

This filter might take sometime to program in, but could be done. What do you guys and gals think?

8:29 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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As far as who sees the links that we post on Facebook:

Generally speaking, our posts on Facebook are distributed to people who have expressed a direct interest in Trailspace by visiting our website or Facebook page.

I don't know the details of the "EdgeRank" algorithm the Facebook uses to determine who can see what posts, but I believe that our posts are primarily visible in the following places:

  • on our Facebook page, seen by those who choose to visit it directly
  • in the "Trailspace on Facebook" box that we show on many pages of the Trailspace website (like on the right side of this page)
  • in the Facebook feeds of people who have "liked" Trailspace on Facebook
  • on the walls of people who "Like" or comment on individual posts (their comments may also appear in their friends' news feeds)
  • on the pages of brands that we've tagged in individual posts
8:43 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I get daily reminders from Facebook that someone I know there has posted something I might be interested in! I have spammed the emails from Facebook daily with no results but more everyday! How do I close my account with them? Email me off site with answer, please. cgptsnaz@yahoo.com I wish I had never joined the site!!!

9:39 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I wonder?  It could be that once you enter the horrific gravitational pull of the monstrosity called Facebook it could be that you are sucked in never again to be released.......................................

9:33 a.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Gary, you can turn off all notifications from Facebook, so you don't get any of those emails.

My comments here are not speaking for Trailspace at all or as a Mod, but  purely as just another member. 

The TOS segment Franklin posted above is quite definitive that we all granted TS the freedom and permission to post to FB, the NY times, or anywhere else and in any fashion. Whether we like it or not, we did each  in fact give them permission to post or link on FB anything we write here. 

The purpose of Trailspace, as I understand it, is to provide the best online resource for gear reviews and an excellent community to foster and encourage outdoor involvement, education, and interaction.  I mean, I think all of us are completely stoked to have found the information, community, reviews, and everything we get from TS. Isn't whole the point to share the awesomeness that is Trailspace to as many people as we can? In order to accomplish those goals (and for the MacLeay's  to feed their family) it is necessary for TS to utilize whatever are the current most effective and popular venues for exposure. This means that it is imperative to engage through online media and social networking. I for one am glad that more people have the opportunity to be introduced to Trailspace through those avenues. 

If someone is looking for compromising information,  incidental Trailspace FB posts seen through other people's comments has to be about the least effective or efficient method of doing so. Especially considering you would still have to do all of the necessary information mining to determine actual identity.  

 

10:44 a.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

 In my opinion its just a moraly low thing to do, to willing and blatantly completely strip away any resemblence of privacy that is left(even though its all available to the public anyway).

I guess I am not seeing the sharp-end of this concern.   You take "moral" issue with a violation of privacy, but, in the same sentence, acknowledge that it is all public anyway.   It seems that you defeat your own issue.

My only guess is that you have "moral" issue with the business principles that FaceBook functions under.  Would that be more accurate?  Have you also checked the model that Google uses, since the posts show up also on Google+?  And, well, Twitter also?  If you have moral issue with one, it is best to investigate the others.  

Then, decide if you can actually abide by a TOS that dedicates your words to those sites.  And, in truth, you have several great options going from here:

1) Continue to post openly  

2) Limit your posts to only the content you would allow on FB, G+, and Twitter.

3) Discontinue posting

I am also not a fan of FB's business principles (who wants their social interactions owned by a corporation?).  Thus, when I post here, I don't post personal details I don't want shared in that context.  Honestly, that doesn't limit my posts much, but it does allow me to operate under the TOS and not bend to a corporate presence I dislike.

3:32 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Okie dokie, time to chime in...

Ken, I think I actually get your point to an extent.

Your hobbie is your hobbie and you are somewhat selective in regards to whom you want to share your input on the matter with?

When outsiders(such as those on FB) are introduced to the content that is posted here you view this is an intrusion to some extent?

Well take into perspective that there are new members joining here all the time.

Soooo the feedback that you provide is really not all that inclusive in the first place. Plus not to mention I personally have shared links via email to associates that I know that are into backpacking, etc that didn't have the 1st clue TS even existed. 

Many of which have thanked me and have learned a tremendous amount from the site not too mention some have offered input as well. 

I can't speak for everyone else but I want to share TS with everyone that I feel will benefit from what the site has to offer... and well that is alot. 

I mean look how many new members joined from the Haiku contest alone. 

These same new members open up doors for us to not only share our experiences with but also gives us more members to learn from.

On the whole FB thing...

First and foremost social media is free advertisement which equates to the promotion of Trailspace which results in a larger community base.

Growth is not a bad thing, its a good thing. 

I was lucky to stumble onto the site a few years ago when I was researching gear, materials, via a Google search.

If it weren't for this "search" I still may not know about the site. I was lucky to say the least and I personally value TS more than any other site on the web.

(Some of you know how much the site means to me.) 

To me sharing the site on FB is no different than the exposure it gets from a search on Google. 

So basically your post is somewhat of a contradiction of what the site actually is as a whole(just a different venue of social media that covers a more specific subject.)

Generating extra exposure for the site is to the benefit of all of us.  New members join with different levels of experience, manufacturers chime in in regards to some of the products we talk about, and so on & so forth. 

You never know who ya may find popping up on the site from exposure on one of the many other social media venues.  

I know I have learned a tremendous amount from the members here. So why not pass that forward? It is to the benefit of all here. I mean take for instance those that are associated with gear manufacturers. 

We now collectively have a bit more say/influence in what some of these companies produce from the feedback we post. I whole heartedly believe that manufacturers do read our reviews as well as our feedback in the forums. If they didn't they wouldn't chime in on the threads(which I personally would like to see more of.)

Plus we get alot of our inquiries answered directly from those that are involved to some degree in the manufacturing/design of a product of interest. 

For instance, some of the reviews that I have personally done have gone onto the Twitter feeds as well as the FB page which have showed up on Osprey's page, Leki's page, BA's page, etc. 

Alot of this is due to those that actually forward the links to Twitter/FB also direct them to the manufacturers pages/feeds. 

Hell, Andrew Skurka shared my review of the Ultimate Gear Guide on his FB page(and gave it a "like.") Do you have any idea how much exposure that creates for not only himself in regards to his book but also for Trailspace?

Alot.

Look, we all chime in on threads to gain knowledge as well as offer input from our own personal experiences to help others right?

Well when you think about it we are acheiving the same objectives when the links to threads are shared on social media. Just on a much larger scale which reaches out to many more people than it would if it just sat dormant on the site for just us to see or those that are lucky enough to stumble onto the content via search engine.

As I have said this has many benefits for all of us.

Then you have those out there that may have the very same questions as we do but are not aware of the fact that there is a site that covers such intricacies as those that are covered on TS on a daily basis...

Sharing is key to helping others(as well as helping ourselves.)

Anywho, enough of my rambling...

For those that are out there that are somewhat opposed to sharing the links to threads on social media let me personally ask you something...

Do you truly want to help a few here or help many on a larger scale due to the increase in site exposure? 

Me personally? I would rather touch 3000 than maybe 30-300. 

Also do you want new members to chime in and offer input on subjects from their experience(which might very well be on a much larger scale than our own?)

Once again, I can't speak for everyone else but the more info I can receive the better as far as I am concerned. 

Just kinda seems like a no brainer to me. 

On a side note.

If you are a non-member you cannot post on a thread until you become a member nor can you view another members complete personal page.

This is no different as far as a link being posted on FB or a Twitter feed.

Anyone can view a thread through the link even if they are not a member here at TS the same way you viewed the site before you became a member. This is no different if done through a Google search, etc.

Log out of your account and then take a look at your own page or a thread and you will see what I mean. 

You can't view your own personal info nor can you post on a thread. 

So, even though a link to a thread is provided on the FB page neither you nor your info is in anymore jeopardy of being "infiltrated" as it is anywhere else on the web.

Ya know what the kicker is? Those who view the TS FB page have the same common interests we do...

I have been sharing on the TS Twitter feed as well as the FB page for quite some time and I have yet to have any problems whatsoever nor am I worried of any potential problems later on down the road...

6:25 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I am all about expanding Trailspace, and allowing more people to find the site and get involved., and I agree with just about everything yall are saying here.

My sole and only complaint was just the linking of the forum topics directly to facebook. I just feel its a step that isn't really needed. If your looking at the Trailspace page on facebook you can easily find your way to the actual trailspace website, without the aid of a forum link to a specific discussion.

I just try not to make the public spotlight any bigger than it needs to be. This is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Does it make that much a difference? No, not really. But in any case I still don't really like it, but i doubt it will change.

6:41 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

I am all about expanding Trailspace, and allowing more people to find the site and get involved., and I agree with just about everything yall are saying here.

My sole and only complaint was just the linking of the forum topics directly to facebook. If your looking at the Trailspace page on facebook you can easily find your way to the actual trailspace website, without the aid of a forum link to a specific discussion.

I just try not to make the public spotlight any bigger than it needs to be. This is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Does it make that much a difference? No, not really. But in any case I still don't really like it, but i doubt it will change.

Would you buy a car that you have never seen or test driven? Nope...

Same theory different scenario. The reason for the links are examples of what the site has to offer. 

Its basically a matter of convenience for potential members. 

Yes, you and I know our way around the site and whatnot but look at it from another perspective. 

What if you knew absolutely nothing about Trailspace? The best way to "conveniently" take a test drive is to click on the link.

Let's take this a step further. If TS didn't post links to threads, contests, etc on their FB page what would be the point in having a TS FB page in the first place?

What would one post? In some way shape or form when you look at the over-all scope of things anything that would be posted on the FB page would be associated with the site in some way, shape, or form...

So, regardless of whether they post links to threads or just a link to Trailspace.com the ending result is all the same.  

Non-members will still come to the site and view the content no differently than those that do the same through a Google search. 

So either way it really doesn't make much of a difference.

The only way to truly keep exposure from FB non-existent would be to 86 the FB page all together. 

 I just feel its a step that isn't really needed. 

I respect that but at the same time "flip the script" as you being the site owner and trying to promote said site... The decisions are alot different when said decisions effect your life. 

Its kinda easy to say what is and is not needed when one is in a different position than say the owners of the site. 

I mean yes, this may affect your or my own personal outlook but if you look at it from a different perspective this affects alot more on their end. 

This is about making Trailspace a success. Part of that is promotion. I mean, would you take a minimum wage job, work your tail off until retirement w/o getting a single raise and be content with it?

Another example. Ever try to sell a car? Well what is the most effective way to do so? Park it in your front yard with a "For Sale" sign on it so those that pass your house see it or advertise it in an Auto Trader where it reaches 1000s of people?

Kind of the same thing here in a sense. There is alot of effort that has gone into the development of TS. I mean lets face it... It wasn't done because some people had nothing better to do with their time.

I guess what I am trying to say is that while you or I may not agree with a certain aspect of TS out of fairness to others there is always another perspective other than our own.

Its also alot different when the smallest most intricate detail/change can make or break what one has worked so hard to achieve.  

10:04 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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None of you seem to really get what I was trying to say.

I'll just drop it as it seems to be a mute point anyway.

5:30 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

None of you seem to really get what I was trying to say.

I'll just drop it as it seems to be a mute point anyway.

 

For me it's a matter of "I just flat out don't like it". I was never asking if it was legal or if Trailspace had the right to do it. Basically I feel like Trailspace was/is a wonderful community that was out in the wilderness that had many interesting and educated people who banded together to share their experiences and wisdom. I feel now that this community has been uprooted and thrown into a virtual mega city where we are standing naked atop the tallest of buildings and exposed. With that beings said Trailspace is not mine to do with what I will. Trailspace belongs to others to do with what they will. What may be the right move for the owners/operators of Trailspace may not be the right move for some of the members on Trailspace and only time will tell. I do know that now that we have been uprooted to the virtual big city from the virtual backcountry I will have to start locking my virtual house.

5:47 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Sorry guys but I have to laugh.

TS has been on FB for quite sometime now(since October 7, 2008) and it is only now that it is being mentioned that it is a problem. 

With the exception of a few on this thread(f_klock & Dave) TS has been on FB longer than any of us have been members. ... Years longer.

So, on that note its quite apparent to me that if it wasn't mentioned some wouldn't even know the difference. 

We have been in the "Virtual Big City" since we came here. 

Just sayin. 

6:43 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Sorry guys but I have to laugh.

TS has been on FB for quite sometime now(since October 7, 2008) and it is only now that it is being mentioned that it is a problem. 

With the exception of a few on this thread(f_klock & Dave) TS has been on FB longer than any of us have been members. ... Years longer.

So, on that note its quite apparent to me that if it wasn't mentioned some wouldn't even know the difference. 

We have been in the "Virtual Big City" since we came here. 

Just sayin. 

That may be true Rick but one can only comment on things when one finds out about them and then decide what to do. Since I’m not on Facebook how would I know that Trailspace was there? I'm saddened that I must deal with the Facebook stuff now as every time I'm on Trailspace it scrolls down the side of my screen. I find it excetionally offensive and to say that is called feedback. But if I want to be on Trailspace I will just have to deal with it. One of the reasons I find it offensive is that I can go read or not read any of the forums that I chose to. The Facebook stuff is constantly filing down my screen. I find it just as offensive as guys who answer their phone when they have a fish on line or people updating their Facebook page while camping and hiking in the backcountry. That is their right, but I none the less find it offensive. I realize this Facebook crap is here to stay but I find it to be a cancerous pox upon our society. Others do not. One thing for sure you cannot escape as it is constantly shoved down our throats all day and night long unless you isolate yourself from society in the United States. So, laugh as you might Rick but some of use still do not like what the Facebook thing has turned into and what it has turned our society into. And with that I will say no more about the Facebook thing. IMHO

7:41 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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For some reason I remember disusing it in 09. I still think for those that don't want to be posted to FB  should have a opt out button on our profiles. This would seem to be the logical thing to do. And make for some happy campers.

This IS a VERY important issue for some people ! Not to be taken lightly. I'm begging for a solution. Not just an order from above.

8:21 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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I know Trailspace has been on Facebook for some time. I have absolutely zero issue with Trailspace being on Facebook. However, it is only recently that Trailspace has drastically changed the way they interface with Facebook and the like. I was ignoring it for awhile, but I guess it's been at least 6 months probably longer.

That or I am blind and just didn't notice it since I'm not on Facebook very often.

2:37 p.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Thank you all for sharing your opinions here. It's been thought-provoking, to say the least.

I'll preface my reply by noting that, personally, I'm not a huge fan of Facebook. I don't post personal status updates, and I seldom check Facebook to see what my friends are up to. I think there are plenty of legitimate grievances to be had with Facebook.

However, for Trailspace as a whole, the benefits of being on Facebook far outweigh the costs of not being there.

Why is Trailspace on Facebook?

Trailspace is on Facebook in order to connect with, retain, and attract engaged members of our community.

In order for Trailspace to persist (let alone grow) we need to retain and engage existing members, and attract new members to replace those who inevitably drift off to other pursuits. We retain existing members by making sure that each of you can keep up with what's going on at Trailspace in the way that's most convenient for you. This takes many forms:

  • We post forum highlights and recent reviews in various places on the site: the home page, active topics, individual forums, on articles and product pages, etc.
  • We work to ensure that the information on Trailspace can be found when you search for it on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
  • We publish RSS feeds of blog and article content.
  • We email our monthly newsletter -- including links to many of the same forum threads we share on Facebook -- to more than 16,000 subscribers
  • We send email notifications to nearly 5,000 members who've subscribed to specific forums and/or threads.
  • We link to highlights on Twitter, for the 2,200 people who follow Trailspace there.
  • We share highlights on Facebook, for the nearly 2,000 people who have "Liked" Trailspace there.
  • We personally share links offline or by email with potentially interested and knowledgeable parties.

Trailspace is on Facebook for the same reason we're on Google and Bing and Twitter and YouTube and email and RSS feeds and blogs and other websites: because those are all places where members of our community are.

At the end of the day, we want Trailspace to be available wherever there are Trailspacers. While the website is our primary point of interaction, our goal is for all community members to be able to keep up with what's going on here in whatever manner is most convenient for them.

Millions of people use Facebook as a primary method of online communication, including nearly 2,000 members of the Trailspace community who have chosen to "Like" Trailspace on Facebook. To not be there would be failing them.

Why does Trailspace share forum threads on Facebook?

As part of our goal of keeping Trailspacers in all venues engaged with what's happening on Trailspace, we have been making a conscious effort to ensure that our social media postings accurately reflect the mix of activity on the site.

Trailspace is a diverse community where people have real conversations. We share those conversations to celebrate a large part of makes this place special.

We share links to forum threads on Facebook and in other social media, because those threads are interesting, and valuable, and in many cases the reason people expressed an interest in Trailspace to begin with.

Ninety percent of the activity on Trailspace -- and, it would seem, the reason that most posting in this thread are here -- is in the forums. So naturally our social media sharing is going to include links to the most interesting forum threads. 

Aren't those threads private?

No. Nearly everything you post on Trailspace is, and always has been, fully public. With the exception of private messages and certain profile information, all of your Trailspace posts can be viewed at any time by anyone.

Most threads and reviews can be easily found in search engines. People can and do share links to them -- in their blogs, on Facebook, and in other social media. These are core principles of the open Internet and online communities in general.

Anything that you post publicly on the Internet can, and likely will, end up linked from search engines and social media sites. This isn't specific to Trailspace, and it isn't specific to Facebook. It's just the way the open Internet functions.

We all have to determine for ourselves what types of information we're comfortable sharing online. That's an individual decision, and I'm not going to presume to be able to draw that line for anyone but myself. But if you are uncomfortable with your posts being shared publicly, then you probably shouldn't be posting on public sites.

Don't only a few regulars on Trailspace read threads?

It's tempting to think that everything that goes on here is a semi-private conversation among a small band of regular posters. But, as with any forum, the unseen portion of the community -- the occasional posters, the regular lurkers, the drive-by information seekers -- is much, much larger.

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • In the last month, 62 people -- the current "regulars" -- each posted 10 or more times in the Trailspace forums. Altogether, 330 different members each posted in the forums at least once in that time period.
  • During that period, about 5,000 people visited the Trailspace forums directly (via bookmark, typing in the URL, etc.). That includes the regular posters, but also regular lurkers, and other highly-engaged members of the community.
  • At the same time, nearly 60,000 people visited the forums via a search on Google. Some of those are previously-engaged members of the community, but the majority are just people searching for information on topics that have been discussed here. 

That is to say: what you post here is fairly widely read. For every member who posts regularly in the Trailspace forums, there are more than 1,000 others, unseen, reading the forums. This level of exposure is nothing new. In fact, Trailspace has more regular posters and fewer casual viewers today than it did two years ago.

As for Facebook, only about 1,300 people -- many of them already-engaged community members -- visited the forums from Facebook last month. That's a relative drop in the bucket compared to search and direct visits. Frankly, if you're worried about massive exposure, your focus on Facebook is misplaced.

What are all those people doing here?

Many of those people who read the forums will visit Trailspace only once. Others will stop by for years without posting. A smaller number will post once or twice, and some will eventually become regular contributors.

It takes a significant amount of ongoing traffic to attract and retain just a few regularly-contributing members of the community. This is the normal, healthy lifecycle of contributors to an online forum.

Chances are good that the majority of those posting in this thread first discovered Trailspace in this manner. The reason that you found Trailspace is, essentially, the same reason that others are reading your words today.

On the flip side, over time, many of the current regular posters will stop posting, lose interest, or move on to other pursuits. While it's always sad to see a familiar face go, attrition is also a normal part of any community.

To keep Trailspace vibrant and engaging, we need the exposure, the mass of "silent viewers" paying attention to what goes on here. Whether they find Trailspace through Google, or Facebook, or a sticker on a hiking partner's water bottle, today's new users include the people who will eventually become the new regulars who will keep this community alive and thriving.

What is Trailspace going to do about it?

We will continue to share and promote the best of what's happening on Trailspace with all of our community members, in whatever formats they prefer to engage with Trailspace, whether that's by web site, email, Facebook, Twitter, or some platform not yet invented.

We will also continue to welcome all those who share our passion and/or curiosity for the outdoors, however they find Trailspace, and whether they visit only once, stop by for years without posting, or dive right in to become regular contributors.

Sharing is why this community exists, how it has grown, and how it will hopefully continue to thrive long into the future. 

4:46 p.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks Dave.

IMHO Facebook has become a bubble that's about to burst anyway. 

2:48 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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For what it's worth, I first came across Trailspace on Facebook, and at first came to visit to read the gear reviews. It was only later that I realized there were forums that one could participate in and I was impressed enough with the quality and the (generally) polite demeanor of the posts to start contributing.

I also have a Facebook page, and many people I know or who've heard my name mentioned in hiking circles come to it. The photos are public, and help show people what my group is up to. I use it not as a personal resource, but for public promotions. If I want the information to remain private, I sure don't post it on Facebook!

To me, Trailspace has a similar function. It isn't about having a private chatroom, but about sharing our knowledge and experience with others. Some of the people who come here are, I assume, just lurkers. They might be trapped behind a desk all day, or even housebound for some reason, but they can all share in our love of what we do. And even if they can't get out very often at least they're exposed to our ideas, and maybe they share in our adventures.

Others are more experienced, and we can learn from each other. I don't mind sharing a tip or a trick, and I'm not so vain as to think that there's nothing more to learn.

10:43 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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In do understand Rambler's point. Two divergent things are converging here. I mean think about it...much of why we go out in the woods is to be more isolated from a too busy world. So Social Networking is at odds with that to the degree we wish to isolate. Yet in today's world, it is Social Networking that is changing the way we all interact whether we like it or not. Much like having a tele in ones house did. I prefer it wasn't popping up all over facebook too just because it clutters my page considering I always ave TS on my browser anyway, so it is redundant. I can, however, hide it on my timeline if I want and it wont be popping up at me all the time then.

September 22, 2014
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