Expand into real social networking medium

12:21 a.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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Why not expand trailspace into a full on social networking medium. Not just allowing users to post reviews, but submit articles, inter-connect with other users and schedule gathers and such?

1:37 p.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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Hi Mikekey. I know we often say this, but we really are working on more and more user features for the Trailspace community.

The things you mention, and many more, are all part of those developments.

4:38 p.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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If you guys ever need help, ring the bell. I don't have the experience/knowledge of someone like Bill S who happens to have the most posts here. But I do have a lot of web experience, a desire and a passion for writing.

9:34 a.m. on January 9, 2009 (EST)
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Sounds like a great idea!

1:41 p.m. on January 9, 2009 (EST)
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Hmmmmm,.... Well, call me an Old Curmudgeon, but I don't think the world needs another Facebook or MySpace. We need to just get out there and do it more.

Actually, rec.climbing.useful and rec.backcountry.useful (which became the Trailspace Climbing and Backcountry forums) have served as places to arrange gatherings and climbing/backcountry partner places for many years. There are a number of people I have spent time in the backcountry with that we made the arrangements through these pages. That's how Dave, Alicia, and I coordinate for the Outdoor Retailer Show, and how Brian in SLC and I have gotten together for climbs and gym sessions, for example.

As for submitting articles, if you have experience or expertise in some area, I am sure you can submit it to Alicia, let her edit it, and if it is appropriate, it will get posted. There is already a Trip Reports forum. If you have photos on one of the photo websites, you can link them into your trip report. Dave and Alicia have promised that they will set up a photo-upload service at some point (though I know they are very busy with just maintaining the site - I see an awful lot of junk posts that disappear quickly, apparently posted by robot-posters).

You can always email many of the members by clicking on their names to get the email address (some of us prefer to hide, since we get too many emails already, most promising the return of millions of dollars from Nigeria, lots of lovely young things, medicines for anything that ails you, and so on - why in this day and age do I get so many offers to refinance at incredibly low rates with no documentation needed?).

4:46 p.m. on January 9, 2009 (EST)
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I'm kind of in agreement with Bill. There are plenty of social networking sites such as www.meetup.com for people looking for activity partners for all kinds of things. Given the wide geographic spread of our members, I'm not sure how useful something like that would be here.

For example, I looked for skier groups near me on meetup and found a whole list of them, including one for vegetarian skiers, so there's something for everyone out there already.

10:51 p.m. on January 9, 2009 (EST)
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did you really just suggest newsgroups bill s?

While I can see your reasoning for avoiding the myspace scenario, I think you guys missed what I was trying to recommend, which is a more user generated and content provided site similar to that of the basic ideas laid out for web 2.0

we already have the new profiles, but it'd be nice to be able to watch members, see when they post an article or make a review if they are someone I like hearing from for example.

Take the website gadling.com which is a good example of an upcoming and fast growing user derived travel site. A matter of fact, if you haven't seen it, poke around it.

You guys are not on the same concept page, and I'm sorry I'm not more adapt at explaining my thoughts more clearly.

Tom again you mention a trip report forum, but it'd be a lot nicer to have a system where posts could be tagged, cross indexed, photos uploaded, rated and easily searched based on tags, topics and keywords.

Here is an example of a trip report: http://www.gadling.com/2009/01/08/grand-dider-channel-antarctic-peninsula/

Take a look at the navigation on that site.

Now, I'm not suggesting something as far reaching, or as big as facebook/myspace, but I'm suggesting new thoughts and ideas on how to improve this site that can better meet the focus of the ideas and stories and information on gear and technique we'd like to share with each other, and come up with better ways, work smart.

And I'm only making suggestions cause I love the site.

I've used meetup btw and I'm a part of several groups, but I have found that forums like this with a combination of facebook have allowed me to meet fellow hikers who are further away that I can hook up with when I am traveling distances. I used facebook to the PCT forums to make friends with people when I was planning to go out to Yosemite to find some who may be backpacking the same time I was who was experienced in that area/lived there and could be of help. I could go into the dynamics of why I don't feel that meetups/groups of any type ever maintain any real cohesion, but I believe developing one on one relationships works better, as both of you have just related stories of how you formed relationships with each other and Alica.

Did that make any sense?

11:33 p.m. on January 9, 2009 (EST)
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I feel the need to jump in here and assure Mikekey that we (Dave and I) get what you’re saying, since much of it includes ideas we’ve talked about for quite a while, and as we’ve said before, many of which we’re now working on or slating for Trailspace.

Thanks for the patience and ideas as we work toward these goals.

12:18 a.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
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mikekey asked

did you really just suggest newsgroups bill s?

A bit of history, since my reference to rcu and rbu is becoming more obscure to visitors here as time goes by. A number of years ago, the folks at Views From The Top started rec.backpacking.useful and rec.climbing.useful in reaction to the awful and offensive garbage pile that the Usenet rec.backpacking and rec.climbing had become (and still continue further degeneration). rcu and rbu were moderated forums, along with a number of New England-centered moderated forums. As time went along and the originators of VFTT graduated from college and moved into the commercial world, they decided to concentrate their web efforts on the Northeast. rcu and rbu had already become international, so they "had to go". Dave and Alicia stepped forward and created Trailspace with the Backcountry and Climbing forums having the rbu and rcu subtitles and including much of the archives from there. It is NOT a newsgroup like the Usenet groups, and my intent was not to suggest a Usenet type of group. Trailspace is much more civilized and civil, thanks to the thoughtful moderation and guidance of Dave and Alicia and the wonderful cooperation and participation of the many members of Trailspace.

I think you misunderstand my comments to say "stagnate it as it is." There are lots of great ideas out there. But there is a lot of wilderness, forest, hills, and such out there. Rather than seeing Trailspace become a bunch of keyboard jockeys, "socializing" electronically a la Facebook, MySpace, and yes, Web 2, I would prefer to see the "useful" subscript of rcu and rbu grow, with people actually getting out in the outdoors, then reporting back in such a way that we can all learn what and how they did it, and get new ideas of places to get out there, away from the keyboard (or touchscreen - I have been using touchscreens for some 20 years now and have to laugh when they are being proclaimed as the newest latest greatest).

In other words, Trailspace has been a medium to get away from the virtual environment into the real environment. I worry that some of the things you suggested (in what you characterize as your non-adept way, but still I think came through clearly, and carry implications you may not have thought of) can lead to more virtualization rather than real life in the outdoors (I definitely do NOT mean "Reality" as in "Reality Show"). I believe there are lots of potential great tools that have been suggested and that Dave and Alicia have been working to realize ("realize" means "to make real") that will enhance all of our actual getting out there in the woods, hills, Arctic, Antarctic, Plains of Serengeti, Red Center of Australia, and so on. I do cringe a bit at the potential of a move toward a MySpace/Facebook type of "me, me, me!!!" I believe I know Dave and Alicia well enough (and the moderators) that I can trust they will keep things oriented as I would like to see.

Oh, the reason I have more posts is because I type fairly fast, mumble a lot of drivel, and babble on endlessly, not because there is any wisdom there (old geezers do that, you know).

7:47 p.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
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No I just meant, I haven't heard anyone mention newsgroups in years, and more and more people think of them like records.

I was using the BBS systems and Newgroups as far back as 92, I'm a super nerd in reality.

8:15 p.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
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mumble, drivel, creak, groan.....typical other old geezer guy....

10:27 a.m. on March 1, 2009 (EST)
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It could be like the egroups sites that allow one to look at past posts by typing in the catagory with out having to go thru all the posts on the subject?

11:28 a.m. on March 1, 2009 (EST)
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Gary, I'm not quite sure what you're referring too. Could you post a URL that shows what you're thinking of?

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