Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31

Thread: Old Format for Trail Conditions Reporting

  1. #1
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Waterville Valley, NH
    Posts
    579

    Old Format for Trail Conditions Reporting

    I know there are many reasons for the declining use of VFTT such as Facebook but is the old format/code of reporting trail conditions still around? I think using VBulletin to report trail conditions has led people to use another site. I think the previous format worked better for reporting trail conditions reporting and led to more people finding/using this site.

    Just an observation...I could be wrong...I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm just trying to make VFTT more relevant as I find myself getting involved with alternative sites that have much more participation.
    Last edited by RollingRock; 08-25-2015 at 10:38 PM.
    GayOutdoors.org
    It's the journey, not the destination

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hampden, MA
    Posts
    3
    What other forums have more activity? I too have been looking for a site with more participation.
    Angler
    Hiker
    Camper
    Woodworker
    Guitarist (kinda)
    Golfer

  3. #3
    Member thegibba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by RedSoxFan View Post
    What other forums have more activity? I too have been looking for a site with more participation.

    Not that I post often here. However, when you have 3 total posts as of this writing since the you signed up months ago. It seems silly to complain about a lack of participation.

    If you want trip reports there are sites like

    http://trailsnh.com

    This one in particular aggregates TR's from many sites/forums. It will also let you know where the TR originated from.

  4. #4
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    4,998
    A lot of the conversation has moved to Facebook, where there are several extremely active groups on hiking in NH and beyond. That trend is not likely to reverse any time in the near future.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New hampshire
    Posts
    2,681
    A couple of possible reasons for FB being so popular, is it's format is very user friendly for faster posting back and forth. Another reason could be the lack of moderation, there is much more freedom to speak one's mind, verses a site like VFTT which is heavily moderated. Although, I will concede it does get out on hand on occasion.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    2,780
    Facebook groups are definitely much easier to use for photo posting and virtually instant replies to questions. I still find the caliber of answers to questions on VFTT to be of far higher quality than Facebook. The ease of use makes Facebook groups rampant with stupid, lazy questions like "How far is it to blah, blah, blah" and for bragging about "accomplishments" that are not all that impressive (like a recent post about "ripping up their Tom/Field/Willey traverse". I think I answer more questions than I ask on Facebook, which is a statement in itself knowing my level of experience relative to the "typical" person here on VFTT.

    Would love to see the expertise of VFTT roll over into a closed Facebook group but from what I've read that is unlikely. I see some of you there but your participation is far more subdued than here on VFTT. So in the meantime, when I have a serious question I still ask it here.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  7. #7
    Member thegibba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    67
    I will second day trips words. It's either "yay look what I did!". " hey I've never looked at a map in my life where should I go?". The venom that spits from some peoples fingers when they don't have to speak face to face astounds me. I do prefer a smaller community that builds some sort of comraderie. (Spelling?). Perhaps I should take my own advice and chime in more. You don't have to have one circle you associate with after all.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NH Seacoast
    Posts
    1,703
    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    I know there are many reasons for the declining use of VFTT such as Facebook but is the old format/code of reporting trail conditions still around? I think using VBulletin to report trail conditions has led people to use another site. I think the previous format worked better for reporting trail conditions reporting and led to more people finding/using this site.
    I imagine Dave's right that VFTT is not likely to end up being much more relevant for trail conditions. 10 years ago (?) give and/or take, trail conditions on VFTT were all I read and the only posts I made on the forum. I was unaware of others at that time if they existed. Now there are sites for trail conditions that basically get a widespread job done with little room for improvement I suppose.

    I do like VFTT still for winter conditions though as I prefer to read a paragraph or two about a trip in a report as opposed to something like,
    "snow/granular/powder/ice/packed" or something. I like descriptions.

    I still like VFTT for the opinions and knowledge of many people on the board. There may not be as many people on the site as on some others, but what it may lack in the sheer numbers, it likely makes up in quality.

    It's good entertainment too.

    And yes, Gibba - you should jump in more often. It's a good group on this board, regardless of what some may say. A few of us can be a bit irreverent and opinionated on that rare occasion (guilty as charged), but we all mean well.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  9. #9
    Senior Member Trail Boss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Montréal, QC
    Posts
    236
    @daytrip @thegibba

    +1

    I had a look-see at the ADK-related group. Awash with lazy questions, posturing, banality, unabashed ignorance, and vitriol. The only "moderation" is in the form of mob rule. The few gems to be found are often posted by people I recognize from online forums where they developed communication skills and a sense of community. In addition, the format of the content, an "endless roll of toilet paper", fails to organize the information for reference purposes. #NotMyForum

  10. #10
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New hampshire
    Posts
    2,681
    It's true some people on this board can be opinionated and even seem to come out of left field on occasion.

  11. #11
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,747
    I'm going to do my best history professor impression here.

    In the beginning, there was rec.backcountry and maybe the AMC forums. They were wide open and full of random, off-topic, repetitive and inane content, with occasional gems to be found if one looked hard enough. This resulted in Darren creating the original VFTT to be a moderated, on-topic and more serious forum. For a while it was, although the difficult job of moderation wore on Darren, and caused rifts throughout the community. Trolls sprung up, putting toes over the line on occasion, fanning the flames if you will. Spam was in its infancy, but increased exponentially as the web became more popular. As a result, Darren instituted the referral system, so that members were at least known to be real people with some connection to the back country. To help with moderation, he also implemented the reputation system, aka green squares/red squares. As with moderation, the referrals-only and the reputation system did not sit well with some members. Splinter sites were created, with their own subset populations. Some still exist, some have only the weakest pulse still remaining. All of the web sites were "the product" and the members were "the customers". People threw parties, and had gatherings, and offered hiking events. Within each web site community, sub groups formed, and eventually moved underground, having obtained critical mass to survive on their own. Entire "chunks" of these web site sub groups disappeared. New members and groups replaced them. People, generally new to hiking, wished to share their enthusiasm, and wrote trip reports and shared pictures. As they finished their lists, got married, had kids, etc., they faded away. But there was always a steady stream of replacements. Eventually, Darren decided he'd had enough, both with operating VFTT, moderating it, and paying for it out of his own pocket (to the tune of $10K over its lifetime.) I was asked to take over operations, and you-the-customers told me you'd rather fund it with donations than have it overrun with ads. Donations were solicited and it has been running for 3+ years with another 2+ of runway still in the bank.

    Enter Facebook, with its immense popularity, ease of use, and photo-centric style. Aggressive marketing and sharing policies came along. Membership in FB grew exponentially, as FB tried to figure out how to make money. People soon discovered that they were not the customers - they were the product - and advertisers were the customers. Groups were formed around all kinds of interests, including hiking. Not unlike vftt and the two other companion sites, there are multiple FB groups for the 4Ks of NH, with most of the same people, and lots of the same topics, created by "competing" admins, neither of whom wants to merge their group with the other. Not wanting to be left out, many new people joined these groups, and asked lots of the same questions. Just like on VFTT, the more experienced mentored the less experienced. Eventually, people started to tire of the repeated questions and snarky replies became the norm. All of the "third rail of hiking" topics here of VFTT (dogs, guns and postholes "Oh My!") are third-rail topics there. People like to tell you how to hike your hike. It is like rec.backcountry all over again. At least moderating VFTT takes up very little of my (our) time these days.

    Hope this is helpful... There are still a few people here who have been around longer and they can correct me if I am wrong. This topic comes up once a year or so and my position is always the same - I will continue to provide the forum while there are donations to run it but it's really YOUR FORUM and it depends on YOUR CONTENT and YOUR PARTICIPATION.

    Tim
    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 08-26-2015 at 09:38 PM.
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT
    Posts
    2,940
    That's about a B+ Tim. There was rec backcountry and rec.climbing way back and the climbers were even more snarky. (then again, some had done some serious stuff, AK, South American Volcanos, etc. We lost one member on a late season or winter Shasta trip, he may have been solo.) I even befriended a couple of the more vilified members back in the day. (They were more fun to converse with than someone who wouldn't challenge your opinion or had only shared experiences.)

    At the same time, AMC had several boards including Mountains & Molehills. The M&M board was intended for ranting. I can neither confirm or deny I may have had an evil alter-ego on M&M...... In time, AMC dropped it, giving people a place for ranting was probably a poor idea & people begun getting more comfy picking on others anonymously.

    Currently, I use VFTT, ADK High Peaks & I will post on the New England trail site. I don't bother with FB as it's a product to for selling targeted advertising. For a while I was a moderator for the hiking section of a ski site, unsure it's even around now, it also was selling ad space. Very happy we don't have ads. I know if I have a question here or on the ADK sight, the person replying back has been there and knows the area as well or better than I DO. (Daytrip, you're not a novice anymore...)

    Even if FB wasn't a sales tool, my problem with accepting any info there is you'd have no idea if the person answering your question had a clue or not. They could be a complete @$$hat.

    Yes, we may be opinionated at times, spending hours out in the rain, snow, cold, heat and wind, possibly by yourself can do that to people. (That may be part of knowing if the person has a clue, if they are happy sprouting off BS on a keyboard, they may not be much of a hiker.) I have a pleasant new co-worker. She mentioned she went on a three mile hike & hated it, it's not for her. The people I like hiking with the most.... I'm not sure pleasant is the first word I'd use to describe them.... (Sorry guys!)

    Meet up groups will use FB also, not sure that's why I want to hike, isn't that what bars are for. What's the disclaimer on FB groups? Is it a matter of time before someone does something foolish & stupid, (potentially fatally), because some clown posted it on FB and then the estate tries litigating against FB? (Yes, they were not libel but they have the deep pocket, the lawyers aren't interested in my .02)

    The referral process probably doesn't help with numbers but it likely keeps the moderating down. It's been a while since I mentioned trump. (You know, the suit you play in setback or hearts, after all, we don't speak of politics here..... )
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NH Seacoast
    Posts
    1,703
    Mike brings up the other elephant in the room...Meetup groups. This is drifting a bit as Meetup does not do trail conditions, but it is a source of attracting hikers.

    Meetup is not Facebook, but obviously there must be cross contamination. I have been a member of a few of them but only joined on one or two hikes over the years. My general MO of waiting to decide what to hike over my morning coffee does not work well for signing up for Meetup hikes that need a long commitment ahead of time. I used to look once in a while but there would be 30+ people or the registration list would immediately fill up. Good for them, but it doesn't tend to fit my hiking style, thus I'm not too familiar. The groups I met were nice enough.

    Are the FB groups and Meetup groups all the same people essentially? Or are we talking two distinct groups? Just curious. I'm electronically out of touch.

    Ha, Yes Sierra, some comments on occasion here seem to come out of left field...heck, sometimes mine can come right out of the bleacher seats if I lose my filter!
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  14. #14
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,747
    Yeah, Meetup is the replacement for Trips & Events except that it is more formal and the leaders are generally (but not always) more of a known quantity. I'd order them: FB, VFTT, Meetup, AMC. Meetup has groups on FB. Like Scott, I cannot commit to a Meetup hike weeks in advance to have a chance to be included, and generally I wouldn't want to. I am quite content to solo with my dog, or join with a handful of friends.

    Thanks for the help, Mike... I've only been around 9 years (October), 3 post-crash, so most of my historical knowledge before those days is here-say.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    2,454
    VFTT remains #1 resource, and respite from daily grinds, for my time for the quality of its participants and fair minded and knowledgeable moderators. I never seek out groups (maybe I should so I'd be better qualified to rant about crowds and lack of solitude). I've heard horror stories about Meet Up groups and even some of the AMC meet ups. The exception is that I keep an eye out for VFTT centered gatherings ... regret that I never got to the annual Adk tradition ... and value friendships started here 20 years ago.

    Aside from traveling outside the Northeast, I rarely look beyond VFTT for trail information/current conditions but, then again, my reseach being generally limited; the surprise of what may await me is part of the adventure. Semper Paratus for everything on that score.

    Another thing is not being bombarded with the commercialism of other venues and, as far as I know, there is no loss of privacy other than what one shares among friends.

Similar Threads

  1. NH/NE Trail listing in Spreadsheet format?
    By SonOfGrumpyGran in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-11-2010, 09:37 AM
  2. New format for Trail Conditions
    By darren in forum Site Help
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 05-10-2008, 03:58 PM
  3. Reporting blowdowns
    By Hillwalker in forum Site Help
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-06-2007, 05:10 PM
  4. Reporting Spam
    By 1ADAM12 in forum Site Help
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-22-2005, 02:16 PM
  5. Anyone reporting Bisquit Brook to Fir and Big Indian?
    By paul ron in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-29-2003, 09:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •