View Full Version : Seriously, is this forum dead?

Bill O
12-18-2012, 09:44 PM
I almost feel like it should be shutdown. There is so little activity. Who are the current moderators? I received this pm today:

I have been waiting since November 21 to be able to post and I still cannot
Back on November 21, 2012, I registered my account (this one) with MWOBS forums, and I received the confirmation email. But I still could not post or create new threads; I assumed that I was waiting for a moderator to approve my account.

I have sent THREE EMAILS to the MWOBS forum admins using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page, the last of which was about a week and a half ago. I have not received any responses from anyone with regard to why I still cannot post.

WHAT IS GOING ON???????? Why is the registration process taking so long??
I am frustrated that I have been waiting 3 weeks to post and I still cannot do so.
Which one of you am I supposed to contact to get my account activation completely finished??
(NOTE: Due to the rules set up by the forums, I am restricted to sending my message to only one person at a time. Therefore, I am sending this exact same message to all five of the following members, one at a time:

12-19-2012, 07:14 AM
I wouldn't consider it dead but I have to admit it's been pretty slow the last 6+ months. I still check in everyday, I just don't have much to say. lol

I would hate to see it go away.

12-19-2012, 02:08 PM
I agree it has been slow lately and also that I still check in almost everyday anyways. It seems other hiking forums are having the same issue though at the moment.

I think part of this issue here is that this forum is a more specific forum than just general hiking. I like that we don't have many threads relating to all sorts of random subjects. To me this forum is a place where trip reports are done with some regularity and also don't get lost in the shear number of posts. Hiking trail info is the main reason I come here. I like being able to look at what someone else has done to get info or just enjoy the pictures. Right now the trip reports are probably lower due to less people hiking in winter in general or the transition of trails from summer to winter/snow (ice). I won't say there aren't other hiking subjects to talk about, but I also don't pay as much attention to many of those at this point in time.

I also still think this is a great place to get info about Mt. Washington specifically or about weather. It's great that I can ask a question here and chance are the Obs staff will read it quickly and directly respond. A valuable and enjoyable resource in my opinion.

Snow Miser
12-19-2012, 03:42 PM
I agree with Billysinc and sdways01. This forum has been slow lately, but I as well find it to be a good resource for hiking and observatory information. I'm usually on here daily to see any new trail reports, etc. Hope it can survive, and maybe gain some more steam with the users!

Bill O
12-19-2012, 09:26 PM
We need some more moderators. I used to have admin privileges, but I can't seem to approve new users. I don't really have time anyway.

It's easy to forget that the explosive growth of STP was a direct result of Brad's work and this forum.

Snow Miser
12-20-2012, 06:45 AM
I would volunteer to be a moderator. And you are right Bill O, Brad was the biggest influence in my, and I'm sure many others', getting involved with the Obs and STP. Boy, we really miss that guy! :)

Anna LeBlanc
12-20-2012, 12:44 PM
Yes we sure do Bob!!!! Now we all seem to stay in touch more on Facebook than anywhere else.


12-21-2012, 06:37 AM
I'm still here!!

Sadly haven't been hiking much, so no trip reports...

12-21-2012, 07:22 AM
I also pop in at least once a day, to check the temp. on MW,look at the web cams and photo journal. I submitted a photo to it and really hoping that it is accepted. :) And I always check the boards just in case.

I don't want to see these boards go away, this is where many of us met and became friends (Thank You Brad) and opened up a whole new world to me.

Bill O
12-21-2012, 11:57 AM
Visitting and checking in is nice, but without people posting there is no forum.

I'm a little confused how facebook replaces a forum and I am very familiar with both.

Without active users I'm not sure what the point of a forum is. I posted a question a few weeks ago and only had one person reply.

12-21-2012, 12:52 PM
I've never been an active forum poster, more just a reader of threads. However, I have over the last two years commented on a few threads and/or posted a thread myself. I'm not sure where everyone else has been but, to be honest, I've lost interest since STP12.

You are correct Bill, facebook does not replace a forum but, I think some people are staying in touch via FB rather than the forum. Not that the forum is the place to stay in touch either, it just seems that's where things are right now.

12-21-2012, 03:35 PM
I tend to only reply to a thread when I feel I can actually add something to it. If I have information someone is looking for I am more than happy to pass it along. If I feel I will just repeat or not add much value, I keep to myself. Somethings can be double sided though. While I won't normally comment on a trip report just to say "nice report", I do admit it's nice when someone does it to a report I post. I find if you reply to a report to ask a question for more info, you will get more conversation going. Even if it is something as simple as "where on the trail was that photo taken from." As someone who uses the forum a lot for info about trails, it'd be nice if more of this happened. While some trails are so well used questions about them aren't overly needed, if someone takes a different loop than most lots of people can learn from it. While the guide book has lots of good info for a trail description, I will often come here looking to find pictures of the trail in question to get a more visual idea of what it would be like.

12-21-2012, 03:37 PM
I'll also point out that while I am a software engineer by trade and you would think I would enjoy most things computer related... I don't like using facebook much at all. I check it regularly to see what is going on with things, but don't really use it as a way to chat with many people.

12-21-2012, 06:04 PM
I also visit the board and MWO site daily. I read a lot of post Here but I honestly do not always reply. I would hate to see this board be shutdown. Brad was a huge influence on here and because of Brad so many people have become friends from this board. As everyone else said. Words cannot describe how much Brad is missed here and in our personal lives.

12-23-2012, 09:59 AM
Well, at least we all survived the end of the world :)

12-24-2012, 09:28 AM
Well, at least we all survived the end of the world :)

Yeah, I expected more doom and gloom. Instead we had a very bright rainbow right outside our office window. It was so close you could see where both ends of it touched down. No gold pot was seen though.

01-01-2013, 02:37 PM
It's interesting that some people are using Facebook rather than forums as their primary way of staying in touch about things like hiking experiences. I agree with Bill O. that Facebook and forums serve different purposes, but it's also true (from what I understand) that people can share photos and hike reports on their Facebook sites. I decided a long time ago that I would never get on Facebook myself, for several reasons. I've seen one of my favorite forums for bushwhacking in the Southern Appalachians go defunct because its creator has shifted his activities to Facebook. Too bad, if you ask me.

I'm not a frequent participant here, since I'm not living in the area any more, but I enjoy checking in and hope the forum gets a second wind.

01-02-2013, 05:49 PM
Hi, all. A late check-in from an Obs staffer! This is Marketing and Communications Manager Cara Rudio.

This thread was recently brought to my attention and I have to admit, many of my opinions (and those of the Observatory at large) have already been stated here. Yes, the forums have been slowing down, and this is due to a number of reasons. Chief among them that:
1) Brad was a big driver of the MWO forums, generating discussions and continuing existing discussions, and without him, things are noticeably quieter
2) Winter is a naturally slower time of year for trip reports, which undoubtedly contributes to some of the traffic decline
and, the big pink elephant in the room...
3) Forums everywhere are slowing down, as people naturally shift towards newer technologies (which for this day in age means social media, Facebook being the most predominant social media channel for personal and group messaging)

I wouldn't say that any of these reasons warrant getting rid of the forums. Sure, they might be slower than they used to be, but they're still a nice resource for those who would like to use them.

Is it apparent that we need more moderators? Yes--as that rightly disgruntled forum registrant pointed out. If we're going to continue hosting forums, they aught to be functional. So, I had our web consultant grant me moderating rights, and I'd like to take advantage of Bill O's and Snow Miser's offers to become moderators as well (thank you!!). Guys, shall I grant you those rights?

Though there aren't many current Obs staffers who use the forums (myself included -- I'm sorry to admit that I'm of the Facebook/Gchat/FaceTime generation), we do all value and appreciate the forums for the community they foster. We recognize that many people came to the Obs by way of the forums, and we are also aware of the many life-long relationships fostered by the forums, so until the next life-changing technology lures you all away from the forums, we'll keep the forums! (Albeit with a bit more help moderating, if that's what it takes to keep them alive.)

Sound good?

Snow Miser
01-02-2013, 06:35 PM

I'd love to help by becoming a moderator! Please just let me know what's involved, and how to get started.


01-02-2013, 07:16 PM
Sound good?

Sounds GREAT!!!!

01-03-2013, 02:36 AM
I also agree with Billysinc, sdways01 and Snow Miser. This forum has been slow, I am waiting last 7 days for activations mail.

01-03-2013, 07:26 AM
If either Bill or Bob can't and if needed I would be willing to be a moderator. I've been a moderator on a large automotive forum (over 100k members and 1.3 million posts) since 2004 so I'm familiar with what goes on in the background. But with the traffic this site sees I wouldn't anticipate you needing more than a couple of mods.

01-05-2013, 08:46 AM
Thank you Snow Miser for taking this one, and everyone else that will help to keep these boards going.

01-07-2013, 10:12 AM
Thanks for everyone's enthusiastic responses! With the addition of Snow Miser (thank you!) we now have five moderators (Bill O, fifteendays, h2oeco, Snow Miser, and I), so we should have our bases covered. Per Snow Miser's request I am about to send out an email to all moderators with a quick review of what's entailed in being a moderator. If you should have any questions or suggestions for me (since I'm a new moderator, too!), please feel free to reply to that email.

Thank you all again! It's great to see a continued interest in this community.

01-07-2013, 01:23 PM
We've recently had this conversation over on VFTT, which has lower than historical participation, but much higher than this forum. The end result really is that content is king. Without content, there isn't anything to draw people to the site. The forum has to decide what its mission is and then find contributors (not necessarily moderators -- we have only 3 on VFTT and have much higher traffic) to produce the content.

The forums, vBulletin in particular, have to compete with other mediums which are better suited to the current sharing preferences of users - blogs, wordpress, facebook, etc. I know there is a cycle with VFTT where a new user comes along, wants to find people to hike with, gets involved for a while, finds some friends, and then they disappear to private channels like facebook with that set of friends.


01-14-2013, 07:50 PM
Look I wanted to contribute to this forum but every single time I wanted to post, I had to keep waiting for my posts to be "approved" so I couldn't contribute.

Edit: Wow, looks like I can post normally, finally! But it took 2.5 months to get my account fully operational.
Is this normal? Has anyone else had problems like these?

Alright give me some time to get back into "ambitious posting mode" and let's see what I can do.

Snow Miser
01-14-2013, 08:25 PM
Welcome andrejfavia! I just reviewed your profile, and everything shows you're good to go. Not sure why you had some difficulty posting, but do apologize for that. We on this forum look forward to your participation. Thank you!

Bill O
01-27-2013, 09:59 AM
Nobody is posting anything, that is the problem. A good example was a question I just answered in the weather forum. Original poster never even acknowledged my response, which makes me not want to respond.

I'm still confused how a thread on a recent trail you just hiked can be replaced by facebook posts?

The facebook updates provided by the MWO staff are great, and clearly get many viewers. But the comments posted are almost unbearable to read. They are as bad as the comments posted for an online news article.

01-27-2013, 12:46 PM
I'm still confused how a thread on a recent trail you just hiked can be replaced by facebook posts?.

Easy. I post a 2-3 line report with a link to photos on my timeline and all my friends and contacts (people I collectively 'care' about) can see it, comment, like it, etc., and I feel good about sharing it. It's all just a few quick buttons, and I can control who sees it, and I am already on FB anyway.

(culled from similar discussion on VFTT recently)


01-28-2013, 03:40 PM
Great Googly Moogly!! I'm gone for a little while and the forum goes down the ...... :D

So what's new?

02-25-2013, 11:03 AM
Bill, I didn't get a notification of response or even that my question has been approved by moderator. Normally that's how it works - you ask a question, and the board notifies you of response. I mean, I really do appreciate your insight and help, but I'm not a machine, I forget things :) Automated notifications are useful.

02-28-2013, 07:01 AM
have you tried pressing the Thread Tools drop down menu and Subcribe to the thread?