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