mattpayne11 wrote:Seems insane that people pay that much money to maintain a site. Being new to having my own site, I've encountered minimal costs so far. I'm not on a dedicated server yet, but even that is fairly manageable (if you need a dedicated server, chances are you have a ton of traffic and therefore ways to generate income).
Sticky subject. I'm very curious at how John deals with this very dilemma and what his operating costs are for maintaining LOJ. On a side note, he's no longer a member of the 14erworld community...not sure why.
Charging members or being free has some tenants automatically built into it and has, like it or not, filters that don't become obvious until later on when membership exceeds 'X'-number of patrons.
I'm partial to Bill's model only in that he provides a VAST
amount of knowledge to the mountaineering community just for the sake of providing those with an answer and avenue to pursue their desires, likes and interests. Anyone who does this for the sake of encouraging the less-experienced to motivate themselves more, to grow confidence and curiosity in what they love gets an A++++ in my book!
That also says that Bill's heart is in this website endevour not for the sole goal of making money but for the love and passion of the outdoors.
Now, I also know Steve is equally ardent & zealous about the great outdoors and climbing. He has NUMEROUS reports that he himself puts up frequently at his site and has started a winter group called, "Winter Warriors" for like-minded lovers of all things mountains and winter. Anyone who takes the initiative and deals with the hassel of doing said things is obviously passionate about the mountains.
Just because Steve's site is a 'pay-site' doesn't automatically make it inclusive or regal or special. IT IS
unfortunate that he does have to charge but I can see how and why some costs can spiral out of control forcing this decision to be made. I can't speak for Steve obviously but this course of action certainly can't be desirous or wanted BUT, in the end, sometimes it has to be warranted. Bill is at an advantage here because the community who frequents 14ers.com is substantially
larger thus, creating the means to help ease operating costs due to donations and gear vs. rotating mandatory costs on a significantly smaller audience with different objectives.
So, in my opinion, the first wedge is in place....pay vs. free.
As others have already previously mentioned, Bean, Matt, Jim, Bill, Barry etc. 14ers.com is significantly larger, a bit on the lower end of experience, NOT forum-based but 14erworld tends to be more elitist, smaller, fewer repeated threads and BS and as Steve Gladbach, George James and Wildlobo71 touched on, cladestinely egotistic. All of this
is the way it is because of human nature, experience/wisdom and having to shell out $20 clams because one HAS to vs. WANTING to.
I love 14erworld and I love 14ers.com and I especially love SP. Each site has over the course of their respected lives, developed into it's own niche, has taken on its own character and thus, its own target audience. I think Bill's site and Steve's site complement each other quite well!
And it is unfortunate and bastardly that the more experienced folks DO NOT seem to take an interest or any stake in either coaching, helping or assisting those new to the sport. Because of the sheer nature and character of 14ers.com and 14erworld, a lot of 'those' folks have gravitated over to 14erworld. However, this onto itself doesn't mean that that
site has its nose higher in the air, it means the people on that site are creating that impression for the site. And THAT, is unfortunate & tragic. Because just like 14ers.com, 14erworld has some great, down-to-earth, mellow and easy to talk to folks who love to share their passions.
It's true that the experience level 'over there' is higher and that's why I joined. I've come to make some great friends (Steve Gladbach, Ken Nolan, Arron Ihinger etc.) and have exchanged some helpful e-mails concerning publishing (Gerry Roach) and have accomplished a few of the things that I explictitly set-out to do, like gleam more advanced knowledge off those more experienced than I.
But that doesn't mean you turn your back on the place whence you came from!!! Everyone starts out as tadpoles. Just because someone has grown up into this beautiful frog doesn't give them the right or privledge to dismiss the other newbies with distain or excoriate.
Like Steve said, it's sad. I know people who have fallen into this ego-trap.
Funny, I just finished the section in Aron Ralston's book where he says he lost two friends because of the Resolution Avalanche near the Follard-Hillard Hut. It seems most people experience the same archetype along the experience curve. But why is it that some appreciate and love to share with others on their journey of discovery and growth and others could care less? I think it just boils down to who the person is, simple as that.
And as far as finding partners for 14ers or centennials or the lower peaks, again, it boils down to the two site's emphasis, experience level among those on the sites and as George James mentioned, the evitable checklist.
If 14erworld seems snooty, it's because the site was unintentionally
set in motion to develop that way and certain members ran with it.
If 14ers.com seems friendly and abecedarian, it's because of the members who use it.
I love both sites and will continue to use both sites. Steve and Bill have a great thing going.
And for those who have a problem paying $20 for a year
, really? Seriously? How long does $20 last at the bar? And yet no one bashes an eye. Weird.