Fourteenerworld.com

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BillMiddlebrook
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:03 pm

Jon Frohlich wrote:Actually he was just trying to cover hosting costs and wasn't able to do it through ads and other means so he want to a pay model. I've been a member of all 3 sites for years and think they all do a good job with their chosen niche. I've made posts here before looking for 13er partners and have rarely had anyone interested. Beyond the 14ers this can be a difficult place to find partners.

I know how that goes! But I decided a while ago that if I put enough content out there, people might help me put gas in the machine. Once 14ers.com got big enough, that's what happened. If I was still sinking over $10k a year of my own money into running the site, I might have considered a change in the model as well. I can't tell you how much I hate the thought of running ad space on the site or charging people a fee. Gaack. I will go out kicking and screaming!

And, Jon, I completely understand the "partners-beyond-the-14ers" thing as it relates to 14ers.com. Hey, I'll admit it, the average experience level on 14ers.com is probably lower than 14erworld, but what else could we expect when we are comparing thousands of people in an open environment to hundreds of people in a closed environment. Seems obvious to me. Plus, the fact that many people start down this path via the 14ers, it's only natural that most of the people on the site would be more interested in 14er hikes.

EDIT:
As always, STEVE is 100% correct! :lol: :lol: And, of course, thanks for the "gas" money.
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MtHurd
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby MtHurd » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:36 pm

I was participating in fourteenerworld almost from the beginning, long before it was a pay site. For us flatlanders though, the fee doesn't make much sense since we don't use the information as much as someone from Colorado would so when it became a pay site, I was done. 14ers.com is perfect for us flatlanders.

The initiation of the pay-to-view concept was a little shaky too. It started off with a "if I don't get enough donations, this will have to become a pay site". So many people donated, some over $100. Nobody knew how much the upkeep of the site was and I think most thought that they would be able to donate enough to keep it free. So, even after a lot of people donated a significant amount of money, the site became a pay-site anyway. I would hope that those who donated a significant amount of money would have had the option at that time to receive a refund and only pay what became the monthly fee. I believe that is what happened. At least I hope it did.
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BillMiddlebrook
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:43 pm

I'm sure that was not a pleasant task for Steve to initiate or execute.
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby tmathews » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:49 pm

lanternerouge08 wrote:
Bean wrote:I've never even considered fourteenerworld, since 14ers and summitpost are both free. What possible reason is there to pay money for information that's already out there?

Even though 14ers.com is free....it is still a good idea to make a donation. And it's almost Christmas, which reminds me it is time for my yearly gift to 14ers.com....

I encourage everyone to make a donation. :)


I made a small donation today. =D>
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:14 pm

I donate once or twice a year, and I'm still a noobie of sorts, so I will gladly help Bill (just having the name is worth it... just ask Mr. Gates, Mr. Murray, Mr. Collector - I support them all,) in keeping the content fresh and ever expanding. And who knows, maybe by the time I've got #58, that 13ers.com site will be just as thorough!

Donation made.
You've never really stopped even if you feel like you have.
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BaronVonBergschrund
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:38 pm

BuckytheGREAT wrote:I was wondering if it would be possible for those two websites to join together and have a stronger database, more members discussing issues and stuff like that?

It all depends, how many CMC p**sies are on fourteenerworld.com?
Baron Von Bergschrund
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Sharing wisdom on Rock Climbing, Climbing Shoes, Rappelling, Layering, Eddie Bauer, Pants, Helmets, Ropes, Ice Axes, Tri-Cams, Carabiners
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Jim Davies
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:43 pm

BaronVonBergschrund wrote:It all depends, how many CMC p**sies are on fourteenerworld.com?

I found the anti-CMC sentiment to be just as strong there as it is here.

I need to renew my 14erworld membership; it's almost winter, and that's when Ken writes his best TRs.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin
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MtHurd
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby MtHurd » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:59 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:I'm sure that was not a pleasant task for Steve to initiate or execute.


Definitely not an easy decision or a pleasant task. I think the lesson learned is, if the site becomes too expensive to maintain, either quit or or make it a pay site. I think a reminder every now and then that you can donate is fine, but when it becomes begging it's time to give it up.

Another way to donate to 14ers.com is to buy merchandise. You can get the merchandise here.
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mattpayne11
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby mattpayne11 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:16 am

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).
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Kiefer
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby Kiefer » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:11 am

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! =D>
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.
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pnolans
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby pnolans » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:32 am

Earlier someone asked "why pay for something when you can get it for free". I'm only talking about websites! :)

My Dad used to have a saying that free advice is worth every cent.

NOW I'M NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS TRUE HERE, AND NOT TRUE THERE. (on the pay site)
In fact, I've found a LOT of useful information here.

I also occasionally use an XJ (Jeep Cherokee) forum when I have a particularly unusual problem, like a car that won't start in the cold but once. I actually figured that out myself, but during the ensuing discussion I learned a lot of things about automatic transmissions that I didn't know. It was the Neutral Safety Switch, if anyone's curious.

The point I'm trying, poorly, to make is that one should always check info that you get on the internet, free site or not, unless you're ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE you know and trust the person(s) giving you that advice. Don't bet your life on it, don't rebuild you're engine because someone tells you to on a Jeep forum, etc.....
"Hey Queen Isabella,
stay away from that fella
He'll just get you into trouble, you know"
Common Sense John Prine
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BillMiddlebrook
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Re: Fourteenerworld.com

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:56 am

mattpayne11,
Once traffic becomes massive, the required hosting costs go up considerably. With the combination of high traffic and bandwidth requirements (think thousands of people downloading photos, map, etc. all day long), there's a need for a web hosting plan that provides a huge amount of bandwidth. The issues of up-time, reliability, backups, and server size are also very important when so many people are using the site. When choosing a web hosting plan/company, you get what you pay for.

Kiefer,
Very well said. You have a way with words!

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