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Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby Dave B » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:10 am

I think we should just get a loud admin to shame everyone into producing more and better content.

Seemed to work over on 14erWorld. :-"
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:15 am

Dave B wrote:I think we should just get a loud admin to shame everyone into producing more and better content.

Seemed to work over on 14erWorld. :-"



I'll volunteer for said position. \:D/

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:47 am

I've read enough trip reports over the past four years to know who produces quality, consistent work. Using that internal sorting is easy enough; if I search the TRs for a 13er and one pops up by Furthermore, then my job is done.

That said, not everyone uses this site as often as I do. I like the idea of sorting by likes, comments and/or page views. It would instantly bring the "best" TRs to the top, reducing the need to randomly click one of the 18 my query produced. It might be a bit of a popularity contest, but many of the celebrity posters gained their notoriety through writing excellent trip reports.

To veer off topic a bit, because I geek out on this stuff given my line of work...

I get what djkest is saying about putting that much time into a stellar Culebra report, and it's frustrating not to get recognized for it, but you have to remember the audience. Culebra is a short, easy hike far from the mind of the average Front Range 14er hiker. It's certainly not a peak most people want to read about, especially when it's sandwiched between recaps of Capitol and Little Bear. I've written a ton of TRs. The numbers don't lie. People around here don't care about the cool stuff: the winter summits, the Mt. Rainiers, the Orizabas. They want to read about Kelso Ridge, the Sawtooth and Mt. Elbert. That's perfectly fine. The site is, after all, called 14ers.com. :)

A catchy title goes a LONG way, as does a liberal splash of humor. The TR I put the most effort into, "A Week Among the Clouds" about Liberty Ridge and Mt. Hood, only has 2,156 views. "The Ascent of Shermapangma," written weeks later, already has more than 5,500. My 14er reports with boring names average 4-5k, and the ones with catchy titles or about popular routes have 6-8k. And then there's Pyramid, satirical nonsense that took two hours, with 10,583. What's interesting is that, for the most part, the number of page views doesn't necessarily correlate with likes/comments. I'm already rambling though, so I suppose that's a discussion for another day.

At the end of the day, the page views, likes and comments don't really matter. If a report helps even one person or tells a story people enjoy reading or was satisfying to write, then it's a success.

(edited for style/grammar)
Last edited by SurfNTurf on Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby CHWitte » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:01 pm

I don't know about ya'll but I don't read trip reports for humor or entertainment. Yeah, some of them are funny and that makes them easier to read but I read them for the benefit of gaining knowledge about a peak or for re-living the experiences of peaks I've already climbed. I spent about 2 hours putting my Mount Wilson report together yesterday http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13994&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include because I desired to provide people with information about the climb that may help them in planning for it and possibly, maybe, somehow even save a life of someone who didn't know what to expect. This is my intent and purpose and I know this is not the case for everyone. Some people will indeed "like" a report because it is funny and hokey and entertains them. There really is no way to filter this out and it is not necessarily wrong. I just hope people use trip reports to learn from and not for entertainment purposes because the latter just promotes some weird stuff.

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:08 pm

CHWitte wrote:I don't know about ya'll but I don't read trip reports for humor or entertainment. Yeah, some of them are funny and that makes them easier to read but I read them for the benefit of gaining knowledge about a peak or for re-living the experiences of peaks I've already climbed. I spent about 2 hours putting my Mount Wilson report together yesterday http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13994&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include because I desired to provide people with information about the climb that may help them in planning for it and possibly, maybe, somehow even save a life of someone who didn't know what to expect. This is my intent and purpose and I know this is not the case for everyone. Some people will indeed "like" a report because it is funny and hokey and entertains them. There really is no way to filter this out and it is not necessarily wrong. I just hope people use trip reports to learn from and not for entertainment purposes because the latter just promotes some weird stuff.


Usefulness isn't mutually exclusive from humor and entertainment. Even in my most silly reports, I try to document the route and provide solid information for anyone following in my footsteps. Given the option to read a cut-and-dry Mt. Lindsey trip report and an entertaining Mt. Lindsey trip report with the same information, I know which one I'd choose. But people are different. That's what makes the ever-expanding TR database so great: there's something for everyone.
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby benners » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:28 pm

Floyd wrote:This was already hashed out a couple of years ago. I can't find the thread but it took a downward spiral (surprise, surprise). It started the same as this one with a little more complaining about the 6 photo/75 word TR of Quandary's standard route on a summer Saturday bumping the "good" ones down the list. Then there was some name calling where anyone that doesn't like a 14er TR is either a hipster, elitist, or both and then the thread went straight to the toilet and off-route. As if that never happens here...

One positive thing that came out of that thread was the "All Peaks (Minus Popular 14ers)" filter that you can set as your default TR sorting option. This in effect removes most of those 6 photo/75 word TRs of Quandary's standard route on a summer Saturday from view, preventing them from bumping the "good" ones down the list. It's a decent solution to this particular issue and can't really hurt anyone's feelings as no one can tell if you have it turned on or not...

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby djkest » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:45 pm

SurfNTurf wrote:I get what djkest is saying about putting that much time into a stellar Culebra report, and it's frustrating not to get recognized for it, but you have to remember the audience. Culebra is a short, easy hike far from the mind of the average Front Range 14er hiker. It's certainly not a peak most people want to read about, especially when it's sandwiched between recaps of Capitol and Little Bear. I've written a ton of TRs. The numbers don't lie. People around here don't care about the cool stuff: the winter summits, the Mt. Rainiers, the Orizabas. They want to read about Kelso Ridge, the Sawtooth and Mt. Elbert. That's perfectly fine. The site is, after all, called 14ers.com. :)


Yeah, it's not even necessarily about recognition, but like I said before, number of "likes" doesn't necessarily indicate the quality of a report. One of my reports wasn't that great; but had a lot of comments due to a route issue. My most popular reports have been Chicago Basin (lots of photos, people are interested), Maroon Bells Traverse, and Sneffels (good pics?). No one is getting monetary compensation for posting these reports, BUT it's cool to see that other people are getting enjoyment and / or information from my efforts. I get plenty of PMs from people about different hikes, especially since I started writing more TRs and posting on my blog. This is neat too, to have that interaction with people I don't really know.

My Pacific / Atlantic report is one of my least popular, probably because it's not-commonly climbed 13ers. I thought it was a neat-o hike, cool views, and absolutely no one else on the mountains- huge mountains and no one around. And they are even centennials. But yeah, your comment is certainly relevant.
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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby Furthermore » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:45 pm

SurfNTurf wrote:I've read enough trip reports over the past four years to know who produces quality, consistent work. Using that internal sorting is easy enough; if I search the TRs for a 13er and one pops up by Furthermore, then my job is done.


Thanks for the kind words. Sometimes I feel writing all of those reports is a thankless job.

The main reason I write reports is for beta. Obviously, the 14ers are covered and some of the few 14er reports I have written are on a more personal level. Writing a report of my repeat of Shavano, I don't think would fill anyone's fancy.

I feel the popularity of the likes/dislikes/comments may not be the best judge of a report. I've seen reports on 13ers which had almost double the likes of my report on the same peak but in my mind had zero/nil beta, quality photos or memorable moments. Now if something happened and it became an epic or had amazing photos that would be understandable. Hopefully my reports are not too dry or dull but then again, their sole purpose is for route information.

Maybe a possible organization of reports could be the way that Reddit organizes their content? While searching for a peak, one could vote reports up/down based on other reports of the same peak. That would send those 75 word/3 pictures Quandary reports to the bottom while allowing the more memorable/pertinent reports to rise to the top. Thoughts?

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby evolve » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:12 pm

Furthermore wrote:Sometimes I feel writing all of those reports is a thankless job.


Thank you! Seriously, your reports are fantastic. Obscure 13er? Furthermore's got my back. Is there anything you haven't climbed? :)

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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby benners » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:21 am

Furthermore wrote:Sometimes I feel writing all of those reports is a thankless job.

Thanks for being persistent regardless, Furthermore! The reports you contribute are appreciated by many on this site.

Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby bergsteigen » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:04 am

Furthermore wrote:Sometimes I feel writing all of those reports is a thankless job.


I think I have used your trip reports for about 80-90% of the 13ers I have done. There have only been a few that I've beaten you or others too :wink: I really should go back and "like" each one I've used, but I've forgotten on occasion.

benners wrote:I think that sooner or later most of the people who put many hours into producing a quality product will become discouraged by that product getting bogged down in the tangle of single paragraph TRs that require five minutres to write, and they'll post less or stop altogether (which we've already seen with several forum members). As this becomes more common the overall quality of contributions to the site will decrease. Sure people could forge ahead anyways reasoning that they're spending five hours on a TR solely for their own enjoyment, but having others appreciate good work is partial motivation for all of us to write I'd imagine.


It all depends on why you are writing the TR in the first place. Some TR's are for beta, others for the experience, others for fun. I have noticed a decrease in readership from 14er reports to 13ers, but that's to be expected. With Bill's excellent route descriptions, 14er TR's are less about beta in summer months, than for the experience & fun with your partners. 14er TR beta really only applies during the fall-spring snow season. As far as the summer bump down... it happens. I hike 13ers in summer, people who want to do those particular 13ers will find my report if they are about to do the same peaks, this year, next year or in the future. It's not like there are tons of TR's for Fairview Peak!

So why do I write TR's, over 100 or so of them...

#1 - For myself. I've had a couple really bad concussions (unconscious for ~8hrs for one), and find myself forgetting trips I did just a few years ago. Writing about the experience and seeing the photos, helps bring back the memories. I wish I had written TR's for the 14ers I did back in 2000-2001. I only have vague memories of those (only took about 10 photos for each back in the film era). Same with my time in Alaska, it's slowly fading from my bad memory.

#2 - For Beta. Sure Furthermore, Chicagotransplant and Kevin Baker have tons of 13er TR's out there. But they're guys. They're faster and have a different perspective of exposure and difficulty. I feel that I provide a different feeling on the route than they could. Plus, on occasion I do a different route and having the basic beta of mileage, elevation gain and difficulty could help decide what route is best for you.

#3 Experience/Fun/Partners - I know my partners over the years appreciate the TR's, having a written account with photos to remember the experience. On occasion I have done the silly TR, but those typically wouldn't be ones that anyone needs beta for anyway. Those take the most work, hence the rarity.

I doubt I'll stop writing TR's. I don't write one for each trip, as sometimes I just don't feel like it. Don't have anything to say about it. Or like my rainy day on Quail, I only have a couple nice photos anyway.
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Re: Sorting Capability for Trip Reports

Postby lordhelmut » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:22 am

I guess the underlying factor to all of this is, like Floyd said and Benners alluded to, among others - if the trip meant enough to you, show it in the TR. It should be simple as that.

Its like that scene in "Walk the Line" when Cash is trying to get a record deal and goes to that walk-in studio and the record producer tells him the following :

Record Producer: You know exactly what I'm telling you. We've already heard that song a hundred times. Just like that. Just... like... how... you... sing it.

Johnny Cash: Well you didn't let us bring it home.

REcord Producer Bring... bring it home? All right, let's bring it home. If you was hit by a truck and you was lying out there in that gutter dying, and you had time to sing *one* song. Huh? One song that people would remember before you're dirt. One song that would let God know how you felt about your time here on Earth. One song that would sum you up. You tellin' me that's the song you'd sing? That same Jimmy Davis tune we hear on the radio all day, about your peace within, and how it's real, and how you're gonna shout it? Or... would you sing somethin' different. Somethin' real. Somethin' *you* felt. Cause I'm telling you right now, that's the kind of song people want to hear. That's the kind of song that truly saves people. It ain't got nothin to do with believin' in God, Mr. Cash. It has to do with believin' in yourself.


Granted, this example is being pretty over dramatic in this instance - but the general idea relates to all of this.

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