Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

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Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Poll ended at Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:44 am

Yes
55
58%
No
19
20%
Depends (explain below)
20
21%
Other (explain below)
1
1%
 
Total votes: 95
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LifeIsGood
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Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by LifeIsGood » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:44 am

Is this discussion forum portion of the 14'ers.com website welcoming to new members?

(personally, I think yes- nearly always.)

Regardless, the rest of the website is indisputably gold.
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CaptainSuburbia
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:07 am

Yes
Some day our kids will study Clash lyrics in school.
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nyker
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by nyker » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:23 am

I think it is generally welcoming for new posters/members that appear honest and "sincere" - However, if some folks here get the sense it's a troll, that poster may be doomed (troll or not) unless they are quick to point out they are in fact legitimate and nothing confrontational is sparked in that process...
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LifeIsGood
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by LifeIsGood » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:42 am

nyker wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:23 am
...if folks here get the sense it's a troll...
One thing I have noticed is the label ‘troll’ being used for an account that appears to be an alternate account of an existing member.

So at this juncture it is relevant to define the most common usage of internet ‘troll’-

Merriam-Webster: to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content (noun and verb definition almost identical)

Urban Dictionary: someone who deliberately pisses people off online to get a reaction
Last edited by LifeIsGood on Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nyker
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by nyker » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:48 am

yea that's fair
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Wildernessjane
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by Wildernessjane » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:16 am

I said depends only because I feel like even the most benign topic can quickly erode into bickering. I think I would be reluctant to start a thread if I were new to recreating in the outdoors. The FB page is even worse, in my opinion. Such is the way of Internet forums though. It could be worse.
“Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.” -David McCullough?
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by daway8 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:18 am

If there's anything remotely questionable about a post from a newcomer people often get roasted alive - most often when folks jump to the conclusion that someone must be a troll (when they may in fact be legitimately clueless and seeking guidance only to be pounced upon). Folks who come in too cocky also sometimes take a beating (which may or may not be beneficial in certain cases...)

But for those who can manage to post something in a way that doesn't cause people to suspect them as a troll then the forum generally seems pretty welcoming to newcomers seeking advice (established members debating something... that's a different story at times...)
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by Trotter » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:11 pm

daway8 wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:18 am
If there's anything remotely questionable about a post from a newcomer people often get roasted alive - most often when folks jump to the conclusion that someone must be a troll (when they may in fact be legitimately clueless and seeking guidance only to be pounced upon). Folks who come in too cocky also sometimes take a beating (which may or may not be beneficial in certain cases...)

But for those who can manage to post something in a way that doesn't cause people to suspect them as a troll then the forum generally seems pretty welcoming to newcomers seeking advice (established members debating something... that's a different story at times...)
+1
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
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headsizeburrito
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by headsizeburrito » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:37 pm

As a noob here myself, I'd say it's fairly welcoming to new members as long as they don't do anything too stupid. I don't feel I have much to contribute yet since I'm new to the area, but hopefully that will change as I get out more. I haven't even made my checklist public yet since it makes me look like even more of a noob. :lol:

It's dominated by people who have been here for many years with hundreds or even thousands of posts, but that is fairly common in many forums. If you can get over that can mostly lurk until you actually have something to ask that wasn't answered some a little research (and then eventually add your own contributions/experience) it is an excellent resource. That said it is frustrating to see threads get derailed by BS, which discourages participation by those not caught up in the drama and probably deters some people from joining in the first place. Again that is part of any forum, so I'm not sure there is a better way to deal with it. Speaking of drama and bickering, this comment from Eli in the "Bill M" thread summed up what is valuable about the forum:
Eli Watson wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:14 pm
I really appreciate this forum for the times when someone comes in with a question like:

"Hey, I'm thinking of going for a big day / trying to link up these peaks in a nonstandard way or using a different approach. Tried sifting through some Trip Reports, but couldn't find a good one. Has anyone done something similar?"

And boom, you've got tons of respectful answers from someone who may have done it or knows of an obscure Trip Report written in 2008. This site is great for sharing beta that scratches below the surface level, and that depth of knowledge is really the hallmark of the forum.

There's a reason I don't get on Facebook. We can be better than that.
Obviously there isn't much value to frequent "how do I hike the standard route on Quandary in the summer" threads, but for the more interesting and/or obscure stuff it is a fantastic resource to the community. The downside is that it may not have as much space for new people to get to that point (if that is their goal) because the entry level stuff isn't really a part of this forum.

How can 14ers.com attract and retain members? I don't really know since forums are kind of a dying breed in the age of facebook/instagram/twitter, but it would be shame if the forum never got new blood, even if it meant a few more repetitive threads once in a while.
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by bmcqueen » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:12 am

It's an interesting topic, and like Darin, I do care. I suppose I would probably be considered an old guy now. Current post count is 570 in the nearly eight years as a member - profile settings has done the math for me and says this equates to 0.2 posts per day (or one post every 5 days over that period). Perhaps some interesting history looking back at how I started 14er journey and interacting with 14ers.com

1st 14er - 1998
Finished 14ers (54 list) - 2006
Lurked on 14ers.com - from pretty close to the beginning of the site to 2013
Got brave and set up a user ID - April 2013
Got braver and posted a conditions report - November 2013
Got even braver and made my first forum post - February 2015
Wrote first trip report - February 2016

The forum at large was very welcoming to me when I started to interact. Perhaps because I had posted enough conditions reports by then that people knew I was actually getting out and trying to contribute helpful into to the site. I hope the forum continues to exist as there is value - both in information and community-building. I enjoy seeing fresh blood in the forum. Sure there are old-timers that don't seem to really be out on the peaks anymore, but still enjoy interacting on the forum. I'd say the price of that privilege is let the newer folks have some of the conversations themselves that were already had multitudes of times over the years. For the new folks, maybe just avoid giving advice to other new folks with 100% confidence based on your year or two of experience. There is certainly a happy medium somewhere out there where we can have fresh blood and enthusiasm while still having us old guys feel like we can play a valuable role in providing the mentoring and advice that we enjoyed when we were early on in our 14er journeys.
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." --- Nasreddin

https://listsofjohn.com/PeakStats/Conte ... queen&t=14
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headsizeburrito
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by headsizeburrito » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:46 am

bmcqueen wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:12 am
Perhaps because I had posted enough conditions reports by then that people knew I was actually getting out and trying to contribute helpful into to the site.
I have wondered if making these more visible would be useful, such as including a link to your conditions reports below trip reports/checklist etc under your avatar. It isn't something that people will necessarily click on to dig through months later, but it does show contributions and would maybe incentivize them. I suppose since conditions reports are sometimes mini trip reports anyway it might be nice to make them more visible from the user rather than through the peak list.

edit: It's also kind of funny that most people in this thread so far have 58 on their checklist. Where my fellow noobs at?
bluegrassclimber
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Re: Poll: Is this forum welcoming to new members?

Post by bluegrassclimber » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:39 am

This forum is as welcoming as other hobby/sport community forums I’ve been on in the past. With any sort of community like this, I can generally expect some people to be welcoming, some to be elitist, some to be trolls, and some to be purists.

Ways that more accomplished or tenured members of 14ers.com could do to help new forum members:

- Don’t reply “there was a thread on this [x amount of time] ago.” Should people be able to search a forum? Yes. Does a new person to the site or the community know all of the jargon and contextual ways of describing something? No. Don’t want to answer a noob question... cool. Scroll on.

- When a thread gets heated or jacked up, try to offer constructive posts. I haven’t posted much but have been around long enough to see a “pile on” pattern from time to time, and that’s even excluding the more infamous forum trolls/pariahs.

- Some community moderation, like what exists on the FB page, would help overall. However, it’s also understandable if that isn’t feasible or part of what this forum is intended to be. But, moderation works and does help overall social/online community health

Overall 14ers.com is an invaluable resource and the forum is an optional part of the experience. Bill and all of the site contributors provides an amazing service to the hiking and mountaineering communities.
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