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Author Topic: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?  (Read 2721 times)
TonyM
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TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« on: 11/25/19, 08:24 PM »

TR's per year: 2019- 53, 2018- 67, 2017- 82, 2016- 94, 2015- 84, 2014- 106, 2013- 124, 2012- 149, 2011- 161, 2010- 141, 2009- 174, 2008- 202, 2007- 158, 2006- 121, 2005- 98, 2004- 103, 2003- 93, 2002- 43, 2001-43

High month number of reports per year according to stats listed on site today. Mostly increasing up from 2001 to 2008, then flat to down-ish from 2009 to this year.   Snow years have an impact to be sure from year to year, but is BC skiing sliding downhill (sorry!)?  Is detailing every last aspect of an adventure declining in popularity?  Or is something else leading to a decline in TR's? 

Seems there have been some site issues too. 
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #1 on: 11/25/19, 10:00 PM »

Possible reasons:

+ Growth of social media
+ Clunky old TAY software
+ Episodic trolling
+ Overcrowding in the backcountry
+ Aging TAY community
+ Others?

I'm one of those who has become more active on social media in recent years, though I'm not very active there in terms of trip reports. I think social media (e.g. Facebook) is a lousy place to post trip reports because it's really hard to find them after a short while. As an amateur journalist and historian, I value looking up old reports and social media really sucks for that.

I think if you look at a histogram of TAY trip reports and compare it to the usage of social media, you'll find that the former went down when the latter went up.

I think updating the TAY platform would help, though it might not return to its former stature without injecting some serious marketing and community building effort. There's too much competition for eyeballs out there.

I think there's a place for storytelling in the ski community that social media doesn't satisfy. I'd like to see TAY continue to provide that.

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xmatt
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #2 on: 11/26/19, 02:53 PM »

I think maybe the current online culture is changing so that people only tend to post about the most impressive trips, leaving out the simpler trips that everyone else has done like "just skied Silver Peak in May" or whatever.  Ironically, those simpler trip reports are often the most useful though, as it's most likely that someone else will want to do them.
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Snowboy
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #3 on: 11/26/19, 06:18 PM »

Social media has taken a lot of users away from the site but think the proposed redesign could invigorate the community. TAY is highly recognized in the ski community and has to potential to flourish. Good history here. There are young users but dont post much. Personally not a fan of FB and hope to shift things back to a ski specific site. Only way to change it is to post more trip reports directly on TAY!
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Good2Go
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #4 on: 12/01/19, 01:00 PM »

Another factor is that the "kids" today strongly discourage posting TRs on social media.  That's why you don't see may TRs on the FB version of this site. 
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Scottk
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #5 on: 12/02/19, 09:41 AM »

Although it could be improved, I still think TAY is the best platform for sharing information regarding BC skiing.  It's a shame that use of the site has declined as social media has exploded, since none of the social media platforms organize the content and posts are quickly lost as time passes.   
My favorite place to post trip reports and research for mountain climbing is now peakbaggers.com.  Mainly because trip reports are associated with a peak, making it very easy to locate all the trip reports ever posted on that peak. That approach wouldn't translate well to BC skiing since most trips aren't associated with a peak, but the search function on TAY is a pretty good system for researching past trip reports for a particular area/peak.
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DG
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #6 on: 12/02/19, 11:58 AM »

I think some great reasons are mentioned above, along with good rationale as to why it is valuable to have the TR's archived here.

I would add that often when a report is posted, it might garner a lot of views but little or no comments (I'm guilty of not leaving comments very often too). If you post a report and get 500 views and no comments, it sort of leaves the impression that what you did wasn't very interesting to others, so why go through the effort?
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PhilH
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #7 on: 12/03/19, 04:55 PM »

Possible reasons:

+ Growth of social media
+ Overcrowding in the backcountry


There is an observable correlation between the growth of social media and overcrowding in the backcountry.  Have you tried to find a parking spot at the Colchuck Lake trailhead on any summer weekend? Tried to get a permit for the Wonderland Trial or the Enchantments? Seen the graffiti and broken windows at High Rock Lookout? Dodged scantily clad Instagramers at Artist's Point? Tried to take a photo of Snow Lake without unicorn floaties in the frame? Skiing in the backcounty is NOT this bad...yet. But I think backcountry skiers see TAY as social media and are terrified of what the future may hold. This could be why TAY'er are increasingly shy about posing TR's.

Snow Lake will never get as many skiers in the winter as it does hikers in the summer. But how many BC skiers does it really take to make our favorite places feel overcrowded? On a nice weekend in May there are moguls on Pan Face.

I treasure TAY and the community it represents. Maybe Lowell is on to something when he suggests that TAY could be the place for storytelling in the ski community, rather than trip reporting.
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arb
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #8 on: 12/04/19, 05:20 PM »

I think that in general more people are moving to the FB version of TAY, and also moving to just post on their FB feed, Instagram, etc.

Speaking just for myself, I have stopped posting most mid-winter trip reports due to my perception of crowding in the BC/competition for limited Route 2 Corridor parking and snow.  Now I'll only post trip reports for objectives that hard to access, unlikely to see many repeats, or so popular already that I feel that I'm not making things worse (for myself). Given the evolution of light weight ski gear my threshold for "hard to access" keeps getting raised.  I fully recognize that this behavior is both selfish and self serving, since I find other peoples trip reports super useful, but there it is.

Some of you may remember a William Nealy cartoon depicting the evolution of relationships between kayakers as the sport became more popular: I think his cartoon sums up my attitude towards other skiers in the BC these days.   

All that said, I would hate to see TAY go away, and I love its clunky, old-school nature.




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frankfrank
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #9 on: 12/04/19, 07:50 PM »

Let's get the new site software running, as demonstrated by MtnPavlas. That should help greatly, improving ease of viewing on mobile, uploading photos, and new user creation. (Right?) Who is operating the current site? 
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JimD
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #10 on: 12/05/19, 01:07 PM »

I agree with most of the comments above.

As a long time reader and contributor I miss the good old days when Jason and others posted magazine quality TRs with lots of eye candy. As a photographer I quit posting here infact because of the photo posting limits, but would still drop links here to NWHikers where I found a user friendly platform. I saw posting my own TRs as paying back some of the value I got out of the site, and still do, but over the years many of my partners complained about increasing crowds on our favorite runs and blamed my pretty pictures, so I have tapered off. Now I mostly post simple conditions reports (esp. about bad or dangerous conditions) following Silas's lead (which I greatly appreciate) to post area conditions reports with out specific run beta.

All that said, here's some pre-season eye candy of one of my favorite areas taken last week - not enough snow to ski yet.


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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #11 on: 12/06/19, 06:23 PM »

I primarily attribute the decline to three things:

1) The increase in the number of people in the backcountry -- TAY was once absolutely requisite to keep up on conditions information, and the place felt (and still feels) like a family. It will be unfamiliar to new TAY users, but in the mid-2000s, there was a regular Spring barbecue gathering of 20-30 TAYers that comprised a significant fraction of the regular users. Following Silas' lead, I've long been vague about some destinations, but the TAY effect, where one post can impact the flow of skiers, is real.

What was once a family has become a crowd, which changes things somewhat. As TAY shrinks, though, it is returning to that network/family of long-time TAYers. I'm only one or two degrees of separation from most of the posters on this thread, and I recognize almost all of your names. TAY's architecture, and the writing of some TRs, is almost timeless -- it rests on its own foundation, something that cannot be said of most social-media communities.

2) The rise and immediacy of social media: People can now exchange information and kudos with their friends efficiently without the necessity of sharing that information with the entire state (see point #1).

3) (to a limited extent) NWAC's exhortation that people submit observations directly to NWAC. For more than a decade, TAY was *the* place on the internet to exchange conditions information. That traffic, and the ability to converse about those reports, is the lifeblood of TAY. Finding collaborative ways to cross-link TAY posts and NWAC observations that are useful for both organizations may help to mitigate this loss. Such an idea could be extended to the several local forums (NWHikers, CascadeClimbers, WTA, etc.).

The Facebook TAY is not nearly as nice a resource as the original TAY page remains. FB-TAY is unsearchable as a reference, and the format is less-thoughtful. As long as we continue to post, TAY will live. It is not an exaggeration to state that without TAY, I might have missed out on many of the most-important people and experiences in my life. I'll keep posting conditions reports to good 'ol TAY for years to come.


(JimD, that was a beautiful afternoon -- we had just reached the car below you as that light-show happened.)
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Jake the Brit
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #12 on: 12/12/19, 07:43 AM »

..worth being aware that when CascadeClimbers was overhauled, it seemed (to me) that it killed the declining site dead. Well almost dead.

I love TAY think it's best thought of as 2 things
1: Conditions reports
2: Self-published magazine-style ski stories.

I agree that NWAC fractured the TAY hub that reported conditions. I don't feel that fracturing was ideal, but now there are 2 places to check & potentially more reports as different folks like different sites/ modalities.

I will continue to post ski-stories that include all details. I don't dig the ambiguity, but I understand the thought behind it.
I think the range is massive, as a BC ski environment, and if more folks skied more diverse areas, and posted them then the crowds will spread out.

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stoudema
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #13 on: 12/13/19, 08:39 PM »



It is not an exaggeration to state that without TAY, I might have missed out on many of the most-important people and experiences in my life.


Very well said. I agree completely!
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There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt
ryanl
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #14 on: 12/16/19, 07:58 AM »

Agree with just about everything that's been said here but Lowell's comment about storytelling touches the nerve for me. Social media encourages pics and videos and these seem to have replaced words as the medium of choice for describing one's adventures. The really good TRs are the ones that are still interesting when the links to the photos expire. I hope TAY continues.
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filbo
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #15 on: 12/16/19, 08:24 AM »

No matter the fact that TAY reports have declined as mentioned there are many who still persist and at this time keep the soul of TAY intact and ever purposeful.
One of the greatest things here is the Partners Wanted, aside from the trip reports and conditions evaluations, in the fact that it is a place where those new to the Cascades can meet to tour and ski.
In many instances it is where younger  members actually come in contact with older and more experienced bc skiers who serve in helping guide and mentor newfound friends.
Personally speaking I have met incredible people and skiers through TAY.
Thanks to all and finally winter is here.
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JasonGriffith
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #16 on: 01/05/20, 10:04 PM »

..worth being aware that when CascadeClimbers was overhauled, it seemed (to me) that it killed the declining site dead.

We're not dead yet!  Wink
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Stefan
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #17 on: 01/06/20, 06:16 PM »

I am not a poster on this website.  Lurker.

I would not want to continue posting of the same location.....just gets too boring.  Same old shots.  Same old stuff.   People usually like to do trip reports of new fandangled stuff.

I would like to see trip reports have more of a "conditions" in the area where people went.  That is quite helpful.  Maybe if people titled a report like this:  Baker Table Mountain Conditions 1/6/2020....you might get more people to post about conditions...but more trip reports...I doubt it...unless it is something new.
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haggis
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #18 on: 01/06/20, 08:21 PM »

Met some of my long time touring partners here on TAY and for that. I'm always grateful. Agree with everything else said here but I did enjoy the eye candy TRs in days past.
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T. Eastman
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #19 on: 01/14/20, 08:05 AM »

The activity is now mainstream...

... the trips and stories we once thought cool, and many of us still think of as cool, are now normal... business as usual.

We still ski with our friends and have a good community.

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Stefan
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #20 on: 01/16/20, 02:39 PM »

I will have to say, I have tried out Turns All Year FB thingy.  I do not like it.
It is not organized into trips
It is not organized into "stuff to sell"
It is not organized into "general discussions"

It just appears to be all mashed together.  Too disorganized.
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markharf
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #21 on: 01/16/20, 04:13 PM »

"All mashed together" is the basic nature of Facebook groups. I'd add "and not searchable," which means that information once posted rapidly disappears. The same split has shown up in other web forums, and although everyone has the same observations and complaints, the vast majority apparently prefer posting to Facebook. I don't get it, or even like it, but that's life.

It sure doesn't hurt that recent ownership hasn't shown much interest in updating the site, despite repeated promises to the contrary. Examples of once-vibrant web forums which have vanished completely are plentiful (e.g., telemarktips.com), and I'd hate to see this one join that list. A shame, really, considering all that Charles poured into designing and running this site--largely as a public service after Brent stepped back from his simpler version.

Mark


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frankfrank
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #22 on: 01/16/20, 04:42 PM »

One thing that gets me especially about the FB version... people will post a report that includes a selfie or two but zero information about conditions. They are usually happy to share more if you ask in a comment, but still.

Meanwhile on this site, it seems almost wrong to include photos with any recognizable faces, for some reason (with a few memorable exceptions), which I find kinda charming. This, just due to the nature of the (historical) three-photo limit here, or due to a difference in personalities (generational?) of the groups?

Now I feel like an old man.
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blackdog102395
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Re: TAY Ski Reports Declining- Why?
« Reply #23 on: 01/18/20, 06:00 AM »

Facebook will be the end of humanity.  Save humanity.  Post here.
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