wow, this thread is getting alot of comments.
the point here is not to whine, just to bring up a topic for discussion-
it seems most of the responders are in agreement with my first post, and if that is the case, BPL staff might want to think about what products we the readers would like reviewed. I do not agree with the "small staff that have day jobs" arguement because most of the readers here also have day jobs and still manage to attain gear when it first comes out and post excellent reviews.
I also am not to sure about the business model someone mentioned. most periodicals rely on advertiser dollars to be able to publish. BPL relies on membership dollars to operate and therefore i think the readers should have a voice. of course, every subscriber can't be the CEO, but if a large group of subscribers is asking, discussing, etc. i think it would be wise for the staff of BPL to pay attention.
on the other side - i agree with the poster who suggested more reader input in the reader review section. this is a great idea. i've read through the reader review section many times while making decisions about which piece of gear to purchase.
I also feel like the readers and members are the real "gold" to BPL. i don't mind at all paying a small annual fee because of the great advice, reports, gear lists, trip reports, etc. oh, and lets not forget gear swap. without the staff, we wouldn't have this platform to unite in common interest.
another poster mentioned a desire for more trip reports. I, too, enjoy a good trip report and i think it would be an excellent area for BPL to expand on, i find some of the trip reports posted by members to be entertaining and educational while also showing me places to hike that i wasn't aware of.