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Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?!
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Nicholas Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: Montanada
Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?! on 05/04/2010 15:49:11 MDT Print View

I'm not sure where to post this, as it seems like an admin issue but thought chaff might also be suiting.

First, I have personally enjoyed reading the three winning Lightweight Testimony articles as I'm sure other members have. The notion is that we can relate because every UL backpacker had to start somewhere and chances are, it wasn't from scratch. But I believe that BPL should have released these articles for all to enjoy.

These LWTestimony articles are the type of articles that I would like some backpacking friends and family to be able to read. Some are currently in the process of lightening up, and others are either leaning in that direction or they have never even heard of lightweight packing. The LWTestimony articles help summarize the UL principles, and could possibly garnish more readership and/or membership for BPL.

For example, a traditional backpacker upon reading a LWTestimony article:

"OH WOW, I can totally relate to that 50 lb pack. This guy converted to the UL ways so that means I can too! I'll join BPL and with their help I can achieve a five lb baseweight!"

Now I know this is an extreme case, but you probably get my drift.

If everyone had access to these recent articles I believe that all parties involved could benefit.
Just a thought. Anyone else?

Also to BPL:
Less content, while making it only available to members seems to me as counter-productive regarding readers/subscribers. You should have one of at least three articles open for all to view. IMO. Then new readers keep checking the site, possibly becoming members or telling others about BPL. And current members are pleased w/more content.

Again, my 2 cents.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?! on 05/04/2010 15:53:02 MDT Print View

+1

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?! on 05/04/2010 17:10:17 MDT Print View

another +1 .... with pretty much the same rationale Nicholas provided.

I wouldn't buy into his idea of a certain % of content be available to all readers but testimonies about personal transformations to UL or why UL appeals to the writer should be free.

Other topics should remain subscriber only.

Nicholas Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: Montanada
Re:Re: Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?! on 05/04/2010 18:04:10 MDT Print View

Jim C,

Nice one. You got me, I was a bit offbased suggesting that a certain % be available to all readers. Just getting carried away :) Content based, reader availability is probably more like it.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
agreed on 05/04/2010 18:36:01 MDT Print View

ditto

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Members vs. Open articles on 05/05/2010 15:09:08 MDT Print View

Hey guys - thanks for the input. I've been pretty locked down into publishing only for members lately, but you have great points. I just got in a rut and didn't give the nonmembers on the site much consideration, especially about testimonies.

I've changed all the testimonials to be nonmember, and I appreciate this feedback!
Warmly,
Addie

Nicholas Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: Montanada
Re: Members vs. Open articles on 05/05/2010 15:26:09 MDT Print View

Addie, I think that is great. Thank you for the prompt response.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Members vs. Open articles on 05/05/2010 16:46:52 MDT Print View

Hi Addie

> I've changed all the testimonials to be nonmember, and I appreciate this feedback!
Good call. Thanks.

cheers

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?! on 05/05/2010 19:56:59 MDT Print View

Great call!

I'd like to suggest that the articles for Scouts and similar youth groups also be free. It looks as though that was the case up until about a year ago, but a couple of recent articles on Scouting have been members-only. We're talking public service here! What do you think? Lighten up the kids and there will be a whole new batch of BPL members/customers coming on in a few years!

I'd still like to see "cottage industry" gear reviewed here on a regular basis. It doesn't get reviewed much of anyplace else! If I want a review of a Kelty pack or an REI sleeping bag, I'll go to Backpacker Magazine. I'd like to be able to go to BPL to find out more about the ZPacks Hexamid or the new SMD tents and pack or the new MLD items.

As for the BPL store, I gave up on that about a year and a half ago. I did buy a few things, but mostly it was an exercise in frustration. With big ticket items, I'm willing to wait, but if I want to buy several inexpensive items at the same time to save on postage, I'm out of luck. I never found more than one of the items I wanted in stock at a time.

An opinion you might want to think about, coming from my business background: IMHO, BPL should decide whether its primary business is information or selling gear, and stick with one or the other. At the moment, it appears that both sides are suffering from what may be an incompatible mixture. For one thing, I believe that there is a potential conflict between BPL's gear business and its impartiality in gear reviews (brought up in several prior posts). For another, the staff and software appear to be stretched a bit too thin to handle both. I personally am in favor of the information side (and more of it), but that decision is, obviously, up to the business owners! Maybe you really are making more profit on the store side, and I'm full of it....

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/05/2010 19:58:16 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Lightweight Testimony articles only for members?! on 05/05/2010 20:25:16 MDT Print View

Hi Mary

> I believe that there is a potential conflict between BPL's gear business and
> its impartiality in gear reviews

Two things.
We do not publish any Review articles on gear made by BPL.
Us Staff who write these Reviews don't get given hot-off-the-press BPL shop items anyhow! (Sniff)

So in practice you won't see any conflict at all. We aim to keep it that way.

Cheers