Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Why are you not a Member of BPL?


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adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
re:wow on 08/21/2011 11:40:58 MDT Print View

It's hard for me to believe that that almsot everyone who posts on this forum can't afford it. $24.99 anually breaks down to just over $2 a month. That's less than one Cliff bar. You're average combo at Mcdonalds is $6. I pick up enough change off the ground every month to stick in a jar and have $25 a year. If you post on this site or at the very least get on just to read others post, then you obviously see the value in it! I'm sure there are some who really just can't afford it. But its hard to believe that the majority can't.

My previous post was not aimed to be a political discussion, but an anology and reference to the mindset of America today.

In my job I collect past due billing for a major utility company. I see on a daily basis people who say they "can't afford something". When I get deaper in the situation it usually boils down to priorities. Just sayin.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
. on 08/21/2011 11:52:35 MDT Print View

While you are generalizing about shiftless, greedy Americans, keep in mind that this site has many international participants who are active in the forums and give the same thoughtful criticisms of BPL's direction as the lazy, entitled Americans do.

Also bear in mind that for most here backpacking is a hobby and not a necessity like paying the gas bill. People *are* prioritizing. The problem is they aren't prioritizing what *you* think they should be.

Edited by spelt on 08/21/2011 12:01:47 MDT.

adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
re: . on 08/21/2011 12:40:48 MDT Print View

Again its an analogy: I know BPL is not as important as the Gas Bill.

Some people I deal with will pay for HBO and Showtime on cable and not pay their electric bill. What good is that? My point is that this site(including the forums) takes cash to operate. If everyone ( USA or International) has the mindset that this site is not worth $2 a month set aside in a cookie jar, then it would not exist at all. My example of priorites just means if you want a website devoted to Lightweight backpacking where you can learn, teach, discuss and have friendly banter , then someone has to pay for it! Is this site worth more than an extra couple of Snickers bars amonth to you?

As a side note: I think monthly gear give-a-ways to members whether annual or life would be a great asset!

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: re: . on 08/21/2011 12:53:43 MDT Print View

You say Americans want something for nothing and that supporting the site to maintain its knowledgebase should be motivation enough...and then you want the chance to win free gear for being a member. The difference between "something for nothing" and "more for the same amount" seems to be one of degree and not kind.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
although on 08/21/2011 12:56:49 MDT Print View

Setting member privileges aside, raffles on awesome but pricy gear could be a way for the site to raise money. Lot more people will pay $10 for a chance on a $400 quilt than would buy the same quilt outright from the gear shop.

Edit: just realized it may be illegal for for-profit orgs to do raffles. Also laws may vary by location which would exclude some people unfairly. So maybe not such a great idea.

Edited by spelt on 08/21/2011 13:02:18 MDT.

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: re: . on 08/21/2011 12:57:03 MDT Print View

I got into UL Backpacking initially because I couldn't afford most of the gear otherwise, so your idea that all BPL visitors are middle class Americans who throw away $25 a month without thinking about it, is false. I actually have to meticulously save every last penny I spend on backpacking and end up going into the MYOG realm just to afford things at all and while I may not be a huge majority in that, I know I'm not the only one. The type of people you are dealing with are up to their eyeballs in overspending and indulgence, trying to have everything their parents took years to earn. I don't believe that's not a proper assessment of the average UL backpacker at all. For me that $25 right now is sitting in a jar waiting for it to be $150 so I can make one big purchase order of material to make my husband and I quilts and a solo shelter for me. I can't afford to spend it on a membership.

adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
re: americans on 08/21/2011 13:21:01 MDT Print View

@spelt..... my thoughts were that free gear would entice people to pay $25 anually to be in 12 drawings a year for gear.

@Joslyn....I said $2 a month...not $25....also I said in an earlier post that I'm sure there are some who just outright can't afford it. But again I think most can.

Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
write an article on 08/21/2011 13:32:42 MDT Print View

For those who think the membership, life or annual, is expensive, let me throw out a suggestion: Write an article. You can opt to get a gift certificate in lieu of cash and can use it to pay for your membership. It's how I paid for mine. I realize not everyone is a writer, but for those so inclined, it's a good method, and allows you to contribute to the overall discussion with your article. (Note: I haven't written an article since the gear shop closed, so not sure if they are still giving gift certificates for articles. This only applies if they are.)

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: write an article on 08/21/2011 13:37:01 MDT Print View

Now see, I didn't even know you could do that b/c I've only accessed articles through their topic pages and the submission info is only linked on the main page of the article section.

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: write an article on 08/21/2011 19:51:38 MDT Print View

Ok I just read that wrong...

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Articles for subscriptions on 08/22/2011 12:35:25 MDT Print View

I'm still happy to trade subscriptions for good writing. Submit proposals here.

A. B.
(tomswifty)
Charity on 08/22/2011 12:38:01 MDT Print View

Interesting mentality that someone should give up $25 just because they can afford it. If I'm going to do that I would rather donate to a nonprofit.

Ryan Jordan implies this makes me a free loading Marxist which is an odd statement coming from someone looking for a handout.

Again, I'm just here for the forums. If they can't afford to keep the forums free then they can change their business model.

Adam Wallace
(A.Wallace) - F

Locale: somewhere
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 08/22/2011 18:03:06 MDT Print View

I no longer see the value in becoming a member, maybe for beginners, but the experienced have moved on.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 08/23/2011 09:28:47 MDT Print View

The comments in this thread have been interesting, particularly the large number of ones that see no value in a membership. I've been a member for years and have always considered it to be one of the best investments I've made. The knowledge I've gotten out of BPL (both articles and forums) has been the key to making my time in the mountains a pleasure again. The forums are part of BPL and BPL is a business not a non-profit or club. They go together and I don't see anything that approaches the quality of BPL anywhere else on the internet. I do not believe that it is easily and quickly replaceable, if you lose BPL you lose the forums as they currently exist. I believe that if you are receiving the type of value BPL offers us then you should pay a fair price which is why I have just upgraded to a lifetime membership. It's easy to take a free ride on the internet, but if everyone does it you generally get what you pay for. On a separate note I use a fairly restricted alternate email for BPL and have never had it sold commercially over the years I've been a member.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Follow Up To Issues Raised on 09/28/2011 12:39:28 MDT Print View

Addie,

Just wanted to follow up on this.

Know that there has been a lot of things going on at BPL behind the scenes with the shop closing.

However, was there any word from Ryan or anyone else regarding the number issues and suggestions that came up in this thread?

I have seen that there have been some changes and reorganization of the forum, but can anyone tell us a little aobut future plans for BPL?

-Tony

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
This is prickly for me on 09/28/2011 12:48:53 MDT Print View

Because I have a tendency to overshare. I can tell you with absolute certainty the following things:

1.) Ryan's really excited about being a bigger part of BPL (and I'm excited for that too), and being more visible on the public side of the site.
2.) We're making some changes to the way things are structured on the back end (and I can't say more without risking divulging more than I'm comfortable sharing without explicit permission).
3.) We really want to improve upon the platform of the website but are finding that the budgetary constraints of a HUGE amount of forum bandwidth makes that tricky/expensive.
4.) I'm working on developing a faster turn-around for reviews (there's a three-month lag built into my publishing schedule) while cultivating even better content for each week, and making past gems easier to locate.

I have this forum flagged for follow-up, and once there's more face-to-face time with the big boss man, we hope to hammer out some specific strategies to revisit past commitments and make new ones with a framework for seeing them through. I know this is vague, and I'm sorry that I can't be more specific - better in trouble with you than in trouble with the signer of my paychecks though!

Ryan's off on a Wilderness Trekking School trek, so I'm flying solo(ish) for the week. Bear with us and thanks for your patience - I dearly hope not to try it overmuch.
Addie

James Landro
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 09/28/2011 13:10:07 MDT Print View

I originally became a member because of member sales in the BPL shop which was an incredible shop. RIP. I did not renew when my membership lapsed, but am strong considering MLIFE if I know that the forums are not in risk of closing.

One option to consider is closing off the forums to members (or at least certain portions such as gear swap) and reducing the member price with allowance for paypal payment of member fees.

One thing i really appreciate about the forums and site is the minimalism of the software and open/low moderation feel of the forums. I know many people are calling for PHPbb and flashy forum software, but the lack of smileys/green text/sigs is one of the main reasons I want to support this forum. Maybe just a little code update for auto recognizing links?

Thanks to all the BPL staff for being level headed and going out of their way to help.

J

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 09/28/2011 15:07:04 MDT Print View

"One thing i really appreciate about the forums and site is the minimalism of the software and open/low moderation feel of the forums. I know many people are calling for PHPbb and flashy forum software, but the lack of smileys/green text/sigs is one of the main reasons I want to support this forum. Maybe just a little code update for auto recognizing links?"

+1 on all of that.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 09/28/2011 19:10:44 MDT Print View

"One thing i really appreciate about the forums and site is the minimalism of the software and open/low moderation feel of the forums. I know many people are calling for PHPbb and flashy forum software, but the lack of smileys/green text/sigs is one of the main reasons I want to support this forum. Maybe just a little code update for auto recognizing links?"

+2 on all of that.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 09/28/2011 20:14:21 MDT Print View

"One thing i really appreciate about the forums and site is the minimalism of the software and open/low moderation feel of the forums. I know many people are calling for PHPbb and flashy forum software, but the lack of smileys/green text/sigs is one of the main reasons I want to support this forum. Maybe just a little code update for auto recognizing links?"

+3 on all of that.