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


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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/24/2011 19:08:04 MDT Print View

Miguel,

HooRah! I agree with Ken +1 and then some especially for the last paragraph and your entire post.

@Ronald,

I just became a "lifer" and was welcomed and "gifted" by another "lifer" just because I re-upped for the lifetime commitment.

BPL is a community! People that have never seen each other talk and share like lifelong friends. We do favors for one another without being able to shake each other's hand. No where else do I converse freely with members of a community in Finland, Germany, Australia, England, Japan, Scotland, India and the entire U.S.A.

I gladly became a "lifer" and have no regrets.

Partying On,

Newton ;-)

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/24/2011 23:36:52 MDT Print View

Miguel,

Thanks for taking the time to post up a really well thought out response that addresses a lot of people's concerns.

I agree with you that BPL is the community and would be nothing with it and respect should be paid to the community to hear their grievances and to address them.

Furthermore, you have convinced me that the forums should be free and remain free to all. My initial thought was that the forums are as much as a help as they are a hindrance to getting people to sign up for membership. Because the community is so passionate and so giving, often times it seemed to me that they were able to provide the answers to visitor's questions to the point that it made signing up for membership pointless.

Due to your post, I do see that making the forums accessible to paying members only would be a mistake and a poor means to compensate for failing to properly promote and provide clear value/incentives for the visitor to BPL to sign up for a membership.

In regards to this issue of the MLIFE vs. Regular BPL Membership, I do see that offering the MLIFE membership has created a two tier social structure that really fails to foster a sense of community and does quite the opposite by creating resentment.

As I am not on the staff of BPL, I can only surmise that the MLIFE membership came out of financially desperate times where an influx of cash was needed and the MLIFE membership was a quick solution to an immediate problem. As such, I don't think that the BPL staff considered the negative ramifications that have resulted. Personally, I thought that the MLIFE was a great value to me in that I planned on being a long time member anyway and that $100.00 was a bargain that I could not pass up. At the same time, I did feel that it was a short sighted move by BPL that cut it off of long term future revenues.

I have said this on another post/thread and I will said it here, I would be happy to give up my MLIFE membership and continue to pay a yearly subscription fee just to support this website and keep the forums going.

(Addie, if you are reading this, you do have my permission to change my membership back to a standard membership).

Again, it is my hope that this thread will be heard and read by the BPL staff, that they will take our constructive criticisms and suggestions to makes this a better website for all of us.

What type of articles and columns would you like to see on BPL?

Ones I have suggested or just thought of:

1. Seasonal reoccurring and updated articles covering the basics of going UL

2. Weekly Columns such as: Question of the week answered by RJ or Staff, open to all

3. Photo of the week, submissions by members and non members

4. Weekly Spotlight: UL Product, UL Gear Manufacture...not a review, but quick facts about a product or manufacture that the traditional backpacker/new BPL visitor would not know about and link to that Product or Manufacture's website

-Tony

-Tony

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Reponse to the OP's Q on 07/25/2011 00:10:45 MDT Print View

Super discussion going here. I can see some real positive changes may come out of this.

There has been a bit of talk about different revenue sources (ie. subscriptions, Adsense, cottage manufacturers advertising etc), but I think what really matters most is the content. If the content is great, any of these will work. I personally kinda like that BPL is using subscriptions to generate revenue because it keeps them on their toes (or it should). If the content quality drops, less people renew even if they still use the forums. BPL's revenue is directly related to the quality of the content.

I think for anyone, the content is going to be less appealing that it was on day 1, because most of us probably signed up because there was some article(s) we really wanted to read. I personally think that there is room for improvement in the content (i'd like to see more skills/techniques being taught and regular columms from guys like Skurka) but I'm still happy with it. Probably every second week there is something I'm excited to read and I'm about 3 years in now. This is why I subscribe.

"The traffic this site generates won't make Adsense income enough to pay for even the new software"

I'm not sure how much vBulletin costs, but this seems hard to believe. A quick bit of research indicates BPL does ~7K pageviews daily, which would be roughly $50/day under typical Adsense numbers. There is the whole question of maintaining journalistic integrity, but BPL might want to look at affiliate marketing with some of the cottage manufacturers and maybe other brands. I know ULA participates in this (AvantLink). If the ads were classy and relevant, then it could work or it could be a part of a larger solution with some affiliate marketing combined with lower (ie. $9.99) subscription rates.

Edited by dandydan on 07/25/2011 00:11:18 MDT.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F - M

Locale: British Columbia
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/25/2011 01:03:02 MDT Print View

I think many of the M-Lifers have naively missed a very important benefit of the M-Life membership. I too, originally looked at the M-Life membership as a good deal for me and a cash grab for BPL.

After thinking about it for awhile I realised who the real winner was in this game... BPL has in most instances, locked their most valuable asset (the long time contributors) into being members forever... you CAN'T QUIT!!! Even if the forum becomes a pay for use forum, a huge number of their most knowledgeable contributors on the forum are going to remain. This works very well for BPL as all of us know, the forum is what drives this website and it's nothing without the expertise that the long time members contribute for free to this site... so lock'em in!

I agree totally with Miguel's post. However, as a long time member, Miguel has the option of quiting his membership as a means of protest when things go bad (like now), because he didn't take the M-Life bait.

Edited by skopeo on 07/25/2011 01:03:39 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
My perspective on 07/25/2011 01:30:10 MDT Print View

I only visit two websites on a fairly regular basis. BPL and popupexplorer.com (PUX), which is a forum for tent trailer owners. There are some parallels I would like to share.

Today PUX has over 20,000 registered users and it is free. And it is only a forum, with a store, and a printed magazine that is fairly new to the site. I do not subscribe to the magazine. It also has a lot of ads on it, which is a pain but acceptable as it helps pays the bills.

Before PUX, there was a large tent trailer forum called Pop Up Times (PUT). In 2002, that forum went paid subscription. That was not a popular move, and a member left it and built PUX. Most of the PUT membership went over to PUX. Those who remained on PUT and paid the subscription, seemed to be somewhat "clicquish" and it was a strange forum to me. You could read the posts, but had to join to post. I was never a member of PUT. I joined PUX about 6 months after it was formed.

Eventually PUT removed the subscription, but it never regained its membership and is no longer in existence.

PUX is somewhat like BPL. There are those who camp in commercial campgrounds with full utilities, those who camp in minimal campgrounds like the NFS, and those (like me) who camp in remote dispersed sites. Sort of like Light, UL, SUL. What makes PUX work, like BPL, is the community. Subscription would kill BPL. Now tent trailers are a little different than BPing. Trailers are mechanical and members seek information on how to repair broken items, how to modify and improve their campers, how to negotiate new purchases, how to finance, how to get the right insurance, etc, etc. They get cost saving information on the forums, so one might think subscriptions would work, but as PUT found out it does not work at all. PUX members post trip reports, how to information and ideas, etc.

When I first joined PUX, it was to get some ideas on rebuilding my trailer. And I made some good friends; several I have camped with... my wife and I have made trips to Arizona and RMNP to camp with our new friends. I even made a trip to Ontario, Canada to camp with some guys. But like BPL, after a while there is little that is new, or not much of anything new to learn. I still visit PUX once or twice a week, just to stay in touch with some friends and acquaintances. And like here, the newbie questions really get repetitive, but I don't mind sharing or answering questions if I have something worthwhile to say.

The PUX store does not stock much merchandise. Most of it is stuff that is readily available elsewhere at a similar price, and PUX has the items dropped shipped. I have bought a few items from the PUX store over the years to help support the website.

The owner of PUX does not post much. Most posts are to get feedback on improvements to the site or on ideas for additional services. Also PUX is fairly heavily moderated. Discussions of the the 3 G's (god, government, or guns) will result in a locked message thread. "The Carbon Flame War" would have been locked before it ever made it to page 3. The heavy moderation doesn't bother me, it is up to the owner on how he wants to run his site. But threads there rarely get ugly, like here on BPL, because they get shut down.

The owner of PUX does not need to post, because the community self-generates longevity. The community is PUX. I don't see a problem with Ryan running a separate blog. A blog is more like a journal and you do not feel the need to monitor or answers question, as you would on a site you own.

What is missing from BPL is a clear mission. Without ads or other income it cannot be self-sufficient. And here is the biggest challenge. How does BPL stay viable? Charging for forum access would kill it quickly. The store failed. And the articles often contain little information that cannot be found elsewhere. I have found a few well written and useful topics, but they are few and far in between. I have learned more from Richard's Nicely's posts than from any article I have read.

I never would have purchased a yearly membership. Just wasn't much value in it. The discount in the store was minimal. I have purchased a few items from the store over the years and it was hit and miss. Beartooth merino hoody is awesome as is the cuben nano tarp. The thoroghfare clothes were awful for me. The BPL torso air mattress is a fair piece of equipment. I bought a few other small items, but only when I could bundle them with a larger purchase. I bought the M-Life membership because it was lifetime (should BPL remain in existence and should I remain interested), and it appeared that BPL was in financial straights and I had a rare charitable moment :)

The only thing BPL has going for it is the community, and BPL ownership has provided the opportunity for that. But BPL is nothing without the community. I do enjoy several people here... even the ones I don't always agree with. And should BPL shut down, I might go to another BPing site and run into them there. I do not visit any other BPing site. One thing I will say about the overall membership here versus PUX; BPL is more mature (tent trailer campers tend to be younger on average), BPL members are more likely to be "stewards" of our natural resources, and with a much higher average age are probably more educated and informed about current events. I am in no way criticizing the other forum, as I have been a member there for 8 years.

The forum software limitations are not a big deal to me. I don't need to search it often, and Google advanced search meets my needs. I hate it that you do not have icon buttons to automatically format text (e.g., bold, underline, or even quickly link to ULRs or pictures). Posting pictures on BPL is a giant pain in the rear.

So the real question is what does Ryan Jordan and the ownership want BPL to be when it grows up, and are they willing to put the effort into to it to ensure it grows and survives. But people are not going to spend a dime if it does not provide value to them. And most people are not going to spend money to join a community.

Just my 2 cents.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Why are you not a Member of BPL?" on 07/25/2011 01:43:38 MDT Print View

I enjoy the older articles from the likes of Dial, Skurka, Jordan, and think soliciting their contribution would be excellent, their trips are great and often large in scope, challenging, however I think that there is a competent, talented, insightful, and creative group of individuals already amongst us that contribute with regularity here in the forums, why not better utilize the existing membership into the editorial content of this website? It's already being done, but could be accomplished in a more cohesive and consistent manner. I realize that some of us pay the membership so that we can sit back and relax, relying on the staff to do the work, but we've already established that this is a diverse community that expands beyond margins and subject boxes, much of the editorial content that we pay for is already being supplied by Members and non-Members alike that desire to contribute to BPL. If the BPL staff better equipped, encouraged, and provided opportunity for contributors, I think it would open up a wealth of content that people would gladly pay for.

The brief '24' series was an awesome little glimpse into the world of Jordan and his short forays into the wild, these were encouraging, motivating, and personal pieces that engaged the viewer.... but for whatever reason that series wilted away before it even had time to fully blossom- it was promising content, the kind I want to see more of- bring it back. Here's an idea, what if we did a 12 month '24' series and allowed 12 different members to share their 24 hour experiences? Encourage individuals to explore the outdoors at their capacity in a 24 hour period, whatever that is to them, turn them loose, and see what they bring back to share with the community. Personally, I would immensely enjoy understanding how and why other BPL members experience their wild places over a full calendar year, whether this is through word, photographs, or video medium.

The MYOG forum is blowing up, the amount of creative work and talent that is shared freely in this community is mind boggling, much of the work is not accounted for and lost in the shuffle of threads, what about featured articles on the burgeoning ideas of those who contribute there? This could be done in tutorials, 'show and tells', brainstorm sessions, video and photograph instructionals, and feedback could be provided as usual in the accompanying article thread. Many innovative ideas are starting right here in the forums....Backcountry Boiler aka Montgomery Kettle anyone!?

Hendrik just raised a few K for his upcoming Ultralight A-Z video project through Kickstarter, this was a testimony to the willingness of the UL backpacking community to contribute monetarily and give of their time and resources to a cause worth investing in, if BPL maintains the quality of content and respect of it's members, people will continue to rally and support.

I'm just throwing out ideas into the mix, it's late, I'm tired, so much of it is a conscious stream of ramble. TIFWIW

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: My perspective on 07/25/2011 07:52:42 MDT Print View

> Without ads or other income it [BPL] cannot be self-sufficient.

That depends on what one consider BPL to be. It seems the consensus to that as far as members are concerned is the "community" (eg, forums). As Nick's example pointed out, the forums could be recreated easily for as little as $30/yr. Granted, you would lose all the history from here, which would be a HUGE loss (and will also be the biggest challenge for them moving to new forum software).

I do realize BPL proper has more overhead with paid/contract staff (and maybe the non-staff authors of some of those articles are being paid?) so if you're wanting true editorial content management, THEN you would need some sort of revenue stream.

Oh, and I'm NOT saying I WANT to spin off from here - just pointing out that revenue isn't really needed for the forums (community) themselves. If for some reason the community becomes non-viable in the future, it could then be reborn nearly for free.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Over the weekend... on 07/25/2011 10:13:54 MDT Print View

I make a deliberate effort not to check work email or work-related stuff. At least, I do so as little as possible. :)

As a result, this forum blew up in the two days I was away! I literally do not have enough time to even read all the new responses (though I've read the vast majority of the thread and swung from "Yay!" to "Oh no!" many many times over the course of this dialog). My primary reason for not responding until now is because I tend to want to overanswer or shoot my mouth off or divulge proprietary information. I have no boundaries, which makes for a dangerous online experience... so I will answer a very few things:

Tony, I have no intention of making your Lifetime membership Annual. Your heart for the community here warms my own, however.

Everyone else: Ryan is dedicated to BPL. He's also dedicated to paying his bills and providing for both his family, BPL staffers, and the BPL community as a whole. Shuttering the Gear Shop should free us to pursue many of the things mentioned here that have been high on our priority list but difficult to fund in a recession where no one is buying anything. Nearly everything we'd like to do revolves around a better online experience for our readers (though regional courses are also a goal), and Ryan will be the first to say it: the community on BPL is our biggest asset.

RJ will be responding, but given the pile of "reentry" stuff on his plate, I cannot say for sure when, other than soon. I've given him a brief synopsis of this thread, so he's definitely aware of the tone if not the specific points. And now, I'm off to clear the rest of my "start of the week" pile myself.

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtfulness and detail of the many answers here.
Addie out.

Edited by addiebedford on 07/25/2011 10:15:39 MDT.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: "Why are you not a Member of BPL?" on 07/25/2011 18:20:23 MDT Print View

After a little time I thought about it some more. Why am I not a member? The only thing I can do is try to put it in perspective. I didn't learn about backpacking light from this site. I learned it from Jardine's book. I also learned some from Backpacking mag from a few articles on UL they had in the day. They also introduced me to ULA and a few others that where around then (remember the Mithril pack?). I don't remember where or how I heard of BPL ( maybe from ULA s site?). At first it was magazines with ads mostly from cottage gear makers. Then they added this site but I still preferred the magazine and didn't put up money for the online subscription. Soon the articles built up online and eventually they discontinued the magazines. I don't remember how many years I was a member off and on here. I did learn from those early articles but I probably learned more from the forums on here and on other free sites.
Im also waiting for the day that "Backpackg light/UL" is just "backpacking". I mean 20 years ago gear was out of control. Designers and outfitters did not even consider weight. Gear was designed more from a marketing perspective than a practical one. An alternative way needed to be voiced. It was from the experienced /thru-hikers that the word spread( not as some seem to think from the "fringe/extremist" ).
And since the mainstream made crappy gear people had to start designing and learning to make their own gear- thus MYOG. These days things are different. There are even real UL double wall tents.
What Im getting at is I liked BPL because I knew here, I could get gear reviews and trip reports in which the weight you were carrying was a real consideration. Also the efficiency and quality of that gear was a real consideration. To me this is how "backpacking" should be- it just makes sense. Not that the weight is the most important (its not) but it does need to be addressed !
So I guess what Im looking for in a BPL M is just a place to stay updated on new gear without having to go digging for that info on various blogs and forums but BPL doesn't keep up and reviews are far and few between.
I think the store closing is good. There was a time when UL gear was harder to find so it made sense for BPL to stock a store. Thats not so anymore and it obviously became too much of a distraction from the content.
I would also like more trip reports. The kinds that let me see different places around the world as well how to deal with their particular environment.
Instead of preaching the UL message BPL should just be what it is -move past "UL" and concentrate on good consistent content. I would not mind tasteful ads to fund the site.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Membership, BPL, Forums, My Oh My on 07/26/2011 12:12:12 MDT Print View

OK, wow, y'all have been busy.

First, thanks for the feedback. I'm blown away.

Second, I've not read it all yet, but I promise I will. Unfortunately, I'm not able to respond to five forum pages of feedback right now, we're in the midst of the last 4 weeks of the logistics of closing the shop and it's a busy time, and this is where I'm needed right now.

Third, a few things.

1. The forums aren't going anywhere and we're not going to start charging for them.

2. If you can afford a membership and you get benefit out of the forums, then please consider subscribing. If you're freeloading and spending your coin on the latest Lady Gaga albums on iTunes, then you're not going to get a lot of sympathy from the "M"s when you try to advance your "the Internet should be free" argument, because everyone here who has an M or MLIFE next to their forum ID is subsidizing your entertainment. This site would not exist the way it does in a Marxist society.

3. If you can't afford a membership and you are getting benefit out of BPL and its forums, no sweat. You're always welcome here.

4. I'm really looking forward to a number of new projects that will be highlighted at BPL:

- sharing my own writing, photography, and video as a BPL author again!
- production of feature films about wilderness travel that will be traveling the festival circuit and distributed in HD online and via DVD; the first of these will be launched in Spring 2012...more soon!
- expansion of the Wilderness Trekking School to include regional offerings
- revamping the article production pipeline to include rapid publication of articles and reviews about new gear
- lots more ideas, but these are some highlights in process.

5. My blog is an experiment. Don't get too excited over any perception of conflict of interest. I'm not going to offer private guiding to BPL, so it makes sense to offer those services at my blog. The online courses are actually part of the BPL School, but the logistics are managed by the technology at ryanjordan.com (we're evaluating how best to integrate them into the BPL site as well). And the letters allow me to experiment with something new that I may or may not fold into BPL later. I see the blog as a place to try new things that may or may not make it into the BPL Member experience. I've been using that model for 10 years - first with gear, then with the WTS, now with a more service based approach. Also, the blog gives me a low key platform to test some content ideas, and if they resonate with readers, then they motivate me to invest more time to create more comprehensive content for BPL. Finally, there are some things that go on at the blog that just aren't about backpacking, or BPL, or the outdoors, and are best kept to the side.

Finally, thanks. Love the feedback, the discussion, and the commitment to BPL you all have.

Best,
Ryan

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
minority on 07/26/2011 16:34:31 MDT Print View

I have to admit I seem to be in the minority view on most of my opinions, but I could not have said it any better than Ryan did.

I found a value in this place, and I could see that easily within the first few months. I almost immediately joined, then after seeing that it was not a passing phase with me, I signed up for a lifetime.

I constantly see folks on here who post 10 times a day, who buy cuben gear, and then dont see the value in paying 20.00 for a membership.

I personally dont get that point of view, but each to their own.

I actually do this on all forums that I visit. I got into hammocks (or so I thought I would) and joined over there and paid the donation. I think I have an obligation to support things that bring me information or pleasure. No one made me or asked me to, i just found it the right thing to do for me.

And as to the comparison to white blaze? REally? I left that place in a week. Thats not what I consider a positive online community.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: minority on 07/26/2011 16:37:43 MDT Print View

Well said.

Douglas Wolf
(munnin) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: re BPL on 07/26/2011 19:56:14 MDT Print View

what is on the internet is probably <1% of 'information' (as useless as that is), let alone wisdom

Edited by munnin on 07/26/2011 19:58:19 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Membership, BPL, Forums, My Oh My on 07/26/2011 23:05:19 MDT Print View

Ryan,

Nice post.

But who is Lady Gaga? Does she post here? What is her base weight?

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
gaga on 07/27/2011 07:02:56 MDT Print View

I hear she is a guide in denali, and is too high up the professional ladder to post here.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/30/2011 20:49:52 MDT Print View

Bump...would like to hear other people's thoughts on this topic or ideas to make the BPL sight better.

What sort of articles would you like to see on BPL in the future?

-Tony

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/31/2011 06:24:57 MDT Print View

Tony, I wanted to say thanks for starting this thread it has resulted in some great dialogue and ideas. I also wanted to thank Chris, Addie, and Ryan for providing the staff insights. I think it shows the importance of having the staff being as active in the forums as the members.

I was gone while most of this thread came alive so I have only had a chance to scan the replies. Here are some thoughts. I, like so many other, are really decidated to this passion and to this site. This site provides immense value to me through the forums and the articles that are published. I'd encouage BPL to focus 80% of the efforts on these with the remainder on education. Here are some ideas...

Forums:
* Overall I'm fine with the basic technology, let face we get a ton done with less, and this is true even with the simple forum tool we have. less can be more
But!!!....
* It would be nice to not loose so much information. If the staff could organize links to important threads that would be great. Much like the BPL member (I cant recall who) that put together the links organizing the trip reports. I'm afraid this too it lost to new members as the posts get buried.
* I'd like to see a way for members to vote on threads or maybe allow us to make "stickies". So this doesn't get out of hand maybe limit to one/month. Maybe in our profiles you can see our top ten threads or stickies. I don't want a popularity contest but I'm trying to make a way to not loose valuable threads.
* Bring back some sort of member ranking system, even if it is just how long you have been a paid member followed my non paid members. I really liked looking at gear lists and even though the ranking was flawed it did let me see those that had been around for awhile. And generally all the top people had gear lists and they were good. Now the member list is basically random and a lot of people don't have lists or they are incomplete or just "ideal" lists not what they actually use. I have stop looking at peoples gear lists since the dropping on ranks.
* Expand the gear lists. Let us have multiple lists (summer, 3 season, winter, SUL, XUL, whatever, but one is not enough). If it could be spreadsheet form (google docs) then so much the better, but I can work with simple pdf.
* Lets encourage new members and look to increase this base. Remember we all started as non paying members so please encourage them to see what is offered, help them like a paid member and we will grow our paid membership base as they convert. This provides the sight the funds to grow its offerings increasing value and increasing members...a snow ball effect is what we want.
* I'd like to see staff contributions to forums increase. I can not say enough about what it means to put up a gear list and have it critiqued by one of the worlds top experts, Mike Clelland. Line by line, item by item with ideas on how to improve your setup. WOW!!! and it is free service.
* Better search capabilities would be great
* Maybe just me but I really need a spell check button
* Make some new features available to paid Members. This is fair, allow unpaid members access to all info, but the links, stickies, advanced searches should be for those that help pay to make them happen.
* I'd like to see a space for the cottage guys to promote their gear/sites. I would move it out of "gear deals", but I would have them pay a higher fee for what becomes advertising. Also BPL would only allow those contributors to start threads that have applied for commercial contributor status. Some of the cottage guys promote their stuff under gear deals and they aren't even paid members! This is really weak.

BPL articles
* I like gear reviews. Will's articles are something else. Now that the gear shop is gone it should be easy to not have conflict of interests. BPL should be the place to come to find out all the latest info on gear.
* I like trip reports articles. I like details on the logistics and gear used as well as the scenary.
* I like MYOG articles. This site has a crazy set of talented folks doing MYOG gear. There are several articles that have supported this Roger's quilt and Jay's 5 yards articles were off the charts. Give us more.
* I like technique articles. One thing I really like doing is trying new things each time I hike. I always intend each to be about learning something new. I didn't even realize I was doing this until I read tip #6 from Clellands book. Great book by the way!...alot of these tips could be entire articles. Teaching skills should be regular feature....even reviewing the basics is great, but with a perspective on current knowledge.
* I'd like to see a gear list feature...maybe headed by Mike. Once a month we see a new gear list based on location, weather, and technique. 3 season poncho tarping in the appalachians, 12 lb comfort camping on the PCT, XUL - is Alan's list still the benchmark, etc?
* I'd like to see regular feature articles we can count on. It would be nice to know that once a month we will get a new MYOG article. I would look forward to this.
* Innovate thoughts on the sport. I really like the 24 hour idea. It had me thinking in new ways. +1 to the member who suggested doing a member 24 hour article once a month for 12 months.
* Articles on the staff would be interesting. Let us know the staff better. Where they live, what they like to do. How they contribute.
* Behind the scenes at BPL. It would be interesting to know more about the what, where, who's of the company itself. Once a year feature should be a look back at the previous year, and what's planned for the next
* reach out to key forum members and recruit them for articles. If a forum post looks interesting ask them to flush it out into an article.
* Develop a strategy on what articles non members get to see. I know you already do this...but make sure think about how to make members want to join for the article content. Maybe every 4th MYOG is open to all, maybe all part 1 in series is open to all, etc.

OK enough of my thoughts, I just wanted to make sure I contributed to this great thread. Again Tony thx.

Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 07/31/2011 06:32:32 MDT.

Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
Re: Re: Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/31/2011 11:04:39 MDT Print View

+1 on a lot of what Jamie said.

I really like trip reports. Gives me ideas on where to go. Need more ideas on where to take my 11 year old daughter. Good places to BP and fish.

Also, like the gear reviews. I am a gear geek and am always debating which is the better “whatever”. Articles that speak to specific gear usage; ex: what are the best stoves for group use.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 07/31/2011 12:03:26 MDT Print View

I am broke and without a job, so 25 bucks is a lot of money for one site. However, many of the articles on here look very, very tempting. It's only a matter of time.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Why are you not a Member of BPL? on 08/01/2011 02:38:21 MDT Print View

+1 also to alot of what Jamie said, I am here primarily for gear and techniques. The OR market was actually what got me over the line to buy the subscription and is what I would love to see more of in the future - the breaking news on new gear, especially from the cottage manufacturers. I also love reading about thru hikes and beautiful places especially with an international focus (such as the photo journals from Patagonia).

What I would like to see more of:

- Announcements of brand new gear and highlights from gear retailers shows from ALL OVER THE WORLD (it was a shame to have to go to other sites to read about the european markets).

- Trip reports (even smallish ones if it means an increase in the number of articles/week)

- Tips and tricks: Those from Mike C are a perfect example (though I generally knew most of these the undiscovered ones are absolute gold!!)