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Loss of Valuable Contributors
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/26/2012 10:53:56 MDT Print View

I for one have been quite pleased with the lack of SPAM on the forums lately.

But it has come at a heavy price. The members only policy has made it impossible for BPL Guests to start threads or reply to threads unless they reply using the PM system or know the poster's personal email address. We are losing valuable input from these guests.

I do not wish to slight anyone by excluding them from the following list but here are just a few examples in no particular order.

Chris Zimmer

Ron Moak

Jon Fong

Bob Gross (I miss him and his posts);-)

Moderators please speed up the process of getting our "welcome guests" back online and able to post here. Thank you.

Party On,


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/26/2012 11:09:29 MDT Print View

Just don't allow new people to register

That will provide the same short term spam prevention

This must be easy to implement

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Maybe they might become members on 10/26/2012 11:17:35 MDT Print View

Maybe they might become members.

Edited by stephenm on 10/26/2012 11:19:37 MDT.

Michael Richey

Locale: Southern Utah
Non-members not able to post on 10/26/2012 12:29:55 MDT Print View

Yes, maybe they should just commit to the awesomeness of BPL & pay up the measly $20.

Joseph Bianco

Locale: North East
Agreed on 10/26/2012 12:34:47 MDT Print View

One of the reasons I joined. If people pay it's 100% likely to keep out spammers. At $25 that only 4 freeze dried meals.

Edited by joeb on 10/26/2012 12:35:22 MDT.

Alex Eriksson

Locale: Austin, TX
Re: Agreed on 10/26/2012 12:45:32 MDT Print View

Those are some cheap freeze dried meals! Clearly I've been paying too much for stuff at REI. ;-)

Hilariously, I paid for my yearly subscription to BPL to access the member articles AND the forum not knowing that the latter was open to the public. Knowing how much effort goes into running these kinds of sites I don't mind a whopping $2/month to pay my way into things. Honestly if you're willing to pay $100 for a Patagonia Houdini windbreaker, you can fork out a little for the guys who make this place possible.

So yeah, if they wanted to go membership-required and kept the forums visible for long-time lurkers, that's fine in my book. That said I'm sure there's public contributors who are being inconvenienced by all this. And that's a bummer.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/26/2012 12:46:34 MDT Print View

Yeah, the ones you mention and others.
Spam is important, too. Ryan's call if they won't join. One of the problems that was surely discussed before the anti-spam measure.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Agreed on 10/26/2012 12:47:31 MDT Print View

Lets hope Bpl finds away to let the guests back in.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/26/2012 23:16:44 MDT Print View

Personally I would like to see the forum opened up to all the previous members (paid and unpaid) and just block new registrations for the time being. That would make the most sense to me.

a b
Captcha on 10/27/2012 00:18:07 MDT Print View

So, Captcha is not foolproof. Niether is life.

How many here would accept a fraction of spam to get everyone else back on this forum? (my hand is raised).

Is it not better to at least attempt to use a simple solution like Capthca first?

I am aware Roger said they (Captcha) can be beaten.

Why not at least try it!

Rather than exclude contributing "non" members, why not at lest try something?!

I am not internet guru.. i am a plumber.
If the water was off this long.. they would hang us.

At some point you simply have to make a repair, no matter how un-satisfactory, in lieu of a permanent solution later.

Edited by Ice-axe on 10/27/2012 00:22:22 MDT.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/27/2012 09:09:17 MDT Print View

Hey Newton, Very much agree with you. I have received at least a half dozen emails from folks saying that they are moving on because they are unable to post. A few of them have been very active and long time members of BPL. It is unfortunate that the programmer suggested this route to the powers-that-be rather than handling the solution via other techniques already found to prevent this specific attack.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/27/2012 09:43:03 MDT Print View

Oh so true.

I cannot believe the drop in posts! One 50 post page to span 24 hours. Who would have thought ...

And the longer this drags out the less likely we are to see a return of the disenfranchised.

Edited by greg23 on 10/27/2012 09:43:37 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Hope Springs Eternal on 10/27/2012 11:50:45 MDT Print View

Time is faster on the internet. We're accustomed to instant results when a page draws, quick replies in forums, the ability to search up information in a jiffy and it's all pretty darn fast. Much faster, in fact, than most of our personal lives and the things we do when we're not on the computers, playing on the internet.

Nonetheless, we tend to assume and then demand instant results. After all, Google can load up several pages of information in only a fraction of a second, so why cannot problems on a website be resolved with a few keystrokes or a click? Everything else works that way, right?

In fact, no. Even for those of us whose daily jobs involve computer programming, software glitches, upgrading hardware and programming of databases don't just happen with a keystroke and "Bing!" it's fixed. For the rest of us, having your house tented for termites, or cancer hacked out of your guts or picking the colors and furniture for your re-do of the living room all take TIME, and much moreso if you can't leave the house, can't miss work or share the living room with another owner that lives 2 hours away (for example). Things do not happen as quickly, off-line, as we perceive them to, on-line.

So, I suggest we "Assume the Best" and presume that the owners and admins of this site are working on a solution to the spamming and probably also the structural issues related to having old software programs in use. If they are, it might take a little time --certainly longer than a keystroke or two. We are not "disenfranchised" or "ripped off" by the Admins when they're working hard to fix a problem we'd like them to fix.

This is not to suggest that some updates wouldn't be nice (those don't take much time) or that suggestions herein might not be good ideas (shutting off registration, but allowing all registered members to post). I am merely suggesting that things take time and now, further: that if someone leaves a website forever because they couldn't post for a week, that's either just plain dumb.

Edited by EBasil on 10/27/2012 11:53:21 MDT.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
embarresed on 10/27/2012 12:46:15 MDT Print View

John Donewar, I think I would be embarressed to be on a list because I refused to pay $25.00 for something that was apparently very important to me.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/27/2012 13:27:19 MDT Print View

The spammer has figured out how to still contribute. Ugh.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Rare Business Opportunity in UL Backpacking on 10/27/2012 19:44:49 MDT Print View


Web-site owner and administrator.
Maintain an active web-site. Hire / pay staff and technical consultants.
Manage memberships; fees, rights, profiles, etc
Moderator: manage policies and police forum behavior.
Resolve technical issues.
Provide insightful, well-researched, expert articles.
Repeat preceding step weekly or meet with wrath of membership
$25- annual membership. Estimate 1000 paying customers (WAG). $25,000 year.
Provide access to non-paying members
Resolve sophisticated, critical attacks with zero compromise
Interested parties should apply now or start

So, yes, the non-paying contributors are missed. Many are regular and respected particpants in the forum. But it's $25 dollars folks. $25. All I'm saying, poorly, is that I support BPLs response to this spam problem. Seems reasonable, measured and fair in a difficult situation.

BPL is the premier, if imperfect, meeting place for UL Backpackers. No one's getting rich here and if enough people make the decision that this isn't worth $25-, well then it dies. I'm not predicting BPLs demise but I will predict that, if it goes, we're gonna miss it.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Rare Business Opportunity in UL Backpacking on 10/27/2012 20:01:58 MDT Print View

Membership is way more than a thousand.

Just saying

And since the spammers have figured out how to post regardless. What's the point in keeping people locked out?

Edited by kthompson on 10/27/2012 23:39:30 MDT.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
non-members on 10/27/2012 23:25:37 MDT Print View

I'm sure that BPL would allow those of you who sorely miss the non-member posts to pay for their membership.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
BPL Forum Progress on 10/28/2012 01:07:57 MDT Print View

Hi all

From Ryan just now:

I'm getting ready to leave in the morning to teach the WTS course in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness and will be away until next Monday.

1. I am unable to lock new registrations easily right now due to problems with the integration of registration for accounts with registration for subscriptions.


2. We will be installing a low-fee forum subscription that will allow users to post. When that happens, all users who were registered forum participants prior to the lockdown will be grandfathered in with a new subscription at no cost. I can't tell you when this will happen, but this is the short term solution, and would occur in a matter of 2 weeks perhaps.

That's all I can tell you right now, and it's about all we can do with the software we have; we are going to take some time to carefully evaluate longer term options.

'Low Fee' means a few dollars: not enough to scare anyone, but quite enough to stop the spammers who (I am told) get paid about $1 per 1000 postings.

Yes, the current Forum SW is a handicap, but it holds the Forum Archive. Do we ant to lose that? Our first guess is No Way.


Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/28/2012 01:22:25 MDT Print View

""""I'm sure that BPL would allow those of you who sorely miss the non-member posts to pay for their membership.""""
Not helpful. I paid my membership. But I did it for the articles and for gear swap. I was fine with non-paid members having posting privileges then, and I'm fine with it now. Forums die when they get locked up. That's the reality. I'm an admin on a dying forum for just this reason. Even after we unlocked it, it remains on life support. It was a bad idea for us to lock it, and it's probably a bad idea for BPL to have locked this one. The longer it goes, the more damage it does. My opinion.