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Ryan Rankin
(rtrankin) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/13/2013 23:09:27 MDT Print View

First off, thanks for all the info within these forums. They have been a huge resource - introduce me to tenkara!

Now to the point. I'm gathering some info about a potential site for the backpacking/hiking and fishing community and I would really appreciate your feedback. Here are 3 quick questions:

1. Would you watch in-depth, live seminars about fishing, backpacking, etc., in an interactive social platform where you are able to ask the instructor questions and connect with other course participants for free? If you missed a class or wanted to watch later, you can purchase copies of the seminar at any time. These seminars would be taught by professional guides, fishermen, or outdoorsmen and the seminars' length would vary from a hour or so to multi-day events, depending on the topic.
2. Would you pay to access these multi-hour/day courses if you could not attend live (prices would vary depending on length and topic)?
3. Have you attended any type of class at REI, local fly fishing store or other sporting goods store in your area? If so you can say which ones or the type of classes?

Additional info:
* Once you pay, you can watch as many times as you like
* All the material that was provided during the live seminar will be provided afterward
* Seminars are professionally shot and moderated
* Additional learning material provided for download (docs, images, etc)
* There will be individuals in attendance with the instructor in addition to those watching on the internet

There would be more aspects to the site, but this is one piece where I'm not sure if users would find useful.

If something like this already exists, can you send a link? I've done a fair amount of research and couldn't find anything, but I also could have missed it.

Thank you,

Ryan

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/17/2013 14:22:53 MDT Print View

Possibly. Depends on the product of course but I've saved buckets of money due to all the gear research on BPL that it's saved me more than what a lifetime membership costs. You'd have to deliver something both comparable in quality (better format hopefully) but of a different content.

The idea of having online fly tying classes or whatever sounds intriguing but it'd have to offer something above and beyond what I can learn on YouTube (albeit without interaction.)

Ryan Rankin
(rtrankin) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/17/2013 23:16:44 MDT Print View

Thanks Ian. Offering something that is above and beyond what you can find on Youtube or other instructional site is a challenge, but I think there is a market for providing high-quality content through videos, articles, images, etc - figuring out what that content looks like and if there is an audience is going to be the hard part.

When you watch a video about fly tying on Youtube, or any other site, how do you determine what video to watch? And is there anything you would change or want in addition to the video?

Thanks again.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/18/2013 00:09:28 MDT Print View

If it was me, I'd look at an interactive Field and Stream website. Backpacking would certainly fall into that but you would have enough diversity to attract more than just fringe backpackers.

For example, if you had seminars with reputable guides (e.g. upland bird hunting, steelhead, etc) where the members could Q&A with the guide after their presentation, I would probably join.

I have a few other ideas but I'm getting ready to hit the woods for the weekend and need to finish packing my ruck. I'll add to this when I've returned and a bit more coherent.

Ryan Rankin
(rtrankin) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/20/2013 20:49:56 MDT Print View

Thanks Ian, just back from a weekend trip as well. Didn't catch anything to speak of, but the weather was nice and had a good hike, so I'll take that. Your thoughts are right inline with my thinking. The seminars, articles, etc., would eventually include fishing, hunting, backpacking/camping and maybe additional topcis.

Any additional thoughts you have would be greatly appreciates. The overall picture of things is starting to take shape, but there are still holes, so I need to do a little more thinking and talking to people.

Hope you had a good trip.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/21/2013 15:32:45 MDT Print View

It was a wonderful weekend and thanks for asking.

I belong to a local fly fishing club where we have monthly meetings. Please don’t confuse me with a proficient or mildly capable fly fisherman as I aint.

There is always a guest speaker who will bring a slide show and talk about whatever. Normally these are guides talking about the steelhead on such and such river and other times there are biologists talking about how water temperatures and ice crystals affect fish behavior etc.

As far as how this could apply to your project, since you can reach out to the nation via the internet, you could do this on a weekly basis and it would take you several years to cycle through all of the guides, scientists, adventurers, gear/cottage industry etc before asking for any of them to return. They’ll be more than happy as it’s free advertising on a massive scale. Most outdoorsman will be happy to tune in.

The guest could do it from the luxury of their own shop. They can present the slide show and then do a Q&A afterwards. The format I like best would be for the moderator (presumably you) to receive the questions in text which would allow for you to sift through them and ask the guest directly. Marmot did this with REI this year and I thought it worked great. You could do this from a different location no problem. Schools have been doing this for distance learning for several years now so the technology is well established.

You could then archive these as videos and host a forum with different thread topics ranging from Archery to Gold Panning.

What I’d do is keep the membership costs very low. Build up your membership to where you could attract advertisers, etc.

Good luck. If you ever get this off the ground, send me a PM and I’ll sign up.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/21/2013 16:14:51 MDT Print View

Is there a coupon for this?

Ryan Rankin
(rtrankin) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/22/2013 21:00:09 MDT Print View

Ian - pretty much everything you said is right on the money. We would have to experiment with the use of video and the right mix of moderated discussions, but it's being done very successfully in may different environments, so we have a lot of examples to reference. Once we had a system down, when we can break into other outdoor activities - fishing, backpacking, and if there is an audience even archery and gold panning. I think it would be great for those outdoorsmen who don't have easy access to a REI or other sports store that offers classes.

We would have to do some A/B tests for those sessions we would attached a price to while others would be free. Maybe even a yearly membership would work.

Thanks for all the feedback and it's good to hear ideas from another perspective. If we are able to get this off this ground I'll et you know, and if anything else enters your head, let me know.

Ryan Rankin
(rtrankin) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/22/2013 21:01:05 MDT Print View

No coupon yet Greg, but I'll send you and Ian a few if this ever happens.

Ryan Rankin
(rtrankin) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Your thoughts on an idea for an online backpacking/fishing seminar site on 05/29/2013 21:56:32 MDT Print View

I've only checked out a little of his site, but I like Dave's approach: http://cleverhiker.com/. My vision is a little different, but what he is doing is very helpful - at least to someone with as little experience in UL backpacking as I have.

Edited by rtrankin on 05/29/2013 22:02:58 MDT.