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  • $615 raised

    Goal: $300


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4/8 Update:

We've had several very generous offers to help fund the site. I've put up a Donation link at the top to see if we can raise enough to keep going for another year. If we don't hit the target amount then the Donations will be refunded. Thanks to everyone who's offered to help out.

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4/2 Update: 

I just stopped the automatic payments on the forum software. The service expires on 4/21. If anyone wants to take over then please let me know so we can get everything transferred. If not, it's been a fun ride and I'll be sorry to see it go.

 

I'm at Cannon (along with @Puck it @ABV& @Cannonballer) basically every weekend so if anyone ever wants to catch up, shoot me a PM and we can exchange contact info.

 

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Original Post-

It's time to have discussion about the future of this site. It's been a year since I took over and unfortunately there hasn't been much growth in terms of userbase and/or content. I don't mind keeping up with the maintenance side of things but operating it at a loss isn't something I'm really too interested in doing. Weatherman had told me when we were discussing him stepping down that it broke even, but after a year of looking at the numbers, that certainly hasn't been the case. Like I said, I'm willing to volunteer my time to keep it running smoothly but there's other things I'd prefer to spend my money on.

 

There's a couple options to keep the site online. If anyone is willing to take over the ownership role, I'd be happy to transition it over to you. That's probably the easiest solution and I would be happy to continue to handle the administration side of things if you're not familiar with operating a website. Long term for this place to survive this is also the best option as we really need someone dedicated to growing and expanding the community.

Another option would be to start offering some sort of donation/crowdfunding system. I'm a little less keen on that as I'd hate to collect money for awhile and then be in the same predicament a few years down the road if that dries up. 

 

Looking forward to seeing some feedback from you all. It's a great community here with a great vibe and I'd hate to see it go away but to be perfectly honest, the folks that post here the most are people I have a group text chats with anyways. I had hoped to be able to devote more time to trying to grow the site when I took over but my time has become more limited than I anticipated. 

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Love the ease of photo posting on this site, but some other sites have progressed in that area recently.  The chatter seems to be happening on AZ this winter.  Not sure what to say, but appreciate your efforts?

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I would be sad to see this site go, but its needs some more posters. I think at this point I am the only younger Western New England person here. For some god forsaken reason my generation abandoned message boards for subreddits, and Facebook groups. I think message boards just get a bad rap from 4chan and 8chan, when they are actually no less toxic than anywhere else on the internet.

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I like some of the discussions on here and everyone seems civilized.  That said, seems like it's home to Cannon fans and not much wider reach.  Not sure how to push it further, AZ seems to be Message Board central now that their platform has been upgraded and not constantly crashing or down.

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7 hours ago, Machski said:

I like some of the discussions on here and everyone seems civilized.  That said, seems like it's home to Cannon fans and not much wider reach.  Not sure how to push it further, AZ seems to be Message Board central now that their platform has been upgraded and not constantly crashing or down.

Has someone stopped the trolling?

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Would be sad to see this place go, but understand where you're coming from. Doubt covid helped as well.

Content seems lacking. Have you thought about some seo as well using a tool like ahrefs/moz/semrush to drive traffic and help build traffic related content?

I'm not active on AZ so can't comment on that but perhaps there is some niche that is missing in the NE ski forum world that this site could fill?

 

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You and weatherman did a nice job of putting this together and keeping it going. It's the best layout of any of the forums.  It's lack of expansion is really out of your hands.  The reality is that the era of forums is mostly over.  Some of the biggest ski forums in history have died off in the past few years.  AZ, Snowjournal, and a few others are barely hanging on with the established base that they've had for a long time. But they aren't growing either and they are on borrowed time as their base ages or tunes out.  The rise of skiing-based groups on FB and Reddit has killed forums.  It's just easier for people to get their one-stop-shopping on all topics they care about on a single platform. 

If you decide to keep it going I'm happy to help with the fundraising and generating content.  But if I were in your shoes I'd probably just let it go. 

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11 hours ago, kdaffy said:

Would be sad to see this place go, but understand where you're coming from. Doubt covid helped as well.

Content seems lacking. Have you thought about some seo as well using a tool like ahrefs/moz/semrush to drive traffic and help build traffic related content?

I'm not active on AZ so can't comment on that but perhaps there is some niche that is missing in the NE ski forum world that this site could fill?

 

Covid should have helped to be honest. Mountains have been doing great this year with everyone looking for outdoor activities and to not see that interest corelate here was a warning sign. 

SEO would probably help. I just don't have a whole lot of interest in doing that. I'm not creative or a good enough writer to constantly turn out content. Also, with the lack of member generated content it would probably stick out as kind of spammy. 

I haven't been on there in a few years but the niche this site filled was that it was reliable and not down all the time. I thought all along when Weatherman started this that he would have to basically put AZ out of business to be successful. Splitting an already smallish community wasn't going to work. This site just didn't pull over and keep enough members at the beginning. 

 

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2 hours ago, Cannonballer said:

You and weatherman did a nice job of putting this together and keeping it going. It's the best layout of any of the forums.  It's lack of expansion is really out of your hands.  The reality is that the era of forums is mostly over.  Some of the biggest ski forums in history have died off in the past few years.  AZ, Snowjournal, and a few others are barely hanging on with the established base that they've had for a long time. But they aren't growing either and they are on borrowed time as their base ages or tunes out.  The rise of skiing-based groups on FB and Reddit has killed forums.  It's just easier for people to get their one-stop-shopping on all topics they care about on a single platform. 

If you decide to keep it going I'm happy to help with the fundraising and generating content.  But if I were in your shoes I'd probably just let it go. 

 

Unless we had an outpouring of folks wanting to fundraise and adamant this site survived I wasn't too keen on fundraising and so far that hasn't been the case. Without a plan forward on how to get more members on here there doesn't seem to be much point to keep going.

Like you mentioned, forums are a dying breed. I think it would be possible to grow the site but it would require a ton of work. Basically would need to continue what Weatherman started with the Mountain Guides and continue that level of content creation and energy. Also would need to really work the Social Media angle as well. Like I said before, I don't have the time to do all that and that's not really my skillset anyways. So unless someone wants to volunteer to go down that road then its probably best to just Nelsap this place. 🙁

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How much are we talking about needing for fundraising each year? I am up for straight up contributing toward that. 

Mostly I lurk because I can't think of something better to say. I am not sure how to get more engagement here, but I think Weatherman (and everyone else involved) with planning last year's Wildcat Lot C cookout was on the right path. What I mean is, coming to a message board should enhance the activity. Fishers go to message boards to exchange tips. Same with car forums. That doesn't really exist with skiing, mountain biking, etc. You need to be there and see if to really help. So expanding on the social aspect could help. 

I ski Wildcat Saturdays and Sundays because  A) I love the mountain and B) I know where everything is. Perhaps a skier exchange program would help. I an go to Cannon for a day and learn where all the cool spots are. In return I can host Wildcat newbs and show them where the cool trails, lines, trees. etc. are. 

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On 3/30/2021 at 4:18 PM, StraightSkis said:

How much are we talking about needing for fundraising each year? I am up for straight up contributing toward that. 

Mostly I lurk because I can't think of something better to say. I am not sure how to get more engagement here, but I think Weatherman (and everyone else involved) with planning last year's Wildcat Lot C cookout was on the right path. What I mean is, coming to a message board should enhance the activity. Fishers go to message boards to exchange tips. Same with car forums. That doesn't really exist with skiing, mountain biking, etc. You need to be there and see if to really help. So expanding on the social aspect could help. 

I ski Wildcat Saturdays and Sundays because  A) I love the mountain and B) I know where everything is. Perhaps a skier exchange program would help. I an go to Cannon for a day and learn where all the cool spots are. In return I can host Wildcat newbs and show them where the cool trails, lines, trees. etc. are. 

We're short about $300 a year. 

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5 hours ago, fcksummer said:

We're short about $300 a year. 

This seems a lot for the amount traffic that you get. It is a toss up in my opinion.  It is worth the hassle to keep going for so few.

 

It would give me an excuse to go back to AZ see if I can enrage someone.

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17 hours ago, Puck it said:

This seems a lot for the amount traffic that you get. It is a toss up in my opinion.  It is worth the hassle to keep going for so few.

 

It would give me an excuse to go back to AZ see if I can enrage someone.

It's not really a hassle to keep running, it just doesn't seem worth it financially.

Like I mentioned earlier, we've only had a total of 25 unique members make a post this year. If everyone donated, which is highly unlikely then it would be $12 each for the year. I'd only expect like 5 or so people to donate so that number quickly jumps up. 

 

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I just stopped the automatic payments on the forum software. The service expires on 4/21. If anyone wants to take over then please let me know so we can get everything transferred. If not, it's been a fun ride and I'll be sorry to see it go.

 

I'm at Cannon (along with @Puck it @ABV& @Cannonballer) basically every weekend so if anyone ever wants to catch up, shoot me a PM and we can exchange contact info.

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On 4/2/2021 at 12:40 PM, StraightSkis said:

I will put $150 toward the effort. 

Are payments monthly or pay for year at once?

 

On 4/2/2021 at 11:50 PM, kdaffy said:

I'll throw in something, the wachusett thread is worth it for me...pm me 

That's very generous. I've thrown up a donation link at the top of the forum.

 

If we don't hit the annual goal then I'll return the donations. If we're able to get enough to fund the full year then we'll be able to stay online. Thanks

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