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GS-I webpage upgrade feedback requested here.

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  • GS-I webpage upgrade feedback requested here.

    We need feedback and help. Please tell us what you want to see and how you can help us achieve it.

  • #2
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    • #3
      To me, the way forward on this seems clear, and I'm pretty surprised a lot of this wasn't integrated into the new app:

      1) Easy mobile navigation

      2) Easy photo upload directly from phone

      3) I hate the non-searchability of facebook, and much prefer the hierarchical structure here, and that should be preserved.

      It should be broken down by area (and sub-area as required), and then each climb should have its own page/thread.

      4) The pinned post, at the top of each thread should be a route description, either crowd-sourced or curated by an experienced member of the community.

      5) All subsequent posts in that thread should be condition reports and discussion from the most recent to least recent.

      6) Ideally you'd be able to search by recency of conditions reports, approach length, difficulty and ATES.

      Just my opinion.



      • #4
        Karel - Nice ideas for sure. I'd asked Will about the possibility of integration between the app and either GS-I or other forum and it wasn't a go. That's not to say it couldn't be done, anything is possible with enough time and money. I think the huge amount of information involved with the route descriptions, photos, mapping, tracklogs, and even trying to ascertain the veracity of information in the guidebooks, is a task in itself. Not all that was in the guidebooks, and most of us have found errors in print versions. At least in the immediate future such integration isn't in the cards, which is why Will wanted me to go ahead and upgrade GS-I.

        We're in early stages so far and nothing is fixed so now is the time to build the wishlist of features, see how easy such things are to implement, and try to do it with a website that doesn't generate revenue, yet has the potential to expand in the future to incorporate ideas like you suggest. It all sounds quite grand and yet so simple at this stage doesn't it

        FWIW with your point 6) you can use the app to search approach length, difficulty, ATES, and other filters - then use GS-I to search for recent posts on conditions. I also think 1) 2) and 3) are given requirements.

        4) has me wondering if using GS-I to crowd source edits or updates to route beta for the app might be of benefit to Will. I'll have to try and remember to ask him about that.


        • #5
          Hey Karel,

          Pretty much all of your wish list will be accomplished with the software upgrade.

          What we are looking at is just an evolution of what the current system is.

          No significant changes except being smart phone friendly, playing nice with Facebook and just generally easier to use.

          As for the integration with the Rockies Ice app. I wasn't part of Will's dev team but based on some casual conversations and my own experience in tech projects adding the forum capability would have likely delayed the app launch another year.

          Owner - 51North - Digital Marketing Agency
          President TABVAR


          • #6
            Since getting back to ice climbing about 10 years ago, I must admit that GSI was my go to resource for beta & partners. Since the advent of the FB page I have seen the decline in posts/new members for GSI.

            The climbing community has moved on & I wonder if you will be able to bring them back? I see a lot of time/effort/money being proposed to try to resurrect this page with no guarantees it will. Although this 'upgrade' was posted to FB, perhaps you should be guided by the responses you received from that initial post.

            I would be very interested in the +300 people who viewed this post. Who these people are might be an indicator of the chances of bringing GSI back to the fore.

            I have always liked the format of GSI, conditions reports were organized by area & date. Mike Barter's pre season 'spray' was eagerly anticipated, as were the reactions from other forum members.

            Sorry fellas, if this was my business I would seriously consider 'cutting my losses' & calling it a day.


            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback. What you've outlined is exactly our concern.
              Owner - 51North - Digital Marketing Agency
              President TABVAR


              • #8
                Peter- thanks for the feedback.

                You're right about a drop in activity over the last couple years. I think it's not so much that the advent of the FB group caused it as much as the ease of posting to FB for some people. I know plenty of people who use primarily their cell phones. GS-I current software is terrible for mobile compatibility. There's no guarantees with most things but which platform is better for sharing information on conditions and beta?

                I like the fact that upgrading software would allow both proper archiving of conditions, and a listing of FB posts, all in one website. Incidentally the use of FB over other websites isn't isolated only to GS-I and other sites have found a FB plugin to be a good solution. Perhaps 300+ views means people desire better than FB but more convenient than GS-I.

                Would you continue to use GS-I if it had the upgrade or are you calling it a day? It's worth noting that unlike a business that typically looks to make a profit, there is no revenue generated by this website. I'd say it's more of a community service than a business. I suppose with the concerns of participation, that is one reason to seek support from the community for the upgrade. Both in terms of making sure what we have in mind is what is desired, and in terms of funding an upgrade. If we don't see the financial support then the upgrade doesn't happen, and the community loses what has been a fabulous resource for sharing conditions, and even for retrieving gear lost or left.


                • #9
                  Hey Grant,

                  I find the way that GSI enables you to look/search for route beta much more effective than want to know about a climb in the Ghost, you open the forum on the ghost. "Everyone' has said they find FB tedious as you have to scroll down through posts till you find what you're looking for. If there is a trend in conditions you will not find it as easily on FB. For these very reasons I hope GSI re-establishes itself as THE source for ice climbing beta.

                  As far as cell phone compatibility, I prefer to navigate through FB on my laptop. I would prefer to read route conditions (primarily) on my laptop as I prefer a much bigger screen for checking out route topo's/maps etc. I do use my cell phone to scan through partner requests on FB though.

                  I believe GSI cannot continue to operate as a free service. Membership fees should be in effect & information unavailable to non-financial members. Perhaps this membership could be tied in with the 'cost' of the new ice app.

                  I for one would be willing to pay.


                  • #10
                    I agree with Karel's suggestions and all other points made thus far (although I haven't tried the app so can't say if the GSI/App integration are necessary or not). While it's never been a major issue for me, I do agree that having GSI be mobile friendly is critical to have any chance of keeping traffic/posts by the vast majority of users. That combined with the categorization and search-ability will be HUGE improvements over the shiite on FB. As for categorization, and given i'm attempting to admin/moderate the 11,000ers page, perhaps an 11,000ers section would help maintain relevant alpine/summer posts and keep people's short attention spans while not in ice season?!? If I can close down the FB 11,000ers page then i'd be willing to help admin a section here.

                    Last wish while we're at it... Perhaps you can also add a troll and bozo filter to keep some of the morons on FB off GSI!?!? or is that Utopia! haha


                    • #11
                      Peter - I agree with much of what you've said. However I'm not so sure about membership fees. First of all because GS-I has always been a free service, but also because it will obviously limit traffic and thereby the amount of information posted. That's why I'd lean more towards limited ads. I believe one suggestion I had was the Guide List whereby guide services paid to have a listing. That would be relevant to users. I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees ads from google for things I already searched and bought and those often become invasive on some websites.

                      Everyone - recouping upgrade costs and ongoing server costs is important so feedback of how to do this or towards ads on the site in future is welcomed.

                      Anton - I was chatting to Ian a little about app integration. To heavily integrate it would take a lot of work but there are other options. Much of how that would develop will depend on Will and Steven but I'll try to connect and chat with Will this week.

                      You're preaching to the choir here about the advantages of GS-I over FB. I'll add an alpine category here to see what you think and we can give it a try.

                      As for the troll filter, well that comes initially when approving members. You wouldn't believe how persistent some spammer/troll requests are, but even legit members can be bozo's - me included :sick:

                      Dreams Of Utopia > makes for a good route name.


                      • #12
                        If you are looking for donations, the following information should be presented:

                        How much money GSI needs to complete the upgrade

                        What features will the 'new' GSI have (how will our donations be spent)

                        Timeline for completion

                        Money raised to date

                        Till this happens, you are asking us to donate towards a 'black hole'.


                        • #13
                          Peter - what you are asking is presented in the other thread > GS-I UPGRADE BACKGROUND

                          For the sake of clarity though here it is retold -

                          Money needed is around $3000 to $4000.

                          Features most people seem to want/appreciate.

                          *More mobile friendly

                          *Easier and faster photo posting

                          *Better search functionality

                          *Geographical areas at a glance

                          *Integration or sign in with FB login

                          *No requirement to have a FB account

                          *Foster a more respectful and inclusive community, reduce negativity

                          Timeline for completion will be expected to take a few weeks to set up, migrate all the past information, check the beta site, and launch the new upgrade. This will require sufficient funds to initiate so start date is dependent on reaching that goal. It needs to happen this winter.

                          We have about half of that so far and that would be sufficient to cover software costs however the labour cost is dependent on migration. Obviously if we had some IT folks in our community who were willing to volunteer time for the migration, then we would save a bunch of money and could get started. Our resident webmaster doesn't have the available time so we are seeking others for the implementation. He is however overseeing the process without charge and for the record, I'm not getting paid for this either. I'm doing it because I believe having a forum to share information, and ask questions, not only enhances our enjoyment but promotes safety in the climbing community.