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Member Activity and Contributing Info - Chat

cruiseroutfit

Moderator & Supporting Member
Supporter
I'm interested to hear your thoughts and opinions on the future of ExpeditionUtah.com, member activity, etc. The entire premise of ExpeditionUtah.com is for members to help build the site and the wealth of information... So how do we go about fostering that type of forum?

Random thoughts, let me know what you think.

There are several reasons I created ExpeditionUtah.com, I'll briefly detail them so you understand where I'm coming from.

1. Trip Reports: I've long since been looking for a place to host all of my trip reports, trail information and trail/area research. I was previously doing so on my company website, but it was clustered, made it hard for me to update and was set up to be wide open to any viewer. Quite honestly I don't care to share all my information with the entire world. Like minded travelers, no problem, wheelers from out of town, no worries, but random folks off the internet... not my plan. Moving it all to a central location was the inspiration behind the process that started several years ago.

2. To facilitate a user based forum that literally becomes the expert site on Utah, while maintaining and harboring a friendly atmosphere, low numbers and active members. Not active in chit-chat or the jokes forum, active in overland travels, the entire premise of the site.

3. Quite frankly it was getting pretty hard keeping up with requests for information... I was getting a couple of emails/PM's a week asking for information about areas I had been. Keep in mind I love helping others out, but when I'm already strapped for time, its easier to a link than it is to copy/paste all the information from the sources I use to find out information.

In the coming future I plan to implement a "contribute or catch ya later" feature on ExpeditionUtah.com, basically everyone will have to meet some "quota" of trip reports, research links, etc to still have access to the site. In addition the premium features of the site will have a cost attached to them, this cost will be waived by major info contributors. What will the money be used for? Well after licensing and hosting fees, it will be used to add to the info on the site. I've spent over 1k on books and maps this year alone, many of which (maps primarily) will be viewable on the website when I get some time to integrate them.

Where does this place you in the system?
Well, thats what I would love to hear more about. Are contribution requirements realistic? I know they will be a complete PITA to enforce, yet I don't want the site full of stale members. Shall it simply be a contribution of either money or content? You tell me!
 
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Skylinerider

Moderator & Supporting Member
I think it's a great idea to have it a requirement to contribute information to be here. Maybe it'll get those who do go out and never post to actually post and share info. I really like that it's not available to every joe schmoe on the net. In the future I plan on making my reports much more detailed, if only for this site (again because it's not available to everyone on the net)
Just my $.02
 

Brett

Moderator
I agree with both of you. Make it so people are contributing and also helping foot the bill. I do it on RME, I've no problem with doing it here as well. As for keeping it to just trip reports, planning, etc, that's fine with me as well. There's not need for it to include a chit chat area, as there are plenty of other sites ;)

I'll do my best to contribute more trip reports, even though I don't get out near as much as some of you guys. I enjoy reading and seeing where you've all been, so don't disappoint me!.
 

LiveRust

Member
I understand what you're saying Kurt. I'd like to have everything to myself, but to be honest my favorite trails are not trails I've discovered on my own. I owe thanks to others for their showing me areas of Utah I would never have ventured into. So, I'm all for giving back. If I find some cool places, I'll write them up here. I don't own exclusive rights to anything. Sometimes the fun is in the hunting for those out of the way places and I would hope everyone here continues to do that, but sometimes a little guidance and a few suggestions can help steer someone in the right directions.

And of course I love to see the photos from the trips. a trip report without photos is no fun at all.

Troy
 

cruiseroutfit

Moderator & Supporting Member
Supporter
...I'll do my best to contribute more trip reports, even though I don't get out near as much as some of you guys. I enjoy reading and seeing where you've all been, so don't disappoint me!.
Trip reports are awesome, but I would really like to encourage more research posts too.

Something similar to these:
http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52
http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57
http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36

Even asking questions is contributing IMO.
 

cruiseroutfit

Moderator & Supporting Member
Supporter
I understand what you're saying Kurt. I'd like to have everything to myself, but to be honest my favorite trails are not trails I've discovered on my own.
I think when it really comes down to it, your never going to find a legit trail that you could call your own. Someone else has been there, someone has it in their guide book, or someone has an on-line trip report. NPS 262 and the Paria are shining examples of this. I thought "we're probably the only people I know that have run these trails"... I get home and google them, by buddy Todd did a writeup on them in 99' :D
 

Brett

Moderator

cruiseroutfit

Moderator & Supporting Member
Supporter
Well, guess I need to go find some places to explore and write up ;) Maybe a run out to the testing grounds! :eek:
As ironic as it sounds, you really don't need to leave your computer to start the exploration process. Start by picking a place off of a map that you would like to visit, could be an old ranch or ghost-town, could be a neat road you spy. Then let google do the dirty work for you, look for trip reports, history articles, old maps and photos, etc. Not only will it get you excited for a trip, it will help add to the wealth of knowledge that I want to exist here on ExpeditionUtah.
 

Alex

Trailbait
I have spent many long, cold winter's night doing just that, spawning a whole bunch of adventures!

How about adding .gpx files to the list of attachments? This would make it easy to share trip information, especially since this won't be open to just anybody on the internet.
 

Alex

Trailbait
Thanks Kurt! Here's a .gpx file icon, if you need one:
Also, some of my .gpx files for Jeep touring-type trips are quite large, how about bumping the file size limit to 500kb?

What are your thoughts about sharing information on trails that are closed but still commonly driven? I know there are a few of them out there, would this be a place to discuss them or should we just stick to what is clearly posted as open trails?
 

cruiseroutfit

Moderator & Supporting Member
Supporter
Thanks Kurt! Here's a .gpx file icon, if you need one:
Also, some of my .gpx files for Jeep touring-type trips are quite large, how about bumping the file size limit to 500kb?

What are your thoughts about sharing information on trails that are closed but still commonly driven? I know there are a few of them out there, would this be a place to discuss them or should we just stick to what is clearly posted as open trails?
File size is upped :D

Not sure how to use the icon yet, when I figure it out I'll use it. Thanks!
 

oldschool

New Member
Agreed all the way around. Kurt-your vision for EU is awesome. The energy you put into it is great to see.

I wish I had stacks of trip reports lying around or saved on my PC, but I don't. (Screen name of oldschool make a little more sense now?) However, I will contribute once I get my own home PC back up and running one of these days. I've been using my work laptop for quite awhile off the company network for internet access but I can't keep stuff like that or a bunch of photos stored on it either.

Anyway, happy to kick in $$ in the meantime to make up for minimal contributions if necessary.

Thanks to everyone who is contributing. EU is already a great resource and getting better by the day.
 
I

iceaxe

Unregistered Guest
I love where this forum is headed. I've gathered quite a bit of trip report style photos over the 10 years i've owned a 4wd, many of wich still need to be scanned, some of wich still need to be processed (12 rolls mostly slides, any places near SLC better than Inkley's for processing?). Something I've wanted to do is scan all those photos then do write ups on each trip.

Doing research recently I found BLM black & white comparison photos of Arch Canyon from the 60's the 90's and color digitals taken within the last year or two all of the same scene. Now having read this I wished I saved all those links somewhere and posted up about it. Posting research and history is something I've only done a little bit of. I'll have to do more, and this is the perfect place.

One more thing I'm interested in would be learning plants trees and flowers. I've picked up a little bit from those numbered self guided hikes like Lower Calf Creek and Butler Ruins over the years. More recently I've purchased flower ID books and started photographing interesting examples. Then there is Geology to get in to. Plenty of info to share!
 

IntrepidXJ

Supporting Member
Supporter
Doing research recently I found BLM black & white comparison photos of Arch Canyon from the 60's the 90's and color digitals taken within the last year or two all of the same scene. Now having read this I wished I saved all those links somewhere and posted up about it. Posting research and history is something I've only done a little bit of. I'll have to do more, and this is the perfect place.
this one?

http://www.sanjuancounty.org/ps_arch_canyon.htm
 

CanuckMariner

New Member
I tend to agree with your initial thoughts:

1. place to deposit (database) statewide info on trails, historical, Indian sites-culture , etc. places to go, hot springs, etc, all things having to do with travelling 4x4s.

2. Statewide trips reports

3. place for members to organize trips, get togethers, ideas, etc.

Further, I agree with the post (some minimum limit) or see ya later type of things as this stops free loaders who simply graze the data and info and your never see them again. Say a minimum of log ins as well.

Lastly to really, get this growing and going, you should make arrangements with other sites (ExPo, ExCo, etc.) to provide a link to your site as well as your site and others providing links to others. This would increase membership hopefully as well as contributions.
 
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