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post #16 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 04:43 PM
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It is sad that long-time member is leaving, but it is really part of larger problem and outside of security breach issue.

You at management have to realize what is going on. People are leaving -- moving on facebook groups in most cases. I don't understand it either: Format is inferior, unstructured, you can't search -- but it is a fact. Alberta forum is all but deserted. Lots of old-time contributors that supplied invaluable information over the years have simply stopped coming; they just don't announce it in such a dramatic fashion as Hiker did. To me this is huge red flag and reason for action. I don't know what your revenue model is (I don't want to know), but if traffic drops / vanishes it is not going to work, no matter what.

You have to work to attract users (back) to the site. I don't know what it is, but things are stagnant -- you inherited original CT, plugged it onto your interface and left as is. This is NOT nearly enough. In addition lots of useful features built over the years are not here anymore. To name a few ---- Trail Wiki, Calendar/Photo contests, etc. In most cases this does not even require any special effort from management side as it was largely done by users on volunteer basis. Then there is photo upload process: Lots, and lots have/are complaining about it. I am fine with it, but I have software background that many don't. I know examples of users that stopped contributing reports because "photo upload sucks". You have to work on this. What is it that "sucks"? How can we improve it? Introduce additional things - report of the month, photo of the month; Club Tread mugs or T-shirts, etc. You get the idea.

Security breach is separate issue; it certainly aggravated the issue, but it did not trigger it. Damage is done, it is -hopefully- one time issue, and lets move on. But bigger problem is not going to disappear if not addressed. I love CT & it has considerably added to my personal quality of life over the years. It pains me to see it crumbling as it is right now.

Consider this as open, friendly, request by old time contributor to address the problem and do something about it. Otherwise there will NOT be Club Tread in couple of years.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
In addition lots of useful features built over the years are not here anymore. To name a few ---- Trail Wiki, Calendar/Photo contests, etc. ....... Then there is photo upload process: Lots, and lots have/are complaining about it. I am fine with it, but I have software background that many don't. I know examples of users that stopped contributing reports because "photo upload sucks".
Spot on.... and it is sad to see. CT TR's have been an enormous help and source of great reading for many of us for some time. However, the impression of many users is that the site is clunky and awkward to use, especially regarding photos, and as you point out, parts of it have gone stale. The new interface has simply not progressed.

As I pointed out in much earlier posts this CT interface is cut+paste of other interfaces that are similarly weakly evolved .... eg: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/ you'll notice the "security and data breach" banner there as well. All that makes me suspicious of the underlying ownership of these sites. However, security is one issue, and frankly a site like CT should cause all users to invoke extraordinary security measures, but why should they? Some of us do that stuff as a matter of course but it leaves others vulnerable.

The whole thing leads to a lack of trust and lack of interest.

VerticalScope's "about us" says, in part: We leverage our deep in-house expertise in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Internet marketing, and traffic acquisition to build highly targeted, successful online communities and websites


I think they need to rephrase that.

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post #18 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 06:33 PM
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I put a lot of heart & soul into these pages over the years . I was one of the first members and watched it grow into a great community.
VerticalScope took over and changed the format to fit " their needs" which rubbed a ton of people the wrong way. People tend not to like change . I embrace it if it's good. I think this part of their mission statement says it all. " Internet marketing, and traffic acquisition. "
This business is to make money not build a community, as I see it many of the issues raised have not been addressed. The clunky format drives me nuts.
Zeljkok & Xj6responce you know I was a big part of this for years and have made a large number of friends here. Even the arguments ( heated discussions ) were fun at times, but in general everyone got along fine. For the most part the site was self policing and the trolls didn't stay to long. I feel the personal quality has long since gone and with it some of the humour on this site.
As one of the " Old farts" I can't see myself posting here anymore but I will continue to check out some of the trip reports if I can access that without a log-in.
Should anyone want to contact me I can be reached at [email protected]
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 07:02 PM
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Hiker, I agree with you in principle.

Transition between "home business" to corporate environment is a big thing. And yes, people generally dislike change. Main problem is that someone has to care and evolve the site. When it was "home business", Jim cared about it and it was felt. Now it is in corporate hands and nobody really takes an ownership on personal level. But this is not reason "new CT" can not be good, even better than before. I've seen in my life much larger examples of acquisitions and how it all worked out (after awhile).

To me, again, biggest red flag is when old, quality posters leave. BC side still holds up because of people like simonc and few others; but AB side has gone down the hatch. After the weekend there will be 1 report (if I post it), while on ugly facebook page there will 100. Someone has to take notice and do something. When people like Vern ---arguably one of top mountaineers Canada wide -- stops posting on CT, it tells just about everything.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
After the weekend there will be 1 report (if I post it), while on ugly facebook page there will 100. Someone has to take notice and do something. When people like Vern ---arguably one of top mountaineers Canada wide -- stops posting on CT, it tells just about everything.
Yup, well said again. I lurked on CT for about three years then joined up in 2010 because it was such a great community and I had benefitted from it. I thought I should contribute as well. To see the move towards posting on Facebook is dreadful with its awful format and data mining/advertising mandate. There's huge value in the legacy TR's and knowledge of long term members and it's terrible to see it diminish

I hope it turns around

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post #21 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 08:14 PM
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The Hiker, XY6Response, and Zeljkok you are all spot on in your perception, comments, and feeling on the issue of Clubtread evolving and/or changed to something we do not feel good about.


Hope VSAdmin please take note, and lets think of something to help steer Clubtread to a more personal, and attractive form. Photo uploading is a bit of pain, however I have come up with an excel copy/post/replacing procedure of link terms to make the process for me much quicker and easier.


Used to take me about 45 minutes to an hour to upload and caption the pictures. Now I can the same in about 8 to 10 minutes with I have developed for myself.


K

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post #22 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 11:37 PM
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I feel like I'm missing out on a great set of FB pages. PM me if there are any you'd recommend.
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Steventy View Post
I feel like I'm missing out on a great set of FB pages. PM me if there are any you'd recommend.
FB is a right here right now type of thing. You post, get some likes and comments then it disappears as more posts get added and time moves on. Good for the present but more difficult to use as a resource. CT is better for detailed TRs and easy enough to search (either on the site or by google/bing etc.).

CTs Pacific NW counterpart nwhikers.org is doing well. CT is still getting new users but the interface (as mentioned) can be a pain and I think that if someone takes the time to put together a quality trip report and only a few people reply - it puts them off from doing another one. The "community" part of CT has waned over the past 5 years.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by simonc View Post
CT is still getting new users but the interface (as mentioned) can be a pain and I think that if someone takes the time to put together a quality trip report and only a few people reply - it puts them off from doing another one. The "community" part of CT has waned over the past 5 years.
Spot on. I can talk from AB point of view -- if you look at TR Forum, there will be couple of recent ones by mclay1234. All very valuable, basically hiker routes up some peaks down in Waterton, very useful. No replies, little views. It is only logical then to conclude "why do I bother".

Us users/posters can do only so much. Owners have to pick it up & inject new life. I am not on nwhikers.org, but have no reason to doubt it is doing fine. So it is possible to have online structured forum as opposed to FB chaos.
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Hey all,

Im going to take some time to reply to all these issues going on here. First off, outside Verticalscope I am Shane. A fellow vagabond, retired drifted and a keen addiction to wanderlust. Ive traveled across Canada by thumb and have hitchhiked across the islands of the west coast of Canada as well. Done some free camping, and lived off a freelance/nomadic business sense to get me around. I was basically on a hike for roughly 13 months at one point.

With that said, Its unfortunate that there is many issues present on the board, and I will look into each of these issues and will help to troubleshoot them here.

Below I will do my best to reply to all the concerns and questions here as well. I love taking a moment to go through this site and take a look at some of the postings here for hiking, travelling, backpacking long distances, travel routes, etc.

Not only do I work at Verticalscope, but I love taking a moment to take a look at this board and see what people are doing, and their adventures and stories of their travels. that is the truth actually.

I will keep an open ticket open and i will start taking a look at the site feedback thread each day and try to reply each day to the site issue tickets that come in. It would make me sad that this forum would have further issues, and its time to resolve them.

on a personal level. Backpack and hiking culture is something that means a lot to me. I found myself travelling around, and enjoy the outdoors, meeting other travelers, hikers, backpackers, etc.

with that said. ill make an effort to come and check on the issues on this board, and hopefully get them resolved for you all to better the site health, along with bringing new and great ideas.

with that said, ill need the help of all of you. Could you begin by opening up tickets in this section of the board, and posting detailed site issues and what happens with them.

for example, screenshots, why pictures are not working correctly, what happens when you try to do something, etc.
be as detailed as possible and i can help fix the issue and isolate the problems so we can either fix them, ill send them to the tech department if they are bugs, and so on.

Ill help out here and give you guys a hand on getting this board back up to where it needs to be.

Just ask for shane if you need a hand, and all the team members will forward me the ticket.

with all that said, ill move onto repling to your questions.

~Shane
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solo75 View Post
I don't know anything about website security but other website use a secure (https) login popup window and register forms which I don't see here. Does it matter?
Hey There! due to the backend VB framework, it does not support https, we have fixed and updated security along with any holes left in the servers just to be safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solo75 View Post
I was actually wondering about the login process. Is it secure since I don't see the customary HTTPS or a lock icon to denote that.
You should be fine. We do not store any credit card, paypal, etc. information on our servers or the website itself, nor on the servers. you can log in safely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hiker View Post
Yes please deactivate my account . I guess for the good of the site the trip reports can stay. This site has changed a lot since it started and most of the people I know have now moved onto Facebook. I very seldom come here so I think it is time for me to move on.
again today I tried to change just my email with no luck. So I would prefer that it be removed to prevent any other spam that may come from here or having my info breached. One has to wonder why these security measures were not put in place when the site was first taken over.

The other concern I have is my photos are copyrighted . When this site first started I had an agreement with Hamlin that any content was not to be used outside of C. T. I surely hope that is the case here !
I still post shots on the Club Tread Flickr site & will continue to do so.
Happy Trails everyone .
Russ
You can remove your photos from your albums and what not if you like. Im sorry to see you leave. that makes me sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
It is sad that long-time member is leaving, but it is really part of larger problem and outside of security breach issue.

You at management have to realize what is going on. People are leaving -- moving on facebook groups in most cases. I don't understand it either: Format is inferior, unstructured, you can't search -- but it is a fact. Alberta forum is all but deserted. Lots of old-time contributors that supplied invaluable information over the years have simply stopped coming; they just don't announce it in such a dramatic fashion as Hiker did. To me this is huge red flag and reason for action. I don't know what your revenue model is (I don't want to know), but if traffic drops / vanishes it is not going to work, no matter what.

You have to work to attract users (back) to the site. I don't know what it is, but things are stagnant -- you inherited original CT, plugged it onto your interface and left as is. This is NOT nearly enough. In addition lots of useful features built over the years are not here anymore. To name a few ---- Trail Wiki, Calendar/Photo contests, etc. In most cases this does not even require any special effort from management side as it was largely done by users on volunteer basis. Then there is photo upload process: Lots, and lots have/are complaining about it. I am fine with it, but I have software background that many don't. I know examples of users that stopped contributing reports because "photo upload sucks". You have to work on this. What is it that "sucks"? How can we improve it? Introduce additional things - report of the month, photo of the month; Club Tread mugs or T-shirts, etc. You get the idea.

Security breach is separate issue; it certainly aggravated the issue, but it did not trigger it. Damage is done, it is -hopefully- one time issue, and lets move on. But bigger problem is not going to disappear if not addressed. I love CT & it has considerably added to my personal quality of life over the years. It pains me to see it crumbling as it is right now.

Consider this as open, friendly, request by old time contributor to address the problem and do something about it. Otherwise there will NOT be Club Tread in couple of years.
I totally understand your frustration and aggravation and you are right, we should have a better presence on here for sure. I will be checking with my department heads on overseeing this site if I can. Ive travelled for years by backpack across my country, and by thumb for 70% of it. Im a vagabond at heart, with a huge wanderlust. Maybe i could be a good help here since i connect well with the open trail and road. We can go over all these issues and start fixing them no problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xj6response View Post
Spot on.... and it is sad to see. CT TR's have been an enormous help and source of great reading for many of us for some time. However, the impression of many users is that the site is clunky and awkward to use, especially regarding photos, and as you point out, parts of it have gone stale. The new interface has simply not progressed.

As I pointed out in much earlier posts this CT interface is cut+paste of other interfaces that are similarly weakly evolved .... eg: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/ you'll notice the "security and data breach" banner there as well. All that makes me suspicious of the underlying ownership of these sites. However, security is one issue, and frankly a site like CT should cause all users to invoke extraordinary security measures, but why should they? Some of us do that stuff as a matter of course but it leaves others vulnerable.

The whole thing leads to a lack of trust and lack of interest.

VerticalScope's "about us" says, in part: We leverage our deep in-house expertise in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Internet marketing, and traffic acquisition to build highly targeted, successful online communities and websites


I think they need to rephrase that.
Ill look into lessening the password requirements once we get all the password changes done. This was mandatory though for all sites under verticalscopes banner. We also have to change all our passwords as well. when everyone is changed over and the dust settles, ill make sure the requirements are switched a bit. thats not a problem. we will get this sorted out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hiker View Post
I put a lot of heart & soul into these pages over the years . I was one of the first members and watched it grow into a great community.
VerticalScope took over and changed the format to fit " their needs" which rubbed a ton of people the wrong way. People tend not to like change . I embrace it if it's good. I think this part of their mission statement says it all. " Internet marketing, and traffic acquisition. "
This business is to make money not build a community, as I see it many of the issues raised have not been addressed. The clunky format drives me nuts.
Zeljkok & Xj6responce you know I was a big part of this for years and have made a large number of friends here. Even the arguments ( heated discussions ) were fun at times, but in general everyone got along fine. For the most part the site was self policing and the trolls didn't stay to long. I feel the personal quality has long since gone and with it some of the humour on this site.
As one of the " Old farts" I can't see myself posting here anymore but I will continue to check out some of the trip reports if I can access that without a log-in.
Should anyone want to contact me I can be reached at [email protected]
I will personally look into the issues you all have brought up to hopefully bring the positive changes back towards this website for you all. along with help make improvements where they are needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Hiker, I agree with you in principle.

Transition between "home business" to corporate environment is a big thing. And yes, people generally dislike change. Main problem is that someone has to care and evolve the site. When it was "home business", Jim cared about it and it was felt. Now it is in corporate hands and nobody really takes an ownership on personal level. But this is not reason "new CT" can not be good, even better than before. I've seen in my life much larger examples of acquisitions and how it all worked out (after awhile).

To me, again, biggest red flag is when old, quality posters leave. BC side still holds up because of people like simonc and few others; but AB side has gone down the hatch. After the weekend there will be 1 report (if I post it), while on ugly facebook page there will 100. Someone has to take notice and do something. When people like Vern ---arguably one of top mountaineers Canada wide -- stops posting on CT, it tells just about everything.
Can you explain the reports to me? Id like to get a better idea on them and this website. maybe i can look into something for it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xj6response View Post
Yup, well said again. I lurked on CT for about three years then joined up in 2010 because it was such a great community and I had benefitted from it. I thought I should contribute as well. To see the move towards posting on Facebook is dreadful with its awful format and data mining/advertising mandate. There's huge value in the legacy TR's and knowledge of long term members and it's terrible to see it diminish

I hope it turns around
Ill be looking into making some positive changes here for you all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KARVITK View Post
The Hiker, XY6Response, and Zeljkok you are all spot on in your perception, comments, and feeling on the issue of Clubtread evolving and/or changed to something we do not feel good about.


Hope VSAdmin please take note, and lets think of something to help steer Clubtread to a more personal, and attractive form. Photo uploading is a bit of pain, however I have come up with an excel copy/post/replacing procedure of link terms to make the process for me much quicker and easier.


Used to take me about 45 minutes to an hour to upload and caption the pictures. Now I can the same in about 8 to 10 minutes with I have developed for myself.


K
Im going to check the back end to see what is gonig on with image posting here and how embedding reacts with the layout. Ill see what i can do after replying to all these. takes a little, but ill look into it

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonc View Post
FB is a right here right now type of thing. You post, get some likes and comments then it disappears as more posts get added and time moves on. Good for the present but more difficult to use as a resource. CT is better for detailed TRs and easy enough to search (either on the site or by google/bing etc.).

CTs Pacific NW counterpart nwhikers.org is doing well. CT is still getting new users but the interface (as mentioned) can be a pain and I think that if someone takes the time to put together a quality trip report and only a few people reply - it puts them off from doing another one. The "community" part of CT has waned over the past 5 years.
Ill do my best to help improve the site and work on these issues with everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Spot on. I can talk from AB point of view -- if you look at TR Forum, there will be couple of recent ones by mclay1234. All very valuable, basically hiker routes up some peaks down in Waterton, very useful. No replies, little views. It is only logical then to conclude "why do I bother".

Us users/posters can do only so much. Owners have to pick it up & inject new life. I am not on nwhikers.org, but have no reason to doubt it is doing fine. So it is possible to have online structured forum as opposed to FB chaos.
Again, ill look into what i can do here for you all.


~Shane
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 11:19 PM
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Thanks VSADMIN Shane...

Appreciate your comments and your help to consider everyone's ideas and recommendations.

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 05:21 PM
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>> I was actually wondering about the login process.
>> Is it secure since I don't see the customary HTTPS
>> or a lock icon to denote that.
>
> You should be fine. We do not store any credit card,
> paypal, etc. information on our servers or the website
> itself, nor on the servers. you can log in safely.

This is bad advice, and quite concerning coming from a system administrator.

You absolutely should be using HTTPS for username/password submission. Not doing so makes it easy for someone to intercept your users' username/password combinations (for example, if someone is logging in using a public WiFi network). They can then hijack your users' accounts, logging in and pretending to be them, posting on their behalf, reading their private messages and accessing any other private information in their profiles. They can mine this data to use it in phishing attacks. They can try the username/password combination, or variations of it, on other sites (I know people should not reuse passwords across sites, but many people do).

If your backend does not support HTTPS, then it needs to be upgraded. HTTPS is not just for banking sites any more, it's part of the basic cost of doing business on the web.

You should really serve the whole site over HTTPS, but at a minimum you should send login details over HTTPS.
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siral View Post
>> I was actually wondering about the login process.
>> Is it secure since I don't see the customary HTTPS
>> or a lock icon to denote that.
>
> You should be fine. We do not store any credit card,
> paypal, etc. information on our servers or the website
> itself, nor on the servers. you can log in safely.

This is bad advice, and quite concerning coming from a system administrator.

You absolutely should be using HTTPS for username/password submission. Not doing so makes it easy for someone to intercept your users' username/password combinations (for example, if someone is logging in using a public WiFi network). They can then hijack your users' accounts, logging in and pretending to be them, posting on their behalf, reading their private messages and accessing any other private information in their profiles. They can mine this data to use it in phishing attacks. They can try the username/password combination, or variations of it, on other sites (I know people should not reuse passwords across sites, but many people do).

If your backend does not support HTTPS, then it needs to be upgraded. HTTPS is not just for banking sites any more, it's part of the basic cost of doing business on the web.

You should really serve the whole site over HTTPS, but at a minimum you should send login details over HTTPS.
I agree with this...what is the use of changing passwords regularly if it can be intercepted because the page isn't secure. The same applies to when new members register....that page isn't secure.
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