How to improve Club Tread - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 110Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
idealistic74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: South Surrey, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, cycling, traveling, movies, trying new places to eat
Posts: 737
Default How to improve Club Tread

Ok, so if a fairy godmother waved her magic wand and created your ideal online hiking community what would it encompass?

I know there is lots of feedback on other threads, but I think it might be helpful to the folks in Toronto who manage this site to get: a) feedback to improve what's already here and b) new creative ideas to breathe new life into Club Tread, get regulars back and attract new ones!

Let's list everything we can think of (features we have that could be improved upon, adding new features that we think can improve this site) so that the folks in Toronto get a comprehensive list to work through. If there is something you're uncomfortable listing here, email VSadmin and/or VSJeff directly. I'll get it started.
  • make photo uploader easier to navigate
  • higher limit of photos one can post
  • Friendly, warm, welcoming and fair moderators
  • One easy to find spot to see the rules of Clubtread (i.e. clear lines drawn in the sand)
  • Extremely clear rules as to what constitutes online bullying (healthy differences of opinions and debates are ok!) - once crossed, poof that member is banned
  • The first page I get to on clubtread.com is not consistent with the rest of the site - let's get a site that has one single look, not what looks like two totally different websites
  • Incentives for people to contribute to the site and the community (e.g. so they post trip reports, organize and invite people on their hikes, posting articles
  • No ads. But if we must have ads, a guideline on how to remove the ads from your view (ad blocker of some sort) or just post ads that are related to outdoor activities
  • What is a subscribed thread? huh?
  • A simplified cleaner and easy to navigate site
  • Could the profile photos get any smaller? I need a magnifying glass
  • Easy to find descriptions of every hike, scamble, snowshoe..etc. ( where is the trail wiki?)
VSDM likes this.

Last edited by idealistic74; 11-14-2016 at 08:15 PM.
idealistic74 is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 10:16 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Andorra.
Interest: hiking, backpacking, scrambling, climbing
Posts: 4,439
Default

I can't make things happen, but to give you a bit of information:

To "subscribe" to a thread means that you will get a note whenever anyone posts to that thread. So if you wanted to see updates whenever someone commented here, you could "subscribe" to this thread, and then you wouldn't have to keep coming back to see if there are any new posts.

No provider is ever going to give you a guideline on how to remove the ads. They need the ads. That would be kind of like asking the police how to fake a clean drug test. Asking for better ads, or a pay-subscription model that allows removes ads is much more possible. An adblocker is something you install on your browser, and you can search and find several options for whichever browser you use.

"Fair" is pretty reasonable and self-explanatory, but what exactly do you want to see out of "friendly, warm, and welcoming" moderators? I'm not arguing, I'm just looking for an expansion on that thought, and I'm curious what you envision when you say that.

The "clubtread.com" page *is* a completely separate website. The new owners bought the forum, not the site. Or at least, that's been functionally how it has worked. that's why the homepage and the trail wiki and all have been abandoned. The new owners only run a forum, not anything supplementary. I'm all for upgrading that stuff too, but I don't know if it's going to happen.

The site rules and guidelines can be viewed here. I think it would be great if there was some sort of static link to that page in the main links at the bottom or something.

What sort of incentive would you imagine would get contributions?
VSDM likes this.
Rachelo is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 01:43 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: PNW
Posts: 8,495
Default

Thanks for stepping forward idealistic74
CT2 just never got off the ground and maybe a little late too. I thought after some growing pains and adjustments it would level out and be a fun and user friendly site again.


It just didn't quite happen, yet. I don't really have any answers either, but there has been several issues discussed that need another look, The photos should be #1 as everyone loves to share pics on any social site, and no one has patience to take multiple tries at it.


The other things ( not a moderators issue in my view at this time) should be discussed openly and dealt with very soon. It seems CT2 is on thin ice and we all need to get it going the way we want it, or it may just wilt away to the point where its a ghost town and become just an old website that went silent.
Aqua Terra is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
idealistic74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: South Surrey, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, cycling, traveling, movies, trying new places to eat
Posts: 737
Default

Rachelo: Thanks for explaining what subscribe means and how to remove ads.

Regarding friendly, warm and welcoming - I meant more moderators like KARVITK. He always responds to threads, welcomes newcomers, invites everyone on his hikes and does it in a positive way. He can't do it all himself. We need more people like him. In my opinion, even if Clubtread is fixed up so that it's functioning really well, a moderator with negative energy will ultimately kill this site. So, I think this is the first thing that needs to be worked on before all the other stuff.

The new owners bought the forum in 2014 and they were given feedback about the photo uploader and the trail wiki and they still haven't done anything about either. That is not promising.

I haven't got answers about incentives, it's a toughie. Let me take a stab at it:
  • We're all limited in the number of photos we can post on our trip reports. Perhaps for every 2-3 trip reports you post you get the perk of posting more photos than the limit?
  • Maybe for every hike you organize and welcome everyone to, you get an MEC discount or MEC items (I have no doubt MEC would very gladly and very happily contribute towards that. In fact I would bank on this being VERY easy to set up), the catch is.. someone has to step up and make this happen
  • For every 8 trip reports (and they all have to be detailed and decent length) you post you get a gift certificate to Wild Play, a free gondola ride (sea to sky and/or Grouse), a 1 hour free kayaking, climbing lessons. If you're thinking to yourself it would be too tough to secure all these things - it's not (I'm speaking from experience). You just need someone to take this on.

As for ideas to spark some life back into Clubtread
  • I thought Zeljkok came up with some great ideas - I quote him "Authors of popular guidebooks lurk here. How about asking Alan, or Matt, or Andrew to have monthly column on CT? "Scrambling in shoulder season", "Gear I prefer for coastal rainforest", whatever. This would be immensely popular, would spark conversation & would work for authors too because they get adverts." and "photo of the month contest"
  • How about we create a contest for each area (e.g. one for the Fraser Valley, One for Sea to Sky) where you have to complete 10 hikes (with a photo of yourself at the peak as proof) and first person to complete gets a cool gift basket from Nature's Fare/Choices and gift certificate to an outdoor store.
  • Anyone know GIS on Clubtread? It would be super awesome for there to be a map and a dot placed on every hike in BC (and if you click on the dot, it takes you to the trail wiki page describing the hike in detail. A lot of work, but totally doable.
  • Once the trail wiki is back in commission - it would be great to add at the bottom of each hike description the top 5 trip reports to that location and a spot to download GPS coordinates

Anyway, the point is Clubtread needs people who care about it to put in the time to not only fix up the technical shortfalls - but to be creative and innovative and spark life back into it.

Aqua Terra: I made it known right when they took over the site that I thought it was going to go into a death spiral. I could see this coming. I hoped I was wrong.. but I wasn't. There is really one main thing that has most contributed to the decline of Club Tread. The Toronto folks don't care about this community and it shows (2 years and still haven't fixed the photo uploader? and countless other things..). Jim cared about hiking and bringing people together - and that matters! It is vital. You take that out of the equation, there is nowhere to go but down. In my opinion, Jim passed this site onto the wrong people. The fact we're heading towards being a "ghost town" is proof enough. Sorry, but it had to be said. Passionate, creative, motivated, innovative leader(s) who care = win, every time. Not sure how this can be "fixed".
sixer, treord8 and VSDM like this.

Last edited by idealistic74; 11-15-2016 at 10:49 AM.
idealistic74 is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 11:08 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Andorra.
Interest: hiking, backpacking, scrambling, climbing
Posts: 4,439
Default

I think a relevant issue is that the downturn came before the site was sold. That just massively accelerated it.
solo75 and zeljkok like this.
Rachelo is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:18 PM
Administrator
 
VSadmin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Interest: Poutine-lovin', maple syrup junkie.
Posts: 407
Default

Good suggestions so far guys. For the Trail wiki, I guess only moderators have access to updating that?

Kevin

admin..
VSadmin is online now  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:34 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Smurf Village, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, exploring, reading, random shiny things
Posts: 2,451
Default

Thanks for taking the initiative on this one.

My take on ads: I use an adblocker so the site is quite useable for me, when I'm on my MacBook. Not a friendly site on my phone. I would prefer CT to use Skin Background Ads, or Embedded Ads (static placement/rotation). The ads that show up on top of every single image when you're not using an adblocker are absolutely ridiculous. They made the site nearly unuseable, thus my enabling of the adblocker.

Forum section works fine. Mods are active, and despite the most recent discussion, quite effective.

Trail Wiki: one of the most underappreciated sections. Big potential here. It needs some love. So much could be done with it -> in fact, we could start a whole new thread for it.
VSDM likes this.
guntis is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:06 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Behind the Face Mask
Posts: 4,484
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelo View Post
I think a relevant issue is that the downturn came before the site was sold. That just massively accelerated it.
Exactly right!

This is why I keep voicing opinion about need for reinvention. It would be there even without takeover; now it has just accelerated as people are ticked off by interface, adds, half-baked port (wiki left on the other side), etc etc

(One of) key problems is Facebook competition. You can not fight or eliminate FB, so you must at minimum make posting as easy & then allow for FB sharing or tweeting from CT environment. And then add all these other things that us loyal troopers are tossing around & which FB due to generic nature of their environment (i.e not specialized for outdoors) does not have.
VSDM likes this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:30 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Behind the Face Mask
Posts: 4,484
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by guntis View Post

My take on ads: I use an adblocker so the site is quite useable for me, when I'm on my MacBook. Not a friendly site on my phone.
I installed AddBlockPlus thanks to your post on this site awhile ago. It works like a charm & I am forever in debt Agreed on overall lack of mobile friendliness & this goes into category of interface issues.

In the "Rules" thread Wondering Tree Frog complained about streaming photos directly from phone; it is possible & VSAdmin explained, but it was probably not entirely obvious how. I would suggest addressing mobile aspect, from layout to browsing to posting, as very important part of improvement/rewamp, as mobile users are more and more dominant.
alpalmer and VSDM like this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:46 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Candy Sack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,590
Default

Lots of good ideas noted above. One warning is to not become too "lower mainland-centric," because there are lots of viewers and contributors that don't live there and aren't as interested in seeing the same hikes reported on over and over.


I was harsh on admin in another thread, but now I will challenge the users/members. As a "club" we are only as effective as the individual members. Comments and discussion are what keep this ball rolling. What is going on when hundreds of people view a thread, but nobody or only a handful comment? (I'm not actually sure how the view count works...) Point is, if you are a registered member of the site and use the TR's and discussion to benefit yourself, don't be a lazy smuck-- say something positive like "thanks" or "cool trip". Only takes 5 seconds....


I'm guilty of not always doing what I just said- I'm choosey about what I comment on and have not always kept it positive. I tend to call out BS and I'm a straight shooter. One strategy to employ, however, could be the "pay it forward" approach. If someone comments on yours, return the sentiment and say something nice about his/hers.


Finally, for me, trail wikki and photo uploader/ease of posting TR's are two biggest issues.
susied, guntis, Elkaholic and 2 others like this.
Candy Sack is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 03:10 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fraser Valley
Interest: Photography, Nature Observation, Health & Fitness, Nutrition, Shinrin-yoku
Posts: 1,600
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Sack View Post
One warning is to not become too "lower mainland-centric," because there are lots of viewers and contributors that don't live there and aren't as interested in seeing the same hikes reported on over and over.
I noticed that long ago. That, plus unless you post 'epic' trips people aren't too interested in reading/commenting.
SarcasticMarmot likes this.
solo75 is offline  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 03:46 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Andorra.
Interest: hiking, backpacking, scrambling, climbing
Posts: 4,439
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VSadmin View Post
Good suggestions so far guys. For the Trail wiki, I guess only moderators have access to updating that?

Kevin
Hey, I *do* have the power to edit this. I had no idea.
but it's clearly a legacy. I have a couple suggestions:

1. The Trail wiki is not part of this site. It is part of the old clubtread site, and has clearly not been migrated over. I don't think this is a moderator thing, because I was not a moderator on the old site. I did see "edit" come up, and when I clicked it, it asked me to log in. I tried to log in with my credentials here, and it did not recognize them. So I used my older password, and sure enough, I got in. I believe that shows that it is hosted on a completely different site where I am using a different login. That said, I bet anyone who was a member before the buyout could still edit, because my old login certainly doesn't have any moderator powers.
But the fact that it is on a separate website is a problem:
I could edit, but I was not able to add a gpx track - that link must point to somewhere that no longer exists.
It also asks for photos via the 6-digit codes we used on the old site. I don't imagine it would be possible to add new photos, and the photos there are only thumbnails, with links to full-size images broken.
Are you guys willing to move it over and host it here with the rest of the forum, and upgrade it to share a similar style to the forum? That would need to happen for it to be a live resource again.

2. If so, it shouldn't be limited to moderators. I'd suggest that any account in good standing of 1 month or older may edit the wiki? I think "everyone can edit" is pretty much the fundamental point of a wiki. I can imagine we don't want it easily vandalizable, which is why I suggested the account age restriction, but otherwise, we want data from all users.

3. A big asset would be to link it with the forum in such a way that we can link trip reports to each trail's wiki, so that I could see all TRs someone has posted and connected, and be able to see more info in that way.
guntis, sixer, treord8 and 1 others like this.
Rachelo is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 04:31 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Wandering Tree Frog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mission, BC, Canada.
Interest: Borrowing or lending?
Posts: 267
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post

In the "Rules" thread Wondering Tree Frog complained about streaming photos directly from phone; it is possible & VSAdmin explained, but it was probably not entirely obvious how. I would suggest addressing mobile aspect, from layout to browsing to posting, as very important part of improvement/rewamp, as mobile users are more and more dominant.
The admin stated that it could be done in enhanced mode, which I can't stand. It's completely useless to me on my mobile platform.On my phone, I always exit the enhanced mode if I get somehow transported back into it.
Maybe the fact I'm not in enhanced mode is why I only get a small banner add top and bottom, which I find completely acceptable. Company has to make a profit, but whenever I'm on my computer, and not logged in, the site is almost unusable due to adds.

The greatest signature ever, tribute.
Wandering Tree Frog is offline  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 04:50 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Smurf Village, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, exploring, reading, random shiny things
Posts: 2,451
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Sack View Post
Point is, if you are a registered member of the site and use the TR's and discussion to benefit yourself, don't be a lazy smuck-- say something positive like "thanks" or "cool trip".
Guilty. I've been remiss of late. Appreciate the reminder.
guntis is offline  
post #15 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 04:50 PM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Behind the Face Mask
Posts: 4,484
Default

Trail Wiki was discussed fairly recently; old login credentials, hosted separately, etc. I can't find the thread, but discussion was triggered by whole security breach issue. Admins know about this.

To me Trail Wiki is fantastic feature & would be high-priority to address / port properly. At a time it was reason I joined CT because I learned all the awesome North Shore trails there.

You can do so much with it. I.e. old-time user RamblingBull who produced series of classic reports on the Coast. He is now in Ontario and posts like a machine on his Facebook page about various trails he explores there. This could be used as launching pad to expand/attract Ontario base. Possibilities are endless.
zeljkok is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1