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wayne

CC Article

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The following is an article that was wrote about CC that the climbing rags waived on publishing for being too local. Here it is for comments and maybe someone knows of a venue that would publish it?(please respect publishing rights and contact the writer)

It is now being thrown to the Sharks of CC!

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Herding the Cats:

How the Internet has affected the Climbing Communitity in the Pacific Northwest

By Wayne Wallace

 

I was driven into my perceived computer hell. For the last 37 years, I had never wanted to learn anything about them. It wasn't until I was stranded in one of the most remote places in the world for a couple of months, did I use the Evil Box. I relied on the satellite phone to link up my emails to my family and loved ones, and was forced to the dark side of the force. Though I am recovering, I came around at just the time one of the largest climbing websites in the world was getting going. Since October 2000 the website known as Cascade Climbers has become bigger than the young creators could have ever possibly dreamed. With over 3000 members and more joining by the droves. The software is getting overloaded and overused. Obviously there is something big going on here.

"I created a Monster"Said Jon, the young biologist turned part-time Internet mogul. (Sic). Jon related how it is THE supreme personal example of an idea of his became hugely successful .He never dreamed it could be so big and notorious as it currently is. There are many other websites and message boards, but none are as constantly active and full of all kinds of interaction between climbers. Yea those antisocial, but very social cave dwellers that don't have much else to do when it starts raining in the Northwest. Some currently logged on are people stuck at work; some are people with no life, young, old, and some not even in the sport. Perhaps half of the chatter is not even about climbing. Of course it has trip reports, beta, and latest conditions. It also has a lot of different personalities on board. It has become everything from cars sales to a dating service. It is threatening to herd the cats into an actual and virtual community. For all it does, it does have its dark side....

Its critics say there is too much B.S. It could be another stale chat board but it's because of the B.S. that it is not boring. Much of what you may see with negativity is opinionated people expressing their own values or ethics. For example, it may be conflicts between age and traditions of participants. Old School Trads will pick fights occasionally over bolts.

"Yes we have our problem users",says Jon. People can act like complete idiot with no consequences. Lurkers, Sprayers, Gapers, and downright twisted minds seem to rule here at times. Here is one of the more insightful posts:

 

 

Zen Spray Master Member # 623 posted 10-04-2002 12:53 PM I believe that it more a manifestation of the anonymity of the posters than any one, or number of anomalies.When I was a kid, we used to hide down a side alley and lob oranges at cars passing by on the street. There was no way we were going to do so standing out on the curb, but hidden as we were, it was fun to thunk one on the hood, roof or trunk of a car. I equate this site and it's participants in much the same way. Those who don't hide behind an alias aren't typically so brutal as those that do. With anonymity, social conventions take a back seat and the "fun" goes over the top. Posts

 

Keeping a level of sanity to the chat is the group of people known as "The Moderators"They alone have the power to erase any thing from death threats to sexual deviance. They have been known to delete someone's membership or merely ask him or her to chill out. Some negative posters have popped back up under different user names. It seems elitism and pride will always have a haven here.

"For me it is mostly entertainment",Says Captain Caveman, One of the most notorious posters. "You would be doing the same thing if you were stuck at a computer all day. There are other things to it as well. It is a great resource of route conditions and beta. It has everything from washed out roads, fire closures, rappel stations, photos, personal route experience, advice, and opinions. We all only have so many tentacles as an individual. With this our reach can be endless".

A sad but useful example was the tragedy that took Goran Kropp from our tenuous reach. The news brought the board to its knees with the story. It was almost exclusively dealt with on the site, with his friend/partner posting the sad details constantly. It gave us a place to morn and heal; to question the very mystery that draws us to the heights. People from all over the world joined in as we pour over this transition.

The bottom line, productive thing, it seems to do is it brings people together. There are many people I might not have met without it. Days and nights spent at home wondering what to do. Each week throughout the N.W., I see people meeting for climbing or beers. If it hasn't happened yet, some people will be married from this site. There is no telling what adventures you may see. Climbing is a little cooler when it can be shared, celebrated, and satired.

 

USER GUIDE:

Simply log on to: http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/mt/climb/

Or simply type in cascadeclimbers.com, you can see the entire site without registering, however you need to register to post a comment or send a private message. I found the people who started the site to be very accessible and friendly. The site is currently in a state of repair, but just keep clicking and you will find more than enough. Try clicking on: "All Posts"Before you know it, after meeting a new person, your first question might be: "What do you post as?"

 

Glossary:

Lurker: The creepy people who view the site without registering.

Sprayer: A person who goes on and on about personal accomplishments or nothing at all.

Wanker: An elitists term for a person not climbing difficult stuff.

Newbie: a person new to the sport.

Horsecock: A term Fred Becky used for large sausage links.

 

Wayne Wallace is an accomplished climber who has lived in the 3 most western states. He is a carpenter foreman and father of 2. He currently resides in Seattle and spends his weekends exploring the North Cascades.

 

 

 

 

Edited by wayne1112

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Could use some editing, not bad though. I can see why they say it's too local. Did you mention that people from several states post?

Your tale of how you were lured in to the site is the best part.

What mags did you pitch it to?

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For starters it needs serious editing. Not trying to be a prick, just stating the obvious. Other than that, it's cool.

 

A headsup: You better check with Cavey before mentioning his name. He's capable of getting pissed off and making your life a living hell.

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Mention the chics, dude. That'll get it play. hehehe.

 

Seriously, it seems to jump a bit. Were you limited on word count? It doesn't seem to flow from one topic to the next. You know, the two biggest things I think of regarding this board is: 1.) all the partners and friends that I've hooked up with and 2.) the vast quantities of climbing knowledge and route information presented here. Sure there's lots of shit, but boil that away and this website is a really great tool for a local climber.

Edited by Greg_W

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I like the article Wayne. Yes it could use a little editing but that is what editors are for folks.

 

I think the main reason why the mags didn't take it was that you got scooped. About a month or so before both Magazines had articles on internet climbing sites. Apparently we were mentioned in the Rock and Ice one but I didn't see it, and we didn't make the Climbing one although some pretty lame sites did. Lot's of tears shed over that wink.gif

 

I think you should sit on it a little while, add some stuff, and resubmit it. You didn't mention anything about Pub Clubs or Rope Up which I don't think many sites can claim to have done (all credit to Beck here). Maybe find some pictures to go along with it.

 

Good work Wayne bigdrink.gif

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Word Wayne, good read. definately embellish a bit more, the editors can hack it down to the appropriate size.

 

i must say i'm jealous jon got press and i didn't. i'm the black sheep of the operation aren't i, or perhaps the albinoblacksheep (if you've ever had the (dis)pleasure of seeing my red eye or the baked ham, or the batwing, or the my favorite the fruitbasket-- you would understand)

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I’ll leave any writerly advice for well… for the writers. But I do want to take quibbling exception to your characterization of lurkers as “creepy.” Lurkers are readers. And readers are who writers write for! There’s nothing even vaguely creepy about having readers around. I look at it this way: who’s more creepy? The lurker quietly reading the threads and topics that interest them, or the guy (or gal…) with nothing to say about climbing who won’t stop talking shit? Don’t get me wrong, nobody loves shit talking as much as I do (any wonder?), but I also respect those who want to lurk. To me, they represent raw potential. A vast and as yet untapped resource of information and bullshit. So I say, “Lurk on, you silent masses. They also contribute who STFU.” I’ll go lurk now…

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send it to vbouldering. tongue.gif

 

it needs, not a little, but a lot of editing. quite frankly, i have heard many people complain about the mags not publishing them ,it is usually because their articles are poorly written. if editor has to do a lot of work for a bad article, or minimal work for a good article, usually they are going to publish the good one and reject the bad as its less work for them.

 

strickland, and was it ryland with the hood piece? got published - ask them for beta.

 

even the alpine journals reject like 50% of all submissions - for the mags its more like 90-95%

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the last word should be "satirized" not "satired" I think. Other than the glaring omission of gapertimmy, it's a good read smile.gif

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Nice article. You all are a complete bunch of wankers. I like the idea of highlighting the pub club and rope up. Maybe also develop the personality of one or two of the posters in greater detail.

 

A local rag like Off Piste may be interested. The editor's a good guy.

 

bigdrink.gif

 

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Nice job smile.gif it does need a little work. But don't cive up on it. we are an interesting group spred over several states. Another thing I would suggest mentioning is that climbers from diffrent states meet up and climb together. that there have at times been pub clubs in 3 or 4 diffrent cities in a given week. Sure it is local to the PNW, but not just the seatle area. You need to sell that Timm@y is in bend and Jon in washington. That we have vocal people participating all the way from minnasota...? carolyn I think. you might try to get in touch with her... foe some words. I know she met some people from the bbs when she was out here.

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Wayne,

Nice job! It's tough writing something like that isn't it?

 

Here's some criticism. It's meant in a constructive way. I hope you take it that way.

 

You might try researching your topic a little more thoroughly smile.gif. Not in terms of CC.com but compared to what else is out there. A lot of what you write about (flaming, BS) is everywhere and is not big news. Especially, since as Jon wrote, you've been scooped already. Also, I think some of what you write about "no other place does ____" is not accurate. I expect you'd get a lot more interest if you tried to distill what makes CC.com special among other internet climbing discussion forums. To understand what is and isn't unique about CC.com you need to know what else is out there. Your article sounds a bit like Scotteryx gushing about Eight-mile rock. Sure it is a cool craglet, and it is fun to be reminded of what is what like viewing stuff through the eyes of a newbie; but it does get old pretty quickly, and would you even care one iota if Eight-mile rock was not someplace you'd visited or planned to visit?

 

Which brings me to this point. Your article is too local. I feel the main draw to this site is that it is chock full of local information and provides a way to interact and meet local climbers. I doubt I'd be spending much time here if I lived in California. The only way you're going to make this article interesting to someone outside the PNW is to provide some info of why this site may be interesting to them.

 

What does make this site unique? Why do non-locals like Carolyn and Freeclimb post here? That is an intersting topic in itself.

 

There's a discussion on rec.climbing comparing rec.climbing to a couple of the CA-based forums here if you wanna read it.

 

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Wayne - I think there some nice pieces in there. In particular, I think the section about the interaction of the site with real events, such as the Kropp tragedy could really be developed a lot further. (Maybe a less charged example might be the support on the site in developing rescue situations, such as Lambone on Glacier peak, with the inevitable descent into Monday-morning-quarterbacking by anonymous posters after they got back safely)

 

What is seems to me is missing is something that would really give the reader (who was not familiar with cc.com) a sense of what it's like to experience the site. While nothing that you write is untrue, there didn't seem to be anything that would "grab" the attention of someone who wasn't already interested in the subject. Maybe what's missing is a more detailed vignette about one of the more emotional situations. Or maybe a profile of a couple of users (as someone else already suggested) to make a kind of framing device that would tie the whole thing together.

 

I think it would also be interesting to talk about the culture and recurring trends: i.e. the periodic debates about whether spray drives "NW legends" off the site, or the dark side of site (i.e. the piling on in the Anna accident thread or whatever).

 

There was an article in climbing a few years ago about the usenet group rec.climbing that was pretty good; like most good writing, because it was about people, not the technology. Might be worth looking up for reference.

 

Finally, I think the user's guide is a fun idea, but maybe a better organizing structure would be a short review of the different forums, with their individual personalities?

 

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Or you could jazz it up with some personal perspective. In the form of a narrative. "We were all set to do the North Face of the shmeeb when my partner Joe broke his leg. The weather was perfect and I knew this would be my only chance this season to go for it. No way in the world could I solo the Shmeeb. I logged on to cascadeclimbers.com and made a post "Anybody want to go do the Shmeeb?" Within three hours I had over 30 interested replies. One of them was from a PNW legend that I had met briefly at a pub, also organized on cc.com. I knew he was a strong climber but from meeting him in the pub, I figured he was also someone I could get along with. The day after, topping out on the Shmeeb, I had done one of the best climbs of my life. If it wasnt for cc.com I would have had to spend the weekend painting my garage." blah blah wink.gif

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You wanna know why you di'n't get published? No mention of Dr. Flash Afuckingmazing. You wana get published next time? At least a paragraph describing the dastardly Doctor, preferably a paragraph rife with rich metaphor and Hollywood-worthy, in-your-face hyperbole.

 

Thus concludes Writing 101. Back to the keyboard!

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There are many other websites and message boards, but none are as constantly active and full of all kinds of interaction between climbers.

 

FWIW, Ukclimbing.com is more active, I think. Maybe bouldering.com too? I stopped surfing that one 2 years ago, so who knows.

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Your article sounds a bit like Scotteryx gushing about Eight-mile rock. Sure it is a cool craglet, and it is fun to be reminded of what is what like viewing stuff through the eyes of a newbie...

 

LOL grin.gif

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"It was too local," i.e. it didn't mention Boulder or Yosemite once. How do you expect to get anything published in the mags when you don't make one reference to Estes Park, the Diamond, or speed climbing El Cap? Noone wants to hear about the PNW because that might actually infer that Boulder isn't the center of the universe. Maybe if you wrote an article on the history of climbing in Boulder Canyon you might get published... no wait someone already did that.

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"It was too local," i.e. it didn't mention Boulder or Yosemite once. How do you expect to get anything published in the mags when you don't make one reference to Estes Park, the Diamond, or speed climbing El Cap? Noone wants to hear about the PNW because that might actually infer that Boulder isn't the center of the universe. Maybe if you wrote an article on the history of climbing in Boulder Canyon you might get published... no wait someone already did that.

 

shit man they got a whole book....

 

i think it is titled "front range strokefest"

 

 

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Monday-morning-quarterbacking by anonymous posters after they got back safely

 

And some not so anonymous Geek_em8.gif

 

My name is Sprayshaw. I am anonymous. Alchoholics Anonymous bigdrink.gif

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