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    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
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jon

CC.com Turns 12

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12 years ago today we started cascadeclimbers.com. When we started this there wasn't a course you could take or a book to read on how to start and run a successful online community. It's been a lot of trial and error, driving by braille, and hoping you are doing the right thing.

 

Big Thanks

 

While we may have hatched the idea and put the foundation in place, the truth is we wouldn't be here today without three groups of people.

 

The moderators. Our moderator group has changed little since we started, in fact I think we have close to half as many. Their presence is crucial to the health of our forum. They deserve a huge amount of gratitude.

 

The sponsors. Two years into this we started offering advertising to our local retailers. It's their support that pays the server bills and pays for software licenses. It's a tough time to be in retail and they deserve your support.

 

You. This all would just be a shell without you. We wouldn't have over 6000 trip reports without you. Some of you have been a part of this since the beginning, and we thank you for being part of the journey. We broke our trip report record in August which was a huge accomplishment.

 

The Future of CascadeClimbers

 

We've got some great stuff in the pipeline that we'd like to share with you.

 

More Articles. We have a number of great articles and gear reviews in the finishing stages. We will be doing more of these in the coming year.

 

New Server. We are in the final stages of negotiations on a new server located in Seattle. It's like going from a Corolla to a Bugatti. In fact that isn't even a good comparison. This server will probably be 100x faster and no more downtime.

 

New Site Design. Site design is looking kinda stale, hey? In what turned out to be a much more drawn out process that any of us had imagined, we hired a designer and have a slick new design for cc.com. The design is responsive and will work well on any screen width or device. It's been a huge project. The design is done. Base code is done. Articles and blog posts are converted over. We just need to reskin the forum and gallery. This should be done by the end of the month. It will be awesome.

 

New Forum Software. We have been with the current forum software (UBB) since we started cc.com. It has served us well. However, the development on it has pretty much come to a crawl. After evaluating the options we have decided to make a switch. The new software is really great and I think once everyone gets used to it we know you will love it. I'm in the process now of planning and testing conversions. It's a lot of work but it's the best product for the future. You guys are going to love it.

 

New Gallery Software. Along with switching forum software we are also moving to a new gallery software that integrates better with the forum software. No more copying URLs. No more yelling at your screen because your upload isn't working; it will actually work. Along with the forum switch this is a big job, we have 15k posts with gallery images in it and we need to make sure it all converts correctly. Again, it will be a huge improvement that everyone is really going to love.

 

New Trip Report System. After we migrate to the new board we will start making massive improvements to the TR system. Easier to post, easier to search.

 

There is more as well that we will talk about as the above get's rolled out.

 

How to support our cause

 

There are a number of things you can do to support cc.com.

 

* Continue to post great info and trip reports.

* Get your friends to stop lurking and post. The more the merrier.

* Join our Facebook page and consider liking your favorite content here. It helps get the word out about us.

* Tell your local retailers that support us how much you appreciate their support of cc.com.

* When buying online use our price tools to make your purchases. We get a bit of a kickback which helps us fund our projects.

Over the course of the month we'll talk a bit more about the above more in detail.

 

Thanks again everyone!

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:brew:

not certain how i managed to be so unproductive prior to 12 years ago...

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I'd like to tell you guys a bit about the new site design and what changes you can anticipate in the next couple months. I met my goal of having this done within a month of the birthday date.

 

For several years we've been wanting to redesign the site as it was obviously in a poor state of affairs. Not only did it look like crap, functionally the content section of the site created a lot of unneeded resistance in getting articles published. Each time we'd talk about it, make some mockups, talk about it some more, get frustrated, and then find something else to put our limited time into.

 

The limiting factor besides time was that I wasn't a web designer, so we were never going to get the design we really wanted. About a year ago it became clear to me the only way this was going to get done was to hire a designer. So I put out a craigslist ad, got a couple good responses, and probably several thousand from India. I found someone who I thought was going to be a good fit, only to be told as I was ready to start he couldn't do it. So I follow up with another person, send him specs, and then he flakes out. After several months the first designer gets back and says he has time, makes some mockups that I wasn't very wild about, then drops off the face of the earth. Now I'm really irritated. This was so important to us I decided to pay $75 to put an ad on Smashing Mag, a leading design and developer website, in hopes of connecting with a great, motivated designer. I got a lot of great responses and eventually got hooked up with Lisa from Toronto.

 

I gave Lisa some ideas of what we wanted, made it clear that we were designing for our users and that advertising space would be put in afterwards. Her first mockups were incredible, much better then the previous designer, and I knew this was going to workout. She was prompt and a great communicator and we look forward to continue working with her. If you are looking for a web designer I highly recommend her.

 

Let's talk about the design a bit. On the content part of the site the design is responsive; instead of having separate designs or scripts for each device it responds to your screen width. Right now this is only on the front content part of the site, but our goal is to have the whole site working in this manner over time.

 

Now you might be thinking the front of the site looks great, but the forum and gallery look like you put the top and bottom on and that's it. Well that is basically what we did. As I indicated above we are moving to a new forum and gallery software, and I didn't want to invest time and money into something that is about to change.

 

This design change is going to be a work in progress and we will be iterating on it over the next few months (years really) as we get some user and testing feedback. If there is a problem or something you don't like about it please give us a shout. We will likely be spending some time polishing the forum design just a bit to match the changes.

 

Next up is the forum and gallery. I'm hoping I can have this done by the end of the Nov or Dec, but it's a complex project.

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Strong work Jon, thanks much for all the work you do to make this site a great place! Much appreciated, and the background photos are simply stunning ;).

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I wanted to post a quick note regarding some changes to the advertising on cc.com now that we have a new design. I want to emphasize that the majority of these changes are pretty minor for most users and we'll never bombard you with advertising.

 

We have added and will add advertising between the first and second post in most forums for users that are not logged in. In addition, logged in users will see these ads in the Spray forum only.

 

We have not decided yet whether to have this advertising in the Trip Report forums for users that are not logged in, and the thinking right now we will let you decide whether we should do so. Most people put a lot of time and effort into their TRs and we want to respect that. Interestingly, for our TR search page 80% of the traffic to it is from users not logged in. It's possible these users are registered but not logged in, but it does demonstrate how popular TRs are.

 

Over the course of the next several months we will be testing different ad formats to see which are the most effect both from a revenue standpoint but also from a user experience standpoint. If you have any feedback about these changes feel free to contact us.

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