Member knowledge database suggestion
Hi Scott, congrats on a great site. I'm new to the area, and really impressed with the local skiing community's dedication to your site and the sport in general.
One thought occured to me after reading a trip report: the best way to plan a ski trip to a new resort or region is to talk with someone who has been there and has some local knowledge. For instance, I could pass along some great insights to someone planning a first-time trip to Chamonix (which I sure would have found helpful before I went!).
Since there seems to be an awful lot of collected wisdom among the registered DC Ski members, perhaps you could set up some type of (opt in) excel list of members and the resorts they are knowledgable about? I know I'd be happy to sign up, and it would be a convenient way for all of us "ski wanderers" to exchange handy info.
Thanks and keep up the great work!
The Washington Area Bicyclist Assoc. has a similar database for bike commuters and it works well. If someone wants to commute from A to B, they e-mail someone who makes that commute daily to get information on the best route and if necessary link up for a "mentorship" ride.
A member knowledge DB is a great idea, in fact, just mentioned it (not very concisely!) in another thread. I know for example, RIDE ROUTES are popular items at cycling clubs. We could do something similiar for trails (or off trail is what i am really thinking of), not to mention other things like where to stay, where to find ticket discounts, and so forth... good idea, how do we make it happen!
Really good idea. I know that there have been changes to some areas which I haven't visited in a while and hooking up with someone who frequents those areas would be great. Also, Johnfmh, you are a walking encylopedia of many area I haven't visited. Would be nice to know who else is.
Yup, there's a lot of people who know about a lot of things here. Bought my wife a new digi camera for Christmas. Printed off the thread one of the Johns (i think, sorry too lazy to look) started and it really helped me sort thru the techno BS and get the right thing.
"good idea, how do we make it happen?"
What are some of the things folk's would be curious about? Is this a suggestion to expand the Q&A on the main page? Ski reviews, the recent posts on ski storage are things I've found interesting recently.
My interest is more towards where to ski at a particular resort, mainly where to the find the road less traveled -- and also (probably unfortunately) mostly out west resorts (or europe, etc...) I mean its a bit hard to find the rd less traveled at say Whitetail... so that's probably not going to happen as TECHNICALLY this is about skiing the mid-atlantic?
I think the db could have lots of skiing and non-skiing information.
Skiing-preferences on local resorts (and days and times normally skied). This can help with ridesharing.
Plans for group ski trips to help save us all some money
Plans for summer ski trips (Chile anyone?)
Preferences on ski shops, ski techs, private lessons (lots of us instructors on this board)
Non Ski-Hobbies that can be interesting in the summer (hiking, biking, rollerblading)
Business info-those of us with small businesses can get our info out and we can support each other. Also could help if someone might need a mentor.
I know this board has been very helpful to me. Because of it, I got information on becoming a ski instructor and made contact with Bill who is helping me with teaching rollerblading this summer. I database could help us all with searching for info.
I too send a big thanks to Scott for all the work he does on this site. It gets better every year. A couple of suggestions I have, not that he needs more work, are:
1. Put another subject in the menu column on the front page called something like "non local ski area info". Thanks to the contributions of many people we are building a nice archive of reports/articles on non local ski areas. Many of these are listed in the first topic covered in the Q&A subject in the menu column, but I think they have enough value/interest to warrant their own subject line in the menu so that infrequent site users can find them more easily. (I think recent reports on local areas appropriately appear when you go to their resort profile section.)
2. Although restaurant info is perishable (and subjective) because restaurants come and go, I think it would be fun and informative to add a topic to the Q&A on good restaurants/hot spots at, near, or on the way to ski areas. I have about 10 suggestions of this type myself. The reader comment function could be used to add or amplify on this.
bavarian chef, madison virginia, on way to mass/wintergreen/homestead
Elliot's, hot sprgs virginia, at homestead
uncle tucker's, Cumberland Maryland, on way to wisp/tline/cv
siriani's, Davis wv, at cv/tline
parkndine, Hancock Maryland, on way to wisp/bk/7spr/hv/laurel
redhorse steak house, Frederick Maryland, on way to lib/rt/wt
could even go non local on this, for example:
olde bryan inn, Saratoga sprgs, gore/wf
wobbly barn, Killington vt access rd
Johnny seesaw, Manchester vt, bromely/stratton/magic
ALL good ideas, WHAT do we do to make it happen? What are the mechanics of setting this up? Do we have to bribe scott with free beer?
Personally, I'd rather see Scott spend his "free" time working on adding the ability to host uploaded pictures on DCSki (storage/bandwith permitting) than on coordinating a member knowledge database. Seems like this database would be a lot of effort to set-up, coordinate, keep up-to-date, and to qualify who really knows what they are talking about.
If you have a question, why not start a thread? This approach has been working well for DCSki (and numerous other message forums.) At least with discussion threads on a particular topic, you'll get input from a lot of different sources, and you can decide for yourself what input to use.
Adding more specific forums on the message board and expanding the Q&A section seem like good ideas.
In that vein, that is how to do the work except alleviate El Scotto -- how 'bout a wikipedia type thing? Have you seen Wikipedia? I mean its not bad and I think its all written and updated by most anyone. They do offer a set of guidelines and then a discussion area to resolve disputes... ok, so I've never actually modified or submitted an article myself but it *seems* like from 20 ft it might be an option.
I agree with JohnL, the member database idea would be too difficult to maintain, and besides, as he points out, the forum is working fine.
Beefing up Q&A, however, is a good idea and anyone who has some unique knowledge and wants to write one should be encouraged to do so. In short, we should pursue KevR's idea of a Wikepedia style Q&A.
Also, we'll need to update Q&A from time to time to freshen up the material. Things change over time. What's the hardest trail in the Mid-Atlantic? Noooo, not that one again!!!
The answer to that question changes on a daily basis.
PS I like the idea of giving forum members the option of purchasing server space on DCSki (for a small fee) to share ski photos. I'd certainly pay a small sum to be able to be able upload and share ski photos with DCSki friends.
I agree, it would be handy to have the ability to post pics on dcski server, prolly worth some extra $'s.
As far as "What's the hardest trail in the Mid-Atlantic? Noooo, not that one again!!! The answer to that question changes on a daily basis.".....just wait til RogerZ murphy and kwill get Moonshine Mountain open.