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Elf Answers

Postby Bob Burd » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:15 pm

This thread is intended to act as a way to gather some of the many questions that are repeatedly addressed, but lost in the fog of thread drift and decay. Only elves can post to this thread, but anyone is free to ask a question. PM the Elves with a question you'd like answered publicly. You can send it to an individual elf if you like. Who are they?

Gangolf Haub
Vid Pogachnik
Aaron Johnson
Bob Burd
Dave K

The elves are all SP members who assist in the management of the site, unpaid. The site is owned by Josh and Ryle who put it together as a fun exercise a number of years ago as a way to combine their coding and climbing skills. They lost interest in the day to day machinations of the site and turned it over to the elves to manage. The elves do not have access to the source code and cannot make any changes to it. We can edit/delete pages, manage the forums, and such, but make no real improvements. Matt, allowed access to the code by the owners, acts as technician of sorts when things break, but that's about it.

We haven't heard from Josh or Ryle in a few years, but as far as we know they have no interest in selling the site, but are happy to leave it just as it is. Indications we have gotten are that they have both done well in business after creating SP and are actively pursuing other interests. It would be a mistake to believe that SP is any sort of real income to them, as all indications are that the ads generate about enough income to pay for the server space the site runs on.
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Postby Bob Burd » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:14 pm

squishy wrote:I would like to know why lolli and dmt are labeled as whiners an
snitches...do you or did you really receive many pm's from those two
complaining and why is tha info propagated, where did come from...is dmt a
friend of an elf and people know? is he an elf, or is he highly involved
in the discussions...


Labeled that by whom? That might answer the first question. Misinformation get propagated for lots of reasons, but a primary one is because people *want* to believe it is true.

I hiked with DMT twice in Feb 2006, to the highpoints of Yolo and Merced Counties. You can find our names listed under CA here. It was great fun, both times. Haven't seen him since, except on SP, not even via email. Is he my friend? Of course - I'd hike with him again anytime. I'd also hike again with most of the other 196 people I've had the pleasure to hike with. You can see Dingus as #72 on the list. No, he's not an elf and was never consulted or included in discussions of any sort other than what pertained to him directly (like his banning). He's had his say no more than most folks.

PMs?
Lolli liked to PM the elves, sure. That was her style, always communicating. DMT? Not so much. There's never been a PM from him until January this year. Two were sent to me. Nine to the elves. Yes, I just went back and counted. By way of comparison, chief sent me four since January, lots more before that. I also have three from Husker, two from Bob Sihler, and four from Squishy, since January. To the elves, since January, there were 17 from chief, seven from Bob Sihler, two from Husker, two from squishy. And since I know some are curious, there's never been a PM to the elves from truchas, and the last one I received was many years ago.
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Postby Bob Burd » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:36 pm

Bob Sihler wrote:I certainly don't mind if the ads here pay for the site. I might not
mind if the owners were turning a profit if I at least knew upfront. But
if they've been profiting all along while we've been working for free and
never knowing, then that would bother me. I would feel deceived for
thinking SP was solely for sharing information on mountains.

I always understood most .org sites were nonprofits, but maybe I am
wrong.

If you are able to answer about ad revenue vs. site costs, I think a lot
of people would appreciate knowing that. It runs the risk of a lot of
people deleting their submissions, but I think it's fair for people to
know.


I find it both amusing and sad when I hear the owners are money-grubbing, non-climbers making a fortune off our hobby (or something to that effect).

Josh and Ryle, Josh in particular, were *very* involved in this website when they first sprung it on the world. Josh was an avid climber, a cross-country soloist in the mold of Peter Croft, having held the record for the CA 14ers for a short time and still having the fastest traverse of the Minarets near Mammoth Lakes (besting Croft's time by hours, literally). That first year saw great improvements, fixes, all sorts of ideas taken from the feedback he got. He also started the forums and played moderator for a while. But he soon became disillusioned by things as there were always some members who could not be satisfied with how the site operated or how the forums were managed. Like the old axiom, 10% of the customers take up 90% of your time. At the suggestion of a few of us, he turned over control of the forums and some routine tasks to a small group that he thought could manage things, allowing him to concentrate on development. That too, went by the wayside as Ryle and he got involved in other ventures - projects that actually earned them money.

When I last asked about this a number of years ago, Josh said the ads "about pay for the hosting" of the site. It is everyone's dream that a website can make tons of money quite easily with Google Ads. Google makes a lot of money, not most of the sites using them. If this was truly a money-making venture, don't you think they would pay more attention to it and pump a little money into development to make it better and attract even more folks? Of course they would. And we'd have a far more successful MBpost and other sites as well if there was appreciable money to be made. But as far as anyone can tell, it just goes along as it is - their gift to the climbing community to do with it as they will.

btw, the change from .com to .org had to do with search ranking and how the search engines were displaying results. I don't know any more than that.
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Postby Bob Burd » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:31 am

Bob Sihler wrote:
Bob Burd wrote:By way of comparison, chief sent me four since January, lots more before
that. I also have three from Husker, two from Bob Sihler, and four from
Squishy, since January. To the elves, since January, there were 17 from
chief, seven from Bob Sihler, two from Husker, two from squishy.

While I appreciate the answer to Squishy's question, I am concerned that
it makes me appear to be one of the people whining to the Elves, but I
never sent a PM to the Elves bitching about what people were doing in PnP
or elsewhere on the site.


I apologize for the misunderstanding. I didn't mean to imply that these PMs were either the highest ranking, nor concerned entirely with whining. Most all of the posts had to do directly with something related to the person sending it (like, "Why am I banned?") or more general (as in, "Can we at least discuss bringing PnP back?") or something completely unrelated to PnP - I just counted the PMs in the archives, I didn't catalog their content. I picked out the particular members to count to show there wasn't some flood of PMs from a particular corner as has been suggested.
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Bob Burd
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