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To Anyone Interested

Suggestions and comments about SummitPost's features, policies, and procedures. Post bugs here.
 

Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby gimpilator » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:52 pm

First off, I want to express gratitude for the work Aaron put into SP over the years and the huge amount of time as well. That was a selfless act to be revered.

Now for my take on this matter. I just noticed that at least one route page that I signed with details and route conditions has been deleted. I think it's selfish and childish to act out emotionally by trying to damage SP. It goes against the original spirit of the site which is to freely share information about mountains and mountaineering. When Aaron deleted pages, the result was that SP became less complete and other people lost their contributions as well.

Grow up! So often on different websites I hear people whining about how they got their feelings hurt in forums. You know how an adult handles it? Avoidance. It's easy, just don't participate. For instance, I don't care to engage in melodrama so I don't spend much time in forums. If I have a question, I go to the forum, look for the answer and leave. Let the people with nothing better to do spend hours reading forum drama.

Do people like Aaron really want to take on deep-seated resentments just because a few ignorant people are posting trash in the forums? Yes SP has a forum side but it is not the primary function of the website. Why should personal insecurities about religion manifest into anger and resentment? Unreal...

Here is the spirit of the man, as posted on his profile: "Any connection I had with this wretched web site is done, and I will never recommend SummitPost to anyone. May SummitPost perish. Quickly."

I hope Aaron can get over his anger and resentment someday or else it will continue to make him sick. Unfortunately, the malicious damage he has recently done here will only be repaired slowly. If I hear about one more Alpendave, Shredzzer, or Aaron Johnson deleting their pages I swear I'm going to puke.
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Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby mvs » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:18 pm

I once had a major disagreement with what I felt was the direction of the site, and made a bit of a stink about packing my bags and leaving. Now, luckily for you guys, I'm back (haha), but I was "gone" for about 2 (frankly, rather blissful) months. I felt the way you do gimpilator, realizing that these pages are like coral reefs that other pages get attached to. The sad thing is that when a page disappears you may not notice until 9 months later when you need the info. Broken links, etc. This is why I was always arguing in a more wikipedia-like direction, to build an institution, not just a collection of home pages. That idea was shouted down, perhaps rightfully so, but this is the downside of a high degree of personal ownership. On the other hand I guess the highs are higher...

Anyway, when I left I transferred my pages to others, sometimes without even waiting for permission (sorry, I was in a hurry). I did delete 3-4 pages, but they had terrible votes, and nobody seemed to be interested in them. I came back and a few people kind of rolled their eyes and gave pages back to me. I'll never live down my impression as a massive drama queen among a certain subset of users, but that is life.

So if anybody else gets fed up, maybe my story can be a model. The thing is, I wasn't mad at any of the people likely to actually use my content...I was mad at other people. Folks who could barely climb out of their easy chair, much less a yawning off-width chimney. It's a long shot, but maybe folks who are fed up can still make their point and enjoy blissful Summitpost-free time, but leave at least skeletal placeholders for the routes and areas involved, preserving all those highly interesting climbers logs. I've read some amazing stories in there, often told with a brevity and wit that puts a 3000 word trip report to shame! :-p Just delete that stirring purple prose that gets us to march out the door at 3 am for the mountains. That'll show us...but still show a little mercy too.
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Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby mvs » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:22 pm

sjarelkwint, I think we are realizing we kind of jumped on Aaron at a difficult time...but I want to say your post was really good. Mine just restated it, though I managed to talk about myself a lot more. :D Anyway, +1.
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Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby butitsadryheat » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:58 pm

sjarelkwint wrote:
Sorry Aaron but you just created one of the best thread on the forum in ages though that wasn't your goal. It has been ages when I visited summitpost on a daily base but due to your thread you made me come back ...

Always dreamed of climbing all over the world due to summitpost but now that I have more specific targets summitpost is no longer enough ...

Last year in Wales I was living in one of those places which was covered really good by Nanuls (and DAMN he makes great pages!!!) Thanks for that Nanuls and also thanks for the times we climbed together.

Now I am living in Bulgaria there is just nothing at all. Been working on my "trip report" of last year for ages now and that needs to be finished before continueing with writing routes ...

It is bloody hard to write stuff when you try to get out on a daily base and love a beer after climbing!!! So yes I do respect what you did a lot and I'm starting to get an idea of how hard it is to create such an amount.

The reason why summitpost started is to give FREE beta to users instead of letting them buy guidebooks and stuff like that. It is also a site which is free and nobody is indeed paid for creating the pages you made. The thing you decided now though is that in some way the community which you were part of needs to pay by behaving in the forums and by that you expected some way of payement ... You expected something in return which is not the way summitpost works ... You had great pages and there is ABSOLUTELY no point at all to take stuff away ... What is the plan with it now? Going to put it in a guidebook and earn money with it? Because of 10-20 people that annoy you you took away information from 1000s of people so yes, I think it was a selfish act you performed there, and I think the same about other people that take away content from the site because all do it because of the forum, the style of the site they don't like anymore or any other ridiculous reason with which most users have nothing to do ...

Wait, didn't you start a website and completely shut it down because you didn't lik what people were saying about you and in general?
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Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby Alpinist » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:21 pm

I'm very sorry to see you leave the site Aaron. Your contributions have been invaluable and I thank you for everything you've done to manage and build SP. It's a shame that some forum comments from a small number of individuals have ruined it for you.

I rarely read the P&P forum any more (or whatever it's called these days). However, that forum was created to keep the BS out of the main pages and I think it has served that purpose nicely.

I wish you'd reconsider your decision. There are 50 responsible, caring SP members (who avoid the P&P forum entirely) for every member that chooses to post inflamatory comments. The rotten apples only ruin the barrel if you let them.
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Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:38 pm

mvs wrote:
You mean that if it weren't for "boring" people like me arguing for civility in the forums Aaron wouldn't have left? But wait...I thought he left because of the opposite problem. Wasn't Aaron plagued by harrassment from non-boring forum denizens in the years before he left? Didn't these admittedly "exciting" people turn off serious contributors in droves, most of whom we'll never hear from again?

Your contempt not only for people but for ideas is embarassingly obvious.

For my part, I'm regretting a bit too much snarking on Aaron's departure. The guy was in real pain here, about something or another, and has earned the right to be free from backbiting comments. I'm editing the inflammatory content of my posts and won't reply any more (so you get the last word Vitaliy if that is how you choose to see my statement...as an admission of boring weakness :)).


It is not about having the last word mvs. If you take my comments as spilling venom, I guess you can have your opinion. I was defending my original post, and still stand by it. I agree with OP, elves are doing a crappy job in forums. If it was other individuals operating MAYBE Aaron would not have left, who knows. He blames current elves for certain things, and you are one of them. There is my point. Hope my words are not too harsh and there will be no "I am leaving" thread by Mr. mvs. You been a bit too emotional lately.

Although I do not think he (OP) should be throwing names around and say what someone else would think about this place. Have you own opinion, and your own stance. Do not involve others in your beef, especially when they are dead.
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Re: To Anyone Interested

Postby Aaron Johnson » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:26 pm

Out of respect for my fellow justifiably angry SP members, I have offered responses to those I felt warranted a reply. Don’t read this post if you’re not interested. I have done this against my better judgment, as I’m sure more criticism will follow, to which I won’t devote time to a response. My thanks to everyone for their support and honesty.




JOSH LEWIS:

It sounds like you know what the most important things are, and that your listening to you heart into knowing what's right. It's sad that you’re going, but at the same time I completely respect your decision.

Thank you Josh. I’ve seen your activity when I’ve managed to visit SP over the past year. You have matured and excelled in your mountain climbing experience. You have done well at what we had discussed long ago, and I congratulate you. Well done! Thanks for your kind words.



VISENTIN:

The real SP is SP itself with its content, not the forum. The pages are there, the forum is wind.
There are two distinct communities who coexist here, those who spend time polluting the forums, and those who post pages. That’s all I have to say, if it can cheer you up a bit.

Thanks. When you’ve been a forum moderator on SP for 8 years and have seen the changes I have, the perception is quite different. It’s the same with 14ers.com, a Colorado web site. It doesn’t matter that the content of the site is outstanding. When people come up to me and say,” man, there’s a bunch of mean assholes on that web site” one must pay attention to that, too. Folks quit 14ers.com and SP over such matters, which is contrary to the site’s mission. IMO, the most important thing in forum moderation was to uphold SP’s reputation and strength of character. Not being the owner of the web site, I could only do so much, and there was the consensus of the forum participants to consider, so yeah, a lot of stuff went on during my tenure. But there weren’t hateful attacks on religious beliefs intended to offend, and one’s family was kept out of the discussion as well. Otherwise the thread was nuked, or at the least moved to PnP.



DIEGO SHAHAGUN:

We'll miss you mate!

Thanks Diego. You’ll always be one of SP’s strong foundations, and you are honourable as well. Your devotion to SP is probably a good indicator to your devotion overall. You’re a better man than me.



PAROFES:

Regarding the aspects of your decision, I understand and respect them all, you are totally right on your thoughts. When I read the mentioned thread I didn't even feel like write something, and I will not. Summit Post changed a lot in just a couple years, and not a good change, I see that. Best wishes to you, know you and your pages will be missed. Hugs.

In retrospect, I have handled this situation the wrong way. I see that and I’m sorry for my grievous error, but I’ll stand by my decision, regardless whether folks think I was right or wrong or stupid or childish. It doesn’t matter what you or other members may think persecution is. It only matters to those that think it’s persecution, and obviously, many like yourself agree. Many PC situations have indeed gone too far, and I certainly agree with that. But in a forum on a (once) prestigious site like SP, forum posters should be considerate of their fellow members. After all, everyone is here because of their shared love of the mountains. One’s personal and ugly feelings about a fellow climber’s beliefs would never enter the situation on a mountain, and it shouldn’t here. Persecution has no place on SP. Thanks, Paulo, for your sentiments.



HOLSTI97:

I understand your discouragement and respect your opinions. However, removing your material hurts those who use well-written pages and trip reports for planning hikes and climbs. For someone like me who lives in the Midwest and doesn't have the connections with people in the Western mountain states the pages that you wrote in the past were a valuable resource. Please don't let a few bad eggs ruin things for the rest of the Summitpost community who enjoy the incredible mountain pages, photography, and trip reports. Restore and keep your pages on SP.

Hello Holsti97-It’s been a while since we have talked, and much has changed in my life since that time. I won’t make any excuses. I blundered badly in the handling of this situation and I’ve come off as selfish and childish to some members. For this I can only blame myself. Other obligations such as ailing parents, other callings and life in general prohibit Ellen and I from maintaining the large volume of material I had on SP. It was 9 years of hard work, to say nothing of the countless hours invested in SP’s rebirth as V2 and managing the forum. It’s too bad I couldn’t look 9 years into the future to forsee this problem. SP demands much time, more than I am willing or able to devote, hence my “first departure,” along with the fact the change in direction discussed by Matt and the staff had no room for this old dinosaur. The timing was right for me to move on. Like a good SP member, Ellen convinced me to leave my material on SP, and we placed it under her care to minimize PMs and emails, which worked fairly well. It made the load manageable.

I visited SP beyond then only occasionally. When I came across the thread in question, given my significant connection with SP, I felt very strongly, due to my convictions not only as a Christian, but as a forum moderator, that I could not allow myself to be connected with SP any further. As pointed out elsewhere and in the FAQ, I exercised my right to remove my material. As I said earlier, I now realize that was the wrong action to take, but I must live by the consequences of my actions, because replacing 9 years of material ain’t gonna happen. Those responsible for this situation will unfortunately have to live with it as well. The most important pages have been saved and turned over to excellent SP members. I have every confidence they will rise to the challenge and eventually surpass my efforts. If SP survives and the members formulate a strong desire to maintain a good reputation (or not), I will be hardly a question mark in SP’s collective memory a year from now, probably not even that much. Thanks for your support over the years.



FRED SPICKER:

SP is like anything else (unfortunately - when it was a pure climbing site it was exceptional) - if you aren't interested in whatever it is that's there (like new "mountains" with "hill" in the name) just don't bother looking at it or reading it.

When you are concerned about SP’s overall reputation as I have been over the years, both as staff and as a member, I am not able to do this. That is because I truly cared about SP, and I have been lambasted over the years for this conviction. Due to this incident, I can no longer afford to care, and therefore I need to do what I feel I need to do, and I know that you understand this. We’ve had many discussions about SP’s direction, and you saw the pitfalls long before I did. Thanks Fred for being one of my very best SP friends.





MVS:

This is a place for people who love mountains to write about them, to gather and talk. I know the Elves work constantly to deal with hateful speech and have protected the integrity of SP more than can be said. I have seen the hours of work and discussion they put into that topic, so it's clear to me that they are acting in good faith. Aaron forgets that.

With all due respect, there’s no way I could forget that. I did it for 8 years. It had appeared to me that the STAFF had forgotten it, though it has since been explained in this thread. The MEMBERS FORGET how difficult it is to be on the SP staff, an entirely voluntary undertaking.



MVS:

God speed, and enjoy the rest of life, Aaron! I think we'd all agree that your happiness is way more important than your contributions here. Take them away and climb to new heights. Rest assured we don't give a damn about some random Google user coming in to (horror!) a blank page. We write here because we love mountains, not because we are service workers providing a 99.999% uptime service, jeesh.

Good points! Those blank pages will recover. They are in good hands. And you’re right about my happiness. SP had become an idol I could no longer devote time to. Many SP members insist that such will never happen to them, but for most, it does. It’s called life. As for the fate of my writings on SP, some have been saved. What, if anything, we do with them, remains to be seen. Making money seems unlikely.



BEDRINKABLE:

In my few interactions with you I have felt you to be an honest and thoughtful contributor to the site and a helpful and kind writer in the forums. I hope you continue to be wherever you go next.

I manage the web site for my successful game, CRT. Beyond that, my time on the internet is reserved to other pursuits. Forum moderation will never be part of my internet activities again. I do not spend hours on the internet like I used to. Thanks for your kind words and support over the years! Take care.



SEANO:

This seems like a bizarre overreaction. If you don't like the forums, don't visit them. I find the regional boards useful, but the rest are mostly crap, so I tend to ignore them. It's Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crap."

Hi Seano-This is YOUR perspective. In my shoes, the perspective is vastly different. For most, avoiding the forums can be easy. But the power of the forum is underestimated, and the impressions it exudes is very important. Many disagree with this stance I staunchly defend, forgetting or totally unaware my extensive experience with this situation on SP. So it seems like an overreaction to you, whereas to others with more perception and awareness of how things once were on SP, their perspective is vastly different. You’re certainly right about one thing, 90% of it is crap, and it’s the crap that erodes SP’s reputation. Moderators can’t afford to ignore it if they really care about SP.



FLETCH:

Aaron - I respect you tremendously, but you are being way too sensitive about this "persecution" you're talking about. It's the internet. Take a deep breath. Let the staff catch up. Remember they are volunteers. Simmer down. And frankly, making it a political/religious matter makes you no better than the members you are critisizing for "persecution."

Again, it doesn’t matter what you consider is persecution, it’s what I, the caught-off-guard viewer that provided no provocation, consider to be persecution. Those posting this stuff should be more considerate of their fellow SP members. The staff caught up, but it was a challenge for them as we have since seen, and as I have written, my reaction was a serious error for which I humbly apologize. I say again though, persecution of any kind has no place on SP.



FLETCH:

For every member that feels SP has "lost" something, there is another member that feels it hasn’t "gained" enough. I personally feel like this site has a MySpace feel and the "elders" are keeping the Facebook transition suffocated for fear of their almighty butterfly pics and trekking pages.

SP has gained a lot, and because of it’s undeniable status, it has much to lose. If members truly love and are devoted to SP, if they think it’s really that special, they should guard it fervently from those that would willingly or thoughtlessly tarnish it. That is what I tried to do as a moderator. I respectfully disagree with your Facebook idea for SP. People who want Facebook should go to Facebook. Let SP remain unique with its own upstanding character.



FLETCH:

Anyway, keep the persecution talk and what’s wrong with SP separate. They are not one in the same. As I said, you seem like a good dude. Just maybe think about it for a bit. If you are dead set on it, then all the best.

Given my position and what I’ve previously covered in this post, I must respectfully disagree. The offending posters have made it inseparable to those in which it matters. Those people will not come to SP or contribute because of this behaviour. Thanks for your support and caring enough to offer your comments. I’ve seen your participation over the past year in SP, and it’s a good thing. You take care, Fletch.





TWOSHUZZ:

Thank you to those who offer their support to the staff.

To those truly concerned, it is important members realize how important their role is here. The staff really appreciates your active participation in offering comments, suggestions, alerts, whatever it takes, in protecting SP and having a role in its direction. If SP really means that much to you, don’t underestimate the importance of your contribution to staff efforts, and aiding them in their daily efforts.



BUBBA SUESS:

I agree. What was going on in the thread was nothing more than presuppositional bigotry. It is sad that people are willing to relegate others to second class status just because of their epistemology. Make no mistake, they are bigots. They have lost sight of the fact that we are all on this site because we love the same thing. How much does it matter what the source of that love is? If anything, this ought to be an opportunity for the secular and religious, right and left, backpacker or climber, to find common ground, something that is in short supply these days.

Well said. Thanks.



BUBBA SUESS:

I hope that as time goes on, new, great contributors will step up and help Summitpost grow again. However, I must say that as the first generation of Summitposters moves on, some of the elan is being lost. If those who dominated the thread in question are the ones to attempt to fill the gap, then Summitpost's days are indeed numbered. Still, I hope that as a community, we can leap this hurdle and keep Summitpost on the right track. It is still one of the best sites for these kinds of activities.

Well said again. I agree the élan is gradually sapping out of SP. Concerned members can turn it around. Thanks Bubba for your support of the years.



MVS:

I think Aaron was wanting to leave in a big way for a long time. I've always admired the way he writes! It is powerful and eloquent. I wish he didn't pull his content. But he does inspire me to make a couple of route pages, if only to fight back against the idea of Summitpost’s death.

I wasn’t planning on pulling my material, I just wasn’t going to be around much. If I got a notice to make an update, I’d pop in. If I got a PM, I’d answer it. Thank you for your kind comment about my writing. I wish I didn’t pull my content now as well, but it’s done. My angry desire for SP’s passing was jus that, anger at what was allowed to take place on SP, and the fact that members seem to think it’s okay to post hateful statements and they should be permitted to do so, regardless of the expense to the majority. It’s as selfish as my act was.





MATT:

Let me begin by saying that I am very saddened to see you permanently leave and take your work with you, Aaron. Your work here on SP, as an elf and as a contributor, has been excellent and largely and directly contributed to SP growing and becoming a magnificent mountaineering website. I honestly didn't even look at the thread in question and I have no idea how the content of it affected you, but removing your content and leaving SP permanently because of a single thread in the forum seems to be a very drastic reaction to something posted on the forum, at least from my perspective.

Matt, my dear friend. Thanks for your kind comments. Removing my material was drastic. It was the incorrect action, but perhaps it will serve SP to a benefit we have not yet recognized. Again, perception is different from one to another.



MATT:

All removed because of a single thread posted in the forums to which only a handful of SP users posted? I'm not sure I completely understand how a single thread in a forum (and many forums on all sorts of websites are known for being controversial -- as is any place where people from all sorts of different backgrounds are allowed to openly express their opinions) can define a website and its entire user base.

With this post and our recent PM discussions, I hope you better understand my position.



MATT:

Perhaps the negativity about SP is coming from a place of anger instead of a place of logic? Visitation numbers certainly don't support your statements nor predictions for the future of SP. It appears to me that you might be very upset with something you read in the thread in question and writing out of anger.

Yes, a place of anger, already explained earlier in this post. Where you and I differ is numbers versus people. It’s great to interpret the numbers, but there’s people, with character, behind those numbers that really make SP what it is. To only consider numbers is a potentially dangerous oversight. You might have great numbers, but without the Kanes, Freds, Alans, Sarahs and Deans of SP, those numbers are just that, and SP is an empty shell.





MATT:

In any case, I wish you well Aaron. Climbing season is just around the corner. Keep on climbing and enjoying those Colorado mountains! I miss them dearly. The Cascades are great, but they'll never replace the Colorado Rockies in my heart.

Come back and see us anytime!




BAARB:

I gather that one of the recurring themes brought up by veteran users is not how much content there is but what content there is and whether the current purpose and direction of the site is, and should be in keeping with its original concept if you like. Particularly with Aaron's History of SP articles no longer available it's difficult for most people to gauge those principles, who brought around what and even who was and currently is setting the course of the SP ship. Is it the site owners, the Elves, the forum moderators, heavy forum users, heavy page makers, people that are great climbers and dip in and out between trips, the people most likely to click adverts, or all of the above? There are indeed a lot of official requests for input from users but official briefings on current states of affairs are few and far between.

The level-headed, unbiased view of a concerned SP member. These are the folks SP should pay attention to and invite their support and participation. They are a blessing and will save SP from the lowest common denominator. Thanks, Baarb.




SCOTT:

Perhaps "the forum" refers to the Colorado forum? In that case, it does seem like it isn't as active as it used to be. Alan, Kane, Aaron, attm, etc. and the most active "old members" are mostly inactive now it seems.

It’s the truth. These folks are all inactive, if not completely gone. I’m in contact with these folks via email. I’ve been with them personally since my “first departure.” SP rarely comes up in our conversation. It’s gone beyond SP. This is the PEOPLE factor I’m referring to, that reduces the numbers to almost nothing, at least for me. And you Scott, are one of these people as well. I look forward to crossing paths once again. Hopefully your path doesn’t take you too far from Colorado.



CHUGACH MTN BOY:

All of us who live long enough eventually have the experience Aaron is having now. We leave an organization, it marches on with new participants, and when we revisit it later we decide it's gone to hell in a handbasket.

That may be my perception. Yours is likely different. Make SP what you want it to be. For me, this was no longer possible. Thanks for your comments.



CHICAGOTRANSPLANT:

It is a sad day indeed to see you go, I have very much enjoyed your pages over the years, but more so have enjoyed your company on the various SP gathering hikes and celebration dinners. Hopefully we will be hiking together again soon!

Another great SP member I’m blessed to call “friend.”




CHICAGOTRANSPLANT:

However, to me the lack of a physical God does not negate the very real God that people of faith feel inside of them, and I have always respected that aspect of their lives.

The voice of reason, sensitivity and understanding in the wilderness. Thanks very much, Mike.





DADNDAVE:

I don't think it belonged in General and, reading Aaron's remarks, I now wish I'd taken action, but having said that, I know damned well that it would most likely have opened another can of worms.
Sorry to see you leave Aaron. Your contributions and advice were much appreciated even if it doesn't feel that way to you at the moment.

Dad-Being on the staff is tricky and tough, as I had warned you about when you signed on. I appreciate that you at least wrestled over the decision. Perhaps this matter will help the staff communicate and decide on a better direction? Thanks for your support and understanding.




SARAH SIMON:

Enjoy the next chapter. Godspeed. Via con dios, amigo! (But I still hope to see you in the hills soon! I like the "real" Ellen & Aaron better than the online versions, anyhow.)

Thank you Sarah for your kindness and support. I have always tried to be the same person on the internet as I am in real life. I signed on as Aaron Johnson (just as you signed on as Sarah Simon). I never occurred to me to hide behind an avatar, which I only learned the nefarious purposes of later when I became a staff member. It’s a relief though that I’m nice in person. I guess most folks are, but the Jeckyl-Hyde personalities on SP would be a concern to me. If they act that way here, how could one trust them “out there?” Anyway, we’ll hopefully meet on the trail soon. Thanks again.




SARAH SIMON:

SP is a wonderful place to celebrate a shared love of the mountains, a resourceful website and an *interesting* community. How you experience it is up to you.

I preached this for many years. In most cases it worked. Unfortunately for me, given my extensive in-depth history with this place, it doesn’t. For everyone else though, take heart-it can truly work this way. Good advice.





SEANREEDY:

I certainly understand why this thread came up and think some will learn from it, but I also hope nobody is losing sleep over any of it.

Well said. Thank you!



MARK DIDIER:

Of course, I assume the page (as well as all of his others) will eventually be handed over to another SP member; hopefully members with a passion for both the mountains of Colorado and for submitting great beta. Which leads to the logical concluson, that SP will continue to evolve, but as long as there are members willing to work to submit quality content, it will continue to thrive. Peace Aaron!

Thanks Mark for your kind words and support. It was an honour to serve you and our many SP peers.



SJARELKWINT:

Aaron left, moved all his pages to another user he owns himself and is leaving again now? Is it a trend to leave?

It seems to be a trend if you are an old SP dinosaur from SP’s early days. I saw this trend happening with the exodus of SP’s pioneers. Perhaps I should have paid more attention. My “first departure” has been explained. I hope my explanation for this final departure is sufficient.



TONYO:

By leaving, you're taking a huge bite out of the SP quality. I hardly added anything useful here myself, so I guess I can't really have much of an opinion that matters, but I'll miss seeing your stuff whenever I do stop by. I'd rather you didn't go.

I thank you for your kind words, and I thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts. My best to your continued success in the mountains.



CHUGACH MTN BOY:

Tonyo, Aaron and Ellen are not leaving because of anything they read in the forum. Aaron's stated reasons for leaving are absurd.

To you.






CHUGACH MTN BOY:

Aaron's stated reasons for leaving are absurd. The thread he took issue with was no worse than many that were tolerated in his day. And Christians and Jews are not persecuted in America, for goodness sake. (On the contrary, to profess to be anything else is the kiss of death if you run for high office in this country--of 535 members of Congress, we have, what, 1 sort-of atheist and 1 Muslim?). To say these religions are "persecuted" would be to mock the true martyrs from back in the day when they really were.

Persecution of any kind does not belong on SP.



CHUGACH MTN BOY:

No, Aaron and Ellen are leaving for another reason. I can't say I know what it is, and I wonder if they really know either. Their stated wish for SP to die quickly (rather than reform) would be childish, if they meant it, but they don't, really--it's contradicted by their statement that others "deserve a chance" to maintain the pages they are dropping.

Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I thought I’d be honest with my fellow SP members. I’ve done my best to explain it fully. My statement on my profile page is regrettable and made out of anger. I regret my action and apologize. I have removed it. I suppose eventually my profile page will be removed as well. It might be better for everyone. I realize this won’t make things right and I’ve caused lots of trouble, and I’m deeply regretful for my hasty actions in this matter.



MONSTER5:

Ye ol' softies. You're contributing to the reason you are disappointed; instead, contribute to the redeeming aspects of the site - the information, route descriptions, and articles. Else, the site is truly relegated to a mere shadow, waiting for another to take its place and your purpose and contributions to younger generations in this context will become lost.

Wisdom from a young a promising SP member. Thank you! This is the reason why I truly regret my action. Thanks for this contribution to this discussion! May you excel at replacing me.



VITALIYM:

Personally I think he was a very good member, and would not want him to go. And I am Christian myself, so I could relate to him being in disgust with disrespect displayed to religion here.

Thanks. But again, I should have handled it differently.



CSUMARMOT:

That said, I can't say I'm sad to see him go because I was under the impression he was already gone. If you want to completely withdraw from posting, I think cutting ties would see your curiosity with the forums die first. This idea doesn't necessarily pertain to Aaron, since I can say I really have had no contact with him in any way other than the bits of pages he'd left to live.

Sometimes situations must be researched rather than just going on an impression. It would not have been right to simply leave and not have my pages attended. I’ve explained the rest of this situation elsewhere in this post. Even with that, I still cared about SP so I would look in to the forum every now and then, which was the case here. I was not happy with what I found, so I took hasty, irresponsible action. I do not excuse myself. There are consequences I will have to deal with, and I’m regretful that others have been affected as well.




CSUMARMOT:

That’s their call, not mine. Deep down I'll know they dont have the thick skin to contribute to the jungle we call the internet. Again, not saying that as an attack on Aaron, just putting it out there. For you to see.

Thanks. It’s appreciated that you took the time to comment.



CSUMARMOT:

Because after all, those who you come across in the real world aren't always the same persecuting bigots you see on the internet.

That’s troubling to me. I wouldn’t want to be out enjoying the mountains or the desert with someone who’s a persecuting bigot on the internet. Who’s to say something won’t set them off in person, and next thing you know, you’re in am embarrassing situation, or worse. Then there’s guilt by association, which is prevalent in our society and the internet. If people know I hang out with Johnny Hate, they start thinking I have the same opinions of Johnny Hate. This would spread like crazy on SP. If you don’t believe me, I’m the perfect example. When I was a moderator, whenever I would defend with the unpopular folks on SP, or perhaps not ban them when folks thought should ban them, I was accused of not only playing favourites, but being like them, on many occasions. So, no thanks. I like my friends and partners honest, transparent and on the level.



TWOSHUZZ:

Also, while many take issue with the manner in which Aaron has chosen to say his final goodbye, and I thank you all for defending SP (no offense Aaron), I'd remind everyone that for nine years Aaron poured his soul into the site. Regardless of the circumstances, he has been; and shall be missed.

Thank you, sir. Very kind. I expect neither understanding or forgiveness from those that are angry. I would have been as well given the same circumstances. I know, because I’ve been on the other side of the issue as a staff member. I now clearly understand both perspectives. Being remembered is another matter. My regret is that numerous SP members will only (briefly) remember me as a pain in the ass. In the end, my writing, photography, development of SP, experience in the forum, experience in the field, organization of SP events won’t matter a bit. All I’ll be remembered for is leaving SP like a spoilt child and destroying it by taking my contributions with me. For this I am the only one to blame. However, society has a short memory. I’ll be forgotten no matter what. It’s just how it is. This would be the case whether I left on good or bad terms. Thanks again for your support in the past and your kind comments.






EXCITABLEBOY:

While interesting, it appears to me to be a feeble minded attempt of the Christian majority trying to frame themselves as some sort of persecuted tribe - a boondoggle at best. Good riddance to someone with such a thin skin.

I don’t get this impression on SP, particularly in the forum. Christians are the minority around here and are very unpopular. I have seen a number of them run off over the years. I have felt unwelcome in the forum for the past year. Is this what SP members want? I participated in an earlier thread about Christians liking or hating Star Trek, which I enjoyed very much. That was a pleasant experience, but it’s the exception too. And you’re right concerning my exit-good riddance. The current SP membership can easily do without me hanging around here stirring the pot. Again, my deepest apologies.



ICARREAU:

Sorry for being off topic, but maybe we could CHANGE the mood a bit with a lively rendition from the immortal trio ELP ....?

Larry knows ELP is my all time favourite band. Thanks, guy! It’s appreciated.



JOSH LEWIS:

So SP was made for only the thick skinned people? AJ did a lot for this site, show a little more respect.

Thank you, Josh.



FLETCH:

Aaron - bon voyage. Thanks for all your hard work. Wish you weren't taking the pages with you, but as Bob Burd says, they will be filled back in shortly - it's the invisible hand at work. Should you decide to come back, great - you will be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks again, Fletch.



MOAPAPK:

I met Aaron once when he was visiting Vegas -- we hiked to Sentinel, one of my favorite local gems. He and Ellen are great people. What I regret most is the thought that we won't hike together again, since our bond was through SP. I never objected to his postings on SP -- the postings seemed so moderate. But if any of you did find something objectionable, just remember that real people often differ a lot from their web personae.

We hope to return to Vegas some time in the future. Parental concerns have our plans on hold. We shall meet again, Harlan. Thanks again for that fabulous climb of the Sentinel! It’s one of our more memorable experiences outside Colorado. Apparently I’m quite different from my “perceived” persona. I’ve tried very hard to present myself here as I am “out there.”



REBELGRIZZ:

At least one thing in life is true, people come and people go, some by their own choosing and others not. In my humble opinion, in the few short years I have used and contributed to this site, the most tragic loss that SP has suffered was the loss of Saintgrizzly last year. Fortunately, for the rest of us, his invaluable writings and contributions have been left for us to enjoy.

Vern was by far SP’s greatest contributor ever, and I knew this would be the case when I introduced him to SP years ago. He was my climbing brother for more than 30 years. I trusted no one more than him. I knew him better than anyone. I’ve been blasted for citing him in this thread by folks that forget how long and how well I knew him. I am qualified to speak for him, and he certainly spoke for me on many occasions here at SP. He was very dear to me. I miss him tremendously and I have a huge hole in my heart, made more apparent every time I would visit SP after he was gone. Thanks for this remembrance.




GREG ENRIGHT:

Sorry to see you go, Aaron. I really enjoyed your trip reports and participation in the forums back in the good old days. Thanks to you, I will someday venture out to Capitol Reef to search for the 'Needle in the Haystack.'

Thank you sir for your kindness. I wish you well in your endeavours and good luck on finding that needle!




MVS:

For my part, I'm regretting a bit too much snarking on Aaron's departure. The guy was in real pain here, about something or another, and has earned the right to be free from backbiting comments.

Forget about it. I had it coming. You’re right about the pain, some self-inflicted. The backbiting is deserved, and I’m sure it will go on long after I’m gone (it’s easier when the attacked isn’t around to defend themselves), along with much rejoicing.




SJARELKWINT:

Sorry Aaron but you just created one of the best thread on the forum in ages though that wasn't your goal. It has been ages when I visited summitpost on a daily base but due to your thread you made me come back ...

I’m pleased that it has stirred up conversation and I hope some good will come out of it, including my departure. You and I never quite saw eye to eye, but I’ve appreciated you being there with your perspective over the past year or two. I’m glad I’ve entertained you and compelled you to participate.




SJARELKWINT:

Last year in Wales I was living in one of those places which was covered really good by Nanuls (and DAMN he makes great pages!!!) Thanks for that Nanuls and also thanks for the times we climbed together.

Agreed. He’s one of SP’s best. I was thrilled when I saw his first page.




SJARELKWINT:

It is bloody hard to write stuff when you try to get out on a daily base and love a beer after climbing!!! So yes I do respect what you did a lot and I'm starting to get an idea of how hard it is to create such an amount.

If you keep at it, it’s rewarding in its own way. And one day you look up and realize you’re a major contributor, and you’re well known for it and appreciated among the community. I don’t think you’ll blow it though like I did.




SJARELKWINT:

You expected something in return which is not the way summitpost works ... You had great pages and there is ABSOLUTELY no point at all to take stuff away ... What is the plan with it now? Going to put it in a guidebook and earn money with it? Because of 10-20 people that annoy you you took away information from 1000s of people so yes, I think it was a selfish act you performed there, and I think the same about other people that take away content from the site because all do it because of the forum, the style of the site they don't like anymore or any other ridiculous reason with which most users have nothing to do ...

I expected nothing in return. I HOPED that people would keep SP’s reputation in mind, since they spend lots of time here, and act decently. I have no current plans with my work, which again and respectfully, folk may choose to remove. There are guidebooks galore, so it would be redundant and not sell anyway. It was selfish and hasty for me to remove it. I’ve learned some hard lessons. Perhaps SP’s community has too? I hope so.



GIMPILATOR:

Now for my take on this matter. I just noticed that at least one route page that I signed with details and route conditions has been deleted. I think it's selfish and childish to act out emotionally by trying to damage SP. It goes against the original spirit of the site which is to freely share information about mountains and mountaineering. When Aaron deleted pages, the result was that SP became less complete and other people lost their contributions as well.

Yes. Agreed. Hence my regret and apologies. Unfortunately my contriteness does not fix the disaster, even if I were to reinstate it.



GIMPILATOR:

Grow up! So often on different websites I hear people whining about how they got their feelings hurt in forums. You know how an adult handles it? Avoidance.

Consideration and sensitivity of one’s fellow SP members and SP’s reputation is also how an adult would act on SP’s forums. Persecution in any form does not belong on SP.



GIMPILATOR:

Do people like Aaron really want to take on deep-seated resentments just because a few ignorant people are posting trash in the forums? Yes SP has a forum side but it is not the primary function of the website. Why should personal insecurities about religion manifest into anger and resentment?

Again, don’t underestimate the power and influence of the forum. Despite my protestations to this, I know I’m in the minority. I just hope it doesn’t undo SP, for everyone else’s sake. I have a tiny thread of hope my example will help the members care more about SP’s reputation. If folks think SP’s reputation doesn’t matter, then they sholdn’t be surprised when folks that think differently get angry and/or depart. Respectfully, I’m very secure in my faith, so this has nothing to do with insecurity. It has to do with caring about SP, and some things just don’t belong on a mountaineering web site. Porn, vegan recipes, cat pictures, unpaid advertising for one’s personal business and persecution are all good examples. These things would make me angry in 2007 and they make me angry now. It’s a weakness, I admit it. Lucky for those that disagree, I’m no longer a factor.




GIMPILATOR:

I hope Aaron can get over his anger and resentment someday or else it will continue to make him sick.

And this post is an exercise in just that. Thanks for your “concern,” Gimiplator.




MVS:

sjarelkwint, I think we are realizing we kind of jumped on Aaron at a difficult time...but I want to say your post was really good.

Agreed.




SIGNING OFF

I realize I’ll be held in disdain for a while around here, but folks need not worry. I won’t be back, like some insist. I’ll abide by my self-imposed exile. My fall from grace will be remembered more than my efforts of 9 years. That will be my legacy for all I’ve done here, and this will fade quickly, like everything else. It is all rapidly forgotten. When I first began to realize this, I removed the SP historical articles (I still do not regret this decision). Believe me, it has no bearing whatsoever on where SP has ended up and where it’s going. It’s as pointless as I am and will be to most of you. Those that insist the forum is a small, insignificant part of SP may have a bit of a challenge proving their point with my departure just for a little while, but other than that, all I’ve done will vanish from SP’s memory, rendering all of this moot.

I’m sure y’all have had enough of this dinosaur, so this will be my last post. Should anyone desire further response from me, sorry to disappoint. Time to move on. Thanks to “the old ones” for a great 9 years. I don’t want to offend any non-believers, so to them I’ll say climb on. To those that do believe, God bless you.
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Aaron Johnson

 
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