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Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

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Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:31 am

There’s been a lot of talk lately about improving the page adoption process, but I am not sure if the current solutions fully address the largest problem, which is poor or mediocre pages being held aggressively by members who are semi-active or maybe even regularly active. It is one thing when the page might be an original work or an obscure or seldom climbed peak, but quite another when it was collected up from a departing member and then held for years without significant additions.

Also when the page is for a hugely popular route or mountain, I think there should be some higher standard for what is needed to ‘own’ the page. There are obvious examples of meeting this standard on some of the highest rated pages... the Mountaineer’s route on Mount Whitney is a great example of the type of page a popular route should have. The route is well described and an excellent and thorough resource.

I haven’t figured out how to address when members feel they have the right to own pages with such a high profile without putting the necessary work into it yet. Should an elf decide? They may be reluctant to make waves. But doing nothing does damage to the site. It would be best if higher levels of effort could be put into the highest profile pages. Not a skeleton page like we often see.

Usually these owners see no downside to keeping possession. It is typically handed behind the scenes. But perhaps if it were discussed openly things would be different? Let’s try that…


Brian Kalet some contributions of mediocre quality, but he also has the Avalanche Gulch page for Mount Shasta (by two orders of magnitude the most popular route on California’s second or third most popular non-urban peak) and the West Buttress page for Denali (also the most popular route by orders of magnitude on one of the most difficult of the seven summits).

I contacted Brian Kalet recently about taking over the Avalanche Gulch page. I have done the route 4 times in several seasons and have a track record on the mountain. His response was to add me as an admin so that I could improve the page for him. Ok in some situations but I am not so sure in this one.

Brian has held both these pages for years. And both pages are in poor shape for their high profile. Neither one had been updated for two years before I mentioned the issue... just a collector's item it seems. So it's not as if he simply hasn't gotten to it yet. And neither of these pages were his originial submissions. They were aquired by him after someone else released the page, and much of the content is a previous owner's.\


Avalanche Gulch:

Brain climbed Avalanche Gulch once, eight years ago, and hasn’t returned since. I was surprised by his attachment to it, as he lives in Colorado and the page isn’t actually his (it was submitted four years before he became a member). The route information is sparse and not accurate. It is not adequate information for the type of visitor who usually looks up this page on SP and goes to that route. They cannot print off the page and use it as their resource on the mountain.

The distances are not accurate and the crux (getting through or around the Red Banks) is not detailed AT ALL. The owner does not even have any images contributed to the page, and none from a climber’s view that help provide a picture of the route or the crux. There is poor and missing information on camp locations, and almost no information on the different seasons. There is nothing to prepare someone who is trying to use this page for actual help on the route. It is only decoration… only taking up space.

Two thirds of the page is simply comments made by other members!

And then there was this line:

As of 2005, you have to self register at the Bunny Flat Trailhead and pay $20 cash or check if planning to summit.


2005?!?!? He has since edited this section so has to hide how out of date it was, but it is still inaccurate! He’d know that if he still went there!

So why is the owner so stubborn on this? Why hold a page like that? As stated… it is one thing if it’s your original work, or 1000s of people are not looking to utilize it yearly, but this is neither of those. I don’t know if it is just being lazy or just doesn’t care. Perhaps selfish?


West Buttress

Similarly with the West Buttress. I can easily rattle off dozens of members who would be happy to pour many hours into improving the page and making it a fantastic example for the site, and making it effective for the 100s of people looking to utilize it every year and the many 1000s on the site and site visitors that would be entertained by reading about the route. This could and should be a spectacular page, and there are many members willing to do it.

But here again the page is weak. There is a picture of the mountain, the route statistics, a very crude map, a gear list, and some links to better resources. Absolutely no attempt is made to interest people in the route or prepare anyone adequately for visiting there. The page has no point. On an obscure peak this may be determined to be adequate, but not on Denali's West Buttress.

I am not sure what will come of this, but perhaps in at least some cases awareness of these situations will lead to a better outcome than what we have so far here. As is, I feel that this do-nothing process is being counterproductive to the site.



If the owner doesn't want to put the effort into the page for years after acquiring them, why adopt them, and why hold them?
Last edited by mrchad9 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:40 am

Thank you for bringing up a tough subject. I think it should be up to the elves. If you own a terrible page and do not feel like improving it, why should you be allowed to keep it and provide people with incorrect/outdated info? Especially people who inherit a page made by someone else.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Greg Enright » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:23 am

The Avalanche Gulch page looks fine to me. I don't come to SP looking for step by step instructions for routes. If there is something inaccurate, let the page administrator know or post a comment. Seems like Brian has been more than willing to include contributions from other members.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:38 am

Greg Enright wrote:The Avalanche Gulch page looks fine to me. I don't come to SP looking for step by step instructions for routes. If there is something inaccurate, let the page administrator know or post a comment. Seems like Brian has been more than willing to include contributions from other members.

Did you read it? How do you think the information on the Avalanche Gulch and West Butress page compares to the Whitney Mountaineer's route? And no details on the most difficult part, but perhaps you feel that kind of information is optional on a route page?

I listed all the things he's held inaccurately for the past two years. Perhaps you missed the laundry list. I suppose my consolation here is that you have only a single page to maintain!

EDIT: Well, I guess your page isn't really all that great either. It has a lot of words, but doesn't actually describe the routes or even list them. It's a much less important page though so is of no consequence. And one of your sections contains the following text... which has been there for over two years... copied exactly...

Add External Links text here.


You are a real observant one eh?

You've got a reference to a guidebook, which I presume does a better job than the page.

I just love it when folks who don't contribute chime in on these things!
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:37 am

Here is another good example... in this case not of a poor page... it is actually quite adequate so not really an issue, but rather it is an example of Brian Kalet's tendancy to simply collect pages as trophies without putting any work whatsoever into them. It just gives us a window into what his motivations might be.

The Mount Barnard page.

Granted, the page looks ok. But it seems to me that if you adopt a page (he took this one when The Chief put it up in December 2011) that you should at least do SOMETHING to improve it. Once again the owner has nothing but collect. It'd be better off to leave the page in the orphanage until someone came along who actually wanted to do something constructive to it. Or is this about whoring around for power points and page counts?

It so happens I have a copy of the page from the week before he adopted it. All he has done is insert the profile photo into the overview, add one link to his own trip report (LOL), delete the Avalanche Center link that was there before, and add a link to Lists of John for some reason. It is also clear that the style of the page is nothing like the pages he has created himself. NONE of the text on the page is his work, he just piggybacked off previous contributors the same as he has done with Avalanche Gulch and West Buttress.

Poor form I think. Why PM the elves asking to adopt the page if you weren't really going to do anything with it for 26 months?
Last edited by mrchad9 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Josh Lewis » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:54 am

Finally someone who is brave enough to speak out my thoughts that have been building up for a long time. I completely agree with Mr. Chad. I've had an even worse situation with page owners. At least they were willing to give him admin privileges. The Coleman Deming is an example of a page I feel needs a lot more love and care. It's the standard route up Mount Baker! :o (sorry Steve, I couldn't let this one go)

Now I admit I have a few pages myself that need some touch up work which is why I haven't been making pages lately (I hold myself to my own standard). But most of my pages I feel are at least good quality.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:05 am

That is another excellent example Josh. Thank you for the post. At a glance to someone in a different region it may appear to be a fair page, maybe even good enough. But as the most popular route up a major Cascade volcano it is really inadequate, especially if there is someone with a demonstrated track record such as yourself who we know would put the energy into it.

The URL should be handed over to you even if the content can't be. It is really not best for the site for the primary routes up Shasta and Baker to be held stagnant like this.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby yatsek » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:44 pm

What SP needs badly is some form of competition. There should be a path open for contenders. If the new page gets - say within a month - a higher score, it should replace the old one.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Brian C » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:41 pm

yatsek wrote:What SP needs badly is some form of competition. There should be a path open for contenders. If the new page gets - say within a month - a higher score, it should replace the old one.


Would that open up the possibility for popular pages changing too much? It would be frustrating to return to a page and have it be dramatically different several times (although ideally, once a great page was up it would stay). Also, some members are more "popular" than others so it would be easy to have some people "take over" other's pages if this was implemented simply because people would vote for the person as much as the page.

mrchad9 wrote:His response was to add me as an admin so that I could improve the page for him.


I'm not sure what the problem is. He is offering to allow you to make changes. I see how this could be problematic if it was a poor page and the owner didn't want you making changes. What's more important, "owning" a page or having great content on the site?
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Scott » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:31 pm

The route pages you point out are fairly average, but not that bad by SP standards.

There are many ones less detailed/less accurate. Here is a mountain page that has all 10/10 votes:

http://www.summitpost.org/avenue-twin-peaks/389599

If you want to know how to get there "Refer to the Little Black Mountain page for information on how to get there".

The route pages you point our are still far superior to some of the new pages which have a better score than most pages on SP:

http://www.summitpost.org/traverse/835810
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby yatsek » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:48 pm

Brian C wrote:
yatsek wrote:What SP needs badly is some form of competition. There should be a path open for contenders. If the new page gets - say within a month - a higher score, it should replace the old one.


Would that open up the possibility for popular pages changing too much? It would be frustrating to return to a page and have it be dramatically different several times (although ideally, once a great page was up it would stay). Also, some members are more "popular" than others so it would be easy to have some people "take over" other's pages if this was implemented simply because people would vote for the person as much as the page.

Hardly anybody would feel like competing with a "great page". But "poor and mediocre" pages would be threatened, and that'd enliven and improve the site.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:01 pm

Brian C wrote:I'm not sure what the problem is. He is offering to allow you to make changes. I see how this could be problematic if it was a poor page and the owner didn't want you making changes. What's more important, "owning" a page or having great content on the site?

Brian, what is the point of having a page owner, if more than half the work is done by other members? In that case it is just a Wikipedia page. And I don't favor that. That is the problem. If you aren't going to put any effort into it, you shouldn't own it.

Scott- I am saying the standard no longer needs to be the same for the most popular route up the most popular mountain as it is for some obscure route no one cares about. I don't care what the votes are, this is about something that actually matters. But put the crappy popular pages in the hand a of members that actually care and they will make it so all the 10/10s on the popular pages are justified.

Btw if you want that page you used as an example I'm sure you could get it in about 5 seconds. So that isn't an issue or even part of the problem.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Scott » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:08 pm

What SP needs badly is some form of competition. There should be a path open for contenders. If the new page gets - say within a month - a higher score, it should replace the old one.


There used to be that feature. It was called a "Challenge Page". The feature was deleted because it didn't work because no one wanted to do it (afraid that it would cause big offense).

Scott- I am saying the standard no longer needs to be the same for the most popular route up the most popular mountain as it is for some obscure route no one cares about.


The example I used is at Chamonix and is probably (though I wouldn't know the statistics on that particular route) as popular as any route on Mount Shasta. For sure, it is way more popular than the West Buttress of Denali. Just because it isn't in the United States, doesn't mean it is obscure. In fact, places like Chamonix are far more popular for climbing than anywhere in the US.

So that isn't an issue or even part of the problem.


It was just an example.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:21 pm

Scott if you want the page take it. It is a non issue as no one is trying to keep it from you.

I agree with you. It is a crappy page too and shouldn't be here. Maybe when folks see pages like that they should be flagged or moved on to the orphanage so there is better visibility to it being available. Propose solutions.

But that sort of abandoned page isn't the topic this thread is addressing.
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Re: Ineffective Members Stashing Inadequate Pages

Postby Scott » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:34 pm

But that sort of abandoned page isn't the topic this thread is addressing.


I actually agree with you about bad pages.

I also agree that the Avalanche Gulch and West Buttress pages could be better (I also share an Area/Range page with Brian Kalet). I was just pointing out that those pages are fairly average rather than terrible. Or has the rest of the information been added by someone else?

I can't speak for Brian, but I'm guessing that he adopted the Avalanche Gulch page in order to add the ski descent information (of which seems to be a priority on many of his pages).
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