What is it?You're looking at it right now. Welcome to the long awaited SummitPost Version 2. SPv2 is a new, enhanced version of the original SummitPost website. All the code has been rewritten, but database content is the same. You'll find that the site is faster, has a bunch of extra features, and is poised for growth.
SPv2 is designed as a system to organize all information related to climbing, hiking, and mountaineering (and more), but there is also room for personal, subjective submissions. The best submissions will filter up to the top, and the bad stuff will be buried.
More than ever, SPv2 is a community that thrives on cooperation and collaboration, but there is also a large element of competition. Be civil to others, and you will be treated civilly.
Current StatusSPv2 is a work in progress. As such, you'll occasionally notice bugs, incomplete features, elements in need of design work. We could have delayed the launch until everything was completely ironed out, but we decided that it would be better to release it to the public sooner in order to get your feedback while we implement the rest. Nothing is set in stone. We appreciate your input, so if you have questions, comments, or complaints, please post them to to this thread in the Site Feedback forum.
Brief Overview of Features
- AREAS AND RANGES New!
Features "top tier" overview pages that serve as "parents" for other objects such as mountains, crags, canyons, and more.
- MOUNTAINS & ROCKS Enhanced!
The soul of SummitPost. Lots of extra features have been added.
- ROUTES Enhanced!
Add all sorts of searchable attributes. We are awaiting a consensus on which attributes are most important, then we'll add more.
- IMAGES Enhanced!
Sort by score, hits, creation date, name and last edited, in ascending or descending, or by specific search via key word or object. Now accepting huge photos. Now you can waste hours clicking around the best photos of the site, easily jumping from one context to another. It's addictive. Also, you can arrange your photos into Albums.
- ARTICLES New!
Contribute articles on any subject! Technical How-To's, in-depth Gear and book reviews, news events, mountaineering history, travel recommendations...anything! The best articles will be eligible for display on the Home Page. Post comments to other people's articles. Vote on them. Help build a large, accurate, searchable knowledge base.
- COMMENTS & VOTES More Robust!
You can comment and vote on the quality of almost any object on the site. Everyone loves feedback, so go do it. New photo votes can now be viewed.
- TRIP REPORTS Enhanced!
Now can feature a primary image and can have images attached to them. Image ordering is coming soon. The best TRs will be eligible for display on the Home Page.
- FLEXIBLE OBJECT TYPES New!
Submit photo albums, canyoneering routes, informational pages on huts, campgrounds and trailheads, contribute lists, fact sheets and other custom objects. We can easily make new object types if they are in demand. We can give them ANY attribute of ANY data type and make the attribute querable, sortable, and searchable within ranges. The system is powerful and generic.
- COLLABORATION New!
You can collaborate with as many other members as you like by assigning them edit or admin privileges on your pages. Points are split proportionally among page admins.
- FLEXIBLE TAXONOMY New!
SP has a new, flexible taxonomy where (almost) any object can be attached to (almost) any other object. Attach a photo to multiple routes. Attach a TR to multiple mountains. Organize a climbing area into geographical sections and link them together. The possibilities are endless.
- OBJECT TOOLS Enhanced!
Under Construction designation; Interactive Google maps; flexible format; possible multiple maintainer options; easily attach and detach items; HTML text button features, edit history feature! If you don't understand what those things mean, don't worry. They'll all be clear as you play around with the site.
- PEOPLE Easier to browse!
Access SP's membership, featuring a profile page thumbnail and stats, with advanced search options.
- PARTNERS New!
Still in development, we're very excited about this section! Find new partners to climb with. Sort by countries, regions, states, activities, and skill levels. Plan trips and gatherings. Find answers to questions like, "Who's doing what in the Sangre de Cristos this weekend?" and "Who's planning to climb Aconcagua in 2007, and do they need parters?"
- WHAT'S NEW Enhanced!
Updates every 5 minutes. Site-wide objects stats. All types of objects are featured. New images, new comments, and new climbers logs as well.
- FORUM Enhanced!
General, Technique and Training, Gear, News, Novice Climbers, Site Feedback, Page Help, Taxonomy (the planning of structure of SP), Photo Albums (show off your collections of photos here), Bad Submissions (Report crap here), Regional Boards and Prate & Prattle. SP currently uses phpBB, which is a good enough solution for now, but we will be moving to a home-grown forum before too long.
- PROFILE PAGES Enhanced!
Your top photos are displayed by default. The usual sections remain, plus attached objects and messages, which you can choose whether to display; hidden email address (emails are sent through SP and your email address remains confidential, but you will see it on your own page when you're logged in).
- PERSONAL MESSAGING New!
Communicate with SP members at SP confidentially. Check your "inbox" for incoming personal messages. Send questions or comments to the management.
- VOTE FRAUD SAFEGUARDS New!
The voting system has been completely overhauled. It is now much, much harder to manipulate for nefarious purposes.
- BAD SUBMISSIONS GET BURIED New!
Terrible submissions should receive lots of bad votes. When an object's quality score drops too low, the object is automatically detached from the rest of the site. The object will still exist underneath the user's page, but will not be visible anywhere else (including the search results). Don't worry, this only happens in extreme instances.
- HELP DROPDOWNS/EVOLVING FAQ New!
There are a bunch of icons all around the site that look like this: . Click on them to get concise help information on the feature you're looking at. The contents of these dropdowns are editable by elves, so they are constantly evolving. The FAQ is directly editable by elves as well, so that will evolve too.
- MORE Too much!
There are too many features to list in a brief write-up like this. Explore the site and scour the FAQ to find out more!
- NOTHING IS SET IN STONE Important!
The new SP is "organic" and dynamic, and will change as the members and staff need it to. We are committed to helping SP and its membership move forward, and the site will constantly evolve.
Anticipated Questions & ComplaintsQ: "I hate the idea concept of power. I don't like that it is so prominent on SPv2. Can we do away with it?"
A: Power is not something that we use to anoint SP gods. Nobody can gain an overwhelming amount of power and take control of the site. The power calculations see to that. Power on SPv2 serves three main purposes:
(1) It rewards those who make substantial contributions to the site by giving them the most ability to shape the content of the site. It's a good thing that the biggest contributors to the site have the most influence.
(2) It thwarts vengeful downvoting and vote padding. A big problem on SPv1 involved people registering new users to influence voting. Now, new users' votes are worth practically nothing. If you have under 10 power points, your vote weight is fixed at 1% of the max. Don't worry, vote weight increases retroactively as a user's power increases.
(3) Even the most humble, self-effacing SP members like to watch their power and vote weight grow as they submit more stuff. Go ahead, deny it all you want. Nobody believes you!
Q: "Why can I no longer attach photos to sections?"
A: It is true, you can no longer attach photos to sections. This was not an oversight. It was intentional. You can embed inline images, though, and this is encouraged. In fact, there is a nifty tool to help you do this. What is not encouraged is the inclusion of hundreds of thumbnails on a page (or worse yet, full-size images!). This is largely worthless to most readers, adds clutter, and just slows down page load time. A blend of text and photos in the right proportion will highlight the photos much better than if you include rows and rows of them.
Q: "But wasn't attaching photos to sections a good organizational feature?"
A: Think of SPv2 as a collection of concise, discrete objects. If you think it would be worthwhile to attach a set of photos to a section of your page, consider breaking that section out into an additional object. If that doesn't seem like a good idea, consider making an album and grouping the photos that way. If you think it is important to have the image displayed on the page, embed it inline.
In SPv2, the goal is for each object to be able to stand on its own, but simultaneously be be interconnected with many other objects in meaningful relationships. A "web" or an "in-ter-net," if you will (to coin a new term).
Three-meter-long, War-and-Peace-style mountain pages are strongly discouraged. It would be nice to make those a thing of the past. If you own one of these, you should consider breaking it out into several separate objects.
Q: "How come votes are no longer tied to comments on mountain/etc pages?"
A: Votes and messages have been separated for a couple reasons:
(1) There got to be too many places to leave messages. This was very confusing.
(2) The barrier to voting was raised significantly by the fact that most people felt obliged to leave a comment as well. As a result, fewer people voted.
Q: "What happened to the gear section?"
A: All your gear submissions are safe and sound. They are not lost. We haven't had time to implement the new gear section yet. Hold tight.
Q: "What happened to the polls?"
A: We'll add them when we get a chance. Things have been hectic lately, as you can imagine..
Q: "I don't like change. Can you bring back SPv1?"
A: Yeah, yeah. Suck it up! You pansy! But seriously, give the new site a chance before making up your mind about it. We think it will grow on you.
Further ReadingYou should check out the following pages:
- "Welcome to SummitPost" Document
- Frequently Asked Questions