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Mountain News Corporation Welcomes EpicSki.com!! - Page 2

post #31 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

What a long strange trip it's been.  This site has been the home for many opinions and ways of expression...all with the common interest of skiing.  It has evolved from a hobby started by AC, and has grown to a content-rich site built by its members and dedicated to giving back to the community, what you put in. and then some.   The resources and expertise that come with this acquisition by a major ski media company, changes nothing in the mission, but changes everything in the opportunity for Epicski to deliver better content and puts the members in a position to sway even more influence over equipment, resort services, instruction and deals.   Members  quietly acting as resort ambassadors,  equipment experts, ski pros, boot guys  photographers and just skiers writing a trip report can perhaps gain even more meaningful recognition as journalistic sources. 

 

It is the content, tone and credibility, and even the disagreement and debate that makes this place valuable to skiers, many of whom only read and don't post.  This site has seen many changes over the years, and this one seems natural.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.  For now, my understanding is, not much is changing. 

 

For the doubters, consider that the other site you probably post on is also owned by a media company.

Laughable comparison.

 

So as a "supporter" where do I stand with my donated money now that this site is owned by a multi million dollar company?

post #32 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

 

 

So as a "supporter" where do I stand with my donated money now that this site is owned by a multi million dollar company?

Ummmmm....I hate to be punctilious at a time of such great self-congratulation, but I'm with ecimmortal.  I have donated money to EpicSki fairly regularly b/c I was definitely under the impression that it was an important element of "membership" -- much the way that public radio survives on the donations of its listeners.

 

Now that the site is owned by a highly successful commercial enterprise, I'm wondering: what did my money go for and why don't I have a share in the profits?

post #33 of 351

I understand what you are saying about Supporters, but in fact we have not depended on Supporter donations since 2004, when ESA became the chief means of supporting the site's operations. Since 2004 we have considered the Supporter membership a subscription with benefits including access to private forums, discounts and deals. You'll recall that last year we had Promotive as a Supporter benefit and also did a special edition ball cap for Supporters. Supporters also get more control over the experience at EpicSki, such as the ability to turn off ads, upload attachments, and edit posts.

 

You may have noticed that we aren't pushing to sell Supporter memberships like we have in the past. There's no Promotive, no exclusive swag, just a level of service we offer for the small percentage of our community who, for the most part, want access to their private forums. To have private forums there must be a way to qualify its members, or anyone could have access and they would not be private. I can't imagine a more objective and egalitarian way than pay to play. 

 

See Become an EpicSki Supporter for the facts about the Supporter membership. 

 

Since 2009 EpicSki's main source of revenues is advertising. This is not expected to change with the new ownership. Since partnering with Huddler, by far our biggest expense has been editorial, and many members of our community, including a whole new concept called "staff," are being paid for their contributions. You can be assured that the proceeds from your Supporter subscriptions have gone toward extras like stickers, Gathering swag, and special projects to benefit the community, including donations to worthy ski-related causes. 


Edited by nolo - 1/2/13 at 9:51pm
post #34 of 351

Then why was it called "Supporter" instead of say 'Premium'? Kind of leads one to believe something that wasn't really true at all, no? The term has been used with an obvious intent to make people feel in some way obligated to 'repay the community' by joining. I certainly was under the impression that this was a community which ran off donations by it's members and a handful of paying commercial interests. I guess the adds should have made it obvious that the real $$ was coming from outside the member base... but I feel slightly mislead, which is fine, but it is how I feel.

post #35 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Then why was it called "Supporter" instead of say 'Premium'? Kind of leads one to believe something that wasn't really true at all, no?

Agree.  The main reason I am a supporter is that I wished to 'support' epicski.

post #36 of 351

It's fair concern, and the supporter issue is at the top of my agenda to discuss with Mountain News.  The interests of the members and a return on value has always been of foremost importance among the administration team, and we promise not to leave you out to dry on this.  As Nolo said, to this point, the supporter subscriptions have all been sunk back into the site, events and other community benefits.  How this will shake out is something I don't know  yet, but it's among the first items to be discussed.

 

FWIW, I have paid my money and donated toward subscriptions of others that I enjoy having in the Supporter area.  Whiteroom, we had a debate at least five years ago whether we should continue to call the subscriptions "supporter" or rename it.  Once of the names considered at the time was a  Premium Subscriber.  I think there was also an open discussion of the evolving "supporter" role a year or two ago in the Supporter Lounge.  The sale to Mountain News is certainly reason enough to reconsider the matter again.  Keep in mind, Epicski has increasingly provided subscriber benefits to "Ambassadors", experts on forum panels and staff editors in return for the content and value they bring to the site. 

post #37 of 351

To add my personal opinion...again my opinion, I have known for some time that this site has been largely financially  supported by an advertising base. I think that was made clear in old threads on the topic, maybe I'm wrong about that but it seemed obvious to me that it had to be the case. As for the term Supporter, I don't think that has been misleading. Nolo explained how supporter subscription dues has been spent and it has gone directly back to this community. Because a new outfit bought us as of Jan. 1 does not change how Supporter money has been spent in the past. I had no idea how many advertisers we had until I recently turned ads back on but I saw Squaw Valley,Rossi, Dynastar, Nordica, LiftTickets.com... no small players these. Perhaps going forward we can change the title but if the contributions going forward are used exclusively for the benefit of our community then I think Supporter is not a misleading term. 

 

I know I now sport a staff badge but that just happened. I'm the new kid on the block with the responsibility to care for our own resort guides and assist our ambassadors as much as I can. To be owned by a company that also owns OnTheSnow makes me very insecure about my future role here. How could it not? The way I see it, I will continue to do my best to serve this community regardless of who pays the bills. I have met and skied with many fine individuals because of my participation here. I do not expect that to change. I never portrayed myself as an expert skier or a knowledgeable industry insider or as one too good to bother with the gaper class littering my good lines. Quite the opposite. I'm just your average joey trying to find useful information and I have always been welcome here. I don't expect that to change either.

 

What I have learned in the few months I've been a member of the staff is this. There are a group of dedicated people working a lot of hours and spending a lot of time keeping this a knowledgeable, welcoming place for all types of snow sport enthusiast to come and participate in any level they choose. Much care and thought goes into the tone and feel of this piece of cyberspace. I do not mean to minimize the very core of who we are and that core is our supporters and members that take the time to share their knowledge with the rest of us. Members who make their vacation plans around meeting and skiing with each other. Members who seek instruction and advice from trusted teachers and industry insiders. I hope that this does not change.

 

Right now I must take a leap of faith and commit to this community. I hope all of you do also.

post #38 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmourati View Post

I, for one, welcome our new Vail overlords.  



Being the resident VR hater, I'll be the first to be reeducated.
post #39 of 351

We considered changing the name of the Supporter membership level but we worried that the community would not take kindly to such a change, so instead we changed all the verbiage describing the membership to exclude the word "donation." I would also submit that those who purchased a Supporter membership have supported the site, since we have only been in this new world of new ownership for a couple of days now. The purchase of EpicSki is something that came together in the last month so we could not have foreseen that this would be an issue. 

 

Anyway, some more history from the bookkeeper: In 2008 we had a partnership with Dan Egan, which is when we started advertising, a move that elicited a fair share of criticism. That was when we kicked around the idea of subscriptions, but in the end we decided that model was not going to work for us and tried something different. That's when we started partnering with Huddler, which has been a revenue share arrangement, and Supporter fees are in there. The Huddler partnership is what enabled us to weather the loss of ESA when the economy turned. 

 

Since we started taking ads, we have regarded Supporter fees as a different kind of revenues from the "commercial" revenues and we have used the money to support community projects, gatherings, and the like. For instance, we used Supporter fees to pay for the stickers we're currently giving away. As has been pointed out, as of two days ago we probably won't have the financial constraints we have worked with in the past, and could completely phase out the Supporter membership, but we'd also have to phase out the Lounge. Something to consider. 

post #40 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Since 2009 EpicSki's main source of revenues is advertising. . . .  You can be assured that the proceeds from your Supporter subscriptions have gone toward extras like stickers, Gathering swag, and special projects to benefit the community, including donations to worthy ski-related causes. 

 

Really? 

 

My husband single-handedly planned, hosted, and for all practical purposes ran the annual Epicski Gatherings in 2009 (Utah), 2010 (Jackson) and 2011 (Colorado).  I'm wracking my brain to recall any "Gathering swag."  Perhaps I'm just not up on what "swag" means.  I do know that no one offered to reimburse him for attending, no one offered to subsidize his lift tickets, lodging or meals.  He secured locals (both professional and amateur) to help guide people safely around the mountains, personally rescued several skiers who got in over their heads, and carpooled people in our personal vehicle around the various mountain areas.

 

So really now...what's swag?

post #41 of 351

Let's hope that the advertising space doesn't go up or that posts unfovorable to Vail Resorts don't disappear.

Everything evolves, but in my experience big media means mediocre content.

We will see.

The good thing about the internet is that if Epic becomes profit driven and boring  there will be some more folks in a garage starting a new board.

I'll have to think hard next season about being a Supporter or Ambassador for a profit driven media group with an unknown mission.

We will see.

One instance of someone being banned for trash talking Vail and this board will be off my list.

That's a red line for me!

post #42 of 351

Congratulations to the epicski.com team whose fine direction over the years from its humble beginnings has resulted in this acquisition by our leading ski industry corporation.   The value of this site is more than just another successful Internet forum community URL.   Rather it is the large active community of members attracted here by a long history of pleasant, respectful, considerate, online communication behavior.

post #43 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post

 

Really? 

 

My husband single-handedly planned, hosted, and for all practical purposes ran the annual Epicski Gatherings in 2009 (Utah), 2010 (Jackson) and 2011 (Colorado).  I'm wracking my brain to recall any "Gathering swag."  Perhaps I'm just not up on what "swag" means.  I do know that no one offered to reimburse him for attending, no one offered to subsidize his lift tickets, lodging or meals.  He secured locals (both professional and amateur) to help guide people safely around the mountains, personally rescued several skiers who got in over their heads, and carpooled people in our personal vehicle around the various mountain areas.,

 

So really now...what's swag?

SugarCube,

I share you pain about how little is done for those who run the Gathering. At Breck, on the first day of the Gathering, Uncle Louie was my guide, and, it was my privilege to buy him lunch. The cost incurred by the Gathermeister need to be compensated For Sure! .

post #44 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

SugarCube,

I share you pain about how little is done for those who run the Gathering. At Breck, on the first day of the Gathering, Uncle Louie was my guide, and, it was my privilege to buy him lunch. The cost incurred by the Gathermeister need to be compensated For Sure! .

 

LP, you're very kind to have done that for my husband and even kinder to bring this out in a public setting.  He did what he did because of his love of skiing and for bringing people together who share that love.  He never asked for nor did he receive compensation for his efforts related to the Gatherings.  I'm sure the day he guided your group at Breck was a total joy for him because that's just what he does.  Thank you so much for your kind words!

post #45 of 351

I didn't know Vail owned CME.

post #46 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post


Being the resident VR hater, I'll be the first to be reeducated.

 

Vail Resorts is the worst thing to hit the ski industry, it's like a spreading virus.  How do I permanently delete my account from this site?  Looked in my account settings and didn't see an option.  

post #47 of 351

In addition to jay_p's post above:

 

How can I delete my images from this site? 

 

I'm a professional photographer. I posted some stuff here for fun, on what I thought (or, rather, was) an independently run forum. I do not want my images being made available to Vail's media arm. Actually, I don't want my images on here at all. 

post #48 of 351

I am getting the feel from these posts that Epic will not be the same place anymore. The online community that was mostly fueled by motivated people sharing their love for skiing now becomes a commercial site. I have a feel that member contributions to the commercial site will never be the same and the sense of community is gone now. I also hope I am mistaken and epic makes it.  

post #49 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

Let's hope that the advertising space doesn't go up or that posts unfovorable to Vail Resorts don't disappear.

Everything evolves, but in my experience big media means mediocre content.

We will see.

The good thing about the internet is that if Epic becomes profit driven and boring  there will be some more folks in a garage starting a new board.

I'll have to think hard next season about being a Supporter or Ambassador for a profit driven media group with an unknown mission.

We will see.

One instance of someone being banned for trash talking Vail and this board will be off my list.

That's a red line for me!

 

Trust me we all feel the same way. And it was made quite clear before the site was sold that this is a living, breathing, passionate community that they have a responsibility not to mess around with too much. 

 

I see us being kind of like the Simpsons and/or Family Guy. Yes they are under contract with Fox, but they take a lot of shots at Fox News and Rupert Murdoch. Fox doesn't stop them from doing it because its a model that works. If I had to guess they are more interested in the trademark value of "EpicSki" in conjunction with their "Epic" products than they are with the community itself. I really do think it will just be more of the same. 

 

In fact remember two winters back when there was the Sunshine Village Patrollers incident thread taken down? SSV threatened EpicSki with legal action and we had to take the post down. Not because anything said was wrong, but because we couldn't afford to prove we were right in court. With someone like Vail financially backing the site, that won't have to happen now. 

 

At the end of the day we love Joan, but does it matter if any surplus revenue (beyond what was sunk back into the community) goes to her and the other previous owners versus a company ultimately owned by Vail? In the end as long as the community continues to thrive and provide a great product--which I believe it will--it doesn't matter who gets the surplus revenue. 

post #50 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyHot View Post

Wow. You folks are naive! Vail just wants the URL EpicSki.com. 

In typical VR purchasing fashion, nothing will change for the first year (or six months), but don't expect this site to exist for anything other than pointing traffic to either OnTheSnow.com or one of VR's other online properties next season.

 

 

Corporations have come to realize the long term value of an established online community. I highly doubt they would throw away the opportunity to just have the domain. This isn't 2005. You may not see ads for other resorts, but I believe they want this community to continue to thrive and grow. It's in their best interest.

 

Oh and a note to Vail execs - I am available for a position as Director of Online Communities and Social Media :-) I will make sure this doesn't get messed up!

 

Congrats to Joan!

post #51 of 351
Quote:
He did what he did because of his love of skiing and for bringing people together who share that love.  He never asked for nor did he receive compensation for his efforts related to the Gatherings.  I'm sure the day he guided your group at Breck was a total joy for him because that's just what he does.  Thank you so much for your kind words!

He was an amazing Gathermeister. As this year's designated GM, I appreciate the work that he did those many years. I too am a volunteer in this role. I plan on inviting those who come to Bozeman to my home for a social occasion, and in that I will emulate the generosity extended by Bob Peters when we visited Jackson Hole. Gatherings are good times and I feel honored to have been asked to Meister it. 

 

Gatherings are another thing that have evolved over the years. Initially we were leery of getting too involved in the Gathering for fear of changing the vibe from grassroots to "slightly corporate." It's only in the past couple of years that EpicSki management has gotten more involved, coinciding somewhat with the demise of ESA. The ESA energy flowed into the Gatherings. Last year a lot of the ESA crew attended -- Bud Heishman, Bob Barnes, Chris Geib, and the Binders were all there. This year, as a different example, EpicSki put out a $1000 deposit to secure the lift ticket deal. This is new. In the past Gathering goers have had to rely on Burger King and Costco to get discounted lift tickets. I also arranged for discounted lodging. I did a little extra legwork in gratitude to those who are making the trip and allowing me to show off my happy places. 

post #52 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

Let's hope that the advertising space doesn't go up or that posts unfovorable to Vail Resorts don't disappear.

 

I just posted a derogatory post about Vail and it was immediately removed. I did that more as a test than anything else.

 

 

 

Nolo - I want nothing more to do with Epicski. Please delete my account,or explain how to do so.

post #53 of 351

Artemat, the first answer is almost always NO. I have been here long enough to have experienced this several times. Then after a while when the dire predictions don't materialize, the doomsayers forget what they were upset about. It happened when we did our first for-profit ESA in 2004; it happened again when we began displaying advertisements in 2008, it happened big time when we partnered with Huddler in 2009, and I expect this too shall pass after a few uneventful months go by. There's no arguing against a pregnant negative. 

post #54 of 351
Quote:
I just posted a derogatory post about Vail and it was immediately removed. I did that more as a test than anything else.

PM sent. I checked the Mod Queue and see no such deletion having occurred, but I could be wrong. 

post #55 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post

 

I just posted a derogatory post about Vail and it was immediately removed. I did that more as a test than anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

To be fair, I believe you used a word that they always would have removed, no matter who it was about... 

post #56 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

He was an amazing Gathermeister. As this year's designated GM, I appreciate the work that he did those many years. I too am a volunteer in this role. I plan on inviting those who come to Bozeman to my home for a social occasion, and in that I will emulate the generosity extended by Bob Peters when we visited Jackson Hole. Gatherings are good times and I feel honored to have been asked to Meister it. 

 

Gatherings are another thing that have evolved over the years. Initially we were leery of getting too involved in the Gathering for fear of changing the vibe from grassroots to "slightly corporate." It's only in the past couple of years that EpicSki management has gotten more involved, coinciding somewhat with the demise of ESA. The ESA energy flowed into the Gatherings. Last year a lot of the ESA crew attended -- Bud Heishman, Bob Barnes, Chris Geib, and the Binders were all there. This year, as a different example, EpicSki put out a $1000 deposit to secure the lift ticket deal. This is new. In the past Gathering goers have had to rely on Burger King and Costco to get discounted lift tickets. I also arranged for discounted lodging. I did a little extra legwork in gratitude to those who are making the trip and allowing me to show off my happy places. 

 

Wow...just wow....there are so many things wrong here I can't begin to address them, and I still don't know what swag is.  Disappointed but sadly not surprised. 

post #57 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

To be fair, I believe you used a word that they always would have removed, no matter who it was about... 

I know the mods can't read everything but here's the offending word that's been in the resort review section for nearly four years.

 

Winter Park mountain sucks but the Mary Jane side has some great skiing if you can get past the cultists.  I own a pass here but would rather ski at Copper or Steamboat.

post #58 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

I know the mods can't read everything but here's the offending word that's been in the resort review section for nearly four years.

 

Winter Park mountain sucks but the Mary Jane side has some great skiing if you can get past the cultists.  I own a pass here but would rather ski at Copper or Steamboat.

The word I saw wasn't in there ... maybe there was more than one post.

post #59 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemat View Post

I am getting the feel from these posts that Epic will not be the same place anymore. The online community that was mostly fueled by motivated people sharing their love for skiing now becomes a commercial site. I have a feel that member contributions to the commercial site will never be the same and the sense of community is gone now. I also hope I am mistaken and epic makes it.  

 

If you don't think this was a commercial site prior to this announcement, you're kidding yourself.  Check out the sponsor ads and pages.  This has been a commercial site for some time and until shown otherwise, I think will likely be mostly the same.  I also am not concerned about commercial censorship as most forums (not just here) generally have been allowed to operate under some pretty broad guidelines with limited moderation.  For example, our local newspaper forums are constantly besieging the paper for 'slanted' reporting or other attacks and they leave the posts up for the community to deal with, not the mods.  Only when personal attacks, language, or threatening behavior get introduced do they moderate and/or remove the offender.  From a journalistic point of integrity, it would not be self-serving to slant the posts only toward views favorable to VR/MNC.

 

Now, regarding the long-range plans of MNC, that's yet to be seen.  I could see this URL conceivably being morphed into a completely different format platform that could essentially displace this community.  That's essentially what happened with the Powder Magazine forums years ago with the community of virtual refugees migrating to TGR.  If that morphing occurs, I suspect a similar transition would likely occur with this group.  In fact, a few enterprising members here could have an instant opportunity handed them if that were to happen.  Until then, though, I plan to stick around, post our stuff and enjoy the same atmosphere that's formed this community for a very long time.

post #60 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

The word I saw wasn't in there ... maybe there was more than one post.

Sounds likely (edit) that I remembered the offender word incorrectly.


Edited by bumpfreaq - 1/3/13 at 1:49pm
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