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Would be nice to have a Jr. Skier Forum

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Epic ski is a great, dynamic site that continually addresses all needs of the modern skier.  I'm simply amazed at the wealth of content available.  From the mundane to the practical, eccentric  and everything in between the site is a great resource for all levels of skiers.

 

Question.  Is it possible to add a forum dedicated to Jr. skiers?  The interest is here and there certainly are a number of members who ski, travel, spend money, and have technical questions as it relates to Jr skiing.  In particular, it seems as if the nuances of the Jr. skiers demand more or equal attention or scrutiny to the adult skier. Rather than searching for or posting Jr related questions in a forum that may or may not be related to the topic the user experience could be enhanced by adding a related forum. 

 

I appreciate your thoughts, comments, suggestions.

 

Keep up the good work.

post #2 of 16

Thanks for the suggestion. In our experience the greater the number of forums the harder it makes for people to find and post content. For example does one post a question about a Jr.'s skis in a generic "Junior Skiing" forum or the "Ski Gear" forum? We've tried to get the categories narrowed down to cover everything, and overall the best solution has been to just post the questions in the forum of the subject rather than breaking things out by age or gender. 

post #3 of 16

We have pretty strong involvement from teens and twenty-somethings here.  Tyler was made a moderator at a very young age, but who knew?  For the most part Epicski meets the needs of men, women, young, old and many other social groups through the common interest we have in skiing and snowsports.   If you follow my drift, we should not care who you are, or how old you are.  I don't see how a junior forum would fit into Epicski.   So, I'm of the same mind as tylrwnzl above.

 

On the other hand, we have Social Groups here, and if you see a need for a place for the younger crowd to hang out, you can in effect create your own forum there.

post #4 of 16

Could be Jr Racing and Park n Pipe sub forums there eh?

post #5 of 16

With most groups, the challenge is to get the first post to start the discussion, and then recruit members and responses.  Too many groups are formed with a good idea, and no so much as a single post or thread starter.   Both of the topics above would be good, but can be fit into a single forum group as discussion threads rather than subforums.

 

If you decide to form a group, let one of the moderators know and we can try to feature a thread or group to help you get it started.  Don't expect it to take off on its own without any effort.  For example, think of a thread that might be good for a youth forum, but start it in the general forums.  If you ask us to move it to a newly formed youth group, you will immediately have a group discussion topic with a number of interested and subscribed members. 

 

Identify five or more relevant existing threads for your group, and if you ask us to move the threads to the group area, you will have many members and some good topics to start new discussions.   I don't know if we can find five relevant youth topic threads, but I bet if I were to start a Helmet Discussion Group, I could have the most successful social group on Epicski.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the reply.  I understand the technical and logical complexities of administrating a site/community/of this magnitude.  Add to this that it seems like the site administrators/moderators are volunteers doing this for their love of the sport and a user base that probably has a comment for everything.  Perhaps a discussion titled "All things Jr." could be an appropriate place to start.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
 

We have pretty strong involvement from teens and twenty-somethings here.  Tyler was made a moderator at a very young age, but who knew?  For the most part Epicski meets the needs of men, women, young, old and many other social groups through the common interest we have in skiing and snowsports.   If you follow my drift, we should not care who you are, or how old you are.  I don't see how a junior forum would fit into Epicski.   So, I'm of the same mind as tylrwnzl above.

 

On the other hand, we have Social Groups here, and if you see a need for a place for the younger crowd to hang out, you can in effect create your own forum there.

  I don't see how a junior forum would fit into Epicski.    This doesn't make any sense and with all respect seems rather short sighted.  Not having a dedicated Jr topic area clearly ignores a market segment that parents support and allocate a fair amount of disposable income and passion toward.   I would submit that the parents of youth skiers on this site are equally if not more passionate about their children skiing and love nothing more than to share, provide advice and collaborate on the same topics as the adult counterparts. 

 

As a parent I'm very valuable to the ski industry because there is a greater probability that I spend more money that a single or a couple.  I'm the targeted demographic for travel, equipment and clothing because families offer more marginal revenue  opportunities than almost any other demographics, luxury traveler is #1.  So when other parents have questionse about what Volkl ski to buy, boot fitting questions, or is a POC Jr goggle worth the investment, the dedicated area makese sense.        

 

 As a long time active participant in the ski business as a child, former ski sales, college racer, and now weekend warrior with two young children I value the opportunity that Epicski.com provides by enabling me to communicate with other parents and learn from their experiences. While I just started asking questions that pertain to my 7 year old the immediate advice has been relevant, practical, and ultimately the type of comments that I have come to expect from this community.        

 

As mentioned above, there clearly seems to be a need from some members to communicate about Jr. related topics.   While such a section may not receive as much dedicated traffic as a thread about the same old tired topics like comparing the Volkl Kendo to a Stockli and some other high end ski, or someone looking for advice about what midrange ski to purchase it seems like .  I'm not sure how a thread would be arranged or have any idea of the time allocation, clearly better left to the administrators.  However, it seems that adding another area that has the ability to enhance the user experience while providing another value added resource seems like an interesting opportunity.

 

Again thanks for the time and comments.  Again if this got lost in the message above, I love the community and keep up the good work.             

post #7 of 16
Just to clarify, you're looking to talk ABOUT kids, not attract kids? The reason I ask is that many here don't look at forums, we look at New Posts without regard to what forum it's in. Things can get rough here. Is not TGR, but sometimes you get some pretty nasty talk and I don't think the moderators want to have to do that kind of policing to protect kids.

If it's ABOUT kids, what is wrong with beginners or racing forums? I'm guessing the main demographic here have families because of the age bracket. I don't think you're going to get different answers just because a thread was created in a Junior forum. We already have that issue in the Beginner forum.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Just to clarify, you're looking to talk ABOUT kids, not attract kids? The reason I ask is that many here don't look at forums, we look at New Posts without regard to what forum it's in. Things can get rough here. Is not TGR, but sometimes you get some pretty nasty talk and I don't think the moderators want to have to do that kind of policing to protect kids.

If it's ABOUT kids, what is wrong with beginners or racing forums? I'm guessing the main demographic here have families because of the age bracket. I don't think you're going to get different answers just because a thread was created in a Junior forum. We already have that issue in the Beginner forum.

 

1. Yes a forum for topics that relates to Jr skiers.  A dedicated forum for younger members of this community is unnecessary.

2. Why is anyone going to search for a topic about Jr boot fitting in a beginner or racing area?  Why would anyone search for a  Jr. related topic in either of those threads?   I'm not sure that I understand your logic as it pertains to site navigation and ease of use.   I posted a Jr. boot related question in "Ask the boot fitter"  no responses.  I have to believe that if the same question was in an area that designated to Jr skiers that I may have received a reply.  On a positive note, 2 members offered good advice to my boot question in an unrelated forum under an unrelated topic.  If another member wanted to access this information it would be very difficult to locate.

 

Now let me ask: why do you feel that a discussion area that relates to Jr. skiers is unnecessary?   

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

also wanted to reiterate the obvious.  I realizes that this site is maintained and administered by volunteers.  While the topic of adding a separate dedicate thread clearly has gained some interest I have no idea of the scope of work that is involved, not a technical or IT related person, and am just debating the merits not the implementation.  It must be somewhat frustrating because it seems like everyone has an opinion about something.    As stated above, my full compliments to the individuals who work hard to deliver a great community and user experience.   I didn't want this point to get lost or misconstrued in translation............

post #10 of 16
I don't know if you realize that the only people who CAN reply in the boot fitter forum you posted in are Epic-certified boot fitters. If you posted that same question in a different forum, maybe you'd have gotten answers. I've seen that problem on a lot of threads in that forum. The only way for an average mortal or bootfitter who hasn't been given a special badge can respond is by PM.

More than likely the certified guys are busy working.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I don't know if you realize that the only people who CAN reply in the boot fitter forum you posted in are Epic-certified boot fitters. If you posted that same question in a different forum, maybe you'd have gotten answers. I've seen that problem on a lot of threads in that forum. The only way for an average mortal or bootfitter who hasn't been given a special badge can respond is by PM.

More than likely the certified guys are busy working.

 I did not know that about the boot fitting area.  Thanks for telling me.  Clearly brings a different level of quality to the site.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post
 

Thanks for the suggestion. In our experience the greater the number of forums the harder it makes for people to find and post content. For example does one post a question about a Jr.'s skis in a generic "Junior Skiing" forum or the "Ski Gear" forum? We've tried to get the categories narrowed down to cover everything, and overall the best solution has been to just post the questions in the forum of the subject rather than breaking things out by age or gender.

I was thinking that a posting titled "All things Jr. - equipment, etc...." could be a good place to start.  Regardless of the language, leave that to professionals, it seems that anything generic and obvious which helps direct the users attention to the area could be useful.  But again, as stated above just one persons opinion.

 

Thanks for the good work.

post #13 of 16

It's not so much a technical problem as a organization problem. We have found that the more categories we have the harder it is to find information. There is a sweet spot between too few (say only three categories Gear, Mountains, General) and too many (Forum for Eastern Mountains, forum for Western Mountains, Forum for South American Mountains, etc.). We evaluated all our categories a while ago to try and get it in that sweet spot and even now I feel we may be a little bit over where we ideally should be because we frequently are having to move posts to more suitable locations and have questions from users of where to post things. It's one of those things where the knowledgeable guys are going to know about junior gear like they know adult gear and splitting off the information into two forums will mean there is less of a chance of the question getting answered than say putting a thread about junior race skis in the "Ski Gear" forum. There are not really shops (that I know of) that specialize only in junior gear, so splitting out junior stuff into another category is only going to increase its chance of being missed. 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyk View Post
 

also wanted to reiterate the obvious.  I realizes that this site is maintained and administered by volunteers.  While the topic of adding a separate dedicate thread clearly has gained some interest I have no idea of the scope of work that is involved, not a technical or IT related person, and am just debating the merits not the implementation.  It must be somewhat frustrating because it seems like everyone has an opinion about something.    As stated above, my full compliments to the individuals who work hard to deliver a great community and user experience.   I didn't want this point to get lost or misconstrued in translation............

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post
 

It's not so much a technical problem as a organization problem. We have found that the more categories we have the harder it is to find information. There is a sweet spot between too few (say only three categories Gear, Mountains, General) and too many (Forum for Eastern Mountains, forum for Western Mountains, Forum for South American Mountains, etc.). We evaluated all our categories a while ago to try and get it in that sweet spot and even now I feel we may be a little bit over where we ideally should be because we frequently are having to move posts to more suitable locations and have questions from users of where to post things. It's one of those things where the knowledgeable guys are going to know about junior gear like they know adult gear and splitting off the information into two forums will mean there is less of a chance of the question getting answered than say putting a thread about junior race skis in the "Ski Gear" forum. There are not really shops (that I know of) that specialize only in junior gear, so splitting out junior stuff into another category is only going to increase its chance of being missed. 

 

As mentioned, more categories does not necessarily make it easier to have good discussions.  Some members only look at specific forums, while others only look at New Posts.  That's one reason that threads in Family Skiing sometimes get no responses but similar threads in General Skiing or Resorts do get useful replies.

 

What tends to be more important than the forum chosen is the amount of info in a thread title.  For example, "New Boot Advice" is unlikely to get much attention, but "First boots for intermediate skier over 40" or "boot advice for teen racer" are more likely to be looked at by those who are knowledgeable enough to provide advice.

post #15 of 16
You know, I thought there was a Family forum, but then couldn't find it. Where is it? Just looked for it again and still can't find it.

Never mind, found it under resorts. Why there?
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

You know, I thought there was a Family forum, but then couldn't find it. Where is it? Just looked for it again and still can't find it.

Never mind, found it under resorts. Why there?

Beats me.  I wasn't part of the EpicSki team when Family and Beginner were started.  Some Family questions are about where to take a family skiing.  Perhaps that was the original intent.  Of course, now there are other topics related to families that end up in that forum.

 

There are some new members who manage to put their first threads in the correct place.  Of course, there are also long time members that put threads in the wrong place every so often.

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