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Epic Ski Forum Control

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

As with many of you here, I was disappointed to learn of the recent changes to the forum. It got me thinking about the underlying business behind forums. I never thought about it before but after reading many posts about the change it seems that it wasn't voluntary. This got me thinking about the ownership of the forum. What is the goal for the owners of the forum? Is it a business that generates money for the owners? Was there a conflict that interfered with the business that resulted in the changes? Perhaps I am naive and should know the answers to these questions. Just wondering.

post #2 of 13

I  am in the "best wishes to Phil and Trish," otherwise "let it go" camp.

What purpose does it serve to delve into it?

post #3 of 13

Interesting question.  I suppose they make money through selling advertising and "approved" marketing content, and we the people draw more people to the site so they can be advertised and marketed to.

post #4 of 13

I remember when they first added advertising to this site.  It didn't really change a whole lot.

post #5 of 13
It's a bit foggy to me why MTN bought it. I don't see the ads, but my impression based on the occasional complaint is that they are not heavy on Vail-related things. So, scratch that. And, from bits and pieces, I get the impression that the site is not a substantial contributor to Vail's financials (understatement). So, I'm left with the occasionally mentioned "protecting" (or rather "acquiring" since they are late to the party) the Epic name. Or, maybe to keep their fingers on the pulse of what's going on in the general skiing world. In a big data sense, maybe? Because to really read all the threads would take several full time bodies and I can't imagine them spending money funding those bodies. But I guess it's a pool of information for when some question comes up.

But yeah, it's not apparent to me what this buys them, but with the increasing international presence, I can see some advantages. I think the problem is, if they really USE us, we'll leave. So we're left with "protecting the brand" and then hoping to find a way to use to content but it probably hasn't been a real benefit yet. I think that if we see them changing the name of the forum, we can ding the bell for them owning the Epic name, then we'll get spun off or something. Meantime the lights stay on as long as they are breaking even.

I just can't envision why else they'd want us.
post #6 of 13

Please limit all commentary on the topic to this thread—any new threads related to these changes will be consolidated or closed

 

 

 

 

The end of their post in the other thread.

If nothing else this will show if they're reading everything.

post #7 of 13
Well, but this is a separate topic, not specific to the instigating event.
post #8 of 13

Perhaps.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoontasan View Post
 

As with many of you here, I was disappointed to learn of the recent changes to the forum. It got me thinking about the underlying business behind forums. I never thought about it before but after reading many posts about the change it seems that it wasn't voluntary. This got me thinking about the ownership of the forum. What is the goal for the owners of the forum? Is it a business that generates money for the owners? Was there a conflict that interfered with the business that resulted in the changes? Perhaps I am naive and should know the answers to these questions. Just wondering.

The underlying business of a “forum” differs with the purpose of the forum. Ideally, a forum will draw attention (i.e., “hits”) that in turn will drive: 1) the message of the forum operator; 2) revenue to the forum operator; and/or 3) revenue to businesses owned by the forum operator. 

 

Vail has the TM for “EPIC Pass.” EPICSKI could be confused in some way with Vail's EPIC whatever, I suppose. So it makes sense for Vail Resorts to purchase the name EPICSKI to insure it doesn’t hurt the Vail Resorts brand. It cost little to pick up the name.  Mountain News Corp. is the pimple on the butt of Vail Resorts (MTN) in terms of revenue, but is nevertheless important for other reasons.

 

Whenever there is a change the overtaking company can either make a statement right away (usually by firing some people to make an example), or wait a while and then make changes. Mountain News Corp. did nothing for a season and then made changes, which most regulars here (like me) don’t like. Why Mountain News made the changes is unknown.  It could be some prick new to the business made a dumb decision, or there could be sound reasoning involved. We don’t know, do we?  This change made me realize I'm spending too much time here...see you in a week or so.

post #10 of 13

Owning the name makes sense for a tie in to EPIC PASS, and it is a way to take (and to a degree control) the pulse of the more active skier groups. If some thread that is very negative about Vail starts gaining traction, it could be made to disappear. It would be an easy and cheap way for Vail to promote their own expansions. I wonder if we all see the same ads? 

 

Or maybe we are a shiny toy they bought cheap and they like to play with sometimes.

post #11 of 13

My thought was always that Vail purchased it for the domain name, then realized it was one of the top ski forums out there and too valuable to just use to redirect traffic to its other sites. They've sort of let it float since, but I wouldn't be all too surprised if they do something different with it in the future. 

 

As far as the original owners, well, you'd have to ask them, but from a third party point of view, it seems like something that was started out of a passion for skiing (way back before the Internet was monetized the way it is now) and grew into a valuable asset. I assumed previous owners were making money off the advertising, both for paid posts and banner ads and such, and then hit the jackpot when Vail came calling (which they probably would have if it was just an empty domain), which is why they took the money and ran. 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoontasan View Post

As with many of you here, I was disappointed to learn of the recent changes to the forum. It got me thinking about the underlying business behind forums. I never thought about it before but after reading many posts about the change it seems that it wasn't voluntary. This got me thinking about the ownership of the forum. What is the goal for the owners of the forum? Is it a business that generates money for the owners? Was there a conflict that interfered with the business that resulted in the changes? Perhaps I am naive and should know the answers to these questions. Just wondering.

http://www.epicski.com/t/142448/new-digs-and-a-new-deal-for-philpug
post #13 of 13

Did SCSA take over?

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