First off, great thread, definitely a variety of important points and ideas in there. I wanted to reply before but wanted to do a proper job so here's probably my longest ever forum post.
The baseline is that NS has always been a tricky business, both from an income point of view and from a technological point of view. For how long we've been around (long before my time) both advertisers and owners have never really understood it. We've been bounced from owner to owner and had conflicting instructions in the process and that has meant excess budget for tech has been a rarity. So by and large we've always relied on everyone involved in the site, from coders to writers, working for significantly less than they'd earn elsewhere (or for nothing). It's not an excuse for not being better but what I'm saying is that I can guarantee that every red, green, purple name on here is contributing to this place because they love it and skiing. We are so grateful to every one of them, and you guys who come here day in day out.
The tech behind NS is OLD and we've been round and round the idea of a reboot countless times. The forums are the most complicated aspect of that, because porting all the interlinking aspects of the site over to something new would be a HUGE cost. To us the interaction on here is too precious to consider losing, so for now, major work of that size doesn't seem very likely. There may be some tweaks we can make, but a total rebuild of the site is beyond us at this point.
And while I appreciate the idea of a more scrollable feed, I'm not sure it would be a great direction for NS either. We do need to grow the audience (more Jerries is spot-on) but while forum traffic isn't what it once was, NS is doing fairly well as non-gigantic megacorp social media websites go.
It is definitely an old-fashioned point of view but as you ( @X_ANKILLA
) rightly identified in your other thread, we'd prefer to see more edits and movies. I personally think it's unlikely that we could win the battle against Instagram for quick cuts even if we tried but we believe there are enough good quality longer form producers out there that we don't need to fight the battle in that way at all. Our premiere season last fall was definitely a vindication of that idea, we got a ton of traffic and a ton of visibility from having those movies on NS.
asparagusAlso if NS worked in certain ways that benifited/brought more attention to creators I can easily see the bulk of ski content and viewership moving back to newschoolers. The problem is that the amount of clout/benifits someone gets, especially a pro gets from an instagram post vs a newschoolers post is problematic. The more content on NS = more people on NS = more benefits to using the site = more content and it loops. Not sure what needs to be done but I would love newschoolers to get huge like I hear it was in the past.
^ My, and I think more generally, OUR vision for NS is to try and grow towards producing more and better content. We don't really want to be a part of the move to dumb down and shorten content any more than we have to stay afloat. We can use our own 'gram for that. We do see traffic coming in from there too, though of course, we'd like more. Nor will we be replacing PBP/Level 1 by flying helis around for shots or sending crews to India or anything like that. But we are trying to shift our budget towards supporting more video projects, be they edits/movies, produce a higher quality of articles that tell the stories people want to read, and @cydwhit
among others has done a great job of showing us that too can work. We want to be a place where producers want to put their content, rather than having it lost in the shitshow of 5 second attention spans that is social media. Watch this space for more on that, but we will be bringing brack premiere season in the fall.
There is quite clearly plenty more to do. And I'd love this thread to continue because we are definitely keeping an eye on it for ideas and things we could tweak within the cards we've been dealt. My dms are always open too. For my part, a couple of questions...
- What is it about moving towards 'gram/tiktok model that you think would be most beneficial? Is it the auto-playing video? Is it the shortness of the clips themselves? Or is it the upwards scroll?
(One big obstacle for me is that skiing looks like shit filmed vertically 99% of the time, and that is almost a requirement of the scroll style feature.)
- I don't think NS has much of a problem with IG directly, it's more YouTube (as a platform for 'proper' edits). Aside from paying more producers to create for NS, what would make you post your videos here rather than embedding from YT? As far as I can tell, the NS video player no longer has any of the bugs it used to, so it works smoothly and reliably.
- Do you think we should filter the video feed more? Show less content? Redesign the site to enable more viewing direct from the homepage? Autoplay all videos as you scroll (on mobile?) There might be some possible tweaks we can make, but what they should be is kind of dependent on what the people want... and part of the issue with that is you do generally reduce commenting/interaction with that kind of model. How many meaningful comments do you see on 'gram?
r00kieGotta say, I'm with ya on this one. Can't just sit back and watch the world go by. Adapt to the changing market or be left behind, which unforunatly the parent company and apparently eheath are cool with.
BradFiAusNzCoCaBut I mean this is all effectively a Moot point seeing as the ownership of NS has decided not to move the dial forward
I think the issues with the ownership may have been overstated by Zorko and perhaps even myself above. There are definitely some major complications, but we do also have benefits from that situation. We also do get a budget that allows us to continue to run the site, tweak it, add, develop etc. But the stuff that is out of reach is the stuff that would require total bottom up re-designs, and which would probably require an investment that looked more like multiple years of revenue than a small increase in the dev budget. Unfortunately, a major change of how the site flows would probably constitute that.
r00kieThe ns ig page also used to feature the top rated member clips each week which I would imagined helped to push taffic to the site. Just got to keep pushing forward.
We're looking at bringing this back in the fall. Ironically given the thread so far, that was an @eheath
project, he made those clips.
Christian_BaleIt's true that idk how NS operates, but is the forum really gonna die though? I'm not aware of a better way to have online discussions about skiing with random skiers all over the world. Where else would these discussions take place?
No, the forums won't die. They may never go back to 10 years ago, but forum traffic is fairly steady and has been for a couple of years now. Every time something big in skiing goes down, there's a discussion here. I don't see that changing too much. How else would anyone know what size Vishnus to get?