Is SuperTopo getting positioned for sale?

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 49 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 22, 2019 - 11:32am PT
Just curious. Seems like a bit of house cleaning going on.
Matt's

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 11:38am PT
you really think this forum has positive cash flow?
who would buy this asset?

brotherbbock

climber
So-Cal
Apr 22, 2019 - 11:50am PT
^^^LOL
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Apr 22, 2019 - 11:56am PT
If it does not have positive cash flow it would have gone away long ago.

Not saying it makes a ton of money. I have no idea.

Lots of companies would by this.
John M

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 11:59am PT
RJ and Chris said recently that no sale has been contemplated. The clean up appears to have been motivated by a potential/threatened lawsuit over copy right infringement. They have said that the threatened lawsuit did not come from a climber, but have declined to say from whom. Likely they don't want to trigger an attack from someone on this forum, thus aggravating a situation that they are tying to ease out of so as to avoid a lawsuit.

I don't really understand the timing, nor why they felt they had to do it in such as rush manner that it triggered a few people to say insulting things, getting them completely removed, ( Tad for one ) and triggering others to ask to be completely deleted ( DMT, Moosedrool , Walleye and potentially others )

It seems to me that if the offending material was deleted, then there would have been time to work out the rest. But as they haven't been willing to go into greater detail, then its only speculation. Perhaps there was a reason for the rush, but then I wish they had had greater trust in many of us and just told us.

Its clearly a mess. Ekat is trying to get people to calm down and see what can be salvaged. The changes are fairly severe. No more hot links, which has messed up many threads. Many people not happy with that. No more politics. Mixed feelings on that.. strong feelings in both directions. Many peoples entire photo accounts were deleted because there were too many copy right infringement violations. Fritz's account is one of the worst. He was given no time to try and sort it out. So most/all? of his threads are ruined.

What is the future of the forum? That is to be determined. If it is to survive I hope that those who know DMT and Moose and Walleye personally will reach out to them and try to coax them back.

My own personal feeling is that those who hated the politics won't show up and revive the forum, but who knows.. maybe I am wrong. I don't mind being wrong, but I do believe that it will take some strong personalities to bring this place back to life. Someone like Ouch, to bring humor to the situation would help. Or a Jeff Lowe, or a Bachar. Dingus could be a cheer leader, encouraging people to just post their fotos to the forum, but its to be determined whether he will come back.

Just my thoughts.

Edit: I believe them when they say it loses money.
A Essex

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:20pm PT
hopefully REI will buy!

all will become one with the Borg
Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
Apr 22, 2019 - 01:45pm PT
WELL POSITIONED. Now is the time to invest before someone else gets rich off it. I suspect it's either Warren Buffet or the Koch Bros. is behind this.

Seriously, though now is the time to look for another website to host all this questionable material. That will take time and the people who have put in so much work should be the most motivated to do it. In the meantime this is a valuable community of people and I hope it stays together.
RJ Spurrier

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 22, 2019 - 02:47pm PT
Gunkie:
Is SuperTopo getting positioned for sale?

No.

FRUMY:
If it does not have positive cash flow it would have gone away long ago.

The Forum has never made a profit in its 18 year history. It has been subsidized and provided support as a service to the climbing community by Chris and SuperTopo LLC.
ruppell

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 02:58pm PT
The Forum has never made a profit in its 18 year history. It has been subsidized and provided support as a service to the climbing community by Chris and SuperTopo LLC.

I'm finding that very hard to believe. Is OutdoorGearLab.com part of ST LLC? If the founders of this site haven't found a way to turn a profit the servers would have turned off a long time ago. Unless Chris and you are so committed to preserving the historical record that you put that money out of pocket. Which I doubt because you have stated that this in not the place for historical content.

So, which one is it?
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Apr 22, 2019 - 02:59pm PT
RJ,I will ask again,you say you do not make money on this site.

Do you need money for all of this?
RJ Spurrier

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 22, 2019 - 03:36pm PT
wilbeer:
Do you need money for all of this?

Yes, it costs money to operate the SuperTopo Forun. If the site's operating costs weren't subsidized by SuperTopo LLC, it would be shut down.

ruppell:
Is OutdoorGearLab.com part of ST LLC?


No. OutdoorGearLab is a completely separate business with different ownership.

If the founders of this site haven't found a way to turn a profit the servers would have turned off a long time ago.

You make a good case to shut down the SuperTopo Forum. Certainly, the economic case is undeniable.

Chris has been trying to figure out how to keep it going.

Perhaps he shouldn't.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Apr 22, 2019 - 03:57pm PT
What if we have fund drives for the forum?Like local npr radio. That can be done.

I knew it was not free,bandwidth =money.

It would not be hard to do at all,add an item”ST forum contribution” to STLLC’s guidebook catalog,post a reminder thread quarterly and accept money.

Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:13pm PT
Thanks RJ, for setting us straight on a few things. Wow. Just crazy. So much information and stories and TRs. It would be a shame, but could it really last forever???
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:17pm PT
Yeah,there you have it.
RJ Spurrier

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:52pm PT
Wilbeer:
What if we have fund drives for the forum?Like local npr radio. That can be done.

I think that is why Chris has been contemplating splitting the SuperTopo Forum and user-contributed portions of this site (trip reports, route beta, etc) into a non-profit. Since the forum actually isn't profitable today, and never has been, an official 501c3 non-profit status it seems a natural move.

I believe Chris is interested in becoming a significant continuing sponsor to help support the site, but it would be great if donations from members also helped cover the costs. That could also potentially fund new development, expanded types of user-contributed content, and modernization of the site.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:08pm PT
RJ could you also add total freedom to publish whatever on the site? For example if i'm donating x dollars to play here i'd like to be able to post/read politard content. Does that make any sense?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:11pm PT
Let's not forget the energy and effort that Chris already puts into the American Safe(r) Climbing Association, not to mention a number of community things where he lives. Walking the walk...
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:24pm PT
Let’s get er rolling ,then.
Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:29pm PT
^ RJ the key to 501(c)(3) status is public support. You have to be able to prove that the organization is funded by "the public." I'm not sure the minimum number of people to qualify as "the public" but if its just Chris and a few other people, it won't work. The easiest way to show public support is to be supported by another 501(c)(3). That money is already laundered for you. (so to speak lol) So, to get it off the ground you could get a grant from a 501(c)(3). Otherwise, if the membership of this site, for example, all kicked in $5 each - I would have to check how many people constitutes "the public" - then your expenses could be three times that.

You have to have 34% public support. Then the other 66% of your budget can come from a single source. I guess it's like matching funds. Either yourself, or some gear or clothing company. Or podcasters like Chris Kalous or Fitz Cahall have such large and wealthy audiences, all they have to do is ask and $50,000 can appear overnight. This happened for the Stoned Nudes and a Bears Ears Visitor Center, etc.

One other thing you need to know, is that if you form a 501(c)(3) you will not be in control of it. It has to have a board of directors. It is very common for successful nonprofits to kick out the founder of the organization, maybe because the person doesn't accept they are no longer in control, or maybe because he put the wrong people on the board. There is a concept called a "founding director" that I researched once, that may be a way to prevent that, but it's a common occurrence.

Another thing is that if the forum loses money, you can write that off against the income of your LLC. You will lose the write off, but I guess that's better than paying all of it. Overall I think its a good plan - but the plan should have some kind of legal basis (creative commons? I dont know about that) and not just publish hundreds of copyrighted magazine articles.

And now that you have raised all this money, everyone gets jobs reformating the climbing history, more than 15 years of disorganized stories intermingled with personal disputes, etc., edited out. Maybe some of the people who had massive, illegal collections on supertopo would want to do that. Well, when there is change there is opportunity. I would start with thinking what kind of editing would be needed to publish their collections legally.
ruppell

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:29pm PT
You make a good case to shut down the SuperTopo Forum. Certainly, the economic case is undeniable.

Chris has been trying to figure out how to keep it going.

Perhaps he shouldn't.

Time and money.

If you want to take my words out of context and have everyone reading this presume ST is a total loss and solely supported by one man's quest to figure out a way to make it work, after years, go ahead.

Shut down the forum. Your responses to almost all questions have been dull at best and most have been utter BS.

Pretend it's a campfire. Pretend that it's a place to have climbing lore stored. Pretend it's me talking to you. Drop the attitude about "never has ST endorsed copy right infringement". Tell the story man. Lots of woods getting burned.
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