Question for those who are still reading/writing to CaveChat

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Question for those who are still reading/writing to CaveChat

Postby Ernie Coffman » Mar 21, 2016 5:19 pm

"Where have all the flowers gone?" In this case, "Where have all the cavers gone?" that used to read and respond on this forum? It seems like this media is drying up faster than all get out. I thought maybe it was just me, not reading a lot, but looking at the dates that people have been entering news or answering questions, I'm wondering if this forum has seen its last days? :shrug: :yikes: Maybe a moderator or two can chime in and let us know. Come on, Kiwi, give with your thoughts.

I know there used to be a different forum out there, but has it absorbed all of those who used to be on this forum? Or doesn't anyone write anymore?
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby NZcaver » Mar 21, 2016 6:52 pm

Still here, still reading periodically and posting occasionally.

The other US caving forum you may be thinking of pretty much died out. No posts in several years, last time I looked. On the other hand, there are many very active Facebook caving groups and pages. A lot of people who used to regularly ask/comment/discuss in traditional forums have moved more towards social media connections through Facebook etc. This is not a uncommon trend, and I see it with forums pertaining to other interest groups too. Some of the staunchest supporters of traditional forums like Cavechat are those who want to continue interacting online with like-minded people, but prefer to limit their use of Facebook or other social media.

For me personally, circumstances have changed and I don't get to do much - if any - caving these days. But I still like to lurk around here and get my fix from time to time.
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Question for those who are still reading/writing to CaveChat

Postby Ernie Coffman » Mar 21, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks Jansen for your thoughts on this. Appreciate it!

What did you think of that drunk (?) on the snowmobile up at the Ididarod this year? Kind of a wild tale if you ask me. Drunk is one thing, but going back and forth and ramming into the team is something else. :off topic: I know, I know, so that's why I'm leaving.
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 21, 2016 9:52 pm

I don't reckon Cavechat is fashionable any more. One other possibility is that there is very little left to say. All of the definitive arguments have been had. Few people write trip reports whether here, on TAG-net, or in grotto newsletters.

The biggest downside to the death of this forum is that there is no comparable resource (that I know of) for new cavers. Perhaps I was an outlier in terms of learning style, but this site taught me a lot, technically and culturally, that I would never have learned otherwise. The archived information here is still valuable, but individualized conversation benefits a learner even more.
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Question for those who are still reading/writing to CaveChat

Postby Ernie Coffman » Mar 21, 2016 10:13 pm

I read you loud and clear and agree with all of your points. Sad to see it dwindling away, but a good majority of those in CaveChat just aren't doing their thing. But, you've already said that. My bad!
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby graveleye » Mar 22, 2016 7:48 am

Facebook has definitely diverted a lot of traffic from this forum, but it's not dead, and still serves a good purpose of being a front door for beginners and seekers.
There is still a good bit of discussion going on, but definitely not like 8-10 years ago when it was new.
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby hiflier » Mar 22, 2016 8:36 am

I'm not a caver but I'm here nonetheless. And yes there is a great deal of good practical information here as well as extreme descriptions of caves with pics and lots of great advice and knowledge. We're all kinda getting older and perhaps the activity for some isn't what it used to be but the yung'ns are there, however more on social media as you say. This is still an awesome site though and I have to say I was surprised and impressed with the maturity as well.

When I got here with my questions and explained why I was asking them no one batted an eye but went straight to common sense answers and really made the welcome terrific even though the subject I was presenting was a bit off color. Kudos to all of you. I've learned much here and continue to do so. I was also surprised at the lack of eye-rolling because of the Sasquatch thing- at least publicly. You guys are pretty classy!
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby tncaver » Mar 22, 2016 9:01 am

Perhaps you have forgotten that hundreds if not thousands of America's best caves have been closed or gated in the name
of conservation and protection from humans who "might" spread WNS. Fact is, if the best caves are closed, there are
going to be fewer cavers to enjoy caves and write about their experiences because they have little or no access to caves. :sad: :hairpull:
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby spider » Mar 22, 2016 10:13 am

Ease of access is the main driving factor, in my opinion. Generally,
to use Cave Chat you need a fairly reliable Internet connection.
While you can get to Cave Chat with a smartphone, most folks find it
less of a hassle to just use an app to access "social media." Often
campgrounds that cavers frequent are not easy sites to make an
Internet connection for most folks, so they are driven to use Facebook
and such. Replies and comments are going to be there too, so Internet
sites are going to suffer even when the Internet is easy to access.
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby Beerlover » Mar 22, 2016 10:24 am

Facebook killed it. Also, there a lots of cavers who are disgusted with the NSS of late. With all the WNS news over the last years, many feel the NSS should have been loud and proud in publicly supporting cavers and defending the fact that it wasn't cavers spreading the fungus. Instead, they stayed out of the limelight like wallflowers and went along with all the closings and blame. They were more interested in building a shrine to themselves with the new overpriced building. How is that balloon mortgage payment coming along, by the way?
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby CaverScott » Mar 22, 2016 10:27 am

graveleye wrote:Facebook has definitely diverted a lot of traffic from this forum, but it's not dead, and still serves a good purpose of being a front door for beginners and seekers.
There is still a good bit of discussion going on, but definitely not like 8-10 years ago when it was new.



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Question for those who are still reading/writing to CaveChat

Postby Ernie Coffman » Mar 22, 2016 4:24 pm

As for Beerlover's comments, what more could you ask of the NSS when WNS came on board? We had a lot going there, with Peter Youngbaer researching and sharing all kinds of info and the NSS BOG was doing what they thought was needed. There's only so much that a volunteer organization can do and with the funding that they had. I guess if they were paid executives and had the funds that large companies have, they could have put out more info, but they were in line, I thought, with BCI. What was it Beerlover that you would have done different in their case? They communicated and did as much as they thought they could do, trying to get the FS, BLM, Fish & Game folks to understand that it wasn't cavers spreading the fungus, but who in those first few years when no one knew that much about it, but it went on a lot of deaf ears. They recognized problems and at each of the conventions, they came up with decon stations and sharing of caving equipment, etc., so...rather than blame, let's hear what you would have been doing to help out this problem, which still is. Even though WNS hasn't effected the West, as they said it was going to do, the convention at Ely, Nevada, is prepared to have decon stations and loaner gear, so that anything a caver from back East, won't share! :bat sticker:

"They were more interested in building a shrine to themselves with the new overpriced building. How is that balloon mortgage payment coming along, by the way?"


I had to chuckle at your thought here, what with describing the new headquarters, as a shrine, since that's what it used to be for the Shriners. :rofl: As for it being in the way of doing work on the WNS projects, just how much do you expect from volunteers? The few people that are paid are office staff and keeping the NSS together in the office and in the library/store situations. So...again, if you think it's a shrine, would you have kept the old NSS Office at #1 Cave Avenue? :yikes: When I made my first donation to the building fund, I was wondering what we were getting for the money, but after helping to cart materials from the old office over to "the shrine" as you call it, along with carrying equipment to the convention site in 2014, I quickly recognized what a great buy those on the real estate team made. I wasn't involved with looking at all the sites, making those decisions whether to move out of Alabama and/or settle in Kentucky or Ohio, thank God. Getting involved with real estate is a full time job/chore and I'm glad we had some great volunteers taking that project on. And, I appreciate the work that all of the volunteers that are working on making "the shrine" a better and sharper looking place to have meetings, to have outside organizations rent the site, etc. and to know that "the shrine" will be around for decades from now. And, to know that there are three caves on the property to boot kind of brings a tear to your eyes, 'eh what? :cavingrocks: If cavers continue to pay down the mortgage, like we've done in the past, the mortgage will disappear; and, hopefully, you've helped with that, also, like so many others have.

In closing my soap box, I started this dialogue with a question about Cave Chat disappearing, possibly; and, not knowing it would lead us into other discussions. :shrug: I know I haven't satisfied you with my answers, for I believe you're upset about something more than what you wrote about, :argue: although you have brought up some interesting concerns. I just don't believe they belong in this discussion; and, hopefully, you'll be getting more involved with the NSS and make it the great organization it used to be...and still is!
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby tncaver » Mar 22, 2016 6:15 pm

With all due respect Ernie, the President of the NSS at the time was completely in favor of closing as many caves as possible to cavers.
He was a PRESERVATIONIST, not a conservationist. A preservationist wants to keep things EXACTLY as is regardless of what the rest of the
world thinks.No humans contact whatsoever. The former NSS president was a narrow minded PRESERVATIONIST CONTROL FREAK and that is why he is GONE.
THE NSS president at the time was in favor of closing every cave in the world to cavers
to "protect" caves. Protect has now become a dirty word to many people because it means keeping everyone out.
Fortunately more sane minds prevailed and that president was voted out.
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Question for those who are still reading/writing to CaveChat

Postby Ernie Coffman » Mar 22, 2016 8:01 pm

Not sure why this is being brought out, on the President of the NSS, for I didn't mention anything about that position. And, you definitely know more than I do on this, about Bill, for I'm not into all the politics of the NSS. One comment--sentence, that is--that seems a little out of line, would be about the President being "...in favor of closing every cave in the world to cavers..." Don't believe he had that much power or even thought he did.
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Re: Question for those who are still reading/writing to Cave

Postby Beerlover » Mar 23, 2016 6:56 am

Just wanted to add that I think Peter Youngbear has done a very fine job and nothing I said was directed towards him.
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