By Steve Outing
It’s becoming common for users of our Enthusiast Group websites to tell us how positively they feel about what we’re doing. I’m feeling really good about this quote from YourClimbing.com member MeganM:
“I think reading about our sport’s superstars in the climbing magazines is OK, but YourClimbing.com provides more of an interactive and rewarding experience.”
That’s a really interesting comment. For years, sports enthusiasts have read about their sports in magazines, mostly — with advice and celebrity profiles written by professional journalists and freelancers, and the occasional athlete. But what we’re seeing with the EG sites (which are primarily about climbers/bikers/runners/et al sharing their own stories and images) is that people like being the writers and photographers themselves, and viewing the amateur musings of fellow enthusiasts who they can interact with easily and directly.
That’s not to say that I expect our sites to replace climbing magazines, et al. But I do think we provide an alternative media and that those magazines and our sites will share the audience attention (and the advertising) in the years ahead. The magazines can of course do what we do, but it’s a big cultural stretch for them to be as open as we are to publishing whatever comes in over the transom, no questions asked.