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25137Re: Creating the John Muir Trail Association

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  • Ralph Alcorn
    Sep 4, 2012
      Some more thoughts, just to muddy the water a little. I've been doing this a long time - AOL, Compuserve, listservs, Yahoo Groups, Facebook. I'm quite involved with Camino de Santiago hiking. In terms of US hikers, they have many fewer hikers than the JMT. I do have a point here. When I first got involved, about 14 years ago, the Camino activity was all on listservs. My email was on Compuserve. Then the activity moved to groups such as this, and most was on one group, though  one listserv survived. Compuserve died as a significant entity, as did AOL. Over the last year almost all that Camino activity move to one individual's forum which was quite interactive, similar to postholer.com. In the last 6 to 8 months the American Pilgrims Group on Facebook has become very active. For example, you can ask about hiking poles and get a dozen responses the same day, possibly with images.

      There is also a John Muir Trail Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2240988980/  It has 1100+ members, but not much activity. If all the Yahoo group members were also there, I think the Yahoo activity would drop to nil. You don't have to be Facebook Friends to be in a Facebook Group, so it allows you to share things of common interest with someone who might otherwise be quite obnoxious.

      I enjoy doing our website, updating JMT records, etc., and I do reply to anyone who manages to find our email in all that stuff on our JMT page, but I think Yahoo Groups, and even websites are losing their value, sort of fading from existence. People are moving towards a more immediate response, with pictures. There is still a place for online journals, i.e. trailjournals.com and postholer.com but the momentum is now towards Facebook. Google+ is better, but I think, too  late. Moving to PCTA or a website would be a sidestep, not progress.

      Ralph Alcorn
      Shepherd Canyon books, Publisher of
      We're in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill: Tales and Tips from Seasoned Women Backpackers (also in Kindle), and
      Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago (also in Kindle)

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