Good Tuesday Morning!
As I noted the other day, we are making some changes with this operation, and taking some of our commentary and hosting to my own website. I have a few more thoughts on the change and transition, and on the state of this type of work generally.
The other major reasons for the change are more "commercial". When I started on Facebook it felt like "good content wins" - we put a lot of effort to have compelling images with something to say, and let the audience grow organically. For quite a while, that was a successful plan, but over the last few years, I have been demoralized by two factors that have come to be obvious of late. First, with the beginning of paid posts, it has been increasingly hard to get our work in front of our audience - even for folks that have been interested and engaged with us along the way. "The algorithm" has put us in a rock-and-hard place position - pay for folks to see the work, and diminishing returns when we do. Secondly, the nature of the platform wanting conflict, or bombastic statements to drive organic interaction is pretty much the opposite of what we want to do here. We have prided ourselves on being able to find common ground, regardless of political leanings in our audience, on topics that impact us all living here - but unfortunately, that doesn't get folks riled up enough. I talked about this in a post in 2017, but the most "successful" post we had last year was where I complained about our experience in Yellowstone park. A post that was a bridge post between "a really good experience" and "another really good experience", and was framed as the connector, a "conflict point" in our narrative that led to better days was the most viewed, commented, and reacted post of 2017.
Heck with that.
Today's image from a hike roughly one year ago on North Fork Mountain, which we just didn't have the time to feature last year! It was a lovely late winter day, and we had aimed for a spot in the middle of the North Fork Mountain trail - because I wanted to find a route to the famous Champe Rocks along the Potomac. We had hiked out, and West Virginia did what she does - things are close by, but not easy to get to. Champe Rocks are visible in the mid-right of the frame - and it was obvious we were going to have one heck of an approach to get there. This has started to become our calling card - finding a hard, or remote objective - and then figuring out what it takes to get there. It means that we don't always "win" in our adventures - but it does mean that we see a lot of the state that other folks don't.
Late Winter on North Fork Mountain - West Virginia