Until very recently, I’ve done all of my hiking alone. Over the last year or two, there has been a couple of people that would come along – most often, if I’m particularly lucky, my significant other. But by and large, the vast majority of my mileage has been solo.
On the occasion that I do hike with others, the conversation often gravitates toward gear. There’s not much interesting there – in fact after a few minutes it can become quite the opposite. As soon as the conversation turns away from that however, things can get productive.
The most recent on-trail conversation related to this web site and it’s users. We marveled at how users will ask questions – directly or publicly on social media – that have already been addressed ad-nauseum within these pages. After reading text that was written for a very specific topic, why would one turn around and ask a question that was addressed within that text?
My thought on the subject went thusly: The user simply missed the info – it was likely added after their initial visit. Changes at ECTThruHike.com happen sporadically – often on a weekly basis, but sometimes queued up for months, then suddenly… all over the pages and all-at-once. When a hiker is initially considering a thru hike, they read through the site (hopefully), and over time, a few additional questions come up. Surely they’re unlikely to re-read pages of (dry?) text to see if those answers were missed or added since that first read-through?
Long Story Short – a changelog (or list of revisions) has been added. Since my conversation mate was a software guy, in homage to him the format is very techie-isque and object oriented – it will appear at the bottom of each static page, but only as new updates are applied going forward. New items will appear on the top, and after a few months old items will drop off the bottom.
I’m under no illusions that this will fix the issue we identified during the hike. People will be people. However, at least this way, they have less reason to not inform themselves and the tools to do so effectively.
Rather than get into the most recent updates here and why the changes were made, I’ll just let you check out the bottom of the Equipment Page as an example of this new function. Hopefully the title above will then make sense. 🙂