Appreciate hearing a 'voice' from the other side.
The reality for this very very small group of people is that this is 2010 and this is the age of the Internet, and online reservations.
fishcreekpond.com is but one very very small entity on a vast network of billions upon billions of web pages that more and more people are using each years. Google returns 16,900,000 results just for the search term 'new york state camping' alone.
The vast majority of people love having content available
to them on the Internet, it greatly helps in planning their vacations, be it camping or otherwise.
Every year online reservations (everywhere) get more popular, and campers (everywhere) get more net savy. Anyone still trying to reserve and expect to get the same sites they have had for the last 30 years using a phone is going
to be out of luck, unfortunately... well at least during those 6 prime summer weeks. Thats a fact in 2010, and many years previous. Their complaint is with the modern age of electronics and the Internet as a whole. fishcreekpond.com can't be blamed for the online reservations, the millions of web sites that provide campers with information, campers getting more net savy, new generations of Fish Creekers, the increase in the number of people camping in recent years at all state and DEC parks or the promotions that NY state does to promote recreation.
what fishcreekpond is, and does a wonderful job of, is providing a COMMUNITY for Fish Creek Campers. It is NOT a reservations site. You'll notice that a 'reserve' button is not plastered on every page of the site as someone might expect. It probably frustrates some people actually lol. (The reservation form that appears on the forum page is only visible to registered members on the site by the way as a prelude some great tools that will be coming out in the weeks ahead to help them deal with the reservations system).
The COMMUNITY aspect is 'promoted'. The forum provides a great place for campers to share views, connect with other campers, share their passion for the campground etc. Photos and Fish Creek TV
provide some relief during winter months and people love them, the historical section is an attempt to keep some of the all those great memories of yester year alive, and there are a raft of other goodies like the Campers Calendar
, Campers Photos, Weather, the Chapel Island
Webcam, and more. Whats
all this got to do with the popularity of the NY state reservation system? These are all good things provided for the benefit of Fish Creekers... and I'd guess to say 99.5% of campers appreciate the efforts based on the continual feedback I have received over the last 2-3 years. It is those campers that recognize that this is a major untaking that has involved thousands of hours and cost
out of my own pocket as well.
Regarding you comment about 'empirically prove your point without ALL proper data'. I have a vast amount of data available should you wish to see it. Like any other website, I can run stats to see where all traffic comes from. Rest assured more than 95% of traffic is the results of people specifically searching for 'Fish Creek Pond". I have purposely not done anything to 'promote' the site otherwise to anyone doing searching on the other thousands of terms someone might use when searching for places to camp in New York. I have been working in this specific field for the last 15 years (pretty much day one of the Internet) so this is neither difficult or time consuming. I have done my best to provide Fish Creekers with this community while trying to limit the impact of what could be construed as 'promoting' the campground.
Here are some facts, rather than assumptions, to prove my point. I did a quick pull on traffic from google.com for June 2010. Check out the search terms used by visitors to this site arriving from Google that Month...
fishcreekPond.com Referral Statistics from Google for June 2010
Total Refer Visits from Google: 7174
Top 100 Search Terms...
Fish Creek campground 15.35% (1101 searches)
Fish Creek pond 8.96% (643 searches)
Fish Creek pond campground 3.94% (283 searches)
rollins pond campground 3.09% (222 searches)
Fish Creek ponds 2.96% (212 searches)
fishcreekpond.com 2.91% (209 searches)
Fish Creek 2.51% (180 searches)
Fish Creek campground ny 2.13% (153 searches)
fishcreek campground 1.98% (142 searches)
rollins pond 1.62% (116 searches)
saranac lake camping 1.28% (92 searches)
Fish Creek ponds campground 1.28% (92 searches)
Fish Creek pond campground reviews 1.21% (87 searches)
Fish Creek ny 1.20% (86 searches)
Fish Creek ponds ny 0.95% (68 searches)
Fish Creek pond ny 0.82% (59 searches)
Fish Creek pond state park ny 0.78% (56 searches)
Fish Creek pond campsite 0.70% (50 searches)
saranac lake campgrounds 0.59% (42 searches)
Fish Creek camping 0.57% (41 searches)
Fish Creek pond state campground 0.56% (40 searches)
rollins pond campground pictures 0.52% (37 searches)
fishcreek 0.49% (35 searches)
Fish Creek state park 0.49% (35 searches)
Fish Creek pond campground ny 0.49% (35 searches)
fishcreek pond 0.47% (34 searches)
fishcreek ponds 0.46% (33 searches)
fishcreek pond campground 0.46% (33 searches)
Fish Creek pond camping 0.46% (33 searches)
Fish Creek campgrounds 0.43% (31 searches)
Fish Creek Pond 0.38% (27 searches)
Fish Creek ny campground 0.32% (23 searches)
Fish Creek state park ny 0.31% (22 searches)
Fish Creek pond new york 0.29% (21 searches)http://www.fishcreekpond.com
0.28% (20 searches)
Fish Creek pond campground new york 0.28% (20 searches)hickoks
boat livery 0.26% (19 searches)
fishcreek pond ny 0.26% (19 searches)
Fish Creek campsite 0.26% (19 searches)
Fish Creek Pond Campground 0.26% (19 searches)
Fish Creek adirondacks 0.25% (18 searches)
Fish Creek campground, ny 0.24% (17 searches)
camping saranac lake ny 0.24% (17 searches)
fishcreek.com 0.22% (16 searches)
Fish Creek camping ny 0.22% (16 searches)
fish pond creek 0.21% (15 searches)
Fish Creek, ny 0.21% (15 searches)
Fish Creek pond 0.21% (15 searches)
rollins pond Fish Creek 0.20% (14 searches)
Fish Creek pond adirondacks 0.20% (14 searches)
rollins pond campground 0.18% (13 searches)
Fish Creek pond state park 0.18% (13 searches)
Fish Creek new york 0.18% (13 searches)
campgrounds saranac lake 0.18% (13 searches)
Fish Creek campsite ny 0.17% (12 searches)
fishcreek ponds ny 0.15% (11 searches)
Fish Creek campsites 0.15% (11 searches)
Fish Creek camp ground 0.15% (11 searches)
Rollins Pond 0.15% (11 searches)
Fish Creek Campground 0.15% (11 searches)
Fish Creek 0.15% (11 searches)
reservations Fish Creek n.y. state park 0.14% (10 searches)
Fish Creek ponds campsite 0.14% (10 searches)
Fish Creek n.y. state park 0.14% (10 searches)
Fish Creek POND CAMPGROUND 0.14% (10 searches)
Fish Creek POND 0.14% (10 searches)
weather rollins pond 0.13% (9 searches)
rollins pond Site 22
0.13% (9 searches)
rollins pond campground ny 0.13% (9 searches)
fishcreekpond campground 0.13% (9 searches)
fishcreek camping site 0.13% (9 searches)
Fish Creek pond, ny 0.13% (9 searches)
Fish Creek pond campgrounds 0.13% (9 searches)
camping in saranac lake 0.13% (9 searches)
Fish Creek Ponds 0.13% (9 searches)
Fish Creek POND CAMPGROUND, NY 0.13% (9 searches)
rollins pond 0.11% (8 searches)
fishcreekponds 0.11% (8 searches)
fishcreekpond 0.11% (8 searches)
Fish Creek in ny 0.11% (8 searches)
trailer rentals near paul smith college 0.10% (7 searches)
fishercreek pond ny 0.10% (7 searches)
Fish Creek park 0.10% (7 searches)
Fish Creek ny camping 0.10% (7 searches)
fish cerrk resivours 0.10% (7 searches)
fish ceek pond campgrounds 0.10% (7 searches)
donaldsons on Fish Creek pond 0.10% (7 searches)
saranac lake ny camping 0.08% (6 searches)
saranac lake ny campgrounds 0.08% (6 searches)
rollins pond ny 0.08% (6 searches)
rollins pond new york 0.08% (6 searches)http://www.fishcreekpond.com/
0.08% (6 searches)hickocks
marina 0.08% (6 searches)
fushcreek state campsite ny 0.08% (6 searches)
Fish Creek, saranac lake ny 0.08% (6 searches)
Fish Creek ponds.com 0.08% (6 searches)
Fish Creek ponds ny 0.08% (6 searches)
Fish Creek campground in ny 0.08% (6 searches)
fish c reek campsite 0.08% (6 searches)
You will note there are no, more generic searches that you would expect to see from a site that 'promotes' a campground. I have done my best to provide Fish Creek Campers with a great resource while not doing so in a fashion with intends to promote the campground to the general public just doing generic searches for camping in New York.
I will give you this, that many of the people searching for campground destinations will have heard or found out about Fish Creek some how, while researching any of the 3,500 pages on Google that mention 'Fish Creek Pond' as one of the campgrounds in New York state, and while they did some research to see what different campground were like, they may well have ended up deciding to camp at Fish Creek for the first time because this site shows them just how great the campground is and provides the information that they can't find
for other campgrounds. So yes, the small group of complainers will be upset about this because they don't wont to share what is already public information. But really now... who wants to sacrifice all the great information and features on this website just because someone else might happen to run across it? I was brought up to share my piece of pie, not to wrap my arms around and glare sternly at my brothers and sister who might be eyeing it.
If anything, the reality of online reservations means that we need better tools to be able to help deal with the competition that exists for ALL 178 state, and 52 DEC campgrounds, not just Fish Creek. We have to archive the phone in this regard, and be willing to get on the computer
and do a bit of preplanning. Campers have access to a limited selection of dates
and certainly the number of sites to choose from these days at popular campgrounds during the 6 prime weeks in July and August. Most campers want to know what those sites are like and appreciate being able to see those sites and all related information, leading up to that mad one second interval at 9:00:00am every day when NY state park inventory disappears in an instant. If only a few sites are available, isn't it great to have access to all the information and photos on this website?
This is what I have been focusing on actually over the last few months, especially considering how difficult it has been to book dates ourselves. It takes prep work and strategies in the days leading up to making a reservation, determining which of the sites coming open
are suitable and then dealing with '9:00:00am'. So now we'll have some really neat tools that makes the whole ordeal much easier. I'd gladly provide these tools to my fellow camper, who will in fact be competing for the same sites as us!
Anyways, I think the main thing I am trying to convy here, is that these folks have an issue with the popularity of the online reservation system and all the savy Fish Creek campers who use it, rather than the phone.
The very small group not happy to have this particular website really need to...
a) Voice their concerns with New York State, the DEC and Reserve America, their representatives, policy and decision makers... whoever if they need to vent about the online Reservations, and the popularity of the Internet, not me.
b) Embrace the Internet as your fellow campers have, its here to stay.
c) Join in with everyone else and get online savy for reservations, ditch the darn phone! (except to phone your kids of course
d) Be constructive and offer suggestions, not just criticism.
e) Recognize that fishcreekpond.com is a COMMUNITY website for Fish Creek campers.
I do hope some of this has been enlightening. Any suggestions are always welcome, and I did 'listen' to the other side, regardless of how few in numbers they may be. The new tools I will be providing will be for members only and I am considering removing some features from the 'non member'/public side of the site... not sure yet. Perhaps the select-a-site, and campsite ratings. Fish Creek TV, campsite photos
and Ask Ranger Jill
are features that should remain available to everyone. The new tools use the latest and greatest technology available and will be providing some slick options that will make dealing with the whole process of trying to book a site on Reserve America sooo much simplier and includes some neat things like being able to see what is available in an instant (not quite real time) within the new campsite guide
along with alerts when sites you like come available.
Hope some of this has been enlightening.