Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blog Update & Feedback

Hi everyone! It stinks that winter is leaving us for good, but the thought of hitting the trail in shorts and a t-shirt is a good thought. It's always like going back to a different world when there is no snow. It will be for me, especially after visiting all 48 of NH's 4000 footers this winter season when they were covered in snow. Since finishing, I've been quite busy personally, and decided to spend a little bit of time making a few videos from the final hikes of the winter. But, all of this has left a few things that I still need to post soon, and I wanted to remind you all I'm working on them. At the same time, I started to think about my blog overall, its progress, and where it's going, and I came up with a few additional thoughts I wanted to share....(photo above is Lake of Clouds and Mt. Washington in June 2012)

Since 2010, keeping this blog has become more and more exciting for me, and I only want to continue with that! Amazingly, I have published over 150 posts, mostly trip reports, since I started. All of this is fun, but it takes a lot of dedication, commitment...and, yes some money. Never mind buying the gear to do all that I want safely, I've incurred a bit of expenses to produce the outdoor content I have to date. This includes upgrading my Google storage a couple of times, annual Spot subscriptions for the tracking fun (and family's peace of mind), purchased a couple of hard drives for videos and photos, purchased Adobe Premiere Elements for video editing, and many other items used directly or indirectly for DMOutdoors stuff - it has become a fairly significant annual expense for me. Not that long ago, I added some affiliate links with coupons and deals to my side bar, but the income from that and the ads on my sidebar are still pretty much nil. I've made about $50 since the start! Not much, but, for now its all fine with me, because again, its fun and in the end, I will have all of this to share with family some day. The income from ads or affiliate links will come as I learn more about it the technical stuff. With that said, I am going to continue doing what I'm doing, because its awesome, and I'll find a way to continue making it work.

So.....What's coming up soon from DMOutdoors?

Blog & Pages
  • Currently, I pay $5/year for 20GB of extra storage, but in order for me to increase storage again, I will be forced to pay $5/mo, a significant increase and item to manage. While its inevitable I'll need to make this jump, I am considering reducing the number of photos in my online albums to save on online storage.  If I do this, you may temporarily find some non-working photos on my older posts, which I will need to fix over time.
  • I am working on a new stats page and/or trip log page. The trip log page will be a one-stop page for every trip report on DMOutdoors. 
  • On the top right of my page, I added a box for recent updates that are worth checking out. Example...Sometimes, I'll add a video to an older post, and unless I make a mention of it somewhere, those who've previously read the post will not know to see the new video that's been added to the old post.
  • The DMOutdoors YouTube Channel has been updated to the new YouTube Channel dashboard, which I think is awesome because it shows you the most recent and most popular videos on the front page. If you have not visited my YouTube Channel or seen any of my 95 videos, I recommend you have a look....and share and subscribe if you like! I've even made a playlist on the channel so that if you prefer videos without music, you can watch all of my videos that have only natural sound.
  • Winter Weekend in Baxter State Park - Gear List
  • Winter Weekend in Baxter State Park - March 1-4
  • Welch-Dickey Loop 3/30/13
  • Sandwich Dome & Jennings Peak 3/30/13
  • Deboullie Maine Video - For a while now, my brother's been working on a video for the 3 separate years we've gone to Deboullie, Maine (2009, 2010, and 2012). Last year we climbed the slides on Gardner Mountain and kayaked across two glacial lakes to get to our campsite. We've caught and gut the rare arctic char. All of this will be featured in this video, and most of it I've never posted. We have said we'll take a break from here and return sometime in the future.
  • Climbing Pamola, Knife Edge, Baxter Peak, and Hamlin Peak in July 2012.
  • Owl's Head and Madison-Adams-Jefferson from this winter.
  • Mt. Whitney MOVIE - Yes! That's right, movie, sort of! Our trip last year was more than just a climb of Mt. Whitney. It was an awesome time in Las Vegas for my friend's wedding, we drove across the desert, and in addition to tagging the summit of Mt. Whitney, we experienced several attractions in Death Valley on the way back. From planning to completion, you all got to experience our adventure with my brother and I through my planning posts and trip reports. After the climb, I posted a short teaser video from Trail Crest, and two other videos which featured driving on Whitney Portal Road and some footage from the summit, but in terms of video footage from this adventure, you haven't seen anything yet! I promise.
  • Me and brother are going to finish the New England 4000-footers on North Brother in Maine very soon! It's going to be a brotherly finish!
  • Whitewater Rafting Canada Falls with Penobscot Adventures in July
  • Possible summer climb of Katahdin and Knife Edge also in July (same weekend)
  • A 48x12 Grid inspired Double Presidential Traverse in a day (24hrs) (summer)
  • .....and hopefully a lot lot more!

With all of THAT said, I welcome any feedback, pointers, or suggestions for the blog. Here are some questions I'm thinking of in terms of feedback....

  • I have so much video footage, I still find videos I've never watched. Perhaps I have what you're looking for on video? What do you want to see? I was thinking of doing a video series on something like river crossings. What do you think? I know I already have several crossings!
  • Inside the Moments - This 10-post series published last year on special moments within certain hikes saw about 50 views on each of the 10 posts. This means I had a consistent following of this series, but its tough to tell how popular this was among all of the other trip reports. How about a shorter series of Inside the Moments from my 48 in a single winter accomplishment? There were certainly some special moments from that journey which I could highlight.
  • I've had some comments about using white text and the black background. Is it difficult to read? Any suggestions?
If you do have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below. You can also send me a direct e-mail, if you would like. Click on About Me, and you can visit my Facebook Page to get my e-mail address or send me a private message.

Happy Trails, Happy Spring, and as always, Thank you for following DMOutdoors and sharing the joy of outdoor adventuring!

Best Wishes,



  1. I've always enjoyed the blog Dan, and your recent updates and 'enhancements' are great. Looking forward to lots more great stuff in the future!

    As for the pic/video storage cost - do you put your pictures directly on blogger or do you host them on Picasa? I have always used Picasa and had run into the initial free space limit, but when Google+ was added a couple of years ago they also added a mostly unpublicized feature. If you have a Google+ account all pictures 2048x2048 and smaller and all videos 15 minutes and under don't count against your free space limit. I've got thousands of pictures posted from the last few years and my space usage still shows as 0. :)

    Here's the policy:

    Hope to see you out on the trail again soon!


  2. Thanks for sharing this. I wasn't aware of the smaller photos not counting at all. The thing is I can't stand Google +. If I try to undo it, I'll have to re-post all of the photos in each post going back to a certain point. I use my desktop Picasa to organize my web albums. I then sync them to Picasa Web Albums, and then when I write my post, I select them from my picasa albums. I'm going to have to look at this more. The reason I haven't posted my recent hike is because I'm stuck! Thanks for sharing and see you tonight maybe!

    1. Hadn't seen your reply here - forgot to subscribe to the thread. Were you at the awards on Saturday? Looked for you, but the place was such a madhouse. We had lots of friends that got awards this year and it was a great time. Hopefully back next year for our NE67 - 9 peaks to go.

      I hate Google+ too. I only signed up to get the free photo space. The nice thing is that when you sign up all of your existing Picasa photos that are under the 2Kx2K limit get treated under the free space rule. I was within 50M of my 1G free space limit when I signed up. As soon as I did my "space used" total went to 0. :) There is no disruption to your existing photos either - the external links all stay the same. I manage my blog photos exactly the same way you do and everything continued to work just fine.

      Hope this works out for you. Always nice to save a few bucks.

    2. I was there with my brother Bill and my parents. We sat right up in the first row, and made an executive decision to scoot right out. It was an awfully long night, and my brother and I were getting up early for paddling. I wanted to come up the back and say hi to you, Nat, and many others. Congrats on you and Nat getting your scrolls! It was a pleasure to meet you both and join you on your finishing hike to Carrigain. I noticed the summit photo! Me and Bill WILL be back next year for the same. We have North Brother to do. I hope to finally meet many of those who I saw at the FB group hike coming up soon.

      After your first reply, and this one, I'm understanding how it works. MOST of my albums unfortunately were synced (uploaded) at full size (4Kx4K). I'm not sure how many exactly, but if I re-upload them all, I'll have to re-do them all in the posts (it seems). I think I'll be using my dmoutdoors1 email for everything going forward, and will reduce what I can without affecting the current posts on my current email/Picasa to get me back under the storage amount. As you can see, I'm stuck trying to figure out whats best, which is why I am backed up on the posting of trip reports. Thanks for sharing your experience.