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Behind the Scenes
Who are we?
By we, I mostly mean I. My name is Alison. I'm a climber. This was a hobby of mine, except I quit my corporate job in July 2012, and now this is my full-time job!? I'm stoked! So stoked, that I sold most of my belongings and bought a travel trailer, and am now touring the US in it, to explore and help spread the WeighMyRack word.
Fortunately, I'm not totally alone in this crazy adventure. I have a few friends helping out in their spare time. Andreas films and edits all the amazing WeighMyRack videos. Mary spends a few hours a week helping me spread the word. And Lito works seriously hard 30 hours a week to add more gear. In the past, Brea has helped me make the site less ugly (and created beautiful icons!) and my brother Martin did all the hard work of getting most of the core climbing products online. I'd be nowhere without these amazing folks.
What does WeighMyRack want to do?
The biggest goal is: make it easier to research gear. Because it sucks right now, whether your experienced or new, there's no simple way to compare all the gear available and their different specs. The priority is to show you as much information as possible, while keeping the site usable. Experienced climbers should be able to quickly narrow down on exactly what they're looking for. New climbers should be able to learn about the different specs to help figure out what gear is right for them.
I want to tell the whole gear story, not only in technical specs, but with reviews and go further by telling back-story of the gear too--including the history and evolution and referencing it's online identity too (awards/media).
Obviously there's a lot more work to be done as our name is WEIGHmyrack and we don't total up the weights yet. Quick Story: We realized we needed the gear you'd be weighing before you could actually weight it, so our priority is adding all the gear first. We're working hard on it though, and would love to hear your comments as we go along.
Because I don't want to make another Excel datasheet comparing the options (which takes forever, isn't even complete, and then I loose it). I want the confidence that I've seen all the options and can quickly compare the differences in price, features, and weight. The bottom line is to: Save time researching and go friggin climbing!
Want to help?
* Spread the word! Our biggest goal right now is increasing awareness of WeighMyRack!
* Write product reviews! For every review you write, we'll donate $1 to the Access Fund.
* Help solve gear problems of missing data: www.weighmyrack.com/issues
* Let us know if you notice a spec that's wrong
* Send us feedback of how WeighMyRack could improve -- let us know how we can make your day!
* Contribute to the WeighMyRack Blog! We wrote some guidelines about how to start that process.
Your most asked questions, answered
How do you make money?
The potential to make money comes from all the places where you (the site user) can "buy" gear. If you click on a "Buy it here" link, and check out on that merchants site, WeighMyRack gets a small commission (around 7%, depending on the company).
You'll notice this model on most climbing sites (like the Dirtbag Deals on MtnProject, all the "Buy Now" stuff on rockclimbing.com, and anywhere else on the internet you see a "buy here" or "buy now" button)--it's called affiliate marketing. WeighMyRack hates ads because they're distracting and annoying for everybody. In the future, we might be open to sponsorship of certain pages, as long as it was subtle and didn't impair site usage in any way.
The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that, if you click to buy a carabiner, but instead buy a sleeping bag (or any other item that isn't a carabiner) WeighMyRack still makes money, as long as you check out online. Essentially, we get a sales commission for bringing you to the online retailers website. In theory, if you wanted to support WeighMyRack as much as possible, you could click the affiliate links on WeighMyRack before you bought from one of our online partners, ensuring WeighMyRack would get a commission on your purchase (climbing gear related or not).
What gear are you adding? (aka "When is trad gear coming?!")
Everything climbing will exist on the site someday. Right now we're working hard on all active and passive trad gear (kind of at once, strangely, it's easier that way). Then we'll get ropes finished up (we have 600 rope combinations in the database right now, and it's still not complete). Then bouldering pads, shoes, and mountaineering gear, like axes and crampons. There's definitely a plan in place, it just takes awhile to collect all the data!
If you want to know when we add a new gear type check out our updates page. You can sign up to get an email when your wanted gear type arrives on the site!
What about shoes?
Yes, they're coming someday. We can't use our usual method of grabbing specs from the manufacturers site to add shoes though. There's so much proprietary verbiage that it is incredibly challenging to make them easy to compare. Adding shoes will need the help of all the manufacturers. Right now we're working on a questionnaire list for each shoe model that the manufacturer can fill out.
We're looking to add specs like: Gender (male,female,unisex,kids), Tie (lace/velcro/mix), Fit (performance, tech, comfort), Last Asymmetry (high, med-high, med, med-low, low), Toe Type (pointy, large, round, downturned, neutral), Performance area (crack, multi-pitch, slab, over-hanging, bouldering, indoor/gym), and Audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced, competition).
If you have any other ideas/preferences, please let us know, we're still in the learning phase here.
There's over 170 shoe options out there, and it doesn't seem possible to compare fit, so the biggest help in this area will be from you, writing reviews about your street size vs other models vs the shoe you're comparing. And reviews about the type of rubber; how sticky was it, and such.
We're a little intimidated of shoes (not helping the cause is the fact that we've owned multiple pairs of the same model of shoe and the size has been different each time). But really, can you have a climbing gear site without listing all the shoes? It doesn't seem so.