Enthusiast Group Debuts YourClimbing.com Community for Climbers; Katie Brown is Enthusiast-in-Chief

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Rock and mountain climbers have a new, citizen media based home in YourClimbing.com, the latest online community launched by the Enthusiast Group. Pro climber and former world champion Katie Brown is enthusiast-in-chief.

Rock and mountain climbers -- from world-class athletes to passionate enthusiasts -- have tales of adventure to share. And often great photos and videos, too. Now there's a new home for climbers to share their stories and images, without waiting for a professional journalist to decide if it's worth writing it up: YourClimbing.com.

The Boulder, Colorado-based Enthusiast Group has debuted the new YourClimbing.com online community where climbers can share their stories, advice, news, photos, videos, and route reviews. This is the second online sports site opened by the company; the other is YourMTB.com, a mountain biking enthusiasts' community.

YourClimbing.com, which just opened to public use during its beta period, is based on the concept of "citizen media" -- which simply means that climbers themselves are the authors of much of the content on the site.

"Sports enthusiasts have compelling stories and images to share, but they typically are under-covered by traditional media," says Steve Outing, founder and publisher of YourClimbing.com and the Enthusiast Group. "It's nearly always the stars of any sport who get media attention. But everyday athletes and sports participants deserve coverage, too. They should have a media outlet of their own. That's what YourClimbing.com and other Enthusiast Group sites are about."

YourClimbing.com isn't all user-submitted content, however. Serving as head cheerleader -- encouraging and helping climbers share their stories and images -- is Enthusiast-in-Chief Katie Brown, 25, a Boulder, Colorado-based professional climber and former world competitive climbing champion.

Brown writes a blog on YourClimbing.com about her climbing life ("Katie Brown's Rock Talk"), produces a podcast about climbing, shoots photos and shares videos of her adventures, and answers questions in an Ask Katie forum. Brown frequently writes for climbing magazines, but has not maintained a blog until starting Rock Talk. "I feel that I am really lucky to get to lead such an incredible life," she says, "and I'm really excited to get to share my adventures and experiences with others who share my passion for the sport of rock climbing."

YourClimbing.com is about audience participation and interaction. Every piece of content posted to the site allows visitors and users to comment and discuss, and they can share anything they wish, as long as it's on the topic of climbing. They can ask questions and get expert answers from Brown as well as get advice from other YourClimbing.com users. "This is not like your traditional climbing magazine or website," says Outing, who is a well known interactive media expert and columnist. "This is about climbers sharing their passions with each other. It's two-way dialog, not traditional one-way, we-tell-you-how publishing."

The site routinely runs contests and promotions, rewarding the best adventure tales, photos and videos, for example, with climbing-related prizes provided by sponsors. Outing says the site is looking at other ways for users who submit material to the site to be rewarded, and those will be rolled out as the site proceeds toward a commercial launch. Use of the site is completely free to its users.

About the Enthusiast Group

The Boulder, Colorado-based company was founded in early 2006 by Outing and Derek Scruggs, an experienced Internet entrepreneur, with the goal of creating a network of citizen-media-based websites serving adventure and participant sports. YourClimbing.com and YourMTB.com are the first sites published by the company to open to the public. YourRunning.com is scheduled to debut in several weeks. Sites covering additional adventure and participant sports are planned for roll-out later this year, and the company is seeking athlete editors.

The Enthusiast Group is funded by a group of 11 investors, including Omidyar Network (a mission-based investment group founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar), DB Medialab (the new-media arm of Norwegian national newspaper Dagbladet), and Brad Feld.

Websites:

YourClimbing website: http://www.yourclimbing.com
Katie Brown's Rock Talk blog: http://www.yourclimbing.com/blog/katie
YourMTB website: http://www.yourmtb.com
Corporate website: http://www.enthusiastgroup.com

Contacts:

Katie Brown, YourClimbing.com enthusiast-in-chief: 303-915-9184

Steve Outing, founder and publisher: 303-543-7810

Derek Scruggs, founder and CEO: 303-543-1186

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