Introduction : LUSENET : On Photography : One Thread

What's this forum all about?

Well, it's a response to my experiences of open forums. That includes a lot of experience on Usenet (I created the groups, for which I take full blame), experience on (both co-moderating the Q&A and administering the nature photography section), and skimming through a lot of the other web based photo groups.

I don't think open forums work well once they become popular. You get the "popular photography" syndrome creeping in. That is to say you recycle content at about a 12 month interval if you are Pop Photog, or on an almost daily basis if you are a popular on-line forum. New users come in wanting the same old content (which they, being new, haven't seen before), while old users drop out because the same old content tends to bury any interesting new content. Attempts to moderate the foum then meet with cries of "what about the beginners" and accusations of censorship "this is a public forum isn't it?". Eventually it falls apart leaving a core of die-hard old users, a changing collection of new users and a few people who are there for no apparant reason at all!

This forum is an attempt at something different. A private, invitation only, discussion group. You can't apply to be a member (but members can recommend new members). It's not elitist in that there are no "qualifications' required to join, just a demonstrated ability (via other forums or web pages) to respect the forum's intent, express ideas in an clear way and perhaps show some evidence of actually having taken a photograph! There is no intent to keep things said here secret. As far as I am concerned, anything said here may be quoted outside this forum. The content of the forum is intended to be varied. Anything from personal photo critiques (you may post a URL) to discussions of the work of other photographers is OK. Discussion of photography as an art form is OK. Discussion of technique is OK. Posting stories (e.g. daybooks or photo diaries) is welcome. Even discussions of equipment, lenses and film would be OK if kept at a reasonable level. I hope no moderation will be needed and I do not desire to activly moderate the forum at all. The hope is that by keeping it restricted to a number of reasonably experienced users, moderation will not be needed.

-- Anonymous, January 21, 1999


Bob, after reading your erudite comments, I rather regret my earlier post (although it did give me a chance to use the Groucho Marx quote) based on what you outlined above I would certainly be willing to participate....and I appologize for the hastiness of my earlier post (I'm afraid the "great unwashed" comment sort of raised my hackles) At any rate if my meager experience and humble opinions would help you may count me in, assuming that my earlier post has not resulted in automatic expulsion for proving that I suffer from hoof in mouth disease. Thanks again for the kind invitation to participate.

-- Anonymous, February 03, 1999

Bob, do count me in. Let's follow this thing and see where it goes.

Howard, I'm sorry it wasn't more evident that the "great unwashed" comment was very much tongue-in-cheek. I'm not an elitist, and I do want to be helpful to beginers. You have never read a comment from me along the lines of "check the threads," etc. But I do get tired of reading the same old questions on, especially from people who seem to want to know everything there is to know in 50 words or less.

-- Anonymous, February 03, 1999

Hey, nobody gets thrown out of here! I hope we have enough sense and experience that moderation of any kind isn't required. That's the whole point of a closed forum. Those who check in and find it's not something they are interested in don't have to post or read the forum. Just don't give the password out to the public! (BTW if that happens by accident, it can easily be changed and all participants notified via email!).

It will probably be a while before anything gets rolling here. I probably need to contact some more people. However if anyone wants to try posting a new question/comment/whatever, feel free.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 1999 post was a serious "mea culpa", it was late and I was tired and I didn't read everything before I jumped in and made a fool of myself. I have read many of your posts and don't regard them as elitist...While I am up here owning up to faults..I may as well admit that the complaints voiced by others were never a big concern of mine...because I just didn't bother with posts that had an uniteresting title...or which did not grab my interest in the first sentence or two (plus I have only been visiting Photo Net for a year, so I guess I missed the fact that many of the questions were retreads) I have resolved to be more patient and wait until the end of the sequence before I jump in...but I will probably any rate I meant no offense to you.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 1999

No offense taken, Howard.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 1999

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