Anything new on this forum's future? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Anything new on this forum's future? I hope it stays as close to the way it is now as possible.

-- John Hennessy (, December 14, 2001


After looking around for more free software/hosting services (of which the dreaded Yahoo was just an example) and reading the feedback on the previous post, I've come to the conclusion that it is better to stick with the current interface and software. This software, called OpenACS is actually available for free, but the tasks of installing and configurating it, migrating the archives, and administering the server are not exactly trivial.

So this leaves us with two options:

The main question now is how much effort the first solution would take, and whether it is worth it (especially since I don't really want to "commercialize" the LF page and forum). It is also unclear what would be the best in the long run. I am currently trying to figure out an answer.

In any case, the current forum will continue more or less in its current form, and will probably have improved features. I do not know when Philip Greenspun intends to discontinue service on The worse which could happen is that the service is discontinued while the forum is not yet transfered to the new server. If so, please come back to the LF page to learn about the wherabouts of the LF Forum and any other updates.

I have saved all the postings (40000+) to my system, as well as the comments on static pages and links. Although UC Berkeley has been good in hosting my pages well after I left the university, I intend to take the opportunity to move the LF page to a more permanent location and domain. When this question is settled, I will make available all those postings in a searchable way.

Thanks for your support in this time of transition

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, December 14, 2001.

Tuan, thanks again for your efforts. I'm encouraged by your words. FYI, other LUSENET postings indicate that will terminate "sometime after the first of the year."

-- Sal Santamaura (, December 14, 2001.

Tuan, you and the moderator(s) do a terrific job with this forum. Thank you for not justthis forum but also your large format homepage. It is a great source of information and education and to see either or both disappear will be a shame.

What I don't understand is why is migrating to perceived as a probelm? I see it as the most obvious, simplest and healthiest solution to the coming change, especially in light of the current economy deflation.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, December 14, 2001.

If the site was to migrate to an indivdually owned system then what do you consider would be an appropriate one time donation per private user? Would $50.00 be enough from the many users to help with the initial set-up costs? Also would it be appropriate to ask related businesses to contribute (such as Calumet, Badger Graphics, Robert White..etc) to have a simple link to their site placed on the LF site? Just a few questions that crossed my mind.... Thanks.

-- GreyWolf (, December 14, 2001.

Mr. Luong, don't be afraid to ask us outright for the money, even suggest an initial dollar amount contribution and give address where to mail check.

Later have a page listing paid contributors to encourage generosity (With the disclaimer: "The following list of members have made a monetary contribution to keep this site fuctional. This is only a list. God only knows if these people have any sense.")

You also might want to prepare some "History of this Site" article on new system. This will help new photographers who join after the switch-over understand the trials and tribulations keeping site active, etc.

-- Andre Noble (, December 14, 2001.

All thanks go to Q Tuan that took an idea for a large format forum and got it all started. I know that others assisted in the efforts such as Phil, and we are very much appreciative of the collaborative results. I can say on a personal note that as a resource of information and opinion on the subject of large format photography, this venue stands in a very unique position of continuing to educate, inform and bring the subject matter closer to many that search for answers to their partcular question. Anything you need to maintain the concept, please let us know. As long as questions need to asked and the knowledgable are willing to share their experiences, we all benefit. Be well and my sincere thanks.

-- Michael Kadillak (, December 14, 2001.

Since the dealers and/or distributers mentioned, would benefit from this, would it be out of line to contact them, since this forum is a source of old and new patrons? In addition to that, why not have a pledge drive for the patrons of this forum.

Have the pledge drive New Years Eve, and with every pledge have everyone state what the forum has meant to them. Let the folks who can afford it pledge $50.00, and let the folks who don't have any money pledge whatever they can. If it makes folks more comfortable, have the pledge amounts confidential.

I believe a lot of people would go for this.

-- Jonathan Brewer (, December 15, 2001.

Make it a Pledge Drive and make a party! Jokes, funny stories, past adventures, Weird situations, worst picture you ever did, anything but serious, and have it start on a certain day and end by New Years Eve. As bad as my typing is along with a few other folks it out make for a hilarious ending New Years when some of us have had a couple of Beers or worse.

-- Jonathan Brewer (, December 15, 2001.

Have check allready made, just tell me where to send it.....

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, December 15, 2001.

Let's say that there are 1,000 regular users and readers ofthis forum, and we get an absolutely astounding, miraculuous 100% participation from those 1,000 and everyone contributes an average of $50.00 as a onetime contribution. That is $50,000. How much digital sources (servers + connections+ maintenance+ electricity + etc. , in other words, the overhead) will that US$50k support and for how long?

What will members want in exchange for their contribution? Will the guy who can only contribute $5.00 get the same voice in how things are done as the guy who contributes $995.00? What if the majority of the subscribers want a digital free discussion forum? Or a digital dominated forum?

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, December 15, 2001.

If we indeed do decide that some kind of financial support is needed to continue this site I would imagine the members of this forum are more willing to financially support than other members of other forums, but voluntary contribution rates are probably in the order of 10 to 20% max.

This is my own seat of the pants evaluation by looking at the number of "volunteer" donors on other sites. And $50 US one time is easy to talk about, but maybe not so easy for some of us to actually cut a check for.

IF we need money to run the forum, I'd vote for limited, small, link- type adverts from some of our suppliers - Robert White, Badger Graphics, some of the manufacturers, etc. They all receive an indirect benefit from this site and given our demographic, would likely support us.

-- Michael Mahoney (, December 15, 2001.

Doubts, worries, life's full of 'em......TRY IT! Try a pledge drive over several days before New Years eve. Make it an event with participation, it doesn't have to focus totally on photography.

Ellis....I would submit that each individual is making a contribution to pay back this forum for the benefit we've all gotten out of this forum, and that there should be no strings attached.

You've got folks worldwide who would love the sense of community an 'Event' like this would bring. You've got nothing to lose TRY IT!

-- Jonathan Brewer (, December 15, 2001.

Would I pay $50.00 to keep this forum alive? Hell yes. I saved enough on one camera purchase at Badger Graphic Sales to more than pay for a $50.00 donation. I had never heard of Jeff and his company before I found this forum on the net. Even after a lifetime of LF use, I learn something every week from being a part of this forum. Although I try to contribute when I can, I get more than I give. There is untold value in the history section of the Q&As. That section is full of common sense answers that can be found nowhere else on the planet, written by folks who actually have skinned a knuckle on a focusing knob and not by some guy spouting theory. Whether we move or give a contribution to keep the forum going, it must be preserved. Thanks, Q.


-- Doug Paramore (, December 15, 2001.

Tuan.. I admire your work ad want to contribute... I would donate something to the forum.. do you need hard disk? or other equipments?... If it need to pay a fee to pay a fee to keep to forum going.. I will...

-- dan n. (, December 17, 2001.

Keep doing what you're doing!! Just let us know what you need. Ken

-- Ken Woodard (, December 19, 2001.

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