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Old Jan 18, 2016, 10:25 PM   #31
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Thank you very much!
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Old Feb 8, 2016, 9:59 AM   #32
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Thanks to the mods for their effort and dedication.

Came here today because I Googled a phrase that I knew I'd written somewhere but couldn't remember where. It's kinda sad to see how much time has elapsed since the last post in most of the forums here. It's sadder to see how critique sites/forums dwindle and disappear. So it goes.
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Old Feb 9, 2016, 9:15 AM   #33
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I've noticed a definite trend in "self" (It's-all-about-me) over the past several years. Not just here. But, in the world as a whole.
I completely agree with this statement. This is the reason that I've left all social media sites excepting SDC forums. This goes both ways though. Many people will post without caring if they get any response; many will post and get upset when they do not get a response.

There seems to be a lot of users who do not welcome any critique whatsoever. I've seen quite a few threads where OP will resist feedback. It often feels like people post solely for positive feedback ("Nice Shot", "I like this", "Thanks for sharing", etc). At this point, why not just mass-dump your shots to something like Instagram.

There are users who post essentially the same thread every week, something in the pattern of "Over the weekend I went to [some location] for [some activity] and took these shots of [lake / trees / birds / animals / friends / buildings]". The thread is rarely original and due to the photographer's style and interests and is usually quite similar to last week. As someone who makes an effort to dig through new threads every morning, I'll often get exhausted with the repetitive posts, unable to come up with something new to say. In short, I think those that post also have a responsibility to keep their posts creative and interesting.

As for the dropping membership and lack of posts, I think that we should consolidate many of the "post your photos" threads. I've been finding photos showing up in the camera specific forums as well as the "Post your Photos" forums. There's nothing that would immediately lead me to a Pentax forum; I don't own a Pentax and have nothing to add to any discussions about them. Any pictures posted in the Pentax thread will likely go unnoticed.

Sorry if anyone feels "called out" by this, that is not my intention. I'm simply trying to reflect on the causes of the reduced activity here...

Last edited by conor; Feb 9, 2016 at 9:40 AM.
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Old Feb 9, 2016, 10:24 AM   #34
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Conor we all need a calling out. But you have pretty well summed the problem out. Repetitive posting week after week. We all need to up our game and do something different. If it werent for the google bots and guests this place would be a ghost town and the few members who do show up havent got anything to say. Part of the problem I will also put on the admins shoulders. While they do a great job marshalling the site, they dont seem to contribute much or get involved themselves. I can only think of Billy making the odd comment. For the most part they both are just watching the dust and cobwebs grow and the gangrene fester another limb. This place needs a new infusion of some fresh blood and some young naive minds that want knowledge. Us old guys are here to help. But there has to be a need and someone to ask for that need.
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Old Feb 9, 2016, 1:49 PM   #35
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Conor we all need a calling out. But you have pretty well summed the problem out. Repetitive posting week after week. We all need to up our game and do something different. If it werent for the google bots and guests this place would be a ghost town and the few members who do show up havent got anything to say. Part of the problem I will also put on the admins shoulders. While they do a great job marshalling the site, they dont seem to contribute much or get involved themselves. I can only think of Billy making the odd comment. For the most part they both are just watching the dust and cobwebs grow and the gangrene fester another limb. This place needs a new infusion of some fresh blood and some young naive minds that want knowledge. Us old guys are here to help. But there has to be a need and someone to ask for that need.
I can own up to this. However, I have the excuse that I'm busy running other portions of Steve's

As others have mentioned, I too have seen a lack of participation on various other forums that I frequent. It's not just Steve's. Social Media sites, mainly Facebook, have taken over as one's prime consumptor of free "online" time. Those who used to spend most of their downtime on forums now spend that time on social media. Also, the younger generations are using forums less and less, as social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit appeal to them more.

While I would love to bring this forum back to what it used to be, there's not much we can do save making some changes to the arrangement/layout of the forums.

We are open to suggestions, so please share. I've been watching this thread, and pondering on what to do. One thing I've thought about, to get more people to register and participate, is to add a Classifieds section. This would allow users to sell and trade gear here. However, I know that Jim does not share my enthusiasm for a classifieds or equipment exchange forum. And, I understand his stance on it. Again, we're open to suggestions on what you all feel would make Steve's forums better and more appealing to the community.
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Old Feb 10, 2016, 9:33 AM   #36
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I completely agree with this statement. This is the reason that I've left all social media sites excepting SDC forums. This goes both ways though. Many people will post without caring if they get any response; many will post and get upset when they do not get a response.

There seems to be a lot of users who do not welcome any critique whatsoever. I've seen quite a few threads where OP will resist feedback. It often feels like people post solely for positive feedback ("Nice Shot", "I like this", "Thanks for sharing", etc). At this point, why not just mass-dump your shots to something like Instagram.
...[snip]
Unfortunately, that's the trend now . Plus, fewer and fewer people are using a dedicated camera for most everyday shots. Instead, they're using the camera built into their mobile phone, with loads of apps available that are dedicated to the Social Media sites they visit more often so they can easily participate and share photos at the same time. More and more dedicated cameras are being designed to wirelessly transfer photos to popular photo sharing and social media sites, too.

As for feedback, that's one reason the Photo Critiques Forum was originally created, as some (more like a lot) of our members were offended by criticism of their images. So, the idea is that if they want a critique of their images, they can post them in the Photo Critiques Forum. But, if they just want to share photos with others, they can post them in one of the content specific forums

That way, they can interact with other members, sharing places they've visited, photos of family members, etc. without any criticism (unless they ask for it), and post a photo for more detailed critique (if they want it) in a different forum.

As for your comments about consolidating forums... Yes, too many forums can be confusing to members, where they have to look through too many forums to see posts that are interesting, determine the best forum to post something in, etc.. So, I've often turned down requests for new forums

This post from 6 years ago discusses some of the issues you're bringing up:

Photo Critiques, Transportation, Vehicles, Computers

You'll find comments about why we setup a separate Critiques Forum, why too many forums can cause problems, etc.

But, again, that was from 6 years ago, and traffic is down now. So, it may be a good idea to think about merging some of the forums now, so that there are more posts in a single forum for thinngs like photos that users are sharing versus spread out between multiple forums.

However, it's simple to merge forums, but it can be virtually impossible to move the threads into subject specific forums again later (since that would be a tedious manual process for the most part, looking at threads to determine what they're about, and moving them to other forums). So, we've been hesitant to take that step.

Thanks for the feedback, as we are open to suggestions.

Again, see the post I linked to from 6 years ago with some discussion on those topics. I'll post a quote from it here:

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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Thanks to a lot of great suggestions from members, as you may have noticed, we've made some changes and are pleased to announce the following new forums under Post Your Photos, which some of you have already started to use over the past week.

HDR (High Dynamic Range Imaging)

Transportation (Cars, Trucks, Motorcyles, Planes, Trains...)

We've also added this new forum:

Computers and Operating Systems (PCs, MACs, Displays, Networks, File Storage...)

It's always tough to decide what to change, so that it's not confusing to members trying to decide where to post about a given subject (and too many forums can contribute to that).

But as popular as HDR imaging is now, it really makes sense to add a forum specific to it. The same thing applies to having a dedicated forum to discuss Computer related hardware (including displays, operating systems and storage media), since larger file sizes from newer cameras, and more advanced image processing techniques, can require more advanced hardware to process, display and store those images.

Requests for a forum specific to transportation related photos (cars, trucks, planes, trains, etc.) has also been one of the more frequently requested additions. Now, we have one.

We have also renamed our old Critiques and Techniques forum to Photo Critiques, where members can post a photo and receive suggestions on how to improve it via constructive critique, thanks to the hard work by our members and moderators willing to help others, with a special thanks to Hards80 for suggesting that we make this change, along with input and encouragement from Mark1616. Please make sure to read the Photo Critiques Guidelines (a new "Sticky" thread in that forum, with Guidelines for posting in it).

Use of this forum allows members to continue sharing their favorite images in one of the subject specific Post Your Photos Forums, with the opportunity to select a photo they want to get additional feedback on by posting it in Photo Critiques, where members and moderators can share there thoughts about it with more detailed critique.

Note that if you want comments and critique on a photo posted in one of the other forums, please make sure to add something like "C&C welcome" to your posts, so that members know that you don't mind receiving comments and critique outside of the forums setup specifically for that purpose (of course, comments and critique are to be expected if you submit images in the Biweekly Shoot Out Forum, where the hard working moderators have guidelines setup as sticky threads)

But, if you have a specific image that you'd like detailed and constructive feedback on, we encourage you to submit to Photo Critiques, too (even if you've shared it with others in the subject specific Photo Forums).

We wish to thank everyone for participating in these forums, with a special thanks to the moderators and members working so hard to help out. That helps us all to improve our photography skills, and in turn, share what we learn with other members wanting to learn more about producing better images. After all, the best equipment you can buy is only going to help so much, without an understanding of the photography skills needed to produce images that you'll be proud to share with others.
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Old Feb 10, 2016, 12:30 PM   #37
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As for feedback, that's one reason the Photo Critiques Forum was originally created, as some (more like a lot) of our members were offended by criticism of their images. So, the idea is that if they want a critique of their images, they can post them in the Photo Critiques Forum. But, if they just want to share photos with others, they can post them in one of the content specific forums
I guess my main point is that a huge number of photos that get posted are not within the "Post Your Photos" threads. They're buried in the Olympus Four-Thirds, Pentax/Samsung dSLR, Point and Shoot threads (Nikon, Fujifilm). Even if a critique isn't welcome, I know I'd expect them to be in the "Post Your Photos" threads, not the dSLR/P&S threads.

It's only in the last couple months that I've used the "New Posts" feature to find images shot by users... Before that, going directly to the "Post Your Photos" was the best bet. The few posts we get are spread so thin that it seems that we get less than we do. Either we start moving "picture posts" to the right place, or we eliminate/consolidate the dead/near-dead topics/threads...

See attached example from "New Posts":
Attachment 205836

Last edited by conor; Apr 21, 2016 at 9:13 AM.
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Old Feb 16, 2016, 2:48 PM   #38
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I guess my main point is that a huge number of photos that get posted are not within the "Post Your Photos" threads. They're buried in the Olympus Four-Thirds, Pentax/Samsung dSLR, Point and Shoot threads (Nikon, Fujifilm). Even if a critique isn't welcome, I know I'd expect them to be in the "Post Your Photos" threads, not the dSLR/P&S threads.

It's only in the last couple months that I've used the "New Posts" feature to find images shot by users... Before that, going directly to the "Post Your Photos" was the best bet. The few posts we get are spread so thin that it seems that we get less than we do. Either we start moving "picture posts" to the right place, or we eliminate/consolidate the dead/near-dead topics/threads...

See attached example from "New Posts":
Attachment 205836
Honestly though as someone who often posts photos in the Olympus micro four thirds forum I do so because I want to share with other users of same gear. Often time photos are shown as a sample of a new lens on a camera or a new feature being explored. Other users of the same camera will be more interested in seeing the photo and discussing it as it was made with gear like theirs.

Further several of the more active gear brand forums such as the Olympus micro four thirds forum have become communities where we all know each other and rarely venture outside of that group.

Finally I'll say there's a bit of a competition problem you get with posting in other forums, or even in your own forum if you go too near certain third rail topics like sensor size and mirror-less vs. non-mirror-less.

For example I posted a thread several years ago talking about using a specific fast prime to shoot my daughter's cheer competition. Now I don't post pictures of my own underage daughter publicly, let alone of her team mates, there are just too many pervs, so there were therefore no pictures in the thread. Now I made a remark in my thread about the pro who had a 5D and a 24-70mm f2.8 and how large it was in comparison. This provoked another person who doesn't own micro four thirds gear from jumping in and directly challenging me to produce results for his judgment since I had compared a mirrorless to a DSLR for sports. Imagine what would have happened had I posted pictures in the share your sports photo section?

I probably went further into detail then needed and certainly don't want to revisit the thread beyond making the point that sometimes it's nice to be judged only by those with similar gear. Put differently I don't want to show an astro photo made with my E-M1 only to have someone with a full frame Nikon or Cannon tell me how noisy it is.

It's all very well and good to say post your photos with everyone else but as long as there are distinct and strongly opinionated differences it isn't always just constructive criticism that gets thrown around.


I'd almost rather see a photos section introduced within each gear forum.

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All that said I would suggest that some forums could be combined to make more active communities, the Olympus DSLR + Olympus Micro Four Thirds and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds being the most obvious.

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Old Feb 16, 2016, 3:17 PM   #39
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This same subject has been debated before.

We made the decision that we were not going to force users into posting photos in one of the "Post your Photos" forums, if they wanted to post them in Camera Specific Forums instead.

For one thing, there has been a certain level of camaraderie and kinship within some of the camera specific forums here. where members have wanted to show photos from a given camera brand to other members using the same camera brand/models.

Ditto for lenses and more.. where members have posted photos from specific lenses to let other members in the same forum get a better idea of how a given lens performs

For that matter, we've seen brand specific photo contests and similar events in some of the camera specific forums.

IOW, some of the camera specific forums have been their own communities of members here, with the camera brand being the thing that they have in common (e.g, Panasonic Usesr, Pentax Users, Olympus Users, etc.).

So, I have no intention of moving photos posted in those forums to our Post Your Photos Forums, as that would disrupt the friendship and kinship the owners of those camera models had at the time they posted those photos here.

Sorry .That is not going to happen (forcing members to post photos in one of the subject specific "Post your Photos" Forums, if they prefer to post them in a camera brand specific forum instead) as long as I have anything to do with the forums here, as we have already told members wanting to post photos in camera specific forums that posting them that way was OK.


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Old Feb 17, 2016, 9:39 AM   #40
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Further several of the more active gear brand forums such as the Olympus micro four thirds forum have become communities where we all know each other and rarely venture outside of that group.
Fair enough, it was a suggestion. I haven't seen many more than about 20 active users. If they're all posting in different places, it could explain why posts aren't getting replies.
Personally, it doesn't much matter what gear someone used. A good shot is a good shot.

*shrug*
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