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Ginette
22-Mar-2014, 13:56
We saw a lot of new members interested to buy gears but they don't see the "For Sale" forum for the first month of their membership.
In fact I think that they don't ever know that this section exist, right? no message even when they logged.
May I suggest that this forum permissions be set to permit them to see it but not post the first month.

Leigh
22-Mar-2014, 14:30
The FS/Wanted forum is for members (i.e. participants) to exchange items, not for drive-by shooters.

I would not deal with a newbie as either a seller or a buyer.
If they're serious about LF, they'll still be here next month.

- Leigh

Jmarmck
22-Mar-2014, 14:32
Yes, but by the end of that month the serious have already bought what they needed on ebay.

Ginette
22-Mar-2014, 15:15
I think that someone who register at this forum is already serious about LF as the forum is dedicated to LF.
But it is the right of a member not to sell to someone else, we saw frequently US sale only.

My intervention is also because I think new members don't see that a "For sale section" exist so they post in elsewhere like "camera and accessories" or in the "Buyer-Seller Advisories" forum.
In fact I think that the section "Buyer-Seller Advisories" should not visible from someone who is not a member here as most of the posts are related to members transactions.

rdenney
22-Mar-2014, 15:33
In a word, no. It's been discussed in the past, but we've always come to the same conclusion.

Most members don't see how many spammers we get who join, lurk for a few days, and then bomb us. The assumption that new members have demonstrated commitment just by joining is not supported by experience, unfortunately. We don't want members who have offered something for sale getting PMs from newbies who have not yet had the opportunity to see how things work. Misposting by new members is not a big problem, but even that would be reduced if they read the guidelines.

The guidelines describe all the forums and their associated rules in detail, and we specifically ask the new members acknowledge a willingness to follow them.

Any rules related to access to the for-sale forum will become more restrictive, not less, if they need to change at all, such as by requiring a meaningful post count. But all such filters are imperfect and have unintended consequences.

If that is perceived as arrogant or no more than a hazing ritual, so be it. It's not that, really. Sorry to those who think it is.

Rick "large format is about patience" Denney

Jmarmck
22-Mar-2014, 15:58
The current system does not even suggest that the board is there. I think that the ability to see the thread would be a service to the existing members.
Those who are serious and looking for gear would have no idea that they could buy. These are the very people who might have a larger need for such a service.
It also takes potential buyers from exist members trying to move gear.

Not being able to even see the board does everyone a disservice. They do not need the ability to post. That is what spammers do. Buyers much less so.
Ginette is right. If you do not want to sell to a new member that is the sellers choice. But another seller might make a great deal. The site in general will be performing a needed service.

As a new member that is JMaHO.

vinny
22-Mar-2014, 17:27
Plenty of people join just to sell/avoid ebay fees. Same as subscribers on apug.

Leigh
22-Mar-2014, 17:33
Any rules related to access to the for-sale forum will become more restrictive, not less, if they need to change at all, such as by requiring a meaningful post count.
I like the minimum post count idea. In fact, I thought that was already the case.

- Leigh

c.d.ewen
22-Mar-2014, 18:29
In the past, there have been individuals who appended lots of "Me too" posts to active threads, just to build up their post count.

If you sign onto LFF early enough in the morning, you'll sometimes see the "spam bombs" Rick "Death to Spammers" Denney refers to. Clicking on the little bottom left triangle lets you alert the moderators, who do an excellent job of getting rid of the spam before most see it.

I understand the waiting period for would-be sellers, but, along with Ginette, don't see why newbies can't be buyers. Of course, I don't understand a lot of things.

Charley

BrianShaw
22-Mar-2014, 18:48
Me too. :D

Leigh
22-Mar-2014, 19:12
Me too. :cool:

- Leigh

Ken Lee
23-Mar-2014, 02:41
This is a forum for discussion and image sharing which happens to have a "For Sale" section, not the other way around.

I for one wish we could limit the frequency with which people "bump" their For Sale posts - there's already too much clutter from bumps - but it might create work for administrators.

Ginette
23-Mar-2014, 07:29
I like really much the WTB idea, it's closer to the sharing principle that FS ads. But I think than many "sales" here are for finding funds for others photographics projects so I feel more in an exchanging community comparing to buying on *bay.
WTB is great opportunity to get hard to find items and many times others members comment on their own use of the items or give hint on where to find or alternatives so we retreive discussion also in the For sale section.

My original suggestion was that new members see the content of the FS section but cannot post for 1 month. Or at least, that they can see the main forum title and warning.
Second suggestion : the "Buyer-Seller Advisories" not visible for Guests.

David A. Goldfarb
23-Mar-2014, 10:11
When I joined the forum, there were no sales at all, and I thought that had a very positive effect on the forum ethos. The forum was for sharing information, and you could deal equipment elsewhere. Sales on the LF forum are pretty civilized, in part because they're marginal to the site, and participation is restricted to people who are really involved in the forum and have had time to develop a feel for the forum culture. I wouldn't change it.

Lou Baleur
23-Mar-2014, 10:41
It seems that if the forum was "out there" for all to see, like on some other forums, then the google crawler would pick up on the ads. In that case, the prices asked on this forum would come up in searches and perhaps have a positive effect on the ebay prices, of which, many seem way out of line. It may be a good thing, but it may drive the moderators crazy. It may be worth a try just to see what happens--the "no posting" for a month may just do the trick to keep the spammers out.

Leigh
23-Mar-2014, 10:47
This forum does not exist to support evilpay.

- Leigh

lenser
23-Mar-2014, 10:54
I'm in sync with the folks who have stated a desire for new members to be able to buy once they join, but not sell for the existing month. Would there be harm in that?

StoneNYC
23-Mar-2014, 12:06
It should be extended to a 3 month waiting period IMHO!

:)

As Denney said, LF is about patience, and the waiting also makes you value the site and your presence on it, and get to know people and people get to know you.

I'm a prolific poster, mostly because I have the time and I'm interested in many topics, I could post 10 comments in 10 minutes and be ready to sell/buy and that makes for bad mojo.

There are many people here that might not like my opinions or my posts, but they also would hopefully trust me if I were selling or buying something, because I've spent the time to contribute and to get to know people.

Patience is a virtue...

Will Frostmill
23-Mar-2014, 12:30
Look, I don't have much standing to give an opinion, I've been on here since 2011, but I still haven't bought anything. On the other hand, my post count is, what, 52?

I do think new members should be told about the for sale forum. Perhaps they should get an automated message at the one month mark? Maybe reduce the access time to three weeks? Make it visible to logged in users after one week?

If we really want to help new users, a sticky post on the basics of where to get stuff would be mighty helpful. I mean, really basics, I.e. Do you know about APUG, KEH, freestyle, Reinhold's meniscus lenses, Lodima paper, The Photographer's Formulary, ilfords special order program, that fellow who makes stainless steel sinks, and so on. I've pieced this sort of thing together by reading years and years worth of forum posts, and in suppose that's part of the toll of being interested in LF. Calumet's closing made me think that such a directory would be a really good opportunity to help keep these businesses going. Photo stores used to aggregate all this kind of information, just by existing, now it's up to us to keep these guys - especially the small manufacturers going.

I do not think Google should be given access, since that would leak a bunch of pricing information. We'd get people buying and selling on here just to arbitrage the difference relative to ebay. It seems to me the purpose of the For Sale forum is to offer good deals to people in exchange for better confidence in their ability to actually complete the transaction, and to keep our hobby going. Let's not break that.

Will

Lachlan 717
23-Mar-2014, 12:41
Perhaps we could also petition eBay to start up a LF forum on their site?

Leigh
23-Mar-2014, 12:47
Perhaps we could also petition eBay to start up a LF forum on their site?
What would be the value or benefit of a zero-accuracy LF forum?

- Leigh

goamules
23-Mar-2014, 13:58
This is a forum for discussion and image sharing which happens to have a "For Sale" section, not the other way around.

I for one wish we could limit the frequency with which people "bump" their For Sale posts - there's already too much clutter from bumps - but it might create work for administrators.

I'll agree with that. And the supposed rule about the For Sale not being for dealers isn't adhered to. I've found several that have ONLY posted for sale items, usually in large amounts of listings, every week, for months and years. Often small items, they don't seem to be on the radar like the one or two LF photographers that occasionally (2-5 times a year) sell an expensive lens.

rdenney
23-Mar-2014, 14:03
All: see the button that says "Usage Guidelines" at the top of your screen? New members can click that, and in fact are required to on joining. Those usage guidelines tell all about the for-sale forum. It's no secret. If a newbie doesn't know about it, then they have only themselves to blame.

Rick "calling it like he sees it" Denney

coisasdavida
23-Mar-2014, 14:16
IMHO the for-sale forum is so useful, good and interesting because it is how it is.

Fred L
23-Mar-2014, 15:11
If I see a very new member with a relatively high post count wanting to buy or sell, I usually check their profile to take a look at what they've posted. If they're active participants actually engaging in discussion, then I'll feel better about selling or buying from such a member. Post count doesn't mean much if they're just driving it up with simple posts that don't contribute anything to the conversation. ymmv

HMG
23-Mar-2014, 18:23
My post count was 39 when I started this response, so maybe I shouldn't comment at all.

But imagine if the entire market for LF consumables was only the members of this forum. I don't know how many members there are, but I think you'd be lucky to have 1 film from 1 manufacturer in 1 size. That's my clumsy way of saying that it's in our best interest to encourage new LF users. The most important way to do that is to give them access to the knowledge and experience on this forum - which they have (and it's helped me). Second is to give them access to the tools they need to get started.

So I would suggest that allowing new members to see For Sale ads (and respond to them) is in our best interest. Tightening posting rights would be fine (how about a post count of 40 :) )

rdenney
24-Mar-2014, 05:57
My post count was 39 when I started this response, so maybe I shouldn't comment at all.

But imagine if the entire market for LF consumables was only the members of this forum. I don't know how many members there are, but I think you'd be lucky to have 1 film from 1 manufacturer in 1 size. That's my clumsy way of saying that it's in our best interest to encourage new LF users. The most important way to do that is to give them access to the knowledge and experience on this forum - which they have (and it's helped me). Second is to give them access to the tools they need to get started.

So I would suggest that allowing new members to see For Sale ads (and respond to them) is in our best interest. Tightening posting rights would be fine (how about a post count of 40 :) )

As I said, we are sympathetic in principle. But consider the reason that the sale forum exists at all is a service to our regular participants. There are already many avenues for general sales, but we provided this one simply because we had become a community of acquaintances, and that mutual knowledge created an opportunity for mutually beneficial trading.

It is not a service to drive-by participants. Some people on this forum have a tight orbit--they are posting and reading all the time, never very far from the center. Some are like comets on an elliptical orbit, swinging through at infrequent intervals, but still a known quantity. And some wander in from deep space, gain momentum, and then let themselves sling around the center only to be thrown back out into deep space looking for the next star. The sales forum is for those who have established a regular orbit, not for random deep-space objects, however well-intentioned. Again, there are many other avenues to feed their acquisitions. Yes, it is intended to be exclusionary, but it is not intented to be a hazing ritual.

Consider also this: A new person to large format is in a discovery stage. They can immediately buy stuff and learn the hard way what they need for their approach to photography, or even whether large format is for them at all, or they can spend a little time reading and thinking and make a better choice. Some people (including me) see every new activity as an opportunity to jump in with both feet and credit card at the ready, but really that is a bad strategy for large-format work. By the time a person has joined, read all the articles on the home page, gotten used to the Usage Guidelines, and had a chance to get suitable responses to a "what should I buy?" thread, a month will have gone by and they can start shopping. They will make far better choices because of that extra breathing space, and might even avoid a big early mistake that drives them out of large-format work before they've had a chance to really explore it.

And from the perspective of regular participants who sell things, a buyer inexperienced in large format has perhaps expectations that are not realistic. They get a lightweight field camera because they "may hike with it someday", and struggle with the controls. They blame the camera and its seller, rather than realizing they made a choice inappropriate to their needs. Or, they buy the first vintage Calumet beast they can get for a C-note, discover that it won't fit in their backpack or the hatch space of their Fiat 500, and they blame the seller for not disclosing the bulk and weight of the camera. These are common outcomes, but they undermine the service the sales forum provides to regular participants, who would prefer the buyers to have had at least a little opportunity to read about and discuss what they need before buying it.

Again, the purpose of the sales forum is not to ease the entry of newbies into large-format work by making good deals available to them immediately. The purpose of the sales forum is to provide a service to regular participants.

Some will see that as condescending and decide to be offended by it. But, believe me, there are just as many and maybe many more who would rather the for-sale forum be removed altogether, and have expressed that opinion every bit as vigorously as any in this thread at many times in the past. What we have is a time-tested balance that requires, in the grand scheme of things, a tiny amount of patience to help filter out those who drive by and disrupt the forum (maybe even unintentionally). If a month is really that important, then there's KEH and many others who can scratch the immediate itch, with better warranties and often prices that are better than what might be available from regular participants here on any given day. That hundred-buck Calumet from KEH can be returned (albeit with the impatience penalty of shipping costs) when the buyer discovers that it is solid, dense metal through and through.

In my own experience, I've never grown as a photorapher because I bought a new camera. I've grown as a photographer and then realized I needed a more powerful or more appropriate tool, which I then explored. One of the first threads I started here was what 4x5 camera would support very short lenses (particularly 47mm) for use with roll-film backs. I was told of several that would support that length, what accessories were needed with them, and what limitations I would face with those choices. I took some of that advice and skipped over other advice. And then I bought the camera from KEH--my fourth large-format view camera in 30+ years. My question was not a beginner question--I already knew my Cambo would not support lenses that short because I'd tried to make it do that. I already knew from experience that I didn't want the weight of a gear-driven view camera, even though that makes it much easier to work with short lenses where movements are smaller and require more precision. I had the experience to know how to strike that balance, but still I thought about it for at least a month after joining this forum before making a purchase (from KEH) of a Sinar F. Were I a newbie to large format in 2009 when I joined, I might have jumped on the first Chamonix 45N2 that came up for sale, because they were described in such reverent tones, and then found myself fighting it with short lenses and fine movements, and not benefitting from its compact size and lightness when my photography rarely ventures more than 100 feet from the car anyway. My experience is not really exceptional here, and regular participants want to sell to people who have had at least some time to become educated buyers.

While we appreciate and listen to all feedback, and have made many changes to the forum as a result of feedback (even during my tenure as the newest moderator), this one has been discussed several times and there's no will to make a change at this time.

Rick "let's move on" Denney

Leigh
24-Mar-2014, 06:05
Good post, Rick, if a tad long.

People need to understand what they're buying, not just what it is, but how it's used.

- Leigh

Ralph Barker
24-Mar-2014, 07:11
We appreciate the comments and opinions on the issue. However, there are good reasons that we block access to both the FS/WTB sub-forum and member profiles for the first 30 days for new members. Those reasons are a bit more complicated than they might appear on the surface, though.

As has been noted, the primary purpose of this forum is to facilitate discussion of LF topics among the LF community, and to do so within a non-commercial environment. The LFPF is a free resource, run by volunteers on system and network resources that are donated to us. As such, we also have to operate within the confines of the standard features of the vBulletin software we use for the forum.

The FS/WTB sub-forum, intended for the use of regular forum participants, is the one compromise we make to maintaining the non-commercial environment. For it to work, however, there needs to be a certain level of trust between buyers and sellers. The 30-day wait allows participants to get a sense of a person they might be dealing with through that person's other posts. This is particularly important since the vBulletin software is designed for discussions, not point-of-sale purposes, and doesn't include features that would allow for sales-oriented enforcement or redress mechanisms. Thus, our use of the discussion software for sales purposes among members is, at best, a kludge. This is also the reason that the FS/WTB section must remain as an "at-your-own risk" feature. The risks, however, would be far greater without the 30-day wait period, essentially rendering the FS/WTB feature useless if it were more "open". Buying and selling here is attractive because there are no fees involved. Imagine the volume of questionable or nefarious for-sale posts if the feature was open to anyone who could get past the registration restrictions.

Also, the access-control features of the software are fairly limited. By creative use of the tiered membership features, we can completely block access to a sub-forum or feature, or grant full access. This all-or-nothing aspect of the software is also why new members don't have access to their own profiles within the first 30 days. Establishing finer-grained controls, however, would generally require custom coding modifications to the software - something we simply don't have the resources to do or maintain. Custom coding often conflicts with updates and bug fixes from vBulletin, so modifications often have to be re-coded when upgrades are installed, further complicating the issue of available "staff" resources.

So, while the 30-day wait may seem overly-restrictive, or even elitist, to some, it is an essential part of our overall administrative design to keep the forum running reasonably well, given the compromise of allowing any sales at all.

Ralph Barker
24-Mar-2014, 07:17
Ah-hah. It appears that Rick and I were composing our posts at the same time. The fact that they are consistent is a tribute to Rick's brilliance.

goamules
24-Mar-2014, 07:25
I pretty much agree with the current policy. I'm thankful for the rules and the atmosphere here, that help us avoid:

The one-time solve my problem member - I moderate another photography forum (Collodion.com) and it has become a quick problem-solving forum for newbies. They come in, ask very basic questions (usually posting a scan of a highly messed up plate with "HELP! what's wrong?") then leave never to be seen again.

The equipment hunter - Same forum as above, they post a WTB for a camera or lens, then disappear forever. Or they appear only to sell stuff. There are few discussions, DIY posts, or even work examples anymore. 7 years ago it was different. I think that's what Rick and the others want to avoid in this forum.

The "stock report" - Other hobby forums I frequent are also much different. One is pretty much a "stock report" site, where every post is "what's this worth?" and "today's score!" and "Did I get a good price?" These sites are all about the money and speculating on what they collect. These are ostensibly forums about tools, and how to use them, like ours. But everyone is just concerned with buying items that seem to be going up in price. 8 years ago it was different.

Our forum is informational, supportive, and diverse. I like that. Shoppers come and go. I don't really care that it's "hard" for someone new to pop in, scoop up some good deals to resell, then leave.

djdister
24-Mar-2014, 07:32
I think the 30 day waiting period makes sense for all kinds of reasons, as our learned Moderators have pointed out. It is a prudent protective measure to put the brakes on Day 1/0 Posts scammers causing havoc in the "For Sale" forum. Even with the 30 day wait, every now and then I run across some new member posting external links to non-LF items and I immediately flag it for the Moderators attention.

If a new member really wants to go out and buy some LF gear upon first joining the forum, there are plenty of other places they can go to, so the 30 day delay does not adversely affect them at all, and yet it serves to protect the integrity and trust level of forum members who do choose to conduct personal exchanges of LF gear.

Sal Santamaura
24-Mar-2014, 07:33
OK, this is the Feedback category. Here's my feedback.

Take Rick's post #39. Slightly edit it to make it more generic, i.e. remove references to the specifics of this thread. Then place it such that anyone trying to post in the Feedback forum must read it before starting a new thread. I mean really read it, perhaps by setting a timer that prevents moving on to the next step unless there's been enough dwell time on the "Rick-O-Gram."

Then close this thread. :)

goamules
24-Mar-2014, 07:34
I could build some Web-Based Training for this content, with a test you have to pass!

djdister
24-Mar-2014, 07:40
I could build some Web-Based Training for this content, with a test you have to pass!

Combine that with positive user identification and you'd have a winner...

BrianShaw
24-Mar-2014, 07:43
OK, this is the Feedback category. Here's my feedback.

Take Rick's post #39. Slightly edit it to make it more generic, i.e. remove references to the specifics of this thread. Then place it such that anyone trying to post in the Feedback forum must read it before starting a new thread. I mean really read it, perhaps by setting a timer that prevents moving on to the next step unless there's been enough dwell time on the "Rick-O-Gram."

Then close this thread. :)

Wise words of wisdom! (But I did like Ralph's wisdom too... and he writes with fewer words, which is good.)

StoneNYC
24-Mar-2014, 08:25
I pretty much agree with the current policy. I'm thankful for the rules and the atmosphere here, that help us avoid:

The one-time solve my problem member - I moderate another photography forum (Collodion.com) and it has become a quick problem-solving forum for newbies. They come in, ask very basic questions (usually posting a scan of a highly messed up plate with "HELP! what's wrong?") then leave never to be seen again.

The equipment hunter - Same forum as above, they post a WTB for a camera or lens, then disappear forever. Or they appear only to sell stuff. There are few discussions, DIY posts, or even work examples anymore. 7 years ago it was different. I think that's what Rick and the others want to avoid in this forum.

The "stock report" - Other hobby forums I frequent are also much different. One is pretty much a "stock report" site, where every post is "what's this worth?" and "today's score!" and "Did I get a good price?" These sites are all about the money and speculating on what they collect. These are ostensibly forums about tools, and how to use them, like ours. But everyone is just concerned with buying items that seem to be going up in price. 8 years ago it was different.

Our forum is informational, supportive, and diverse. I like that. Shoppers come and go. I don't really care that it's "hard" for someone new to pop in, scoop up some good deals to resell, then leave.

It would help (me) and possibly others if you got the old and new collodion forums merged or give Tapatalk app access to the old forum, I've posted on the collodion site (new forum) but takes months sometimes for someone to reply, I generally do not have computer address so using my phone is the only way I access forums and primarily use tapatalk.

That's the only comment I have, I can see how other newer members might stay longer if the two sites weren't so different. It took 2 months just for someone to tell me that the "old forum" even existed.

I know this is OT but the answer has already been given for the OP's question so I figure it's ok to go a little OT since it pertains to this poster :)

StoneNYC
24-Mar-2014, 08:29
I could build some Web-Based Training for this content, with a test you have to pass!

A forum I recently joined required you to do some basic math to join (square root of 41) and (68 squared) etc.

That's a good way to weed out spam bots and such :)

BrianShaw
24-Mar-2014, 08:53
... and you successfully joined? :o

Randy Moe
24-Mar-2014, 09:19
Don't change a thing.

cowanw
24-Mar-2014, 09:24
"A forum I recently joined required you to do some basic math to join (square root of 41) and (68 squared) etc.
That's a good way to weed out spam bots and such"

Yep
√41=6.40312423743284868648821767
4621813264520420132621018885
5292726266681827581968760742
893543022498699631
That'll stop anybody not interested in large Format

brucep
24-Mar-2014, 09:52
It is fine as it is!

StoneNYC
24-Mar-2014, 11:11
"A forum I recently joined required you to do some basic math to join (square root of 41) and (68 squared) etc.
That's a good way to weed out spam bots and such"

Yep
√41=6.40312423743284868648821767
4621813264520420132621018885
5292726266681827581968760742
893543022498699631
That'll stop anybody not interested in large Format

That wasn't the exact one it was something like that but the answer wasn't one that would form a decimal.

I didn't do the math I just used a calculator, the point was it was written out without the symbols and then given a box (I think it was signing up for luminous landscape) to fill the answer. :)

StoneNYC
24-Mar-2014, 11:11
... and you successfully joined? :o

Calculator ;)

goamules
24-Mar-2014, 11:33
It would help (me) and possibly others if you got the old and new collodion forums merged or give Tapatalk app access to the old forum, I've posted on the collodion site (new forum) but takes months sometimes for someone to reply, I generally do not have computer address so using my phone is the only way I access forums and primarily use tapatalk.

That's the only comment I have, I can see how other newer members might stay longer if the two sites weren't so different. It took 2 months just for someone to tell me that the "old forum" even existed.

I know this is OT but the answer has already been given for the OP's question so I figure it's ok to go a little OT since it pertains to this poster :)

You're right, discussing another forum is way off topic. But if the mods don't delete these two posts, you should know the "new" Collodion forum never took off. There are only a few dozen members and most have 1-3 posts. You, with 11 posts, are in the top 5, including the admin.

The "original" Collodion.com has thousands of members and a lot have hundreds or thousands of posts. I don't use that "new" site, and no one else does either. I'll mention to the owner that you want Tapatalk sometime, whatever that is.

StoneNYC
24-Mar-2014, 12:27
You're right, discussing another forum is way off topic. But if the mods don't delete these two posts, you should know the "new" Collodion forum never took off. There are only a few dozen members and most have 1-3 posts. You, with 11 posts, are in the top 5, including the admin.

The "original" Collodion.com has thousands of members and a lot have hundreds or thousands of posts. I don't use that "new" site, and no one else does either. I'll mention to the owner that you want Tapatalk sometime, whatever that is.

Yes please, do ask :)

Thanks mods!

Jmarmck
24-Mar-2014, 13:57
Ah, I see the difficultly with the permission and group issues. You are unable to distinguish rwx within groups. I understand the waiting period now. Thanks for clearing that up.

rdenney
24-Mar-2014, 14:05
Wise words of wisdom! (But I did like Ralph's wisdom too... and he writes with fewer words, which is good.)

Hah!

Rick "agreeing" Denney

BuffaloJohn
26-Mar-2014, 06:23
Kind of in agreement (me being a n00b to the BOARD, but not to LF photography). I participate in in digital forums like FredMiranda very actively, but my LF stuff takes a bit of time to find resources - but I've known about LFP for over 5 years. I just haven't actively participated, because I'm a bit of a novice in this "realm". But its the same in photography on the whole, and especially in the smaller nieche "elite" parts. I don't even want to go near the Urban Exploration folks - they are worse than this!!! Not everyone breaks out the 8x10 monster day in, day out. :)

StoneNYC
26-Mar-2014, 06:35
Kind of in agreement (me being a n00b to the BOARD, but not to LF photography). I participate in in digital forums like FredMiranda very actively, but my LF stuff takes a bit of time to find resources - but I've known about LFP for over 5 years. I just haven't actively participated, because I'm a bit of a novice in this "realm". But its the same in photography on the whole, and especially in the smaller nieche "elite" parts. I don't even want to go near the Urban Exploration folks - they are worse than this!!! Not everyone breaks out the 8x10 monster day in, day out. :)

You're new to LF and already on the board? 😯

Kirk Gittings
26-Mar-2014, 09:30
We appreciate the comments and opinions on the issue. However, there are good reasons that we block access to both the FS/WTB sub-forum and member profiles for the first 30 days for new members. Those reasons are a bit more complicated than they might appear on the surface, though.

As has been noted, the primary purpose of this forum is to facilitate discussion of LF topics among the LF community, and to do so within a non-commercial environment. The LFPF is a free resource, run by volunteers on system and network resources that are donated to us. As such, we also have to operate within the confines of the standard features of the vBulletin software we use for the forum.

The FS/WTB sub-forum, intended for the use of regular forum participants, is the one compromise we make to maintaining the non-commercial environment. For it to work, however, there needs to be a certain level of trust between buyers and sellers. The 30-day wait allows participants to get a sense of a person they might be dealing with through that person's other posts. This is particularly important since the vBulletin software is designed for discussions, not point-of-sale purposes, and doesn't include features that would allow for sales-oriented enforcement or redress mechanisms. Thus, our use of the discussion software for sales purposes among members is, at best, a kludge. This is also the reason that the FS/WTB section must remain as an "at-your-own risk" feature. The risks, however, would be far greater without the 30-day wait period, essentially rendering the FS/WTB feature useless if it were more "open". Buying and selling here is attractive because there are no fees involved. Imagine the volume of questionable or nefarious for-sale posts if the feature was open to anyone who could get past the registration restrictions.

Also, the access-control features of the software are fairly limited. By creative use of the tiered membership features, we can completely block access to a sub-forum or feature, or grant full access. This all-or-nothing aspect of the software is also why new members don't have access to their own profiles within the first 30 days. Establishing finer-grained controls, however, would generally require custom coding modifications to the software - something we simply don't have the resources to do or maintain. Custom coding often conflicts with updates and bug fixes from vBulletin, so modifications often have to be re-coded when upgrades are installed, further complicating the issue of available "staff" resources.

So, while the 30-day wait may seem overly-restrictive, or even elitist, to some, it is an essential part of our overall administrative design to keep the forum running reasonably well, given the compromise of allowing any sales at all.

Ralph, this is expressed very well.

Ralph Barker
27-Mar-2014, 06:04
Thanks, Kirk.

Trevor Whitaker
27-Mar-2014, 14:28
Also, the access-control features of the software are fairly limited. By creative use of the tiered membership features, we can completely block access to a sub-forum or feature, or grant full access. This all-or-nothing aspect of the software is also why new members don't have access to their own profiles within the first 30 days. Establishing finer-grained controls, however, would generally require custom coding modifications to the software - something we simply don't have the resources to do or maintain. Custom coding often conflicts with updates and bug fixes from vBulletin, so modifications often have to be re-coded when upgrades are installed, further complicating the issue of available "staff" resources.

I want to point out that I completely agree with the other reasons you stated and think having a waiting period for the for sale forum is a good thing, but this part is just not true.

vBulletin has access controls within each forum (and subforum). Using them you can set whether a user group can see the forum and also whether they can post new threads or post replies. Setting both options to off makes the forum read only to members of that group. These options are exactly how the News forum is configured so that normal users can post replies but not new threads. It's all built in to vBulletin and does not require any custom coding, nor does it require any creative usage of the software.

I've been involved in running a number of large (non-photography related) boards on vBulletin and nearly all of them used a combination of these settings to allow access to forums, including multi-tiered access to subforums that gave users read only access with one specific post count and then increased to each subsequent permission level (reply to posts and post new threads) as their count increased and their group membership changed. Group levels can be set to change automatically using all kinds of options in the promotions settings in the admin control panel.

Ralph Barker
28-Mar-2014, 06:34
Thanks for your comments, Trevor. I don't handle the software configuration details (that is handled by Tom Westbrook), but yes, I probably "over-spoke" with respect to be the built-in access controls. Providing read-only access to the FS/WTB section, however, would defeat the concept behind the 30-day waiting period, as explained above. We have enough of a problem now with respect to new members trying to circumvent the waiting period, some out of ignorance (they failed to read the Guidelines that they certified that they had read when they joined) and some out of feigned ignorance.

Kirk Gittings
28-Mar-2014, 07:16
Yes and basing it on post count will just encourage inane posts.

Ginette
28-Mar-2014, 10:36
Yes and basing it on post count will just encourage inane posts.

Yes between 1 month waiting period and post count, I prefer the 1 month waiting.


I want to point out that I completely agree with the other reasons you stated and think having a waiting period for the for sale forum is a good thing, but this part is just not true.

vBulletin has access controls within each forum (and subforum). Using them you can set whether a user group can see the forum and also whether they can post new threads or post replies. Setting both options to off makes the forum read only to members of that group. These options are exactly how the News forum is configured so that normal users can post replies but not new threads. It's all built in to vBulletin and does not require any custom coding, nor does it require any creative usage of the software.

I've been involved in running a number of large (non-photography related) boards on vBulletin and nearly all of them used a combination of these settings to allow access to forums, including multi-tiered access to subforums that gave users read only access with one specific post count and then increased to each subsequent permission level (reply to posts and post new threads) as their count increased and their group membership changed. Group levels can be set to change automatically using all kinds of options in the promotions settings in the admin control panel.

Thanks for your comments, Trevor. I don't handle the software configuration details (that is handled by Tom Westbrook), but yes, I probably "over-spoke" with respect to be the built-in access controls. Providing read-only access to the FS/WTB section, however, would defeat the concept behind the 30-day waiting period, as explained above. We have enough of a problem now with respect to new members trying to circumvent the waiting period, some out of ignorance (they failed to read the Guidelines that they certified that they had read when they joined) and some out of feigned ignorance.

Yes this is what I think too but I was not shure about VBulletin controls as I had an IP. Board forum in the past (now closed).

As my forum is now closed, I don't remember exactly but I think it could be easy to make visible the title and description of the "For sale" section without giving the access to it for 1 month. I think new members will see clearly that the forum exist and the 1 month waiting period. I think it can encourage new members to stay active members till that period. Unless people register, take a rapid look and don't come back.
So even the new members see the forum description but when they try to access they have the error message that they cannot read content. People don't read FAQ and Guidelines but will see clearly the error message!

My first suggestion was to give the permission to new members to see the content but not post for 1 month but if the consensus of most members is to not give the permission to Read and Post, the forum description will be a good compromise.


112883


Second suggestion, the "Buyer-Seller Advisories" should not be seen by Guests as actually, unless you wish to make emphasing on outside forum bad sellers. Most posts are related to transactions between members so it should be reserved to members only.

112884

NancyP
28-Mar-2014, 14:18
Here's my experience as a newbie:
I too wanted to dive in and buy something, and I also spent a little time looking at "4 x 5 camera" on eBay. It became apparent that this was not like a beginner buying a dSLR and kit lens, frankly any recent camera has very similar characteristics and will do for the initial learning period. I became confused - very confused - at all the options, and started educating myself via the very helpful LFP Front Page, which certainly has enough to keep a newbie busy for 30+ days. I also started asking questions and searching old posts, and have gotten some very helpful pointers, not least of which is that there are many contradictory but firmly held opinions (re: lens, metering, developing method, film / developer combo, etc) from many people who get results with their favorite (fill in the blank). This makes me think: just pick one camera, lens, film, developer, and try it. I can try something else if I am not happy with the first choices. The nature of LF seems to be a level of technical experimentation that is a little foreign to the 135 roll film shooter.

So, I think that the 30 day reality check is fine, it gave me time to study up and to look at images too.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your collective patience with newcomers to LF!

Leigh
28-Mar-2014, 14:36
This makes me think: just pick one camera, lens, film, developer, and try it. I can try something else if I am not happy with the first choices.
Absolutely right. Everybody uses a method that works best for them.
This depends on a whole pile of factors that involve every aspect of the process.

It's unlikely that any two folks will do exactly the same thing in exactly the same way
from subject selection to hanging the final print.

People tend to be very defensive of their particular choices because
they've put a lot of effort into making them.

- Leigh

BuffaloJohn
29-Mar-2014, 05:23
StoneNYC - another reason why I stick to humans vs. boards - people like you with one line commentary and useless to others.

pdmoylan
29-Mar-2014, 06:18
Here's my experience as a newbie:
I too wanted to dive in and buy something, and I also spent a little time looking at "4 x 5 camera" on eBay. It became apparent that this was not like a beginner buying a dSLR and kit lens, frankly any recent camera has very similar characteristics and will do for the initial learning period. I became confused - very confused - at all the options, and started educating myself via the very helpful LFP Front Page, which certainly has enough to keep a newbie busy for 30+ days. I also started asking questions and searching old posts, and have gotten some very helpful pointers, not least of which is that there are many contradictory but firmly held opinions (re: lens, metering, developing method, film / developer combo, etc) from many people who get results with their favorite (fill in the blank). This makes me think: just pick one camera, lens, film, developer, and try it. I can try something else if I am not happy with the first choices. The nature of LF seems to be a level of technical experimentation that is a little foreign to the 135 roll film shooter.

So, I think that the 30 day reality check is fine, it gave me time to study up and to look at images too.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your collective patience with newcomers to LF!



Well said Nancy.

The real value in this forum is the posted images and what it took to get them. Young adaptors have at their fingertips others' experiments, successes and failures, and should be able to find orientation readily. The 30 day waiting period, as Nancy points out, allows them a chance to find focus, not simply on the equipment and technical side, but on what it is they want to accomplish. For those new to LF, the 30 day period, though intended for other reasons, should be a considered a period of self-examination. The shared visual experience is second to none and I encourage every newcomer to carefully look through the image banks and identify with one of more photographer's work/iamges. It inspires at times but more importantly gives guidance.

Frankly, in many ways, and to reduce anxiety, it is far better to buy from a known commercial source than from forum members. Yet many have had success.

PDM

Sal Santamaura
29-Mar-2014, 08:38
StoneNYC - another reason why I stick to humans vs. boards - people like you with one line commentary and useless to others.There are many helpful people and lots of useful information on this forum. There's also an "Ignore" feature. Rather than let one prolific poster drive you away, simply click on their name, click "View Profile" and finally "Add to Ignore List." Then you won't be bothered by useless commentary. :)

Randy Moe
29-Mar-2014, 09:22
Really, were are just where are these known commercial sources?

I find member sales to be excellent in quality, honesty and price.


Well said Nancy.


Frankly, in many ways, and to reduce anxiety, it is far better to buy from a known commercial source than from forum members. Yet many have had success.

PDM

pdmoylan
29-Mar-2014, 15:21
Randy,

IMHO the relative flexibility of terms of a commercial business including return policy, diversity of products, trade in allowance, payment by CC where if the product is not as stated one can issue a dispute, all add up to less anxiety for some buyers. I am in no way suggesting that one should not consider buying from a forum member. As I have said, many have had success (with a few failures I might add) using this forum for Buy/Sell.

KEH, Adorama, B&H, Samy's, Camera West, Igor among others are good and generally reliable sources of used and new LF. I have purchased from all of them without issue.

PDM

Randy Moe
29-Mar-2014, 16:03
I have purchased from them all. They are great, but to denigrate private sales eliminates 99% of my current equipment. I have found great bargains here, Craigslist and eBay. I am an experienced buyer. Not in cameras necessarily, but in any product that can be researched.

Try buying sinks, enlargers and much darkroom at the big retailers, there is more to this than lenses and boxes.

As for trade in, don't be silly, KEH, et al, won't give you a dime for film equipment.

The for sale function here is invaluable to me. Today I bought something, here, I would not find anywhere and at a more than fair price. Don't bother looking, it was totally private.

In fact that brings up another great thing that happens behind the scenes here. I have been offered many items free or for a very low price, that were not for sale in the ads here or anywhere. Those deals happen to active members. I wasn't begging either, people see a need. There are a lot of invisible people looking at everything we say here. Be very careful what you say, it will come back to you, good or bad.

ymmv imho


Randy,

IMHO the relative flexibility of terms of a commercial business including return policy, diversity of products, trade in allowance, payment by CC where if the product is not as stated one can issue a dispute, all add up to less anxiety for some buyers. I am in no way suggesting that one should not consider buying from a forum member. As I have said, many have had success (with a few failures I might add) using this forum for Buy/Sell.

KEH, Adorama, B&H, Samy's, Camera West, Igor among others are good and generally reliable sources of used and new LF. I have purchased from all of them without issue.

PDM

rdenney
30-Mar-2014, 17:20
Nobody's denigrating anything. But people are on edge, and I think we've used this topic up. Feedback was given for an issue well-considered in the past, and explanations for the current policy were provided. Let's move on.

Rick "shutting this one down" Denney