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koraks
19-Jun-2016, 14:50
Moderating a form is a lot of work. I know, I've been there. Overall, things are quite alright in this forum.

However, it doesn't hurt to give users some feedback if their posts are subject of moderation, or when a report has been dealt with. A simple "Sorry, had to remove your post in line with the rules" or a "Thanks for the heads up, looking in to it" goes a long way.

Again, I understand it's hard work, and a lot of work at that, and you all do it basically for free. But from experience, I can attest that it's generally more rewarding if you actually interact with people. You'd be surprised how little effort goes a long way.

Keep up the good work and thanks for your commitment.

Oren Grad
19-Jun-2016, 16:24
Thanks for your comment!

We will generally provide a reason for a post or thread deletion. On occasion we will choose not to.

The volume of reported posts is high enough that it is not realistic to expect follow-up correspondence in each case. But all "reported post" messages, without exception, are reviewed and considered. If no action is taken on a reported post, it does not mean that the report was ignored.

Specifically with respect to the FS and WTB sections, and speaking only for myself, when I'm pressed for time I may on occasion delete a nonconforming post without taking the time to fill out the "reason for deletion" field. In such instances you can take it as a given that there is a guideline violation.

If there is any question members are welcome to follow up via PM, and we will respond as soon as we reasonably can. We spend a substantial amount of time in private correspondence related to Forum guidelines, reported posts, moderation actions, and moderation non-actions. That's OK - it's part of what we're here for. The interaction is often enjoyable, too, though sometimes folks get a little overheated when things don't go the way they'd like. (I'm keeping a list of the world-historical villains I'm said to be emulating.)

These past couple of months a substantial proportion of PM's have come from people who have not noticed that the FS and WTB guidelines were revised, despite the fact that the change occurred more than two months ago, was announced in advance and again upon implementation, and has been the focus of much discussion in the News and Feedback sections both before and after implementation. It would be a big help, and very much appreciated, if everyone would a) check the "News" section at least once in a while to be sure they are aware of any relevant changes in Forum operations, and b) review the revised FS and WTB guidelines and updated FS and WTB "sticky" posts if they have not already done so, and before PM'ing us with questions about moderation actions in the FS and WTB sections.

Thanks!

koraks
20-Jun-2016, 00:48
Much appreciated for the thoughtful reply and I have to confess that although I had noticed the restructuring of the fs/wtb forums, I apparently didn't memorize the rules. It's alright though, I can imagine the workload that it brings for moderators. And I'm certainly not implying that no action is being taken on reports; I noticed they are generally dealt with very quickly, which is reassuring.
Thanks again!

mdarnton
20-Jun-2016, 07:28
I am curious about how many active moderators there are right now.
???

Oren Grad
20-Jun-2016, 18:25
Approximately two. Ralph and I are handling day-to-day housekeeping. Rick has been juggling a bunch of other responsibilities but checks in from time to time.

Michael Kadillak
10-Jul-2016, 18:10
The litmus test are numbers of active posts as a function of time over the last five years. Analogous to a business model, if you are not grown your readership posts you are a dying entity. Can you provide us with average posts per year over that time period because quite honestly the only thing that I watch is the For Sale Items. Even then folks get clipped for the most innocuous comments because it is not "allowed". I pu this in the Why Bother category. Good Gawd. We have become so affixed in the stoic guidelines it is like entering a courtroom where the rule of law applies. We are friggin photographers that from the get go are non-conformists that sometimes just like to share how they feel about a topic even if a bit of emotion is affixed to the issue.

Jim Jones
10-Jul-2016, 19:37
I consider this the best managed photographic forum by far. Of course it can't please everyone, but no other site makes so much information available with so few distractions. Policing the For Sale Items makes that forum efficient for many, even though it isn't ideal for those who might otherwise use it as a substitute for eBay.

Michael Kadillak
10-Jul-2016, 19:57
The numbers speak for the masses and that is all the matters. What do the numbers say? Is participation in the forum increasing or decreasing over the period of current moderation?

StoneNYC
11-Jul-2016, 07:11
Things like "communicate this by PM" is not helpful when the PM inbox size is so small and limiting, sometimes a discussion can go on for weeks before a sale is made, meanwhile all the pertinent info is deleted because there's not enough space.

Actual for-profit business are encouraged here while the regular people are discouraged. The whole point of this site not having a subscriber model was to avoid favoritism toward commerce oriented posters.

People with useful info's posts are deleted because it violates some unknown rule, except most of the knowledgeable people don't have the time to waste reading every single new rule all the time or remembering them all, only those who spend their lives on the forum could possibly remember. The people who are actual DO-ERS don't have that kind of time, they see their post deleted and they stop bothering. This leaves us with a forum full of opinions and no knowledgeable people.

This forum has gone down hill so fast and good people are bailing. The majority still posting often have virtually nothing of informative value to contribute because they have no real world experience, just pre-read knowledge and regurgitated opinion.

And it's all because one person is on a crusade to "fix" things.

Any serious effort to acknowledge the problem is eventually deleted from existence by that person when they start to look bad, like the previous MULTIPLE "too much moderation" threads which have all been deleted.

It's BAD, really really bad... We are losing our community, they won't come back... We are bleeding good people...

It's just all so unreasonable, people have lives, they can't all be expected to know all the rules and it turns people off to have their work deleted.

Try messaging someone for once "hey, just so you know, this post isn't good because of X, can you go and fix it please?" (This would require allowing a larger edit window before something is no longer editable) or simply LEAVING THE POST ALONE with a kind PM "hey, just so you know, in the future can you try and avoid X?" That's much more friendly and welcoming.

Richard Wasserman
11-Jul-2016, 07:28
Things like "communicate this by PM" is not helpful when the PM inbox size is so small and limiting, sometimes a discussion can go on for weeks before a sale is made, meanwhile all the pertinent info is deleted because there's not enough space.

Actual for-profit business are encouraged here while the regular people are discouraged. The whole point of this site not having a subscriber model was to avoid favoritism toward commerce oriented posters.

People with useful info's posts are deleted because it violates some unknown rule, except most of the knowledgeable people don't have the time to waste reading every single new rule all the time or remembering them all, only those who spend their lives on the forum could possibly remember. The people who are actual DO-ERS don't have that kind of time, they see their post deleted and they stop bothering. This leaves us with a forum full of opinions and no knowledgeable people.

This forum has gone down hill so fast and good people are bailing. The majority still posting often have virtually nothing of informative value to contribute because they have no real world experience, just pre-read knowledge and regurgitated opinion.

And it's all because one person is on a crusade to "fix" things.

Any serious effort to acknowledge the problem is eventually deleted from existence by that person when they start to look bad, like the previous MULTIPLE "too much moderation" threads which have all been deleted.

It's BAD, really really bad... We are losing our community, they won't come back... We are bleeding good people...

It's just all so unreasonable, people have lives, they can't all be expected to know all the rules and it turns people off to have their work deleted.

Try messaging someone for once "hey, just so you know, this post isn't good because of X, can you go and fix it please?" (This would require allowing a larger edit window before something is no longer editable) or simply LEAVING THE POST ALONE with a kind PM "hey, just so you know, in the future can you try and avoid X?" That's much more friendly and welcoming.

I concur with most of what Stone has stated. The forum has lost a great deal of vibrancy and has gotten somewhat boring. In the past things might have been a bit chaotic and imperfect, but such is life.

bob carnie
11-Jul-2016, 07:33
I think this site is fantastic and is worth logging on each day, I learn a lot here and sometimes throw in my 2 cents.

Like any site there are lots of wankers, basically just ignore and think twice before hitting the post reply button.

Lou Baleur
11-Jul-2016, 07:45
It seems to function just fine the way it is. Although there are still instances of "armchair moderation" by those that disagree with some posts--they can hit the little "report" button, but they prefer to make comments instead. Unfortunate, but these behaviours will change so long as the moderators keep to their policies and policing.

Good job, moderators. You guys deserve a raise.

Pfsor
11-Jul-2016, 07:48
It's BAD, really really bad... We are losing our community, they won't come back... We are bleeding good people...



+ 10x

Louis Pacilla
11-Jul-2016, 07:51
It seems to function just fine the way it is. Although there are still instances of "armchair moderation" by those that disagree with some posts--they can hit the little "report" button, but they prefer to make comments instead. Unfortunate, but these behaviours will change so long as the moderators keep to their policies and policing.

Good job, moderators. You guys deserve a raise.


Could not agree MORE w/ this Lou and all the other comments that support the moderators and their effort to clean things up.

Keep up the awesome work!

20x+++

Ralph Barker
11-Jul-2016, 08:00
The numbers speak for the masses and that is all the matters. What do the numbers say? Is participation in the forum increasing or decreasing over the period of current moderation?

The statistics available within the vBulletin software don't provide much in the way of granularity, so it is difficult to arrive at useful conclusions. For example, we can't separate FS/WTB activity from discussions in the primary sub-forums. And, activity here is also affected by external factors, such as market conditions, the level of interest in film photography in general and LF in particular. I don't know of a source of market data (e.g. LF film sales) that would allow comparisons.

Looking at available data for posts, threads, and registrations, the past fiscal year is approximately level with the 2006-2007 fiscal year (the earliest period available since we moved to vBulletin), but below the peak activity during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Because we are non-commercial, however, we are not "driven" by marketing-oriented statistics that might otherwise support ad rates, etc.

Randy Moe
11-Jul-2016, 08:12
As a well known Wanker, thanks Bob Carnie :) LOL I think we are doing just fine.

Oren Grad and Ralph Barker are doing what they think best and nicely balance each other. :)

Remember that somebody MUST moderate and it is obviously a thankless job.

I have been chastised, always deserved.

Thank you moderators. Don't let the Dark Slide win.

Taija71A
11-Jul-2016, 08:22
... Things like "communicate this by PM" is not helpful when the PM inbox size is so small and limiting...

This is not exactly true...

The allotment for messages stored was just recently very 'graciously' increased -- From 100 to 200.
Also, if one needs to save more than 200 Messages... There is always the option of 'Archiving' older Messages.
--
Yes... Keep up the great work Moderators and 'cheerfully' ignore...
The few, vocal naysayers and troublemakers.

Your efforts are 'Truly Appreciated'. Thank-you!

Ralph Barker
11-Jul-2016, 08:57
Things like "communicate this by PM" is not helpful when the PM inbox size is so small and limiting, sometimes a discussion can go on for weeks before a sale is made, meanwhile all the pertinent info is deleted because there's not enough space.

The size of the PM box has been increased, but there are limitations of what we can do on the donated resources that support the forum operations. One obvious solution for active sellers would be to move communications with buyers to e-mail after the initial PM exchange.


Actual for-profit business are encouraged here while the regular people are discouraged. The whole point of this site not having a subscriber model was to avoid favoritism toward commerce oriented posters.

That is simply wrong. We are not "encouraging" anyone at the expense of others. We softened the "dealer" restriction to allow small brick-n-mortor posters to increase the availability of gear for members. They are not, however, given any preference, and must comply with the same set of rules.


People with useful info's posts are deleted because it violates some unknown rule, except most of the knowledgeable people don't have the time to waste reading every single new rule all the time or remembering them all, only those who spend their lives on the forum could possibly remember. The people who are actual DO-ERS don't have that kind of time, they see their post deleted and they stop bothering. This leaves us with a forum full of opinions and no knowledgeable people.

Comments in FS threads that don't act to clarify the listing are deleted in accordance with the revised guidelines to avoid those threads from being "bumped" within certain views/searches to keep the playing field level.


This forum has gone down hill so fast and good people are bailing. The majority still posting often have virtually nothing of informative value to contribute because they have no real world experience, just pre-read knowledge and regurgitated opinion.

I suspect opinions will vary on that issue.


And it's all because one person is on a crusade to "fix" things.

Again, not true. The guidelines were changed, after months of discussions, to strike a balance between function and the resulting moderator workload. All of these decisions, however, are discussed between all of the moderators. During the last few months, Rick has been too busy with family and work-related matters to spend much time here, so Oren has picked up much of that slack.


Any serious effort to acknowledge the problem is eventually deleted from existence by that person when they start to look bad, like the previous MULTIPLE "too much moderation" threads which have all been deleted.

Unlike most online forums, we encourage feedback and consider it carefully. Many of the complaints, however, come from individuals who merely want things to be run their way, which isn't always conducive to long-term forum viability. "Clean-ups on aisle 7" are occasionally appropriate.


It's BAD, really really bad... We are losing our community, they won't come back... We are bleeding good people...

Again, opinions will vary. I won't get into a discussion about particular individuals.


It's just all so unreasonable, people have lives, they can't all be expected to know all the rules and it turns people off to have their work deleted.

Gosh, what can I say? If some people don't want to bother to read and understand the guidelines, they end up learning the hard way.


Try messaging someone for once "hey, just so you know, this post isn't good because of X, can you go and fix it please?" (This would require allowing a larger edit window before something is no longer editable) or simply LEAVING THE POST ALONE with a kind PM "hey, just so you know, in the future can you try and avoid X?" That's much more friendly and welcoming.

We do a lot of behind-the-scenes messaging. You don't see this because, well, it's behind-the-scenes. And, we often edit posts at the request of the OP after the edit period has closed. The edit window (IIRC 60 minutes, or until there is a response), is set to avoid situations where responses are nullified by subsequent changes to the original post. In those cases, a follow-up correction is usually the best approach.

MikeH
11-Jul-2016, 09:03
Could not agree MORE w/ this Lou and all the other comments that support the moderators and their effort to clean things up.

Keep up the awesome work!

+1

Jonathan Barlow
11-Jul-2016, 09:40
My solution to the super-micromanagement and stifling policies that have taken over the for sale forum here, is to spend more time on APUG.

Eric Biggerstaff
11-Jul-2016, 09:55
Some of the moderation seems a bit over the top, but it is what it is. If participation is down and fewer people are posting it is likely a sign that nothing really new or interesting is happening in the world of LF photography these days. This is a larger concern than moderation.

jnanian
11-Jul-2016, 10:41
bob c, and tim
couldn't agree more !

ralph, oren and rick,
your behind the scenes work is appreciated
there are only so many train wrecks i can watch

Doremus Scudder
11-Jul-2016, 10:46
Well, I'm not bailing; I like it here. That said, I don't buy and sell here, which seems to be the main source of frustration for many. Perhaps we should view this site as a forum for information exchange that just happens to have a small, and perhaps somewhat restrictive, trading platform as well. If you don't like the way this trading platform is run, there are always other auction sites.

I have always found the exchanges here to be civil and informative for the most part. I do miss the crankiness of some of the posters who have been banned however, and would encourage the moderators to keep their reprimands, deletions and bans to the bare minimum. And, reminding someone visibly, within the offending thread is better than a PM in my opinion, since it serves as a reminder to all who read it.

All in all, I find the moderation appropriate and, well, moderate and thank the moderators for their fine job.

Best,

Doremus

seezee
11-Jul-2016, 11:02
It's just all so unreasonable, people have lives, they can't all be expected to know all the rules and it turns people off to have their work deleted.Gosh, what can I say? If some people don't want to bother to read and understand the guidelines, they end up learning the hard way.


True only if the guidelines' existence and location is optimal. Speaking as a web developer & designer, I still think there are UX improvements to be made in that area.

Nonetheless, the moderators, given the thankless task of threading the needle, are doing just fine. Thank you all for donating your time, and thank you, Ralph, for responding to the concerns raised in this discussion.

rdenney
11-Jul-2016, 13:27
Folks, I'm just getting my sea-legs back, and I haven't had the opportunity to see how the FS forum is working with the new rules. Reviewing that over the next few weeks is part of my catchup program. So, let me just make a few general comments on the subject of "moderating" along with reiterating the general philosophy of a sales outlet on a forum like this one:

The sales forum was always a tangential service to regular large-format users who wanted to buy and sell among themselves. It was never intended to be an enterprise site or the core function of this forum. The excessive bumping was favoring those who were selling lots of things aggressively--so many things that it was obvious they were buying things just to sell, not just selling things they once used that had become surplus to their needs. At that point, the sales forum became less about the low-key forum member making an occasional sale, who found themselves drowned out by more aggressive uses of the sales forum, and more about commerce.

Yet we do all benefit from having access to things for sale. So, we have always sought a set of rules that kept the sales forum usable for the forum participant making a casual sale without closing the door completely on those who sell things for more commercial reasons (we once claimed to prohibit all commercial sales, but with uneven enforcement of those who were covert about their commercial intentions). And to do that, we have to trim back the freedoms enjoyed by aggressive and frequent sellers, in return for allowing small-time commercial sellers to come out into the light a bit. But that's how it remains a service to forum members who sell casually as well as buy occasionally. No formula will make everyone happy or meet everyone's needs. Some are content with a no-rules free-for-all, and others would prefer that we eliminate the sales forum altogether. We have done what we can to offend everyone equally (that was a joke; you can laugh).

If we were a commercial site, we would turn the sale forum into an enterprise. But we are not a commercial site and don't want to be. We can't call this a site run by enthusiasts if running it is their day job. Lots of forums have been bought up in recent years--one in which I participate was bought by VerticalScope last year--and when that happens, they are looking for how much they can load each page with ads, and how much they can glean from and resell content. Going to a subscription model would not help--none of us really want to do this as a job and anyone we hired would have a different attitude about it. The forums I've observed that have paid moderation have the same issues we are having, and worse (because those moderators are now influenced by commercial concerns).

In terms of general moderation, some people are attracted to flames, but others are repelled by them. Those who are attracted to flames are most willing to voice their discontent when the flames are extinguished, and those who are repelled by flames are the least willing to complain at all. So, the people who do not enjoy flames just leave, and those who do enjoy them stay, if the moderators don't feel some obligation to the silent majority. We've seen that relationship on this forum for many years. We've allowed, despite repeated interactions, some people to stay because we would rather not ban people who are merely disruptive, especially when they are not breaking the rules overtly. But we know of other people who have specifically left because of those people--and we are sorry that they did so and miss their contribution. Again, that's a matter of trying to find a balance. Benign neglect, which we have attempted to the extent possible (the interpretation of which has certainly varied) doesn't always result in the correct outcome in terms of who decides to leave versus who decides to stay, even assuming agreement on what that correct outcome should be. Remember, the moderators are the waiters. You guys are the cooks. The waiters are often expected to have the fix for food that tastes bad, but they best they can do it take it away quickly when it threatens the health of the diner.

As to declining participation, there are several factors at play, many of which I have noticed in other forums. The biggest is that I think the Age Of Forums is in decline generally. 25 years ago, the only way I could share my enthusiasm for large-format photography was with a few like-minded local friends, and by reading certain magazines devoted to the topic. Then, in the late 90's, a miracle occurred: The Internet made it possible for those engaged in narrow pursuits to interact with one another, and all that demand for interaction that was pent up for years suddenly spilled out. There was a whole generation of photographers (about my age) who embraced that new interaction, and forums on all manner of specialty topics blossomed.

But many of those people have run out of steam, having satiated their appetite for interaction. They said all they had to say, and heard all they cared to hear. Their participation now, if it remains, is often for the sake of maintaining long-standing friendships. Every forum in which I have participated for many years is in decline, even forums on topics that are growing, no matter how they are moderated. The high-end professionals that used to participate do so much less, and the dedicated hobbyists have run out of material. Forums are therefore declining back to what would probably be considered a normal level, if they had existed for the last century instead of the last 20 years.

Another trend is that more and more, people are interacting with the Internet using hand-held devices. The Large Format Photography Forum supports this use by providing and maintaining a Tapatalk interface, and Tapatalk is my usual method of access. But one will not be as prolific when the entry device is two thumbs versus ten fingers.

Then we have the consideration that generations that follow us are less word-oriented (for the most part), for reasons I can speculate about but will not do so here.

Finally, we get to the issue that has already been raised, which is that large-format photography is itself in decline. Part of it is technological--it's just getting harder rather than easier to do it, particularly in color. And part of it is artistic--I'm finding that photography has become so ubiquitous that one must be possessed of much greater artistic vision than mere competence, compared to when I started in photography 45 years ago. And yet mere competence is all that I can claim as a photographer--I certainly do not possess great artistic vision. Big prints are satisfying to fewer and fewer people, and the low-resolution display devices show so many photographs that only look good on low-resolution displays that it has peed in the pond from which large-format photographers must also drink.

In short, I don't think declines in participation can be laid at the feet of moderators, and I hope my sabbatical of the last many months gives me some perspective on it. Again, the moderators are just the waiters, not the chefs and certainly not the food.

Rick "who'd rather serve (and help develop) a few real devotees than the many who will dabble and move on, leaving disruption in their wake" Denney

David Karp
11-Jul-2016, 14:10
Rick,

Glad to see you are back!

Dave "who missed, and has also benefited from, your posts in the past." :)

Randy Moe
11-Jul-2016, 14:33
I love your 'By-Lines'.

Good to see you back!






Rick "who'd rather serve (and help develop) a few real devotees than the many who will dabble and move on, leaving disruption in their wake" Denney

Michael Kadillak
11-Jul-2016, 15:03
Folks, I'm just getting my sea-legs back, and I haven't had the opportunity to see how the FS forum is working with the new rules. Reviewing that over the next few weeks is part of my catchup program. So, let me just make a few general comments on the subject of "moderating" along with reiterating the general philosophy of a sales outlet on a forum like this one:

The sales forum was always a tangential service to regular large-format users who wanted to buy and sell among themselves. It was never intended to be an enterprise site or the core function of this forum. The excessive bumping was favoring those who were selling lots of things aggressively--so many things that it was obvious they were buying things just to sell, not just selling things they once used that had become surplus to their needs. At that point, the sales forum became less about the low-key forum member making an occasional sale, who found themselves drowned out by more aggressive uses of the sales forum, and more about commerce.

Yet we do all benefit from having access to things for sale. So, we have always sought a set of rules that kept the sales forum usable for the forum participant making a casual sale without closing the door completely on those who sell things for more commercial reasons (we once claimed to prohibit all commercial sales, but with uneven enforcement of those who were covert about their commercial intentions). And to do that, we have to trim back the freedoms enjoyed by aggressive and frequent sellers, in return for allowing small-time commercial sellers to come out into the light a bit. But that's how it remains a service to forum members who sell casually as well as buy occasionally. No formula will make everyone happy or meet everyone's needs. Some are content with a no-rules free-for-all, and others would prefer that we eliminate the sales forum altogether. We have done what we can to offend everyone equally (that was a joke; you can laugh).

If we were a commercial site, we would turn the sale forum into an enterprise. But we are not a commercial site and don't want to be. We can't call this a site run by enthusiasts if running it is their day job. Lots of forums have been bought up in recent years--one in which I participate was bought by VerticalScope last year--and when that happens, they are looking for how much they can load each page with ads, and how much they can glean from and resell content. Going to a subscription model would not help--none of us really want to do this as a job and anyone we hired would have a different attitude about it. The forums I've observed that have paid moderation have the same issues we are having, and worse (because those moderators are now influenced by commercial concerns).

In terms of general moderation, some people are attracted to flames, but others are repelled by them. Those who are attracted to flames are most willing to voice their discontent when the flames are extinguished, and those who are repelled by flames are the least willing to complain at all. So, the people who do not enjoy flames just leave, and those who do enjoy them stay, if the moderators don't feel some obligation to the silent majority. We've seen that relationship on this forum for many years. We've allowed, despite repeated interactions, some people to stay because we would rather not ban people who are merely disruptive, especially when they are not breaking the rules overtly. But we know of other people who have specifically left because of those people--and we are sorry that they did so and miss their contribution. Again, that's a matter of trying to find a balance. Benign neglect, which we have attempted to the extent possible (the interpretation of which has certainly varied) doesn't always result in the correct outcome in terms of who decides to leave versus who decides to stay, even assuming agreement on what that correct outcome should be. Remember, the moderators are the waiters. You guys are the cooks. The waiters are often expected to have the fix for food that tastes bad, but they best they can do it take it away quickly when it threatens the health of the diner.

As to declining participation, there are several factors at play, many of which I have noticed in other forums. The biggest is that I think the Age Of Forums is in decline generally. 25 years ago, the only way I could share my enthusiasm for large-format photography was with a few like-minded local friends, and by reading certain magazines devoted to the topic. Then, in the late 90's, a miracle occurred: The Internet made it possible for those engaged in narrow pursuits to interact with one another, and all that demand for interaction that was pent up for years suddenly spilled out. There was a whole generation of photographers (about my age) who embraced that new interaction, and forums on all manner of specialty topics blossomed.

But many of those people have run out of steam, having satiated their appetite for interaction. They said all they had to say, and heard all they cared to hear. Their participation now, if it remains, is often for the sake of maintaining long-standing friendships. Every forum in which I have participated for many years is in decline, even forums on topics that are growing, no matter how they are moderated. The high-end professionals that used to participate do so much less, and the dedicated hobbyists have run out of material. Forums are therefore declining back to what would probably be considered a normal level, if they had existed for the last century instead of the last 20 years.

Another trend is that more and more, people are interacting with the Internet using hand-held devices. The Large Format Photography Forum supports this use by providing and maintaining a Tapatalk interface, and Tapatalk is my usual method of access. But one will not be as prolific when the entry device is two thumbs versus ten fingers.

Then we have the consideration that generations that follow us are less word-oriented (for the most part), for reasons I can speculate about but will not do so here.

Finally, we get to the issue that has already been raised, which is that large-format photography is itself in decline. Part of it is technological--it's just getting harder rather than easier to do it, particularly in color. And part of it is artistic--I'm finding that photography has become so ubiquitous that one must be possessed of much greater artistic vision than mere competence, compared to when I started in photography 45 years ago. And yet mere competence is all that I can claim as a photographer--I certainly do not possess great artistic vision. Big prints are satisfying to fewer and fewer people, and the low-resolution display devices show so many photographs that only look good on low-resolution displays that it has peed in the pond from which large-format photographers must also drink.

In short, I don't think declines in participation can be laid at the feet of moderators, and I hope my sabbatical of the last many months gives me some perspective on it. Again, the moderators are just the waiters, not the chefs and certainly not the food.

Rick "who'd rather serve (and help develop) a few real devotees than the many who will dabble and move on, leaving disruption in their wake" Denney

I can only say that I see things differently than the generalized comments listed above. There is absolutely no question that large format photography has been challenged to a monumental extent. But that happened many years ago and yet there is still a wide number of options for sheet film purchases if you go on line and like I do - purchase it regularly in many formats. So we do not need to make excuses in this regard or attempt to formulate a reason for a down event because the proof contradicts these myopic conclusions. Where there is passion for the art and craft there will always be energy. IMHO forums should not make pre conclusions of the mindset of the people that are participating but instead just focus on providing the exchange vehicle. Facilitating the process of allowing this passion to come through to the point where it is as visceral as the drama in their work draws interest from those that want to share in that passion. Allowing people to exchange a few flow of ideas that are not personal and caustic facilitates a feeling of acceptance is not easy, but I feel we should not always be so hung up on rules because it is the antithesis of any collective exchange. You run a simulation where the participant sees deletions and guideline violations as a regular sequence of events and you are seeing the beginning of the end IMHO. The future of large format is in the free exchange of the passion of this process that is what I saw may years prior here. Why would anyone young and energetic and interested in learning about large format want to delve into a domain that is different from those that they are comfortable and for which they frequent in other aspects of their life? It seems to me that we have become a bunch of old fuddy duddies that want to use this venue to stay up with each other. Being uncomfortable and embracing change is never easy but I contend that the world we live in mandates this mentality. I say that considerable latitude could be deployed in moderation and it would be of great assistance to the process.

rdenney
11-Jul-2016, 15:47
Michael, there are certainly some old fuddy-duddies here and there is no reason to disparage them. Quiet commitment may not seem dynamic enough for you, but it is sustaining.

Even so, we don't make moderating decisions on the basis of any presupposition of the possible factors that I offered to explain why participation may have shrunk. My presuppositions don't apply in any case to those who are here.

That said, I really don't think we disagree with much of what you wrote.

Michael, do you post less often than you used to? If so, why?

Rick "wondering" Denney

Jac@stafford.net
11-Jul-2016, 16:06
I did not think I was very different than the constituency here until I read the criticisms. Am I one of the stupid or old fuddy-duddies who still surf this site for very good information? I think not! Really, good stuff is here every day.

Are those who complain jaded experts or self-appointed wizards. Show evidence.
.

Michael Kadillak
11-Jul-2016, 17:25
I no longer post because a number times I submitted completely professional posts as I had done acceptably for 10 + years I got deleted for violating "rules". For a specific example I added some experience comments to encourage a potential buyer with a for sale post and I got deleted because I was not compliant. My comments were not personal nor disparaging in any way shape or form as has my tenure with this venue since the 1990's. Really? I am a professional consultant to business executives so advice is second nature to me and I normally give it freely. Are we that friggin anal retentive and/or structured?

Reality check. I am not going to really digest the forum rules because honestly because i have more important things to do with my time.

rdenney
11-Jul-2016, 19:37
There is one forum where we, for quite a few years now under a range of moderators preceding both me and Oren, have asked people not to comment, and that's the for-sale forum. The reason is simple: it doesn't go into the archives, and its therefore ephemeral and out of reach of outside searchers. And it often interferes with transactions, and sometimes it's wrong (not accusing your posts of that, of course).

Solid information should go in the regular forum so that it adds to the knowledge base (and some do search the forum, particularly for specifics about hardware), or if it's intended to specifically help the seller, directly to the seller via PM. That rule has been debated endlessly, just like all rules.

Are those the sorts of posts that add to the dynamism of the art and the free exchange of ideas? I would have thought posts about that would've been more about vision and technique and less about the stuff people are selling.

Rick "who'd like to see people get out of the FS forum and participate in the regular discussion threads" Denney

Michael Kadillak
11-Jul-2016, 20:31
Once again this points to preconceived value judgement assuming that the desire to either sell redundant and/or unused LF equipment or acquire these components are unimportant and/or trivial components of the LF experience. We should reminds ourselves that a portion of the members making LF images are over their skis financial in this endeavor and are occasionally in the camp of wanting to access like minded LF photographers to stay in the black figuratively speaking. The other fact remains that if the For Sale component is active it is a representative component of the forum experience so however we would like participation to occur in an optimal best case scenario, the fact remains that people use any and ALL parts of the forum as a receptacle for knowledge and usefulness at their beckoned discretion. Occasionally it would be advisable to state and remind ourselves of the basis of design for this forum and distance ourselves judgmentally from predisposition and judgement on how this forum is utilized. When acceptance of the fact that the objective is to wave the welcome flag and be a receptacle of reasonable and respectful dialog dimensionally (i.e.. without personal bias), the level of intellectual exchange advancing large format photography will grow and advance the medium. The fact remains that there are progressively few places where this dialog is possible and it would be a shame to thwart this objective by an willingness to letting go of the steering wheel as a dominant condition. This goes back to the 98% / 2% business axiom. 98% of problems are inherently associated with 2% of "issues". Why let 2% dictate the process? I have sat in many a corporate boardroom over the years over identical issues and whether we want to admit it or not, the ultimate driver in this issue is pragmatic objectivity. Everyone can take the high road and an adverse trajectory continues. One person takes the low road and casts a new model of possibility and the trajectory remarkably changes. It is called leadership and it is a rare commodity. It is where the term "possibility" emanates.

Vaughn
11-Jul-2016, 20:57
I think the moderators have shown great leadership qualities -- high road or low road! Clearly showing that they are operating within an optimal best case scenario methodology. The maximum best case scenario would be no moderation -- and things running at max. do not last long.

I have had my hand gently slapped in the For Sale section...I had forgotten and was reminded nicely.

I guess the problem with adding to posts in the For Sale section is that 98%/2% axiom. Two percent useful information, 98% not so useful. Why stress about the 2% when that info is probably already in system...which should be perused before shopping. I see the For Sale section as an added value to the forum, but certainly not the driving force.

rdenney
11-Jul-2016, 21:28
Michael, if you want leadership, then lead. You do it! We are the waiters, not the chefs. It starts with you and others like you, not the mods.

Just don't post commentary in the For-Sale section. This restaurant doesn't allow eating at the buffet, you must take it back to your table. If something comes up for sale that is interesting to talk about, start a thread on the topic in the regular forum, just don't talk about the sale.

I like a good contentious meeting myself. But contention has to remain within the bounds of mutual respect, or it becomes destructive. I've seen that happen in meetings, too--you are not the only board-meeting attendee in this forum. That 2% can run off 20%, and those folks aren't here to set fire, but to learn and teach and share. Balance, man.

Rick "moderators are not leaders; it's not their job" Denney

Jim Jones
12-Jul-2016, 06:18
The passion that occasionally erupts here may be entertaining, but the wealth of information posted is practical. There are countless sites that provide passion, especially in an election year. Fortunately, we avoid much of that disruptive drama here. I've acquired more useful and interesting information from this site in a few years than from books in many decades before. That is a unique service. Moderators, keep up the good work.

IanG
12-Jul-2016, 11:56
Sometimes questions need to be asked about a Sale or WTB and it would be more useful if these were in the relevant thread, as it stands the current situation makes it long winded as we need to PM the OP and get a reply and hope for the sake of others they add that info to the thread.

It can be as simple as knowing what country the OP is in, what currency etc, or maybe clarification about the item in the post. It just seems that the moderators have made far more work for themselves with the recent changes and are we really benefiting from the changes.

Ian

rdenney
12-Jul-2016, 12:37
Ian, it's not more trouble for actual potential buyers--writing a PM is no more trouble than writing a post. It is more trouble for sellers because they may get the same request from several people, but that will encourage them to add the information to their sale thread.

But many of the items you mentioned we have requested that sellers include in any case.

And most of the posts in FS threads were not from actual potential buyers, but rather from the gallery, and that was one of the original reasons why the members of the forum requested that we prohibit commentary in the for-sale threads in the first place. (Then there's the effect of empty, even when well-meaning, commentary, which becomes part of the intentional or unintentional bumping strategy. As the sales forum has grown, so had the temptation to bump repeatedly, as some aggressive sellers tried to out-bump each other. Hopefully, the new rules have brought that to a minimum.)

Even during my sabbatical, I saw every single reported post from the for-sale section (moderators are all notified by email when a post is reported), and I do believe that complaints have declined, though I have not compiled any statistics to prove it. They certainly have not increased. But that is something we will continue to monitor, as always.

Rick "we are approaching this empirically, not theoretically" Denney

IanG
12-Jul-2016, 13:27
It's swings and roundabouts Rick, it's good to see the constant bumping going, but then I got told off for bumping after a year :D

I've always thought it's important tomresearch prices as a buyern or a seller and it was very rare I'd bump a sale, in fact it always surprised me that items I posted here and and/or on APUG would suddenly sell months or over a year fater posting. I think people forget it's a smallish market, more desirable items fairly priced sell quicker than less common or more brand/model specific or the more exotic. It's the same with wanted adverts, sometimes it's take a year before I've found parts I've needed, less for lenses etc.

The reality is it's more important to have adverts whether sales or wanted that are accurate and contain enough detail. I've bought a lot from this Forum and also APUg and only one needed intervention the rest were great amicable transactions everyone getting what they wanted/needed.

Ian

StoneNYC
12-Jul-2016, 13:28
Ian, it's not more trouble for actual potential buyers--writing a PM is no more trouble than writing a post. It is more trouble for sellers because they may get the same request from several people, but that will encourage them to add the information to their sale thread.

But many of the items you mentioned we have requested that sellers include in any case.

And most of the posts in FS threads were not from actual potential buyers, but rather from the gallery, and that was one of the original reasons why the members of the forum requested that we prohibit commentary in the for-sale threads in the first place. (Then there's the effect of empty, even when well-meaning, commentary, which becomes part of the intentional or unintentional bumping strategy. As the sales forum has grown, so had the temptation to bump repeatedly, as some aggressive sellers tried to out-bump each other. Hopefully, the new rules have brought that to a minimum.)

Even during my sabbatical, I saw every single reported post from the for-sale section (moderators are all notified by email when a post is reported), and I do believe that complaints have declined, though I have not compiled any statistics to prove it. They certainly have not increased. But that is something we will continue to monitor, as always.

Rick "we are approaching this empirically, not theoretically" Denney

I would be curious to know if the amount of for sale post has gone down in conjunction with the reported complaints about them. With the the new limitations I do know some people have stopped posting in the FS threads here so I wonder if that is the real reason? BUT that's why I asked, that's all supposition and bias on my part to think that of course.

Corran
12-Jul-2016, 15:49
There's been a lot of commentary about moderation lately. Here's my view, not that it matters - there's a certain social hierarchy that happens in any meeting place, real or virtual. One of the obvious end results is conflict, in various forms. One of the things that I've seen happen on topical forums like this are posters who are deemed "know-it-alls," or other ones who are aggressive and seem intent on challenging others, and other typical "types" of people. In everyday life, such as an office or school, these types of people, through social interaction, modify their behavior to better fit the group, or are ostracized or otherwise "reprimanded" in a social way if the group does not appreciate their behavior. This is part of how we "learn" and while it's been quite a few years since my Sociology 101 class I can remember some interesting observations about groups/society that are mirrored on forums. This brings me to my point. It seems like with the uptick in moderation, the negative reinforcement of the "group" towards certain posters who weren't really "fitting the mold" so to speak, and the insistence on everyone playing nice, has allowed some people such as the "know-it-all" types to run rampant within the group. Hence certain people have gotten fed up with seeing these people here and their posts, and sometimes run afoul of moderation if applying some of that negative reinforcement - and then leave when pushed to be "nice." I do know of at least a few people whose primary reason for not posting much anymore is due to these..."personalities" on the forum.

I do think it is important to have open sharing of ideas and knowledge. However not all opinions can or should be given equal footing.

I have tried to be relatively neutral here, and just state my observations. That said, I can say that I have avoided commenting on certain threads which were overrun with comments from certain individuals, and if those individuals were the majority of the forum, I would definitely not be visiting here anymore. Though honestly if my new work goes well you all may not see me much anyway, perhaps to certain peoples' delight.

Just my thoughts. I am not a sociologist and don't claim to be, fyi.

Regarding the F/S forum, I'll not comment on that discussion as I've already been very vocal about the changes.

rdenney
12-Jul-2016, 15:52
It's swings and roundabouts Rick, it's good to see the constant bumping going, but then I got told off for bumping after a year :D

I've always thought it's important tomresearch prices as a buyern or a seller and it was very rare I'd bump a sale, in fact it always surprised me that items I posted here and and/or on APUG would suddenly sell months or over a year fater posting. I think people forget it's a smallish market, more desirable items fairly priced sell quicker than less common or more brand/model specific or the more exotic. It's the same with wanted adverts, sometimes it's take a year before I've found parts I've needed, less for lenses etc.

The reality is it's more important to have adverts whether sales or wanted that are accurate and contain enough detail. I've bought a lot from this Forum and also APUg and only one needed intervention the rest were great amicable transactions everyone getting what they wanted/needed.

Ian
Gee, Ian, it's easy enough to close an old thread and start it again, and you only have to wait a month, not a year.

Rick "we hope those old items that take a long time to sell will now be easier to find" Denney

rdenney
12-Jul-2016, 16:00
I would be curious to know if the amount of for sale post has gone down in conjunction with the reported complaints about them. With the the new limitations I do know some people have stopped posting in the FS threads here so I wonder if that is the real reason? BUT that's why I asked, that's all supposition and bias on my part to think that of course.

I don't know the answer to that. But we aren't trying to increase the number of for-sale posts by increasing the number of people who come here only to sell things. If people come here just to sell things, doing so on ebay or elsewhere won't undermine this forum. I know when I'm looking to buy something, I search all avenues, including here, ebay, and the major retailers of used stuff. Not everything needs to be listed here, and frankly it's easy enough for people who really want to sell here to do so. The For-Sale forum is for regular participants, not just for people who only sell things.

Rick "mindful of goals and objectives" Denney

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2016, 16:50
I make sure I read the 'ads' faithfully, so I don't miss out.

Which actually increases my presence, as I check in more often.

Found something today. :)

I will post more carefully, as 'here' is my major interest.

Duffers keep the greens up, too bad I dislike golf.

StoneNYC
12-Jul-2016, 23:46
I don't know the answer to that. But we aren't trying to increase the number of for-sale posts by increasing the number of people who come here only to sell things. If people come here just to sell things, doing so on ebay or elsewhere won't undermine this forum. I know when I'm looking to buy something, I search all avenues, including here, ebay, and the major retailers of used stuff. Not everything needs to be listed here, and frankly it's easy enough for people who really want to sell here to do so. The For-Sale forum is for regular participants, not just for people who only sell things.

Rick "mindful of goals and objectives" Denney

I'll put it a different way as I think my point was missed.

There are regular posters who post incessantly (I used to be one of them much more than I am now) and there are new and returning less often posters. Of the less frequent posters, have those numbers gone down as of late?

Those who are on the forum all day every day will always say things are fine, because they will never leave the forum, they are in effect addicted to it, and often are not valuable contributors because they are again, not real shooters, they are hobbiests and yes even fakers who don't actually shoot at all, or rarely. A few have some knowledge but a lot of them are ... There's not a nice term, so let's just say not that helpful.

So the question is, are those who are truly of value (new blood who want to learn, professional shooters, sellers (yes, for the new blood who are in acquisition mode especially), professional engineer-types (like lens makers), teachers (of photography), etc) abandoning ship?

The "regulars" don't actually matter as much as the "others", you can't keep a site going on the 20-30 posters who have too much free time to sit in front of a computer but not enough to go out and shoot. You need to not put off the "others".

These are general statements, there are always exceptions.

It's also not said to be mean, it's said to be helpful and point out the obvious flaw in the thinking of who to cater to if you want the site to survive and thrive.

IanG
13-Jul-2016, 02:29
Gee, Ian, it's easy enough to close an old thread and start it again, and you only have to wait a month, not a year.

Rick "we hope those old items that take a long time to sell will now be easier to find" Denney

Many won't make the effort of closing the old thread, it's far easier to just post anew one. I didn't find closing a For Sale thread was quite as simple as it should be as first you have to make a new post on the thread to close it.

Ian

rdenney
13-Jul-2016, 06:28
I'll put it a different way as I think my point was missed.

There are regular posters who post incessantly (I used to be one of them much more than I am now) and there are new and returning less often posters. Of the less frequent posters, have those numbers gone down as of late?

Those who are on the forum all day every day will always say things are fine, because they will never leave the forum, they are in effect addicted to it, and often are not valuable contributors because they are again, not real shooters, they are hobbiests and yes even fakers who don't actually shoot at all, or rarely. A few have some knowledge but a lot of them are ... There's not a nice term, so let's just say not that helpful.

So the question is, are those who are truly of value (new blood who want to learn, professional shooters, sellers (yes, for the new blood who are in acquisition mode especially), professional engineer-types (like lens makers), teachers (of photography), etc) abandoning ship?

The "regulars" don't actually matter as much as the "others", you can't keep a site going on the 20-30 posters who have too much free time to sit in front of a computer but not enough to go out and shoot. You need to not put off the "others".

These are general statements, there are always exceptions.

It's also not said to be mean, it's said to be helpful and point out the obvious flaw in the thinking of who to cater to if you want the site to survive and thrive.

Ian, I'm not sure we have good enough statistics to make your distinctions.

Some have accused me of being the sort of active participant who doesn't make very many photos. Does that mean that what I know has more or less value to someone new? Is the forum optimized for people like me? Beats me. How would one optimize it that way?

Maybe those of us who make few photos are just a bit more selective. Maybe we've made all the obvious photos already, and still have deep knowledge of technique while we are trying relearn vision (that's me, to be honest). Maybe we can spend a few minutes of our computer time here and there making posts, but lack time in the hours-long chunks it takes to be prolific large-format image makers.

But maybe the quantity of recent experience isn't the only source of value in a forum. We have had pros who refused to explain anything, and instead just insisted that people take their word for it. Should we optimize for that? I hope not. Those who are good at doing something are not always good at explaining it, as any musician who was disappointed by a lesson with a top pro will attest.

There are certainly those who have learned all of what they think they know only by reading forums, and repeat same as original knowledge. This forum actually has less of that than most, and there are only a few who constantly state inaccuracies rather than write only what they personally know to be true. But it's not the job of the moderators to enforce that, or to try to discern it.

The first thing new folks have to learn in a forum is discernment. But I really don't know what role the moderators can or should have in aiding that.

But we will always cater to those who maintain a positive balance in their good-will account. And even though we are not in the role of discernment, we can't help but credit that good-will account more quickly for those who post with real authority. Yes, we therefore do favor the humble, and maybe that's the complaint.

Most of the former commentary on for-sale threads could fall into the category of "look what I know that you don't". Getting rid of that may throw out some value with the noise, but the for-sale forum is not the place to litigate such issues, and often doing so interfered with the sale. We tried to filter just the noise, but we lack the standing to discern it, and it just caused incessant trouble. The current method makes the for-sale forum a place for announcing sales, and we want knowledge sharing moved to the regular forum. That takes moderators out of the discernment role.

As for me, I post less for two reasons (not counting this year's sabbatical): 1. As a moderator, it is not appropriate for me to engage battle too often, and 2. I was accused of being too frequent a poster with respect to the number of images I made.

Rick "who is nevertheless a user not a seller" Denney

rdenney
13-Jul-2016, 06:31
Many won't make the effort of closing the old thread, it's far easier to just post anew one. I didn't find closing a For Sale thread was quite as simple as it should be as first you have to make a new post on the thread to close it.

Ian

If posting "please see my new thread offering this item" and then checking the "close this thread" box is too much trouble, then I question what we should be expected to do to accommodate the lazy. That is little more work than bumping. Sellers can, of course, just leave the listing as it is and wait for deep searchers to find it.

Rick "respectfully submitted" Denney

BrianShaw
13-Jul-2016, 06:39
...

The first thing new folks have to learn in a forum is discernment. But I really don't know what role the moderators can or should have in aiding that.

...

First thing for new folks; and should be a continuing thing for all the rest.

Wayne
13-Jul-2016, 07:04
Wow.



I'll put it a different way as I think my point was missed.

There are regular posters who post incessantly (I used to be one of them much more than I am now) and there are new and returning less often posters. Of the less frequent posters, have those numbers gone down as of late?

Those who are on the forum all day every day will always say things are fine, because they will never leave the forum, they are in effect addicted to it, and often are not valuable contributors because they are again, not real shooters, they are hobbiests and yes even fakers who don't actually shoot at all, or rarely. A few have some knowledge but a lot of them are ... There's not a nice term, so let's just say not that helpful.

So the question is, are those who are truly of value (new blood who want to learn, professional shooters, sellers (yes, for the new blood who are in acquisition mode especially), professional engineer-types (like lens makers), teachers (of photography), etc) abandoning ship?

The "regulars" don't actually matter as much as the "others", you can't keep a site going on the 20-30 posters who have too much free time to sit in front of a computer but not enough to go out and shoot. You need to not put off the "others".

These are general statements, there are always exceptions.

It's also not said to be mean, it's said to be helpful and point out the obvious flaw in the thinking of who to cater to if you want the site to survive and thrive.

jnanian
13-Jul-2016, 07:45
weird stuff in this thread.

i think it is up to the site owner and the moderation staff
if they want to turn this place into a utopian society.
as history and star trek have taught us
utopian societies don't exist so i think squelching people who are percieved to have nothing to say
other than moderating people when they have overstepped their bounds
or attempting to keep for sale threads free of trouble might be a bit much. as for people with too much time on their
hands who do no photography and just chat all day, i can think of much worse things people can be doing
i seem to remember a retired pro named charlie who used to post in these forums. he had about 65 or 70 years
of product photography with a LF camera in his head and he freely dispensed his wisdom free of charge. he
was not in the best of health and wasn't able to photograph as much as he wanted. if site eugenics happened
he would have been booted and others who feel they are more important would stay, even if the folks who stay
really might not be who they claim to be, or really have nothing to show for what they do other than bragging the size of chromes ....
if that is what site improvements would be like, even though i have been here for a decade and 1/2 i would gladly have my membership removed.

ralph, tom, rick, oren, and tuan please let me know if the site plans on going "utopian" it doesn't seem like it will
but just in case i'd like a little warning so i can delete my classifide ads and attachments.

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2016, 07:54
weird stuff in this thread.

i think it is up to the site owner and the moderation staff
if they want to turn this place into a utopian society.
as history and star trek have taught us
utopian societies don't exist so i think squelching people who are percieved to have nothing to say
other than moderating people when they have overstepped their bounds
or attempting to keep for sale threads free of trouble might be a bit much. as for people with too much time on their
hands who do no photography and just chat all day, i can think of much worse things people can be doing
i seem to remember a retired pro named charlie who used to post in these forums. he had about 65 or 70 years
of product photography with a LF camera in his head and he freely dispensed his wisdom free of charge. he
was not in the best of health and wasn't able to photograph as much as he wanted. if site eugenics happened
he would have been booted and others who feel they are more important would stay, even if the folks who stay
really might not be who they claim to be, or really have nothing to show for what they do other than bragging the size of chromes ....
if that is what site improvements would be like, even though i have been here for a decade and 1/2 i would gladly have my membership removed.

ralph, tom, rick, oren, and tuan please let me know if the site plans on going "utopian" it doesn't seem like it will
but just in case i'd like a little warning so i can delete my classifide ads and attachments.

Don't you go anywhere! Please. :)

As the Artiste' formerly known as Hobbiest, I value nearly everything done, written, shown. Here.

I suggest we consider Søren Kierkegaard's words,

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Once you label me you negate me.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pjd
13-Jul-2016, 18:08
Those who are on the forum all day every day will always say things are fine, because they will never leave the forum, they are in effect addicted to it, and often are not valuable contributors because they are again, not real shooters, they are hobbiests and yes even fakers who don't actually shoot at all, or rarely. A few have some knowledge but a lot of them are ... There's not a nice term, so let's just say not that helpful.

So the question is, are those who are truly of value (new blood who want to learn, professional shooters, sellers (yes, for the new blood who are in acquisition mode especially), professional engineer-types (like lens makers), teachers (of photography), etc) abandoning ship?


Writing as an unashamed lazy hobbyist who has free time but likes to sit around drinking coffee listening to music (I feel like a modern day Oblomov without the land writing this) more often than occasionally making a photo or two (I've never thought of myself as anything as exciting as a "shooter"), thank you for pointing out that I (and others like me) am of no value whatsoever to this forum ;)

StoneNYC
13-Jul-2016, 18:20
Writing as an unashamed lazy hobbyist who has free time but likes to sit around drinking coffee listening to music (I feel like a modern day Oblomov without the land writing this) more often than occasionally making a photo or two (I've never thought of myself as anything as exciting as a "shooter"), thank you for pointing out that I (and others like me) am of no value whatsoever to this forum ;)

You aren't one of the 20-30 people in referring to.

Taija71A
13-Jul-2016, 19:43
"Is There a Doctor in the House?"

Ralph Barker
14-Jul-2016, 07:07
I'll put it a different way as I think my point was missed.

There are regular posters who post incessantly (I used to be one of them much more than I am now) and there are new and returning less often posters. Of the less frequent posters, have those numbers gone down as of late?

Those who are on the forum all day every day will always say things are fine, because they will never leave the forum, they are in effect addicted to it, and often are not valuable contributors because they are again, not real shooters, they are hobbiests and yes even fakers who don't actually shoot at all, or rarely. A few have some knowledge but a lot of them are ... There's not a nice term, so let's just say not that helpful.

So the question is, are those who are truly of value (new blood who want to learn, professional shooters, sellers (yes, for the new blood who are in acquisition mode especially), professional engineer-types (like lens makers), teachers (of photography), etc) abandoning ship?

The "regulars" don't actually matter as much as the "others", you can't keep a site going on the 20-30 posters who have too much free time to sit in front of a computer but not enough to go out and shoot. You need to not put off the "others".

These are general statements, there are always exceptions.

It's also not said to be mean, it's said to be helpful and point out the obvious flaw in the thinking of who to cater to if you want the site to survive and thrive.

As stated in the FAQ: "The purpose of the forum is to provide a place for discussion of topics of particular interest to large format photographers."

The guidelines are intended to provide parameters for posting and interaction that are conducive to those discussions in a civil manner - a "level playing field" for everyone, if you will. As with any public place of discussion, it is up to the individual reader to determine who are the best people to pay attention to.

Administratively, we don't attempt to assign "values" to the participants here. Our only requirement is that everyone play by the rules. If newcomers and "others" to whom you seem to ascribe greater value choose not to follow the guidelines, they are first "counseled" privately, and potentially banned if they continue to refuse to follow the guidelines.

So, since we don't ascribe "values" to people, we have no means of determining who is "abandoning ship" as you call it. People come, and people go. We just try to keep the bartop clean.

StoneNYC
14-Jul-2016, 09:42
As stated in the FAQ: "The purpose of the forum is to provide a place for discussion of topics of particular interest to large format photographers."

The guidelines are intended to provide parameters for posting and interaction that are conducive to those discussions in a civil manner - a "level playing field" for everyone, if you will. As with any public place of discussion, it is up to the individual reader to determine who are the best people to pay attention to.

Administratively, we don't attempt to assign "values" to the participants here. Our only requirement is that everyone play by the rules. If newcomers and "others" to whom you seem to ascribe greater value choose not to follow the guidelines, they are first "counseled" privately, and potentially banned if they continue to refuse to follow the guidelines.

So, since we don't ascribe "values" to people, we have no means of determining who is "abandoning ship" as you call it. People come, and people go. We just try to keep the bartop clean.

Fair enough. I'm not trying to say people who aren't "pro's" aren't important or they don't have value or anything like that. I'm saying they are valuable as a resource. Without those people none of us would know anything because we learn from them and the knowledge gets passed down.

All I meant was that if all the knowledgeable people with real world experience bail, it will be the blind leading the blind. That's all.

So yea no one has "value" over another in terms of being a human being, we are all awesome and amazing in our own way, but often those with the most knowledge and experience have the least amount of time on their hands and when they feel their time is wasted, they stop wasting it.

Anyway I've said my peace. I'm sorry if I offended some, I often do, I don't mean to, I'm just super logical and not very political when it comes to my wording. I'm working on it. Slowly...

jnanian
14-Jul-2016, 13:08
ralph, oren, rick, and tuan thank you for the reassurance that you all aren't planning a utopian society.
personally i didn't see it as a utopian society but more like pottersville from "its a wonderful life" ...
"hey look, mister .. we serve HARD drinks for men who want to get drunk FAST, and we don't need characters like you around for atmosphere .. "
just replace hard drinks with serious largeformat photography ... and get drunk fast with learn about large format photography

as adm farragut said "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

Ralph Barker
15-Jul-2016, 06:05
Fair enough. I'm not trying to say people who aren't "pro's" aren't important or they don't have value or anything like that. I'm saying they are valuable as a resource. Without those people none of us would know anything because we learn from them and the knowledge gets passed down.

All I meant was that if all the knowledgeable people with real world experience bail, it will be the blind leading the blind. That's all.
. . .


Understood.

It is often risky, however, to assume that just because someone makes their living at photography (a "pro") that they are a good source of knowledge on technical issues. There are numerous renowned photographers who don't understand the basic technical issues of photography, but are/were very successful, nonetheless. Some have even stated that they chose not to bother with the technical stuff. Some have even written books on photography, but are actually incorrect on some of the basics. And, it is also true that some "pros" don't "play well with others," and don't fit well within a forum community. Thus, experienced amateurs, even if they are currently less active than they once were, are sometimes the better sources to listen to. Everyone has to make that decision on their own within a forum context.

There is both science and art to all of this, and sometimes an individual's art is able to overcome their science.

Jmarmck
15-Jul-2016, 06:26
I told myself to stay out of this. I never listen. I don't sell things so that section does not concern me. I have bought quite a bit of gear though mostly before the change over. So I have no opinion on that matter.

I used to be a well know member of an on line music site. The site had a very nice forum with a great community. I ran the Acoustic Music board on that forum. When I took over those duties things were already changing. I was never a moderator but did the monthly radios and stickies. One of the boards was called the Garbage Can. The "Can" was a place where anything goes. One had to have some very thick skin there. It worked great for a while. But the rep of the place got out and drew a lot of folk that were hell bent on trouble and not music. If a thread was started in another board but did not belong or anywhere else, it got sent to the Can. It was quite a bit of fun. But the real secret was that it was filled with experts in music. Expertise ranged from mixing to song writing. It was great if you could get around the insults and childish rants.

I bring this up because that resource no longer exists. For some reason the owners of the site decided that either they wanted a more civilized forum or they did not want one at all. Either way, the result was over moderation and banning for the lamest of excuses. It worked. The folks that wanted to stay got banned leaving only those who didn't care. It was a community that the owners virtually killed. The site still exists but there is no forum. It was taken down by the owners. I in return took down all my music. I left a home page that links to my own site.

I tell you this as a warning of what happens when mods get heavy handed.
I also tell you this so you will understand when I say that this place is far from being over moderated.
I enjoy the fact that there is no political discussions here. I am on another analogue audio tape forum that has a section for political BS. It is a wonderful site but sometimes the politics get in the way.

Trust me, this place is Nirvana. The mods here do a fantastic job.

Taija71A
15-Jul-2016, 07:48
... It is often risky, however, to assume that just because someone makes their living at photography (a "pro") that they are a good source of knowledge on technical issues. There are numerous renowned photographers who don't understand the basic technical issues of photography, but are/were very successful, nonetheless. Some have even stated that they chose not to bother with the technical stuff. Some have even written books on photography, but are actually incorrect on some of the basics. And, it is also true that some "pros" don't "play well with others," and don't fit well within a forum community. Thus, experienced amateurs, even if they are currently less active than they once were, are sometimes the better sources to listen to. Everyone has to make that decision on their own within a forum context.

There is both science and art to all of this, and sometimes an individual's art is able to overcome their science.

Very nicely stated Ralph!
--
Yes, to be a successful Professional Photographer has always been:

... One Part 'Science/Technical'... One Part 'Art'... And One Part 'Business'.
(*It also of course does not hurt, to have a 'Large Dose' of timing and luck -- On Your Side!)

It is rare indeed to find an individual; who is 'Equally adept'... At all three (3) of these divergent, Job Skill sets.
--
Then of course, if we were to ever consider adding Educator/Instructor to this 'Oddball mix'...
The odds become 'Much, much longer'.

pjd
16-Jul-2016, 22:24
You aren't one of the 20-30 people in referring to.

Hi Stone, I knew I wouldn't be - I barely post here. It's unfortunate that 20 or 30 people bug you a bit (hope I've not misread your meaning), but that's why there's an ignore button?

I just didn't understand your using the word "fakers", but that's ok. Your post led me indirectly to order a copy of Oblomov to re-read, it's been a long time since I first read that book - so thanks for that!

Jmarmck
17-Jul-2016, 06:10
Hi Stone,
I AM probably one of the 20-30 you are referring. I may not be a professional, teacher in photography, engineer in design but I do have a mind. I am able to use it. I am able to be serious but I choose not to be. There are other places for that. But does any of my supposed short comings bear on my ability to contribute to this community? In my humble opinion, absolutely not.

In my line of work I find that often the question is more important than the answer. It provides a means for intellect to be dispersed to those that need or want it. It also provides a space where differing opinions and methods can be presented and discussed so that one can gain a bit insight to an unknown. So to say that someone is not a resource to a community because they have no skill in the community brand is not correct in any form.

If those lacking knowledge were not allowed to enter this community then what would be its purpose?

Jim Jones
17-Jul-2016, 06:28
Professionals do what they do for the need or love of money; amateurs do it for love. Thus amateurs are sometimes the most proficient. Consider Thomas Edison, Franz Schubert, John M. Browning, the Wright brothers, and so many others who were among the very best in their fields.

StoneNYC
19-Jul-2016, 00:22
Hi Stone,
I AM probably one of the 20-30 you are referring. I may not be a professional, teacher in photography, engineer in design but I do have a mind. I am able to use it. I am able to be serious but I choose not to be. There are other places for that. But does any of my supposed short comings bear on my ability to contribute to this community? In my humble opinion, absolutely not.

In my line of work I find that often the question is more important than the answer. It provides a means for intellect to be dispersed to those that need or want it. It also provides a space where differing opinions and methods can be presented and discussed so that one can gain a bit insight to an unknown. So to say that someone is not a resource to a community because they have no skill in the community brand is not correct in any form.

If those lacking knowledge were not allowed to enter this community then what would be its purpose?

pjd and Jmarmck,

You're not one of the people I'm referring to either, I mean people with little world experience who claim to be, people who tell tall tales to make themselves sound like they are an authority when they aren't. People who post incessantly about their understanding and experience that they make up. But because it's impossible to prove their aren't telling the truth, and lying isn't against the rules, they are allowed to post with very little moderator retraction, but who sully the waters with their false words.

You're not at all one of those people.

BrianShaw
19-Jul-2016, 06:17
pjd and Jmarmck,

You're not one of the people I'm referring to either, I mean people with little world experience who claim to be, people who tell tall tales to make themselves sound like they are an authority when they aren't. People who post incessantly about their understanding and experience that they make up. But because it's impossible to prove their aren't telling the truth, and lying isn't against the rules, they are allowed to post with very little moderator retraction, but who sully the waters with their false words.

You're not at all one of those people.

Just so folks can stop guessing (and I'm guessing/hoping I'm not one of the folks to whom you are alluding... but how would you or anyone else really know!!!)... perhaps you should say that this is a hypothetical person or persons... more a characteristic of some online folks rather than specific individuals. Seriously, Stone, this can get out of control if you don't control it...

Jmarmck
19-Jul-2016, 06:23
...this can get out of control if you don't control it...

Very much so. I suggest using the ignore button in ones head. Perhaps this is more of Hatfield vs McCoy kind of thing and something best left to heal with time.

cowanw
19-Jul-2016, 07:04
The thing is the Hatfields and the McCoys had more in common than they thought. Just as Stone and Drew do.

Jmarmck
19-Jul-2016, 07:29
Yeah, the Hatfields and McCoys were hillbillies. Drew? Stone?

Sorry not helpful.

Randy Moe
19-Jul-2016, 07:45
I would prefer Stone name us 'evil-doers'. Stone please make a list and post it here.

I am sure I am on the list and proud of it.

I believe in more posts, more conversation, even a little careful banter, and as much on topic as I can provide and absorb. I fail at that often. Human, Mr Spock. Guilty.

For a while I decided to focus on DIY threads, as I am always interested in DIY!

But, I changed me mind...

I also have made at least 10 good friends on this forum whom I see IRL (in real life).

Don't forget PML (Private Message Life) and ancient historical EL (Email Life).

PAX

Jac@stafford.net
19-Jul-2016, 08:30
I would prefer Stone name us 'evil-doers'. Stone please make a list and post it here.

Bad idea. Why give Stone the power? His complaint is easily dismissed. As Brian Shaw wrote, Stone's 'list' might be a composite character. Stone might just have a quirk sensitivity. If he finds a problem with individuals then he should learn to mentally filter.

FWIW, I read everything you write, especially DIY subjects. It's all good stuff.

Randy Moe
19-Jul-2016, 08:35
Bad idea. Why give Stone the power? His complaint is easily dismissed. As Brian Shaw wrote, Stone's 'list' might be a composite character. Stone might just have a quirk sensitivity. If he finds a problem with individuals then he should learn to mentally filter.

FWIW, I read everything you write, especially DIY subjects. It's all good stuff.

Thanks Jac. Good advice, but lately I am speaking my mind a bit more, both here and where I live.

Your positive feedback is wonderful to hear. Thanks again!

StoneNYC
19-Jul-2016, 16:56
I've said enough, don't worry about who is who, the point seems to have been misunderstood.

Good luck everyone in whatever you do.

rdenney
20-Jul-2016, 04:44
pjd and Jmarmck,

You're not one of the people I'm referring to either, I mean people with little world experience who claim to be, people who tell tall tales to make themselves sound like they are an authority when they aren't. People who post incessantly about their understanding and experience that they make up. But because it's impossible to prove their aren't telling the truth, and lying isn't against the rules, they are allowed to post with very little moderator retraction, but who sully the waters with their false words.

You're not at all one of those people.

With all due respect, when you point a finger, there are three pointed back at you. None of us is so perfect that we are devoid of flaws that others might point out, including sometimes seeing our world through the alternate-reality filter.

And when you attack the character of others, you lose the right to complain if others decide to attack your character.

Rick "a little advice" Denney

Wayne
20-Jul-2016, 06:50
And when you attack the character of others, you lose the right to complain if others decide to attack your character.


Especially when you then blame the the subjects of the attack for misunderstanding the point of the attack.

LOL.

StoneNYC
20-Jul-2016, 12:36
With all due respect, when you point a finger, there are three pointed back at you. None of us is so perfect that we are devoid of flaws that others might point out, including sometimes seeing our world through the alternate-reality filter.

And when you attack the character of others, you lose the right to complain if others decide to attack your character.

Rick "a little advice" Denney

I did say I used to be guilty of some on a previous post and that I am continuing to work on that.

Also again, the entire point seems to have been overlooked and focussed on the incidental comments. There's no attack on character. The point is that this type of moderation CAN have the POTENTIAL to push good people away. That's all. Yes a certain TYPE of photographer who IS valuable to the knowledge side of the forum. That was the point.

That does NOT negate the value of everyone else, who are the people who then learn from these people and share experiences of their own as well.

I was once a new person, I worked professionally in the digital world but was new to LF, now I have SOME experience under my belt as both a LF hobbyist and using LF in my professional work. But I see the value in the very few working professional LF photographers because they know the current business much better than the rest of us.

rich815
20-Jul-2016, 15:12
I thought you said you said enough.

IanG
20-Jul-2016, 15:16
Especially when you then blame the the subjects of the attack for misunderstanding the point of the attack.

LOL.

I asked a question here sometime ago about who moderartes the moderators.

The bottom line is we know who the good moderators are they never cause any controversy, and they are fair. Names I trust are Tom Wsestboor, Ralph Barker, Oren Grad. However I don't think the moderating here has had consistence and that's not neccessarily individulas faults rather a lack of leadership.

There's some poor moderating from just one or two and making personal statements when moderating is wrong (Rick you are one of the main culprits).

We all have different perspectives but I'd say overall the moderation of thios Forum is currently excellcent, maybe over the top in the Sales/Wanted but that's only an issue really for the Moderators, it's working though.

Ian

rdenney
20-Jul-2016, 15:53
I asked a question here sometime ago about who moderartes the moderators.

The bottom line is we know who the good moderators are they never cause any controversy, and they are fair. Names I trust are Tom Wsestboor, Ralph Barker, Oren Grad. However I don't think the moderating here has had consistence and that's not neccessarily individulas faults rather a lack of leadership.

There's some poor moderating from just one or two and making personal statements when moderating is wrong (Rick you are one of the main culprits).

We all have different perspectives but I'd say overall the moderation of thios Forum is currently excellcent, maybe over the top in the Sales/Wanted but that's only an issue really for the Moderators, it's working though.

Ian

Ian, what makes you think my comment was not part of a strategy we discussed together?

Rick "don't assume" Denney

Andre Noble
20-Jul-2016, 20:46
I know moderating must be tough thankless task. I use both this site and APUG. I noticed a change in tone of this site over the years, so I use APUG mostly. I wonder if we here at LF forum are suffering from symptoms of Low T as we age?

BrianShaw
20-Jul-2016, 20:54
I know moderating must be tough thankless task. I use both this site and APUG. I noticed a change in tone of this site over the years, so I use APUG mostly. I wonder if we here at LF forum are suffering from symptoms of Low T as we age?

Who is "we"??????

At three-score years I'm just as virile as when two-score years. No "letter syndromes" for me... No Lo-T or ED!

And I'm not bragging. Just stating facts. As Denny says, "don't assume". Ha ha ha.

Andre Noble
20-Jul-2016, 21:16
Thank you for the medical report, Mr. Lincoln. I am sure Mary Todd is pleased!

BrianShaw
21-Jul-2016, 06:20
Thank you for the medical report, Mr. Lincoln. I am sure Mary Todd is pleased!

You are very welcome Mr. Booth.

Taija71A
21-Jul-2016, 07:21
... No "letter syndromes" for me.
... No Lo-T or ED...

"Hey YOU!" :)

A lot of Photographers here on the Forum...
Really like their Nikon Nikkor- 'T' Series (Telephoto-type) 'ED' (Extra-Low Dispersion glass) -- Large Format Lenses!

:D

Jmarmck
21-Jul-2016, 08:01
Priceless!

lecarp
21-Jul-2016, 11:00
The fact this thread still exists is great proof of the restraint shown by the moderators.

jnanian
21-Jul-2016, 11:21
The fact this thread still exists is great proof of the restraint shown by the moderators.

and the restraint of people who have posted in the thread !

lecarp
21-Jul-2016, 12:00
and the restraint of people who have posted in the thread !

True, given some incidents that have transpired in recent times.

goamules
22-Jul-2016, 06:16
I am glad to see Rick Denny back, with his thoughtful answers here in the forum. On the other hand, I'm sure I'm not the only one that notices there are about 3 big complainers on the forum, when one posts a complaint about how it's run, why a "like" button isn't required, why you can't break agreed-upon rules, why we can't have "free exchange of ideas" and talk politics, the other 2 jump on with "yeah, me too!" complaints. Churn and angst ensues, as the majority try to rationalize that this is really a good forum, as the complainers continue to kick the ant hill. Then it goes away for about 2 weeks, until someone once again starts a baiting (trolling?) thread with something about "moderation." It could be "hey, the moderators are great!" and the 3 complainers will start up again. Or it could be "Does anyone think the moderators are not great?", which is a classic opening. Of COURSE someone thinks that.

I'm on a lot of forums, I have a lot of hobbies. Yes, the moderation levels on them vary. But only HERE do we constantly get people whining and complaining about how hurt they are and how terrible this place has become. It's sickening, and I know the type of people that stir the pot and cant' be happy, I've had a few working for me. It is wearisome, as they never want to do the job (here being keep a photography forum flowing), but want to change the environment to their private agendas.

My advice to everyone is to ignore any new threads about moderation. It's all been said, it's all been compromised and explained. Anything further is just trying to make discontent. And yes, I could just not read these posts. But like you say, there are fewer posts to read now, due to Rick's excellent explanation of demographics and collecting life cycles.

akaa
27-Jul-2016, 07:53
Since this started with Oren and the new FS/WTB forum rules.....

I'm not on here very often, and am strictly a hobbyist LF photographer. Recently though, i was perusing the FS ads and found some film I would be interested in. I replied to the thread informing the OP that I would be interested in certain film if they had not already been spoken for like I would have on any other forum that has a FS section. I admit, I had not read the new rules regarding the FS/WTB ads. My posts were deleted.

It just would never have crossed my mind that I could not respond to the Seller directly through the ad. I understand certain forum rules but I have to say this one is idiotic. If your buying a new car you don't go to the lot, find the car you like, then return home and send the dealership mail return receipt requested about your intentions on purchasing said car. Doesn't happen. You converse with the salesperson directly.

What is the real harm in replying to the ad?

My 2 cents.

A

goamules
27-Jul-2016, 10:39
...It just would never have crossed my mind that I could not respond to the Seller directly through the ad....If your buying a new car you don't go to the lot, find the car you like, then return home and send the dealership mail return receipt requested about your intentions on purchasing said car. Doesn't happen. You converse with the salesperson directly...

A

BANNED, for hyperbole! Typing a question in a thread, or in a PM, is equally easy.

I saw the "BAN" game on another forum, and thought it might be fun here. http://m14forum.com/geedunk/215730-forum-ban-game.html

So, introducing the Forum Ban Game.

Your objective is to ban the poster above you from the forums for whatever reason you deem fit. Keep it respectful and within forum regulations (i.e., this is a family friendly forum).

Example:

GOAmules: "Game starting post."
Next Poster: "Banned for starting the lamest game in existance."
Poster 3: "Banned for spelling "existence" wrong."
Poster 4: "Banned for being a spelling/grammar nazi."
So on and so forth...

Be sure to quote the member you are banning!

Let the game begin!

akaa
27-Jul-2016, 11:02
HA! maybe I deserve that.

but seriously...my exaggeration is synonymous with the thought that the transactional dialog should be prohibited from the thread. Simple knee-jerk micro management in my opinion.

I'll BAN myself for being level headed.

BrianShaw
27-Jul-2016, 11:36
bla bla bla

Just when one would think that this discussion was down for the count, it gets up to fight another round. DING!

:D

Jac@stafford.net
27-Jul-2016, 11:52
The Zombie thread.

Ralph Barker
28-Jul-2016, 05:05
Since this started with Oren and the new FS/WTB forum rules.....

I'm not on here very often, and am strictly a hobbyist LF photographer. Recently though, i was perusing the FS ads and found some film I would be interested in. I replied to the thread informing the OP that I would be interested in certain film if they had not already been spoken for like I would have on any other forum that has a FS section. I admit, I had not read the new rules regarding the FS/WTB ads. My posts were deleted.

It just would never have crossed my mind that I could not respond to the Seller directly through the ad. I understand certain forum rules but I have to say this one is idiotic. If your buying a new car you don't go to the lot, find the car you like, then return home and send the dealership mail return receipt requested about your intentions on purchasing said car. Doesn't happen. You converse with the salesperson directly.

What is the real harm in replying to the ad?

My 2 cents.

A

Thanks for your input.

The issue is that comments in the thread act to "bump" the thread to the top of the display, although this effect is now limited to being seen by only members who use display options that are sensitive to thread activity. Previously, that effect was being used by some to keep their ads at, or near, the top of the display.

The new guidelines were established after months of discussion in a couple of different News threads to address a variety of issues with the FS and WTB sections. Naturally, we apply the rules to everyone.

To follow your car-lot analogy, the PM is the equivalent of "direct communication with the salesman". Posting in the thread would be more like writing a comment on the billboard advertising the car.

koraks
25-Aug-2016, 08:46
I am glad to see Rick Denny back, with his thoughtful answers here in the forum. On the other hand, I'm sure I'm not the only one that notices there are about 3 big complainers on the forum, when one posts a complaint about how it's run, why a "like" button isn't required, why you can't break agreed-upon rules, why we can't have "free exchange of ideas" and talk politics, the other 2 jump on with "yeah, me too!" complaints. Churn and angst ensues, as the majority try to rationalize that this is really a good forum, as the complainers continue to kick the ant hill. Then it goes away for about 2 weeks, until someone once again starts a baiting (trolling?) thread with something about "moderation." It could be "hey, the moderators are great!" and the 3 complainers will start up again. Or it could be "Does anyone think the moderators are not great?", which is a classic opening. Of COURSE someone thinks that.

I'm on a lot of forums, I have a lot of hobbies. Yes, the moderation levels on them vary. But only HERE do we constantly get people whining and complaining about how hurt they are and how terrible this place has become. It's sickening, and I know the type of people that stir the pot and cant' be happy, I've had a few working for me. It is wearisome, as they never want to do the job (here being keep a photography forum flowing), but want to change the environment to their private agendas.

My advice to everyone is to ignore any new threads about moderation. It's all been said, it's all been compromised and explained. Anything further is just trying to make discontent. And yes, I could just not read these posts. But like you say, there are fewer posts to read now, due to Rick's excellent explanation of demographics and collecting life cycles.

I'm not sure where I stand in relation to the '3 big complainers', but just to clarify: I only created this thread to give a small piece of specific, constructive feedback based on my own experiences moderating a much larger forum as part of a much larger team. Not all moderation threads are created to whine and complain. Conversely, not everyone whining and complaining is doing so because they are trying to make discontent, as sometimes, the whiners and complainers do have a point worthwhile listening to, even if it's made in a whiny and complaining way.

rdenney
25-Aug-2016, 09:33
Guys, we are members here, too. And we are also large-format photographers. It's a diverse group with divergent opinions, even among the mods. We use the feedback threads to validate or invalidate our actions. Even when we do not reverse a particular decision, it informs our future actions. We are always looking for balance, but the weight is always shifting. In some cases, a feedback thread hints at the sorts of outcomes a closed thread might have led to had it remained open.

Of course, relitigating practices that have been hashed out several times already serves little more than providing an opportunity to vent. Even that has a place. But we do listen to and consider serious suggestions.

If I had a wish, it would be that some of our members stop taking things too seriously or personally. A closed thread or a deleted post is not a prison sentence, or even a commentary on the person. Tomorrow is another day.

Rick "respectfully submitted" Denney

Jody_S
25-Aug-2016, 10:22
.

If I had a wish, it would be that some of our members stop taking things too seriously or personally. A closed thread or a deleted post is not a prison sentence, or even a commentary on the person. Tomorrow is another day.

Rick "respectfully submitted" Denney

The vast majority of us do not sweat the small stuff or act like the world has ended if one of our posts is deleted. We're grownups. But being an adult comes with the responsibility to take a stand when lines are crossed, and that happened yesterday. If forum moderators take a stand against all current science, medicine, and legal rulings, and with the likes of Westboro Baptist, then Houston, we have a problem.

The correct response is not to wait for it all to blow over. And I am seeing 0 response from the mods other than "geez, don't take it so personally ", and, "it doesn't mean what you think it means." The comment in question would get you fired from any public position.

Jody "not the political correctness police" S.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

diversey
25-Aug-2016, 10:36
+1!

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 10:37
The vast majority of us do not sweat the small stuff or act like the world has ended if one of our posts is deleted. We're grownups. But being an adult comes with the responsibility to take a stand when lines are crossed, and that happened yesterday. If forum moderators take a stand against all current science, medicine, and legal rulings, and with the likes of Westboro Baptist, then Houston, we have a problem.

The correct response is not to wait for it all to blow over. And I am seeing 0 response from the mods other than "geez, don't take it so personally ", and, "it doesn't mean what you think it means." The comment in question would get you fired from any public position.

Jody, that framing of what went down yesterday, along with much of what was said in the Feedback thread, is frankly libelous.

We can't get inside people's heads, so there's no way for us to know whether people said what they said out of sloppiness or willful malice. But libel it most certainly was. We let it pass yesterday because we're all human, and we understand that in the heat of the moment people will say things that they may regret later on. We bend over backward to allow even harshly critical feedback and we try to learn from it. But baseless accusations of bigotry, arising from twisted, tendentious misreadings of what we have actually said and done, are gross violations of both common decency and the rules of this Forum, and will not be tolerated.

dasBlute
25-Aug-2016, 10:39
... If forum moderators take a stand against all current science, medicine, and legal rulings...

Complete hyperbole.

djdister
25-Aug-2016, 10:53
As a point of order, the last two threads that were locked by the moderators did not contain a "thread closed" comment. I'm used to seeing at least a short "That's enough on this topic" or "This has gone astray" type of comment when they are locked "for cause" by a moderator.

Jody_S
25-Aug-2016, 11:05
Are you suggesting that people's reaction to the "neo nazi, KKK, and ISIS" comment was libelous?

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 11:14
Are you suggesting that people's reaction to the "neo nazi, KKK, and ISIS comment was libelous?"

I am not "suggesting", I am stating clearly and emphatically: the interpretations drawn and statements made in response to Ralph's post were false and defamatory.

Ouch - Jody, the remaining words of your post got chewed up by the software as I was trying to quote it in reply, for reasons that are not clear to me. You may repost the rest if you want so that the full context is clear, leave it as is, or withdraw the post entirely - whichever you prefer.

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 11:17
As a learner I am, I find very nice that here, when you ask for technical help, you get unique answers from very proficient people that never show up in the stupid riots, and just enjoy helping others. Yes, sometimes things go south... but we have to smile bit and take that like a funny entretainment :)

If a moderator closes a thread then it is well closed. If a thread goes south it has to be closed, dot.

Want to discuss on politics or on what politics is or not... ??? go Lounge, same comunity can discuss that there, please do not hijack the primary mission on this forum, that is LF crafting.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 11:24
Jody, that framing of what went down yesterday, along with much of what was said in the Feedback thread, is frankly libelous.

We can't get inside people's heads, so there's no way for us to know whether people said what they said out of sloppiness or willful malice. But libel it most certainly was. We let it pass yesterday because we're all human, and we understand that in the heat of the moment people will say things that they may regret later on. We bend over backward to allow even harshly critical feedback and we try to learn from it. But baseless accusations of bigotry, arising from twisted, tendentious misreadings of what we have actually said and done, are gross violations of both common decency and the rules of this Forum, and will not be tolerated.

And I find it grossly indecent to compare the idea of posting the life stories of transgender people to the idea of giving white supremacists and terrorists a platform. It's too bad that you won't acknowledge that your words could be (and have been!) interpreted this way - that alone is enough to demonstrate that this isn't a welcoming place for anybody with views more accepting than yours, not to mention the fact that users like taija71a are continued to behave the way they do.

edit: on any other forum I visit, taija71a would have been permanently banned the first time he sent a PM like that, so I can't agree that this is the "best managed photographic forum."

Pere Casals
25-Aug-2016, 11:35
And I find it grossly indecent to compare the idea of posting the life stories of transgender people to the idea of giving white supremacists and terrorists a platform. It's too bad that you won't acknowledge that your words could be (and have been!) interpreted this way - that alone is enough to demonstrate that this isn't a welcoming place for anybody with views more accepting than yours, not to mention the fact that users like taija71a are continued to behave the way they do.

IMHO... when bitter controversy arises users have to use PM to debate that in order to not disturb other people.

Failing to do that it is an unpolite behaviour aganist the rest of the comunity, and therefore the thread has to be closed without considering what it is debated or not.

Want pandemonium ? not here... go Lounge, PM or share WhatsApp contact....


PD: And I'm the first that can make such a mistake http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?132325-Changing-from-v700-to-IQSmart2-for-8x10/page16

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 11:42
Failing to do that is an unpolite behaviour aganist the rest of the comunity, and therefore the thread has to be closed without considering what it is debated or not.

Except that the usual practice has actually been to delete posts (and possibly to post that people should knock it off), not to close threads entirely. In the context of the moderators' other statements on the topic, including the premise that people's life stories are somehow controversial, some unconscious bias is evident to more than a few of us.

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 11:45
And I find it grossly indecent to compare the idea of posting the life stories of transgender people to the idea of giving white supremacists and terrorists a platform. It's too bad that you won't acknowledge that your words could be (and have been!) interpreted this way - that alone is enough to demonstrate that this isn't a welcoming place for anybody with views more accepting than yours, not to mention the fact that users like taija71a are continued to behave the way they do.

On the contrary: we know very well that our words and actions not only can be so interpreted but plainly have been; the responsible parties are those drawing the false interpretation. You are also confirming yet again a core reason why discussions that we call "political" are inappropriate and destructive here. Passions boil, people apply the most uncharitable and tendentious interpretations to those they perceive as adversaries in order to validate and stoke their sense of righteous indignation, and the situation spins out of control, with toxic fallout across everything else here.

Finally: you have no idea what my views are about transgender issues or anything else having to do with acceptance of outgroups in society - and you will not find out from anything I post or do here. Your presumption, and that of others in the Feedback thread, that you do is a further manifestation of and fuel for the pathological dynamic of these discussions.

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 11:47
On the contrary: we know very well that our words and actions not only can be so interpreted but plainly have been; the responsible parties are those drawing the false interpretation. You are also confirming yet again a core reason why discussions that we call "political" are inappropriate and destructive here. Passions boil, people apply the most uncharitable and tendentious interpretations to those they perceive as adversaries in order to validate and stoke their sense of righteous indignation, and the situation spins out of control, with toxic fallout across everything else here.

Finally: you have no idea what my views are about transgender issues or anything else having to do with acceptance of outgroups in society - and you will not find out from anything I post or do here. Your presumption, and that of others in the Feedback thread, that you do is a further manifestation of and fuel for the pathological dynamic of these discussions.

I don't know what your personal views are (and it doesn't really matter), but but it is self-evident that the moderators' official collective position is that the life stories of transgender people are somehow controversial. That's not "tendentious;" that's the stated reason for disallowing richardman from posting his subjects' words.

Jody_S
25-Aug-2016, 11:48
I am not "suggesting", I am stating clearly and emphatically: the interpretations drawn and statements made in response to Ralph's post were false and defamatory..

The words and actions of the moderators in the last 2 days serve to legitimize the actions of a group of people on the USA who have decided to make Transgender folk this year's lightning rod in the neverending culture wars. Tragically, this culture of hatred results in Trans people being assaulted and murdered, stigmatized and driven to suicide, for a genetic accident that resulted in their birth. "KKK & ISIS" puts the mods here firmly on the wrong side of that culture war, on the side of hatred and stigmatization.

My wife and I both carry genes that could result in an intersex child, and would have, 20 or 30 years ago. But this is 2016. There's a little white pill she can take now, and we had the genetic screening done. When i read some of the stories, they were the story of my own child, but for the timing of my own birth. These statements are fact, not politics, and I have little tolerance for those who would make it otherwise.

Richard's project represents the very best of what photography can be. What I aspire to be. It has heart and conscience. It is no accident that virtually all of the memorable photographs of the 20th century were 'political'. That's it, I'm done.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

RHITMrB
25-Aug-2016, 11:57
The words and actions of the moderators in the last 2 days serve to legitimize the actions of a group of people on the USA who have decided to make Transgender folk this year's lightning rod in the neverending culture wars. Tragically, this culture of hatred results in Trans people being assaulted and murdered, stigmatized and driven to suicide, for a genetic accident that resulted in their birth. "KKK & ISIS" puts the mods here firmly on the wrong side of that culture war, on the side of hatred and stigmatization.

My wife and I both carry genes that could result in an intersex child, and would have, 20 or 30 years ago. But this is 2016. There's a little white pill she can take now, and we had the genetic screening done. When i read some of the stories, they were the story of my own child, but for the timing of my own birth. These statements are fact, not politics, and I have little tolerance for those who would make it otherwise.

Richard's project represents the very best of what photography can be. What I aspire to be. It has heart and conscience. It is no accident that virtually all of the memorable photographs of the 20th century were 'political'. That's it, I'm done.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Well stated.

I've now talked to a dozen people whose justification for no longer participating in or contributing to this forum is the moderators' position on richardman's photographs. Maybe the moderators don't care to have users for whom this is an issue - that's their prerogative. Maybe it's a tiny blip in the number of users here. I truly hope it doesn't lead to the stagnation of what has otherwise been an incredibly useful resource.

Oren Grad
25-Aug-2016, 12:08
Our respective positions are clearly stated, but we are talking past each other and generating only heat, without light.

This topic is closed. Further belaboring of it will be deleted and, if repeated, will result in banning.