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Thread: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

  1. #51
    multi format
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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by David R Munson View Post
    Sweet.

    Edit: The only problem is, it's in the lounge. I don't visit the lounge here or on any equivalent board on any other forum. But then, that's my problem.
    i think it is in the lounge because it isn't large format,
    and is considered "off-topic chatter" ...

    it's actually a huge leap for this board to allow that sort of thing here to begin with .
    the original lf forum was on lusenet long ago, and it was just
    technical aspects of large format photography ... when it went to photo-net
    and then migrated back here, it became a different sort of place, more of
    a community than a technical board ... i think the owners and moderators do a
    great job keeping the flavor of this website what it is (strictly large format- modern / antiquarian ) ...
    allowing off topic multi-format image posting in the lounge
    is really kind of nice seeing the old board didn't even have a way to host images ...

  2. #52

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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    Compared to photo.net, this forum has a narrow focus, even more narrow than apug, but there is a lot of commonality in the memberships, in the topics, and in the information shared. Each site has its own way of categorizing and limiting topics, but I think those mechanisms are outdated. Compare any of the above sites to Flickr, where users (as distinct from members) do the categorization by tagging. Tagging allows one to find photos based on any criteria one chooses, and group them together based on the chosen criteria. What's missing from Flickr is the ability to tag discussions, and even individual posts. If Flickr enabled discussion/post tagging, I think it would threaten the existence of all the other sites mentioned above.
    Last edited by Jay DeFehr; 3-Jun-2011 at 13:47. Reason: grammar

  3. #53

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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    Well basically it would be nice to have a section that you could just ask Frank Petronio how to do sh1t and then he would put up some racy pictures and tell you what you wanted to know. Maybe he should start his own forum. As long as it was a forum that was exclusively Frank Petronio all the time, and nothing else, I would join that forum!

  4. #54
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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay DeFehr View Post
    ...Too large, and the signal to noise ratio declines, too small and it......gets stale?
    I no longer participate (except for occasional drive-bys) in Photography On The Net, which is devoted to Canon digital photography. It has many zillions of members, leading contributors with post counts in the many tens of thousands, and about a hundred threads a day asking for advice on whether to buy a wide angle or a telephoto zoom as the first accessory lens. I could never keep up with the few discussions on more advanced topics. That's an example of a forum that grew too large, though the thousands who participate seem to enjoy doing so.

    I tried the manual-focus forum as an alternative to POTN, but like POTN it was still too equipment-oriented.

    I host the Kiev Report, which is about ex-Second-World photography equipment. That equipment peaked in the late 90's and early 00's, and since then the group has dwindled down to a devoted few. We used to have in-depth discussions of photography as art as we do here, but the focus of the group was too small to survive at that level of participation. And the art training of most participants on that forum was far more limited than here. Now, the core group uses it to keep up with each other. We opened one of the sub-forums up to off-topic equipment, though truthfully the topic had never been that vigorously enforced, but it was too little too late to revive a broader activity. But we still do get a handful of new participants every month or so.

    I do not participate in APUG, being agnostic on the subject of digital versus film.

    This forum seems to be large enough to promote self-regeneration, while being small enough to allow in-depth discussion. I have not found at all that the "folksy curmudgeon" types are able to squelch discussions of any particular topic. The Cindy Sherman thread currently running is an example. There have been plenty who have expressed negative opinions about recent art photography, but in all my years of reading camera forums, this is the first where I have seen any discussion of theory, semiotics, and so on. These have not been deleted or relegated to The Lounge, because even though they are not format-specific they bear directly on what most large-format photographers do, even if they don't care about it or realize it. The result is that this forum attracts those with real artistic experience and training, and many good professional art photographers. The learning opportunities therefore greatly exceed that of other forums in which I've participated.

    I have many photos from medium and small formats that I would love to post on the various image threads, if for no other reason than to test them against better work from other participants here. But I would not put at risk what the forum has in order to be able to do so. Restricting the discussion to the use of large format does act as a filter against the type of flood that drowns POTN. It may seem arbitrary at times, but any such filter will have to be.

    Rick "who believes a status quo can be successful" Denney

  5. #55

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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    Rick,

    You make some good points with real examples. The scale issues (on both ends) you cite are just what I referred to in earlier posts. There are several ways to limit scale, but there is a danger of over-limiting, as your KR example shows. My own view is that once a group of LF photographers has formed, let them discuss/share whatever they like. The group's common thread of LF should be enough to maintain coherence, and the interaction would be far more natural. If tagging was enabled, forums and sub-forums could be eliminated, and there would be no need for much of the moderation that's needed now. If I wanted to find discussions about any subject, I would type my search criteria into a box and find a list of results, ranked by whatever criteria I choose. This would permit more participation and content with a better signal to noise ratio.

    I realize there is a search function here, but a keyword search is a different thing than a tag search. Tagging allows members to organize the content in ways meaningful to themselves. For instance, I might tag this discussion "theory of online social groups", and you might tag it "forum rules", and someone else might tag it "other formats", etc. These descriptions allow for this discussion to be found in ways a keyword search might not.

    Clique formation is an interesting phenomenon, and is essentially the formation of groups within groups. This group is organized around LF cameras, but a sub-group might from based on the members of the larger group who are also contact printers, or portraitists, or digital printers, etc., but one might also be based on the group's shared philosophy, or politics, or sexual orientation. I don't think the technical can be separated from the social.

    Disclaimer: I'm not advocating any of these changes, or any others here; just discussing theory.

  6. #56

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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    If it works, don't fix it!

    When a forum gets to be large enough you have to assume a certain amount of weenieness will creep in. APUG has over 50k members now and if you don't put a muzzle on digi topics it will force the traditional forums out. What then?
    RFF? is another specialized forum with an even narrower focus, most of thier threads seem to along with the "just got" or "which is best" line. I just gets old, fast.

  7. #57
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    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    The complaints about the "muzzling" at APUG aren't against forbidding overtly digital topics, but about the broadness of the definition of what constitutes a digital topic. An example would be someone asking about development techniques to improve scanning of negatives. Some (including me) think such should be allowed, but others don't. Shrug. The focus here seems right to me for a large format forum.

  8. #58

    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    I think that the proposition overall was a nice way of saying that this forum is appreciated for the community, the depth of knowledge, the wonderful photography and the discussions that take place here. While some wish that could be expanded to encompass the totality of our photographic interests, it would probably in the end pollute the stream so to say.
    Perhaps the new and exciting LargeFormatPhotographersSmallFormatUsersGroup would be an alternative?

  9. #59

    Re: Would Love to See an "Other Formats" Sub Forum

    This is a very nice place as is.

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