View Full Version : ADMIN: Ask LF questions here or on photo.net?

1-Mar-2001, 23:03
As I recall, several months ago users of this forum were asked if this site should join photo.net, where there was already a general photography forum, a medium-format forum, and a nature photography forum (other fora have since been added). Neither the archives of this LF site nor its features nor its look would be changed; it would simply be indexed for, and made accessible to, a much larger audience (photo.net is, I believe, the most-visited site on the web, so such a move would certainly increase the visibility of this site). Granted, "our" site is accessible through Phil Greenspun's bboard, but almost no visitors to photo.net seem to go there to look.

The users of this site rejected joining forces with photo.net, for what struck me as embarrassingly elitist and exclusivist reasons (those who disagree with this harsh assessment are welcome to berate me... but calm down and help me, please, by telling me in a non-elitist way why you still don't think this forum should be part of photo.net).

Anyway, I've noticed more and more LF questions popping up on photo.net; since yesterday noon, 4 of the 11 questions in the photo.net archived forum have been expressly about LF. Sometimes the posters over there are steered to this LF page (often by me), sometimes not. I noticed that even the sponsor of this forum, QTLuong (to whom endless thanks are due for a most excellent site; my hat's off to you for a job well done), is among the respondents to LF questions posted over on photo.net.

I guess my question is whether it's more fruitful to post LF questions over at photo.net, where many of the LF regulars in this forum (i.e., you-all) participate as part of a MUCH larger overall readership, or over here, where the audience is much smaller but more focused on LF. The former option (photo.net) clearly has advantages in terms of reaching a wider audience (including especially non-U.S. LF users who don't know about this site) but then again every LF thread that lands over there is one less thread in the information base over he

1-Mar-2001, 23:05
..."but then again every LF thread that lands over there is one less thread in the information base over here."


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1-Mar-2001, 23:18
One more correction:

In the first paragraph of my original post I meant, of course, that photo.net is the most visited PHOTO site on the web....

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Andre Noble
2-Mar-2001, 01:15
Uh, Simon, we're on the photo.net, get back to you in a bit.

neil poulsen
2-Mar-2001, 03:19
I guess I would ask why it matters. From my point of view, this is a successful site, and it appears that Photo.Net is a successful site. People can choose whichever site they wish in order to interact with photographers of similar interests. I like this site because of the simple, but effective, interface. But, I occassionally visit Photo.Net. If people contribute to both sites, I would say that everyone's the winner.

Doug Paramore
2-Mar-2001, 10:25
Simon: You bring up some good points, but from a personal viewpoint, I much prefer for our forum to remain intact and a seperate entity. My reasons are purely selfish. When one goes to this forum, you don't have to wade through a list of questions such as "Nikon vs Canon vs Pentax vs Minolta" and "how do I get my film out of the cassette if I try to develop it?". This forum is slanted much more toward very advanced amateurs and professionals, people who take photography very seriously and who want photography to remain at a high quality level. Also, coming to this forum is like visiting old friends, albeit friends we may never meet. There is plenty of room on the web for both forums, and it doesn't take much effort to zip over to photo.net. I agree with your praise of Tuan. He does a super job and his contribution to LF photography as a whole is outstanding.


2-Mar-2001, 12:01
Doug, I have no quarrel with anything you say. But I think that, using the Medium-Format Digest as a model, it IS possible to be directly linked to photo.net while still retaining all of the good things that you value about this LF forum. Consider: the MFD forum has its regulars, its esoteric questions, its professional tone, and very few Canon v. Nikon v. Minolta type questions (sure, it has some Hassy v. Rollei stuff, but then again WE get Schneider v. Rodenstock v. Nikon questions too!).

Would this forum become diluted if it moved under the photo.net umbrella? I doubt it. Scanning down the list of current questions in this forum (Deardorffs and BTZS tubes and macro work in 8x10), there are very few about which I'd worry a tyro from photo.net would jump in and offer useless advice. On the other hand, having a larger presence on photo.net would build exposure for LF and probably pick up and create some new LF users. I frankly do wonder, though, if some visitors to this LF forum actually think that that kind of growth (in LF proponents) would be a BAD thing or would at least pose some kind of "threat."


David F. Stein
2-Mar-2001, 14:16
if it ain't broke ... The photo.net server is overtaxed as it is and the entire site seems increasingly commercial. If we can piggyback off universities, as do es Bob Monaghan's magnificent Medium Format site, so much the better. In fact, it would be better if this Q&A database were ind. of photo.net, but it runs off the program that Pjil developed. Why do you want to have to capture a "cookie" to post a note or send an e-mail to someone.

Larry Cuffe
2-Mar-2001, 14:25
Is there an issue here of copywright? I think someone expresed concern at the greenspun site retaining the right to use your contributions for their future purposes (undisclosed) I dont know this. Also greenspuns site are contemplating advertising: presumably very tastefully done: but do you want to go with them on this? Greenspuns site and his atitude to the web is very refreshing: however there is strength in diversity and so long as both sites are strong then it seems to me that seperate is better. In an age when many newspapers are owned by one media company which is now making a play for the web I think many independent voices is the way to go. p.s. I get here though the greenspun.com/bboard

QT Luong
2-Mar-2001, 18:02
In response to the original question: <ul> <li> I'd rather not answer LF questions on photo.net, but I've benefited enough from the photo.net community that I though it wouldn't fair to help sometimes. <li> The photo.net forum has certainly a much larger readership, but I believe the dedication, knowledege, and skill of the average reader of the LF forum might be higher. <li> The photo.net archive as 262 threads on LF total. Scroll to the bottom of the page and look at the "Older Messages" and you'll see (even without doing the addition :-)) that the LF archive has one order of magnitude more threads. <li> The LF page isn't that difficult to find. Try "large format photography" on google or yahoo. </ul> In response to integrating the LF page into photo.net, I was contacted by their team last summer. However (a) as far as I was concerned, I didn't get satisfying answers to my concerns about preserving the integrity of the LF contents, and contributing significantly to what I saw as a for-profit venture without any form of compensation. (b) When polled, regular contributors here overwhelmingly opposed the idea.

Alan Gibson
2-Mar-2001, 23:17
I raised a question over the 'copyright 2000,2001 photo.net' that they put on all the forum pages. The question was never answered. Their 'terms of use' now include the dreaded words "All material You submit to any of our chat rooms, forums, and other public posting areas becomes the property of photo.net and may be reproduced, modified, and distributed as we see fit in any medium and for any purpose."

I won't put anything significant into a site that claims copyright over _my_ words.

As far as I can see, the LF forum wouldn't gain anything from further integration with photo.net. It might get slightly wider visibility, which would be fine, but I doubt there would be much difference. It doesn't need wider visibility; it has a large pool of experts and novices, with many new people posting.

The real downside of 'joining up' with photo.net includes a loss of control, particularly over the appearance and functionality of the forum.

Post LF questions here of photo.net? Here, of course. This is where the people who really care about LF hang out.

David A. Goldfarb
3-Mar-2001, 01:18
I think the MFD forum is evidence that the forum won't be contaminated by the unwashed 35mm users, and that it would probably be good for them to be exposed to other kinds of photography (how's *that* for elitism!), but I'm somewhat dismayed by the increasingly commercialism of photo.net, though I understand why it must do it to support itself, and I recognize that it is not nearly as bad as many other such sites (e.g., the various digicam sites). The relief from advertisement is an attraction of the LF forum. I don't see any good reason to change it at this point.

4-Mar-2001, 13:29
You mention elitist and exclusivist reasons for maintaining our seperate identity here, I preferr to look at the reasons more as a matter of pride. Pride in the fact that the base or core users of this site havent't required a password to enter; the site hasn't been shut down because of racial, ethnic and other offensive material; there are very few un-related posts and those that do appear are given a polite and accurate response, not yelled at and told they are stupid or worse just deleted.

We have one of the very few sites that is productive, civil, interesting and at times even amusing. If others want to find this site, it is here, we all found it. If it is a lack of traffic, I see days when there are actually more posts on this site than photo.net, of course who knows how many are deleted over there or never make it because of a spelling check they have.

Elitist, no just concerned that we don't get "acquired" by the big fish; ask Chrysler how they feel about thier merger of "equals".