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Thread: Forum Growth.....or not?

  1. #11
    Moderator
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    Jan 2001
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    Re: Forum Growth.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric James View Post
    Perhaps I'm missing your point Oren, but wouldn't you need data prior to JUN '08 to make this claim?
    We have such data: how old the forum is, and the fact that at the starting point all those numbers were zero.

    Explaining the current level of activity is trickier. How much is it greater interest in LF? And how much is it greater interest in spending time on discussion boards?

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    258

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    If growth is in fact happening, here are some possible explanations:

    1. Demographics. The surveys that show how old most of us are, suggest that a significant number of us are baby boomers entering a phase of our lives where we can afford to take up hobbies that we once pursued. This is also happening in other hobby sectors like needlework--I hear fabric and yarn stores are booming. As we retire or approach retirement, many of us have the luxury to pursue our art without earlier compromises that came from a lack of money and/or time.
    2. For the younger LFers, some are rebelling against digital. I keep meeting young film shooters who are motivated by a "reject the dominant paradigm" ideology. They give me hope in many ways.

    I think if we want to keep LF film photography alive, everyone in group 1 should hook up with someone in group 2. We should share our experiences and equipment. Some have a wise and precise eye for composition and subject matter. Others have a fresh view of the world. Some have great technique gained from years of experience. Others can carry heavy packs (and aren't going to quit just because we don't have quickloads anymore). Some have money for film and processing. Others covet a box of slightly outdated film.

    I often visit hiking and climbing forums for info on trail conditions. Many of these have a thread category like "climbing partners." What if we had a "shooting partners" category, nd we put an effort into matching up old and young LFers? Just and idea.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tamworth, Staffordshire. U.K.
    Posts
    1,164

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    I've been a member of this forum since about 2000. I bought my first LF camera (a Wista 45 DX ) in London, brought it back home and had no idea how to use it. I put it on a tripod and saw a blurred image with my eyes up against the fresnal.
    I put it on a tripod the evening that I bought it and I couldn't even work out how to view an image on the fresnal screen. Thanks to this forum I now know how to take a photograph with it. I've also learned so much about lenses and shutters, not to mention other formats, developing and printing. Don't slag the forum or the members, I've found forum members to be nothing but totally helpful and informative in the years that I've been a member.
    Pete.

  4. #14
    Nicholas Kaat
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    This is my first post on this forum since I joined this fall. Here's a little of my back story.

    I fall in the group 2 section (30yrs) and would love to learn more from anyone in group 1. I bought my Cambo Legend 4x5 with 2 lenses off Ebay and a good amount of my accessories have come from there as well. So yes, Ebay has helped me get started. I am on the waiting list for the new Chamonix n45-2 in April, since I need something a little more portable, but I've been slowly building my arsenal since October.

    I have never posted before today, because I use this site to learn and haven't felt I had much to contribute yet. I thank everyone for all that I have learned and also, shame on you for contributing to my new addiction. I work in the film and television industry and consider myself a film purist. There is something sexy about it. My goal leaving college was to become a Director of Photography in the film industry, but recently all I want to do is load up the Jeep with my camera and drive all over the US. Depending on my growth and improvement, maybe that'll happen soon.

    Thank you again for all your knowledge. I will do my best to pass it on. I think I got my 7 year-old sister on the hook.

  5. #15
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,954

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    Brian,

    It has been a while now, but I too have heard that sheet film sales were heading back up, after dropping precipitously for a while. This came from a discussion with Keith Canham, who told me that he had heard this information from contacts he had at Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford.

    I don't think that they break this information down for public consumption, but you can rest assured that the sales and marketing people at those companies know have access to and know how sales break down by product line, type, etc.

    Will sheet film sales ever be up over what these companies were selling before digital? Hardly. We just need sales to go up enough to keep those coating lines going profitably.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    488

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    I wonder how much the growth in the forum has to do with the "For Sale" section. It seems that at least 1/3 of all posts these days are for sale ads.
    Juergen

  7. #17
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    9,803

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric James View Post
    These data don't show growth, they show accumulation (except perhaps the "Active Members" datum - how is that defined?).
    As Oren said I think here is some evidence in the post numbers over time that represent growth too.

    As per the "Active Members" numbers. Ralph remembers that it counts members that have made at least one post in the last 12 months, but we cannot find where this is written anywhere....still looking.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 70:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  8. #18

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    New York City & Pontremoli, Italy
    Posts
    812

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sims View Post

    needlework--I hear fabric and yarn stores are booming.
    I work in a college and I have seen several students doing needlework; two of my interns (one male, one female) are knitting a sweater and a scarf.

    Now back to LF: One of those interns is into LF as well.Go figure

  9. #19
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Elk Grove, CA.
    Posts
    253

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sims View Post
    If growth is in fact happening, here are some possible explanations:

    1. Demographics. The surveys that show how old most of us are, suggest that a significant number of us are baby boomers entering a phase of our lives where we can afford to take up hobbies that we once pursued. This is also happening in other hobby sectors like needlework--I hear fabric and yarn stores are booming. As we retire or approach retirement, many of us have the luxury to pursue our art without earlier compromises that came from a lack of money and/or time.
    For the most part, I fall into this group. Although, I sometimes question rather I really can afford to take up my hobbies On the other side of the coin, I have found this forum and its members to be a wealth of information and expertise that I have tapped into to grasp insight into an area of photography that I had only received a glimpse of in the late '70's when I saw and touched my first LF camera as a student in beginning photography. I vividly remember my photograhy classmate and I, after being given a
    8 X 10 view camera, a tripod and a box of this and that, excitedly trying to figure out how this gadget went together and wondering -- how and the heck are you supposed to take a picture with the image upside down?

    Unfortunately, life has its twists and turns and some of us have to choose between eating and not eating. But I have always had this fascination with LF photography.

    I'm also on the waiting list for the Chamonix 45n-2 and I've bought my first lens.

    As someone that works in Information Technology, I firmly believe that the development and expansion of Internet technologies has made this forum possible. I still remember when the internet was still character based: no GUI interface, no search engines ala Google, where you used archaic telenet commands, archie, gopher and the like.

    We've come a long way baby!

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    792

    Re: Forum Growth.....

    Kirk,

    Whern I was responsible for managing the web site content for a large firm, acouple of critical measures I used was pages viewed and average amount of time viewing individual pages.

    Given the attention span of Internet "surfers", typically you can tell within 15 seconds or less whether the content is of interest, or not.

    May not be relevent for this site, but worth every cent you it is costing you.

    My $0.02 (Canadian),

    Len

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