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  1. #11
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Niche's aren't built, they happen. When the broader marketplace loses incentive to serve a shrinking market (for both products and ideas), "communities of affinity" coalesce. They're inevitible. Whether or not someting like APUG is better than magazines or not (and to me, it is), they are both an inevitible use of technology and a reflection of the instinct of the die-hards willingness and ability to bootstrap it's own sources of information and motivation. With no insult to Sean intended, this site responds to a need, it doesn't create one. It may help perpetuate the need. At base, it serves a market that's been abandoned by older, larger, traditional players.

    APUG is irrelevent to the broader photographic industry and it's about as dangerous to it as rennaisance festivals are to modern urban planning. It's also as meaningful to its participants. I mean that in a good way.
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  2. #12

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    Thank goodness for the niches I make use of in my life. All of them.

  3. #13
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I thought that was pretty off-base.

    Wanting a resource that is focused and detailed like APUG doesn't entail not looking at other things. Analog photography is a pretty wide subject, I think. It's much wider than, say, the subject of another site I sometimes follow, www.trombone.org, and yet there are hundreds of people on www.trombone.org who are interested in music in general of various styles and periods as well as other art forms and cultural phenomena and who do things other than play the trombone, but they want a resource that will provide detailed, specific information about this topic, more specific than they might find on a website about music in general or art in general.

    Would it be so bad to have a magazine devoted to large format landscape photography, which Brooks Jensen proposed as an extreme example? There is quite a wide range of things that people are doing in that area--documentary, spiritual, personal, rephotographic projects, environmental, political, historical, architectural, color, black and white, etc. There could be photographs and essays about the landscape by scholars and writers who study issues related to the landscape. There are university departments of landscape architecture and "landscape studies" is becoming an increasingly well defined academic field. Is it a niche within a niche within a niche? Well maybe, but sometimes you can learn something by considering it carefully.

    I spend most of my life writing and teaching about literature and culture. I'd rather read a variety of websites, magazines, journals, and books that discuss various topics in depth than one thing that tries to be all things to all people.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd callow View Post
    In the ultra pluralist world we live in I believe that building wals and or creating niches are the only way for any group to maintain cohesion and purpose.
    Yup...

    My own work improved so much when i focussed my energies on doing one thing, and comitting to it. From time to time, I look for technical help here. I read a number of different magazines, and look at photographs on a number of different websites and magazines because I am interested in what folks are doing in other areas of photography and imagemaking.

    Making a sustained comittment to a process can yield excellent results. Hardly dangerous ones.
    Last edited by SuzanneR; 03-27-2007 at 01:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    I'd rather read a variety of websites, magazines, journals, and books that discuss various topics in depth than one thing that tries to be all things to all people.

    Exactly so. But I wonder if the "danger" is not to photography...it's not like people will get all confused and stuff and stop taking vacation snaps...the danger is that all this specialization dillutes and fragments a business opportunity. If everyone is making a little money serving a niche (presumably, brilliantly), how the heck is anyone going to make a ton of money?
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  6. #16
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd callow View Post
    In the ultra pluralist world we live in I believe that building wals and or creating niches are the only way for any group to maintain cohesion and purpose.
    Another way to look at it is that ships need harbors every once in awhile, but a ship that never leaves the harbor is limited in its usefulness, also.

    Vaughn

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    If everyone is making a little money serving a niche (presumably, brilliantly), how the heck is anyone going to make a ton of money?

    If you find out, let us all know.

    Cheers,

    R.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Another way to look at it is that ships need harbors every once in awhile, but a ship that never leaves the harbor is limited in its usefulness, also.

    Vaughn
    No - most often it would be adapted. To a restaurant, a winebar, an art gallery, a museum (I know ships along The Thames which have become each of those). A smaller boat - a home. No more limited in their use (and often a darn sight more interesting ) than a ship at sea.

  9. #19
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Dang...caught at at sea in an allegorical storm!

    Vaughn

  10. #20
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    I'm afraid Mr. Jensen is rather missing the point. Most people belong to multiple interest groups. Always have done, always will do. Nothing new to see here, move along please...

    Technology, most conspicuously the Internet, has allowed dissemination of highly specialized information and the gathering together of special interest groups in one virtual space. There are some 13,000 NTTP newsgroups - admittedly many are inactive or full of porn... erm... or so I am told... and gawd-alone knows how many special interest websites and forums exist, some of which live for a few glorious years, and then burn out, to be replaced by two or three sites based on portions of the old site (shades of the Judea People's Front (warning: naughty words) ).

    It has always been the case that people gravitate towards things that interest them. That is a truism (and blindingly obvious). The only difference now is that groups such as APUG, or the LF.info site, or the rangefinder forum etc allow more finely grained interest groups to form. The idea that we are all going to dedicate our lives to one niche within a niche interest is not tenable for anyone not inflicted with crippling autistic monomania.

    Cheers, Bob.

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