Steve, you really open yourself up to this sort of stuff- it seems to follow you wherever you go lately.
My advice- just make the announcements, publish your books, and stop getting focussed on this other crap.
I want LF analog photography to survive.
Insofar as your activites help make that happen, kudos.
There will ALWAYS be people who disagree with you, or have comments or critisism on the published content.
Sometimes, some of them may have valid points. Some of them may be asses, it takes all kinds.
Respectfully, it is your method of responding at Defcon 5 to each little critisism or complaint on these forums that have you in the antagonistic mode where you find yourself today.
Do we need another LF website? Can't hurt! I'll check it out. Do I subcribe to your magazine? Yup. Do I like everything in it every issue? Nope. Some items are great, some of them suck. Could I do any better? Probably not. Would I respond to every critisism, whether it be intelligent and reasonable, or moronic and mean; as if someone had said something horrible about my mother? Would I repond at all? Probably not. It sure hasn't helped you any.
Your efforts to promote LF photography are commendable. I hope you would consider my advice on changing your tactics regarding these forums.
OK, I'll respond to this. Up front, no insults or criticism intended to if anyone feels that they've been insulted, it's in your own head.......
I'm concerned about the idea of a moderated forum of the type Steve mentions. Usually forum moderators keep content restricted to subject matter relevance and eliminate only the most obusive stuff. Also, the respond to alerts from forum members to offensive postings. Other than that, they are pretty much hands off. They are NOT Forum Nazi's (to paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld). I'm concerned that is what they would become under Steve's description and that could become a problem. They'd be in the position of parsing (I never used that work until the Clinton Administration - and I'm still waiting for the opportunity to use the word 'recuse') all postings trying to figure out if someone was just insulted or not. The idea of 'tolerating' certain postings rubs me the wrong way - I believe in free speech and expression and that moderation should be done by the members of the forum. There few things as powerful as shunning - even the biggest,loudest shouters and screamers will give up if there is noone listening. Just provide the ability to add users to an 'exclude' list and that will take care of it.
As to subscriber-only admission, what would be the point? Are you going to be divulging super-double-secret information that only priviledged subscribres should receive because they pay you for the magazine? Is this a forum whose intention is openly discuss and disseminate information related to LF? I don't see these goals as complimentary. Because there are already several publicly open forums, maybe you should make it restricted to subscriber only. If it's open, I doubt there will be anything posted there that we won't read elsewhere anyway. Perhaps you could think of special things to attract your subscribers and maybe they would be great enough to get people to subscribe to your magazine just so they could get access to the forum.
Frankly, I think you should model it after Michael Smith's site. Open access with lots of links to stuff that you can sell and lots of free technical info in the area of LF, everything from equipment reviews and specs, formulas, testing results, etc. This would attract a lot of people and maybe help sell subscriptions. You might add a gallery and sell photographs\books too, something Photo-Eye books. How about selling used gear and maybe acting as escrow agent for a small fee? How about organizing large bulk purchases of hard to get film\paper\chemicals? Use the forum to attract people and have a marketplace to generate revenue.
Just don't turn it into some Forum Nazi place where 6 polite people can get together and talk about the good old days of Super-XX.
Just some thoughts......
I think Steve was thinking out load and decided to send up a trial balloon to gage the interest/reaction. I feel most sides of the issue have been aired, so unless someone has something really original to say, lets leave it with Steve.
We don't need another LF Forum! Steve, despite the insults you have recieved, just be less sensitive an DON'T bother to reply. However, you also need to be a little open minded about some of the feedback you have recieved.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)