Photo.net, the site!

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by acm, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. acm

    acm

    Hi everyone.
    I have been a PN subscriber from year 2007. I cut my internet teeth on this site. I must acknowledge I have been able to hone my photography skills thanks largely to the excellent discussions and guidance PN forums provided.
    In year 2007 I came to know about PN when I was doing some net research whether to go Canon way or Nikon while converting to the digital photography. When I started out with my first digital camera, a Nikon D40x, I joined PN as a subscriber with a lot of enthusiasm. I posted my portfolio, chatted around in the forums and learned a lot about photography thanks to some stalwarts here in the administration as well as some enthusiastic and capable members.
    Those days one used to get a lot response to individual pictures posted which were really good. Within half an hour of posting a picture in critique forum one would get at least 6 to 8 ratings and as much critiques. Many a time I had the pleasure of getting into the Top rated photo ranks.
    Over the years I believe PN members have become more sedate. What I perceive now is that PN is still an excellent medium when forum discussions are concerned. One can still get an exciting discussion on photography subjects. Some exciting heated discussions too.
    But when it comes to pictures themselves, I feel the members' response is quite cold. A fairly good picture by any standards gets far fewer comments and clicks compared with other net forums. My recent pictures of California, Arizona and Utah have been languishing in my portfolio without much notice while the same ones have attracted thousands of clicks- in one case 30,000 plus- and innumerable comments on other forums.
    Then, the Nikon Wednesday Pic. I clearly remember, about two years back, each Wednesday thread used to attract 100 plus responses. Toady it hardly ever crosses 60-70.
    What could be the reasons that people are less interacting with photos?
    I guess one reason could be the display. Allow me to say the current PN display leaves a lot to be desired. Once uploaded you will not like your own photo. I don't know why but this does not happen with other forums.
    Another reason could be the lack of a proper Android/iOS app.
    People are on the move and they can very well keep in touch with the proceedings here on PN if a proper PN app was there.
    If one checks Alexa rankings, PN id doing worse day after day, and Alexa ranking is going southwards- from 4000 in mid 2012 to 10,000 in mid 2013, lately there is a slight uprise. Bounce rate is 65%, up 9%. Daily time on site is down 19 %.
    How fast does the site load? Alexa says "Very Slow", 90% of the sites are faster.
    So, what is PN doing about it? Does it not want to upgrade itself regarding the look and feel and come to the current standards set by the likes of Flickr and 500px? Many of PN's competitors are allowing Full res uploads. Their display of members' pics are slick and gorgeous. To top it all their administrators don't pare down their paying members by harsh comments and admonitions.
    I am posting this out of sheer care and concern about this photography forum of which I am a proud member and a concerned critique.
     
  2. Apurva, I've noticed the same drop-off in discussions on individual photos as well. I try to do my best, and I see by the amount of critiques you make, you do as well. From what I understand from things having been said by the new administration, they are working on ways to improve site functionality, presentation style, and participation with regard to critiques. Last they posted about it, I believe they said the new designs and functions will be rolled out sometime around or after the new year. I'm really looking forward to the new features and design.
    For the time being, I find that I develop more interactions with people about their photos and my photos when I comment constructively on theirs. I am more likely to get people who've looked at my portfolio due to comments I've made than due to photos I've posted in the critique or ratings queues.
     
  3. I guess one reason could be the display. Allow me to say the current PN display leaves a lot to be desired. Once uploaded you will not like your own photo. I don't know why but this does not happen with other forums.​
    Apparently in the many years you've been at PN since 2007, you forgot to learn about color management and why some of us who did learn use color managed browsers to view everyone's images which look drop dead gorgeous to me.
    Seeing you didn't know this was happening with your PN gallery, I'm having a hard time relying on your opinion as an authority on the rest of what you've outlined about PN.
    I like it here because I developed a "belief system" from reading the well thought out and intelligently written responses in these forums that has convinced me I'm among very smart people who can write and communicate effectively on a wide range of subjects (not just on photography) that can be quite complicated (i.e. color management).
    I don't know who Alexia is but if she's dating I'ld like to know if she likes long walks in the park and eating Cheetos
    "Cheezy Salsa Mix" cuz' I'm addicted to both.
    00c5QB-543145784.jpg
     
  4. acm

    acm

    Tim, kindly check out alexa.com and you will know!
     
  5. I pretty much believe statistical internet sites such as Alexa.com like I believe everything I read in the paper.
     
  6. I don't know where or how the alexa site acquires it's rating data because I didn't look for that info. But, I do think that characterizing the site loading time of 4+ seconds as "very slow" is a little misleading, even if true. I did a quick check of the loading time here: 1 second, consistently over several attempts. If that number is not reliable, what about the rest of the ratings?
    In spite of that I did find this statement:
    Good articles on equipment and techniques. Extensive galleries featuring portfolios of members. Articles useful at any skill level. Forum and user comments. A good starting point for a situation or equipment question.
    That seems more meaningful than the numbers...
    (Tim, Cheezy Salsa Mix? Really? ;-)
     
  7. "Unified View" is a pretty good barometer of what's happening on the site, and as anyone can see - it's incredibly equipment centric. It's all about this lens or that body or flash. Rarely is there an image oriented question. In addition, the answers to the questions being asked require little more than a glance at the owners manual from what I can only imagine are folks who refuse to read and are too lazy to do their homework.
    As this industry atrophies to the low information photographer, we encourage this behavior by writing copious answers and justifying their sloth. There is a "beginners question forum" apparently that's not good enough as the same questions answered dozens time (too lazy to search?) just keep reappearing. These circumstances make for a predictably boring PN experience. I always ask myself on the way to the site " let's see what the idiots are up to today", I'm rarely disappointed and often appalled by the lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the craft.
    It's really a shame, are moderators failing to monitor - or asked not to? Obviously one must fork over some cash to be included or even seen on the site, as members are ignored in deference to subscribers, a rather odd division of organization. PN seems very close to the Facebook model, with a great deal more to offer yet seems to not be able to get out of it's own way.
     
  8. (Tim, Cheezy Salsa Mix? Really? ;-)​
    It's a fairly recent affliction, William. Last time I ate a bag of Cheetos was back in the Clinton administration. Cheezy Salsa Mix grabbed me and just wouldn't let go. Hey, don't knock it till ya' try it...uh...on second thought run, run like the wind if you ever see an unopened bag!
    As this industry atrophies to the low information photographer, we encourage this behavior by writing copious answers and justifying their sloth.​
    What I tell ya' about intelligently and well written responses?! It's the quality, not quantity that matters at Photo.net.
    Now why, you may ask, does this have value. You have to know something and know it well in order to say it with confidence and in the 9 years as a paying member reading and responding to quality responses as you've read above I've been able to gleem from this a confidence in what I know in order to speak not only online but in public as well with a confidence I never had before.
    This site isn't just about photography. You do learn more things than you expected by being an active communicator here. 9 years ago and farther back in my 54 years, I could never formulate and write meaningful responses as I've demonstrated here. You have to believe you are talking to smart, receptive people to cultivate this kind of content.
    My typing skills have improved immensely as well. I have a skills assessment test by a certified company to back that up.
     
  9. And yet, here you are... ;-)
     
  10. "I always ask myself on the way to the site " let's see what the idiots are up to today", . . . It's really a shame, are moderators failing to monitor"
    Moderators of a site are important but so are the contributors. I try to take responsibility for both my photographic and my verbal contributions and know that the content and tone of what I offer goes a long way in making this site what it is.
     
  11. Tim, my last remark was for Gary, not you - sorry!
     
  12. William, thanks for clarifying but I did misinterpret in a good way your remark as referring to my surviving the Cheetos, and yet I am still here.
    But I have to hand it to Fred for crafting a response as an admonishment towards Gary's salty tone that made it look like he was doing Gary a favor. Never seen a more innocuously written response. I don't know how he does it.
    But I still like the way Gary wrote most of what he said except for his use of the word "idiots". Everybody has a different way of saying things, just got to role with it.
     
  13. The members so far involved in this thread are not going to give you an answer why there are so few comments and ratings,they already highjacked the thread and they are talking about" cheetos".The reason there are so few comments and ratings is that the PAYING members who supplied them are gone.WHY,several reasons,ratings abuse,authoritarism, never listen to what your customers want,neglect,let the site run and it would sort itself out.thinking backwards instead of forwards,keeping rules and ideas from 4-5 years ago while the photo community industry move hugely forwards.
     
  14. Well said, Harry - dittos.
     
  15. Apurva, thanks again for bringing up the topic. It led me to your portfolio and to make a comment on one of your photos. I'll check back periodically to review your work. There is much offered there that is certainly worth taking a few good looks at.
     
  16. Many members who used to provide rich commentary in discussion forums and image critique here, and actively shared their expertise and vision have been chased away over the years. Photo.net have some active members who will fiercely defend their own opinions and over time disagreement is reduced simply because those of different opinions will have left. This then leads to loss of diversity of opinion and perspective and much reduced volume of and value of discussion. One has to have a thick skin to contribute here especially if one has a different perspective from the mainstream. The production of the standard "normative" picture is encouraged as a goal here, rather than doing something that no one else has done before.

    Picture threads such as Wednesday are active when people are allowed to and encouraged to comment on the pictures. Otherwise, they are relatively quiet in volume. I generally recommend discussing photographs with other people (both photographers and non-photographers) in person rather than with strangers online. I think it works a lot better that way.
     
  17. This has the potential to go as nuclear as many of the recent threads in other parts of the site, but I congratulate everyone for maintaining a civil discussion and working to provide positive perspectives as opposed to simply blaming others.
    I guess that my opinion gravitates more toward Ilkka's perspective than previous posts decrying the administration, both recent and past, as being the source of the decline. If it's at all relevant my time spent on the site is down significantly from previous years, due to finding that 'opposite' opinions are not well received and some of the feedback (or at least the words used in the feedback) has led me to believe that I don't need the virtual grief and should spend my time elsewhere, especially since I would allow myself to behave in ways I didn't like as a result. It's a reality that some people revel in arguments that have no potential outcome, and others would just as soon state their view and walk away. When I tried that in a recent thread I was excoriated for not continuing what I saw as a pointless argument - and that led me to drop the site completely for a while. I gave myself a time out, as it were. I have enough grief in my life without coming to a site that was supposed to help improve my photography, and the understanding of it, to get more grief than needed from people I don't know.
    On the other, and very important, hand it's interesting that I've developed a couple of friendships on this site with people who clearly believe quite different things than I do about many aspects of life and photography, but who seem to be able to separate their opinions from how they treat others. So all in all that's been a real positive for me.
    Just my perspective this afternoon.
     
  18. One of the most reflective posts I've come across in recent days is from Gup Jeffries regarding the Off-Topic forum which I'd like to quote:
    "After 50 years of taking photographs, shooting professionally for 25 of them, I don't have much interest in many of the facets of Photo.net anymore. I don't need to ask many questions, study tutorials, read reviews, enter contests, etc. but I do enjoy conversations with intelligent people from different backgrounds and experiences who all share a like-mindedness in our love of photography."
    http://www.photo.net/off-topic-forum/00c4tj

    PN is almost 20 years old and has lived through the changing Internet world almost from the beginning. Many of our members have been around for 10, 15+ years and witnessed significant changes in the photography industry, the Internet, and many contributing factors resulting in today's site dynamics. How much of the OP's implication is attributable to changes within ourselves or site management is debatable, but it's probably fair to say that to some degree, many of us long time members are holding back the growth of PN because we've evolved, but we're not quite sure how the site should evolve to accommodate all these changes happening around us at breakneck speeds.
    From my vantage point, I'd like my investment of time, effort and energy into the site to bear fruit, or at least remain relevant to the extent that satisfies my needs. PN is a community-driven site, and as a community member I have the expectation that my fellow members share similar goals, therefore I have a responsibility to do my part in order to ensure that my contribution does not in any way undermine others' efforts or indeed sabotage site admin's effort in community-building.
    Gup took the words right out of my mouth, but as much as I've evolved and no longer find myself contributing to galleries via photography, I've found a niche in a small corner where I can share stuff that hopefully encourages the pursuit of photography as an interdisciplinary art form by touching on as many disciplines as you might imagine, along with the occasional post in forums where I think I might be helpful.
    I can't speak for everyone, but I'd like to think that our common objective isn't lost by our sometimes dissatisfaction with our surroundings, that PN can be as much a home base as any other site, albeit imperfect, and I challenge anyone to point to a site that is perfect.
     
  19. I have left this site twice. Both times it was because of the moderation. I don't think one should expect any changes. I recently wrote to the Admins and they did not bother to answer me. They DID however just send me a reminder to send them some more money.
    The OP is correct in pointing our SEO statistics. The site is loosing popularity. This is not true of photographic sites in general. There are several that are growing and becoming more profitable. Its all about clicks brothers and sisters. More clicks, more money. It is almost as simple as that.
    The moderators have succeeded in creating a site that is almost devoid of controversy. It may be nice and fluffy for all of us to sit cross-legged on the floor and sing Kumbaya but it doesn't sell clicks. Can any of us get our minds wrapped around the fact that the owners have actually allowed moderators to change the wording in a contributor's post and not even note that they had done it or even notify the poster that they had? That is totally unacceptable. This is not just my opinion. Look at this thread. Why is it that almost all of the people who posted here too a shot at the moderation? Read David Chan's post. Read Ilkka's post. Harry, Gary. Is the administration getting the picture yet? If one person complains about the moderators it is just sour grapes. If two people complain it is to be expected. If three people complain it is.......well. Pick a number. How many have to complain before the powers that be see that there is really a problem? And how many have to leave? I wonder how long this post of mine will survive?
    We should be having spirited discussions. We should have knock down drag out verbal fights about issues pertaining to photography. These will bring eyeballs and eyeballs will bring money. We should review new cameras and be quick to praise and quick to criticize. If one of the camera companies does something with which we disagree we should feel free to slam them for it. A certain other site does it and is 4 times as popular as this one.
    I agree with the comments about critiques. I used to do them but rarely anymore. What is the point? It is not really encouraged. It is just there. I took down my bio and never post photographs. I took my bio down because I felt that my opinions should stand on their own and be openly debated. What I have done or not done does not entitle me to special consideration one way or the other. I do not post a portfolio because I see little point in it. But my point in saying this is to suggest to the administration that they should openly encourage these activities. They don't now.
    So if I were the boss I would ask myself this question. What do we do to catch people doing something good? Do we reward people for critiquing photos? Do you drop frequent posters a note thanking them for a particularly thoughtful post? Have I told my moderators to do that? Have I asked them to go lightly with their heavy handed comments and be cheerleaders as well as axe men? Do I survey the people who leave to see why? Do I have a methodology to capture who they are? Do I send an email to supporters who do not review and ask them why? Not a fancy survey but a personal email from the boss to them?
    Why is photo.net on the middle of page two on a google search for photography and photography advice? That is purgatory. Page one or die. Who is my SEO person and what has she/he done for me lately? Why does 'photography advice' not even show up on my search engine top 5? Why am I not on page one for "photography techniques" when I have one of the most content rich site in that regard on the internet. When I had trouble with a certain site I own dropping off page one I called in the big-guns and boy did I get an education. And I am back on page one with just a few simple changes.
    This thread should be a wake up call for Photo.net management. They should write to everyone who had the nerve to post in it and thank them for their time. They should praise the OP for starting this thread. They should realize that some of go beyond giving them very good content for free. We actually pay for the privilege. The more of us who stop doing that the lower the site is going to sink. Or they can pay someone to do it......
     
  20. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The moderators have succeeded in creating a site that is almost devoid of controversy.​

    That's a good thing. People want good advice on photography. If you want controversy, there are plenty of political sites to where you can get your controversy on.

    This is supposed to be a useful site. I visit a number of sites for useful information. I need to fix my toilet, patch stucco, figure out where the ground loop is, understand why Chromecast isn't working. I don't want controversy, I want to solve problems. That's what photo.net is for. Not to be your personal argument platform. Plenty of places for you to go other than here since that's your goal.
    And, in the end, this is a photography site. Photography is about photographs. You don't seem to have any, so it appears that "controversy" is your sole interest. I would suggest that there are far better places to spend your time.
     
  21. Wow! Not a word about how to make better photographs in this entire thread started by the OP who complains and gets everyone else to agree that this site just isn't concerned about photography but had to be advised on tagging their gallery photos so they looked better. I'm the only one that gave advise on how to make their photograph appear better and I get slammed for making a Cheetos joke.
    That's rich.
    Here, go play with this...
    http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00c4nr
    ...no one else seems interested and I worked my a$$ off doing the research. I got bupkis.
     
  22. Another pithy response, very well said Rick. For what it's worth I concur completely. Personal evolution is one thing, as Micheal pointed out, however, there is a limit to how far down we can de-vovle to answer a typical question such as: "Does my ISO setting effect both jpgs and raw files alike?" or currently "Is Fill-flash just flash on lowest power?". How on earth could a moderator not move these to the beginners forum?
    I truly believe that this constant flow of empty-headed questions is frustrating and aggravating for we who, have paid our dues in the craft, to constantly have to wade through in an effort to discover a post of interest. Of course these folks deserve answers but the answer should be directions to a resource that would satisfy their needs - not a time consuming short-cut to further misunderstanding.
    I guess that's a part of it for me, PN has become bogged down with lazy new-bee's who have found a short-cut to quick answers and are taking full advantage of more experienced well intended folks. It's kinda like the "give him a fish or show him how to fish" concept. I'm tired of being forced to carefully provide information that I acquired in 30 years of pro work to people who haven't got a clue, and information that following a simple search is readily available here and elsewhere on the web.
    I realize that standards are difficult to establish and maintain on a site such as this, yet considering the metrics, it might be time to re-evaluate the model. There seems to be a great deal of concern over civility and kindness. Perhaps, the frustration I'm and others are experiencing is driving that lack of patience to some degree. Might it be the "Are we there yet" syndrome? How many times must we suffer embarrassing questions from people too ignorant to even see how embarrassing they are! I gets very old and is very sad. Want your pros to stick around - then get the kindergärtners back in their room so the adults can play.
     
  23. So I make a post filled with suggestions and a moderator posts a personal attack:
    This is supposed to be a useful site. I visit a number of sites for useful information. I need to fix my toilet, patch stucco, figure out where the ground loop is, understand why Chromecast isn't working. I don't want controversy, I want to solve problems. That's what photo.net is for. Not to be your personal argument platform. Plenty of places for you to go other than here since that's your goal.
    And, in the end, this is a photography site. Photography is about photographs. You don't seem to have any, so it appears that "controversy" is your sole interest. I would suggest that there are far better places to spend your time.
    See that ownership? Could I have made my point any better? This is your moderator. Since he obviously believes that his opinion is the only correct one and that he is the sole arbiter of what that correct opinion is, why should the rest of us contribute? News flash Jeff. There are a variety of ways to solve problems. Not one. Those differing opinions create controversy. If there are not heated discussions in the advice forums it can only be because the moderators are pounding it down. And they are. Clearly Jeff doesn't like controversy. He alone knows what is best for the readers.
    So the ball is in your court owners? What do you want. A milk toast site with 2,428 posts on whether to buy a D4 or a horse?
    Jeff felt he could deliberately insult me and ignore the hundreds of careful and patient posts that he full well knows that I have made to help new photographers and others. Did he acknowledge that? Nope. He feels it is his job to deliberately insult me and suggest I leave.
    Well ownership. Are you there? Did you appreciate how I was treated? Are you reading these posts? I am virtually certain you are not. You don't even read your emails. You sent me a letter telling me you want my money again this year. Your moderator told me, in so many words, to get lost. Which is it? You tell me what you want. My guess is that there is nobody home.
    No doubt this post will be deleted. That is what usually happens when someone challenges the moderators. Even when the good of the site is the goal.
     
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    There is no personal attack. THis is why it's a problem here. The post should be deleted. You haven't given any reason why this site should be about "controversy" rather than photography. That's what you want. Find a playground where controversy is the name of the game.
     
  25. "I would suggest that there are far
    better places to spend your time."

    Disturbing comment!

    Something one should always tell
    Customers!

    Advice maybe I should see fit to take.

    After all, most of those that have rubbed
    me the wrong way around here lately
    didn't have much to show in their
    galleries either, but certainly had lots of
    arrogance!
     
  26. Edit

    My first post/comment should have
    been a +1 to Harry T's comments.

    But I got so annoyed I couldn't contain
    myself!
     
  27. Moderation in all things - perhaps not. Cooler heads should prevail - no one's on fire or bleeding, guys. There appears to a good deal of frustration here from all parties. Frustration with each other, the business model or who knows what.
    Please don't judge participants by their gallery or lack thereof, I have a web site that demonstrates many years of dedication to the craft and that I believe represents well my capabilities and dedication to the business. I pulled my images from PN as there was no incentive to maintain them here. In fact as a mere member my stuff was ignored and was invisible as it seems that only subscribers are of any note. Exclusion from most events and other activities fostered by PN are, I believe exclusive to subscribers only. That's fine but please don't criticize me for not being where I'm apparently not wanted.
    Art has been consumed with controversy since it's very origins - that's nothing new - but personal attacks are uncalled for and unacceptable. It's simply a matter of intent. Criticism in this format is extremely hazardous as you can never gauge the competence level of those involved - as such - tempers flair - sad.
    Jeff, you defaulted to the standard moderator programming - "if you don't like it leave" - you really need to do better than that. We're here fighting for something - something that we all love, yet you trashed your own "problem solving" intent. Might want to rethink that responce, and have a little respect for those who care enough to constructively criticize. We bitch, perhaps because we care and want to help save something worthwhile.
     
  28. No Jeff. We ALL saw your personal insult. There is not a soul here who does not know what my point is.
    And you threaten to delete the post solely because I do not agree with you. If the leadership is reading this thread they will get the point.
     
  29. If the forums are too bland, what sort of controversy do you want in them? Nikon vs. Canon? Film vs. Digital? Democrats vs. Republicans? Guns vs whatever? What do you want to argue about (or discuss) that moderators are preventing you from discussing?
    I'm sure if you wanted to posit that the new topographics movement in photography was an echo of the minimalist movement, nobody would object. If you wanted to take the point of view that monochrome images were different from color images in more ways than just the lack of color, or that the two were essentially equivalent, you'd be welcome to take either side of the argument.
    Photo.net is far from perfect of course, but it does present an alternative to the other photo websites. Some people like that, some don't. There are photo websites that I never read that other people probably love. I don't go there because I don't like their approach or their style or their (lack of meaningful) content. That doesn't mean they are wrong or they should redesign their website. There are also News websites I won't read, and social networks I won't participate in simply because I don't like the way they operate or are structured. Doesn't mean others don't like them.
    Photo.net listens to what users are saying, but that includes a lot more communication than you see in this or other forums. Users send email with their feelings about the site. Often those users don't want to get into endless forum debates or open themselves up to hostile comments from other users by making public statements. Those emails count for a lot, at least as much as forum postings.
    The site is not static. You don't know what's being done behind the scenes or what's planned (and for the most part, neither do I). I do know the site and the way it operates is not being ignored. No laurels are being rested on. Websites don't announce those things ahead of time, just as Canon and Nikon don't announce specifics what they are working on and Facebook and Google+ don't announce changes they are considering until they actually introduce them on their sites.
    Photo.net is also pretty unusual in providing a public forum where users can complain about the site. Do you know any other large photo websites with a forum like this? If photo.net really wanted to suppress discussion and make the site bland, this would be the first forum to go. Some might even consider that would be a good thing...but it's still here.
     
  30. I hear you Bob. Good you left this thread up. I hope you really read all of the posts. Most of the people responding to this thread believe there is a problem. You appear to disagree with them. You saw first hand a moderator making a personal insult. That should count for something.
    What it appears you fail to understand is that we have witnessed on countless occasions the moderators slapping down divergent opinions in discussions of technique and equipment.
    Your moderator Lex knows that I have spent hours making carefully thought out posts for beginners and others for whom my advice might be welcome. Yet he dismisses me out of hand in this very thread (and you do too) trying to categorize me as a mere rabble-rouser. He intended to insult me, to silence me and to drive me off. That is clear to anyone reading his response to my post. And this is the person you to whom you are entrusting the forums.
    I will drop this because I believe it is pointless anyway. This issue has been going on for a decade and nothing has been done about it. I'm glad to be the focus of disapprobation on the part of the mods and now admin. None of us has a pressing need to participate here. That is partially why you see the same stuff from the same people over and over again.
    Have your milk-toast site. Your numbers are dropping, long time participants are complaining and the answer from admin is 'you guys don't know what we are up to and we won't tell you. We won't even admit that there might be a problem.'
    Keep the site the same. No doubt advertising revenue is over the moon.
     
  31. He intended to insult me, to silence me and to drive me off. That is clear to anyone reading his response to my post. And this is the person you to whom you are entrusting the forums.​
    I had to go back and reread what Jeff Spire said in this thread and I'm at loss as to how he attempted to run you off, silence and insult you. Jeff just basically expressed an observation about "controversy" based discussions over photography ones which he has just as much freedom to do as what you're posting.
    He didn't use any derogatory or insulting words so I really don't get your point or reason for your complaint. I don't see any problem, so yeah, it is pointless in this respect to continue responding the way you are.
     
  32. Apurva, thanks for starting this discussion, which unfortunately has been rolling out while most of the rest of the World were sleeping in Morpheus arms.
    Now, awake, I see one of the most clear formulations and multiple contributions on not only what is going off course in Photonet, but also many very good advices on where to look to improve matters. Some of these comments and suggestions on improvements have been mentioned lately in other forums, but here they are, clearly formulated and argued for, and yet some individuals have advised not only to delete one of the best comments above, but to delete the whole forum, HELP!
    Cara, where are you ?
     
  33. I strongly suspect that she, like the great majority of people in the States right now, is sleeping. I'm sure she gets plenty of mail explaining what's wrong with the site and how she should make it better, so the contents of this thread are probably not urgent enough to justify waking her up in the middle of the night.
     
  34. It can wait awhile, I'm sure, Mike.
    Patience is a well known quality among PN member.
     
  35. Apurva's frustrations resonate with me. Participation in at least the critique forums is falling precipitiously. I have no doubt the site owners/managers are aware; surely they have plans for attempting to re-invigorate it.
    I joined soon after Apurva did - based on his recommendation, in fact - and discovered what a great site it was. Tremendous support and priceless guidance from critiquers. Very knowledgable and erudite people in various other forums. Made several virtual friends along the way. Many have moved on, others have moved in... but over the years the critique forums have become more and more soporific. The image categories as currently extant speak for themselves. Some get nil postings, some a bare handfull. Over the years the postings numbers have dropped steadily - be it Street or Documentary or Fine Art...
    Does it encourage participation? Perhaps it discourages it...
    Waiting patiently, with increasing frustration, since August 2010...
    http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00WzL8
    http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/00XSuy
    http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/00aC21
     
  36. "What it appears you fail to understand is that we have witnessed on countless occasions the moderators slapping down divergent opinions in discussions of technique and equipment"
    No, Rick, what you fail to understand is that moderators are reacting to the rudeness and hostility in some of those discussions, which is exactly what they're supposed to do.
    When Cara announced the disabling of the Off Topic forum, I commented that the uncivil behavior would likely pop up elsewhere. And here we are. I wish to hell I'd been wrong.
    Here's a somewhat amusing irony: There's an interesting thread going on as we speak about the importance of background in photography:
    http://www.photo.net/philosophy-of-photography-forum/00c5Xf?unified_p=1
    Why aren't you guys over there?
    On second thought...
     
  37. acm

    acm

    I did not realize when I posted this thread, last night, 11.30 pm or so India time that it will have such a large amount of participation. Went to sleep soon after. Today morning checked out several postings to this thread and read them all on my iPhone. However its has been a very busy day and I didn't have any opportunity to participate in the discussion.
    Tim, why are you taking a dig at my competence as a photographer? I have never claimed to be a master or an expert, but only allowed my work to speak for me. And who says you cant make suggestion to improve unless you are a master yourself?
    I am surprised no one has discussed the lack of Android/iOS app. I am stating it again. Would it not be fabulous to have one?
    I fully agree with Bob, PN is the ONLY site with such type of discussion form as far as I know, and I really appreciate the fact.And that is one of the reasons that I care for PN so much and have initiated this thread!
     
  38. >>> We should be having spirited discussions.

    Sure, it has always been that way.

    >>> We should have knock down drag out verbal fights about issues pertaining to photography.

    Uh, no thanks.

    >>> We should review new cameras and be quick to praise and quick to criticize. If one of the camera
    companies does something with which we disagree we should feel free to slam them for it.

    For some, there is more, a lot more, to photography than camera manufacturer smack-downs for not
    producing the perfect camera for one's needs.

    >>> These will bring eyeballs and eyeballs will bring money.

    A lot of things will bring eyeballs; porn for example. Again, no thanks.

    In summary I think you are confusing having spirited discussions (which has never been discouraged) with
    the progressively poisonous atmosphere and animosity that has developed in the OT forum, mostly due to a
    handful of people.

    >>> No Jeff. We ALL saw your personal insult. There is not a soul here who does not know what my point
    is.

    Sorry, that just doesn't wash. Probably best to use "I" rather than trying to speak for everyone. Also, apologies in advance should what I've written may be interpreted as a "personal insult" - not my intent.
     
  39. acm

    acm

    Fred, many thanks for you critique on one of my photos and also for the kind words!
     
  40. re Facebook: There's enormous criticism of Facebook worldwide. When's the last time that major newspapers ran stories about Photo Net changing its privacy settings, for instance? So why shouldn't Photo Net members criticize Photo Net, and really, where else are they going to do it other than on Photo Net? And does Photo Net really want to adopt the worst attributes of a major multinational company? As far as I know, there's no technological impediment to discussing proposed changes prior to making them, and that would probably engender some goodwill among "community" members/users (however you view them). To an extent, Photo Net and Facebook are similar in that they both rely on user-supplied content to populate their sites. If Photo Net wants to thrive and its "community" members be happy, it should probably make those users feel like they have a little more say in how their content is used. Without user-supplied content, there is no contest of the month, no photo galleries, etc. Hell, Photo Net should have an annual "appreciation day" for its contributors, without whom it is zip.
    I have seen "toxic" discussions on a newspaper website in the discussion of a particular story, and nothing I have ever seen in a Photo Net forum has come even close to that. To wit, nothing I have ever seen here made me think it needed to be "shut down"; if someone wants to show me differently, go ahead.
    As to what the current administration has done since it's taken over, it doesn't seem like that much: eliminated the POW, replaced it with the POD, brought back the POW but not on the front page, closed the off-topic forum. Addition by subtraction only.
     
  41. Martin, I have more hope in the new administration than that, but you are right it has still to come. What we have seen, is some moderators overreacting in view of, maybe, to force a specific change through. Dialogue might have been a better way forward.
     
  42. G-P

    G-P Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you all for your passion and concern for photo.net. I’ll do my best to address most of what I read here without being too long winded.
    There is no question the landscape in the photo community space has changed significantly since 2007 – we fully acknowledge that and expect that photo.net 2.0 will be a refreshing upgrade to our community. We are working hard every day on bringing Photo.net 2.0 to life for all of your enjoyment and we expect we’ll have a beta site we can show by February. The input from the community exists in the countless threads and emails we have read and I believe we have taken all input given very seriously. We are executing on the ones we can and believe will make a significant impact to the enjoyment of our community. Can we bring all suggestions to live in 2.0?...the answer is no, however please know that any and all constructive criticism of photo.net has been taken into account and we are doing our best at making this a community build. There are many people that are happy with Photo.net as it exists now and of course conversely there are many that believe it needs a full overhaul. We hope and expect to stay true to what made photo.net successful in the past while upgrading our functionality and visual appearance in 2.0. Putting it simply, our goal is to deliver a site experience that is visually appealing, fast, easy to navigate, collaborate and learn.
    Because we are largely dedicated the tasks needed to make 2.0 happen unfortunately there is not enough time in the day to get involved in every disagreement or address every compliant and for that I apologize. We (as in the administration and moderators) are currently spread just too thin. We have been and will continue to rely on moderators (who are intelligent and dedicated community veterans) and the community to by and large police itself.
    The OP referenced Alexa traffic numbers – and my first reaction was Alexa? I wouldn’t use those numbers as a barometer of our (or any) site traffic as we do not carry Alexa tags on the site. I believe their data model and methodology relies on people that have downloaded Alexa toolbar and it is not the most reliable data source, in fact far from it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexa_Internet Our traffic is still strong – could it be stronger, sure which is why we’re working on making 2.0 - again - visually appealing, fast, easy to navigate, collaborate and learn.
    An app – of course, it is on the “to do” list, however our primary focus is in the site to start however photo.net 2.0 will by and large be a reactive site and will adapt to mobile browsers for most functions. I realize it is not an app…but have you tried m.photo.net?
    Speed – is hard to pick up with the existing site as it is currently constituted however it will be significantly better with 2.0. We did do a server and database upgrade a few months back and by all accounts photo.net is faster today than it was in 2007. But can we do better, yes and we will in 2.0.
    Look and feel – upgraded and updated in 2.0 and it is being addressed.
    Uploader, of course – its top of the list.
    “To top it all, their administrators don’t pare down their paying members by harsh comments and admonitions” – I don’t really know how to respond because I have nothing that supports this statement. The only thing I can say is that we will ban and continue the ban those that violate our terms of use. It is an agreement we made with the registrant/subscriber and if they violate it, we simply hold up our end of the agreement. Quite often we do give warnings with thorough explanations that point back to the terms of use agreement which we use as a guide. One might say that the previous administration was much more tolerant of people that had shown a propensity for irrational and disrespectful behavior. I will grant you this – we are much less tolerant but believe me, we take each banning very seriously and if we do ban someone, we do it for the good of the community. Ilkka Nissilia & David Cavan’s comments resonated with me because it speaks to needing “civil discussions and working to provide positive perspectives” – which not only applies to this thread but all threads on photo.net. When people get out of line, it impacts the entire site. Moving forward the beatings will continue until morale improves. (of course…that’s a pirate joke for you landlubbers).
    The ratings system as it is currently constituted is less than ideal from my perspective and we know that must be addressed. For many that seek ratings it is about gaining exposure which hopefully will lead to a more meaningful dialog about the photos. We’re working on something that we believe is an upgrade for 2.0 but in the near term we are working on additional ways photo.net members can get their photos more exposure outside of the ratings system. Tagging your photos is key in everything we’re working on – too many photos are uploaded with no tags, no exif therefore they are not searchable.
    To answer “If Photo Net wants to thrive and its "community" members be happy, it should probably make those users feel like they have a little more say in how their content is used. Without user-supplied content, there is no contest of the month, no photo galleries, etc. Hell, Photo Net should have an annual "appreciation day" for its contributors, without whom it is zip.” I would say that photo.net is a givers gain concept and we hope that your contributions to photo.net are for the betterment of your fellow photographers. Giving the gift of knowledge is a gift in and of itself. If you require points or a token of some sort, we can arrange that but I would suggest that the appreciation you are after is something you get the more you give.
    To answer this statement “As to what the current administration has done since it's taken over, it doesn't seem like that much: eliminated the POW, replaced it with the POD, brought back the POW but not on the front page, closed the off-topic forum. Addition by subtraction only.” Running this site while working on 2.0 is a full time job and I wish there were more of us to lighten the load. You may have noticed that since February we have significantly more recent and fresh content on the site. I would like to thank Cara for all of her hard work towards that end – the sites editorial content is again recent and relevant. I agree that there have been less upgrades to this current site than we’d all like to see it is only because we are working on bringing a new and improved 2.0 to life. In terms of feedback and making this a community build, as I’ve said earlier - we’ve done surveys, read countless emails and forum threads – all of which have gone into consideration for 2.0. I know we will not please everyone, however we will try to please most. Please use this as an opportunity to tell us what you want – there are no technological barriers to writing in a forum thread what you’d like to see in 2.0. So tell us, what do you want to see in 2.0? Or if you wish you can email me directly if you wish send me an internal message if you have an issue with photo.net or would like to make a constructive criticism of how we are running the site.
    I believe we can build the most beautiful stage for photography together, but in the end it’s a community site and its only as good as its members attitudes, beliefs and ideals. Please remember that next time you find yourself in a forum thread about to reply….you could make photo.net a better place just by pausing before you hit send.
     
  43. What it appears you fail to understand is that we have witnessed on countless occasions the moderators slapping down divergent opinions in discussions of technique and equipment.​
    That's an invalid generalization. There is no "the moderators". In general forum moderators set their own policy (within the overall photo.net guidelines). In the forums I actively moderate I don't remember "slapping down divergent opinions". It's certainly possible that some moderators on some forums might do that, but in that case the appropriate method of complaint if you disagree with their actions would be to to contact the moderator and if that is unproductive, contact Cara with the details and let her decide. Just like everyone else here, moderators are human and have different levels of tolerance and different standards of acceptability for postings they consider unproductive or unhelpful.

    If a moderator decides to limit a discussion I'm sure their motives are to improve the overall quality of the site and accuracy of information posted. There should be no personal animosity or bias involved and I don't believe that there is.
     
  44. Thanks Glenn for your extensive explanations. I will wait for February 2014 for seeing the results of your efforts for a new Photonet 2.0. I don't know how you count, but it might just be, that it is fact version 4.0 or 5.0.
    My personal experiences on such matters tell me, that sometimes it is better to prepare for a series of significant improvements, visible for all users and visitors, rapidly, than for one single big bang in four months time. Just a suggestion.
    Concerning your wish, Glenn, of receiving suggestions of improvements from members, it is my impression, that Cara successfully launched such a demand already and has, without much doubt, received a great number from many members, me included.
     
  45. sometimes it is better to prepare for a series of significant improvements, visible for all users and visitors, rapidly, than for one single big bang in four months
    When those significant improvements involve fundamental changes to the underlying software platform, they can't be introduced until that underlying platform has been modified.
     
  46. Yes, Mike, I did understand, that that must have been the only argument behind such a choice.
     
  47. It is a very interesting discussion, I think that part of the problems is that good suggestion are not answered.
    Lets take the POW as an example. I wrote more than ones that POW can be a good forum to attract members to the discussion . and suggeted to the elves and administration to choose/upload photos for discussion from members that are active at PN and are the assets of the site, and not photos of members that are years absent and not active at all.
    I think it is only fair and can be some bonus to memebres that are acvtive as well as a stimulation for them to continue to be active.
    What I really see is that from the time POW returned most photos were chosem of members that are not active for years and years.!
    That is only one problem, I have offered a long time ago, to change the 10 minute to write and give comments as it is meant to be an international site which English is not in every day use, and needs more time to express themselves...
    Only two suggestion to better the site that have not been answered .
    Untill now at least...
     
  48. Tim, why are you taking a dig at my competence as a photographer?​
    If you read carefully, I was only referring to your competence as a photographer as it relates to your ability and ambition to learn from this site for free the importance of embedding an sRGB profile in your PN gallery images and view those images in a color managed browser before you criticized and blamed the poor "display" of your PN gallery as being PN's fault.

    Your PN images look quite good, so you might say I was questioning your competence as a thorough problem solver in general toward making this a better site over others.
     
  49. Pnina, something to keep in mind is that not all suggestions will be ones the administration wants to implement, which doesn't mean they're not listening, just not agreeing. Or they may consider them good ideas but too hard to implement or not appropriate to the site for some reason. I may be mistaken but I think I've read responses to your suggestions. The 10-minute limit has been discussed a number of times and I think I remember the administration listening but also explaining why they want the editing limit. We have to figure that many, many suggestions are given by well-meaning and interested members like you, many of which seem like obvious and great ideas to those doing the suggesting (me included) but all of which won't work well for the site, which has all kinds of needs and limitations.
    Think about it this way, I've expressed disagreement with both your suggestions. If they adopted your suggestions do I then start complaining that I'm not being listened to? No, I have to think they just made the decision they determined best served the site's interest, at least as they see it.
     
  50. Fred, I agree ,not to agree with you, and you know ,that I feel it can help the site .
    I think as well that it is a mutual interest for adminstrators and both of us as well.
    We are suggesting what we think, and I know that if it will be possible,it can help.
    The conclusion is, that we all want the same things! the site to grow ,and the hope that good and active photographers stay , and not leave to other places.
     
  51. I happen to agree with one of Pnina's suggestion and not with the other ! but that is not the problem here, as far as I understand Pnina.
    The problem is that we all have had experiences with suggesting something in view of further improving Photonet, and never (almost never, to be fair) we got a feedback from those in charge. Personally, I find it rude.
    It is not difficult, as a first step to send an automatic acknowledgment of having received the suggestion. Other sites do that systematically. It is neither very burdensome to group people who have suggested changes in a specific field and informing them when a decision has been taken - and why not ?- thanking them for their proposals. Not doing it, as it mostly has been the rule in Photonet is not optimal to the functioning of the site. Some would call it arrogance.
     
  52. G-P

    G-P Moderator Staff Member

    Fact is, quite often threads are started about improvements and we want to see a discussion around the topic by the community. Getting multiple viewpoints on a suggestion for improvement is ideal from our perspective. BTW - It is not our intent to be rude or arrogant, but I'm happy to answer any questions you might have - you can email me directly or send an internal message. I believe that by and large we are a pretty accessible. We're much more inclined to reply to polite users than ones that are generally rude though....its just human nature.
     
  53. Pnina has never, ever been rude, Glenn ! We know here maybe better than you.
    Me neither, by the way. Tuff, maybe. Rude, never.
     
  54. Glenn,
    I'm afraid I somewhat disagree with your previous post and the "general meaning" I take from it.
    In this very Forum, here; http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/00c2U7 I tried to point out some possible site "glitches/problems" and for the most part was simply ignored!
    15 Days to receive "half a response!" And, part of the thread was never or, will ever be responded to! Seems somewhat arrogant in my book!
    Was I rude?
     
  55. Anders,
    Thanks for your words, as I think you really know .!
     
  56. Please Guys 'n Girls, let's call this Game, Set and Match with no winners. The thread has wandered so far away from the original post, that it is no longer interesting.
    Time to find something new to chirp about............... !
    Regards
     
  57. Grayham, you are totally lost about what is going on here. There is not competition and no searching for winners or even losers. Just an exchange of viewpoints and and useful information. If you are not interested, read or write something else elsewhere. There are no Guys 'n girls around either, by the way.
    But you are right we have been around the subject, by now, if Apurva agrees, that is.
     
  58. "Your moderator Lex knows that I have spent hours making carefully thought out posts for beginners and others for whom my advice might be welcome. Yet he dismisses me out of hand in this very thread (and you do too) trying to categorize me as a mere rabble-rouser. He intended to insult me, to silence me and to drive me off. That is clear to anyone reading his response to my post. And this is the person you to whom you are entrusting the forums."​
    Rick, there must be a misunderstanding. This is my first post to this thread. As far as I can recall we've never had any issues.
     
  59. Lex, I suspect that Rick was referring to a comment made by Jeff Spirer, who often drops by threads to tell contributors that they should go elsewhere, which is exactly what Jeff did in the case of this thread.
    Jeff's comment to Rick.
    I would suggest that there are far better places to spend your time.​
    Over time, repeatedly telling your customers to shop elsewhere can only lead to them doing precisely that.
     
  60. Oh, well... I've written enough stuff myself that annoys folks, I wondered
    whether I'd done so here and just forgot about it. Ask me about the
    ratings system. I'm usually good for an annoying comment about that
    topic.
     
  61. Gordon is correct Lex. I apologize. You and I have never locked horns before. In fact I always find your comments thoughtful and interesting. I misspoke.
     
  62. Grayham Allott [​IMG], Oct 23, 2013; 10:03 a.m. Please Guys 'n Girls, let's call this Game, Set and Match with no winners. The thread has wandered so far away from the original post, that it is no longer interesting​
    Indeed!
     
  63. Hi Anders.........
    I'm sorry that the subtlety of my comment went over your head. I will be more bold next time.
     
  64. Don't bother, Grayham.
     
  65. O/P: "Over the years I believe PN members have become more sedate. What I perceive now is that PN is still an excellent medium when forum discussions are concerned. One can still get an exciting discussion on photography subjects. Some exciting heated discussions too.
    But when it comes to pictures themselves, I feel the members' response is quite cold. A fairly good picture by any standards gets far fewer comments and clicks compared with other net forums. My recent pictures of California, Arizona and Utah have been languishing in my portfolio without much notice while the same ones have attracted thousands of clicks- in one case 30,000 plus- and innumerable comments on other forums."​
    I am new, so my perspective is accordingly based on shorter exposure to the site.
    As to the idea of too few critiques. This is my opinion:
    1. The internet world is just jammed with too many photos. A stream turned into a river, which became a torrent, which is now a flood of Biblical proportions. So many sites filled with so many millions of photographs that it's now like asking fish to comment on water. The notion you can just grab 100 random, undifferentiated photos, and make a ribbon of images located somewhere on a web page for people to go critique is naive in the presence of the billions of images available on easily searchable sites. Marketing and technology problem.
    2. Community or Business? - all sides are confused. We see many calling this a 'community.' But it is in fact a 'business.' Why is this important? Members want to act like it is a community, but that is in conflict with management, which wants to operate (of course) as a business. The two are incompatible ideas. Communities have some degree of self-governance, democratic principle and ownership of outcome. That's not the model here, however, where management (mods and others) dictate autocratically what will happen, what can be said, and what the goals are - just like any business. For example, just read Moderator Jeff's posts in this thread. Does that sound like a community? No, of course not. Sounds like a 'boss', doesn't it?
    This tension, or major misunderstanding, confuses the participants. They're asking, "Do I want to invest heavily in an autocratic system where I am bossed around like that?" Some do, some don't. You don't see Amazon confusing it's customers this way. But for some reason these special interest forums continually put up this pretense of community. Serious critiquing takes the formation of real interest groups that invest in the kind of real (authentic) human relations that are discouraged and actually despised here. What the mods insist on is a kind of 'Stepford World' of happy, smiley-faced, tame participants. e.g. "It's ugly" is an unacceptable (and deleted!) critique. You can't possibly get meaningful critique of art under those conditions.
    3. The site is clunky, and there is just no better word to describe it.
     
  66. Funny how the autocratic mods who force everyone to be happy haven't deleted the screen after screen after screen
    after screen full of criticism of the site and insults directed at the mods and admins that youve posted in the past couple
    of days. But hey, why let an obvious contradiction of your claims get in the way of a good rant?
     
  67. Indeed. We seem to be a bunch of petty dictators, inflicting our ideas on others, punishing those that get out of line, all along with lining our pockets with wads of cash. We're clearly trying to create "Stepford Users" where everyone is obedient to the whims of the moderators.
    And yes, there are too many photos being taken and Photo.net is clearly contributing to the problem. We should be discouraging people from taking pictures....but then again, maybe that's exactly what we are doing by deliberately making the site so clunky. Damn, you've uncovered our secret motive. Next you'll probably find the subliminal advertising that brainwashes unhappy readers into staying on a site they hate and serves no useful purpose other than a focus and outlet for their general disenchantment with life.
    The fix is obvious. Get rid of the gallery and critiques, so we aren't contributing to the glut of photographs being taken today and remove all moderation so that users can say exactly whatever they want to in whatever way they want to. And get rid of the advertising so photo.net is no longer a business. I'll propose that out our next secret meeting, but don't get your hopes up...
     
  68. G-P

    G-P Moderator Staff Member

    @ m stephen - does a healthy community have laws? This one does and it comes in the form of our terms of use that community members agree to when they sign up. If they violate those laws/rules then someone must enforce them otherwise you are on the road to anarchy. Does a community have a budget to pave the roads, build new ones, pay the town administrators and police...and etc. etc. The answer is yes and so does this community. Servers, designers, hosting, webmasters...all cost money. Without money there would be no site, there would be no communities online or in your own home town.
    Your analogy of Stepford World is I believe inaccurate as we see many discussions get heated, we administer the site according to the terms of use we all agree to when we use the site. Are we perfect, no. Is anyone perfect, no. The "its ugly" comment has been explained in previous threads however I will address it here...as it was not offered with any form of constructive criticism and was done in a tone that we felt should not be welcome here if you are looking to build a community of people that offer “civil discussions and working to provide positive perspectives”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community
     
  69. G-P

    G-P Moderator Staff Member

    PS. I prefer to call Photo.net retro...not clunky. Don't worry 2.0 is on the way...the costly designers and programmers are ringing up a huge bill which will pay with....ummmm I don't know....money.
     
  70. " road to anarchy" If that isn't already the name of a band, it should be.
     
  71. Well, you know, if you're not happy here, there are other sites you can run to. Oh, wait.....it looks like they have problems, too:
    http://www.sheenasig.com/
    (Ironically, photosig.com has been down for the last three days (500 Servlet Exception error.))
    Oh, well, relax and enjoy the ride... ;-)
     
  72. Hmm, "Road to Hell" is an album, a song and a movie. "Road to Anarchy" is none of these - but it is a registered domain, so we're too late for that. "Road to Nowhere" is also a movie and a song.
    That's it. All we need is a theme song. "Road to Photo.net". Any musicians in the audience?
    I agree that "Road to Anarchy" would be a great name for a metal band.
     
  73. Is there a middle ground? Is it possible to recognize the divergent views as all having SOME degree of merit? To me, yes.
    PN is a community, sure, and it has laws and needs money like other communities. And fostering a sense of community can surely be a positive thing for the participants. At the same time, it is not a community that votes for representatives who make the rules we have to abide by. The rules are made by legal minds hired by corporations. (I could be mistaken there. But regardless of who, specifically, makes the rules, they are not democratically made, nor should they be, given business is anything but democratic.)
    I can also see both sides on critique. On the one hand, you have the perception by a lot of people that making a simple statement "That's ugly" (and I believe there was more to the comment than that, all critical) is mean-spirited. Though that is an obvious projection, the perception can't be denied and does seem to be somewhat pervasive. My own advocating in favor of allowing a comment such as "That's ugly" and its potential to have a very constructive effect shouldn't prevent me from seeing that a lot of others are offended by it and that I might have to compromise in favor of keeping the community happy. That being said, there does seem to be a sizable portion of the community (me included) who find passion, bluntness, honesty, and candor necessary to constructive, helpful, and authentic criticism. So we can war about it or we can accept the fact, and even acknowledge to those we disagree with, that there is merit to all the different views. Ultimately, however, the site administrators will have their way and there's not much to be said about that, other than adopting some level of acceptance of that reality.
    I hear a lot of moderators and administrators talk and find many statements paternalistic and condescending. This recent suggestion by Cara really rubbed me the wrong way, as an adult who is not here to be told how to behave: "When communicating with one another in the forums and via critiques and any other part of the site, ask yourself this: "Would I respond like this in real life? Would I be so uncivil face-to-face?" Let that be your guide." I recoil at being talked to that way and I sense others do as well, however, I have to stand back and recognize that what Cara said really wasn't so terrible and was meant constructively and was meant to settle things down and aid the community in moving forward. When I really look at it, I don't find any more mean-spiritedness in her words than I did in the words of the critique she was referring to. And I can also understand the reaction to some of the criticisms of the site being leveled, which come across to me also as over-the-top in some instances, even if they have some degree of merit buried within the attitude.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Much of all of this back and forth about personalties, behavior, community, and being constructive is perception, not reality. The minute I start adopting the other guy's perspective, to really try to understand where he or she is coming from, the minute a bit more substantive communication might take place. For instance, my detection of attitude in a post is really only a perception of mine and not a truth. Remembering that helps me stay focused on the prize which, to me, is understanding as opposed to being right.
    So something I've been trying to do is not let style mask substance. If someone says something in a way I don't like or find offensive, I still try to hear the ideas being expressed and see if I can find anything reasonable there. Admittedly, I'm human and not always successful. In this discussion, I think there have been many things addressed that are worth thinking about by all sides. Many truths are uttered all the time that I don't necessarily want to hear. It would be a shame to always miss them because I was busy being defensive or combative, or being offended by stylistics, which I know from experience can shut out some worthwhile feedback.
    In the meantime, I have a suggestion of my own, which might be a bit of paternalism on my part and would serve as an ironic reminder that we all fall pray to even those things we don't like in others. I've honestly been trying, every time I get involved in one of these process discussions about how the site runs, to offset that by making what I see as a more constructive gesture such as critiquing a photo. Saying this, I am going to comment on a fellow community member's photo. I invite each of you participating here to do something similar.
     
  74. I've got it. Those who dislike and have given up on the current site and system should follow in the historical footsteps of earlier photographers, break away and form a "Photo.net-Secession" website - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photo-Secession
    Fred, there is indeed a middle ground. Finding it is the problem, since it's as much a matter or perception as of reality.
     
  75. "Fred, there is indeed a middle ground. Finding it is the problem"
    Bob, thanks. As has been said many times before this, sometimes it's the journey, not the destination!
     
  76. @ m stephen - does a healthy community have laws? This one does and it comes in the form of our terms of use that community members agree to when they sign up. If they violate those laws/rules then someone must enforce them otherwise you are on the road to anarchy.​
    Who makes your laws - the members or the owners? There has been a debate of sorts about the closing of the OT forums. Many members wanting to see it continued. You know what the word was from management, right? "This is a private business and we can do what we want." Sorry, that's not community, aside from some management people simply proclaiming it to be so. Read any of Jeff's frequent, "Go somewhere else" rants and attempts at bullying people. Sorry, that's not a community builder. He makes it clear what kind of people are "ok" and what kind aren't. Sorry, that's not community either. The range of authentic human relations in a genuine community is very wide. The range permitted here by your laws is well, very narrow. And then there is the selective application of the laws. Members must "always be nice." Mods can be bellicose, belligerent and simply rude, and often are by my observation. In a real community, people don't allow themselves to be bullied that way. The idea of communities having democratic participation has nothing to do with "anarchy" - so dragging that strawman out is of no value here. I've seen no one suggesting or proposing anarchy.
    Let's get technical. "Terms of Use," which must be agreed to by members, is a contract. Binding contracts are business arrangements, and are not part of genuine communities. For instance, when I move to a new physical community, I don't sign a TOS agreement in order to do so. The relationship of your members to your company is a business relationship. The word "community" has, since the early days of the Internet, been co-opted by business marketeers to make the arrangement sound like something it isn't.
    Now, there's nothing wrong with business relationships. I use them as appropriate and useful to me. I don't become an Amazon Prime customer though, and then delude myself that I have joined a community, nor do I expect them to tell me I am a member of some Amazon community. However, in these richly monetized hobby forums, there is some historical overhang, probably from founders who didn't initially monetize the site, form corporations and go public, to continually represent the arrangement as being a community.
    Does a community have a budget to pave the roads, build new ones, pay the town administrators and police...and etc. etc. The answer is yes and so does this community. Servers, designers, hosting, webmasters...all cost money. Without money there would be no site, there would be no communities online or in your own home town.​
    You're conflating two different entities there. The city corporation collects money and builds roads, the community is the aggregation of all the inter-personal human relations experienced by those within the borders. These relations and arrangements are personal, not legal or financial. I don't sign TOS agreements with my neighbors to watch each other's homes when we travel, or keep an eye out for stray pets, or to have block parties. Do you?
    So yes, I know this corporation needs money to run. It doesn't run on community love or goodwill. So logic dictates the best path is to be clear and concise when describing your operations, aspirations and goals to the members - the content creators. Example: "We want to make a lot of money here at ABC corporation, so we get thousands of content creators to sign contractual agreements that allow us to leverage the content to sell ad space. And, to perpetuate and control that goal we enforce strict rules on what those content creators are permitted to do here." That would be an honest description of the premise involved in running a monetized special interest site.
    Now let's compare that to someone that wanted to create a community of photographers. To wit: "We want to create a space where all photographers can advance their art, and help others do the same, by forming a community run by those photographers who can evolve with the changing needs of the group." See the difference? The business example requires business structure, like contracts. The community structure involves human relations.
     
  77. "Community or Business? - all sides are confused. We see many calling this a 'community.' But it is in fact a 'business.' Why is this important? Members want to act like it is a community, but that is in conflict with management, which wants to operate (of course) as a business. The two are incompatible ideas."​
    I would suggest that they are incompatible ideas only if a business is run old school.

    Every community-driven site measures its social performance via site stats thereby establishing a direct link to the site's financial performance. The fly in the ointment, though, is the potential misinterpretation of site stats causing tweaks to be misapplied.

    Social performance determines social outcome which in turn determines financial performance; no mystery there because they are symbiotic and interdependent - one can not exist without the other, and each responds to the other's performance.

    The community is driven by a collective mindset largely instilled by site management, and management in turn responds to the collective by cherry-picking desirable characteristics to further embellish social performance. This feedback loop can result in several outcomes as we observe the current Internet landscape; some are hugely successful, some are on IV clinging to life, most have gone by the wayside as no more than a footnote of failed experiments.
    My question to the community is: who are we? who do we want to be? and what are our expectations? Funny enough, my questions to management is exactly the same which brings us to the crux of the problem - do we share a common identity and are pursuing similar site goals? Or are we, as partners, waiting for, or mandating the other to create a Utopian space in order for us to function effortlessly only under those conditions?
    These are complicated questions and probably merits another thread; notwithstanding, Google, Facebook and others are rolling in money operating thriving community sites not dissimilar to PN, so contrary to m-stephen's remark, business and community are absolutely compatible. In fact this relationship has defined and created a new world where there is no going back.
     
  78. "Then, the Nikon Wednesday Pic. I clearly remember, about two years back, each Wednesday thread used to attract 100 plus responses. Today it hardly ever crosses 60-70."​
    This observation from Apurva's initiating post really got my attention. My first thought was that at its peak in 2009 the Nikon forum Wednesday photo threads attracted more than 200 posts. Not necessarily over 200 photos, because many of the posts were commentary on photos and, in a few cases, even people thanking others for thanking them for thanking...
    ...okay, I lost track of where I was going with this thought. But you get the idea. By 2009 photo.net was already becoming what social media already does, and does better: encouraging us to encourage each other, whether through Facebook "likes", Google+ "+1" or words of praise and encouragement on those photo.net weekly photo sharing threads.
    In fact, at one point there was an extensive and spirited discussion about the future of those Wednesday photo threads. A few folks expressed some real disappointment that we were trying to encourage them to use the site's existing critiques/comments process rather than to comment extensively inline with those Wednesday photo threads. I regret that they felt disappointed and discouraged. My main hope was to encourage them to use the critiques/comment section as well.
    I'd like to revisit a suggestion I made back in 2009 - to tie together the weekly photo sharing threads with our photo.net portfolio spaces. This might help improve on another legitimate problem that Apurva mentioned:
    "Those days one used to get a lot response to individual pictures posted which were really good. Within half an hour of posting a picture in critique forum one would get at least 6 to 8 ratings and as much critiques."​
    The weekly photo sharing threads on various forums have been consistently popular, even if overall participation is down. Same with the No Words forum.
    I'd like to resubmit the proposal to link our submissions to those photo sharing threads - including the No Words forum - directly to our photo.net portfolio spaces. Ideally, members can click on each other's photos in those threads, and be taken directly to the photo.net portfolio pages on which those photos are hosted.
    That may help encourage more comments and critiques.
    But some minor modifications may be needed to make this work better. For example, the drag-and-drop method isn't intuitive to everyone, and isn't practical via the mobile app.
    Instead, perhaps folks could first upload photos to their portfolio spaces and have a box to check for submitting photos not only to be critiqued/rated through the usual process, and to submit photos to various contests/monthly displays, but also to submit photos to the various weekly photo sharing threads and to the No Words forum. This should help ensure that if we see a photo in the No Words forum and would like to comment on it, we can go directly to the member's portfolio space and do so, without interrupting the spirit of the No Words process.
    I believe that method could work very well. Many of the really insightful critiques I've received came not from the standard critique forum process, but rather through people seeing one of my photos at the bottom of a discussion forum thread, clicking on that thumbnail view and visiting the full sized version to offer their thoughts.
    Applying the same option to the weekly photo sharing threads might help jumpstart the critique process that seems to have lagged for many members.
     
  79. What is interesting about all of these current threads (I counted five of them with pretty much the same people going back and forth this morning) and the associated heat, and light (this should be about photography after all, so we have to mention light now and then) is that there is a consistent conflating of two discussions. One is a notion that the Off-Topic thread has become a sacred landing-place for some posters here on P.Net, and as such it has somehow become a touchstone for freedom of expression; and the other idea is that photography discussions are being over-moderated and therefore uninteresting.
    I've stayed away from this for days, as I mentioned in an earlier post the OT threads were overly distracting for me, so I just didn't go there much lately. The same arguments are flying around in these current threads as were being expressed four or five days back, so I really haven't missed much as it turns out.
    My personal preference would be that we focus our energies on the photography discussions and figure out how to make sure those remain vigorous, but not become personal. I think that's much of what Fred G. is suggesting, and I certainly want to make sure those debates can remain interesting and challenging. I learn by lurking, and of course I learn more by being directly involved. But I want to learn, and some of that involves disagreement. But it needn't be personal - although as Fred also points out, that's "perceptual" and will always happen somewhat.
    What I have come to really dislike is the antagonism of the OT threads spilling into the rest of the forum, and anyone who hasn't seen that is probably not wanting to see it. I have no doubt that some of the other threads will drift into the value of photography in a free society, but that's more valuable to me than the discussion about the place of a gun in free society. So, again, I'm in favor of a heavily-moderated OT forum that discusses items of interest while staying away from the usual political stuff, and I've no interest in the on-going diatribes from the usual suspects - heck, I could write most of their stuff now so it's not as if I'm learning from that. And, more importantly I'd like to see a less-heavily moderated approach to photography-related threads where we could have some disagreements, but recognize that we are subject to some rules of civility.
    Just for fun I googled "website for political debate" and found lots of places where individuals can argue every kind of subject imaginable, as it relates to a political and cultural perspective. The web seems to have that area well-covered without our contributing to the acrimony that inhabits those conversations these days.
     
  80. "One is a notion that the Off-Topic thread has become a sacred landing-place for some posters here on P.Net..."​
    Indeed and thanks for pointing that out. There are already at least two, possibly three threads on the site help forum on that topic. It would be better to confine complaints about the OT forum issue to those threads in order to keep this one focused on Apurva's original constructive comments and requests, which did not include any mention of the off topic forum.
     
  81. PS. I prefer to call Photo.net retro...not clunky. Don't worry 2.0 is on the way...the costly designers and programmers are ringing up a huge bill which will pay with....ummmm I don't know....money.​
    Once more, you seem to not understand that I don't care how much money you make. To the contrary, my argument has consistently been to stop calling yourself a community and call yourself a business. Stop claiming people are offended by a discussion of economics (OT Forum), but somehow no one is ever offended by ummmm I don't know, piles of prurient photographs of vaginas? when the far simpler truth to be explained is that you feel you can make more money by eliminating the OT forum than with it. A very simple proposition for anyone to understand - business is business. Instead, those of us who post regulary in that company supplied space called OT had to listen to days of insults and scolding by the mods for "shouting, arguing, creating disruptive mean environments," and a whole litany of horrors about disrupting some community which doesn't exist!
    Sarcasm works when the basis lies in fact. Sadly, I have never complained about your company making money, so the attempted sarcasm falls flat.
     
  82. What's a community on the web? Everything is a business. Facebook is a business, Twitter is a business. All social networking sites are businesses. Any site carrying any advertising is a business. Are you objecting to photo.net not being a community or just that it shouldn't be called a community. What would you call it. Are you saying there is no sense of business here, or that there is no business spirit. That participants here are not getting the true spirit of a business. Maybe we should send out messages to new users saying "Welcome to the business". Would that make you happy?

    Also, please tell me where the piles of prurient photographs of vaginas are? You seem to be very knowledgeable on that subject, of which I admit to complete ignorance. Despite being on the site for many hours every day, I don't recall seeing one, nevermind loads (or even binders full) of them. I guess maybe you see what you look for?
    The internet world is just jammed with too many photos​
    Not really sure what we're going to do about that one.
     
  83. Bob, I'm not terribly knowledgeable on the subject of vaginas, so let me add 2 cents from a non-expert on the subject. Probably whether there are many or few vaginas is a matter of interpretation and not a fixed or eternal truth. It's relative. But, I think it would be safe to say there are many more vaginas on PN than penises (at least as shown in photographs). I know in my own case of showing penises, though it's not all about prurience, that is certainly a part of it. I'm happy to say that about my own work, that it comes from a sexual place within me as well as a desire to express other things. I would only hope that there is prurience in the visions of men who photograph vaginas. I suspect there is. I also suspect some might be reticent to admit that for whatever reason and think that art somehow neutralizes prurience, which I think it does not necessarily do.
    Now, I'm going to try to tie in vaginas, penises, and Off Topic discussions.
    An irony or bit of inconsistency I see here is that because people have expressed a desire not to see nudes if they don't want to or aren't in a good position to, a nudes filter system has been established. I don't know if the same sort of filter has been considered for OT discussions and I'm not sure why that couldn't work to allow those who want to engage to engage while allowing those who don't want to see it the ability to filter it out.
    This is just a guess. But I suspect that a great many of the complaints about the Off Topic forum are from folks who just can't help watching a train wreck. How else would they be familiar enough with what goes on to be offended? If you ask most people about rubberneckers and how traffic gets backed up so easily because of them, they will say they hate rubbernecking and would never practice it. And, yet, rubbernecking is pervasive enough to cause slowdowns in traffic with great regularity. Someone is doing the rubbernecking, which means they are drawn to while simultaneously abhorring the train wreck. Give us all a way to filter out the train wrecks and I don't see why anyone would claim that it hurts them or the site. You could even make it a default so a newcomer would never find it unless he actively sought it out.
    Again, I'm just as happy the OT forum as it was is gone. But if you wanted to bring it back in some form or another, a filter to make it invisible to those who wanted no part of it might be just the ticket.
     
  84. A nudes filter? A train wreck filter? Wouldn't that be censorship, the very crime we're so often accused of. We'd have to decide what deserves to be filtered and what doesn't. Can't say I want that awesome level of responsibility.
    A new forum called "Train Wrecks" might not be a bad idea though. We could put this thread in it as a start.
    a filter to make it (OT forum) invisible to those who wanted no part of it might be just the ticket.​
    I believe that's called "not clicking on the OT forum link". I can manage to do that quite easily myself. Maybe those with no self control need OTA (as in AA). I suppose it would be easy to remove all links to an OT forum, but then what would be the point of having it and how would it benefit the site? Might just as well make life easier for everyone and not have it at all.
     
  85. Bob, we already do have a nudes filter, which I'm not keen on but understand the reasons for it. It looks like you got my point about the OT filter. Yes, changing the channel is the ultimate filter and gives us the ultimate freedom, something a lot of people claim to cherish but find it too much of a responsibility to exercise, which is the very reason so many complaints have been lodged asking for the removal of the OT forum. Because, though people have the freedom to change the channel, they would prefer someone in authority to insist on it and make a policy of it.
    Anyway, it's back to penises for me. (Though serendipitously and ironically—an always interesting combination—when I said above I was going to make a comment on a photo, I commented on one with a vagina. That was before vaginas were even mentioned here. You gotta love it. By the way, it's also pretty timely that two people were extremely offended by this photo. I can see every reason for that and I can see the other side as well. I would NOT want the photo removed because of the offense taken.)
     
  86. We don't really have an active nudes filter. You can visit the site without logging in and view all the nudes you want, and anyone can stumble on them while viewing a photographer's portfolio. We do ask photographers to put all nudes in the nudes category, rather than fine art or fashion or glamour. In that way we sort of filter them and minimize the chances of them appearing at random.
    An actual nudes filter would by default block all nudes for everyone unless they logged into the site and checked a box saying "show me the nudes".
    Of course then we'd get yelled at when someone didn't categorize their images correctly (or deliberately mis-classified them) - though that's already the case anyway, plus we'd be required to go in and censor - er, I mean moderate? - images to make sure nudes weren't shown "by accident" - though again, we sometimes have to do that now.
     
  87. Agreed. We don't have a nudes filter. We have a system that allows for filtering them to some extent. Glad we cleared that up! :)
    My tongue-in-cheek suggestion can now be revised. Instead of an Off Topic filter, we could devise a system that allowed for filtering it out . . . but as you already point out, that system is already in place to an extent . . . don't visit it.
    Just like we request the folks put their nudes into the separate nudes category and queue, we could request that people put their political and economic rants into the Off Topic forum . . . which folks could stay away from like they do if they don't want to see nudes . . . oh, wait . . .
    Actually, I don't know if it still exists but at one point craigslist had a Rants and Raves forum. I looked in on it once, got a kick out of it and never went back. Maybe, Off Topic could be limited to science projects and asking questions about remodeling the house and another forum called Political Rants and Raves could be started. Again, just tongue-in-cheek. Where's my tongue-in-cheek emoticon? Better not, it could be considered too sexual!
     
  88. G-P

    G-P Moderator Staff Member

    @m stephens - you call photo.net clunky then am I to assume you like clunky or is that you would like to see improvements made to the site? Please show me a community that isn't a business on some level. Church, nope - they collect, your town...darn those taxes. Cub Scouts, ugh...fees again! Remember - subscription to photo.net is $25 for the year which we use to keep the servers going, pay for bandwidth all so we can discuss photography. I would love to see this kind of passion thrown into every town hall meeting across the world, we'd all live in a better place.
    Lastly, I'm really having a hard time seeing where photo.net doesn't fit the description of a community (from wikipedia): The term community has two distinct commutative meanings: 1) Community can refer to a usually small, social unit of any size that shares common values. The term can also refer to thenational community or international community, and 2) in biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment.
     
  89. Q:What's a community on the web?
    A: I've seen various blog sites that are not businesses. Although anymore that are rare. Communities, wherever they occur, do not involve TOS agreements, for starters.
    Q: Everything is a business. Facebook is a business, Twitter is a business. All social networking sites are businesses. Any site carrying any advertising is a business. Are you objecting to photo.net not being a community or just that it shouldn't be called a community.
    A: No, 'everything' is NOT a business. My weekly photo critique group is not a business. I think I was perfectly clear - call this thing a business because it is one, and not a community because it isn't one.
    Q:What would you call it.
    A: I'd call it what it is...a business.
    Q: Are you saying there is no sense of business here, or that there is no business spirit.
    A: Neither. I said it wasn't a community in the sense that community is commonly understood as containing some "self government" as an example.
    Q: That participants here are not getting the true spirit of a business. Maybe we should send out messages to new users saying "Welcome to the business". Would that make you happy?
    A: What would make me happy is for you to direct your employees to stop endlessly hounding, scolding and insulting a group of members who were merely posting a forum that was created by the company for Off Topic posts. That you want to end it is fine with me, but that people need to be accursed and accused by your mods is frankly ridiculous behavior for ANY business who wants to keep their content creators.
     
  90. Also, please tell me where the piles of prurient photographs of vaginas are? You seem to be very knowledgeable on that subject, of which I admit to complete ignorance. Despite being on the site for many hours every day, I don't recall seeing one, nevermind loads (or even binders full) of them. I guess maybe you see what you look for?​
    Being somewhat new here, I don't know who you are, or what your role is in this site, or even in this thread. I assumed by some of your previous comments that you had some role in operating/owning the site when I answered your previous posts. However, if you don't have any operational role, then it doesn't matter what pornographic photos are posted, or how many there are. If you are in an operational role, and don't know that such offensive images are posted, then any argument about the events and discussions over "who offended who with what kind of post in what part of the forum" is utterly pointless, isn't it?
     
  91. Nope. I want to know where they are. You said there were piles of them. Were you lying?
     
  92. For god's sake, Bob. There are plenty of nude pictures on Photo Net. They aren't that hard to find. Stop giving the guy a hard time.
     
  93. I believe that's called "not clicking on the OT forum link". I can manage to do that quite easily myself. Maybe those with no self control need OTA (as in AA). I suppose it would be easy to remove all links to an OT forum, but then what would be the point of having it and how would it benefit the site? Might just as well make life easier for everyone and not have it at all.​
    (Laughing loudly now) Well doesn't that take the cake! When OT posters were roundly thrashed because some people were offended, I advised this utterly common sense wisdom - don't read what you don't enjoy! That was ridiculed by the mods who insisted that only removal of this foul and "offensive" material was warranted. That's when I cruised through the galleries for 20-seconds to discover enough photographs of anuses and vaginas to last a very long lifetime. I then asked the simple and obvious question: Which is more offensive to the public (never mind humanity writ large) - an argument over FED policy, or high resolution photograph of a woman's anus and vagina? Needless to say, there was "no answer" from the uh, "business."
    I understand that no matter what your role is or isn't, it would be unfair to have expected you'd be familiar with those recent arguments. None the less, your logic here was proposed and rejected by your moderators who said they had talked it over thoroughly with management/owners/whomever.
    I did not enjoy being lambasted and insulted by your mods for posts I made in OT which were polite, detailed, not personal attacks, and yet were categorized as "offensive," all the while existing in the midst of a smoking pile of obvious smut hiding behind the moniker, "fine art", which no one dare to criticize. I could care less that such garbage is an obviously central part of pnet as it carries no interest to me. But for my postings on say, "quantitative easing" to be referred to as "offensive" in such a light was more than a bit irksome.
     
  94. Nope. I want to know where they are. You said there were piles of them. Were you lying?​
    No Bob, I don't lie. I also don't give in to weak attempts at intimidation. You'll discover that when I post about such things, I have generally done my homework in advance, and have the evidence at hand just in case someone suggests I was lying.
    I said there was a pile of prurient anus and vagina photographs on the site. For me, a pile means about 10. 10 photos on the desk makes a nice neat pile. For you, I went the extra mile, and figured I give you a dozen, and not just any dozen, but a baker's dozen for extra measure. If you really don't think that's a pile, I suspect I could make it 100 photos if only I could stomach this infantile rubbish.
    Here you go Bob. Here's your pile of prurient anus and vagina photographs. All 13 of them.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/17086112
    http://www.photo.net/photo/16619272
    http://www.photo.net/photo/16580054
    http://www.photo.net/photo/16123452
    http://www.photo.net/photo/15956963
    http://www.photo.net/photo/15154512
    http://www.photo.net/photo/14878912
    http://www.photo.net/photo/14969613
    http://www.photo.net/photo/14800492
    http://www.photo.net/photo/14258512
    http://www.photo.net/photo/13290572
    http://www.photo.net/photo/12851954
    http://www.photo.net/photo/11957310
    And to think I had to listen to Mr. Jenkins lecture ME about my contributions on this site. For the record Bob, I am proud that none of that crap is mine.
    P.S. Thank you Martin S. for the support there, but I find it much easier to just make sure I do my homework before making claims.
     
  95. Thanks for the links, hope you had fun finding them. Out of the "pile" I think most of them qualify as artistic and reasonably well done. None actually offend me and only maybe 3 could count as "vagina" images and those were essentially abstract compositions rather than gynecology illustrations. I'm generally not offended much by images of the human body in its natural state, even when viewed from unusual angles, though I probably wouldn't hang such images on my wall. Galleries would (and do) though. Don't think I spotted any anuses (ani?) in the pile, or maybe I wasn't looking closely enough?
    As for being prurient, the definition of

    1. having or characterized by lascivious or lustful thoughts, desires, etc.
    2. causing lasciviousness or lust.
    really says more about the viewer than the image doesn't it?
    What about penises? Are you offended by them too? Can you give me some examples? Or is it just the female body that upsets you?
    I do have the ability to remove images from the gallery, so if you find anything truly shocking, pornographic and blatantly offensive to a mature, adult viewer, I will certainly consider excising it from the site. Yes, I know, censorship, but I assume you'd be in favor of that.
     
  96. So why not have the same restraint with censoring words as there is with photos?
     
  97. We do. We really only censor 7 words and we don't even censor all of them all of the time (it's somewhat context dependent in some cases). There are probably a few more (esp. sexual, racial and ethic terms) we might delete, but they're not the sort of thing I keep a list of.
    There's also the fact that this is a PHOTOGRAPHY website, so we are rather loath to censor photographs.
    You can say Vagina and Penis all you want, as long as it's in an appropriate context.
    But you failed to answer my previous questions. Any reason for that?
     
  98. 8 words, I think: The seven "dirty words" plus "ugly" (not to mention an entire forum's worth of words that was deleted).
    Please don't tell me that's not censorship of a sort (even if the "terms of use" grant administrators the right to do it). You know, the "terms of use," like the U.S. Constitution, can be amended from time to time if they're not serving their purpose.
    Can someone post a snippet from one one of the unacceptably acrimonious "off-topic" discussions? Perhaps if I saw it, I'd understand.
     
  99. None actually offend me​
    So what? Have you missed the point still again? I never questioned whether they would offend YOU, (or whomever else represents the business interests here). That was never a position I took. I posited that those photographs would offend more of the public than a post on politics or economics found in the OT Forum. Your tastes in porn are of absolutely no interest to me Bob.
    It might simply be impossible to catch you up on all this. I'll try once more because I am usually pretty good at explaining things when people "just don't get it."
    1. People have been posting in the OT Forum for years. The mods claimed that it had to be shut down because other members were "offended by the content" of the OT forum. Take note - "offended" was the term used repeatedly. They (members) were offended to have to read about the economy, the FED, the money supply, civil rights, spying, God, and so on.
    2. I was one of those who posted in the OT, and I took umbrage at being scolded for creating by inference "offensive content", when in fact my posts were well within any civil boundaries common in our daily lives. e.g. I had never called people names and so on. I do argue strongly, and with much conviction, however.
    3. After a few days of this harassment over perfectly good OT posts made in a space provided by the business here, I challenged the mods by asking what is more offensive to members - photos of anuses and vaginas, or a post about the money supply? I suggested a thought experiment in which we put them side by side on the home page, and see which gets the most complaints as "offensive." I found it unbelievable that the mods would claim that a post about economics was more offensive to members than these anus and vagina photographs.
    4. Then in this thread, as a part of my complaint about the mods and the claimed offensive OT posts, I once more mentioned the existence of the pile of anus and vagina photographs. You then essentially inferred I was a liar (Tsk, Tsk, not very nice!), and challenged me to find them for you. I did find them for you, and list them for you to demonstrate that no, I am not a liar. Then for some weird reason incomprehensible to me, instead of simply acknowledging that I am not a liar, you launch into a rather creepy embrace of these photos, and want me to find you penis photos also. I'd like to suggest you read the posts much more carefully, and understand what actual arguments I am making, because I assure you, your taste in vaginas and penises was not part of any argument I presented.
    As for being prurient, the definition of

    1. having or characterized by lascivious or lustful thoughts, desires, etc.
    2. causing lasciviousness or lust.
    really says more about the viewer than the image doesn't it?​
    No Bob. It speaks volumes about the photographer though. Do you regularly go around asking women (or worse, paying them) to spread their legs so you can capture high res photographs of their genitalia as trophies of your domination? Because I don't. And here's why. It indicates a stunted emotional growth - an emotional midget. A need for extreme control and power over women through dominance and humiliation. Would you spread your legs so someone could photograph your genitalia for a web site like pnet? Sounds like you see no problems with any of this. Again, I would not do that. I don't need to be humiliated in exchange for some approval by a stunted, emotionally crippled exploiter. Don't tell me you are fooled by the smiles on the women's faces, are you? You think they're having a ball, do you?
    Obviously, some people will do anything to turn a buck. I am fortunate as the dickens that I am not one of them. Sorry there Bob, you'll have to go hunt down your own penis photos.
     
  100. I do have the ability to remove images from the gallery, so if you find anything truly shocking, pornographic and blatantly offensive to a mature, adult viewer, I will certainly consider excising it from the site. Yes, I know, censorship, but I assume you'd be in favor of that.​
    One more demonstration that this is not a community, but a common dictatorial business. A legitimate community would create and maintain their own standards on such issues, not rely on petitioning one guy to "consider" excising the offending photograph. "One guy" a community does not make.
     
  101. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I’ve been judging Photography Exhibitions and Competitions for many years.
    None of the listed 13 images would qualify as shocking, pornographic and blatantly offensive to a mature, adult viewer.
    None were “vagina” images in the sense of being a gynaecological study or for pornographic pursuit.
    All were of an artistic form in keeping with the Art of the Nude as seen not only n Photography but also in sketching; painting; drawing and 3D modelling / sculpting from many materials other also other artistic imagery, which incidentally, the study of which is part of the Curriculum for High School Art Students, whom I tutor, so I include 17 an 18 year olds in the class of a “mature adult viewer”.
    I see not one of those 13 images as being “prurient” in either its conception or its execution.
    Certainly various views of what is “prurient” to oneself will exist – but Photo.net has a separate “nudes” section (perhaps that too, is censorship?) – so therefore one doesn’t have to venture to the nudes section and look, if doing so, offends one.
    WW
     
  102. "I think most of them qualify as artistic and reasonably well done."
    There's the rub (pun intended). In my (very opinionated) opinion, many photos have all the expected outward signs of art and are reasonably well done but still fail miserably at actually being art or artistic. The historical hallmarks of photographic art are technical proficiency, dazzling lighting, good tonal qualities or variation, and the ability to somewhat abstract a known and recognizable subject. Of course, many of those hallmarks have been and are changing over time. But folks still understandably latch on to them as hallmarks of artistry. Artistry, IMO, requires more. Perhaps some degree of humanity, feeling, revelation, personality, emotional quotient, or any number of other things I'm not mentioning.
    Some photos of vaginas, or women's bodies, or penises or men's bodies for that matter, are no different, IMO, from the photos of well-executed and tonally vibrant homeless people or disabled people or people of other cultures who become more curiosities than anything else and which don't come near art either but are simply good quality objectifying and exploiting. I mentioned revelation, and that's an interesting one, because on the surface some of these photos, especially the ones with the legs spread real wide, would seem to reveal a lot. In fact, they mask more than they reveal, and not in the positive sense in which a mask can add mystery or mystique but rather in a negative sense. What I see is both subject and photographer often hiding behind so-called artistic gestures but lacking any actual showing of empathy with the subject matter, and if not empathy, at least something emotionally engaging. Were a vagina to be truly revealed as something significant and worth my considering, I'm sure I'd find it very worth my time and energy. But when a vagina, or a woman for that matter, is presented as a tonally varied and lit object, I'm much less inclined to give a hoot. Same for all those amazingly buffed guys with ripped abs in Greek-like athletic poses that seem to suggest artistry. Hollow and empty, devoid of caring or insight. Not art, IMO, even though it might at first glance look like it should be.
     
  103. I certainly understand not finding the linked photos offensive. Though I don't think of them as art, I'm not particularly offended by them though I am sometimes offended by what I perceive to be exploitation or objectification. I do know that the opposite opinion has been expressed, often by women who are noticeably absent from this male-dominated discussion about vaginas. Many, many women have expressed offense at the nudes section. I've read them countless times on a variety of photo pages and in a variety of forum threads, yet it rightfully hasn't led to deletions. Women are often quick learners, and I hate to generalize, so please forgive me this trespass. They most likely quickly learned to avoid the PN nudes section rather than be continually exercised about it. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the same can be said of those who took offense at posts in the Off Topic forum.
     
  104. I don't think there was an actual suggestion that any photos be removed. The point being made was that people's posts should be treated with the same respect as their photos. To wit, don't remove unless absolutely necessary.
     
  105. None of the listed 13 images would qualify as shocking, pornographic and blatantly offensive to a mature, adult viewer.​
    What percentage of the Photo.net MEMBERS would you think qualify as "mature adult viewers then?"
    Would the Quakers and Baptists and Mormons qualify as mature adult viewers? Would they take offense? How about the grandmas out there? Can pnet run these photos across the "daily photo sampling" banner? If not, why not?
     
  106. Many, many women have expressed offense at the nudes section. I've read them countless times on a variety of photo pages and in a variety of forum threads, yet it rightfully hasn't led to deletions.​
    As I would expect they would by a large ratio. Thanks. Now William W. is going to argue the women aren't "mature adult viewers," based on his post. In which we now can finally understand that maturity is a relative, not absolute condition. I am sure it feels very sophisticated and mature to be blase about genitalia photos, because you know, it's "black and white art." But to any person steeped in the deeper values of humanism, which I assure you takes quiet a bit more maturity than simply acting hip at the art museum, these photos represent well understood forms of human exploitation, male dominant society, and repression. But you know, carry on boys.
    Now it is also painfully obvious to all that the minute a discussion is going to become serious about any art, or artists, politics is the immediate currency. Because art is nothing more than graphic politics. This recent obsession to scrub politics, to be offended and righteously indignant about political posts, is inconsistent with any serious notion of talking about art. But then again, does anyone posting here consider photography to be art? Not too many.
     
  107. to be offended and righteously indignant about political posts
    People weren't complaining because they found the topics of such posts offensive. People complained because those topics almost always led to endless back-and-forth posturing and insults that had no constructive purpose, arguing only for the sake of arguing. The atmosphere of hostility and personal grudges spilled over into other areas and infected other topics. It isn't thought-provoking or shocking--it's just relentlessly annoying.
     
  108. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    What percentage of the Photo.net MEMBERS would you think qualify as "mature adult viewers then?"​
    It doesn't matter and I don't make those qualifications.
    As I mentioned Photo.net has a clearly defined "nudes" section which is accessible IF one wants to go there the chocei to go there is by the viewer.
    If a person doesn't want to look at those images, then they simply don't go there. Those who choose not to go there to look at nudes, obviously may well be mature adult viewers - who simple choose that nudes are not part of their culture or whatever - that's fine.
    For better clarity my points were twofold:
    firstly considering mainstream art by mainstream viewers, the images are not offensive
    and
    secondly if people don't want to look they don't have to
    WW
     
  109. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “Many, many women have expressed offense at the nudes section. I've read them countless times on a variety of photo pages and in a variety of forum threads, yet it rightfully hasn't led to deletions.”
    As I would expect they would by a large ratio. Thanks. Now William W. is going to argue the women aren't "mature adult viewers," based on his post.​
    Nonsense.
    That’s just a silly extrapolation and is purposely set as bait.
    I argued no such thing about women; nor religious people; nor grandmothers.
    As previously mentioned the Nudes section is secluded – one choses to go there and view those images - or not.
    WW
     
  110. If a person doesn't want to look at those images, then they simply don't go there.​
    Yes. That's the exact argument which was rejected by the mods considering the OT forum. Don't like it, don't read it. Simple.
    In this thread, the point being made is that many people would be offended at the vagina anus photos and they are told, "don't look at them." But in the OT Forum, that concept was rejected.
    As an aside, I completely reject your proposition that none of those photos would be offensive to mature adult viewers. Some would not be offended and some would. And with no standard declared for maturity there's no point in arguing about it, other than to simply disagree.
     
  111. "What would make me happy is for you to direct your employees to stop endlessly hounding, scolding and insulting a group of members who were merely posting a forum that was created by the company for Off Topic posts."​
    Moderators are not employees. We're volunteers. We're mostly janitors who evict spammers and clean up after the daily saloon brawls. Occasionally we point to the rules for the house, which you failed to read and heed.
    "Now William W. is going to argue the women aren't "mature adult viewers," based on his post."​
    For a guy who claims to be a "polemicist" you seem remarkably indifferent to your own logical fallacies and departures from any standards for intelligent debate. I'll need another legal pad to keep up with your tally.
    At least when I said I preferred classical rhetoric I didn't claim to practice it consistently. I'm much better at sarcastic cliches, although I try to avoid them like the plague.
    How 'bout we drop the pretense. You're not a polemicist. You're a gigantic chip on a shoulder worn by a guy who likes to argue and make up, amend and append the rules for arguing as he goes along. And you're not here for the photography, you're here for the arguments. And to write the words for human anatomical bits as often as possible. Congrats on your new copypasta keyboard macro.
    "My weekly photo critique group is not a business."​
    Do you not get the opportunity to satisfactorily exorcise your political demons at your weekly photo critique group sessions? Or do they actually prefer to critique photos rather than indulge in digressions?
     
  112. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Yes. That's the exact argument which was rejected by the mods considering the OT forum. Don't like it, don't read it. Simple.​
    As already mentioned (several times) - the Off Topic Forum is fluid and the content is additive interactive and changes - and it was the toxic nature of the manner in which that content changed and etc. which was damaging.
    The comparison to a static content forum such as the Nudes Section (if you go to nudes you know that there will be nudes) and then make an argument based upon that comparison is just silly, in my opinion.
    WW
     
  113. This thread is beginning to resemble, or has become one of those alleged offending OT threads.
     
  114. Nonsense.
    That’s just a silly extrapolation and is purposely set as bait.
    I argued no such thing about women; nor religious people; nor grandmothers.
    As previously mentioned the Nudes section is secluded – one choses to go there and view those images - or not.
    WW​
    The choice to go to that section was not being argued. Only the offensiveness of the photos themselves. Here's what you said: "None of the listed 13 images would qualify as shocking, pornographic and blatantly offensive to a mature, adult viewer."
    Fred claims many women have complained frequently about being offended. So, what's it going to be? Are they just immature, or are they not adults? Your argument leaves no other choice.
    I'm a mature adult, and I find them ridiculously offensive for being posted here. Not because I am offended at human bodies, but because I am offended as a living, breathing, sentient being by the gross exploitation they represent. I'm offended that others with cameras find it thrilling to turn women into hanging meat displays. But, that's just me as an individual. I know my mom would be offended by them too, and she is a mature adult. I know my sister would be offended by them too, and she also is a mature adult.
    What you aren't grasping is that the standard for offense is relative, and based on the set of belief systems held by any given specific mature adult.
     
  115. As he has already done in two other threads about the Off-Topic forum, m stephens brilliantly demonstrates the problems that led to the OT forum's closure. False claims, spurious comparisons, shifting topics, insults . . . anything to keep the argument going. Argument for the sake of argument.
     
  116. How 'bout we drop the pretense. You're not a polemicist. You're a gigantic chip on a shoulder worn by a guy who likes to argue and make up, amend and append the rules for arguing as he goes along. And you're not here for the photography, you're here for the arguments. And to write the words for human anatomical bits as often as possible. Congrats on your new copypasta keyboard macro.​
    Keep going Lex. You're managing to write one of those character attacks EVERY SINGLE DAY! I keep my arguments to the subject matter, and obviously you can't. WW made a logical error in his argument that anyone could drive a truck through, and I pointed it out. That's what a debate is Lex.
     
  117. Mike, I'm all for lively debates, but it does take a responder to engage in a debate so any thread that goes awry has shared responsibilities.
    I suggest we keep this thread on topic, and if you find yourself becoming repetitious or discussing matters unimportant to the OP, please take these discussions off-thread to continue in private so we can hopefully allow something fruitful to the site emerge through on topic discussions.
     
  118. The worst part about this train wreck is the digression from Apurva's original optimistic, constructive effort to have a useful discussion about how to improve photo.net, from a longtime member, subscriber and genuine photography enthusiast.
    I'm inclined to suggest we reboot this conversation elsewhere and keep it strictly on topic. Meaning, not another whine session about the OT forum, which already has its own whine sessions in at least two other threads. And not some bizarrely obsessive rant session about photos of human anatomical features.
    There's a lot of potentially useful and constructive stuff in this thread but it's no longer a viable discussion.
     
  119. Argument for the sake of argument.​
    Mike,
    That's the refrain of every single person who can't keep up with the issues in a debate. I'm not kidding - every single one! No, it's not argument for "argument's sake". The arguments here are clear, important, relatively simple and concise, but contested hotly. Knowing if the stash of anus and vagina photos I linked would be offensive to others is not just "argument for argument's sake." If you think so, I have to wonder why you even keep posting? WW is able to argue his point. Bob was able to argue his. Martin his. Fred his. But, you and Lex can only stand back and write about my personality. Hmmm?
     
  120. "You're managing to write one of those character attacks EVERY SINGLE DAY!"​
    Dog knows, I needed a good laugh. Thanks. For awhile there I thought you were serious. Your sense of the absurd is so finely honed we all missed the joke.
    Reminds me of something a co-worker's wife told him at a company gathering several years ago. She scolded him saying "You exaggerate more than anyone else in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE!"
     
  121. That's the refrain of every single person who can't keep up with the issues in a debate
    In this case, it's the refrain of people who don't wish to waste a significant amount of time addressing the long list of fallacies and falsities in your posts. However, I will explain the reason for that. First, it's what you want, and as Michael Chang noted above, feeding the troll makes me responsible for keeping the troll alive. Second, it lends your claims more validity than they deserve. Third, it's pointless. It's quite clear that "discussions" with you don't lead anywhere except to the generation of more arguing points. The only real goal is to keep the argument going.
    Michael C. and Lex are right: we're doing a great disservice to Apurva and the other posters who have attempted to make this a constructive discussion. For that, I apologize.
     
  122. This thread has outlived its usefulness. It will now be closed. Once a thread gets this long almost nobody ever reads it all so it ends up going around in circles, straying way off the original topic and/or descending into back and forth bickering between a few participants (I plead guilty on several counts).
    If someone wants to further discuss substantive issues related to the site, feel free to start a new thread.
     

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