PN 2.0

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by michaellinder, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Congratulations to Glenn and his staff. Hopefully the rollout of 2.0 as of Wednesday, 08/31/2016, will signal better times for all of us.
     
  2. As we now know, it didn't. Which is why we are now back in V1.0. V2.0 still needs major work before it is ready for prime time.
     
  3. Dieter, some serious work has been done--and is proceeding. That much is clear.
    Most of all, Glenn is TRYING to get it right. He really is.
    We can help--with constructive suggestions.
    --Lannie
     
  4. Was it really necessary to go through such a nightmare to be able to conclude that 2.0 is not ready?
    Welcome back to 1.0 which suddenly looks like home !
     
  5. My post was in no way intended to be critical of Glenn and the tech crew. I can only imagine their frustration level at this point.
    I was invited to take part in the beta test about 1 year ago. I visited a few times quite early when there wasn't much going on there, then I forgot all about it. Later, my access no longer worked and I made no effort to regain it. Thus I don't know how much feedback was given, and more importantly, listened to and implemented. What I do know is that a lot of things don't work properly in V2.0, either because they are not possible by design, not implemented (yet or at all), or just bugs that need fixing.
    I can't recall seeing many posts on the "old version" as to what was going on with V2.0. If there was indeed a lack of communication, then that's certainly something that can be taken care of now with the 2nd go at V2.0.
    Wouter made this observation (that certainly applies to me as well) and the IMHO good suggestion in the "Back to 1.0" thread in V2.0:
    Maybe a bit a problem with the beta period (at least for myself) is properly sitting down and hunting down issues, quirks, bugs and so on after a day of work isn't really going to happen. It's more like a quick look around to understand where things are heading. Not sure if it is possible, or doable, but creating more specific scripts with a number of users, focusing on performing an activity/task, to describe the difficulties and problems in doing that. At least make it easier for those willing to give test feedback to report issues, some sort of simple webform where we can fill in steps, URL, what we tried to do and what happened and didn't work, so you get more structured results.​
    Note: one can't even properly copy and paste from V2.0 - it pastes as black on black. For the above, I had to go through wordpad first.
    Andrew had a similar experience to mine:
    I had the invitation to review the preview. I tried it, there was little working and almost no content, so I deduced it was very early stages and, I admit, didn't devote much time to it. Had we been told "okay, we think we're ready - the preview has gone from alpha to beta" then I'd have tried it again. The first I knew of the actual switch was when we were committed.
    Glenn and other admins have my complete support for doing a hard job - I'm not cross (though I am paying for membership, so I'm not happy) but I would like the situation resolved, preferably not by simply patching individual issues on an unknown timeframe. Sticking fingers in the leaky dyke may seem the priority, but the dyke seems to have been made of sponge.​
     
  6. I prefer the version 1.0 interface much more than the version 2.0. Why don't you post some kind of poll here (if possible) and see what your subscribers prefer?
     
  7. 1.0 is back! Lets hope for good.
     
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Kudo's for rolling back to the 1.0 software. While it appears visually dated, I'll take functionality over eye candy (2.0 site) any day of the week. Perhaps keep things as they are forever and save time and money trying to 'fix' not only the 2.0 bugs but it's overall design flaws. If it ain't broke.....
     
  9. mwr

    mwr

    What a pleasure to be back in v1. I had decided to stay away, that v2 was way too much trouble (including things that just didn't work) to spend time with.
     
  10. Andrew, you might have forgotten that almost all of us considered 1.0 as broken and not fit for purpose. We surely need a 2.0, but better not show it before it is ready.
     
  11. With all due respect, "TRYING" offers little solace to users. V2.0 either works, or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, then there is no justification to use it.
    An analogy that comes to mind would be jumping out of an airplane then 'TRYING' to fix your parachute on the way down. Good intentions are not a replacement for good results.
     
  12. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Andrew, you might have forgotten that almost all of us considered 1.0 as broken and not fit for purpose.​
    Please speak for yourself. I didn't find anything broken with the 1.0 forum software. I'll speak for myself; the current product is fine as is. If the power's to be want to spend time and money making 2.0 as functionality equivalent as 1.0, fine. If they can't or decide it's not worth paying for, 1.0 is fine with me. It ain't broke.
     
  13. I think I just woke up from a bad dream; nightmare in fact !
    You won't believe what was in this nightmare:
    I was dreaming that for three days, our purist, minimalist, and beloved Pnet website, was taken over by the webmasters that ran the Obamacare website...
    Oh boy it seemed so real, I had tears in my eyes as I woke up from it...
     
  14. Andrew is right, 1.0 works just fine. Adding eye candy, as V2.0 does, offers no real benefit to users.
     
  15. Reminds me of a boss I once had. At the Monday morning meeting he would task everyone with identifying a problem and offering a solution. I have to say, my little corner of that world had no problems and ran smoothly, any issues having been worked out long ago. Still, I had to spend time invention problems and offering solutions. These companies, banks, libraries, just about any company with a web site must have crews on payroll just sitting around inventing "improvements" just to justify their existence.
     
  16. Good points Gus. I almost wish I had been out of town for three days and I never would have experienced any of it.
     
  17. Glenn, thanks for the effort on 2.0 on a holiday weekend, just shut the computer down and take the rest of the weekend to relax.
    That aside, I have to confess that I did not beta test 2.0 although some private conversations have revealed that the input as to the bugs and features lost were not taken seriously enough? I will now however make sure that I will make lists of features to keep and things to improve.

    And finally, I just exported my gear list to PDF so all my 15 years of gear history is now safely tucked away incase this is a feature we will lose when 2.0 is ready for prime time.

    1.0 is indeed super smooth and easy to figure out. Yes, it can be improved, but we should not lose the incredible archive of information or the ability to access it in the name of flashiness.

    Thanks again, hopefully the next go live will be much smoother and reflect the changes that the community actually wants.
     
  18. +1 for what Mr. Bayer indicates.


    I do have back-up of my images but, currently only a phone and small Tablet as my only
    access to the internet.


    Until now, I had forgotten that all my equipment is listed here! Time to get out the Pencil &
    Paper!

    Thanks for bringing this to the surface Daniel.
     
  19. I would like to know something about the future; are we going to stay with this v1.0 for days, weeks or months?
     
  20. After having witnessed PN v.2.0 I am happy to see it gone. Lets not do that again any time soon.
     
  21. Also a +1 for what Daniel B. stated. - I salute the person who made the final & difficult decision to "pull the plug" on v2.0
    Maybe next time instead of giant leaps, the next versions can be in baby steps; PN v1.01 - v1.02 etc...
     
  22. G-P

    G-P Moderator Staff Member

    Hello All - I know that many of you are seasoned veterans and know your way around this site. However what you may not know is that new users come to this site and leave us feedback like the ones you see below. Additionally - surveys done in the past with over 500 participants of mostly seasoned users were seeking a full site overhaul:
    Example of recent email from new user experiencing 1.0: Sorry but this site is the worst most user unfriendly photo site I have run across. It's programmed like a school kids project on programming. Is ashamed because you a lot of great info on this site. Please visit any other photo site to get ideas to leave the early 90's and enter the 21 century.

    I give up
    To be clear...the "I give up" comment was from new user, not me.
     
  23. One persons "dated look" is another's "classic look".
     
  24. Just wanted to say thanks for going back to the original. May not be pretty, but it works.
    Bob
     
  25. The old version has problems with Safari browser, the log in window locks and crashes the application. I used Sea Monkey to log in and write this (don't have Chrome or Firefox browsers). And the old version uses the old password. The new version didn't recognize the old password and changing it wasn't recognized by the old version. Or at least, that's my experience.
     
  26. "get ideas to leave the early 90's and enter the 21 century" New Pnet user
    Yeah right, reminds me of replacing a classic, or famous disasters on trying to fix what isn't "broke":
    "Let's name it the New Coke" - "Com'on, the Porsche 911 is 17 years old" - "The Leica M5 will save the company" - "John, that DeLorean is going to sell like hotcakes" - "Betamax will beat VHS" - "Soon everybody will be wearing Google Glass" - "Wow, this Olestra tastes great, & I can eat as many as I like !" - and finally
    "Challenger: Go with throttle up"...
     
  27. I like v1 much, much better than v2. I am glad to be back in v1. The new version was totally unusable on mobile devices - impossible to navigate, extremely difficult to return to the previous areas, and the image sizes were all wrong for the small screens. Regardless of device, the new version shows a lot less information per screen. This means that one is forced to scroll and jump screens a lot more just to see and do the things that are so easily accessible in v1.
    If v2 comes back, and it looks and feels the same as what we had to endure the last few days, I will cancel my subscription - even if they fix the things that just did not work.
     
  28. Here's the problem IMO. Yes, the site needed a visual upgrade, and features that will attract viewers. Flickr had to do the same. What we didn't need was to remove the simplicity of operation. The simple list of forums at the top of the page. The ease of navigation. The full-aspect-ratio previews of images. The accessible menus that anyone can understand on the first day.
     
  29. Glenn, the person that you used as an example of a recent user freely admitted that this site has "great info", which is why photo enthusiasts come here. Dressing it all up in a filigree package, with unneeded bells and whistles doesn't really help those enthusiasts.
    Having all of those avatars in each thread title instead of the name of the thread originator is a waste of resources, IMO. Once in a thread, the text showing the poster's names lacks contrast, and for folks like me that have less than the greatest eyesight, it is a genuine PITA to decipher those names. One would not expect a lack of contrast for text on a photography website.
    The size of the posted images has shrunk with V2.0, surely not a good thing for the viewers of those images.
    JMO
     
  30. First, thank you Glen and the tech team for all the hard work you put in on the site.
    Yes, V2.0 was not ready for prime time (although it did raise my blood pressure and "stimulate" my brain <GRIN>).
    Kudos to Glen for acknowledging the problem, keeping ego out of the equation, and moving swiftly to restore Version 1.0. I have seen professional, commercial projects driven by the team leader's ego and pushed to the detriment of the users.
    Perhaps wider and longer beta testing would be appropriate before the next attempt.
     
  31. Scott, I use Safari pretty much exclusively, and I've never experienced the behavior that you mentioned, in either version 1.0 or 2.0.
     
  32. I agree with Les Berkley. My little taste of the new design was brief and in hope that it would not be as confusing as I found it and I got lost quickly trying to find stuff. Took too long, in brief. Ease of navigation is my prime criteria, since I make a lot of internet stops each morning. Visual elegance is nice, desirable, love of the glossy and smart, but ease of navigation is prime. And some new wine in new bottles would be swell, meaning new content if we can get some on board. Even if it is to be paid content.. Good luck in achieving such goals and keeping the loyalists as well as hitting the mark with new participants. And competing for eyeballs.
     
  33. I did briefly beta test 2.0. My issue is that there's been a huge time lapse since the beta test and 2.0's rollout. What I may have found comfortable with the beta version several months ago, I felt during my few minutes on 2.0 that I was floundering.
     
  34. First of all, it's great to actually be able to access my portfolio and post pictures again (at least I think so since it's 5
    a.m. here in Osaka and I just woke up from the damndest nightmare.) They say disasters bring people together and this
    one sure did. What I hope will emerge from the wreckage of 2.0 is a dialogue and discussion between moderators and
    members about what could specifically be improved in a new version of pn. Perhaps a tutorial feature for new members
    or a special forum site where new members could be welcomed and mentored by older members to help them find their
    way around and learn how the site works. I know I would be willing to do that though the technical aspect kind of leaves
    me behind. When I first joined almost eleven years ago, I was helped immensely by people I met here; it was like learning to swim and once they had taught me
    how to paddle around, I could navigate the pool on my own. I certainly will do all I can to help others as much as I can and to create a real sense of
    community here.

    I still believe community is the true heart and soul of pn but it should not be an exclusive little club. I'm sure a lot of
    members here have ideas how we can broaden our base and become more inclusive. Why don't we start a thread where
    we can put down our thoughts, not only members but moderators as well. Let's hear about their vision, too, in specifics
    (and before finding ourselves in a new sink or swim reality :)) Let's hear everyone's ideas about how pn should look and
    function. After all, that's what community is all about. Thanks again to the team for their work and for facing the reality
    that the boat had too many holes this time around to be seaworthy and heading back to port. The shore never felt so good.
     
  35. "What I hope will emerge from the wreckage of 2.0 is a dialogue and discussion between moderators and members about what could specifically be improved in a new version of pn. Perhaps a tutorial feature for new members or a special forum site where new members could be welcomed and mentored by older members to help them find their way around and learn how the site works." (Emphasis added.)

    Exactly, Jack.
     
  36. Thank God the old website is back
     
  37. Agree with most of the above.

    OT: I AM UNABLE TO START A THREAD… Tried this morning and a couple weeks ago and not sure why.

    The page that pops up after I click 'confirm' instructs me to contact Bob Atkins via this forum. Could
    someone tell me how to do that? If I click on his name it brings me to his website.
     
  38. I'll take functionality over eye candy (2.0 site) any day of the week. --Andrew Rodney
    t's great to actually be able to access my portfolio and post pictures again. ---Jack McRitchie

    I fully agree with both of you, but I think (fear) that 2.0 is going to go forward, regardless of what some of us might prefer.
    I do remember thinking long ago that PN was hard to navigate. I have to say, though, that it has its underlying logic, even though it takes a while to learn. The old site just "growed," but by and large it grew in what I would consider a rational way.
    I personally still think that any necessary changes could be (could have been) effected incrementally. Instead, apparently, the decision was made to very nearly raze the site and start almost all over. Don't try that with the Department of Agriculture--or anything else that has been "cobbled together" over many, many years. A "rational comprehensive" approach to organizational change always sounds nice--at first. In reality, most good change occurs incrementally. That sounds "conservative," but at least the good is not thrown out with the bad.
    This is/has been ultimately a corporate decision, not a decision made by "photographers for photographers."
    As for the "thousands of messages" per day, well, that is (I presume) marketing hype. Life goes on. The only question is what we as individuals do now. Some will scatter. Some will maintain a nominal presence. PN as a corporate entity will probably live on, but PN as we know it is, if not dead, probably on its last legs. Even if we start over on the new site, we will miss what we lost--and I am pretty sure that we are going to lose it.
    I hope that I am wrong.
    --Lannie
     
  39. This site doesn't seem to have the traffic it did 8 or 10 or 12 years ago. Maybe it has something to do with
    smartphones making it so easy for the masses to take pictures, I don't know. I guess the idea of a new format is to attract new people, but it does nothing for me.

    Also IMO photonet lost something when the Off Topic forum was ended. Most people don't have a need for photography discussion constantly but that was a forum where people had something to say daily. I think one person in particular ruined it so it ended up being squashed. All types of topics (though not politics
    for the most part) are chatted up on a Baseball forum I frequent, and it's amazing to me how that
    community gets along so well and self governs itself with very little moderating.
     
  40. Lannie, I happened to come across the thread Promoting Photonet you started just days before the onset of the 2.0
    debacle. I thought it was an excellent idea and definitely the direction in which we should be heading. I made a comment
    there but I'm afraid that thread may have lost all momentum in the wake of the events of the last few days so I've taken
    the liberty of copying it and re-posting it here. I invite other interested members to visit that thread while it's still up and
    read the comments by other participants. Some really good thoughts. My comment follows:

    Thanks for starting this discussion, it's pretty much what I suggested in today's thread (Saturday, Sept 4th here in
    Japan) about the collapse of PN2.0. I had no idea this thread even existed and this is exactly what we need, a place
    where people can contribute ideas on how to broaden our admittedly shrinking base. But it must be a collaborative,
    communal effort involving both the membership and the moderators and one that is discussed and fully supported my
    the majority of the pn community. We need to be informed - whether by e-mail, a special feature on the pn homepage or
    a one-time announcement sent to all members when they log in to pn - of the current problems and the need for their
    input and ideas. It's important to understand that we are in a struggle for our survival as a community and that we need
    everyone's ideas on how we can attract new (and younger) members. Specifically, we need to hear from new members
    about their experience here, how they feel about the site and how it can be improved. There are certain matters that
    deserve priority consideration and the survival and growth of pn is among the most crucial. A free discussion of ideas is
    always stimulative and can move things in surprising and rewarding directions. That's about it for now, off the top of my
    head. Thanks again, Lannie, for getting the ball rolling (and before the miserable experience of 2,0 at that!)
     
  41. it's amazing to me how that community gets along so well and self governs itself with very little moderating. --Ray .​
    Over-moderating kills. Period.
    --Lannie
     
  42. Thanks, Jack. All that I can say is that I still believe in the site--and I am willing to say so by linking to it whenever possible, and I encourage others to do likewise.
    Jack, here is what I just posted to that same thread: "Jack, I think that we need a collegial, round-table organizational model in order to have a true community. Unfortunately, what we have had for some years is increasingly the top-down command-and-control model--that is, bureaucracy, the very antithesis of community."
    --Lannie
     
  43. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    it's amazing to me how that community gets along so well and self governs itself with very little moderating. --Ray .​
    There's the DPR forums for that silliness.
     
  44. There's the DPR forums for that silliness.​
    What is even sillier is trying to control everything from the top--the very antithesis of community.
    --Lannie
     
  45. Actually, if they need to modernize this forum, DPR is not a bad example to follow.
     
  46. DPR is not a bad example to follow.​
    It is certainly solvent--and vital.
    PN of late has been. . . sanitized, sterile.
    Dare I say "moribund" as well?
    I do hope that, if PN 2.0 goes forward, which I am virtually certain that it will, it will go back to this site for the core of what it needs in order to be worth navigating and posting on. There is a core logical structure here upon which many other appendages grew--but Phil Greenspun was no dummy, and his basic core was as logical and functional as it gets.
    The problem with PN 2.0 is that it did not seem to have a core. One was at sea from the get-go. It was, as Andrew Rodney said in feedback on the new version, a "disaster." I would say that, if it were a boat or ship, PN 2.0 was all superstructure and no hull. Nothing built like that is going to stay afloat.
    I do think that it can be fixed, and that it will be fixed. I hope that enough of what we have here survives so that we might want to all climb aboard the next time.
    What I saw was a ship adrift, without power or rudder.
    Okay, I'll drop the nautical metaphors real soon now. Just remember to start with the keel and hull next time. . . .

    That is, build from HERE (PN 1). The basic structure is sound. Change the facade if you must. Don't hole the hull or forget that you need one.
    --Lannie
     
  47. NameMedia is in the business of buying and selling domains and websites. Maybe 2.0 was an attempt to slap a coat of paint on 1.0 and make it more salable. To use a car analogy since we just finished Concours Week here, a good barn find is always worth more than a poor restoration. I think the reason I couldn't sign in under my old ID is that my password was only six characters long. This might be the time to make sure yours is seven at least before round two.
     
  48. As someone who mostly uses the forum side of Photo Net, I found the forum side of 2.0 confusing and hard to navigate. There was no convenient way to jump from one forum to another or easily switch threads within the same forum. It always seemed to want to funnel you back to the most recently active view.
     
  49. OMG! What a wonderful feeling. I'm back to my old familiar friend, PN 1.0.
    Crap! Where's my avatar?! Just kidding.
    Like I said in PN 2.0 how about some baby steps on modernizing the GUI design with something simple as changing the font style to something with a more Cooper Union/BauHaus New York sophistication design sense and increase the font size throughout the entire GUI. Keep the Photo.net logo the same of course.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus
     
  50. It always seemed to want to funnel you back to the most recently active view. --Andrew Gosden​
    Ultimately, it shunted you back to the main menu, which was arranged by date. I would welcome an improvement upon that, but I do not see one at this moment.
    I personally think that the forum structure was sound. The problem with the forums was a bullying attitude on the part of a few moderators, as far as I can tell. Those moderators who did not bully, such as Dainis and Cheung and Atkins, had very well-run threads. There were others as well who did a fine job. Then, of course, there is the management practice of banning one's customers and then wondering why they wanted to escape--and did!
    Yes, NameMedia buys and sells websites, Sanford. A coat of paint is not going to fool potential buyers--not savvy ones, anyway. A refurbished PN could be quite marketable. The good ship PN2 with no integral hull won't get out of the marina slip.
    --Lannie
     
  51. " We can help--with constructive suggestions." My memory runs dry. But I do recall that many suggestions have been offered. I can't locate the thread that Dick Arnold began which had 300 comments. Some may have been whines, some gripes, but some were earnest ideas. If the overhaul works from the experience of those who have some vested interest in the continuation of PN, this would, or at least COULD be useful. ( Couple things pop into mind.- How long for PN to hyperlink URLs beginning with https prefix or did they slip this in?. - If every other site, or most, offer headers on comments block easing user to choose the script or caps, or attachment preferences, that seems like a small step up the ladder with no penalty huh?. Maybe it was in V 2.0 I did not notice.. ) Make it easy in forums to reference a piece by some automatic script to show it is a reference piece... I use these couple wee manini thoughts as only examples to say heck let's make it easy/ easier/ fun even to use the web site, and for sure get at wiping out any small dis- satisfiers. Just sensible psychology in my little part of the world..
    More importantly. If the goal is to attract new novice young and hot to trot paid subscribers, well, then a panel of more than one, a referenced above flyby -( and underwhelmed poor lad or lass- comment to Glenn,) is suggested. A focus group of intended audience perhaps back in Boston ?

    Actually, this PN 2 business only covers cosmetics, sort of like a Sanford paintover, some good paint, some kitschy and a jumble... Substance, substance, of discussion, plus new and updated articles of timely fashion are what gets the keyboards clicking and it is not Q Is Photography an Art that stimulates the phagocytes er so to speak....

    I think the fault lines have been drawn and spelled out if one looks back at user commengts. Those who remain remain despite the fault lines or cracks however you see it. And ahyes, I am pleased to be back to a format where I can find stuff. A relief.
     
  52. I forgot a couple old ideas that were just husks in memory. How about opening up the size of images to be included with forum comments with server adjustment to fit a reasonable document size as in so many other venues. Add a few more minutes to time to make changes ( I coulda added this on tail of my previous. Oh well,)
     
  53. "Additionally - surveys done in the past with over 500 participants of mostly seasoned users were seeking a full site overhaul"

    Glenn,

    I'm a "seasoned veteran" who thought that the old site might at most use a little freshening up, and I criticized the beta site from the very start, but since the aborted roll-out, I wonder if you've received feedback from any of the "seasoned veterans" who you refer to above to tell you that they thought it was a step in the right direction.

    Based on the criticism in the help forum, it seems to me that once the new version of the site became a reality, more people took the point of view that I had from the beginning.

    I assume that what this is all about is making PhotoNet into a [more] successful business venture. Paradoxically, I think that in order to accomplish this, you may need to bring in someone with an interesting, offbeat, perhaps strong, sensibility about photography (i.e., not first and foremost a person with a business background) and let that person imbue the site with a little personality.

    Keep on trying, I guess, and thanks for bringing back the tried-and-true, if a little dowdy, Photonet 1, for at least a little while.
    Regards,
    Martin Hahn
     
  54. Firstly I am very glad that roll back to the good old V1 has happened. While V1 definitely looked outdated in its form and feel, it was functional. I'm for improvement and innovation but not all forums need to mimic Facebook and other social networks. PN offers something unique that none of the social networks offer and any effort to modernize PN must not undermine its essence.
     
  55. Glad to have 1.0 to fall back on. I can see that the 2.0 version had well intent although simplicity is key. I mentioned this once perhaps in another thread, but can't find it as it seems to have disappeared, but to me whats paramount for a Photographic community site like P.NET is to provide technology to post concise images intended by the Photographer. Overly compressed small images that compromise image fidelity won't cut it. Photographers work hard and spend so much money on equipment to yield images with impact. We can't help it, it's genetic its what we have been doing since the inception of Photography and that will never stop. So it is uncomfortable to present images that are not of the best representation of the Photographers intent. So I hope this is in consideration. I have a hunch it is, that's why I mentioned it.
     
  56. I'm not quite sure how, but I don't recall many surveys,
    let alone discussions about how to improve the site. Of
    course, I was mostly in my happy works in the Nikon
    forum without anything to complain about, and not
    hugely motivated to take surveys (compared to solving
    my problems and helping novices), so maybe I blanked
    them. I doubt I'm alone there.

    I'm sorry to hear there were so many complaints about
    the site. I'd love to know what they were, specifically -
    and elaboration on Anders' comment about "almost all
    of us" thinking the site wasn't "fit for purpose". I'm very
    happy that changes be made to make the site friendlier
    for new visitors and to fix whatever other requests there
    are. But I want to ensure that those of us relying on
    existing site behaviour get to know about the
    discussions and can make sure we're all happy.

    For what it's worth, the threaded forum structure of
    dpreview is the number one reason I rarely post there
    (number two being the behaviour of some members who
    would have been moderated here - and I agree with
    Lannie that some moderation decisions here are harsher
    than I would have been, so there's a line and a
    judgement call). The pnet threads are simple, and you
    have to work out what each post refers to if there are
    mutual replies - but quoting makes that manageable.
    Burying replies under other replies and presenting posts
    out of order is, I believe, much worse. I've no objection to
    offering a configurable interface, though - dpreview at
    least has a "flat view", though I'm not too fond of even
    this. I mention this just so we don't take dpr as the
    archetype of good interfaces.

    On the other hand, I regularly go to dpr for their news
    articles, but barely look at the pnet home page. The
    content on the pnet front page shows one article in July
    and one in August as though the site was dead. Maybe
    people come for the news and then rant about it? Here
    the threads are rarely started by pnet articles, and
    maybe the lack of motivating articles affects the forum
    activity. Just a thought. Of course, hiring a good editorial
    team isn't a quick fix...

    Anyway, I hope Glenn is sleeping all of this off. I do
    appreciate that the team did hard work under a lot of
    pressure. I hope we can now move forward.
     
  57. I hope we can move forward with staying with the V.1 format which has worked well for years! I never had much trouble (if any) figuring out how to use the V 1.0 site when I first subscribed. The notion that "newbies" were having a hard time navigating the site makes me wonder how they are able to "navigate" the computer centric digital cameras with their plethora of menus, and buttons!I found learning this site much easier than learning my cameras!
     
  58. the threaded forum structure of dpreview is the number one reason I rarely post there​
    To me it was the white-on-black - something that changed recently. When I go there, first thing I do is change to flat view - and then I cope with a format that barely covers 1/5 of my screen width with text. If anything, than the dpreview forum structure is a good example of what NOT to do. I, for one, don't find dpreview any easier or harder to navigate than PN V1.0.
    As to what was presented in V2.0: avatars in the forum lists are totally unnecessary. Reverse ordering of the replies (as well as their default hiding) makes them very hard to follow. Having the "post a response" at the top of the thread only encourages posting without reading previous posts. And let to many assuming that "reply" was the way to create a new post, rather than a reply to a specific one.
    At least on firefox, every post made within the last six minutes was labelled "Just now", in contrast to Chrome where the time frame appeared to be about 1 minute. The fact that "replies" weren't counted past "1" in new threads only added to the confusion. It's also questionable to count the "replies" which I assume are the sum of all the entries in that thread and not just those made using "reply".
    Changing the order of the thread lists (unlike in the current version) made them hard to follow. And most certainly, each user needs to retain a list of posts made, in chronological order. The one presented in V2.0 was incomplete and not ordered at all. And in a bulky format that was totally unnecessary.
    Saving a post took a long time, and it took a while before the post actually registered after that. In general, the bloating just causes everything to work more slowly than on the "antiquated" old site.
    The editor in the forum had its shortcomings - most of all not being able to format text properly without using HTML tags. Not even paragraph breaks without them? Ridiculous. Right-clicking (for example to paste) needs to be enabled. Highlighting of text should appear the way it normally does, and highlighted text that's being copied and pasted needs to appear correctly (when pasting from V2.0 to V1.0 thread, the text was inserted black on black).
    I generally liked the direction in which images were presented, except for the abysmal presentation of the galleries. And I felt that the presentations for portfolio and profile should be swapped. And I would prefer not to see the square crops return in an improved version. If they stay, then it would be preferable to have them only in those portions of the site that are seen by the owner of the images.
    Some features of V2.0 seem to mimic 500px (like the trending) which is not necessarily a good thing. It certainly doesn't promote thoughtful critique on images, something I certainly would not go to 500px for.
    Even though I became a PN member in 2001, I only became active here in 2006, almost exclusively for feedback on my images. I pretty much abandoned the site for flickr in 2007 (except for the forums), mostly because most of those I interacted with did the same and also prompted by what was perceived as a quite faulty rating system.
    Flickr has gone through some major revisions over time as a result of which the image presentation now looks quite modern. But a lot of functionality has been lost and groups have had the rug pulled from under them by their latest redesign which is in beta now for over two years with no indication of it ending any time soon.
    While at least the first overhaul on flickr seemed to have been part of a long term plan, almost all since gave the appearance of haphazardly making changes without having any underlying overall structure. Almost nothing introduced in the last few years works properly and a lot of functionality that was once intended to be implemented has now been discarded or never improved.
     
  59. Flickr has gone through some major revisions over time as a result of which the image presentation now looks quite modern. But a lot of functionality has been lost and groups have had the rug pulled from under them by their latest redesign which is in beta now for over two years with no indication of it ending any time soon.
    While at least the first overhaul on flickr seemed to have been part of a long term plan, almost all since gave the appearance of haphazardly making changes without having any underlying overall structure. Almost nothing introduced in the last few years works properly and a lot of functionality that was once intended to be implemented has now been discarded or never improved.​
    Yes, Flickr has its strengths, but it can never replace this site--as it is currently constituted in terms of layout and structure.
    --Lannie
     
  60. "Yes, Flickr has its strengths, but it can never replace this site--as it is currently constituted in terms of layout and structure."
    Of course they serve different functions.
     
  61. They serve different functions. -- Ray .​
    I thought that PN's mission was pretty well-defined. After a glance at 2.0, I am not so sure. Flickr's mission? I have never been sure. At first I used it for archiving, then for searches for photos made with certain lenses (through users groups named for those lenses). I guess that people can use if for a variety of things. I don't think that it lends itself particularly well to discussions.
    There is a richness to Photo.net that some associate with clutter. I think that that is a mistake. It is complicated. If making it glitzty results in loss of features, then what will it have to offer over the long haul that makes it particularly distinctive?
    If I were going to redo Photo.net, I would give the new creation a new name rather than have it try to piggyback on the Photo.net brand. The problem seems to be that the powers that be want to keep our contributions. I don't know what the legal ramifications of all that would be if our contributions were being offered on two co-existing websites--not that anyone has suggested doing such a thing, to my knowledge. That is my way of saying that, if my contributions are going to stay up, my preference would be for them to stay here on the more or less original PN. Of course, we signed almost all of our rights to our images away when we signed on, I presume. It sounds like problematic legal territory to me. I wonder if we will always retain the right to take down our images. If a site is massively redesigned, but we signed on to a site with a particular identity, then what are our remaining rights?
    At what point has the legal criterion of "good faith" been violated? Would we have class action status? Would we collectively have any legal standing at all? I won't even get into false advertising and other dubious practices that might be raised--not that I am anticipating a court fight. Just thinking out loud. . . .
    --Lannie
     
  62. " I assume that what this is all about is making PhotoNet into a [more] successful business venture. Paradoxically, I think that in order to accomplish this, you may need to bring in someone with an interesting, offbeat, perhaps strong, sensibility about photography (i.e., not first and foremost a person with a business background) and let that person imbue the site with a little personality. "

    Martin h has grabbed hold of something. Maybe Glenn need a consigliere who does a lot of photography and also knows the internet. A Philip Greenspun alter ego is hard to come by, but maybe a nephew of Philip. I never felt the curse of heavy moderation but I can see it may be felt by some members. Laissez fair leads to chaos, so it is a real balance. And that takes a management hand. Who pays the bills and writes the checks I mean? Does said board care about the subject matter?
     
  63. Here I go again. This thread seems to have lots of general comments and a lack of specific things we can do as a community to re-energize photonet and expand our base. If you're interested, Leslie Reis has started a new thread on the Photo.net Site Help Forum for specific ideas on improving photonet and attracting new members. There are already some interesting suggestions listed Why don't you come on over and give us your thoughts.
     
  64. Wednesday, 08/31/2016, will signal the temporary death of photo.net.

    At least the forums. The classic website has one of the best forums of all the internet, and the software is very good, if albeit slow. Better than the forums at flickr, for example.

    But the "version 2.0" forums were so bad, they had no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

    Please don't go "version 2.0" again. In any case, try "version 3.0" and remember: Form is never more worthy than substance. Photo net "version 1.0" has so much substance, that the form poses no problem.
     
  65. Form follows function.
     
  66. On the "clutter" topic, I have found that the search tools used by pnet are somewhat lacking (at least for forum threads). Maybe that's an area for incremental improvement?
     
  67. Just wondering if anyone else has this problem since v1 returned. I can't connect on my iPhone any longer because its says "too many redirects."
     
  68. Someone should start a list of names and contact info in case Photo Net goes belly up without warning. That roll-out did not seem to be indicative of a well-functioning business.
    I tried to check out the Name Media website a little while ago, and the page was blank, whether I opened it in Chrome or Internet Explorer. Might that say something about the state of the business? Or are they just revamping their website too . . . ?
    Perhaps I'm just being an alarmist.
     
  69. I think that 2.0 was rolled out when it was on purpose--in order to get some serious feedback from us.
    It will be back as 2.1 (or whatever). NameMedia has too much invested in giving the existing site at least a facelift, maybe more. The parent company, that is, is not likely to drop the effort at site renovation at this point.
    I can only caution against throwing out the baby with the bathwater. That is, be sure that the best features of the existing site are preserved in whatever version comes next.
    --Lannie
     
  70. Lannie - it certainly got serious feedback, but I'd have hoped the same could have been achieved with much less ill will if someone had just asked. The problem with "please test this" followed by an unspecified development period is that even interested parties (and I was) have limited time to monitor for whether anything new is happening. I hope a bit more of a heads-up for those of us who aren't monitoring every thread in pnet would give more chances of testing.
     
  71. I honestly prefer the look and ease of finding things with the current (older) version. It's simple and easy to use and best of all, current users know where to find information. I also think that new users can easily find content. I personally am more interested in the content that people type here and the discussions that ensue versus flashy pictures/new forum headings. The 2.0 release, like most any other website with enhancements, has bugs to work out; that's usually understood, but it was a bit of a shock to say the least.
    Change is not always for the better.
     
  72. Additionally - surveys done in the past with over 500 participants of mostly seasoned users were seeking a full site overhaul:
    Example of recent email from new user experiencing 1.0: Sorry but this site is the worst most user unfriendly photo site I have run across. It's programmed like a school kids project on programming. Is ashamed because you a lot of great info on this site. Please visit any other photo site to get ideas to leave the early 90's and enter the 21 century.​
    From the linked document:
    'One common fear is that we’ll change the forums too much (many of you are worried that we’ll give you a black site with white writing like DPReview and we promise we won’t do that!). Our designer is keeping the forums very similar to how they appear now.'
    I think, to put it mildly, the designer did not achieve this aim in the PN2 we saw a few days ago. The forums could hardly have been any more different. The white background was retained, but the text became a fashionable but lower contrast (and therefore harder to read) grey, which (at least in Firefox) appeared to be rendered in a rather ugly way. The flow of conversation was interrupted by thick coloured bars and (though I may be mistaken - it was gone too quickly to check!) there seemed to be some sort of unnecessary sub-threading. Everything was slow and buggy (I got sick of the 'busy' rotating aperture animation pretty quickly). Photo.net may look 15 years out of date but, if anything, the new version seemed more amateurish, presumably built with a modern toolkit but making little visual sense, with page elements juxtaposed in an apparently random and unappealing way, hardly what we would expect from a site devoted to a visual art. Though I like what we have now, I can understand the need to build something modern and maintainable. But for the discussion area I'd much rather see the admins switch to something like a lightly-themed vBulletin or XenForo forum than to what we saw with PN2. Lots of photography sites use these frameworks very successfully. Why re-invent the wheel poorly?
     
  73. I also think that new users can easily find content.​
    That's the thing that concerns me - I often can't find content even when I'm looking for something specific. Google's tendency to search for what it thinks you meant doesn't help. A better search system through the enormous thread history would really be welcome. We have repetitive threads because it's hard for a regular to find the previous discussion on the same issue, let alone a novice - and we may be scaring them off by asking them to try. Yes, the site tries to suggest similar threads, but unless there's a better search tool it's never going to do a very good job. It's not like there's a sticky FAQ.

    On that note, I've asked several times but I've never seen forum - or at least subforum-specific - rules written down (where most sites would have had a sticky thread). We often get people surprised that they can't link to another site, for example, but they usually only find this out by trying it. I really think a sticky thread saying things like "don't link to xxx", "we're friendly amateurs not a paid support service, be nice and it may take us a while", "please be more specific than 'my camera broke'", "please report back", etc. would surely help a bit.

    See, I don't think the existing forum system is perfect after all. :)
     
  74. Huh. How did I miss the survey linked in Glenn's post the first time. Sorry for some of my repeated requests for more information about what people didn't like! I'll do some reading...
     
  75. ...okay, interesting. Either several things don't bother me at all, or they've been improved since this survey, but it's good to know what people said. While not everything about pnet can be done by crowdsourcing, I think further discussion on how to resolve these issues incorporating long-term members would be valuable so as to ensure we get the best ideas of everyone and alienate the fewest members possible - unless this happened and I just didn't know abut it. I don't mind not getting my way if the masses disagree with me (except possibly on Brexit), but I'd at least like a chance for my voice to be heard. Brexit was a great example of getting people to vote against something they didn't like without a particularly clear description of what they were going to get instead. I worry that polls like this can easily go the same way - asking people what they don't like is best combined with a follow-up of "is this better?" (And now I'll stop drawing political comparisons in case I cross a line.)

    Maybe we need more granularity? A lot of people may be complaining about a very minor issue if they're mostly happy; that's not necessarily the same weight as a minority who are furious about something. And the people who hated something probably aren't hanging around to take a survey about it...
     
  76. Has anyone connected the survey results expressed by members in what they wanted changed and improved to anything they experienced in PN 2.0 sans the slow and buggy parts?
    The only thing that stands out for me is the airy design with a predominance of increased image sizes and cropping decisions working to fit the design motif, which I like, but that's a subjective design call that can't be correlated to the functionality desired in the survey.
    I mean I like the idea of displaying the EXIF data affixed in flush left/ragged right list sidebar to the right of images when uploaded to the No Words forum but it should be collapse-able so it doesn't distract from the image. That wasn't asked for in the survey or maybe I missed that part in the pdf.
     
  77. I mean I like the idea of displaying the EXIF data affixed in flush left/ragged right list sidebar to the right of images when uploaded to the No Words forum but it should be collapse-able so it doesn't distract from the image.​
    Definitely to the last bit. Posts with images in the 2.0 forum on a phone had a tiny image followed by just over a screen full of EXIF data, whether we wanted it or not!

    The aesthetic certainly... changed. I don't mind a change, but there are usability issues to discuss. The mobile interface changed even more; maybe others (especially not in the fora) found it more usable than me. But the most popular part of the site does seem to be the fora, so I think we have to conclude that breaking that wasn't helpful. That's an old survey, though - as far as I know image upload and blocking nudes seem to work pretty well in the current 1.0. And what existing users want compared with what new users want may not be the same, but doesn't have to be incompatible: I maintain that a reason people frequent dpreview et al. is for the editorial content, of which pnet has only a trickle. Existing users happy in the fora are probably fine with this (I mostly am - I'll read dpreview separately for news); those coming new to the site and trying to discover what's on it may struggle somewhat more. I came here for Philip's articles, but they won't hold a modern audience for long.
     
  78. I lost several uploads from several days ago, are we back to a previous point in time? Now I can't upload any photos, it says I need a plug-in. I keep getting emails about an upcoming non-existent contest. What gives? How do I upload or re-upload my photos?
     

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