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Thread: If you could change the F295 forum...

  1. #1
    Administrator Tom Persinger's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Pittsburgh PA USA

    If you could change the F295 forum...

    what would you do?

    We're beginning to look at what the next iteration of the forum might look like and would like your input!

    Maybe it's a full blown overhaul to be more like one of the other photo sharing sites? more social media like? maybe it's just a small change? or maybe it's.... ?

    Your input is appreciated! Feel free to PM me if you'd rather not post it publicly.


  2. #2
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Sonoma County, California
    I'll think more... but here's a minor one.

    The 100KB limit for uploaded photos is a bit small... we have to either make the image quite small ( < 800 pixels on a side ) or crank the jpg compression way up. Price per GB of storage has gone way down since this forum software was made, although I do understand that bandwidth is still important to consider. When the forum software re-sizes a larger image, it can cause odd sharpening or other artifacts.

    I don't think this forum should try to compete with or be like other photo sharing sites, but maybe bump that limit up so that we can upload a reasonable quality jpg that's, say, 1000 or 1200 pixels on a side. Maybe 300 or 400KB would be reasonable?

    The only reason it matters is that I've found myself tempted recently to put links to photos in my posts rather than upload a low quality image. That's bad in the long run if lots of people do it because links break and it's better to have the photo here at f295. One of the great strengths of this forum is that it is virtually an encyclopedia of knowledge about camera building and alt processes. The photos are valuable in the DIY parts of the forum, and it would be a shame to lose them over time.

    I personally am not on facebook or linkedin or twitter or instagram or anything like those things. Maybe that just means I'm an old fuddy duddy. But mostly it's because I spend all day every day working on a computer so don't need more reasons to do it in my free time.. still, I'm all for anything that will help make these forums more lively!
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  3. #3
    Not interested in social media, other than discussion forums and blogs. I like the way rangefinder forum is run. Members have a gallery space, and there's a buy/sell area also. APUG is another good forum, though they're a bit too hung up on the analog/digital divide (they had to create a digital subforum, but it's frowned upon to mention the D word on APUG itself). Large Format Photography forum is okay, but a bit stuffy.

    All forums, to be successful, require an active moderator, but it's a careful balance between being too passive and being too heavy-handed. The goal should be to foster open discussion, a genuine, active community.

    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  4. #4
    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, United States
    Blog Entries
    Joe and Ned have mentioned some of the strengths of this forum. While I formerly spent a lot more time logged in, it is still an important part of my art life. The reasons for the drop-off in participation here, I think, is not related to the format of the forum, but rather the priorities of each of our lives. I hope that there remains a place for f295 - it holds a unique spot in the photo site universe. I am not sure how we can get more people to post more often, though. It seems like Facebook is the preferred place to post images for most people.
    "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?"
    -Don Van Vliet

  5. #5
    500+ Posts jon.oman's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Summerville, SC, USA
    How about another forum section:

    Image Sharing (Everything Else: Lens based, analog or digital)

    It may get some participation that you normally would not see, and add to the volume of work displayed/discussed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    N-E Victoria, Australia
    Tom, I wouldn't change a thing. Although I'm a bit slack and haven't been able to contribute much yet, I see f295 as being unique in concentrating on pinhole and alternative processes. I would caution against seeking wider appeal to people whose interests are more mainstream. The tradeoff of filling a unique niche in photography may have to be a forum of smaller size; whereas opening up to wider appeal might dilute the special character of the forum as it is at the moment.

  7. #7
    Administrator Tom Persinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Thanks for the input guys... appreciated.

    I'm not necessarily looking to broaden the appeal of the site, but do feel as though if this forum is to remain relevant something needs to change/be updated.

    I'll be working on a few things and considering options over the coming weeks and months. Feel free to email or PM me directly with thoughts.

    Many thanks to the F295 forum contributors who became members during out February membership drive. Your support is GREATLY appreciated! But, to note: the F295 forum members who contributed numbered in the single digits while there were over 160 new or renewing members in the February campaign. This is a huge shift from a few years ago. I'd like to see this forum return to it's place as a vibrant area where ideas, images, and thoughts are shared and exchanged. With the advent of other social media platforms and the ease of setting up personal blogging sites and independent groups (FB) it doesn't seem this format is achieving that goal... yet.

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