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How Can We Help GetDPI Stay Alive

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
IMPORTANT UPDATE!

I appreciate all your ideas and I would like to share some additional thoughts and plans. Please make sure to read my previous update below in this thread!!!

We are in the midst of the transition period, which will probably take another week or so. I am listening to all your thoughts and ideas and it is wonderful to get to know you. Some of you have contacted me directly with offers of help. It means so much.

There is no question that some changes need to be made. We will start with a software upgrade and, as discussed with Jack and Bob, we may go with the Cloud version. This is going to be a major undertaking. We really don’t have much choice, as the longer we run on older software the more incompatible we will become with the world updating around us.

As far as design changes, there will be no “revolution” but the look of the website will change based on the newest version of the same platform. We will be doing some customisation, of course. Again, we don’t aim at “revolution” but some change is inevitable. Making any changes, especially to such an iconic site which you have enjoyed for so long, are not always easy. I know that. I have my own routine on my computer and I really dislike upgrades. It changes my flow and I need to learn the new way, something I don’t have time to do. It is often the case that once we go through the changes, once we learn this “NEW” way, we actually enjoy it. My objective is to allow access to the platform from mobile devices using apps as well.

We need to do this for two reasons. First, as I mentioned, we have to upgrade to a newer version. Second, more importantly, WE HAVE TO ATTRACT NEW USERS otherwise, as a platform, we will fade away. I am well aware of the risk here. Once we have new and younger members, the dynamics might change on the forum but I am sure we, as a community, can deal with it. To stay alive, we need to grow or, at least, not to lose members.

As stated in my previous post, we won’t go with a subscription option, but some ideas mentioned here could be introduced at some point, for example, a fee for commercial entities operating on the site or/and a small fee for gear sale postings.

As mentioned, especially at this initial stage, your help will be crucial. Soon you will find a DONATE button on the right side of the page so we would appreciate your support, especially in these early days.

I am in touch with Jack and Bob and I am sure they will share their advice and thoughts as they can. There is no question that they “feel” this community much better than I do at the moment, so their opinions carry extra weight in our decision-making process.

In short, thank you so much for all your ideas and unwavering support. I am listening and taking notes! Lots of work is going on behind closed doors and significant human resources are being put to work here.

Warm Regards and until the next update,

Cheers, Olaf
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Again - WELCOME Olaf and your help and support is very much appreciated.

I am confident that you will lead this site into the future with all the necessary changes to stay alive and prosper over the following decade(s). There is never the perfect solution for everybody but certain changes have to be done.

Cloud is definitely a necessity as is to incorporate mobile devices in a better way! While this is mainly a photography site, I think that video established meanwhile as a clear trend in parallel to just taking photos, so it might be a good idea to open up a bit more to this way of showing the world and emotions around us as well. I also find myself using dedicated Youtube channels more and more for keeping up to date, maybe another possible additional way to move on as a forum.

I myself use this site since 2007 as my main forum to get and stay in contact with others spread all over the globe who love photography and seek a source to openly discuss and evaluate what works best in that regards. I am positive that you will take all necessary steps to keep this possible in the future :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
 

dj may

Active member
What is your definition of commercial entity? For example, is an artist a commercial entity in your opinion? What about countless other examples, such as musician, writer, freelancer, etc.?

IMPORTANT UPDATE!

I appreciate all your ideas and I would like to share some additional thoughts and plans. Please make sure to read my previous update below in this thread!!!

We are in the midst of the transition period, which will probably take another week or so. I am listening to all your thoughts and ideas and it is wonderful to get to know you. Some of you have contacted me directly with offers of help. It means so much.

There is no question that some changes need to be made. We will start with a software upgrade and, as discussed with Jack and Bob, we may go with the Cloud version. This is going to be a major undertaking. We really don’t have much choice, as the longer we run on older software the more incompatible we will become with the world updating around us.

As far as design changes, there will be no “revolution” but the look of the website will change based on the newest version of the same platform. We will be doing some customisation, of course. Again, we don’t aim at “revolution” but some change is inevitable. Making any changes, especially to such an iconic site which you have enjoyed for so long, are not always easy. I know that. I have my own routine on my computer and I really dislike upgrades. It changes my flow and I need to learn the new way, something I don’t have time to do. It is often the case that once we go through the changes, once we learn this “NEW” way, we actually enjoy it. My objective is to allow access to the platform from mobile devices using apps as well.

We need to do this for two reasons. First, as I mentioned, we have to upgrade to a newer version. Second, more importantly, WE HAVE TO ATTRACT NEW USERS otherwise, as a platform, we will fade away. I am well aware of the risk here. Once we have new and younger members, the dynamics might change on the forum but I am sure we, as a community, can deal with it. To stay alive, we need to grow or, at least, not to lose members.

As stated in my previous post, we won’t go with a subscription option, but some ideas mentioned here could be introduced at some point, for example, a fee for commercial entities operating on the site or/and a small fee for gear sale postings.

As mentioned, especially at this initial stage, your help will be crucial. Soon you will find a DONATE button on the right side of the page so we would appreciate your support, especially in these early days.

I am in touch with Jack and Bob and I am sure they will share their advice and thoughts as they can. There is no question that they “feel” this community much better than I do at the moment, so their opinions carry extra weight in our decision-making process.

In short, thank you so much for all your ideas and unwavering support. I am listening and taking notes! Lots of work is going on behind closed doors and significant human resources are being put to work here.

Warm Regards and until the next update,

Cheers, Olaf
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
What is your definition of commercial entity? For example, is an artist a commercial entity in your opinion? What about countless other examples, such as musician, writer, freelancer, etc.?
I am not talking about photographers. It is a very simple and straightforward issue. If I own, let's say a camera strap company and I join the forum. Then, in almost every single entry I talk about my product - it is plain and simple advertising. Some members of this forum pointed this out.
 

anyone

Well-known member
I'm curious to see how it works out. In some forums I know this lead to more advertising, in others such people fade away. But here it might be different since medium format photographers are sort of a (more or less) rare species ;-)

About the fee for the "sales" section, most likely this would decrease the offers / WTB ads quite a bit. So here I'm rather sceptical.
 

darr

Well-known member
About the fee for the "sales" section, most likely this would decrease the offers / WTB ads quite a bit. So here I'm rather sceptical.
They tried this in the past and it did not work, thus it changed back to free.

I think they should try making a forum category for dealers. Charge them a fee and members can visit there if they are interested in seeing what the dealers are offering. The dealers could offer discounts to members there and talk on and on about how great their products are without angering members that could care less and do not want to waste their reading time on dealing propaganda.

I have said in the past, I will gladly pay a fee to not have to read dealer sales pitches. If I have to block people, I will leave a forum as that is not the solution for the camaraderie a forum is good for IMO, YMMV.
 

jng

Well-known member
Olaf, allow me to be the 100th person here to thank you for stepping in to keep GetDPI going, and also Jack and Bob (and Guy) for all that they've done to cultivate such a nice community of photographers. I've had the pleasure of getting to know many of the members here virtually and also a few in person, with whom I've become good friends.

As for what to do with those "pesky dealers"... While I have found myself annoyed on occasion by what has come off as blatant sales pitches or advice that a reasonable person might construe as such, I should also point out that for every such incident there were countless others where highly valuable advice and information was shared generously and with no strings attached. There are lots of passionate folks here, including people who happen to make their living selling camera equipment, some of whom I've had the pleasure of working with in person, others I've interacted with over email (or here). All are decent folks. While I personally wouldn't mind a cooling of the sales pitches (e.g., "our system is unrivaled in doing x, y or z - give me a call") I think it's a bit of a slippery slope to ban or segregate dealers as a class, lest we lose the opportunity to benefit from their expertise. As with any community, there will be ups and downs and disagreements amongst its members, which as long as the discussion remains civil (which has been a hallmark of GetDPI), from my point of view is just part of the richness of the human experience.

Just my two ¢.

Hope all are staying healthy and safe,

John
 
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olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Olaf, allow me to be the 100th person here to thank you for stepping in to keep GetDPI going, and also Jack and Bob (and Guy) for all that they've done to cultivate such a nice community of photographers. I've had the pleasure of getting to know many of the members here virtually and also a few in person, with whom I've become good friends.

As for what to do with those "pesky dealers"... While I have found myself annoyed on occasion by what has come off as blatant sales pitches or advice that a reasonable person might construe as such, I should also point out that for every such incident there were countless others where highly valuable advice and information was shared generously and with no strings attached. There are lots passionate folks here, including people who happen to make their living selling camera equipment, some of whom I've had the pleasure of working with in person, others I've interacted with over email (or here). All are decent folks. While I personally wouldn't mind a cooling of the sales pitches (e.g., "our system is unrivaled in doing x, y or z - give me a call") I think it's a bit of a slippery slope to ban or segregate dealers as a class, lest we lose the opportunity to benefit from their expertise. As with any community, there will be ups and downs and disagreements amongst its members, which as long as the discussion remains civil (which has been a hallmark of GetDPI), from my point of view is just part of the richness of the human experience.

Just my two ¢.

Hope all are staying healthy and safe,

John
Thank you so much John for your kind words and perspective. I am listening carefully. I am also personally in touch with Jack discussing all options and bouncing ideas from him. The only objective here is to make the forum sustainable and thriving.
 

Pemihan

Active member
As for what to do with those "pesky dealers"... While I have found myself annoyed on occasion by what has come off as blatant sales pitches or advice that a reasonable person might construe as such, I should also point out that for every such incident there were countless others where highly valuable advice and information was shared generously and with no strings attached. There are lots of passionate folks here, including people who happen to make their living selling camera equipment, some of whom I've had the pleasure of working with in person, others I've interacted with over email (or here). All are decent folks. While I personally wouldn't mind a cooling of the sales pitches (e.g., "our system is unrivaled in doing x, y or z - give me a call") I think it's a bit of a slippery slope to ban or segregate dealers as a class, lest we lose the opportunity to benefit from their expertise. As with any community, there will be ups and downs and disagreements amongst its members, which as long as the discussion remains civil (which has been a hallmark of GetDPI), from my point of view is just part of the richness of the human experience.

John

I totally agree on this.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
They tried this in the past and it did not work, thus it changed back to free.

I think they should try making a forum category for dealers. Charge them a fee and members can visit there if they are interested in seeing what the dealers are offering. The dealers could offer discounts to members there and talk on and on about how great their products are without angering members that could care less and do not want to waste their reading time on dealing propaganda.

I have said in the past, I will gladly pay a fee to not have to read dealer sales pitches. If I have to block people, I will leave a forum as that is not the solution for the camaraderie a forum is good for IMO, YMMV.
Darlene, could not have said this better :thumbs:
 

iiiNelson

Active member
The less you change ..the better .
I generally agree with this right here for the simple reason of that this place has something of an established culture. It’s respectful in general (though yes there’s an occasional “tiff” from difference of opinion and/or misunderstanding of text format) and I wouldn’t want to see that change.

I agree that drawing new members would generally be a great thing but I also feel that many “younger” people are drawn to the social media platform of the time. I’m not saying it’s impossible but maybe a good method would be to reach out to contacts in academia (though unsolicited feelers may be unwelcome) where visual art students/professors may be interested In this sort of community.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
As for what to do with those "pesky dealers"... While I have found myself annoyed on occasion by what has come off as blatant sales pitches or advice that a reasonable person might construe as such, I should also point out that for every such incident there were countless others where highly valuable advice and information was shared generously and with no strings attached. There are lots of passionate folks here, including people who happen to make their living selling camera equipment, some of whom I've had the pleasure of working with in person, others I've interacted with over email (or here). All are decent folks. While I personally wouldn't mind a cooling of the sales pitches (e.g., "our system is unrivaled in doing x, y or z - give me a call") I think it's a bit of a slippery slope to ban or segregate dealers as a class, lest we lose the opportunity to benefit from their expertise. As with any community, there will be ups and downs and disagreements amongst its members, which as long as the discussion remains civil (which has been a hallmark of GetDPI), from my point of view is just part of the richness of the human experience.

Just my two ¢.

Hope all are staying healthy and safe,

John
+1

We've all been able to deal with the "pesky dealers" (tongue in cheek) here on the forum in the past, why start a crusade now?
I fully trust the moderators here to gently tap a "really pesky dealer" on their fingers if it gets too much, for the rest scrolling down is all it takes if you don't like a post.
 

gerald.d

Active member
+1

We've all been able to deal with the "pesky dealers" (tongue in cheek) here on the forum in the past, why start a crusade now?
I fully trust the moderators here to gently tap a "really pesky dealer" on their fingers if it gets too much, for the rest scrolling down is all it takes if you don't like a post.
Hello. Again.

Strong sense of déjà vu enveloping me here.

It's hardly a crusade. Did you even read the discussion to which you have now responded on more than one occasion with the exact same response?

For the last time.

In the past dealers sponsored the cost of running the forum. In such a scenario, it's not unrealistic - as I very clearly stated - to expect a bit of quid pro quo and have to put up with some blatant (and often irrelevant) promotion of their wares, alongside - as I very clearly stated - all their positive contributions to the forum.

Then it was announced that all sponsorship of the site had ceased due to the current situation. The forum was going to close. Olaf kindly stepped in. Suggestions for raising much needed funding were invited.

Dealers continue to blatantly promote their business, including an instance where a forum member had explicitly stated that they are not interested in using the product that the dealer's revenue stream is reliant on, and no prizes for guessing what happened next. Or do you think a dealer should be free to pimp their paid-for online courses in Capture One in response to an OP who has very clearly stated they don't want to use the software?

And are you seriously sitting there thinking that I, along with others of a like mind, who have been contributing to this forum for many years, are so emotionally stunted and stupid not to realise that it's possible to simply skip past posts we don't like (immediate instance notwithstanding)?

Do you think that even if we are capable of conceptualising such a hypothetical action, we are incapable of actually carrying it out to fruition?

I can only assume that you are sitting there doing just that, because otherwise why feel it necessary to state it yet again?

Mon dieu.

How many more times are you going to respond in this thread with the same comment - a comment that adds zero value to the discussion whatsoever?

Whatever happened to...

I think it's time to start posting some further positive actions to help GetDPI stay alive, for me that's orders of magnitude more important and enjoyable.
...and...

But now I'll have a cup of tea and move on, too much negative energy spent on this already.
..?

Nobody is on a "crusade" to prevent commercial enterprises from contributing in a positive manner to the forum.

I, and others, have simply suggested - in response to a plea for suggestions as to how the forum could generate some revenue - that perhaps a way can be found for such commercial enterprises to contribute financially to help ensure the long term viability of the forum, in exchange for them promoting their wares.

Rest assured that if you do feel it necessary to state once more in this thread that all people need to do if they don't like a post is to skip past and ignore it, that said conjectured post will indeed be skipped past and ignored.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
Have a tea Gerald. There's just different opinions on this topic and I wasn't reacting to you but to some other people who keep repeating similar arguments in different words. Why can't I throw in my opinion in different words. You've not convinced me and I've not convinced you. So be it, no reason to lecture me, every opinion on this is as valid as another. You've explained yourself clearly, I just don't agree with it.
 

Elderly

Member
I'm a member of a one marque classic car owners' club.

That club has a private forum financed by the club's annual subscription.

It was a vibrant forum but now it is moribund.

ONE of the reasons that it started to die is that the members of the club who were professional/commercial,
used to be fairly generous with their advice to members, but that became seen as free advertising and their
regular contributions were discouraged.

So they stopped giving of their experience, and hence forum members went looking elsewhere for help/ideas/tips etc.
and the forum went rapidly downhill.

I don't say that there are exact parallels here with GetDPI, as I see this forum manly as one for the photographs themselves.
However the people I know/knew in the club (I say 'knew' as many members left the club as things deteriorated) were all capable of recognising what was blatant self promotion and what was useful information, even if that promotion meant using a product only sold by one supplier.

None of what I've said above helps with the future financing of this rather unique and really nice place to be :eek::rolleyes:.
 

f8orbust

Member
The right to be forgotten is rapidly becoming one of the fundamentals of the web as it moves forward (well, in the EU at least).

So, as the forum is dragged (technologically) kicking and screaming into the year 2020, could we please have the ability to delete our posts whenever we like. At the minute it can only be done for something like the first couple of days after posting, which is a royal PITA - especially in the buy/sell section.

Other forums can do it without the whole database imploding, so hopefully GetDPI v2.0 will figure out a way as well.

Jim
 

JoelM

Member
As we have succeeded in "Helping to keep GetDPI stay alive", perhaps this thread could end.

Congrats to us all!
 

Shashin

Well-known member
I think the fundamental culture at GetDPI works well. If you are thinking of creating a space that will be 100% perfect for 100% of the members, it will probably fail and certainly does not exist now (see comments above). Success is really if it engages most people and the community thrives.

As far as change, I am certainly not opposed. This is the natural evolution of every community (and I think community is the operational word). Some change is going to be driven by technical changes. But the change needs to bring a net benefit. (And if you don't think GetDPI has not changed, see the logo and tag line at the top--workshops do not seem to be the central idea of the forums.)

But what does make GetDPI successful as a whole? We have a very creative community of photographers that share their work and experience. Central to that is the skill represented by the group from those starting out to accomplished professionals. And it is inclusive where everyone feels comfortable sharing without a hostile judgement. It is like a local hangout for photography geeks. (Sure there is friction from time to time, but that is the exception, not the rule (and not all friction is negative). And even the more crusty among us are harmless.) The only thing missing is a bar to order drinks.

I think Olaf understands the strength of GetDPI is the community. I am happy for him to try new things to support us--partly because he might find something that might make the place better (like update that horrible logo :angel: ) and partly because I am not going to be so ungrateful for his efforts to support our community--the gift horse rule. I, for one, am in for the ride.
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
DONATE BUTTON IS UP

Once again, I would like to thank you for your support, kind words and all the ideas and concerns you have raised with me in the last two weeks. I am listening. Also thank you for coming forward with your pledges of donations to help the website. Starting today you will find the DONATE button on the right side of the page. Your help with financing the website and the much-needed upgrades is greatly appreciated.
 
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