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Old April 20th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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fatcatphotos fatcatphotos is offline
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New Corner refugees.

So, I've noticed quite a few, brand-new, friendly faces in the crowd here at the corner. I've gathered from reading some of your posts that most of you came over here from the same previous forum. The Corner is pretty much the only forum I'm actively involved with, I lurk around on another but the people there are much to high-handed and mean-spirited for me to actually post there. I just like looking at the pictures.

When I came here, I was immediately impressed with how friendly everyone was and how many of them seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and offering helpful advice. The contests were just gravy, really. So it's a bit foreign to me to hear about a failing forum. (Try that three times fast, foreign failing forum, foreign failing forum, foreign failing forum.)

I was wondering what would make a group of people leave somewhere en masse? Would you mind sharing with us your tales of tragedy, your words of woe, your dirges of disaster? I'm genuinely interested in knowing what went wrong, mainly so we can keep it from happening here but partly because I'm an insufferable inquisitive.

Just like to hear what happened over on the sinking ship. Thanks!!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:05 PM
Russ Russ is offline
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Re: New Corner refugees.

I think everyone coming here wanted to leave their baggage behind, but your question is a fair one. Many of us came from the Popular Photography forums after being members for many years and having made a considerable investment of time/effort in the vibrancy of the community. Personally, I had 10 years, 7000+ posts. Others here had similar stats but all were caring members. 1-2 years ago owenership of Pop changed hands. The new owners, Bonnier, apparently felt they had a different model on how to survive in the perilous waters of print media. We hoped that it would be in accelerating the transition to digital media and initially were advised that "big plans, great future" was imminent. We were assigned an admin from the company to coordinate with team of moderators (members) to run the site. We hoped for the best and patiently waited for "good times". Rather than bore you with the excruciating details, Bonnier decided to "improve" the site, each time causing an escalating cascade of dysfunction. Members were frustrated but mostly patient. Bonnier retreated to their inner sanctum not to resurface for LONG periods. After months of more or less resolving dysfunctions we'd hit a "flat period" of steady state, inevitably followed by another "upgrade" and repeat of the aforementioned cycle of months....several times. Increasingly members were frustrated by the almost TOTAL lack of communication and frequently would grill the admin about communication when he dared appear again. Most recently, he advised us that there would be a slight revision but doubted it would in any way be seen by us, ie would be seamless, and "certainly wouldn't be the apocalyse of the past"......there never has been a statement so egregiously erroneous. It was as catastrophic as can be and be anything short of DOA. That was a month ago and the site is still suffering largely and NO comments or communication from Bonnier in the interim. Mods, several of which have also transitioned to here, apparently had no better luck than the general membership at getting answers or things fixed, despite yeoman efforts to develop workarounds etc.

Many of us trickled away over a period of months. Many started to scout out the possibility of a "next home". Lots of us treasured the community we'd become and the relationships that develop over time and were hesitant to abandon that despite mounting frustration. Several of us promised each other that if we found a place, we'd share that with others. On a recent thread there dealing with "where else are you frequenting" the name Photography Corner was heartily recommended by Jim Harris and endorsed by Sharna Lee...both respected Pop members. Within a week things got even worse and the transition started with friends bringing more friends. I'd guess that there may yet be a few more stragglers for one reason or another but that the major exodus has occurred.....its deafeningly quiet over there now. Sad.

The purpose in relating all of this is less about the historical background or curiousity but moreso about the lesson. Do NOT take it for granted that someone else will make this site realize its full potential. It is incumbent on EACH member (and lurker to become a member) to contribute in accordance with their own ability, ie take what you need, give what you can! Post questions AND answers/opinions. Post pictures AND comments/critiques....its the lifeblood of any forum. Do NOT underestimate the importance of your voice, however timid and/or "underqualified" or ??? you may feel. Oh, and from time to time thank the moderators and owner/admin for the critical roles they play....its often a thankless job.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:23 PM
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fatcatphotos fatcatphotos is offline
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Re: New Corner refugees.

Thanks Russ. That is exactly what I was looking for, answers to why a forum would fail. I think we've got a great place here and we try to keep things running smoothly.

Thank you for your honest and in-depth answer. I really appreciate it.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Re: New Corner refugees.

I like to welcome all of you to the Corner. It is a pleasure having y'all here. I noticed all the "welcome" threads but time does not allow me to welcome each of you one on one. ....so.....please accept my warmest welcomes to y'all.

The corner is a special place with great people, who are always willing to help each other, and the attitude and swollen egos stay away. It is great to have some new blood and fresh faces here. I cant remember when I joined as that part of my brain that holds that info has deteriorated, but there are only a few of us long termers here. (....oh...I just found out when I joined) ...yikes....Tim hasnt kicked me off yet.
Keep posting away. I have seen some of your threads, and wow...you guys/gals have some killer pics.
Russ....thank you for sharing with us.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Re: New Corner refugees.

Yeah I'm enjoying reading all the new posts that have been coming in from the newbs!! A huge welcome from me, too! Glad you found the Corner and hope you enjoy your stay a lot longer than than last place you were at!!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:07 PM
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Re: New Corner refugees.

Russ,, you speak so eloquently and you certainly summed it all up in your statements,, as all of you will come to realize, the members that have arrived here are all talented long term and very competent contributors, we are all fortunate to have all these quality members here very well spoken Russ
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:14 PM
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OrvSal OrvSal is offline
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Re: New Corner refugees.

Thank you Russ for explaining our plight so well and I thank all of our new friends and especially the Mods who have been so patience with dealing with such an influx of new members at one time. It could be very intimidating to a few other forums I've visited. The cream of the crop is here to join and share, not to make it into something that Pop Photo should have been but probably never will become. Oh it will survive and plod along but it is sad the experiance and dedication that was lost. Anyway, no tears, just being thankful for a place to be a part of.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:25 PM
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anjin_nav anjin_nav is offline
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Re: New Corner refugees.

I like your term "refugees," Jenn. I wasn't quite as frustrated as Russ over on Pop on some of the issues. It was the total lack of respect Pop staff had for the members, and absolutely no feedback--much less fixes--to the members.

I joined Pop 2006--right around the same time as Sharna, as a matter of fact. I got a lot of great advice from a lot of talented people willing to share (including Russ). In that time, there were some tiffs that caused some to leave. We're human, and that's inevitable. Some returned, some didn't, but for years they were replaced with new members. Things spiralled once the "fixes" Russ mentions took place. Despite my loyalty to the members and my old home, once I got invited here, I felt no need to look back.

Coming here, though, brings it's own challenges. The last thing I want to do is appear to be part of a clique taking over someone else's home. At the risk of speaking for them, I'm sure all the others who've moved feel the same. I am anxious to make a whole slew of new friends to add to my refugee ones!

I'll echo Russ in that the success Pop had for years came from its members. There will always be lurkers, and always be those who just want glowing praise for their shots. That's fine. However, I prefer those who actively participate, give and take criticism, and advance the art of photography. I'll never forget the first time I composed a shot, noticed a branch sticking out of a frame, and recomposed to avoid a "near merge." The shot still sucked, but I knew I was learning, and that's what mattered.

I hope people forgive me when I provide honest feedback. I am not trying to prove my superiority--far from it--or hurt anyone's feelings. I am only providing feedback I hope others will share with me when I post something.

Thanks to all of you here in the Corner that have welcomed us. I look forward to contributing in my new online home.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:54 PM
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Re: New Corner refugees.

As Tim has said and I agree, we didn't come to take over and become a clique, we came to share your home, food, and energy and offer ours in return. *not our home* =)

What Russ said is beautiful. I couldn't have said it better if I tried. Thanks Russ! I wasn't sure where I would end up, nor did I plan to stop here, but for reasons unknown I stayed here then decided I was going to be a life long member.

Being from that other forum I didn't want to leave old friends so I sent some PMs and asked members to join us but never knowing that we'd all join at once. I'm glad you've opened your home to the lot of us, we're a silly, crazy, sensitive bunch, but there's so much talent between us.

I would like to thank Tim Walker for putting up with our huge group and to the mods for being here to guide us if we stray. *watch pith like a hawk*

And thanks to all the members who's "joined us". Ya'll are my hero's!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:14 PM
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Re: New Corner refugees.

I became a member of the Pop forum I think in 2007. That was the year I bought my first DSLR and had previously been shooting with a Sony DSC-H1. I had several questions concerning photography and every time I posed one it got answered. Most of the members were friendly and helpful and after a while you feel they are your friends even though you have never seen nor spoken to them. In fact I'm going on a trip to Montana in June with someone I met on that forum even though we have never seen nor spoken to each other. We do stay in touch via email. But as Russ stated the site was going downhill and many of us made the exodus. I was a bit concerned that the members of this site would maybe feel we were trying to take over but that's not the case. The group that came over are good people. And I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we want to blend in - not take over.

When I got into macro photography I had a lot of questions and I remember the ones who had the answers. Jim Harris and mrchile, both members of this forum now, are two of them

Jerry
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