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Thread: Forum Life

  1. #1
    Elite Member Gramps's Avatar
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    Forum Life

    I think its time to be blatantly blunt here, but is the life of a forum doomed?

    I personally feel it is due to disgracebook. There are many pages on there that cover everything you like about our hobby.
    In many cases there are more that 2 pages of the same topic.
    And I think because of this the forum life as much as we like or love it, but it to me seems its life has run its course.
    It might sound like a load of crap but its not.
    I have been on here for a while and other forums and I am only speaking of this one as I don't care for the others.

    Over my time here I have seen people come and go and this happens everywhere so its not new.
    But what is new is the lack of new people here and or the people here posting and then even replying to others.
    I understand reason behind this and there is no pointing of the fingers to anyone at all.
    The age of the facebook page in as I think upon us and I also think its far easier to post there and make comments ot like this or than.
    I don't like how this is sounding but there has to come a time when we really look at it and wonder is it fighting a battle it can win.
    Personally I don't think any forum can beat the easy and access of the facebook page be what ever you are into.
    I know I am on about 8 pages all to do with photography a couple have to do with what this is and that being Sony Camera's.
    One is like this forum and one is selling and buying of only Sony stuff.

    I know Jay has put in a lot of his time and his own money and he is under pressure, and to me I think its more pressure than he needs as he's young has a job a family a great dog and all his money is really needed to keep him and his family strong.
    There has to come a point in time when he has to make the right choice even if he doesn't like it but to me its the real thing to do.
    I know I would think more of him doing this as his time is limited and to take this time to put it here when it could be with his family. My vote is for him to be with his family. I would not think any less of him.

    In the final wash its not my choice but its what I can see and yes I am a big mouth dope at times but in there is a person who see's things some don't want to see.
    With all my respect to this place and to you Jay but I do think its curtain time here.
    CC is always welcome, the good and the bad. I promise not to take it personal as I know it wasn't meant that way.

    Sony a77 with 18/55mm lens
    Sony DT 2.8/30 Macro
    Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro
    Sony DT 55/200
    Sigma DG 70/300 lens with Macro button

    Tamron 150-600 f5.6-6.3 Di USD

    Plus some Filters


  2. #2
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    I hear you. Jay has done an excellent job keeping this up and running. It's not easy. Unfortunately, Facebook is totally easy. I think FB is whatever you make it. I am admin on several Facebook groups and the infrastructure is just so easy there. You can easily create an event, manage users, not have to worry about storage, etc.

  3. #3
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    when Jay had his extended absence thats when it started ...he was/is the main person that provides material and feedback.....with him gone folks were missing what they came here for.I was one of those.
    I am in other forums and belong to localised FB groups (private entry so only like minded folks allowed) and that has been great as someone still relativily new you need feedback, ideas and occasionally some feedback about why the photo is not great...with Jay not here....people went else where..Its sad as I got a lot from here...but I think maybe its day is done as I dont come back very often now either.
    Camera : Sony A6000
    Sony Lens : FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro , 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, 10-18mm f/4 OSS ultra wide,FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
    Sigma Lens : 30mm f/2.8 DN

    500 px : https://500px.com/stevemeier

  4. #4
    Elite Member Gramps's Avatar
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    I have to say I have hated bring this up but I am not the type that sit back.
    I rather make what is on my mind out there in the open, and yes sometimes like this its a horrible one.
    My time here I have seen a few come and go.
    I will say I have seen some of the best photographers leave for whatever reason.
    Its hard to keep a place open when we are only popping in here once in a while.
    I try to post but to get nothing is sort of disheartening, not that I am after the pats on the back.
    But it just makes you feel what is the point and this is what bought this up.
    Sadly I know I am going to be a less frequent poster as it seems to have nothing behind it no more.
    To Jay, you mate have done one hell of a job, and what is happening is not due to you.
    You have my utmost respect and as hard as it is I will stay with what I have said I think it has run it course.
    And again this has many reasons that I would not have a clue about.
    CC is always welcome, the good and the bad. I promise not to take it personal as I know it wasn't meant that way.

    Sony a77 with 18/55mm lens
    Sony DT 2.8/30 Macro
    Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro
    Sony DT 55/200
    Sigma DG 70/300 lens with Macro button

    Tamron 150-600 f5.6-6.3 Di USD

    Plus some Filters


  5. #5
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    On a contrarian side, people always come and go. When the site was first launched I doubt there were many people and then it picked up one by one and grew into a decent size site. Then the there was a substantial fall off. The site can grow again but it will require a considerable amount of participation (effort) of a few to keep it going and to attract new members.
    Gear: Sony A6000, Canon T5i, Zeiss 16mm-70mm, various Canon lenses, PS Elements, various Topaz plug ins.

    Mike

  6. #6
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    certainly Agree...but it requires a lot of time...it developed because Jay had a passion for it and to share....Jay has a young family now and his time is rightly spent there.

    Unfortunately it may have got past the point of restarting again....to restart it needs its driver.....its not a driverless vechicle....and Jay has his family...which off course is more important.
    Camera : Sony A6000
    Sony Lens : FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro , 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, 10-18mm f/4 OSS ultra wide,FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
    Sigma Lens : 30mm f/2.8 DN

    500 px : https://500px.com/stevemeier

  7. #7
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    I must whole heartily agree that Jay historically is the overall highest (volume) contributor and the best technical knowledge. He is #1 for sure. However, there are so many categories on the site that do not require Jay's knowledge from a technical perspective. In the past so many would contribute and then so many would respond. To some degree it does take effort on any one's part except it is not always effort if one seeks knowledge and feedback. Replies and responses feed more replies and responses. Conversely, fewer replies and fewer responses breeds fewer and fewer. To jump start the site, the few remaining would have to carry a burden for a time. I am not at all one for posting for the sake of posting, but it may be worth considering for a time to see if a revival could be made though I am not much help on the technical side.
    Gear: Sony A6000, Canon T5i, Zeiss 16mm-70mm, various Canon lenses, PS Elements, various Topaz plug ins.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Time to make the joint jump again!
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    the HepKitty from Hepcat City.

  9. #9
    Elite Member leuius's Avatar
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    Great picture Lucille!! Seems to come from a different era.

    About this site, it's sad that activity has died way down. I used to come here at least once a day, now it's more once a few weeks. My time has been dragged elsewhere... and I am still behind in my other life. It's not even FB (I don't have much traction on social media), it's just having too much on my plate in general. A bit like Jay I guess...

    I don't have a remedy. I'll still be around if this place stays open, hoping to find the time in 2018 that has vanished in 2017.

    Cheers!!

    Stef

  10. #10
    Elite Member leuius's Avatar
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    Hmmm, the previous post was my 800th... That's better than 10 times more than FB for me. Probably an unfair comparison since FB is a mix of many things, not just photography, and not much used by me. Anyways, glad to have reached this level here...

    Regards,

    Stef

  11. #11
    Hello friends and I'm sorry I am so late the party I have not opened the forum page in a while and yes, it's time and totally lack of a driver as to why the forum is dying... I know what is required to fire the forum back up, but unfortunately I just don't have the time. It would take several people constantly posting, new challenges, contests, prizes, and then the server would need to be upgraded most likely to handle the traffic increase. This has happened before, and as was mentioned above, Facebook for example, is all free and easier. It's hard to compete with free, easier, and way more people to pool from. That is clearly a better model for the "forum like" purpose in 2017. The forum is still a great concept, but requires insane amounts of time to maintain. It takes effort to leave well intention and helpful comments, so even that is time consuming.

    I really appreciate all the kind words and this forum is really for you guys to share and run if you want. I closed registration quite a while ago due to the spam. I could re-open it if somebody wants to take on the burden of screening all the new users? I honestly just don't have the time to do that anymore.

    These days I'm trying to just enjoy my left and eliminate stress. The background forum duties are stressful for me and tedious, and it keeps from from creating content. Creating content (video reviews in particular) is what makes me happy these days and really feels like it gives me purpose. I gave up all social media posting and talking other than sharing new reviews and articles. That has helped lower my stress tremendously.

    I have been going in cycles the past year or so... Get a piece of gear to review and that becomes current project. I focus all my energy on that project and do nothing else with my spare time. This has resulted in better quality reviews and an evolving format that continues to grow as well I feel. When I'm doing other things during the project cycle, the output quality and quantity goes way down. I have learned I can only do so much and be effective/ at my best. Once the review cycle is done I have been taking a few weeks off to catch up. Usually I will hit up the forum and reply to people, but I have failed in that area lately, sorry.

    Remember guys, I'm just trying to get thru the day and enjoy this ride called "Life" as much as possible. I really enjoy creating stuff, learning new things, and helping people. Creating the video reviews is really my latest passion as far as learning. I have the photography thing figured out pretty much, but doing reviews in front of a camera and making them better every time is a serious challenge and fun for me. That drive towards getting better at creating the video reviews gives me the fire needed to pursue it. It's like I need a new challenge to keep me happy in other words... I consider the review cycle part of this process. For example, I ask myself: "How can I create the best content relating to this "review project" on the internet? So every cycle I try new things, lately the green screen and being in front of the camera more... This has taught me I need to create better scripts and new filming techniques. I need to plan out what will be on the green screen so when I'm talking I can point to stuff etc... Figuring this stuff type of out and getting better at it, is really satisfying to me and I'm sure any of you trying to get better at something can understand this.

    I really wish I had unlimited time, but I will be around, so stay tuned for some new posts I just sent the RX10 IV back, so I will have some spare time the next week or two!!

    Thanks again for all the super kind words everybody and sorry for my lack of participation...

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
    I have to say I have hated bring this up but I am not the type that sit back.
    I rather make what is on my mind out there in the open, and yes sometimes like this its a horrible one.
    My time here I have seen a few come and go.
    I will say I have seen some of the best photographers leave for whatever reason.
    Its hard to keep a place open when we are only popping in here once in a while.
    I try to post but to get nothing is sort of disheartening, not that I am after the pats on the back.
    But it just makes you feel what is the point and this is what bought this up.
    Sadly I know I am going to be a less frequent poster as it seems to have nothing behind it no more.
    To Jay, you mate have done one hell of a job, and what is happening is not due to you.
    You have my utmost respect and as hard as it is I will stay with what I have said I think it has run it course.
    And again this has many reasons that I would not have a clue about.
    Please don't feel bad Gramps and I totally understand if you are not getting what you are looking for here anymore. This whole thing started with crazy passion for helping people and building an awesome Sony photography based forum. In reality it turned out to be a bunch of awesome like minded people sharing some photos and having a good time. As time passed and we have dealt with losing one forum due to hackers, and then me being forced to upgrade the sever over and over has yielded tremendous stress. Also, having to constantly screen new users is brutal.

    In a perfect world, I just want to learn, create useful content, and help people. I don't like wearing the Marketing Hat, Maintenance Man Hat, or the trouble shooting server problems Hat, for example... That stuff is not what I am meant to do, and it really brings me down. It's frustrating beyond belief from my perspective. Comparing that to actually having fun creating stuff is a no brainer for me. I don't want to close the forum down, but I also don't want to maintain it either anymore in all honesty. For only a few users like yourself, the time, money, and effort involved on my part is just to much. I consider you and everyone else that posts here a friend. We have becomes friends, and I feel like I'm letting all you guys down for sure. That is also stressful, but I know you all understand I only have so much time, so it's not much of a stress these days honestly.

    So to your point, the forum has run it's course for the most part. The model just does not make much sense anymore when compared to social media, and users are not willing to participate like they used to. Totally understandable when I'm not taking charge leading the way.

    Basically the forum needs about 5 people running it to be affective in todays market I would say. One for promotion and marketing, one for creating/ organizing contests and challenges, one for helping people, one for maintenance, and one super expert that can do everything and steer the ship. The amount of man power needed to do things "right" is astounding, and I used to do all that myself. When I was doing that I could not effectively do anything else, so it became impossible. All that work came at the cost of me not being able to produce quality content, which is how this all started. I spread myself way to thin....

    About a year ago, I felt like leaving the forum up, but closing registration was the best way to go for me. This way I can create users manually when requested, and not have to worry about all the spam. That helped a lot!

    I really appreciate ya Gramps and I'm sorry if you feel like you wasted your time here, when it could have been invested elsewhere. You have been posting more than most that last year or two for sure. Plus I know facebook has not been the best place for you either over the years... Like minded groups seams to be the best way to go for the forum type atmosphere these days...

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  13. #13
    Elite Member Gramps's Avatar
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    Jay as you have read that we all have backed you, but we also all know that you are young and have a young family including the dog.
    I can say I don't know the hard times in running one of these but if it was easy I am sure I would have had one going.
    I started this as an observation of forum and this includes a few that I am on and facebook pages.

    Facebook pages are going at a rate that no forum will every be able to compete with.
    I was recently on a beginners page as I thought I could offer up my little bit of knowledge to others.
    But in the end I had to get out of it as my facebook page was full of only things from that page.
    It was growing with 10 new ones a day and that is really short of the numbers.

    I would never say my time here was wasted as this was a home for me.
    When I posted up something I could give it 2 weeks and still no reply of any new posts.
    And this is what was the cause for the start of this thread.
    Not ever anything to do with me wasting my time here and that part came as a shock.
    But I understand you saying this, but its wasn't the reason to how this all came about.

    I really want you to have your time with your family and if this means closing down the page I will back you 100%.
    Running this has to be hard. I will give you a little story which I think runs in the same lines though different subjects.

    I use to breed budgies and I was doing well at it. I had worked out the recessive and dominate gene thing and had it working.
    Then my came to breeding season I would select the 2 birds I wanted to breed with as I know what I was going to get.
    I had 16 nesting boxes all separate and it took me 5 minutes to clean and refeed the pair in that box then to the next one.
    Over this time my back started to get bad again and I began to cut corners.
    I was still getting good results but the care was not there as it should be.
    I was doing them a disservice due to this cutting corners.
    So I knew my time was done with them as I was not doing my job with them the way they should be cared for.
    In the end which was a week after i went inside and said to the wife that I was going to do this.
    She aid she could see it was hurting me doing the clean outs each day.

    So it sort of is the same thing I knew my time was up and I still personalty think that the time is up for our forum.
    Really I don't like to say it and I didn't like being the one who started the thread.
    But I am a person who will say things that I see. Maybe other are thinking it but don't want to come out and say it.
    Even if it make me look like a big mouth or the forum idiot.
    And I will stand by what I have said and I would take it over but I am way to unreliable.
    Plus I do think with you not there at the helm it just wouldn't right right.

    If it closed down I will miss it but in reality in the world today things come and go and yes we might not like it but we do have to move on.
    The day, as I see it, forum life has had its run and now its facebooks time.
    And in time something might take over that.
    My only wish is if it id going to close down either let us know so we can delete all our photos or if closing it down will delete them all.
    Its not easy saying all this but I think I live in the real world and this is what I see.
    So Jay you are one hell of a good leader so never forget that and I am sure all will agree with me on that.
    So take care and we will all back what ever way you go.
    CC is always welcome, the good and the bad. I promise not to take it personal as I know it wasn't meant that way.

    Sony a77 with 18/55mm lens
    Sony DT 2.8/30 Macro
    Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro
    Sony DT 55/200
    Sigma DG 70/300 lens with Macro button

    Tamron 150-600 f5.6-6.3 Di USD

    Plus some Filters


  14. #14
    I don't plan on ever taking the forum down, so don't worry about that. Technology will be the deciding factor there when I'm forced to upgrade it do to some unforeseen future requirement.

    The story you shared relates perfectly. I can some it up like this: If you can't do it the right way, then don't do it at all... Or, give it 100% if you want to be at your very best...

    I have come to realize better with time the way my brain works. I seam to operate on a scale of brain power. I can only do a certain amount at any one given time, or else it all goes to shit. I can multi-task, don't get me wrong, but balancing time with frustration is where the issue seams to lie. I can deal with a threshold of stress and still be creative and productive. However, once the stress threshold has been met, productiveness goes to almost zero and then the guilt of not producing anything seams to cause a spiral downward effect. With not enough time to do everything and be creative/ productive it's just a recipe for disaster.

    It took me forever to realize this unfortunately, but now I am where I am. I'm very happy and enjoying my life while also reviewing equipment when I feel like it. I don't stress about anything website related anymore, and I will eventually get to the comments. I try to learn something new everyday and if I can help people learn, I try to do that as well. I really need to save the stress threshold for my kids, because they are learning the most and need the best me I can be. Doing homework with Layla for example can be difficult. The kids do math completely different now, so I had to re-learn the methods in order to help her.

    I appreciate your honest thoughts Gramps and thanks for starting the thread

    I'll catch up with you all later,
    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  15. #15
    Elite Member
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    Hi Jay,

    Looking at other wbe pages I goto of photographers....they dont have forums attached the produce content like reviews based on what their site is about and sell stuff if they also into that...you are the exception Jay, with the forum.

    I use facebook for the groups....like astro photography
    learning astro
    landscapes
    sescapes
    and offcourse a sony camera dedicated group "Sony Alpha New Zealand" it has folks from other parts of the world as is newish but is growing.

    So produce your content as it is very good and I luv reading it....get heavy into the sony and other gear with reviews....I personally would kick the forum to the sidelines.....

    Its been fun...maybe see you on the groups

    cheers
    steve
    Camera : Sony A6000
    Sony Lens : FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro , 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, 10-18mm f/4 OSS ultra wide,FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
    Sigma Lens : 30mm f/2.8 DN

    500 px : https://500px.com/stevemeier

  16. #16
    Thanks for the kind words and sharing your thoughts Steve I really appreciate it!

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    Thanks for the kind words and sharing your thoughts Steve I really appreciate it!

    Jay
    Why not host your own private Facebook group with the carry over from those in this group?

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