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Author Topic: Anonymity on this part of the forum? No thanks.  (Read 17856 times)
andrewparker
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« on: September 25, 2006, 05:20:31 AM »
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I'd like to start a debate, among contributors to the medium format digital forum, on the question of whether pseudonymous postings are/are not desirable.

I notice that this forum has begun to get back to the intensity levels of the old RG forums, even without many of the well known contributors, but I fear and expect that this situation will not last or develop while anonymous contributions are allowed.

If a Mr Pinky800 says a Leaf back is good idea, we don't know if he hasn't just read that somewhere else on the internet, if James Russell says so, we know that he has road tested Leaf backs to hell and back within a certain specified workflow, and we know James Russell. The observation means something. I am afraid that is human nature.

I cannot recall a single contributor of any substance to the old RG medium format digital forum who kept their real name secret.

It reflects very well on those camera back manufacturers and dealers who are willing to come on these forums and put their livelihoods on the line- but imagine if such people were seeking to influence our opinions of their products and services through anonymous postings?

I don't know what motivates the anonymous poster to hide their identity but I think we can safely reassure them that in liberal democracies no-one is in danger of getting killed over their opinions on this or that digital camera back.

Anyone who disagres with this, and I am sure there are many, will need to point me in the direction of a long term successful professional photography discussion board where solid advice and opinion based on real experience is available, and where anonymity is allowed.

We could get this forum back up to the level of the benchmark RG forums if we disallowed anonymous postings- even if it meant losing some valued "pseudonymists".  

Andrew Parker
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marcwilson
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 05:33:54 AM »
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Andrew,

I agree completely..but as people already have usernames set up then that should be fine as long as we are posting our websites in our signatures..not sure how easy it is to change a username here.

Marc
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opgr
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 05:44:30 AM »
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Quote
I cannot recall a single contributor of any substance to the old RG medium format digital forum who kept their real name secret.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77567\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

While I agree with you that the naming convention was one of the strong points of the RG forums, isn't it also true that:

- for valuable contributions it is already the case anyway (as you pointed out),
- even a true name can be as anonymous as anything if opinions or supposed "expertise" is concerned,
- it's a simple matter of choice now,
- there is no viable way to check someone's true name...
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Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 05:51:45 AM »
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Surely one simple ascribes a greater degree of trust to postings from a named individual than a pseudonymous one?

Leave it up to the intelligent reader.

Anyone who takes anything posted on the web at face value needs to have their head examined anyway.
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@foliobook
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mcfoto
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2006, 07:07:35 AM »
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Quote from: andrewparker,Sep 25 2006, 05:20 AM
I'd like to start a debate, among contributors to the medium format digital forum, on the question of whether pseudonymous postings are/are not desirable.

I notice that this forum has begun to get back to the intensity levels of the old RG forums, even without many of the well known contributors, but I fear and expect that this situation will not last or develop while anonymous contributions are allowed.

Hi
I use my real name which links to our web site. I think it is important to do so. I take the risk of junk emails etc but who cares. We just had our work posted on the Leaf web site which is the back we use most. And we are 95% MFD users and I think forms like this are really important. The RG form was fantastic and I had only been a member for a few months then it was killed! We lost a lot of great members and I hope they come back! I have looked at other forms and this is really the only one I can find. We really have to thank Michael for having us!! I feel this form is growing for the better.
Thanks Denis Montalbetti
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Denis Montalbetti
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2006, 11:37:47 AM »
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Real names and web links just ADD value some here are hiding thier laurels

------------------------------------------------------------------


Now I have spotted who MCFOTO is I am blown away

DAMIAN has added his links (I knew who he was anyway) - he is a major inspiration in the UK for his family work

Checking out my site will prove that I am just a blatherring idiot to be ignored at all costs  

The links from RG led my not only to believe who I was reading but to be inspired to improve my work artistically as well as technically

THere is of course no snobbery implied there is nothing wrong with not being a PRO or less experienced

all we want to avoid is posters firming up web rumours as fact

Incidentally most or us dont post our gear listing as we see gear ownership as only a fraction of the job and stricktly the terrorotry of camera club goons - I would be proud to have less..

(Eyelike Emotion 22, Hass H1, Kodak SLRn nikkors 14 - 600, sinar/rodenstock bla bla bla)

Ex owner (most important) Mamiya, Proback,
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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damien
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 02:31:49 PM »
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I like a bit of mystery. I'm not sure it does any harm. I'm happy to supply my details because I know them anyway. Some of the best posts are annonymous. Okay there may be the odd dodgy bit of speculation but thats exciting. If newspapers had to list all their sources for info they would be a pretty boring read. Annonymity allows a bit of devils advocate, a bit of risque banter and a bit of excitement. If the bandwitdth can take it and the simple rules of polite well meaning posts are strictly adhered to I'm okay with perky500 and phase2. I easy and will go with the flow whatever is decided.

Damien.
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Wayland
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2006, 04:24:23 PM »
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Interesting point but what if you are known to far more people by your username than your real name?

Wayland is a nickname I've had in real life for twenty years, a lot of people I know would probably have to think hard to remember my "real" name so posting as "Gary Waidson" would guarantee my anonymity.  
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Wayland.
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brumbaer
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2006, 07:08:31 AM »
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I agree with Wayland.

A name is a name is a name. And it might be true or false.

A post from Gustav Gregoritsch is not better than a post by greg99987,  just because of the name.
And it doesn't even gurantee that the post is by Gustav Gregoritsch.

You will find a post useful or great because of it's contents (and how well it fits to what you want to hear ) not because of the name.

If you want to learn something about the person behind the (nick)name you will have to look at their work and the other postings or even talk to them.

And sometimes the nick reveals more about the person than their real name.

Regards
Stephan Hess aka brumbaer (for about 30 years. I started using this that nick to sign "corrective patches" in my youth, way before the internet got known)
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andrewparker
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2006, 02:09:22 PM »
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This lightly used thread is still for sale, if anyone wants it.

I think events in the last few days have proven that real names are a good idea if the forum is to avoid the RG shipwreck.

Sam Morgan Moore is right- many of the pseudonymous posters are hiding their laurels.

There have been a few heated rows where you can't help feeling the language would have been self moderated if the poster had not been hiding behind a pseudonym, plus we have had Yair the Leaf representative expressing his understandable reluctance to engage with a nameless poster when things get controversial, and then there's been the element of paranoia that some anonymous posters might be representing other manufacturers- probably not true but that's the nature of paranoia.

You have to think whether our esteemed moderator will think it worth his time handling rows between faceless egg throwers.....

Andrew Parker
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2006, 02:20:26 PM »
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Quote
I think events in the last few days have proven that real names are a good idea if the forum is to avoid the RG shipwreck.

If memory serves me well, only real names were used on the RG forums?
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James Russell
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2006, 03:20:10 PM »
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If memory serves me well, only real names were used on the RG forums?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I don't think the RG forums are the best example of how to do it right.

They had their own agenda, whether I agreeded or not, it was there's to do with what they wish and they did.

Still, for any professional to post a thought or give out information they need to have some idea of who they are talking to and the level of experience that person posesses.

Right or wrong, I'm not going to get into a conversation with someone over the mertis of my workflow or a particular lens if they've only used a Canon D-30, or shoot cats in the living room.

I really don't understand these id's anyway, why would you post and not put your real name?

What's the purpose?

JR
[a href=\"http://ishotit.com/]http://ishotit.com/[/url]
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pixjohn
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2006, 05:25:52 PM »
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If you would like to know who I am just ask. I am not trying to be anonymous, but I just created a name that I also use on the Leaf forum.  Since I have received phone call regarding a few of my post, its not to hard to figure out who I am.
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eronald
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2006, 05:44:03 PM »
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If you would like to know who I am just ask. I am not trying to be anonymous, but I just created a name that I also use on the Leaf forum.  Since I have received phone call regarding a few of my post, its not to hard to figure out who I am.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=80565\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Indeed, there are forums that suffer from idiotic postings by anonymous. However, with all due respect, I have *not* seen any such posting *here* .

When I sign a science paper, I write more carefully than when I have an off the cuff discussion. And this place is for off the cuff discussions with guys who know stuff. As Pixohn and Brumbaer indicate, we mostly know who we are. Ain't that good enough ?

Edmund
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howiesmith
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2006, 05:45:53 PM »
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I wouldn't say or write anything I wouldn't put my name on.  Nothing to hide, so why hide, regardless of how easy it might bt to uncover me.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2006, 06:10:15 PM »
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ok, signature added.
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Graham Mitchell - www.graham-mitchell.com
alba63
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2006, 06:22:24 PM »
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If I may add a comment, I understand that when talking on a rather professional level (I am not part of that group) it is just more adequate to show that there is nothing to hide. Although I am mostly participating as a reading and passive member (and learning a lot, just as in the old RG forum) I just added a sig with my real name (hope it's working).

Specifically when it is about critisizing a product, or a whole company it is - in my eyes - better to reveal one's identity, simply.

With kind regards,

Bernie
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Mark_Tucker
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2006, 09:21:27 PM »
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Still, for any professional to post a thought or give out information they need to have some idea of who they are talking to and the level of experience that person posesses. Right or wrong, I'm not going to get into a conversation with someone over the mertis of my workflow or a particular lens if they've only used a Canon D-30, or shoot cats in the living room. I really don't understand these id's anyway, why would you post and not put your real name?

What's the purpose?

JR

I have been a part of moderating several forums similar to this one. While this one is a good start, my own personal suggestion is that, in its current form, it will never evolve into a truly honest, professional level, due to the fact that the participants are not required to sign in, go by their true real names, and show a website or email link.

I feel that this Medium Format forum should really not even be viewable over the Internet without each person registering and signing in each time. True professionals with real world experience simply will not contribute, unless this rule would go into effect. This leaves a forum with the vast majority of the people only having questions and never getting answers, since no one with experience would be willing to answer. Witness the current state of the old RG.com forums, if you doubt my word. The end result of this often leaves a massive amount of disinformation; speculation based on no facts; and no one really learning that much. I see it in post after post on this forum.

I would suggest that this forum be taken private. It's one thing for some guy with a 5D wanting to know what zoom lens to buy to shoot his kid's soccer game, but it's quite another for a true professional to share valued information, when he has no idea who he's talking to. Personally, I'd NEVER reply to anyone using one of those silly alias names. Show your face, show your website, show your email, come out of the shadows, and maybe a professional might answer your question. But since the owner of this entire site just goes by his first name in these forums, I guess this policy would never change. Plus, he garners a following by the potential purchasers of those DVDs by allowing the entire universe to just waltz in here, anonymously, and view anything, without the slightest amount of responsibility.

This is my constructive feedback. You've got to pick a path. One path is like a bunch of kids in a Chat Room, trying to say that they know the difference between a Leaf file and a Phase file, when in truth, they've probably never seen a digital back, in person, in their entire life, let alone tested the two side by side, under identical conditions. The other path, if set up properly and responsibly, leads to true, honest, responsibly sharing of information by real professionals. You can't have it both ways. I would hate to be some guy risking $30k on a back, and come here and have this forum as the only source of information. I know people mean well here, but speculation and honest experience are two radically different things.

Good luck. And buyer beware.

Mark Tucker
http://www.marktucker.com
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mtomalty
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2006, 11:07:08 PM »
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I would hate to be some guy risking $30k on a back, and come here and have this forum as the only source of information.

You highlight a number of valid concerns,Mark but I think you're being a little unfair on balance
when one considers that access information to one of the 'pro' forums that you moderate
is more difficult than finding directions to a Klan cross burning.

Mark Tomalty

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www.masterfile.com   keyword:tomalty
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ronno
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2006, 11:10:07 PM »
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when one considers that access information to one of the 'pro' forums that you moderate
is more difficult than finding directions to a Klan cross burning.

Mark Tomalty

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=80604\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd like to know whether any of the underground pro forums have been active enough to prove useful?
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