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Author Topic: Anonymity on this part of the forum? No thanks.  (Read 18427 times)
kmanphoto
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« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2006, 12:50:23 PM »
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My point is simply that you can only expect so much from a public forum, where the rules are very loose, like they are here. The rules could change, with feedback to the administrator, to require more accountability from each participant, or they could stay the same and maintain only a certain level of sharing.

There is a definite difference between 35mm geartalk amongst amateurs, and then Medium Format gear, where many people really make their living with it and their income and reputation is based on their shooting and post-production. Nothing wrong with vacation pictures, but you won't get a lot of quality feedback from pros. And if you're a working professional, my feeling is that you should be willing to share your name, website, etc if you come to a forum and ask questions. It adds context, and it also encourages more responsible communication. If you went into a meeting with a client, you wouldn't introduce yourself as "leicalover69" or something silly like that. We are all adults; this is not a Chat Room on MySpace.

There is a lot to learn, and keep up with, in all this Medium Format Confusion. It seems sensible to try to get quality information when we're all sharing, and it adds context to know if you're reading something from a real photographer who's actually using these cameras, or if you're reading something from a Weekend Warrior. Whatever the case, solid communication starts with a proper introduction, a real name, and hopefully a website reference to see where a guy is coming from. This is simply one subjective opinion.
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well all i can say is hello to some of the RG forum regulars
 i lttle history - I was the guy who stirred up the long disussion on RG regarding CMYK proofs vs color profiles vs offset printing companies vs photographers vs the big bad world vs adobe vs heidelberg vs all of the other evils in the world of color reproduction

well here i am take your shots at me

good to see some of the "names" from the RG site here

ps - i lost 95% of my photo work to the  corporate Wall Street Bankruptcy lawyers when my largest client filed for protection of spring 2006

but i am still "MR Offset Printer" who now has a color digital press to play with

kmanphoto
aka real name
Kent Whiting

ps - i still own my leaf valeo 17 and mamiya stuff ( i am after all one truly "cheap" bsatard - oops can i say that Huh??)
and of course the canon stuff
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Kent Whiting
mkravit
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« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2006, 02:24:34 PM »
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Funny thing, after looking at the posts over the past few weeks it appears that those that are the nastiest are operating under a screen name and are conspicuous by their silence in this discussion.

Go figure.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 02:25:34 PM by mkravit » Logged
GregShapps
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« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2006, 02:37:58 PM »
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PDN's forums have turn to crap because of a few who refuse to use their real names and their postings are all about being nasty and telling bad jokes in the sake of thinking they are funny and they contribute nothing.  Its completely ruined the forum.  

would love to see a a forum go truely private - the problem is who gets let in or not.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2006, 04:05:25 PM »
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Great answer!

I would definitely stay away from any private forum. They tend to become dinosaurs and become extinct over time. I believe it is sheer stupid arrogance trying to determine who is worthy and who is not.

I do not use my real name nor email. Currently I receive over 300.000 spam emails per week and would not like to add to that. I had to whitelist specific email addresses to make sure they get into my mailbox.

When I hand out information it is in good faith and to my best knowledge when you want more background info of where it is coming from just send me a personal message and I will disclose who I am.

I do not see the advantage of knowing upfront who I am dealing with. I will recheck any information anyway even when it comes from a person that might be considered a guru by many. Someone that takes info from anyone to be the ultimate truth be it a total stranger, your neighbour, Digiback dealer or whatever, be it on a forum or in real life must have his/her head examined anyway.

I love the fact these fora are open for everyone, I would certainly be very dissapointed when certain people would be closed out.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 09:12:22 AM by Dustbak » Logged
Dustbak
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« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2006, 04:15:45 PM »
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Sure, that is understandable but you can always send a PM which is in my believe one of the best ways to resolve credibility issues without it escalating in pissing contests.  
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michael
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« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2006, 04:30:48 PM »
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Most of the pros and cons of private / moderated, vs public / free(ish) forums have now been discussed, and some of the points on both sides have been well presented.

I prefer to keep things as they are. I'm against closed forums because their purpose here is educational, and if people can't lurk and kibbitz from time to time, then something valuable is lost.

I work on the assumption that participants here are grown-ups. This means civil discourse, no personal attacks, and a sense of humour. Occasionally people stray, but usuallY little policing is necessary.

It would be nice if people used their real names, but its a pain to administer, and in any event after a while one gets to know who people "are" by their style and merits of their comments.

In other words, I have no desire to be a cop, or to hire moderators, or to change what is to mind mind a worthwhile venue for discussion.

Maybe it's the anarchist in me, but I believe that the less control exerted over people, the better. But, when they overstep the bounds – WHACK.

Michael
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Fritzer
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« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2006, 05:27:07 PM »
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Frankly , I find it alarming that there is a call for basically shutting down the only remaining open forum for MFDBs, or feeling the need to pressure people into revealing their names and contact details.

Last time I checked, it takes a badge to order somebody to id himself, and no anonymous person on the internet will ever get me to give up that information....

Also, I do not see any need to take such drastic messures in this forum; while there have been a few postings where the language could have been chosen more carefully, the discussion seems to me civil and mature. Plus, it seems to attract almost exclusively people who are interested in the matter, which naturally doesn't include amateurs.

Knowing the real name of contributors means nothing to me; I only know a Yaya or James Russell by their postings. For all I care , they can choose any screen name they like and be a 400lbs transvestite in Ohio; if their posts are knowledgable and helpful, I welcome the contribution.
That said, in Yair's case his known connection to Leaf enhances the value of his contributions; in James' case, he could use Bubba as a nick, and I still would only judge him by the content of his posts.

Personally, I hardly ever visit the websites of members of this forum, nor have I ever heard of anyone posting here outside of this place ; what matters to me is the quality of advice someone is able and willing to give.
Honestly, unless your name is Nadav Kander, I'm not interested in your work or your client list.
Let's face it, this place is about high-end gear, not high-end photography...    

Then, there are a few hard facts to consider:

- You don't want a client googling your name come up with your postings on an internet forum.

- The email address one uses for work should be spread as little as possible through circles not directly connected to your business. Internet 101....

- RG went down the drain partly due to rigorous restrictions such as insisting on a real name used as a handle. Needless to say, one still could use any screen name , if it only sounded real.

- As stated above, the restricted, private DB fora founded in the wake of RG's demise never kicked off. Unless there is a company behind it, paying people to keep a message board running and maintained, and actively working on attracting new members, that simply isn't the way an online forum works.

- The tone and behaviour in a forum is set by the majority of members; I've seen frequent mean-spirited discussions on a forum which reqired the moderator to get not only your name, but your phone number (!) to be allowed to post.

Requesting personal information from members to control a message board is not a new concept, but I have never seen it work, imho it makes no difference whatsoever.

I think it might be more beneficial to ask members to add their field of work, equipment details and years spent as professional to their profile.

Best,
Tom
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Tim Lüdin
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« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2006, 05:34:19 PM »
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I finaly found you guys (James, Mark etc), it's realy nice to be back in the boat.

I was wondering where everyone from the RG forum went. It has been tough months without the daily midformat news and discussions at RG.  
So it's defenitly a good thing, that people  post with their real names. So you can find them again.
It's also good to show your website link. That way you get to know each others work, so you can ask specific questions about workflow etc..

So please be as visible as possible. It makes things alot easier and more interesting.

With best regards

Tim Lüdin
Switzerland

Photographer, Director
www.timage.ch
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Cinematographer & Photographer
My Webpagewww.timluedin.com
GregShapps
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« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2006, 06:23:24 PM »
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for those that think a Pay or private site doesn't work - one should take a look at DWF - it used to be a free site and then became a private pay site - its $99 a year and it currently has 10,060 paid members.
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Mark_Tucker
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« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2006, 06:30:29 PM »
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I finaly found you guys (James, Mark etc), it's realy nice to be back in the boat.

I'm not in the boat. I was simply offering some constructive suggestions on how to increase the quality of the information here, and how to possibly reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. You would be amazed how the quality of the interchange increases when you know the context of the contributors.

But the ruling does not surprise me -- the Administrator of this forum profits from having as many eyeballs on this site as possible, so just know that, and factor that into what you read here. I feel that the quality and the tone of the medium-format area is very different from the other forums here -- this is where you'll find people who truly use these complicated tools on a daily basis, rather than just speculating about them, or their design. People are making decisions that will actually affect their income and reputation, rather than just their travel pictures. It seems to me that if people are benefitting financially from this information, they also should be required to bring forth some minor amount of accountability and responsibility when they post, but it appears that this will not happen.

Adios,

MT
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Fritzer
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« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2006, 07:09:22 PM »
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I'm not in the boat. I was simply offering some constructive suggestions on how to increase the quality of the information here, and how to possibly reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. You would be amazed how the quality of the interchange increases when you know the context of the contributors.
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Mark, once again you make that claim , but still it seems to be nothing but your personal opinion.
I have yet to find anything but proofless speculation in your reasoning that providing personal data of forum members will result in a more fruitful discussion.

Also, quite frankly, I find it a little bold to sign up to a message board merely to demand a change of rules to fit your personal preferences, even though you are not in the boat .
I assume you are not willing to contribute unless your demands are met ? Constructive ?

That said, in my very humble opinion this is exactly the way to argument which does not improve the quality of a forum, and a real name and weblink did nothing to prevent it .  

Best,
Tom
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SeanFS
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« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2006, 08:01:50 PM »
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I learned a lot through the RG forums when there almost wasn't any other source of reliable information - even if I paid for it !
Sometimes a little explanation on the forums clarified things a whole lot..

When I started shootig digital with a Kodak 760 I was totally in the dark and there was a lot of misinformation spread by vested interests as to what was capable with digital photography and what was not.
Colour management was like black magic and made my life misery for a while. If it hadn't been for the shared experiience in some  of the forums there I might have got in real trouble . Even advice on how best to tell clients. printers etc  politely where to get off was , and is great.

 At least if information was wrong , in relation to software etc , I could try it and see and generally no harm done. If the information was correct then I treated that posters information and opinion with authority , no matter whether they were using a screen name or not.

I guess its a little different if you are about to put down a lot of money on a MF back but the principal is the same . By hearing about others experiences you can a have a prety good idea of how things should work by the time you get your grubby mits on a nice bit of MF gear. I had a similar experience moving to Canon from Nikon last year - I had literally only touched a Canon once before !

Being the owner of an Imacon back now I also belong to the flexframe forum where the information is more device specific and helpful if you actually own the gear. But not that helpful if looking for a broader range of general experience - or  considering changing systems ( not that I am , I'm pretty happy with the Imacon ).

Apart from that its not half as much fun - I miss Mark and James's long posts in particular - I think some of the speculation that went on there and here now has been proved to be prophetic , sometimes even when its been apparently off the planet. Generally though , I think you need to know half the stuff that is written about to be able to respond in any meaningful way oterwise its a little like a foreign language.
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wilburdl
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« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2006, 09:04:26 PM »
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Wow. Interesting topic. I like the idea of using some form of identification. It does keep people "honest" in some sense. For me--I judge responses by their work (not necessarily the coolness of the website), professionalism and demeanor. I'm not advanced as some of the high end pros but I won't apologize for making mistakes or asking silly questions from time to time. My "agenda" is to get better. As I think a majority of folk here are for.

I personally like this sight and have read MRs essays long before I decided to join the discussion board. And once here, I have come across some of the most intelligent discussions (even bringing into account the legendary RG days.) I for one would not benefit from a private forum and I never had a problem with Someone selling their work. After all that's what a lot of us do anyway. But just becuase MR has items for purchase--doesn't devalue his opinion or his site in my eyes.
The only thing that I would like to see here is something for other shooters of fashion/ architecture/portrait.

Other than that--I'm pleased with the overall level of civility displayed on this board and contrary to what Mark has mentioned--I feel that there is a sense of community here.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 09:05:54 PM by wilburdl » Logged

Darnell
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« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2006, 11:38:06 PM »
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I am against having this forum operated as a private one. I think there is a sense of community and civility here and I think that the people here who display their full name and websites create something for others to hopefully aspire to. The gentle pressure of us all to move in that direction can then create an all inclusive and non discriminating forum.

To make people accountable for what they state is very difficult to uphold. I have never bought anything on one piece of information alone, from any forum. Before acting on anything one should research form many different angles.

When things heat up a bit like on the H3D thread, it is partly understandable that people who have invested heavily into a particular brand and feel the carpet being pulled from underneath them, thta they will react more stronger. On the other hand, heated discussions can centainly be a bit more entertaining than in threads where everyone agrees.

All by all I am very happy the way things are going here and check this forum now as regularly as I did with RG.

Marc Gerritsen
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michael
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« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2006, 07:33:57 AM »
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"the Administrator of this forum profits from having as many eyeballs on this site as possible"

If only this were true. In reality this forum is a cost center, not a profit center. The site gets some 40,000 readers a day. The forums a few hundred. A trivial percentage. And, since there are no promotional links anywhere on the forum for my videos, books, and workshops, and I never promote them here, only on the main site, your argument simply doesn't hold.

The software we use for the forum needs to be constantly maintained with updates, and patches. (Not free). The site also needs to be moderated (though minimally), and spam and porn needs to be weeded out on a daily basis. All of this takes time, effort, and the expense of some hours a week on the part of this site's technical support person.

Profit? I think not.

Michael
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AndrewDyer
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« Reply #55 on: October 17, 2006, 07:57:57 AM »
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All of this takes time, effort, and the expense of some hours a week on the part of this site's technical support person.

Profit? I think not.

Michael
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Michael.
Thank you for all your efforts in running the forum and in keeping this FREE (as opposed to ProPhoto/ExRobG) You should never be critisized for running it how you wish. Being willing to listen to suggestions is important but in the end (stating the obvious) it is entirely up to you.
This place has become a fantastic daily visit lately and I hope nothing changes to affect that.

Although it wouldn't bother me for you to insist that real names are used, I don't think it will necessarily make it a better place. If someone wishes to be anonymous, maybe they have a good reason... maybe they are just shy around the professionals that frequent here?? Who cares, as long as they are curtious to others. They may lose out on a bit of extra close relationship with others here but that also is up to them.

Thanks again.

Andrew
« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 07:58:44 AM by AndrewDyer » Logged

James Russell
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« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2006, 10:10:32 AM »
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"the Administrator of this forum profits from having as many eyeballs on this site as possible"

If only this were true. In reality this forum is a cost center, not a profit center. The site gets some 40,000 readers a day. The forums a few hundred. A trivial percentage. And, since there are no promotional links anywhere on the forum for my videos, books, and workshops, and I never promote them here, only on the main site, your argument simply doesn't hold.

The software we use for the forum needs to be constantly maintained with updates, and patches. (Not free). The site also needs to be moderated (though minimally), and spam and porn needs to be weeded out on a daily basis. All of this takes time, effort, and the expense of some hours a week on the part of this site's technical support person.

Profit? I think not.

Michael
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Michael,

I don't think anyone cares if you make money at this . . . in fact I respect anyone that can turn a profit from any form of photography.

I also don't think it changes the "landscape" that much if people use there real names, though personally, I'm much more comfortable talking to anyone, anywhere if I know there name.

Aliases seem strange to me and makes the conversation uncomfortable in any format.

But maybe that's just my own hard assed Texas way where a person should be upfront about who and what they are.

Still, putting all of this behind, Mark does make some good points about what is needed in a public space.  Let's face it, this LL site only picked up steam in the medium format area by default when RG imploded and there are some lessons to be learned from that.

On any given day RG would have 33 registered members and 5x that viewing.  Probably mostly lurkers but whose to know?

Let's be realistic, all of us adopt a different tone depending on who were are speaking to and some reference point of who the person is makes the conversation much more relevent.

Where I would love to see any public forum go is to be more interesting on the art as well as the technical side of photography and like him or not someone like Mark who puts it out there keeps it interesting and thought provoking.



IMO

JR
[a href=\"http://www.russellrutherford.com/]http://www.russellrutherford.com/[/url]
« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 10:11:20 AM by James Russell » Logged
ericstaud
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« Reply #57 on: October 17, 2006, 12:00:23 PM »
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"- You don't want a client googling your name come up with your postings on an internet forum."

I just googled my real name and came up with the stuff I want my clients to see.

I googled my LL screen name and found threads about the equipment troubles I've been having. Don't want a client to see that.  Don't want them to find most of what I post here.

My postings are signed with a real name, but the screen name is different.

If I discovered that my real name was placed in a posting in a way that made it turn up in the google search for it, all of my posting would be heavily filtered.

-Eric
« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 12:01:29 PM by ericstaud » Logged
Greg_E
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« Reply #58 on: October 17, 2006, 01:14:21 PM »
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If someone really wants to spend the time and effort, they can become you and few will know the difference. Who would you like me to be or at least look similar enough to pass as that person? The only ones that are really hard are site admins and mods, since they normally get a spiffy special tag under their names. (and even that can sometimes be forged, especially if the forum allows HTML in the posts).
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damien
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« Reply #59 on: October 17, 2006, 06:22:19 PM »
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I'm in DWF and I find the place a bit hostile at times. Us photographers seem to have ego's that get in the way at times and that is where issues erupt. Mark ideas and suggestions are totally reasonable  and so are those that promote anonymity. The thing is, we all enjoy the company of fellow MFDB users and we are all passionate about photography.

It's a lonely career choice, photography, and any chance to have intelligent banter and share experiencies with others has to be nurtured. We all owe it to each other not to make too heavy a demand and to give a little bit to help this forum settle at a new useful level. We don't want another boom and bust, or a cluster of spliner groups.

Thanks Michael for the clarification on the admin situation. And thanks for a space and your commitment to develop this resource.

Damien.
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