Cause For Concern?

Discussion in 'Features, Announcements, Comments and Criticism' started by Tom Dunne, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    All the posts in Meet and Greet make for interesting reading. We have welcomed a healthy volume of new members in a short space of time, many of whom seemed to expressed their appreciation of our warm welcome and the quality of the photography. I can't help but wonder how vibrant this forum might be if even half of them decided to follow up on their initial introduction and participated even in a small way.
    So, is there any particular reason for this. Is it something we need to think about and perhaps even address in some way or just continue to maintain the status quo?
    At the moment the forum is kept active by a small number of members who upload images and respond to the work of other members on a regular basis.
    There are also members who upload their work for comment but who, for whatever reason, do not feel a need to join in and reciprocate. Of course, time could easily be an issue here but surely if there's time to ..... you know what I mean.
    Then there is that number of non participating "members" as outlined above.
    A vibrant community we are not.

    Recently there were a number of nasty posts, that were tolerated, but, in my eyes, did the reputation of the forum no favours at all and for any prospective new member must have made some worrying reading and could easily be off putting.
    If everybody is happy the way things are now then fair enough but I think it is something, at least, worth thinking about.
     
  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks Tom. We have discussed this before and I wish I knew how to address the 'problem'. We have had several new members sign up recently but they are yet to post / comment beyond hello - hopefully they will though. It happens a lot. @Hamish Gill, any new ideas. Questionnaire? Mind, remember what happened last time you sent out a bulk email!

    The rather abrasive threads are a concern and I really hope they do not put people off engaging. Hopefully they have some sort of balance top them.
     
  3. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    One of the reasons for saying a few words here and there is to give encouragement. Sometimes it leads to a discussion, but often just a few encouraging words is all that is needed. I do what I can, but sometimes miss posts. We can't all be like Pete, unfortunately, who has been so helpful to many of us over the years. Mind you, even the indefatigable Mr Askew has proved himself fatigable of late ;)

    I found Oz Tom to be a breath of fresh and foul air for a short while, but his abrasive style might well have put a few newcomers off from contributing, and I think that is a great shame.

    So, if there are new members reading this, please do contribute something - photos or comments - and help get this place thrumming (yes, thrumming!) again!
     
    Pete Askew likes this.
  4. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Just taking a breather Rob.

    Just been travelling and chased by customers a lot of late. I'll have a bit more time though over the next few evenings as I fly back to the UK tomorrow. It wasn't planned but the problem with my eye has flared up again (I only got here last Thursday :mad:) so I have to go and see the specialist on Thursday - and he's in the UK.
     
  5. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Damn. Sorry to hear about your eye problem again. That is worrying. I wish you all the best, Pete!
     
  6. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks Rob. Just got the all-clear 3 weeks ago!
     
  7. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    :rolleyes:o_O;)
     
  8. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    Yes we all have our own ways in how we respond and post but thankfully that is not the actual problem Rob. It's not just recent members signing up; the percentage of helloes only from the very formative days of the forum, is a huge percentage.
    Of course the problem could be solved to a large extent if more of our existing members got a little more involved. I suppose it's easy for me to say as I have time on my hands now that I have retired but I intend that to change very soon:).
    I won't involve myself with the nasty posts or the nasty threads. Attention seeking usually goes away when not given attention.
    Like any forum, this one relies on member participation; I enjoy it and I care enough about it not to want to see it dying out slowly in a similar way to one that I created myself a number of years ago. Maybe I need to Lighten Up Rob:)
    Good luck Pete with the eye problem, hope it gets sorted out this time.
     
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  9. Davie Hudson

    Davie Hudson Well-Known Member

    maybe we are victims of our own success, we are as a group quite talented I think
     
  10. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    I'm doing my best, Davie, to bring the standard down...don't want to scare people off, you know.
     
  11. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    I miss Jim Kuo's street photography - he often made me smile with his humorous observations.

    I wrote to, and got a reply from, Nihat. Sadly his father died, and it has affected him deeply. He is spending half the year in Turkey, tending to his 80-year old mother's orange crop. He has little time for photography. I think Nihat was one of the most talented people we've had here.

    And I do hope Julian returns.

    We also need a LOT more women!
     
    Pete Askew likes this.
  12. Glenn Clabo

    Glenn Clabo Well-Known Member

    I'll jump in here and be very blunt. I've been less active here recently because I've been crazy busy...yes pensioners do that sometimes. ;) I really enjoy it here....but I must say that there is one thing that completely turns me off. This isn't based on my participation in only this forum...but a few others. One was a Breast Cancer forum. It was started in the mid 90's as the first for BC and is still ongoing. I don't participate anymore...and hope I never have to again. The other is a woodworking forum that I'm a plank owner (for you non sailors...there when it got underway for the first time) and a mod on. Because of my move to the city and a condo...my shop was left behind...and so is my participation on a daily basis. It has...btw turned out to be the largest woodworking forum in the world...with more than 87,000 members and at any given time 5,000 people online from all over the world.
    And now RPF.
    The woodworking forum was started by a group who were fed up with the rude idiots that loved to caused all kinds of hate and discontent by jumping in and making crude and childlike comments...just to see what happened. One of my pet peeves is the "that's who I am and you have to accept me as I am" person who has not personal jerk filter. Now...most of you really don't know me but I'll have you know right now that in fact I do have a whole lot of class...but much of it is low. I can match and totally embarrass anyone with all that I've seen and heard over my years. But...even though it really has no place anywhere...it especially has absolutely no place in a respectable forum as far as I'm concerned.
    So...the blunt part... The recent back and forth with the other Tom was in my mind completely unacceptable. There was too much tolerance for him being crude and completely unproductive. Respecting ones "opinion" is very different than letting ones crudeness and bullying be an acceptable evil of being online with all kinds of people. I have never accepted bullies in my life. The few times I have lowered myself to the use of fists was against those who were. If I had read those exchanges when I first found RFP...I would have not read one second longer. I actually took a break while trying not to comment...couldn't help myself...then spent some time trying to decide if it was worth staying. I'm really not one to stomp off pissed...so I stayed and hoped the good people would overwhelm the bad.
    Sorry for the long dissertation...but I really like this place and would hate to see it die on the vine because of a few bad apples. Try to remember that as individuals we may be able to tolerate much more than some. Letting that happen just a few more times could really sew the seed of failure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  13. Ivar D. Larsen

    Ivar D. Larsen Well-Known Member

    Now one would honestly think that I have said enough here on the forum already, so maybe I should stay quiet.
    There shall always be members who want to be members as to be able to see what people present and how they talk about pictures merely because they like pictures, but sadly do not have the confidence enough to contribute. That's OK and not OK, but hardly something we can change. And as Rob said, we sometimes miss out or overlook some and at a later stage may come across them, thereby giving comments. The bunch that do contribute both with images and comments are sometimes far too polite. Which in turn may appear to some as boring. Constructive critisism is difficult and we certainly do not want to offend anyone and after all, it's all a subject matter as likes goes. I come across plenty images here on the forum which I like, which puzzles me, but which I also find hard to comment other than just what I said and sometimes I do not understand. What shall one do when the latter applies? When one has certain preferences what images go, one tends to be able to comment more on those. Maybe we are not critical enough to our own pictures and therefore some may find them boring. And some times we in all due respect, can ask if we don't understand what the photographer wants us to see and why she or he put it out. Each image do have a story behind it, so maybe we should be better at describing why and what. Could make it more interesting maybe.
    There will be times I guess where nastiness appears, as well as profanity and offence. If we do not protest to such behaviour, where is it then going to end. Someone has to say enough is enough, hopefully in a polite way and try to stop it. Surely we cannot have ISIL conditions on our hands?!
    Lastly but not least. All the best to you all, to Pete whom I hope fares well in regard to his eye troubles and to the rest of us who enjoy this forum and who contributes the best they can. No one can really ask for more. Cheers everyone.
     
  14. Davie Hudson

    Davie Hudson Well-Known Member


    I don't think you were too blunt Glenn, it's an opinion i'm sure most of us had i'm sure about parts of what was said.... you put it like a gent
     
  15. Pat Reehal

    Pat Reehal Active Member

    Having just returned from an extended tour around Europe I was really looking forward to logging on and catching up on all I had missed as WiFi was at best problematic.

    Or I was until my 11 year old Grandson, who has recently taken up photography and who I encouraged to look in on the forum to learn from some excellent photographers, emailed me to say that he was surprised at the very rude words on the forum and that his Mum had banned him from logging on. He won't bother to look again.

    I was initially perplexed and then I saw exactly what he was on about. And I refer to the recent posts of Tom Dinning and his unbelievably offensive and intolerant exchanges with Ivar regarding Julian. If that was an attempt at dark humour then I for one did not find it in the least bit amusing.

    Bravo to you Ivar for your humbling defence of your and I like to think, my friend Julian.

    I find it sad that an intelligent, and articulate, man has to pepper his postings with vulgarities and offensive language. I initially found his arguments, and criticisms to be both refreshing, constructive and thought provoking. But then I noticed a marked change in tone which I took to be aggressive. I do not understand why someone who has an inordinate grasp of the English language has to be cruel in his comments and unnecessarily abrasive and foul-mouthed.

    Having fought bullies throughout the world in an official capacity I can spot one at a thousand paces and Tom Dinning is a perfect example.

    If someones sole raison d'ĂȘtre for joining and participating in a forum is to antagonise, insult and wonder how long it will be before he is thrown off, then it is a poor show. It has, in my opinion, diluted one of the friendliest and most accommodating of forums and one which has, until recently, been remarkable for its total lack of personal attacks.

    I hope that the absence of Julian, a man who has truly inspired me and encouraged me to look at photography from another perspective, is not down to the thoughtless, and crass postings of one who has played the archetypal 'Aussie bloke' to the max.
     
    Glenn Clabo and Rob MacKillop like this.
  16. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    I agree with all the comments, but are we really saying that all the fault for the lack of activity is down to Tom Dinning?
     
    Tom Dunne likes this.
  17. Ivar D. Larsen

    Ivar D. Larsen Well-Known Member

    No Rob, and I do not think that is what anyone means.
     
  18. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you mentioned this Rob because for some reason the thrust of my opening post is not been addressed.
    The person you refer to is not the reason for the general shortcomings of the forum as I see it but I understand how people feel and am not surprised that people have focused on this one seriously bad aspect..
     
  19. Glenn Clabo

    Glenn Clabo Well-Known Member

    No Rob...I was just pointing out something that gave me (and clearly others) pause recently. There really is no telling how many actually stopped...or slowed down participation. The reasons bullies exist is the toll they take on people who rather not confront them.
     
  20. Pat Reehal

    Pat Reehal Active Member

    No Rob I don't think it is but if my 11 year old had sufficient nounce to realise that something was wrong and had the good sense to show it to his Mum for her opinion then it may be a turn off for some who have a peek and then quickly decide that the forum is not quite what they thought it would be.

    I honestly believe that there is a degree of photo forum overload and you see familiar names and postings throughout the spectrum. The USP for this forum for me was that it was, and is, a forum for decent like-minded folk who can take a bit of ribbing but who are prepared to offer excellent advice without making you feel a complete eejit.

    But like Tom Dunne said, some of us are retired and have the time, others are tied to work or other pastimes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014

Share This Page