Forums-to pay or not to pay

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
15,946
From
Wautoma, WI USA
Recently the professional photographers organization (PPA) I belong to started a bulletin board type forum much like the Grumble. Since it's beginning 2 months ago there has been much heated debate going on about the question of who should be allowed on the forum and whether or not members of the forum should pay for the privelege of being on there. Right now it is open and it is free.

Some members feel it should be available only to PPA members, others feel there should be some way of restricting it to only people who can prove they are professional photographers (business license, etc.) and some want to leave it open to anyone who registers. Some want to do like one popular photography forum does and charge a fee. Some people are even afraid their customers are going to track them down on there and read every thing they have posted and then give them trouble about how they price things. :eek:

I've been following (and jumping in on) these debates and thought it would be interesting to see what members of another professional forum (the Grumble) that is free and open thought. Are you worried about who might be on here looking at your replies? Do you feel that since you had to pay to get some of your education, that everyone else should have to pay too? Are you afraid of amateurs taking the forum over? And how do you feel about forums charging for membership on them?

(For the record, I think these things should free and open and that good moderation makes all the differece. I just wanted to hear some opinions from members of another professional forum.)
 

Susan May

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
May 28, 2000
Posts
5,929
From
moved to Clermont, Florida
I suggest that they come and look at the Grumble. Then they will see that for the most part, our customers don't find this site. And the ones that do, decide that framing is more involved than they thought.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
15,946
From
Wautoma, WI USA
Sue, I posted several links to the grumble on there and have sited it as a good example of a free and open forum for professionals. The debate still goes on.

They did have a problem with the way the site was set up for awhile in that when you would type in a photographers name on google, that site would come up. It is fixed now so that doesn't happen but that got alot of people paranoid about who was looking at what they posted.
 

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
May 24, 2004
Posts
21,029
From
On FB
Ahhhh, yes. But, "What Camera"?

Film or Digital?

Kmart is next door to develope film, and digital I can do on my iFruit.

But what if they want a 16x20? Will 2.2 megs really cover that much paper, or will I have to tile?

AnneL, it looks like they need to look at the G and HH side by side and see who they want to play with. I think it is all about personalities....

And personally, I glean more USABLE information from the G then I ever do from HH. :D
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
15,946
From
Wautoma, WI USA
Baer, I agree about the G and HH which is why I think forums should be free and open. That's also what I think the PPA wanted because they did try a closed forum once and it got very little use. This new one already has more members than the G and about as much traffic.
 

Whynot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Posts
1,277
From
North-East US
For once I am in fool agreement with Susan May.

See, Susan, photographers' dilemma is this: they want to be able speak their minds and not be given hard time by their customers who may find that site and, having nothing better to do than search for their photographer's opinions, give him h**l later on. Poor kids! They don't know that danger lurks from the inside, not the outside of their group. Speaking up one's mind, may rather displease a bunch of colleagues and bring about heated debates than anything else.
Sooner or later they'll learn to keep it to themselves, be nice and offer gratuitous accolades to their less than gifted mates, rather than start a debate and risk better one work's quality by way of criticizing it. Nothing new under the sun. Better say nothing if you have nothing nice to say will become their smallest common denominator too, assuming their forum will safely take off.
I wish them best of luck!
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Posts
3,807
From
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
Originally posted by Baer Charlton:
...And personally, I glean more USABLE information from the G then I ever do from HH. :D
It's not a contest Baer. That's why I participate in both and several others for that matter. ;)

John
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
15,946
From
Wautoma, WI USA
Originally posted by Whynot:
For once I am in fool agreement with Susan May.

See, Susan, photographers' dilemma is this: they want to be able speak their minds and not be given hard time by their customers who may find that site and, having nothing better to do than search for their photographer's opinions, give him h**l later on. Poor kids! They don't know that danger lurks from the inside, not the outside of their group. Speaking up one's mind, may rather displease a bunch of colleagues and bring about heated debates than anything else.
Sooner or later they'll learn to keep it to themselves, be nice and offer gratuitous accolades to their less than gifted mates, rather than start a debate and risk better one work's quality by way of criticizing it. Nothing new under the sun. Better say nothing if you have nothing nice to say will become their smallest common denominator too, assuming their forum will safely take off.
I wish them best of luck!
They are afraid of the first part but not of other photographers opinions about their work. We have a very well run print competitions and critiquing is a part of it. The PPA of is a very strong and active professional organization and there is quite a bit of mentoring going on. Most photographers in that group know how to take criticism and we don't hold it against each other. I think most framers would be blown away by one of our conventions even at our state affiliate level, much less our national. The amount of sharing that goes on is incredible, however there is a growing tendency with in the photography industry for us to be trying to profit off each other. I swear sometimes that the best way to get rich in photography is to have the next hottest got to have it cd or book or gadget. :rolleyes:

Back to forums. Has anyone heard of professional forums that charge a membership fee? There is one popular privately run photography forum that used to charge $99 a year. They just upped it to $249, all going to the forum owner. Many of the people on it feel it is worth the price. Or is this just another example of photographers making money off each other.
 

JbNormandog

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Posts
3,751
From
NJ
I have always wondered, exactly what is the HH site refered to but never mentioned by name.

It reminds me when people would say M instead of Michaels or J instead of Joans.

Just say it, we're not 3rd graders and the letters are not masking obsenities.(typed in jest not nasty)

Back to the thread, if the grumble charged when it began and continued to, I think not as many people would participate until it died like a lot of other sites I used to go to.

I am not concerned about a customer finding anything I post here. I haven't posted anything that I wouldn't say in public. Even if I did post something questionable most of us here used screen names and not store or actual names. Look up our profiles and there aren't many ways a typical person could track down 1 framer from their state out of the thousands on here.

What I'm trying to say, if a customer accesses our site and objects to something I said, what are the odds they are even in my area let alone the same state.

If the google my store name nothing of the grumble comes up.

JbNormandog ((J janet-wife)(B-Bob-Myself)(Normandog 90lbs.of yellow lab named Norman) they can search away.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
15,946
From
Wautoma, WI USA
HH-Hitchhikers, the PPFA's email exchange. It isn't an online bulletin board like the Grumble, you get it via email. It's a harder system to get a good discussion going on.

The reason the Grumble doesn't come up is that this site is protected from search engines finding us. I typed in the names of a few framers who use their real name on Google and the Grumble didn't come up. They have now fixed the photography site so they don't have that problem anymore. It will take a while for the search engines to update but after that, everyone there should be hidden too despite the fact they require you to use your real name to register.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2000
Posts
19,075
From
Suburban Central Ohio
Bob:
"HH" is the acronym for "HitchHikers", the nickname someone long ago applied to the PPFA Online Exchange. It is an email list forum for PPFA members only, owned and moderated by its originator, Merrill Grayson.
 

Mecianne

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Posts
2,229
From
Alabama
I did a google search this week for You've Been Framed Millbrook. This is what came up:

The Picture Framers Grumble: Search engine question
... etc. ---- YOU'VE BEEN FRAMED Custom Framing/Photography 43 Wisteria
Place Millbrook, AL 36054 334-290-2844 Posts ...
www.thegrumble.com/ubb/ultimatebb. php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000767 - 52k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

The Picture Framers Grumble: Happy Burns Day!
... Really funny :)) - YOU'VE BEEN FRAMED Custom Framing/Photography
43 Wisteria Place Millbrook, AL 36054 334-290-2844 ...
www.thegrumble.com/ubb/ultimatebb. php?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=003642 - 67k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from www.thegrumble.com ]


Hmmmmm???
 

Whynot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Posts
1,277
From
North-East US
Jb Normandog is right. The safest way to put a forum to death is to make people pay to enter it. Some old, already addicted members would probably accept to pay any price, but one can't reasonably expect same thing from the new comers, and then that forum stops growing. Keep in mind that every forum has a very high "mortality rate" and, unless new comers are filling in, it will dry out rather sooner than later.

Annel, I am glad to hear that photographers know how to take criticism and how to profit from their work being dissected and honestly analyzed by his colleagues. Unfortunately this is something grumblers have and will never learn how to do it. One can post in here a picture of the ugliest frame ever and will still get at least ten professional
"applausers" to cheer that atrocity and welcome him on board. This is definitely an induced professional deformation because, unlike photographers who freely set in pose the way they want and see fit, framers are expected(?) and trained to offer their expertise in tentative ways and always be ready to completely surrender in face of costumes' objections.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
15,946
From
Wautoma, WI USA
The PPA has always had very good print competitions with clearly defined standards as to what is professional quality work. I've had framing judges who have sat in on photography print competitions who were amazed at how they were done. We allow people to watch and listen during the judging (as long as they are quiet) and it is quit a learning experience when a print gets challenged. The judges have to explain why they challenged the score and why they feel it should score different (either higher or lower.) The whole panel of 5 judges gets to give their views and then the print is rescored. We don't award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, we use a system based on points, 100 being a perfect score. The standards are high a few prints score over an 80, which is the cut off for a blue ribbon, but everything over that gets a blue, not just one print.
 

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
May 24, 2004
Posts
21,029
From
On FB
Originally posted by John Ranes II, CPF, GCF:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Baer Charlton:
...And personally, I glean more USABLE information from the G then I ever do from HH. :D
It's not a contest Baer. That's why I participate in both and several others for that matter. ;)

John
</font>[/QUOTE]John, I never saw it as, or said it was a contest. I merely observed that for "gleaning information", I have experienced the G to be a lot easier and more resourceful.

Sometimes it is a matter of jumping in the search engine and plucking out the information that you need today vs gathering a consensus over that course of a few days or a week.
 
Top