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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:57 pm 
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Ok! You've asked for an off-topic lounge to chill-in, but what are we going to call it? I know there's been some suggestions in other threads, but I thought I'd create a new topic just for it.

Best suggestion gets, er, chosen as the official name!

How about: "The darkroom - a place to develop off-topic ideas!"

Gordon


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:07 am 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
Ok! You've asked for an off-topic lounge to chill-in, but what are we going to call it? I know there's been some suggestions in other threads, but I thought I'd create a new topic just for it.

Best suggestion gets, er, chosen as the official name!

How about: "The darkroom - a place to develop off-topic ideas!"

Gordon


Ha ha! Excellent! I bet you were up all night with that one.

It's also the best so far. Nice one.

Hang on, what about "Meet The Neighbours"?

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:43 am 
When you say that people have asked for an off-topic "lounge", do you mean a section of the forum devoted to topics other than photography and cameras? If so, why not just call it "Off-topic"? None of your other section names are in any way unusual, so why give this section an unusual name?

Be prepared, however, for there to be heated arguments in the off-topic section. Photography is a topic that doesn't generate much controversy. But once you open an off-topic section, you can expect there to be lots of disagreements over religion, politics, etc. -- you name it. And as members develop likes and dislikes for other members, some of the rancor may spill into the other sections of the forum. This has been my experience.

Off-topic sections in forums tend to make people feel more "at home" because they know that they can discuss anything and everything on their favorite forum. The result is that more traffic is generated to the forum as more people become regulars. But I personally question whether the heavy traffic of regulars who come to discuss anything and everything is necessarily good for a forum which is devoted to a particular topic.

As a graduate of other forums where people ended up fighting a lot, I just felt that I should offer my opinion. Perhaps, however, Brits are more mature and civilized than Americans are -- although I'm sure that plenty of Americans frequent this forum.

Caleb

P.S. I edited this note to say that I hope it doesn't sound too negative (it probably does), but I've had some bad experiences on forums. The more that a forum stays "on topic", the better.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:00 pm 
Quote:
Photography is a topic that doesn't generate much controversy


Ha!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:45 pm 
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I don't want to make the world a better place! I just want to discuss photography topics :twisted:
So I would not invite everyone to discuss world&dog...

But maybe there are some photography related topics, that don't readily fit into one of the pre/oscribed sections. Let's just call them "Other photographic topics"! Boring, but well defined...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:03 pm 
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tombomba2 wrote:
I don't want to make the world a better place! I just want to discuss photography topics :twisted:
So I would not invite everyone to discuss world&dog...

But maybe there are some photography related topics, that don't readily fit into one of the pre/oscribed sections. Let's just call them "Other photographic topics"! Boring, but well defined...


Maybe you don't want to make the world a better place but that's no argument against allowing others to talk about things which, on the surface, might not be related to photography. For instance, computers. We are all using them. We all occasionally have problems with them. It might be nice to be able to ask one of the good people here how to get around a specific problem. Or music. I imagine most of us listen to it, maybe at the same time as we edit images. What do you listen to? Why?

Or maybe a lounge is a really bad idea and I'm just stupid.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:10 pm 
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Zorro, you're not stupid! I think it's a great idea, but I do take on Caleb's concerns - some of the other forums are really agressive or unfriendly and I wouldn't want Cameralabs to become like that - I'd hope we wouldn't though because we've got a really great bunch of people as forum members, and I always look forward to reading and contributing to the various discussions and ideas.

As so many of us use computers or are enthusiasts though, I think there's definitely room for a hardware forum - in fact I'm gonna create one right now...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:01 am 
I DO hope that my post didn't sound too negative. People can be VERY nasty on forums, and I've had some really bad experiences -- and unfortunately, I've added my own nastiness to the mix. I just think that Gordon should progress cautiously here. If the off-topic forum isn't completely off-topic -- that is, if the topics are peripherally related to photography, then I think that an off-topic forum is fine.

How the forum is named is important. Gordon could call it "Off-topic" and then put a summary under the title that would say something like "For topics peripherally related to photography but that don't fit in other categories". Conversely, Gordon could simply put an advisory under the title telling people to avoid topics that are unnecessarily controversial -- although that may smack of censorship.

Caleb


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:48 pm 
Caleb Murdock wrote:
When you say that people have asked for an off-topic "lounge", do you mean a section of the forum devoted to topics other than photography and cameras? If so, why not just call it "Off-topic"? None of your other section names are in any way unusual, so why give this section an unusual name?

Be prepared, however, for there to be heated arguments in the off-topic section. Photography is a topic that doesn't generate much controversy. But once you open an off-topic section, you can expect there to be lots of disagreements over religion, politics, etc. -- you name it. And as members develop likes and dislikes for other members, some of the rancor may spill into the other sections of the forum. This has been my experience.

Off-topic sections in forums tend to make people feel more "at home" because they know that they can discuss anything and everything on their favorite forum. The result is that more traffic is generated to the forum as more people become regulars. But I personally question whether the heavy traffic of regulars who come to discuss anything and everything is necessarily good for a forum which is devoted to a particular topic.

As a graduate of other forums where people ended up fighting a lot, I just felt that I should offer my opinion. Perhaps, however, Brits are more mature and civilized than Americans are -- although I'm sure that plenty of Americans frequent this forum.

Caleb

P.S. I edited this note to say that I hope it doesn't sound too negative (it probably does), but I've had some bad experiences on forums. The more that a forum stays "on topic", the better.


It's sad, but I can relate to Caleb's concern. The keyword is respect I think. There's nothing wrong with off-topic, as long as there's respect. The fact of the matter is that now only people with an interest in photography sign up and ask what they want to ask (or post), just like I did. And here you instantly feel that people want to help you and guide you.

I'm currently also active on an automotive forum, and there's an off-topic as well. However, this "chit-chat" part is only accesible to people who have "earned their stripes":

* a number of posts
*good conduct on the section of the forum that's accesible to all
*...

At first this part did not exist, and the forum grew and grew. More people joined and most of them weren't talking about cars but a whole lot of other stuff. So the moderators shut down this topic and created a whole new section that wasn't accesible (or visible) to others. Here you have an kind of "elite only" thing going on, but it seems to work. There's no off-topic in the general sections, and the chit-chat area is there for off topic (but not for everyone...).

I do have to add that the forum I'm talking about has thousands of regular users, which isn't the case here (yet). :wink:

I'm not voting for one system or another, I'm just sharing my experiences. In any case: cameralabs.com for me is a great place to talk about photography, ask questions and share experiences. I also love reading other people's posts, reviews,... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I hope the respect and kind of kindness the forum has right now never disappears. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:09 pm 
Gordon, how about something simple like "The Drop In"


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Or "The Place With No Name".

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:28 am 
Not sure about a Lounge - I've seen some nasty threads in similar forums on other sites - but how about a 'General photography' forum in the 'Photography tips' area?

And one more question for Gordon - what is your policy on posting images just for showing them (and maybe asking for critique)? Some sites have a dedicated 'Gallery' forum for that, others allow such posts in almost all the forums... For example, my two favorite threads on Fred Miranda's forums are the 'Alternative Image Thread' and the 'Your Best Nikon Shot' - different people with different cameras and lenses post some of their best photos in those threads and I'm almost always impressed and inspired by their work.

Darrin


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:42 am 
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Hi Darrin, at the moment, I'm happy for people to post images or better still, links to images at flickr accounts, in any message in any section, but I'd prefer if any embedded images were shrunk to a reasonable size.

I think a Reader's Gallery section could be good though... what does everyone else think?

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:09 am 
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Opening a specific "gallery" section would take the interesting mix out of the other sections esp. the photography tips section.
Everybody has to post their pictures somewhere else (like flickr) before linking to them on the CameraLabs forum. So for me that place (flickr or else) would be ideal to discuss about the "artistic" quality of the pics - you have a much wider audience there. Whereas CameraLabs should concentrate on the technical aspects imho.
So I'd love to see pictures in the forum that relate to some technical aspect of the cam, the lens, exposure, ... or what equipment and setups to use in specific photography situations under the specific section.
[preach-mode on]
If you start talking about composition and taste the discussion quickly gets personal and religious. I think that would be detrimental to the very facts-oriented, friendly and down to earth way of CameraLabs.
[preach-mode off]

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