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NEWS: Analogue Forums Launched on DPReview (and I’m a moderator there)

February 26, 2020

Those that know me well will know that I am a big fan and daily reader of DPReview. As such, it’s really exciting for me to be able to announce that they have just launched a new forum for analogue photography… and that I’m a new moderator there!

The backstory

A little while ago a couple of the guys I sometimes chat to at DPReview got in touch wanting to speak to me about an idea they had for launching an analogue forum on their website. They have long recognised that analogue photography has been in growth, and have noted an increase in apparent interest within the wider site, so wanted to provide a space for discussion.

The few of guys I chat to at DPR are also occasional readers of 35mmc. What’s relevant about that fact here is that they had noted that the community within and around 35mmc is a really positive one. As such, they wanted to know if I might be interested in getting involved in their site in the hope that some of the positivity might come with me. Quite ironic since I’m a grumpy bugger, but I suppose you lot are a friendly bunch at least…

The nature of online forums

I actually don’t often delve into the forums on DPR. It is fair to say that some of them have a bit of a history of users conducting themselves in a slightly unsavoury way. Being honest, this has always put me off – not just in DPR’s forums – but almost all online forums. My interest in DPR has instead always been more focused on the primary content they post which is of a higher quality than pretty much anything else online.

My concern with the way that some people conduct themselves on the site was actually the first thing I mentioned to Dan and Barney when we had our first Skype chat about this. Of course, it’s not like the team there are unaware of the historical issues, but what helped convinced me to become a part of this forum was a really positive attitude in the guys toward how much the forums have been becoming more positive, and how much they are doing to encourage that positivity.

The interesting thing for me is that all this has coincided with me becoming absolutely exhausted with the “wild west” that is the various analogue photography Facebook groups. With the exception of the Negative Positives podcast group, pretty much every other analogue-focused Facebook group I know of has just become a mass of arguments, bickering, trolling and flaming. The issue is, most of the groups are really poorly and/or scarcely moderated, and Facebook as an organisation doesn’t really seem to care or have any control at all. As such, as forums for discussion and sharing images, they have become quite unpleasant places to be.

This is quite unfortunate in my opinion, as forums such as Facebook groups could be a great place to ask questions, short-cut learning, and generally bolster knowledge. All of this is entirely undermined by problem-users.

DPReview to the Rescue

Of course, it might seem a little counterintuitive therefore to start a new forum somewhere else that has a history of such issues. But, actually, I think DPReview are onto something really good!

For a start, now I’ve engaged with the forums on DPR I’ve realised that the “problem” now isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. As I’ve said, the team there are really clamping down on the issues and have made deep inroads into improving the atmosphere there. Yes, the discussion is still heated in places – there are a lot of passionate photographers out there who care deeply about their kit, so it’s no surprise that conversation still gets a little warm from time to time. Importantly though, there is a clear reduction in ad hominem scrapping, trolling, flaming and all the other nasty stuff.

What’s specifically interesting to me, is that the new analogue forum is part of this wider ongoing process of improving the atmosphere there, which is, as I say why the guys were interested in getting me – and more importantly you lot – involved.

Bringing a bit of 35mmc positivity

One of the most amazing things about 35mmc for me has been the lack of moderation I have to put into to comment threads. In nearly 7 years there have only been a few “incidents” of behaviour that I have had to deal with, and probably fewer times than I could count on one hand that I’ve had to delete a comment. You guys do discuss things in a sometimes-heated way, but it nearly-never gets personal. This is something I am enormously proud of, and was very pleased to have this recognised by the guys at DPR.

Of course, the discussion here is limited to the context of the posts that are shared. I also don’t provide a platform for readers to ask questions outside of that context. I have thought about starting a Facebook group in the past, but I’m involved in a few already, and frankly – as I have alluded to – I don’t enjoy it there at all.

Joining the new DPR Analogue Forum

Which is why me getting involved in this new forum on DPReview seemed like a great idea! If the forum there can provide a place for some of my readers to ask questions outside of the context of specific posts here, but also do so in a well-moderated environment, then really, I couldn’t think of a reason not to get involved.

Of course, nothing will change here. If any of you have any thoughts on the content shared on this site, please keep commenting and getting involved here. But if you have anything to add outside of the context of the posts here, any questions about analogue photography, or just want to share some thoughts, then why not join the new forum on DPR?

For me, it’s really exciting that the biggest photography website in the world has recognised that analogue is part of the future of photography, and not just a thing of the past, so I’m really proud to have been invited to be asked to get involved there, and I hope that some of you will too!

You can find the new forum here

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    thorsten
    February 26, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Very good, Hamish, the circle is complete!

  • Reply
    Ross Attix
    February 26, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    So glad to hear this, both for your sake and DPR! Your summary of your thoughts on DPR mirror my own. Love the news content, haven’t looked at the forums for years for the reasons you mentioned.

    Will it become DAPR?

    Congrats! Looking forward to this change.

  • Reply
    Rob
    February 26, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    You’re the only photography blogger I subscribe to because your blog is entirely readable and allows one viewpoint at a time. I’ve not experienced any negativity here.
    I forgot, I’m also registered at Pentax Forums. They seem to be the only other I can read consistently.

    That said, I hope you can work this magic at dpr. I look at it once in a while, but nothing draws me in.

  • Reply
    Paul Mulherin
    February 26, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    I got so fed up of Facebook flame wars and overzealous opinions (even as a bystander) that I binned the whole Facebook thing off last November.
    TBH aside with losing touch with a couple of far-flung friends I have not missed it one bit! πŸ™‚
    FB aside, fair play to you and the DP Review guys for working together on this new Analogue Forum idea. A good portion of us shoot both Analogue *and* Digital so it’s a winning combo in my book.
    I have found the DPReview’s forums invaluable when deliberating over a new camera or lens purchase as there are plenty of (mostly) balanced opinions with good example shots to be found in there already. Onwards and upwards.

    • Reply
      Roger B.
      February 28, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      Agreed, Paul. Facebook is Flamin’ Troll Central these days. The toxic nature of US politics has spilled over (but in fairness to US politics, Facebook was always home to a lot of folks who really have no business being out in public without proper adult supervision!)

  • Reply
    Ronny Persson
    February 26, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Good news Hamish!
    Regards from Sweden.
    Ronny

  • Reply
    Floyd Takeuchi
    February 26, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Congratulations, Hamish! Looking forward to following your leadership at DPP.

  • Reply
    Terry B
    February 26, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Congrats, Hamish. DPR had been my source of info ever since I embraced digital late 2002/early 2003, so I think it is a good thing that they will be embracing analogue as well as digital. I look forward to seeing it being launched and how it establishes itself as an analogue forum.

  • Reply
    Malcolm Myers
    February 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    “You guys do discuss things in a sometimes-hated way”

    ITYM sometimes-heated!

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      February 26, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      Fixed, thanks

  • Reply
    Anton Yakovlev
    February 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I’m sceptical about the endeavour. DPR always reminded me of russian forums.
    You ask:
    – How to do _anything_?
    You get the following answers:
    – If you cannot even do _anything_, you are an idiot!
    – Why to do _anything_ at all, if you can do _anything_else_?
    – I’m the world’s best at _anything_! Look how great I am!
    – I’m much better than you at _anything_ because I use Sony!
    – No, Fuji!
    – No, Canon!
    – Nikon!
    Apocalypse.
    Drape falls.
    But I hope you can bring order to chaos. Best of luck!

  • Reply
    petergreyphotography
    February 26, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    I bookmarked the page. I wish you lots of succes and fun!

  • Reply
    bwf
    February 26, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Congrats, Hamish! Very exciting news. I’m sure lots of folks from here will participate.

  • Reply
    Dave Walker
    February 26, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Have you tried the old APUG forums, now on Photrio? They’re pretty good, usually :o)

  • Reply
    Graham Orbell
    February 26, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Great news. Looking forward.

  • Reply
    Brian Sweeney
    February 26, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    I quit DPREVIEW in 2011. I had sent a PM to another member with a link to another website that I was a moderator on. The linked thread was on a DIY repair for the problem. DPREVIEW banned links to the website, felt I was advertising it to other members by sending Links in a PM. I asked the recipient of the PM if they reported the PM- he had not, and was shocked that the PMs were being monitored.

    I’ve used Digital cameras since 1993, was on DPREVIEW a long time. But after that event- just cannot trust it. Hopefully things have changed.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      February 27, 2020 at 9:57 am

      I think it’s changed a bit – I’ve certainly noticed a different attitude there. Mind the mods can be quite heavy-handed when it comes to the rules. Not always a bad thing

  • Reply
    Kodachromeguy
    February 26, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Wow, Hamish, you are ambitious. Good luck with this new moderating venture. I have noticed the same change in attitude as you did on the infamous Dpreview. Up to about 3 or 4 years ago, the fraud-tographers and fanbois who comment there were orgasmic on their hatred of anything related to film photography. They thought they were so superior. But it looks like the worst have been purged and others have changed their attitudes once they realized that film is the new trendy. I hope the new film forum generates a lot of reasoned discussion and ideas.

  • Reply
    Martin Hugh Henley
    February 26, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Excellent, Hamish, and congratulations! I look forward to checking it out. Cheers.

  • Reply
    Edward
    February 27, 2020 at 12:21 am

    So into this Hamish. Forums can be a godsend or a minefield (I’ve had experiences with both), and good moderation goes a long way to defining it one way or another. I’ve been using a few subreddits but I agree, they tend to eat themselves alive after a while, and this could be a nice change of pace.

  • Reply
    Eric Rose
    March 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I wish you luck. I tried reading some of the comments awhile back on DPR and decided it was the photography refuge for the type of person who comments on the Fox News website. Not my cup of tea. For an analog forum I recommend http://photrio.com Honestly I do wish you all the best and I hope you can carve out an analog beachhead on DPR.

  • Reply
    jojonas
    March 16, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    kudos! I’m facebook burnt out and twitter ain’t much better. looking forward to giving forums another shot πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 16, 2020 at 11:34 pm

      Hope you like it there πŸ‘

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