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We have plenty of suggestions in the pot for V5 but one element I'd like to go into a little more detail is the networking aspect. I asked a question in another thread which I think deserves its own space.
It seems to be a trend from a few...also facebook is being used more to share photos. I'd be interested to find ways we could replicate what "magical formula" these two sites have that attract people to move in that direction for the photography element.
I see many of the same faces talking to people they met on here rather than anyone else, so just wonder what it is that has created the shift, that couldn't have been "fixed" on here. We are in the process of implementing a big facelift to the site, taking on board many of the suggestions that have been made over the years, so it would be good to be sure we haven't missed anything.
Thanks to Mark who said
Quote: It's a whole multitude of reasons i'd say, but a couple are:
Mass uploads, FB allows you to upload loads of shots at once, which here you can not. I know of people that will upload the "pap" shots from a meet to FB as they can batch upload them, rather than the laborious single image at a time process that we use here. If you could have a batch upload to a mods enabled image here, then that would help.
There is the "click clique" badge that gets thrown about here, but FB is a networking/friends site, so it is more logical to interact there, rather than broadcast in the forum or on peoples images here.
And Ian who followed with:
Quote: For me, Facebook is not an ePz replacement, they fulfil totally different roles. I put any old rubbish on FB (okay I know, don't say it), using it more as a photo sharing than a showcase and critique.
ePz allows me to share information and photos with thousands of people, FB is purely to direct witty comments at a handful of friends.
A multiple upload feature is something the guys have built for another product we will be introducing soon and we could easily adapt this for ePHOTOzine, although it would not be something that would go into the main gallery. We've been considered this and it would be an addition where you could then drop pics into the gallery daily from this collection to get usual comments from the masses.
Would friends groups like you have on Facebook cause more of the click group mentality or would the fact it was wide spread (ie not just e2) just help the site grow allowing "special interest" groups like you have on flickr? So more people would be encouraged to share unusual photos within their group?
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Personally I think you should avoid trying to add FB style sections to ePz. That would inevitably lead to people treating the whole site like FB and detract from the overall quality.
I know that things are quieter now than they have been for a while, but we have been here before.
My advice would be to concentrate on the quality photo resource aspects and let Flickr/FB/Twitter deal with the networking/photo sharing.
There is plenty of networking done on here anyway, within the current framework. Don't try to be all things to all men (and women), it will end in tears.
One aspect of Facebook (oops sorry meant Flickr) that I have found useful is to post to specific interest groups. Once uploaded to my PF I can then further post to groups that I have registered an interest it. This means that others who share the same area of interest can comment, but more importantly its easier for them just to choose images they wish to look at.
So for example, on this site, I could become a member of the Monochrome Group and go to the group to see all the uploaded black and white images rather than having to use tags.
The "click clique" is still a factor on this site, which I have not noticed elsewhere to the level of acuteness here.
EPZ remains a rather unique community, which extends beyond photography. I have not really noted forum discussions on other photography sites that talk about non photographic issues in such a way as this site does.
Quote: So for example, on this site, I could become a member of the Monochrome Group
Wouldn't you just use the gallery filter function?
A 'critique buddy' scheme was recently introduced within the existing framework of members' meetings, so perhaps common interest groups could be easily implemented in a similar manner. If it proved popular the team could introduce a flag to segregate the common interest groups and members meets to save clutter.
Quote: Wouldn't you just use the gallery filter function?
Yes, But it would not link it to the forum discussions in the same way as it works in FB (oops meant Flickr)
i think a lot of the noticable quiet period is tied into this damn recession. many i know on the site are in fear of losing their jobs, many already have and i am perched in a tight spot too.
people are watching people at work and it creates moods at home and all these things come in to play.
i tried flicker and it didnt light my candle and DSLR was a bit better. set out better to look at than epz but not as user friendly.
and not as friendly.
i dont use face book but my sons do and thats just an excuse not to meet friends, just to keep them at a distance.
this site is like sitting in a warm friendly local pub. people can take what they want from it or give back as much or little as they want.
dont go changing it too much other than perhaps bits of layout or it may not feel the same to those vast numbers who love it without complaining -- too much
ive met a lot of nice people here and our club has become more involved with local cc clubs as a result of this epz and the peak band of rangers just keeps getting larger.
long may it stay similar
With regards to multiple uploads.
I believe for the Main Galleries this should stay as it is, one per day, but somehow separate out Members' meets to allow it, with an option to then link an image per day to one of the Main Galleries, if so desired.
In effect this would mean that the images are there as a "collection" but not initially part of the Main Galleries, could not, therefore, be commented / voted on etc. and would alleviate the current practice of uploading "mods" to an image.
Just a thought as I have no idea what this Facebook / networking thing is all about !
I looked at Flickr and it didn't light my fire either. It is far too complicated to manoeuvre in the limited time that I have.
I went onto Facebook as a relative asked me to but I never use it as it is full of silly twaddle and is no replacement for ePZ.
ePZ is a simple site to navigate and hopefully any alterations that are made will not change that. The special interest groups appears to be a good idea as it will allow people with similar interests to discuss their work. The forums are not the best place to do this as they are not used by the vast majority of members and many of the threads just become a way for people to make funny comments (not that I am opposed to a bit of fun).
I'm not sure about multiple uploads as this is currently possible with Variants even though some people seem to abuse the system. Loading too many pictures will probably lead to other members only looking at a couple of them as appears to happen on the Photoanswers site, for instance.
I don't find too much wrong with ePZ but I am not uploading at the moment due more to a lack of time and currently being in the photographic doldrums than anything else.
The number of people using this site appears to be growing (I think)so there can't be too much wrong.
Presently the blogs are too removed from the images. Therefore I'd welcome a facility that would allow better integration of blogs and images, so for blog writers who want to illustrate their blogs with (small images or links to the gallery) and product reviewers / writers that want to illustrate their articles. This would help (I would hope) in attracting some further interest.
Anything which valued critique more: critique is very often more time consuming than photography, but often seems 'relegated' in relation to images; I don't know what the suggestion is for this, but wanted to flag it anyhow.
as a photography site, epz is a great site and doesn't need changing regarding things to do with photography such as info about equipment, tutorials, the multiple topic galleries and forums for newbies through to pro's to mix and socialise.
it most definitely shouldn't be changed to become a site like FB - that would destroy the point of being a site for photographers. FB might be a popular site and hugely successful as a business but it doesn't make it a great place. it is about the most unstable site on the net - everything on it is a chaotic mass of beta experiments that regularly fall over and rarely sorted out. the majority of members are bored people with nothing better to do in life other than spend hours each day talking to friends and playing crap games.
i think would be best to keep the main epz site the same concentrating purely on photographs and equipment and have the social side of the site seperate on places like epz twitter, epz facebook page and a live chat room for discussing and chatting about non photography subjects rather than it overwealming the place with chatter leaving no room for directly discussing a photographic query.
anyway - just my opinion
peter "morpyre" turner
i've been a member since 2004 and i'm sure there is still a massive amount i have yet to discover on the site - could it be the site has become too big and complex. would it work splitting epz into a group of smaller sites or would that be too much work to make a reality. One site for the galleries - One Site for all the equipment and tutorials - One site for all the social side such as a forum, live chat room and pages about meetings and events.
Well I just cracked a beer and thought.
I think its a navigation issue ,a lack of being proactive and the forums.
Navigation and search.
Here , you have to trawl the galleries to find inspiring work , then go to their portfolio , see If you like their style / genre , add them as a fav etc etc.
In a way , its that process that leads to the percieved "click club"
Ok , you can filter , but thats such a limited search , and your not going to find Night photography or specialist stuff such as "Bokeh" etc.
So I think you should consider adding the FLikr type icon option above your image that indicates what group or style of photography the image resides in.
Its inclusion to that group could come from encouraging the poster to choose from a drop down list of "pools" as they upload an image.
(The tagging sytem here is random and doesnt feed into the filters well)
And that list is ever evolving by the members. If you want to post under "Fun" or "Weddings" you can , you add to a new (moderated) pool if its not there.
On the proactive ,
Pete drew attention to a photographers style in view of others opinions about the glut of "samey" images here lately.
ePZ needs to find a way of highlighting that uniqueness that doesnt rely on one persons opinion.
Stop slagging each other off !
For me making the site more like FB would turn me away I think. If I want FB it's there.
I agree with Nick about the blogs’ I think they are not at the forefront of the site enough. I think they could become a really good feature of the site, as could the members exhibitions section.
I rarely use the gallery for inspiration any more, I used to a lot. For inspiration there are other sites that push me more.
What wins for me on EPZ is the help you can get.
So, for me, the blogs’ the members exhibitions and the image quality are what needs working on. Maybe a face lift too, I have suggested before that it would be good to have a customisable EPZ, colours schemes, layout etc.
How about being able to add a photo in a post? Like in photoanswers?
I never see any photos here, and that's not an invitation for everyone to start preaching that I can go to the gallery! I don't got to the gallery in photoanswers either! I think one upload per day is too little too. And no, I don't want to buy a membership that allows me to post more than that. I'm too tight for that malarkey!
Quote: Pete drew attention to a photographers style in view of others opinions about the glut of "samey" images here lately.
I read that thread with great interest and totally agree that rather than moving towards the likes of Facebook etc (which I totally am against btw), using the 'hidden' talent here on EPZ in the form of those PF's, will help grow the differentiation required.
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