Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution

Larry Colen lrc at red4est.com
Thu Jul 1 17:25:12 EDT 2010

On Jul 1, 2010, at 1:37 PM, Doug Franklin wrote:

> On 2010-07-01 15:50, Daniel J. Matyola wrote:
>> In any event, this list would be more useful to all of us --
>> especially the hacks like me -- if we were all a little more honest
>> and a little more critical in our comments on images submitted to the
>> group.
> I'll agree, if you'll change the word "would" to "could".  I've been around PDML since late in 1998, and on the Internet for far longer than that, and participating in information "debate societies" for longer still.  I've seen how little it takes for a single individual to push a well functioning debate into what we call a "flame war" on the Internet.  Sometimes even destroying a well functioning society, like this one. Several have come close in my tenure with the PDML.  Even well meaning ones, like Shel.
> What you're suggesting certainly can work.  But it absolutely requires that either everyone abide by the "civility rules" or there be a swift and sure mechanism to fix the problem when they're broken.  A public list, blog, whatever, on the Internet, rarely has strong enough governance to correct these problems, much less prevent them in the first place.

I used to hang out on a newsgroup (ADFP) that went in for bare knuckled debate.  A lot of it was great fun, but the thin skinned often did not survive their welcoming "wall of flame". The official FAQ for the group was "lurk". And since people were more likely to be attacked for writing poorly, than for disagreeing with someone, in it's heyday it was a wonderfully literate oasis on usenet.

I would love to be in a photo critique group that was both honest, and competent, and I wonder if such a group already exists.  I've seen a few too many examples of people who have just learned that changing aperture would affect the depth of field pontificating as if they were the world's foremost authority. Hell, I've probably been guilty of speaking beyond my authority I time or two myself. This afternoon. It would be nice if such a group existed, but like most idealistic utopias, there are many, many, structural challenges.

In any case, I think that such a group would be better if it weren't equipment specific, and that trying to foster that level of open discussion may not keep the PDML as warm and welcoming to newcomers.  We could try to be more straightforward when someone asks for C&C, and also respect a request for gentle C&C. But lets not break what we have, trying to craft the platonic ideal of photo critique discussions.

Larry Colen lrc at red4est.com sent from i4est

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