Welcome to the Friendly Aisles!
DPRF is a photography forum with people from all over the world freely sharing their knowledge and love of photography. Everybody is welcome, from beginners to the experienced professional. Whether it is Medium Format, fullframe, APS-C, MFT or smaller formats. Digital or film. DPRF is a forum for everybody and for every format.
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noIs there a way to see the metadata without downloading the file?
Tried to upload full size GFX 100S image, compressed to 22MB JPEG file. I will have to learn what the largest file that can be uploaded is.
To those who don't know me, my name is Nasim, and I founded photographylife.com many years ago (started out as mansurovs.com). Obviously, we are all devastated to see DPReview go away, and despite a number of us reaching out to different people at DPReview and Amazon, it looks like the site content will be wiped out when the time comes, and there is no way for us to get a data dump to preserve any of the content of the site, or its forums (other than content scraping and archive.org). I am assuming that it is a liability for Amazon to keep anything going, and they won't sell the domain to anyone since they would likely rather write the whole thing off as a loss.
I know this is yet another thread among the many that was started since the announcement, but I have been thinking about how we can preserve this amazing community. I went through a number of threads that suggest moving discussions to Facebook, Reddit, or existing forums, and there is even a suggestion to create a brand new forum that is owned by the community. To be honest, I don't think any of these options are viable long-term - i can explain it in a lot more detail for those who are interested, but the short version is that a large community requires quite a bit of work, and nobody is really going to have the time and the resources to do it.
Having previously run a very busy forum with hundreds of thousands of posts and millions of views, I have to say it is a pretty involved job just from the admin side - and you have to have plenty of volunteers who will moderate different sections of the forum, create policies and constantly work on keeping spammers out, which isn't easy. If anyone says they can easily manage that, they simply have not operated a busy forum, as simple as that. The only proper model for a forum is ad-based. Any forum that charges a membership fee is going to die off long-term, as keeping subscriptions current is impossible. Credit cards expire, people lose interest and move on, new members hesitate to pay, etc. Any free-to-join forum will run ads to pay for its expenses, which get fairly high depending on how popular the resource is. And sadly, that's the only viable model for a forum long-term. It is also important to point out that many successful forums that grow long-term have an accompanying website or some sort of published material that continuously creates discussions, similar to what DPReview has done for many years.
For those who are familiar with hosting websites, they probably know that most of the content on the Internet is heavily cached. For example, photographylife.com is a pretty busy website (we average about 2 million hits a month, roughly 30 million total requests monthly), but I use a heavy caching back-end that allows us to serve requests instantly. A forum, on the other hand, cannot be easily cached, since it is very database-intensive. If you cache content for too long, replies won't show up. Cache it too little, and the servers get hammered with requests. The search function, in particular, could literally kill the backend if it is not sized right. This is where things start to get expensive. You can't cheaply fire up a few instances of web and DB servers on demand or run a server farm without serious cost considerations. Add the cost of a body or two who would have to run the admin side, perform updates, keep spammers at bay and constantly maintain up-to-date code, and you will quickly realize that running a busy forum is often not a great idea. That's why part of it has to be done through the help of volunteer moderators, who can be fair, consistent and not abusive to new and existing contributors.
.......The other part is knowing how to operate the advertising side of things to keep the forum profitable long-term. Most advertisers don't care about advertising on sites based only on forums, since traffic is repetitive and not particularly advertiser-friendly. Most forums don't get properly indexed by search engines either, so they are not a great source of recurring, profitable traffic for website owners. You get paid at the lowest tier of CPMs, even with a lot of views. That's why most commercial websites do not run forums, as they are mostly the source of problems. Add the cost of dealing with constant user complaints, inappropriate and abusive content, potential litigation, etc, and you realize it might not be a sustainable model.
Without going into much technical detail, I think the only sustainable model of running a niche forum is through a relatively busy and profitable website - sort of an extension to an already successful model. That's how DPR had it for years, and that's really the only way to go in my opinion. You can temporarily move discussions to Reddit, Facebook groups and other social media, but you know what will happen long-term - it will eventually get buried and forgotten, or get abandoned and destroyed like in the case of DPR, if the head company goes under. Then there will be those who want to use this chance to make profit and scoop up what they can.