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Bill Edwards

Photos Forum / Captioning Photos

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Bill Edwards    11,761
Bill Edwards

Dear All

 

Following on from the discussion and poll about captioning photo topics in the photos forum, it is clear that members do find captions desirable, but that it shouldn't be compulsory. In an effort to encourage captions, the forum panel have discussed a simple change to the photos forum that we hope will encourage members to caption their photos. Effective immediately all members posting topics in the photos forum will be able to edit their own topics for as long as they are in the photo forum. Perhaps if you are short of time when you post the topic you can consider returning to it when you have spare time and editing the post and adding captions? If you are unsure of the owner you could consider captioning it with a "?", as and when another member identifies the owner you could consider editing your post and updating the caption? 

 

Personally I like captions, but if the choice is no captions or no photos, then no captions wins every time :)

 

Whilst looking at the photos forum, I noticed that there are in excess of 1800 topics over 76 pages going back to 2014. Since we've been keeping every photo topic the forum is becoming somewhat unwieldy. I also noticed the vast majority of views a topic gets are in the first few months. Older topics just don't get viewed very much. However, it is nice to have these older photos as they provide a historic view of past events. The benefit of captioning photo topics becomes, in my view, much more important with older photo sets. Firstly, without captions, the older topics are effectively unsearchable - for example if I search the entire forum for rides belonging to "Philip Green" I will get Rides List Photos and Photo Topics that are captioned - I will miss uncaptioned photo sets, which means we are keeping them just to "browse" and browsing 76 pages is difficult. Secondly I can't just check the Rides List to identify rides from older photo topics because they may have changed hands.

 

Another consideration with the photo forum is "how much do we retain"? All our photos are stored off the forum on an Amazon supplied server. We have unlimited space available, however we pay for EVERY photo we store. The cost, at the moment is fairly negligible, amounting to about $10 a month. This figure will only increase as our archive gets bigger. The number of forum supporters is falling and at some point  I will either be unable or unwilling to pay for storage out of my own pocket.

 

To address the above points, I have suggested to the forum panel that we set up the photo forum slightly differently. As time allows I will be setting up yearly "archive" forums for older photo topics, much like the funfair reports. Topics in these forums will be listed alphabetically to aid browsing. As topics get older they will be moved to the relevant yearly archive forum. I will only be moving the "better" photo sets. What constitutes "better" will obviously be subjective, but the following criteria will be taken into account - weather the sets are captioned, duplication of photos, quality of photos etc. As the photos will have been visible in the main photo forum for some time (exact period yet to be determined) all photo sets will be visible for some considerable time before either being moved to the archive or deleted. 

 

If anyone has any suggestions as to how we can maintain the usefulness of the photos forum or make it more user friendly, I would be glad to hear them!

 

All the best

 

Bill

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Eddie Kelly    1,610
Eddie Kelly

Can I add a further suggestion that posting in the photo forum be reserved for those who contribute to the costs of running & managing the forum. A small price to pay to gain mass exposure of your efforts among the total membership. As this is easily the largest & most popular ATFOTF forum then by definition it must cost the most to maintain.

 

Regarding the archive, it would be pointless archiving captionless images as nothing is included to indicate anything about the subject matter. In the circumstances can I suggest these be removed following posting after a period to be agreed say 6 weeks or 2 months.

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Bill Edwards    11,761
Bill Edwards
2 minutes ago, Eddie Kelly said:

 

Can I add a further suggestion that posting in the photo forum be reserved for those who contribute to the costs of running & managing the forum. A small price to pay to gain mass exposure of your efforts among the total membership. As this is easily the largest & most popular ATFOTF forum then by definition it must cost the most to maintain.

 

Whilst I am grateful for the suggestion, I believe that would be counter productive - we will be deprived of a large number of excellent photo sets just because the poster isn't a forum supporter. Whilst I am keen to ensure the forum supporters cover the costs involved, I don't want to lose any photo contributions.

 

4 minutes ago, Eddie Kelly said:

Regarding the archive, it would be pointless archiving captionless images as nothing is included to indicate anything about the subject matter. In the circumstances can I suggest these be removed following posting after a period to be agreed say 6 weeks or 2 months.

That was very much my thinking. Although neither myself or the forum panel have defined a period yet, I personally was thinking of a much longer period. I will need to do some research to find out at what point photo topics become 'stale' and no longer get viewed - looking at the stats it does happen, but I don't know when.

 

Many thanks for your input.

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