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Long Term Storage Of Photo Forum Topics

Bill Edwards

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Bill Edwards

Dear All


A big, big THANK YOU to EVERY member who posts photo's for us to enjoy. I believe photos are the life blood of the forum and I get a lot of pleasure from viewing photos of funfairs I can't get to. Thank you! 


After discussion with the forum panel, there will be a slight change to the way we store photos in the Photos Forum. This will NOT, in any way, affect the way members post photos, affecting only older photo topics.


The Change - Older photo topics will be moved into archives according to the year they were posted (in much the same way that Funfair Reports are archived). Not all photo topics will be archived, some will be deleted. Photo topics will either archived or deleted depending on their usefulness/appeal to other members. All members will be able to browse or search the archive forums which are available on the following link http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/forum/535-photo-forum-archive/


Time Scale - I am currently working on archiving photo topics. Due to the large number of topics, this will take some time. I started with topics posted in 2014 (the earliest we have) and am now about half way through 2015. It will take some time get up to date.


When topics will be archived - I haven't set a definitive time, but photo topics will, regardless of whether they are archived or deleted be available for at least 3 months. Due to the time it is taking to archive topics, it's likely to be nearer a year.


Background - All our photos are now stored on an Amazon server and we have unlimited space. Although the space is unlimited I pay for each photo stored. The cost is quite small, but it is still a bill that has to be paid. Forum Supporter numbers are falling. If we continue to keep every photo, the hosting bill will, at some point, get to the point where I am unable/unwilling to pay it. By deleting older/unused photo topics I can continue to fund the forum for far longer.


Looking at the forum stats, it is obvious that photo topics are viewed most when they are newly posted. The browsing of photo topics over six months old is virtually non-existent. There were 81 PAGES of photo topics - browsing is inefficient. If photo topics aren't being viewed, then why keep them (and pay to host them)? On the other hand, it is useful to have older photo topics as a reference. If the photo topics are captioned, then they are searchable and are useful to members. If they aren't captioned, they aren't searchable, not being browsed and are in effect, dead topics.


Criteria for archiving or deleting - I will use a number of criteria for deciding if a photo topic is deleted or archived.


  • Is the topic captioned? - If yes then the topic is searchable and useful. If not and over six months old the topic is in effect a dead topic and will be considered for deletion. If a photo set is of one subject, e.g. Carters Steam Fair, it may still be searchable through the topic title even though individual photos are uncaptioned and would be considered for archiving.
  • Are the photos visible? - A bit obvious :)  Approximately 25% of our older topics had photos stored off site. If the photos are still visible, the topic can be archived. If they aren't it will be deleted.
  • Quality of photos (sharpness, composition, orientation etc)
  • Duplication of shots
  • Rarity of subject
  • Popularity of topic (views/likes)


Some of the criteria are subjective and I am erring on the side of keep rather than delete where it isn't obvious whether to archive or delete.


IMPORTANT - A recent member poll showed that members do prefer captioned photo sets. However, captioning is not compulsory. Every member posting photos has the option to caption or not. If the choice is uncaptioned photo sets or no photos, then uncaptioned wins. Photo sets without captions are welcome and will be viewed and enjoyed by our members, however unless the set is exceptional, they will not be archived. 


Summary - ALL photo sets, regardless of the above criteria will be available for our members to enjoy for at least three months. At some point after three months photo topics will be archived to maintain their usefulness/appeal to other members and to keep our photo hosting bill manageable.





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Bill Edwards

I've been doing a little more work on Archiving historic photo topics and it's clear that we have some fantastic photo topics - Many Thanks!!


If you wish to browse the Archive, it may assist if you understand where I've moved the photos to :)


If a Photo Topic was posted in 2016 and refers to a 2016 Fair, then I've moved it "2016" (but please see note below)


If a Photo Topic was posted in 2016, but refers to a fair from a different year (e.g. My photo topic "Borehamwood June 2000") or is a collection of photos (e.g. Richard Furniss' "Miamis In The 1990s") then I have moved them to "Photo Collections"



*Note on Photo Topics relevant to a year* - This isn't perfect as a Photo Topic posted in January 2016 may actually show a fair from December 2015. Ideally the topic would be in the forum of the year when the fair started. However that would require me to research each photo topic and establish when the fair started and move it to the correct forum, and for the time being I simply don't have time. For now, if the topic was started in January 2016 it will be listed in 2016, although the fair may have been in 2015. As time permits I will research and correct these, but that is a long term goal.

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Bill Edwards

Whilst archiving photo topics, I've been looking at the post overall, but also if it's captioned. Uncaptioned photos sets are unsearchable and being virtually unbrowsed are dead topics.


I've noticed a few topics that actually start with a list of attractions that there are photos of.  Whilst the photos themselves don't have individual captions, the topic IS searchable as the text appears in the same post as the photos and so I have been archiving them.


Whilst this isn't, in my opinion, as user friendly as individually captioned photos, it is a lot quicker to do - either type a quick list or a copy/paste of the fair report and the topic is searchable and will (subject to to the other criteria) be archived. Bearing in mind that members can edit their topic photos without time limit, the list could be added as soon afterwards as time allowed.

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