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Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 9:09 AM
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Post Thoughts on Improving the Photography Forums

Had some thoughts recently, wanted to see what others think.

I feel the My City Photos section is vastly underutilized. The sheer volume of city photos and locales represented is not matched by many other places on the web. Additionally, the photography presented here is often of a higher quality than what can be found through random web searches. SSP photo threads do an excellent job showcasing places of interest. For example, when I travel somewhere or want to see what a place is like, the best way to do so is look at photo threads from that area. Doing a Google image search for Portland produces skyline or city results. These are ok, but if I want to see neighborhoods and don’t know much about the city, it is hard to know specifics to search for. This is where the photo threads here really shine. They often showcase particular neighborhoods, or display the native perspectives of cities. The problem I’ve found is that the search function and visibility of threads is limited and underpowered.

So this is my idea. Develop a map with each thread geotagged to its specific area. If I wanted to see neighborhoods of Portland, I could zoom the map to Portland and see all the Portland threads in the area. Each thread could be represented by a dot on the map. Maybe the dot could be sized by a thread’s view number so the more popular threads are more visible. The dots could be shaded by age, white are brand new, dark go back to the earliest threads. Filters could be used to see threads just by certain members, or maybe by keyword, thread age, etc. Tagging is pretty common place now; it would be nice to be able to tag threads with keywords. Maybe the keywords could pop up when user hover their mouse over the dot.
A global map with all these photo threads would be a huge asset to travelers that want to see places before they visit. Google earth has a feature like this but you literally have to click every photo which is a crapshoot of whether the image will be good, or even tagged correctly. As I mentioned before, unless you know what to search for, it is really hard to get an idea of ‘Place’ from the scattered images.

I think this format might provide greater exposure for the site. I suppose if anyone had issue with this format, they could opt out of geotagging. I imagine the coding wouldn’t be too difficult; most of the effort would be in retroactively tagging each thread. But if users just tagged their own old threads much of the effort could be crowd sourced.

I don't know if this is the best place to post this. Who runs the SSP photo section? How constrained is the site by BBC code? Just some thoughts...
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 6:03 PM
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We need a dedicated moderator for this section. Some who is active here and is an active photographer.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 6:10 PM
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We need a dedicated moderator for this section. Some who is active here and is an active photographer.

Well, I could volunteer for this...
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Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 9:05 PM
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We need a dedicated moderator for this section. Some who is active here and is an active photographer.
The Glowrock. He is a supreme traveler.

But would the search capabilities available from the forum format allow for this type of map to be made?
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 12:33 AM
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The Glowrock. He is a supreme traveler.

But would the search capabilities available from the forum format allow for this type of map to be made?
I agree this section needs a dedicated mod. Someone that can manage the 'Getting to know' and Photo Contests.

I know very little about that type of web design. Was hoping to shoot the idea out and see if people liked it or if it is technically feasible.

Another area that could use improvement: posting images still feels like 1999. Trying to format a 100 image thread is a nightmare. I have to use Excel (Excel!?!!) to make it productive. There has to be an easier, more user friendly method. Something that allows for live previews, dragging and dropping, image size options, etc.

I have no idea how constrained the site is to BBC code, so maybe this isn't even possible.
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Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 12:35 AM
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I'd love to be the one to moderate this part of the forum, but I have no idea what changes can be made to the forum software to allow for some of the things we're thinking of...

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Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 7:26 PM
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I'd love to be the one to moderate this part of the forum, but I have no idea what changes can be made to the forum software to allow for some of the things we're thinking of...

Aaron (Glowrock)
Ditto.

I think Glow and I both frequent this forum a lot. I just don't usually say much.

Also, I don't think I have time to manage Getting to Know & Photo Contest stuff.

Completely agree with Porter, creating a photothread in vBulletin is incredibly cumbersome and time consuming.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 7:42 PM
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I've always thought that there should be a monthly glossy mag based on the photo sections. A lot of the photos are really that good.

But barring that, what I'd like to see is some sort of reddit style vote up/down on either threads or individual photos. Then have a special section of the best photos of the months or best threads of the month (or two months or year or whatever). As much as I enjoy looking at them, I usually don't have the time or inclination to look at all of them. I'm sure I miss a lot of good stuff.
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Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 2:05 AM
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But barring that, what I'd like to see is some sort of reddit style vote up/down on either threads or individual photos. Then have a special section of the best photos of the months or best threads of the month (or two months or year or whatever). As much as I enjoy looking at them, I usually don't have the time or inclination to look at all of them. I'm sure I miss a lot of good stuff.
I think this is a good idea. I know I miss a lot and once a thread disappears from the front page it is really hard to find again.
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Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 6:17 PM
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In the past we've generally stayed away from any type of rankings or anything resembling competition in the photo forums (aside from the photo contest ) But it would be useful if there were some way to highlight the very best threads.

I also like the geotagging idea. It would be up to admins to implement something like that, if possible.

We should do something to spruce up the forum, it's been a bit dead in recent months compared to the old days (actually, I think threads get more views now, but fewer replies).

Also, make Glowrock the photo forum mod if he wants it. HIMS is MIA these days.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 9:19 PM
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I'm really glad you brought this topic up, Okayyou! I was just thinking about this exact thing the other day while contemplating on what to do with my flickr stream.

I think it would be a very useful tool, if possible, to have this site include an image uploading host like Facebook, where we can have an Uploading Photos button in the Preview/Go Advanced option. That would be first and foremost. Currently The options in posting photos are limited to Flickr, Imgur, Imageshack, and the like, forcing you to either pay, sacrifice quality, or deal with any of the issues associated with Imageshack. Obviously linking photos using a bb code can remain an option, especially when quoting someone else's image in various other parts of the forum.

As for the organization of the threads in the Photography Forum, I like how it shows newest to oldest, but I do have a couple of issues concerning the search engine. First, when I'm searching for a specific city, I think it would be a good idea to rank the threads from most views to least. Secondly, I noticed that SkyScraperCity has an option to Tag your threads much like how you would tag an individual photo on flickr, but this site does not have that option. Being able to add tags onto the actual thread may also help to circulate exposure when "googling" for city photography.

As for actually increasing this website's exposure, I think the idea of the map might be a good idea. Where exactly would the map be located and how would it differ from Google Maps' setup? If its possible to have kind of like a Facebook Like/Dislike option added to the threads where you can see, aside from comments and views, how many people really enjoyed each thread, that may become very useful. Also, for those of us that use flickr as our image host, could adding a "Skyscrapercity" tag to our photos help at all? I know that when I just type in a generic search term like ' seattle city streets ', usually what comes up are Wikipedia, that city's crappy website, and the occasional City-Data, but rarely, if ever, do I see a site like this show up on the first 2 pages.

I definitely would like for this site to be a lot more popular because I find the ignorance of cityscapes to be overwhelming even though there are extremely useful sites such as this lurking around on the internet.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 9:30 PM
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Oh, and just a curious question I've always wondered about; why is SkyScraperCity constantly growing (mostly internationally), while SkyScraperPage seems to remain static? I started out on SSC sometime in 2010 and, since that time, the site has gained about 100,000 users. Unfortunately, after the US boom, most of the users in the Chicago and New York sections hollowed out which is when I transferred to here. When I became an active member on SSP, the amount of users was in the 30,000 range. Today its still in the 30,000 range sitting at 37,000.... why? And why is City-Data's forum also thriving? Whatever those sites are doing to attract new users, we need to do that also....
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2012, 2:54 AM
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^i'd prefer quality over quantity, without assjack trolls.

one idea is more feedback/comments for photothreads. how to accomplish this, i have no idea.

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Old Posted Jul 14, 2012, 12:23 PM
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^i'd prefer quality over quantity, without assjack trolls.

one idea is more feedback/comments for photothreads. how to accomplish this, i have no idea.

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I wish I knew how to accomplish this as well, LSyd. It seems like the only threads that continue with comments for more than a couple of days are threads which are updated on a regular basis with more photos and those where some sort of "controversy" is brought into the discussion...

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Old Posted Jul 27, 2012, 12:22 AM
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Also, make Glowrock the photo forum mod if he wants it. HIMS is MIA these days.
IKR! I tried to keep the getting to know thread going but Ive had changes happen at work and am much busier now, not getting paid more but busier, and have not been able to keep up with it.
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Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 3:56 PM
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ive become an incredibly infrequent poster but used to love to come look at the photo contests. what happened to those?
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Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 5:10 PM
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So far as I know, HomeInMyShoes isn't very active here, and therefore it's pretty much stopped. I guess I could start the contests back up again, though!

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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2012, 8:55 AM
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So far as I know, HomeInMyShoes isn't very active here, and therefore it's pretty much stopped. I guess I could start the contests back up again, though!

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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2012, 2:10 PM
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yeah, aaron. feel free to take charge of this forum and if you have any ideas or suggestions, by all means...go for it.
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Old Posted Aug 10, 2012, 2:41 PM
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Sounds like a plan...

Okay, I'll start up another photo contest starting this coming Monday, August 13th. Subject? Hmm, I'm open to suggestions, but I'm thinking we could start off doing something like macro photography. Could be plants, animals, shiny objects, whatever. Only requirement being it being shot in Macro...

Let me know if this works for you guys, and I'll set up the contest to start up on Monday!

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