June 9th, 2012, 08:40 AM
Has DPR gone completely around the bend or has my tolerance level just dropped?
I hang out a lot here on Serious Compacts and a fair amount on MU-43 as well. Over the past couple of years I've also spent a lot of time on DP Review forums. In the past I've spent a good bit of time on the Canon, Panasonic, and Sony forums, as well as always m43. Lately I'm mostly on the M43 and Fuji SLR/X100 forum, which also deals with the X-Pro gear. I also occasionally check in with the Ricoh forum but its mostly M43 and Fuji. The signal to noise ratio was always a lot worse on DPR than here or on MU-43, but I still found plenty of good stuff there and found it easy enough to avoid the contentious jerks who seem to take pleasure in tearing down people and their gear over there. But it seems like the past few months, the place has just gotten worse than intolerable. The m43 forum has long been subject to some pretty intense Pany vs Oly stuff, but lately its been all about m43 vs the world and the world has shown up to hate on m43 and some of the m43 hardcores have been seriously hating on the world. It seems like almost every thread I open these days I find myself wanting to just grabe people by the lapels and shake them and should in their faces "THEY'RE ONLY CAMERAS - just CAMERAS! - this is NOT life or death!!!". The Fuji forum isn't quite as bad but its pretty bad. Lots of people just seem to show up to go on about how horrible the X-Pro and X100 are and then some of the home-town folks get their backs up and can't even acknowledge that those cameras are less than perfect too - like all the others...
I still have people over there I consider friends, at least of the online variety, and a few I've met beyond online. I don't want to bail on the place completely and my attitude is to just check in and see if there's a question I can answer or a new bit of information or tip I can learn from. But its getting to the point where its just about impossible to wade through the muck to get to the rare nugget. In the past few days I've found myself spending literally about 30 seconds there before getting up from my desk in disgust - its THAT bad.
So, has anyone else who spends time over there noticed this? Is it really THAT much worse than its always been? Or is my ability to tolerate the noise just at a really low ebb? I mean there are more than a few people over there who I've learned to just totally ignore, but if I interacted with them at ALL I'd want to shoot in very short order. And I'm not one who's inclined towards that sort of feeling generally at ALL! And some of them are now so dominant its hard to ignore them because you open a thread and there are all of these huge tentacles with just those people off arguing among themselves or having sucked some poor fool who doesn't know better into their grasp and are busily flogging him or her.
Makes me wonder if these other places would be that bad if they weren't so well moderated or if its sort of self-policing? If its just the level of moderation that keeps this place and MU-43 from descending into that level of madness, than another VERY STRONG THANKS to Amin and the other mods who keep these places civilized. Those DPR forums have started feeling like some sort of post-apocalyptic wild west. I fear I'm this close to just abandoning those forums altogether, but that would be a bummer - I've learned a lot there in the time I've been back into photography and there are some good folks who don't seem to hang anywhere else. They're just getting REALLY hard to find lately.
June 9th, 2012, 08:59 AM
In general I feel it has become worse. I visit the same places on DPR, plus a little DSLR (Canon and Nikon) now and again.
For me it all starts with aggressive, definitive statements. Threads and comments leading with what is an xyz 'killer', or how one thing totally 'blows away' another. It's baiting for a fight, instead of having a conversation.
I would also say that common manners and courtesy are less common on DPR.
I suppose a bunch of things are at work. Lots of traffic, with great Google friendly headlines such as "Nex 7 destroys X-Pro1 in tests" is a hard thing to resist. In my view, while there are real nuggets from actual photographers, DPR is a great place for those who like the idea of photography, and gear, rather than its use. These people, and their discussions, provide great fodder for marketers and manufacturers. Why moderate or drive a culture that would discourage the constant purchase of new gear, based on the sites's own reviews?
When Amin recently opened a discussion on a membership drive / marketing, a lot of people expressed concern that many new members would bring the contentious, argumentative attitude to SC and MU-43. I understand the concern, but don't share it. If you want a fight, this isn't a cool place to be.
For a grin:
Last edited by Pelao; June 9th, 2012 at 09:02 AM.
June 9th, 2012, 09:04 AM
I used to visit DPR often but find I'm only flicking through now. Mostly a discussion begins and quickly descends to the depths and I find I'm departing rather smartly. It does seem a shame because there are people who are willing to share good info there.
June 9th, 2012, 09:13 AM
Ray, I used to keep four forum pages open on my screen: Serious Compacts, Mu-43, DPR forums, and Elements Village (Photoshop Elements). Recently I dropped DPR from that line-up. The other three are friendly places to visit, where the "we're here to help" mission is combined with a welcoming attitude toward a very diverse group of participants. I have enough tension in my work life; I don't need it when I'm online.
I still visit DPR when I'm looking for the answer to a specific gear question; the search engine there is pretty decent. I also read the gear reviews and news. But the forums? Nah...
June 9th, 2012, 10:00 AM
DPR has always had bouts of insanity when new gear comes out, but the 4/3 (and now m4/3) forums have always been by far the worst. Even the Canon v. Nikon discussions are generally much tamer. I largely blame it on a handful of toxic personalities, some of whom enjoy provoking, and some of whom feel the need to defend 'their' system at all costs.
Originally Posted by Ray
More generally, there seems to be a problem with niche cameras (m4/3, Sigma, to some degree Pentax) and their supporters and detractors.
June 9th, 2012, 10:29 AM
I only visit the Ricoh forum at DPR which is a pretty friendly forum, and you even see a fair share of photos and comments about them. However, it's a very slow forum with not a whole going on.
Every now and then I visit another forum and in that case I'd agree with you. People defending or accusing cameras as if they are on trial for murder or something. It's not informative, interesting or even entertaining.
June 9th, 2012, 10:34 AM
It's a strange place no doubt. I visit the Sony forums fairly regularly. I don't think the Sony SLR forum is as bas as it used to be. Around the time that it was rumoured that Sony were dropping OVF in favour of EVF on their DSLR/SLT forum the place was terrible. I think it's swings and roundabouts on different forums depending on what's happening in the wider photographic world with particular brands. I'm not sure overall that it has changed that much, but I think it more likely that the change is in you and your own development as a photographer has contributed to a sense that the place is crazy.
It's a shame because it has potential to be a very valuable resource and I have found that asking for help generally does elicit a good response from people genuinely trying to help, but that mostly gets lost in the sound and fury. I thought of the DPR forums, among other things, when I came across this great quote from Charles Sheeler (whom I'll admit I had never heard of) on the Sonic Blog: "“Isn’t it amazing how photography has advanced without improving?”
June 9th, 2012, 10:39 AM
As everyone is saying, there is good information there amongst all the rest. I occasionally visit but rarely spend more than a few minutes. Yesterday, I made the mistake of starting a thread about trolling and repetitive argument in the Micro 4/3 forum there, and man was that ever ugly.
The point I was trying to make was that repetitive arguments are bad for a forum. Whether it's the whole equivalence issue that is so prevalent there, RAW vs JPEG, Olympus vs Panasonic, or whatever, any time you have a few people making the exact same argument to each other over and over in a forum, it's not good, and those people have a responsibility to "take it outside" (PM, email, etc) rather than the current notion there which is if you're not interested, don't read it.
What immediately ensued was as insane and ugly a thread as I have seen. People comparing a request for moderation to the Holocaust... me getting accused of coverting representing DPR management... blanket accusations made about evil doctors... various references to members stalking and threatening other members in real life...
There are some people there who have long since lost all perspective.
June 9th, 2012, 10:45 AM
The street and Ricoh forums are still civil.
Most of the rest is a cultural wasteland and requires visiting only when necessary.
I keep that as a rare occasion.
We all know that place is a dump. If you go there, then no surprise so no reason to be upset.
It is what it is........
June 9th, 2012, 10:47 AM
I rarely visited DPR (as a poster) but a few months ago placed a technical query in the Sigma forum; the thread was bombarded with OT comments mostly about Nex superiority complete with hotlinked images from Nex cameras. I left a few choice comments and haven't been back to look since. As others have said, wading through the unpleasantness to reach the gems doesn't seem worthwhile.
The forum rules here at SC are strictly enforced, and that can sometimes make it feel like I have to walk on eggshells a bit, but rather that than face the thread-hijacking, personal abuse and hostility that even the most innocuous thread can generate at DPR (and RFF, a personal bugbear as they have some interesting and informed people otherwise).
When I see this issue discussed on other forums, I often see comments along the lines of "well that's the internet isn't it, you just have to put up with it/filter it out/not take it personally" ... but I don't think we do have to put up with it, as this site shows clearly ... too often, there seems to be a confusion of tolerance of contentiousness and heated debate with tolerance for rudeness and hostility ...
Last edited by pdh; June 9th, 2012 at 10:50 AM.
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