Interesting difference between forum cultures

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Here we tend to "like" everything that moves, and also that doesn't. Like like like, we're all drowned in likes.

Then let's look at NikonCafe, a sister site decidedly. A totally different thing. The greatest of master shots get perhaps 4 likes. Usually a post gets 0-1 likes with 0 being the more typical. I gave my thumbs-up on an older post, a nice shot (I don't "like" everything over there just to respect the culture, only the best of the best.) and later on I get a private message thanking me for liking the shot as he was able to reminisce on his older work.

Now, I am not saying there's a problem in either of these approaches, it's just interesting that there's such a difference in the "liking" culture!
 

wee-pics

Top Veteran
Sep 13, 2016
Germany
Walter
Here we tend to "like" everything that moves, and also that doesn't. Like like like, we're all drowned in likes.

Then let's look at NikonCafe, a sister site decidedly. A totally different thing. The greatest of master shots get perhaps 4 likes. Usually a post gets 0-1 likes with 0 being the more typical. I gave my thumbs-up on an older post, a nice shot (I don't "like" everything over there just to respect the culture, only the best of the best.) and later on I get a private message thanking me for liking the shot as he was able to reminisce on his older work.

Now, I am not saying there's a problem in either of these approaches, it's just interesting that there's such a difference in the "liking" culture!
It's exactly this kind of feedback that is given in this forum that I like so much. It gives you some feedback about how others see your pic. And often you wonder why you get lots of reactions to a (in your eyes) rather "ordinary" shot and almost none for a shot that you found super and artsy. This shows me always that tastes differ quite a lot and that your judgement is completely subjective.

For me it's a quite simple decision. I press the like button when I want to show that I find the shot in some way interesting - nice - touching me - showing something in a new perspective. Of course I wouldn't want to miss the funny button. For those posts where I see a perfection in image composition, lighting, colour(s), etc. I opt for the winner. And with those posts that blow my mind I'm always torn between wow and winner.

Sometimes I think there ought to be a special emoticon, one that I still miss the most.
Maybe you (super)moderators could give us a that-really-knocks-my-socks-off emoticon.

(I know that your way of showing this is putting the photo on the "Home" page, I'd just like to have an option, too).
 
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Nikoncafe was around long before Amin took it over, and long before forum software had "likes". Amin did not own NikonCafe very long before letting go of this forum into Kevin's hands. We used to have links to the other "Sister" forums, those are now gone.

Forum software added "like" buttons as an alternative to responding back to posted images. Often, people would quote the post with the posted image- causing it to get repeated under someone else's name. I've seen posts complementing pictures and attributing them to the wrong person. Newer forum software tends to correct some of that.
 

Jonathan F/2

Veteran
Aug 21, 2011
Los Angeles, USA
I've been on the Cafe since 2005. It used to be super active and you could buy and sell camera gear on there like crazy. At one point, it seemed everyone owned 500mm f/4 prime lenses! Now things have quieted down and it's nowhere near as busy from over a decade ago. Most young people share photos through other social media outlets and forums have become a relic of the early internet. It's a bit sad, because most of the larger social media outlets are mega corporate owned ecosystems with their own apps and in turn control the content and exposure within that platform. These smaller sites are actually a bit more free and aren't guided by the latest trends.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
I've noticed this aspect of forum culture in multiple places, and I have to say I like it here quite a bit, even though it is a little heavier on the generous awarding of "likes" than I typically like. Well, I'll qualify that. I don't like the broader internet application of the "like" mechanic, because it is often meaningless and serves to stroke egos in many social media cases, or to squelch deeper feedback as we feel like we got a little bit of our feeling with the simple one-click approval indicator. HOWEVER...

In a good forum culture (like this one, or Mu-43 where I have hung out longer than here), the friendliness, and the generosity of showing approval, actually drives me to share more work and to try a little harder. Sharing more work, that's fairly obvious -neither a good thing or a bad thing on its own, but in a friendly environment, it can encourage a person to show more intimate or experimental, more personal, kinds of work, rather than try to fit the work to the audience in a way that suppresses individual artistic vision. So it can be a good thing, if a person's artistic nature is seeking to expand and grow.

Trying a little harder, well that may sound a little counterintuitive. After all, I think most of the forums which are begrudging in their approval would say that it drives them to try harder to produce better work. And most photography groups and workshops are maybe thinking along those lines as well. I think that for the skill part of photography, the learning and execution of technique, this is true. Striving for higher quality is a thing, and it doesn't do anyone any favors to pretend that someone is better at something than they are. But photography is relatively low on skill requirements, really, today. There is more automation, the automation is better than ever, there's more information out there and better ways of searching for it so innovating with our gear isn't as challenging, and post processing is miles ahead of what it used to be. We still need skills, but skills don't make a photographer great, or powerful, only proficient.

Having a group of people who are friendly and generous with approval gives us a group in which we can expand artistically, because we feel our time and thought is justified, whereas in most of our life these things are distractions from the "important" things like feeding and caring for ourselves and a family, making enough money to live, etc. I think a lot of people who are like me, feeling like while we wouldn't call ourselves artists, we recognize that there's a strong artistic impulse inside us and that on some level we should follow that, are easily put off from pursuing artistic expression by a feeling of inferiority, which makes everything else in life seem much more important than creating. So, really, having the approving tribe of people is what that part of us needs. And I think I see that here in both myself and many others. This site is surprisingly heady at times, and a lot of the work I could see not really working in a more skill-based hyper critical group, but which interests me a good bit more than that kind of work does.
 

phigmov

Probably Not Walter Kernow
Mar 23, 2015
Aotearoa
I tend to 'like' a lot and I see it as encouraging people to shoot more - in these days of phone-cams (is the image itself becoming devalued due to over-saturation or has it made photography more accessible? - maybe a little of both) & a general low-key malaise associated with just getting-by in life, I think its great that people take time out to come together and share their hobby. I also tend to 'like' in threads for kit I have and use more often than other threads. As per other comments, I tend to use 'Winner' for something I think is truly outstanding.

There could be an argument to be had that over-use of 'like' can inflate peoples perceptions of their own ability but I think most people are realistic about what they're good at and what their 'skill-level' is within a hobby (you'll always get the Dunning-Kruger end of the spectrum in all-fields too - no helping those people).
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
There are more relevant things going on in my life atm than the use of likes and popularity on internet forums, but some of the posts did bring back memories of Nikon Cafe. It's gone through a few changes has that site.

I remember signing on some years ago pre Amin and saw it as a relatively quiet forum compared to say the m43 one and dare I say it, a bit ‘clubby’ to the extent that I felt an air of “who the hell this new member?”. I particularly remember a couple of my images getting absolutely slammed (which I didn't think were neccesarily terrible) by a certain individual there who was also insistent that absolutely every image should be critiqued and that if you’re not of that mind the you’re basically a fool. The trouble was, and this is a common theme on photo forums, his own images were absolutely awful which I politely pointed out only to have my posts deleted and get a naughty schoolboy stand in the corner PM from one of the admins there who also informed me that this same guy was apparently an internationally renowned photographer (I checked, absolute nonsense :laugh: ). So I left. Which is a shame, as prior to that there was the “Uncle Frank” period, a lovely and most helpful chap who sadly passed away (it is he who coined the “Cream Machine” phrase for the 85mm F1.4 AF-D). Nowadays, it seems to be changing again with new members joining up with their freshly purchased mirrorless Nikons looking for a home, so the membership seems to be getting a bit of a refresh. I see a few people joining up from m43 who have now joined the dark side of FF and some who have been quite bombastic on other forums but funnily enough a bit more polite on Nikon Cafe for some reason. If it continues in this vein, it might be worth joining up again.

Most forums have resident self titled smartypants and this forum is open to attack by these sorts of individuals joining up and going in that direction but so far it hasn’t and it’s great isn’t it.
 
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
Like @Jonathan F/2 I've been a member of the Cafe a long time, early 2005 (Jonathan once rated a founders badge, I missed it by a month). So I believe pretty long before mu-43 and this site (in any of it's versions). And before "like", "agree", etc.

And @rayvonn I dearly miss Uncle Frank, I followed him from DPReview to the Cafe and than followed him and Jonathan to mu43. The Cafe has gone though it's ups and downs; splits and splinters. It seems to be on another up thanks to the D850/D500 and Z systems. In the beginning it was VERY friendly and helpful.

Yes it was a great place to buy and sell gear as well. But you had to be a member a minimum period with a specific number of "real" posts (not just "looks good"). Yes that was restrictive, but it was intentional; they didn't want people coming there just to buy and sell.. As a result there were transactions by personal check, gear loans, etc. I can't remember what I was buying or from who, but I clearly remember the seller shipping me a lens the same day I mailed him a check. It was a different time and it was a close knit forum. But don't feel bad Rayvonn, I had a run in with one mod as well.

Image posting there is very different than either here or on mu43. The Cafe is very image first, the image galleries are ahead of the gear discussions in the forum listing. And even the concept of using "likes" is frowned upon by many of the older users (years on the forum, not personal age). If you like an image there you should post that you like it and preferably what about it you like. They also mainly post single member image threads and not group theme threads. It's bad form to add an image to someone else's thread unless the OP uses the new "share" prefix. The only real exception is if you are using an image to explain something. Have look at the B&W area here and over there as an example. Here we have ~860 threads, there are 14.6K threads in the B&W area over on the Cafe. But the first 6 threads here are shared with about 400 pages combined. A thread with even two pages is the exception on the Cafe's B&W forum. The oldest B&W thread here is from Aug 2010, the oldest there is only a little over a year older, Jul 2009.

I'm not saying one way is right and one is wrong, trying to provide some more info.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Like @Jonathan F/2 I've been a member of the Cafe a long time, early 2005 (Jonathan once rated a founders badge, I missed it by a month). So I believe pretty long before mu-43 and this site (in any of it's versions). And before "like", "agree", etc.

And @rayvonn I dearly miss Uncle Frank, I followed him from DPReview to the Cafe and than followed him and Jonathan to mu43. The Cafe has gone though it's ups and downs; splits and splinters. It seems to be on another up thanks to the D850/D500 and Z systems. In the beginning it was VERY friendly and helpful.

Yes it was a great place to buy and sell gear as well. But you had to be a member a minimum period with a specific number of "real" posts (not just "looks good"). Yes that was restrictive, but it was intentional; they didn't want people coming there just to buy and sell.. As a result there were transactions by personal check, gear loans, etc. I can't remember what I was buying or from who, but I clearly remember the seller shipping me a lens the same day I mailed him a check. It was a different time and it was a close knit forum. But don't feel bad Rayvonn, I had a run in with one mod as well.

Image posting there is very different than either here or on mu43. The Cafe is very image first, the image galleries are ahead of the gear discussions in the forum listing. And even the concept of using "likes" is frowned upon by many of the older users (years on the forum, not personal age). If you like an image there you should post that you like it and preferably what about it you like. They also mainly post single member image threads and not group theme threads. It's bad form to add an image to someone else's thread unless the OP uses the new "share" prefix. The only real exception is if you are using an image to explain something. Have look at the B&W area here and over there as an example. Here we have ~860 threads, there are 14.6K threads in the B&W area over on the Cafe. But the first 6 threads here are shared with about 400 pages combined. A thread with even two pages is the exception on the Cafe's B&W forum. The oldest B&W thread here is from Aug 2010, the oldest there is only a little over a year older, Jul 2009.

I'm not saying one way is right and one is wrong, trying to provide some more info.
Thanks David, it's not really a problem for me, just giving people a heads up, as are you. I imagine this may be what joining a golf club's like. And there are other Nikon forums.
 

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