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What are our core values?

This is a re-opening of two other debates:

A clear, succinct elevator pitch/tagline that encapsulates our mission can go a long way towards shaping the debate about what questions to answer and how to answer them.

The Royal Photographic Society has as its mission "To promote the art and science of photography".

In my opinion this cleverly summarises exactly what our mission should be. So I am suggesting that our mission (elevator pitch) should be:

To promote the art and science of photography

We do this through the medium of thoughtful questions and carefully crafted answers whereas the RPS follows a more conventional route to achieve the same aim.

I know a counter argument will be that our mission is (roughly) to provide good answers to photographer's questions. I would suggest in reply that is not a mission but merely the manner in which we achieve the mission of promoting the art and science of photography.

We should not confuse a methodology with its aims.

Note that the statement covers equally the creative (art) and technical (science) aspects of photography.
art - photography as a creative and aesthetic pursuit.
science - photography based on sound technical insights and understanding.

This site has been overwhelmingly technical. I am hoping that this mission statement will help, in some small way, to reshape it towards a site that equally embraces the photographic artist.

So my question is: does this suggestion have merit? What alternative suggestions should we consider? Should we even bother?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "This is a re-opening of two other debates" Seems like you missed a step in there. Maybe you want to start here instead: "Do we need to re-open these two other debates?" \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2011 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ "This site has been overwhelmingly technical. I am hoping that this mission statement will help, in some small way, to reshape it towards a site that equally embraces the photographic artist." So perhaps your time here might be better spent actually asking the types of questions you want to see more of in order to shape the community in a different direction? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2011 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ "We should not confuse a methodology with its aims." Does photo-SE really need an additional layer of 'methodology'? Really? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2011 at 23:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Should we even bother?" Ah, the heart of the matter. My advice is this: stop poking, prodding, inventing 'problems' in order to have something to do and attempting to 'tweak' photo-SE back here in Meta where few will read it and even fewer will care, and "become the change you wish to see" by asking and answering the types of questions you'd like to see more of... Preferably by the bucket load! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2011 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ You want growth? There's your answer. You want something to do? There's your answer. All the rest of these histrionics and made-up 'problems' are unnecessary chaff to the real point of this site. This site currently has no problems that putting nose to the grindstone and asking and answering a ton more questions can't solve. Should we bother to talk more about our 'mission'? In a word: no. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2011 at 23:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Once again, I'm completely in line with @Jay here. All this concern and worry about our site is really starting to get old. Were a very young forum, a bit at odds with the very technical network we are a part of (given that we are much more subjective/artistic in reality), fighting for survival in a world that already has some dominant forces serving the photographic community. Brining up one supposed "problem" after another and reiterating issues that have already been discussed is not going to help things, its going to hurt in the long run. Jay put it well...be the change you wish to see! \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Apr 30, 2011 at 5:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jrista: I disagree, that even though we're a young forum, we've already started to weed out questions that many other photography forums embrace i.e. "I'm a new photographer, what should I buy." I would personally like to see less "This doesn't belong here" until we hit critical mass. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alan
    Apr 30, 2011 at 17:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Alan: No disagreement there, and we actually had a rather lengthy discussion on that in chat fairly recently. That is an example of exactly one of the "problems" I've seen brought up numerous times, when I fully agree with you...someone asking "I'm new, what should I buy" is not a problem...its a fundamental aspect of getting started in photography. I too would like to see less "This doesn't belong here". We seemed to be doing fine with such questions until fairly recently, when they suddenly became "a problem". \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Apr 30, 2011 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm struggling to see how this question differs to meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/273/…; Personally, I think it would be better to keep the responses together, over there? \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2011 at 20:07


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