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So, by and large it seems like the Photo.SE blog is a popular idea. According to Rebecca Chernoff's blog post, the next step is:

Define the scope and purpose of the blog. Is the blog about the site? Is it about the site’s topic? Is it about the industry around the topic? Keep in mind the audience of your community and their interests. Another generic blog about may not be all that interesting. A community blog should be interesting to both current members and potential new members.

Here's the place to voice your opinions.

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  • Lol, you just really want Jeff to have written that, eh? – rfusca Jun 29 '11 at 21:14
  • Wow, I never even noticed that. :-\ I guess I'm used to hearing anything about Stack Overflow/Exchange come out of Jeff's mouth. Thanks for the correction; I'll edit this one and the other question as appropriate. – Craig Walker Jun 29 '11 at 21:25
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    Hey everyone. Could we have individual possibilities for "scope and purpose" posted as separate answers, so they can then by voted up and down individually? Then, we say that everything above a certain threshold (five total score, say) is within the scope, and everything below that not. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 15:05
  • @mattdm: done. I'll let @rfusca split out his as appropriate. – Craig Walker Jun 30 '11 at 15:45

14 Answers 14

4

The business side of photography - how to market yourself, deal with clients, etc

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  • Broken out from my original three part answer - of which the other parts have been re-covered by others. – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 16:14
4

Potential blog content: Good, older questions without great answers. For whatever reason, sometimes something interesting goes by, and the right person never saw it. We can periodically raise the visibility of these questions and encourage their eventual Great Answers.

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3

Is the blog about the site?

I don't think we really have enough meta-discussion to really warrant an entire blog about the site itself... though we could certainly include site talk in the blog. I don't think it hurts to post entries about moderator elections and such.

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  • How is the vote on this interpreted? I agree with you, thus should I up- or downvote the answer? – blubb Jul 2 '11 at 10:32
  • Upvote if you agree with my statement "I don't we want a blog entirely about the site itself" – Craig Walker Jul 2 '11 at 17:11
3

Potential blog content: great answers of the week. These could be new answers to old questions, or great answers to okay questions, or great answers to great questions — but the point is to focus on answers as the pearls of the site, since they don't have the visibility than questions do inherently.

PS: I volunteer to do this weekly.

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3

I'd like to see the blog round out the P-SE community a bit, rather than merely amplifying something we've already got. The "best question" bit, for instance, could feed content every once in a while, but I think the blog has the potential to address a few things that the rest of P-SE, quite definitively and intentionally, is not.

First of all, the blog itself doesn't have to have one author exclusively, but each post is the work of a single author. This gives the author a platform to bite off a chunk of topic (of his choosing) and cover it in as much detail as he sees fit without worrying about whether he'll be voted up or down.

Next, a blog lends itself well to covering large topics as a series of posts. That's something we've found difficult to do by tying questions to one another. In this case, the author controls the macro-organization of the topic and the timing of posts.

Finally, the blog should absolutely be free -- encouraged, even -- to cover the subjective aspects of photography that are avoided or approached with extreme care in the main site. Go ahead and tell me why Canon blows chunks or that you think the exposure triangle is The Great Satan. Stir the pot a little. Just make it interesting, and make sure to leave comments open. These posts can function as lightning rods for controversial topics. Remember, the goal of the blog is to be interesting -- not to please everyone. I want to hear opinions!

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    If we encourage controversial topics like "Canon blows chunks" (which everybody knows is true though ;) ). We'll be walking a fine line between 'stirring the pot' and 'too opinionated to trust". But definitely agree that we need to be interesting! – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 18:34
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    Ok, so I'm really hoping that if we're screening our blog authors, they'll be able to be a whole lot more eloquent about saying stuff like that, but I guess the whole idea of a blog is that it's supposed to be a place for individuals to be a little bit individual. So whereas the Q&A part of the site is completely democratic, the blog is a little bit more representative. – D. Lambert Jun 30 '11 at 18:42
  • I disagree; I think the primary purpose of the blog should be to tie into and amplify the main site. It's useful because it can do that in ways that the main site doesn't support, and we can do interesting peripheral exercises as well, but this should be the Photo-SE blog, not just another photography blog which happens to share the same users. – Please Read My Profile Jul 5 '11 at 18:26
  • I'm not saying we shouldn't use the blog to round out the offerings of the site, by the way. We should do that, but we should also tie in to the main Q&A site whenever possible. – Please Read My Profile Jul 5 '11 at 18:41
  • Should this be broken out into several answers so we can vote on them individually? – AJ Finch Jul 18 '11 at 15:37
2

Potential blog content: The Picture of the Week (preferably a large version)

Personally, I like this idea because nothing draws in people like a beautiful picture.

Alternately, we could merely incorporate the POTW into another post as a splash-image. I think all of our blog content should have photographs in it.

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    +1 to featuring it on the blog, ideally in a larger format than in the header. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:06
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    If we do this, we really need to find a way to manage the PotW threads a bit better. We really want to have quality work showcased, but people seem to be using it more and more as an avenue of critique...that, or they just don't really know what quality work is, and don't understand that the photos need to be something of enough interest and quality ART that people want to see on the site (and blog) for a week at a time. Our PotW is kind of breaking down lately, with the bulk of submissions being...well, quite frankly, junk. – jrista Jun 30 '11 at 17:30
  • You know, it'd almost be nice to have a whole Stack Exchange dedicated to photo critique. Not that I'm seriously suggesting it though. – Craig Walker Jun 30 '11 at 18:17
  • Good gosh, don't bring that up again. – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 19:55
2

Potential blog content: "Subjective but interesting" survey-style questions like https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/13521/proper-cost-of-equipment-per-photo-taken

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  • Ideally with links to a chatroom created for that topic. – Craig Walker Jun 30 '11 at 18:22
1

Potential blog content: Posts on techniques, how-tos, etc

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  • I'd rather see this as Q&A on the site itself. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:07
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    @mattdm - I'd like to see us go more in depth and post several example pictures, setups, and such for the blog in regards to this. – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 16:17
  • @rfusca — Why can't that be done on the main site? – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:18
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    Realistically, if somebody posted a question that said "Can somebody show me everything to do with reverse lens macro, include the how, the why, setup pictures, several examples, and compare it to alternate methods?" We would ask for it to be split out and point them to half a dozen places. I'm suggesting a definitive post you can learn more about a subject than a single answer normally covers. – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 16:46
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    One thing that I see value in with our own blog, is we can develop far richer content than possible in answers to questions. We can then link and quote our blog when we provide an answer to such questions. I don't think the blog would replace the Q&A, but it could certainly compliment it. – jrista Jun 30 '11 at 17:22
  • @jrista "Far richer content" is a better way for what I was trying to say with "definitive post you can learn more about a subject". – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 17:26
  • I still think even in-depth posts along these lines would be well-suited to the main site. If they don't fit as the answers to existing questions, that's fine — play Jeopardy. (See recent blog post from Jeff Atwood affirming this style of post.) The Stack Exchange engine provides a powerful platform that can easily encompass this kind of thing, plus it's clearly on-topic for the main site. – Please Read My Profile Jul 1 '11 at 17:32
  • There's no problem playing Jeopardy, but it sounds like you'd be playing Jeopardy merely for the sake of hiding what I feel is more appropriate as a blog entry. We just differ in opinion here. – rfusca Jul 2 '11 at 0:35
1

Potential blog content: what camera should I buy, this month. (Or season.) Would provide a periodic (hopefully, generally unbiased) overview of the current state of the entry-level and mid/entry-range market. Something along the lines of "there maybe be other options, but you won't go wrong with....", and a short list. Ideally, not just showing the top general do-it-all options but also a few of the quirky contenders ("this camera isn't without flaws, but if you're into ______, it may be perfect for you!").

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If we're going to want to highlight the previous week in various forms - lets do it all in one go with an "This past week on photo.se" post. Highlight best answers, best posts, and the PotW all in one go. Significant site news (like elections or such) could potentially go here as well.

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  • I think PoTW should be separate. – Please Read My Profile Jul 1 '11 at 14:43
  • We already display the PotW on the main site and you can always go through meta and usually there's a big link there. I think if we're going to specifically highlight content found other places on site, lets do it in one go. – rfusca Jul 1 '11 at 16:02
  • It's a different kind of thing, though. I don't really see the point in combining stuff into "one go" anyway. It's a blog, after all. – Please Read My Profile Jul 1 '11 at 16:16
1

Potential blog content: Reviews of equipment.

Perhaps they could be more about hands-on experiences, rather then technical info. We don't need another DPReview.

I think I'd like to see an explanation of why someone chose product X over product Y. What was the reasoning behind it, and how did it work out in real life? Most reviews are facts and features, which don't necessarily give insight to anyone not already familiar with the concepts. Not sure how well this would work in practice though.

On the Stack Exchange Podcast, Jeff and Joel mentioned that they have a certain amount of budget to make things happen in the various Stack Exchange communities. They specifically mentioned Photo.SE in fact; they suggested buying a high-end camera and then lending it out to community members for them to use & report back.

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    Ooh. I volunteer for the second part. :) – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:05
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    In seriousness, I think this is a great idea if we can focus on the hands-on, subjective side of reviews. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:06
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    I brought this up before in my old answer in regards to reviews: If we do reviews, we need to do something ...*special*... in our review to set it apart from the millions of other new product reviews. So what do most reviews not do that we should do? – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 16:21
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    I'd love to see reviews which contain photographs that are more than brick walls, the buildings out the window, whatever was on the street the day the review was written, or studio shots of bottles of liquor. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:25
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    I think the unique spin is expert, user reviews — with emphasis on both "expert" and "user". Reviews from the major sites are by expert reviewers, but not necessarily expert photographers. (At one big site, for example, the major focus seems to be on how much red eye a dSLRs built-in flash produces. Really?) And user reviews on retail sites are generally Some Guy's Impression. A hands-on review by someone who knows photography and has used the camera for a reasonably lengthy period of time would be useful. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:30
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    If we followed the lend-and-report-back method, the same camera could be passed around to three or four reviewers, and I think an aggregate "round-table" would be very interesting. – Please Read My Profile Jun 30 '11 at 16:31
  • @mattdm - agreed, especially of different skill levels. Sometimes I read a review and can't help but wonder how much the reviewers skill level is determinate in their review. – rfusca Jun 30 '11 at 16:42
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    The nice thing about SE here, is that we have all the platform tools to support such aggregate reviews. We can pass the equipment around amongst reviewers, set up a chat room to discuss each reviewers opinion of that particular camera. When discussion is done, we freeze the room, link the discussion in that chat to the blog entry that is later posted based on the results. I don't think we could get more open and unique with our reviews...allowing people to see the discussion each reviewer had about the equipment they were reviewing. – jrista Jun 30 '11 at 17:26
  • Zack Arias' review of the Fuji x100 is perhaps a good model for what we want to achieve: zackarias.com/for-photographers/gear-gadgets/fuji-x100-review – Craig Walker Jul 5 '11 at 12:13
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Potential blog content: The "best" (highest voted, most active) Question of the Week

It could perhaps have a summary/discussion of the top answer. I see this as a way to draw new users into the site by showcasing the best content.

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-2

Potential blog content: A retelling of any big discussions that happen in chat.

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-6

Potential blog content: Industry news, equipment releases, etc

Personally I'm not big on this idea, as it seems there's lots of sites with dedicated staff that would handle this better than us.

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