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Quick version:

I'm interested in building a collaborative community for teaching and learning about photography. I'm proud of the effort I've put into doing so here, but I don't think further effort is likely to get to where I want, so I'm focusing that effort elsewhere and am no longer active on Photo-SE.


Details:

As I write this, my profile says "Visited 3361 days, 3353 consecutive". (I guess it took me a couple of weeks to get going.) Over those nine-plus years, that's an average per day of 1.1 helpful flags, 2.2 posts edited, and 5.5 votes. I've been the #2 user by reputation for a long time, and just look at all of these shiny badges.

I've met and collaborated with a lot of great people, and learned a lot, and Stack Exchange says that in doing all of this, I've helped around 8.5 million others. That's awesome and I'm proud of all this.

Over the past year, this site has not gone well. It's not even the whole mess you can read about over on the main meta — and I won't rehash, but Is the Photo-SE community effectively dead? and this change to promises of greater resourcing basically cover it.

Stack Exchange is not and has never been an open source or free software company, or a community-lead product. Instead, we, as the content creators, basically made a bargain: we'll produce and curate the content you need, and we trust you to be good stewards and support the community we are building.

As Stack Exchange shifts towards what its corporate leadership thinks it needs to do to grow in profitability, it's clear that they're no longer interested in that bargain. I don't say this in a pejorative way — there's just a clear shift from a contributor community focus to a user focus — you can see this spelled out in an official blog post called The Loop.

There's nothing wrong with that. Plenty of perfectly fine companies work in this user-focused model. They might even call those users "the community", but it's not the definition of community I'm interested in. I'm just not interested in the new bargain.

Consequently, I will be stepping back from my daily involvement here. I'll still be active elsewhere on the Internet, and please look for me in future community-driven projects around learning and teaching about photography.

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