Friday, 6 August 2010

polarising the views

One of the oldest things in military thinking is the adage of Divide and Conquer. This is something which political propaganda, marketing and other like minded folk bring to bear on the community: You're either with us or against us.

I found yesterday that a web forum which I enjoy called Hybridphoto is being dismantled and assimilated into a "new site" called DPUG, which is Digital Photography Users Group. For now you can go to this link and see this banner:

Its interesting to read that the intentions of the creation of this new site are something like:
Hybrid would be folded into it's own unique container within DPUG (somewhat of an HPUG). You would have the option to turn off the wider digital aspect of the site completely if you choose so and remain in the hybrid area with no interference outside of that.

which makes me wonder just what the owner is thinking, when you look into the existing forums of Hybrid you find:

So currently we discuss topics as eclectic as:
  • Darkroom
  • Workstation (for light room)
  • Film
  • Calibration
  • Scanners and Scanning
  • Image Editing
  • Cameras and Capture
  • Studio
  • Chemistry
  • Printers
  • Papers
Essentially anything you may like to consider in photography which embraces all current image making techniques both digital and traditional.

In contrast the "sister site" APUG has always had a anti-digital sentiment. I understand this is because some of the people who post there are quite recalcitrant about their discussions of film and want to keep the place "clean" of digital pollution. An often cited reason is:
there are thousands of sites where you can discuss digital, so if you want to discuss that go there.
Fair enough. There were enough people who use both however that a need was seen and Hybridphoto emerged.

Now it seems that this emergence is to be squashed in yet another site tagged "digital photography".

The reasons are plain to see if you read between the lines. As one other user of that site has said:
"I fear by turning Hybrid Photo into DPUG, and looking at it as just another "Revenue Stream" will result in this site becoming just another digital photography site "

yep, thats what its all about ... another digital site to attract more of the google hits, more of the basis for advertising.

Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike APUG in fact I'm a member there, before Hybrid existed. Its just the the primary focus (and fervent dislike of many of the members there) of incorporating digital techniques to analog capture and printing systems led to the creation of Hybrid (and my joining it).

I would love to be able to discuss scanning technique there with people who really understand colour negative film and densitometry. It is ironic that while many there will espouse "we all need to use more film" while shouting down all who say the "D" word ... even if they are using film.

It was in fact the polarizing hatred of digital among (perhaps only a few) of the members which drove the need for a site where people who use films and scanners could discuss photography from the perspective of using the tools which did the job.

Accordingly I wonder just what sort of site DPUG will be.

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