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08/28/2012 12:57:50 PM · #1
as a sometimes dpc entrant i was shocked to see that the last contest i was entered in only had 33 entries

a little research showed a dramatic drops in most contest over time

i realize there are more contest now than back in the day but it does seem as both the quantity and quality has been steadily fading over time

is it just me or have dpers gone elsewhere

08/28/2012 01:05:09 PM · #2
I don't think the quality has faded, its all subjective, but have you seen some of those early winners?

There is a great deal of negativity in the forums, of late, a lot of "here's my opinion, not my problem if you can't take it" type activity that persists.
08/28/2012 01:11:22 PM · #3
Originally posted by blindjustice:

I don't think the quality has faded, its all subjective, but have you seen some of those early winners?

There is a great deal of negativity in the forums, of late, a lot of "here's my opinion, not my problem if you can't take it" type activity that persists.


"Here's my opinion, not my problem if you can't take it" beats "fluffy bunny kitty happy foo-foo" any day of the week.

However, I do believe DPC is dying a slow death, but not because of forum activity. More because the site has stagnated in many ways. There isn't a lot being done to get new people in. The site design hasn't evolved in any significant way. The challenges are too many, too often, with too much repetitiveness (which is a factor of too many/too often and not really a fault that is truly preventable).

The quality of images is as it's always been, but that's also a bit of a misnomer. The quality SHOULD be improving in leaps and bounds, but the photographers that reach a new level of photography tend to leave for greener pastures. Again, not really a failing of DPC. I don't believe this site was ever about award-winning photography in and of itself. It's a proving grounds, and nothing more.

Too many people have given too many good suggestions and ideas about how this place could really get a shot in the arm again, so I'm not going to go there, but if something DOESN'T happen, we could very well be looking at an incredibly limited and empty place in the years to come.
08/28/2012 01:14:04 PM · #4
Wow, another one of these threads... maybe the owners will see the writing on the wall. Er, the writing on the forum?
08/28/2012 01:15:32 PM · #5
Originally posted by JamesDowning:

Wow, another one of these threads... maybe the owners will see the writing on the wall. Er, the writing on the forum?


Doubtful, that would mean he would actually have to visit and read the site.....

I don't think he has that much interest in it anymore.
08/28/2012 01:20:47 PM · #6
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

The challenges are too many, too often, with too much repetitiveness (which is a factor of too many/too often and not really a fault that is truly preventable).

The quality of images is as it's always been, but that's also a bit of a misnomer. The quality SHOULD be improving in leaps and bounds, but the photographers that reach a new level of photography tend to leave for greener pastures. Again, not really a failing of DPC. I don't believe this site was ever about award-winning photography in and of itself. It's a proving grounds, and nothing more.

Remember that the original purpose of the site was for photographers to help each other become better. Most people who go to school eventually "graduate" to something else I don't see why it's so surprising that there is substantial turnover among the membership, nor why that's really a "problem." Likewise, it makes sense that many people will see the quality of their photos rise over the course of their tenure here, but that the overall "average photo" on the site might stay about the same. Further, I don't think there has been any substantial decline in the quality of the better (e.g. top-10, top-20) photographs, and there seems to be a significant if small number of photographers willing to submit photos which clearly will not fit into the "typical DPC photo" mold.

I think in an effort to answer the complaints about repetitive challenges, there have been quite a few "esoteric" ones recently, which have tended to garner substantially fewer entries than usual.
08/28/2012 01:28:08 PM · #7
Not dying, just more growing pains, bit of cabin fever too. There's a lot of talent out there looking for release. Usually when the side challenges stop being suggested means people are looking elsewhere for inspiration, navel gazing or just too busy. A lot of the big guns have stepped back or gone awol so the agenda relies on available members, and there are a lot of sick puppies smothering the forums. You get what you give, so woop it up , it's your party for the taking. The site admin are only there for maintainence, damage control as well as remote control from a distant planet ;) Dpc is still a wonderful place full of opportunity and unrealised dreams.
08/28/2012 01:33:06 PM · #8
"unrealised dreams." what more could one ask, I say.
08/28/2012 01:46:24 PM · #9
Originally posted by neilmwilson:

as a sometimes dpc entrant i was shocked to see that the last contest i was entered in only had 33 entries

a little research showed a dramatic drops in most contest over time

i realize there are more contest now than back in the day but it does seem as both the quantity and quality has been steadily fading over time

is it just me or have dpers gone elsewhere


I see you've entered only 35 challenges in almost 10 years. What does that tell you?
08/28/2012 01:58:23 PM · #10
Originally posted by franktheyank:

I see you've entered only 35 challenges in almost 10 years. What does that tell you?


Not everyone participates at the same rate, and entering challenges is only one way to participate. I've only entered 73 challenges in 10+ years. So?

And yes, we've been losing participants for years. Perhaps the most important way to measure participation is by how many folks have ponied up for membership at any given time. By that measure, we have lost almost 2/3 of our participants in the past few years, down from a high of about 3000 to 1191 as of today. We've been pretty stable over the past few months, but there's no guarantee that the situation is sustainable.
I think that without demonstrated commitment to positive change, we are eventually doomed, only because at some point the site will be *so* dated it will be beyond quaint, and the paying customers will go elsewhere. Once we get to the point where the customer base will not support the site financially, then stick a fork in us, we're done.
08/28/2012 02:01:00 PM · #11
I'm probably posting this in the wrong thread but this idea came to me while reading this one.

I always see comments about the "masters" leaving, moving on, etc. and for some reason it made me think of the Iron Chef (or Iron Chef America) show.

What if we could invite back a "Master Photographer", one at a time. Create a challenge where everyone has to shoot a photo that includes a certain number of specific items (like they do on the tv show where they have to create a dish out of so many food items).

The of course your goal would be to create a piece of work in hopes of getting a better score than the invited photographer.

Just an idea. I don't really know if it would boost the audience size here but maybe if we had a "special guest" pop in every so often word might get out and more people might consider joining in.
08/28/2012 02:04:38 PM · #12
DPC has a predictable cycle. People start here, they get help and get better. Then some get bored, some get busy, some get so good they move on to a profession in photography that makes it so they no longer have time to participate. The problem is DPC is no longer generating enough new people to take the place of the ones that leave. Eventually it will reach a critical mass and crumble. Hopefully something will be done to start generating new contestants before that happens.
08/28/2012 02:09:02 PM · #13
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Originally posted by blindjustice:

I don't think the quality has faded, its all subjective, but have you seen some of those early winners?

There is a great deal of negativity in the forums, of late, a lot of "here's my opinion, not my problem if you can't take it" type activity that persists.


"Here's my opinion, not my problem if you can't take it" beats "fluffy bunny kitty happy foo-foo" any day of the week.



I was talking about forum behavior, not honest tho painful critiques of photographs.
08/28/2012 02:09:17 PM · #14
Originally posted by sjhuls:

DPC has a predictable cycle. People start here, they get help and get better. Then some get bored, some get busy, some get so good they move on to a profession in photography that makes it so they no longer have time to participate. The problem is DPC is no longer generating enough new people to take the place of the ones that leave. Eventually it will reach a critical mass and crumble. Hopefully something will be done to start generating new contestants before that happens.


I'm pretty sure a Google Ads campaign would do wonders, but I have zero faith in Langdon when it comes to this matter.
08/28/2012 02:15:14 PM · #15
I really like this community and I've not found anything else like it. It's too bad the owners don't have an interest in doing anything new with this site. However, I do understand being busy with life and having something hanging around your neck that you wish you could just get rid of so you neglect it...
08/28/2012 02:19:46 PM · #16
I'm sure that one of the big issues is that the site is pretty much all hand-coded. While that's fine if you developed it and you do all the maintenance work, it kind of hobbles you when it comes to delegating development work.
L is just one guy, and he's no longer a young single guy, he's a husband and parent. A lot of us can relate to where he is at right now. I do sincerely wish that he could find a way to get some positive changes implemented. Some of it has to come by letting go of control of certain aspects.
08/28/2012 02:34:56 PM · #17
I agree with the last two comments. At what point do you need to just let something go? If he is too busy with life, and this is more of a burden than anything else to him, then he needs to sell it to someone who has an interest in keeping it going.
08/28/2012 02:42:02 PM · #18
Originally posted by sjhuls:

I agree with the last two comments. At what point do you need to just let something go? If he is too busy with life, and this is more of a burden than anything else to him, then he needs to sell it to someone who has an interest in keeping it going.

Are there any takers to buy it?
08/28/2012 02:46:14 PM · #19
I just renewed for another year, but I do get the feeling the management don't give a sh1t the get satisfaction thing was a waste of time, unless they are moving at glacier pace.

Just out of interest does the site make money? Do you have to
Publish account in the USA like you do in the uk?

Could do with a dramatic face lift, when compared to 1x and 500px etc

I like the challenges and ppl, im sat here at 7.45pm after getting up at 5.30am thinking about my train track shot, 1 hour away from my house. So I'm pretty committed to it hehe
08/28/2012 02:53:16 PM · #20
Originally posted by gg3rd:

Originally posted by sjhuls:

I agree with the last two comments. At what point do you need to just let something go? If he is too busy with life, and this is more of a burden than anything else to him, then he needs to sell it to someone who has an interest in keeping it going.

Are there any takers to buy it?

I'd buy it if the finances made sense. Then I'd change my moniker and avatar and get rid of the feature which keeps track of all your previous incarnations.
08/28/2012 03:30:59 PM · #21
Assuming minimal hosting and bandwidth costs, the membership alone raises $29,775 (£18,817) per year. And there are some google adverts too and the print side of things. So assuming the site owner spends minimal time on the site which seems to be the case from what I have seen in the last year, he is doing rather well from the site. I don't believe he pays the SC any wages - and I have have not read anywhere how much time he spends liaising with these people.

I own several websites that I hand coded in php so I totally understand the pain it would be to make any major amendments to the site if his php coding skills are as flaky as mine (which I am sure they are not!). Having said that, there are plenty of reliable professional coders and designers out there that could assist with any redesign or redevelopment of the site for a minimal investment. So no excuse really unless he has his fingers in other pies that are either keeping him busy or making him shed loads of cash such that he either he has no time to devote to this site or he considers the revenue potential too small to make any effort. He may be happy to just let the site continue bringing in him revenue for little or no effort for as long as he can continue to do so. He may on the other hand be secretive and hard at work developing a new version of the site - who knows what this mystery man is up to:) Perhaps he developed the site before he had kids when he had lots of free time - and we all know that is no longer the case when you have kids - certainly not for the first 3 years anyway from experience!

I personally don't worry too much about the look of the site and the functionality is pretty robust. Though I do think more could be done on the marketing side of things. I only discovered the site through a magazine article that made a fleeting mention to the site and I don't think I have seen it mentioned much elsewhere though I don't frequent photography sites much or read any magazines on a regular basis.

It must be doing something right as I renewed my subscription and I don't subscribe to any other websites. Must be the desire to one day get a ribbon:)

08/28/2012 03:42:36 PM · #22
I think DPC site design is infinitely better than so-called up-to-date sites like Flickr, 1x, Worth1000, Facebook, or any other modern sites I know of. So I hope DPC stays as-is, though I'm not around much anymore.
08/28/2012 03:43:54 PM · #23
Originally posted by Venser:

Originally posted by gg3rd:

Originally posted by sjhuls:

I agree with the last two comments. At what point do you need to just let something go? If he is too busy with life, and this is more of a burden than anything else to him, then he needs to sell it to someone who has an interest in keeping it going.

Are there any takers to buy it?

I'd buy it if the finances made sense. Then I'd change my moniker and avatar and get rid of the feature which keeps track of all your previous incarnations.

We would know! The average scores would drop like a rock! :)
08/28/2012 07:51:40 PM · #24
Life has a way of interfering with dpc, so that's a given in terms of site participation, at least for me. I've just changed jobs and am now preparing for the big move-in, so in the course of things dpc has simply fallen by the wayside.

As for all those griping about the look of the site...well why not submit templates of what you would do? Then approach ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/1.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/1.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Langdon and go from there.
08/28/2012 09:18:29 PM · #25
But in the last 3 years the internet has exploded with blogs, forums, photo site etc etc etc There is so much choice and alternative it's more a matter of diaspora to me (from Greek "scattering, dispersion" is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands"). But everyone is right, this is an old bus.

Message edited by author 2012-08-28 21:18:47.
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