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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Decline?
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01/21/2013 07:52:38 AM · #1
Not to be too dour...
I have seen some comments and several posts speaking of the decline of DPChallenge.
(This one has been circulating for a year or so: Open Letter to Langdon)
Some folks seem to debate the general decline in participation, voting, and commenting.
As if it is a phase... 'This too shall pass.' 'Seen it before.'

It seems irrefutable to me, this is definitely a trend...
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There are many ways to slice it.
Members, Open, Free-Study(Y/N), Entries, Comments.
They all seem to tell the same story. A peak from 2005-2007 and a slow, but steady decline since 2008. It seems to be getting really bad in the last year. It seems that it is starting to become very noticable. I am pretty new around here and I see it.
Multiple DP Stats

Does it level off here or does the trend continue?
01/21/2013 08:20:30 AM · #2
Not really. I think what your analyses are missing is the effect of the increasing number of challenges per week. Maybe a more useful metric would be total entries per week. There might be a downward trend, but I don't think it will be as drastic.
01/21/2013 08:50:20 AM · #3
I came back from taking a year off and plan to enter all the Free Studies and at least one of the weekly challenges. But some of the recent challenges havenít inspired me. Like the left foot one. I think if there were more traditional photography themes (leading lines, rule of thirds, portraits, landscapes, etc.) there would be more participation.
01/21/2013 08:57:18 AM · #4
I have all the game plots you do.
I've compared everything and noticed the same thing. It's been a steady slow decline for about the last three years. Don't really know how you fix this, and don't really care; it's not my ship. I'll be a passenger while it's afloat, but understand even the best built ships sink eventually.
01/21/2013 09:28:03 AM · #5
Oh good,its been at least a week.
01/21/2013 09:32:39 AM · #6
I wish I could be as Zen as you Venser.
As a new member who needs a lot of help (mediocre at best), I rue this decline.

I agree with you, Marc - I found this site looking for the type of challenges I might get in a photography course. I even tried to find college courses whose syllabi were visible on public web sites.

Spork, you might have a point, but if there are more challenges, I would still expect the total number of entries to stay flat, even if the average number of entries per challenge went down.The plot is by week.
I posted a number of different visualizations: dpchallenge Stats

The beauty of this site over many others is that there are rules, timelines and regular challenges. Not just a continuous free-study or meet the challenge with that perfect shot you took last year or by rooting through a shoebox of kodachrome slides from 1964.
You might need to actually challenge yourself.
01/21/2013 12:18:22 PM · #7
Originally posted by brucedgates:


You might need to actually challenge yourself.


That is indeed one of the very positive things about DPC... it also might be one reason for our downfall. There are a *ton* of people that just want to share, but not so many that really want to take their photography (and post-processing) to the next level.

The community is getting smaller, currently by at least 10% per year as judged by the number of paying members. We are poised to dip below the 1000 member point sometime in the next year. At our high point we were around 3,000 paying members.
01/21/2013 12:26:18 PM · #8
i'm thankful for the ass-kicking i've received here on score, a lot of the shots that i consider to be the ones that "count" are not the ones i do for here and they have improved by leaps and bounds as a result.
I try things and submit them to here, they're usually a first or relatively new concept for me and as a result i don't have the right "eye" for it at the time, but afterwords i see where i went wrong, where i can improve and as some might say, "why it sucked".

I think the more challenges here are daunting to some people than 1 or 2 per week, and there are a lot of veterans who intimidated me almost to the point of not bothering to continue when i saw what i was up against if i wanted to truly try to ribbon. It's a huge obstacle and not everybody likes obstacle courses - but that's not the only way to do things here and that takes perseverence in the site to see, something with many people lately do not want to bother with since this is becoming an age of instant gratification and do-or-die mentalities.

Anyways, stick around, enter some challenges, enjoy the people here and tell some friends about the site. Maybe one day Langdon will get off his ass and put the time/effort to the site that some improvements will require, or he'll agree to let someone else do it; or maybe he won't and we'll have the same dpc we're running through now. Either way, we're here now, so lets enter some challenges.
01/21/2013 12:28:31 PM · #9
Originally posted by Marc923:

I came back from taking a year off and plan to enter all the Free Studies and at least one of the weekly challenges. But some of the recent challenges havenít inspired me. Like the left foot one. I think if there were more traditional photography themes (leading lines, rule of thirds, portraits, landscapes, etc.) there would be more participation.

+1
My Left Foot is a silly challenge that will not advance any beginner's photographic abilities. It could encourage some creativity in oldtimers but that is not evidenced by the entries. To me Road Signs and Searching are in the same category - thematic challenges of mundane subjects likely to encourage mundane entries.
01/21/2013 01:09:47 PM · #10
Originally posted by MNet:

My Left Foot is a silly challenge that will not advance any beginner's photographic abilities. It could encourage some creativity in oldtimers but that is not evidenced by the entries. To me Road Signs and Searching are in the same category - thematic challenges of mundane subjects likely to encourage mundane entries.
I disagree with your sentiments about the Left Foot challenge. I put real thought into my entry and nailed my intention except for some minor flaws I can't fix in basic. It's doing terribly, but that's besides the point.

Message edited by author 2013-01-21 13:54:15.
01/21/2013 01:37:11 PM · #11
Originally posted by MNet:

Originally posted by Marc923:

I came back from taking a year off and plan to enter all the Free Studies and at least one of the weekly challenges. But some of the recent challenges havenít inspired me. Like the left foot one. I think if there were more traditional photography themes (leading lines, rule of thirds, portraits, landscapes, etc.) there would be more participation.

+1
My Left Foot is a silly challenge that will not advance any beginner's photographic abilities. It could encourage some creativity in oldtimers but that is not evidenced by the entries. To me Road Signs and Searching are in the same category - thematic challenges of mundane subjects likely to encourage mundane entries.


I absolutely disagree. Both technique challenges and thematic challenges have their place. One of the biggest challenges for photographers is to present mundane subject matter in an interesting way. The number of mundane entries is evidence of the level of difficulty such challenges present.
01/21/2013 01:53:49 PM · #12
The 800 pixel constraint is totally out of sync with advancements in technology. Small display size here nudges me (and maybe many others) to go elsewhere with landscapes and detailed images.
01/21/2013 01:54:46 PM · #13
99% of challenge topics are taken from user suggestions -- feel free to contribute your ideas/topics/descriptions via the Challenge Suggestions forum.

You can search the Challenge History to see if a topic has been presented before.
01/21/2013 02:10:48 PM · #14
Originally posted by hahn23:

The 800 pixel constraint is totally out of sync with advancements in technology. Small display size here nudges me (and maybe many others) to go elsewhere with landscapes and detailed images.


I sometimes struggle with the 300kb rule. I had to reduce my Best of to 84% just to upload it.
01/21/2013 02:31:48 PM · #15
I didn't dig very far, but did find these photography themed challenges...

Landscape VI (Advanced Editing)
May. 2nd 2012 - May. 8th 2012 133 entries.

Rule of Thirds in Blue (Basic Editing)
Jul. 13th 2011 - Jul. 19th 2011 123 entries.

Leading Lines V (Basic Editing)
Feb. 2nd 2011 - Feb. 8th 2011 118 entries.

High Contrast V (Advanced Editing)
Nov. 14th 2012 - Nov. 20th 2012 130 entries.

The other one I noticed with high participation was the last Street challenge. Some of the portrait challanges not as high on the entries.
01/21/2013 02:38:53 PM · #16
Originally posted by Venser:

I put real thought into my entry and nailed my intention except for some minor flaws I can't fix in basic. It's doing terribly, but that's besides the point.

Maybe revisiting the basics of photography would help.
PS Mine is doing very badly too but I put no thought into it at all ;)
01/21/2013 03:41:53 PM · #17
Originally posted by kirbic:

The community is getting smaller, currently by at least 10% per year as judged by the number of paying members. We are poised to dip below the 1000 member point sometime in the next year. At our high point we were around 3,000 paying members.

If this trend holds on, there will be only 30 members left in 2047. If the participation stays around 10%, I will have a guaranteed ribbon by then :)
01/21/2013 04:01:21 PM · #18
Originally posted by MistyMucky:

Originally posted by kirbic:

The community is getting smaller, currently by at least 10% per year as judged by the number of paying members. We are poised to dip below the 1000 member point sometime in the next year. At our high point we were around 3,000 paying members.

If this trend holds on, there will be only 30 members left in 2047. If the participation stays around 10%, I will have a guaranteed ribbon by then :)

Well, every silver lining has a cloud ... ;-)
01/21/2013 04:34:39 PM · #19
Originally posted by brucedgates:

The beauty of this site over many others is that there are rules, timelines and regular challenges. Not just a continuous free-study or meet the challenge with that perfect shot you took last year or by rooting through a shoebox of kodachrome slides from 1964.
You might need to actually challenge yourself.

Yep!

That's what it's all about. It doesn't really matter who's doing what, where, when or how. The idea is to take yourself further. There are quite a few folks here who have been around for a while who quietly enjoy what they get from this site.

For me, I like the opportunities to push myself, the help & camaraderie of the community, and the constant flow of relevant info, tips, techniques, and the variety of people available to help you in just about any area of photography you can imagine.

I also love the personal interaction of the many & varied GTGs that pop up all over.

You can pick any group apart if what you want to do is look for shortfalls......you can also take away a lot from a diverse and knowledgeable group.

We are that......in spades!
01/21/2013 04:54:23 PM · #20
I have become more and more busy and have been using much of my free time doing stock photography and my membership was up to expire tonight. But I love this place even with the shortcomings and while I may not be as active as I was $25 is a small price for a year at this place. I hope to enter more challenges but I am doing a big push on shutterstock. I will be sure to pop in from time to time and hopefully renewing my membership will get me back into more challenges. You won't find anything else like this place online even after 10 years.
01/21/2013 05:20:25 PM · #21
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

...But I love this place even with the shortcomings and while I may not be as active as I was $25 is a small price for a year at this place...


+1
01/21/2013 05:32:31 PM · #22
I think the recent posts have missed the point of the OP. There is an undeniable and, seemingly, unstoppable decline no matter how much many of us really like this place and how much the current members try to change things with great initiatives like TPL. The problem is that the only really effective change can only come from one place (Langdon) and that is not going to happen :(
01/21/2013 05:42:45 PM · #23
hmmmmm...........now where'd I leave that dead horse at?
01/21/2013 06:27:52 PM · #24
Here, use mine...

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01/21/2013 06:58:48 PM · #25
I think someone should write an open letter to Langdon.
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