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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Are we at the critical number point?
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05/29/2018 03:29:31 AM · #1
With just 45 entries over the three challenges currently at the voting stage, I do wonder if DPC is entering its death throes. I lost heart a little when entries started dipping below 100, and then resigned myself as they settled around 50, but in all honesty if the average dips below that, I personally will find shooting for challenges all a bit meaningless. I do have to own that I don't have an entry in at the moment - neighbours wasn't an option for me, Rockwell really didn't appeal, and extended editing isn't really my thing (i.e. I'm useless with photoshop), and so you could argue I am part of the problem...

So, what can we do to drive up entries amongst those of us who have stuck with DPC? I think it would be interesting to analyse the numbers of entries to the different types of challenges. Do technical/compositional challenges get more entries than quirky/niche ones? It seems to me that challenges can be split broadly into technical, compositional, open themed and accessible(such as colours, numbers, flora, animals), close themed and/or less accessible, abstract (in thought not artistic), niche, and one-off responses to news events or community events? Are challenges being selected to cater for maximum participation, or are there too many that fall in the niche/inaccessible category? Just thinking aloud - I don't have any answers, and before any one points it out, with just 279 entries in 9+ years, I acknowledge I am inconsistent (at best ) in entering.
05/29/2018 08:56:41 AM · #2
Well, unfortunately I think it is in the death spiral...unless we start contacting past members to come play at the very least for oíl times sake...itís just a matter of time...

Personally I have the same reasons for the current challenges...Iím hoping to enter Kodachrome (watched the movies last night...pretty good)

When it come to challenges...they have to get my interest...but I love anything....

Macro
Color Based
Landscape
Abstract
Historical
Technical
Flip n Blends
Throw the Rules Out
Archival (Iíve entered sooo many challenges that Iím pretty sure I can find just about anything)

Can anyone get OP to run another article? Maybe a boost there?

Iíd hate to see this go away...Iíd really miss yaíll
05/29/2018 02:59:33 PM · #3
I do have to say that the outlook is not bright from my perspective. I had hopes that it was bottoming out around 400 paid members, but we seem to have hit another steep slope. We lose too many more and we are done for.
05/29/2018 07:52:28 PM · #4
On the plus side, we're (finally) in a position to launch DPL 4 and will be doing so immediately. A mailing will go out to all members probably tomorrow, certainly by Thursday, and we will start a thread announcing this in the forums at the same time. 5 days (give or take) after that we will launch the signup page, and the signup period will be two weeks.

Stay tuned for the announcement, it is almost ready.
05/29/2018 09:27:48 PM · #5
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

On the plus side, we're (finally) in a position to launch DPL 4 and will be doing so immediately. A mailing will go out to all members probably tomorrow, certainly by Thursday, and we will start a thread announcing this in the forums at the same time. 5 days (give or take) after that we will launch the signup page, and the signup period will be two weeks.

Stay tuned for the announcement, it is almost ready.


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05/29/2018 10:40:02 PM · #6
I can also remember the glory days, Camera clubs are dropping in members, in fact our one was wound up ( finally) last year.

PSNZ the national body that most clubs support soldiers on, this year I didn't renew my subscription after a 20 yr membership.

I do hope that DPC weathers this storm as I find the challenges get me out and thinking about how to portray the challenge.
The low participator figures are a worry but those who stay and enter always I feel learn and grow photographically..
05/29/2018 10:48:57 PM · #7
This site has one great thing going for it... I've been away for almost two years, and I've come back to see the same core members still running the site and actively participating. To me, that's what always made this site great. Getting feedback, learning from others and growing as a photographer is what's always mattered. I'd gladly sacrifice 50 votes from random people for two comments from people I know and respect. I suspect that may be the direction this site is going, and I'm okay with it.
05/29/2018 11:12:02 PM · #8
I agree... DPC is amazing.

I also know that... iPhones and cellphone cameras are making everyone a photographer.

And I LOVE THAT!

Bring 'em on!

Bring them HERE! I love more photographer neighbors!

I think DPC will win out.

It has a firm foundation, and bunches of good neighbors!

05/29/2018 11:25:08 PM · #9
So DPC is smaller than it used to be ...and smaller than it was after that. That's okay. Smaller groups are more intimate. We know each other better than we used to. We are friends. We don't NEED 100 entries per challenge. But we probably do need for most of the challenges to be accessible to most rather than niche or quirky, insider or requiring research.
05/29/2018 11:31:03 PM · #10
Originally posted by jomari:

But we probably do need for most of the challenges to be accessible to most rather than niche or quirky, insider or requiring research.

When I hear that, I hear "We need generic challenges that everyone can be comfortable in.", but we've always been more than that. Admittedly, when we had hundreds of participants in each challenge then there was still a good turnout for the more esoteric challenges, but... We plan to talk about that soon, incidentally: where do the members WANT us to be with the challenge concepts? Do we WANT a landscape challenge every week, a portrait challenge every week, for example? It's hard to figure out. I remember when we did challenges like "Pencil" back in the heyday and boy, did we ever get a lot of complaints about how mundane and boring these topics were :-(

But, from my perspective at least, a challenge ought to be exactly that at least some of the time: not your average cuppa', so to speak, something out of the usual wheelhouse and comfort zone.

Anyway, we will talk about this before DPL starts, OK? What's the ideal mixture, so to speak?
05/29/2018 11:34:24 PM · #11
Originally posted by jomari:

But we probably do need for most of the challenges to be accessible to most rather than niche or quirky, insider or requiring research.

Yes, but one of the "challenges" (especially considering the higher percentage of "long-time" members) is to find topics which are not niche or quirky, and yet are not the 39th iteration of one of the more accessible ones. Please feel free to suggest some. :-)
05/29/2018 11:46:17 PM · #12
We might have done all the colours in the rainbow, all the shapes that geometry can throw at us, but they provide so much scope that they don't have to be repetitious and boring. There is still some challenge in keeping it fresh. And there's nothing wrong with Janine's list.
05/29/2018 11:59:02 PM · #13
Some of the recent challenges have been rather difficult (that is not a bad thing). Not everyone has the time or inclination to come up with an idea, compose, shoot and edit in time to submit. The 2 week time limit is certainly adequate but that may be one of the reasons for the recent low turn out. Free studies and broader subject challenges usually get a higher turnout. I think the Archived challenges are a nice addition.

Message edited by author 2018-05-30 00:19:30.
05/30/2018 12:44:50 AM · #14
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by jomari:

But we probably do need for most of the challenges to be accessible to most rather than niche or quirky, insider or requiring research.

When I hear that, I hear "We need generic challenges that everyone can be comfortable in.", but we've always been more than that. Admittedly, when we had hundreds of participants in each challenge then there was still a good turnout for the more esoteric challenges, but... We plan to talk about that soon, incidentally: where do the members WANT us to be with the challenge concepts? Do we WANT a landscape challenge every week, a portrait challenge every week, for example? It's hard to figure out. I remember when we did challenges like "Pencil" back in the heyday and boy, did we ever get a lot of complaints about how mundane and boring these topics were :-(

But, from my perspective at least, a challenge ought to be exactly that at least some of the time: not your average cuppa', so to speak, something out of the usual wheelhouse and comfort zone.

Anyway, we will talk about this before DPL starts, OK? What's the ideal mixture, so to speak?


I did use two qualifiers (or one qualifier twice) so I'm not canning the esoteric altogether.
And at least with 'pencil' everyone can find one.
05/30/2018 12:47:35 AM · #15
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by jomari:

But we probably do need for most of the challenges to be accessible to most rather than niche or quirky, insider or requiring research.

Yes, but one of the "challenges" (especially considering the higher percentage of "long-time" members) is to find topics which are not niche or quirky, and yet are not the 39th iteration of one of the more accessible ones. Please feel free to suggest some. :-)


I did suggest 'Miniature Still Life' a while back, but it hasn't surfaced.
05/30/2018 05:15:03 AM · #16
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

On the plus side, we're (finally) in a position to launch DPL 4 and will be doing so immediately. A mailing will go out to all members probably tomorrow, certainly by Thursday, and we will start a thread announcing this in the forums at the same time. 5 days (give or take) after that we will launch the signup page, and the signup period will be two weeks.

Stay tuned for the announcement, it is almost ready.


Wow that is great news! Will you need to change to a one week submission window for this to happen?
05/30/2018 06:29:50 AM · #17
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by jomari:

But we probably do need for most of the challenges to be accessible to most rather than niche or quirky, insider or requiring research.

When I hear that, I hear "We need generic challenges that everyone can be comfortable in.", but we've always been more than that. Admittedly, when we had hundreds of participants in each challenge then there was still a good turnout for the more esoteric challenges, but... We plan to talk about that soon, incidentally: where do the members WANT us to be with the challenge concepts? Do we WANT a landscape challenge every week, a portrait challenge every week, for example? It's hard to figure out. I remember when we did challenges like "Pencil" back in the heyday and boy, did we ever get a lot of complaints about how mundane and boring these topics were :-(

But, from my perspective at least, a challenge ought to be exactly that at least some of the time: not your average cuppa', so to speak, something out of the usual wheelhouse and comfort zone.

Anyway, we will talk about this before DPL starts, OK? What's the ideal mixture, so to speak?

I think the challenges could have something to do with the lower numbers. Many of them ARE challenging subjects, and the problem is I find myself with much more limited time nowadays and unless an event I'm attending happens to vaguely correlate to the challenge theme, I just skip it.

It's a tough call to make. I think simpler challenge themes like various colors, or basic photography themes (rule of thirds, centered subject, bokeh, etc...) would be easier to shoot for and overall this bring up some numbers. The "however" with this is that some in our community are going to say they're TOO simple. Tough to please everyone. As for the "Archive" challenges, I think that's the wrong way to go as it lumps us in with many other photography sites out there now that let you enter anything (time period) that fits the contest theme. We do want to stay somewhat unique. The weekly challenges do make us unique in that regard, and the need to have the shot taken within the challenge entry period.
05/30/2018 07:17:08 AM · #18
I propose that we have a challenge periodically focusing on the newer less experienced photographers. Letís give them a chance to win a ribbon and get their picture on the front page and see what a great feeling that is. That will bring them back for more and entice others to enter. How about challenges dedicated to those with (for example) less than 50 entries or even a challenge for those who have never entered before. There are hundreds of people looking at the DPC website at any one time. Letís lure them into entering.

Also, how about the site counsel picking a picture of the week and posting it on the front page. It shouldnít be a ribbon winner. It should be one or more pictures that are interesting that all can view, comment on, and discuss. What a great learning experience for a person to learn and a thrill to be on the front page! Also, it is a chance to build comradeship with new members.
05/30/2018 10:18:16 AM · #19
DPL4, well it's about time ;)

This alone will get the numbers up and also separate us from all the other sites too.
05/30/2018 11:12:42 AM · #20
I love DPC and the entire family and friends. Where else can we go to learn so much about digital photography for such a low price? I Want to thank all of my DPC family for everything Iíve learned from all of you. If you get bored with the recent photos just pick a few member and check out their photography. I have enjoyed learning from all of you. Even if I donít always agree with your comments. Snicker, snicker.
05/30/2018 11:54:20 AM · #21
Well, if someone wants to do the math and/or find out from Langdon exactly what we need in the way of paid membership to keep the place open, I know you can have a commitment from me to stay. I will gladly re-up, or badger, Vivi 21_F.gif LoVi as well.

I can't imagine a world without DPC.
05/30/2018 11:59:14 AM · #22
Not to ask any stupid questions, but has anyone thought about the idea of an e-mail poll? I have two entries in but it was only by accident that I saw this thread. There have always been people who don't bother with the forums. Why not simply ask people if they're done with DPC? You could maybe ask for a brief thought as to why if their answer is yes.
05/30/2018 01:32:05 PM · #23
Originally posted by Sirashley:

This site has one great thing going for it... I've been away for almost two years, and I've come back to see the same core members still running the site and actively participating. To me, that's what always made this site great. Getting feedback, learning from others and growing as a photographer is what's always mattered. I'd gladly sacrifice 50 votes from random people for two comments from people I know and respect. I suspect that may be the direction this site is going, and I'm okay with it.


I like this response, however ... "the same core members still running the site and actively participating" leads one to worry about cliques and judging. If "the in crowd" knows the style and perhaps even goes out on shoots with another member, is their vote unbiased? I think not. I worry that this is chasing people away. Too many of same names winning and they are too often in the "actively participating" category. I have no solution to the judging issue and only expressing worry that it chases folks away. Perhaps there is data to show "1 year and out" people - they bail for a reason. Perhaps an "exit survey" could be sent that would ascertain WHY they left our band of merry photogs.
05/30/2018 01:32:36 PM · #24
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Not to ask any stupid questions, but has anyone thought about the idea of an e-mail poll? I have two entries in but it was only by accident that I saw this thread. There have always been people who don't bother with the forums. Why not simply ask people if they're done with DPC? You could maybe ask for a brief thought as to why if their answer is yes.


excellent idea!
05/30/2018 02:55:24 PM · #25
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Not to ask any stupid questions, but has anyone thought about the idea of an e-mail poll?

There will be an email going out to everyone as we initiate DPL 4 -- that should serve much the same function as a poll to gauge interest ...
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