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Fotolog Group Managers

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shuggyPerson was signed in when posted
08:38 PM ET (US)

Sign up here for group info:

then go here for more fotolog info:
08:37 PM ET (US)
Was able to get through to front page and then to site discussion, etc. I see that a bad storm in Florida where one of the big servers is, plus some other techie problems have been causing havoc.
08:30 PM ET (US)
Hi, I am group manager for Equine, Abundance & Angles. I help out with fotodogs, and sequential_nmbrs. I have had some complaints come in and have experienced myself that it is hard to post to groups, gold camera problems, guest book, etc. Also f/f. I tried to go to the front page and then to the group discussions and site updates so I could give those links to people having problems. I couldn't even get to the front page. I am hoping that if I could get there, that there would be some information about what problems are being experienced and what is being done or will be done about them when they can. Thanks, Delina
06:08 PM ET (US)
Good evening,

First of all: Thank you for that platform TeraGram, and to all who are actually using it :) Today it's becoming important for being able to reach out to you all.

Did you read about our migration plans on the homepage, Fotolog's Fotolog and/or the ezBoards? In a nutshell: will be down starting tonight at 10pm EDT until approximately tomorrow morning 6am EDT.

It might be the case that the site will be up soon - but...
We're doing some live testing and not yet all functionalities will do their job. In addition, all admins will need to focus on testing and checking out what kind of difficulties might arise.

That's why I may ask for YOUR HELP:
Please watch out for pictures that violate our TOS. I know that all of you do an incredible job in keeping their grouplogs clean. Nevertheless tomorrow and the day after will be crucial in keeping an extra eye on porn and the likes.

I'll be around here more often, so if there are questions or concerns, I will be happy to deliver some information and hopefully in most cases even answers :)

TeraGramPerson was signed in when posted
02:50 PM ET (US)
Greetings Everyone!

As some of you may recall, the original Fotolog discussion boards used to be on Quicktopic. That is why the Group Managers board was put here.

As the number of users grew it became evident that Quicktopic was no longer the ideal place for Fotolog discussions to occur. So now the Fotolog discussion boards are on EZBoard.

It is only through sheer laziness that I have avoided pulling this board over there, too. Well, now that my major projects are done & delivered, I have had some time.

I have created and paid for Gold for a Group Manager's board on EZBoard.

It is set to MEMBERS ONLY. When you first hit that board you'll be greeted by a generic message announcing the limits of membership. I think I'll recognize most of your usernames on EZBoard, but if not, please email me. I do not want to exclude anyone who wants to participate in the discussion of Group Fotologs!

The URL for that board is:

Please do not post anymore messages to this board. I have copied all of the Quicktopic messages over there (except the last two and this one, and I'll get to that in a bit) so we have a decent archive of what has occurred and has been discussed here. Some of those posts are truly no longer relevant (for example, the quicky way to add to the F/Fs) but some of the information is still relevant.

I feel it is good to carry forward this "history". Some newer members have found the old information to be useful, if not for any other reason than to have some understanding of how things came to be.

I have some thoughts as to materials we could develop and keep in a seperate forum folder on EZBoard for use by any Group Manager who wants them. I think it would be very helpful for brand-new Group Managers to have certain materials at their disposal and I hope that many people here will help create those materials.

Thank you all for contributing to this board!
06:57 AM ET (US)
Thanks teragram for this link. Great to be able to understand a little more of what Cyper is doing. It only makes me respect him more reading this.
Edited 06-18-2004 06:58 AM
01:09 PM ET (US)
I was delighted to see the fixes on the group page, and thanks, cypher, for your update.
In any community, there are certainly some people who are chronic complainers and just like to taunt the powers that be, pretend that they could do it better if only they were in charge, and otherwise fail to be constructive. We certainly have our share here.

But we've also got a lot of people who are committed to fotolog and the fotolog experience who have become frustrated and unhappy, and I believe this is due in part to infrequent and occasionally overly-optimistic communication.

For instance, the site status message, which promises to be "updated regularly", hasn't been updated since 4/8. That message, sitting there, only encourages discontent, so I would suggest eliminating the "updated often" and "updated regularly" language, as an example of more realistic communication that will not exacerbate relations with the users.

I am convinced that an honest, communicated attitude of "we just can't take care of this right now, there are higher priorities" is an attitude that most people can understand and accept.

For instance, I know that you have not wanted to do certain things with the group accounts because there aren't good tools for management of groups yet, and because you didn't want to call further attention to group accounts until some of those things could be addressed. And I'm sure there have been other good reasons as well.

I believe that if you had publicly announced (maybe even on the groups page itself) that "we need to rethink group accounts and we aren't opening any more until we get some issues addressed" , that people would accept that, and I encourage that approach instead of keeping policy somewhat mysterious (to paraphrase what you said).

Anyway, I am greatly encouraged by your commitment to find better ways to communicate, and congratulate you for what you have achieved so far with the limited resources you have.
06:25 PM ET (US)
Thank you Cypher for your comments and quick action on the groups... although I guess a thank you to Spike is in order as well. I'm a patient and optimistic sort, so I can't wait to see where Fotolog is going next.
05:02 PM ET (US)
Teragram said:
[Elston and Saskya... congratulations on your new groups.
I think it would be really nice if you both updated this thread "normal to have to wait more than a month for group status?"]

I said 'thank you' in an email, but you're right, it would have been nice to say something in the thread. Not that I really feel I should explain myself, but at first I didn't because I was still kind of annoyed that it had to take so much time and effort and then I forgot, my bad.
cypherPerson was signed in when posted
02:18 PM ET (US)
Hi guys. Seemed like a good time for a few words. Fotolog has become so much more than just a little photo sharing site. It's a true global community where people actually express themselves in creative, productive ways and where people actually give each other nice and/or meaningful feedback. And I love it. And it deserves to thrive.

It's been a huge challenge to:
- keep up with its growth (both from a technical side AND from a community side)
- keep improving it
- assure its continued existence

As an extremely small team (only 3 full time employees) running a community that's larger than the city of Miami, sometimes it's a real juggling act.

And sometimes, for what I truly hope turns out to be for the greater good, we have to focus on certain things and put others on the back burner.

Lately, I've been VERY focused on getting Fotolog the resources it needs: fundraising, increasing revenue, establishing partnerships, etc. and so havent' been able to spend as much energy as I'd like to on community oriented issues like this.

The good news, however, is that we've hired a director of community services who will be starting in a few weeks. She'll be able to give many of these issues the attention that I've been unable to give them recently :)

Regarding a couple of specific issues here:

- Groups are indeed a little mysterious. Until we have a great (proper? adequate?) system in place for managing groups, I haven't wanted to fend off the onslaught of people trying to create groups. And so it's been intentionally a little mysterious. Now, the people that really care and take the time and effort to figure it out (and wend their way through our annoying group creation process) also tend to be the ones who are most likely to stay on top of their group and really take care of it. We WILL improve both the system for creating and managing groups AND the way we communicate how it all works

- Spike is in the process of finishing functionality that will limit free members to 3 group uploads per day. This is a quick and dirty fix that should limit certain kinds of abuses of the groups and make life easier for Group managers

- We're also going to have a new rule that requires new members to have a unique email address - so that offenders who get deactivated at least have to go to the trouble of creating a new email account

- Yes - the groups homepage is kind of busted. I've renewed my request to Spike to fix it. Hopefully he'll be able to solve it easily.

I'll try harder to share more news and thinking with the community - I enjoy it - just need to find the time :)
01:49 PM ET (US)
I manage blink_n_snap, for lo-res and "toy" digital camera shots.

As you say, the 'newest groups' list doesn't work and hasn't for about 4 months. It's obviously something hard to fix, or simply a low priority, but it seems to me that it should just be eliminated until a working version is ready, since right now it only is a list of the newest groups through February.
TeraGramPerson was signed in when posted
12:52 PM ET (US)
I think there's a vicious circle happening here, Elston.

Cypher used to be MUCH more willing to put up info as to what was going on and what the plans and projects were that would fix or improve the system.

However, after a year of seeing constant bitching no matter WHAT I think he is much less inclined to put anything up until he knows *precisely* what is happening. And then he doesn't respond afterwards because, as I said before, there's a certain number of people who will bitch and moan no matter what. He's also very pressed for time.

Put yourself in his shoes for a moment!

I am amazed he's been able to carry forth as well as he has. Me? I'd tell a certain subset of that board to simply go pound sand (actually I'd probably say *much* worse).
11:43 AM ET (US)
Teragram - thanks for the suggestion to follow up.

I think what would prevent a lot of the complaining would be more "official" notices. I know when there were all those guestbook problems, it took a few days for admin to put a note on the main page. I think if the problem were acknowledged sooner, people would be less likely to go on the boards and gripe. Same with the groups. If it weren't so mysterious as to how groups were created, there wouldn't be these threads with people musing over what it takes.

I post because I want to see things get better, not because I like to gripe.
TeraGramPerson was signed in when posted
11:15 AM ET (US)
Oh, I forgot to mention...

The Groups Frontpage is working just fine for the most part.

The only thing that is broken is the New list. The Most Viewed is working just fine. I know this because about three weeks ago when my big project crunch started I delisted Fotocats and Coolcars because I hoped that it might minimize the porn attacks those two groups experience.

I re-added them yesterday and much to my surprise, Coolcars is now more popular than Fotocats!
TeraGramPerson was signed in when posted
11:05 AM ET (US)
Greetings one and all.

P_B, you nutball, I invited everyone at the same time. Remember when Fotolog's message system was on Quicktopic? I'd point you to the message that helped start this board but Cypher wiped it out.

Elston and Saskya... congratulations on your new groups.

I think it would be really nice if you both updated this thread

normal to have to wait more than a month for group status?

One of my pet peeves about that board over there is everyone bitches and moans but when something goes right no one says anything about it. Few people even return to say "that info you gave me solved the problem". I know that I'm feeling less and less likely to even try to help folks over there simply because so few even bother with a simple "Thank You".

If I were Cypher et al I'd be pretty discouraged after not too much of that. There's some folks over there who have earned quite a rep by doing nothing but complaining.

As group managers I think we need to be *better than that*. Let us maintain a standard of professionalism. I know I'm no shining example, but let us all try to make an effort. There is so much that is *great* about this system.

WOW.. look at that, its only 8:00am and I've gotten a rant off my chest today.
09:21 AM ET (US)
the grouplog home page has been broke for a long time and getting it repaired is not high proirity. they fixed a couple of things on it a few months back but the 'newest' list and 'most viewed' list seem to be frozen.
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