Photo Forums are going to the dogs.
Let's shed some light on that.
I wrote a piece yesterday that attempted to explain what might be behind the recent metrics on camera sales. The fact is that, worldwide, (and in N. America) camera sales are falling right off a cliff. Some readers assumed that I am cynical or bitter or upset at the apparent demise of the camera industry's recent prosperous sales cycles. Those readers assume that since I explained why many men are abandoning the hobby for greener pastures that I have pronounced the death of amateur or hobbyist photography.
And, of course, the astute reader will see that I said no such thing, am in love with the general practice of taking photographs and write about my own immersion into the warm pools of imaging ambrosia nearly every day. And I still make my living selling/licensing images to clients instead of trying to figure out why someone's password doesn't work for their Entourage account on a third rate network run for a boring corporation.
I stand by what I said. That many people adopt hobbies to master them. It's fun to master them when it's a challenge or technically difficult. Then your victories seem much more heroic. You seem more like a smart guy. But when the challenge is mitigated by fool proof machines or wizard-y software, and cameras are festooned with "Hello Kitty" logos and pink trim the mastery of the technical challenge is largely a forgone conclusion and therefore not very darn alluring. And when an industry reaches that point a certain part of its market becomes bored and moves on. There's no way to measure the value of the content so that can't be fun.....
The happy, positive, upside to all that is, perhaps, a return to the idea that the images matter and the content has value beyond proving a technical point. I'm just as happy to take images today as I was before the market (according to CIPA) fell on its face. I'm ecstatic to work with my various cameras, all of which seem adequate to make the images I desire. I'm happy that I don't have to concoct some sort of matrix of metrics to enjoy the craft. Happy, happy, happy.
I also remarked on the overwhelming number of images put up on the web every hour, minute and second of every day and how hard that makes it to sort through and find things to like. But I didn't say that all the new images were crap. I said they became instantly homogenous. That's different, kinda.
So, to summarize: Reading good. Reading with comprehension, better. Reading well helps people think well. Sometimes, when you read, it's good not to try and read between the lines. If there was stuff to put between the lines my regular readers would quickly tell you that I am more than verbose enough to supply the needed content.
And yes, I know that "People don't read so good." is incorrect. That was the point.
I can explain this stuff to people but I can't understand it for them. (Apologies to Mayor Koch.)