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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Is Sportsshooter ever gonna update their front page?
William DeShazer, Photographer
Memphis | TN | US | Posted: 2:27 PM on 01.24.14
->> No offense to Guy Rhodes, but it's been way too long.
 This post is:  Informative (9) | Funny (3) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 2:49 PM on 01.24.14
->> This posting has been sitting on my desktop for a while...never got around to posting it. But seems here's the natural spot for it:

This site has become a bit of a dusty, neglected backwater like you'd find behind a frosted glass door with a real ringing bell upon entry on some sidestreet in a rundown town while long, slow harmonica plays in the background. A curio shoppe of sorts that isn't what it once was, and man, for me, the shine really has worn off once you take off the rose-colored glasses. Dust and cobwebs abound…here's some more of what else Sportsshooter is, or perhaps was, to use a more realistic tense.


There are seven articles listed in big type on the front page under New & Noteworthy. Seven articles going back to July 2011. July 2011 is NEW AND NOTEWORTHY.

Member Index: Membership is down to under 2200 folks. Used to be well over 3500 active at any time back in the day, per my recollections.

Fun Pix: Who. Really. Cares. Any more?

Message Board: SuperTrain wreck meets Sharknado, in slow motion, at 6K, at 120,000 frames per second, captured in Full Video RAW played back at 24P, with annotations, on-screen-references, instant feedback, and cinematic grading, but still just a huge trainwreck for the same damned reasons everyone cites over and over again each day, week, month, year.

Polls: The most recent one dates from 2009. Click 'Funny' if you think it's time for a new one.

Equipment Profiles: Not an entry since June, 2013…

Bookshelf: No updates in over 2 years.

Sponsors page: Woefully outdated.

Special Offers: Man. It's 1Q 2014. This page hasn't been updated since 2008!

Student Contest: Wow. Have the past five years been a dream? Is it still 2009?

I joined Sportsshooter nearly 10 years ago. It was different back then, it really was, and I was psyched when I finally got around to joining. It was updated daily in multiple places. There was great chatter and tons of active, enlightening discussions, and the signal to noise ratio was much cleaner. Sure there was some nonsense and vitriol, but not like the past few years. I was featured on the front page a few times, as were some of my friends, and it really felt like it was something back then, even just having your name and a line of copy as "currently cool" for an update!… but now… it just kinda feels like a social club in a downtrodden 'burg somewhere, where the beer fridge hasn't been cleaned in who knows how long, the arguments don't seem so much as entertaining and spirited debates between mutually respectable parties as they do uninviting, factionalized battles that make others simply want to avoid the place outright.

Sure, we can talk about good things, too. You know, for balance and such.

Equip Q&A has rescued me many times over the years, and my page search results have led to some very interesting opportunities over the years. And there's still some great folks on here as active members from all corners and quarters of the photo industry; even if some others have bade farewell. And my page searches well and has led to a bunch of cool leads and connections through the years.

But quite honestly, the message boards are the natural gathering place of this and many sites, and when that natural gathering place is so volatile and nasty that people don't want to participate there, it does have an overall impact on the vibe, the feel, and the desire to associate and be associated with the site. And each year for the past four years, I've questioned it more and more each time as my resubscribe time arrives.
 This post is:  Informative (43) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Todd Spoth, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 5:06 PM on 01.24.14
->> For the past 6 months I get tons of spam from my SS page. :/
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 7:52 PM on 01.24.14
->> I only use the message board. That alone is worth $25 to me.

--Mark
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 8:37 PM on 01.24.14
->> I agree with Mark.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 9:03 PM on 01.24.14
->> ...patience grasshopper..."
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (8) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 11:16 PM on 01.24.14
->> When joining the site it was for information, expanding knowledge, using the guide because not every outlet had sites like they do now. It was not to come and read the latest complaints as seems to happen here all too often. I've read way too many threads on other boards of people asking if they should join SS over the years, it used to be all the responders said yes, how tough it was to get in and how it was well worth it, now they all say the exact opposite. Being it's only $25 don't think about it too much, but as someone who doesn't post all that often it's not really worth it in terms of learning anymore, just an extra place to showcase some work that hopefully leads somewhere or use the ads to buy/sell.

Hopefully the lack of updates is the calm before the storm of a new SS!
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Doug Holleman, Photographer
Belton | TX | USA | Posted: 1:04 AM on 01.25.14
->> Jack Howard...

Last Update: 974 days ago


But I get your point and pretty much agree. I just couldn't pass that up. HA!
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 2:04 AM on 01.25.14
->> Right. Ha indeed. But you can bet he updates frequently on Facebook just like the rest of us, as well as those that are no longer here like Bill Frakes, Walter Calahan and many others.

Great post, Jack.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 8:19 AM on 01.25.14
->> I check the message board throughout the day to see if anything interests me. That alone is worth $25 to me. And the classifieds are invaluable. I haven't bought a 'new' camera or lens since 2005 when I was on the first shipment of D2x's into the country. Imagine, $5400 for the paperweight now. although it was twice as good as the D1x in every way!
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 01.25.14
->> @Jack, keep in mind 10 yrs ago facebook didn't exist and sportsshooter was the sole gathering place for pros (before that it was robgalbraith.com). I've made several friends and valuable connections here that have transferred to facebook or simply talking 'shop talk' via email weekly. I for one am glad to be a member here and still use it as a vital tool, and I am glad that SS survived thru the recession and is still here. Good job Bert!
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 11:36 AM on 01.25.14
->> I have to agree with Greg also. Where in this world does $25 buy you access to such a diverse group of photographers... Where else is there a forum that archives answers that can be searched for instantly.

I also enjoy looking at and am constantly inspired by other members work.

As for the message board, I don't waste much time on threads that aren't useful or informational.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Darren Whitley, Photographer
Northwest Missouri | MO | USA | Posted: 1:41 PM on 01.25.14
->> I still use Sportsshooter to find freelancers in other markets. And that's about all I need it for. The message board is a toxic soup of foolish attention grabbing posts or smart@ssed comments made which tend to be made to degrade another photographer in public.

Facebook has aided in pulling me away from SS. For more than two years I have quietly debated whether I need to be a member anymore.

My professional evolution towards video gets almost nothing of use here. Some of the best content in that regard is more than two years old. It seems like we do need SS, but it needs some sort of added life to give it value. The depth is really missing.

In the meantime FStoppers, PetaPixel and so forth are filling in.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 3:45 PM on 01.25.14
->> I don't get that every time someone posts about improving SS there's a bunch of people who jump in immediately saying how worth it the site is when that's not really the topic at hand. Seems any other subject it's flame away immediately, but this one it's put on the kid gloves trying to, for the lack of better words, "suck up". The site is majorly out dated, the information is just not there like it used to be and in a field that is changing drastically and quickly it needs to be or people will leave for other places to get it.

Of course there's still benefits - most of which you can get without being a member - but why push back on suggesting improvements and making it the top tier site it once was? Is it the "old boys club" mentality of not wanting to change and let people into their little world that is demonstrated on several threads? Pushing for improvements is not insulting to the owners, in fact if anyone knows that investing in a site like this is business and want it to be the best it can possibly be it's them! So yes it's worth the $25, sure, but frankly it'd be worth much more, and I'd pay much more, with much needed improvements to advance my business.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 6:19 PM on 01.25.14
->> I used to have an awesome boss who, when faced with all of his photographers bitching about stuff, would immediately turn the tables and put YOU in charge of the blue ribbon commission to fix said problem that you just whined about. In that spirit.......

I think it's outdated too, but think about it: When this site was created, there was no facebok or other social media - no youtube, no twitter, no petapixel, no Photoshelter educational seminars, no Scott Kelby, no Strobist, no Chase Jarvis, no nothing....

Photographers did not blog then, and people were willing to write content for SS for free to share with their colleagues....now everyone does it on their own for their own sites - mostly to attempt to boost their own SEO. Real sports photographers and photojournalists who were working professionals working at real magazines and newspapers read the site and contributed. People stayed in touch, and Bert's little newsletter was something everyone in the business looked forward to. He really created a community. Guess what? There are very few of those guys left - layoffs happened (even among legendary SI staffers), cutbacks at newspapers, reduction of magazine staffs, reduction of magazines for that matter, the commoditization of sports photography by evil opportunists replaced that original community with a sea of rank amateurs and hobbyists working for free for the fun of it....

I'm sure the founders are working in shifts, 24-7 on it trying to update the site, and knowing Grover, I'm sure it will be awesome, but, I have a feeling they are also all working on real projects, for real clients, that pay them real money. 25 bucks a year with these membership numbers wouldn't support one guy, much less all 5-6 people involved in SS. (and don't say - "just raise the membership fees to 100 bucks then!") , because you KNOW you guys would all bitch about it.

How about this.....all other comments on here should be ideas for things to improve the site, or offers to write and contribute free content to update it. Instead of writing stuff for your FB page, offer up a story for SS if you want to see it updated. That's the way this thing has always worked.
 This post is:  Informative (14) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 6:20 PM on 01.25.14
->> Working in shifts, 24-7....reminded me of this....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBcNpXmr-Ps
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 9:56 PM on 01.25.14
->> Great post, Robert; FYI, I offered to write a column 3 or 4 years ago and was told to go pound sand.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 11:34 PM on 01.25.14
->> Phil, Seriously? Geez.

--Mark
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:45 PM on 01.25.14
->> it's still worth $25 to me. just for the insults I get over the year. of course, I am weird and have severe mental problems...
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Joe Gosen, Photographer
Ventura | CA | USA | Posted: 1:20 AM on 01.26.14
->> All points well taken.

Sometimes it feels like we're on a hamster wheel but there has been some interesting developments in the background, for sure. If I can echo Robert Hanashiro's comment, "...patience, grasshopper...", we may just start seeing some solutions to the aforementioned comments.

In the meantime, on the "contact us" page there is a pulldown menu with the option to contact us about "A News Story." If anyone wants to pitch a story, I'd be more than happy to consider it for the front page or for the "news and notes" section. It would be great to have a new story or two up on the site, or sure.

Thanks for sticking around, and for the continued support through thick and thin.
 This post is:  Informative (4) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:19 AM on 01.26.14
->> ~2000 members X $25/year = $50,000 + sponsorships

You'd think that would buy a *little* technical innovation now and then...patient? 10 years and counting...

Adding to Jack's excellent list:

Login: Logging in to click post feedback takes you to the member page, and then you have to navigate back to the post you were reading. Geesh.

Message Board Search: Nearly useless. Bazillions of irrelevant results. Although maybe the guys who have figured out how to find the post from 2004 that someone duplicated could teach the rest of us how to effectively use this feature.
 This post is:  Informative (8) | Funny (1) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Nik Habicht, Photographer
Levittown | PA | USA | Posted: 1:41 AM on 01.27.14
->> What Robert Seale said pretty much nails it......

When I became the first photographer at the Trenton Times to shoot digitally and transmit from the field in 2002, my success was largely due to instruction from the Northern Short Course by Tony Kurdzuk, the Rob Galbraith site (and his by then out of date but still relevant book), and this website....

I'm grateful for all I've learned from the contributors to this site.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Guy Rhodes, Photographer
East Chicago | IN | USA | Posted: 2:41 AM on 01.27.14
->> Being a member here has kept my SEO up and has landed me several four-figure gigs. I have no problem with it.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Ralph Mawyer, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | United States | Posted: 8:34 AM on 01.27.14
->> Chuck>> Although maybe the guys who have figured out how to find the post from 2004 that someone duplicated could teach the rest of us how to effectively use this feature.

I assume most everyone knows about site specific searching via Google or Bing, because it actually works compared to message board function, but if not...

Compare Results:

1. LED Lighting via Search Box

2.
http://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3Awww.sportsshooter.com+led+lighting&src=ie9tr

Enter in browser address field: "site:www.sportsshooter.com LED lighting"

Hope that helps...
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jeffrey Nycz, Photographer
Warsaw | IN | USA | Posted: 8:53 AM on 01.27.14
->> Surprised you didn't get slammed for using "gonna" in the title. Where are the grammar police?
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 9:50 AM on 01.27.14
->> Thanks, Ralph. That was kind of my point. Took me about 5 minutes to add a Google search box to my web site. No, I don't think that's what SS.com should do, but there are certainly better search algorithms out there.

And to be clear, the point of my post was NOT to imply that anyone was pocketing large sums of cash while neglecting the site. SS.com has significant resources at its disposal - it could and should be better.

Sometimes telling the truth about something we love can be hurtful or misinterpreted. I've learned a lot from this site, would like to think I've contributed at least a little to its usefulness to others over the years, and want to see it become even better. That's all.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 1:51 PM on 01.27.14
->> The first step in fixing a problem is admitting there is one...seems some need to realize just because there's still value and good things that it can be improved upon to make it even better.
 This post is:  Informative (6) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

William DeShazer, Photographer
Memphis | TN | US | Posted: 8:22 AM on 01.28.14
->> Wow. Guys, I just wanted to look at more pretty photos...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (4) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:20 AM on 01.31.14
->> Robert -

With all due respect, we've been asked to be patience before many times. Is it really too much to ask for a refresh of content on a regular basis?

I agree with Mike, the first step is admitting there is a problem. Defending, ignoring, or continually asking members to wait only makes things worse.

I also believe that a few members might be willing to be a part of the solution as well.
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Michael J. Treola, Photographer
Middletown | NJ | USA | Posted: 9:25 AM on 01.31.14
->> "I also believe that a few members might be willing to be a part of the solution as well."

As my colleague Joe Gosen mentioned we're always looking for content! If you want to be part of a solution then..... we're listening!

Please use the contact link
http://www.sportsshooter.com/contactus.html or you can contact me directly through my member page. http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=41
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 12:52 PM on 01.31.14
->> You want more content? Great. You're going to have to create that content yourself guys.

Email a newsletter story to Bert, update your page with photos that don't suck, contribute a meaningful post in the message board that has more depth than "Best Monopod Cover EVER" or "Chuck Liddy Made Me (an adult) Sad Again" etc...

When you help contribute to the site then the site becomes more interesting which, in turn, gets more people on the site contributing more content.

This place is a community where we all contribute. It is not a place where you simply pay your $25 per year and then sit back and soak up all the streaming entertainment.

Just my $.05

Respectfully,

-Blanco
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 1:01 PM on 01.31.14
->> @Blanco

$0.05 now?

Is my $25 going toward that extra $0.03 of your insights? If so, that's totally worth it for me!
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 1:20 PM on 01.31.14
->> Brian - I totally agree that users need to contribute. However, I agree with others that the site itself (not just the front page) needs an overhaul. I also agree that we've heard "patience, young grasshopper" on more than a few occasions over the years. Plenty of suggestions here that could be implemented - a few years back I suggested RSS feeds that would allow people to know when our pages were updated, and could also be used on our social media accounts to direct traffic back to our galleries on SS.com. Would that be an extremely difficult feature to add?

I've been a member of SS since Nov. 2004, and I simply can't recall any major changes to the site during that time, save for MAYBE the integration of the Photoshelter search bar (a pretty basic search at that, but you CAN search for horizontal, vertical OR square photos on my website; how useful!).

If this were any other professional website we'd be ridiculing it for using 10-year-old technology. For the most part I think most people stick around out of loyalty alone.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:37 PM on 01.31.14
->> Update the Equipment Profile list (cameras, lenses, speedlights) with current equipment and I'll be happy to share my thoughts on the equipment I use. The equipment needs to listed by the owner of the site. I don't see any option for creating it yourself. New listings haven't been added for almost 3 years.
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Thread Title: Is Sportsshooter ever gonna update their front page?
Thread Started By: William DeShazer
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