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Starting at fotocommunity
Hi there ... :-)
My name is Dirk Hofmann (http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/12143) and I am an administrator here at fotocommunity.com.
I wrote this words to give my personal opinion about the easiest way to get involved in our community and to speed up the introduction process a little bit.
These lines are especially for new users, but of course users who were "silent viewers" until now are invited to make their thoughts as well.
Registered ... what now??
Congratulations! After you have done the necessary steps to register at fotocommunity.com, you are a member ... whether you like it or not ... :-)
Ok, new member ... what to do next?
A good one would be to update your profile now ... :-)
Please make sure that you enter the country you're living in into your profile ... we have specials for several countries from time to time and you don't want to miss these ...
It's always nice to learn some facts about you. This could be your intention to join the community, your relationship to photography, your favourite motives, your age, the place you're living, your equipment and so on ... There is nothing you couldn't add and the more information you give, the better people can make their image of you.
By the way ... image ... a profile-photo is also very welcome, since we all know: a photo tells more than 1000 words ... :-)
I know ... you want to upload your first photo now!
The moment has come to upload your first photo into fotocommunity.com!
Since the common language at fotocommunity.com is English we would of course appreciate if you could use this language for your title and description ...
After you uploaded the photo it appears in the channel you selected before and other users will now see your work online.
Use your time now!!
Of course you could lean back now and wait for other users to start commenting your work. I'd lie if I'd say "This doesn't work!", but remember: These lines are intended to give you useful hints how to speed up the process a little bit ... ;-)
Well - here is what I would do:
Start commenting the recent uploads in the channel you uploaded into and after that comment recent uploads in other channels.
Why should you do so?
The photographers who's photo you are commenting now is sitting in front of his computer and waiting for comments as well as you do. He's online and he's able to respond immediately.
What he probably will do is look at your profile (good to know you upgraded it a few minutes ago) and then at your photos and comment them as well.
You made your first contact at fotocommunity!!! Congratulations!!!
If you like his style, his way of commenting or his photos you might consider to mark him as buddy, so that you won't miss any of his further uploads.
Wow ... that worked ... any other hints?
Actually the "Use your time now!" - hint isn't addicted to the length of your membership. You can use this method with every new upload you make.
But even if you don't upload i will work properly for you because the other photographers will have a look at the uploads you already made.
Of course there is more you can do:
Choose your words wisely!
There is one thing a written conversation cannot substitute: The expression of voice and facial expression.
Very often people try to be funny and offend other users with their humor, words are missinterpreted and language barriers bring people in problems because they used wrong expressions.
To avoid those things choose the words you write wisely and keep these problems in mind when you read other peoples comments. If you are confronted with a obvious rude comment, please try to find out about your conversational partner before you "shoot back" ... he might not have meant what you understood ... ;-))
Show your interest in photography and discussions!
Have a look at our text forums (http://www.fotocommunity.com/forum/index.php). You can meet other users there and start/join discussions regarding every possible topic ... The other members will apreciate your will to bring yourself in!
Search for people you like or who's work you admire!
You will find out that if you like one photo of a photographer you usually will like the rest of his shots as well ... So make him a buddy and keep up the connection by commenting most of his works ... This will pay back. In the best case the photographer will response your comments and help you with your own progress, in the worst case he doesn't, but you still have his works as an inspiration and "template" for your own style.
Help new users!
After you are active for some time at fotocommunity, you will be experienced in several things and ready to help new users (http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/fotografen/1/sort/5). Don't forget your first steps here and remember that you were pretty happy when somebody took care of you.
Now it's up to you to "pay back" this "virtual debt" by helping. But I'm sure you will like this kind of "pay back", because you will get response from those users and you will realize soon: This is the spirit of fotocommunity ... one helping another!
Believe me: This is quite rewarding!
Finally some "Do's" and "Don't do's"
First the "Don't do's":
Do not upload copyright protected photos! Copyrights are valued at fotocommunity and we will have to deactivate your photo at once. Continued uploads of copyright protected stuff can cause the deactivation of your account.
Do not upload nudes into public areas! Uploading nude material is only allowed in the referring channel. Not every user wants to see nudes - even if they are artistic. To make sure those users feel home at fotocommuity as well, we will deactivate every nude photo in a public channel. Consequenses as described above.
Do not publish private- or support messages! Everybody is expecting that messages between administration and users as well as communication among users is private. We won't break this rule and expect the same from you.
Don't offend other users! Photography is a hobby for most of our members. They are here because fotocommunity is a place to feel home, cool and relaxed. We want to keep it that way and will take every necessary measure to make sure that fotocommunity is the place to feel home!
The dangerous things
Self proposal for the gallery channel! It happens from time to time that users click "recommend now" under one of their photos by accident. This recommendation is a proposal for our gallery channel (http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/channel/56). There is nothing wrong if somebody recommends his own work. It is allowed from a technical point of view, so why should somebody not do so? But (you knew there was one, didn't you?), sometimes new users underestimate the way the long time members see the gallery: The channel is supposed to show exceptional work from the community and the demands are much higher than in usual channels! So if you think about proposing one of your own works, I would highly recommend to have a look at the gallery channel (http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/channel/56) before you do so. Then find out if your photo can stand the level which is shown there. If not, it might be a better idea to wait some time until you have a feeling on how the other users see the gallery and the voting which comes along with it. Be aware that the comments in a gallery voting are very straight sometimes!
Our young horseloving girls ... Well, it might be that you subscribed fotocommunity only because you might be interested in getting into contact with our horse- photographers to ask them about using photos of them in your virtual stable. You should know that there have been many requests about using pictures from fotocommunity during the last months. Some of the people on this site are allready losing their patience, because they want to show their pictures here and don't want them to be shown by other people outside this place. Please be also aware that illegal download and use of our photographers work can cause serious problems for you. You might be confronted with legal authorities and be sued for breach of copyrights. This is at least as wrong as stealing somebody's horse!!!
And, of course, the "Do's":
Break every rule! The rule is: There are no rules! So don't be shy to try something new!
Write the truth! We all give our personal opinions ... But it is no help for anybody if you don't describe what you dislike. (See "Choose your words...")
Help us to improve this place! Only your feedback can help us to make this place even more comfortable. Please remember that we can't promise to implement your ideas, but we can promise that we will discuss your ideas and forward them to the people in charge for examination.
This is a living document and it might be continued or changed in some points.
I hope it helped you and gave you some ideas about your membership and fotocommunity at all.
Enjoy the community!