For Julie, and anyone else reticent about participation...
As Greg says, we can post your images on your behalf, so don't be overly concerned. On the other hand, if lots of you request that we do that, it could become a bit of an administrative problem so we'll have to see how that goes.
I do have a few points that I'd like to raise:
Firstly, although there is a monthly prize, we deliberately named this new feature 'Photo Assignment' rather than 'Photo Contest' because its purpose is to encourage us all to take more photos. Speaking personally, I am not a professional photographer, so I don't take photos very regularly. For me, a monthly assignment will encourage me to be a more active photographer; therefore - at least from my own point-of-view - the prize is irrelevant, because the actual prize is that I'll be taking more photographs. I suspect that there are other members of the community who will also welcome the monthly encouragement, purely in terms of increased picture making.
So, in approaching the assignment from that point-of-view, anyone who isn't keen on using Facebook can still follow along with the assignment privately, and get all of those personal benefits (although, as Greg and I have said, we can still post on your behalf if need be).
So, why Facebook?
- The features of the contest application that we are using are far better than anything that we could have integrated into the Curvemeister website directly.
- We have a better opportunity to expand the Curvemeister community via Facebook*
*Curvemeister isn't advertised (as far as I'm aware); the community has grown by word-of-mouth. Running the assignment via Facebook will allow that 'word-of-mouth' awareness to bring new people to the community - something that won't happen if the assignment is run solely through the forum.
The YouTube videos, the new website design, the Twitter account (http://twitter.com/curvemeister/
), and the Facebook page have all been put in place to help grow the community. As a member of the community I'd like to see this happen because:
- The forum discussion will be more frequent.
- New people will bring ideas we've yet to hear - which may bring about new techniques.
Finally, I only began using Facebook about three weeks ago - specifically in order to help set this photo assignment feature up. I've been holding out for years, and always said that I'd never, ever set up a Facebook account. Over the last few weeks I've discovered that my avoidance was unnecessary. Sure, I dare say that I won't really use it for much else besides Curvemeister (I've always been suspicious of those people who have 2,000 Facebook 'Friends' - surely no-one's quite that popular!) What I've discovered is this:
- The sign-up process only takes 30 seconds
- You don't need to use Facebook socially if you don't want to - it doesn't force you to be friends with anybody if you don't want to
- You don't need to add much personal information, and whatever you do add can remain completely private - visible only to yourself
- You can easily tell Facebook not to send you emails, so you don't really need to be aware of your account
The benefits of a Facebook account are:
- You can participate in Curvemeister Photo Assignments more easily
- Many other websites will allow you to create accounts using your Facebook log-in, so creating accounts on other websites becomes much less painful, and you don't have to remember handfuls of usernames/passwords
In any case, we hope that these assignments will encourage you to go out with your camera more regularly, and that they benefit your photography. To that end we will support you as best we can.