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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online
Introducing the 
Online Photo Community

Technical Troubleshooting Holds Up the Planned Release
by Jim McGee

It seems that delays are inevitable whenever technology is involved.

I've been involved with computers and the Internet since 1986 and in all that time it's been a rare project that went off without a hitch - even when you thought all the details were nailed down - as was the case with the Online Photo Community. It seems the unexpected always bites you in the butt when computers are involved.

In this case after two weeks of intermittent failures and crashes, the finger of guilt finally appears to be pointing at a bug in the disk drive controller on the OPC's server. As I write this, the server's guts are strewn about the floor and knowledgeable technical folks are making the appropriate grunting noises while speaking in tongues beyond the comprehension of we mortals.

For a week now the release of this issue, and the debut of the OPC have been held up by this server bug. They assure me the server will be back to it's old self by tomorrow when the reloading and rebuilding of the OPC can begin and that it should be online and debugged by the 15th. The other piece of the OPC, the new online classifieds, have found their own bit of debugging hell and have also been delayed. They should be ready about the same time as the server.

Some days I loathe computers. Today is one of those days.

So Much for Griping 
Despite those problems there are a few things you can get in and check out to see where we're taking this, and all of it should be working before much longer. The link will take you into the Online Photo Community. There you'll see the screen prototypes for the various elements we're rolling out.

Site Hosting An email will go out to all subscribers when the portfolios and photo site hosting are online. You can email me directly to add your name to the list of folks to be notified (this won't put you on any other lists). There will be separate packages priced for amateurs and professionals depending on your needs.

Travel Reporting 
We get a lot of email from readers asking about what to do, what to shoot, and what to avoid at specific destinations and our fall foliage guide has been extremely popular. So we're setting up a section in the Online Photo Community where you can write in about your experiences - both pro and con - about places you've traveled. When you're planning a trip nothing beats direct feedback about the place from someone who's been there. But also keep in mind that your experiences, either good or bad, might not be the same as someone else's. There's an old saying "The difference between and ordeal and an adventure is your attitude".

What Do You Want to See? 
Now that the OPC's design is coming together we want to hear what you think, either good or bad, about the design, the content, and about other things that you'd like to see as part of it all. As always don't hesitate to drop me a line and let me know what you think about where we're heading.

Also This Month 
We've gotten a lot of requests for a "Digital Primer" or "Introduction to Digital". So starting this month and over the next few issues Frank Phillips will be providing exactly that. When it's done, it too will become part of the Online Photo Community. Look for one of Frank's "Digital Photo Lessons" to be posted twice a month, one with each new issue, and one mid-month.

I can only express my frustration at the delays and ask your indulgence as we continue to expand Vivid Light. In the end the OPC will include all of the things you've asked to see in an online photo community. We're trying to build a flexible framework so that it can grow and change in response to your needs. Hopefully this bump in the road will make for a better product in the end. As always tell us what you think. After all, you're the ones who're setting the direction.

Jim McGee 
Managing Editor 
Vivid Light Photography Online Magazine

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