Upload & Sell: On
I've been traveling and haven't had much time the past few days to update the top post, but I will try to incorporate some of the suggestions into it by this evening.
So far as the direction that the Alt FAQ might eventually go as it accumulates additional information: one could imagine presenting alt-related stuff on a new website, or perhaps even an Alt Gear/Lenses Wiki. However, I think that there are some unique attributes to the discussion forum approach that could work very well for this type of material. Considering the possibilities for how to organize alt lens information:
- A website can certainly provide a very clear and well-organized approach to the subject matter; indeed, there are already many excellent alt-lens-oriented sites already out there (a great example of this type of approach is the mir.com.my Zuiko information site, a very comprehensive site on Olympus Zuiko lenses). However, an individually or small-group maintained website is a lot of work for the maintainers, and creates a barrier to quickly adding new contributions from outside people.
- A Wiki site somewhat reduces the work load on the core maintainer(s) and allows more people to contribute. However, there is still the large maintainers' problem of controlling/deciding how much access others have to editing pages, and various tendencies towards "edit wars" about what the "right" way to present information is.
- Keeping the FAQ on the FM alt forum allows the members here to most easily contribute their knowledge. The approach is not as "polished" or orderly as a maintained website or wiki, but is perhaps the best way to let a crowd of people all contribute their own insights without being filtered through the biases of what a small group of core maintainers decide is interesting and relevant.
This is why I proposed the "model" for how the FAQ could expand though "contributed articles" in other threads on the forum. When a forum member has a particular alt-related area of knowledge that they want to share, they can write up a short "article" explaining the subject and post it as a new thread (which will get linked to from the main FAQ). This then creates room on that thread for everyone else to contribute/discuss that particular subject area, perhaps adding diverse sample photos from other users of the same gear and filling in details not included in the original post. I think this model is what best takes advantage of the community already here at FM, rather than trying to create a new outside FAQ effort that would inevitably leave out some of the contributions that make these forums great.
As soon as I saw your post I thought it was a great idea and you did a great job! As you wrote, local FAQs are great but not very dynamic as additions are not very easily done. This is overwhelming with all the ideas / suggestions but we could work on a system to ease the pain.
Any suggestions on a FAQ system is appreciated. An idea is to use something like the forum FAQ: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/faqforum.php - except that it could be edited/updated by selected members.
I would be happy to implement something that could be used and maintained by the community. I'm all ears.