This summer I worked hard to complete #61 on my 101 in 1001 list: Post on a photography forum at least once/week for 3 months.

This was a tough one for me.

If you've read my story, you know I was friends with David Jay pre-photography business. When he started Open Source Photo Forum (OSP) I was one of the founding members. It was 2003 and there were like 5 of us sharing info and learning from one another. I have to say that early on in my business OSP was a HUGE resource for me to learn and grow. Any time I had a question or issue I would post it on there and I would get a bunch of replies that would steer me in the right direction. As my business grew and the number of members on OSP grew, I visited less and less until I was completely MIA.

What it really was more than anything that caused me to stop visiting OSP was my own neurotic need for order and completion. If you haven't gathered I have issues in this area yet from reading my blog, well...I do. As OSP grew, it was no longer manageable for me. There were just too many people and too many posts to keep up on. Early on when it was just a few of us, I felt like I could follow everything and not feel overwhelmed. But anymore, when I get on photography forums, I just feel super-overwhelmed with the sheer number of posts, topics, information and people. It's complete overload. So I just stayed away.

But I never lost sight of how helpful and formative photo forums were for me in the early years of my business. And I realized that it would be good for me to try to contribute on a regular basis - for a number of reasons - even if it was just a little bit. So goal #61 was born. And for three months this summer I consistently posted on both OSP and the Pictage Forums.

I still feel completely overwhelmed when I visit. I can't read it all. Sometimes I feel like I can't help.

But I realize that's ok. Sometimes I learn something new. Sometimes I CAN help. And I believe it's important for me to give back to the community the way I was given to when I was starting out. I also know that many of you who are blog readers and photographers found me through a photo forum. And my blog readers have been a huge part of my business success. So it's just smart business to keep connected to the forums.

So I'm going to continue to wage war against my neurosis. I'm going to try to contribute on forums consistently - especially during my off-seasons.

If you're a photographer, definitely join the conversation!

Open Source Photo
Pictage Forums
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