We have put together this short FAQ to answer the most common questions about the site that we know you are burning to ask. So before you bombard us with your queries, just check the solution isn’t already on this page. If your answer isn’t here then ask away and we’ll add it here for the benefit of all members.
Q How do I change my password?
A When you first sign in you will be asked to change your temporary password. If you do not get this message then don’t worry, just login, open the left hand side drawer and choose profile to change your password.
Q How do I learn about the Site Features?
A Just select the SITE TOUR button at the bottom of the website (in white) and you will be taken through the main features of the website. It is recommended that all new users do this.
Q How often will you update the site?
The site will be very regularly updated. Once a month we will add new Skills sections and FotoVisits. At least once per month we will add new FotoStories and ImageTalk.
Q How do we know when you have added something new?
You will automatically be notified of any new update via your registered email address and will be provided with a direct link to the BLOG. You can opt out of this in your preferences.
Q Not receiving emails?
A We will communicate with you via your registered email address. Since the lovely people at SPAM central are not very nice to people like us, you will need to add the following address to your address book so that your receive our alerts / newsletters - firstname.lastname@example.org
Q There are no social media or sharing links on the site, is there a reason for this?
Yes, simply because it’s a subscription only site with no free membership and you are paying for our expertise. Therefore all BLOG posts are for members only and it’s not in your interests to share them! There will of course be marketing messages sent via Andy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts but they will only be to draw attention to new content on the BLOGs and there will never be any access for anyone who is not a member. We will of course post details of our Heroes (FotoMission winners) to social media as we are proud of you and want others to know this too.
Q Will Andy be posting images to his free BLOG or social media sites?
Andy will post single images as he does now, but will not provide any stories or technical insights into the images. In addition all of the EXIF information will be stripped out from his images so the only place where you can find the information is right here!
Q What kind of comments do you want from the posts?
Anything within reason, although we have a zero tolerance for some. We want you to feel part of this site and that it’s growing with your help. So the more comments you make the more you will feel part of this and get to know everyone else on here. Comments however must be restricted to the information contained within the post.
Q You said that you have a zero tolerance for some types of comments, can you explain this a little?
Sure. Look most forums and anywhere that photographers interact can have a nasty element to them, we have all seen it and Andy certainly suffers this in his social media world. It’s counter productive and stops less confident members posting and taking part. For us this would be a disaster as we want everyone to feel welcome here and we want it to be a very sociable and friendly community. We have lots planned in the future, such as competitions, workshops, mentoring, meet-ups etc and we really want to be involved in the development of your photography. Therefore we will not tolerate any comments of an abusive or mocking nature, which are racist, or derogatory to the person in anyway. Everyone has their opinions and we want the FotoBuzz experience to be a positive one for all. Banter will be encouraged though as will ribbing of Andy, Andrew and David in a good natured way. Of course there will be a limit, and this will be enforced by our Terms and Conditions
, which you have all agreed to on joining. If we feel that you have overstepped the line of decency and tolerance that we want to promote then we will instantly terminate your membership without recourse.
Q Ok so what do I do if I am the victim of a malicious comment and what will you do about it?
First and foremost we will be watching comments all the time because we want to respond to them and create a good discussion. We HATE those sites where the main photographers never acknowledge any of the comments made and we can assure you that this will not be us! So if we see a comment that is deliberately provoking, rude, racist or just plain disruptive then the member will be instantly banned from the site. There will be no right of appeal, no communication, you will be banned. It’s that simple!
On some occasions we may choose a cooling off period, this will depend on the type of comment that is made. On this occasion the member will be served a notice and all interactive privileges will be revoked, i.e. they will not be able to comment on any posts or take part in any events or competitions for a period of 1 month. All of their past comments will immediately be hidden and their avatar will have a yellow card superimposed across it. At the end of the month, if the member agrees to abide by the rules then all privileges may will be re-instated and all posts will re-appear.
This is a decent site for decent people and we will keep it that way. By signing up to the site you agreed to the terms and conditions which covered this. Of course we do not want to take any action like this but we feel its necessary to say it openly so that everyone knows the score.
Q Can I ask why the layout of the BLOG does not appear full on my screen?
We have designed FotoBuzz to be 960 pixels wide as that is the maximum width for viewing on the iPad without any navigation. At this early stage we have no idea whether most members will view on an iPad or a laptop, so have erred on the side of caution and set the size for the iPad. This does mean of course that if you are viewing on a laptop in 1920 resolution that there will be some space around the FotoBuzz page, hopefully most of you will have the capability to pinch and navigate to make it slightly larger. For the techies we cannot make a liquid layout as that will make everything small on the iPad. Trust me Mr WebGuru Keith is on the ball with this and we will continue to check how people use the site and make the best decisions going forward for everyone.
Q How do the left and right hand drawers work?
Ahaaaa, you found them! Well they are a very cool feature of FotoBuzz and as we grow, so will they. Right now the left hand draw is used to house all of your profile and personal stuff, whilst the right hand draw is used for navigation within the main sections of FotoBuzz. You will no doubt get occasional quirks when using them but during testing they have been solid and we know that most users will love using them. For a full walk through check the SITE TOUR at the bottom of the website.
Q Does FotoBuzz work on all browsers?
A Yes kind of! We have developed FotoBuzz on Chrome, Firefox and Safari. The product is stable across these three browsers but we have found during development that each exhibits its own little display quirks. What lines up perfectly on one browser is a few characters out on another browser. We have corrected this where possible but it is impossible to do 100% so please bear with us if the odd character looks out of place, it’s not our fault!!!
Q My videos play very slowly and continually stop and start?
A Well that’s purely down to your internet connection as we host them on a very fast server. If you are suffering from this then we suggest trying at a quiet time of the day when business use of the internet is not at its peak. Unfortunately it is out of our control.
Q I cannot hear any audio?Q The audio is great but why don’t you put the images in there too and make a movie?
A Ok let’s start with the obvious, please check that you a) Have a sound card installed and b) Don’t have the laptop / computer on mute? It’s sounds obvious but you would be amazed how many times we have done it during development. Now we are aware of a few issues with older versions of Internet Explorer on Windows but so far the audio seems to be platform independent. So if you are having an issue please get in touch via the report a problem page at the bottom of the website and Keith will take a look straight away.
It’s down to performance. A lot of users do not have the bandwidth to play movies like this and Andy tends to ramble on a bit so the videos will be long and very large. So right now we are thinking that the best approach is to keep the audio separate from the images, of course we will change this if necessary.
Q Some website based magazines have a monthly subscription but you only have an annual one, is there a reason for that?
Yes several, and it is something that we have been wrestling with since the start. We spoke to several of these magazines that offer monthly subscriptions and all told us that they wish now they hadn’t. Andrew of course is an expert in this, having worked in the magazine industry for many years. The main problem is that by having a low sign up fee you encourage spammers, self promotionists and people who just want to spoil a good idea to join. This can create a very disruptive atmosphere. So we decided to have an annual subscription so that only people who are serious and want to be part of this site will join up. It also allows us more capital to invest in the site, perhaps to bring along other photographers to work with us.
Q I have decided that FotoBuzz, whilst great, is just not for me. How do I end my subscription and do I get a refund?
Well this happens of course and we will be sorry to wave you goodbye. Unfortunately there are no refunds, as stated in our terms and conditions, and your membership will simply lapse after the renewal period. We hope that before this happens you will talk to us about your reasons for leaving.
Q Are you going to become an in-depth product review site?
A Hell no!!!! FotoBuzz is an educational resource for creative photographers and technical / gear reviews will never be at the forefront of our thoughts. We will of course do occasional gear reviews, for Andy this will be solely Canon equipment (since he is now a Canon Explorer) whereas for Andrew the choice is wider. Please be assured that when we do a review it will be definitive and extensive, unlike others we take our gear into real situations and use it. But we will never compete with bespoke review sites like DPreview or Steve’s Digicams.
Q Are you going to allow us to download the articles as PDFs to read later?
A Yes we are planning on doing this and a limited download service might make it onto FotoBuzz shortly after the main launch. Now we need to be clear here, unlike other sites that allow this, our article format is a little more complex with info / audio boxes embedded into the images. This gives you great content and unfortunately means that articles that contain this kind of formatting will not be available for download. So bear with us on this, we want to do this for you and we will.
Events and Meet-ups
Q Events and Meet-ups sound great, what’s the difference?
A Well Events will contain seminars that we plan to run in the UK, which FotoBuzz members will received a discounted fee to attend. We are also planning an annual conference too. Meet-ups are very different and will be exclusive to FotoBuzz members. We are not sure yet what venues we will choose but likely we will have some exclusive owl days, shoots at airshows and events that are suitable for photography. Like we have always said, these will grow as our community grows. Please note that both Events and Meet-ups will incur some extra charges and are not included in your membership fees.
Q You will not let me change my name and insist on having my real name shown, why is that?
A Simply because people hide behind false names on forums and other sites and use this anonimity to say nasty things to other people. FotoBuzz is a nice site for nice people, we do not want any of this silliness on our site. Therefore we will take the name from your credit card that you use to register and that will be your screen name on the site, you will not be allowed to change it.
Q Are there any circumstances where you will agree to a name change?
A Of course. If you have reason to retain your anonymity then we will consider it and make the best decision for you and the website. Please use the Contact link to get in touch if you want to do this.
Q How does the image gallery work in the LH Drawer?
A Click on the LH draw. You will see three tabs now including the two new ones Photos and Users. So go into Photos and this is where your 20 images will reside. The cool thing is that you can drag and drop them from another window into the blank space here and they will upload immediately. So cool. In the corner of the images you will see some icons, the i is so that you can add some descriptive text, the magnifier is so that you can zoom etc. All cool. The Hidden / Visible button at the top controls whether other members can see your gallery. So how can others see your gallery? Simples? They either use the LH draw Users option (and you only appear in this when you have said Visible) or, and this is the cool thing, YOU CLICK ON THE NAME OR THE PICTURE IN THE LOUNGE and if the FotoBuzzer has specified Visible and has a gallery then you will see it!
Q How do the emoticons work?
A In your comment box simply put the following words in the format - :) :( ;) :D (eyes) (devil) (camera) (coffee) (nerd) (sleep) rofl lol and standard emoticons will appear in your text!