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Will HasselbladInfo turn into a fee based forum


Though I'm glad to see a purported "1000 members", but since the ContaxInfo forum has now turned into a fee based forum when it reached a certain point, is the same thing going to happen to this forum? If it was to reach 5000 members, would it be turned into a fee based forum?
Hi Austin,

there is currently no need to introduce something similar as at Contaxinfo on this forum. The costs running this forum are well below the Contax Forum. It is just a lot smaller and less labour intensive.

We can not predict the future about the growth rate and cost structures in 2-5 years. Neither for this forum, nor for any other forum on the internet. I personnally think (I agree on that point with Dirk), that in a few years, the "free" internet will not look like it looks today. Except all producers are planning to throw big money via ads to all sites available on the internet

But apart of that, there is nothing wrong with reducing costs with the help of the users. You can see this movement more and more in Germany. As long as it is not more than around 2 USD/ month, I do not see any problem here. This is on all our forums already now possible via the "donate" option, which is standard on all our sites since their inception.

But let us not debate on a Hasselblad Forum a Contax subject. As far as I know the decision is made by now over there and there is no reason to discus this backwards in a different forum.

Enjoy your Hasselblad gear
I think one of the concerns have been if it will be possible to withdraw ones posts if the forum turns into a " commercial" site, as this could be seen as some else making a profit on the knowlede put into asnwer by people the forum. I would prefer the donate style, but in the case it turns into a pay site I would leave the Nikon, Canon and Contax forum (have left contax) and stay with the hasselblad and leica forum as I only visit the others occasionally. - ruben
Indeed. As our webmaster (Admin) will know, Ruben is 100% right: this site is nothing (!!!) without the contributions/shared knowledge of the subscribers.

I would never pay money to be able to contribute to a site like this, and in doing so help the site make a buck or two. Noone in his right mind should/would.
Quite the contrary: we should expect to get payed the very minute someone else starts trying to make money with anything we, not he/she, contribute.
... as I said a few days ago, there is currently no need to talk about any kind of financing scenarios of

It is just a waste of time to talk about things which are not on any agenda yet. Nobody knows how "internet" will be in 2-5 years or which brandname will survive the digital revolution etc.

Maybe Hasselblad does not exist in 5 years, maybe we all use then a Canon 300D and join a Canon Forum, fee-based or not, maybe there will not exist any free internet forum anymore in 5 years, maybe it is all owned by Microsoft then - who knows and who cares now?

Somebody said once to me: Do not live too much in the future, enjoy the present before it is the past. IMO there is some thruth in it.
Hi Admin,

I believe you are missing the concern that Q.G. was expressing. I, as well, have that same concern, and it is my business to have that concern or not. I don't need to give my hard work (advice learned through many many years of personal and professional experience) away to someone else to make money from it. If there is any chance of that happening here, like on the ContaxInfo forum, then that will, unfortunately, limit my interest in contributing.

I am not trying to start a fight, simply expressing a concern, whose answer is important to my (and apparently some others as well) ability to participate here.


Hi Admin

All you actually have to do is make the following statement:

"if the hasselblafforum is turned into a pay-forum all the present contributers will get the oppertunity to withdraw all their posts from the forum at no charge to the contributer"

Then everyone can relax and keep posting good advice to this good forum (and perhaps try to figure out how many misspelling I managed to get into a rather short message)

So in short - just promise us that we can withdraw if the site turns into a pay site

Regards - and thanks for an otherwise good site

I sincerely hope Dirk makes a few bucks (or a lot of bucks) from this endeavor, and continues to expand its capabilities like he is presently doing on the Contax forum for those of us who stayed and ponied up the annual fee.

I suppose if Austin is correct in the assessment that contributions based on years of experience have a monetary value attached to them, then a lot of people on this forum owe him many dollars, because it is they that benefited from the advice. And what is good for the goose is good for the Gander... so we all must send each other a lot of money.

There is only one reason any sane person would pay money to read what's posted on a forum like this. And that would indeed be that what he/she can find in such a forum would be worth the money.

Now the contributions are provided not by the person then collecting the money.
In fact, the people who do contribute those money-making bits are asked to pay to do so too.

You don't notice anything not quite right in there somewhere?
I certainly do.

Now, this being a free forum, noone earning an undeserved crust, there is no need to ask to render unto Ceasar...
So no, we must not (!) send anybody any money.

Webmaster (Admin),

While it certainly is true that we mustn't waste our time fearing things that will never come, it is your repeated use of the word "currently" that is suggestive of things more imminent than "never"... ;-)

Anyway, we will enjoy this forum as it is now. But Ruben's suggestion is a good one. A very good one.
While I do understand the logic you are forwarding, the part I don't understand is the concept that this is free. Did someone donate all the equipment used to run the site? Is Dirk a philanthropic millionaire with nothing to do but look over all these forums?

Recently added all kinds of commercial pop-ups and banners with eye popping motion that are as distracting as hell,
in an effort to supplement their voluntary $25 annual membership contribution. That site has gotten slower and slower, and has been down quite frequently recently.

Frankly, the addition of advertising is the same concept. Someone is making money off of the expertise of the participants. Personally, I'd prefer paying a fee to having all that junk jumping around on my screen while discussing something with folks on the forum.
If anyone considers their contributions and feedback on a subject to be so 'utterly' important and insightful, then they should stop contributing freely and become a paid consultant. Those who want to contribute simply to help others (and be occasionally helped in turn) in the Hassy community should continue to do so as well.

If the site has to eventually start charging to keep its head above water, then I see no difficulty with that. This site, its hardware, internet access, web/database maintenance , etc are not the product of little "gnomes" who come in the dark of night. Someplace there is $$$ going out.

I make a living as a database consultant/software developer, but also keep a www site active for the user community to access. I would/could not keep it going as a freebie when you consider the thousands of dollars a year it takes to keep it going. Fortunately, our software product sells for $10-25,000 USD so www expenses are covered rather quickly.

I don't want to be paid for my contributions here, but I also don't want someone else making money off of my contributions without my permission. The arrangement should be clearly stated up front.

In fact I do think my contributions are valuable, and so do list owners who charge money for people to read not only my, but others, contributions. If these contributions weren't valuable, then why would people pay to read them?

Robert wrote: "but (I) also keep a www site active for the user community to access."

I appreciate your comments, but the situation is different, as it is just you servicing YOUR product. Online service for electronica is essential these days, as my brother the electronics engineer is always using.

I have used a maker's hosted forums for some GIS stuff...which seems to me to REPLACE some of the support and fixes the maker should do (eg MANY patches, utilities and so on are written and posted on the website by helpful people for mug users like me to find).

But I am thinking you might send your thoughts to Hasselblad...their website is pretty bloody average for lack of user forums and info such as history, troubleshooting, etc. The "community" has to do it independently.

(I know the Zeiss site is a bit better for the lenses!)
Hi Ruben,

I can not make any statement like you would like to hear. First, I am not the owner of the site, secondly I doubt that anybody can make such statements, since nobody can predict the future. That does not mean that there is something on the schedule, it only means we do not make promises, if we have no clou what will be in the future.

If there are concerns of some users, that - maybe - at some point in the future any kind of forum/ mailing list will charge contributions mandatory, then you should definitely stop using EVERY kind of forum and mailing list. Even if someone is promising you something, he can come back in 2 years time and say, he guys, times are changing and we have to charge fees now.

The only guideline of this are the terms of use which should be available on every website on the internet you are visiting. And I am pretty sure that they are all the same.

As soon as you post something on the internet you agree to accept these terms of use and whether it is, dpreview or any kind of yahoo mailing list, they can do whatever they want to with it afterwards. It is always written in nice words, but at the end of the day it counts the result. This is reality, not my idea.

So this is not a problem of Hasselbladinfo (which does not charge anything) or any other x-info site. This is a problem of the internet itself. As soon as costs are not financed somehow, fees will be introduced at et alii. Just common sense and no mystery or idea from us.

So the goal is to avoid this by getting enough income beforehand by ads, donations, etc.

Ads are kind of problematic. Priceswise and as Marc pointed out also often very disturbing. We would surely not allow aggressive pop-up ads or moving and shaking ads on our sites.

But it is strange how eager some are reacting at this dicussion. If you fear the most, that would switch to fee-based access, why you not simply donate to this site so that it is a lot less likely to happen?

If every member here would donate regularly, there would never be a problem in the future. But there would then also be no difference to a subscription
"As soon as you post something on the internet you agree to accept these terms of use and whether it is, dpreview or any kind of yahoo mailing list, they can do whatever they want to with it afterwards."

NO. They can do with it ONLY what is AGREED, as well as what is within the law. Anything outside that is improper use.


My point on this is principal but when I see guys like Austin and Q.G but a lot of effort into there answers then I can understand fully that they are concerned.

Sure you can make a statement saying people can withdraw the contributions - but you do not want to because you some how think it will devaluate your list. It is bull to say stuff like you never no the future - when you are going to be a part of the future you are forming the future.

It is your list or Dirks or ? so how you are going to deal with this issue is all up to your ethics!

I would strongly suggest that you asked Hasselblad to donate 25 USD a year pr. member on the forum. That would be 25.000 usd. a year making you more then able to run the site.

And if you did this with the other Foras getting sponsered by other brands you could have a strong card on your hand.

We might even get some attention from the camera manufacturers technical personel.

I bassicly think that the more internet you can keep for free the better a world it is as it does not make a difference between rich and poor.
"They can do with it ONLY what is AGREED, as well as what is within the law. Anything outside that is improper use."


this is obvious and I did not mean it differently. And it is also obvious that the terms of use of etc. are in accordance with the law.

Nobody would make the effort to write terms of use, if they would be against the law, because they would be meaningless in that case and just a waste of time.

But the result is still there, they can do what they want after you agreed to them by using the site and as long as they are according the applicable law. Read their terms here:

and look for the paragraph "Ownership of Submitted Material"

They made it in a very nice way and with a lot of text. But the result is the same. There is nothing bad about it. A service like or other forums would not be possible without those terms of use. This is why every important site has them in the same way.

But my intention was not to discus terms of use on the internet or my view on how the internet should look like. I just wanted to explain that there are almost no differences between the different photo sites when it comes down to the question what MIGHT be possible in a few years regarding fee-based access.

So it is up to the user to decide. If you want to make sure, that your posting will NEVER used on a fee-based site with a 100% guarantee on it, you have to stop posting on the internet immediately.

Or you accept that this is a logical part of internet forums and mailing lists. Consequently you know then that there is always a "potential risk" (intrepreting your perspective), no matter which name is on it and continue to enjoy the internet in general.
"I bassicly think that the more internet you can keep for free the better a world it is as it does not make a difference between rich and poor."

Hi Ruben,

I agree totally on that point. But as far as I heard, it seems not to be easy to convince some folks in Sweden to see a forum like this as a benefit. There are contacts as far as I know, but it seems that Hasselblad Sweden is not really appreciating the internet in general and fora like ours specifically. Same counts by the way for some other producers

Hopefully this attitude will change over the time. But at the moment it seems to be rather difficult.

It is Dirks's, Marcus's and Andreas' list by they way. They build it up, they are paying the bills and developed the relationship to the producers.