DPReview Shutting Down: Burning A Historic Library
March 2023, Carl Garrard
WTF. That was the first thought I had when I read the headline DPReview was shutting down, as I'm sure many others shared a similar train of thought. I don't know the real reasons for the shut down of the internets largest community of photographic related content and users. Layoffs and cutbacks are not reasons I accept in this case, I repeat, I do not accept this and neither should you. DPReview could easily be sold through crowdfunding, to a highest bidder, the list of alternatives is staggering. And yet, Amazon is just wiping 25 years of information, contribution, wisdom, sharing, you name it... right off the grid. That takes a pretty soulless decision to do something like that, its the equivalent of burning the Vatican or another historic library right to the ground. This news shocked me in a way that hit my core being, and to the point that I couldn't find the words to describe how I was feeling or what I actually wanted to say. Well a good nights sleep is good for the brain and I woke up today pissed.
I woke up, I strongly encourage you to wake up as well.
My anger is justified, not only have I been a major contributor there for over two decades, but there are millions of users out there that have too and feel just like I do today. I'm sure Amazon has reaped the benefits of our ad revenue for those twenty five years and in exchange we have, all of us, grown a community of shared information that has helped an untold amount of photographers grown their craft of all kinds. It's unthinkable, reprehensible, and otherwise inconceivable for a company to just delete all of this extremely valuable information off of the net. Not to mention all of its combined wisdom, memories, and potential for the same in one emotionless and greed driven decision.
This is especially troubling when there are free hosting sites everywhere, and a multitude of other options they could have explored other besides emotionlessly eliminating the worlds largest conglomeration of photographer based community knowledge. Absolutely inconceivable. I dare say it's evil and a sign of the times we are living in.
I can't think of any other words that describe how this makes me feel but I know that I cannot just silently stomach this treacherous act of emotionless corporate cost cutting.
This site is not a "business unit" or some line item expenditure that everyone will just forget, it's a mindshare, the largest central internet hub for a huge community of people that are passionate about photography for a multitude of reasons. Of course the site isn't perfect, and it's forums can be a tough climate to be in at times, but that part is really necessary to have no matter what. This is what people do, we come together, share, agree and disagree alike, and that is human nature. No it's not perfect, but it certainly does not deserve this.
Amazon, this is the WRONG decision.
To shut it down without asking for a dime, without exploring any options, leaves me with the desire to do something about it. Not just silently accept this. And none of us should. Now is the time to muster up some energy and courage and get out there and fight for this, especially so if you never do or have before. This is worth protecting people. Another site like it won't exist, the employees moving to other websites is not enough, trust me when I say this. There has to be an alternative.
Imaging Resource found a way to stay on the internet, so can DPReview.
For some DPreview is an imperfect place, but it doesn't deserve this. As much as I have been vocal and critical about the site's content over the years, I must stress that this criticism is necessary, and there of course are many positives that outweigh my criticisms too, those positives are YOU. All of our personal contributions, all of the history, heritage, and memories shared need to be preserved so that new photographers can learn, grow, and share just like we did.
Speak up now, this is not replaceable. The time is now to stand up for something you believe in.