In Memorium: F295 (2004-2015)
Post-Script: I realize that to some, who have not deeply engaged in Internet-based discussion forums, this all seems a bit overdrawn and dramatic. So what, another website goes down the drain? As I insinuated in the piece, this is about the death of a community of adepts to an arcane photographic craft, that had been built upon the fragile infrastructure of someone else's doing.
In the pre-Internet days, such a creative community would simply never have existed in the first place, hence its rarity and value. This point is difficult for younger people to understand, who've grown up in an Internet-connected world and think that subcultures within subcultures have always existed. Not so; or maybe only in those culturally-rich hotbeds like New York City, London or Paris. But not in the hinterlands, where anonymous individuals such as myself can connect with others like-minded and enjoy community as rich and genuine in every way as if we were meeting regularly face-to-face.
Could we - the regular members of F295 - have done more to save it? Perhaps. But in the end, it wasn't "ours" to save. Which gets to the point about the fragile nature of our Internet-based culture; it is likely possible that, in the future, less will be known of our times than that of a hundred years previous, because archiving digital media into the indeterminate future requires purposeful, ongoing activity and the continual expenditure of energy and financial resources. Books can molder while consuming little else but space alone, whereas magnetic domains or little bits of stored charges, floating on some fragile medium, require the active will of some long-term administration in order to survive. Servers don't maintain themselves, like books or photos. Someone - some organization, most likely, motivated solely by profit - we entrust with our digital legacies, to our detriment.
Typecast via Olivetti Lettera 22.