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02/14/2007 12:53:14 AM · #1
I ask everyone that open this thread please take time to read. Even though this has to do with the WPL and me, it still pertains to other users. It will also let you hear a side of me that I have covered up and not let anyone of you know about, till now. But first lets start with the WPL and Critique Direct and then we will get to my story.

The WPL started small and has grown beyond what I thought it could ever achieve. Everything that I have done for the WPL has been honest and for the sole purpose of trying do something good for DPChallenge users, giving them a place to participate as a team in a fun and competitive setting. As interest as grown I purchased a domain to allow WPL members to chat about the WPL. I did this for two reasons, one short term and one for the long term. The short term reasons was for the members of the WPL to be able to chat as a team and do a little smack talking while respecting the non-WPL users by lowering the amount of WPL threads on their homepage. At the time I did not know that the forum ďSide Challenges and TournamentsĒ could be turned off by users, I thought only the threads could be turned off one at a time. And for someone that did not want to see the threads it would be a pain to ignore thread after thread as they were created.

The long-term goal of the WPL was to go on itís own. Yes, to be a membership site and hopefully make money. That does not make me a bad guy, just someone that needs extra income. But even wanting the WPL to be a paid site one day I would never forget DPChallenge, the administrators, and all the users. I always had the intention to setup the WPL so that members of DPC would receive a discount membership or possibly free membership at the WPL.

I posted critiquedirect.com and asked users to visit the site. I know people were asking themselves what is he doing? Well it was simple; I had seen many people post a photograph for critique or comment and was not getting one. So I decided to buy that domain and have a place someone could post a picture they wanted to have critiqued and would get a comment or critique along with a rating on their photograph. I was going to have it setup on a points schedule, you receive points when you critique a photograph and rate it and with those points you could post a photograph to be critiqued and rated. It was going to go beyond just photographs to include many things to critique and rate.

This brings us up to date. I have taken down the critique direct site because no one seemed to have an interest in it. I can understand that and Iím not complaining. I will be taking down the WPL forum site as well. I thank everyone that took the time to register and post. The reason I am doing this is not because I have been ask to do so by anyone. But after talking to someone about the site I can see where teams having a thread that is hidden from public view could cause some concern among non-WPL users and DPChallenge.com. I will say that I have read every thread public and private at the WPL forums and no one, no team, has violated any of the WPL rules or DPChallenge rules. Everyone has conducted himself or herself in a professional and honest manner. So why take down the forums? I donít want to allow an area that can be open to anything happening like last season. And donít want any members of DPChallenge be seen as someone that would cheat even when they havenít.

Now getting to me. I was always an individual that was a go-getter, someone that tried to make as many people happy as possible even at the expense of my time and sometimes money. I donít regret that, that was I up until 2000 at which time I became very ill. Seven years later Iím still sick, I lost my job, I have lost all friends, I have none except here. No because of them but because of me because Iím not able to get out like I use too. I guess thatís why I have tried so hard to make people happy here at DPChallenge. It makes me feel good; a feeling that I lost a long time ago. Chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and depression are a part of my everyday habit. I sit around the house alone everyday while my children go to school and my wife works. Looking at the same four walls day in and day out. Wondering why, why me! I should be the one supporting my family, I feel as if I have let them down along with my friends because of my problems, physically and mentally.

You know going to doctor after doctor month after month year after year trying to find out what is wrong becomes depressing after a while and thatís what happened to me. I have not only changed mentally but physically as well. I have gained weight and become weaker. My neck and back will not allow me to be mobile. I try to enjoy my hobby of being a novice photographer but it has even got in the way of that. I think the last time I have taken a picture was in the middle of January. Not all is bad I do have to thank my wonderful family for their support and love as I go through this and in time I will be back to my old self. But when I get there I will cherish every moment of everyday and the friendships I make.

For everyone that thought I was doing a good thing with the WPL and enjoyed it, thank you. For anyone that thinks I went overboard or was annoying ( and I know I do that from time to time) with the WPL and Critique Direct, I sorry and ask for your forgiveness. I still feel the WPL (as it began) is a good thing for the users that want to participate but I will not be the one at the helm any more. Anyone that would like to take the WPL and run it your welcome to do so. It takes time and you have to be loyal to DPChallenge.com and their rules but itís fun.

Thanks everyone for listening, sorry I kept your reading so long. I hope my southern grammer has not made you pull out your hair trying to understand what I'm saying :). I consider all of you e-friends and wish you all well. As I bow out I will hold my head high and remember the good times. I hope no one thinks any less of me.

Love to all,
Scott W.
02/14/2007 12:59:56 AM · #2
Scott...I can't think how anyone could even consider that you did any wrong intentionally towards others. You spent a great deal of time and monies in this project with no expected immediate reward. That takes a man with a big heart.

Your body might be breaking down...but your heart makes up for it. Your sense of humour(to put up with all of us) and your sanity is still strong. Be proud of what you have accomplished.

I will miss the league and hope someone who has the knowledge is able to pick it up. I know first hand that the league has generated many solid friendships, both online and offline...and without your input that would never have happened.

I know the initial idea was Tomboys...but you grabbed it and ran with it.

Please...find the positives in your venture and go with that. Remember...the glass is half full....NOT half empty.

Scott....I am not religous...so instead I offer a hug as my way of saying thanks for all you have done.
02/14/2007 01:03:25 AM · #3
You have meant a great deal to alot of folks here Scott, don't kid yourself.
Here's to things looking up..and I'll say a prayer for ya..gotta cover all the bases ;)
02/14/2007 01:07:13 AM · #4
Hey Scott, I agree with what Judi said. I only joined the WPL this year, but was enjoying the challenge, and joining a team actually made me some good friends here on DPC. SO I have to thank you for that. I've always found it difficult to fit into online communities.

I pray that you will be granted the strength and healing to recover.

Thank you for the time and effort you put into all this. It is appreciated.

02/14/2007 01:09:09 AM · #5
I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. I have appreciated all the time you have taken to help me with some of my photographic struggles as well. You are a kind person with a good intention and that always reaps rewards :)

I hope you get to feeling better and I wish you much happiness in your future :)

Sending some love your way :)
02/14/2007 01:10:30 AM · #6
You shouldn't take down critiquedirect.com solely because of a lack of interest. I had not even heard of it yet. critiquedirect.com may not have taken off as you had hoped but web sites like that can take time for people to catch on.
02/14/2007 01:17:27 AM · #7

What you have done to date with the WPL has brought a great deal to the DPC community, and helped many of the users get more involved with DPC(which I think was your original goal). You have given us a hell of a lot. Thanks for the effort.

You know my opinion of the proposed future-state WPL. I personally wasn't a fan. That doen't mean there isn't a place for the middle-ground of a neat site that operates to manage WPL using DPC challenges.

Take care, and God Bless.

02/14/2007 01:35:11 AM · #8
Originally posted by skylercall:

You shouldn't take down critiquedirect.com solely because of a lack of interest. I had not even heard of it yet. critiquedirect.com may not have taken off as you had hoped but web sites like that can take time for people to catch on.

I agree with this statement. I am all for it because I am a new photog and need the guidance. And boy do I need the help, hehe. Just ask Gordon.
02/14/2007 01:42:01 AM · #9
you sounded as if you're going to abandon us - i hope not
02/14/2007 02:02:06 AM · #10
Scott, you did an incredible job running the WPL. You have to know that. In addition your contribution to DPC itself has been immeasurable and whatever happens going forward will not dimmish that.

FYI, I hadn't heard of this other web site, Critique Direct until now so maybe that was the case with others as well.
02/14/2007 02:06:11 AM · #11
Hang in there Scott!
02/14/2007 03:10:54 AM · #12
Thanks for opening up that part of your life and sharing it with us. That alone takes a great deal of courage. As far as WPL, I will miss it if it goes away. With that said, no site anywhere would be worth sacrificing any one's health or mental well-being simply to keep it running. I know you had big plans for it, and I was looking forward to being part of that growth and transformation. But, beyond all that, I hope you get better.

I do hope that you reconsider taking down the WPL. Was it easier to run with the format you had last season? I had no complaints with that setup. I know that you ran into some bugs trying to grow it. I wish I had the programming knowledge to help out, but I am very limited in that capacity. Is there anything that I can do, or even a small group of us, to keep it running with the past format? I'd be more than willing to help out as much as I could, or learn more to help out more. I wouldn't know where to start, but I'd sure be willing to help. Think it all through, but make sure that you decide what is best for you. Again, I echo all the thanks and adoration of the previous posters. To hell with anyone annoyed with what we do here. To my recollection, only Dr.Confuser ever took issue with it. I hope his bleak opinion didn't spark the beginning of the end.

Anyway, thanks again, and my thoughts are with you and your health. That holds more importance than any league or site ever could. Be well.

Blue Skies,
02/14/2007 03:23:33 AM · #13
Though I don't play in the WPL, I've enjoyed visiting the site to see how those who do play are doing. You did a magnificent job, Scott, and everyone, even those of us on the sidelines, could see that. So thanks from me for your massive amount of talent and energy, and heartfelt best wishes on your recovery. You are sincerely appreciated here!
02/14/2007 03:25:41 AM · #14

I only took part in one of the WPL seasons but found it incredibly energising. In no small way you are responsible for that. The league spurred many people on to the next level in the chosen hobby of photography, you should be proud of your efforts.

I would just like to say a simple THANK YOU from all the participants at WPL.
02/14/2007 05:59:17 AM · #15
Dear Scott.

They say " 1 man is not an island" I think you prove them wrong, you single handedly took the bull by the horns with WPL and created a great team community, an enjoyable, new interest to the challenges, A way for others to meet people online and feel a part of a team, You are an inspiration my friend.

When I used to live in East London among the prostitutes and drug lords and I had a gun shoved to my head for 1 pound 30 pence and someone above me threw their dog out of the window to its death, everyday the huge piles of rotting garbage grew larger as the children happily ran and played around it... I spent the best part of a year in my flat, I had no energy or desire to go outside, for what? to smell that STINK or maybe get robbed or beaten up, I was safe inside MY WORLD and I became sick. mental sickness is a thing that creeps up on you. You seem to have your mental side pretty much intact but this is the internet, for all I know you could of written that post covered in tears, and maybe you did. I just want you to know that you are not alone in your feeling Scott, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am currently laid off work with back problems and some days I cannot physically get out of a chair or my bed. I have artheritis that has stopped me from my childhood dream of being a musician. Again, you are not alone my friend.

I was helped by a young man who I had seen on the streets of London with nowhere to live, no food and I took him to my flat and gave him food, a bath, a place to stay until he found his feet. HE was the man that came to my rescue, we remain good friends, I went to Japan for the best 10 years of my life, I left him my flat and he now runs a resturant in East London.

For now it seems like there is just down, but there is also UP. You brought a lot of happiness to many people in this world through a website called DPC, including myself. Dig deep my friend and know that what you did was wonderful. I will urge you to continue the WPL, If there is anything I can do, Spiritually or physically to help, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Im sure I speak for many when I say "You truely ARE A southern Gentleman"
02/14/2007 06:11:06 AM · #16
Scott, the WPL is/was an fantastic achievement and idea, i was really enjoying it, as for critquedirect i'm with others, don't take it down coz' there is a potential for sure ...

... and i'm sending you positive vibes and energy. :-)

02/14/2007 06:34:45 AM · #17
I can hardly express how well I understand the situation you're in, I once lost my job because it was all too much; other things happened to and with me I would never have the courage to post here...

What you did with WPL I enjoyed very much; it encouraged me to shoot more and work on my skills, the last three ribbons I got (though the photos weren't taken during the season) surely are an outcome of the WPL.

I don't care for the new design or the forums, I could easily live with continuing in the old format. Hopefully, there will be someone you could help to continue the great work.

As others, I also have never heard of critiquedirect.com, that seems to be the main problem; other than that, there is photosig.com (which brought me here) with a similar system...

All the best to you,
02/14/2007 06:38:47 AM · #18

As many have said, I would like to thank you for the short period I have had in the WPL. I has helped me and challenged me to become more active in DPC and to think harder about the challenges and photography in general.

I hope you feel well soon and hope that you realize you did alot of good for alot of people.

Hang in there,
02/14/2007 06:50:29 AM · #19
Prayers for your health, recovery, and acceptance of God's plan when that path is extremely rough.

I enjoyed every momement of WPL3 and onset of WPL4. I made friends with a wonderful group of ladies and others.

Thank you for what you've done and will do. Your a good man.
02/14/2007 07:13:35 AM · #20
Hey didnt haver time to do much more then speed read BUT. I will be responding to your email about what you want todo regarding the site. Maybe you need more time but dont let the site itself get you off. Im still willing to contribute anytime i have towards it.

I think the only thing my problem will be is doing the login and carrying php sessions. If anyone else can get us all past that part i think the rest of the site will be easy.

Remember DPC started off nothing but an access database and over 5 years grew intot his it takes time patience.

Most of all if it gets to you go take a damn vacation!
02/14/2007 08:12:19 AM · #21
I think the WPL has become an integral part of DPC so I think the most logical step in the situation would be DPC hosting the WPL and integrating it to it's system.

Scott have you asked Langdon if they're interested in taking over the WPL? With the two systems integrated the WPL could be automated totally and almost maintainance free.

I guess I can stop nagging on my team members to participate! :-/

Hope you will get better. If you feel stuck you might think of making some changes, move, go back to school or something. Often just making a deliberate decision makes you feel better, feeling in control. I lost my job few years back an felt miserable not providing for my family and somehow out of place. After months of being the "housefather" I decided to go back to school even if I was 10 years older than most of my fellow students and would be poor for few more years. Now 4 years later I'm graduating with B.S. degree in Computer Science feel a lot better. Remember that your e-friends are still real people and getting in touch with your old friends may be as simple as picking up the phone. I hope the WPL continues since I was really enjoying participating and captaining :)

Best, Captain Hauxon
02/14/2007 08:13:41 AM · #22
I feel you've done sooo much for this community, you took the ball of idea and ran with it - much to the enjoyment of many many many many many people.

man-hug for Scott ... good energies headed your way
02/14/2007 09:02:14 AM · #23
Well Scott I for one applaud your honesty and your being open with all of this. It looks like you took down the WPL site and I am going to assume that te WPL no longer exists. You created a good thing that added to the DPC experience and I thank you for that. Good luck with your future plans and hope your health returns to you. Your friends here at DPC will still be here when you find yourself in a happier place and time.

02/14/2007 09:14:00 AM · #24
If you don't feel physically or mentally up to the task of running a web site(s), no problem. Thanks for the experience to date, and good luck in the future.

To present WPL forums as some possible mechanism for secret team collusion is ludicrous, however. IM, IRC, the same forum software you downloaded and installed, hundreds of other open source forum code, picking up a phone and making a call - all of these are equally viable means for 'cheating'.

Hope you feel better, but I think it's poor form to pull the plug when the season is live without having first secured a replacement administrator to carry the ball. While you weren't receiving payment for providing the site, quite a few other people have sunk a good bit of time into WPL as well.

Again, hope you get over whatever ails you. I know this site is all about back patting and were-all-behind-you threads, but this could have been handled in a much better way.
02/14/2007 10:30:47 AM · #25
Scott, can you clear up what you've said? Is there still a WPL or not? What kind of time frame is there for "somebody" to step in and take over, as you mentioned? Are you gone as of NOW, or will you help somebody take over?

We're really confused over here in DPC. I personally wish you the best, but this thing has become pretty big, and we don't quite know what to do.

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