Musings on Photography

SoFoBoMo 2009

Posted in Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on October 22, 2008

I’ve noticed several blogs mentioning SoFoBoMo lately. And I’ve gotten some email inquiries, as well. So I’ll just put it out there that there will be a SoFoBoMo 2009.

Yesterday I started an email conversation with Bernie Sumption, the guy who built the current website. We’re working out what we should have on that website as things start ramping up for SoFoBoMo 2009.

Things currently under consideration:

  • Registration to participate on the website. This will give us a much easier time when it comes to knowing who’s signed up, how many people have signed up, etc.
  • a blog aggregator, similar to what Gordon McGregor did with Yahoo Pipes for 2008.
  • hosting of pdf’s directly, so that people aren’t forced to deal with and similar document hosting services.
  • a section for 2008 participants to provide brief writings on what they got from their participation, with an eye to letting people thinking of trying it this time what they can expect to put in and get out of participation.
  • a ‘resources’ page, with info pointing people toward good resources.

So far the feedback has been that the fuzzy month thing (e.g. you get 31 contiguous days which must fall entirely inside the months of April and May) worked well for folks. I think it should remain a SoFoBoMo feature, since there are quite a few people who wouldn’t have particpated in 2008 if it weren’t for the flexibility it offered.

I’m sure there’s more I should be getting out there, but that’s all that occurs to me for now. Got questions? Put’em in the comments, please.

19 Responses

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  1. My Camera World said, on October 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks Paul for taking the time to keep this fun gathering together.

    I am glad that the format and rules remains the same as last year.

    While even more myself I could suggest another time period that would suit the seasons, I still prefer that the main SoFoBoMo stays as originally started.

    Maybe in the future there could be a spin off where each photographer could select their own month and at the end of a year, collect them all.

    Thanks again

    Niels Henriksen

  2. Martin Doonan said, on October 22, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Nice. I’ve already been planning my time around the April/May slot – seeing where I might be and how I’ll make the time. I’ve even been putting down ideas for projects. Plus… oh, a whole lot more.

    Don’t like Niels’ idea of any month – the limited time period is supposed to foster a sense of togetherness and force action.

    Prizes for multiple books? I quite enjoyed doing a “slow” book and a “quick” book, masochist that I am.

    Perhaps we (the SoFoBoMo community) could generate a Wiki on useful stuff: planning projects, book planning & making, etc etc.

  3. Mike said, on October 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Excellent. I didn’t hear about the last one until it it was too late for me to really make a go of it, so this time I’m determined to take part.

    Thanks for all the effort to keep this happeing.


  4. Amy Sakurai said, on October 22, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I think April/May worked fine, and I don’t have a problem keeping SoFoBoMo there. The alternative thought I had was to have 14 months (or 10 months) between the events. This two month shift would roll the SoFoBoMos through all the seasons, starting the cycle over after six events. But maybe that’s unneccessarily complicated. (Yes, I’m sure it’s unneccessarily complicated. I guess SoFoBoMo shall be permanently rooted in North American springtime.)

    Regardless, I’m eager for round 2! 😀

  5. Anil said, on October 22, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    This is good! A fuzzy month like SoFoBoMo 2008 makes it easier for most.
    Will keep a look out for further news.


  6. Paul said, on October 23, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Certainly looking forward to it again. I do, however, like Amy’s idea about rolling it every year by about 2 months. It would give us a chance to shoot in other seasons. Mind you, I love the spring because of all of the rain!

  7. Markus Spring said, on October 23, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Good news – and this time I will not procrastinate until it’s too late… The fuzzy month of course is convenient to manage around family and business obligations. So this time, count me in.

  8. Glen said, on October 23, 2008 at 9:41 am

    So glad to hear that there are plans for a SoFoBoMo next year. I like the idea of changing the time period and would suggest slightly earlier in the year (February-March) or later (October-November). Where I live has nearly non-existent seasons but the light is very nice early and late in the year. And there’s even a chance of rain.

  9. Gordon McGregor said, on October 23, 2008 at 10:08 am

    As a participant I found the blog aggregator really good. I did find yahoo pipes particularly painful to administer. The GUI form of ‘programming’ is all well and good, but it is terrible for maintaining the database of feed URLs. A text file and a small script would be a whole lot less painful to manage next time around.

    Probably if you have a registration page, people could set their feed URL in a profile and have it automatically merged into the combined feed. That’d remove the need for a bottleneck like me in the registration process.

  10. Nick Adams said, on October 23, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    As a failed entrant of this years “contest” (that’s not the right word) project, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m really excited to see that it’s coming back. I need a chance to “reclaim” (again, not the right word) I guess just Claim my good name.

    I’m here to support the project in whatever way I can. Hell, set up a donation button somewhere that runs through paypal. I’ll throw 20 bucks in to a pot. Surely someone deserves compensation for webdesign, or there’s someone out there paying for web hosting…

    anyway, the point is, I’m psyched!!

  11. Andreas Manessinger said, on October 24, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Paul, thanks for the work you put into SoFoBoMo. I enjoyed it this year, I will certainly participate next year.

    As to Amy’s idea of not always doing it in Spring, well, this is intriguing and I guess it would keep things exciting for a long time. It would be more interesting for the audiences of the books as well. I think we should do that, in whatever way. Rolling by two months forward would be an option, making the next SoFoBoMo an early Summer affair, but I can also see not doing 14 months but 10. Why not February to end of March? Sounds perfectly possible for me. Anyone in for a discussion of that?

    Other than that, well, if there is some way I can help, please let me know.

  12. John Doty said, on October 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for putting this together again Paul and Gordon. I am looking forward to having a full month to do the book.
    As far as the seasons go, it would be fun to try in other seasons but I do like the idea of every one working at (about) the same time. So I would vote to keep the fuzzy month concept going and would be open to rotating the start/end times through the year.

  13. Martin Doonan said, on October 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Personally, I don’t care what time of year it is – there’s way more to photograph in the world than just the passing of the seasons.

  14. Doug Stockdale said, on October 24, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    As I mentioned to you off line, I am ready to support and possibly participate again;- )

    And I guess that I have my own set of lessons learned, to share with the others, eh?

  15. […] on a related subject, I have been discussing with Paul Butzi about SoFoBoMo 2009, (and I guess that I was not the only one), and starting the process of getting prepared for the […]

  16. Amanda McGlothlin said, on October 25, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    I am so excited to hear that this project will keep going. I agree with Nick’s idea of donating some money if necessary for web hosting and the like. Also, if you guys need help with web maintenance or design or anything, my “real job” (as opposed to photography, sadly) is as a web designer – and I would gladly donate my time. Thanks again for your help in getting this tradition started.

  17. My Camera World said, on October 26, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I also think that the rolling months over the years is a good idea.


  18. […] Paul Butzi’s blog is bubbling and buzzing with signs of SoFoBoMo 2009. […]

  19. Nancy Maynard said, on October 27, 2008 at 4:16 am

    As much as I love Spring, I would rather have rolling months. I also like the fuzzy month.

    I’m up for another SoFoBoMo.

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