Musings on Photography

The Future of SoFoBoMo

Posted in Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on July 24, 2009


Time for a little update on the future plans for SoFoBoMo.

The small news is that the date for the next SoFoBoMo is set: the fuzzy two month window will be from June 1, 2010 to July 31, 2010. As before, you get to pick any contiguous 31 days period inside that two month window.

The big news is that we’ve now set up a steering group to make the decisions. This was the first step in an effort to build a stable structure for running SoFoBoMo in the future.

Things in the works:

  1. Careful consideration of creating a non-profit, 501(c)(3) qualified corporation to hold all the rights to SoFoBoMo, accept contributions, pay costs, and so on. Right now it looks very much like this is a go, and I’m just working out details of the arrangement. The goal here is not to create some monster organization, but to do what we need to do to shield the folks working on SoFoBoMo from legal problems, make it easy for folks to support SoFoBoMo financially, and to provide enough structure to make SoFoBoMo continue in a stable way into the future. If you have experience is starting such a corporation, I’d love to get your thoughts on that, please send me email.
  2. The web site will be expanded and many new and wonderful features will be added. Things planned: many resources for people on topics like book design, PDF generation for both Mac and Windows, and probably some stuff containing the accumulated wisdom about how to be successful at getting a SoFoBoMo book done. When we have some of the structural decisions on this done, I expect we’ll be asking people to contribute to that.

  3. We’ll be adding a discussion forum, tightly integrated with the main website, that gives people a place to get together, support one another, chat, discuss, moan and weep, etc. Our hope is that this forum will help ease the feeling that this year’s SoFoBoMo was not as convivial as last year’s.

  4. We’re making a push to have SoFoBoMo escape from the fetters of its anglophone origins, see this post.

8 Responses

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  1. Anita Jesse said, on July 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    It would be difficult to top the impact of adding hosting service for books, but the discussion forum will certainly make the website even more useful. I like finding tips and resources on individual sites and the personal feeling of going straight to the source of information; but, I can see the value of asking those people to repeat the material at a central site.

    All the ideas swirling about sound exciting. I am confident that SoFoBoMo 2010 will be another rousing success.

  2. Ove said, on July 25, 2009 at 6:29 am

    #2 and 3 will be highly appreciated by everybody that struggles with the technicalities that normally occur when doing a PDF publication. Looking forward to the 2010 edition already, but I will wait another half year before I start thinking of what book to make. That’s maybe something to discuss on the forum? 🙂

  3. Mike said, on July 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Say — when will we be able to do winter (northern hemisphere style). Spring’s OK, but enough’s enough already!! Autumn will also suffice — October-November. Whaddaya say to that?

  4. Paul Butzi said, on July 26, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Say — when will we be able to do winter (northern hemisphere style). Spring’s OK, but enough’s enough already!! Autumn will also suffice — October-November. Whaddaya say to that?

    So far we’ve done April/May and May/June. The plan for the future is to continue to space the starts 13 months apart. So the next one up is June/July 2010. Then we’ll have July/August 2011, August/September 2012, September/October 2013, October/November 2014, November/December 2015, December/January 2016/2017

    And then we’ll just keep right on going. This scheme was chosen to space each event about a year apart but precess through the year, eventually hitting all possible two month windows in order.

  5. Robert G. Longpré said, on July 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Paul, I like what I see in moving forward. I especially like the idea of a forum. Your idea of moving toward a multilingual presence is a step in the right direction. I hope that the adverts for the coming year will go out to various placeholders for various languages. You have a number of participants who could help steer this journey, participants whose first language and country of origin are outside of North America. Good luck.

  6. Markus Spring said, on July 27, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Paul, just a remark on the spacing of the months: I could imagine that making it 14 months would advance us through the times of the year at double the speed without too many disadvantages. This way we’ll have a turnaround already after 6 instead of 12 years.

  7. Rosie Perera said, on July 28, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I like the idea of a forum. It would also be great to be able to comment on people’s finished books, so we photographers can read all the encouraging replies. Then again, this might be discouraging to the many people who get no replies. For that same reason, perhaps we should NOT have a star rating system or number-of-views count like YouTube. That would be tempting as a way to help us find the good stuff quickly amid all the mediocre, but SoFoBoMo isn’t about competing in quality, it’s about fostering a sense of accomplishment for all.

    It would be helpful if you and/or Colin could provide a list of languages that need to be worked on for the translation and a checkmark or assigned name once somebody has spoken for one of them so we don’t go to redundant effort locating a native speaker or doing the translating ourselves. I can ask my brother if he’ll translate into German; he’s fluent and knows and loves photography too. And my aunt could probably do the French if she has time; she’s a professional translator. And I have a Spanish-speaking photographer friend. And dozens of other friends who are fluent in English and also native speakers of other languages (including obscure ones like Faroese), so I need to know what still needs to be done.

  8. Amanda McGlothlin said, on August 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Let me know if the sofobomo crew is looking for volunteer web design/programming work. That is my day job, and I would love to help however I can. Different languages though… not so much. 🙂

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