7th anniversary of Orthphoto 2011.04.10

Today we are celebrating 7th anniversary of orthphoto. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine that we have been on the internet for 7 years now. When we think about our lives, seven years seems not to be a very long time. When we consider life of the church, seven years is nothing. But when we think about it in terms of modern technology and the internet, that is a really long time!

We would like to thank you for being with us all of this time and for creating the website together with us. We are grateful for your presence here, the wonderful photographs you have been sharing with us and your willingness to discuss and learn from one another. Together, we have created this special space on the internet where everyone can admire and learn about the beauty of Orthodox faith. OrthPhoto is our shared success!

Every year we try to add something new to our webpage. This year we are adding a little but a very important thing. Few months ago we have sent letters to all local churches to inform church officials about our existence on the net and our willingness to work for the good of our church.

We received a blessing from Patriarch Bartholomew and we wanted to present it somewhere on the website so we created a special page with blessings from bishops from all over the world. Last month we have sent several emails and to bishops whom we know personally and we asked for blessing for orthphoto. We have received some blessings and we are still waiting for more. If you can help us with collecting blessings, please, contact us and we can provide some materials about orthphoto. The blessing list is available here: http://beta.orthphoto.net/blessing.php. Why are we collecting the blessings? Because we want to highlight the idea behind orthphoto and the aims of our existence. OrthPhoto was created to show the world the beauty of the Orthodox faith and to unite the believers. We want to work for the good of our church. Blessings from our bishops are proofs that there is a need for a website like OrthPhoto and that we are heading in the right direction.

Our anniversary is also an occasion to evaluate what we have managed to achieve and to think about the future of OrthPhoto.net.

Looking at our statistic we can see a little bit of regress:

- Now we have 52000 photos – last year we have received 8000 photos – but during previous year there were 10000 photos uploaded.

- We have over 3800 users (400 people have joined us last year – a year before there were 600 new users)

- Every day we have around 1000 visits – the figure from the previous year is 1300.

When it comes to country statistics, Poland is still on the first place with 100 000 visits (20 % less than a year before). Below, we show statistics for other countries (figures in brackets show the change in comparison with the previous year).

2. Romania 73 202 (-19%)

3. Serbia 45 791 (-22%)

4. Bulgaria 21 904 (-11%)

5. Russia 19 619 (+8%)

6. United States 9 539 (-22%)

7. Greece 8 378 (-26%)

8. Germany 8 189 (+9%)

9. Bosnia and Hercegovina 6 502 (-21%)

10 Montenegro 6 255 (-62%)

As you can see only 2 countries in first 10 countries: Germany and Russia have better statistics than in the previous year. The best result has South Korea - 25th on the list. It has increased the number of visitors from 15 to 1217 which gives 8 000% more :). Full list with countries is to be found on our forum under this topic: http://orthphoto.net/forum_posts.php?id=198

A drop in statistics suggests that the website needs improvements. It is hard to do many changes with a team of volunteers, however, we are still very much devoted to orthphoto and we want to do all we can to develop our website. Here are some of our ideas and projects for the following months:

- Finishing beta version (Initially, we planned to start the new version on Easter. Sadly, we were unable to collect enough money to make it possible. However, we are still determined to make it work and we want to start it in May, even with some of the features initially planned for beta version not working temporarily. We have decided that it is crucial to do at least three things: allow users to decide about copyrights for photos, use google maps and allow photo sharing on social networks.) More information on beta version is available here: www.beta.orthphoto.net. Because the website exists to serve its users we would like to encourage you to participate in the process of its development. We are waiting for your suggestions as they always inspire us and allow us to create things that suit your needs.

- Organization of a photography workshop and an exhibition –We really want to make the workshop possible. The exhibition after it would be the crowning of the whole event. The two exhibitions we have already organized proved to be a great success and they are still in use and we hope it is not the end.(More information about our exhibitions is available here: www.exhibition.orthphoto.net)

Remember that sometimes you can do more for orthphoto than you can imagine. The future of the website lies in the hands of its users! That is why we always ask you for more participation and for suggestions for further development of orthphoto. If you think that we could be more visible in your country, do more interesting projects or do them in a better way, let us know. Your opinions are always welcome. You can contact the editorial team through the coordinator of the website Aleksander Wasyluk.

Again, thank you for being with us through all of these years and we hope it is not the end of our cooperation.

Editorial team

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