Up to now access to both forums has been through email. However it has long been recognised that some members prefer a browser based web forum style. Now there is a web forum view which works in parallel and provides two-way synchronisation with the existing email versions.
The general information pages for the two mailing lists are as follows:
ipsNET and ipsCHAT are exclusive forums for IPS members worldwide. It was originally only available via an email list but as of December 2012 access will also be possible by a parallel web forum to the same content - i.e. you can access the discussions via email and/or via the web forum view as preferred. Non-members can join us for a trial period as a guest participant by contacting John Grove via: forums[at]ips[dot]org[dot]uk
We have approx 500 subscribers who regularly read and contribute to our online forum, ipsNET. In 2012, ipsNET will have been running for fifteen years.
ipsCHAT is a recent spin-off from ipsNET. The success of ipsNET and the growing amount of traffic posed a threat that the serious "signal" was getting lost in the social "noise". Hence a decision was taken to create a second mailing list to specifically handle the "off topic chat" and leave ipsNET clear for the work related items. You can subscribe to one or both as you wish.
Discussions are on numerous topics ...and mostly about sound ! We have countless knowledgeable people in our midst, living or working in many different times zones, answering from home or business computers, using Wi-Fi in hotel lobbies, or hand-held devices standing in the middle of a field!!
Here are some examples of how ipsNET might have helped you....
Discussion on equipment is commonplace, with work-arounds for interfacing different products and software. Topics range from recording and editing software, to connecting to new cameras in the field. As we have people in our midst from location recording, dubbing, studios, product supply and even research, there's always someone on hand with the experience to assist.
We have frequent exchanges about radio microphone frequencies around the world. There is an online reference section in the Audio FAQs in the Wiki section of the IPS web site, and this can often be updated "live" on IPSNET by someone who's actually been there only recently! In the past few months we've had questions and answers about the use of radio microphones in Ghana, the Middle East, the U.S.A., Nigeria and Spain. Put a pin in the map, and there'll be an IPS member who's surely been! The very same contributors have given advice about other local conditions such as customs and security.
With a lot of our members being freelance, any heads up on new tax schemes are of interest. We managed to sort out the implications of the new UK VAT rates more quickly (and cheaply!) than we might have done using an accountant. A great many problems relating to employment have been resolved through discussions on ipsNET. Contracts, cancellation fees, mileage claims, tax implications – all the kind of things any self-employed person might encounter, but from the point of view of someone working specifically in our business.
An example of the speed at which a solution can found on ipsNET was a question on the subject of workflow earlier last year.
The journey to post varies considerably, and sometimes even production are not altogether clear how it should be – so it's reassuring to talk it over with other members of this group beforehand. One such case occurred when a new member was doing his first 35mm job, recording to a four channel Sound Devices 744T. He'd been instructed that the rushes were being delivered to the Avid editor on DVCAM tape. Problem in his case was that his rushes contained four tracks, and the DVCAM rushes could only take two. Fortunately there were several well-versed experts on the forum – one from location and another two from post, and the matter was pretty well resolved online within a Sunday afternoon!
Over the years we've had discussions as far ranging as clicking hard drives, mic stands, various bits of kit for sale (including two Fisher Booms!), a new CD format called Blu spec, preferences for Loudness meter needle colours, much discussion about the many new flash card recorders on the market, recording explosions, waterproofing radio mics, and how to obtain a press pass.