Ontario Abandoned Places Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Ontario Abandoned Places > Guides and Tutorials
  New Posts New Posts
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Topic ClosedNew Member Orientation

 Post Reply Post Reply
OAP View Drop Down

Joined: 26 Feb 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 881
Direct Link To This Post Topic: New Member Orientation
    Posted: 30 Mar 2015 at 10:37pm
Hello Members,

This text file has been written for the sake of our new members. It will be mandatory reading before the New User Registration process. I've noticed new members are unclear about the policy on what content is acceptable, also we see the occasional new member close their account within 24 hours of creating it.

OAP isn't for everyone and I hope that this text file clarifies what you can expect from us, and what we expect from you. Tongue

We offer a forum for Basic Members, where you can arrange to meet with other explorers or just talk about being new to the hobby. The Public Forum can be found HERE.

What's the process in attaining access on OAP?

We serve as a database of abandoned properties in Ontario. We're one of only two such websites in all of Canada.  The other site is problematic in terms of too many people (including known graffiti artists and thieves) having access to these locations.

The following is what you can expect as a new member to Ontario Abandoned Places.

Stage 1 - You visit the website as a non-member. You cannot view maps, cannot message members nor can you comment on locations. You're a guest who comes and goes like many of our 30,000 monthly anonymous guests.

Stage 2 - You decide to create a member account. Now you can message other members and leave comments on locations. You can access the forum. You still CANNOT view maps or GPS location information. The locations visible to you are the same as for someone at stage 1. New members receive Basic Access which is what every guest receives. You'd only create an account if you planned to contact other members, post in the forum, leave comments, or upload photos.

Stage 3 - You send us a sampling of your photos (either uploading them to the site or sending us a link to your social media). If it appears that you're an active explorer, we'll enable the maps for you. Now you can see where the Basic Access locations are located. You can visit them and take photographs of them. We do this to reduce possibility of arsons and other undesirable events.

What if you don't have any photos to upload? Unfortunately this website is built upon people who take initiative and make the effort to travel the back roads looking for abandoned properties. We can't do all of the work for you by giving you maps AND locations. Talk to friends, read the newspapers, visit places, take photos and upload them to us. You may also be able to message the person who created the location and ask them for the address.
Stage 4 - You continue to upload photos of places you've been. Your comments and peer interactions are positive. After approximately 10 galleries have been created by you, you may then apply for Full Membership.

It's always best to try to think outside the box - by getting in your car and actively seeking new places to explore. While uploading photos of existing OAP locations counts, showing extra initiative goes a long way. It's also how this website grows, as members add new locations to the site. If we all relied on OAP's existing locations, we'd only see new galleries of the same old locations and no new places to visit.

Stage 5 - Your application is voted upon and you're either granted FM access or are denied. Most people don't succeed their first try, but succeed on their second. We look for people who take interior photos and who upload decent images (non blurry).

We don't want rock foundations, collapsed barns, photos of 'junk'. We don't want every abandoned structure in Ontario - we want only the ones that inspire others to visit them.

For example, a car dealership closes near you. You send in photos of a dealership with locked doors and nothing but empty space inside. ( don't upload this )

A car dealership closes near you and there's a way inside. You find some old cars, some engines and other things of interest. ( upload this )

It comes down to asking yourself, "Would anyone want to SEE this place for themselves?"

Why can't we just issue everyone the SAME access?

Let's be honest - Basic Member locations are boring and there's a valid reason for that. If we opened up the entire database to the public, we'd see items going missing all the time. Treasure hunters and dishonest antique sellers are everywhere.

Full Member locations are places that have little vandalism, are not well known (eg. not found along main highways) or that contain personal effects.

Full Member will open up over 2,000 beautiful locations for you. It's not a perfect system because you're the only one who knows if you're truly honest or not - but we believe in rewarding your dedication to helping our community grow.

Full Member isn't a lifetime license to grow your photo portfolio - you ARE EXPECTED to continue to contribute photos and locations. 

There's nothing wrong with visiting the website as a guest or Basic Member - in fact I encourage families and individuals who aren't active explorers and photographs to visit our public content.

Full Members who continue to prove themselves, who meet up with other members and have people to vouch for them may be promoted to Full Member 2. FM2 is the highest access level and grants full unlimited access that doesn't expire.

Why do we have Full Member and FM2?

There comes a time where the size of your member population becomes too large. This is seen on the other database exploration site. We want to avoid this as much as possible. It's at the point now where too many Full Members exist to keep locations 'secret' as they should be. So we've essentially discontinued the Full Member access. It's still issued but when new locations are created on OAP they now go into the Full Member 2 database instead of the Full Member one.

If you're FM2, your content goes into the FM2 pool - if you're Full Member, your content goes into the Full Member pool.

Over time as we see motivated people in the Full Member pool making an effort to find original locations, and we're receiving positive feedback about you, you may end up Full Member 2.

It's like school where you start at Kindergarten and then proceed to Grade 1 then graduate to Grade 2. Here you enter Basic Member, you graduate to Full Member and then to Full Member 2.

Sharing of Information

Full Member content posted on Ontario Abandoned Places is private. Members post content expecting that addresses and Google'able information from their location doesn't end up on your blog or social media. If you visit someone's location, and post photos of it with an address or GPS information then you will likely be banned. This applies ONLY to Full Member information because Basic Member information is public.

This expectation is realistic the same way if you shared a location with your friend via word-of-mouth and he posted it to Facebook with an address. Too many of the wrong people are liable to see this information.

This applies to locations that are NOT your own - you're free to share your own with whomever you want including non-members. If you look at Facebook's groups dedicated to exploring abandoned buildings, they follow a similar non-disclosure policy.

This comes down to common courtesy and some respect for one another. If you really need to disclose an address to someone else, ask the person who created the location if they'd mind.
In closing I'll say that OAP has been around for seventeen years now. We gain new members 365 days of the year and new locations are created almost 365 days of the year. We're a fun community with some very good photographic talent and some good road trip companions.

I hope you find us to be part of your daily web experience.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.