It was 20 years ago today that I started CML with 60 members, people I’d been talking to about cinematography on Compuserve, AOL and Usenet and who I made members of CML because I thought that there should be a simple single system dedicated to professional cinematographers.
It was never set up to make money, purely to exchange information between fellow professionals.
We now have 11,976 members spread over 20 generally available lists. There are a number of other lists that have closed memberships as they are for manufacturers beta testers and various educational courses.
When we started there was a serious lack of information about new digital technologies and cameras and we tried to help share what knowledge there was. Now there is a plethora of place to get information about equipment.
Our system is still aimed at working cinematographers and that is why we are primarily still email based, around 80% of CML traffic is via email.
I have tried, with the help of the listmums to keep CML focused on clear professional facts rather than the usual internet miasma of gossip and rumour and ill-informed comment.
This is why we have always been a closed system, it has been necessary to join or register to be able to use the discussion facilities of CML although the web pages of edited discussions have always been openly available.
To celebrate our 20th birthday we are opening up the discussion lists to anyone to read, read, not write.
Anyone wanting to post will have to join but the collected knowledge will now be openly available to all.
This does not mean that members details will be available, they won’t. Lyris conceals these.
I hope we will get more people contributing to the shared knowledge and that we keep growing.
Thank you all for making CML what it is.