"It's been real..." Thu 29-Jan-09 09:29 PM by tundracamper
Before I let my membership expire, I wanted to say how much I have enjoyed this forum. After getting to know my D80, I migrated over to this forum. Probably the most important thing I have learned is how important lighting is to making a photograph.
Over the past couple of years, I have learned a lot and I have shared a lot. I just hope what I have shared has benefited somebody.
#4. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
I'm sorry to see you go Steve, especially as one who has been a real participant at Nikonians, sharing your experience.
I'm sorry that the new minimum fee of $25/annum is more than your valuation of Nikonians. That speaks loudly.
If I may be so bold to ask, (and moderators I know this isn't strictly "en topic") if you still have membership privileges, what would have made a difference to you to stay, considering your substantial participation in the past.
#5. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
>Before I let my membership expire, I wanted to say how much I >have enjoyed this forum.
Me too. I would like to echo Steve's goodbye, as they are running me off too. I enjoyed trying to help here, and will miss it. Surely I overvalue my contribution, since the owners obviously value their $25 more. (the dollars are nothing to me, it is about the management decisions). So while I cannot be as classy as Steve, I frankly doubt it can ever be the same place again here, which seems a real shame, but it done now, and there are other good places too.
#6. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 5
Wayne, I'm sorry to see you go too. You've been a fantastic contributor. If you would, let me know what specific management decisions led you to drop Nikonians once your free membership ends, by messaging me. I'd really like to hear from you as an excellent contributor.
#7. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 6
Well, IMO, it is like those RRS flash shoes. Management has chosen the very most expensive way possible to implement the forum, for which I see only negative added value, and I have no intention of paying for it, however small my share they expect me to pay. It is totally unimaginable their photo gear store sales, and all the paid work shops, and even the advertising, cannot pay for a forum. It seems very much a big business here, everything we see in our face on every page is soliciting more business and money. If they cannot see that only the forums attract the customers to their business ventures, then there is no hope. High costs however, all the paid staff to support those other business ventures. Good (and better) forum software is readily available for an annual cost much less than one days pay for their own programmers, etc. Apparently they dug too deep a hole, but sorry, that is not my responsibility to pay, no matter how trivial $25 is. They will get a little added income now, for awhile, but at cost of running away most by doing it. Self defeating.
I imagine this text will be deleted, and it is already decided anyway, so not much point of going into it. There are just better choices for me now. I enjoyed it while it lasted, and I will miss it.
#9. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 5
I am sorry to see you go as well. You will indeed be missed. I would like to thank you for your conribution. I wish you all the best in the future! I hope you will check in from time to time to see if anything changes down the road! Good Luck and continue to Enjoy your Nikons!
#10. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 4
>I'm sorry that the new minimum fee of $25/annum is more than >your valuation of Nikonians. That speaks loudly. > >If I may be so bold to ask, (and moderators I know this isn't >strictly "en topic") if you still have membership >privileges, what would have made a difference to you to stay, >considering your substantial participation in the past.
I think you have really summarized the reason. While my participation may not have been that significant, I have tried to keep an attitude of FREELY sharing my information and experiences with others. Now, someone else is going to be "profiting" from the information that I am providing. I just don't see the logic in that. Yes, Nikonians has been of value to me. But, I do think the information I have provided has been of at least some marginal value to others. But, I'm not asking for any money.
If I had to pay $25 to all the forums for which I am an ACTIVE participant, it would NOT add up to a piddly $25. I am a moderator on a Yahoo forum, and I'm not asking folks for money to help offset the "value" of my time. No, $25 is not a lot. In fact, my wife and I just spend close to $40 on a good lunch and then I went over and bought a $15 magazine. Still, it just doesn't seem logical for me to give my advice away while someone else profits. The model of a "free" forum seems to work elsewhere, just not here.
I guess the bottom line is that I don't see a forum that requires participants to pay (in order to freely share information) as being a forum that will succeed in the future. I choose now to spend my time on forums that I think will succeed and maintain a large user base from which to draw knowledge, and share experiences. Sorry I have to put it so bluntly, but that's just the way I see it - particularly given that I am now looking at TWO flashing banner ads and that doesn't seem to be enough to cover the costs.
As for the "added value" of all the other features? I already have a paid account to host my photos. All that other stuff is fluff that I don't need.
I hope this provides a little insight on my position.
#11. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 8
Hi Ned, I am not leaving Nikonians. I feel the info I have received has been highly valuable. However, I am cutting back on my posts to the forums because of the inconvenience of needing to create copies and resize my images for up-loading. This only adds additional memory and file size.
While many of you are discussing issues, how about addressing this one? I take part in two other site forums with a process that makes up-loading images from my personal galleries almost seamless.
#14. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 9 Sat 31-Jan-09 12:10 PM by TampaNikon1
Spring Hill, US
Let me start by saying I recently renewed my membership, I have been a member of Nikonians since 8/02 and a Silver member (I think) for three years (This being my third renewal).
I know it is hard for the admins to bring added value to a paying membership, especially if the member has a gallery elsewhere but I renewed out of a sense of community, primarily due to the help and good advice from some of the folks above who said they are leaving
One thing I do want to point out is that the recent "Loyal Membership 2" initiative "If you are on Silver, Gold or Platinum level and you renew you will receive an additional 30 days extension to your membership at no additional cost" Does not really make sense to me.
Unless your membership actually expires you never really realize the extra thirty days, right?
Am I looking at this wrong?
Bob, A Florida Nikonian
"When you turn your camera on...does it return the favor? "If Not get a "NIKON" !
#16. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 7
San Antonio, US
Please let me know where you end up. I have been following you since purchasing scantips maybe 10 years ago. I chose to be a silver member to maybe help support the forum a little. I will not renew when the time comes. There is something that just irks me about not allowing a free membership on a forum. Experts Exhange started this about three a while back and I quit them on principal also and have not missed them. Seems very short sighted on Nikonians. Please drop me a line Markp+++@+++proseals.com. Nikon Cafe is looking much better.
#17. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 14
>but I renewed out of a sense of community, primarily >due to the help and good advice from some of the folks above >who said they are leaving
Somewhat ironic, don't you think. Many of those things (ok, people) that "added value" to this forum will not be around. I'm sure they'll lower the subscription fees in the future, since the value has decreased
#18. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
I'm new here at Nikonians, just paid my $25 a few days ago. What attracted me here is the high quality of forum content. Thus far I am quite pleased with my decision.
I too have concerns that the business model here is doomed for failure. I also understand how expensive it is to run a high volume site like this. I hope the ownership recognizes the need to attract and keep active members to keep the site going. But, I fear that charging for forum access will result in a significant drop in activity and therefore a reduction in value.
I don't claim to have any sort of answer as to how to alter the business model. I would suggest altering the policies to allow free forum access and coming up with value added features that make membership attractive. Perhaps 'members only' pricing and or promotions at the store? Or perhaps gallery access only to paid members. I'm sure you've all discussed this ad nauseum, so forgive me for adding my two cents worth.
#19. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 18
I have been a paid member here for 3 years now and enjoy the site, but I must say that it is really not a good decision to exclude others to participate in the discussion forums. Wayne and others are right about the internet today. There are quite a number of other sites where one can go for sharing information and experience. Nikonians must not only allow, but welcome others to participate in its forums. It can charge for the other services.
#20. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 19
I have been a member here since 2004 and had just upgraded to silver membership this month due to not be able to post in the sale forum. I really enjoy all the forums and always been thankful for all those who had taken their time to help others out. Like Wayne and others who will not renew their memberships, I know I am in the same boat once my membership expires. I think it's such ashame that other websites are free and nikonians is charging for $25 for it. Doug
#21. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 7
>Well, IMO, it is like those RRS flash shoes. Management >has chosen the very most expensive way possible to implement >the forum, for which I see only negative added value, and I >have no intention of paying for it, however small my share >they expect me to pay. It is totally unimaginable their photo >gear store sales, and all the paid work shops, and even the >advertising, cannot pay for a forum. It seems very much a big >business here, everything we see in our face on every page is >soliciting more business and money. If they cannot see that >only the forums attract the customers to their business >ventures, then there is no hope. High costs however, all the >paid staff to support those other business ventures. Good >(and better) forum software is readily available for an annual >cost much less than one days pay for their own programmers, >etc. Apparently they dug too deep a hole, but sorry, that is >not my responsibility to pay, no matter how trivial $25 is. >They will get a little added income now, for awhile, but at >cost of running away most by doing it. Self defeating. > > There are just better choices for me now. I enjoyed it while it > lasted, and I will miss it. >
Well said. On Feb 6th my "subscription" runs out and I will not be back either. There are some OUTSTANDING participants on Nikonians who FREELY give of their time and sometimes prodigous efforts who I will miss. Everywhere one turns on Nikonians however, the "business model" is not one of keeping costs low and membership happy. I don't have an issue with members paying for added features, but eliminating people across the board, no matter how long they have participated, is wrong in my opinion. Even though Nikonians claims to be "not for profit", it appears that the long term goal is to eventually sell the business and profit on the efforts of the subscribers. What the owners don't seem to get is that the Forum exists not because of them, but because of the members. There are a ton of forums on Photography and lots of other forums that start with "Nikon..." available who don't charge or seem to be constantly asking for money. Just as the brick & mortar businesses are starting to learn, the Internet is vast and there is a lot of competition.
"... you see, but you do not observe." - Sherlock Holmes
#23. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 21 Mon 02-Feb-09 06:18 PM by Ned_L
Mike, while you may not like the business model currently in force, and you may think that the forums should remain free, to accuse two honorable men with no proof whatsoever, and in fact no tiny bit of any evidence is well beyond the bounds of any reasonableness. Such an unfounded accusation completely takes away your credibility.
I think there are problems with the current membership structure myself, but I am certain the problem is of vision not anything like you accuse JRP and Bo of, based on my past interaction with them.
#24. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
I totally understand.
I too put a good amount of time thinking over the ethics of charging for a member contributed forum, but in the end, most photography books costs in the 40$ range and a lot of questions have been answered here.
I got a 1 year sub, I will see after what happens.
But I to give freely in this forum and have a LOT of problems with other people making money off of it and ME expending money for it...
#27. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 8
go take a look at the tech site Ars Technica. they have a handful of value-added features that is the basic of this post
the key thing they do is make all core mission forum sections free. this draws people to the forums.
An easy way to promote subscribers is not to force a payment but have premium services that are compelling. look at the iphone, many developers have created free limited versions of their app to entice people to buy the full version.
Host a Q&A forum where you have to be a member to even see and it's the only place some guest professional posts answers to a specific area of content. open posting rights during a certain timeframe.
Offer a critique section for photographic contracts/documents in a pay-for section.
that site has one thing you could take a cue from- a pay to use jobs board that's focused on the site's target market. you could do this in two areas. 1. business looking for a photographer 2. photographer looking for clients
#28. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
Sun Lakes, AZ, US
I have been a reader of this forum for many years. (I think I have been around for at least two server changes.) I never realized that "non-members" could post as many of the other forums that I frequent require membership in order to participate (albeit it is often just a formality with no money involved).
I finally became a paid member last summer because I wanted to be able to post to the forums for equip advice about a trip I was going to be making. I also wanted to take advantage of the Nikonians benefit at Think Tank. I felt that I had received sufficient benefit from the forum over the years that it was time to support it. I had also recently had the experience of a forum that I was very fond of closing down because the forum owner could no longer afford to donate the time and money to keep it going. She was unable to generate enough funds from banner ads and links to books at Amazon to pay for assistance in running the forum and I believe she was having health issues from the stress of trying to do it all herself.
While on the one hand I do not really like having to pay to access the forum, on the other I do not fault the owners for making this decision.
#29. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
>Before I let my membership expire, I wanted to say how much I >have enjoyed this forum. After getting to know my D80, I >migrated over to this forum. Probably the most important >thing I have learned is how important lighting is to making a >photograph. > >Over the past couple of years, I have learned a lot and I have >shared a lot. I just hope what I have shared has benefited >somebody. > >Best of luck to you guys... > >Steve
I believe that no real price can be placed upon the knowledge and information available here therefore I have just renewed for another year. Other than the occasional moderator forgetting the need to remain neutral, the site is a veritable wealth of photographic hands on data. Do I think the new business model is a good idea? I am not really sure. I am not in day to day management at Nikonians. If the new policy should show signs of failing, management will make adjustments. That is what good management does. In the end, I choose to support Nikonians by renewing. I certainly hope that others do the same.
#32. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 31
Saint John, US
I just joined for the first time. The archives helped me soon after I purchased my D60 with achieving continuous shooting. (The D-lighting has to be off. Nikon could not help me over the phone!) In fact the forums helped quite a bit in deciding between a D60 and Pentax KM, despite having some fast vintage Pentax glass.
I know alot of you won't like it, at least as far as I can tell, but the info on Rockwells site helped me decide as well.
I guess I'll be here a year and decide then if a renewel is worth it. If some other site come across my radar between now and then, probably not.
I belong to some other forums as well, all involving high gear and techniques, such as percussion and astronomy. They are all vendor/link supported and free to users.
#33. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 32 Fri 13-Feb-09 04:41 AM by tmc09
Personally, I wished I was able to join. Lots and lots of help to newbies like myself here. Unfortunately my job is ending sending me to the unemployments lines so even though membership is only a mere $25, that's money I better hold onto. Some of the other forums I belong to sells stuff like caps, shirts, etc. with brand names (or website names) on them and thats how I have supported those sites. Buying a $5 cap for $15 or a $10 T-shirt for $20 is also a great way to help fund a site to keep it open. This would also require some work from "a board" to help keep things like this going on to raise funds. This way, people wouldnt feel like they are "forced" into spending money, yet if they truly enjoy the site they'd be more than willing to donate to keep the forums alive and running well. I respect the fact that the site doesnt run itself and nobody should take it on themselves to feel they have to spend hard earned money solely out of their own pockets to keep their site up and running. There should be other alternatives is all I'm saying.
#35. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 34
Having frequented many boards that are free, poorly moderated and habited by idiots, and Nikonians which costs a mere $2/month and is moderated with great precision, and frequented by those exhibiting great intelligence and even when disagreements occur, is tended by persons who wish to share spirited discourse without resort to ad hominum attacks, let me say that I'll continue being a member of Nikonians for the foreseeable future. And I agree with the post above--it is unfortunate that some would, without any evidence or support for their contentions, suggest that the moderators of this site are suddenly profit motivated. I'd offer that anyone making that suggestion has never attempted to operate a website of any significance and thus cannot appreciate the investment of time and money that it requires.
#38. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 35
Powder Springs, US
OTOH, I am not sure that profit is a dirty word. I have never felt so in the past. Why is it that anyone would expect all the hard work to go unrewarded, and the expenses go uncovered? In my way of thinking, that is very selfish.
As for me; the professionalism, demeanor, and resources of this site are very worthy of my mere 2.0833 USD per month. In my mind, this is the best site for Nikon users, so it's the one that gets my money.
Of all the sites I have frequented, photographic and otherwise, this one has a minimal amount of trolling and sock puppets. There is a reason for that, and it's worth paying for too!
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
#40. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
Sorry to see you go but completely understand. I just wanted to offer my perspective concerning this site verses some of the others mentioned:
1. In my opinion, Nikonians has progressed from a public forum to a semi private forum. Non members can still view forums but are unable to participate unless signing up for a membership. I view this as a good thing and a natural progression to keep the site from becoming another place to just post your amazing photos that the world has to see. The other sites seem to just allow you to post photos without any exif information, thus not continuing the educational process that is of value.
2. Professionalism - forums are moderated to a higher standard, members help each other and there is a high degree of support from the community. There is little to no grandstanding by members. Respect is earned by the experience and body of work of each member in a more natural order of things.
3. Community - other sites have the "Community" feel as well but here, with an investment, there is an overall different feel to this community. Usually when you have invested your money into something, you want to see a return and tend to be more involved in seeing it succeed. A general willingness to help new members learn more from experienced members. The feel is more of a lifestyle of folks who are continually honing their craft and mentoring newer members with comments, critique and enthusiasm for their photos
4. Resources - expert reviews, hands on experience from folks that you become to know and trust based on the experience of posts. blogs, storage space for photos (galleries), pro shop with discounts or extended membership opportunities, articles, podcasts etc all add extra value and sense of community.
Not everyone can or should belong to a community such as Nikonians or Nikon Cafe or Fred Miranda or Yahoo Photo etc. Here, it is the spirit of fellow Nikon owners and their willingness to support a community of like minded individuals to pursue a higher degree of sharing, learning and challenges that brought me here, more than the other sites I have visited.
#41. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 40
Powder Springs, US
Well thought out, and well said, Chris.
This site is more than just a forum. Even if it were just a forum, running the servers is not free. It baffles me that some think it should be provided to them at someone else's expense.
I am not in a knowledgeable position to compare Nikonians to the sites that remain free, but I'm guessing the traffic at those sites is not as heavy as it is here. The bandwidth fees here were probably getting quite too high to offer for free.
The cover charge is a dirt cheap way to grant access to the serious members and to pay for the increasing bandwidth useage to accomodate more members.
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
#43. "RE: It's been real..." In response to Reply # 0
To all those that feel you must leave, I'm sure you will be missed. I am a fairly new member and have not had a chance to view your previous posts; I'm sure they have been helpful. However, I would like to say IMO that Nikonians.org rocks & is well worth the membership fee.
I have visited other forums (w/no fee) and some of the established photogs sometimes were very rude with their answers & not helpful. Instead they could make the person asking for help, feel as if they don't belong on the site in the first place. Nikonians photographers are just the opposite. I'm not even sure how I got directed to Nikonians.org, but it is was best re-direct that I have encountered. I love the fact that the community is all about Nikon and you can post a question/concern and "everyone gets it" -- No Canon/Fuji/Sony foolishness...the question makes sense and the answers hit the target vs. leaving you to think "what, that has nothing to do with what I asked" (been there before - even on the Nikon site).
Here's something to ponder about the cost of the Nikonians membership fee ...it's interesting how we place value on things sometimes..think of the membership fees that Sams Club & Costco charges to give you the freedom to walk in the door to the warehouse, be greeted & then go to checkout to pay additional money for the items that you purchased. Just imagine how that business model works...lets say that Costco has 1 million members @$50 annual fee...well that equates to $50m annual revenue on membership fees alone...if you never step foot in the door, you still pay for the right to have a cute lil card that will gain you entry if you so desire, but yet it doesn't give you anything else ..just a cute lil card for your wallet (have one..hardly use it)..& they still make a cool $50 mil whether you show up or not.
Now, for $25 year, $2/mth, $.06/day you have access to a wealth of information and many skill levels in this Nikonians environment...how can it not be worth it...they may to kick me out before I walk away.