Major Announcement: APUG future development plans

Discussion in 'System Announcements' started by Sean, Nov 22, 2016.

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  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi All,

    I see another feedback thread regarding scanning/hybrid discussion on APUG so now is as good a time as any to bring up our future development plans. Sorry if this gets long winded... There is actually a major re-development in progress right now which will address all of this, it's larger than anything I've taken on, has been going on for months and has cost 1,000's in custom coding. I'm hoping to have this development environment completed by end of December. I haven't brought it up in detail yet as we are still building this new system and I wanted to be sure it is 100% technically viable. After some clever code work it is extremely viable and quite exciting so I am progressing with it. There are numerous reasons for this development I'll discuss below and I am certain the long-term survival of APUG depends on this.

    Firstly, I'll be restructuring my current business "Photocentric Ltd" in a way that it takes top-level ownership as the primary web domain for the communities I run. My primary business entity Photocentric Ltd. will be changing it's name to Photrio Ltd. and will be online as Photrio.com -why Photrio? In my view, we have three key workflows in modern image making, Analog-Hybrid-Digital or as we've known over the years APUG-Hybridphoto-DPUG. Photrio.com will become a new top-level entity and web domain that hosts our 'trio' of independent communities APUG-Hybridphoto-DPUG. By having a unified domain hosting these communities, this allows for a powerful single user login across all communities, a unified software backend and admin for all 3 communities, unified mobile/tablet access AND the ability for all members to fully customize the content they want. The combinations could be for example:

    Photrio.com
    -APUG enabled, Hybridphoto disabled, DPUG disabled = APUG.ORG as you currently know it now
    -APUG enabled, Hybridphoto enabled, DPUG disabled = in this case, you have access to APUG and Hybrid communities/content only
    -APUG disabled, Hybridphoto disabled, DPUG enabled = DPUG.ORG community, no indication of apug/hybrid content

    I can't stress enough that a key requirement of this new system (and most challenging that we achieved) is that those who only enable APUG essentially have exactly what we have right now (APUG). It's only when having hybrid and DPUG areas enabled that you'll notice the expanded areas and expanded content. If you do not enable them, from an end users standpoint you do not even know they exist. All content from those areas is hidden unless enabled. APUG is not going anywhere, it will remain "APUG" and merely become "powered by photrio".

    The main driver of this change easily comes down to revenue and projections of future revenue with those projections looking bleak. The subscriber model is failing us as most expect free content and services. The advertising model of APUG relies on very small business, so ads are cheap and even free in many cases to help these companies out. Our partners do help but come and go. The new system will have expanded content areas that will allow us to not only invite back those 1,000's of members who left for a more hybrid/digital approach but also allow us to go after a new segment of revenue. That revenue can then be re-invested in the system and hopefully hit a critical mass which provides APUG with a raft of new opportunities (paid staff, original content, regular interviews, trade shows, conferences, 100% free site to use and much more).

    Another key area of development has been the Photrio homepage. This new homepage will contain constant photography news updated daily. We can also take interesting news submissions from our members (revenue permitting we will pay members when their interesting news is published). A 1-click news publishing system has been created already in the development environment so I can work to make Photrio.com's homepage the #1 daily news page in Photography. I intend to spend several hours per day updating the new homepage.

    We're also working on Photrio Portfolios which will give our members a photo portfolio service. And keep in mind all of these areas of Photrio change dynamically depending on what photography workflows you enable/disable.

    New revenue will also allow us to fund further bug fixes and feature requests many have asked for.

    I'm sure there will be questions and concerns so feel free to discuss below. I intend to ask for some beta testers near the end of December so feel free to put down your interest in testing.

    Thanks,
    Sean
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Thanks for the heads up Sean. I'd be happy to "beta" or help in any way possible.
     
  3. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    It is unclear to me the source of this new revenue.
     
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    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Google ads in the expanded areas, or direct ad buys from the likes of Nikon, Canon, Epson, Leica and more. Also, increased userbase and increased web traffic, affiliate systems, etc (to name a few things).
     
  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Very interesting. Very, very interesting. :smile:
     
  6. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Sounds great Sean - I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
     
  7. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    I'm long overdue for becoming an APUG subscriber. My PayPal account is long expired and I plan to rectify this very soon.

    Your plan sounds good to me.
     
  8. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I just renewed my subscription here before I red this and I am glad I did.
    Great work, it sure isn't easy pleasing everyone, but it seems that you actually found a way to do just that =)
     
  9. DavidClapp

    DavidClapp Member

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    And there it is... superb. I hope that this platform continues to grow and represents everyone from all angles as its a great place to learn (and one of the few left).
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I don't know how a business can operate when less than three percent of the users are subscribers.
     
  11. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I'm glad to see this. APUG has taught me a lot, but circumstances have forced me into a more hybrid and digital environment.
     
  12. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I'm always interested in testing stuff
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    excellent news !

    please keep us posted, and keep up the great work !

    john
     
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  15. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    Looking forward to seeing what y'all have been working on!
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Sounds good, What sort of time-scale are we talking about Sean ?

    Ian
     
  17. nbagno

    nbagno Subscriber

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    Please don't turn it into one of those sites where video's start playing automatically and follow you as you scroll down. I don't mind advertising unless it's disruptive. Good luck.
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I am really happy about the progress and forward thinking Sean, this is the best darkroom site in the world and its strength is the helpful community here , discussing
    problems and helping find solutions to those problems. I learn new things each month and a lot of myths get busted here which is good as well.. An old dog can learn new tricks and I hope
    your vision works out well and I want to continue here for another 16 years at least.
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It is clear that APUG does not generate enough revenue from current resources and as benjiboy has said it is difficult to work out how we manage currently with only 3% of us as subscribers. However if I have read Sean's post correctly the extra revenue needed will not be relying on additional member-subscribers but will rely on other external sources which is fine as long as it doesn't mean the kind of intrusive things that nbgno has mentioned but I do wonder how we grow in the way Sean has laid out without some form of additional commercial intrusion.

    pentaxuser
     
  20. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Happy to help beta test.
     
  21. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    It's interesting that most of the folks whe have replied are subscribers or advertisers.
     
  22. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    It's sad to hear that APUG does not generate sufficient revenue from subscribers. I certainly wouldn't be interested in any of the electronic photography sister sites and I wouldn't want to see advertisements aimed at dig*t*l photographers. Having said that I can't stand adverts of any kind and always block them on websites.
     
  23. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Would love to beta test, Sean. Seems like you have some great ideas.

    Not crazy about ads but I do understand that you've got to have revenue.

    -- jason
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm surprised you feel the need for it to be three-headed, rather than just two-headed.
     
  25. iandvaag

    iandvaag Subscriber

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    Sean, thank you so much for your commitment to APUG. This place is very special. I'm looking forward to the new developments.
     
  26. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    This seems like the long way around the tree, but I welcome it - DPUG is a barren wasteland so anything that will bring more recognition, and encourage more participation, is welcome.

    This has the potential to be the pre-eminent photography forum for all photographers. I only hope the implementation is as grandiose as the promise.

    What remains to be seen - I, and probably many others, have old accounts with DPUG that have the same username as our APUG username. How will they be merged?
     
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