Leftquark is leaving SmugMug

leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product TeamRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,761 Many Grins

I wanted to let all of you know that I've made the difficult decision to leave my position as Director of Product at SmugMug; Friday May 1st will my last day.

I'll be continuing my passion in photography and will continue to use SmugMug every day. I've been spoiled the last 5.5 years to work a job that I love waking up for and hate going to bed to. There's an amazing roadmap ahead and although I'm sad that I won't get to help shape it, there's a really strong team putting together the vision and making it happen. It's been a pleasure getting to work with all of you - discuss ideas, brainstorm solutions, and hear how you work with your photos.

I'll continue to be a regular here on DGrin, helping all of you with support questions as best I can, but in an unofficial capacity.

The SmugMug Heroes will continue to monitor and respond to DGrin help requests and DGrin has a great set of moderators that will continue to keep the forums and discussions running smoothly.

dGrin Afficionado
Former SmugMug Product Team
aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations

Comments

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaRegistered Users Posts: 5,056 Major grins
  • JtringJtring Major grins CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 605 Major grins

    Best to you as well.

    Director of Product may have been your corporate title, but, in some sense, here on Dgrin you were also The Official Voice Of SmugMug. You explained the motivations behind changes and behind the decisions of what to work and not ... even, I suspect, for decisions you had internally argued the other way. You took the flak when things didn't happen or didn't work right. Being The Official Voice is a valuable and a hard role. I appreciated it. So accept a thank you. (And accept another for the product work, of course.)

    The obvious follow-on question is whether and how Smugmug will fill that role on Dgrin now. It's a long standing one, and one different from the technical help offered by the Heros. Before you, Michael Bonocore and Chris MacAskill (Baldy) filled it. It set SmugMug's forums apart from other companies'. Are there any plans?

    Jim Ringland . . . . . jtringl.smugmug.com
  • Lille UlvenLille Ulven Lille Ulven ScandinaviaRegistered Users Posts: 540 Major grins

    Good luck for your new adventures, @leftquark!
    And, of course, thank you for all your help! Yes, I agree with @Jtrin, I do hope SmugMug has a plan for someone to take over your role not only internally but here in the Forum.
    Though whoever takes over has some pretty big shoes to fill.

    I still remember the day when the ssh encryption (at least I think it was in combination with ssh encryption) came to SmugMug and something changed in the backend so that we all had to make some adjustment with our domain registrars in some settings, so we could use both the www and the none-www addresses for the main but also the sub-pages of our websites. Only that was a change that I could not do with my domain registrar. It started as a little bit of forth and back with me in the middle until I plain asked you if you could talk to them directly instead of having me in between. Not only did you do so, but it ended up in them building a solution for me in their backend that wasn't something they were offering officially.
    You could have simply told me to move my website to another domain registrar (nope, I like them far too much) or live without it.

    And yes, the early head-ups on upcoming changes and possible breaches of our own adjustments are invaluable too.

    Anyhow, sad to see you leaving SmugMug but all the best for your new adventures to come!

    https://www.lilleulven.com - The Photos of my travels
    https://blog.lilleulven.com - The Stories of my travels
  • sarasphotossarasphotos Major grins Augsburg, GermanyRegistered Users Posts: 2,886 Major grins

    @leftquark Aaron, best of luck in your new untertakings! Thank you so much for your feedback and helpfulness over the years and, also very important - for the gracious acceptance of criticism. I can't believe it's been over 5 years; it seems like just yesterday you announced that you were joining the SmugMug team.

    Like @Jtring and @Lille Ulven I hope SmugMug will continue to have one leading person with a strong presence in the forum. Your role here as well as @mbonocore and @Baldy is very important and quite different from that of the Heroes.

  • moose135moose135 Major grins Long Island, NY, Charlotte, NC and points between...Registered Users Posts: 1,361 Major grins

    Thank you for all the work you've done here, @leftquark! All the best in your future adventures!

  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,761 Many Grins

    @Jtring said:
    The obvious follow-on question is whether and how Smugmug will fill that role on Dgrin now. It's a long standing one, and one different from the technical help offered by the Heros. Before you, Michael Bonocore and Chris MacAskill (Baldy) filled it. It set SmugMug's forums apart from other companies'. Are there any plans?

    @sarasphotos said:
    Like @Jtring and @Lille Ulven I hope SmugMug will continue to have one leading person with a strong presence in the forum. Your role here as well as @mbonocore and @Baldy is very important and quite different from that of the Heroes.

    @Lille Ulven said:
    Yes, I agree with @Jtrin, I do hope SmugMug has a plan for someone to take over your role not only internally but here in the Forum.
    Though whoever takes over has some pretty big shoes to fill.

    We're still working through who will oversee DGrin going forward but I'll be honest and admit that the role Baldy, Michael Bonocore and I have played here will most likely not be filled again.

    We (SmugMug) absolutely value the customer feedback provided here, and love the history and passion that comes from all of you here, but the face of the Internet has changed since DGrin has started. SmugMug is growing, has added an entirely new product line and the internet and photography have come a long way since we started. Most importantly we've refined the ways in which we collect feedback. We want to capture as much feedback from a wider SmugMug audience and sadly (I say sadly because I love DGrin) most customers no longer turn to forum software as the tool to provide the feedback. Our Research team has developed new ways that we reach out to a much larger audience and give more customers a voice at the table. We have a panel of tens of thousands of customers that respond to frequent surveys, we bring a wide range of customers in for virtual prototype testing, and we have tools to help categorize the feedback all of you submit so we can quickly disseminate it and make more informed decisions. We're absolutely hearing it, it just comes in differently when forum software was the leading tool.

    The heroes will continue to monitor DGrin and make sure your feedback gets to the product team. The product managers will pop in from time-to-time to participate in discussions. But most importantly, I've made sure to establish a system of better communication with all of you, to help keep you more informed (examples include the "Whats New" release notes, restarting the monthly newsletter, and monthly blog posts all should continue).

    Maybe most fun of all -- I get to be with all of you sharing how I'd like to use SmugMug and will be with all of you in trying to have my voice heard in helping shape SmugMug well into the future.

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • ShinryaShinrya Peter Stewart Hong KongRegistered Users Posts: 179 Major grins

    All the best Aaron. Cheers for the many years of help and support on here!

  • AceCo55AceCo55 Aussie Grinner Registered Users Posts: 940 Major grins

    @leftquark ... still in a bit of shock with this news. I have always admired your commitment to DGrin members. You certainly shed light on the thinking inside Smugmug development and seriously considered the feedback from members. Whilst you can never please everyone, you took the time to explain Smugmug's position. Your willingness to help/support Smugmug users started long before your employment with them and I have really appreciated your efforts and leadership in the development of Smugmug.
    I genuinely hope you get a chance to recapture the excitement in your photography without the constraints that your role at Smugmug must have imposed.
    I wish you all the very best for whatever the future holds for you ... ... :)

    My opinion does not necessarily make it true. What you do with my opinion is entirely up to you.
    www.acecootephotography.com
  • jerryrjerryr Smugmug Customization Registered Users Posts: 586 Major grins

    @leftquark - best of luck on your new opportunity. You have made a positive impact here at SmugMug and I am certain you will do the same on your new journey. - jerryr

  • Awais YaqubAwais Yaqub One Inspired soul Registered Users Posts: 10,566 Major grins

    Good luck!

    Thine is the beauty of light; mine is the song of fire. Thy beauty exalts the heart; my song inspires the soul. Allama Iqbal

    Gallery
    fineartprints.shop
  • BigRedBigRed Major grins Central MarylandRegistered Users Posts: 288 Major grins

    Aaron: Your presence, candor, expertise, and reason will be sorely missed here in the forum. Best wishes for joy in your new ventures!

    http://www.janicebrowne.com - Janice Browne Nature Art & Photography
Sign In or Register to comment.