dpreview banning SmugMug - what can we do?

onethumbonethumb SmugMug CEO & Chief GeekPosts: 1,269Administrators Major grins
edited June 29, 2006 in SmugMug Support
[reposted from this thread on dpreview]

We just got an email from Phil Askey saying he was going to shut off and ban all links to SmugMug on dpreview. :(

We've tried hard (look at my dpreview post history) to provide relevant, informative posts about ourselves and our service without advertising in any way on the forums. But apparently we're getting in trouble because our *customers* are self-advertising themselves.

We'd like to see if we can find a way to make sure that doesn't happen. I'd love to hear any ideas you may have about how we can avoid catastrophe.

Here's all the gory details: http://blogs.smugmug.com/onethumb/

Thanks!

Don
«13

Comments

  • Mike LaneMike Lane I � Unicode Posts: 7,106Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    stupid stupid stupid. That phil guy sounds like a class a jerk to me. Maybe I'll use dcresource instead.
    Y'all don't want to hear me, you just want to dance.

    http://photos.mikelanestudios.com/
  • dragon300zxdragon300zx What God Complex? Posts: 2,575Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    The problem is the guys a jerk. There should be no reason why people can't post a link to their own websites. The only option he is leaving is that anyone who wants to post a link to their own website buy a top level domain and forward it with masking turned on so the smugmug.com address can't be easily traced. And since it's a free forum it would be hard for the users to force him to do otherwise. Sounds to me like he is trying to strong arm you into paying for advertising as if that site isn't full of ad's already. (No I have never been a fan of dpreview).
    Everyone Has A Photographic Memory. Some Just Do Not Have Film.
    www.zxstudios.com
    http://creativedragonstudios.smugmug.com
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Well, just writing him off as a jerk isn't going to help at all, IMO.

    Obviously, there's something going on that's not sitting well with him.

    I tool around there some, but have never really cottoned to it, since the forums are mostly equipment oriented. I really have no interest in reading a forum only for the 20D, for instance.

    But all that aside, I've never seen anything that I would consider SPAM on that site for smugmug. I don't think that smugmug's users are spamming--but they are petitioning hard. The problem is, smugmug can't be responsible for what its users post...and like Don says, there has to be some middle ground that can be reached to remedy the situation. Now if the guy's not returning emails, well, that's a different matter. You can't talk to someone who ain't listening...
    Moderator Emeritus
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  • dragon300zxdragon300zx What God Complex? Posts: 2,575Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    DavidTO wrote:
    Now if the guy's not returning emails, well, that's a different matter. You can't talk to someone who ain't listening...
    Thats the problem. It's not writing him off as a jerk. It's a discription of his attitude. I have never had any interested to talk with the guy but from what I have read from doing searches on the internet before regarding issues that I have heard about going on over there he is very much a "my way or the highway" type of person who could care less about being fair. I know lots of people over their say they always get emails returned right away, that he is easy to deal with, etc, etc, etc. And I know of alot of people who say they never get emails returned, when they do they are short and rude, etc. Seems he either likes you, or has a grudge against you. From what I have seen he has always had a slight grudge against smug for some reason. This isn't the first time he has made a stink about smugmug users on his forums.

    Search his news pages for news on the various web gallery sharing services. No results for smugmug, no results for pbase, surprise results for google (can't anger the gods after all), Results for Fotki (only gallery service he has advertising on his site), no results for photobucket, no results for snapfly, no results for picture trail, etc.

    Hmmm see a pattern?

    A recent post by Phil:


    "Bob,

    dpreview don't want smugmug's money, thanks, not after what Don's just done anyway! And frankly if we don't want them to advertise here they don't try and "get around" that by using their own members to advertise for them. Lots of photo sharing sites get lots of traffic from us and I'm sure they're glad of it, they don't feel the need to push their URL's even harder with codes like this.
    "

    What Don did that was so horrible was to share with his users and the general public phil's attitude. The second line tells it all about how phil has felt about smugmug advertising in the past. Thats why companies like smug are far superior. They don't have an attitude towards their users, and potential clients.

    Oh and when one of his users responds to his post, explaining how rude phil himself was to don not only in his email, but in refusing to respond to his requests to become an advertiser the whole thread ends up going away. Hmmmm.......
    Everyone Has A Photographic Memory. Some Just Do Not Have Film.
    www.zxstudios.com
    http://creativedragonstudios.smugmug.com
  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Viera, FloridaPosts: 22,708Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    I think its a dumb move. I have participated at DPR for years (its been rapidly decreasing lately) and Phil has always had a rather paternal way about him. Its his site but I just don't like his management style.

    He won't moderate his forums which are filled with trolling, flames and general all around bashing but he has hawk like eye out for anything he views as "advetising". He recently nuked a popular thread on Ron Reznick's new DVDs w/o an explanation. I'm guessing that he saw it as a form of advertising.

    Now on the DPR forums there is always talk of this camera, this lens, this software where folks are recommending that others get that gear. They have been numerous threads as to which is the best photo sharing site. Its the way things are and will always be.

    It would be self-advertising (aka spam) if Don went on DPR and started a thread about Smugmug or if Ron Reznick started one about his DVDs. However when satisifed users of their products recommend them its not advertising. Phil claims to be unbiased in his reviews but when I see stuff like this in his news section I begin to wonder

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0606/06062301expodiscritz.asp

    He has no problem putting up a blatant ad for a product under a misnomer of "News" Its kind of hard to see how he can then turn around and view the recommendation of products and gear by satisfied users as "advertising".

    Its his site and he can run it at his whimsy but he won't be getting many more "clicks" from me.
    Harry
    http://behret.smugmug.com/ NANPA member
    How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, "I could have done that better!"
  • pmalandpmaland Big grins Posts: 72Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    onethumb wrote:
    [reposted from this thread on dpreview]

    Sorry, he's deleted that thread already.
  • Mike LaneMike Lane I � Unicode Posts: 7,106Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Phil the jerk deleted the thread...
    So I'm going to post my reply to his reply here:

    Phil Askey wrote:
    > Don,
    >
    > I expected more respect for myself and for my private email to you
    > than for you to publish it on your blog and draw attention to it
    > here on my own forum. I expected you to reply to me and discuss
    > it, to try to work out a resolution, but instead you've decided to
    > try and turn my own members against me, that's very very sad and
    > poor from someone in a position such as yourself.
    >
    > --
    > Phil Askey
    > Editor / Owner, dpreview.com

    Did you or did you not send the following to Don MacAskill:

    "Just to let you know that we will be blocking linking to smugmug from our forums due to the rapid increase in your ‘viral marketing’ technique of using ‘account codes’ for discounts. Numerous of our regular posters are now inadvertently promoting your site by placing such account codes in their signatures, this is considered to be commercial advertising and is against our posting rules. As we have no interest in banning such members we will instead be blocking any external linking or mention of your site."

    To me, that does not sound in any way like you "expected [him] to reply to [you] and discuss [the issue], to try to work out a resolution." That sounds like a heavy-handed ploy to wring as much money out of Smugmug as you can. Furthermore, if you did send that email, you are now lying (misrepresenting it) to boot!

    That is the very definition of poor foom Phil.
    Y'all don't want to hear me, you just want to dance.

    http://photos.mikelanestudios.com/
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    it seems very over the top to me. I post on other, non-photo related boards, and many of them have rules about what you can have in your signature. For example, many do not want links in sigs, or don't want commercial links, etc. Seems that the issue is policing the members, not smugmug itself.

    Is the discount code the problem? No, dont think so, it again is the members, not following the rules.
  • BudcubBudcub Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited June 23, 2006
    Wow
    I owe much of what I've learned about Digital Photography to reading the forums and reviews on dpreview.com But I really have no intention of taking my link to my smugmug page out of my signature. If I find that its been removed from my profile, I'll just add it in manually when I post comments. If necessary I'll get around whatever roadblocks are in my way. I'm sure as hell not going to try and migrate all my stuff to flickr or pbase just to satisfy Phil. Not that there's anything wrong with those services, its just that I'm in bed with Smugmug and don't want to have to change.
  • Mac WriteMac Write Major grins Posts: 208Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    This is extremely bad as many people have photos posted on dpreview for help, samples, galleries etc. Now all those photos won't display, esp. the people who use identity hiding www.smugmug.com/photo/xxxxxxxx.
    My Photos | Use this referral code and get $5 off your first year of Smugmug! PIKZSgEQUVtu2 or just click here
    Get busy living or get busy dying
    --Stephen King
  • kevin.coppalottikevin.coppalotti Big grins Posts: 41Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Budcub wrote:
    I owe much of what I've learned about Digital Photography to reading the forums and reviews on dpreview.com But I really have no intention of taking my link to my smugmug page out of my signature. If I find that its been removed from my profile, I'll just add it in manually when I post comments. If necessary I'll get around whatever roadblocks are in my way. I'm sure as hell not going to try and migrate all my stuff to flickr or pbase just to satisfy Phil. Not that there's anything wrong with those services, its just that I'm in bed with Smugmug and don't want to have to change.

    The vast majority of smuggers on DP review do not put discount coupon codes in their signature, so why penalise them and why blame One Thumb for it?
    And for the people who put a discount coupon code in their signature did they really know it was the wrong thing to do? And those discount coupon codes have been appearing in signatures for at least 2 years, so why the fuss now? No, I do not put a discount coupon code in my signature.
  • Mac WriteMac Write Major grins Posts: 208Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Just posted this thread, and it's not been deleted.
    My Photos | Use this referral code and get $5 off your first year of Smugmug! PIKZSgEQUVtu2 or just click here
    Get busy living or get busy dying
    --Stephen King
  • BobTripsBobTrips Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited June 23, 2006
    I'm the "Bob" from the following post...


    A recent post by Phil:


    "Bob,

    dpreview don't want smugmug's money, thanks, not after what Don's just done anyway! And frankly if we don't want them to advertise here they don't try and "get around" that by using their own members to advertise for them. Lots of photo sharing sites get lots of traffic from us and I'm sure they're glad of it, they don't feel the need to push their URL's even harder with codes like this.
    "
    Like everyone involved (including Phil and Don I don't know everything that happened.

    I am pretty sure that there is an excellent chance that one, or probably both, of the major players in this conflict could have handled the situation in a more diplomatic and less destructive manner.

    I would encourage both Phil and Don to talk this out a bit and see if there isn't a middle ground that would serve the best interests of both sites.

    And perhaps the rest of us should hold back for a little bit and 'give peace a chance'.


    Hummmm...... Phil and Don. Now where have I heard those two names before? ;o)
  • Mike LaneMike Lane I � Unicode Posts: 7,106Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    wave.gif Welcome to the friendly side of photography Bob...
    Y'all don't want to hear me, you just want to dance.

    http://photos.mikelanestudios.com/
  • dogwooddogwood pixel hack Posts: 2,572Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    wow
    This anti-smugmug policy on DPR is nuts. I've been posting on DPR for years and rather enjoy the international audience and help I recieve there. I get web hits all the time from around the world coming from my posts there. So this ban on smugmug is really baffling. I'm an active and helpful participant on DPR-- and god forbid, my site is also hosted by smugmug.

    I put my url in my signature on DPR so people can contact me or look at my work or whatever-- and so I'm not just an faceless hack and people can judge my critiques or advice based on my experience. It's definitely not a promo for smugmug. I don't put the "save money by using this code if you get a smugmug account" or anything like that. In fact, I'm using the CNAME method so smugmug isn't even mentioned.

    I sure hope DPR reconsiders. As has been pointed out here, just the discussion of equipment itself could be considered an ad. Pretty soon you won't be able to recommend lighting equipment or lenses or software to other users and then what will the point of DPR be? I mean, I'm someone who even uses electrical tape to cover the brand and model of my cameras so I'm not promoting some massive corporation when I'm out shooting!

    Portland, Oregon Photographer Pete Springer
    website blog instagram facebook g+

  • HarrybHarryb old and lazy Viera, FloridaPosts: 22,708Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Harry
    http://behret.smugmug.com/ NANPA member
    How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, "I could have done that better!"
  • kevin.coppalottikevin.coppalotti Big grins Posts: 41Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Harryb wrote:
    Phil Askey from Dp Review denies deleting posts on this topic, but he is a lying. He deleted at least two whole threads today discussing this issue on DP Review.
  • Steve CaviglianoSteve Cavigliano SmugFlash Posts: 3,599Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 23, 2006
    I suggest letting Don and Phil hash this out.

    FWIW, Phil did admit deleting a couple of SM threads, but not deleting posts/threads by the 980 users with SM coupon codes in their signatures.

    Flaming Phil or DPReview won't help. It's a very good site and Phil is a decent guy. Even though he banned me once....lol Like many of the other contributors here, I cut my digital teeth over at DPR and it is the "Grandfather" of all photography related websites, IMO. Personally, I think Phil and his staff deserve major kudos for the info they provide and their management of a place that gets as many users as DPR does that is basically unmoderated thumb.gif

    I love SM, but even I was getting tired of the "in your face" promotion some folks were doing with their coupon codes Just as we don't allow Spam here, Phil has a right to control it on his site.

    I am sure Don and Phil can come to an understanding. Let's not pour any more gas on the fire....lol


    Just my opinion,

    Steve
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • devbobodevbobo LR whisperer Melbourne, AUPosts: 4,338Registered Users, Retired Mod SmugMug Employee
    edited June 23, 2006
    Phil Asskey...that says it all lol3.gif
    David Parry
    SmugMug API Developer
    My Photos
  • kevin.coppalottikevin.coppalotti Big grins Posts: 41Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Phil Askey from Dp Review denies deleting posts on this topic, but he is a lying. He deleted at least two whole threads today discussing this issue on DP Review.

    I just checked back on the DP Review Open Talk, Phil has fessed up and admitted deleting the threads.
    Why delete a thread which has an open honest discussion, no forum rules were broken, to delete a thread because you do not like criticism, smacks of censorship, nazism and a lot other bad things.
    Many of us have familiy members who died fighting to protect Democratic principles like freedom of the press and rule of law, when you delete threads it makes people suspicious, honesty and openess is the only real way to thrash it out.
  • onethumbonethumb SmugMug CEO & Chief Geek Posts: 1,269Administrators Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    onethumb wrote:
    [reposted from this thread on dpreview]

    We just got an email from Phil Askey saying he was going to shut off and ban all links to SmugMug on dpreview. :(

    We've tried hard (look at my dpreview post history) to provide relevant, informative posts about ourselves and our service without advertising in any way on the forums. But apparently we're getting in trouble because our *customers* are self-advertising themselves.

    We'd like to see if we can find a way to make sure that doesn't happen. I'd love to hear any ideas you may have about how we can avoid catastrophe.

    Here's all the gory details: http://blogs.smugmug.com/onethumb/

    Thanks!

    Don

    We've updated our site a bit due to this issue. Underneath all the nastiness of the email, there was a kernel a truth - some SmugMug customers do get a little too promotional.

    My latest blog entry has the details.

    Hopefully this will all work out, but I'm not sure yet. (My posts and threads, even the positive ones about dpreview, have been getting deleted.)

    Don
  • Mike LaneMike Lane I � Unicode Posts: 7,106Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    to delete a thread because you do not like criticism, smacks of censorship, nazism and a lot other bad things.

    Well I guess we're done here...
    Y'all don't want to hear me, you just want to dance.

    http://photos.mikelanestudios.com/
  • kevin.coppalottikevin.coppalotti Big grins Posts: 41Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Mike Lane wrote:
    Well I guess we're done here...

    Godwins Law eh?? Laughing.gif! Actually that law applies to threads that actually continue, not cut off at the knees when things get a little too uncomfortable, so at DP review I would say the principle of Godwins Law applies thus:

    Coppalotti's Law:

    "The faster a thread is deleted on a forum by a moderator, the more likely nazism is mentioned soon thereafter."
  • DnaDna Evil Baby Grinner Posts: 435Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Possibly a bit too late, but I had the promotional code in my signature on another photopgraphy forum and it was simply removed and replaced with "Removed referrer link"

    So why can't Phil do that ?

    I'm sure he has the power to edit signatures.

    Dna
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,035Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    I got burned myself
    Was messing around my dpreview profile today and could not save it. Bold red type basically said "no mentioning smugmug" ne_nau.gif
    This sucks, really... I wonder if other photosharing sites (flckr, pbase, ofoto, fotki, etc.) get the same treatment... For some reason, I don't think so..
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    All I did was enter the URL for my photo galleries--no marketing or mention of a coupon code, just "http://www.davidrosenthal.smugmug.com"

    This is what I got:
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    This is what I ended up doing as a work-around:

    [url]http://www.davidrosenthal.smug(ahem)mug.com[/url]
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkPosts: 50,153Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    DavidTO wrote:
    This is what I ended up doing as a work-around:

    [url]http://www.davidrosenthal.smug(ahem)mug.com[/url]
    Seems like that's gone a bit far, IMO - it's a photography site, and you can't list your photography gallery. rolleyes1.gif
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Andy wrote:
    Seems like that's gone a bit far, IMO - it's a photography site, and you can't list your photography gallery. rolleyes1.gif


    I was tempted to change it to "Boycott DPReview". There were only two problems with that.

    1) I rarely post, so hardly anyone sees my sig, anyway.

    2) If I posted more often, what would be the sense of calling for a boycott?

    and, 3) As stupid as this all is, I don't actually care much, since I don't find dpreview forums all that useful to me, anyway.
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,035Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2006
    Yup, I got similar message
    DavidTO wrote:
    All I did was enter the URL for my photo galleries--no marketing or mention of a coupon code, just "http://www.davidrosenthal.smugmug.com"

    This is what I got:

    I just like the big bold red letters.. reminded me of USSR of 70s (Hey, Mike, is communism/stalinism referencing covered by Godwin Law, too?:-)
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
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