The New Gap in SmugMug Services

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  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited September 10, 2012
    Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the candid response and sticking with us for awhile longer. Of course it kills us to read these, especially the thought of burning the trust in 14 days that we tried to hard to win over 7 years.

    I studied Neflix's price change deeply before we made ours and it's probably one of the things that caused us to wait longer than we should have done, and then make a bigger raise than we wanted to make. I didn't envy their situation at all, because Hollywood got sick of seeing unlimited streaming for pennies per click of The Wizard of Oz, so they upped what they were charging Netflix for content. It seemed to me that Netflix had an awful choice: either raise prices and make many of their customers mad (800,000 abandoned them), or lose so much content that all of their customers get mad. In their case, they are doing well now, but everyone will forever remember the raise in price.

    The choices for us seemed similar. When cloud storage failed to drop in cost like consumer storage did, we could have gone to a lower grade of storage like almost all our competitors, cut back on our heroes, abandoned online chat, etc., but we felt those things would make all our customers unhappy.

    Also, we could have chosen to rush out some of the things we're working on and make them less great, but we thought that this time we wanted to make them better than we could if we rushed them out. If you're wondering why Don and I are posting less now, it's because we feel that the best thing we can do now is immerse ourselves in the improvements we've said we're working on.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,
    Baldy
  • GRBlizzGRBlizz Major grins Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the candid response and sticking with us for awhile longer. Of course it kills us to read these, especially the thought of burning the trust in 14 days that we tried to hard to win over 7 years.

    I studied Neflix's price change deeply before we made ours and it's probably one of the things that caused us to wait longer than we should have done, and then make a bigger raise than we wanted to make. I didn't envy their situation at all, because Hollywood got sick of seeing unlimited streaming for pennies per click of The Wizard of Oz, so they upped what they were charging Netflix for content. It seemed to me that Netflix had an awful choice: either raise prices and make many of their customers mad (800,000 abandoned them), or lose so much content that all of their customers get mad. In their case, they are doing well now, but everyone will forever remember the raise in price.

    The choices for us seemed similar. When cloud storage failed to drop in cost like consumer storage did, we could have gone to a lower grade of storage like almost all our competitors, cut back on our heroes, abandoned online chat, etc., but we felt those things would make all our customers unhappy.

    Also, we could have chosen to rush out some of the things we're working on and make them less great, but we thought that this time we wanted to make them better than we could if we rushed them out. If you're wondering why Don and I are posting less now, it's because we feel that the best thing we can do now is immerse ourselves in the improvements we've said we're working on.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,
    Baldy

    Thank you for coming back on to reply. I haven't watched your podcast, because I pretty much never "single-task". I sure wish you'd supply the written version as well. I've asked the Support Heroes, but apparently they didn't have time to listen to it and write down the key points either.ne_nau.gif

    There's one difference between Netflix and you: Netflix didn't have an alternative like the Power plan to which buyers who were priced out of the top tier could flee.

    The basic math is that you don't gain a thing from this price increase if half of your current Pro customers elect to stay with you but downgrade to Power. You lose $90 on them, gain $100 on those who remain in Business, or hold on those who select Portfolio. Meanwhile, total storage used is unchanged.

    I have two accounts currently classified as Business under your new rules. Both are moving to Power at renewal because they don't generate enough sales revenue to justify the higher price. I hope I am the exception rather than the rule, because if 50% or more of the Pros don't pay the increase but also don't leave, the model breaks.
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the candid response and sticking with us for awhile longer. [snip] If you're wondering why Don and I are posting less now, it's because we feel that the best thing we can do now is immerse ourselves in the improvements we've said we're working on.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,
    Baldy

    Chris - Your 'response' is a heartbreaking example of what the problem is...

    I wrote about how questions on the $90 chasm between power and portfolio had been ignored and you ignored it again.

    I wrote about how you are (in my eyes) telling the hobbyist pro community to go jump and you neglect to mention it or even challenge this in any way.

    Most damning, I wrote "It's going to take an AMAZINGLY honest and frank response from SM to change my mind" and I got a disingenuous piece of bubblegum rubbish in response...

    Don't get me wrong. I am NOT saying don't raise your prices... I'm not even saying $300 is too much for the pro level package.

    I am saying your company doesn't have a clue how to manage this process and your continued policy of ignoring the hard questions paints you in an increasingly bad light.

    You didn't answer anything I raised, you just took a turn typing.

    Regards
    Neil Gardner
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • DreadnoteDreadnote Unwanted Customer Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2012
    It is time to let it go guys. It was a calculated decision on the part of SmugMug. They knew a lot of us would be unhappy and some would leave, but they decided that it was worth it.
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey Neil,
    It seemed to me that Netflix had an awful choice: either raise prices and make many of their customers mad (800,000 abandoned them), or lose so much content that all of their customers get mad. In their case, they are doing well now, but everyone will forever remember the raise in price.

    The choices for us seemed similar. When cloud storage failed to drop in cost like consumer storage did, we could have gone to a lower grade of storage like almost all our competitors, cut back on our heroes, abandoned online chat, etc., but we felt those things would make all our customers unhappy.

    They figure after the smoke clears they will still be doing well, just like Netflix. They are NOT going to do ANYTHING to win you back. This is the new reality. It is time to move on and let it go. Maybe that means leaving, or maybe it means downgrading, but it is a waste of time trying to offer solutions to people who have already made up their minds. Your just going to be (remain) frustrated.

    Sorry to say it, but we all should just start to solidify our plans and explore viable options and then get back to our photography, the thing we all love. thumb.gif
    Sports, Dance, Portraits, Events... www.jasonhowardking.com
  • Spilot77Spilot77 Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    edited September 11, 2012
    I shoot sports for the local high school as much as a community service as anything else. I set prices just enough to try and pay for the website and help offset some of the costs like software renewals. The new price increase hits me hard. I'll either have to go more commercial or look for another alternative.
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    Chris - Your 'response' is a heartbreaking example of what the problem is...

    I wrote about how questions on the $90 chasm between power and portfolio had been ignored and you ignored it again.

    I wrote about how you are (in my eyes) telling the hobbyist pro community to go jump and you neglect to mention it or even challenge this in any way.

    Most damning, I wrote "It's going to take an AMAZINGLY honest and frank response from SM to change my mind" and I got a disingenuous piece of bubblegum rubbish in response...

    Don't get me wrong. I am NOT saying don't raise your prices... I'm not even saying $300 is too much for the pro level package.

    I am saying your company doesn't have a clue how to manage this process and your continued policy of ignoring the hard questions paints you in an increasingly bad light.

    You didn't answer anything I raised, you just took a turn typing.

    Regards
    Neil Gardner

    This boils down why I downgraded and will eventually leave when renewal is up. When the pricelists were changed, I and other asked a pointed a question several times about would we be able to actually set a price without having to plug in a formula. All we got were how wonderful this would be and how thrilled we should feel because this will allow for new services.

    Then, those of us that were complaining were told the loudest complainers were the ones that didn't make as much as the pros who did like the new pricelist. This brought up the question does smugmug look at our revenue and base the importance of our complaints on how much money we make? This of course was denied but they had to be looking to even know the fact.

    The recent price increase without a middle ground service for hobbyists and casual pros is another indicator the middle ground is something SM is not interested in.
  • rainforest1155rainforest1155 SmugMug Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 4,555 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    jonh68 wrote: »
    TWhen the pricelists were changed, I and other asked a pointed a question several times about would we be able to actually set a price without having to plug in a formula.
    Which is feedback we listened to and in result extended the pricelist feature to allow you to directly enter a retail price for products.
    Sebastian
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • GRBlizzGRBlizz Major grins Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    Spilot77 wrote: »
    I shoot sports for the local high school as much as a community service as anything else. I set prices just enough to try and pay for the website and help offset some of the costs like software renewals. The new price increase hits me hard. I'll either have to go more commercial or look for another alternative.

    We have a similar situation in which profits from the sale of prints to parents cover the costs of our nonprofit website, and I was thinking about how we could adjust to the new reality here.

    Our plan is to add a couple bucks to the fee for each event and include free access to the digital images. They can order from SmugMug at their regular prices, or download and get prints from any of the many suppliers out there. It's actually a win-win, since we only get orders from about 25-30% of parents, and this way we'd have guaranteed revenue from 100%, and more parents could get access to their pictures.

    Maybe your school's parents' organization (or booster club) can spot you a few hundred in return for access to all the pictures.
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    Dreadnote wrote: »
    It is time to let it go guys. It was a calculated decision on the part of SmugMug. They knew a lot of us would be unhappy and some would leave, but they decided that it was worth it.

    They figure after the smoke clears they will still be doing well, just like Netflix. They are NOT going to do ANYTHING to win you back. This is the new reality. It is time to move on and let it go. Maybe that means leaving, or maybe it means downgrading, but it is a waste of time trying to offer solutions to people who have already made up their minds. Your just going to be (remain) frustrated.

    Sorry to say it, but we all should just start to solidify our plans and explore viable options and then get back to our photography, the thing we all love. thumb.gif

    Probably true, but the fact remains that they have opened a large gap in their service levels where semi-pros live, and they have not even suggested what they might do about that. I started this thread in hopes they would, but apparently they aren't reading it. **EDIT - somehow I missed Baldy's post above, my sincere apologies. I appreciate the post, but still no plan to close the gap.

    I hope for their sake they have done the math and concluded that they have enough high volume pros who will not leave AND not drop to the Power level.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    Well I only have about 5 weeks to make the final decision......now since I have been one of the loudest when it comes to bad features like the crappy price lists....
    if SM would offer me a refund to go away...I'd be gone in 24 hrs.....

    I was just emailed a coupon code for Zen and it will help out a fellow photog with credit towards his renewal...like the SM one does....
    so any one needing a coupon code for ZEN here it is in my signature .....
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • MomaZunkMomaZunk pro lurker Registered Users Posts: 421 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    Jack, I think they are reading this post, as there were replies #32 #35.
    I recommend listening to the TWIP podcast interview from last week with Baldy.
    My take aways:
    1. They missed the "gap" that they created when they made the change, and this impact(and outrage) to the semi-pro/hobbiest was not anticipated.
    2. They are not ready to make abrupt changes to address the "gap" at this time, will wait for the dust to settle, move forward with current development pipeline, and then readjust if necessary.

    This is just my interpretation. I have til July 2013 to see how things shake out.
  • DreadnoteDreadnote Unwanted Customer Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2012
    Probably true, but the fact remains that they have opened a large gap in their service levels where semi-pros live, and they have not even suggested what they might do about that. I started this thread in hopes they would, but apparently they aren't reading it.

    I hope for their sake they have done the math and concluded that they have enough high volume pros who will not leave AND not drop to the Power level.

    Don't misunderstand, I'm in exactly the group that you are describing, and I wish that they would acknowledge the gap as well, but Baldy recently checked in and ignored every statement that has been made so far pertaining to this issue. He said that they thought about it a lot, studied the way things played out for Netflicks and then decided to pull the trigger. We all know that engineering at SmugMug moves at a pace ever so slightly faster than a tectonic plate, so even if they agreed with us it's going to be a year or three before anything would see the light of day. So all I'm saying is save yourself the frustration, grab your camera and go have some fun.:D
    Sports, Dance, Portraits, Events... www.jasonhowardking.com
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    MomaZunk wrote: »
    Jack, I think they are reading this post, as there were replies #32 #35.

    Oh jeez, not sure how I missed Baldy's post, my sincere apologies. 11doh.gif I edited my post. 35 does not look like a SM employee though?
    I recommend listening to the TWIP podcast interview from last week with Baldy.
    My take aways:
    1. They missed the "gap" that they created when they made the change, and this impact(and outrage) to the semi-pro/hobbiest was not anticipated.
    2. They are not ready to make abrupt changes to address the "gap" at this time, will wait for the dust to settle, move forward with current development pipeline, and then readjust if necessary.

    This is just my interpretation. I have til July 2013 to see how things shake out.

    That is all I need to know. I have until 7/13 too. (dgrin challenge win - yay!) Maybe I'll check out that interview someday. Hard to find 40 minutes in a row for something like this.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • DreadnoteDreadnote Unwanted Customer Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    Heh, I really don't see how I could be mistaken for a SmugMug employee. Have you actually looked at my avatar? It was intended as my final protest since I decided to give up trying to get SmugMug to address issues that they clearly don't care about.
    Sports, Dance, Portraits, Events... www.jasonhowardking.com
  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Registered Users Posts: 180 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    Maybe I'll check out that interview someday. Hard to find 40 minutes in a row for something like this.

    There's the 2m 58s video at http://news.smugmug.com/2012/08/31/smugmugs-pro-pricing-change-what-why-and-how

    Then there's the 7m 12s video at http://news.smugmug.com/2012/09/07/chris-don-macaskill-answer-questions-about-smugmugs-price-increase

    I wouldn't mind knowing where this 30 minute, 37 minute or 40 minute video is. I suspect you've been led to some blog trying to capitalize on this situation and sleazily lead us to their site hoping to watch stuff that will never show up there.
  • Ann McRaeAnn McRae SmugMug BizDev|Educator Registered Users Posts: 4,584 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    There is an interview of Baldy by TWiP, linked on our blog post, and this is the direct link:

    http://www.thisweekinphoto.com/2012/twip-271-smugmuggery/

    It is quite long, but you may find it answers additional questions for you.
    There's the 2m 58s video at http://news.smugmug.com/2012/08/31/smugmugs-pro-pricing-change-what-why-and-how

    Then there's the 7m 12s video at http://news.smugmug.com/2012/09/07/chris-don-macaskill-answer-questions-about-smugmugs-price-increase

    I wouldn't mind knowing where this 30 minute, 37 minute or 40 minute video is. I suspect you've been led to some blog trying to capitalize on this situation and sleazily lead us to their site hoping to watch stuff that will never show up there.
  • zacHer0zacHer0 Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 655 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    There's the 2m 58s video at http://news.smugmug.com/2012/08/31/smugmugs-pro-pricing-change-what-why-and-how

    Then there's the 7m 12s video at http://news.smugmug.com/2012/09/07/chris-don-macaskill-answer-questions-about-smugmugs-price-increase

    I wouldn't mind knowing where this 30 minute, 37 minute or 40 minute video is. I suspect you've been led to some blog trying to capitalize on this situation and sleazily lead us to their site hoping to watch stuff that will never show up there.

    It's a TWIP audio podcast. Baldy does an interview starting somewhere in the middle.

    http://www.thisweekinphoto.com/2012/twip-271-smugmuggery/
    Zac Williams
    Support Hero
  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Registered Users Posts: 180 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    zacHer0 wrote: »
    It's a TWIP audio podcast. Baldy does an interview starting somewhere in the middle.

    http://www.thisweekinphoto.com/2012/twip-271-smugmuggery/

    Just not seeing where it is. They advertise:
    This week on TWiP:
      • SmugMug doubles it’s Pro Pricing (6:00)
      • Focus peaking coming to more cameras (25:00)
      • And an interview with Chris MacAskill from SmugMug (37:00)
    so I scroll further down and get sent offsite to the 2m 58s video. It is very unprofessional to be sent off-site and to advertise stuff that can't be found.

    Where's the 6 minute video and that 37 minute video (or podcast)? Or am I supposed to click thru every damn link to wade through people's twitter feeds, blogs, etc. and sites trying to sell me photos? And then am I supposed to search through every link that I get sent offsite to as well in hopes to find this video or podcast? That site is a disgrace and I think you guys need to stop posting the link everywhere.

    Hard to believe there's not an easier link to find that video or podcast at. Why don't you just say I can find it at http://www.smugmug.com while you're at it.

    However, maybe my eyesight isn't that great. Maybe that's why people aren't buying my warm & fuzzy photos to support my new $300 SM habit.
  • Ann McRaeAnn McRae SmugMug BizDev|Educator Registered Users Posts: 4,584 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    Hey! Sorry you're having a hard time. Right at the very top of that page you will see an audio player. Here's a screen shot:

    https://skitch.com/aemphoto/eun9m/twip-271-smugmuggery-this-week-in-photo

    Hit the play button to start the podcast.
  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Registered Users Posts: 180 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    Ann McRae wrote: »
    Hey! Sorry you're having a hard time. Right at the very top of that page you will see an audio player. Here's a screen shot:

    https://skitch.com/aemphoto/eun9m/twip-271-smugmuggery-this-week-in-photo

    Hit the play button to start the podcast.

    Thanks Ann McRae. So, that's what a podcast toolbar looks like. I knew I needed one of those silly screenshots to point me to something I easily glanced over and never gave a second thought to, such as a grayed-out toolbar being in my blind-spot. I kept looking for video links.
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandAdministrators Posts: 12,923 moderator
    edited September 12, 2012
    Yeah, I couldn't locate the player either on two visits to the site over two days, just to find that it was hiding in plain sight right there at the top of the page. Found it on the third visit. 11doh.gif
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the candid response and sticking with us for awhile longer. Of course it kills us to read these, especially the thought of burning the trust in 14 days that we tried to hard to win over 7 years.

    I studied Neflix's price change deeply before we made ours and it's probably one of the things that caused us to wait longer than we should have done, and then make a bigger raise than we wanted to make. I didn't envy their situation at all, because Hollywood got sick of seeing unlimited streaming for pennies per click of The Wizard of Oz, so they upped what they were charging Netflix for content. It seemed to me that Netflix had an awful choice: either raise prices and make many of their customers mad (800,000 abandoned them), or lose so much content that all of their customers get mad. In their case, they are doing well now, but everyone will forever remember the raise in price.

    The choices for us seemed similar. When cloud storage failed to drop in cost like consumer storage did, we could have gone to a lower grade of storage like almost all our competitors, cut back on our heroes, abandoned online chat, etc., but we felt those things would make all our customers unhappy.

    Also, we could have chosen to rush out some of the things we're working on and make them less great, but we thought that this time we wanted to make them better than we could if we rushed them out. If you're wondering why Don and I are posting less now, it's because we feel that the best thing we can do now is immerse ourselves in the improvements we've said we're working on.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,
    Baldy


    So, bottom line: will you make adjustments to this gap or not? And if so, when?

    Why is this so difficult to answer for SM?
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Registered Users Posts: 180 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    McQ wrote: »
    So, bottom line: will you make adjustments to this gap or not? And if so, when?

    Why is this so difficult to answer for SM?

    I just listened to the podcast interview and my opinion is... don't count on it.

    I wish SM could do something sensible like a survey of all of it's current PRO members. Or simpler yet (for them), ask all users to indicate whether they intend to stay at the new highest tier and then survey those that won't be.

    But if you listen to the podcast (AND YOU SHOULD) you will understand that this information is irrelevant at the moment. I think there are some good intentions in what they are doing but their logic doesn't make sense for those that can afford the highest tier. Bragging about how much SM costs at the highest tier just isn't the same as bragging about how much someone spent on a wedding photographer. So, the decision on the type of PRO (Business) photographer SM wants to attract away from other sites has unfortunately been made to the detriment of the in-betweeners that are currently here.

    If I was starting out again and had no opinion about any site... it would come down to price, features and how easy would it be for me to manage it (because what I should be learning is photography and a bunch of other things... not how to tweak the code to suit my needs):
    • X amount of years later and some features I thought SM would have are still not here so I'd be pretty naive to assume that they'll happen anytime soon or within the same x amount of years I've been here (at SM, not Dgrin).
    • If I can rationalize or justify the price being a good deal, it could be more of when will those non-existent features be wanted/needed by me?
    • The more I want my site to be a PRO (Business) site worthy of a $300/year yearly fee, the more I don't want to have my eyes glaze over looking at CSS/html code and the 100s of threads here that could be out-dated and/or contain bad information.
    Personally, I'm looking forward to squeezing more value out of SM and getting more bang for my buck until my renewal date. And at $300 per year, the customer service needs to step up in any way they can when given the opportunity by us users looking for help. To find the silver lining for those users with a too soon renewal date, just look at the following quote from Baldy in this thread:
    Baldy wrote: »
    If you're wondering why Don and I are posting less now, it's because we feel that the best thing we can do now is immerse ourselves in the improvements we've said we're working on.

    Sounds like the sooner they can release a few features, the better some users can find the heart to rationalize or justify the yearly price increase. Here's hoping it's something I want (and to persuade you to stay and to create positive news, SM is betting it's something you in-betweeners want too).
  • Rogue 1Rogue 1 Nothing to see here Here and thereRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 150 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    McQ wrote: »
    So, bottom line: will you make adjustments to this gap or not? And if so, when?

    Why is this so difficult to answer for SM?

    Hi All - this question's been posted several times in the last few days (in all manner of wording, so consider McQ's a paraphrase) - Just for the sake of clarification, Don addressed this exact point pretty clearly in the blog response video with Baldy (posted last Friday) - You can view the whole response here, along with all of the specific questions - http://tinyurl.com/95sb87l

    (not to be confused with the TWiP podcast)

    But for those unable to view, here's that question as it was posed by the community, and his response:

    It looks like you're purposely saying ‘no’ to the hobbyist photographers out there. What's your solution for us?

    "You know we die inside a little bit when we hear this. Our company is full of photographers many of whom would consider themselves to be hobbyist photographers or up and comers, but we believe that SmugMug needs to stand for value above all else. That value means exceptional customer support, features you can't get anywhere else, unlimited storage and more.

    And we just don't know how to deliver all of that at that price point. So like we have throughout our company's history, we're listening to our customers, engaging our community, and trying to figure it out.

    We just haven't figured it out today."

    What I take from this is that we hear you. We really do feel your pain. And we DO need (and very much want) to work out a way to fulfill your needs while also being careful not to do so in a way that is detrimental to ourselves. We ALL want SmugMug to be here for at least a few more decades (conservatively speaking, of course). I'll even quote Don once again, we're "trying to figure it out. We just haven't figured it out today."

    It stands to reason this move was a loooong time in the works. Planning. Debating. More planning. More debating (some debates that may be described otherwise). Engineering. Re-engineering. Discarding and starting over. Rinse repeat. Rinse repeat. We agonized over it...

    Like Rome, this action wasn't built in a day. And a well thought out, properly executed, truly meaningful solution to this 'gap' won't be either. Knee-jerk responses are most often disastrous...

    As has been mentioned/hinted too many times, we've got revolutionary 'stuff' in the pipeline. We're working hard on it as we speak, and have been for quite some time (yes, I'm with you, we want it as much as you and every day someone asks "are we there yet?) We're going to get this done, and we'll be 'trying to figure it out' for the middle-group all the while -

    We really do hope you stick with us, but if you can't we understand, and once again quoting Don (because he said it perfectly), if you choose to leave, "I completely understand if you just can't wait. We'll miss you, and hope to earn your business again once you see what we're pouring our hearts & souls into. I'm confident you'll love it every bit as much as I do."

    Thanks so much for your patience, and your input, and your feedback... and mostly for your passion. We've caught a good bit of flack, but we've also gotten a massive amount of support along with the ire, and like my Dad used to say, "I only beat you because I care." :D - There's zero doubt that you all care greatly. As with any family, in the long-term we won't let you down. (but agreed, this a rough patch!)

    bowdown.gif
  • AllenAllen "tweak 'til it squeaks" St. Louis, MoRegistered Users Posts: 9,963 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2012
    I've read others mentioning putting a cap on storage for lower levels. Those that have been here
    for years probably would be above that cap. Especially the ones with a family history of old
    photos. They were here with "unlimited storage" so I think a better solution would be a yearly
    upload cap of say 30gig. That would really slow down the storage increase problem. Pros (business's)
    probably do that or more upload every week.
    Al - Just a volunteer here having fun
    My Website index | My Blog
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Hi All - this question's been posted several times in the last few days (in all manner of wording, so consider McQ's a paraphrase) - Just for the sake of clarification, Don addressed this exact point pretty clearly in the blog response video with Baldy (posted last Friday) - You can view the whole response here, along with all of the specific questions - http://tinyurl.com/95sb87l

    (not to be confused with the TWiP podcast)

    But for those unable to view, here's that question as it was posed by the community, and his response:

    It looks like you're purposely saying ‘no’ to the hobbyist photographers out there. What's your solution for us?

    "You know we die inside a little bit when we hear this. Our company is full of photographers many of whom would consider themselves to be hobbyist photographers or up and comers, but we believe that SmugMug needs to stand for value above all else. That value means exceptional customer support, features you can't get anywhere else, unlimited storage and more.

    And we just don't know how to deliver all of that at that price point. So like we have throughout our company's history, we're listening to our customers, engaging our community, and trying to figure it out.

    We just haven't figured it out today."

    What I take from this is that we hear you. We really do feel your pain. And we DO need (and very much want) to work out a way to fulfill your needs while also being careful not to do so in a way that is detrimental to ourselves. We ALL want SmugMug to be here for at least a few more decades (conservatively speaking, of course). I'll even quote Don once again, we're "trying to figure it out. We just haven't figured it out today."

    It stands to reason this move was a loooong time in the works. Planning. Debating. More planning. More debating (some debates that may be described otherwise). Engineering. Re-engineering. Discarding and starting over. Rinse repeat. Rinse repeat. We agonized over it...

    Like Rome, this action wasn't built in a day. And a well thought out, properly executed, truly meaningful solution to this 'gap' won't be either. Knee-jerk responses are most often disastrous...

    As has been mentioned/hinted too many times, we've got revolutionary 'stuff' in the pipeline. We're working hard on it as we speak, and have been for quite some time (yes, I'm with you, we want it as much as you and every day someone asks "are we there yet?) We're going to get this done, and we'll be 'trying to figure it out' for the middle-group all the while -

    We really do hope you stick with us, but if you can't we understand, and once again quoting Don (because he said it perfectly), if you choose to leave, "I completely understand if you just can't wait. We'll miss you, and hope to earn your business again once you see what we're pouring our hearts & souls into. I'm confident you'll love it every bit as much as I do."

    Thanks so much for your patience, and your input, and your feedback... and mostly for your passion. We've caught a good bit of flack, but we've also gotten a massive amount of support along with the ire, and like my Dad used to say, "I only beat you because I care." :D - There's zero doubt that you all care greatly. As with any family, in the long-term we won't let you down. (but agreed, this a rough patch!)

    bowdown.gif

    I read all that. I've watched the interview and listened to the interview. What you typed is not a direct answer to the questions I asked, but a recap of interviews that don't directly answer them either.

    So the question stands, as before. Will you make an announcement now to address this gap along with a plan for it?
    I asked my question directly to Baldy. What, and when will SM do something to rectify the gap?
    Fair question that has been danced around but not answered.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Got an email from Photo dough today with a deal for New ZEN members, if you're still in trial period.....
    $75 for 1st yr of the $120 Premium package....So if you're jumping ship...might as well take this deal,
    as cheap as it is......
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Hi All - this question's been posted several times [snip]

    It has been asked many times, because the only 'answers' have been non-answers.

    From the quote you make, it actually sounds like an acknowledgement that the hobbyists ARE being left out in the cold, and there's no immediate plans to address that.

    The aspirational statements of looking forward to big changes etc are rightly viewed with skepticism because Smugmug does NOT have a good history of delivering large features in a timely fashion.

    How about asking the bosses directly if they are prepared to make a clear statement about the short and medium term (up to 9 months say) likelihood of any changes being made to accommodate the hobbyist photographers that are stuck between 'Power' and portfolio/Pro?

    Don't bother re-interpreting their statements so far, because they are simply not clear. Don't tell me they are clear.

    Cheers - Neil G
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Art Scott wrote: »
    Got an email from Photo dough today with a deal for New ZEN members, if you're still in trial period.....
    $75 for 1st yr of the $120 Premium package....So if you're jumping ship...might as well take this deal,
    as cheap as it is......

    How does one take advantage of the deal if one has not received an email from Photo Dough?
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • photocatphotocat camera crazy kittie Registered Users Posts: 1,334 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Disgusting
    This whole discussion is disgusting... One big group falls totally between the cracks: the group that occasionally sells something but is not even earning 300 dollars a year with sales...
    I unfortunately am one of those people. I occasionally sell, but not enough to really live of it. I do NOT earn 300 dollars a year in sales, so why should I pay 300 to just put my photographs up and let smugmug have the sole profit? Because if my customers order cards, the printer and smugmug are getting the lion part of the price tag, not me. I have a markup of maybe 10 percent, so I need to sell a hell of a lot more to make 300 dollar in order to keep a bit of place on smugmug.
    I might be with the crowd leaving smugmug... greed does not always pay! I am getting very crossed over this...
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