I will step in here and point out this is a pathetic response from "michael".
Don't caste me aside as a non-poster immediately, I may not write often but I have been reading daily for years, and over that time have bought several DVD's as well as downloads. Let's keep things objective therefore.
This site has changed, period. Anyone arguing otherwise is blind.
MR's photography has always been rather average but the travel stories and various reviews have been interesting enough that I've spent my money on the various products offered (a few at least). Let's be honest, in the past year or so the quality and quantity of updates have been disappointing.
Quality? MR forgets what he's already written. Eg arca cube. Or plain memory loss. MR promises many articles "will be here online next week" or "soon" and nothing eventuates. I cannot be the only one to notice?
Let's call it how it is. Since the opening of the economic money-pit (oops I mean the LL gallery) the entire site has changed. As MR admitted in the gallery/economics/finance article (video?) there is no way for that to pay, short of 'other usage' and that means shooting space for training videos, or space for workshop-type events. Hence the recent push towards constant training dvd's and the recent trip to shoot even more. Where are the travel workshops? The trips? All gone, thanks, and now a much MUCH more boring site.
And let's not talk about the response to MR workshops. Days/weeks of reminders about how there's still space available, whereas those run by other noteworthy types (workshops being promoted/sold through LL) are sold out quickly. Geeze man,. take a hint. Ahem!
I really think the whole gallery thing is a major strategic blunder as you took your most unique selling proposition, that put you in the place where people like me were forking out $$ for your dvd's (or downloads) and you replaced this with 'training dvd' offers for software. Hmm real unique and original. You may have replaced us LL Journal devotees with training dvd downloaders but in the long term we would have kept buying each and every new edition whereas you will soon run dry on those needing a lightroom instruction tape. LR 3 is here? How long to 4? Silly silly silly. Food for though, ignore me now, remember me when sales drop. Seriously. This could be the best business-model wake-up you get.
And why? Rich, retired, no need to work, and you take on a huge cost to satisfy your ego. Good for you. And the site suffered (and suffers) because of it. A stupid decision.
Sure some will say "I miss the old LL journal" but here it is hard, clear, and in the flesh. You ruined a good idea. I am brave enough to say so. The rest are pathetic for not saying so.
Yes go for it, defenders of MR jump to the rescue but I am gone, and my $$$, and more than a few are nodding in agreement with me even as you are rushing to throw praise upon the god-li-ness of MR. Now that this is a commercial-sales-dependant-site (don't kid yourselves that it's not) this is important.
As for the recent Leica letter re the M9 you really think you have any business acumen? How on earth did you ever get patents etc (presumably the source of your wealth)? To have such patents, and experience with a listed company and an IPO, suggests some real corporate experience. Based on your recent proposals however I conclude that you were a technical type riding on the coat-tails of others. Good for you, you still made the money, but it doesn't make you a business guru. To suggest Leica should walk away from the sole thing that differentiates it's products, and therefore protects the high MSRP of its products, and suggest "hey take on Panasonic/Other Japanese Giants making a 'me-too' EVF camera"... you must have rocks in your head.
Actually, I think you pulled a Ken Rockwell and deliberately wrote a bunch of BS just to get your site ratings up.
You should be applauded for your original website idea/plan regarding photographic instruction. I learnt a lot, and it's a great resource. You have gained many thousands of readers as a result of that good model. No doubt, however, those who have not read this far are already tearing strips off me for my horrible criticism, no problem for me they can go for it. Like I care what forum threads say about me. But you have thrown it (the concept) away and I can't understand why. Surely you realise whilst you have earnt your living from photography you're not all that good at it? Your photos v others from the Amazon trip were embarrassing for you, to say the least. But there are enough MR sychophants to make you feel good about every front page image you post I guess(some of us nearly dry-retch at those posts). \
And let's not talk about the embarassing "uber-camera" which you spent enough to buy a car or something on, then used once and announced (quietly) how you had realised the hasselblad MF digital thing was "more suited" (or close to that)... ahem... what a way to demonstrate the rich-wanker syndrome. I have done the same, not on so quite a public level however!!!
To summarise you have killed off a great idea (your original website premise) and changed it into self-promoting nonsense.
Now the flames can begin, I don't really care I will not visit here again. You can dispatch me as a fool, or a nut, or whatever, but in the back of your mind you will remember (and your records can verify) that your original idea had me opening my wallet to buy your products, and yet here we are, after some development of your site/vision I will never return nor buy your products again. I am up-front enough to tell you what I think, and you surely realise if there's me there's more than one and we speak with our spending habits.
Despite everything I've expressed here I wish you well in your various endeavours, my personal and business opinion is that you've made some serious mistakes, and should I be proven wrong then so be it.