Luminous Landscape Forum

Site & Board Matters => About This Site => Topic started by: bjanes on January 05, 2019, 08:17:52 PM

Title: Kevin Raber?
Post by: bjanes on January 05, 2019, 08:17:52 PM
In his article on LuLa the day after Christmas, Josh Reichman stated "Of course, we extend our very best wishes to Kevin Raber as he pivots to focus on offering Rockhopper Workshops and setting sail towards other endeavors."

Does this mean that Kevin has left to pursue other interests, the classical firing statement? I hope that I have interpreted this incorrectly as I have enjoyed Kevin's contributions to LuLa and was fortunate enough to meet him at the Chicago workshop with Jeff Schewe.

Regards,

Bill Janes
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: amolitor on January 05, 2019, 08:22:50 PM
Yes. The entire previous LuLa team has been asked to find other ways to engage themselves. It's not entirely clear who all the new staff are, but we have "met" Josh Reichmann and Irene Cortes. Whether there are other staff in place, or to be hired, or what the overall situation is has not been shared by the new management team (as is, of course, their prerogative, LuLa is a privately held company).
 
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: luxborealis on January 05, 2019, 08:52:14 PM
If you have the time and the patience (stamina?), have a read of The Changing Landscape (https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=128239.0).
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Two23 on January 05, 2019, 11:21:48 PM
I think not keeping Jeremy would be a major mistake.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 05, 2019, 11:56:26 PM
I think not keeping Jeremy would be a major mistake.


Kent in SD
I agree. But since they don't pay him anything, they might decide to keep him.

Eric
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on January 06, 2019, 04:11:11 AM
I think not keeping Jeremy would be a major mistake.

I agree. But since they don't pay him anything, they might decide to keep him.

You're both very kind. Josh and Irene have asked me to continue to moderate the forums and I have happily agreed to do so. My stipend remains unchanged.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: luxborealis on January 06, 2019, 09:34:22 AM
You're both very kind. Josh and Irene have asked me to continue to moderate the forums and I have happily agreed to do so. My stipend remains unchanged.
Jeremy

I guess that makes you the elder statesman, Jeremy!  ;)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Photog-x on January 06, 2019, 05:50:17 PM
I wish we could bring back Michael Reichmann.   This place ain't what is used to be, even with Kevin.  I'm just saying, it's taken a turn that I didn't really like very well after Michael passed.  I don't spend much time here anymore (skim the articles now and then but that's about it).  I miss the old days.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 07, 2019, 08:59:55 AM
I wish we could bring back Michael Reichmann.   This place ain't what is used to be, even with Kevin.  I'm just saying, it's taken a turn that I didn't really like very well after Michael passed.  I don't spend much time here anymore (skim the articles now and then but that's about it). I miss the old days.

Don't we all, and not only the photographic ones!

Guess we never know how good it is until it's gone. Just like my two Swedish Squares, the losing of which pair was one of my major middle-age crises (I have had several; one advantage of the present may be that's all behind me now).

Rob
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on January 07, 2019, 02:36:59 PM
I guess that makes you the elder statesman, Jeremy!  ;)

I'm a great deal older than either of them, certainly. Not many would credit me with sufficient diplomacy to be called a statesman, however.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 07, 2019, 03:35:59 PM
I'm a great deal older than either of them, certainly. Not many would credit me with sufficient diplomacy to be called a statesman, however.

Jeremy
But you are the one who ended politics!!  That is no small feat.  If you can only get the Brexit question solved you will rank right up there with the greatest of all British Statesmen and women.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 07, 2019, 04:42:44 PM
But you are the one who ended politics!!  That is no small feat.  If you can only get the Brexit question solved you will rank right up there with the greatest of all British Statesmen and women.


Only if he fixes it in accordance with my needs as an expatriate!

:-)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: mcbroomf on January 07, 2019, 08:46:18 PM

Only if he fixes it in accordance with my needs as an expatriate!

:-)

My thoughts are that as permanent expats we voted with our feet and no longer have "needs".  I look on forlornly from across the pond however ...
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on January 07, 2019, 09:21:56 PM
That comes as a huge surprise to me since I was under the impression that Kevin had bought LL from Michael.

I did appreciate Kevin's many contributions to LL and his departure is disappointing.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: bjanes on January 07, 2019, 09:56:43 PM
That comes as a huge surprise to me since I was under the impression that Kevin had bought LL from Michael.

I did appreciate Kevin's many contributions to LL and his departure is disappointing.

Cheers,
Bernard

+1. Second generation businesses have a high failure rate as explained in this article (https://fowmedia.com/generation-businesses-fail/). I certainly hope this does not occur with LuLa. I don't know Josh or his female partner, but their backgrounds do not appear to be in photography and also do not know if any of the traits in the referenced article apply to them. Time will tell.

Bill
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 08, 2019, 01:00:17 AM
...do not know if any of the traits in the referenced article apply to them...

There is an interesting quote in that article:

Quote
If the 2nd generation owner doesn’t respect those who helped the business get to where it is… Watch out for the Bizpocalypse
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 08, 2019, 08:34:36 AM
My thoughts are that as permanent expats we voted with our feet and no longer have "needs".  I look on forlornly from across the pond however ...

The needs are ever more fraught: the state pension comes ready-converted into euros and the rate seems pretty dismal. Since the entire fiasco began, I guess I have lost at least 15% to 25% of my puchasing power, but it's difficult to put a precise figure on it because prices here are going upwards too, especially heating (electricity). The pension pays for only a part of the cost of living - I live a simple life - and I have to keep topping up the local account with pounds from Britain in order to pay my way. The two economies are inextricably linked in my life.

The biggie, however, is the national health services to which I am entitled here in Spain. Two heart attacks already, and eye problems as well, means I use them a lot, for medication too! My being here saves the UK all that money, because according to the hospital info here, there are no bills getting sent back to the UK to cover costs of their nationals here: Spain picks up the tab, which looked at from the other end, means my living here has saved the UK services a fortune! And as nobody from here goes to  Britain to retire, and as the old cost more, the direction of profit and loss already favours Britain! But who mentioned that amongst all the blatant lies?

Rob
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Box Brownie on January 08, 2019, 08:46:48 AM


The biggie, however, is the national health services to which I am entitled here in Spain. Two heart attacks already, and eye problems as well, means I use them a lot, for medication too! My being here saves the UK all that money, because according to the hospital info here, there are no bills getting sent back to the UK to cover costs of their nationals here: Spain picks up the tab, which looked at from the other end, means my living here has saved the UK services a fortune! And as nobody from here goes to  Britain to retire, and as the old cost more, the direction of profit and loss already favours Britain! But who mentioned that amongst all the blatant lies?

Rob

Is this because you are covered by the EHIC arrangements which as far as was aware of a form of reciprocal agreement covering EU country citizens (i.e. money does not change hands between countries)..................therefore how will yours and other expats health needs be covered once/if the UK leave the EU.  Will the EHIC in regard to UK citizens cease to operate???
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: mcbroomf on January 08, 2019, 09:14:00 AM
The needs are ever more fraught: the state pension comes ready-converted into euros and the rate seems pretty dismal. Since the entire fiasco began, I guess I have lost at least 15% to 25% of my puchasing power, but it's difficult to put a precise figure on it because prices here are going upwards too, especially heating (electricity). The pension pays for only a part of the cost of living - I live a simple life - and I have to keep topping up the local account with pounds from Britain in order to pay my way. The two economies are inextricably linked in my life.

The biggie, however, is the national health services to which I am entitled here in Spain. Two heart attacks already, and eye problems as well, means I use them a lot, for medication too! My being here saves the UK all that money, because according to the hospital info here, there are no bills getting sent back to the UK to cover costs of their nationals here: Spain picks up the tab, which looked at from the other end, means my living here has saved the UK services a fortune! And as nobody from here goes to  Britain to retire, and as the old cost more, the direction of profit and loss already favours Britain! But who mentioned that amongst all the blatant lies?

Rob

Ahh, stupid of me, with you in Europe and currently EU you're in a very different situation from me, and I only worked for a few years in the UK before moving to the US, so I only have a tiny UK pension.  Big impacts for you depending on many factors ...
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on January 08, 2019, 01:11:00 PM
We are perilously close to trespassing upon forbidden (political) territory, chaps, and we're certainly way off topic.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 08, 2019, 01:32:00 PM
We are perilously close to trespassing upon forbidden (political) territory, chaps, and we're certainly way off topic.

Jeremy

Oh come on, Jeremy! This wasn't anywhere near a political argument, simply an explication of my personal situation. Nothing more. It's a far cry from opposing views coming into play, in which case, right, I'd agree with the idea of nipping it in the bud.

Off topic? This entire section of LuLa has no real topical direction either, having split into three main camps: those favouring the departed/ousted? goverment of LuLa; those critical of the new régime; those thinking the new hierarchy will bring a gale of fesh air, much frankincense and myrrh and similarly typically topically festive goodies...

Anyway.

Ciao -


Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: mcbroomf on January 08, 2019, 02:17:31 PM
Oh well, off to post some photos then ....  :)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on January 08, 2019, 02:51:54 PM
Oh come on, Jeremy! This wasn't anywhere near a political argument, simply an explication of my personal situation. Nothing more. It's a far cry from opposing views coming into play, in which case, right, I'd agree with the idea of nipping it in the bud.

It was your reference to lies which seemed likely to me to lead in that direction, Rob.

Off topic? This entire section of LuLa has no real topical direction either, having split into three main camps: those favouring the departed/ousted? goverment of LuLa; those critical of the new régime; those thinking the new hierarchy will bring a gale of fesh air, much frankincense and myrrh and similarly typically topically festive goodies...

Now there you have a point. Time will tell, eh?

Jeremy
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Two23 on January 08, 2019, 04:10:59 PM
This entire section of LuLa has no real topical direction either, having split into three main camps: those favouring the departed/ousted? government of LuLa; those critical of the new régime; those thinking the new hierarchy will bring a gale of fresh air, much frankincense and myrrh and similarly typically topically festive goodies...



Dang, once again I'm on the fringe between groups, not in one.  Looks like I'm in a tent all on my own--I'm not really critical of any one, have yet to see what the "new hierarchy" will bring, and am simply keeping an open mind. 


Kent in SD,
A lesser forum member
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 08, 2019, 06:11:09 PM
... simply keeping an open mind.

Ah, the eternal American optimism:

 ;)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 08, 2019, 06:37:01 PM
That's an awesome set of graphs, Slobodan. Even so...
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: James Clark on January 08, 2019, 09:05:03 PM

Dang, once again I'm on the fringe between groups, not in one.  Looks like I'm in a tent all on my own--I'm not really critical of any one, have yet to see what the "new hierarchy" will bring, and am simply keeping an open mind. 


Kent in SD,
A lesser forum member

Nah - I'm right there with ya.  From whatever seen so far I think the new ownership needs to find a consistent voice, but that can take time, especially if one is not a writer.   If Josh is a proficient filmmaker he should already understand how to tell a story, he just needs to nail down the technical aspects of the written format.  It's a buck a month...  I'm happy to give the guy some rope and let him run :)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: mcbroomf on January 09, 2019, 05:04:04 AM
Nah - I'm right there with ya.  From whatever seen so far I think the new ownership needs to find a consistent voice, but that can take time, especially if one is not a writer.   If Josh is a proficient filmmaker he should already understand how to tell a story, he just needs to nail down the technical aspects of the written format.  It's a buck a month...  I'm happy to give the guy some rope and let him run :)

+1 (or 2)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: jeremyrh on January 09, 2019, 05:19:02 AM
Who?
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: KLaban on January 09, 2019, 06:06:43 AM
I believe Slobodan's Eastern European graph could also apply to those in the UK, except perhaps the Scots for whom the whole graph would likely turn purple.

;-)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Robert-Peter Westphal on January 09, 2019, 07:59:53 AM
Hello,

I don't understand that all !

If I don't like the bartender, I change to a different bar and do not spit into the beer of all other guests.

To be honest, I was not that lucky with the way Lula was going through for the last years, and I'm looking forward to the coming changes announced by Josh.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 09, 2019, 11:18:34 AM
... If I don't like the bartender, I change to a different bar and do not spit into the beer of all other guests...

Imagine you've been frequenting a bikers bar for years. It is in your neighborhood, with no other similar bar miles around. You know the barman, the crowd, and they all know you. Fights occasionally break out, but soon settle at the bar with a round of beer. One day you walk in and see that Hare Krishna guys took it over. Annoyed, you'd like to spit into their beer, but no, only Himalayan tea is available.

Disclaimer: the above is only for illustration and dramatization purposes. Any similarity with real characters and/or real events is unintentional and circumstantial

;)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Manoli on January 09, 2019, 12:32:02 PM
... One day you walk in and see that Hare Krishna guys took it over. Annoyed, you'd like to spit into their beer, but no, only Himalayan tea is available.

(a) It was good up until the Hare Krishna part.
(b) I wouldn't spit in or at anyone, however were I to be so inclined, Himalayan tea wouldn't put me off, though
(c) somewhat futile, 'cos many of 'the crowd' are long gone.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Manoli on January 09, 2019, 12:33:42 PM
Time will tell, eh?

In the words of Samuel Johnson, the second coming of the 'new' LuLa appears to be very much "the triumph of hope over experience".

The end result of the recent policy decisions is that so many of those at the forefront of photography no longer post here. I'd list some of them but it'd take too long. The stats, though, paint a clear enough picture.

Quote
> In the 5 years preceding the change over, LuLa added an average of just over 3,000 members a year
> In 2016, 221
> Last year, just 47 and the year before that, 26.
> Average monthly page hits in the first 6 months of 2018 6.6m , 6 months later 3.6m. A decline of almost 40%

In light of recent events, I suspect that the economics of the subscription side are equally paltry,
Don’t need no PhD to work out what happens next ... but I guess Josh knew that when he wrote

... this was the time when it was both inevitable and desirable that I step to the plate.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/45949521054_4b4f1de384_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Dan Wells on January 09, 2019, 01:46:13 PM
When did the paid membership come in? Paywalls always cause huge declines in memberships and page views... Not sure what the alternative is - intrusive, tracking advertisements are, in the end, worse.  One possibility is some sort of unified subscription service where one payment covers a large number of sites...

Other than very expensive sites (~$15-20 per month and up), I suspect the barrier to paid memberships is mostly yet another request for money, not the actual amount. Some major newspapers are expensive enough that the amount matters, and a lot of financial sites certainly are. Another category of expensive sites I find annoying is the moderately expensive ones that have a bunch of memberships that collectively get very expensive. There is one photography site that offers SEVEN separate memberships, and is broken up in such a way that many people will want at least a couple. They do offer a nearly 50% off discount for all seven, but that ends up being more expensive than either the Washington Post or the New York Times...

For modestly-priced sites like LuLa, though, it probably isn't the $1 per month (many of us spend more than that on coffee every day)... It's the "one more recurring charge", "one more thing that stores my credit card info", and "one more decision to make".

 I pay four subscriptions - the expensive Times and Post, plus LuLa and The Athletic (I'm a huge Red Sox fan - hope that isn't a political statement to all the Yankee fans out there 😁). What keeps me from subscribing to other photography sites (apart from the very expensive one) or other baseball sites isn't the cost, it's not wanting more recurring charges.

If someone could offer a "photography bundle" that offered good value for something like $50 or even $100 per year, and removed the vast majority of paywalls and intrusive (audio, motion and tracking) ads from the photographic web, I suspect a lot of photographers might pay it. If a site or two declined to participate, I suspect they'd see their readership plummet.

I'd love to see a "newspaper bundle" headlined by theTimes, the Post and the Wall Street Journal plus a whole bunch of regional papers. Yes, each individual paper would see their revenue per subscriber go down, because they couldn't charge anything close to the aggregate price - but they'd all get revenue from a much wider subscriber base (and people who love newspapers wouldn't be paywalled when they wanted to see a few articles from an out-of-town daily that get linked by their hometown paper or a national paper).
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: drralph on January 09, 2019, 01:52:17 PM
I last checked this thread 24 hours ago, and updating now has made me laugh out loud 7 times!  This thread presents the essential value of the LuLa community: creative, smart, accomplished, generous.  I have not detected a single post with a hint of trollism. 

I wish all the best to the new management.  I have been a teacher for a long time, and know that it requires tact, patience, and time to mentor and nurture the next generation of talent.  I encourage the veteran poster community to be generous and supportive as we help shape this next chapter.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: drralph on January 09, 2019, 02:01:21 PM
While I was writing my last post, 2 well thought out and serious posts were uploaded.  My intention was not to take anything away from the gravity of the concerns in those posts.  But I stand by my appeal for mentoring and support for the next generation.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: LesPalenik on January 09, 2019, 02:03:18 PM

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/45949521054_4b4f1de384_c.jpg)

And I would add that half of the 2018 and 2017 posts could be attributed to the political and climate related threads.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 09, 2019, 02:09:42 PM
Third sleeves are rolled up again.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 09, 2019, 03:59:25 PM
Was LuLa doing a lot before the advent of the digital explosion?

Digital (photography) must have given rise to an enormous amount of Internet traffic in the photography website world - so much to learn and so much that was new.

Once the mystery is gone, then it must be difficult to keep the momentum going at the same rate. Also, with more and more images ending up on websites rather than on walls, is the amateur photographer the same animal that he once was?

Not only that, but was a time lots of people dreamed of turning pro, and that provided much incentive for photo education out of magazines and so forth, with heaps of technical articles on the processes - developers alone had a huge mystique built up around them and people spent money trying everything out when, instead, they'd have been better off sticking with one of the standards such as D76 and actually discovering how the thing reacted with different films, though even there, film standardisation made a lot of sense. I doubt that many people still feel as drawn to the idea of the pro life; they must be aware of how that business has been cut at the knees compared with the wide range of different exponents it once nourished.

Take those things out of the equation, and for how long do people feel inclined to keep on immersing themselves in photo websites? I hang on in because there's not much else to do; younger people living in cities have vastly different choices open to them for passing the time - if they have any to spare.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cellphone phenomenon not only turns into the standard - if it has not already - but dedicated cameras in a shrinking marketplace will just become too expensive to make to sell. That may mean the Leica paradigm will, unexpectedly, end up being the only sustainable one left: alpha and omega.

Rob
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Manoli on January 09, 2019, 04:06:10 PM
Paywalls always cause huge declines in memberships and page views...

The forum is quite distinct from LuLa , the main site.

Registration and posting on the forum is FOC and totally independent of the subscription charge which give the subscriber access to the published articles found on the home page. Originally, it was suggested that the forum too should be subject to a membership subscription, but this, being so obviously self-defeating, was discarded almost instantaneously.

The forum was a resource, which LuLa hosted, but they did/do not own the copyright to the posts. There was an unspoken suspicion that, with Michael's passing, there would be an attempt to 'monetise' the forum which resulted in some members deleting selective posts (and threads).
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: KLaban on January 09, 2019, 04:16:52 PM
I believe it was Chris Sanderson who indicated some time ago that the figures are fatally flawed.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 09, 2019, 04:18:03 PM
The forum is quite distinct from LuLa , the main site.

The forum was a resource, which LuLa hosted, but they did/do not own the copyright to the posts. There was an unspoken suspicion that, with Michael's passing, there would be an attempt to 'monetise' the forum which resulted in some members deleting selective posts (and threads).


I'm not sure how you arrive at a split in nomenclature, as distinct from the bits you pay to open. LuLa refers to the website, not bits of it. At least, it has always had that comprehensive identity in my mind and I can't remember reading anything official to the contrary.

Regarding the deletions: yes, and it could easily happen again. My really old posts have had a great number of pix removed because I don't much like the idea of being caught napping and being too late to protect myself in some way.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Manoli on January 09, 2019, 04:23:16 PM
... and for how long do people feel inclined to keep on immersing themselves in photo websites? I hang on in because there's not much else to do;

You do yourself no justice.
I'd point out that, ranked by views  the two all-time top threads, in the coffee corner are:

1/ Trump II, and
2/ Rob C ( started by no other than Jeremy Roussak) with only 25 replies yet 226,636 views.

You make my point - LuLa would be a much poorer place without you; it's not just about the articles and paying subscriptions.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Manoli on January 09, 2019, 04:31:37 PM
I believe it was Chris Sanderson who indicated some time ago that the figures are fatally flawed.

'fatally flawed' ? - these are LuLa stats and relate purely to the forum.

Chris , IIRC, referred to paying membership subscriptions and also added that they (LuLa) were a viable concern, making money - " otherwise we wouldn't be here "!
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 09, 2019, 04:31:49 PM
You do yourself no justice.
I'd point out that, ranked by views  the two all-time top threads, in the coffee corner are:

1/ Trump II, and
2/ Rob C ( started by no other than Jeremy Roussak) with 25 views and 226,636 views.
There were 2-3 climate change threads that had a lot of traffic as well.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Manoli on January 09, 2019, 04:35:49 PM
Alan , I did say top two.
There was also Brexit and at least another two Trump threads :)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 09, 2019, 04:40:49 PM
Not only that, but was a time lots of people dreamed of turning pro, and that provided much incentive for photo education out of magazines and so forth, with heaps of technical articles on the processes - developers alone had a huge mystique built up around them and people spent money trying everything out when, instead, they'd have been better off sticking with one of the standards such as D76 and actually discovering how the thing reacted with different films, though even there, film standardisation made a lot of sense. I doubt that many people still feel as drawn to the idea of the pro life; they must be aware of how that business has been cut at the knees compared with the wide range of different exponents it once nourished.

Take those things out of the equation, and for how long do people feel inclined to keep on immersing themselves in photo websites? I hang on in because there's not much else to do; younger people living in cities have vastly different choices open to them for passing the time - if they have any to spare.
Rob,

It's not just the purely 'pro' photographers who get material advantage out of LuLa.  I've sold pictures but this is really more of an avocation for me.  It's mostly office hangings.  LuLa's big benefit are the technical issues that get discussed on the forums.  That's where I spend the majority of my time when visiting the website.  I do read the gear reviews and have made some purchases based on what I've read (I think it was Nick Devlin's review of the UniqBall tripod head that convinced me that this was a good product.  He was right.  I likely would not have come across the product had it not been for LuLa.).  I have also had some questions from time to time and they get answered by someone who knows the topic very quickly.  As I said on an early post following the transition, this is the value I attribute to LuLa.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: KLaban on January 09, 2019, 04:47:52 PM
'fatally flawed' ? - these are LuLa stats and relate purely to the forum.

Chris , IIRC, referred to paying membership subscriptions and also added that they (LuLa) were a viable concern, making money - " otherwise we wouldn't be here "!

You could well be right although I recall he suggested that the new members figures were flawed: something to do with the software?
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Chris Kern on January 09, 2019, 06:33:38 PM
You make my point - LuLa would be a much poorer place without you; it's not just about the articles and paying subscriptions.

And you make my point: something that has been rattling around in my head—sigh, lots of loose stuff up there these days—since I started reading the threads about the new management.

For me, the primary value of LuLa is the forums: the exchange of views among people with a common interest but different perspectives.  I particularly enjoy their international character.  (I do wish more posters would enter a location in their profiles, at least the country; it helps readers understand—quite literally—"where they're coming from."  I can't imagine why anyone who is not in a witness-protection program would be reluctant to do that.)  We're a diverse and articulate lot, with interesting perspectives and often strong opinions, but that common interest provides a basis for bridging the experiential, geographical, and philosophical divides.

To be sure, I've found some of the more formal articles to be instructive, particularly Jeff Schewe's and Michael Reichman's video tutorials, from which I learned a great deal when I was first trying to master the digital medium, Mark Segal's printing reviews (although they sometimes go over my head), and the occasional photo essay—although, as a general rule, I've found the pictures posted in the forums to be more engaging than those posted on the start page.

But it's the people on the forums, especially the technical experts but also the more opinionated and provocative ones, that induce me to check in almost every day.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Two23 on January 09, 2019, 09:08:41 PM


For me, the primary value of LuLa is the forums: the exchange of views among people with a common interest but different perspectives.  I particularly enjoy their international character.  (I do wish more posters would enter a location in their profiles, at least the country; it helps readers understand—quite literally—"where they're coming from."  I can't imagine why anyone who is not in a witness-protection program would be reluctant to do that.)  We're a diverse and articulate lot, with interesting perspectives and often strong opinions, but that common interest provides a basis for bridging the experiential, geographical, and philosophical divides.


That's the primary attraction for me too.  I live in a somewhat geographically isolated place and the number of people who live near me who are semi-serious about photography in general is not great.  Internet forums are convenient for me to get on in random moments and give me access to some "exotic" people I wouldn't find otherwise.  Mostly I like to kick around ideas, sometimes I like to post photos to see what others think (although most of mine are probably too "off topic" here.)  I also enjoy the humor--I'm all about having fun. :)  What I don't like is the pointless arguing ("Is too!"  "Is not!")  Some of the articles on Lula have been interesting/useful to me, some less so.  I've had no interest in any of the equipment reviews I've seen here so far.  There's just no way I'm spending on a  $5,000 camera, (unless it was once owned by Matthew Brady or Brassai perhaps. :)  )  I will admit that I no longer have the interest in even the more prosaic photo gear that I did ~5 years ago.  I've sort of entered a state of mind where camera gear seems only secondary to photography.  I do find myself sometimes looking on the internet to read if a 1920s Dynar lens is the same as a Heliar, and what the coverage is.  I do own a Nikon D800E and shoot with it regularly, along with the best lenses available.  OTOH the last bit of photo gear I've purchased was a c.1862 Voigtlander Petzval, FL=12 inch and f3.5.  It's huge!  I could do an in depth review here if there's interest.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: LesPalenik on January 09, 2019, 09:28:31 PM
Kent, what did you put in that lens barrel to attract the cat?
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Patricia Sheley on January 09, 2019, 09:33:24 PM
É un Petz !  ;)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Two23 on January 09, 2019, 09:35:52 PM
Kent, what did you put in that lens barrel to attract the cat?

Annie sniffs everything that comes into the house. ;D  It's become a standing joke on another forum that every time I set up to take a photo of an old camera or lens, Annie will get into the photo one way or another.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: LesPalenik on January 09, 2019, 11:46:01 PM
Only a pussy would find a scent of an old barrel attractive.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 10, 2019, 04:51:49 AM

That's the primary attraction for me too.  I live in a somewhat geographically isolated place and the number of people who live near me who are semi-serious about photography in general is not great.  Internet forums are convenient for me to get on in random moments and give me access to some "exotic" people I wouldn't find otherwise.  Mostly I like to kick around ideas, sometimes I like to post photos to see what others think (although most of mine are probably too "off topic" here.)  I also enjoy the humor--I'm all about having fun. :)  What I don't like is the pointless arguing ("Is too!"  "Is not!")  Some of the articles on Lula have been interesting/useful to me, some less so.  I've had no interest in any of the equipment reviews I've seen here so far.  There's just no way I'm spending on a  $5,000 camera, (unless it was once owned by Matthew Brady or Brassai perhaps. :)  )  I will admit that I no longer have the interest in even the more prosaic photo gear that I did ~5 years ago.  I've sort of entered a state of mind where camera gear seems only secondary to photography.

Kent in SD


You could be writing on my behalf, as I share your sense of photographic isolation and lack of interest in spending money on more new stuff that's irrelevant to my photography itself.

When I first got onto the Internet, it was the fact that communication across the globe was happening in front of my very eyes that fascinated. Access to so many pictures from my list of revered photographers was a fantastic benefit, too; I no longer had to hope for the lucky encounter with a magazine of book somewhere, but could activate a search right there and then.

It might be that there are more people of like mind (regarding gear) than we might at first glance assume. If that's so, then it could explain why visits to camera factories and the paying of excessive tributes to camera builders are seen as turn-offs: these things are a sideshow. Which leads me to ask myself: what's the real show?

Rob
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: KLaban on January 10, 2019, 05:06:41 AM

You could be witing on my behalf, as I share your sense of photographic isolation and lack of interest in spending money on more new stuff that's irrelevant to my photography itself.

When I first got onto the Internet, it was the fact that communication across the globe was happening in front of my very eyes that fascinated. Access to so many pictures from my list of revered photographers was a fantastic benefit, too; I no longer had to hope for the lucky encounter with a magazine of book somewhere, but could activate a search right there and then.

It might be that there are more people of like mind (regarding gear) than we might at first glance assume. If that's so, then it could explain why visits to camera factories and the paying of excessive tributes to camera builders are seen as turn-offs: these things are a sideshow. Which leads me to ask myself: what's the real show?

Rob

This.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 10, 2019, 06:09:38 AM
Keith, the first thnig I noticed was my typo, since corrected, "witing".

In my own take on LuLa, the chat is where it's at. But that depends on random events, such as whether people read something that spurs them into reply, or whether they just don't care enough either way.

How can a website, that costs money to run, manage to make that happen consistently enough? Maybe it can't, because none of the things on offer are as prosaically important as going down to the supermarket to buy some potatoes when you have none left.

It could be that we are seeing the old new-age concept of Internet business finally morph into the reality, where the free content we accepted as the norm in the past never was sustainable, and now that truth has come home to roost.

Rob
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 10, 2019, 06:11:10 AM
Only a pussy would find a scent of an old barrel attractive.

I feel I should complain, instead I grin.

Rob
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Aram Hăvărneanu on January 10, 2019, 06:36:43 AM
...

Web forums are a dinosaur, and the asteroid hit a long time ago. Kids these days don't know nor care about web forums, so it's no miracle than the growth effectively stopped. It's not Kevin's fault, it's just the way the world is now.

...not that there's anything wrong with it. I always read and liked this forum (long before I made an account) because of the people with experience. I'm tired of young nobodies that think they know it all. The internet (in all its forms, sites, youtube, etc) is full of them.

I'm only 30, by the way.

If more people would come, it would be awful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Krug on January 10, 2019, 10:12:32 AM
I know that one does have to accept that some people - even among our friends - just like being 'antsy' and 'difficult' just for the sake of it and to gain attention by being immaturely provocative. However, as I have asked before in this discussion, can we not just park our egos for a bit and see how things develop and post only supportive and constructive (even if sensible critical) comments ? If we were to do that I can see nothing but benefit for all of us who value this site and want its' legacy to continue and prosper. If on the other hand you do not care about the site I suggest, politely and respectfully, that it might be better to spend time and effort elsewhere.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Peter_DL on January 10, 2019, 11:03:28 AM
... The stats, though, paint a clear enough picture.
In light of recent events, I suspect that the economics of the subscription side are equally paltry,
Don’t need no PhD to work out what happens next ... but I guess Josh knew that when he wrote ...

Maybe it is just an interim stage and the next step will be a sell-off of the LuLa website & forum,
similar to the Rob Galbraith forum some years ago.

Just a guess, however, I found it worthwhile to download and save a couple of selected LuLa articles and forum discussions from the past decade.

--
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 10, 2019, 11:15:35 AM
... see how things develop and post only supportive and constructive (even if sensible critical) comments ? If we were to do that I can see nothing but benefit for all of us who value this site country and want its' legacy to continue and prosper. If on the other hand you do not care about the site country I suggest, politely and respectfully, that it might be better to spend time and effort elsewhere.

The 45th would have appreciated that too, alas...

Slobodan
Your immaturely provocative forum member

Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 10, 2019, 12:58:56 PM
The 45th would have appreciated that too, alas...

Slobodan
Your immaturely provocative forum member
Good thing that Jeremy won't understand this cryptic post! 8)
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 10, 2019, 01:07:57 PM

How can a website, that costs money to run, manage to make that happen consistently enough? Maybe it can't, because none of the things on offer are as prosaically important as going down to the supermarket to buy some potatoes when you have none left.
Rob,

The cost of running a website can be negligible depending on what software is needed.  Hosting services are inexpensive.  Sites can be monetized in several ways:  1) advertising (very common across almost all sites unless it is a personal one), 2) membership fee (LuLa was free for a long time and now charges $12/year; lots of places charge more than this), or 3) owners of the website provide products.  Back in the day when Michael was running LuLa there were a number of fine video products that were all available for a reasonable cost.  They were well produced and had excellent content.  I assume that these sales were significant judging by comments from forum participants over the years.  Numbers 2 and 3 are under the control of the site owner as prices are set and product development decided upon.  Advertising revenue is more problematic in that there is considerable competition out there and advertisers know through the click through whether a particular site is driving traffic.  B&H Camera, perhaps the leading e-retailer in the US, used to advertise on LuLa but I no longer see their ads.  I know they advertise on Thom Hogan's site and he always encourages readers to use the click link for purchases.

It's also my understanding that LuLa was in OK financial shape prior to the transition in December.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: faberryman on January 10, 2019, 01:32:34 PM
The cost of running a website can be negligible depending on what software is needed.  Hosting services are inexpensive.
I ran a high end audio website for seven years. At the end, I was getting a million visits a year. My web hosting with a fast virtual server was $30/month. It costs nothing to run a website - until you start paying yourself. Josh and Irene probably have an idea how much they want to make off LuLa, which is why they took it over from Kevin and Chris.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 10, 2019, 02:02:26 PM
I ran a high end audio website for seven years. At the end, I was getting a million visits a year. My web hosting with a fast virtual server was $30/month. It costs nothing to run a website - until you start paying yourself. Josh and Irene probably have an idea how much they want to make off LuLa, which is why they took it over from Kevin and Chris.


That's the principle I was about to state to Alan G.

Michael may have been doing it for kicks - he seemed able to afford a nice country summer retreat with a boat - but if you need to pay people to shoot videos, edit them etc., then unless you have stumbled onto a tribe of wealthy people who want to do that all day long without collecting a living wage from it, you have got to make the site make money.

Advertising deserted the printed page with speed, and went electronic. I heard recently that it doesn't actually have a better chance of prompting sales at all; your ability to judge value for advertising buck spent still remains an elusive daydream, too.

Today, the biggest car maker in the UK has said it's firing 4,500 people on top of a recent 1,500 others who met the same fate (the Jaguar group of companies). They cite marketing difficulties in China and the demonizing of diesel. Over in the States, Ford appears to be ending all its car production and concentrating on SUV and truck buyers, with the exception of Mustang. In Europe, Ford is making a massive restructuring closing production entirely in some countries.

This is change on a seismic level, folks, and I suspect we have only the tiniest idea of where it's going to lead and leave us.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: LesPalenik on January 10, 2019, 02:11:14 PM

Today, the biggest car maker in the UK has said it's firing 4,500 people on top of a recent 1,500 others who met the same fate (the Jaguar group of companies). They cite marketing difficulties in China and the demonizing of diesel. Over in the States, Ford appears to be ending all its car production and concentrating on SUV and truck buyers, with the exception of Mustang. In Europe, Ford is making a massive restructuring closing production entirely in some countries.

This is change on a seismic level, folks, and I suspect we have only the tiniest idea of where it's going to lead and leave us.

Meanwhile, Tesla is opening a new 5 billion, 250,000 cars a year factory in China. Some call it realignment.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/elon-musk-breaks-ground-on-5bn-tesla-factory-in-china-1.810212
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Rob C on January 10, 2019, 02:28:23 PM
Meanwhile, Tesla is opening a new 5 billion, 250,000 cars a year factory in China. Some call it realignment.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/elon-musk-breaks-ground-on-5bn-tesla-factory-in-china-1.810212


Does Mr Big know? That could have financed a wall and kept a government working!

:-)


P.S.

This is a joke, not a political stance.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: LesPalenik on January 10, 2019, 02:53:43 PM
Rob, the whole thing is a joke.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 10, 2019, 03:18:13 PM

That's the principle I was about to state to Alan G.

Michael may have been doing it for kicks - he seemed able to afford a nice country summer retreat with a boat - but if you need to pay people to shoot videos, edit them etc., then unless you have stumbled onto a tribe of wealthy people who want to do that all day long without collecting a living wage from it, you have got to make the site make money.
IIRC, Michael had a gallery in Toronto for a number of years while also running LuLa.  As I noted before, LuLa had a number of offerings that users paid for which I'm sure generated a nice revenue stream. 

Quote
Advertising deserted the printed page with speed, and went electronic. I heard recently that it doesn't actually have a better chance of prompting sales at all; your ability to judge value for advertising buck spent still remains an elusive daydream, too.

I don't think anyone can count on advertising revenues being constant.  It's very easy for advertisers to move in and out of various Internet sites with speed.

Obviously at one level we can calculate part of LuLa's revenues.  $12/year x number of members and subtract out the 3% processing fees charged by the credit card companies.  The forum members link shows 56810 members but we don't know what % of those pay a subscription fee.  Let's say 10% pay (and only a small fraction of that number are really active participants who post on the forums), that gives us approximately 5500 members.  This would provide an annual revenue of $64,020.  Subtract out the basic expenses for web hosting, software, and maintenance would leave a very modest amount of money for a one person run operation.  Clearly revenue has to come from other sources if this is to be more than just a 'for fun' operation.
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Krug on January 10, 2019, 04:16:16 PM
Slobodan, I really like the sense of humour in your new signature byline as I do much of your photography and, like you, would be very uncomfortable - to say the very least - if everybody, or even most people, thought the same.  But..........
Title: Re: Kevin Raber?
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on January 10, 2019, 04:36:45 PM
"There's something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."

And with Alan's post, remarkable even by the standards of this thread for its speculative fatuity, we reach the end.

Jeremy