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Author Topic: The Hard Sell  (Read 4842 times)
David Watson
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« on: July 30, 2013, 01:56:27 AM »
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In the recent past when I have logged on to this site the first thing I am often greeted with is an exhortation to buy a trip to Antarctica, a Lightroom video.

Now Kevin or Michael posted recently that the sales of these products helped support the cost of running the site.  I am not saying that is wrong or even that this is a "spin" to deflect criticism.  In fact I am not criticising at all as I am actually a big fan of the site even when I disagree with some of the opinions.

I just wondered if other readers had noticed a change in the balance of stories as against sales promotions and whether they had an opinion. 

From a personal point of view I dislike the intrusion of the hard sell into news feeds such as Facebook and this site.  It turns me off using these useful and informative sources of information when the balance is wrong.  I do understand that advertising is necessary but in moderation please.
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David Watson ARPS
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 03:24:44 AM »
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Perhaps Michael will employ you as a moderator regarding the sales content. I don't see any "hard sell". If he was phoning you half a dozen times a day about his goods then I would call it a "hard sell" I log into the forums without going through the main page therefore not obliged to see the "hard sell". You have that option.
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davidgp
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 04:10:27 AM »
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I don't see too much difference to what it was before, instead of getting the ad about the latest llvj or Lightroom tutorial, you get now the ad about Antarctica... They are making their living from this site... It is more than reasonable to see this... And this is one of the places were I see less intrusive ads...
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 05:12:18 AM »
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I just wondered if other readers had noticed a change in the balance of stories as against sales promotions and whether they had an opinion. 

Sometimes it feels like that "what's new" page consists mainly of ads for the money-makers, with the odd article thrown in. But then you get long spells with far more articles than advertisments, so in the long run it is probably a good balance. I agree that Michael & co needs to make their money somehow, and I would far rather see it done by advertising their own wares than by intrusive pop up ads for 3rd party stuff.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 06:36:32 AM »
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I haven't noticed any significant change really.

Cheers,
Bernard
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fike
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 08:00:49 AM »
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I seriously doubt Michael makes any substantial income off this site.  Instead we should interpret his hosting of this community as a marketing tool for the products he DOES make money on: videos, workshops, tours, etc....  Unfortunately, because of the public's (that's us) unwillingness to pay for content on the web, we are stuck with enduring commercial material at most sites of substance.  That's how the online world works, and I don't think Michael is inappropriately or crassly pushing his wares through this site.  But be clear, this forum is OWNED by him and we are here at his whim.  If he wants us to see some of his advertising, so be it. 

At least we don't have to endure adds about getting rid of unwanted belly flab or videos about home refinancing that auto play when you arrive. If that were to happen, I might have to move on to somewhere else.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 08:37:02 AM »
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Without making a big deal out of this, I do think the OP has a point - at least as far as the What's New page. Try scrolling down. Every single article has either the 400x600 pixel cruise ship or the 500px square ad for the videos, or in some cases both. How many times does one page have to repeat the same pair of ads before it becomes rather tacky?

John
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jrsforums
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 09:31:14 AM »
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Without making a big deal out of this, I do think the OP has a point - at least as far as the What's New page. Try scrolling down. Every single article has either the 400x600 pixel cruise ship or the 500px square ad for the videos, or in some cases both. How many times does one page have to repeat the same pair of ads before it becomes rather tacky?

John

Tacky...annoying....and, really, quite useless.

After a while one becomes immune to them and ignores them.  The last advertising signs I remember  reading and enjoying...and looking forward to....were the old "Burma Shave" signs of my youth :-)

John
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John
Robert-Peter Westphal
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 11:41:46 AM »
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Hello,

I'm still wondering that here are so often discussions on things that are nothing to do with us !

This is Michael's ( or Lula team's) server and we are all guests. We do not pay any money to read these information provided here, and we do not invest anything else than some time. So, why talking about the way Michael make his money ? Why talking about ads which help the tam to sell their products ?

Everybody who is bothered by this can simply switch to a different website, a different forum and everything will be ok.

To be honest, I really admire Michael's patience !!

Robert
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 11:53:03 AM »
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And if you don't like a thread you can read something else and shut up?
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Kevin Raber
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 11:53:43 AM »
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For years like many of you I have been a Luminous-Landscape loyal follower. I spent a lot of time reading articles and enjoying the Video Journals and even attended the LuLA workshops. Like yourself I am very passionate about photography. Through the forums and articles I have been able to enrich my knowledge of photography and share that knowledge when I can with others.  I have been extremely fortunate to travel the path I have in this industry and now I am here, my last stop. Speaking for Micahel and now myself, we pour our hearts and souls into this site.  Our passion is photography but our real joy is sharing that passion with 1.4 million readers a month.

This is the first I have spoken about my role here at LuLa and I want you to know that we have a lot of ideas to enrich everyones experience with our site. Michael and I are working on a very aggressive roadmap for the site. Together with Chris we know we will make the site even more beneficial for all those that have a passion for photography and find great joy in taking pictures.  In the near future we will outline more of our plans and goals. Rest assured we are very busy behind the scenes developing new content and material that all should enjoy.

We are a small company and as with any company we have expenses and obligations. We float the boat sort of speak through advertising, workshops and our videos. While we offer much of our content free we do have to charge for some things. I know we have been a bit aggressive in our promotion for the Antarctica workshop. Our obligation to the cruise company for the trip dictates that we have to make this initial push. We are doing quite well too on this.

While I am sorry this may have annoyed some I need to stress that many of our readers only visit the Whatís New page only a few times a month thus we needed to make sure the push was there for those that only occasionally visit us.  And, of course we will also be promoting our other products on a regular basis.

As I said we have a plan.  We will evolve Luminous-Landscape with the goal in mind of offering our readers more benefits with both free content and content for sale. And, we will use ads and other means to promote these. We will also most likely have more advertisers. But, our advertisers will be those that our readers can most benefit from with a relationship. I promise you no Loose Your Belly Flab ads.  

As time goes on Iíll have more to share. I am very excited about where we are headed. We have a number of excellent articles coming, new video content, more tutorials. Plus weíll have more workshops and some other surprises you should like. This site always meant a lot to me as the new publisher it means even more.

Donít hesitate to contact me if you have suggestions or would like to contribute an article.

Kevin Raber
Publisher
kwr@luminous-landscape.com
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Kevin Raber
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Robert-Peter Westphal
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 12:03:41 PM »
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And if you don't like a thread you can read something else and shut up?

It is always a fun to talk to friendly and politely people !

Thanks for the nice answer which shows me that I'm absolutely right and you undestood the meaning of my words !

Robert
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 12:05:46 PM by Robert-Peter Westphal » Logged

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john beardsworth
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 12:30:05 PM »
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Sorry if you think that was a bit sharp and direct, Robert, but it's only throwing your own logic back at you. Any business learns far more from complaints than it ever learns from those whose lips remain sealed because they're told they've no right to comment.
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prairiewing
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 12:54:50 PM »
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If the ads were there instead of the articles that appear then I'd be bothered but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Without the ads would there be any articles?  OP asked for opinions, mine is that after I see them once I barely notice the ads and don't mind them.
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Pat Gerlach
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2013, 01:27:53 PM »
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FWIW, I think that the owners of any site have an absolute right to do with it as they choose.

I would think anyone suggesting I alter my site a lunatic; I do as I please with it and everybody has that option with what's theirs. I see no need for anyone to apologize for running their show as they see fit, not their need to offer any sort of explanation whatsoever.

If anything, I'm grateful this place exists; it allows me to observe and congratulate my own sanity as I float within the safety of my little lifeboat upon a sea of madness!

;-)

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2013, 03:52:15 PM »
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FWIW, I think that the owners of any site have an absolute right to do with it as they choose.

I would think anyone suggesting I alter my site a lunatic; I do as I please with it and everybody has that option with what's theirs. I see no need for anyone to apologize for running their show as they see fit, not their need to offer any sort of explanation whatsoever.

If anything, I'm grateful this place exists; it allows me to observe and congratulate my own sanity as I float within the safety of my little lifeboat upon a sea of madness!

;-)

Rob C
Amen!!!
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nutcracker
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2013, 04:15:28 PM »
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Well said, Kevin.
Luminous Landscape is an enthusiastic resource  for many who are enthusiastic about photography.
I think most of us can, most of the time, discern what to accept or reject on the facility provided my Michael and team, without excessive sensitivity to the declined opinions.
Now, can we hope to see your advertisement for Capture 1 tutorial soon? I have greatly benefited from accepting recommendations from this site since I first happened upon it some years ago, and have had no regrets arising from resulting expenditure!
Regards
Sean
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Kevin Raber
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2013, 04:41:34 PM »
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Now, can we hope to see your advertisement for Capture 1 tutorial soon?

Thanks for the kind words Sean . . .
We are filming the C1 Tutorial next week. We will certainly let everyone know when it is complete.

Kevin Raber
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Kevin Raber
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John McDermott
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 01:48:53 AM »
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Just an observation, but it seems to me that the "hard sell" of the campaign for the Antartica Workshop simply indicates that this workshop is of significant financial importance to LuLa, nothing more.
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opgr
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2013, 02:16:14 AM »
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1. If somebody "suggests" alterations to a website, it could potentially be meant as (and considered as) "friendly advice". Of course, since everybody on the internet always is in some kind of "hostile" mood due to a significant lack of normal social interaction, they all consider "friendly advice" to be an intrusion of some constitutional right or whatever, and all hell breaks loose.

2. This site is run by photographers, and targeted at photographers, or at least people with an increased sense of aesthetic and color. Therefore there is merit in trying to provide information in a way that represents those qualities. I don't think anyone has a problem with advertising on this site. But as with ALL advertising, it should be adapted to the target audience, and I personally do not consider screaming advertising in a horrible colorscheme (sorry Michael, had to add that for sentimental reasons) an effective method of reaching the target audience.

3. As another "suggestion": there are countries where you are not allowed to use e-mail addresses for commercial offers without prior consent from the user. I do not remember checking a checkbox where I allowed you to use my e-mail for those purposes. It is not that I significantly object, and no, not all hell is breaking loose, but if someone calls himself a marketing manager then it would be useful if you know your trade. And not just jump head in and abuse a database which appears to be the only metric that marketing is interested in.

It reminds me of Adobe. I keep checking the checkbox to not send me info, and they keep resending me crap every so many years, under the veil guise that a database cleanup must have changed my preference.

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Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
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