I thought I'd take a few this morning and write this journal because well, quite frankly I can.
Granted, I'm not around here much these days and I'm busy working, doing what I love, photography. That being said however, I couldn't stay quiet any longer.
What in the world has happened to this site? Usually I blow things like this over and mind my own business but when it hits my wallet, well that's a different entirely and something needs to be said.
The site here seems to be dying, literally. I've noticed not only a huge drop in my viewership but also in other high profile photographers work as well. In fact, it's safe to say that in that regards, things have absolutely tanked and crashed and burned. Something is wrong with this picture.
My print sales have absolutely tanked. Other people I'm friends with are saying the exact same thing as well. It seems that our shop here on DA is now an empty Main Street and we're not entirely sure why but would like to know what's up. Getting an answer though isn't going to happen and you'd have more luck finding a winning lottery ticket on the street. That is a huge thing and a huge hit for myself and other photographers to take. It used to be that DA was good in this area however the last 8 months to a year has been something else.
It seems like people have moved on to other places and in droves. Flickr, 500px, YouPic, facebook, etc. Can you blame them?
I was rather shocked when I happened to take a look and see that DA nearly doubled the cost of their subscription. I'm sorry DA but $50/year costs me more than my hosting does on my actual website. That's right, my hosting on Zenfolio is less than a subscription to DA. Sure I may be 'subscribed 'til hell freezes over' but that's not my point. When your average age of your website is like 15, honestly how many kids at that age have that sort of money? Not much. People then go back to being a basic member and notice that their art is wrapped up and draped in averts all over the place.
I've bitched about the advertising policy for literally years and you know what's happened? Absolutely nothing at all. DA is still using every single photo on this website posted as personal revenue for the site. Now some of you may say "but DA needs money to operate". My answer to that is so does Flickr, 500px, YouPic, and very single site on the internet that's considered a photography site. Yet not a single one of these sites is doing something so sleezy and dirty as to monetize your photographs for their own personal gain. There is no opting out of this either. You simply can't. If your photograph has EXIF in it, DA is linking to Amazon to where someone can purchase the same exact camera you have and all the accessories to go along with it. Hi Alex, I'll take "what's the Amazon corporate referral program for $100 please?"
Don't believe me? When was the last time you actually logged out and took a long hard look at how your artwork actually looked? Wake up call, it looks like CRAP. Go ahead and do it. Do you like those ads surrounding it at every corner?
Check this out.
Isn't that a thing of beauty? How about nope. Ding! Done!
For years I've written about the problems on here and for years nothing has been done. Lip service paid with "oh we'll look into that" to satisfy people momentarily yet things like groups having the ability to have forums, which were asked for way back when groups in beta and begged for, still falls on deaf ears. Things like the portfolio has all been forgotten about. I bitched about that 5 flippin years ago. Know what's been done? Dust. That's what's been done. All but forgotten about. Meanwhile this is happening 500px.com/upgrade and your competition is eating you absolutely alive DA. Oh and 500px's groups aren't only better than yours, it seems like their designers actually know how to make something that isn't absolutely chaotic. My gosh, it's not all spammy and instead there's some incredible discussion happening. Of cours ethey have forums which allows that, too. Let's take a look at the Landscape photography group on DA shall we? 500px.com/groups/landscapes Look at that! All those informative discussions and people interacting. Guess what's impossible to do here on DA? That. DA you fail.
It seems to me that your arrogance and narcissism has gotten the best of you. You're far to wrapped up in celebrating your own birthday than you are listening to the community. Newsflash, Nobody really gives two shits about your birthday. Big flippin' deal. People want a site that works, that functions, they want a site that isn't so self absorbed itself, a site who actually listens to the community. Instead we get a site that procrastinates on stuff, our viewership and interactions falling and our sales tanking.
No wonder why people are leaving in droves, Has anybody even noticed that paid staff was slashed?
A word of advice DA, fix your shit before the ship truly sinks.
In the mean time, it's high time I examine why I'm even on here anymore and high time I truly do think about leaving. It's simply not the way it once was. Sorry but it isn't and it's time I join my friends perhaps for better pastures.