PN (2)

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by michaellinder, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. It's been a while since the rollout of the Beta version of the long-awaited new and improved PN. It's also been a while since Admin's providing a status update. How about it, folks?
     
  2. I didn't want to ignore the question, but I have no idea of the current status. As far as I know, PN 2.0 is still in the pipeline, but other than that I have no information.
     
  3. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    still load testing - i will update this evening after latest results!
     
  4. Thanks, gentlemen. I appreciate your responses.
     
  5. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Hello All! We're addressing a nagging bug right in that the load balancer is not sharing sessions on our production site and we're trying to get to the bottom of it. We have the worlds brightest minds working on it namely Jin our resident guru (did you know he's a MIT grad!).
    Rather than posting the credentials here I'll send an internal message to all subscribers to take a look at 2.0. Keep in mind - still needs work but we're getting there!
     
  6. Glenn, is there an approximate target date for "getting there?"
     
  7. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    I wish I could provide a hard date for 2.0 release, but I can't yet. The real and most accurate answer is "it depends", which I realize none of us are fond of those answers, including yours truly. What I do know is that we need to prove the build can withstand at minimum our current user load but it really should be built to withstand 2x IMHO. I can share a FAQ below, but feel free to ask me any question you like. I'm an open book.
    FAQ:
    Have we proven we can handle that load yet? Not yet.
    How long until we can prove its built for load? I thought we'd have had that answered by now, waiting on tech crew to show positive test results. So still TBD on that line item.
    Are there still design tweeks to be made? Yes.
    Is most of the functionality there that we want? Yes.
    Are we done with 2.0 - No! Most notably, our iOS app is more than 1/2 completed! We will follow with an Android app. Sorry Windows peeps, I don't see a windows app in our future at least at this point. BTW - Mobile apps not a possibility on current platform, however is possible on 2.0.
     
  8. OK, Glenn, you've addressed my question - in an honest way, I believe. It does yield another question, given your reference to the "tech crew." Are the personal who comprise this group within your sphere of management or do they belong to the parent company? If the former, I suspect you can ask them to firm up a target date for establishing that the build can handle the current user load.
     
  9. Hi, I am interested in this issue as well. It is understandable that a complex and large scale redevelopment of a website, making sure it meets all possible requirements and workloads, may have significant levels of unpredictability.
    Still it seems to me that the level of user activity is going down more and more. Sure, the answer can be "this is what we want PN to be functionally, we do not want to compete with the Flickrs, Facebooks of this Internet world".
    I do not know how the photo critique forum's statistics are calculated, but the current overview in many cases shows a handful of photographs, when several years ago there were dozens or hundreds.
    I do not want to make a sterile critique, but what can be done on this and how could it be coordinated? There are also some moderators who are silent since decades, kudos to those who keep working in an intense way, but there must be a way to halt this idleness.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Luca, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I am reasonably confident that the timely release of PN 2.0 may help to boost the level of user activity, to retain long-term subscribers/members, and to attract new ones. Hopefully the rollout will be sooner rather than later; otherwise it may be exceptionally difficult to stop the bleeding, so to speak.
     
  11. Michael, maybe, if the sooner, becomes a priority, the demand for absolute perfection of PN2 when it is released, should be tempered.
     
  12. Michael, I believe it's way too late for sooner and likely even too late for later. The only thing that comes after death is mourning, perhaps resurrection but that's a tough nut to crack.
     
  13. Fred, what can I say? I have a hard time letting go.
     
  14. Silence is said to be golden.
     
  15. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    So happy to see such optimism!
     
  16. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    I have to ask - have you jolly fellows looked at the 2.0? The invite is sitting in your internal messaging system in case you haven't. Will it be perfect, no. Will it provide a platform for us to continually improve the site - yes. Our iOS app is already being developed...see progress and we haven't even launched 2.0 yet! Trust me, there is nothing I want more than to launch 2.0 - but can't do it until we can prove it can handle the traffic we currently have with room for growth. Below is a snapshot of iOS profile page, there is more but we wouldn't want to spoil your appetite!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Glenn, what can I say? As you would appreciate more optimism, I think maybe a little more understanding of how frustrated and demoralized we feel could be in order. For at least two years now, you've asked us to be understanding and patient while we've watched participation dwindle to a trickle and many features we used to love go by the wayside. The launch was originally talked up as happening well over a year ago, probably closer to two years. Remember, most here in this thread have been diehard PN fans and participants for years. You really can't understand our frustration and pessimism? Most that had been around for years have left already. At least we're still here!
     
  18. Glenn, I'm disappointed with your response. You said before that the load testing was in the hands of the tech team. I
    then asked a question. Can you please respond accordingly?
     
  19. Glenn, I saw your e-mail and I've briefly looked at the re-imagined site. My reaction to it now is the same as it was when I looked at it a few months ago: it just doesn't seem to be the cup of tea I'm interested in drinking. And I don't know whether that's more or less a personal reaction or whether it perhaps represents my middle-age man demographic.

    Maybe you could have both versions up and running simultaneously. :)

    Martin
     
  20. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    From my perspective this is a classic double edge sword situation. Some like Martin h don't want change and others like Fred (and myself) want it ASAP...obviously its impossible to please both.
    Trust me, I have asked if both versions could be viable at least to help with transition, but I have been assured that because one system is so old and the new one is from this century - that synching between the two is problematic at best, therefore it really only makes sense launch 2.0 once ready like 99.9999% sites do when they redesign. Furthermore, all sites that go through a redesign have a segment of their users that prefer old version... that is until they immerse themselves in the new version. Truth is change is not easy, whether we're talking about daughters new boyfriend or our photography website of choice. That said, we feel our core values and functions are made stronger and more prominent than our current site offers.
    IMHO the new site is much easier to navigate and understand for new users than the existing site and still focuses on core values of current photo.net which is photo gallery, critiques and forums. Users can find photographers much more easily than before, if finding more photographers they are (in theory) commenting and critiquing more. They can curate their own gallery of favorite photos and photographers, seek critiques, engage in forums & learning articles/tab.
    @Fred - could you clarify features we've taken away? If anything was taken away it was because it was not being utilized. Many sites that have existed since the early to mid-90's evolve - cutting unused features and adding new ones. Functions come and go and the decisions behind the ones that go are 100% related to whether or not they are being used and cost to support said un-used function - so trust me when I say that I'm happy to publicly address "many features we used to love go by the wayside", I don't recall us taking away any or for that matter "many features", but happy to address.
    @Michael - I am with you, if I could get a clear timeline from tech I'd be happy to pass it along. The latest load testing results looked promising. How does that translate to timeline?...great question - if I knew the exact answer I'd be happy to share. I like you appear to be a fan of short answers so here is mine: My estimate is < 1 month.
    Maybe once this is all done I will write my "tell all book", its been quite a journey I hope its been worth it! Maybe it wont' be a book (there really isn't that much - I was being over dramatic).
     
  21. 1) Under the photographers who are following me, I used to be able to sort by their most recent contribution. Since a large majority of photographers following us have been inactive for years, sorting by most recent activity allowed me to check in with photographers who are both interested in my work (I like to reciprocate) and still active on PN.
    2) Under photographers who I am following, I used to be able to sort by their most recent contribution as well. Now, I can only see when they've posted a new photo but not when they've participated in any other way so, again, it limits my being able to know who's still active.
    3) I was really enjoying participating in the MONTHLY PROJECT, which Alison and Jackie were leading. That disappeared about 6 months ago or so.
    4) Monthly newsletters. I think somehow my ENABLE got switched to DISABLE, so my not receiving them may be my own fault or a system thing. It's been a long time since I've received one but I just switched back to ENABLE, so maybe that will get me back on track.
    5) And, just a little tongue-in-cheek, most of all I miss Lex Jenkins, who used to add so much character and life to the site both as a moderator and as a participant.
     
  22. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    @ martin h - what about 2.0 isn't your cup of tea? Galleries, forums, critiques stage more prominent than ever, Articles all still there. Yes the navigation has changed (improved and simplified by most accounts) but hard to know exactly why its not your cup of tea unless you provide details.
     
  23. Less than one month, Glenn? Let's see what happens on or about a month from now.
     
  24. "Maybe once this is all done I will write my "tell all book" (Glenn)

    A Monthly Newsletter devoted to that subject would certainly be appreciated.
     
  25. Hi Glenn,
    I don't like the partial images at all. It seems like an attempt to make the images seem more important than they are. I just want to see my images the way I cropped them. All this bigness makes me feel like I'm sitting in the front row of the movie theater, which I find very uncomfortable. And I like the "newspaper" style of the old front page. It makes sense to me, whereas I find the inspirational text on the new home page off-putting.
    I'm attaching, if I can, a screen shot of what I see in the one gallery of mine that's showing in the new PhotoNet as well as a screen shot of the same gallery in the PhotoNet of today. So I think you'll be able to see what I'm talking about.
    Basically, I just seem to be kind of allergic to the whole redesign.
    Martin
    00dsrm-562396084.jpg
     
  26. And new.
    00dsrn-562396184.jpg
     
  27. Glenn,
    Would it be appropriate to extend my membership for one year for free as a reward for not becoming involved in this thread?
    Your patient servant :-(
     
  28. LOL, Jim.
     
  29. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Jim - much appreciated! Stay out of it! Kidding of course.
     
  30. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Martin I'd have to agree with you - your portfolio is more appealing the further away you get from it. Ba dum tiss...that was way too easy.
     
  31. I'm so glad I took the time.
     
  32. Glenn, I thought you were my biggest fan!
     
  33. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    @ Fred:
    1) We have taken away no sorting function so not sure what you are missing, but Jin has not removed any sorting functions I am aware of.
    2) Same as above, no functions have been removed from workspace.
    3) Monthly Project - Jackie has taken a break from monthly project, I think she was a little disheartened by the lack of participation. Quite a bit of cost and effort went into those and not much in way of people participating. What are your thoughts on this being done within the forums as opposed to it being article based. Again, look back - participation was light at best. Could use those funds to hire professional critiques? We've got a few notable photographers that are interested in doing public professional critiques - what are your collective thoughts on that idea?
    4) Monthly newsletters. Will look into your subscription for you.
    5) I miss Lex too. Maybe he'll be back - maybe he won't in the meantime think Steven Stills - if you can't be with the ones you love, love the ones your with.
     
  34. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    @ Martin - We will take your feedback and include it with the notes for designer. How we present the portfolios can still be adjusted. Many ask for more personality from me and less corporate, so thats all I was giving you. Apologies for comedic relief on my part - I can remove the entry if you wish so as not to be part internet records for eternity.
     
  35. Glenn, appreciate your responses. Unfortunately, you're wrong on numbers 1 and 2. Those sorting functions changed probably a couple of years ago. I brought it up at the time in this very forum and you said you would look into then. It's not worth an argument. And my main interest is not bringing back features that I miss. My main point here is that the dwindling participation is demoralizing as is the interminable wait for the redesign. And I hope the redesign is not the sole solution to the dwindling participation participation. What other mechanisms are you considering in order to try to get back members who have left and try to get new members?
     
  36. Not to worry, Glenn. I've already edited my previous post to fit in with the comedic relief. Continue on with it, as necessary. Martin
     
  37. As to building the monthly project into the forums, participation is dwindling in the forums just as it did on the monthly project, so I wouldn't see the point. I put a fair bit of effort into some weekly threads that got less and less participation. That could be a matter of the dwindling participation I'm talking about or lack of interest in my threads in particular. But I'm no longer willing to put that kind of effort into relatively low-parkticipation threads. Once I start to see results of efforts being made by the site to reinvigorate participation, I may revisit that.
     
  38. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    I agree Fred. But I think we all need to recognize that "growth" will not happen over night BUT its clear to us internally that the new platform will allow us many more levers behind the curtain for "growing the site". If photo.net 2.0 was a jigsaw puzzle it would be the corner and edge pieces put together so your jigsaw puzzle has a frame.
    To my mind, "growth" is a broad word and means different things to different people. But to answer your question as quickly and as directly as possible: Our efforts will initially be focused adding value to the subscriber package and providing incentives to free users to subscribe. Advertisers currently keep photo.net running and historically that worked well. That said, we have found that (generally speaking) photographers don't want to see ads next to their work. Beyond that they expect a more intuitive user experience to gain exposure to the community. For example - many new users don't understand that unless you make your photo available for critiques or ratings it is essentially a needle in haystack on the current site - they become discouraged and move on.
    Our subscription pricing is (IMHO) very attractive for what we currently offer and we'll only add to it. We have partners lined up and interested in working with us on the new site - once launched we'll introduce them and their contributions to the subscriber packages. One thing is for sure, this space has changed a lot in the last 10 years and we need to be focused on what subscribers want - so we'll be asking you what you want as a subscriber beyond what we currently offer.
    Clearly at its core, "growth" is about new users. The new site we believe is much more user friendly to new users. Yes we understand - existing users that know their way around current site will have to re-learn where things are but we feel its very intuitive and we have feedback from numerous new users that have said as much. Isn't it worth learning the new navigation to be able to interact with a whole new subset of users that come to the site? We think so. I can tell you we get at least 12 emails a day from new users asking how to do something that they shouldn't have to ask how to do. We know the current site has its quirks, some love it for that - but its also hindering our new user growth.
    Trust me, we understand the redesign is only one phase of the puzzle and the work towards growth is a never ending journey. The resources that we put into the redesign (which have been significant) will then be put into growing the new site.
    I know you're looking for more - but know we understand it doesn't stop with the launch. There is more to come and 2.0 will allow us to execute those plans. In short - its about providing subscriber value.
    So while we're at it....subscribers and non-subscribers - what would you value most in a subscription?
     
  39. I do not know if this is generally applicable, but my main interest is in photographs. And specifically in finding photos, which now is not that easy, unless I work through the "rating machine", which I do not like anyway and get over the captcha hurdle.
    I have started reusing the random image generator and it works better, but I used to remember that there used to be some smart feature of feature tracking.
    As Glenn indicated, it would be desirable to have some way to keep track of photographs (and photographers).
    Also some interactive notification system of feedbacks on photos.
    Features that were there and I now miss are
    • the picture of the week
    • the noting function of followed members (which is useful to keep track of what kind of photos they make)
    • the "helpful comment" function
    I would also like to overcome the 15-photo limit for favourites.
    And lots of old contributors to come back. To be honest. But I realise that that's some kind of utopistic desire.
    PS what link can I use to look into the beta version of the site?
     
  40. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Luca I will send you details for previewing pre-beta in email.
     
  41. Current home page: It's a little dowdy, true, but's full of information. See attached (as if you don't know what it looks like).
    00dtGc-562477884.jpg
     
  42. Proposed home page. Just a platitude ("where photographers inspire each other") and a graphic of a heart next to the phrase "learn more") and a few more things. Like I said, not my cup of tea. Do other people like it?
    00dtGe-562478084.jpg
     
  43. It's fun (for me) to see a picture I've just posted for critique on the home page (so much fun that I'll post almost anything, it's true). I'd hate to see that feature left out of the great leap forward on PhotoNet 2. Is it there somewhere?
     
  44. Glenn,
    I used to participate in the monthly project when it was an assemblage of photos taken that month. There wasn't any discussion, but there were many photos. Then it disappeared, and returned with a person in charge (don't recall the name). There was a subject, and a bit of discussion, but, as I recall, it began in the middle of the month. That seemed to fall apart, and soon there weren't many responses, and the "moderator" didn't do much to facilitate discussion. I wasn't enthusiastic about it at that point. Then it became a contest, and I dropped out completely just for that reason. Images for the monthly project went from being contributions to contestants. I wasn't enticed to join in. I was alienated. Isn't the monthly contest enough for that sort of thing? Just because surveys indicate that people like contests doesn't mean that everyone likes them. It also doesn't mean that turning something into a contest will increase participation. Use the funds for other things.
     
  45. Beyond that they expect a more intuitive user experience to gain exposure to the community. For example - many new users don't understand that unless you make your photo available for critiques or ratings it is essentially a needle in haystack on the current site - they become discouraged and move on.​
    Move on to where?
    Every online photography enthusiast site (with a PN 2.0 design scheme) I could find has their members work as needles in a haystack.
    I think PN 2.0 is just fine and will work like any of the other sites that look similar. Take your time and do it right, Glenn. I'm in no rush.
    I just found a newly established cinematography site forum with similar PN 2.0 interface design and functionality, but the level of information is less specific and appears to be populated by 20 something newbies who are more attracted to the celebrity of the site's namesake than the subject at hand. They don't ask really pertinent questions and the answers by the site's namesake are way too short and sweet. Quite a few ramble on about movies they like and don't like. Is that the kind of crowd you're attempting to attract?
    And I just discovered the dynamics of Facebook's "Like" scheme where I started posting a couple of my photos for the first time on my local park's advocacy group FB page where I received quite a few "Likes" from a string of acquaintances made in a high school reunion years back (not photographers). I never hear from them afterward as was the case before I posted the images. I don't know the level of sincerity and meaningfulness I'm to take away from that. It didn't help me.
    Glenn, I hope you really know how the work on PN 2.0 is going to change things for the better. This site like all the other sites I've visited in the past ten years appears to be populated by a lot of people with time on their hands.
    Are you hoping to attract those who don't have a lot of time on their hands? Who else is there?
     
  46. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    The new home page was designed to quickly convey to a new user what photo.net is all about. Discover, Develop and Discuss we felt answered that question about as quickly and as accurately as possible. We don't know for sure that a new user today - actually gets all that photo.net is when they see the current home page. Sure, if they spend the time to explore a bit they might...but if they don't they'll never know = lost opportunity for new user = growth we spoke of earlier.
    If you scroll down you will see featured images from the community. We had to keep the image load to a minimum for speed - no one (new and existing users) likes a slow page. The 3 tabs is our version of streamlining our current navigation. We believe providing 3 tabs instead of 9 tabs is a less overwhelming (9 tabs has been called overwhelming often) and eliminates much of the redundancy that currently exists. Who likes redundancy unless you're talking about money, vices or servers?!
    The explore tab is all about the photography and giving it a proper stage to easily be found and enjoyed. Now you can easily browse by most recent uploads from all community members. Sort by category - sort by date, admires, favorites, comments. Trending is a stage reflecting photos that garnered attention within the last week. More attention a photo gets by the community the higher it resides on the trending page.
    You can easily curate your own collection of favorite photos and photographers and galleries. The photographers that you follow - you will find their most recent uploads in your member center. So you can create you own circle of influence of photographers that inspire you. See what they're doing, where they're doing it, what they're using and of course even ask them for advice or critiques. Editors' Picks, Photo of the Day and the rest is not hard to find off the Explore tab - again you can easily sort to find what you are looking for.
    Learn tab is the aggregation of our 800+ articles.
    Community = forums - where photographers ask questions and ideally get answers.
    Member Center is much cleaner than the current "workspace".
    To answer your question about time. We all know that time is not infinite, we all only have so much - so I think we're trying to build something that accomplish many things we all seek. Growth through new users, is certainly at the core of what we're trying to accomplish. More new users in theory = more engagement, more photos more critiques, more of almost everything we seek in an online community. Certainly can't expect to grow if we have a steady stream of "how do I" questions we get for something that should be intuitive.
    But this wasn't only built for new users. 2.0 has more functionality, more intuitive navigation, cleaner presentation that benefits all users. Martin H - you like seeing your photo on the home page ie get exposure - I can almost guarantee that if you are actively uploading not only will your recent uploads be appreciated by more people (because its more easily found) your entire portfolio will get more exposure, which opens the door for meaningful and constructive exchanges with other photographers. You may even find yourself actually out shooting more because you want to try new things, push your boundaries as a photographer, make new friends - young and old..wow....now wouldn't that be great!
    I hope this helps if even a little you see 2.0 through our eyes. Again - do we expect it to be perfect, no. Will we continually make what we hope are improvements - yes. Do I think its the end all be all - no like I said earlier - 2.0 is the frame of the puzzle assembled. We will need to fill in the other pieces to complete the picture, I sincerely hope you are all along for the ride. This is supposed to be fun!
     
  47. I think that the reciprocal inspiration is one of the key characteristics of photo.net. So the new caption perfectly fits the bill. I like the home page. My review will be more about how the new website functions, rather than about "what I like". The users are still so many that it is nearly impossible to make everybody happy.
    I will take more time to review the beta version, but I would say that to set PN apart from the more "social network-like" photo sites it is more important to find the photos the viewer wants to see, rather than being presented them automatically.
    Personally I would not care about seeing my newly posted photo on the home page, also because it might stay there only briefly.
     
  48. I peeked and I like it.
    At least on my iPad.
    Will check if the desktop version is different.
    Nice interface, very nice rendition of the photos.
    I also realise that it's a matter of getting used to it, but that's always the case, isn't it?
     
  49. Glenn, it's time fro another update, given your estimate of the completion date for 2.0.
     
  50. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Update - another set of load testing will be conducted tomorrow at our highest level yet. The testing did reveal coding errors that we had to clean up - but that is to be expected. We're hoping we get no issues with this set of load tests - once we have that we'll be able to provide a definite timeline.
    To Lucas point of being able to "see photos the viewer wants to see" will be achieved by following photographers that inspire you - their latest uploads will then appear in your workspace under "favorite photographers" - all of their most recent uploads will reside there. You in effect can very easily curate your own stable of inspiring photographers.
     
  51. Thanks, Glenn. We're all looking forward to getting the results of the load tests and, more importantly, "... a definite timeline."
     
  52. "To see photos the viewer wants to see" some kind of tagging feature of photographer and photos would be nice.
    I also liked the "useful comment" feature. Strangely enough I keep on receiving a few "useful comments" marks every now and then.
     
  53. Luca, the more negative side of me wants me to say that, in all likelihood, the useful comment feature has worked quite well in theory, but not necessarily so in practice. It seems that it sometimes is just another popularity contest, kind of like "date rating."
     
  54. There seem to be some issues related to the use of the uploader, when uploading multiple photographs.
     
  55. Glenn, 10 more days have elapsed since my last post. What's the current status - - - if you please?
     
  56. Glenn's response -
    Michael Linder [​IMG][​IMG], May 16, 2016; 02:28 p.m.
    Glenn, 10 more days have elapsed since my last post. What's the current status - - - if you please?​
    nothing new to report other than they're optimizing our CDN for speed. we're working on ad tags as well. reasonably happy with load testing - still trying to get timeline with itemized tasks from tech.
     
  57. Michael, I think that the last thing the development team needs is additional pressure. I think they are well aware of what they need to do.
     
  58. Luca, I just performed a casual bit of research and confirmed that the beta version of 2.0 was released sometime in 2012 or 2013. Accordingly, I honestly don't think that I or anyone else who has asked about 2.0's progress have applied any unreasonable pressure on Admin or the development team.
    I'd much rather apologize for being somewhat assertive in asking occasionally about 2.0's release. It's not my style to ask for permission to make such an inquiry and then to sit back in my easy chair and wait for an answer sometime down the road.
     
  59. No response, Luca?
     
  60. Hi Michael, it seems to me that we have basically different attitudes and that we may have to agree to disagree.
    At the moment, differently from the past, I do not feel part of the PN community. Probably my fault. I do not think pushing for news on release 2.0 is very important, but I agree that you have a point in your request and it's your right.
    Let's see what happens. I like the new version, maybe it will become my forum of choice again.
     
  61. Agreeing to disagree works fine for me, Luca. I too hope fort the best.
     

Share This Page