Progress is impossible without change

Posted by Justin Case — 22 May 2011

... the entire quote from George Bernard Shaw is: "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

A little over 2 years ago, (and its namesake print publication, JPG Magazine) were on the verge of shutting down. In late February, 2009, a new group of owners stepped in to rescue JPG.

After careful evaluation, it was determined that the only way to return the print magazine to production was to avoid the inefficiencies and abysmal economics of newsstand distribution and move the title to a print-on-demand (POD) product. Moving this direction, in collaboration with the fine folks at MagCloud, the magazine would be a product of the community that loved it and would be sustained by those that wanted the gratification of that glorious print masterpiece. Unfortunately, the cover price of each issue would change (materially). It is costly to produce a collection-quality magazine at nearly 100 pages in high-resolution super-thick paper-stock with perfect binding. The print cost alone drives each issue towards $20.00. We felt certain that, at a minimum, the community would respond and the magazine would be sustained by enough users to make it at least a break-even proposition.

To quote the ever-popular Jeff Probst (of CBS' Survivor fame): "The Tribe Has Spoken".

The magazine, a true labor of love for the JPG team, managed to sell only very few copies of each issue, never reaching even a credible distance toward break-even. After a heart-wrenching re-evaluation of the elements of JPG in which the community seems to find value and take pleasure, the conclusion has been reached that the magazine must be 'retired'.

Heavy sigh...

So... what does that mean? Is JPG going away? No. There's a lot going on at JPG (as you've probably already noticed). We've been hard at work wrangling the code and digging-in to focus on those things that you've all shown support for, like increasing daily uploads and file sizes, more ways to be recognized by your peers, different challenges/themes, additional useful features (like Q&A, Market and Photo Links) and more fun, like Shoot Out (with the opportunity to win cash prizes - and, coming soon, other cool prizes like cameras and services) and Versus (our own little head-to-head photo 'battles').

Those of you who purchased digital subscriptions and have time remaining will be provided value for your remaining term (more value, in fact, we believe) in the form of conversion to PLUS membership for the remaining term. What's more, all PLUS members - in addition to all the other cool benefits of membership - will be provided access to the full digital issue archive and the discounted pricing previously enjoyed only by subscribers for the print-on-demand back-issues. Those glorious back-issues, 1-26, will continue to live-on and be available for single-copy digital issue purchase and for digital archive access (for PLUS members) as well as for print-on-demand purchase (PLUS members, including converted subscribers - will continue to enjoy the 'at cost' price - while single-copy buyers will pay the full value indicated on each issue).

Issue 26 is our last issue and we congratulate and offer our sincerest heartfelt THANK YOU to Darlene Bouchard, editor; Rannie Balias, creative director; and Nathaniel Jue, copywriter - for their outstanding work on issues 21-26. Those issues, their creations (along with our fantastic community), are a testament to the creative visionaries among our community and the magazine team, and we are honored to be able to offer these collection-quality pieces, as well as the entire JPG Magazine archive for all who want to preserve a piece of history.

What next?

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

- Winston Churchill

To be certain, we're not saying we're 'perfect'... but we do intend to continue to try.

So we're going to focus - entirely - on the community. The site will undergo some changes. Some you've undoubtedly already noticed. New navigation, new discovery, new browsing, new ways to comment and connect. New challenges, contests and more. Our goal is to develop and nurture the best possible community for avid photographers (like yourselves). A place to meet, to discuss, to share, to play, to experiment, to collaborate, to be recognized, rewarded and more. We'll make changes, tweak, mix and repeat.

We'll take our queues from you. Galleries? Online sales? Prints? More social features? More sharing? Our goal is to build the things you want and that you value. In doing this, we'll ensure JPG's success and longevity and provide you the environment and ecosystem you most want.

So let us know what you'd like to see. Send us a note, or several. We can't promise that we'll build it all, but we will take all suggestions seriously.

Please also remember to check out all the other recently launched features like:

Q&A - to ask (and answer) your burning questions
JPG Market - to buy/sell your gear
Photo Links - to share all the great stories, deals, galleries, equipment, reviews and more that you stumble across on your web forays
Versus - to experience a great new way to discover great photos from the well over 2 million images submitted by our members to date
Email Uploads - to send via mobile your latest-greatest ad hoc caps from your smartphone (and/or flip-phone, circa 2001)
Spotlight - to give a nod to great work you find on the site
Shoot Out- photo challenges you can enter to win cash, prizes and more

We are also looking for some great guest-bloggers to provide insight and coverage of the industry, technology, techniques, news, galleries, and whatever might come your way. If you're interested, let us know.

Most of all, THANK YOU - for continuing to make JPG such an amazing community!

Stay Tuned!

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