Personal Post

I'm still here, BUT

11-29-2010 (San Gregorio State Beach)
11-29-2010 (San Gregorio State Beach)
10-18-2010 (Hwy 88 North of Stockton, Ca)
Pacifica, Ca
11-29-2010 (San Gregorio State Beach)
Don't have to be Jealous

(I'm not going to take this down just yet, but the epilogue to this story is a testament to why jpg is such a wonderful community. Chris whitney, a wonderful jpg member who had already helped me greatly when i went to shoot in lone pine, read this post and gifted me a plus membership.)

In the three+ years I've been a member here, I've made it a priority to frequently (usually daily) check on the photos of my contacts, and to favorite and comment. I'm fortunate to have quite a few contacts, so it's a significant time commitment. But I value and enjoy being an active and supportive member of this community.

Lately however, because of ads that overlap significant portions of the site pages, the time required to do this has greatly increased, and an aggravation factor has been added. I'm getting tired of clicking to close an SAP ad only to have it bounce back again -and again, and again- so quickly that I can't even move my pointer onto the thumbnail on my "photos from contacts page". Or of being unable to click on "Give Props" for up to a minute, because the page is frozen while a Sprint ad prepares to appear. I don't have any problem with ads, I accept that they're necessary for JPG. But when they disrupt the basic functionality of the site, that's over the line. I resent my experience being degraded in that way, I resent that being a supportive member has been turned into an aggravation, and I refuse to be pushed in that manner into buying a Plus membership.

Of course JPG staff would say the reason to go Plus is the extra features, more than the absence of ads. But that's not true for me. The only Plus feature that I'd be happy about is the ability to spotlight other people's images. I wouldn't be getting any of the things I -and I assume many others - most want, features I'd be willing to pay for (and I've said so to JPG staff), including the ability to:

- Put more info in my profile

- Display my images larger

- View slide shows of collections - for instance a member's images, or submissions to a theme, or any of the other collections that already exist on JPG

- Build collections of images that include images from several members.

None of that's available in Plus, so I'm not buying.

I'm still here. I'll continue to, as I always have, give return visits with great pleasure to anyone who lets me know, by favoriting or commenting, that they've visited my pages, and I'll look forward to also commenting on and favoriting their beautiful images. And of course I'll also continue to express my admiration for the great images that catch my eye through "also by", "more of", and spotlights. But, unless JPG changes the way it implements ads, with much regret I've given up on reviewing my "My contact photos" pages, and as a result my JPG friends may not be hearing from me as often as in the past. Please accept my apologies and know that it's not due to lack of interest in your work, but to the process having been made unbearable.

Wishing you all the best as always,


30 responses

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) said (30 Nov 2010):

    I'm a plus member so I wasn't aware of the ad issue. I agree this is unreasonable. I support your stand and understand if I don't see you very often. I hate to see simple problem become so political but everyone has to draw the line somewhere. Bravo

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (30 Nov 2010):

    my dear friend, I have looked on the "plus membership" as a way to contribute to JPG. The numerous and repetitive crotch shots are annoying, but I stay, because of talent, such as your's. To each their own Alexis.....I'd follow you anywhere! xoo

  • Megan Green

    Megan Green said (30 Nov 2010):

    I'm with you on the ads - I don't have plus membership either, though I have contributed to the site (as I said I would back when JPG almost went away) by buying spotlights. I understand that the pop-up ads are necessary, but like you - I'll watch the ad, but still can't do what I want to do because it keeps popping back, blocking things - even though I was patient and sat through it. Or clicked through by mistake. It's frustrating! But I keep coming back for the same reasons - I look forward to new images from my favorite contacts.

  • Carol Holmes

    Carol Holmes gave props (30 Nov 2010):

    I completely understand...I will always come back to view your work, even if I don't see comment on mine work because of such aggravations. Your work is inspiring and I look forward to seeing more!

  • dp *

    dp * said (30 Nov 2010):

    Right on Alexis, it will be a cold day in H before I go to St. Lucia too!!! Do ya hear us JPG! Bummer total bummer. It's a strange game, you maybe successful with your ad sales but the reason you are selling the ads is because of the content ... freely obtained by many contributors when they are gone so are the ad sales..just the nature of the beast I guess.

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (1 Dec 2010):

    Alexis, HEAR HEAR! Several photographers have to left to join the group on Facebook or Flickr. If you leave, I'll follow. Let us know. The popups and other issues do discourage one from making comments and faving. .... I hope you'll stay in touch.

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (1 Dec 2010):

    Well written and I couldn't agree with you more, Alexis.

    Be well and please do stay in touch:)

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (1 Dec 2010):

    Alexis, this should be "Story of the Week," and I have so voted. I purchased the "Plus Membership" as a way of saying "thank you" to JPG, but also as a way to address the problem mentioned in your story. And, like you, I want JPG to succeed. I have probably purchased 500 spotlights in the past year.

    What concerns me at the moment is the apparent erosion in interest, if not membership. Outstanding images are attracting as few as 4 or 5 views, when last year they would automatically attract ten times that many.

    I have visited a half-dozen sites, and I would venture to say that none of them come close to JPG in (a) ease of of use and (b) community. When was the last time RedBubble or Flickr prompted a "meet-up" among its members? That's my point exactly.

    I appreciate your friendship, Alexis, and all you do for JPG.

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett said (1 Dec 2010):

    I think we all fell your pain! I just wish that when you choose NOT to look at naked bodies that they wouldn't appear anyway in a spotlight!

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt gave props (1 Dec 2010):

    given how much you contribute to this site I would gladly buy you a lifetime membership to nonpopups..I dare jpg to make this story of the week..

  • Aaron Schwartz

    Aaron Schwartz gave props (1 Dec 2010):

    Cogent words from a distinguished member of JPG. Along with his online friendship, I look forward to Alexis' comments on my work as the single most important benefit to my continuing to be on JPG. Story of the week - YES! Now, if I could only get that voting button to actually work.......

  • Devin Hayes

    Devin Hayes said (1 Dec 2010):

    There is a Plus feature in progress and more planned. The Saint Lucia ad was errant and removed when discovered. It reappeared, we isolated it and removed it again.

    Many thanks to all those who have contributed in every way, we will continue to make Plus MUCH more attractive which will, in time, reduce our reliance on poopy ads.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (2 Dec 2010):

    Excellent essay, Alexis. I became a Plus member for various reasons, including not having do deal with the problems you clearly pointed out. I repect your reasons for not becoming a Plus member and for your stand on these issues. I regard you as a very valuable member of this community and truly hope you remain here, Devin's comment leaves me hopeful things will work out.

  • Catherine Hadler

    Catherine Hadler gave props (2 Dec 2010):

    quite agree - I went plus to get rid of the ads because they drove me mad instantly. do stay in touch, you're an inspiration to me and so many others ;o)

  • Jim Ford

    Jim Ford (Deleted) gave props (2 Dec 2010):

    I also use plus to avoid the ad barage and distraction. I have been involved in web concerns for many years and understand the economics of the matter. I'm newer than most here and have kept my eyes open and listened carefully. If there is another avenue I'm all ears. I value all who have taken the time to comment on my work and I enjoy doing the same.

  • Alexis - Now on Flickr

    Alexis - Now on Flickr said (2 Dec 2010):

    Thank you all so very very much for having taken note and for your supportive comments. I see that I'm not the only one here who is committed to supporting JPG, but deplores the fact that our experience has been degraded. As I said, I have no problem with advertising - I accept it as a necessary part of the financial equation for the service. But the functionality of the site must not be impeded by the ads, period end of story. I'm not going to leave JPG over this, but I'm also not going to put up with the aggravation that now comes with reviewing 20-25 pages of "Photos from Contacts" every day. I regret it because it was one of the things I really enjoyed doing, and because people may feel I've lost interest in their work. Letting everyone know that's not the case is why I wrote this post.

  • Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson (Deleted) said (2 Dec 2010):

    I have to agree, JPG has went way way down hill in the last few years. Sad but true.

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (3 Dec 2010):

    Alexis,,well are 100% right !

  • John Linton

    John Linton said (4 Dec 2010):

    I can be found at Flickr, Facebook, and RedBubble as well as JPG. I have found that none of these sites are perfect. I have always thought JPG was the easiest site to navigate, but that it lacked certain features that would make it perfect. You have listed most of them.

    The only site I've spent money on is Flickr...I went "Pro" because I wanted to keep all my 365 Days photos there and they would only allow 200 without spending the money to go "Pro"...In many ways Flickr is better than JPG, but not as easy to navigate (in my opinion).

    I'll put the same photo on all four sites and if two people give me any feedback on Facebook, Flickr, or RedBubble I'm amazed. I can always count on feedback on JPG even with the pop-ups. I became a member of JPG on 3 December 2007 and feel that the site is much improved over what it was before the meltdown in January 2009, but I'm with you...I will not purchase a Plus membership until they do the things you have listed.

  • Tom Mertens

    Tom Mertens gave props (4 Dec 2010):

    Well spoken!!

  • Maria Mutch

    Maria Mutch (Deleted) said (5 Dec 2010):

    Yes, I do the same as Dana, using Firefox to block ads. Highly efficient. Thanks for your words on this, Alexis, and also for your astounding work, which adds so much to the jpg experience.

  • Eric Sayah

    Eric Sayah gave props (5 Dec 2010):

    You're absolutely right, Alex! Thanks for continuing here all the same. We would all miss you sadly.

  • Al Gieryna

    Al Gieryna gave props (6 Dec 2010):

    I agree completely agree with your concerns, as well as the apparent decline in the quality of the JPG site. I was unaware of how pervasive the ad presence was as I have been a JPG plus member but have considered dropping that. I do enjoy your work and hope that we will connect again if you leave JPG. Peace!

  • Jim Hart

    Jim Hart said (9 Dec 2010):

    dana said it -- even though you've got a + membership now, you should still get ABP for firefox -- i cringe when i surf on a work computer that doesn't have it. if i'm on one of my own computers, i NEVER see an ad on pages i visit regularly, and i only see ads once on pages i am new to (before i can add the ads to my blocklist)

    ABP is really great -- remember, YOU control your own browser. you are not required to have it load anything you do not want it to load. if you feel like you are cheating, buy a membership.

  • Kevin House

    Kevin House gave props (11 Dec 2010):

    ATTN: Dana's link has killed the Ads!! THIS IS an easy SOLUTION. Great story, great images!

  • Olivier Scher

    Olivier Scher gave props (11 Dec 2010):

    I completely understand you Alexis but as Dana, I surf using Firefox and I have never experienced any ad problem... Of course we need your feedback on our work !

  • seanie blue

    seanie blue said (24 Dec 2010):

    It would be cool, Alexis, to form a group page WITHIN this community for people who have favorited over 2,000 images, thus proving their interest in this place. I am amazed by the amount of contact requests in my inbox from members who have 300 pix posted and more than 1000 contacts but less than 100 favorites! But the trick to this "Group 2000" gambit would be to ad only one new member a month, and each addition would have to be elected by consensus. I've been talking about it with Rachel and Gigi, and this note of yours here, very poignant and timely, has me fired up again to pursue it. Even got a page set up under the rubric "PXL ZOO," but forgot the bloody password! Will be in touch after the new year, and see how something like this might evolve into a series of essays along the lines of what we've discussed before. Hope you're well, my dear friend! Love your stuff from Highway 395; that entire route is very very special. Ciao.

  • Llorenç Rosanes

    Llorenç Rosanes (Deleted) said (26 Dec 2010):

    Muy bien dicho Alexis! Todo, todo, todo. No podría estar más de acuerdo contigo en todos tus puntos y explicaciones. Por eso mismo, un día recibí un regalo magnífico de Michelle Randell. Me regaló la suscripción a JPG. Cuando esta terminó, renové la compra por un año. Pero en todo este tiempo, no he dejado de ver como muchos de los miembros con los que empecé a compartir mis fotos, mis ideas, mis comentarios, muchos de los miembros a los que me sentía unido, afín con su modo de mirar y trabajar, han ido desapareciendo e ingresando en Flickr. Al final, aunque no me he quedado sólo porque aquí continúan algunos de mis contactos, he decidido empezar de nuevo en Flickr porque aunque la metodología de funcionamiento de la web es muy distinta, difícil en un principio, lenta y pesada, allí existe la posibilidad de colgar una imagen de más tamaño, la posibilidad de establecer contactos más afines con el tipo de fotografía que uno practica (los grupos) y crear álbumes, exposiciones y colecciones. Tal y cómo tú dices en este post. Si no estoy aquí es por dos razones. La principal, es la pérdida de los contactos más afines. La segunda es la falta de tiempo para mantener dos webs actualizadas. Si esto funcionara de otra manera, creo que todavía muchos de los que se fueron continuarían aquí, y yo seguiría aquí también.

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (2 Jan 2011):

    and I thought I'm the only one experiencing this. I got so frustrated on adding my theme entry with the ads that keeps on popping up and there was no x button to shut it down. In my frustration, I wrote a long letter to jpgmag and they unfortunately did not return my email. I was so frustrated until Susan mentioned the adblock, but then my enthusiasm and interest in jpgmag started to crumble. I don't have the same enthusiasm anymore. I'm just surfing now for notheing better to do. I love my contacts, but it seems that some of them are feeling the same way as me and you.

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