APUG.ORG to PHOTRIO.COM Migration, Final Details.

Discussion in 'System Announcements' started by Sean, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi All,

    This post is to keep you in the loop on some huge changes being implemented next week. My apologies for the short notice, but my freelancer has a rare block of 3 days available and it’s an opportunity for us to finally get this work done. You may already be aware of the changes from the previous forum discussion here:

    http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/major-announcement-apug-future-development-plans.142040/

    If you are interested, you can have a look through the above thread and the most recent updates. Most of that will be summarized below though.

    Short version:

    We are migrating APUG.ORG, DPUG.ORG & what used to be Hybridphoto.com to a single new website named Photrio.com. This will take place around Aug. 11-12th. You will not need to do anything with your APUG account and your existing login will continue to work. Any previous APUG traffic will be redirected to Photrio.com

    Looooong version + Q&A section:

    This is such a huge change for us. I will try to cover everything I can think of; sorry if it’s a bit long winded:

    Around Aug. 11th we will be migrating to a new entity Photrio (still under my ownership and run under Photrio Ltd). We will also be migrating DPUG.ORG and what was once regarded as HYBRIDPHOTO.COM into Photrio as well.

    Photrio will be a new photography/imaging discussion community that will focus on the three main photographic workflows which are Analog, Hybrid and Digital. The Photrio system has been extensively custom coded to allow members to completely disable or enable the 3 main workflow areas as they see fit. For example, if you want a 100% Analog site (like APUG) simply disable "Hybrid" and "Digital" areas, or you can use any combination of workflow preferences to tailor your content, or enable them all for a single unified site. As seen in this screenshot, these main content switches are located to the right of the Photrio logo:

    Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 10.51.30 AM-2.png


    Q & A:


    How long will the migration take?

    This has been months in development and the migration will be a huge undertaking. If things go to plan we're looking at 3 days of down time, but it could drag on for 4-5 days, worst case. During the migration, APUG will remain running with a single migration discussion forum so members can post during the migration, and the APUG chatroom will also be open. Should the migration fail then APUG will be re-opened and we'll re-visit the migration at a later date. So far with our testing we don't anticipate any issues.

    Am I going to have to re-learn how the new site works?

    Not at all, it's nearly identical to the current build of APUG in most ways. I've made sure that everything is familiar in design and function. The main difference is a slightly different looking header area, but the forums and everything else will feel the same as before.

    Why are we doing this!? "If it ain't broke don't fix it!!?".

    The reality is that behind the scenes, yes, it is "breaking" so to speak. APUG faces the same financial challenges as other 100% 'analog' entities out there. The statistics of our site have begun to prove that our isolation is a poor long term solution for our survival. I'm convinced we can be part of something larger yet still retain our existing analog focus and base. If we remain isolated I believe we will fade into obscurity and eventually, have to close the site. We face a decline in subscribers as more members opt for all encompassing photo communities, social media options (facebook, instagram, etc) and generally expect free content. Photrio will allow us to reach a larger audience yet retain and grow our existing analog repository. We can then leverage the hybrid and digital areas of Photrio for new members, partnerships, and advertising to supplement the overall community. As for advertising, analog advertising will remain the same in all analog areas, where we continue to support 'Mom & Pop' analog companies. Ads in the hybrid digital areas will target that market and be non-invasive (no pop-ups, etc). Hopefully, we will also obtain some new subscriber support from the expanded areas. If all goes well, Photrio may be able to hire staff, fund original content, attend trade shows, run our own conventions and much more. The supplemental model we are moving towards, has been proven to work. Think of the once 100% analog companies still in business today because they added hybrid and digital options to their product lines. Many of them would not be here today otherwise.

    Will we still be known as "APUG" or "DPUG" within Photrio?

    This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make regarding these changes. APUG has of course built a well-known brand over the years, and we've no doubt built a passionate and loyal user base, even referring to themselves as "APUGers". As much as I LOVE our brand and what we achieved, I no longer have the luxury of keeping a brand going at all costs. I am now more concerned about providing a strong platform for analog photography, maintaining/adding to our archives and helping to keep analog photography alive. APUG did an incredible job of this for a decade, but with a rapidly changing on-line space and photo/imaging market, we must be flexible and evolve or we will become irrelevant. I know the life long friends I have made through APUG are not because of a name, brand or website url, it's because of our meeting place and all that we share together while participating here.

    Initially, Photrio was envisioned as a host for three individual website entities APUG, HYBRIDPHOTO, DPUG. However, the more I tried to make this work, the more confusing the site layout became. Also, we do not want newcomers to be confused over previous brands and namings. Due to this, I decided the only viable option was to move away from the branding of past sites APUG, HYBRIDPHOTO, DPUG and use more generic terms instead: ANALOG, HYBRID, DIGITAL, thus making Photrio a venue for these photographic workflows. This keeps us from tripling up on existing forums. So instead of 3 forums:

    Analog Photographers
    Hybrid Photographers
    Digital Photographers

    We can have a single forum:

    Photographers

    When posting top level content to such a 'multi-workflow' forum (new thread) you select which workflow applies (analog, hybrid, digital, none).

    click to enlarge:
    Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 12.06.25 PM.png

    Some forums will be 100% analog, hybrid, digital, or none, and therefore will not require a designation. Also, regular replies, comments and typical posts require no designation, that is only for top level content. The more general forums will be multi-use. "But what if I don't want to see Hybrid or Digital stuff in the "Photographers" forum?" -easy, if you have disabled Hybrid and Digital in the Photrio site header as shown:

    click to enlarge:
    Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 12.10.05 PM.png

    ...then you will only see analog related posts in the multi-workflow "Photographers" forum.

    Why the focus on 3 workflows, when the final result is all that matters?

    All photographers participate in a journey to the final result. In my view, most photographers settle into a workflow which suits them best and they tend to spend most of their technical focus there. The internet is no doubt saturated with content and it can be overwhelming. Photrio gives photographers an easy way to add additional focus to their photographic methods and exchange information with other photographers engaged in similar methods. With one click a Photrio member that prefers a 100% analog workflow, can remove all hybrid and digital content from Photrio and focus strictly on what works best for them which is 100% analog. If a Photrio member is 100% digital, they can disable analog & hybrid, which creates for them a 100% digital community. They no longer scroll through hundreds of new posts, images, content of any kind unrelated to what they are focused on. Yes, there are some options to manually adjust every single forum and content section by hand but this can be cumbersome vs. the simple custom content management system of Photrio controlled in the site header. There will still be options for extreme fine tuning of all content should you prefer that.

    "Bah! This is a money grab, all you care about is making money off this scheme and us!"

    Over the years there has been some chatter that with 80,000 registered members I must be rolling in cash. Nothing could be further from the truth. A very small amount subscribe to APUG, roughly 1.2% of the total registered number are subscribing at this point, a reduction from previous years. Also, that number is total registrations since day one, not active accounts. I don't mind being extremely transparent regarding my finances. Anything of high value in my life (house, etc) I have due to previous years as a consultant with IBM. We live very simply, my wife and I even share 1 small vehicle and have a small 3 bedroom home in New Zealand. I have other side projects and my wife teaches piano. All business income goes to photocentric ltd which is a combination of APUG, side projects and my wife's teaching. All business income is withdrawn every month to make ends meet. My recent income after tax was right at $30,000 USD, my wife's income is a lot less. We have children, mortgage, etc. So as you can see, if this was about the money I would have gone back to IT 10yrs ago. Thanks to my previous employment, NZ exchange rates and living a simple NZ ‘island’ life, we can get by (the last few years have been difficult though, which in turn brings us to this new direction). If Photrio can generate more revenue, sure that would be immensely helpful but I also intend to re-invest most of that back into the community. If Photrio fails I will most certainly be forced to consider moving on from the web space, but I am hopeful and feel we have very exciting times ahead.

    How will we deal with content posted in the wrong areas?

    This will be handled in a few ways:

    -An enhanced post “report” system where you can report misplaced content which will enter into an auto-moderation when certain thresholds are met.

    -A vastly expanded moderation team to detect this content and promptly move it to the appropriate area. The content selection box should do enough to guide those posting top level content.

    -If we find members abusing the system and repeatedly posting off topic discussions, we will remove that content and have a word with them the same as we do now. Worst case, we'll remove their account.

    Will there be an easy way to see what content is associated with a workflow?

    For those who enable multiple workflows on Photrio, we will have a content tag system throughout the site. These tags can also be disabled if you find them to be annoying. A few examples with tagging enabled:

    gallery images (click to enlarge):
    Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 12.41.43 PM.png

    forum lists/new posts(click to enlarge):
    Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 12.42.21 PM.png


    How will DPUG be imported? What if my DPUG name is the same as my APUG name?

    We’ll do our best to get as much DPUG data as possible. Forums, posts and user accounts should not be a problem. Accounts that have duplicate names will be handled on a case by case basis (contacting the owner and merging their DPUG and APUG accounts into one, please give us some time here).


    Closing thoughts:

    I have actually had more support for this new direction than I expected which is encouraging. Many believe it is a win-win, where we have the ability to maintain a 100% analog community but offer additional content for those who want it. It also unifies APUG/DPUG under one user account and software which reduces costs, system complexity and moderator complexity. Over the years it has become increasingly tiring for myself, moderators and even members to enforce the 100% analog mission statement of APUG. It did make us unique, but the burden of that isolation has now caught up with us. People in the web space these days expect more options and choice, they will (and are) going elsewhere due to APUGs singular scope. Some may argue this is why people came to APUG, yet ultimately the stats do reflect this is now unsustainable. We now have the technology to create a community which allows our membership to make it what they prefer. I think this will give us a unique edge in the photo space and take us well into the future.

    I've been at this for over 10yrs and have always done what I think is best for our community. I believe Photrio will help take our community forward and benefit analog photography by bringing us back into the wider world of image making. The development of Photrio has taken months and the transition may be bumpy for a few weeks, but if you stick with me, I'll continue to do my best for our community.

    I hate to ask, but for those who are excited about this new direction and would like to contribute to the development costs for Photrio, you can use the "Support Us" link in the APUG menu bar to contribute. Or click here for a direct paypal link: http://www.apug.org/fundraiser.html
    This venture is currently being funded with business overdraft, credit cards and IOUs to my coder, so any contribution is greatly appreciated.

    I will keep you posted as we approach the migration. I’ll leave this thread open and try to address any questions, but I do need to maintain focus on the extensive pre-migration work.

    Thanks!
    Sean
     
  2. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I'm worried... brand name, reputation, longevity, everything depends on 'brand recognition'. Unless there is a long-running redirect with a explanatory initial splash page... this could be devastating to 'brand recognition' and folks finding 'APUG'.

    Of course, you must do what you must do. You know we all love you, Sean, and are loyal to APUG and this wonderful gift to all things analog photo. Regardless, I greatly worry this is going to hurt you badly for some time to come. Let's hope not though!!

    I'm a regular subscriber though my subscription expired a couple weeks ago. I'll renew this month when I have the funds available.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  3. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    "roughly 1.2% of the total registered number are subscribing at this point"

    I think it's time (past time) for those who are active members, but not subscribers, to stop riding on the coattails of others. I'll exclude those who cannot afford the annual cost. And I know that some of them make annual contributions of an amount less than the subscriber fee.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    There will be permanent redirects directly to all past content, but google will re-index most items fairly quickly. we'll have some header identifiers as well to ease folks into the changes.
     
  5. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Sean -- As an individual subscriber for years, I can only hope that this move continues to make APUG available and builds your ability to keep analog content available. Thank you for your explanation regarding your financial position; I am sure that revealing your personal situation was not easy for you, but laying it all out helps us to understand the reality of the situation -- and perhaps may encourage others to subscribe. See you on the other side.
     
  6. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Sean, I agree this has the potential to really help bring new people to the analog side.

    One thing I wonder about is whether Google searches for topics, which previously linked to old APUG threads, will get directed to the corresponding ex-APUG now-Photrio thread (assuming it's been archived). I suspect many people find APUG through Google-searching a subject.
     
  7. OP
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    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    The redirect will be 100% from old name/location to new name/location. There is no archiving of all existing content because all existing APUG content is live as it is now, essentially the only thing different is the url from apug.org/forum/content___ to photrio.com/forum/content___
     
  8. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I am simply aghast that only a little over 1% support the site. Moochers! You should be ashamed of yourselves! You know who you are.....
     
  9. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Some of us "Moochers" have paid for years. I stopped when I was stripped of my TapATalk functionality with no replacement. Yes, I bitched about it. And to be honest, have barely been back. If the changes are not too objectionable (I argued the changes back then, but none was considered), I may come back to the daily visits I used to.

    I doubt I was the only one.
     
  10. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Look at that.....still marked as a subscriber.......
     
  11. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    What makes this place awesome is the community of incredibly generous and knowledgeable people. I don't care what you call it or how it looks, I just hope everyone sticks around.

    Also it will be nice to finally be able to talk about scanning film and other such things.

    Good luck Sean and thank you for all you do to support this site!
     
  12. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    It's all about having to protect the feeble and weak from reading the word "scanner". All they needed to to was to grow a pair and deal with it. Most of my cameras are film.......and some are not. That *IS* the same world we all live in. No one is trying to convert anyone.... My opinion then and now is this was a colossal waste of time, effort and money.

    If cash-flow is an issue, these changes just make it worse.

    edit: I stated all this before...... rant out
     
  13. iandvaag

    iandvaag Subscriber

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    I must admit, I am a bit saddened.

    I am one of those few users who came to APUG because of its singular scope (and I came relatively recently too). Because of APUG I have experienced the joy of developing/printing B&W (negative and reversal), C-41, E-6, RA-4, ECN-2. I couldn't have imagined the vast possibilities of analog photography if not for this site. I have had my interest in science reinvigorated and am now pursuing a degree in chemistry. I have even prepared and coated silver gelatin emulsions. I have really come to value the APUG community and this little piece of the internet has impacted me significantly.

    So I really hope that this community that I cherish will continue on without much change.

    Sean, I really appreciate everything you have poured into APUG. I hope this next step will strengthen the APUG community going forward. I am thrilled to continue on as a subscriber as long as this community exists. I find it difficult to be excited for this change, since APUG feels pretty much perfect to me. I am truly grateful for your commitment to us. Thanks for soliciting comments and concerns, and for taking them seriously in the development of photrio. I'm anxiously awaiting the roll-out. adelorenzo is right, it's really the generous, knowledgeable people who make this place what it is.
     
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  15. OP
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    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    You'll be glad to know the new site will have a free dedicated mobile app solution for IOS and Android. I mentioned something similar with APUG but that app company went bust, this is a new offering. I've trialled the app and am in talks with the developers. We're working on getting set up with an Apple developer account and app approval process so we get listed in the app store. I had actually re-investigated Tapatalk a few weeks ago and it still suffers from security issues and has problems regarding them accessing and cloning data from sites hosting ttalk. Installing ttalk is essentially a back door of the site to their company.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    +1 +1 +1
     
  17. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    How is this access different than Google, or any other search engine?
     
  18. OP
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    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Thanks Ian, I really do believe the vibe and content you love will continue on. We will still have one of the biggest, if not the biggest collectives of analog photography content and user bases on the net. Many will choose to only enable the analog areas and keep to that side of things, and I expect it will be just as active as it is now. I'm excited because I was extremely worried we would survive and this new direction gives me hope for the future.

    Sean
     
  19. OP
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    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Google does not have access to our entire databse in the back end (user data, passwords, etc)..
     
  20. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Note: I was very content up until this whole change-in-direction happened. It's hard to stay that way when you get cut off because of it.
     
  21. c41

    c41 Subscriber

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    And another +1, I like this site for the 'A'.

    But... good luck with the changes and the 'new' site.
     
  22. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I don't have a problem with it as much as I like APUG being exclusively film. The world moves along. APUG would be completely viable as it is right now if everyone who benefitted from the site actually contributed, you know, money to it. I understand why Sean has to do this. It is quite incredible what he has already done for so long.
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I don't have an issue with the digital/hybrid aspect of the site however I am concerned about part of the site being 100% digital with no analog steps in the creative chain as that goes totally against everything APUG has stood up for in the last 15 years.

    Edmund Land spoke about the hybidisation of photography years before his death predicting shooting analogue, printing digitally, and vice versa, and then ther's shooting on film. scanning and re-ouputing to film or paper (C41/Silver gelatin or alternative processes) - two analog steps one digital. Now all that is Hybrid and was covered by DPUG'

    Personally I feel that the Digital aspects discussed on APUG should be related to the Digital presentation of analog images whether for reproduction, web use or printing (also covered in Hybrid). No discussions about Digital cameras except for there use re-photographing existing prints. The reality is that virtually all Analog users have to digitise their work for one reason or another.

    I guess what I'm saying is care must be taken by Sean, Moderators etc, to prevent the Digital part from the domain of users who ONLY shoot digital which is not what APUG is about.

    Ian
     
  24. OP
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    Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Still keeping tabs on the comments. Thanks guys. I see the very early days after launch being slightly experimental, but we can quickly take on board community feedback and do adjustments as required.
     
  25. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I'm not at all saddened.

    Sean is taking us out of an evolutionary dead-end.
    The "wagons in a circle" mentality is a blinkered one.

    Analogue and digital can live perfectly happily in the same place without the analogue side being compromised in some way.

    One only has to look at the Flickr film groups, some of which contain tens of thousands more active members than APUG and many discussion threads on all matters analogue. They are not "compromised" by living on a site where hundreds of millions of other, digital, photographs are posted and discussed, and they are not taken over or deluged by digital jihadis hell-bent on analogue death.

    I am not quite as jaundiced as mrred, but I can't help feeling similarly that APUG cannot go on protecting a small group of individuals, who clutch their pearls and call for the fainting-couch every time the words scanner or digital are mentioned, by dint of excluding everything that is non-analogue, hybrid or whatever.

    And I say this as someone who exclusively shoots film, makes alt-prints and hasn't the smallest interest in digital imaging.

    So, fwiw, Sean, I think you're doing the right thing and I really hope it all works out well for all of us.
     
  26. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet"

    (OK the smell at APUG is more acid than sweet).

    I am very glad to see this change happen. It seems very well thought about, and it promises to be very effective.

    Maybe an e-mail can be given for an automatic command, such as
    Content:1,1,1

    A script would couple the sender's e-mail with the account and - in this case - flag on all three content.
    For only analog users:
    Content: 1,0,0

    This way the "analogue taliban" (you know we have them :wink: ) would, since day one, find only analogue content and avoid a rash.