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The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

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Old 10-24-2011, 03:18 AM
Dropt Dropt is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Honestly, I'd love to participate too but I can't because of schedule purpose. On saturday when I'm not working I'd rather spend the day out of the computer doing something else. Also The live shows are going too fast for me, one/week is quite too much for me, I know refer take the one I want and rent it.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:21 PM
iangoode iangoode is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Hey Doug (and everyone else)
This is a tough subject to respond to without it seeming like a stab at you since it is your site. Also, you set it up in a way that has a very dire tone and I've seen you take some comments a tad personally which made me almost not wat to respond. I'm going to write anyway because I feel like I have a few good suggestions and I would like to put up them up for reaction. Please take what I say as constructive suggestions that might help you elevate and expand your brand.

I'll get right too it—Unfortunately, I think the LIVE model is on its way out and the next step is to adapt to that. People have steered away from almost all "live" video and on demand is the way to go. I personally don't even have live television. I stream everything I watch.

I think your elevated number in rentals is a VERY good thing. You should treat the show as more of a podcast that is geared towards a certain group. You are always going to have the issue of people not being able to sign up for a live show because they have life happening. (me included) Plus, you have the fantastic problem of being popular around the world. The shows started at 2 pm my time which is what, 11 pm or Midnight in Europe? (I'm not one for math) There are only so many things that will have someone up at that time for 2 hours, and most of them involve alcohol. I say do more to enhance the non-live experience and watch your numbers shoot up more.

One of the biggest things to advance those numbers are, and I hate to say it, less long shows. One a week is kind of a lot. Maybe you could switch to 2 big shows a month and do a few "tips shows" maybe 5 or 10 minute segments that are free to the public on youtube or something that get you more users and viewers. For instance, I think one of Deit39 favorite parts of my show was learning about how I use the history palette. That was only about 2 minutes of my show and I said it in passing. Maybe find a way to ping retouchers for a tricks of the trade segment or something. Things we do to make PS work for us.

This is my last comment, but it's the most important. It solves your lack of questions issue and the issue of less live attendees. I think you should stop hosting shows. Not all of them, just some. Maybe see about having guest hosts. A retoucher sitting with a retoucher. I think that would be a much more interesting show then you sending out questions to a retoucher and you running out of things to say. If you reduce your shows down, this element could make the shows more valuable and really boost the rentals. If you look at general podcast numbers, you have millions of people tuning into a single podcast with two professionals just chatting about the industry. You could one-up those by having the same forum, but instead of just a audio track, you have one retoucher working and the other asking questions. I'll volunteer my time as a host and I'm sure others would as well.

All in all, I think RetouchPro is a great service. Just looking at the forum, you see that almost none of the threads are about the shows and if they are, no one responds to them. They are all looking for feedback in some way and information about the industry. "where can I find retouchers in London?" "which plug-ins should I use?" "What do you guys think about this?" Make the shows work with that model of what your site has become. RetouchPro is a close community of people who drop by and get some information they can't just google. They ask a question that is answered by a real person involved in something they are interested in. Two retouchers chatting could be the perfect fit for that.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:54 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Ten dollars is a lot to spend for a webcast, and the value of renting and being able to watch/rewind for a period of time is simply a much better value. I've eliminated cable TV and use over-the-air antenna so that I can continue to afford the cost of internet. There are people who came to RetouchPRO who are NOT aspiring high-end retouchers (hence the popularity of the Art forum and the other forums) and are more interested in simply learning new strategies in Photoshop/Elements/etc. and in practicing their skills within the forums while sharing time with like-minded people. I now enjoy watching hours of free podcasts related to photography, ipads/ipods, and Photoshop/Lightroom as well as paying a relatively low subscription fee to Kelby training for many, many, many hours of educational videos from top-flight photographers plus some "normal" retouching tips. I'd rather watch David Ziser, Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, David Black, Cliff Mautner, Rick Sammon, Calvin Hollywood, Bill Fortney etc explain how to improve my photography than watch reality shows on television. Katrin Eismann, Bert Monroy, Taz Tally and others offer classes related to Photoshop and photos.

Google+ is filling fast with photographers - pros, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. I just updated someone's post who complained about RProLive not being available in Italy, but I don't see RetouchPro or Doug Nelson on Google+. Social media is supposed to be the key to spreading the word about a business, and I guess you see RetouchPro Live as part of your business, so consider marketing your business.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:47 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

I've really liked the live shows and always take copious notes when I'm able to view one. But life and a job are getting in the way of shows; and that has slowed me down considerably for the last several months.

I would like to see the format changed somewhat. Other posts have addressed many excellent ways to do that. Some things I'd like to see (not necessarily in order of importance): 1. A video podcast that can be stopped and started at will. 2. A better method of "meeting". One gets really tired of all the citrix glitches. Seriously. 3. Guest moderators. 4. Being able to view the presenter and not just hear a disembodied voice(s). 5. The Q&As without the person's name being mentioned. I know that sometimes I feel put on the spot if I ask a question. And often, I ask a question even though I might already know the answer just to hear the response or have a cloudy point clarified for someone else. I also can['t type fast enough to have the question reach the presenter in a timely manner. Thus, questions are often way too late in relating to when the were actually asked & the subject has passed in the process.

I have to applaud presenters who have downloadable PDFs. Those notes have made the viewing more valuable. I'm not scrambling to take notes while fearing that I might miss something, writing it down wrong, or pausing to type questions. Even a basic outline would help those of us who take notes. I for one am not going to remember everything in detail a week or a month from the actual presentation. Those notes are essential.

Again, I believe the shows are very beneficial and have taken many of them. I would not like to see them pass into the ether for lack of "attendance". And at $10.00 they are way cheaper than the $$$$ that some other sites charge for their videos.

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Old 12-13-2011, 01:49 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Doug, I love that we have this "Retoucher's University" Live and as a renter option. I am usually not available for the live events and have to use the rental show. But I understand your concern about the live interaction function being so important. Just my thought here. steve
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:34 PM
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JoReam JoReam is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

I really enjoy the Retouch Pro live seminars I have attended and I personally would be sad to see live shows go. I subscribe to notifications about the live shows and this is the single most important way I find out about what is happening (maybe something that could be added in your promotions? I don't know). I think the shows are reasonably priced (NZ$ is worth less than US$) and having the two time frames means that I can at least catch one either really late at night or early morning Sunday (in other words its possible to catch a show even when you live down under). Also I have been able to access information and training that I couldn't get where I live - that is the wonderful power of the net - so thank you.
The ability to submit questions online or ask questions while the session is going is probably the main advantage of the live maybe that is a point that needs emphasized a little more.
For those who cannot make a session due to other circumstances, and that has happened to me, the ability to file questions in advance is a good suggestion and may help you when you are stuck for questions.....and I think if you let people know you need help with this to make a really good show then I think people will do this - maybe as a suggestion you could advertise in advance saying I need X amount of questions before running this show???
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:28 PM
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Andrew B. Andrew B. is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Originally Posted by Doug Nelson View Post
So please, if you can, attend the live shows and ask questions. Even if you can't, try once in awhile. This is your chance to speak with Amy Dresser or Chris Tarantino or Ian Goode or any of the other guest presenters. Don't lose that opportunity.
Could you solicit questions from members before the show? And then just have the artist answer them, in addition to any from people who show up.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:41 AM
jesterjeni jesterjeni is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

what about a "free download" with a paid "live" attendence? you get the best of both worlds!....
due to the geographics , and the time differential it is much simpler just to rent. live is great if you can have an interactive classroom. the economy here is not great, I am always finding myself in utube looking for free tutorials because thats all I can afford right now. but with so many different time zones it would be odd to wake up at 2am to watch something live..knowing I would have to be up at 5am to get the kids ready for school
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:10 PM
Fog Fog is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

I'm just reading this thread for the first time, but as far as I can tell the LIVE shows are still going up. —GOOD!

I am rarely able to schedule uninterrupted time to catch them live myself, but I have appreciated the unpredictable and diverse questions at all levels from those who do. It makes viewing them as rentals much more informative. I definitely prefer the live format even if only a few questions make it in.

I will throw in a few suggestions as others have:

-Having another retoucher hosting/interviewing the "performing" retoucher sounds like a really great idea. Doug, you must seriously have your hands full producing, monitoring questions, listening to the guest and following their spontaneous thinking, etc.—simultaneously. I'm impressed. (Not to mention everything else you must do at RetouchPro.) Why not perhaps produce and field questions, and bring in Carrie Beane to share her curiosities about Chris Tarantino's or Amy Dresser's choices and technique as they work? I think Amy, and frankly most of the guests I've seen, could offer lively interaction and an excellent variety of perspectives on the moment-to-moment decisions that make up another pro's workflow. That's what so valuable about the live format. I see some good, but differing opinions on similar issues I'd love to see dialogued.

-Don't drop the live format! Their are thousands of tutorials out there and inevitably the forethought nature of making them in a thought vacuum leaves out the most demystifying elements of the actual work of retouching. Live interaction/interjection teases out exactly what a retoucher does best—so intuitively that it would never occur to them to mention it on their own.

-A setting shot, even just at beginning or end, would help humanize the experience as well. Seeing a retoucher and his or her workspace and set-up briefly can be surprisingly informative.

-Yes, Kelby's NAPP business model leaves much to new desired and that is reflected in the quality of his materials. RetouchPro webinars have exposed me to more genuinely high end retouching realities than any other resource on the web, in print, or at a crowded NAPP seminar.

Anyway, thanks for all the great shows. I especially enjoyed Erik Hattram's Prime Minister show. He has some really solid subtle techniques for building a high quality image.

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:57 PM
Deanster Deanster is offline
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Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Originally Posted by Doug Nelson View Post
I swear in a recent show it got so quiet I felt my soul leave my body as my mind desperately thrashed about for something to talk about.
Doug, don't take this the wrong way but IMO I think that you talk too much in these videos anyway. I've rented several of the videos and in every single one I thought that you talked excessively. If you're doing an interview, I can see that you feel the need to talk at every moment where there is a space to speak. But if you've invited an artist to teach their craft, please give them the space to do that. Ask a few questions and then pull your mic and let them fly solo for a while. Then jump back in with a few questions and then pull your mic again. No need to continuously blabber on and on and on.

I watch live web-presentations all the time from companies like Nik, Wacom and others. None of their hosts feel the need to talk as much as you do. They introduce the artist and then they let the artist run the show. They'll jump in here & there with a question but for the most part they keep their mouth's shut. As someone who is there to watch, learn and listen to the artist, I can appreciate that approach.

Other than that, I have to agree with one of the earlier posters who talked about social media. In this day and age, companies who have a handle on social media are the ones who'll do well - especially small businesses. You should either learn about all the social media possibilities that exists or hire someone to take care of that for you. If people don't know that you exists, they won't come.

Happy New Year Doug! Here's hoping that RetouchPro prospers in 2012!!!

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