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Doug Nelson 10-21-2011 03:51 PM

The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
I've got some serious thinking to do about the future of RetouchPRO LIVE.

RetouchPRO LIVE is more popular than it's ever been. My thanks to everyone for that continued support. I love doing the shows, and it warms my heart when I read the feedback about how much they're helping you.

But somehow the tail has ended up wagging the dog.

Most of the viewership has migrated to the rentals. I can appreciate how hard it can be to catch the live show, and how much simpler it is to simply watch a rental on your own schedule. Again, thank you for renting, I don't want to come off as ungrateful. And I'm not expecting anyone to attend in the middle of the night. But people who used to be able to attend live are now renting.

The purpose of RetouchPRO LIVE is to provide an opportunity for you to ask questions of a professional artist. That's why "live" is in caps, it's the most important part. It's never been intended as a tutorial. We're really only watching the artist's desktop to help inspire audience questions and demonstrate the answers.

With no audience questions you're pretty much stuck with whatever questions I can come up with, and after almost 100 of these shows I don't have a lot of questions in me anymore. 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.

If you include the rental volume, viewership is up overall. But the live viewership has dropped to the point where it's getting embarrassing for me to invite guest artists. I recently cancelled a show due to live viewer disinterest, though that same artist is very popular in the rentals.

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.

John Wheeler 10-21-2011 05:14 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
Hi Doug
I agree that uping the live audience would be great. Yet it will still be impractical for others to attend. A supplemental approach in addition to uping the live audience might be to allow questions to be sent to you in advance. No promise that they would be asked with priority to the live audience yet they would be there to fill in the blank air or worst case for when live audience attendance is particularly low. That might cover for you having personally run out of questions. Just a thought.

skydog 10-21-2011 06:48 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
I've not been able to make many of the recent shows...not because I didn't want to but because of conflict with my schedule.

RobertAsh 10-22-2011 02:05 AM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
I think John's idea is great. You could post the presenters' demo images into a thread asking for questions, collect the questions and ask the presenter during or after the demo.

I'd recommend keeping the live feature, personally, unless it costs a lot of money. It's like the farmer told the preacher:
  • Preacher: It's only you here today, why have church services?
  • Farmer: Well, if only one cow came to me during feeding time I'd still feed her!
Typically if you set the right expectations with people they won't be disappointed. Just let the presenter know there might just be a few people but there are lots of questions from interested forum members.

plugsnpixels 10-22-2011 11:59 AM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
Back in the early '90s when working on my MA in Communications we discussed the concept of time-shifting (ie, taping a TV show to watch at a more convenient time). As recording technology improved and the audience became more fragmented, this became the norm.

Now, with the Internet, it seems even more odd to settle down to watch a show at a set time when you can go to ABC's website (for example) and watch at your convenience, starting and stopping as necessary.

And wasn't there talk about interactive TV? Whatever happened to that?

I know some plug-in developers have live webinars but even though I love my plug-ins I've never caught one because either I can't sit still long enough or have a short attention span or have to do other things at that time or whatever!

My point is, I think such factors are affecting LIVE. It's a great concept (like personal, remote seminars without the travel and hotel expense) but the bulk of the audience doesn't behave this way anymore. So perhaps John's suggestion is the best solution should you retain the live presention format.

Scott Kelby does The Grid live online (I think - I always just download it...). I wonder if whatever he's doing would help LIVE?

Doug Nelson 10-22-2011 02:50 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

Originally Posted by plugsnpixels (Post 299362)
Scott Kelby does The Grid live online (I think - I always just download it...). I wonder if whatever he's doing would help LIVE?

Which part? Blatantly stealing ideas from his competitors? Or charging $100/yr for the right to be barraged with ads for his other products? Or building an empire by perpetuating the myth that there are "secrets" that if you knew would make your work "look like the pros, in 10 minutes or less"?

Sorry, bit of a sore subject there. But I know I can always count on at least one ticket sale so a Kelby intern can take notes.

Suffice it to say that one of the many inspirations behind RP LIVE was to fight the cookbook approach propagated by virtually every other resource out there.

And no good idea ever started with "why don't you copy...", though I'll admit many successful ideas start in just that way.

Doug Nelson 10-22-2011 03:12 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
Thanks to those who helped today's show by tweeting about it. You might be amazed by how few people even know RP LIVE exists, and every little bit of publicity helps.

Of the couple of dozen guest presenters we've had so far, I think only 2 had heard of before I contacted them (not counting the couple I drafted from these very forums).

plugsnpixels 10-22-2011 03:40 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
Now I'm just guessing Doug because I never actually watched an entire episode [;-)], but they seem to read live tweets or emails or some form of communication from the audience during the show. That is the only part I was referring to that might be of use to you.

And I know what you mean; NAPP members have been vocalizing the same thing lately.

I can help spread the word about RP LIVE on my Training page, etc. Send me a little blurb with info and a link and I'll add it to the top of that page and tweet it.

JVEyck309 10-22-2011 11:14 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
I do agree with John's post about submitting questions in advance as a way to fill in points of dead air.. Tonight was my first time actually participating in the live show. I have been into the forum here for the past month or so only learning about RPL recently.
However, I'd like to give you some encouragement doug.. Just because a lot of folks are renting doesnt necessarily mean that the LIVE aspect is dying. For examply tonight I watched Ian Goode's show LIVE.. But now I've been informed of previous shows which I can rent which I hadn't known about earlier like Steve's Caplins show just focusing on the Pen tool.
In other words, if you are noticing a big influx of rentals, perhaps it's just do to people slowly learning about RPL and exploring what they've missed and not necessarily a lack of interest in attending LIVE!
Don't get discouraged! At least I'm one guy who will definitely be attending future LIVE shows.. as long as you'll have them!

rui198000 10-23-2011 03:35 PM

Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???
last night was my first live show "Movie Monsters" with Ian Goode and i thought it was great, a chance to ask your own questions will def be watching more live show

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