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The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

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  • 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.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The End of RetouchPRO LIVE???

            Originally posted by plugsnpixels View Post
            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.
            Last edited by Doug Nelson; 10-22-2011, 01:56 PM.
            Learn by teaching
            Take responsibility for learning

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            • #7
              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 retouchpro.com before I contacted them (not counting the couple I drafted from these very forums).
              Learn by teaching
              Take responsibility for learning

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Janet

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                            • #15
                              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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