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I'd really like your input on our e2 Membership.
What do you think to the benefits?
If you are a member, what benefit/s are the most important to you? Are there any other benefits you'd like to see? Are there any you don't think are important?
If you're not a member, what would entice you to join?
Thanks in advance,
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I really like the lack the reduced number of ads. E.g. no adds in the forum thread and between comments on a particular image.
I used to be an E2 member but haven't been for a few years and can't see renewing.
When I was a member, I mostly did it because I wanted to financially contribute to EPZ. I was an active photographer then and I thought EPZ was an interesting place so was happy to financially contribute.
I stopped being an E2 when the EPZ site became less interesting to me and to be honest quite boring. For me the photo galleries are tired, formulaic and dull as a whole; the forums are boring with few interesting characters and I have little need for the technical or review sections, hence why I don't think paying for E2 membership is worthwhile.
Quote: I mostly did it because I wanted to financially contribute to EPZ. I was an active photographer then and I thought EPZ was an interesting place so was happy to financially contribute.
I think this sums me up still, its the only site i pay for, i don't subscribe to physical Mags any more and find most of what I want generally on-line and just get used to ignoring the ad's. In fact i seem to find more helpful training content elsewhere on places such as you tube. I do like the photographer features that have been done in the past on people with particular styles.
The mostly UK centric part is nice for me as i feel many of the helpful people are just a few counties away, though i also like the contributions from the small world wide audience.
As a member i have the 1000px part and less ad's, i don't logout and view as a guest to compare that often.
Critique has been great for me in the past, but i don't use it that often now.
Membership for me is really a feeling of a closer belonging to a niche collection of helpful and interesting photographers who like taking and sharing about photography.
I'll almost certainly sign up again next year as i can't find a better way of being able to be inspired and ask about areas I'm interested in so want it to continue.
For me, the bits of e2 membership that are worth it, and / or the features I make use of, are:
1) 10% discount on camera insurance with Glover & Howe (who I have used for years anyway, but actually never realised I could get a discount with them via membership on EPZ).
2) The ability to give my own award each day (not that I use this one every day - but the option's there if I did want to).
3) The ability to create custom background colours for my images.
4) The style options for my own portfolio.
5) The ability to upload images at a larger size.
6) The photo showcase option on my portfolio.
7) Statistics are useful sometimes, but I think I've only ever looked at that feature once or twice since being an e2 member.
8) Similarly, seeing who's voted on my images can be a useful feature and yes, I do look.
A lot of the other features I don't use (or use without thinking about it, like the ability to view others' images at 1000x1000 pxls). But that doesn't mean I may not use those features in the future (i.e. ads, blogs etc).
Are the bits I do use worth the e2 membership fee? For me, yes I think so.
It's £29 for 1 year's membership ... which works out at just under 8p per day ... and given the amount of time I'm on the site, and what I get from it as both a photographer and as someone who enjoys seeing, discussing and learning about photography, then it's definitely worth it for me (even if I don't utilise all the features available).
Non to my mind, gave up E2 years ago, use ad blocking to get rid of most annoying stuff.
Thanks for all your feedback so far.
Mike, I'd be eager to know why you ended your e2 membership all those years ago please?
Personally I have no objection to paying the £29/yr but I would certainly draw a line at anything above that. That said, maybe you could wangle some more discounts on a wider range of products and/or services. The only real advantage for me is seeing images as large as possible (is it possible to go larger ?).
Also, (and I'm guessing here) since the majority of e2 members are 'experienced' togs (i.e beyond the complete beginner stage) I would like to see some in-depth articles written by 'big names'. Maybe going beyond the 'how to use a 10x filter' (for example) and looking at other photographic topics, ie. using shape and form, balance and counter balance, achieving artistic composition etc. Maybe some controversial articles ?? You only have to look inside such mags as 'B&W Photography' and 'Outdoor Photography' to see the type of content I mean. All such articles, and other e2 content should then be availble only via an 'e2 members only' tab. Certainly, one of the members who commented earlier is a well respected photographer who has written articles for other mags.
Another incentive (for me anyway) would be the ability to download articles as PDF's - I think I'm right in saying that this is not possible at the moment.
Finally, I think epz is trying to be 'all things for all togs' and as you know you can't please all of the people all of the time (as evident by some of the posts and I believe that you should develop e2 as an exclusive niche.
Please note that none of the above is meant as criticism (I know certain members are very sensitive ) - just my opinion (well you did ask!)
I've only ever had the trial E2 membership and from what I remember it made no difference to the way I use the website. Statistics for images don't bother me, as not knowing who votes doesn't either and I'm ok with ads as I have a blocker anyway. When I joined this community I did so for the reason of learning, but looking at it now I can't see any sort of upto date facility to accommodate that, of course I am not including the EPZ course, and anything that is on the website is pretty basic and mostly out of date - ok for beginners I guess.
My routine on this website is to check out the home page for any interesting forum topics and articles, then I bounce to the gallery for a couple of pages and leave. I bet I'm not the only one who does this, but it would be good to have articles that are more engaging, perhaps a series of articles/interviews from renowned photographers and video/audio podcasts. I like "Landscape Photography Magazine" website, it has articles from a number of well known pros, video, audio and good LR and Photoshop techniques, that costs £29/yr for the middle package - granted it is a monthly online mag but there are far more interesting articles and the layout/menus flow nicely. With regards to the gallery, then I think if you're paying money you should be able to view images at full screen size.
To summarise, as an E2 member you should get:
Access to more articles including those done by renowned photographers, interviews, videos and audios
Gallery images viewed at full screen size
Intermediate & Advanced Techniques/Tutorials
Quote: Personally I have no objection to paying the £29/yr but I would certainly draw a line at anything above that.
Completely agree on that point.
Quote: Also [...] I would like to see some in-depth articles written by 'big names'. Maybe going beyond the 'how to use a 10x filter' (for example) and looking at other photographic topics, ie. using shape and form, balance and counter balance, achieving artistic composition etc. Maybe some controversial articles ??
That is something that I'd also like as an e2 member (dammit, why didn't I think of that one?!)
Quote: Another incentive (for me anyway) would be the ability to download articles as PDF's - I think I'm right in saying that this is not possible at the moment.
Not as a PDF, no, but I still print the articles I'm interested in anyway - sometimes it comes out cleanly, other times there's loads of the adverts and stuff. But I get the words, which is what matters to me.
Quote: Finally, I [...] believe that you should develop e2 as an exclusive niche.
Again, I agree with this sentiment - but unfortunately there's an awful lot of free information out there on the WWW, so what would we have to do in order to make it worth paying for?
I do know that on a couple of other websites I've been looking at recently for tutorials (compositing, selections, layers, blending modes etc etc etc) some is free, and others that looked really interesting were only downloadable (as a PDF) if I paid for the priviledge (which I didn't).
I don't think it's an easy task that the team have set themselves because, as pointed out above, you can't please everyone. But I do believe that the site is what we, the users (and I do mean both types - paying and non-paying) make it ... either by suggestions, or interaction, or ... I dunno ... whatever.
I gave up my E2 a few years ago, there were too many things I didn't use to justify the expense.
It may be an idea to look at a 'Menu style' membership, where you can pick and choose options you would like (and use) this could encourage more into the E2 fold albeit at a lower cost but hopefully then getting value for money.
I am a paid member of Fred Miranda and I think that represents good value for money.
Quote: [...] look at a 'Menu style' membership, where you can pick and choose options you would like (and use) ...
That's a seriously good idea and one I'd definitely be in favour of ... add more options as you find you use and/or need them, or remove them when membership is up for renewal to (a) reduce the overall cost if you're finidng that you're not using them as you thought you would, and (b) feel that you're not overpaying for something and so get fed up and leave ...
Almost like a 'pick 'n' mix' sweetshop
(God, I need to give this place a break for a while ... )
Following on from that above about the 'menu type' selection of membership options ... iTunes does it with their stuff - you can either buy the whole album, or you can buy individual songs from multiple different albums ... they all go into your basket, and the price you pay at the end of it is the price you pay - irrespective of what you've bought, from what genre, etc.
I know it's not quite the same thing, but surely the principle is the same?
To print any webpage as a PDF document, you can use Google Chrome, and it is a built in feature, simply right click, go to print, and change the destination to "Save as PDF" - this will then save the article to your computer. Hope this helps.
I joined E2 for a year for the 1000pix thingy. There may well have been other advantages but I didn't notice them! (For various reasons I have not rejoined, but a lot of that is due to personal circumstances etc.)
A dumb question, though: why have ordinary and E2 membership available, anyway? I remember a comment somewhere or other (by someone or other - sorry, so vague) that the money raised by E2 was 'not really necessary' and EPZ could do quite well without it, or words to that effect, as the advertising revenue was sufficient. I know a lot of sites do have this two-tier membership, but the extra features need to be things (states the obvious here) people are willing to pay extra for.
Some examples on sites I use are:
- on a railway modelling site - storage space for photos - otherwise people had to link to other picture storage sites, so an extra convenience for the member (and an extra storage cost for the site)
- on Deviantart, well a whole host of things which frankly don't interest me at all, but if selling prints through them the ability to set ones own prices, buy ones own prints cheaper (for selling on) and so on. For somebody using the site to sell their wares these two would be a useful incentive, and those of us who don't will not feel 'left out'.
(But, to be quite honest, having 'premium member' or 'E2 Member' or what have you on the name / profile is probably a perk some would pay for!)
Sorry, that's just rabbitting on....but what I'm getting to is that if a site has a 2-tier membership and things like tutorials / help or what have you are extra then people may well look elsewhere, so there has to be a reasonable set of features outside of E2.
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