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The Digital Director Experience: Video Editing Fundamentals

Changing times

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What's changed?
Having used Google Adsense on the site for several years, my recent experience has led me to investigate an alternative. My decision was based on the following:

  • I want full control over the ads that are served to guests and regular members. I found that recent adverts were not in line with what I find acceptable, or would be happy to promote.
  • A recent exploit to Adense diverted guests and regulars to a site that could potentially expose a user to virus. I found this completely unacceptable, and Google's response to this dissapointing.
  • I have recieved several notifications in recent months that the site is breaking the Adsene Terms of Service. It is not. However, I also get several emails asking me to consider running gambling ads and other types of service that are not in keeping with our Terms.
  • Adsense as a revenue stream falls well short of the cost of running a dedicated server in the UK. There is now no point in being at the mercy of Google.

What does that mean?
Well, the revenue will fall even more, which means I am now heavily subsidising the site. I am happy to do this in the short to medium term, but I don't want this to be a long term outcome without achieving an increase in user engagement.

How can you help?
My goal for the site has always been to make VideoForums the place for enthusiasts, budding filmmakers or pros with a passion to share ideas, tips, videos and stories. The greatest donation you can give is your enthusiasm and time. By making sure there is always something to read (by sharing stories, press releases, info, tips - just talking about what you're doing), we can keep the site fresh.

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  1. Stripe's Avatar
    The forum seems very quiet lately, I just thought the sun had come out in England. :laugh:

    On a more useful note, I have become dispirited lately. Seems there are a spate of postings from first time posters wanting reviews of their films. It seems 9 times out of 10, they get some feedback and are never heard of again, sometimes not even answering or thanking the feedback. They rarely bother watching other peoples work, and are often never seen again.

    It is probable that the majority of these people are just trying to create hits on their youtube page and are therefore using the forum and its' members, which I find distasteful to the maximum.

    I have made posts here of my work, and although I accept it is ordinary work, it is noticeable that only Tim and MB make comment. This is over a period of many months, not isolated. Considering I make effort to comment on many posts and films, I can only conclude that people are just too full of their own self importance to reciprocate.

    I was keeping this to myself, still happy to be part of this community for the lessons I can learn, and personally I don't seek attention, I enjoy the (limited) company.

    But as a consequence, and for my own sanity, I have now made a point of not watching anyone's film unless they have posted 10+ times on this forum, because otherwise the chances are that they are just another troll disrespecting me; abusing my time and/or using me for one of their precious 'clicks'. For me to have to think this way is a warning sign in its own right.

    I would wonder how the forum would be if a person could not post a film clip or ask a question until they had made 10 posts? It would sort the wheat from the chaff, and the way I see it, you are not short on quantity of traffic, just the quality.
  2. vidmanners's Avatar
    Good points I have to agree, but making a Rule of Ten may mean we get ten duff posts and then the Film.
    IMHO, Adverts don't appear here very often, which is good for viewing, but maybe there are some suppliers out there who would like to advertise? This could be by county (for bulky items) or UK-wide if they can arrange post. There are many Traders (eg on Amazon) where it is difficult to establish their location and fellow-posters could help/advise/etc.
    [SIZE=3]Is it possible you could host vids?[/SIZE] As I really don't want to get involved with YouTube putting ads over my work. However, some ads before the curtain goes up (as in CINEma), might be interesting, but would need to be UK-wide I guess.
    MP, Thankyou for sharing your thoughts/site changes, etc.
  3. Marc Peters's Avatar
    You're spot on Stripe. I've always struggled with an effective way of getting people to STAY (and I really hate the way first time posters ask for feedback, get a fantastic response, and then bugger off).
  4. Stripe's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Marc Peters;bt183]You're spot on Stripe. I've always struggled with an effective way of getting people to STAY (and I really hate the way first time posters ask for feedback, get a fantastic response, and then bugger off).[/QUOTE]

    Well my 10+ rule only came into effect recently, so I guess I was picking up your wavelength.

    Two more thoughts,
    1. you can change strategy to having a $10/year membership style forum, but I assume that conflicts with your ideals of an open accessibility?
    2. charge $1 one off fee to give a user the right to post links, those that want youtube hits/2c of advert revenue would run a mile.
    erm 3. is there a paypal donation link? Most of us have sofas we can dive down, we'd probably find enough to keep the site going :)
  5. Marc Peters's Avatar
    Your second thought gives me food for thought....

    I'm not really too worried at this stage re hosting. Worst case scenario, we just downsize the hosting option (at the moment it's Ģ200+ per month, but that includes a few other sites I host for favours and a significant amount of space for me to back up my photos and files). What I really want is for people to feel like they have a home to talk about their hobby and passion.
  6. bigmanjoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters
    You're spot on Stripe. I've always struggled with an effective way of getting people to STAY (and I really hate the way first time posters ask for feedback, get a fantastic response, and then bugger off).
    I have noticed that happening alot and I have not even been here very long.

    This forum does not even add very many "hits" on a video. I have one video that has about 1,300 views but only 20 of them are from here.
    Updated 05-29-2013 at 06:17 PM by bigmanjoe
  7. enc's Avatar
    one post wonders are my pet hate and ive commented about that many times in the past. ordinarily i wouldn't comment on a users video if they only have a few posts to their name and certainly dont entertain the direct to Youtube look at my video type posts.

    one thing i really like about DD is the general laid back 'air' and absence of bitching and attitude you get on lots of other forums.

    admittedly i haven't posted as much lately but i still stop by to read and watch anything that attracts my interest.
    You have to respect tghe likes of Tim and MB who appear to watch and comment on more films than the rest of us put together.
  8. TimStannard's Avatar
    Marc, I don't know what more I can do. I find this site takes up a significant amount of my free time either posting comments which are occasionally helpful, rarely insightful, but always full of typos, or helping delete spam. I don't mind. I consider it good value in return for being a member of this community which has a very good signal to noise ratio. I too occasionally get pissed off with the one time posters and have ranted about it in the past, but I also accept it's just part of life.

    I tend to "review" movies by these people when I have a bit more time on my hands (priority will always go to the regulars - even if it's only to acknowledge that I've watched it) but I'm long past caring whether the original poster reads or acknowledges my post (indeed, I consider it a bonus if they do). The hope is that my comments may be read by someone else and that it may just give them a different opinion. We all benefit from comments made on all films - not just our own.

    But this rather gets us off the main point.

    Marc, I admire your ethics and the stand you are making against AdSense, but I wonder if anyone actually cares.

    Ads on websites are invisible to me (well, almost - if there's something that genuiely interests me, like links to the forthcoming Canon xa20, I might just follow, but that's a welcome ad). Even if I notice them I never consider that the website on which they appear is endorsing them in any way.

    I presume your request for more content is based on the idea that better content equals better reputation equals more hits equals more revenue from the ad streams. Sure the site could take off as a result, but you've (we've?) been trying for many years and the site always seems to settle down to the same few hardcore members, plus 20 or so regulars, followed by many occasional users and finally the people who visit up to six times then leave. Maybe this is the natural size of this community. One approach is to accept this and work out how best to support/fund that.

    Whislt I share the frustration of Stripe and enc (and have applied the same logic myself at times) I do believe the "not commenting until x posts" idea is detrimental.

    Assume 20 people post films all of which receive comments and assume they don't acknowledge (or even acknowledge but do no more)
    Assume half of them post a second film. This time they receive comments and a polite comment about commenting on other people's films.
    Assume one of them acknowlegdes that and tajkes part in at least one discussion about other films.
    That's some extra feedback someon has received from another person. Indeed they may well get feedback on their comment. They are starting to interact - the beginnings of a "proper" member.

    Now assume 20 people post films which receive no comments. Assume half don't give a toss. Assume half the remainder bother to come back and bump their posts with a "No comments?" and the other half post a snotty comment slagging of the forum.
    We now have 20 threads, 10 of which just have a film posted and nothing else, 5 of which have a post of a film and a follow up post asking whre the comments are (what I'd call a "tumbleweed" thread) and 5 more posts which slag off the forum.

    Now, as film makers yourselves who do contribute, if you came across a forum full of those sorts of threads, would you bother looking further or would you move on? I know I'd do the latter.

    Of course we come to forums via different means. I arrived here looking for support on Sony Vegas which I discovered is particularly well supported here (and I like to think i have given back at least as much as I have taken in that section). Only once I'd arrived here did I start looking at the other sections and I loved the frank and fair discussion in User vids. But it is increasingly difficult to become particularly good at "tech support" as there are so many well recognised sites providiong this with a far larger user base that it is difficult to find a USP, so I'm not sure that even providing "best in class" software support will be much of a draw.

    Personally I'd be happy to contribute financially - except that as soon as you start "charging" this creates a couple of barriers - many existing users simply will not see the value as great enough and I doubt any newbie is going to cough up to try it out. In which case we end up with just 20 of us and we might just as well send a round robin email.

    So, that's an awful lot of words from me and not a single suggestion. But I do urge everyone to post comments on films if only to make that section look lively and busy.
  9. Marc Peters's Avatar
    Again, your thoughts echo mine Tim. It seems the site's focus has shifted naturally from "tech" to video promotion and review. I suppose that is inevitable as technology becomes easier to use. I have often pondered embracing this.
  10. Stripe's Avatar
    Isn't there a requirement to 'read this first' where it explains you should introduce yourself before posting? People know enough about forums to know this is a general requirement, yet they are ignoring this. That is disrespectful straight off the bat. I think you're a tad passive there Tim, and it's time we stuck up for ourselves.

    Another alternative to the $1 theory, (which is bound to have people struggling to get that dollar to you for one reason or another)...

    I remember visiting a forum a couple of months ago where you had to 'shake hands' before you could post. Shaking hands amounted to emailing the admin to explain why you wanted to join the forum. When the admin accepted this (in his own time), that reason would then be published in the introduce yourself section on behalf of the newcomer, (this was the master-stroke), and they would be informed of acceptance.

    This worked very well, but it's up to the admin to accept the task, it could be quite involved, although of course the amount of applications would probably be 10% of the amount of one hit wonder posts. I also think the reasons part was just to slow people down, knowing it was going to be posted meant that they had to put genuine effort into their request. Bye bye scammers!
  11. bigmanjoe's Avatar
    I am new I don't think charging would do anything but slowly make this sight become nonexistant. However the shaking hands or email thing I think would be really effective but would be alot of time for the administators of this forum.
  12. TonyBR's Avatar
    Welll.... back to the forum in this thread!!! Canīt be just a coincidence! :) Hello guys! Greetings from Brazil again.... After 4 terrible months of "much more work and much less money than I like" down here, I finally had time to paddle a bit, film a bit and, today, right now, hit my DD favourite link once more.... Well, guess I recently lost my credentials as a "regular" here, but maybe this can be an example of what happens to us sometimes....

    There are only 2 forums that I attend: one for canoeing and this one. Both have one good thing in common:[B] nice people that respect each other[/B]. Not sure about there in UK but, since in Brazil the amount of nice respectful people drops by half every minute, I guess that itīs quite understandable that the flux of messages may drop on the good forums too. On the other side, the number of digital oportunistic people raises in the world, hence the solo-posts of people that only want to get hits on their YT videos.... This is a sad trend....

    Marc, please start a PayPal way to contribute to keep the forum running. This not only keeps the forum running, but also let you (us) get rid of AdSense (although their presence here is quite low when compared to some websites around...)

    OK, posting my new videos now!!! Please hit the links!! I need a lot of traffic to my Vimeo account so I can.....errrr....well..... BTW, what do we get if more people hit our videos anyway??? :D :D
  13.'s Avatar