PetaPixel

State of the Blog Address and a Preview of Coming Attractions in 2014

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First things first: Happy New Year! Whether you’re in Berkeley, CA, Bucharest, Romania or Shanghai, China, it’s now 2014 for everyone, and we want to start off the new year by thanking you all for a phenomenal 2013. You guys and gals are the reason we get up in the morning and stay up nights wracking our brains to figure out how we can make this site the best photo blog in the world.

And so, before we start making that happen and hit 2014 running, we thought we’d take a moment (as we do every year) and deliver our “state of the blog address” in which we let you know where we’re at, and give you a peek at where we’re going.

The Numbers

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Much like every year that preceded it, 2013 was a year of explosive growth on PetaPixel. Pageviews jumped from 42,036,302 in 2012 to a staggering 101,208,679, and unique readers from 15,532,472 to 28,443,977. Our Facebook fan base also broke 200,000, and our Twitter followership is now over 150,000 strong.

We also have one of the most engaged communities of photography lovers. You guys consistently start in-depth debates in the comments, aren’t afraid to call us out when we get something wrong and send us more tips than we have time to look into.

In short, as far as we’re concerned, we have the most engaged and dedicated readership of any photography website out there, and we couldn’t be more grateful for each and every one of you. Which is why we want your feedback going forward.

A Change at the Helm

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For PetaPixel, 2014 begins with a big change and a lot of excitement. In 2013, for the first time since Michael created the blog in 2009, we brought on staff. We’re proud to have an incredibly talented team of news writers, columnists and reviewers all dedicated to bringing you the most informative and inspirational photography content on the Web.

Now, as we begin 2014, our fearless leader and founder Michael Zhang is beginning to shift his focus elsewhere, and so he’s decided to hand over the Editor in Chief reins to me, DL Cade. As of today I’m officially in over my head the PetaPixel EIC, and the first thing I want to do is ask you for your feedback so that PetaPixel can continue to improve at breakneck speed.

What do you love? What could you live without?

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It comes down to two simple questions: what do you like? what don’t you like? Our goal isn’t to get hits, increase pageviews or any of that. Those things all take care of themselves when we do a great job providing exactly the content you, our readers, love to see on PetaPixel.

So we figured, why guess when we could ask!? In the comments below tell us what you want more of, what you want less of, what we’re doing well and what we’re doing poorly. Pull no punches: if you hate rumors and patents, say so; if you want more behind the scenes videos, tell us; it it’s tutorials or interviews you prefer, don’t just sit back and hope we read your mind, let us know. The more honest you are, the more you’ll enjoy PetaPixel in 2014!

But before you do that, allow us to share some of what’s already on the way.

Preview of Coming Attractions

As we’ve continued to grow, Michael and I have been hard at work figuring out how to serve the photo community even better. Here’s a little bit of what we came up with.

Instagram

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Our Instagram account has been live for some time now, but starting in 2014 we’re going to really make it an account worth following.

Expect to see:

  • Phenomenal photography from around the world
  • Live photo updates when we’re at conferences like Photokina in September, or company trips like the Sony trip this last October
  • Teaser photos that will let you know what reviews we’re working on
  • Sample photos from the best and most exciting gear in the industry

You will NEVER see:

  • Filters: Starting now, we are a 100% #nofilter Instagram account
  • Photos of food (unless they’re taken by a professional food photographer, of course)
  • Selfies
  • Pictures of our pets
  • Links to the home site. This is about sharing great content. If people decide to follow PetaPixel because of what they see, then great! But it’s not the primary purpose.

All of these rules go into effect now, and you can feel free to call us out if we ever break one. Of course, you can’t do that if you’re not following our Instagram, so head over to our page and click that follow button! It’ll make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Tumblr

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Another thing we have been working on for some time, our Tumblr is going to start seeing a lot more action in 2014 as well. The fact is, there are too many incredible photo series, informative infographics and inspirational quotes out there for us to share them all on the main site.

So, while there might be a bit of overlap, the PetaPixel Tumblr will be a place where you can find even more impressive photography, educational content and the occasional inspirational quote without having to sift through the news stories and great columns you’ve come to love the home site for.

This is another one we’ll need your help spreading the word on, so head over to petapixel.tumblr.com and click that follow button!

Subreddit or Forum

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Last but certainly not least, the level of engagement on PetaPixel has increased to the point where we just don’t think the comments can contain it anymore. And so, we’ve decided that we’d like to implement a forum. The question is, how?

Nothing is set in stone yet, so this is where your feedback can have the most tangible impact on the direction of our little community.

Would you prefer we breathe life into the PetaPixel subreddit and have that act as our forum? Or is a dedicated forum more to your liking? We think the former would work best, but you guys keep the lights on so our decision will be based entirely on what you say in the comments down below.

Either way, we see the subreddit/forum as a place where our readers can share the best photography from around the Web (whether or not they found it on PetaPixel), bring attention to stories we might otherwise miss and engage in healthy debates and helpful educational conversations that will benefit everybody involved.


And that’s it. We apologize for the novella above but we had so much exciting news that we couldn’t help sharing! There is much more to come in 2014 from us, including more gear reviews, a ton more amazing giveaways and a few things that we’re keeping under wraps for right now.

But please, any and all feedback you have will be greatly appreciated. With your help, we hope to make 2014 even better than last year. Cheers!


Image credit: BXP135677 by tableatny


 
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  • ashorton21

    Just my personal opinion, but for my ideal photography blog, there would be little to no rumors. I would LOVE to see more behind-the-scenes videos and tutorials

  • DLCade

    Thanks for the feedback! That’s actually the direction we’d like to move in, but we want to get reader feedback before we made that decision.

  • Derek

    You guys do a great job. For my money, you’re at the top of the heap of the photo blogs.

    Since you asked, one major request for 2014: Raise the bar for your deliberately controversial comment- and link-bait posts. Last year’s “white guy photography” debacle wasn’t bad because your guest writer offered an unpopular opinion — that’s what blogs are for. It was bad because nobody could understand what his opinion was. His ideas were half-formed, he was inarticulate and he just vomited a bunch of nonsense that made all our heads hurt trying to grasp it. We’re out here ready to be challenged and provoked, but we want it at least done professionally, please.

  • Frank McKenna

    Congratulations DL Cade. You guys have built something quite awesome here and congrats on taking over. Subreddit as a forum for Petapixel is a great idea but I really enjoy reading the comments after each post as well. I really enjoy all of the photography news that you guys post. They might not get many comments or likes but I do think all the information is great to stay on top of what is new and coming up.

  • Marco

    i’m gonna join ashorton2s opinion!! Great job PetaPixel creeew!

  • Erik Stensland

    I think you guys do a fabulous job and if you didn’t change at all, I’d be happy. I come here to find ideas that will help me do my job better and to to keep me educated about what is happening in the world of photography. So far, you’ve done a fabulous job.

    As a professional landscape photographer my interests will be quite different from most other photographers. I personally would love to see more photo business related posts, particularly new or cutting edge ideas that I might be able to implement in my galleries or with my online customers. Anything to do with new printing or mounting techniques would also be of interest, but again I’m a pretty small segment of your audience.

  • Burnin Biomass

    I think this is a great site!

    I love your Photographer interviews/spotlights. I would like to see more of those (no, not everyone likes every photographer, but the discussion is interesting).

    I’m not a big fan of videos, I understand others are, but I will skip those many times. Mostly, I mean, when it involves just looking at images (I know most times you are not making the vids, just sharing them). I do like that in those articles that you link to more information that isn’t a video (like the photographers main website).

    Thanks for your efforts! Have a wonderful new year!

  • harumph

    I’d second that and add a request that those “deliberately controversial comment- and link-bait posts” have their comments sections moderated at least a little bit. There are a disgusting number of blatantly racist troll comments polluting those threads, and they’re never deleted. It makes Petapixel look bad, and it encourages more bad behavior.

    Or you might just want to ask yourself *why* those particular articles inspire such racist reactions, and then re-evaluate the reasons why you wrote those articles in the first place.

  • Scott M

    Good job guys! I always check Petapixel daily and have enjoyed all your hard work. I also enjoy the discussions most of the time. Rumors are great, if you have something that Nikon rumors doesn’t have, all the better.

  • Emil Nyström

    I’d love to see a bit more personal blog posts from professional photographers. It would be great if Petapixel was a centre for blogging pros. Give me a shout if you ever need a blogger.

  • Mark N

    Please, oh please, I beg you, stop PP from crashing my iOS Safari browser EVERY time I pinch zoom. Even to enter this comment, the browser zooms the page when entering text. Gave up and turned on my computer after about 10 tries. Please?

  • Mark N

    More instructional stuff – tutorials, behind the scenes, innovative techniques. Less instagram (or other photo app news)

  • Mark N

    Please, oh please, I beg you, stop PP from crashing my iOS Safari browser EVERY time I pinch zoom. Please?

  • JonathonWatkins

    Great to hear it’s going well. I visit most day and think the balance of posts & subjects is pretty good as it is. #KeepUpTheGoodWork

  • Fje

    Amazed at the scope of your reach, deservedly so. Stay consistent please. Congrats once again.
    Julian
    Julian Escardo Photography

  • DLCade

    We’ll look into this, thanks for letting us know! Anybody else having this problem please reply so we know if this is widespread.

  • ennuipoet

    No filters, no pets, no food and no selfies…doesn’t that violate Instagrams Terms of Service? :)

  • Jimmy

    Less timelapses!

  • Mark N

    iOS 7, iPhone 4s, FYI. Thanks!

  • bryceguse

    It would be cool to see more tutorials and DIY projects, as well as some more inspiration posts.

  • OtterMatt

    Personally, I love almost all of what this blog is about.
    Behind the scenes, DIY builds, and professional blog-style posts about life in the industry would be my top requests for this year.
    But really? Don’t drop much of anything. I like reading industry news as well as seeing some mind-bending examples of what the pros are doing. If nothing else, it’s inspiring, and if I don’t want to take the time to read it at that moment, no one’s making me.

  • ag

    I’m a former pro of 35-40 years who now does personal photography with a consumer-level compact camera. I read PetaPixel every day and love it. If you didn’t change a thing, I’d still be very happy. The writing, btw, is remarkably good considering it’s secondary to the world of photographic imagery.

  • ashorton21

    Great! Though I’ll probably try less than half of the tutorials y’all post (I’m a senior in high school with no income), it’s great to look at things other people succeed at and bounce your own ideas off of them.

    Congrats on heading up the Petapixel crew!

  • Ben Jacobsen

    not that I can’t find it myself but you didn’t link your instagram account? Also, forum >>>> reddit… just sayin. (and yes you need a forum)

  • CLICKittyCAT

    Great Job, the PP feed is a highlight of my afternoon.
    The mix of content is stong, the posts I don’t like are effortless to ignore and may be someone’s favorite. I get “THE DAILY PETAPIXEL” digest every day around 5:00PM Pacific time. I wish the video files you feature would have a preview image in Mac Mail ( I get a Blocked Plug-in Warning and big white space). I can go to Safari to watch the video but I’d love to see the poster frame of the video so I can decide if it’s worth the trip. As far as rumors, they could be more selective but don’t need to disappear altogether, same for software reviews. I especially like the history, law, and copyright related posts but I’m a working pro and that may not be on the top of the list for beginners. No opinion about the forum as long as it is keyword searchable.

    In the end if you continue to curate the page as you have and have a lot of diverse topics and features then I don’t need to subscribe to any other photo news blogs. Like I said, if I don’t like it I have the power to edit and skip to the next post. Are you getting credit when I read your digest as an e-mail or just when I go to the PP website? Because I only go to the homepage about once a week.

    And thanks for posting the Photography Flowchart, (if you want to use any other photo comics they’re on Tumblr)

    Congrats on the promotion!
    -SDS

  • CLICKittyCAT

    Oh and more architectural photography! ;-)

  • DLCade

    Added the link, thanks for pointing that out Ben :)

  • 4dmaze

    I really enjoy the articles on astrophotography and experimental (as well as others) where they explain how it’s done. We all benefit and it helps push further in new directions. Can do without the rumors about what people are hoping will happen..

  • TonyM

    Switch to Linux, or at least dual boot, and go to PP on Linux I did (from Window$) and almost never go to Windows. Just a suggestion. Happy New Year.

  • Brandon Goodwin

    Please please please do a subreddit. I’d love to engage on some quality photo talk there. Although I hope it doesn’t take away from this amazing group of commenters.

    Very happy to see a solid growth plan set out for 2014. The headline had me worried about a truly experimental new blog focus, but I approve of all of the above. Good luck DL!

  • William Spell Jr.

    I love your posts spotlighting new directions (trends) in the photographic genres…landscape, street, surreal, etc….especially when accompanied by details of their capture and production. And fine art photography in general such as new major shows and exhibitions.

  • Kimberly

    I would love to see less time-lapses and photos-of-dogs-doing-things articles. You post other far more engaging content!

  • Frank

    No more Eric Kim!

  • Juan Ozuna

    I second this. I really like the diversity of what PetaPixel covers, and if they didn’t change anything, I’m sure I’d enjoy it just the same, if not more. I will say that one thing I really appreciate are the posts about how photography continues to be a powerful and influential medium in all aspects of our everyday lives.

  • pgb0517

    Fewer rumors; no, make that zero rumors. Less time-lapse mania. Aim high for prosumers (or whatever the current term for advanced hobbyists is), entry-level pros and established pros. I don’t care about anything shot from a “phone.”

    As to how-tos, those are all over the place, but I’d be interested in behind-the-scenes bits if they were truly informative.

    Improve your editing and style. I’m a professional copyeditor. I notice things.

    And moderate your forums. Please. I don’t even like to look at the forums anymore. If the forums are such a great part of this community, take out the trash once in a while.

  • mooboy

    No more Cheri Frost articles please… they’re just fluff pieces and don’t fit with other articles here at all.

    I’d prefer more tutorials than BTS style videos where it’s just a music video of the photographer taking pics.

    And yeah, less time lapses…