Explaining my commercial attitude to dPreview

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David Kilpatrick
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Explaining my commercial attitude to dPreview

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:11 am

At present, Photoclubalpha's website is entirely free to all readers, as is dPreview. I am a journalist, and when I spend hours or days preparing an article I prefer to see it in print, or on a web page where it is permanent, searchable, and properly laid out and illustrated. Therefore, even though I make no money from this website (its costs exceed the £50 or so produced by Google ads every month, which is irrelevant to the £20,000 or so my business needs each month to be profitable), I prefer to create my articles here rather than place the same text free of charge into a forum owned by a commercial website.

It would be pointless to copy and paste the same material into a dPreview post, as in a month or so it would disappear into the morass. Here, we have 129 articles posted plus 17 permanent pages to date (in just over one year of operation). The articles are dated and form a narrative as well as permanent resource. I maybe do not create enough back-links from new articles to older ones, you have to search to find what you want. I'm willing to give dPreview plenty of involvement and traffic, much of which has no link back of any kind except my signature mention. When I write an article here, I don't think it at all unreasonable to flag it up on dPreview. Had dPreview been more proactive and aware, they are kind of website which might have approached me in the past to ask whether we wanted to port the Minolta Club to become an electronic resource and part of their structure - the same way Archant publishing made the Olympus Club part of their magazine portfolio. But they did not, and never have with any other third party. In fact their attitude towards third party publishers is protectionist. In the magazine world, things are very different - we all have informal agreements to send each other our magazines f.o.c., and to forward urgently needed advertising copy on demand if one company holds it and another needs it.

Because the readership of Photoclubalpha on the web is biased to the USA and Britain only accounts for a small percentage, if we do gain magazine subscriptions we really do not expect to keep those readers for 10 or 20 years as we have with UK Minolta owners. We assume it's curiosity, enthusiasm and a desire to support the site but we make very little on overseas subs due to postage, and our overseas readers can't use many of our services. I am delighted to welcome all readers but our true priority is to gain new UK readers, and in this it's Sony dealers who help us most (since Sony will not, as yet, do so).

I earn my main profit from one entirely unconnected magazine which I have never mentioned on dPreview and never promote, since it is not of interest to their audience.

Photoclubalpha and the remnants of the Minolta Club, now the Photoworld magazine, are not profit centres they are a personal commitment as an enthusiast as well as a professional. In 1980 I shook hands with Ryoshu Kutani of Minolta and agreed to take over the Minolta Club. As far as I was concerned, that was a lifetime commitment. If it becomes financially impossible to continue the magazine I will continue the website for 10, 20, or 30 years (just possible based on family history!) even if other volunteers in due course provide its content and administer it.

This is the part of my business which is my hobby - which I would do even if the business was no longer part of my life. I do not feel that 'promoting' it is any different from a photographer linking to their own work or a blog.


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Re: Explaining my commercial attitude to dPreview

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:58 am

After all these years I have yet to see or hear of Phil complaining about or going after someone for linking to dpreview.com from some other website so I assume he doesn't mind links. It is hypocritical for him to get worked up about your occasional link to an article on your website, especially after all of the free content you provide for him and traffic your threads generate.

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