Posted on December 1, 2009

  • I’m busy right now migrating my site to a zippy new server. I have to have it operational before 12/9 and have the old free gallery/members gallery servers offline as well. At the moment another developer is working with me on a new whiz-bang DB with all of the features you’ve come to expect in a 21st century website (which the current DB is not) and I am working on the transitional site that you will see when the new server comes up.

    Both sites will eliminate the “Members Gallery/Free Gallery” division. You will no longer visit Rather you will visit and will be required to log in (once per session) to download hi-res files, zip archives, and movies. You will also need to be logged in to post comments and rate images. Browsing the gallery itself will not require you to be logged in and banner ads will be disabled for Members.

    Here’s where I need your feedback. I want to offer a free version of all of my work. That way everyone can have something to download (and a reason to visit) when I post new work, but only Members will have access to all of the different file sizes I have available (mobile, widescreen, multi-screen). Only Members will be able to rate or comment on the new images (and thus have their voices heard in possible revisions).

    Right now I am thinking about offering the 1152 x 864 file for each project for free. People will be able to stretch/resize this to fit their screens and for a lot of folks it will probably look good enough. My questions to you are: Does this lessen the value of being a Member for you? Would you have signed up in the first place if my new work was available as resonably high resolution free file? Would you continue to renew if I offer a free version of new images?

    Is 1152 x 864 even big enough, in this day and age, to be an attractive free offering given that I am elimating the free access to my widescreen images?

    DB is running pretty smooth as it is right now, especially given the current economic climate. Signups pay my bills, keep my hardware/software current, and allow me to concentrate on making new wallpapers. I don’t want to rock the boat too much and once you’ve given away something for free I know it is difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

    At the same time, I think the “Free Gallery” idea is getting pretty stale and I think my site will suffer in the long term if I don’t better balance the free offerings (to bring in viewers and make use of “social media”) with the premium (entice those viewers to become Members).

    What do you guys think? I welcome any and all feedback but would ask that you keep the discussion between Members for now until I’ve decided what to do. Whatever that may be, it is important to me you feel that your Membership was a good purchase.