I think I’ve figured out a way to run the site running going forward, that will enable me to both keep it advertising and subscription-free. But I need the help of all of my readers to make it workable; so what I’m going to do is outline the plan and put it to the vote.
I’m going to start producing and selling consumer insights research on the camera industry.
Logically, it makes a lot of sense: I have access to camera brands, a large, educated reader pool, and the professional background to collect, analyze and derive insights from large quantities of data. After all, this is what I did both for the majority of my professional career in management/ strategy consulting at BCG and in private equity. The latter is the missing bit for just about every other writer/photographer/blogger online at the moment.
I benefit because I can sell this research – camera brands already pay for it, helping me to monetize the site in a way that isn’t obstructive (subscriptions) or obnoxious (big ads) to the readers.
You, the reader, benefit because you can help me to keep the site running without having to pay anything, and you get a channel to give feedback to your favourite camera maker to help them produce a better product, which of course benefits you in the end. Moreover, the additional revenue stream buys time I don’t have to chase commercial clients and can instead spend on the site. This means more of the time consuming stuff: reviews of things that might interest the group, but not necessarily be useful for me (previously, I’d have avoided this due to lack of time); how-tos, videos etc.
The camera brands benefit because the existing market research isn’t anywhere near as focused or insightful; I’ve seen (and purchased) much of it in the past as supporting data for another venture I was looking at starting a couple of years ago. For the most part, it’s just raw sales data with little insight into the end consumer, much less curation and insight supplied by somebody with both photographic and management strategy expertise.
As far as I can see, it’s a win-win situation for all involved: the question now is, how many of you would be willing to participate? I might even be able to arrange a lucky draw for all of the participants…all that’s required is a statistically significant number of readers to take a short survey every six months or thereabouts.
But before even going down this road, I should determine if there are enough willing participants to make it workable, hence in true mingthein.com style, a poll!
Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!
Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved