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Behind Denver-based Photobucket’s unpopular decision to go from free to $399 Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:34 PM

Behind Denver-based Photobucket’s unpopular decision to go from free to $399
Denver’s once innovative photo-sharing site is a skeleton of its former glory

By Tamara Chuang | tchuang@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: July 16, 2017 at 12:01 am | UPDATED: July 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

When John Corpus took over as chief executive for aging Denver internet company Photobucket in late 2015, he had one main task: Turn the online photo-sharing site into a sustainable business. By July 6, Photobucket’s 100 million registered users found out how that was going to happen. Overnight, millions, possibly billions, of photos uploaded to hobby sites, message boards and niche forums in the past 14 years were replaced by an image of a meter running at 100 percent. To see the original image, one needed to “unlock your account” by upgrading to the new $399 plan.

The customer backlash was brutal. Users vowed to cancel accounts rather than pay a fee. Many accused Photobucket of holding their photos for ransom. A man in London even started a Change.org petition to demand that Corpus revert back...

... While the price was shocking, many were more upset at how Photobucket rolled out the new policy. There was no explanation. No mention of economics. And to many, it was with too little notice.

Michelle Rogers-Estable said the only notification she had from Photobucket was in an email on July 7. As a director of a center that mixes technology and education at the State University of New York in Oneonta, she has often recommended the service to faculty and students. No longer.

“So charging is not what I found disconcerting. It was the shift in price that was extremely disconcerting. To go from free to $399 a year for the same level of service shows a complete and utter lack of consideration for longtime users of the service,” she said, adding that many stay-at-home moms and student bloggers can’t afford to pay. “What Photobucket did was basically strong-arm people into having to pay, at least those who had relied on it a great deal for many years. There is no excuse to treat one’s long-term clients in this manner.”...

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As a biz owner myself, I've no objection to any other business wanting to make money. To quote Levon Helm, We're not in it for our health, y'know.

But... "execution" of the business plan? This will likely go down in Web history as at least in the top 10 of all fusterclucks.

0 to $399/yr? No 'tiered' pricing based on usage? No plans for Amateur/Semi-Pro/Pro "levels". Owner is a complete Dipsh!t. 7:3 odds photobucket isn't here by 1Q/2019.
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#2 User is offline   ilja 

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:12 PM

Geeze Louise. Idiots.
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#3 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:34 PM

I am a photobucket victim.

Where's my free stuff? Where's my government subsidy? Of course, I'm joking. But seriously, the company did me dirty.
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#4 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:48 PM

Well John Dead-body can shove it.
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#5 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:36 PM

Like a drug dealer...first one's free.

Even a bigger clusterfark than New Coke.
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#6 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:29 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 17 July 2017 - 05:34 PM, said:

0 to $399/yr? No 'tiered' pricing based on usage? No plans for Amateur/Semi-Pro/Pro "levels". Owner is a complete Dipsh!t. 7:3 odds photobucket isn't here by 1Q/2019.


Baffling that Photobucket doesn't offer tiers. That is the business model not just for websites but for the Internet Service Providers that give us access to Photobucket. RightNation has used the tier system since its inception.

Maybe Photobucket is "gentrifying". Get the riff-raff to leave voluntarily by making rent unaffordable. Then steam clean the carpets and add a fresh coat of paint.

Or maybe the new heads of Photobucket know something that we don't. But they are the 21st Century's "New Coke" right now.

I have no problem with Photobucket changing and trying to churn a profit. More power to them. Still, who did they hire for this move? Martin Shkreli?
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#7 User is offline   vectorsrule 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:22 PM

View PostWag-a-Muffin (D), on 17 July 2017 - 06:34 PM, said:

I am a photobucket victim.

Where's my free stuff? Where's my government subsidy? Of course, I'm joking. But seriously, the company did me dirty.


Can you not download your photos until you pay the fee? That seems illegal if true. However, charging for what WAS free. That is par of the course. That is why I look up the revenue model for companies that offer me "free" stuff.

You get what you pay for.

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#8 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:27 PM

I was able to sign on and save my images to my phone today. I only had about ten though.

This post has been edited by Ladybird: 18 July 2017 - 02:09 PM

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#9 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:00 PM

View Postvectorsrule, on 18 July 2017 - 01:22 PM, said:

Can you not download your photos until you pay the fee? That seems illegal if true. However, charging for what WAS free. That is par of the course. That is why I look up the revenue model for companies that offer me "free" stuff.

You get what you pay for.


Yes. I can download all my toons so I haven't "lost" them. They just aren't available here, where I published them, on RightNation any longer. (And it was fun, finding toons from years past that were still relevant to current events--the more things changed, the more they stayed the same.)

Besides, I just don't have the energy to move them to a different hosting site and re-edit all of my blogs. Plus, I don't seem to have the edit function any longer on some of the oldest ones. PLUS since I am not paid I am not going to pay to have them hosted. Just how I am. It was just for fun. I posted pictures here on rightnation because it was fun--not because it was a business. And I couldn't get them to show unless I did it through a hosting site--unlike twitter or facebook, where you can upload any image from your computer. Just how it is.
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#10 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:04 PM

If you go to Photobucket's facebook page there are hundreds of comments from angry people. Some paid for the service, ($30 a year) some, like me, had free accounts. Everyone is freakin' angry.

It would have been nice had we been given more warning. Or options. This "pay $400 or else" feels like extortion to me. HOWEVER, as a free market capitalist, I have to concede that they can do whatever they want with their company, even if I think their actions are STOOPID.
:whistling:

This post has been edited by Wag-a-Muffin (D): 18 July 2017 - 02:06 PM
Reason for edit: sentence fragment

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#11 User is offline   pict 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:30 PM

View PostWag-a-Muffin (D), on 18 July 2017 - 02:00 PM, said:

Yes. I can download all my toons so I haven't "lost" them. They just aren't available here, where I published them, on RightNation any longer. (And it was fun, finding toons from years past that were still relevant to current events--the more things changed, the more they stayed the same.)

Besides, I just don't have the energy to move them to a different hosting site and re-edit all of my blogs. Plus, I don't seem to have the edit function any longer on some of the oldest ones. PLUS since I am not paid I am not going to pay to have them hosted. Just how I am. It was just for fun. I posted pictures here on rightnation because it was fun--not because it was a business. And I couldn't get them to show unless I did it through a hosting site--unlike twitter or facebook, where you can upload any image from your computer. Just how it is.
You could set up your own home server using an old computer.
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#12 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:28 PM

View Postpict, on 18 July 2017 - 02:30 PM, said:

You could set up your own home server using an old computer.

I hear Hilary has a nice, clean one for sale, wiped with a cloth even.
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#13 User is offline   pict 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:38 PM

View PostSeverian, on 18 July 2017 - 03:28 PM, said:

I hear Hilary has a nice, clean one for sale, wiped with a cloth even.
heheheheh...
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#14 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:24 PM

View Postpict, on 18 July 2017 - 02:30 PM, said:

You could set up your own home server using an old computer.

In my best teen-ager whiny voice: Yeah, Pict, I could, if I had, like, a weeks worth of time with nothing else to do.
:rolleyes:

J/K!

This post has been edited by Wag-a-Muffin (D): 18 July 2017 - 08:11 PM

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#15 User is online   ASE 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:14 AM

I have downloaded most of my hundreds of photos, and will simply delete my account. They know they screwed the pooch; they don't need me piling on. I will just quietly leave.
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#16 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:24 AM

View Postpict, on 18 July 2017 - 02:30 PM, said:

You could set up your own home server using an old computer.

And now that I've contemplated this for a couple of days, I realize even if I did this, it still wouldn't allow me to show my toons on RightNation.
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#17 User is offline   pict 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:42 AM

View PostWag-a-Muffin (D), on 19 July 2017 - 07:24 AM, said:

And now that I've contemplated this for a couple of days, I realize even if I did this, it still wouldn't allow me to show my toons on RightNation.
Why?
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#18 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

View Postpict, on 19 July 2017 - 07:42 AM, said:

Why?

Because I can't post my toons on Rightnation directly from my computer. When I first tried (over 14 years ago) I was told I had to use a web hosting service in order to get use the "insert Image" icon that shows when you hit "reply." (I don't know any of the technical terms.) If there is a way to share on rightnation directly from my computer, I would be forever grateful if you would enlighten me. I admit to being techno-ignorant.

This post has been edited by Wag-a-Muffin (D): 19 July 2017 - 08:00 AM

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#19 User is offline   Joe the Pagan 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:33 AM

View PostWag-a-Muffin (D), on 19 July 2017 - 07:59 AM, said:

Because I can't post my toons on Rightnation directly from my computer. When I first tried (over 14 years ago) I was told I had to use a web hosting service in order to get use the "insert Image" icon that shows when you hit "reply." (I don't know any of the technical terms.) If there is a way to share on rightnation directly from my computer, I would be forever grateful if you would enlighten me. I admit to being techno-ignorant.



It is possible to host your own site on a home computer. I looked into it a few years ago when I was part of a start up. Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) routers do not let outside access to your system. You would need to set the computer's IP address to a static IP. You might end up leaving your computer vulnerable to outside attack. Some ISP require you to upgrade to a business account of you want to host your own website.

It would probably be cheaper, and definitely easier to have a hosting company host a website to store your images.
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#20 User is offline   TNnative 

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:47 AM

I'm glad I saw this, I didn't know about it. I rarely used Photobucket and only had around 50 pictures on there. However, a lot of them were of my dogs & cats that I lost in the house fire. I just now went over there and am able to access my photos, for now, so I am saving them to my new laptop. Then, bye-bye, Photobucket!

Edited to add - It is their business so if they want to charge $399, they can. However, I don't make enough use of Photobucket to justify it.

This post has been edited by TNnative: 19 July 2017 - 09:51 AM

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