Yesterday I was really stumped by what internet seems to do to people, and decided to dedicate a blog post to it and hopefully give my opinion instead of posting it in all the threads going on online on several social sites and websites alike.

 

For me yesterday had some great news, the magazine “light it” was released, this is an awesome magazine designed for the iPad and released by the Kelby media group, you probably know the guys, they are in my opinion always on the cutting edge of what they do and more than often bring us stuff that is ground breaking and setting the standard for the future. And ok I have to add that I’m a bit biased because I’m one of the instructors for the Kelby media group and I consider a lot of them as personal friends, that’s also why I decided to not post in the threads online but keep it focused for myself in my own blog, but feel free to share this link to others and respond on it on my blog or via the social media I share it on.

So what’s going on that really surprised me (or actually maybe it did not)……

 

The internet took away some of the “humanity” in us…..
You know I love the internet, I love the way we can now connect with each other, I love the way I now get my news and my information. One of the disadvantages and sometimes advantages of the internet is that we are anonymous, meaning we can post stuff without looking people in the eye or letting people know who we are. This is sometimes handy, I’ve been on some chatrooms during a live broadcast were I could just participate as a normal visitor, I also sometimes log in under my real name (which I prefer a lot more but sometimes is just not possible any more :( ) the problem with that is that I was immediately swamped with questions, remarks about my work and questions when I would be a guest on that site… let’s make one thing clear I love that people like my work and I never am afraid to answer questions or participate, but sometimes it’s just nice to be there 100% transparent and act like a normal visitor….

 

That being said, I consider myself as a “real” human, or in other words I always respect people to the fullest, I will never attack someone because I’m protected by anonymity, and that’s how I think the internet should work. It’s great to give comments on a shot without people knowing who you are as long as it’s positive but doesn’t have the “weight” of my name, however some people go the other way….. I know (from the people themselves, yes they confessed it a while ago to me) that some people find an enormous boost in confidence to find some of the better photographers on a site and start “flaming” their shots with remarks that (in my opinion) are often more taste related than any thing else. Let’s take a simple example… you post a shot with an enormous lens flare, but it’s a lens flare that’s supposed to be there and is for most people a great addition to the shot, and after some positive reviews the “troll” does his/her work and post something really negative to the post…. the strange thing is that often after that remark the “mood” in the thread will change and people will start being more and more negative often resulting in a thread that spirals out of control often being way off topic, leaving the topic starter with loads of negativity and a thread that is useless…. I know from some of my students that this kind of behavior takes them away from posting on social media.

 

I strongly believe (and learned this the hard way) that one should build some sort of wall around him/herself to protect themselves from the “trolls”, and to be honest sometimes that’s hard, I’m the kind of person that will get 100 positive reviews and one negative and can only concentrate on the negative one…. yeah I know it sounds weird but I love what I do and I do it with passion and always try to be my best, when people burn that down it simply hurts. I know you can never satisfy 100% of the crowd but it’s just the way some people work :D

 

But what has this to do with “Light it”?
Yeah I know I sort of lost myself there while on the subject :D
So yesterday the release of “Light it” was there, I’ve been involved in this project as a writer for some time and I couldn’t wait for it to be released. A magazine with some of the best instructors in one publication is of course unique (most magazines maybe have 2-3 writers I really admire and the rest is “ok”) with “light it” there is so much going on and so much possibilities for the future you just have to be excited. I expected a lot of positive reviews on the magazine and of course some people complaining it’s an iPad only magazine, however what happened REALLY stumped me beyond believe. Almost ALL threads you read on the magazine are not about the content but about the fact it’s an iPad app/magazine and there are responses there that are downwards ridiculous and offensive.

 

Now let’s be frank, I know you are in agony when you don’t own an iPad because this is an awesome magazine, but hey that can be solved. Surf to ebay and you can find several iPads for a lot less than they retail for in the shops, don’t buy it just for the magazine (although it will push some people over) but for all the other photography related stuff, when I taught on Photoshop World almost 99% of the portfolios people showed me were on the iPad so there is a huge crowd using the iPad. But I don’t want this to be an iPad commercial, Apple doesn’t need that I think… which brings us to the next point. The magazine was released on the iPad (I think) because it’s the best platform with a great app store, a HUGE photography user base and a system that simply put just works great for a magazine. That being said I do understand that some people would love to read the magazine on their “other” tablets… and of course one can ask, what’s happening however is that the great news which should have been positive all over has turned in downward attacks on Scott Kelby as a person and the Kelby media group as a company. I saw remarks of people saying they would not subscribe anymore or not buy books any more because they choose to release the magazine as an iPad app/magazine…. come on what’s going on ?

 

I have a problem and I hate the world
People who know me personal know I have a problem, genetics hasn’t been nice to me and left me with a weird combination of being tall and muscular in some parts of my body but also with way too much body fat around my belly area, I sport a lot and my self image is that of a sporter and athletic person… however every day I go shopping for new clothes I’m awaked to the harsh reality that I can better be really fat, or I would have to be really athletic. There are NO clothing manufactures that retail in the normal stores that sell anything that fit me. When I buy the “big” people clothes my pants look ridiculous and make me look incredibly much “bigger” than I am… when I try to buy the clothes that fit everything else but my belly I look like I stepped out of a cheap English comedy show portraying the beer drinking stepbrother showing his bellybutton under a dirty t-shirt….. actually the only brand that really fits me is Reebok, meaning that 99% of my clothing is Reebok (via this blog, thanks Reebok I love you guys).

 

So let’s say I go to a restaurant or club and I really want to buy a shirt from that club.
I go the store and I ask them to have a shirt in my size, their answer is…. “sorry sir, we have S, M, XL, XXL, and XXXL but we’re afraid we don’t have your size”. How would you respond if I would start shouting at the sales person, and leave the restaurant without paying and shouting that I would NEVER ever come back ?
Yeah I know that would be wrong, weird and ridiculous.

 

However with “light it” I feel something similar has happened.
“Light it” was designed to be unique, it has a great user interface, a great system to keep updated in the future, it contains video and has many many possibilities for the future. And they choose to release it for the biggest market that’s there, I don’t have numbers for the photography business but from my own experience I think that IF a photographer uses a tablet the chance is that it’s an iPad, in all the workshops and seminars I teach I’ve seen countless iPads and only 1-2 other brands. So if I had to choose a platform it would have been the iPad.

 

Developing an app is expensive, especially when it’s a custom app.
When you choose a platform you choose the biggest one and the one with the most support. Also they set the pricing of the magazine at a very low $2.99 which is ridiculous value for what you get (remember that they have to give a rather large chunk of that to Apple) so I 100% understand their decision, and even if I did not own an iPad I would still understand it. Of course I would ask for them if there were plans to release it as an android version or whatever platform I would be using, when they would say “No” I would of course be disappointed but not in their decision, just the fact that there is no other version planned, I would still love the information I get for free from them and would just hope that one day it would change or when there were more things that don’t work for my tablet I would switch tablets.

 

Some respect perhaps ?
Yeah I know it sucks when you can’t read the magazine because Kelby media released it on the iPad only.
But do realize that those Kelby guys give you A LOT of free information, “TV” shows, free downloads etc. I once tried to calculate how much time I would need to watch (and read) ALL the materials they release for free that is of interest for me, and ….. well I would have to stop my work, divorce my wife and lock myself up in a room for most of the week there is so much going on that’s for FREE !!! that I really have the utmost respect for a company like this (and this was my opinion way before I joined them as an instructor) and even when I would be totally disappointed by them because I’m on an Android system I would not DARE to attack them the way that is happening now in some threads. It’s just a magazine guys (it’s the sexiest and best out there, but it’s just ONE very small part of what they offer).

 

Maybe that’s the whole problem with todays people… we are spoiled rotten with all the free stuff we get and we feel like we are entitled to everything for free or cheap that if we can’t have something because we personally took a decision to not buy an iPad we just try to destroy or attack the whole company that releases it… in my opinion that’s just not done…..

 

I hardly ever “rant” on my blog, but this is something I really had to ventilate.

 

Feel free to comment, flame me or ignore this blog post, I promise I will start sharing some images/videos again starting tomorrow :D