The future of CA.org?
Let me preface this by saying I love this place, the people, what it stands for and what goes on here . This is intended as a starting point for discussion about the future of the site, particularly focusing on education, and is in no way a stab at MB or a bitch about paying for the great services MB and CA provide. If it matters, I have paid for quite a number of downloads and intend to give this composition lesson a go if I can find a good enough connection in time.
This sounds sooooo awesome, but how much is this stuff going to cost participants? Is this $90 per session thing an indication of what is to come, or just a temporary fundraising effort?
Here is a tentative suggestion, I'm just putting it out there so it's at least on the table and not discarded without due consideration.
Would it be possible to provide the instructional downloads for free?
If they were free you could put them on youtube (or something similar) and cut out your bandwidth costs for downloads. Obviously I don't know what the running costs are for the site (but I'm damned curious, can you share them?) and there are many other expenses to cover besides. I just wonder if charging for the downloads is the best way to do that?
Some quick thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head:
- The personal tutoring that CA seems to be leaning towards would obviously still have to be purchased
- Reputable artists already upload tutorials for free anyway, why not encourage this even more and provide a platform where people can post, rate, discuss and promote them?
- This is a community of thousands of artists all posting awesome work every day, much of which is unpaid practice or for fun. I know this is a delicate path to tread, but would it be possible to put this output to work in some way that would be helpful to us members and make a little dough for the community as a whole? This idea was briefly mentioned in the Castle whatever IP theft thread, in the form of making a Facebook game like that. I'm not necessarily saying that would work, but can't we think outside the box a little? Personally I'd be stoked if my 'leftover' work was doing something useful like this.
- $90 doesn't sound like much to some people, but keep in mind that this is a global community, and not everyone uses $US. I think we should be doing our best for people who really don't have any opportunity to make a living off art otherwise.
- If the download stuff is free, piracy becomes a moot point. You can't pirate personal lessons.
This is all motivated by the idea that having free instructional downloads of the quality of the MB/CA ones would be of incredible, unprecedented value to the artists of the world. It would really just be an awesome step forward I believe.
I hope this prompts some interesting and perhaps valuable discussion.
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I don't see the DVD's ever being given away for free happening anytime soon I'm afraid. They are necessary to keep CA as accessible and free for all as possible at the moment. Maintaining such a large website and forum as CA has become simply doesn't come cheap.
However, there are several plans and projects underway that should ensure the future growth of CA at the moment. Some of those will need funding before they can get off the ground, some are already being started as we speak. You might want to check out this thread for example:
CA Game Design Project
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to yoitisi For This Useful Post:
certainly not after all the pirating/torrenting thing. There are still tons of people out there taking the time to make tuts and give crits and advice that don't cost a penny though. If you haven't investigated it yet, a good place to begin: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42
I don't see the DVD's ever being given away for free happening anytime soon I'm afraid
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DavePalumbo For This Useful Post:
Do you know how much time and effort it takes to make this type of content? I mean I work, I teach, I paint, and on top of that I'm suppose to not sleep and make downloads for free? Wow.
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Carl Dobsky For This Useful Post:
Carl, while you're at it, could you mow my lawn?
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:
The downloads are a product intended for sale. You wouldn't walk into a retail store and ask the manager to give you products off the shelf for free out of the kindness of his heart; why would MB videos be any different? I mean I know they're nice guys and all, but still. Seems like a bit of an absurd, childish request.
-If I really want to be a biologist, do I get free biology books? If I really want to be astronaut, do I get free training? Nope. I don't. I do gopher work until I have enough money to buy proper training. Kids are spoiled by the internet; they forget how valuable information actually is.
Originally Posted by Luke M.
-If MB could afford to give videos away for free, they wouldn't care about piracy. Sooo yeah, kind of a goofy point.
Last edited by Ian Barker; August 5th, 2009 at 07:32 PM.
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I actually find it fairly rude to say that these should all be given away for free.
The site in huge, and does take alot of cash to maintain. And if you've ever seen the instructor lineup they get to fly in for the workshops and see what it costs to put one on, you'd understand. The good think about the CA demos is that you actually have some sort of direct input on what gets taght and who teaches, with the instructors being so involved with the community. And the prices are more than reasonable.
There's just no pleasing some people.
* Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *
I saw someone like you on the x-files, they had implants that produced the same stuff normal people would get from sleeping. Constantly drinking coffee.
Originally Posted by Carl Dobsky
Eyeballs half a centimeter removed from the eye socket.
Hopefully, we could get a free tutorial vid about mowing lawns, to boot.
Originally Posted by Elwell
The Following User Says Thank You to Ninjerk For This Useful Post:
Im waiting for an El Coro facial hair grooming tut. Man that's a sexy beard.
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This isn't just a request for free tutes. It is a request for discussion on how CA is kept afloat, and what other possibilities there are to do that. It may sound naive and stupid to some, but I thought it was worth at least discussing in some detail and judging on it's own specific merits or lack thereof. Please at least give it some thought before posting.
Yoitisi: Thanks for the game design link. With regards to the cost of running CA, what exactly is that cost? And how much is paid for by various sources of income (sponsors, downloads, merch)? Is it rude to ask for this info?
Dave Palumbo: Thanks for the link to the tutorials section of the site, I know a lot of people don't check that out before asking questions like this. I guess I was thinking we could build on that section a little more, expand it and make it easier to use.
Carl, Elwell: I'm sorry if that offends you. Of course it's up to the instructors themselves about these kinds of things. I intended it as a discussion, not a demand.
Liffey: Ok, this is not a childish request. The only reasons you have put forward for not doing it is that no-one else does it. It sounds far out I know, but give the idea a chance, especially please respond to the ideas at the bottom of the post and any other possibilities there might be for alternative sources of income. I know that information is valuable, but the whole point of CA as far as I can see is making this valuable information accessible. Isn't this a continuation of that ideal?
Interceptor: Selfish? I have paid a lot of money so far for downloads, DVD's and I went to the NZ workshop. I made that clear at the beginning of my post. If this became free that money would have been effectively donated. This isn't about getting some free stuff for myself.
Please don't shoot this idea down without giving it any thought.
i would happily pay a yearly subscription fee
i think if it was moderate, it would also help the site.
ensuring that the members are all serious individuals, hoping to work in the industry,
fewer jokers and whiners
i suspect the yearly revenue would be far more substantial ....
piracy (while always a serious problem) would be less of an issue and this would free up the powers that be to work in areas far closer to their hearts.
moral would improve as well.
Why doesn't ca adopt a clean advertisement program? You can have clean unobtrusvie advertisements and with teh amount of traffic here it could potentially generate more funds than even video sales.
Look into infolinks or even google ads. I wouldn't mind seeing one in the footer and the header. And with infolinks you barely even notice them unless you want to.
That should help cover the costs quite a bit.
i think (for me ) the idea of subscription is more preferable than advertising
simply becuase it alows the site creators to be 100% atonomous.
even the current strategies may paint the founders into a corner,
bowing to audience demand more than uncompromising vision.
if the audience wants an endless stream of brush tutorials ... and it is the main source of income ...so be it, thats what they will get...
with a subscription model, the dvds and educational content (while still a source of revenue) would be less tainted by the pressure of audience demand. leaving the authors of this content more free to teach the lessons they feel are most insightful and most absent from the rest of the internet or other sources.
EDIT: having said that the above is in no way a criticism of the current content for purchase....just a concern for the future.)
Originally Posted by Luke M.
Oh good. That way google can spy on you even you're not using the search engine. I like it when people think they know what they're talking about.
Originally Posted by laxon
Perhaps these measures aren't taken because this site, and much of the community here in, take art seriously and appreciate having adverts that at least have a strong relation to the field in general.
It seems ungrateful for people to come in and start simply criticizing the way the site is operated without even showing real evidence of appreciation. Thank yous are great and all, but they don't pay the bills. Lets be honest how things work.
The only thing I can really think of justifying a critique is the personal slant people put on things in the lounge; but that's what it is. It's a lounge, it's the free part of the site where everyone thinks they know what they're talking about. Debates, Michael jackson, blah blah blah. Even at that; I choose to argue points rather than say "hey, mb, I think you should do things this way. Don't take into consideration my limited or non-existent business experience, or my own lack of community engagement."
This isn't so much and interesting topic as it as a frustrating and damn near infuriating one. I take art very seriously, I know I'm improving because I dedicate my self and set goals that are sometimes reached and can often come late. However; It pales in comparison to what others, especially the team that dedicates their time not just to bettering them but also helping others to do so, have done. I'm a little educated in business and economics, but have only so much experience. The people who run this operation have far far faaarrrrr more.
A bit of advice. Usually, when something is free; Its not worth your time.
Please, go doodle or something, you two.
Last edited by GhostValkyrie; August 6th, 2009 at 03:21 AM.
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