I would suggest that we have two round tables:
1-One that celebrates the achievements of the program, and looks at its history and some of the lessons learned, lessons missed.
2- Another program that addresses how we monetize our photography, our creations in a digital world where professional photographers work side by side with prosumer photographers looking for glory, and just a few bucks. I do not want to lament the demise of newspapers, because I think a renaissance of publications (both magazines and newspapers) is right around the corner as the digital tablet becomes an everyday tool for consumption of news. The main challenge to this scenario is the fragmented ad revenue stream (think 500 cable channels, think 500 magazines, like Cat Fancy magazine et al and the demise of Life/Look magazines.)
My premises is that ‘news’ is still a viable product. The biggest issue facing creators of news product, is the monetizing of the product, and its distribution. People still want it, how do we get them to pay for it? Can a Life or Look like i-publication be created, distributed digitally and monetized? Is it video, still or a blend?
Here in California there’s a lesson learned from the California Gold Rush back in the mid-1800s. The legacy companies that created value, satisfied consumers and extracted the value from those transactions, were the suppliers to the gold miners. It was not the gold miners that created Legacy companies, it was the companies that supplied gold miners. Think Wells Fargo Bank, Southern Pacific, and Levi’s. In photography, think photographers vs. Popular Photography, Apple, Nikon, Canon, DropBox, Nik Software, Google etc.
So, in the second program I would propose that we explore these issues, the monetizing of our photography, creating value with our photography, and in the end coming up with a list of possible photography products that could become value laden transactions. Because if nobody pays us for photography, we are not making a living, we’re not paying the bills and we don’t get to hear the ooohhs and aahhs to fulfill the love we all seek.
Because after all, we’re like everybody else, we just want to be loved, and make some money.
I’m happy to lead the ‘Monetize our Photography – Lessons learned, lessons we’ll act upon, products we’ll create.’