Running a service like Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook or Google+ costs a lot of money: servers in data centers, electrical power, salary for engineers and other staff. All these free services need to make money, one way or another. The most common way is to monetize users data.
Matt Mullenweg sums it up nicely in an interview during LeWeb 2012 (2’30”), “Instagram primary users are not what we think of as users, it’s advertisers, and us are the product”.
Does an alternate solution exist? Yes, but you’ll have to reconsider the way you use internet services. As soon as you pay for a service, then you can consider that the primary goal of the service is to satisfy you, and not an advertiser or any third party.
This is exactly why Piwigo.com is not free. The user pays $39/year and our goal is not to sell your data or improve your “profile” for targeted ads. Our primary goal is to provide a service you appreciate (and buy).
Piwigo 2.4 is a
major huge version. On the official release note you’ll learn how many changes are introduced. What you don’t know is who made this release possible. Let’s summarize:
- rvelices: multiple size engine, watermark, navigation links on photo, center of interest
- P@t: mobile theme
- mistic100: change username, email notification on user registration, sort user comments, new design for photos sort order, unified messages management, hotlinks compatibility
- Zaphod (new team member): new default theme Elegant
- flop25: technical documentation on multiple size, nice videos that you can see on Piwigo 2.4 release notes
- plg (that’s me): various changes in administration, configuration for multiple size and watermark, new design on albums administration
- plg and mistic100 have worked together on improvements in the Batch Manager and the new design on photo administration screen
- ddtddt: managed to add 3 new languages thanks to new translators for Esperanto, Finnish and Cambodian. Piwigo is now available in 47 languages! Many languages are now much more complete and updated with strings introduced in Piwigo 2.4. Great work from the translation team!
This version took 8 months to come instead of 6 as planned. The 2 extra months are mainly due to a lack of available time and difficulties on the migration from 2.3. As I wrote earlier, 2.4 is a huge version and the multiple size engine changes important things like the organization of photo files. Now that Piwigo 2.4 is out, we immediatly see how important the graphics library has become (any tiny issue blocks all sizes generation).
I’m confident that multiple size is a huge improvement for Piwigo and when rvelices first described me what he was working on in december 2011, I was really excited! The mobile theme is also a very important feature, a big step for Piwigo, which is now much more “mobile phone compliant”. The new default theme, Elegant, designed by Zaphod (already author of the popular theme Stripped) is also an important change, 3 years after theme Sylvia (the pink trees and black background theme). Even if it can’t be considered as new features, the improvements on user experience highly matter to make Piwigo easy to use. Better user experience will directly improve Piwigo popularity.
Enjoy Piwigo 2.4 and congratulations to all coders, translators, video creator, support and beta testers!
PigoLabs is the company behind Piwigo.com. It was founded exactly 1 year ago. We’ve been focusing on Piwigo.com so far, but as we receive more and more requests for specific services, it’s time for us to publicize about what PigoLabs can do for customers. This is why we have created this small (2 pages for now) website.
We propose many services related to Piwigo, from basic installation and upgrade to premium support and plugin or theme coding. We’re based in Europe (that’s why rates are in euro), in France (that’s why PigoLabs est également disponible en français)
In our new 6 month release cycle Piwigo 2.3 was planned for October 1st, 2011. Piwigo 2.3.0 was released on October 4th, 2011. Job’s done! I’m proud of this result. And Piwigo 2.3 brings many new features. Let’s summarize:
- rvelices: rating score (better sorting on “best rated” photos)
- P@t: Update Manager, thumbnail regeneration, websize photo regeneration, thumbnail mass cropping
- mistic100 (new team member): menubar on all pages, multilingual tags, ”default sort order” configuration setting, number of photos per page user setting
- flop25: option to apply permissions to sub-albums
- plg (that’s me): design changes on the upload form, new tooltip on thumbnail, “lost password” feature, tag merging
- P@t and mistic100 have worked together on the new design of the Plugin Manager
- ddtddt: managed to add 6 new languages thanks to new translators for Afrikaans, Български (Bulgarian), Eesti (Estonian), Ελληνικά (Greek), 한국어 (Korean) , ภาษาไทย (Thai). Piwigo is now available in 43 languages!
In addition to our traditionnal “Release Notes” full of screenshots, we have created a 3 minute video to introduce you to 3 new visual features of Piwigo 2.3.
What about my personnal feeling on Piwigo 2.3 new features? The new rating score algorithm is great for Piwigo Showcase, the new plugin manager is really the kind of user interface I would like for all administration screens, thumbnail and websize regeneration are maybe the most useful actions available in the Batch Manager (of course I like the new design of the upload form, but I’ve played so much with it while coding that it doesn’t seem really “new” to me). I really love this new version. I hope you’ll feel the same!
Let’s start to work on Piwigo 2.4 now!
The Piwigo Showcase is under active preparation. To make it short, the Showcase is a Live Piwigo Galleries Directory. Each Piwigo live gallery is shown as a screenshot, a description, some tags and a link to see the gallery in action.
I have just validated registration #50. I hope we’ll have several hundreds galleries before the end of summer 2011.
How to register ?
- either you have Piwigo 2.1+ and you install plugin Showcase Register which will prefill the registration form, see forum topic Register on Piwigo Showcase
- or you simply use Piwigo.org contact form and give your gallery address, your name, a description and some tags (keywords)
I work in the “hosting content” business and maybe what’s obvious for me is not that obvious for the average user: nothing is free. If you don’t pay for your 2GB of storage, you have to wonder how the provider pays his own bills! So when a provider doesn’t ask you for money, he asks for something else. The right to use your data the way they want, for example. Displaying targetted advertisements is another example.
So who cares? I thought that “nearly nobody” was the right answer, until I saw a huge number of messages on Twitter saying “today I close my Dropbox account, I disagree with their new TOS”. Actually, it seems that “a few people” care. See also blog posts Put it in the Cloud? Are You Nuts?, Oh Dropbox, We Loved You Once…, I’ve deleted my Dropbox account or the less “panic” style Dropbox, cloud storage, and who owns your files?
For example, if you want to share your photos, publicly or privately, what’s the solution if you want to keep your full right of use on your own photos?
- host it by yourself. You can use a software like Piwigo: download it from Piwigo.org (Zenphoto or Menalto Gallery are also fine)
- if you don’t want to host it by yourself, you can open an account on Piwigo.com: this is not free, that’s €39/year, but we don’t use your data.
In the end I think that “no so many people” care, but we hear them on Twitter, and it’s good to know that some solutions exist for them.
7 months ago, in post Phone Home or when an application sends data back to mothership, I said:
If WordPress could make its PHP/MySQL statistics public, then Piwigo wouldn’t need to create its own phoning home feature!
And it seems that my wish has now come true! WordPress.org has recently added a Statistics page with the versions of WordPress, PHP and MySQL.
This is really interesting to me. We have a clear idea of how many web application users are still using old versions of PHP (ie 92.8% are using PHP 5.2+) or MySQL (ie 96.3% are using MySQL 5.0+). It shows that not so many users are still under very old PHP versions!
Thank you WordPress for doing the dirty work of collecting this data, and thank you WordPress.org for publishing the info!