The 30 day trial is a full membership, you can see and do everything a normal member is able to, so they can already post images to be critiqued in these 30 days along with reading all the critiques they want.
Since its inception NPN critique galleries and discussion forums were accessible to the general public for viewing (anyone with an Internet connection could see what this unique collection of photographers was up to). It remained that way for 18 long years. Over that period so many extremely talented individuals shared their insight, experience and knowledge freely and in the most patient and humble manner. I have been with NPN since 2003. During my tenure, I had never once heard anyone even whisper that folks on the outside could opt for a free ride, i.e. study the critiques and follow the discussions without joining the group. We knew that was possible; it didn’t matter.
As I see it, the greatest benefit of NPN is having the ability to interact with some of the finest photographers of our generation. A part of this interaction involves critiques. But there is a lot more than that. I regularly discuss art and photography with NPNers outside the galleries and forums. I have gone hiking and camping with some of them. I am proud to own their prints. I consider many to be my friends. None of this would have been possible if I didn’t become a member.
NPN is about community. Show the world why this is important. Be open.
I absolutely agree that the individuals we want to join this community will join once we have provided them with a true since of what the community is all about. I am not sure that can be accomplished in 30 days. I believe I would want to kick the tires, get a sense of the vibe, the quality and sensitivity of the membership. With the availability of so much information on the Internet for free, community, mentoring, education should be our focus. Browsers should be able to see what we do, just not participate in what we do. The desire to participate should drive their decision. If we do not allow them to see the full menu, how can they make a sound decision to become a true participant?
David, good job with the polls!
I think we’re getting very representative samples.
No need IMHO to make the trial period any longer. 30 days is plenty. I suggest promoting the hell out of the trial period. I know within the past 2-5 days there’s been two new Trial members posting in landscape, and they have been welcomed nicely by the members and encouraged to stick around. Both are good shooters and will be a benefit in NPN in the long run. More people need to be aware of the trial period though; post it often on FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc. How about offering incentives to current members for every referral that joins? I think Jim offered some type of small incentive ($10 bucks or something like that).
I feel we have all the votes and feedback we need to call this matter closed for the time being. Thank you all for the productive discussion.
No changes will be made at this time, the critique forums will remain private, discussions will stay open, and the 30 day trial now has no obligation, no credit card, no auto-renew.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, discussed with others, and I still feel this is the right way to go as I have from the beginning. The 30 day trial is adequate to give a full taste of what NPN is all about, while keeping the lurkers out that will only read all of the great information that is provided at NPN and never give back. I know there are exceptions to this, but the vast majority will never give back.
We will continue to think of ways to better promote NPN and the 30 day trial. More than anything, we need your help. Tell your friends how great NPN is, display your stickers proudly, etc. The referrals you all provide will be more powerful than anything we post on social media!