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Alan K | all galleries >> Galleries >> Salon des Refusés > Well, There's Bad News And There's Good News
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Well, There's Bad News And There's Good News

For the last couple of years I've been keeping a weather eye on how PBase's activity has been tracking. By getting the ID numbers of the approximate first and last photos of the year you can get a pretty accurate estimate of how many shots were posted during the year, and consequently how the membership numbers are going.

For those who have seen my past posts on this you'll know that the stats have been pretty grim. There had been an accelerating rate of decline for pretty much the whole of this decade, with 2016 showing an awful 28.4% drop.

Those of us who pay even cursory attention to our stats and comments already know this of course. The views on a new photo are (a) rarely above 2 digits, if that, (b) almost always sourced from PBase rather than from outside (though the inexplicable prominence given by Google Search to the woeful, rarely attributed and often incorrectly captioned wasteland that is Pinterest is part of the problem there) and (c) usually from someone who you already know. I've come to expect little else from the site and am mostly posting for myself and my circle these days.

Still, it's hard to keep a business going if you're losing over 1/5th of your customers every year.

The bad news is... the drop was over 20% again in 2017.

The good news is... it's only JUST over 20% and that is a very appreciable slowing of the rate of decline compared to last year. The even better news is that when I did an interim check of the numbers back in May, the decline was continuing at about 27%. The fact that the year ended at just over 20% suggests that during the second half of the year it not merely slowed, but reversed the rate of decline.

This is consistent with the Alexa stats, though these need to be taken with a grain of salt since they are estimated; they are not sourced from PBase itself. You can see a slide in the first half of the year that is consistent with the 27 to 28% decline that the number of postings was showing. But then around July to August the decline flattened out. There appeared to be a kick up in December followed by a slide back to where it was at the start of the uptick, but to be honest that's the kind of movement that is not uncommon with estimated numbers. It's the trend that matters, and that was clearly stabilising.

It might be premature to be talking of "green shoots" or a renaissance for the site, but at least the moderation and stabilisation of the numbers suggests that there may be some life in it yet. We shall see what the new year brings.

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Guy Dube28-Feb-2018 17:21
I left Pbase for a couple of years because I didn't take pictures at all. But now I am back and plenty of time (retired). I don't want see Pbase closed. I like them a lot, I trust them a lot and I want them to stay alive! Today with all the ''reseaux sociaux'' on the WEB, it is normal business went down. It is happened anywhere, in any business. Facebook and Flickr, these are big and free. On Flickr, you put pictures there but you have no follow up from the members, because to much people on it. And you have anything of stuff on it. I don't like the way the pictures are on the screen, we cannot have something personal like Pbase offers us. Facebook, the most of people are member of it, like me. Facebook is there to do follow up with our family and closed friends. Also they have a lot informations what's happening in the world. But it is not a place to put pictures to get comments and follow up (sorry for the repetition). People on Facebook are not all photographers, Pbase YES. I read Facebook works hard to get a better approach for photograph people. But they have to work hard but like Flickr, to many people on it. Pbase is here and stay here for a long time. When people quit and go to another place thinking it's better, it takes a while but they come back here, at Pbase, like I did. Long life to Pbase!
laine08-Jan-2018 01:34
One thing I would like though is to edit a spelling error or name, but really does anyone care :)
laine08-Jan-2018 01:31
I recently renewed and can't see a time when I won't, since like Lynn, it's the friends I've made from when I began in 2003 and though up to many thousands of kilometres of land and oceans between it was through here I met face to face, been invited into their homes, shared time and tears....I care nothing about stats and I hope there is NEVER the impersonal LIKE button on here. I had a Smugmug account for a year way back. A Flickr account I rarely look at and a FB account where my Pbase friends are....
Julie Oldfield06-Jan-2018 19:19
I continue to to renew my subscription. I think Instagram and Facebook have hurt Pbase. Both places offer a lot of photo sharing for free. The comment section on Pbase needs to be revamped. I wish the photos had a like button.
LynnH04-Jan-2018 02:23
I tried Smugmug, didn't like it. I tried 500px and had problems with them about money and the customer service was bad, so bad that I cancelled. Meanwhile, I agree that Pbase isn't the place to market photos, partly that search doesn't work but more probably because literally everyone is taking and posting pictures. Cameras on phones are better and better and the internet is flooded with pics every minute. I like the relationships I've established with my Pbase friends, most of whom I have on Facebook and my Christmas card list!
Mairéad02-Jan-2018 15:48
Just renewed my subscription yesterday - so hopefully that will boost the stats!!! There was a stark warning on my page that if I didn't renew my galleries would deleted which was a bit of a shock as I've often seen very old unattended galleries still in existance.
Bill Miller02-Jan-2018 07:16
Every year I wonder whether to continue here, but inertia stops me setting up a site anywhere else :(
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