I was just checking out Thomas Hawk’s photoblog and saw a post regarding Zooomr. Not knowing what it was, I decided to check it out. Turns out that Zooomr may be the next big thing in photo sharing. It’s part social network, part photo sharing, and part microstock site. The best part about it is that they claim to be the best photo sharing site on the internet right now.. why, you ask?

Zooomr is free. There is no upload limit, bandwidth limit, download limit, file size limit, set limit, or number of photo limits. We believe in no limit photo sharing. We think it’s about the best free photo sharing account you can get right now.

It sounds too good to be true. Most photo sharing sites won’t give you access to your full-sized image without a “pro” account. I just uploaded a few pics and I was able to download my full-sized image. In fact, its very much like Flickr v2.0. It looks and feels a lot like Flickr.. only, it has a lot of features you wish Flickr had. Best part, once again, is that it’s free! Also, with every photo you upload, you have the option of setting a price to license the image (like on microstock sites, like www.shutterstock.com, for example).

Check it out now.. or check out my Zooomr page here. I’m pretty happy that I got “http://www.zooomr.com/photos/aric“. My Flickr page is the same, “http://www.flickr.com/photos/aric“. Lucky me.

I’m not going to upload all 120+ gigs of pics I have.. but if Zooomr sticks around, I’ll definitely start using it a lot more. Check it out!

Santiago Fire in Tustin/Irvine

A few days ago, the Santiago Fire (which started in Silverado Canyon or something) got a little too close for comfort. Around 7PM on Sunday, you could see the sky glowing red further down the hill. At that time, I got about 4-5 phone calls in a row asking me how close the fire was. I calmly told everyone the fire wasn’t that close, but that it seemed to have gone away. An hour or so later, a friend called back and asked me if I was sure because the fire looked really close to my house. I went outside and noticed the fire had started burning further up on the hill, closer to our community.

Anyhow, I grabbed my camera and 70-200 lens and ran outside. I was out there for about 2 hours and captured about 120 pictures. I must say that the Image Stabilization was worth its weight in gold for this situation. I didnt want to roll out there with a tripod. I messed around with the metering and exposure compensation. But capturing a bright fire in an otherwise dark neighborhood just isnt going to show that much. But here are a few of the pics that I thought cleaned up nicely. I was shooting ISO 1250 so a little bit of Noiseware Pro went a long way.

This was a close up of the fire on the hill, courtesy of 200mm + 1.6x crop

The fire as it crossed the 261 Toll Road and was making its way to Jamboree. The buildings in the foreground are the Salvation Army Church

The fire, approaching Jamboree

This was the view overlooking Pioneer Road (and Pioneer Road Park). At this point, the fire had already burned down to Jamboree. Most of the cars you see are curious on-lookers.

I submitted one of my photos to NBC4 and it made it into their slide show!

Its actually no big accomplishment, they publish every user submitted photo I think 😆

Da Truth Cometh

Wey sent me a link a while back to a blog called Da Truth. That day, I read through the whole blog (not that many posts at the time). A few days later, Ed sent me the same link.

Ed said that Da Truth was the “buzz” of the “industry”.. at least at the time. A few days later, I read Eric Hsu’s blog and low and behold, a post about Da Truth. So I asked Ed if he knew who Damessenjah (the person behind Da Truth) was. He said that the people he who spoke to thought it was most likely Mike, since everyone knows Mike loves to talk about Primedia (publishers of Import Tuner, Turbo Magazine, Stupid Street, SCC, among other titles). I knew it wasn’t Mike since he’s too busy publishing DSport Magazine. But I figured I’d call Mike to get his take on the blog. He checked it out and called me back laughing his ass off. He said he didn’t know who it was, but he thought that “guy” was awesome. I asked Mike if he thought he knew who it was and he had an idea of who it MAY be.

The more I read Da Truth, the more I think Mike is right. Regardless, Da Truth does a good job of exposing the “industry” (at least certain aspects of it) for what it is. Check it out.. he’s a pretty witty (smart ass) writer and says some funny stuff..

So who is Damessenjah of Da Truth? If anyone cares to wager a guess.. leave me a comment.

DSport Survey Results

Well, we finally finished our paper and presented our project to the class tonight on my last day of the Fall 2005 quarter.. just 6 more months to go.. anyway, since no one showed any interest in my results, I’ll post some of the more interesting ones.. but first, a little background.. DSport Magazine has pretty strong sales on the newsstand.. however, their subscription base is very low.. its a ratio of about 10 issues sold on the newsstand to 1 subscriber.. to give you an idea, Import Tuner, Super Street, Sport Compact Car all have about a 2:1 ratio (yeah, thats 2 issues sold on the newsstand for each subscriber.. with a monthly circulation of about 120k+, you’re looking at a lot of subscribers).. so obviously, DSport Magazine would like to know why they lack a decent subscriber base.. the objectives of our research was as follows:

    1. Find out if DSport consumers are price sensitive (in general and specifically to the subscription price)
    2. Find out what makes DSport appealing to subscribers and non-subscribers
    3. Find out DSport’s target market and their automotive interests
    4. Find out why a non-subscriber is willing to purchase in stores for $6.99, yet not subscribe

In regards to price sensitivity, we found that:
– Non-subscribers are not very sensitive to single copy price ($6.99). In fact, on average, they didnt really seem to care about the price at all. Not surprising since about 58% of the responding non-subscribers said they purchased 4 or more issues of DSport in the past 12 months..
– Subscribers were more sensitive to single copy price and less sensitive to subscription price.. which is to be expected since they are subscribers
– 80.56% of the non-subscribers responded that they would subscribe at a annual price that is lower than the current price of $29.99.. this was pretty surprising

In regards to DSport’s appeal:
– On average, non-subscribers AND subscribers rated DSport PACKAGING/APPEARANCE and ARTICLES/CONTENT the highest out of SCC, SS, Turbo, IT, and Modified
– Non-subscribers and subscribers both responded that TECHNICAL ARTICLES are important

In regards to DSport’s target market interests:
– DSport’s readership is 98% Male, 2% Female
– Non-subscribers rated Road Racing/Autocross/Time Attack the highest (1.64), then Drifting (1.66), followed by Drag Racing (2.28) and then Car shows (2.42)
– Subscribers rated Drag Racing the highest by a huge margin (1.2), then Road Racing/Autocross/Time Attack tied with Drifting (2.4), followed by Car Shows at a measly 2.8
– These scores are on a scale of 1-5 where 1=Very Interested to 5=Not Interested
– Cover Models meant more to non-subscribers than subscribers (2.72 versus 3.00), although not by much

And lastly, in regards to why a consumer would pay $6.99 yet not subscribe:
– 33% said that “not every issue is worth owning”.. however, since 58.3% purchased 4 or more magazines, its not immediately apparent to me why someone would spend about $30 (with tax) on 4 issues when they could’ve had all 12 for $30
– Non-subscribers and subscribers both purchased, on average, 3 different magazine titles in the past 12 months, not including DSport..
– 44.4% of the non-subscribers purchased 7 or more other automotive enthusiast magazines in the past 12 months
– 91.7% of the non-subscribers purchased at least 1-2 other automotive enthusiast magazines in the past 12 months
– 100% of the subscribers purchased at least 5-6 other autmotive enthusiast magazines in the past 12 months
– So why would a consumer pay $6.99 on the newsstand yet not subscribe? I’d have to say that its because they simply dont mind paying $7 an issue if the content interests them. In more academic terms, the demand for automotive enthusiast magazines is highly inelastic in terms of price

These results were based on the first 75 responses. Ideally, we needed a sample of about 384 for our results to have a confidence level of 95% with a confidence interval of +/- 5%. The survey is now the responsibility of DSport.. I’m still hosting the survey for them.. but not to worry, I’m on the board of directors.. not that it really means anything.. but me and Mike (the publisher) have known each other for about half of our lives..

Anyway, thats about all I got to say.. I dont want to say too much in case Mike gets tight.. but there’s something to chew on, I guess.. if you’re into data and research, that is..

Please help me and take a survey

Well, I’m back in school trying to get a MBA at the UC Irvine Graduate School of Management Merage School of Management.. this is my last and final year.. the last year is the best, I think, because thats when you take all your elective courses, classes that are more specific to certain fields.. for example, I’m taking F251 Marketing Research this quarter with Professor Wheeler.. he’s a cool guy.. especially since he’s into cars.. I handed him a copy of DSport Magazine and as he was flipping through it, he actually “knew” the car parts.. like camshafts, connecting rods, pistons, etc.. which brings me to the point of this post.. for class, me and 3 other classmates decided to use DSport Magazine as our class project.. we met with Mike (THE publisher of DSport) and learned that he had a problem.. DSport’s subscriptions, as a percentage of total circulation, are much too low when you compare the ratio to other automotive enthusiast magazines like Sport Compact Car, Super Street, Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance and Modified Magazine.. so we set out on our task of designing a questionnaire in an attempt to figure out why this is the case.. our objectives are basically:

1. To find out why a consumer would purchase an issue of DSport Magazine from a store for $6.99, yet not subscribe.
2. To find out why a consumer WOULD subscribe.

Normally, I wouldn’t have blog’ed about it, but we fell behind a little bit so now we’re in a rush to collect data. We’ll need to start analyzing data by next week. So I’mnow asking for YOUR help.

Ideally, it would be best if YOU have purchased an issue of DSport Magazine or at least seen/read the magazine before. If not, you can still help if you subscribe, purchased, or have seen/read a comparable magazine, such as Sport Compact Car, Super Street, Turbo & Hi-Tech, or Modified Magazine.

The questionnaire takes about 3-4 minutes to complete.. there will also be a drawing for participants. If you choose to participate in the drawing, you will be asked for some contact information at the end of the survey. Contact information is separeted from the survey results so as to maintain privacy and anonimity. None of this data will be sold or shared with anyone except for DSport Magazine/IDRC. If you choose NOT to participate in the drawing, you will not be asked for any contact information. Mike hasn’t finalized the prizes for the drawing, but he told me that first prize will probably be a set of Rota wheels, unless they can get something better.. of course, you CAN just take the survey just to help..

The survey can be reached here: http://www.aricswebsite.com/phpsurveyor/index.php?sid=4

There should be a link to it from DSport’s website by tomorrow or Monday.

Thanks for your help. If there’s interest, I’ll post the results in about a month after we finish our report and presentation.