“Nobody” uses the Web module
Lightroom 4 is here, and Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski of KelbyMediaGroup are talking it up all over. They did an exclusive video for B&H Photo highlighting some of their favorite little-known tips. Around the 9:00 mark, Matt shows how to hide the modules you don't use, and at 9:10 or so he hides the Web module:
Matt: "You can uncheck any modules you want to hide. So I never use the Web module ..."
Scott: "Nobody does."
Matt: "... so I hide it."
Scott: "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say that out loud?"
Yes, Scott, you did. And it's quite possibly the silliest thing I've ever heard anyone say about Lightroom. Ever. EVER.
I can understand someone choosing not to use it (Matt), but to dismiss it so callously (Scott) is just ... well, wrong.
Since 2007, The Turning Gate -- the Internet's only Lightroom-centric website to focus almost entirely on the Web module -- has enjoyed steady upward growth. Our front page enjoys 1,000 - 2,000 hits daily, and every day we have new users coming aboard with TTG plugins. While we serve only a small segment of Lightroom users, that segment is constantly growing and I hardly think my users are the only people to use the Web module. "Nobody" uses the Web module? Seriously?
So if you're reading this, chances are you -- like me -- are "nobody". Worldwide Creative Suite Design Evangelist for Adobe Systems, Inc. Terry White -- who uses TTG plugins to maintain his photography site -- is also apparently "nobody". Lee Varis, author of SKIN, consulting photographer for the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, who has blogged about his use of the Web module and TTG plugins is also "nobody".
"Nobody" is stacking up to be a good bunch of people. Myself being "nobody", I feel I'm in good company.
Admittedly, the Web module hasn't got much going for it out-of-the-box. But lay hands on a few good plugins from myself or from others, and you have a powerful tool at your disposal. And whatever Kelby's talking heads may think of it, there are some good reasons to use it.
First good reason, Scott Kelby has RC Conception at this beck and call; you do not. You get me instead, and whichever of my plugins you purchase or download. You can setup and maintain your entire website from within the Web module and, if you get stuck, you can hit up the community forum to get answers from me or any of our experienced and helpful members.
And anyway, have a look at both Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski's portfolio sites. And then look at them break on your mobile phone, where images get cutoff by the screen and only the first four or five images of any given photo gallery can be accessed.
No doubt these guys know their photography, and I don't really want to tear them down, but are these the guys you want to take Web advice from? Because they're paying Graph Paper Press either $99/year or a one-time fee of $299 for WordPress themes that just don't work on mobile phones. And then they're telling you not to use Lightroom's Web module, when really they probably ought to be using it themselves. Have you seen our galleries on mobile? They're awesome. And you can build an entire website for as little as $50, or just run with our image galleries for $25.
I could probably rest my case here, but I'll kick out just a few more of the many reasons the Web module is awesome, and made more awesome by TTG.
2. Use TTG CE2 Stage -- to be released later this week or early next -- to build a video portfolio, create Before-and-After retouch demonstrations. Browse our CE2 demonstrations here, or start using the previous CE version today.
3. Use TTG CE2 Auto Index to create a navigable index of pretty much anything you want: image galleries, videos, external links to websites, stuff you want to sell ... whatever.
So, there's just some of what you can do with the Web module. Over the years, we've generated a lot of buzz, having appeared in books and magazines, on blogs, and with many speakers highlighting or outright teaching our plugins in workshops and seminars. Not because nobody uses the Web module or our plugins, but because people do use them, do enjoy them, do amazing things with them, and believe that more people should do the same.
And if either Scott Kelby or Matt Kloskowski would like to take the time, I would happily hook up with either one of them via email, telephone or whatever to take them through the paces and show them some of what they're missing out on.