October 20, 2022 at 5:00 pm
I hear and agree with all that has been said here. I have been a Cow for a very long time now, and have learned so much from this community, and tried to give back where I can. I loved this website. I loved the magazine. I’m not crazy about the new forum format. I know its the way of the future, optimized for tablets and phones and such, but I still prefer to read the COW on one of my big edit machine monitors. There is a lot of wasted space on a big screen.
The biggest issue I have is not with the COW though, but with Adobe. The After Effects forums were always the most lively part of the COW, and I feel that Adobe is slowly killing off After Effects. It is tragic because I loved After Effects. I still love the interface, and know it like the back of my hand. It is just so buggy and slow and awful now. I find it extraordinarily painful to use for anything other than still images. (I still find After Effects to be the best Photoshop alternative).
Lately I have been finding joy in FCPX. We made the switch from Premiere a couple years ago and haven’t looked back. It is far from perfect, but the speed and stability are a joy to work with. After some teeth gnashing at its differentness, I have actually come to appreciate some of the choices Apple has made with it. Unfortunately Motion is no AE alternative, and I haven’t found any other piece of software that approaches the amazing effects swiss-army knife quality of AE in its prime.
I would love to give Resolve a proper spin, but they don’t offer a demo of the full version. When I tried it, I kept running into limitations of the free version. I’m not willing to buy the software just for evaluation purposes.
I find myself frequenting FCP.co more now because that seems to be the most vibrant FCPX forum. It nowhere near approaches the old COW though. I do miss the glory days of AE and the COW. I still think the COW is the best resource for AE wisdom, but I don’t need that much these days. Forums for other software on the COW aren’t as vibrant. I think my favorite forum here now is the Creative Community Conversations.
November 1, 2022 at 7:55 am
I’m a bit peeved that the original content I created for this site (“Save This Script!” with Mark Suszko and John Morley) was purged without any notice to me. That’s happened to other long time COW hands I’ve heard from, who also put up content from way back, lots of it… and found it was all purged, no notice. They’re irked about it.
But that’s not why I haven’t been around as much. I still like the site and I’m still full of opinions and very happy to help wherever I can with whatever I know or have experienced… It’s just that many of the forums I spend the most time in around here haven’t shown me much, if any, new traffic for weeks or months, so I check in less and less often.
I think it’s a case of a paradigm shift away from “sticky content” to a fast-food self-service model that YouTube is delivering to people better than the COW, by simple dint of the weight of numbers. YT may or may not have superior -quality- answers to a quick question, it doesn’t even attempt to directly answer your question, but it has so very much more content overall, that’s *related* to your question, refreshed, not just daily, but hourly, in quantities that no other site can match it, that you’re likely to find your answer in two clicks. maybe not a complete answer, but close enough to figure out the rest.
More than that, once you ask YT your question, its algorithm will keep pushing more and more of that related content at you every day, like a firehose, until you tell it to stop. Whereas, the COW sits there and waits for you to come to it. And though your answers will come from live people, and be exactly related to your specific issue, they may not answer immediately. If you’re on deadline, that wait may be too long.
Basically the same thing is happening to the COW as what happened to brick and mortar mom and pop bookstores when Amazon changed the game.
If I was in a position to give advice, I’d say the only option for survival and continued relevance for the COW is not trying to beat YouTube at their own game. Because nobody can.
I’d say, look at the brick bookstores that still survived after Amazon, and you see they are niche places that curate to serve a smaller select crowd, and that suggests to me the answer is to go back to making a “sticky” web site of branded sources, known leaders in their fields, and timely, factual content that has enough quality and quantity to attract, engage, and hold new people and make them want to come back again and again to learn more. To become their online school. And since the content creators on the COW are not paid, (at least, I wasn’t) you’re asking for industry-leading volunteers to take time from making a living to make that content for free; people who see it as a calling, a mission, a legacy. Basically, and ironically, the very people who’s stuff was abandoned in the server changeover to save a buck. That’s a big ask.
November 1, 2022 at 3:08 pm
Mark, you have every right to be peeved that your “Script” series disappeared. We still have the originals to these 4 articles in the COW files, and I believe I can reconstitute them.
I encourage any and all COW authors who would would like to see previous content restored to please reach out, either here or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, the “sticky” web site is a fabulous way to put a name to the concept that the COW is striving for. It really helps to see all the suggestions that you’ve taken the time to type out.
November 1, 2022 at 8:38 pm
Matthew, regarding the limitations of the free version of Resolve: I have used both, and haven’t noticed that much difference. I only got the Studio version because it came free with the Speed Editor for awhile. The basic version would definitely give you a good sense of the paid Resolve.
Agree with every single comment about YouTube. It is the place to go when you need an answer immediately. But there is a TON of junk, lots that’s little more than clickbait, and many overly-long videos on YouTube.
I do think the COW needs to be re-imagined. For example, I’d like to see an “Internet Reviews” forum on the COW to evaluate and rate podcasts, YouTube authors, and paid resources like Ripple Training. Which podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. do you find worth subscribing to?
Thanks for the many fascinating comments. I’ve learned a lot from this thread.
November 1, 2022 at 10:09 pm
It’s definitely a balancing act to juggle between sponsored content, and the revenue it brings in, and non-sponsored content that’s not there to sell you anything, but just to add knowledge and solve a problem and create a community. I think the two can co-exist. But then you will be stretched for revenue unless you get aggressive with the ads. In space navigation they call that a “three-body problem”, I think, and the centroid of where those three things overlap is constantly moving around.
The Cow Youtube channel has some great training on it but most of what training I saw wasn’t all that recent. I’m sure that’s partly pandemic-related. Curating a YT channel is a very demanding, full-time job, to make it as responsive as it needs to be. That means posting something at least daily. Actually more than one “something”, daily. That’s hard.
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