My Commitment to Help

I recently received an email asking for some help on a portion of the “Get Your Photography On the Web” chapter for embedding Animoto slideshows.

I sent an email back to Jens – but I figured i’d post the link to the video I made here so that it can help others.

As much as I love the ability to write a book – I realize that the reason I get to do it is to be able to help someone. Because of that, I try to keep (as best as I can), an open door policy for someone who needs help with these kinds of things. At the end of the day, I’d like ANY photographer who wants to be online to be able to do so, without requiring them to learn things they don’t feel like they need to. I realize that in taking that position there are some sides that it can alienate as the approach would feel overly direct/narrow/hard/easy/cookiecutterish/formulaic etc.

I believe that the end is what we’re really after – to show our stuff online. Keep in mind too that you can always check out my classes on Kelby Training… but I will totally try to help here as I can..

Thanks guys..

update: Got an email back from the person who apologized about it’s tone. According to the person, “…I think it was more a reflection of the frustration that I have been experiencing..” (Emailing mad is one of those things that everyone does at one point or another… guess its par for the course)

As it turned out, the user was trying to embed the Animoto video on a account, which is very different from a self hosted WordPress install (they dont allow embeds as freely as you would do on your own). I gave him some more information and I think he’s gonna be OK..


  1. RC,
    If that is the only negative comment you got, you are blessed and did an outstanding job on the book. The guy wasn’t even being nasty, just frustrated. Anyway, as the nice guy you are, to helped him out. Hope you didn’t lose any sleep over this. I have yet to buy the book as I’m still not totally sure about putting my work on the web (other than the usual sharing). Anyway, just wanted you to know that you do one heck of a job.

  2. PS: Bet the guy’s Danish. We have a way with abruptness.

  3. Becoming frustrated and irritated is all part of the process of building a website. I mentioned to you recently RC how I’ve used your book for building my own website and to be honest, I don’t know where I’d have started without it. Having said that, yes there are times when you are going round in circles thinking ‘Why has it done that!’ and you want to blame everyone but yourself but nearly every time when I think back and go through it, there is something I have overlooked or missed and can now put it right.

    I think it can be especially frustrating for people like myself who have no knowledge of programming or a technical computer background, you put all your faith in the instructions and guidance you have with you and when it goes wrong you want to blame others. I understand the guy who emailed you’s frustration but you have to learn to be patient and simply ask. I had problems working with the template I had chosen as well and wasn’t happy but again in all cases, I just hadn’t studied hard enough what I had to do. It is frustrating because a lot of people, again like myself have huge ambitions tied in with their projects so again it’s critical we want it all to go right. But I’ve never had a problem building my website that has not been able to be sorted within 24 hours and that’s what I always remember going forward now.

    Having said all that, I admire your patience and ‘customer service’ RC. As much as some people get frustrated and vent their disappointment at you, there are some creators of templates and plugins on wordpress who have little sense of customer service. You can ask them very politely what you are stuck on and can it be resolved and some of them don’t really want to know. Or at least just direct you to some forum where you are expected to look among 20+ pages or so of questions to find the one specific to your problem. Yes some of our issues might be trivial and easy to someone with computer programming background but at the end of the day, if a customer pays money for you product then I believe you should offer fantastic customer service along with it. I don’t think you could have gone any extra further miles RC to help the customer at hand here.

    Still very much enjoying reading your guides and tutorials while developing my website and look forward to many more!

    Pete Halewood

  4. Well this again demonstates what an awesome guy you are, to go out of your way to help someone out who bought your book. I’m so impressed. In today’s world, no one wants to help you it seems, so good on you RC! You rock :-).

    (now I’m going to email you all my problems! haha)

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