Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking forward 2012!

This is maybe THE only message of the year where I do not accept revisions and filtering. This is the message where I think about what we did over the year, the people I met and the things we have achieved. 

The first message is a big THANKS to everyone for being with us once more, and the second a sorry for the long message ;)

This year has been a difficult one as we invested lots of effort in improving our infrastructure. This brings some benefits, but also some difficulties. The difficulties come when your users think you are not investing in the product or working at all, while in reality you're so busy you hardly get any sleep. The benefits come in the longer term, and I am extremely excited to announce that we are now technically in a very comfortable position that will allow us to deliver many great things in 2012. We have some key features ready to ship in the first quarter of the year, and we have a pipeline of improvements ready for the following months that we hope will excite the whole community so stay tuned for that.
The latest change we made, which has been extremely challenging is the migration of the Panoramio phpBB forum to a forum based on Google Groups technology. It is extremely difficult to migrate a community from a discussion platform to another platform and make it right. We tried our best and we managed to deliver in many aspects, but obviously the platform is still under construction and this has disappointed many Panoramio members that use it daily. This change was the result of a need to migrate the last piece of software that was left from the pre-acquisition Panoramio. We knew it would be a rather painful process and we tried to delay it as much as possible, but it was now the time to move on. We have heard the feedback on this migration and we are strongly committed to addressing the concerns that have been raised. I sincerely appreciate all the messages of support that I have received since the change has gone live.

On the community side I am extremely excited about the amount of photographers and community events we could meet and join around the world: 
  • One year more we joined our Spanish Community, this time in Asturias, in their yearly Kedada de Panoamigos. I want to send my warmest wishes to Mirta, Ángel, Faustino and Paco. I hope they will invite me again next year!
  • Buelipixx organized an amazing weekend in Zurich where more than 30 photographers visited the Üetliberg and the offices of Google in the CH-PA treffen 2011
  • We celebrated 3 regional User Geo Summits in Singapore, Barcelona and Mountain View where we invited our Panoramio Moderators and some local users to discuss their ideas on Panoramio, and spent some quality time together
  • YouTube and Panoramio teamed together in Tokyo to celebrate the YouTube x GEO Creator Day 
  • The Death Valley Photowalk was organized by Thomas Hawk where I got to know a lot of very cool photographers. Within the gang I was especially excited to meet Jeff Sullivan. I have always been extremely impressed by his photos in Panoramio and meeting him in person was an amazing experience. He took me and Google+ Photos Community Manager Brian Rose in a day trip through the desert that I will never forget
Regarding events, this is just the start of a very exciting journey as we are currently working and planning workshops and photowalks all over 2012 for you to join and enjoy, stay tuned in the Panoramio Events Forum and Panoramio Events Calendar.

I am sure I am missing so many moments and experiences, but I am not worried about that as a lot more experiences are to come in 2012.

I want to really thank you all for being with us, I want to thank all the people I managed to meet this year both online and offline. A big hug to the entire Panoramio community, the Panoramio team, my friends and my family for supporting me, the project and our community.

And despite I know this is not Panoramio related, I still want to share with you the Zeitgeist 2011: Year In Review video. It is one of my favorite summaries of the year:

Happy 2012!
Posted by Gerard Sanz, Panoramio Community Manager