Requiem for

Posted on by Larry

We lost an outstanding resource last week. Peter Wiggins announced in his blog that he was closing

In one sense, was a competitor to me, but, in a broader sense, Peter and I had the same vision – of enabling Final Cut Pro editors to solve problems, discover new tools and improve their skills.

Digital media – both production and post – has always combined a high-level of creativity with deep technical knowledge. Gear was expensive, deadlines were tight and the software was complex. All of us had questions – but answers were hard to find.

In the beginning were user groups. These monthly meetings – part demo, part network, and part pep rally – were indispensable in educating users.

Then highly-specialized websites sprang up offering informed opinion, technical education, and user forums from the comfort and privacy of a computer screen.

This was the world when Peter started twelve years ago. But, the world changed.

Once dominant user groups, if they exist at all, are struggling to survive. The need for in-person networking and education was largely replaced by websites and forums like This transition to online was accelerated by COVID and working from home.

However, with the rise in social media, advertisers – the life-blood of any web service – demanded more and more eyeballs. Specialized websites, like, couldn’t deliver the traffic that a more general-interest website could.

Advertisers weren’t interested in technical expertise, product reviews – or even accuracy. Page views and impressions were everything. Small websites – even those with a dedicated audience – became very expensive labors of love. But, even the deepest love can’t pay the bills.

There is a greater need than ever for competent answers to ever-more-challenging questions about hardware, software, and system integration. Manufacturers only answer questions about their products. There are very few places users and small companies can turn for reliable and affordable technical guidance about problems that span multiple products or manufacturers.

There is no effective business model that can support a technically-specialized website catering to a small audience of a single piece of software, no matter how popular. Compounding the problem, Apple has made clear over the decades that they don’t financially support websites supporting their software.

I have always enjoyed reading the articles on I appreciated their depth and the care they took to explain complex issues so the “average editor” could understand them. It was a website that was well-tended by its creators, well-informed by its writers and well-loved by its readers. was a valuable resource for the Final Cut Pro community. It presented solid information. It cared about its readers. And it will be missed.

Thank you, Peter.

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19 Responses to Requiem for

  1. Years ago there were many “computer clubs” that met in person.
    Then the internet happened. We had lots of “computer cloud”
    type of meetings for a few years … Then … no more “User groups”
    meeting every month, etc.

    • Larry says:


      I spent MANY evenings in those early years speaking at user groups all over the country. They all gradually faded away. The only ones I know are still running are in Los Angeles and Chicago.

      Sigh… those were good times.


      • George Patay says:

        Sorry to say, Larry, but Chicago isn’t meeting anymore in person either.

      • Steve Roberts says:

        In Toronto, at the After Effects group, Colin from Adobe would speak, back when there was an Adobe Canada. I remember the excitement around a new release of After Effects!

        • Larry says:


          I remember the group cheering when we saw a live demo of ten extensions loading without crashing the system. The excitement of new releases and new tricks was palpable back then.


  2. James Kohler says:

    This is like printed magazines. Many of the magazines I subscribed to in print have gone digital. Those fell off my radar and never subscribed to them again.

  3. Al Bergstein says:

    We are closing the Sequim PC users group after many decades of support. My first lecture there was on Lightroom to over 50 people. Now a small group of 10 can’t muster a quorum or volunteer board. We have given away thousands of repurposed computers over the years. People no longer want desktops, as phones and laptops haven taken over. Many of the people on our board are retired and aging out. Oh well, things are always in flux.

    • Larry says:


      Times change. New things are born. Old ones pass away. I miss what we had and look forward to what is to come.

      You have my sympathy.


  4. Craig Seeman says:

    There’s the loss of centralized locations whether in-person or online for discussion of products or crafts that integrate with multiple tools. One of the last places is Creative COW and even there, traffic is lighter these days.

    It seems maybe YouTube and its influencers with their FCP (or Resolve, Premiere Pro, CapCut) etc influencers or those who deliver into lighting, tabletop advertising, real estate or wedding videos are last bastions but they aren’t quite the same as “general discussion rooms” with multiple people with various expertise contributed. This is the domain of single-person influencers.

    Our NLE “town halls” and community square are lost. I really don’t see a new version of that.

  5. Mark Suszko says:

    Another plug for Creative COW here. They’ve started a revitalization of the site to be more responsive to how users interact now. The kids these days don’t seek a lot of community in their tech support; they hit a site, find the answer they came for, and split. The challenge is to make stickier content to hold them.

  6. Dave M says:

    I would think that “deep-sixing” the entire website was a bit short-sighted and unfortunate. The news part of the site required a relatively significant amount of time, and the articles, though quite good, probably cost more to put out than was realized via advertising or any kind of other marketing benefit. It seems that the fate of had more to do with the lack of available time for someone (i.e., a single person, most likely) to spend keeping the site viable as a “side hustle”. One person operations are extremely susceptible to the vagaries of one’s life.

    I would say, by far, the most valuable aspect of was the discussion/help forums. It was probably the best place to get help with FCP (and other applications). There was a dozen, or two, extremely knowledgable people there who could tackle the most difficult FCP questions, something not found anywhere else. A “pay for help” website wouldn’t have had any better people available to help others.

    I would contend that for a “forum” website, the main cost is setting up a discussion feature and the initial website setup. After that, volumteers abound who are willing to help answer queries and moderate things. The only continuing costs are for hosting (pretty cheap) and an occasional upddate to the underlying software, both of which can be done without much time expenditure.

    It would have been nice if the website manager had given notice about the closure, so that the users could have downloaded their posts, at least. Even better would have been if the website manager had made available the posts database in some form, so someone could make use of it.

    The worse part of losing is that the years of posts stored there are no longer accessible. It’s kind of like spending years building an encyclopedia of knwoledge, only to lose it in its entirety. That wealth of stored knowledge is irreplaceable and invaluable…

    • john vengrouskie says:

      I have come up as primarily a sound designer/editor alongsinde a general recording engineer/technician… jack of a bunch of trades as it were.

      I am just starting seriously to learn FCP, had found FCP recently, and I now find myself bread-crumbed to your eulogy to the site. I am a member of a group that has survived the digital-meeting thing by staying stuck in 1990 socially: it;s a dirt-simple closed moderated email list, centered and VERY tightly focused on AMPEX tape recorders and things you can see from there. It is alive, thriving and the members are brutally loyal to both the list and the members.

      EXAMPLE 2: Australian recording studio designer John Sayers had his MASSIVE site on folks getting harsh direct real honest answers and guidance went under months ago at his death. THere is some social pressure there to resrurrect the site even if it takes membership money.

      These are resources that I (and I’m not alone) would pay good money to have continue. We’re out here.

      I’m off to find the article from FCPro on the WAYBACK machine… Thanks for giving some understanding and hope.

  7. Dave M says:

    As a followup, I’d offer a suggestion to others that it is probably a good idea to save any webpage you find extremely useful/informative as a web archive, rather than just bookmarking it or thinking that you can always search for it at a later time.

    Using something like the “Wayback Machine” can be frustrating, as the website snapshots don’t work like a normal, working website (no search) and may not have the most recent information available.

  8. Tangier Clarke says:

    Thanks for this write up Larry. I still enjoy your emails and all of the resources and information that you share and have shared for so many years. has become an additional resource for me and Chris Hocking, who created it, like you has been so instrumental in equipping me with help and knowledge pertinent to completing projects effectively and efficiently. will be missed. It was a destination I could count on for information and help from the FCP community. I too wish I could get an article off of it about a film I worked on. Peter, we thank you very much for the time and effort, much of which I am sure many of us don’t realize, that you invested in keeping it going as long as you did.

  9. Gloria Messer says:

    Hi Larry,
    So sorry to learn that everything is changing. I hope you never go away.
    Do not know what I would do without you. xxo glo

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