August 15, 2016

The brand new BLUR infrastructure

Welcome to the new BLUR

Dear visitors, friends and supporters, we’re thrilled to announce that BLUR has transitioned to an entirely new infrastructure, resulting in the introduction of a BLUR subscription model. This is something thousands of our readers have asked for ever since BLUR was first published, but we were technically unable to implement. However, starting from today, you’ll be able to access the entire BLUR archive via the Archive Subscription plan, giving you seamless access to an archive of thousands of photos the BLUR project has published since 2007. 

Of course, single downloads are still an option for those who want to browse BLUR issues sporadically. We’ve decided to raise the minimum price of a single issue from $1 to $2, for three main reasons. First, the average single issue purchase price over the lifespan of the project has been $3.76 anyway. Second, we want to implement direct credit card payment, which is something many of you have requested in the past. Because of the relatively high fees of credit card payment gateways, we need more overhead to cover the fees. And third, we want to encourage people to choose the much more affordable route of Archive Subscription, gaining access to everything we’ve ever published.

Hard fork from the previous infrastructure

This progress has come at a cost of a hard fork from our previous infrastructure. At the moment of writing, all of your user accounts from the old infrastructure are invalid on https://blur-magazine.com. We simply could not have transferred your user data and history of completed orders, and the accompanying download rights for the issues you purchased. This means you’ll have to register for a new BLUR account and start over, losing your history of previous purchases. If this is an issue for you, and we suspect many of you might object, we are working on a solution and will get back to you on that very soon.

UPDATE: The old infrastructure is now available at http://old.blur-magazine.com. You can use your old login info (e-mail and password) to access your historical purchase data and download the issues you’ve already purchased. However, no new issues will be added to the old website, and checkouts are disabled, so you can’t accidentally buy anything there. 🙂  Note that old.blur-magazine.com is a completely separate website to blur-magazine.com and your login data and purchases are not interchangeable. You still need a new account on blur-magazine.com to purchase new issues or subscriptions.

If this is not an issue for you because you already have your BLUR archive offline and don’t need access to your download links — or because you like the idea of subscribing to BLUR — then simply purchase a new subscription and enjoy the current and future issues of BLUR, or the entire BLUR archive.

And if you’re one of those rare friends of BLUR who have supported us with donations for years, and you know who you are, we’re also giving you an option of a Lifetime Subscription to everything BLUR will ever publish — with a one-time, single payment.

The new BLUR website

The new website is, we hope, blazingly fast compared to the old one. The entire infrastructure, starting from our Linux server managed by our good friend Adrian, has been completely revamped, secured and optimised for performance. The design of our website was refreshed with the aim of promoting spectacular photography wherever we can, as best as we can. If you look around your browser window, you’ll notice that the menus have a photo in the background, which you can inspect in full by clicking the little red arrow button at the bottom of your screen. This invites you to discover photography while you browse the entire website, which gives us another simple, yet effective, medium of promoting artists worldwide. We’ll refresh these images on a regular basis, making your browsing experience of https://blur-magazine.com one of lasting discovery.

You’ll also notice that the individual issues are now more richly presented, and you’ll also appreciate that you won’t have to search around where to download the issue you’ve just bought – from now on, since the moment your order is completed, you just have to visit an issue in the archive and the download button will be right there. We’ll especially continue working on improving the user experience for our subscribers.

So consider this BLUR v2.0 beta. The new website is brand spanking new, so there might be some kinks here and there within the next couple of days. Please be patient, and feel free to use our contact form to reach out with issues, advice or feature requests.

New payment options on the way

We’re still supporting PayPal, both for single downloads and subscriptions, but we’re also working on enabling support for direct credit card payments, which is something many of you have been requesting for years. We’re expecting news on that front within the fortnight. We’ll also implement support for Bitcoin.

Happy BLUR no. 50!

Our delay in issuing our celebratory ISSUE no. 50 has, we hope, been repaid by offering you an amazing new archive browsing & download experience, and the option to have unrestricted access to any of our issues by simply subscribing to BLUR. We hope you’ll love it as much as we do, and we hope this will enable BLUR to grow and publish plenty of new content in the years to come.

Thanks to everyone for supporting us along the way.

Robert Gojević & the BLUR team