@joshsmith01, @demonboy: Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. Just a few thoughts.
First, it sounds like you've both had difficulties, and for that I apologize. Indeed, it sounds like neither of you have gotten to a point where you've extensively used the plugin.
@joshsmith01 - what PHP errors are you seeing exactly? And you said, you've "never gotten it to work." NGG is obviously working for a large number of people, so if it's not working "at all" for you, I suspect there's something unique going on. Can you provide details on what's not working exactly? I checked for any forum threads from you on it, but I don't see any.
@demonboy, from your other review, which I just replied to, I took your main issue to be simply that it's non-intuitive?
Some responses to your other commentary.
@joshsmith01: on your comment about social media and "finding time to work on the plugin"... we do engage with our user base on social media. We have a person who handles blogging, social media, and other community engagement for us, and he does a great job. We think the time he spends interacting with our community adds value and it doesn't, obviously, take away from the time our developers have available to spend on NextGEN. We have multiple developers working on NGG full time, and based on that we pushed out as massive an update of the plugin as is possible last August (probably too massive as it turns out); and we've released 60+ versions since then between betas and full releases. Those many releases have dramatically stabilized NGG since our major release and resolve almost all commonly experienced issues.
So while I think it's feasible to object to specific development decisions we've made, we're obviously investing very substantial time in development.
On the download numbers, I'd just want to point out that whether you measure by active user base or new adoption rates, NextGEN continues to be one of the most popular plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. We generally get 100,000 updates the first week following any release, and our steady state download rate is 4-5,000 downloads per day (1.4 - 1.8 million per year). That's not a historical in any way, that reflects current activity. And neither our active users base or nor our steady state download rates have declined, even following the major bumps with our big release last August.
In any case, we do generally appreciate feedback, positive or otherwise, and I am genuinely disappointed to hear you're both having difficulties. My sense is some of your comments go beyond your own experiences to draw conclusions either about our team or about the community of NextGEN users that seem rather unwarranted. But we still appreciate you taking the time to add your voices.