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Author Topic: A call to the "Big Players" - Can we tip the scales now?  (Read 3781 times)

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Leo Blanchette

« on: September 12, 2013, 04:44 »
+13
How many of you more successful microstock players have not given Symbiostock a chance yet?

Who wants to know how much money Symbiostock has made me as a developer? Not as much as you might think. Yet my site www.clipartillustration.com is like old faithful, with almost daily sales. Sometimes some very large ones over $100, and in the "glory days" it did $1000+ when I sold a collection every few months on top of regular sales. Sadly with my dedication to this project, I haven't been able to redo my collections except a few of them. And regarding "hired" work that my website was responsible for...I had been rescued a long time ago from the decline of microstock.

Symbiostock, by comparison, has made me very little as a developer in consideration of the size of the network. Even with the release of the "Premium" version, the earnings were enough to slightly redeem me from 6 months of working virtually free. This is for the simple reason that Symbiostock is engineered to require little investment, and give returns immediately. Former microstockers need an advantage like that.

This project was born by necessity when it became apparent just how badly contributors were getting exploited (directly inspired by the Google/Getty deal). Personally I've enjoyed the ability to make a living doing what I love, and being home with the ones I love. I didn't want to see that end. Its not hard to see why a group of people (the Symbiostockers) could invest so much time and energy into bringing this thing to life. No doubt they feel the same. This project succeeded largely due to them.

At this point I don't think there is much more that I can do, since developing this thing has burned me out thoroughly. I'm crawling through the days now, and every bit I put into this project is forced and not like my starting energy 8 months ago. Its time for some fresh energy and fresh inspiration. Dare I say, even development should be taken from me! Symbiostock is an idea, and a brand. Anyone is welcome to add their own elements and strategies.

I'd like to put out a call for microstock's biggest contributors to start joining in, as I believe this will be the final step in making the network replace the former agents we had invested so much of our work into, just to have it virtually given away. We own the "assets", why not the websites too?

I believe this will "tip the scales" and bring this project the rest of the way.


gillian

  • *Gillian*

« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 05:46 »
0
I'm not a big player but I do want to set up my own site. But I'm moving house soon (not just house, 2000km across the country to another state), followed by a large renovation project - my life is crazy. I suspect I won't have time to seriously look into it until 2014.

« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 07:08 »
0
I'm not a big player either. I haven't joined symbiostock yet because it seems like a lot of work, I don't have a handle on whether the return on time investment is worth it, and I see a lot of threads about bugs. That concerns me, because the big stock companies have (in the case of is, incompetent) IT departments in place to handle that sort of thing (one hopes).

I think step one, you need testimonials here from Symbiostockers who can attest to the ease and $$$ of using Symbiotsock.

I think it's an awesome idea. I see that you've worked very hard on it. I want to join, but I'm afraid my time investment won't pay off in the end. I think the hurdle is convincing people the time investment will be worth it. And people (well me, anyway) wonder who will "run" things when bugs pop up? Who will pay for advertising? The big stock agencies have big time ad agencies and PR firms.

I think the big players probably have a lot of questions.

But most of all I think you need to take a couple of weeks off and get some sleep!

Ron

« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 07:16 »
0
There are relatively no bugs. What you see is a lot of people customizing their site running into errors, as they are rewriting the code, or needing help because they dont know how to activate something. I didnt do any customization and never experienced any bugs. Straight from the box is a working solution. Yes, it needs a lot of time uploading your portfolio and SEOing, but its worth it. Once its up and running its just like submitting to an agency. And probably even faster then a lot of agencies, except for 123, CanStockPhoto ,SS, and GL

Beppe Grillo

  • No more DPC!
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 07:48 »
0
Not a big player too.
I am thinking seriously about Symbiostock, but I think that it is better to start is with an enough big portfolio (that I have not yet).

« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 07:51 »
+2
I am very interested as well but am not much of a techie. I would have to find someone to set it up for me, at least the coding/design part, then I could be taught to upload, etc.  I think!!

« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 09:07 »
+2
There are relatively no bugs. What you see is a lot of people customizing their site running into errors, as they are rewriting the code, or needing help because they dont know how to activate something. I didnt do any customization and never experienced any bugs. Straight from the box is a working solution. Yes, it needs a lot of time uploading your portfolio and SEOing, but its worth it. Once its up and running its just like submitting to an agency. And probably even faster then a lot of agencies, except for 123, CanStockPhoto ,SS, and GL

Perhaps it's worth it to try kickstarter or the like so the OP can be compensated for all his hard work...and there might be a budget for advertising? Just an idea.

« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 09:31 »
+2
I do not want pay for hosting when end result is uncertain (based on few random sites claiming sales). If I got option to host on free cloud platform like Amazon S3, Google App Engine or Heroku I would give it a try. And "big guns" most likely are doing well without Symbiostock.

« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2013, 09:55 »
+8
Catch 22....... Symbiostock will not be able to generate large consistent sales until it has a large number of sites.  People will not join until Symbiostock can show it can generate sales.   :)

I look at my Symbiostock sites as a long term investment, that will take time to generate a return.

« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 10:00 »
+4
Maybe I'm a "big player"... I dunno... from various numbers I've seen, I think I'm in the top one hundred or so.

I am still waiting to see evidence that people are getting regular sales.  For me to be worth it, I would need to see at least 5 to 10 sales a day, and based on what I've seen so far, the early adopter Sy sites just haven't built momentum yet.

Still watching and waiting...

« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2013, 10:08 »
0
Free to join is a key. People jump on every new agency cause it only cost them few hours to upload some pictures and little wait to see if they got result.  Even if hosting is under $50/yr most of the site will not generate this kind of money in this early stage. Additional barrier to entry is setup and maintenance of the site, not everybody want to invest their time. That's why I mentioned free cloud platforms where almost everything is done by provider. In addition to that if your site starts generating traffic and money it would automatically scale to paid solution.

« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2013, 10:15 »
+1
Maybe I'm a "big player"... I dunno... from various numbers I've seen, I think I'm in the top one hundred or so.

I am still waiting to see evidence that people are getting regular sales.  For me to be worth it, I would need to see at least 5 to 10 sales a day, and based on what I've seen so far, the early adopter Sy sites just haven't built momentum yet.

Still watching and waiting...

That's a pretty lofty goal. I'd make $2400-$4800 (at least) a month if I sold that many images.

« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2013, 10:47 »
+14
If I was happy with the microstock agencies, there's no way I'd spend the time to set up my own site. What tipped the scales for me (and I'm not done setting up my own site yet, but it is open for business while I'm working on it; I've had one sale of which I kept $19.12 of the $20 the buyer paid) was that I'm heartily disgusted with how the agencies are behaving and see no prospect that they'll change how they treat contributors any time soon.

I already had hosting and a couple of web sites on it, so there wasn't really any incremental cost for me - other than my time - to set up a sales site.

I'm not an expert in WordPress or setting up web sites, but I figured it wasn't a bad thing to get better at that as I may be able to use the skills later on.

I can't imagine how there will be a "free and easy" option for those who aren't up for setting up their own site, but the beauty of the network is that if someone does set up one of those, it can easily join with the other independent artist sites.

I think it'd be great if more people joined, but there's a chicken-and-egg situation if everyone waits for everyone else to make money before joining :)

« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2013, 11:14 »
+6
I've paid no attention to Symbiostock so far and all I know is it's some sort of software package for creating your own stock site that is in some way part of a cooperative networkd. 

I'm a former software engineer and, in theory, should be able to manage my part of such a project and maybe even contribute something to the code base.  But I pretty much burned out on software and don't want to spend much time on it.  I've been waiting for Symbiostock to reach the point of being operational and working before checking it out.  It seems like maybe that point has been reached. 

On the subject of getting new and bigger players on board, I have 2 observations/suggestions. I am speaking only for myself here, based on my experience as a developer who sometimes made commerical use of open source software.

1.   There would have to be a single, comprehensive, clear and up-to-date overview document explaining what Symbiostock is and how it works.  It's no good telling new users to 'read the forum threads' or 'post any questions here'. 


2.   After some bitter experiences where I wasted a lot of time on open source packages that turned out to be dead ends, I decided not to use any open source that had no current, active development or support.   Before using an open source project I'd scan online forums for recent activity.  If I didn't find any, I wouldn't use the code.  I had too many experiences where I ended up needing to find and fix the proverbial "last bug" in a large software project that I didn't understand.

 
I am not (at all) saying that Symbiostock wouldn't meet these criteria, because I haven't even looked at it.  Just offering my 2 cents on what I think it takes to pull new people in to a cooperative software project, which is sort of what this is. 



Ron

« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 11:18 »
0
@melastmohican - I made 60 dollar in two months

@Stocktastic - agree with point 1, point 2 is covered already http://www.symbiostock.org/

m@m

« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2013, 11:31 »
-17
How many of you more successful microstock players have not given Symbiostock a chance yet?

Who wants to know how much money Symbiostock has made me as a developer? Not as much as you might think. Yet my site www.clipartillustration.com is like old faithful, with almost daily sales. Sometimes some very large ones over $100, and in the "glory days" it did $1000+ when I sold a collection every few months on top of regular sales. Sadly with my dedication to this project, I haven't been able to redo my collections except a few of them. And regarding "hired" work that my website was responsible for...I had been rescued a long time ago from the decline of microstock.

Symbiostock, by comparison, has made me very little as a developer in consideration of the size of the network. Even with the release of the "Premium" version, the earnings were enough to slightly redeem me from 6 months of working virtually free. This is for the simple reason that Symbiostock is engineered to require little investment, and give returns immediately. Former microstockers need an advantage like that.

This project was born by necessity when it became apparent just how badly contributors were getting exploited (directly inspired by the Google/Getty deal). Personally I've enjoyed the ability to make a living doing what I love, and being home with the ones I love. I didn't want to see that end. Its not hard to see why a group of people (the Symbiostockers) could invest so much time and energy into bringing this thing to life. No doubt they feel the same. This project succeeded largely due to them.

At this point I don't think there is much more that I can do, since developing this thing has burned me out thoroughly. I'm crawling through the days now, and every bit I put into this project is forced and not like my starting energy 8 months ago. Its time for some fresh energy and fresh inspiration. Dare I say, even development should be taken from me! Symbiostock is an idea, and a brand. Anyone is welcome to add their own elements and strategies.

I'd like to put out a call for microstock's biggest contributors to start joining in, as I believe this will be the final step in making the network replace the former agents we had invested so much of our work into, just to have it virtually given away. We own the "assets", why not the websites too?

I believe this will "tip the scales" and bring this project the rest of the way.


I guess we're back to the Symbiostock spam again on this forum?...enough is enough!!!...if this does not change I think is time to stop being a member of this forum.

« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2013, 11:33 »
+8
I guess we're back to the Symbiostock spam again on this forum?...enough is enough!!!...if this does not change I think is time to stop being a member of this forum.

Does one thread miscategorized really constitute spam?


m@m

« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2013, 11:44 »
-14
I think that by naming the thread anything else than (related to Symbiostock) is misleading, and yes I think the intention was for the thread to be miscategorized for the purpose of spamming...

« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2013, 11:56 »
+12
I think that by naming the thread anything else than (related to Symbiostock) is misleading, and yes I think the intention was for the thread to be miscategorized for the purpose of spamming...

I'd say the point of the thread was to reach people who weren't currently into Symbiostock,  so  it makes sense to have that thread in the microstock area.   

m@m

« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2013, 12:11 »
-13
And what would you call trying to reach people to join a site thru an open forum with the misleading title "A call to the "Big Players" - Can we tip the scales now?" ;)

« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2013, 12:14 »
0
Maybe I'm a "big player"... I dunno... from various numbers I've seen, I think I'm in the top one hundred or so.

I am still waiting to see evidence that people are getting regular sales.  For me to be worth it, I would need to see at least 5 to 10 sales a day, and based on what I've seen so far, the early adopter Sy sites just haven't built momentum yet.

Still watching and waiting...

the minute you join people will know who you are and your portfolio ;D

« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2013, 12:30 »
+9
Tell you what. I'm a creative director and copywriter in the real world. If a group of Symbiostockers could chime in and give me the details about Symbiostock and how it works, benefits for artists/end users, I could take a shot at writing a nice description for everyone. I suggest either a new thread or private messages so we don't clutter up the forum.

Anyone interested?

« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2013, 12:31 »
+13
How many of you more successful microstock players have not given Symbiostock a chance yet?

Who wants to know how much money Symbiostock has made me as a developer? Not as much as you might think. Yet my site www.clipartillustration.com is like old faithful, with almost daily sales. Sometimes some very large ones over $100, and in the "glory days" it did $1000+ when I sold a collection every few months on top of regular sales. Sadly with my dedication to this project, I haven't been able to redo my collections except a few of them. And regarding "hired" work that my website was responsible for...I had been rescued a long time ago from the decline of microstock.

Symbiostock, by comparison, has made me very little as a developer in consideration of the size of the network. Even with the release of the "Premium" version, the earnings were enough to slightly redeem me from 6 months of working virtually free. This is for the simple reason that Symbiostock is engineered to require little investment, and give returns immediately. Former microstockers need an advantage like that.

This project was born by necessity when it became apparent just how badly contributors were getting exploited (directly inspired by the Google/Getty deal). Personally I've enjoyed the ability to make a living doing what I love, and being home with the ones I love. I didn't want to see that end. Its not hard to see why a group of people (the Symbiostockers) could invest so much time and energy into bringing this thing to life. No doubt they feel the same. This project succeeded largely due to them.

At this point I don't think there is much more that I can do, since developing this thing has burned me out thoroughly. I'm crawling through the days now, and every bit I put into this project is forced and not like my starting energy 8 months ago. Its time for some fresh energy and fresh inspiration. Dare I say, even development should be taken from me! Symbiostock is an idea, and a brand. Anyone is welcome to add their own elements and strategies.

I'd like to put out a call for microstock's biggest contributors to start joining in, as I believe this will be the final step in making the network replace the former agents we had invested so much of our work into, just to have it virtually given away. We own the "assets", why not the websites too?

I believe this will "tip the scales" and bring this project the rest of the way.


I guess we're back to the Symbiostock spam again on this forum?...enough is enough!!!...if this does not change I think is time to stop being a member of this forum.


I agree - lets get this forum back to an endless number of posts complaining about Istock and 48 pages of Yuri. That seems to a much more productive use of my MSG time!

KB

« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2013, 12:35 »
+3
And what would you call trying to reach people to join a site thru an open forum with the misleading title "A call to the "Big Players" - Can we tip the scales now?" ;)
Not necessarily mis-leading. I knew (or assumed) what the title was referring to when I saw it. And I still am reading the thread, specifically because I've hidden other Symbiostock threads and I wanted to see what was going on.

If you don't like the thread, you don't have to read it.

lisafx

« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2013, 12:46 »
+2
I am very interested as well but am not much of a techie. I would have to find someone to set it up for me, at least the coding/design part, then I could be taught to upload, etc.  I think!!

This is exactly my situation.  I would love to join, but having invested a couple of grand setting up my Ktools site and seeing hardly any return on that, I don't have the inclination to do it again.  (not to mention I already used my domain name on the ktools site)

I lack the skills to set the site up myself (although some very nice folks here have offered guidance) and don't want to invest the money to pay someone else to do it.  Not to mention the time involved.  I have a lot of personal and health related demands on my time right now.  Until/unless I was convinced there would be significant rewards, setting up a symbiostock site has to remain low on my priority list. 

Oh, and FWIW, I have NO PROBLEM with this thread being outside the symbio forum.  I don't read the symbiostock forum and would not have seen this thread otherwise.  One thread hardly constitutes "clutter". 


 

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