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Author Topic: What IF we had a Cooperative distribution channel?  (Read 10986 times)

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« on: July 31, 2012, 03:13 »
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What if we had an agency owned by the contributers?

What if the split was 50 /50 and the profit was shared as a yearly bonus?
Would you support it?

Such companies were common here some years ago, when farmers were tiered of always having prices lowered by the merchants. They then formed cooperative distribution companies. The cooperatives were commercially viable and the shareholders/ contributors were often happy, since they were guaranteed a certain minimum price and did not have to compete on profit.

The companies were usually founded in steps:
1...Having a list of contributers promise they would deliver exclusively.
2...Business plan.
3.. Financing by loans or contributers pay for shares, or both.
4.. Getting the business up and running.
5.. Competiveness set by both prices and the no need for profit.

I think a cooperative would be a serious thread to pure commercial agencies, simply because a cooperative does not need to produce profit, only sales and such it would be more competitive.

Now what IF?
I know Im only fantazising? But such companies would really be appreaciated in this world of internet tycoons.
I mean we are people here, behind every keybord is a human being being exploited.
We should not let the grinding machines mince us in their hunt for profit, based on content, we have produced.
It is US who produce the content. the agencies were nothing without us.

Would you join?


« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 04:03 »
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It's a nice idea but we've been talking about something like this here for as long as I can remember and there's lots of difficulties.  We're a diverse group that don't seem to agree on much.  A site run by us would need strong management that can make decisions while keeping us all happy.  Who's capable of doing that?

I think it would take a lot of money to make a big impact.  It would be great if we could get the backing of a big internet business, like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc.  If there was a site that was more beneficial for contributors and buyers, it could dominate the market.

People have tried taking on the big sites with little investment but so far they haven't succeeded.  Why don't we just buy Getty?  That seems more likely than us setting up a cooperative that works.

ShadySue

« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 04:18 »
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What if we had an agency owned by the contributers?

What if the split was 50 /50 and the profit was shared as a yearly bonus?
Would you support it?
In theory, I'd be happier sticking with Alamy, with at 60/40 split and the profits going to charity ... but they're not aggressive enough in marketing (or something), so 50% of something decent would be better than 60% of very little.

Quote
Such companies were common here some years ago, when farmers were tiered of always having prices lowered by the merchants. They then formed cooperative distribution companies. The cooperatives were commercially viable and the shareholders/ contributors were often happy, since they were guaranteed a certain minimum price and did not have to compete on profit.

I notice that you wrote that in the past tense. Does that mean that your farmers don't have their co-operative distribution any more? Is that because they were forced to cave in, a better business model presented itself, the large companies had to cave in (rather than buying cheap imports) or ... ?

Lilke Sharpshot says, it's all down to who runs it.  The only instances I know of (not from first hand experience) are fair trade co-operatives who know each other and vote for their key position holders from within the community, and this rotates so that the key people don't have to spend more than one (or a very few) years taking time from their 'core business'. We are far too spread out, and just because someone talks a good talk on the forums etc does't necessarily mean they actually have the skills/knowledge to deliver.
I'd vote for SuperSean, but I suspect he'd rather be in the studio.

Also, wouldn't it take a bit initial investment from all the potential members to get it up and running? Don't think many would be happy about that, again in a situation where we 'don't know where the key players live', (metaphorically if not literally) so they have no responsibility, and could just 'disappear' from the ether.

« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 05:09 »
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You are both right, it is not easy.
but it has been done before when people were under equal pressure.
Or worse.

Capitalism has a vulnerable spot, and that is profit.
If you make a distribution agency that does not need profit, but only to distribute things at a fair price, then you have an advantage.
And yes, there are endless problems with financing.
but again, it has  been dealt with in the past. And they actually were successful.

I dont have a finished business model, it is going to be very difficult in a global market.
However, the globe is shrinking, and people are people like they used to be, and if there were reason and a good business model behind, it might be possible.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 05:52 by JPSDK »

Microbius

« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 08:42 »
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John Lewis, very successful, an excellent business model. Just needs someone to put the work in to get it off the ground.

« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 09:29 »
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If you want a coop, then create one. Build it or at least investigate the costs to build it.

ruxpriencdiam

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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 09:34 »
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And then dont forget if you had such a thing someone would have to "review" them and if they were like you and I were nothing would get accepted ;D

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 09:58 »
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John Lewis, very successful, an excellent business model. Just needs someone to put the work in to get it off the ground.
True, but essentially, JLP is from the UK. A stock model would have to be international, which has all sorts of implications, not least those who understand the visual language of all the countries. It's a much huger scenario, with more opportunities but many more hazards. At least it's easy and relatively inexpensive to bring JLP stakeholders together physically, which sometimes is just better than any number of emeetings.

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 10:29 »
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If you want a coop, then create one. Build it or at least investigate the costs to build it.

While the idea has been around since before MSG (on other forums) I still think it's a good one and possible. The problem is in the logistics and organization.

Members get paid according to a percentage of the profits based on the number of sales they make and hours they work reviewing, working at the store, and programming... after expenses.

Members are the owners.

Lets see, software, hosting, programming. Reviews, reviews of reviews, resubmissions because people disagree about their work getting rejected, someone to read all those emails and answer complaints, someone to monitor keyword spamming. (expenses)

Hypothetical person "A" uploads 5000 images, does nothing else.
Person "B" has 300 images, sells nothing, but works all year long making the site run.
Person "C" has 1000 images, does nothing else and sells nothing. (extreme but just an example)
Person "D" has no images but works programming, answers mail, edits, reviews, makes the place run.

C gets paid nothing at the end of the year, no sales, no work.
A gets one share for every image dollar licensed.
B gets 1 share for every image dollar licensed and 1 share for every hour worked
D gets one share for every hour worked

Divide profits after expenses, buy total shares for the year and PayPal the members. In other words, everyone only gets paid once a year. (unless you want to pay an accountant to do this every month and send out payments to 1000 people and watch the books? Which will eat into profits further.) ps income gains interest for the year, while it's sitting in the bank = more income.

There's your co op, which needs a legal registration to operate.

lisafx

« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 13:19 »
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I think a coop is a great idea.  I joined Warmpicture early on for exactly that reason.  It's been a bumpy ride. I remain interested in participating if a viable alternative to the big agencies presents itself. 

One caveat is that I would not be able to be artist exclusive, but I would be willing to produce some exclusive content, assuming that the site was a serious attempt, and assuming I could make it un-exclusive at my discretion if the site doesn't take off.

ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 13:30 »
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There's your co op, which needs a legal registration to operate.
Imagine trying to get the steering group to agree even under whose legislation the co-operative was going to function!

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 14:14 »
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One caveat is that I would not be able to be artist exclusive, but I would be willing to produce some exclusive content, assuming that the site was a serious attempt, and assuming I could make it un-exclusive at my discretion if the site doesn't take off.
That's a serious point. If people were having to cough up large amounts of cash to get the co-operative site off the ground, most would be unwilling to remove their files from sites which, for all their faults, still bring in some money.

« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 14:51 »
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As compared to growers' coops, there's a crucial differece: we're spread out around the planet and there's no possibility of getting together in person, in a group big enough to matter, to actually work out the details of such a venture, and commit to it.

We're just text on your screen.

« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 15:09 »
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Maybe it needs to start small- an offshoot of MSG so to speak - but different.
A place to create a more unified contributor voice. Members would be able to present ideas and/or opinions and other members would "vote" rather than comment.
Strongly Agree, Agree, Dissagree, Strongly Dissagree- and the percentages would be available to see.

Not allowing commentary would eliminate any infighting and it would be easier to form a consensus opinion of the majority.
To become a member you would need to have say 50 images for sale on at least one of the big 4 which would eliminate spammers.

Perhaps a site like this could start as a precurser to a co-op and help to unify the contributors- after all, we have more things we agree on than things we disagree on. As a group we spend most of the time dwelling on the things we disagree on - I think that is because it's more fun to disagree and argue than agree.

More fun - but way less productive

« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 15:42 »
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I think a coop is a great idea.  I joined Warmpicture early on for exactly that reason.  It's been a bumpy ride. I remain interested in participating if a viable alternative to the big agencies presents itself. 

One caveat is that I would not be able to be artist exclusive, but I would be willing to produce some exclusive content, assuming that the site was a serious attempt, and assuming I could make it un-exclusive at my discretion if the site doesn't take off.

+1

I joined WarmPicture after I left exclusivity with IS. I've had some sales there but as Lisa mentioned, it's been a bumpy ride.

One big thing is that although Dan has invested a ton of time and money in it, the software that runs the site just isn't great. And given the massive fixing it required, even if the upgrade to the new version of Ktools offered better features, it wouldn't be simple. I often wonder if there isn't some way to take a nice site - like StockFresh - and use that as an artist's collective. Seems to me it's never going anywhere as a competitor to the existing agencies, but the site looks decent and operates well...

One of the aspects of WarmPicture that helps a lot is that it doesn't take anyone who wants to join - it has to be someone with an established portfolio and sales track record. That allows people to upload without an inspection service - but you can't do that if you take people who might upload images with logos, unreleased property or people, etc. I rather like the idea of using the existing agencies as a training ground - schooling contributors in all the no-nos for royalty free stock - and then letting them graduate after enough sales to a self inspection service.

Us using the agencies would make a nice change from them using and abusing us :)

« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 16:17 »
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I joined WarmPicture after I left exclusivity with IS. I've had some sales there but as Lisa mentioned, it's been a bumpy ride.

One big thing is that although Dan has invested a ton of time and money in it, the software that runs the site just isn't great. And given the massive fixing it required, even if the upgrade to the new version of Ktools offered better features, it wouldn't be simple. I often wonder if there isn't some way to take a nice site - like StockFresh - and use that as an artist's collective. Seems to me it's never going anywhere as a competitor to the existing agencies, but the site looks decent and operates well...

One of the aspects of WarmPicture that helps a lot is that it doesn't take anyone who wants to join - it has to be someone with an established portfolio and sales track record. That allows people to upload without an inspection service - but you can't do that if you take people who might upload images with logos, unreleased property or people, etc. I rather like the idea of using the existing agencies as a training ground - schooling contributors in all the no-nos for royalty free stock - and then letting them graduate after enough sales to a self inspection service.

Us using the agencies would make a nice change from them using and abusing us :)

I like WarmPicture and respect the work that Dan put in, but is it the best example? How many images are on his site that aren't on the big 4, mid tier, or even low tier sites that pay less than favorable rates? What percentage of your portfolio is unique there? I'm guessing it is around 0% for most contributors there. If he can't compete with unique content, then how is he supposed to compete?

I'm not trying to bash his site or the contributors, but just pose a question. Did anybody really throw their full weight behind it (other than probably Dan himself)? I think that is an important question to ask. If nobody was making a concerted effort for change, then how do they expect it to happen?

« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 16:42 »
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I would be much more interested in our own site if buyers were involved from the start.  They must be annoyed with the constant price rises on some sites and I'm sure they will understand that we can't keep supplying good new images if we're getting a commission cut every year.  If we want to cut out the greedy middlemen, don't we need to discuss it with the people that buy our images?  Just building yet another site doesn't interest me, it has to be something that's going to get image buyers interested from the start.


lisafx

« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2012, 17:19 »
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I would be much more interested in our own site if buyers were involved from the start.  They must be annoyed with the constant price rises on some sites and I'm sure they will understand that we can't keep supplying good new images if we're getting a commission cut every year.  If we want to cut out the greedy middlemen, don't we need to discuss it with the people that buy our images? 

Don't know why this never occurred to me, but you're absolutely right!  Having buyers involved from the start would be really helpful, both in building a buyer friendly site, and also in getting them involved in marketing it to other buyers...

« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2012, 18:46 »
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It might fly if the top 200 or so contributors who may have a buyer following moved everything - hell of a risk though.

« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2012, 18:59 »
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If you want a coop, then create one. Build it or at least investigate the costs to build it.

No, no, it's more fun to talk about it and especially fun if you're the OP who thinks theyve come up with a brand new thing we haven't discussed repeatedly, but no one does anything about

« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2012, 19:52 »
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Also, don't confuse Warmpicture with a coop.  Afaik, it's just a site run by 'one of us' who allows others to contribute.  You don't have a say in how it runs, you don't get part of the profit, etc.

Also, isn't the OP the guy in the other thread who thought we should do away with licensing?

« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2012, 22:53 »
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I'm not trying to bash his site or the contributors, but just pose a question. Did anybody really throw their full weight behind it (other than probably Dan himself)? I think that is an important question to ask. If nobody was making a concerted effort for change, then how do they expect it to happen?

You hit on an important point Cory. Over the last 15 months of actively taking in contributors, we have had various tasks which needed to be completed. Link building was by far the most important task, and simplest path was to build links and brand awareness by having contributors write short articles for design and photography related blogs.

Of the 40+ contributors we have, only 1 helped me with this task. She is currently making a 90% commission on sales as incentive. She has built us several links. I wrote somewhere around 40 or 50 blog posts for other sites, and nearly 100 for our own. It made a tangible difference in our search rankings too, but going from 150 to 50 is really meaningless. Going from 50 to Page 1 is where the money is at. If we had more people on board with helping, rather than just joining, we could build a lot more links and get our name out there and make everyone a lot more money.

These threads are created every few months on MSG, and prior to that, there were similar threads on the old Yahoo Micropayment board. It's been talked about, and talked about. Until you are willing to actually put in real work, and put in real money as investment, what is the point in talking about it?

« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2012, 04:44 »
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I started a stock agency also, and building links are not nearly as important as having a real costumers base.

I would say that my original question have been quantified.

Exclusivety is necessary for the same reasons as with farm products: Else you compete with the agency that fights for prices for you.
Im not sure if it matters if we are spread all over the globe, the agancies have used that against us, but it might as well be an advantage, communications work fine nowadays.


I have 200 photographers on my list on facebook, how many do you have?
I have 2000 pictures in play.

Now how many pictures do we represent here, and how many photographers can we reach in just one click? Maybe more than we think.

« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2012, 09:57 »
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I started a stock agency also, and building links are not nearly as important as having a real costumers base.

It depends on how you plan to build that customer base. If you plan to build it through search engine traffic, then link building should be an important part of that.

« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2012, 14:38 »
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The biggest problem facing any agency/coop is getting and keeping qualified image buyers.

Advertising for an agency is very, very expensive.  I know, I have two agencies and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get and keep image buyers coming back.

To be successful, you must draw users in and keep them coming back EVERY TIME.  EVERY advertising dollar must be used effectively, and you must have something for everyone.  Niche or specialty agencies waste a LOT of money on advertising to those who only need or use them part of the time.

We asked our pool of over 40,000 ACTIVE image buyers from our current traditional agencies, What do you want in a stock photo agency?  ...and, What would be your perfect solution to search, find, and license images?

OVER 16,000 active art buyers returned surveys, several thousand more emailed with answers and ideas on how to make finding images better, easier, faster.  Survey results were gathered via email, mail, web after sale, and by phone over a three year period.

We compiled all of this information, assembled a dream team of developers and built the platform to bring this industry up to date.  Many of you know of our new platform PicturEngine, and some of you are already using it (congrats, you are ahead of the curve!).

Our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY is being the place where buyers come FIRST EVERY TIME, drawing in ALL image buyers by providing them what they want and cannot get ANYWHERE else!

Image buyers tell us that the same images are at every site and asked that we provide a search that consolidates the industry, removing all of the duplicates and stacking sims to create one clean, clutter-free, complete and unique industry-wide search.  We did!  Our search includes over 300 million images from the top agencies.  Once duplicates are removed, our results include over 180.2 million images.  Our visual sim stacking engine will reduce clutter even further once enabled.  The full search and features will be enabled when we leave Beta.

Buyers also asked that we provide them tools to collaborate and work with one another, so we gave them not only lightboxes, but a collaborative workspace where they can arrange, sort, rank, notate, communicate and share in real time with colleagues, images from across the whole industry of agencies and photographers.  The first stock photo industry-wide collaboration tool.

Buyers also demand good prices.  There is only one way to get the best price on ANY good or service, and that is to cut out or drastically reduce the distance from the producer to the buyer.  We DO NOT compare prices, instead we send the buyer to the base agency (where the image was uploaded first) or directly to the photographer (if they are on the PicturEngine platform) to get the best possible price.


After establishing a platform that can attract and retain image buyers, providing them what they want and the tools they need and cannot live without, you will need to focus on the company, corporate infrastructure, photographer and image management, storage, security and distribution, corporate branding, advertising, sales, billing, servers, web development and infrastructure, legal, research and development (to keep you ahead of the curve), you know, the basics...

I have done all of this.  Offering the platform for a low, flat subscription fee to cover all of the base expenses upfront, photographers pay for their individual storage needs and any bells and whistles they choose to add onto the platform, and KEEP 100% of sales/licenses.

PicturEngine is built and coming out of open Photographer Beta soon.  If you are currently participating in our open Photographer Beta, speak up!  Let everyone know what you think.  If you have a question or problem, send it to support, well resolve it.  We are in Beta to make the best platform possible for our industry.  The more input we receive, the better platform we can build. 

If you registered for our Advertising Only account section, you will be happy to know that production will start on your section very soon, this week in fact, and you will soon see your images beginning to show up within your account and in our search.  We will not start billing our Advertising Only contributors until we are ready to advertise the platform and enable the full search.

I invite comments and constructive criticism.  I don't have a ton of time to spend answering questions, so if you can review our support center first, that is appreciated. 
http://support.picturengine.com
http://www.picturengine.com/ (NOTE:  The full search is currently disabled until we launch.  We are in Beta.)

More later, my day is pretty full.

Best,
JB

« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2012, 16:16 »
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Justin, several of us asked lots of questions about picturengine in a previous thread.  This is what I thought then and I think you still need to make changes to get us interested.
....PicturEngine is very affordable when you look at the numbers.  

Perhaps when you're established but not for a new site.  If I pay $40 a month, you need to sell at least $80 a month or you aren't beating the commission percentage I get with sites like alamy, Stockfresh and Graphic Leftovers.  I haven't seen a new site that hasn't spent a lot of money on marketing generate anywhere near $40 a month from my portfolio.  Most of them take years generating sales and they are unlikely to ever reach $40 a month.

If you really think this is going to take off, why are contributors having to fund the start up of the site?  Waive the fees until there are enough sales to pay for them.  Have a temporary 50% commission for the first year.  You'll get lots more interest from contributors who will recommend the site to buyers.

Here's the old thread http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/check-out-picturengine/
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 16:26 by sharpshot »

« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2012, 16:22 »
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IF you start one, I'm in.
But Exclusivity is not possible. At least in the beginning.
And no dividend or direct return, I would just raised the contributors % the year after.
Prerequisite to be owner: have at least 50 files on site.
Nobody shoud be able to have more than one share of the business.


« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2012, 16:33 »
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If you want a coop, then create one. Build it or at least investigate the costs to build it.

No, no, it's more fun to talk about it and especially fun if you're the OP who thinks theyve come up with a brand new thing we haven't discussed repeatedly, but no one does anything about

Yes let's beat the dead horse until it's totally vaporised. And once more, no one wants the ball. I expect another thread will come about mid September ;-)

cascoly

  • Photography, travel & online games at cascoly.com

« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2012, 16:41 »
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I started a stock agency also, and building links are not nearly as important as having a real costumers base.

I would say that my original question have been quantified.

Exclusivety is necessary for the same reasons as with farm products: Else you compete with the agency that fights for prices for you.
Im not sure if it matters if we are spread all over the globe, the agancies have used that against us, but it might as well be an advantage, communications work fine nowadays.


I have 200 photographers on my list on facebook, how many do you have?
I have 2000 pictures in play.

Now how many pictures do we represent here, and how many photographers can we reach in just one click? Maybe more than we think.


1 case you claim but wont back up with details is hardly 'quantified' - it's just another anecdote

what is your site, facebook name or portfolio link? you provide nothing, so why should anyone take you seriously?

finally, have you given 10 seconds thought to what you're asking?  anyone you might attract to this new site is already an active photographer and you're asking them to go exlcusive for an unknown site that at best would not shiow many returns for months if not years?

finally buyers arent going to care that some new site has a group of exclusive photographers theyve never heard of - few buyers search by photographer [with a tiny exception for a few well known ones], so what pulls buyers to a site is a solution to their design problems/needs. a small collection of exclusive images cannot compete with the millions available elsewhere, and as the experience of warmpicture has shown, it's a tough struggle to even get noticed, much less sell in significant volume.

« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2012, 16:48 »
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I have 200 photographers on my list on facebook, how many do you have?
I have 2000 pictures in play.

I have a "photographers" list on Facebook with over 2300 friends in it.  I have at least 2 groups with over 2000 members each.  And I have 4500 stock images "in play." 

And I'm telling you ahead of time - it can't be done without a USP.

« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2012, 17:24 »
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"More later, my day is pretty full."

Thanks for taking the time to inject your ad into the discussion.

« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2012, 17:54 »
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Don't let people discourage your project. People used to tell Elvis Presley he could not sing well enough...
Most of people aren't always good at long term forecast.  I am.. money usually goes to shareholders.... not to contributors !
So let's be shareholders also..

RacePhoto

« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2012, 17:56 »
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IF you start one, I'm in.
But Exclusivity is not possible. At least in the beginning.
And no dividend or direct return, I would just raised the contributors % the year after.
Prerequisite to be owner: have at least 50 files on site.
Nobody shoud be able to have more than one share of the business.

Huh?

So Lisa has 5000 files earning for the site, SJLocke has 5000 images, and I have 50, and we're equal partners. Did I miss something? Doesn't seem right at all.

Some of us tried to join Warmpics and were turned down without a view, because we didn't have big portfolios. So will the co op be the same? Only the chosen ones get in?

As for exclusive images, why? Someone please explain that to me? Exclusive as in, rejected by big agencies? Or the ones that were never uploaded? Instead of our best images, which happen to be on all the agencies already?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 18:04 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2012, 18:02 »
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Here we go again....

lisafx

« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2012, 18:05 »
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IF you start one, I'm in.
But Exclusivity is not possible. At least in the beginning.
And no dividend or direct return, I would just raised the contributors % the year after.
Prerequisite to be owner: have at least 50 files on site.
Nobody shoud be able to have more than one share of the business.

Huh?

So Lisa has 5000 files earning for the site, SJLocke has 5000 images, and I have 50, and we're equal partners. Did I miss something? Doesn't seem right at all.


Thanks Pete.  Sounds like a strange plan to me.  I think I'll sit this one out...  :)

« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2012, 18:46 »
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Some of us tried to join Warmpics and were turned down without a view, because we didn't have big portfolios. So will the co op be the same? Only the chosen ones get in?

I would assume it depends on who starts it and who they want to partner with. If I started something like that, I probably wouldn't accept photos because I don't know anything about them. I probably would also start out small (maybe 5 artists), so I'd probably need them to have larger portfolios to build a decent size catalog. Then, I would grow my contributor base as my customer base grew larger.

« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2012, 01:57 »
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Here we go again....
Do you have any plans if the new Getty/istock owners are going to squeeze more money out of contributors?  What's the lowest commission you would accept as an exclusive?  I know these threads can get tiresome but perhaps one day someone will start a new site that genuinely offers a better deal for contributors and buyers.  Or should we just forget that idea and carry on the equally boring threads about the latest commission cuts?



RacePhoto

« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2012, 12:49 »
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Some of us tried to join Warmpics and were turned down without a view, because we didn't have big portfolios. So will the co op be the same? Only the chosen ones get in?

I would assume it depends on who starts it and who they want to partner with. If I started something like that, I probably wouldn't accept photos because I don't know anything about them. I probably would also start out small (maybe 5 artists), so I'd probably need them to have larger portfolios to build a decent size catalog. Then, I would grow my contributor base as my customer base grew larger.

Oh of course. No need for complicated reviewers, you have proven best sellers. It was not a slam, just a point that all this "feel good", small agency, small and photographer friendly stuff, comes down to hard facts, management and economics at some point. People were included based on skimming the cream off the top. I'd probably do the same thing.  ;D I hope it works for all of them.

Maybe when I start Crapstock (the imaginary never to be agency and site) besides only hosting EXCLUSIVE rejected images, I'll have to make a guideline that anyone with over 500 in their portfolio is not eligible. I mean what's the use of promoting the starving, rejected and abandoned, if it involves successful sellers and acceptance?  ;) If you are in Microstock Hell, you are welcome at Crapstock.

Please I want the co-op to have that 50 for me / 5000 for you deal. I'll put up 50 images, get a full share and sit on my lazy @$$ and collect from someone else's work. I think it's called Socialism. (oh now I stepped in something, didn't I?)

« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2012, 23:30 »
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First.. Im not going to start any COOP.
I dont have a project.
Im more interested in the debate and scouting the possibilities, and to identify problems.
Planting seeds so to speak.

Mainly because Im tired of being exploited.

Secondly. Maybe we are not as alone as we think, the net might be used against us and fragment us, so every single photographer on the globe sits there and works alone on his keyboard. But the net might also be a unifying factor. Like now. We can communicate. And we could also agree on things and sign papers.

Third. How many of the available stock photos could we actually reach. it might be more than we think.

We might not be as alone as we think.

« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2012, 08:44 »
0
"First.. Im not going to start any COOP.
I dont have a project"

Of course not.  But thanks for this quarter's thread on the topic.  Be sure to put October 1st on your calendar for the next...

ShadySue

« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2012, 09:31 »
0
J ~
Yu. know who is still keeping his eggs spread among all the old, exploitative baskets despite his supadupa new shiny website.
What does that tell us?
 :(
Yesterday he posted on his iStock blog: "...So let's create images to our hearts content and care not for the cost, not for the hard work, but only for the images. That is who we are!"
Still the Master of self-promotion.  :)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 09:35 by ShadySue »

« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2012, 09:48 »
0
J ~
Yu. know who is still keeping his eggs spread among all the old, exploitative baskets despite his supadupa new shiny website.
What does that tell us?
 :(
Yesterday he posted on his iStock blog: "...So let's create images to our hearts content and care not for the cost, not for the hard work, but only for the images. That is who we are!"
Still the Master of self-promotion.  :)

Eggs is a very good analogy - stock producers (with a possible few exceptions) are just like battery hens producing vast quantities of product for very little gain and no individual importance


Microbius

« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2012, 11:15 »
0
.......For years, I have listened to photographers complain about.... continued lower prices, and even lower commissions.....
I must have totally misunderstood what PicturEngine does then, I thought it allowed buyers to easily find the cheapest possible price for a photo actively driving prices lower for photographers. Is that not correct? Are you not actually driving prices lower in a more active way than anyone else?

ShadySue

« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2012, 11:22 »
0
All of you will benefit from what I have built,
Not those whose pics were first uploaded to agencies with a lower price/commission.

« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2012, 13:03 »
0
.......For years, I have listened to photographers complain about.... continued lower prices, and even lower commissions.....

I must have totally misunderstood what PicturEngine does then, I thought it allowed buyers to easily find the cheapest possible price for a photo actively driving prices lower for photographers. Is that not correct? Are you not actually driving prices lower in a more active way than anyone else?


Microbius,
I encourage you to learn more about the PicturEngine platform, dig a little deeper.

As stated in my earlier post on this thread:
Buyers also demand good prices.  There is only one way to get the best price on ANY good or service, and that is to cut out or drastically reduce the distance from the producer to the buyer.  We DO NOT compare prices, instead we send the buyer to the base agency (where the image was uploaded first) or directly to the photographer (if they are on the PicturEngine platform) to get the best possible price.


How does sending the buyer directly to you (allowing you to keep 100% of the sale) lower prices?  You can choose to lower your price and still make more, or you can price the same as your agency and make 100% of your sale, entirely your choice.  Buyers are happy knowing they are buying directly from the source, which usually means they are getting the best price and photographers are happy keeping 100% of the sale. 

Check out our FAQs:  http://support.picturengine.com/
Does PicturEngine compare prices?    http://j.mp/J31IHD                   
Am I competing with my agencies?    http://j.mp/IMFXQh

Hope that is helpful,
JB

Here is a GREAT article I found recently for this group to read.
http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/28/stranded-vessels/


« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2012, 13:10 »
0
All of you will benefit from what I have built,
Not those whose pics were first uploaded to agencies with a lower price/commission.

Hi Sue,
We use a base agency calculation, to avoid sending buyers to affiliates of your base agency.  If we were to send a buyer to an affiliate of your base agency, this would effectively increase the number of transactions taking place, thus reducing your small commission further.

You are correct, if you uploaded to the lowest price or lowest commission agency FIRST, given your example, we will send that agency all of your traffic. 

Your options include joining our platform and not sending buyers to any of your agencies, thus keeping 100% of each image sale, or being content that we are helping you make more sales via your agency(ies). 

Best,
JB

Lagereek

« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2012, 13:11 »
0
Sigh!............................................and now for something completely differant!

ShadySue

« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2012, 14:06 »
0
All of you will benefit from what I have built,
Not those whose pics were first uploaded to agencies with a lower price/commission.
Hi Sue,
We use a base agency calculation, to avoid sending buyers to affiliates of your base agency.  If we were to send a buyer to an affiliate of your base agency, this would effectively increase the number of transactions taking place, thus reducing your small commission further.
You are correct, if you uploaded to the lowest price or lowest commission agency FIRST, given your example, we will send that agency all of your traffic. 
Doesn't affect me one way or the other, but when someone makes a categorical statement/promise, "All of you will benefit from what I have built" and that's clearly proven to be a lie (but we can sign up for your system and then we'll benefit if we do), it makes me wonder what promise will be broken next.

« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2012, 14:19 »
0
IF you start one, I'm in.
But Exclusivity is not possible. At least in the beginning.
And no dividend or direct return, I would just raised the contributors % the year after.
Prerequisite to be owner: have at least 50 files on site.
Nobody shoud be able to have more than one share of the business.

Huh?

So Lisa has 5000 files earning for the site, SJLocke has 5000 images, and I have 50, and we're equal partners. Did I miss something? Doesn't seem right at all.


Thanks Pete.  Sounds like a strange plan to me.  I think I'll sit this one out...  :)

Portfolio size doesn't change anything, since there would be no dividends or direct returns. More files=more money and visibility.

« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2012, 14:21 »
0
i believe Cory have asked this before but when will it launch Justin?

your first post announcing it is from May 24th, thats 2 month and 1 week for a beta version ;D

« Reply #52 on: August 03, 2012, 14:25 »
0
I would be much more interested in our own site if buyers were involved from the start.  They must be annoyed with the constant price rises on some sites and I'm sure they will understand that we can't keep supplying good new images if we're getting a commission cut every year.  If we want to cut out the greedy middlemen, don't we need to discuss it with the people that buy our images?  

Don't know why this never occurred to me, but you're absolutely right!  Having buyers involved from the start would be really helpful, both in building a buyer friendly site, and also in getting them involved in marketing it to other buyers...

Alot of us are also buyers and we work and collaborate with other buyers/companies.  I don't think it would take long for word to spread.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 14:33 by gbalex »

« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2012, 14:38 »
0

Please I want the co-op to have that 50 for me / 5000 for you deal. I'll put up 50 images, get a full share and sit on my lazy @$$ and collect from someone else's work. I think it's called Socialism. (oh now I stepped in something, didn't I?)
[/quote]


The only problem is if there's no dividends or direct revenues to contribributors, you make much money. Except for the sales of your 50 files.

But if others with big portfolios come in, and sells a lot, the coop revenues will raise, and everybody "single file" percentage will raise also. So does yours...
Call it socialism if you want. The more success the coop have, the more money everyone gets.

« Reply #54 on: August 03, 2012, 14:49 »
0
Some of us tried to join Warmpics and were turned down without a view, because we didn't have big portfolios. So will the co op be the same? Only the chosen ones get in?

I would assume it depends on who starts it and who they want to partner with. If I started something like that, I probably wouldn't accept photos because I don't know anything about them. I probably would also start out small (maybe 5 artists), so I'd probably need them to have larger portfolios to build a decent size catalog. Then, I would grow my contributor base as my customer base grew larger.

We will start it right here in this forum, everyone is welcome. More people mean more chance of success.

« Reply #55 on: August 03, 2012, 15:04 »
0
All of you will benefit from what I have built,
Not those whose pics were first uploaded to agencies with a lower price/commission.
Hi Sue,
We use a base agency calculation, to avoid sending buyers to affiliates of your base agency.  If we were to send a buyer to an affiliate of your base agency, this would effectively increase the number of transactions taking place, thus reducing your small commission further.
You are correct, if you uploaded to the lowest price or lowest commission agency FIRST, given your example, we will send that agency all of your traffic. 
Doesn't affect me one way or the other, but when someone makes a categorical statement/promise, "All of you will benefit from what I have built" and that's clearly proven to be a lie (but we can sign up for your system and then we'll benefit if we do), it makes me wonder what promise will be broken next.

Sue,
We will send your images buyer traffic, regardless of active participation.  Unless the goal is to hide your images from buyers view, one would consider PicturEngine advertising their images to be a benefit.

« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2012, 15:10 »
0
i believe Cory have asked this before but when will it launch Justin?

your first post announcing it is from May 24th, thats 2 month and 1 week for a beta version ;D


Here is the link answering the question on our FAQs -
When will the site be "live?" http://support.picturengine.com/customer/portal/articles/478852-when-will-the-site-be-%22live-%22

Here is our FAQ Support center - http://support.picturengine.com/

Best,
JB


« Reply #57 on: August 03, 2012, 16:05 »
0
.......For years, I have listened to photographers complain about.... continued lower prices, and even lower commissions.....
I must have totally misunderstood what PicturEngine does then, I thought it allowed buyers to easily find the cheapest possible price for a photo actively driving prices lower for photographers. Is that not correct? Are you not actually driving prices lower in a more active way than anyone else?
I think you have totally misunderstood what PicturEngine does.  It wont send buyers to the cheapest site but it is a nice money maker for the owners, if we sign up at $40 a month.  I think it's fatally flawed because I just don't think buyers will want to sign up to all the sites that PicturEngine will search.  So there's a real chance we wont get sales from it and will be down $40 a month.  If there was a universal payment system for all of the sites that PicturEngine indexes, it could be a game changer but without that, how can it work?

Is a buyer really going to find 20 images on 20 sites and sign up to all of them?  Or will they stick with one or two of the big sites that have huge collections?  They might use PicturEngine occasionally but I'm not inclined to pay $480 a year for that.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 17:26 by sharpshot »

« Reply #58 on: August 03, 2012, 16:19 »
0
I think you have totally misunderstood what PicturEngine does.  It wont send buyers to the cheapest site but it is a nice money maker for the owners, if we sign up at $40 a month.  I think it's fatally flawed because I just don't think buyers will want to sign up to all the sites that PicturEngine will search.  So there's a real chance we wont get sales from it and will be down $40 a month.  If there was a universal payment system for all of the sites that PicturEngine indexes, it could be a game changer but without that, how can it work?

Is a buyer really going to find 20 images on 20 sites and sign up to all of them?  Or will they stick with one or two of the big sites that have huge collections?  They might use PicturEngine occasionally but I'm not inclined to pay $440 a year for that.

The numbers seem to work pretty well for me. The minimum package is $10. That means they would only have to refer one sale a month for me to make my money back. That's a pretty low bar. As far as signing up for a bunch of different sites, my site doesn't have any mandatory signup features. So, people just pay for what they want.

Unfortunately, PicturEngine doesn't currently support illustration or Ktools, so that rules me out. Hopefully, they get that fixed because I like the potential of the site.

ShadySue

« Reply #59 on: August 03, 2012, 16:40 »
0
All of you will benefit from what I have built,
Not those whose pics were first uploaded to agencies with a lower price/commission.
Hi Sue,
We use a base agency calculation, to avoid sending buyers to affiliates of your base agency.  If we were to send a buyer to an affiliate of your base agency, this would effectively increase the number of transactions taking place, thus reducing your small commission further.
You are correct, if you uploaded to the lowest price or lowest commission agency FIRST, given your example, we will send that agency all of your traffic. 
Doesn't affect me one way or the other, but when someone makes a categorical statement/promise, "All of you will benefit from what I have built" and that's clearly proven to be a lie (but we can sign up for your system and then we'll benefit if we do), it makes me wonder what promise will be broken next.

Sue,
We will send your images buyer traffic, regardless of active participation.  Unless the goal is to hide your images from buyers view, one would consider PicturEngine advertising their images to be a benefit.

We've heard it before. "Exclusivity brings more attention to your portfolio and makes the most out of all that traffic." Just look at how exclusives are hurting. They used to say, after the above sentence, "You WILL see a difference." - they've taken that sentence out now.
Forgive the scepticism. You may succeed where others have failed. WDIK?

« Reply #60 on: August 03, 2012, 17:14 »
0
Hi Sharpshot - you asked a great question. 

why are contributors having to fund the start up of the site?  Waive the fees until there are enough sales to pay for them.  Have a temporary 50% commission for the first year.  You'll get lots more interest from contributors who will recommend the site to buyers.

After reading this question / statement again, then reading your first reply to this thread, it was pretty clear that you knew the answer all along:

I think it would take a lot of money to make a big impact.  It would be great if we could get the backing of a big internet business, like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc.  If there was a site that was more beneficial for contributors and buyers, it could dominate the market.

People have tried taking on the big sites with little investment but so far they haven't succeeded.  Why don't we just buy Getty?  That seems more likely than us setting up a cooperative that works.

You are correct, it takes money, time, dedication, along with up-to-date technology to draw in and keep buyers, keep photographers happy, and compete in this marketplace.  With the help of several silent investors, I maintain 100% control of the company's vision and direction.  This is very important to me (and should be to you too).  Investors want to make money (period). They will change and control the direction of the company to make the MOST money (period).  The past and current sales of Getty are no different.  You have seen change and you will see more change very soon, as new owners WILL make money for their 4 billion dollar investment.

My current investors and I have covered the upfront costs of research and development, infrastructure and technology.  The very low, monthly subscription fee we have mathematically calculated to charge photographers, is what it takes to manage, maintain and advertise an individual photographers account, and any profit is reinvested into the company.  I have been doing this long enough to know and project these fixed expenses. No one is getting rich here overnight, instead we are banding together with our resources, as front line image producers.  ALL of the money coming in upfront, from Beta users, goes to initially advertising the site.  You said yourself that you know this is a huge and much needed expense.  We are capable and prepared to pay this upfront expense.  However, the more photographers who join the platform before we launch, the more money well be able to allocate to the advertising campaign.

Additionally, I have promised all of the Beta photographers, to alleviate early entry risk, that they will always have the lowest price on the platform (period).

I have stepped up to do my part, now it is time for photographers to stop complaining and DO something about it, fulfilling your part.  I have built what photographers and buyers alike have asked for.  PicturEngine will be a success, I have no doubt.  With support of active working  photographers, like yourselves, it has the potential to be a true and immediate game changer.

All the best and have a great weekend,
JB

« Reply #61 on: August 03, 2012, 17:21 »
0
I think you have totally misunderstood what PicturEngine does.  It wont send buyers to the cheapest site but it is a nice money maker for the owners, if we sign up at $40 a month.  I think it's fatally flawed because I just don't think buyers will want to sign up to all the sites that PicturEngine will search.  So there's a real chance we wont get sales from it and will be down $40 a month.  If there was a universal payment system for all of the sites that PicturEngine indexes, it could be a game changer but without that, how can it work?

Is a buyer really going to find 20 images on 20 sites and sign up to all of them?  Or will they stick with one or two of the big sites that have huge collections?  They might use PicturEngine occasionally but I'm not inclined to pay $440 a year for that.

The numbers seem to work pretty well for me. The minimum package is $10. That means they would only have to refer one sale a month for me to make my money back. That's a pretty low bar. As far as signing up for a bunch of different sites, my site doesn't have any mandatory signup features. So, people just pay for what they want.

Unfortunately, PicturEngine doesn't currently support illustration or Ktools, so that rules me out. Hopefully, they get that fixed because I like the potential of the site.
I didn't know buyers can just buy without signing up, that might make this more interesting.  It's been a few months now since people were asking for Ktools support.  Not exactly ahead of the curve :)  I'll wait and see how PicturEngine works out of beta, would be fun if it does work but I'm not going to take a gamble on this one.  I'm still annoyed at paying a site 10 once that I'm unlikely to see again.

« Reply #62 on: August 03, 2012, 17:39 »
0
Hi Sharpshot - you asked a great question.  

why are contributors having to fund the start up of the site?  Waive the fees until there are enough sales to pay for them.  Have a temporary 50% commission for the first year.  You'll get lots more interest from contributors who will recommend the site to buyers.

After reading this question / statement again, then reading your first reply to this thread, it was pretty clear that you knew the answer all along:

I think it would take a lot of money to make a big impact.  It would be great if we could get the backing of a big internet business, like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc.  If there was a site that was more beneficial for contributors and buyers, it could dominate the market.

People have tried taking on the big sites with little investment but so far they haven't succeeded.  Why don't we just buy Getty?  That seems more likely than us setting up a cooperative that works.

You are correct, it takes money, time, dedication, along with up-to-date technology to draw in and keep buyers, keep photographers happy, and compete in this marketplace.  With the help of several silent investors, I maintain 100% control of the company's vision and direction.  This is very important to me (and should be to you too).  Investors want to make money (period). They will change and control the direction of the company to make the MOST money (period).  The past and current sales of Getty are no different.  You have seen change and you will see more change very soon, as new owners WILL make money for their 4 billion dollar investment.

My current investors and I have covered the upfront costs of research and development, infrastructure and technology.  The very low, monthly subscription fee we have mathematically calculated to charge photographers, is what it takes to manage, maintain and advertise an individual photographers account, and any profit is reinvested into the company.  I have been doing this long enough to know and project these fixed expenses. No one is getting rich here overnight, instead we are banding together with our resources, as front line image producers.  ALL of the money coming in upfront, from Beta users, goes to initially advertising the site.  You said yourself that you know this is a huge and much needed expense.  We are capable and prepared to pay this upfront expense.  However, the more photographers who join the platform before we launch, the more money well be able to allocate to the advertising campaign.

Additionally, I have promised all of the Beta photographers, to alleviate early entry risk, that they will always have the lowest price on the platform (period).

I have stepped up to do my part, now it is time for photographers to stop complaining and DO something about it, fulfilling your part.  I have built what photographers and buyers alike have asked for.  PicturEngine will be a success, I have no doubt.  With support of active working  photographers, like yourselves, it has the potential to be a true and immediate game changer.

All the best and have a great weekend,
JB
I still think it's a big problem that you're asking those of us without a site to pay you $480 a year without knowing when we're likely to get that back.  You're sure it's going to be a success but I've heard that thousands of times before.  You should be able to get investment without losing control of the business, like thousands of other entrepreneurs with a good idea do.  If you're not willing to waive the fees and have a temporary 50% commission for the first year until this takes off, I'm not sure why I should take the gamble.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 01:31 by sharpshot »

lisafx

« Reply #63 on: August 03, 2012, 18:02 »
0
As Cory and Sharpshot mentioned, Picturengine is a no go for me until/unless they decide to support Ktools.  Otherwise I would certainly be willing to gamble the $120/year to draw traffic to my site. 

Microbius

« Reply #64 on: August 04, 2012, 02:16 »
0
Microbius,
I encourage you to learn more about the PicturEngine platform, dig a little deeper......We DO NOT compare prices.....

Thanks for clearing that up, and apologies, I was getting the wrong idea about how the site works.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 02:18 by Microbius »

« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2012, 08:08 »
0

Some of us tried to join Warmpics and were turned down without a view, because we didn't have big portfolios. So will the co op be the same? Only the chosen ones get in?

No one was turned down based on portfolio size. There is only one thing that has ever mattered - Sales. And there are no "chosen ones." LisaFX, Christian Lagerek, Jo Ann Snover, and Mandy Godbehear aren't chosen ones. Nobody handed them their success in stock. They just had more talent than the rest of us, and worked a helluva lot harder.

Regarding RacePhoto...I don't know who you are, and I have never seen your portfolio. I'd like to, honestly. Feel free to write me offline if you want us to take a look.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 10:35 by djpadavona »

« Reply #66 on: August 06, 2012, 10:37 »
0
Maybe when I start Crapstock...

I will have the largest portfolio on your site   ;D


« Reply #67 on: August 06, 2012, 10:50 »
0
Alot of us are also buyers and we work and collaborate with other buyers/companies.  I don't think it would take long for word to spread.

This is a brilliant thought, and one we have been aware of since before we started WP. The problem is getting people to take action. As I wrote earlier in the thread, there is only one other contributor who is actually helping me with the site. Everyone else is content to upload, and hope.

If we had 10-20 contributors actively hanging out on message forums with graphic designers, letting them know how artists are being treated by stock agencies, and that there are artist run co-ops springing up, I guarantee you there would be a buzz. Especially when you can buy direct from these co-ops for generally cheaper prices, the artist gets 50%+ of the money instead of a huge agency, and nobody is forcing a credits package down your throat. Just buy what you need and come back when you need more.

The idea that everyone's portfolios/sites have to be interlinked doesn't mesh with real world shopping. For instance I visit 2 or 3 farmer's markets per week. We get meat and poultry from one. Another has a better variety of greens, and yet another has the best sweet corn and peaches. I COULD get everything from a large chain grocery store, but I prefer the farmers get paid directly, and I appreciate their quality enough to make a few stops per week. It really doesn't cramp my style.

But just try to get people excited enough to become part of a "street team." They might start threads like this, and wish for better days, but we are all just standing still and talking about some future journey which isn't going to happen.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 10:53 by djpadavona »

« Reply #68 on: August 06, 2012, 11:21 »
0
Just to clarify, you're not really running a coop, right?  It's basically your ktools site that you allow others to contribute to.

« Reply #69 on: August 06, 2012, 13:09 »
0
Well it depends on the definition you choose for coop. Are there 40+ owners? No, but that is by choice. I offered anyone who wanted to have a role running the site (SEO, blogging, graphic design, management, etc) a commission of 90%, which after credit card transaction costs would essentially be 100% of all their sales. At one point I also talked with the members about co-ownership, and profit sharing.One person took me up on the offer to help me with management/promotion.

So yes, I pay all the bills and run a few ads out of pocket too. But no major decision gets made without the rest of the members approving. For instance, we changed price tiers and licensing terms several times and always talked about it in the members forum. We implemented a pseudo subscription plan too, and that was also talked about. Technically it is my site, but I do everything with "coop" in mind. I'm still waiting to see a true coop, and ours could become one if people showed the interest.

« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2012, 05:07 »
0
Im not ever going to pay for my photos to be marketed.

People should be happy to represent them.

Lagereek

« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2012, 06:08 »
0
Alot of us are also buyers and we work and collaborate with other buyers/companies.  I don't think it would take long for word to spread.

This is a brilliant thought, and one we have been aware of since before we started WP. The problem is getting people to take action. As I wrote earlier in the thread, there is only one other contributor who is actually helping me with the site. Everyone else is content to upload, and hope.

If we had 10-20 contributors actively hanging out on message forums with graphic designers, letting them know how artists are being treated by stock agencies, and that there are artist run co-ops springing up, I guarantee you there would be a buzz. Especially when you can buy direct from these co-ops for generally cheaper prices, the artist gets 50%+ of the money instead of a huge agency, and nobody is forcing a credits package down your throat. Just buy what you need and come back when you need more.

The idea that everyone's portfolios/sites have to be interlinked doesn't mesh with real world shopping. For instance I visit 2 or 3 farmer's markets per week. We get meat and poultry from one. Another has a better variety of greens, and yet another has the best sweet corn and peaches. I COULD get everything from a large chain grocery store, but I prefer the farmers get paid directly, and I appreciate their quality enough to make a few stops per week. It really doesn't cramp my style.

But just try to get people excited enough to become part of a "street team." They might start threads like this, and wish for better days, but we are all just standing still and talking about some future journey which isn't going to happen.

I agree 100% with you and its about time we all chip in here! instead of just sitting by, waiting for the golden goose. How many photographers have you got on your books Dan, apart from me and Lisa that is. If there is one thing that cost an arm and a leg, its exposure! advertising, many ppl, dont understand that.
I strongly suggest, all members at WP, start chipping in something here, if we all do it, it wont come to a fortune at all.

We can not expect ONE, person to stand for it all, thats unfair indeed. We all need to help out here, I mean its our own backs were looking after, isnt it?

Lets come into a discussion here folks and act upon that.

« Reply #72 on: August 09, 2012, 13:28 »
0
Alot of us are also buyers and we work and collaborate with other buyers/companies.  I don't think it would take long for word to spread.

This is a brilliant thought, and one we have been aware of since before we started WP. The problem is getting people to take action. As I wrote earlier in the thread, there is only one other contributor who is actually helping me with the site. Everyone else is content to upload, and hope.

If we had 10-20 contributors actively hanging out on message forums with graphic designers, letting them know how artists are being treated by stock agencies, and that there are artist run co-ops springing up, I guarantee you there would be a buzz. Especially when you can buy direct from these co-ops for generally cheaper prices, the artist gets 50%+ of the money instead of a huge agency, and nobody is forcing a credits package down your throat. Just buy what you need and come back when you need more.

The idea that everyone's portfolios/sites have to be interlinked doesn't mesh with real world shopping. For instance I visit 2 or 3 farmer's markets per week. We get meat and poultry from one. Another has a better variety of greens, and yet another has the best sweet corn and peaches. I COULD get everything from a large chain grocery store, but I prefer the farmers get paid directly, and I appreciate their quality enough to make a few stops per week. It really doesn't cramp my style.

But just try to get people excited enough to become part of a "street team." They might start threads like this, and wish for better days, but we are all just standing still and talking about some future journey which isn't going to happen.

djpadavona, I like your analogy using a farmers market!

Sticking with your analogy, imagine a very clean, uncluttered and organized market, containing everything you want and need, leaving you no reason to go anywhere else because this marketplace contains literally ALL of the grocery stores, farmers markets and coops combined.  All of the major brand name items are located right alongside unique, eclectic direct-from-the-farm items.  On every organized aisle you find all of the major label and unique goods in plain view and available to quickly add to a basket (lightbox).

As you browse the selections, you continue to find a breadth of new tasty items youve never seen before, adding those items to your basket (lightbox) as desired.  Removing ones you dont want anymore is easy and risk-free, as is sharing the contents of your basket (lightbox) with your family and friends(colleagues) to ask their opinion about what to bring home.  This real-time collaboration assists you in making the best decision, every time.  This marketplace saves time and resources, while ensuring you make the best purchasing decisions for YOU.

When ready to checkout, you have a nice, organized basket (lightbox) to reference all of your selections.  You feel good about your purchases, knowing that you are buying farm fresh items directly from the farmer where they receive 100% of each sale (for a small, flat monthly fee to be included in the marketplace), and when you cant buy directly from the farmer you still feel good knowing that you are using the next best thing, the farmers direct distributor and not a series of middle men adding fees (transportation, packing, labeling, advertising costs) along the way.

As a buyer, you feel confident in your buying decision because you have seen nearly everything available and worth seeing, and you are not worried about trekking all over town to ALL of the stores or markets because you are confident youve already found the best item.  As a seller its a no brainer to want to be included in the worldwide marketplace where the buyers go to shop first!

The PicturEngine platform was built with direct photographer and image buyer input, always putting photographers (the fuel of the industry) FIRST!  During the Beta, invested photographers are providing feedback, shaping the future of our industry.  The time to bring suggestions to the table, weigh-in and make a difference, is NOW!!  Stay ahead of the curve!

Best,
JB


 

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