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Top Tier - Big 4 => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 15:59

Title: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 15:59
So here is what I posted on iStock that caused them to revoke my ability to post in the forums, and lock me out of sitemail.   Make of that what you will:

Quote
So lets take a step back and look at all this from a different perspective. Lets change our base assumption of corporate greed and look at this from a protective iStock point of view.

Individual sales have slowed for many people as prices have gone up. Ultimately, that has actually increased the amount of money iStock has paid out to us. Now lets assume iStock is looking out for the contributors more than itself. If sales are going to slow down severely, it would make those previous cannister based royalties unsustainable. It would take much longer to get to each level. If, however, you switch to this 'credits redeemed' system, each sale carries more weight, and the targets can be adjusted to help people reach those next royalty levels on the same pace they would have if the sales had not historically dropped due to price increases.


So where does that leave us? Kelly says you will make the same or more under the new system. If iStock is truly the benefactor in this situation, then the credit cost for images stands to rise dramatically in the new year. This is why they would need a new system, because sales quantities will drop, and they would need a way to keep people on track for their royalty levels.


iStock is going Midstock

Buyers Beware.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 19, 2010, 16:15
Sorry to hear that Dave. Looks like they're starting down the road of heavyweight enforcement on this issue.

At least you've still got this place!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 19, 2010, 16:19
Apparently posting a link to the thread and saying that it was ridiculous for JJRD to say:
"As stated many times over, some people have mastered iStockphoto's standards & our system takes that into consideration.

Now, if you don't mind, I shall be going back to work for the rights of each and every iStockphoto contributor.

Thanks, and drive safely in this thread."

In response to sjlocke's question about the Expedited Exclusive Queue will get you banned as well.  I guess this counts as attacking the inspectors? 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: loop on September 19, 2010, 16:29
One or two forum bans after about 10,000 posts in three threads, some of them let's say "overenthusiastic" in their criticisms and showing a variety of adjectives it's no as much... At another sites that would had last about ten minutes...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 19, 2010, 16:53
I dont get it. what's so offensive?  there was a lot more in that thread then this.  guess I need to go catch up. havent read any of that since last nite.  sleep and spend time doing housework and I miss all the excitement!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 16:58
My suspicion is that I struck too close to the truth.  I felt I was actually being pretty fair and even favorable to iStock, taking a point of view I think many hadn't considered yet.  Its also interesting that they did *not* revoke my access this morning when others had their rights removed, it was only after that particular post.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 17:05
I don't think it was that post. I'm not sure why you spent as much time in there as you did. you're moving on, you wielded it as an ultimatum and they let you hang around for over a week anyways. it was simply time IMO. I was scratching my head at your constant presence in there too. I have to say, I see the importance of contributors voicing their concerns. I've been intolerant of that in the past, but I see many positives about it. despite that, there is a small contingent of really loud and offensively negative people in there that I'm personally tired of listening to.

so enjoy it here where you can post that stuff to your heart's content. we're all freaked out but some of you take it so beyond the pale, and I'm not sure what you realistically expect to accomplish with constant negativity.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 17:14
I got my forum privileges blocked too. And I haven't even been posting. Maybe ten times out of 9000 posts.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 19, 2010, 17:30
I caught up and read what I missed. nothing much, really , if you ask me.  I was almost worried I was going to be blocked, too, because I announced that I put in to quit exclusivity.  But I was able to post. 

weird - wonder why they picked who they did.  Maybe Lobo wanted a break and didnt was just worried that some people would stir things up while he was away.  who knows. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 17:30
Recall that I had a strong connection with the iStock community for over six years, and consider my past week of commentary advocation on your behalf, attempting to provide helpful information for people who can't find it in the long threads, and generally attempting to keep some kind of accountability in play.  I hate to see people being mistreated, especially people I have been associated with for many years.  So yes, I stuck around, like any good friend would do.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 17:46
you're playing the martyr thing a little thickly. you've made your decision. I think it was the wrong one, and I'm sorry to see you go. but there aren't any violins playing either. I think you knee jerked and stuck around hoping more would follow suit.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 17:51
Your comfort with exploitative business practices tells me all I need to know about you and your opinions.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: loop on September 19, 2010, 17:55
Your comfort with exploitative business practices tells me all I need to know about you.

Now that you are leaving... have you though that maybe some of the places where are you going won't let you express any discomfort you could get and that if you do it anyway maybe you will get something more than a simple forum and sitemail ban?

I just say that because you seem the kind of people that needs to express your opinions, in a reiterative way. Against what I have nothing, of course.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 18:04
Loop, if they don't treat people fairly, I won't do business with them.  As I have no real community history with any sites other than iStock, I would feel no obligation to do more than remove my portfolio.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: zzz on September 19, 2010, 18:18
You don't seem to get it. Read these comments thoroughly:

hawk_eye: I was scratching my head at your constant presence in there too. I have to say, I see the importance of contributors voicing their concerns. I've been intolerant of that in the past, but I see many positives about it. despite that, there is a small contingent of really loud and offensively negative people in there that I'm personally tired of listening to.

hawk_eye: you're playing the martyr thing a little thickly. you've made your decision. I think it was the wrong one, and I'm sorry to see you go. but there aren't any violins playing either. I think you knee jerked and stuck around hoping more would follow suit.

loop: I just say that because you seem the kind of people that needs to express your opinions, in a reiterative way. Against what I have nothing, of course.


I concur with their opinions.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 18:23
Read my comment thoroughly, maybe someday you will understand it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 18:26
.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 19:00
Your comfort with exploitative business practices tells me all I need to know about you and your opinions.

since exploitative is being used subjectively....in any case, I do sincerely wish you the best. I'm sorry you feel the need to lash out, but if you knew me better, you would know that I'm neither comfortable nor supportive of exploitative practices in any context...unless you count once in a while shopping at Walmart--I buy my favourite curry powder there since it isn't available anywhere else within 50 km of my home.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 19, 2010, 19:02
So now they're banning users.
Deleting posts, locking threads and banning users.
Can't find SJLocke's thread anymore. Gone, moved without a trace.
Is this their way to deal with the problem?

Don't worry DGilder :)  
Lobo is nothing but a forum moderator. He obeys orders, like a good employee. Lobo didn't leave the mega thread open out of personal sympathy; he left it open because he was told to do so.  
Likewise, he banned you - and the others, because he was told to do it.
Lobo is the guy who gets told. Ordered around, a peon.
You're not.
You've got talent, you've got your port, and you've got all the other sites to join.
And so far not one of them has gone quite as low as IStock.
Something tells me that they won't do it anytime soon.
They're fair, they're successful, they sell images and you'll be fine :)
Good luck :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 19:08
he's shown more control in that thread and shoveled more sh*t than we could possibly imagine IMO. with all due respect, I don't think you've been on iStock long enough to make most of the comments you just did make. you've uploaded what, 100 files in over a year?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 19, 2010, 19:18
Who are you hawk_eye, what is your port on iStock?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 19, 2010, 19:22
.


This graph showing traffic to secure.istockphoto.com should make you feel better

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/secure.istockphoto.com/ (http://siteanalytics.compete.com/secure.istockphoto.com/)

                                Unique Visitors      Monthly Change     Yearly Change
istockphoto.com           1,663,169            -3.47 %               -19.48 %
secure.istockphoto.com      130,328            -32.83 %               -64.69 %

Period
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 19:34

Likewise, he banned you - and the others, because he was told to do it.
Lobo is the guy who gets told. Ordered around, a peon.


I'm quite sure no one told him to ban me. He pretty much told me via sitemail that he does not like me. Such a nice thing to say to someone who frequents your business as a purchaser.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 19, 2010, 19:41
HawkEye,
This is a common attitude. At least on this forum it is.
When they're incapable of finding a better argument, some people turn to my port - 'but you've 'only' been doing this for a year!' - they tell me. 'Your images are crap and you don't have any sales!'
But of course.
Kindly let me remind you that my port has nothing at all to do with the topic. It's my opinions, not my port that bother you.

Right now, IStock is a farce. A joke.
Banning people won't do them any good.  
That's my opinion.

And speaking of ports, I don't seem to be able to find yours. Would you care to show it? Man-up for a change?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Kngkyle on September 19, 2010, 19:52
I find it hard to believe that post is what got you banned. I actually give iStock credit for allowing us to rag on them so much. Fotolia and Dreamstime certainly wouldn't allow any of that.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 19:55
Eirrean: your opinion in this case should require that you have some experience with a person, since you are actively defaming that person's job and character.

as for your question David, my iStock info was provided when I created my account here, so that you can evaluate my salesometer when I post.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 19, 2010, 20:01
@Caspixel,
He was given the green light to start banning people; he said so today.
And he chose you, among other 'troublemakers' :)
But make no mistake, the order came from above.
Lobo is on the receiving orders side. Not the other way around.

No matter Caspixel :)
No matter!
It's time to give the other sites a chance. Buy from them too, at least from time to time :)
If you can :)
Nobody will ever ban you from there, and collections are just as good :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Blufish on September 19, 2010, 20:04
Amazing that that post was the straw. They are being ridiculous. All of you that have been banned, you will recover, iSuck is another story entirely. I think they will have a rude awakening come January.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 19, 2010, 20:05
Hawk Eye,
right.
I've been reading some of Lobo's posts for more than 4 years. Time aplenty!
He's a forum moderator on IStock.
End of story.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 19, 2010, 21:26

Likewise, he banned you - and the others, because he was told to do it.
Lobo is the guy who gets told. Ordered around, a peon.


I'm quite sure no one told him to ban me. He pretty much told me via sitemail that he does not like me. Such a nice thing to say to someone who frequents your business as a purchaser.

talk about what sauce... !   <<<--- ETA haha.. I guess this forum replaces "w-tee-efff" with "what"  hee hee
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 21:57
@Caspixel,
He was given the green light to start banning people; he said so today.
And he chose you, among other 'troublemakers' :)
But make no mistake, the order came from above.
Lobo is on the receiving orders side. Not the other way around.

No matter Caspixel :)
No matter!
It's time to give the other sites a chance. Buy from them too, at least from time to time :)
If you can :)
Nobody will ever ban you from there, and collections are just as good :)

I bet he was allowed to use his discretion on who he banned. I have barely posted about the whole sordid mess. I know it's personal. I honestly don't care, because as you say, I am buying from other sites now. No more loyalty to iStock. I just want to make sure people out there know how badly they treat their customers. Especially when their moderators start sending them nasty sitemails. How completely unprofessional.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Habman on September 19, 2010, 22:21

Likewise, he banned you - and the others, because he was told to do it.
Lobo is the guy who gets told. Ordered around, a peon.


I'm quite sure no one told him to ban me. He pretty much told me via sitemail that he does not like me. Such a nice thing to say to someone who frequents your business as a purchaser.

Caspixel . . . you've been banned? I'm shocked . . . :(

Oh how the winds of change have increased.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 22:48


Caspixel . . . you've been banned? I'm shocked . . . :(

Oh how the winds of change have increased.
Mostly I just thought it was odd because I've barely posted. Not nearly to the extent I've done in the past. The other weird thing is they ban you from sitemail too. Not that I care about that either because I rarely use that anymore. Not private enough. LOL

What is kind of funny, though is that I did have an open request in the "Request New Content" forum that I can't follow up on. Oh well, I guess I'll have to go buy from a different site then. Boo hoo. :D (Though I do feel bad for the contributors that responded to my request that I can't touch base with)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: crazychristina on September 19, 2010, 23:02
I added a note on your request thread to let people know that you can't get back to them.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 23:05
.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 23:15
I added a note on your request thread to let people know that you can't get back to them.
Thanks. :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 19, 2010, 23:25
Caspixel,
true, you're right :)
The order to start banning came from above - blank, no names given.
Lobo was free to choose whom, and he picked you.
Ah well, gotta give poor Lobo some of his self-esteem back. Not just a forum moderator, but a Five Golden Star forum moderator, the elite :)
Naughty Caspixel!
You've been buying from IStock for so many years! They've had enough of your money! It's now time to move on :)

I'm sorry this has happened to you Caspixel. Totally uncalled for.
I hope they lift your ban ASAP. With an apology.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 23:34
I think you've misrepresented your role in having been wrist slapped. posting youtube videos, referencing competitor royalty percentages and websites, accusing TPTB of underhanded mismanagement and threatening them with your buying power...I'm not sure why you are shocked. angry maybe, but shocked...really? I don't know what was exchanged between you and Lobo, and it probably doesn't matter. I have seen you deride iStock on multiple occasions in their forums and I think today the negativity and speculation just wasn't allowed to continue, for you or anyone else. I don't blame them. I'm surprised how far they've let it go actually.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 23:53
I think you've misrepresented your role in having been wrist slapped. posting youtube videos, referencing competitor royalty percentages and websites, accusing TPTB of underhanded mismanagement and threatening them with your buying power...I'm not sure why you are shocked. angry maybe, but shocked...really? I don't know what was exchanged between you and Lobo, and it probably doesn't matter. I have seen you deride iStock on multiple occasions in their forums and I think today the negativity and speculation just wasn't allowed to continue, for you or anyone else. I don't blame them. I'm surprised how far they've let it go actually.

Much much less than any others did. And many of them still have posting privileges. Out of 9000 posts, I probably made 10. So, I don't think I've misrepresented anything. Anyone who was following that thread saw how many times I posted. That's if they can even find them in those behemoths.

And some of the stuff was just for comic relief.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2010, 23:54
in any case, I'm sure they won't keep the bans going for very long. you'll be back in there in no time.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 19, 2010, 23:57
in any case, I'm sure they won't keep the bans going for very long. you'll be back in there in no time.
Meh. I don't really care at this point. I really wasn't even posting that much anyway, so no great loss.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 20, 2010, 00:10
So here is what I posted on iStock that caused them to revoke my ability to post in the forums, and lock me out of sitemail.   Make of that what you will:

Quote
So lets take a step back and look at all this from a different perspective. Lets change our base assumption of corporate greed and look at this from a protective iStock point of view.

Individual sales have slowed for many people as prices have gone up. Ultimately, that has actually increased the amount of money iStock has paid out to us. Now lets assume iStock is looking out for the contributors more than itself. If sales are going to slow down severely, it would make those previous cannister based royalties unsustainable. It would take much longer to get to each level. If, however, you switch to this 'credits redeemed' system, each sale carries more weight, and the targets can be adjusted to help people reach those next royalty levels on the same pace they would have if the sales had not historically dropped due to price increases.


So where does that leave us? Kelly says you will make the same or more under the new system. If iStock is truly the benefactor in this situation, then the credit cost for images stands to rise dramatically in the new year. This is why they would need a new system, because sales quantities will drop, and they would need a way to keep people on track for their royalty levels.


iStock is going Midstock

Buyers Beware.

Seriously, how long did you all think you would be able to take a dump in someone's back yard before they'd start flinging it back at you?  Any smart person would have set up a tent next door and flung it over the fence anonymously.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 00:16
Far worse was said than anything I posted.  The fact is they had already banned the people they were going to ban that morning, and I wasn't one of them, until I pointed out that people could look at iStock in a whole different (and much more positive) light than they had been.  So they decided I was past my expiration date, thats fine, it just seemed an odd thing to reference when revoking my forum privileges. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 20, 2010, 00:22
Possibly the words "buyers beware" were what spooked lobo. Caspixel spoke as a buyer who would go elsewhere. The secure.istock data might suggest they are losing customers by the hundred (assuming it isn't still just reflecting the annual august slump) in which case top management will be going into panic mode.

I can hear Kelly being hauled over the coals: "what are you doing letting them organise a buyer boycott on our servers? Are you out of your tiny * mind? I don't give a sh*t if it's sunday and you're at the golf course. Yes, of course you are a totally independent company. Just shut those b*st*rds up!"

And so the order goes out to Lobo to cool things down PDQ, probably at the same moment that a couple of admins/inspectors suddenly popped up in the thread to announce that they were watching.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 00:27
I added the 'Buyers Beware' here, as their response to my speculation (banning me) made me think it might be much more plausible of a scenario than it had sounded at first.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Nordlys on September 20, 2010, 00:29
.


This graph showing traffic to secure.istockphoto.com should make you feel better

[url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/secure.istockphoto.com/[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/secure.istockphoto.com/[/url])

                                Unique Visitors      Monthly Change     Yearly Change
istockphoto.com           1,663,169            -3.47 %               -19.48 %
secure.istockphoto.com      130,328            -32.83 %               -64.69 %

Period


Wow - thats is a serious downturn - taken a hit not as much in browsing, but in contributers and buyers !!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 20, 2010, 00:33
Far worse was said than anything I posted.  The fact is they had already banned the people they were going to ban that morning, and I wasn't one of them, until I pointed out that people could look at iStock in a whole different (and much more positive) light than they had been.  So they decided I was past my expiration date, thats fine, it just seemed an odd thing to reference when revoking my forum privileges. 

It's not about comparing what you posted and what other's posted.  It's about (to them) enough being enough.

I suppose I have principals and wouldn't deal with an agency that I passionately hated and was so vocal about it.  If I relied on IS sales to feed a family, I would have said my piece initially, continued to sell there quietly while coming up with a plan and setting up shop elsewhere.  Then when the changes take effect I would pack my things and leave. 

You all know that IS isn't going to budge so what's the point in slandering them and staying there?  Are you doing it to hurt them cause really, while you're still there, you're hurting yourselves.  If you really want to have any effect on them, don't tell them what you're planning to do.  Just do it when the time is right and surprise the greedy turds.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 00:47
Sorry, who were you addressing in that last bit there?  I canceled exclusivity last week and have been removing my portfolio since then.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 00:51
another graph:

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+fotolia.com+dreamstime.com/?metric=uv&months=12 (http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+fotolia.com+dreamstime.com/?metric=uv&months=12)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 00:53
Its even more fun when you add dreamstime instead of Fotolia:

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/ (http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Nordlys on September 20, 2010, 00:59
Its even more fun when you add dreamstime instead of Fotolia:

[url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/[/url])


Is it the crisis taking it's toll on photobuyers?  Looks like a general trend? Shurely fits with my downloads - LOL - declining each year.....

Did the buers stop buying or god elsewhere?

The falling number at the Istocksecure might be contributers stopping to upload?

Never mind - leave the Isuck place alone and consentrate on what matters more in life...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 20, 2010, 01:14
Sorry, who were you addressing in that last bit there?  I canceled exclusivity last week and have been removing my portfolio since then.

Well then it makes even less sense that you're surprised that they revoked your forum privileges.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 20, 2010, 01:46
Its even more fun when you add dreamstime instead of Fotolia:

[url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/[/url])


It looks as if iStock's market leadership is ... unsustainable.

The chart suggests very strongly that January's massive restructuring was a serious mistake and the company is starting to go into a tailspin as a result of serious errors by the decision-makers.

If that is so, then it adds to the likelihood that the latest changes are a panicked reaction to falling returns. The "no negotiation" approach is also in line with the attitude of a management with its back to the wall.

If it was you and you had completely ballsed up the last change and the owners were breathing down your neck demanding that you get the money-printing machine back on track, what would you do? You CAN'T reverse the last change because it shifted too much money around. Imagine trying to explain to the exclusives that you are reducing the price of their files back to the level it was last year (and doing it AFTER you have driven away the buyers with the high prices). What would the fallout be from that?

The buyers are leaving so you can't hike their prices any higher to pull in the cash. How else can you restructure things to minimise the outcry while restoring the profits? I know: tap into the earnings of the very top contributors, because that is where most of the money is anyway, and top it up with a big slice of what the long tail of independents receives. Now, how can that be done?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 20, 2010, 02:08
Its even more fun when you add dreamstime instead of Fotolia:

[url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com+dreamstime.com/[/url])


Is it the crisis taking it's toll on photobuyers?  Looks like a general trend? Shurely fits with my downloads - LOL - declining each year.....

Did the buers stop buying or god elsewhere?

The falling number at the Istocksecure might be contributers stopping to upload?

Never mind - leave the Isuck place alone and consentrate on what matters more in life...


I agree the downturn has affected buyers because advertising budgets are down and Istock will be hit more than other sites because their overhead is higher and they have been raising prices more than other sites.  Jon at SS in particular is good at keeping operating expenses to a minimum and prices down.

I found the info for the secure area telling because most sites use the secure area for purchases, i.e. secure credit card transactions.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: anonymous on September 20, 2010, 07:14
You don't seem to get it. Read these comments thoroughly:

hawk_eye: I was scratching my head at your constant presence in there too. I have to say, I see the importance of contributors voicing their concerns. I've been intolerant of that in the past, but I see many positives about it. despite that, there is a small contingent of really loud and offensively negative people in there that I'm personally tired of listening to.

hawk_eye: you're playing the martyr thing a little thickly. you've made your decision. I think it was the wrong one, and I'm sorry to see you go. but there aren't any violins playing either. I think you knee jerked and stuck around hoping more would follow suit.

loop: I just say that because you seem the kind of people that needs to express your opinions, in a reiterative way. Against what I have nothing, of course.


I concur with their opinions.
...ah, a new corporate shill
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Microbius on September 20, 2010, 07:33
You don't seem to get it. Read these comments thoroughly:

hawk_eye: I was scratching my head at your constant presence in there too. I have to say, I see the importance of contributors voicing their concerns. I've been intolerant of that in the past, but I see many positives about it. despite that, there is a small contingent of really loud and offensively negative people in there that I'm personally tired of listening to.

hawk_eye: you're playing the martyr thing a little thickly. you've made your decision. I think it was the wrong one, and I'm sorry to see you go. but there aren't any violins playing either. I think you knee jerked and stuck around hoping more would follow suit.

loop: I just say that because you seem the kind of people that needs to express your opinions, in a reiterative way. Against what I have nothing, of course.


I concur with their opinions.
...ah, a new corporate shill
Yeah there's a lot of that going around.
That's one thing Getty/ IStock has got right, let the contributors scream till they can scream no more and then, and only then bring out your guys when no one can be bothered to argue any more.
Lock the threads and ban the dissenters once they've banged their heads against the wall so much they no longer have the energy to protest.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: anonymous on September 20, 2010, 07:48
You don't seem to get it. Read these comments thoroughly:

hawk_eye: I was scratching my head at your constant presence in there too. I have to say, I see the importance of contributors voicing their concerns. I've been intolerant of that in the past, but I see many positives about it. despite that, there is a small contingent of really loud and offensively negative people in there that I'm personally tired of listening to.

hawk_eye: you're playing the martyr thing a little thickly. you've made your decision. I think it was the wrong one, and I'm sorry to see you go. but there aren't any violins playing either. I think you knee jerked and stuck around hoping more would follow suit.

loop: I just say that because you seem the kind of people that needs to express your opinions, in a reiterative way. Against what I have nothing, of course.


I concur with their opinions.
...ah, a new corporate shill
Yeah there's a lot of that going around.
That's one thing Getty/ IStock has got right, let the contributors scream till they can scream no more and then, and only then bring out your guys when no one can be bothered to argue any more.
Lock the threads and ban the dissenters once they've banged their heads against the wall so much they no longer have the energy to protest.
I have no problem with folks ranting (one way or the other), but I auto-dismiss anyone "bandwagoning" as a new member...it's just an existing one with a new identity :P
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 08:06
Right now, IStock is a farce. A joke.
It was clearly stated by the leading guys at iStock that the threads would be kept up till everybody had his rant and made his point. Then those threads would disappear. iStock read the rants and objections and decided what they think is best for them. At that point, nothing new can be added, and the content of the threads is detrimental for business as they are picked up by Google.

May I add, in an objective way, that threads like that on DT and FT would be phased out in a moment?

Anybody that likes to rant more can do it here. iStock made a strategic decision (detrimental for the independents) and they are clearly going to stick to it. That's it. Move on, and make your own rational business decisions too, depending on your mileage and your position in the best match.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pheby on September 20, 2010, 08:21
Get your point, FD, but they did actually somewhere in the current thread announce a dialogue "back and forth" which people are still waiting for (not that I believed it would ever happen).
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dscott on September 20, 2010, 08:51
Although the bans seemed inevitable, I appreciated the continued postings by many of the active participants of those threads.  Lots of the stats and personal views help me make my plans for the coming months.

I expect some of the bans will last for a while since istock has made up their minds and they really don;t want to be bothered with dissension in the forums.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: pet_chia on September 20, 2010, 08:57
... The secure.istock data might suggest they are losing customers by the hundred (assuming it isn't still just reflecting the annual august slump) in which case top management will be going into panic mode ...

Not sure if it's due to losing customers or because of some other factor (best match changes or maybe random chance) but about 4 days ago my download numbers plunged, like they were switched off.

At more or less the same time, my run of 100% acceptance of isolations and keywords switched to 100% rejection for files of the same subjects with the same keywords and same isolation techniques.  Of course there is always SOMETHING you could pick at in any isolation, and I did find what I think the complaints were about in some of the rejects (but not others).  My point is that the previous accepted files probably had similar things that were tolerated.

Just wondering if the "no more Mr. Nice Guy" approach to forums was also applied to things like best match and inspection.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 09:05
Get your point, FD, but they did actually somewhere in the current thread announce a dialogue "back and forth" which people are still waiting for (not that I believed it would ever happen).
Well there was a dialog, right? They obviously read all the reactions, then decided to stick to their master-plan, or rather the one of their financiers drooling on fat bonuses at the year's end. Game over. What else can you do? You just have to take the new landscape into account and make your own decisions. I don't expect that almighty iStock or the world is interested in what those decisions might be. We're just a grain of sand on a vast beach. May Buddha always be with you.  ;)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 09:11
Just wondering if the "no more Mr. Nice Guy" approach to forums was also applied to things like best match and inspection.
They will, and it's like that on most sites, except the beginner sites that can't be choosers. Most reviewers know the vocal and/or regular contributors well, and if you piss them off in any way, you will feel it in your wallet. That's life, that's human nature.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: pet_chia on September 20, 2010, 09:44
Just wondering if the "no more Mr. Nice Guy" approach to forums was also applied to things like best match and inspection.
They will, and it's like that on most sites, except the beginner sites that can't be choosers. Most reviewers know the vocal and/or regular contributors well, and if you piss them off in any way, you will feel it in your wallet. That's life, that's human nature.

I'm not on anyone's "naughty" list AFAIK.  I haven't been slagging IS on their forums. I was wondering if there has been a get-tough policy adopted across the board, either for just non-exclusives or for both types of contributor.  The rejections could be random bad luck from me getting a tough inspector, the sudden lack of downloads could be random, or due to customers saying bye-bye, or could be due to best match tweaks, e.g. highlighting agency collection at the expense of small, non-excl. contributors.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Smiling Jack on September 20, 2010, 10:27
FD_regular:
  Some times you make a lot of good sense. Its time for every body to move on. Let Istock chips fall where they may. I never join Istock because I knew from past experiences, I wanted nothing to do with any company that was owned by Getty.
Smiling Jack
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 10:32
Sorry, who were you addressing in that last bit there?  I canceled exclusivity last week and have been removing my portfolio since then.

Well then it makes even less sense that you're surprised that they revoked your forum privileges.

exactly. also liked your crap in the backyard analogy. as for the graph indicating traffic of unique users - some of you are ignoring basic statistical analysis rules. there are so many variables that can affect why unique visitor numbers would be skewed to show a site having a sudden increase or decrease in unique visitors. A: SS model requires that buyers and contributors interact with their site in a very different manner than iStock or DT/FT. B: the main point is the amount of traffic that iStock regularly gets. they significantly beat the other sites in unique traffic monthly, even though SS has more images and more importantly more contributors. SS is probably attracting more contributors, that isn't something to brag about from a contributor's point of view. 300,000 photographers. compared with maybe 75K on iStock. 12 million images on SS. enjoy competing over there.

as for cracking down in the forums, it's about time. I've had about enough of watching the same jerks dump all over the company, other contributors and life in general. go piss in someone's else's pool. it's awful.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 10:48
Off Topic, but some observations about Web Traffic. The public traffic announced by sites like compete, cubestat, alexa are measured by PC's that have one of their toolbars installed. I doubt any serious contributor or buyer will have one of those installed. To start with, they take up screen real estate. Wherever I saw those installed, it was in public netcafés or with ignorant users. They obviously don't measure the target market.

The only ones that can pinpoint the origin and quantity of traffic on a website like iStock are the admins. They can have Google Analytics installed or their own analytics tool. Not the traffic by itself is important but the bounce rate. Only iStock can know that. They are never going to share this info since it might benefit competitors.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 20, 2010, 11:03
... The secure.istock data might suggest they are losing customers by the hundred (assuming it isn't still just reflecting the annual august slump) in which case top management will be going into panic mode ...

Not sure if it's due to losing customers or because of some other factor (best match changes or maybe random chance) but about 4 days ago my download numbers plunged, like they were switched off.

At more or less the same time, my run of 100% acceptance of isolations and keywords switched to 100% rejection for files of the same subjects with the same keywords and same isolation techniques.  Of course there is always SOMETHING you could pick at in any isolation, and I did find what I think the complaints were about in some of the rejects (but not others).  My point is that the previous accepted files probably had similar things that were tolerated.

Just wondering if the "no more Mr. Nice Guy" approach to forums was also applied to things like best match and inspection.

FWIW, I think it is just the old "ebb and flow"  My downloads last week were fairly average, and, in fact, a tad above average for a week.   
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 11:04
Sorry, who were you addressing in that last bit there?  I canceled exclusivity last week and have been removing my portfolio since then.

Well then it makes even less sense that you're surprised that they revoked your forum privileges.

Please seem my previous comments in regards to that subject.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 11:07
as for the graph indicating traffic of unique users ... the main point is the amount of traffic that iStock regularly gets.

A graph you yourself brought up, and tried to manipulate people with by only including Fotolia rather than Dreamstime.  While it shows iStock has more total traffic, it also shows that SS and DT have more combined traffic, disregarding all other microstocks.   

Quote
as for cracking down in the forums, it's about time. I've had about enough of watching the same jerks dump all over the company, other contributors and life in general. go piss in someone's else's pool. it's awful.

Honestly a little piss in the pool by contributors doesn't even slightly measure up to iStock taking a crap in its own pool.

Since you insist on hiding behind your anonymity, which makes everything you post essentially meaningless, I think I might take it upon myself to do some statistical language analysis on your posts both here and in the iStock forums to find out who you really are.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 20, 2010, 11:11
Off Topic, but some observations about Web Traffic. The public traffic announced by sites like compete, cubestat, alexa are measured by PC's that have one of their toolbars installed. I doubt any serious contributor or buyer will have one of those installed. To start with, they take up screen real estate. Wherever I saw those installed, it was in public netcafés or with ignorant users. They obviously don't measure the target market.

The only ones that can pinpoint the origin and quantity of traffic on a website like iStock are the admins. They can have Google Analytics installed or their own analytics tool. Not the traffic by itself is important but the bounce rate. Only iStock can know that. They are never going to share this info since it might benefit competitors.

I agree that compete, cubestat, alexa give an incomplete view at best.  And the site owners and admins are the only ones holding the true numbers.  

While I find hawk_eye comments regarding the number of SS submitters thus completion spot on. Judging from his meter and his numerous negative comments to ward anyone who is vocal about IS royalty cuts AND the many other negative changes that have transpired. I think most of his venom toward people who are very upset at receiving significant cuts in royalties are related to his fear of losing sales himself.  He does not view the changes as detrimental to himself so he supports the IS approach of shut them up and let them eat cake!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 11:14
what does it matter who I am? you can see my sales performance on iStock and you are breaching an unspoken rule here. we don't call each other out based on anonymity here no matter how much we hate one another...many of us are anonymous here for our own reasons, usually simply as a tool to keep things from showing up in google searches on our businesses. so I'll thank you to respect it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 11:25
You sound a bit nervous, you must have something significant to hide.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 11:28
SS is probably attracting more contributors, that isn't something to brag about from a contributor's point of view. 300,000 photographers. compared with maybe 75K on iStock. 12 million images on SS. enjoy competing over there.
SS haven't really got that many contributors, not even a fraction of that figure (as I'm sure you know). They have got 12M images but to be honest an alarming number of them are pretty awful and just prop up the bottom of the search results. Image-for-image the competition is actually vastly higher at Istock. I'd love to have the same sort-order positions on Istock as I have on SS.

As it happens SS is also doing very well indeed sales-wise. Month on month my income is increasing mainly due to an ever-increasing number of PPD sales (which other people have noted too). Seems to me that Shutterstock's response to Getty's Thinkstock attack on their market was to respond in kind __ and SS are winning that little game.

Actually I also welcome the additional competition on all agencies from exclusives giving up their crowns. The quality of their work will add significantly to the collections and in time that will bring additional customers to those agencies who pay a much fairer commission to their contributors.

The only reason Istock is able to bully and exploit their contributors is because they 'own' roughly 50% of the entire microstock market. The more powerful they become the more they will abuse it. It is in the interests of all microstockers to have a wide and competitive market for their work. The symbol indicating exclusivity should not be a crown __ it should be a pair of handcuffs.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 20, 2010, 11:33
I've heard this argument before - the other sites, Dreamstime and Fotolia ...
What about Dreamstime and Fotolia?
Today IStock is the only agency that offers me a 15% commission.
No other site has gone this low.
I'll cross one bridge at a time.

Contributors who are upset and post on IStock forums are jerks.
Thing is, historically speaking it's because of 'jerks' like them, people who have the guts to ask questions and demand answers, that we have evolved into free, democratic societies.
I'll take the jerks anytime.
As opposed to incognito posters who can't even muster enough courage to reveal their true identity.  
Not to be trusted.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: nruboc on September 20, 2010, 11:35
SS is probably attracting more contributors, that isn't something to brag about from a contributor's point of view. 300,000 photographers. compared with maybe 75K on iStock. 12 million images on SS. enjoy competing over there.
SS haven't really got that many contributors, not even a fraction of that figure (as I'm sure you know). They have got 12M images but to be honest an alarming number of them are pretty awful and just prop up the bottom of the search results. Image-for-image the competition is actually vastly higher at Istock. I'd love to have the same sort-order positions on Istock as I have on SS.

As it happens SS is also doing very well indeed sales-wise. Month on month my income is increasing mainly due to an ever-increasing number of PPD sales (which other people have noted too). Seems to me that Shutterstock's response to Getty's Thinkstock attack on their market was to respond in kind __ and SS are winning that little game.

Actually I also welcome the additional competition on all agencies from exclusives giving up their crowns. The quality of their work will add significantly to the collections and in time that will bring additional customers to those agencies who pay a much fairer commission to their contributors.

The only reason Istock is able to bully and exploit their contributors is because they 'own' roughly 50% of the entire microstock market. The more powerful they become the more they will abuse it. It is in the interests of all microstockers to have a wide and competitive market for their work. The symbol indicating exclusivity should not be a crown __ it should be a pair of handcuffs.


Very good post, I completely agree, especially with the last two paragraphs
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 11:45
not true - contributors on Istock who disagree are welcome to to disagree and I respect and am good friends with many who are very unhappy with all the changes. there's a line though. there's been a lot of wild speculation, as always.

David - I'm not nervous. I am angry that you're making issues where there aren't any. many people already know who I am anyways, so you can figure it out too. as long as you don't post it in here, I frankly couldn't care less.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Caz on September 20, 2010, 11:51
You sound a bit nervous, you must have something significant to hide.

[quote author=dgilder link=topic=11331.msg162806#msg162806 date=1284998874

I think I might take it upon myself to do some statistical language analysis on your posts both here and in the iStock forums to find out who you really are.
[/quote]

Oh pulheese  ::)  If the post September 7th fall out has shown me anything, it's that there are more people than I thought who love celebrity status.  We get it, we got it, really we did. You're leaving iStock and you don't like the changes. Just like many other, less adulation seeking contributors who stated their postiion and then were done.  Your new found moral highground cult status surely doesn't bestow you the right to threaten other contributors here?? Many people are annoymous for very good reason, it allows them to speak their mind without repercussion for other parts of their lives.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 11:52
there's been a lot of wild speculation, as always.

You keep referring to 'a lot of wild speculation' but never specify what it is. I don't recall any. What do you mean?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 20, 2010, 11:58
I've heard this argument before - the other sites, Dreamstime and Fotolia ...
What about Dreamstime and Fotolia?
Today IStock is the only agency that offers me a 15% commission.
No other site has gone this low.
I'll cross one bridge at a time.

Contributors who are upset and post on IStock forums are jerks.
Thing is, historically speaking it's because of 'jerks' like them, people who have the guts to ask questions and demand answers, that we have evolved into free, democratic societies.
I'll take the jerks anytime.
As opposed to incognito posters who can't even muster enough courage to reveal their true identity.  
Not to be trusted.
Trusted or not, i think the ridiculous amount of complaining you do is over the top.  You complain about 15% commissions, meanwhile, what does that even mean for you.  Are you even losing any money.  I mean, you have 150 downloads in forever, so what does the 25% reduction in commission cost you? maybe $40 a year (i think i'm being generous here)? For the amount of complaining you do, why not just stop uploading.  You can probably make more money selling dandelions on the street corne.  and you get to keep 100% of that.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 12:00
Oh pulheese  ::)  If the post September 7th fall out has shown me anything, it's that there are more people than I thought who love celebrity status.  We get it, we got it, really we did. You're leaving iStock and you don't like the changes. Just like many other, less adulation seeking contributors who stated their postiion and then were done.  Your new found moral highground cult status surely doesn't bestow you the right to threaten other contributors here?? Many people are annoymous for very good reason, it allows them to speak their mind without repercussion for other parts of their lives.

I can't agree with you there Caz. I'd say David has proven he is a man of both action and integrity. I certainly didn't see any celebrity-seeking. I just saw a bloke standing up strongly for what he believed in. A few more of him and a few less of the spineless do-nothingers (or worse the apologists) and we wouldn't be in the mess we are.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Caz on September 20, 2010, 12:05

I can't agree with you there Caz. I'd say David has proven he is a man of both action and integrity. I certainly didn't see any celebrity-seeking. I just saw a bloke standing up strongly for what he believed in. A few more of him and a few less of the spineless do-nothingers (or worse the apologists) and we wouldn't be in the mess we are.

He did, indeed. But posts like the one I referenced don't fit with that integrity, in my book.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 20, 2010, 12:19
@ hawk _ eye

What wild speculation?  I must have missed that.  Perhaps you could point that out.

In my opinion - drawn from my own experience and what others have shared with me is that what is visible in the 'yard' is only what has been purposefully censored or manipulated to their liking (directly - like deleted posts and indirectly - like 'intimidating' phone calls or emails or the general tone of high level attention).  So, if what you see is what they want you to see, and you don't like it, it would stand to reason that your beef is actually with them.  So, what are you going to do about it?  Are you going to tell them that you don't like what they are doing?... hmmm, why does that seem familiar...?  Good luck.

Responsibilty lies with whom has the control.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 20, 2010, 12:20
I'm sorry, where did I say I would publicize whatever I might uncover?  I'm just interested in sorting out who I am discussing things with.  Its hard to gauge where someone is coming from when they are hiding behind a screen name (for whatever reason), especially when they are obviously very familiar with you.  Hawk_eye, feel free to send me a private message, and I assure you I will keep your identity in confidence.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 12:38
David - you seem to need to satisfy your curiosity, but I don't really care. You can figure it out or I'm sure someone will tell you. As for being familiar with you, dude, who isn't thanks to all your posts lately?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 20, 2010, 12:45
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 20, 2010, 12:55
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: nruboc on September 20, 2010, 13:01
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)



You're the one who started the pissing contest, I support Eieann's right to post what ever she * well pleases. Ignore her if it bothers you so much
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 20, 2010, 13:09
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)



You're the one who started the pissing contest, I support Eieann's right to post what ever she  well pleases. Ignore her if it bothers you so much

whatever, she has no respect for others because they don't feel like posting portfolio links yet she demands respect from an agency that she has not even made a decent contribution to. 
I have no problem with people complaining who will actually suffer from the loss and the cuts, but she doesn't even average 4 dls a month.  Don't tell me to ignore that because her whining is the most pathetic thing I've seen in a while. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: nruboc on September 20, 2010, 13:16
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)



You're the one who started the pissing contest, I support Eieann's right to post what ever she  well pleases. Ignore her if it bothers you so much

whatever, she has no respect for others because they don't feel like posting portfolio links yet she demands respect from an agency that she has not even made a decent contribution to.  
I have no problem with people complaining who will actually suffer from the loss and the cuts, but she doesn't even average 4 dls a month.  Don't tell me to ignore that because her whining is the most pathetic thing I've seen in a while.  


Well, get used to it, I'm not going to have any files on IStock, but I'm still going to comment any time I choose, regardless of how you feel about it. IStock's decisions affects the whole industry.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 20, 2010, 13:29
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)



You're the one who started the pissing contest, I support Eieann's right to post what ever she  well pleases. Ignore her if it bothers you so much

whatever, she has no respect for others because they don't feel like posting portfolio links yet she demands respect from an agency that she has not even made a decent contribution to.  
I have no problem with people complaining who will actually suffer from the loss and the cuts, but she doesn't even average 4 dls a month.  Don't tell me to ignore that because her whining is the most pathetic thing I've seen in a while.  


Well, get used to it, I'm not going to have any files on IStock, but I'm still going to comment any time I choose, regardless of how you feel about it. IStock's decisions affects the whole industry.

Re: "IStock's decision's affect the whole industry"

A very important point that needs sustained and proactive action on our part.  Lets not let attacks from those who stand to gain from confusing the issue knock us off course.  There is no amount of dialog that will convince me the changes at IS are anything but negative for the micro stock industry as a whole.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Blufish on September 20, 2010, 13:51
You know what? It doesn't matter who has what DLs, biggest port, whatever. We all have a right to be pissed, not only the people who have significant losses.  This forum is for everyone, New, old, head honchos, egotistical maniacs, whomever. Let's try to not have a pissing contest. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: RacePhoto on September 20, 2010, 13:53
So here is what I posted on iStock that caused them to revoke my ability to post in the forums, and lock me out of sitemail.   Make of that what you will:


Honestly, without any personal judgment on what you wrote or IS, I think they banned you for a history of writing what you thought, rather than one message that happened to be the last one, when they decided to ban some people.

It's possible they gave the moderators the assignment to clean up the dissidents.  :D
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 20, 2010, 14:02
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)
Maybe you've forgotten where you started.  Let me remind you:

Hey everyone.

I only have 12 photos on Big stock right now with 17 pending.  I was wondering how much people are making on the site and how many photos they have uploaded to this "BIG FIVE" site.

As well, does anyone have any tips.  I just bought a Digital Rebel XT and I would like to get some sales to make back some of that money.   ;D

Joseph
YAY

Finally got into iStock.  Its about time too.  I was waiting because I feel so left out since everyone (even nubes) get in on iStock before me (being involved with this for 3 months and not being in, gets you down) but I'm finally in.  Hopefully I can be successful on it - any tips for them?

Whats with this 30 uploads per week business?  I'm not sure what thats all about...will that change for me?  I have like 300 photos that could potentially meet the iStock bill.  :(

How are you all doing with iStock?   What are your photo niches?

-gareri
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 14:05
^^^ Sweet!  ;D
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 20, 2010, 14:10
Although the bans seemed inevitable, I appreciated the continued postings by many of the active participants of those threads.  Lots of the stats and personal views help me make my plans for the coming months.

I expect some of the bans will last for a while since istock has made up their minds and they really don;t want to be bothered with dissension in the forums.

Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 14:15
Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.

You as well? Unbelievable.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 20, 2010, 14:21
Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.


You as well? Unbelievable.


Yep making a reference to this thread, I just said it was ridiculous to tell sean he wasn't up to par, at least that's the only post that Lobo deleted as far as I can tell.  This is the thread:  http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=256872&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=256872&page=1)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 20, 2010, 14:24
I dont understand their logic for who is banned and who is not. I think it very well could be more about a history of postings rather than one in particular.  But then, Sean has been protesting/disagreeing and so have several others and yet they did not get banned.   I posted my decision to cancel exclusiveness at iStock and I was not banned. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 20, 2010, 14:26
Ichiro,
no links, no names, no port, no sales.
No argument.
A nobody.

Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.  Don't start picking on who and what, because if you were around for any decent amount of time, you would know who I am as I've been a member on this forum forever.  Oh and btw, my port is 10000 dls at iStock and my 12,000 SS sales before I went exclusive (not that thats impressive to you, because you're a bigshot with your 150 lifetime sales)
Maybe you've forgotten where you started.  Let me remind you:

Hey everyone.

I only have 12 photos on Big stock right now with 17 pending.  I was wondering how much people are making on the site and how many photos they have uploaded to this "BIG FIVE" site.

As well, does anyone have any tips.  I just bought a Digital Rebel XT and I would like to get some sales to make back some of that money.   ;D

Joseph
YAY

Finally got into iStock.  Its about time too.  I was waiting because I feel so left out since everyone (even nubes) get in on iStock before me (being involved with this for 3 months and not being in, gets you down) but I'm finally in.  Hopefully I can be successful on it - any tips for them?

Whats with this 30 uploads per week business?  I'm not sure what thats all about...will that change for me?  I have like 300 photos that could potentially meet the iStock bill.  :(

How are you all doing with iStock?   What are your photo niches?

-gareri

let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Lizard on September 20, 2010, 14:44
Nope but in pause u came to piss in this pool  ;)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 14:48
let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

Maybe you should have bitched and not been such a compliant little doggie? Now they hold all the cards (because you gave yours away). Remind us what % of your microstock income you'll be losing for your loyalty? That Gold canister you've been striving for isn't going to mean much now is it?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 15:07
Many people are annoymous for very good reason, it allows them to speak their mind without repercussion for other parts of their lives.
Personally I don't mind anonymity if the quality of posting makes up for it. But what I really dislike is an anonymous one prying into the port of a known poster to find "bad" pictures, then post those here and give unsolicited critique or worse, ridicule those images. That's what happened to MichaelDB and it's not done.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 15:16
Perhaps Michael shouldn't have done it to someone else then...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 15:26
Yup just a nobody.  At least no one knows that for sure.  Unlike you and your big mouth and little portfolio with no sales to back it up.
Not done. Or is this the true iStock spirit?  ::)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 20, 2010, 15:40
let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

Maybe you should have bitched and not been such a compliant little doggie? Now they hold all the cards (because you gave yours away). Remind us what % of your microstock income you'll be losing for your loyalty? That Gold canister you've been striving for isn't going to mean much now is it?

I won't lose anything.  In fact, I may actually gain the next level :) Maybe you shouldn't have been so compliant either. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2010, 16:43
I won't lose anything.  In fact, I may actually gain the next level :)

Really? With fewer than 10K sales in over 4 years you aren't going up any levels. You're miles away from 40K RC's. You'll never get that 35% the Gold canister would have secured for you. It'll be snatched from your grasp by your greedy master just before you get there. 

Why aren't you mad as hell about it and bitterly regretting ever going exclusive? Istock have done you up like a kipper. Now they're laughing behind their hands at the carefully-designed predicament they have created for you __ and yet you still offer them your unyielding loyalty and support. How much more humiliation will you allow Istock to heap upon you before you wake up out of your cult-like stupor?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on September 20, 2010, 16:48

let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

I think you really need to show some respect. Some here don't have huge portfolio's. Some do. We are all contributor's and are all effected by this. Some more than others. It's the whole principal of the thing that gets everyone angry. If you were sitting with a small portfolio today and knew that your income wouldn't grow much because of the cuts then you would be upset with that just as you are upset with your end of it now. It's the principal of it all rather it's the big contributors or the small. We all make up the microstock industry.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Lizard on September 20, 2010, 16:57
let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

Maybe you should have bitched and not been such a compliant little doggie? Now they hold all the cards (because you gave yours away). Remind us what % of your microstock income you'll be losing for your loyalty? That Gold canister you've been striving for isn't going to mean much now is it?

I won't lose anything.  In fact, I may actually gain the next level :) Maybe you shouldn't have been so compliant either. 

Please , but please

So , why are you writing obvious lies , if your sales are 4 times up u still want make nothing , actually you are down like most of us.

This is childish
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 20, 2010, 17:37
let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

Maybe you should have bitched and not been such a compliant little doggie? Now they hold all the cards (because you gave yours away). Remind us what % of your microstock income you'll be losing for your loyalty? That Gold canister you've been striving for isn't going to mean much now is it?

I won't lose anything.  In fact, I may actually gain the next level :) Maybe you shouldn't have been so compliant either. 

Please , but please

So , why are you writing obvious lies , if your sales are 4 times up u still want make nothing , actually you are down like most of us.

This is childish

who are you to say what I make? year over year I'm up.  Every month is pretty constant with the previous, and i have no issues with my sales.  The 'summer slowdown' isn't that bad for me, and whatever you want to believe you can. 

WHy do I need to have more respect? I have plenty of respect for a lot of people in this forum, especially those that deserve it.  its obvious that 0 dls over there doesn't have any for anyone else.  I clearly haven't attacked dgilder for his decision to remove his portfolio.  While I may not agree with it, I have been, I blieve, respectful about disagreeing. 

Childish is making assumptions that you don't know anything about.  So believe what you want, but don't tell me to have more respect. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Dreamframer on September 20, 2010, 18:01
So, we are ending in bashing each other. This is getting more desperate every day.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on September 20, 2010, 18:02
So, we are ending in bashing each other. This is getting more desperate every day.

+1
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Allsa on September 20, 2010, 18:10
So, we are ending in bashing each other. This is getting more desperate every day.


+1
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eireann on September 20, 2010, 18:26
Thank you everyone for your support :)
Made me feel great, thank you :)

Ichiro,
come on now! Let's put an end to this.
Obviously I'm not doing this for me. I've got a crappy port, poor sales and I make no money.
So why bother?
Because this is not about me.  
This is about all of us, about being fair and trying my very best to stop IStock's 15% commission from spreading around.
I can't work harder Ichiro. That's not an option.
I submit both vectors and photos. To climb back to 20% I need to reach the following targets : 1.400.000 credits for photos and 75.000 credits for vectors.
They're plain impossible.
I stopped uploading.
I will delete my port well before the change takes place.
I will not sell a single file for anything less than 20%.

Meanwhile I will keep on complaining, making as much noise as I possibly can. Here, and everywhere.
Unfortunately for you, there's nothing you can do to stop me.

IStock's deal is rotten. No matter how you look at it, independent or exclusive.
It's rotten and instead of obsessing about my sales, you should join us and try to stop it.
Save IStock from going down.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: cathyslife on September 20, 2010, 18:29
So, we are ending in bashing each other. This is getting more desperate every day.
+1

+3 Well, human nature is that when something goes wrong, blame somebody. If you don't have access to the actual person who did the wrong, grab the person closest to you and blame him/her. It's Getty/IS that has done the wrong, but since none of us have access to blame them anymore (people being banned from the forums, posts being deleted) some people think turning on each is the smart move. NOT!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 20, 2010, 18:33
Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.

You as well? Unbelievable.

Don't be surprised if your week turns into 10 days or two weeks. That sort of happens
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: FD on September 20, 2010, 18:34
Save IStock from going down.
Why? Jump! Jump!  :P
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Lizard on September 20, 2010, 18:50
let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

Maybe you should have bitched and not been such a compliant little doggie? Now they hold all the cards (because you gave yours away). Remind us what % of your microstock income you'll be losing for your loyalty? That Gold canister you've been striving for isn't going to mean much now is it?

I won't lose anything.  In fact, I may actually gain the next level :) Maybe you shouldn't have been so compliant either. 

Please , but please

So , why are you writing obvious lies , if your sales are 4 times up u still want make nothing , actually you are down like most of us.

This is childish

who are you to say what I make? year over year I'm up.  Every month is pretty constant with the previous, and i have no issues with my sales.  The 'summer slowdown' isn't that bad for me, and whatever you want to believe you can. 

WHy do I need to have more respect? I have plenty of respect for a lot of people in this forum, especially those that deserve it.  its obvious that 0 dls over there doesn't have any for anyone else.  I clearly haven't attacked dgilder for his decision to remove his portfolio.  While I may not agree with it, I have been, I blieve, respectful about disagreeing. 

Childish is making assumptions that you don't know anything about.  So believe what you want, but don't tell me to have more respect. 


Ichiro,  m8 , you know I have nothing against u or nobody , but how can u say u are not loosing nothing , and that u might actually go up ?

What are u saying , that u had  less than 10 000 dl in so many years and now you wont be affected or your part is going to stay the same ?

Its not assumption , its a fact , you will be downgraded , and for same % you'll have to work much much harder then now ,  and only contributors know
how many hours we invested in our work with only one goal , and then they lift the bar in a second and u have to jump like u never thought its possible
to stay at the same level.

Man , somewhere deep inside u know most people here are right , please don't try to trash them with empty theories and impossible endings.


If u really believe what u say , hats down m8 , you are are hard worker and u deserve to come where u headed to , but it certainly wont be easier , not for u,
not for me , probably not for anybody.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 20, 2010, 18:52
Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.

You as well? Unbelievable.

Don't be surprised if your week turns into 10 days or two weeks. That sort of happens

I'm fairly certain mine is permanent. :D
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: OhGoAway! on September 20, 2010, 19:41
Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.


You as well? Unbelievable.


Yep making a reference to this thread, I just said it was ridiculous to tell sean he wasn't up to par, at least that's the only post that Lobo deleted as far as I can tell.  This is the thread:  [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=256872&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=256872&page=1[/url])


What?? I said the same thing in the exclusive forum and haven't heard anything. Maybe because it was in the main forum, but it's still the most ridiculous claim I've heard JJ make in my (long) time on iStock.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 19:52
referring to the +1,2 and +3 up there....with the exception of Lisa, who is usually respectful and kind in here....the others who high-fived over contributor bashing.....you are regularly some of the worst perpetrators in here! there is so much disrespect in these forums that it's no wonder the small contingent represented here are the same people being banned form other sites.

some big wigs come here to talk freely, and many like me, in the middle ground...come here to read all perspectives as part of an approach to better understanding the entire industry....but I so often get annoyed with the garbage, bullsh*t and complaining in here that it ceases to be helpful.

ichiro - I don't know why you are wasting your breath. it's a playground. the problem with the meanest kid on the playground, is that he'll/she'll stoop lower than someone reasonable, so in terms of arguing, they'll always seem to win with insults that shut people down. in reality, those people are either insecure or just plain jerks. either way, it doesn't really affect my bottom line.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 20, 2010, 22:28
referring to the +1,2 and +3 up there....with the exception of Lisa, who is usually respectful and kind in here....the others who high-fived over contributor bashing.....you are regularly some of the worst perpetrators in here! there is so much disrespect in these forums that it's no wonder the small contingent represented here are the same people being banned form other sites.

some big wigs come here to talk freely, and many like me, in the middle ground...come here to read all perspectives as part of an approach to better understanding the entire industry....but I so often get annoyed with the garbage, bullsh*t and complaining in here that it ceases to be helpful.

ichiro - I don't know why you are wasting your breath. it's a playground. the problem with the meanest kid on the playground, is that he'll/she'll stoop lower than someone reasonable, so in terms of arguing, they'll always seem to win with insults that shut people down. in reality, those people are either insecure or just plain jerks. either way, it doesn't really affect my bottom line.

The 'high-fiving' you mention is actually others indicating what a shame it is that it has come to this.  Any decent writers workshop would probably tell you that imagined transgressions make for good fiction, but since this topic is about real events would you also mind backing up the 'wild speculations', you have noted, with some citations based on fact, so I won't be forced to write that off as self-published drivel?


^
^
^
^
^
+4 (sorry, I must have been a moth in a previous life...I just can't seem to resist dimely lit flames or yarn or even the business side of a really heavy swatter).
ETA: speculations not accusations
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2010, 22:42
thank you for making my point for me.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 20, 2010, 23:08
thank you for making my point for me.
anything to help out a fellow player
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: KissMyBliss on September 20, 2010, 23:49
I so often get annoyed with the garbage, bullsh*t and complaining in here that it ceases to be helpful.

Which begs the question: Why do you keep coming back then? Not just to read, but to post?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 00:01
I don't know to be completely honest. frustration, like many other people here? or perhaps hoping that if there is any iota of truth to comments made here, positive or negative, that the evidence will be clear enough to be helpful...I like the discussions, and even when they get heated, they are often great debates. but lately there seems to be more from people who are here to bitch only, not to discuss anything. then people get mad, nasty and here we are. it is hard not to react when you give your thoughts about something you take very seriously, only to have your colleagues make snide, sophomoric jokes at your expense. we all do it. so again, I don't know why I bother posting here. but I really didn't post much here until this latest iStock announcement.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: RacePhoto on September 21, 2010, 00:12
referring to the +1,2 and +3 up there....with the exception of Lisa, who is usually respectful and kind in here....the others who high-fived over contributor bashing.....you are regularly some of the worst perpetrators in here! there is so much disrespect in these forums that it's no wonder the small contingent represented here are the same people being banned form other sites.

some big wigs come here to talk freely, and many like me, in the middle ground...come here to read all perspectives as part of an approach to better understanding the entire industry....but I so often get annoyed with the garbage, bullsh*t and complaining in here that it ceases to be helpful.

ichiro - I don't know why you are wasting your breath. it's a playground. the problem with the meanest kid on the playground, is that he'll/she'll stoop lower than someone reasonable, so in terms of arguing, they'll always seem to win with insults that shut people down. in reality, those people are either insecure or just plain jerks. either way, it doesn't really affect my bottom line.

Let me help. I apologize if English is a second language.

"So, we are ending in bashing each other. This is getting more desperate every day."

You do know what getting desperate means, right?

–adjective
1.
reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency: a desperate killer.
2.
having an urgent need, desire, etc.: desperate for attention.
3.
leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous: a desperate illness.
4.
extremely bad; intolerable or shocking: clothes in desperate taste.
5.
extreme or excessive.
6.
making a final, ultimate effort; giving all: a desperate attempt to save a life.
7.
actuated by a feeling of hopelessness.
8.
having no hope; giving in to despair.


We are being critical of the situation, not applauding it.

+1 more for a little more tolerance and less back biting.  :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 21, 2010, 00:16
ichiro - I don't know why you are wasting your breath. it's a playground. the problem with the meanest kid on the playground, is that he'll/she'll stoop lower than someone reasonable, so in terms of arguing, they'll always seem to win with insults that shut people down. in reality, those people are either insecure or just plain jerks. either way, it doesn't really affect my bottom line.

Wow. Pot meet kettle. You are among the most sanctimonious and condescending (and as a result insulting) among the forum posters. Everyone else is bad and you are the only good one...same story over and over and over. Do you ever wonder why so many people react to you as they do?

Look at that post. For someone talking about insulting and shutting people down, you insult and shut people down. Insecure? Jerks? Here's another. Hypocrite.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 00:27
so I deleted my first post, because frankly caspixel, you're simply correct. I've gotten into the habit of being reactive and condescending here. but in fairness, to me and anyone I might have been critical of here, I'm sure we all do a lot of nice things for other contributors too. I spend a lot of time helping other contributors where I can.

as for iStock, I guess ultimately we all do what's best for ourselves...including decisions we make that we feel will affect the entire industry, or won't...whatever.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 21, 2010, 00:35
Edited
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 00:39
don't people know you are caspixel here? I've seen other people call you by your first name...and your username is the same on istock. but thank you, guess you just saved me the trouble of hiding references to my istock posts.

edited...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 21, 2010, 00:51
People took the liberty of doing that. I never gave anyone permission to use my real name.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 00:52
well then, I apologize. it was an honest mistake.

ETA: I've modified my previous posts removing your first name. again, sorry about that.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: fotografer on September 21, 2010, 01:31



I will delete my port well before the change takes place.

It's rotten and instead of obsessing about my sales, you should join us and try to stop it.
Save IStock from going down.
Exactly how is that action going to stop IS from going down?.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharpshot on September 21, 2010, 01:35
referring to the +1,2 and +3 up there....with the exception of Lisa, who is usually respectful and kind in here....the others who high-fived over contributor bashing.....you are regularly some of the worst perpetrators in here! there is so much disrespect in these forums that it's no wonder the small contingent represented here are the same people being banned form other sites.

some big wigs come here to talk freely, and many like me, in the middle ground...come here to read all perspectives as part of an approach to better understanding the entire industry....but I so often get annoyed with the garbage, bullsh*t and complaining in here that it ceases to be helpful.

ichiro - I don't know why you are wasting your breath. it's a playground. the problem with the meanest kid on the playground, is that he'll/she'll stoop lower than someone reasonable, so in terms of arguing, they'll always seem to win with insults that shut people down. in reality, those people are either insecure or just plain jerks. either way, it doesn't really affect my bottom line.
There is an obvious anti-istock bias here, why wouldn't there be when non-exclusives have been treated so badly?  Some of the people that are exclusive with istock are just as biased the other way, going to great lengths to deny the obvious.  There isn't much point trying to change people in a forum, it doesn't happen.  Just skip the posts you don't like and read the few useful ones.  Cluttering up the forum complaining about the garbage and bullsh*t just adds to the problem.  Like this post has :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 21, 2010, 02:06
what does it matter who I am? you can see my sales performance on iStock and you are breaching an unspoken rule here. we don't call each other out based on anonymity here no matter how much we hate one another...many of us are anonymous here for our own reasons, usually simply as a tool to keep things from showing up in google searches on our businesses. so I'll thank you to respect it.

So if you are not affected everything is great, however if someone else has negatives from your actions or veiwpoint that is perfectly fine.

The reduced royalties rates for everyone else and not yourself; must fit in the same category as you not wanting your name mentioned and yet you had no problem outing someone else who may also want to remain anonymous.

I think the real reason you are here is to protect your port, you have no problem with other people leaving because they are taking a hit from low royalties as long as the buyers stay to buy images from you.

It seems that you are here to intimidate and apply pressure on those who would encourage buyers to find outlets which pay the majority of contributors fair rates.

I noticed that you did freak when the first images in the agency collection showed up and you had a strong reaction to the nasty files, now if more of those appear I would expect that you would not approve of istocks move because you seem to feel that those images will negatively affect your sales.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 21, 2010, 02:49
Quote
It seems that you are here to intimidate and apply pressure on those who would encourage buyers to find outlets which pay the majority of contributors fair rates.

I think that is rather an exaggeration. It's hardly likely that anything anyone says here is going to 'intimidate' or 'apply pressure' on anyone else. This is a devisive issue unfortunately, exclusives don't want threats of taking clients away, non exclusives want to be able to use such threats to make themselves feel better about the situation. Those 2 views are diametrically opposed and conflict is inevitable. Divide and rule might be iStocks philosophy at the moment.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 21, 2010, 03:02
It’s silly for contributors to start picking on each other and the size of their portfolio.  Everyone deserves a decent commission rate, whether they have 20 images or 20,000 images.  It’s their work, they created it and deserve to be paid fairly.

It’s difficult to blame people for complaining about istock.  What they did was really low and deserved a back lashing but they’ve already received it and if they haven’t already began to feel the effects of their greedy decision, they’re definitely going to pay for it next year when they go through with the change.  Continuing this negative campaign however, won’t achieve anything, especially for the ones complaining.  Even if istock tomorrow turns their decision around, would you then stay with them?  Would you trust that they won’t do it to you again down the track?  The damage is already done. I said it in my first post on the Buyers Bailing thread that instead of kicking the guy who’s already down, why not put your energy and focus on the good guys and promote . out of them.  Pick a couple of agents who will have a positive effect on both your pocket and on the buyers’ pocket and support them.  Compare commissions and prices between the greedy agents and the fairer ones and announce the differences to the world. Only then will you get your message across effectively (not just to istock, but to the microstock industry as a whole) that you won’t put up with such degrading commissions any longer.  Everyone by now that has anything to do with the microstock industry know that istock is run by a bunch of greedy pigs.  It’s now time to let all agents know what your terms are and you’ll only be able to do this by supporting the fair agents.  Instead of looking at this istock debacle as a bad thing, why not look at it in a positive light?  Use this opportunity to support each other and put your feet down and let ALL the agents know that enough is enough and that you not only won’t accept 15% commission, but you won’t settle for anything less than 50%.  It’s your artwork/photography you know?  Grab this by the balls and demand that you’re paid what you deserve to be paid!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 07:41
let me remind you that i didn't bitch about 20% or whatever.  and instead of bitching i kept working at it

Maybe you should have bitched and not been such a compliant little doggie? Now they hold all the cards (because you gave yours away). Remind us what % of your microstock income you'll be losing for your loyalty? That Gold canister you've been striving for isn't going to mean much now is it?

I won't lose anything.  In fact, I may actually gain the next level :) Maybe you shouldn't have been so compliant either. 

Please , but please

So , why are you writing obvious lies , if your sales are 4 times up u still want make nothing , actually you are down like most of us.

This is childish

who are you to say what I make? year over year I'm up.  Every month is pretty constant with the previous, and i have no issues with my sales.  The 'summer slowdown' isn't that bad for me, and whatever you want to believe you can. 

WHy do I need to have more respect? I have plenty of respect for a lot of people in this forum, especially those that deserve it.  its obvious that 0 dls over there doesn't have any for anyone else.  I clearly haven't attacked dgilder for his decision to remove his portfolio.  While I may not agree with it, I have been, I blieve, respectful about disagreeing. 

Childish is making assumptions that you don't know anything about.  So believe what you want, but don't tell me to have more respect. 


Ichiro,  m8 , you know I have nothing against u or nobody , but how can u say u are not loosing nothing , and that u might actually go up ?

What are u saying , that u had  less than 10 000 dl in so many years and now you wont be affected or your part is going to stay the same ?

Its not assumption , its a fact , you will be downgraded , and for same % you'll have to work much much harder then now ,  and only contributors know
how many hours we invested in our work with only one goal , and then they lift the bar in a second and u have to jump like u never thought its possible
to stay at the same level.

Man , somewhere deep inside u know most people here are right , please don't try to trash them with empty theories and impossible endings.


If u really believe what u say , hats down m8 , you are are hard worker and u deserve to come where u headed to , but it certainly wont be easier , not for u,
not for me , probably not for anybody.

You have no idea what you are talking about.  And I'm going to leave it at that. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 21, 2010, 07:50
Quote
they’re definitely going to pay for it next year when they go through with the change.

I'm not sure this is true. Pay in what way? A few , mainly low selling contributors leave, hurting no one but their own pockets. Big claims of taking clients with them. I suspect this is 99% bluster. I'm in no way defending IS's behaviour, it's just that I suspect little will change, clients come and go, many swore last time prices went up they would leave, the imminent demise of IS was forecast, nothing happened, i predict it will be much the same this time.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 21, 2010, 08:37
Just a week here, but probably because there wasn't really a reason to do it.


You as well? Unbelievable.


Don't be surprised if your week turns into 10 days or two weeks. That sort of happens

I guess we'll see what happens after the re-education program.  But seriously Lobo said he did this for me because I needed a little break, it's best for me. I was posting in a few threads with things that were about the changes but not about the original thread.  For instance I said that the Race for Gold was over and nobody will be doing this kind of stuff anymore because it helps motivate and teach our competition (which now is everyone at IS, not the other agencies anymore).  I also posted in the forum on the Exclusive+ best match bonus thread that we were promised that our files would get better best match placement but that hasn't happened yet after months of waiting and that this needed to be done now since the changes mean we need more redeemed credits.  I also posted in the thread by a relatively new guy about how excited he was for his raise telling him that he would have gotten a permanent raise under the old system early in next year but now he gets a "raise" that can disappear or go down after one year if he doesn't keep producing great selling images and that he needs at least 4 times more sales every year if he wants another "raise".  Obviously these posts had nothing to do with the threads they were written in.  All hail our fearless leaders!!  As you can tell the re-education program has helped me a bunch.

Lobo also may not have liked this link to the onion, I thought it was funny though:  http://www.theonion.com/articles/manager-achieves-full-mastery-of-pointless-manager,2622/ (http://www.theonion.com/articles/manager-achieves-full-mastery-of-pointless-manager,2622/)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 21, 2010, 08:41
Quote
they’re definitely going to pay for it next year when they go through with the change.

I'm not sure this is true. Pay in what way? A few , mainly low selling contributors leave, hurting no one but their own pockets. Big claims of taking clients with them. I suspect this is 99% bluster. I'm in no way defending IS's behaviour, it's just that I suspect little will change, clients come and go, many swore last time prices went up they would leave, the imminent demise of IS was forecast, nothing happened, i predict it will be much the same this time.


Oh they’ll pay for sure.  I’d be betting they’re already starting to feel the effects slightly but come January next year, it’ll hit them like a tonne of bricks.  Perhaps a few “mainly low selling contributors” with smaller portfolios have already left or are currently pulling their ports but the rest of the independents are doing the smart thing and hanging off till next year.  There is no point them leaving in a hurry when the change doesn’t happen till later.  I’d say most of them are hanging out for stockfresh to take off, and it will.  I seriously doubt any self-respecting non-exclusives will stay for 15%.  20% is already degrading, 15% is just criminal.  So independents will leave next year, no new contributors will sign up after this and it’ll be too risky for anyone to go exclusive.  Buyers have already had word that istock isn’t as spectacular as it says it is and they can find quality images for much less at other agencies where the contributor is paid a fair amount.  It’s inevitable... higher prices, lower commissions, and a smaller database to top it off, buyers will be forced to leave.  Exclusives will then be left there with their big dilemma... “but I’ve invested too much time to leave and start from scratch elsewhere” versus “but I’m losing money staying here”.  It’s going to be tough for exclusives and they’re going to have to be prepared with one foot already out the door.  They would be naive not prepare themselves.  I seriously feel for them... even you.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 21, 2010, 08:52
Quote
It seems that you are here to intimidate and apply pressure on those who would encourage buyers to find outlets which pay the majority of contributors fair rates.

I think that is rather an exaggeration. It's hardly likely that anything anyone says here is going to 'intimidate' or 'apply pressure' on anyone else. This is a devisive issue unfortunately, exclusives don't want threats of taking clients away, non exclusives want to be able to use such threats to make themselves feel better about the situation. Those 2 views are diametrically opposed and conflict is inevitable. Divide and rule might be iStocks philosophy at the moment.

Exclusives had better hope that iStock gets a seriously bloody nose out of this - which, yes, means losing a significant number of sales - because if it doesn't they'll be "adjusting the credit levels" next year to bring you closer and closer to the 20%-for-all commission target (and 15% for the rest of us, I suppose).
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on September 21, 2010, 09:38


Oh they’ll pay for sure.  I’d be betting they’re already starting to feel the effects slightly but come January next year, it’ll hit them like a tonne of bricks.  Perhaps a few “mainly low selling contributors” with smaller portfolios have already left or are currently pulling their ports but the rest of the independents are doing the smart thing and hanging off till next year.  There is no point them leaving in a hurry when the change doesn’t happen till later.  I’d say most of them are hanging out for stockfresh to take off, and it will.  I seriously doubt any self-respecting non-exclusives will stay for 15%.  20% is already degrading, 15% is just criminal.  So independents will leave next year, no new contributors will sign up after this and it’ll be too risky for anyone to go exclusive.  Buyers have already had word that istock isn’t as spectacular as it says it is and they can find quality images for much less at other agencies where the contributor is paid a fair amount.  It’s inevitable... higher prices, lower commissions, and a smaller database to top it off, buyers will be forced to leave.  Exclusives will then be left there with their big dilemma... “but I’ve invested too much time to leave and start from scratch elsewhere” versus “but I’m losing money staying here”.  It’s going to be tough for exclusives and they’re going to have to be prepared with one foot already out the door.  They would be naive not prepare themselves.  I seriously feel for them... even you.

I agree. I think the effects will be felt more after the first of the year when a lot of independents as well as exclusives will pull their ports. It may be more independents leaving, but so many contributors have niche portfolio's or that one image that a buyer wants and when it's no longer there, the buyer will move on to other sites. They really won't have much of a choice. I do wonder though how many small contributors even understand what is going on or are even aware of it. I know they sent e-mails but how many actually bother reading them or even understand it. Many may not even know what % they are getting paid now. But I will say this....rather exclusive or independent...everyone has pictures on there and there is always that one picture that is perfect for the buyer.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 21, 2010, 09:51
Quote
Oh they’ll pay for sure.  I’d be betting they’re already starting to feel the effects slightly but come January next year, it’ll hit them like a tonne of bricks.

If you really believe this you are very naive.

Quote
which, yes, means losing a significant number of sales

I'm having a very good week this week, I'm getting back to pre-summer sales. I agree IS are a bunch of arrogant SoB's and of course I don't want my income to drop (not sure if it will yet, I'll be close to my target if not on it by the new year) I've been at IS long enough to see every price rise of change be met with a chorus of "We're taking our clients away' or "we're stopping buying at IS". It make no difference. This will be the same. That is my prediction, especially when you see who is making the threats. It has to be said they're not big sellers. To be honest, the more work is removed, the more likely those left are to sell stuff. I'm not happy with IS's handling of this, but to see it as some apocalyptic microstock event is just not true.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 21, 2010, 09:54
Donding-Member for 4 years. 400 downloads.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 21, 2010, 09:55
Donding-Member for 4 years. 400 downloads.
You can see lots of people's portfolios on here but no one can see yours, I don't understand why you are calling someone out.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on September 21, 2010, 09:56
Donding-Member for 4 years. 400 downloads.

Yup....thats me.... ;D
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 21, 2010, 10:03


Oh they’ll pay for sure.  I’d be betting they’re already starting to feel the effects slightly but come January next year, it’ll hit them like a tonne of bricks.  Perhaps a few “mainly low selling contributors” with smaller portfolios have already left or are currently pulling their ports but the rest of the independents are doing the smart thing and hanging off till next year.  There is no point them leaving in a hurry when the change doesn’t happen till later.  I’d say most of them are hanging out for stockfresh to take off, and it will.  I seriously doubt any self-respecting non-exclusives will stay for 15%.  20% is already degrading, 15% is just criminal.  So independents will leave next year, no new contributors will sign up after this and it’ll be too risky for anyone to go exclusive.  Buyers have already had word that istock isn’t as spectacular as it says it is and they can find quality images for much less at other agencies where the contributor is paid a fair amount.  It’s inevitable... higher prices, lower commissions, and a smaller database to top it off, buyers will be forced to leave.  Exclusives will then be left there with their big dilemma... “but I’ve invested too much time to leave and start from scratch elsewhere” versus “but I’m losing money staying here”.  It’s going to be tough for exclusives and they’re going to have to be prepared with one foot already out the door.  They would be naive not prepare themselves.  I seriously feel for them... even you.

I agree. I think the effects will be felt more after the first of the year when a lot of independents as well as exclusives will pull their ports. It may be more independents leaving, but so many contributors have niche portfolio's or that one image that a buyer wants and when it's no longer there, the buyer will move on to other sites. They really won't have much of a choice. I do wonder though how many small contributors even understand what is going on or are even aware of it. I know they sent e-mails but how many actually bother reading them or even understand it. Many may not even know what % they are getting paid now. But I will say this....rather exclusive or independent...everyone has pictures on there and there is always that one picture that is perfect for the buyer.

And let's not forget that with each price rise over the last couple years, contributors have seen decreases in downloads. I communicate with several (former) buyers. They have all pretty much phased iStock out of their purchasing. Once the Agency collection is introduced and Vetta prices are increased, both of which will dominate the searches, more and more buyers will get sick of wading through higher priced stuff when they can find it cheaper at other sites. And once the logo program is unveiled...oh boy...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 10:03
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 21, 2010, 10:17
Quote
contributors have seen decreases in downloads. I communicate with several (former) buyers. They have all pretty much phased iStock out of their purchasing.

This is no doubt true. My download numbers have dropped over the years but my sales have increased. As long as this continues I'm OK with it. Clients will definitely come and go, some will drop by the wayside as IS continue to try and position themselves at a higher point than other microstock companies. The Mom and Pop clients go to other sites, bigger fish fill the gap. Is this sustainable? Who know, none of us to be honest, and I have to admit every time there's a big hiccup I start bookmarking other sites but once it all settles down again I delete them One day something major will happen and I may be forced to go, and after the latest debacle I'll be less sorry to go than before, but I earn a good income and until it starts seriously dropping I'll stay put.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dirkr on September 21, 2010, 10:26
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.

You are right, the size of a portfolio and the number of sales is a reasonable metric for past experience in the microstock market.

Whether it is sufficient to give you any indication about things happening in the future after the recently announced changes (for which you have no equivalent data points in your past history, however successful you are) is a completely different questions.
My personal belief is that these changes are fundamentally different than any of the other changes in the past (e.g. price increases) that have been mentioned in this and other threads. Therefore extrapolating past experiences into the future might lead to wrong results.

On the other hand (as I have been on the receiving side of such comments as well I feel the need to comment) most of the times when the port size or sales numbers of member here have been brought up it was not in the context of how much experience was needed to take part in the discussion - mostly it seems to me that making such statements is nothing else but the attempt to attack the reputation of a person out of the lack of real arguments.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 21, 2010, 10:27
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.
Then it is safe to say that you are assuming that independents who choose not to upload significant amounts of images to istock also have small ports on other micro and macro sites.

Did it occur to you that many people who did not upload to istock because of the attitudes here at istock may have seen the pricing and royalty problems coming?

Did it ever occur to you that many of the submitters who are independents or exclusives with small ports on istock; have those small ports because they are working in the business fields which actually buy and use your images and that they make more producing advertising materials and web sites than the majority of exclusives do by shooting stock?

Those are the buyers you stand to lose and those are also the buyers who take note of the elitist and greedy comments made by the let them eat cake crowd.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on September 21, 2010, 10:27
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.

Oh I agree with what you say. Those with large ports do have more experience. The impact with the cuts will be felt more because their sales are more as well as their income, but you must also realize that if even a thousand contributors with small ports of say 100 or 500 leave....that's a loss of between 100,000 to 500,000 photos. If 500 with larger ports of say 2000, were to leave that is a loss of 1,000,000 more photos. Maybe it won't happen that way, only time will tell.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Blufish on September 21, 2010, 10:29
The weight of arguments on DLs doesn't wash. Im a new photographer, but ive been a buyer for 20 years. That being said, designers are motivated by price. Almost exclusively by price.

Ive watched the market for a long time. I have almost no DLs, but, my read on the industry and my opinions DO matter. Why? Most of my business friends are buyers, not contributors. The ones I have spoken with (2 major companies, major buyers), others being independent owners,  are exploring other options. Again, why? Not because of the price decrease for contributors, but because of all the high priced images that they have to slog through to get to the "regular" collection. Most of the buyers I have spoken with do what is comfortable and don't like to waste time changing. Right now they are exploring other companies, looking at price and how fast they can find what they need. I've given them lists to explore to help. Not because my stuff is there, but who I deem as fair to buyers and contributors.

You cannot judge people by their DLs or their anonymous status. You have no idea where they are coming from. I was taught a long time ago, do not burn your bridges, you never bow when you may need to cross it again.    
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 10:41
If 1000 buyers leave and each buyer buys 2000$ a year in photos, which could be pretty substantial that would mean that $2 million in revenue disappears.  If iStock has revenues in excess of 200 million, that would mean that approximatley 1% of business goes.  That is nothing more than the general ebb and flow, or maybe just slightly higher than that.  Those 1000 buyers are small little ants compared to the whole pie.  A small change that no one will even see.  And the few buyers that have already said they would leave probably don't combine to spend 2 mil.  Even at 10 million in lost revenue, I don't think that the impact is going to make that big of a difference. 

And to address the blufish point - I'm not saying I'm discounting everyone's opinion based on port size, I'm taking the credibility of the opinion of only contributors based on port size unless they indicate that they have some other information that they base their arguments on.

Another point was made that these changes are way radical:  no they aren't that radical.  And the outcome can be easily anticipated using buyer behaviour and contributor behaviour - especially similar to that from previous events.  May not be identical, but may be close enough to make it worthwhile using past data.  We do NOT operate in a vacuum, and these events are NOT mutually exclusive. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 21, 2010, 10:42
--snip--

You cannot judge people by their DLs or their anonymous status. You have no idea where they are coming from. I was taught a long time ago, do not burn your bridges, you never know when you may need to cross it again.    

well said.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 21, 2010, 10:47
If 1000 buyers leave and each buyer buys 2000$ a year in photos, which could be pretty substantial that would mean that $2 million in revenue disappears.  If iStock has revenues in excess of 200 million, that would mean that approximatley 1% of business goes.  That is nothing more than the general ebb and flow, or maybe just slightly higher than that.  Those 1000 buyers are small little ants compared to the whole pie.  A small change that no one will even see.  And the few buyers that have already said they would leave probably don't combine to spend 2 mil.  Even at 10 million in lost revenue, I don't think that the impact is going to make that big of a difference. 

And to address the blufish point - I'm not saying I'm discounting everyone's opinion based on port size, I'm taking the credibility of the opinion of only contributors based on port size unless they indicate that they have some other information that they base their arguments on.

Another point was made that these changes are way radical:  no they aren't that radical.  And the outcome can be easily anticipated using buyer behaviour and contributor behaviour - especially similar to that from previous events.  May not be identical, but may be close enough to make it worthwhile using past data.  We do NOT operate in a vacuum, and these events are NOT mutually exclusive. 


The global recession could be a game changer.

Talk to a few advertising agencies and maybe a few of the people who work for them and ask them how business is doing?  Then ask them if price matters?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Lizard on September 21, 2010, 10:47
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.


So , if that's the case , why u wrote that i don't know what im talking about ?  

I believe that numbers say my portfolio is side to side with yours,  even on IS only ?   Both +1000 images both about 9000 dl and we started almost at same time ?

So please tell me you base your claims not to loose or even rise your % on what facts exactly ?

Please, please ,  tell me what u know and I don't , any fact  that is going to rise my optimism


Thank u
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 11:00
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.


So , if that's the case , why u wrote that i don't know what im talking about ?  

I believe that numbers say my portfolio is side to side with yours,  even on IS only ?   Both +1000 images both about 9000 dl and we started almost at same time ?

So please tell me you base your claims not to loose or even rise your % on what facts exactly ?

Please, please ,  tell me what u know and I don't , any fact  that is going to rise my optimism


Thank u

you are dumb.  i said don't tell me stuff about me losing commission because you don't know anythign about me or my portfolio or where my credits are or how my portfolio performance at iStock has increased over the past year hence my ability to stay at the same level with a good chance at rising up to the next level.  How hard is that to understand? its not rocket science, but given the math abilities displayed lately.....
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 11:01
If 1000 buyers leave and each buyer buys 2000$ a year in photos, which could be pretty substantial that would mean that $2 million in revenue disappears.  If iStock has revenues in excess of 200 million, that would mean that approximatley 1% of business goes.  That is nothing more than the general ebb and flow, or maybe just slightly higher than that.  Those 1000 buyers are small little ants compared to the whole pie.  A small change that no one will even see.  And the few buyers that have already said they would leave probably don't combine to spend 2 mil.  Even at 10 million in lost revenue, I don't think that the impact is going to make that big of a difference. 

And to address the blufish point - I'm not saying I'm discounting everyone's opinion based on port size, I'm taking the credibility of the opinion of only contributors based on port size unless they indicate that they have some other information that they base their arguments on.

Another point was made that these changes are way radical:  no they aren't that radical.  And the outcome can be easily anticipated using buyer behaviour and contributor behaviour - especially similar to that from previous events.  May not be identical, but may be close enough to make it worthwhile using past data.  We do NOT operate in a vacuum, and these events are NOT mutually exclusive. 


The global recession could be a game changer.

Talk to a few advertising agencies and maybe a few of the people who work for them and ask them how business is doing?  Then ask them if price matters?

because istock only has a few ad agencies as clients and their customer portfolio isn't diversified or anything.  and this global recession is currently recovering slowly.  Its no longer a recession.  its in "recovery" - the pace at which is highly debated
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Lizard on September 21, 2010, 11:27
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.

Then there's always those that just go off the deep end anyways....whatever it is...this off topic reply is just to try to incorporate the idea that dls and experience and portfolio exposure do matter a bit more than many peopel here are willing to admit.


So , if that's the case , why u wrote that i don't know what im talking about ?  

I believe that numbers say my portfolio is side to side with yours,  even on IS only ?   Both +1000 images both about 9000 dl and we started almost at same time ?

So please tell me you base your claims not to loose or even rise your % on what facts exactly ?

Please, please ,  tell me what u know and I don't , any fact  that is going to rise my optimism


Thank u

you are dumb.  i said don't tell me stuff about me losing commission because you don't know anythign about me or my portfolio or where my credits are or how my portfolio performance at iStock has increased over the past year hence my ability to stay at the same level with a good chance at rising up to the next level.  How hard is that to understand? its not rocket science, but given the math abilities displayed lately.....

I know u have 9000 downloads in 4+ years and I don't have to be a rocket scientist to make a conclusion , and I agree Im dump, only  because I try  get into conversations with arrogant liars.

Now go find someone with 100 dl in few years and cure your complexes there.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 11:39
so - how's everyone doing today? lol. look, insults aside blah blah blah....I think some important points have been made. to suggest past performance and tenure are not issues is silly. it has nothing to do with being nice. much of the outrage is from people who stand to lose because they have not uploaded significantly to their portfolios, or they have reached a canister level slowly over many years...and therefore have not really built their portfolio up enough to compete.

the actually percentages aside, which I agree seem unfair in some cases.....people who work harder are going to reap higher percentages. I produce work constantly, and I know many who are in a similar position remaining at their current percentage do the same. the 5% loss is theoretical for me on my next canister and frankly 5% is not something I'm going to sink my exclusivity over. to extrapolate and suggest iStock are going to whittle away at that every year to nothing is absurd.

independents are getting a raw deal, for sure. but perhaps this is an impetus to go exclusive, or perhaps it is a means to discourage independence, in order to maximize the value of the iStock collections as not being available anywhere but on Getty sites. You can magnify that to the absurd too and suggest Getty is trying to monopolize the industry, but contributors hold too much copyright power with their work.

don't underestimate the sense of ownership we all have over our work. those of us happy to be at iStock simply believe that reasonably speaking, it's where the most money is and the best representation of our work. that doesn't mean that we won't act if there is a LEGITIMATE reason to. so far though, all the furor has been the same people seemingly crying wolf and it's getting old. and it's too bad, because you've created such an uproar upon the announcement of every change, you can't expect people to keep listening.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 21, 2010, 11:49
+1
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 21, 2010, 11:54
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.
The point you're missing is that Istockphoto aren't merely reshuffling things to give a higher sellers more and lower sellers less __ they're just keeping more of the money for themselves. Nobody (that I'm aware of) is getting more money and everyone is getting less, one way or another.

Unfortunately your feeble-minded unconditional love for Istockphoto means you are completely blind to their real motives.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 21, 2010, 12:03
the 5% loss is theoretical for me on my next canister

Again, math issues, 5% = 12.5% money loss for 40% royalties to 35%; 10% = 25% money loss for 40% to 30%;

How you read that entire thread and managed to still get this math incorrect boggles my mind considering how many times it was mentioned.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 12:18
I understand the argument that everyone has the right to complain about changes and everyone deserves a fair commission, etc.  Which I 100% agree with.  There's a faction here that says downloads don't matter, and there's a faction that says that past performance does matter in judging the validity of the argument.  I do believe that DLs and tenure do matter because the statistical reference point that a person that has 38 downloads over 1 year or 500 downloads over 5 years carries much less weight than someone who is at 12000 dls over 3 years or something like that.  Experience is a huge player in almost any job and this is obviously no different.  

I'm not saying that people with crappy ports or low dls do not have valid arguments, and in a lot of cases they do, what I'm saying is that when people who are predicting the future from a such a small reference sample its hard to take that prediction seriously given the lack of data/experience to back up claims.
The point you're missing is that Istockphoto aren't merely reshuffling things to give a higher sellers more and lower sellers less __ they're just keeping more of the money for themselves. Nobody (that I'm aware of) is getting more money and everyone is getting less, one way or another.

Unfortunately your feeble-minded unconditional love for Istockphoto means you are completely blind to their real motives.

indeed! i'm totally blind
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 12:22
Again, math issues, 5% = 12.5% money loss for 40% royalties to 35%; 10% = 25% money loss for 40% to 30%;
...


Looks to me like you're off a bit: He's currently at Gold, so he might be looking at going down from 35% to 30% - a 14% income reduction.
On the bright side, if he can sell $18,550 per year he won't be affected. On the dark side, it looks like he was almost at Diamond - now he'll need to earn $69,500 before he can get that 40% commission he used to be so close to. See this chart (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/extrapolating-redeemed-credits/msg160664/#msg160664) for income references.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 12:33
The point you're missing is that Istockphoto aren't merely reshuffling things to give a higher sellers more and lower sellers less __ they're just keeping more of the money for themselves. Nobody (that I'm aware of) is getting more money and everyone is getting less, one way or another.
...

Heh, you've ironically made a statement - "Nobody (that I'm aware of) is getting more money and everyone is getting less, one way or another." - to someone who claims to be getting more money.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: bittersweet on September 21, 2010, 12:39
Donding-Member for 4 years. 400 downloads.

Call me crazy, but I wonder how many opinions are being dismissed as not valid because of the perceived value of their portfolios, when in fact some of these may actually have a primary role at istock that consists of being a buyer.

Edited to acknowledge that gbalex and others made the same point, and that I should have read the entire thread before replying to anything.  :) I was a buyer for quite a while before becoming a contributor, so my "join date" has absolutely nothing to do with my portfolio performance.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 21, 2010, 12:41
Heh, you've ironically made a statement - "Nobody (that I'm aware of) is getting more money and everyone is getting less, one way or another." - to someone who claims to be getting more money. On top of that, there's even an ongoing dispute about it between him and another member, and you made your post right in the middle of it!
I suppose it is ironic. I'd love hear a detailed explaination from him on how he thinks he's getting a 'rise'. I'm sure we'd all get a good chuckle from it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 12:47
FWIW, so you can accurately calculate my percentages....I'll be at 55K RC thereabouts by the end of the year. I won't be reduced, except in terms of the additional 5% I would have been raised once I hit diamond. I understand what that translates to in actual percentage, but that wasn't really my point.

if you have to try SO hard to invalidate my opinion, what does that say about your position?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 12:52
nevermind, my numbers are meaningless to you because you will just twist them with your effed up math anyways
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 12:55
I suppose it is ironic. I'd love hear a detailed explaination from him on how he thinks he's getting a 'rise'. I'm sure we'd all get a good chuckle from it.

The only thing I know is that he's currently at Silver level, and so would have to earn $15,900 in 2011 to be bumped up to Gold. If he hits Gold by Dec 31, he'll have to earn $18,550 to stay at there, which works out to somewhere around 3850 main collection DLs. Given the time he's been on iStock (4 years) and his total sales (9,000+), I'd say either is doable.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 21, 2010, 13:07
The only thing I know is that he's currently at Gold level, and so would have to earn $18,550 in 2011 to stay there. That works out to somewhere around 3850 main collection DLs. Given the time he's been on iStock (4 years) and his total sales (10,000+), I'd say it's doable.
He's actually currently Silver. From January you'll need 40K RC's to stay at 35%, the existing level for Gold. I gather an exclusive might average about 7 RC's per sale? If so you'd need over 5000 sales per year to do achieve that. That looks like a big stretch to me and even then he'd only be getting what he'd have got anyway under the current system. He can certainly kiss his arse goodbye to ever getting 40%.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 21, 2010, 13:13
FWIW, so you can accurately calculate my percentages....I'll be at 55K RC thereabouts by the end of the year. I won't be reduced, except in terms of the additional 5% I would have been raised once I hit diamond. I understand what that translates to in actual percentage, but that wasn't really my point.

if you have to try SO hard to invalidate my opinion, what does that say about your position?

I'm just trying to keep you from introducing bad math again, so you don't confuse someone new who comes reading this thread and doesn't fully understand the impact.  It happened many times in the iStock threads.  So its not an attempt to invalidate your opinion, just an attempt to clarify something that you apparently wanted to keep muddy.

I'm also not sure why you think I have to put much effort into invalidating your opinions, you seem to do a pretty good job of that on your own.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 13:19

He's actually currently Silver. From January you'll need 40K RC's to stay at 35%, the existing level for Gold. I gather an exclusive might average about 7 RC's per sale? If so you'd need over 5000 sales per year to do achieve that. That looks like a big stretch to me and even then he'd only be getting what he'd have got anyway under the current system. He can certainly kiss his arse goodbye to ever getting 40%.


Yeah, I realized my mistake and corrected it while you were responding - sorry about that.

Your math is a bit off, but that's excusable because you don't have access to real exclusive sales data, and are going on speculation and heresay. Needless to say, gostwyck, being on the exclusive side of the fence puts me in a better position to make these calculations. As far as the numbers go, my data shows that 1 RC = $0.53 at Diamond, which can be scaled down to $0.46 for Gold. My data also shows that the average main collection commission for Gold to be about $4.80. Putting those numbers together gives 1 RC = 10 DLs. Or thereabouts - it's certainly not 7.

You may want to take a look at this chart (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/extrapolating-redeemed-credits/msg160664/#msg160664) to see how everything works out with respect to income and commission level.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 21, 2010, 13:33
I gather an exclusive might average about 7 RC's per sale?

Yep, 6.9 here.

which can be scaled down to $0.46 for Gold. My data also shows that the average main collection commission for Gold to be about $4.80.

I (gold) come up with $0.44 / RC, or $3.04 / sale
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 13:40
I gather an exclusive might average about 7 RC's per sale?


Yep, 6.9 here.


Yeah, but you guys either aren't exclusive (gostwyck) or have a mix of exclusive and nonexclusive sales data (dgilder).
Trust me, as someone who does a lot  of sales analyses, it works out differently when you consider only exclusive sales data.

Also, dgilder, a quick look at your portfolio shows a lack of attention to your E+ image management. I know it's moot now, but you might want to consider Googling "optimal product mix". Or maybe go here (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/using-solver-to-determine-the-optimal-product-mix-HA010285262.aspx).
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 21, 2010, 13:44
I went exclusive mid Feb, so perhaps you are right, but either way, it doesn't have much impact.  You need to make iStock a lot of cash to bump to the higher levels.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 21, 2010, 13:44
funny because i average about 9.5, (approx 40 cents per credit) so it varies per person - and i was never going to get to diamond level 40% anyways under the previously new cannister changes as they put that well out of reach, so being grandfathered to gold was my aim.  And seeing as I will either hit or come very close to getting to that level, I'm totally fine with that.  i'll refrain from saying anything else because whatever i say you won't believe me because it doesn't suit your agendas
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 13:53
funny because i average about 9.5, (approx 40 cents per credit) so it varies per person - and i was never going to get to diamond level 40% anyways under the previously new cannister changes as they put that well out of reach, so being grandfathered to gold was my aim.  And seeing as I will either hit or come very close to getting to that level, I'm totally fine with that.  i'll refrain from saying anything else because whatever i say you won't believe me because it doesn't suit your agendas

Mine works out to 13.1, but my numbers show I might be able to get it higher once I can change my E+ images in October. Needless to say, if you want to maximize your income, there's more involved than simply adding stuff to your portfolio.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 21, 2010, 14:00
Sharply, don't forget that I have already deleted over a third of my portfolio, and E+ along with the rest.

Also, dgilder, a quick look at your portfolio shows a lack of attention to your E+ image management. I know it's moot now, but you might want to consider Googling "optimal product mix". Or maybe go here ([url]http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/using-solver-to-determine-the-optimal-product-mix-HA010285262.aspx[/url]).
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 14:19
Sharply, don't forget that I have already deleted over a third of my portfolio, and E+ along with the rest.

Yes, I know, but I assumed you'd only deleted those images which weren't generating income. Correct?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: KissMyBliss on September 21, 2010, 14:37
so far though, all the furor has been the same people seemingly crying wolf and it's getting old. and it's too bad, because you've created such an uproar upon the announcement of every change, you can't expect people to keep listening.
You speak madness, lass. I`ll tell ye what`s gettin' old. Th' same madness ye rain down on th' IS forums ye spout here, but t' a deeper degree. Swabbies be havin' a valid reason fer the'r anger an' displeasure. That ye consistently dismiss emotions as sophmoric or childish or th' like be par fer yer course. Why dasn't ye muzzle yersef already an' jus' give th' BS a rest? If ye dasn't want t' listen, nay one`s got a gun t' yer hade.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Blufish on September 21, 2010, 14:45
My smile fortheday was reading Bliss. I hear it in my head and the accent makes me happy.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 21, 2010, 15:00
Is it talk like a pirate day already, I'm so unprepared. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 21, 2010, 15:01
Is it talk like a pirate day already, I'm so unprepared. 


Wait I missed it >:(
http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 21, 2010, 15:12
Sharply, don't forget that I have already deleted over a third of my portfolio, and E+ along with the rest.

Yes, I know, but I assumed you'd only deleted those images which weren't generating income. Correct?

Incorrect, I've been deleting based on my own cataloging system as I sort out what is going where next month.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on September 21, 2010, 15:14
Is it talk like a pirate day already, I'm so unprepared.  


Wait I missed it >:(
[url]http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html[/url] ([url]http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html[/url])



Aaaaargh!!!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: rubyroo on September 21, 2010, 15:15
Weird... it just so happens I was talking like a pirate on the right day - but apologised to my other half because I thought I was early!!

Must've just picked up the wave... length...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 15:28
...
Incorrect, I've been deleting based on my own cataloging system as I sort out what is going where next month.

Okay, my bad then - sorry.

As an independent you still might want to check up on product mix, though - you might find it more profitable to list some images exlcusively at DT/FT than have everything scattered everywhere. But then again, maybe the word "exclusive" isn't in your vocabulary anymore.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 16:19
FWIW, so you can accurately calculate my percentages....I'll be at 55K RC thereabouts by the end of the year. I won't be reduced, except in terms of the additional 5% I would have been raised once I hit diamond. I understand what that translates to in actual percentage, but that wasn't really my point.

if you have to try SO hard to invalidate my opinion, what does that say about your position?

I'm just trying to keep you from introducing bad math again, so you don't confuse someone new who comes reading this thread and doesn't fully understand the impact.  It happened many times in the iStock threads.  So its not an attempt to invalidate your opinion, just an attempt to clarify something that you apparently wanted to keep muddy.

I'm also not sure why you think I have to put much effort into invalidating your opinions, you seem to do a pretty good job of that on your own.

whatever dude, just pointing out that my math wasn't an issue in this case despite you highlighting my post as though it was. for once you and I sort of agree. the math errors being made in the istock forum have been driving me crazy, particularly in cases where contributors are complaining about their future losses, but have no idea how much they actually make currently. ironic, no?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: KissMyBliss on September 21, 2010, 18:05
whatever dude, just pointing out that my math wasn't an issue in this case despite you highlighting my post as though it was. for once you and I sort of agree. the math errors being made in the istock forum have been driving me crazy, particularly in cases where contributors are complaining about their future losses, but have no idea how much they actually make currently. ironic, no?
Argh, ye crazy lass! Swabbies may be havin' made math errors here or thar, but ye needn`t be a mathematician t' understand that ye`ll soon be shafted under th' new commission structure. Bilge water. Ye dasn't e'en need a calculator - n`er understand how t' operate one - t' figure that ou'!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: OhGoAway! on September 21, 2010, 22:17
much of the outrage is from people who stand to lose because they have not uploaded significantly to their portfolios, or they have reached a canister level slowly over many years...and therefore have not really built their portfolio up enough to compete.

the actually percentages aside, which I agree seem unfair in some cases.....people who work harder are going to reap higher percentages.



The real issue isn't the changes. I don't like them but that's beside the point. I've bolded the portion that I think bears looking at -- and it bears looking at because we've been told this is how things will operate. I will concede that iStock can change the rules all they like (I think it's crappy business, but to each his own), but three months' time to go from almost reaching gold to being knocked back down to bronze level? That's a tad harsh . . .  if this was coming down the pipe all along (as I suspect it was), then they should have broken the news last year and let everyone have time to ramp up.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 21, 2010, 22:37
I gather an exclusive might average about 7 RC's per sale?


Yep, 6.9 here.


Yeah, but you guys either aren't exclusive (gostwyck) or have a mix of exclusive and nonexclusive sales data (dgilder).
Trust me, as someone who does a lot  of sales analyses, it works out differently when you consider only exclusive sales data.

Also, dgilder, a quick look at your portfolio shows a lack of attention to your E+ image management. I know it's moot now, but you might want to consider Googling "optimal product mix". Or maybe go here ([url]http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/using-solver-to-determine-the-optimal-product-mix-HA010285262.aspx[/url]).


I've been exclusive since August 2008 and when I calculated my numbers for this year (some time last week) it was 8.19 rc / DL and 47.5 cents per RC.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 21, 2010, 23:07
much of the outrage is from people who stand to lose because they have not uploaded significantly to their portfolios, or they have reached a canister level slowly over many years...and therefore have not really built their portfolio up enough to compete.

the actually percentages aside, which I agree seem unfair in some cases.....people who work harder are going to reap higher percentages.



The real issue isn't the changes. I don't like them but that's beside the point. I've bolded the portion that I think bears looking at -- and it bears looking at because we've been told this is how things will operate. I will concede that iStock can change the rules all they like (I think it's crappy business, but to each his own), but three months' time to go from almost reaching gold to being knocked back down to bronze level? That's a tad harsh . . .  if this was coming down the pipe all along (as I suspect it was), then they should have broken the news last year and let everyone have time to ramp up.


okay, so first of all, I'm not trying to sell you or anyone else on the new royalty model. what makes you think I like it? I've never said I liked it. I simply disagree on the extrapolation that this (like other changes were predicted to do) spells doom for istock. it's a series of decisions, made with many variables and considerations in mind. I think that iStock are probably at least attempting to advocate on our behalf, but I also think that iStock HQ is interested in evolving, and that perhaps they are in agreement with the changes. the next move, like any move in business designed to generate an increase in revenue, is going to require some risk-taking, model changes etc., especially as contributors continue to grow their download numbers and portfolios. point = I don't believe the decisions have been made maliciously or without regard for the entire future of stock photography.

secondly, no one was promised anything after the last uproar about canister levels except that the issue was PUT ON HOLD, and for the TIME BEING all canisters would be delivered according to the original model. this was not something I remembered today myself, but instead something pointed out to me by one of the top 20 iStock diamonds with whom I spoke today at length about this issue.

to suggest that any one of us knows anything at all about the cost of doing business at iStock/Getty/H&F/SS/DT/FT etc.......is moot, because none of you know, I don't know. only those privy to that information know. we retain power insofar as we hire them to be our agent, or we don't. that's where your choices are. picketing, unions, co-ops....this isn't Norma Rae and we don't work in a canning factory or a meat plant circa 1929. don't contribute to iStock. there you go. to suggest that all other MS agencies will follow iStock's business model if you don't protest.....I don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face. it's such an absurd magnification. has anyone ever tallied how many of the dire predictions have been false? I would do that but I can't be bothered, because even if I did, someone would have a reason for it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 00:22
Quote
Oh they’ll pay for sure.  I’d be betting they’re already starting to feel the effects slightly but come January next year, it’ll hit them like a tonne of bricks.

If you really believe this you are very naive.

Quote
which, yes, means losing a significant number of sales

I'm having a very good week this week, I'm getting back to pre-summer sales. I agree IS are a bunch of arrogant SoB's and of course I don't want my income to drop (not sure if it will yet, I'll be close to my target if not on it by the new year) I've been at IS long enough to see every price rise of change be met with a chorus of "We're taking our clients away' or "we're stopping buying at IS". It make no difference. This will be the same. That is my prediction, especially when you see who is making the threats. It has to be said they're not big sellers. To be honest, the more work is removed, the more likely those left are to sell stuff. I'm not happy with IS's handling of this, but to see it as some apocalyptic microstock event is just not true.


I think it’s naive to believe they’re going to cruise through this.  Theywouldn’t be banning members from their forums after letting everyone rant and rave if they weren’t worried about their reputation being ruined... which it is.  Nicknames like “isuck” will stick around for a long time.

As for your sales, why would you, individually, feel such a drop just yet?  It is the point I was making earlier about not feeling the effects till next year.  Buyers... the ones who have already decided to leave, are still probably using up their credits.  I agree with you on your comment about contributors threatening to “take clients away”.  That’s insulting to buyers.  I’m sure they will make up their own minds but you have to remember that there are a lot of contributors who are also designers who will not only stop buying, but will spread the “isuck” message throughout designers’ circles. 

Also I don’t see this as a microstock apocalyptic event either but I do mark September as the month that istock made the worst decision out of a bunch of consecutive screw ups that will lead to them falling next year.  I don’t believe istock necessarily will become extinct.  I predict Kelly, who’s management and communication skills are embarrassing, but who’s following direct orders, will be made the scapegoat and sacked next year and replaced with some new hot shot who will make promises to get people back on side.  I just don’t reckon many will trust them again and will have settled elsewhere by then.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 22, 2010, 00:42
I think it’s naive to believe they’re going to cruise through this.  Theywouldn’t be banning members from their forums after letting everyone rant and rave if they weren’t worried about their reputation being ruined... which it is.  Nicknames like “isuck” will stick around for a long time.

As for your sales, why would you, individually, feel such a drop just yet?  It is the point I was making earlier about not feeling the effects till next year.  Buyers... the ones who have already decided to leave, are still probably using up their credits.  I agree with you on your comment about contributors threatening to “take clients away”.  That’s insulting to buyers.  I’m sure they will make up their own minds but you have to remember that there are a lot of contributors who are also designers who will not only stop buying, but will spread the “isuck” message throughout designers’ circles. 

Also I don’t see this as a microstock apocalyptic event either but I do mark September as the month that istock made the worst decision out of a bunch of consecutive screw ups that will lead to them falling next year.  I don’t believe istock necessarily will become extinct.  I predict Kelly, who’s management and communication skills are embarrassing, but who’s following direct orders, will be made the scapegoat and sacked next year and replaced with some new hot shot who will make promises to get people back on side.  I just don’t reckon many will trust them again and will have settled elsewhere by then.

I think you could be right on this one, it happens far too often.  It could be that Kelly has very little say in the matter, sometimes key people stay on to try to protect the business they helped build and its loyal employees only to find that there is very little they can do to mitigate the damage and a little bit of them dies with each nasty change that they are required to implement. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 00:44
Quote
contributors have seen decreases in downloads. I communicate with several (former) buyers. They have all pretty much phased iStock out of their purchasing.

This is no doubt true. My download numbers have dropped over the years but my sales have increased. As long as this continues I'm OK with it.

Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?  It's not possible if you've kept everything constant.  What you're probably saying is that you're earning more (at IS) because you switched to exclusivity, thereby artificially inflating your commission rate, in which case, you're not earning more because you have no idea about the potential loss of revenue you would have made had you spread your portfolio accross other agents.  Also if the trend is for downloads to drop after a price increase, you're going to have to earn less this time around because IS has reduced your commission, yes?  What happens when they reduce it even more later, because they're going to have to make up their profit they're about to lose, one way or another after independents flee the coop.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: crazychristina on September 22, 2010, 00:52
Quote from: pseudonymous
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?
Prices have gone up.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 22, 2010, 00:53
^^...I don't think it is to shoot for accepting lower dl percentages as long as money increases. that's fairly short-sighted. I don't mind that dls and income are moving up at different rates, as long as both are increasing from year to year. my dl numbers went down when everyone else's did with the major best match drop of 2008. since then, I have looked at it as a new start...since we all got somewhat reset at that time. I have watched my dl number increase every month since then, and money increasing exponentially. as long as both continue to increase...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: crazychristina on September 22, 2010, 00:59
IF the extra money that istock will be taking is used for marketing, so that we all made more from more sales and higher prices despite lower royalty percentages, then that might be justifiable. We are here, after all, to make money. That does not appear to be the motivation however.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Caz on September 22, 2010, 02:25
Quote from: pseudonymous
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?
Prices have gone up.

And Vetta & E+ were introduced.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 02:25
Quote from: pseudonymous
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?
Prices have gone up.

If earnings have increased, while downloads and commissions have decreased, the prices must have gone up a fair whack.  What percentage increase are we talking about and over period of time?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 22, 2010, 03:20
I think it’s naive to believe they’re going to cruise through this.  Theywouldn’t be banning members from their forums after letting everyone rant and rave if they weren’t worried about their reputation being ruined... which it is.  Nicknames like “isuck” will stick around for a long time.

As for your sales, why would you, individually, feel such a drop just yet?  It is the point I was making earlier about not feeling the effects till next year.  Buyers... the ones who have already decided to leave, are still probably using up their credits.  I agree with you on your comment about contributors threatening to “take clients away”.  That’s insulting to buyers.  I’m sure they will make up their own minds but you have to remember that there are a lot of contributors who are also designers who will not only stop buying, but will spread the “isuck” message throughout designers’ circles. 

Also I don’t see this as a microstock apocalyptic event either but I do mark September as the month that istock made the worst decision out of a bunch of consecutive screw ups that will lead to them falling next year.  I don’t believe istock necessarily will become extinct.  I predict Kelly, who’s management and communication skills are embarrassing, but who’s following direct orders, will be made the scapegoat and sacked next year and replaced with some new hot shot who will make promises to get people back on side.  I just don’t reckon many will trust them again and will have settled elsewhere by then.

Well said. The truth is that Istockphoto will never be the same again. We will look back on the events of Sept 2010 as a major step-change in the microstock market. You'll see.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 22, 2010, 03:44
Quote
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?  It's not possible if you've kept everything constant.  What you're probably saying is that you're earning more (at IS) because you switched to exclusivity, thereby artificially inflating your commission rate, in which case, you're not earning more because you have no idea about the potential loss of revenue you would have made had you spread your portfolio accross other agents.

As someone mentioned above, prices have gone up. I have always been exclusive and my income has risen year on year and my downloads have dropped as prices have increased. Fewer sales at higher prices.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 04:11
Quote
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?  It's not possible if you've kept everything constant.  What you're probably saying is that you're earning more (at IS) because you switched to exclusivity, thereby artificially inflating your commission rate, in which case, you're not earning more because you have no idea about the potential loss of revenue you would have made had you spread your portfolio accross other agents.

As someone mentioned above, prices have gone up. I have always been exclusive and my income has risen year on year and my downloads have dropped as prices have increased. Fewer sales at higher prices.


See now some of you people are excellent photographers but a lot of you are not business-minded at all.  How can you settle for saying “downloads have gone down, commissions have gone down but it’s okay because prices have skyrocketed and hence the overall sales numbers have gone up”.   You’re accepting that you, the owners of the work that is being sold, don’t deserve a bigger piece of the pie.  You’re not taking into account the potential gain you could have made if istock didn’t shaft you and pocketed your fair share.  I don’t think you’re looking at the overall picture here.  Istock is your agent... they work for you, not the other way around.  Here are a few things you should think about....

What percentage increase in revenue are you seeing compared to istock’s increase in revenue? Has your RPD gone up or down? Has your revenue increased at the same rate as the size of your portfolio? Have your costs gone up at the same rate as the increase in sales revenue?  What about your profit margin? Has that increased at the same rate of inflation or the cost of living?  What would your potential profit be if your portfolio was with an agent paying a fairer commission or spread across many agencies that pay a fair commission?

Istock expects their profit margin to increase over time and so should you.  Istock is bloody brilliant to have brainwashed so many of you into thinking you’re getting a good deal when you are not.  I can’t blame you for not knowing any better.  You’re not accountants who sit there analysing your figures in every way possible.  You see a few arrows on an upward trend and all say “yay, i’m happy!”  What pisses me off is that istock know full well that you’re getting the short end of the stick and the pretentious pricks play on that and refer to you as “their friends” to your faces while pulling the rug out from under you.  It is disgusting how they’ve mistreated the people who have put food on their plates and I can’t stand the shifty *insult removed*. And then there’s the buyer who is also brainwashed.   istock has made a number of costly blunders.  Their way out of was to give the buyers (and the contributors) the perception that istock is the Rolls Royce of microstock so that they can increase prices shafting the buyer, while reducing commissions shafting the contributor.  What has come out of all of this isn’t just that istock are greedy, but also that istock is inefficient and that their product is way overrated. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 22, 2010, 04:59
Quote
but a lot of you are not business-minded at all.

This may be true, in the same way that a lot of business men are not artistically minded.

Quote
commissions have gone down

I didn't say commission has gone down. My commission has gradually risen, and with the new arrangements may well stay at the same level.

Quote
You’re accepting that you, the owners of the work that is being sold, don’t deserve a bigger piece of the pie.

I'm not accepting that, I am unfortunately a realist though. If you can suggest a way that I can continue earning as I do, and I'm in the top 5% of earners in the European country in which I live ( albeit at the lower end of that top 5%) then go ahead, I'm all ears. There are very few successful artists who are not represented by an agent or gallery  of some kind. I have an agent for my commercial work, they take 30%. Friends who are artists represented by galleries can pay 60% to the gallery, it's certainly not unheard of.
I know I'm getting the short end of the stick, but it's a well paid short end and for the moment I can see no better way of operating. I know of exclusives who've dropped exclusivity at IS, their experience was not a happy one. Their earnings were paltry at other sites. I have clients of my own for whom I work on a freelance basis and I earn probably 50% of what I earn at IS by working for them, and being paid 100% of my earnings, with no middlemen to pay. What is better, $100 earned on my own with no commission to pay, or $200 earned from IS, even though i've paid them 60% commission? The bottom line is my take home pay, not the commission. It certainly annoys and irks me that I'm earning a lot more and IS are taking a big chunk of it and I'd like all that money, and if my income drops and IS take ever larger chunks I'll start to look for other options, but at the moment I'm OK with things as they are. The trouble is that a lot of posters here are earning small amount at microstock, the percentages are small, dropping exclusivity means they only lose small amounts, they're not professionals they're hobbyists and in those circumstances it's a very different ball game to people earning large amounts, with big mortgages and families to provide for. Anyone who works as a freelancer will tell you that rates are always under a downward pressure, it's not just IS, it's everywhere. At one time my freelance earning were on a similar level to my current IS earnings ( this was before I worked in microstock or had even heard of it, in fact before it existed), now I'd be lucky to earn half that, doing the same level of freelance work. Downward pressure on earnings and pay is the way of the world.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 22, 2010, 05:20
Quote from: pseudonymous
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?
Prices have gone up.

If earnings have increased, while downloads and commissions have decreased, the prices must have gone up a fair whack.  What percentage increase are we talking about and over period of time?

The prices to buyers have ballooned enormously. Six years ago the average price a buyer paid per file was 96c. Today for non-exclusive it is about $3.85 and for exclusives probably about $6. That is a price increase of 300% to 500% in just six years (hand up all those who have managed to quadruple their own pay in that time).

Now, there is no doubt that the product was selling at a steep discount to its true value back in 2004 and that the value has been further enhanced by improved quality in the intervening years. However, it is obvious that istock cannot continue on the path to ever-higher pricing at the same rate. If it did, the average sale price of exclusive files six years from now would need to be something like $36 and in 12 years it would have to be $200.

As prices rise, so will resistance to further increases. From a low base, a 50% increase will simply be swallowed and will give an almost 50% increase in turnover. But when prices get significantly higher, putting them up by half might lose you a third of your customers leaving you with no benefit at all (150% x 0.66 = 100%) and if you lose half your customers then the 50% price increase costs you money (25% fall in turnover). I suspect that is where iStock has got to and the idea of exclusive+ and Vetta is to wave goodies at the limited number of customers who are not price sensitive without alienating those who are. At the same time, Thinkstock is meant to be a safety net to recapture value from those customers who are being driven out of the basic collection.

But if increasing prices by any significant amount has become counterproductive, then profits are going to hit a plateau instead of continuing their upward spiral. The one thing that was truly, literally unsustainable in the policies put in place in 2005 was the principle of annual 50% or thereabouts price hikes. That strategy was only abandoned this year, when - for I think the first time - price cuts were added to the mix and everything was made far more complicated with various special premium pricing levels (exclusive, exclusive-+, Vetta and now Agency) being introduced.

I think it is unlikely that they will try to screw any more out of the base-level buyers. Instead, they will probably try to further increase the price differential between the base collection and the premium collections next year and maybe try to market iStock directly to traditional buyers who are used to paying higher prices.

The presence of non-exclusives could undermine this strategy by offering Vetta-quality files at low-end prices. So they may go further in their efforts to push us out, while trying to get all the best exclusive files into the higher-priced collections, leaving only the lowest-quality material available at base prices.

Maybe.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 05:46
Quote
but a lot of you are not business-minded at all.

This may be true, in the same way that a lot of business men are not artistically minded.

Quote
commissions have gone down

I didn't say commission has gone down. My commission has gradually risen, and with the new arrangements may well stay at the same level.

Quote
You’re accepting that you, the owners of the work that is being sold, don’t deserve a bigger piece of the pie.

I'm not accepting that, I am unfortunately a realist though. If you can suggest a way that I can continue earning as I do, and I'm in the top 5% of earners in the European country in which I live ( albeit at the lower end of that top 5%) then go ahead, I'm all ears. There are very few successful artists who are not represented by an agent or gallery  of some kind. I have an agent for my commercial work, they take 30%. Friends who are artists represented by galleries can pay 60% to the gallery, it's certainly not unheard of.
I know I'm getting the short end of the stick, but it's a well paid short end and for the moment I can see no better way of operating. I know of exclusives who've dropped exclusivity at IS, their experience was not a happy one. Their earnings were paltry at other sites. I have clients of my own for whom I work on a freelance basis and I earn probably 50% of what I earn at IS by working for them, and being paid 100% of my earnings, with no middlemen to pay. What is better, $100 earned on my own with no commission to pay, or $200 earned from IS, even though i've paid them 60% commission? The bottom line is my take home pay, not the commission. It certainly annoys and irks me that I'm earning a lot more and IS are taking a big chunk of it and I'd like all that money, and if my income drops and IS take ever larger chunks I'll start to look for other options, but at the moment I'm OK with things as they are. The trouble is that a lot of posters here are earning small amount at microstock, the percentages are small, dropping exclusivity means they only lose small amounts, they're not professionals they're hobbyists and in those circumstances it's a very different ball game to people earning large amounts, with big mortgages and families to provide for. Anyone who works as a freelancer will tell you that rates are always under a downward pressure, it's not just IS, it's everywhere. At one time my freelance earning were on a similar level to my current IS earnings ( this was before I worked in microstock or had even heard of it, in fact before it existed), now I'd be lucky to earn half that, doing the same level of freelance work. Downward pressure on earnings and pay is the way of the world.

If you’re happy with your commission rate, then that’s fine.  ...but you have to remember that there are more people that will lose money than those who will maintain a steady income and they’re likely to hit the bricks when they see a big drop in sales.  If this happens, and I’m confident it will, it will start a domino effect that probably won’t be stoppable.  When contributors leave, the database will be reduced and buyers will leave.  Istock will have to make up the difference in the drop in sales and who do you think they’ll shaft next? 

All I’m saying is don’t get too cosy and don’t wait for the last minute.  Sit tight till next year but use this time to look at other agents.  You have your istock sales figures.  Dump them on a spreadsheet, convert your downloads by resolution to revenue using the commission rates of other agencies to see what you can potentially make should you have to leave.  Come up with plan now so that you’re not surprised and stressed later should istock sales plummet.  Who knows, although you might have to take a big hit initially, down the track, this may even be a blessing in disguise for a lot of you.

I strongly recommend that you or anyone never becomes exclusive again because the microstock industry is so unpredictable that it doesn’t make sense to put all your trust into one agency who really, at the end of the day, doesn’t care about anything but their own pockets.  It doesn’t matter which agent it is, it doesn’t matter if the agent is seen as “friendly” or a “community” you shouldn’t trust anyone of them enough to handle your portfolio exclusively.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dirkr on September 22, 2010, 06:23
The prices to buyers have ballooned enormously. Six years ago the average price a buyer paid per file was 96c. Today for non-exclusive it is about $3.85 and for exclusives probably about $6. That is a price increase of 300% to 500% in just six years (hand up all those who have managed to quadruple their own pay in that time).

Now, there is no doubt that the product was selling at a steep discount to its true value back in 2004 and that the value has been further enhanced by improved quality in the intervening years. However, it is obvious that istock cannot continue on the path to ever-higher pricing at the same rate. If it did, the average sale price of exclusive files six years from now would need to be something like $36 and in 12 years it would have to be $200.

As prices rise, so will resistance to further increases. From a low base, a 50% increase will simply be swallowed and will give an almost 50% increase in turnover. But when prices get significantly higher, putting them up by half might lose you a third of your customers leaving you with no benefit at all (150% x 0.66 = 100%) and if you lose half your customers then the 50% price increase costs you money (25% fall in turnover). I suspect that is where iStock has got to and the idea of exclusive+ and Vetta is to wave goodies at the limited number of customers who are not price sensitive without alienating those who are. At the same time, Thinkstock is meant to be a safety net to recapture value from those customers who are being driven out of the basic collection.

But if increasing prices by any significant amount has become counterproductive, then profits are going to hit a plateau instead of continuing their upward spiral. The one thing that was truly, literally unsustainable in the policies put in place in 2005 was the principle of annual 50% or thereabouts price hikes. That strategy was only abandoned this year, when - for I think the first time - price cuts were added to the mix and everything was made far more complicated with various special premium pricing levels (exclusive, exclusive-+, Vetta and now Agency) being introduced.

I think it is unlikely that they will try to screw any more out of the base-level buyers. Instead, they will probably try to further increase the price differential between the base collection and the premium collections next year and maybe try to market iStock directly to traditional buyers who are used to paying higher prices.

The presence of non-exclusives could undermine this strategy by offering Vetta-quality files at low-end prices. So they may go further in their efforts to push us out, while trying to get all the best exclusive files into the higher-priced collections, leaving only the lowest-quality material available at base prices.

Maybe.

Great post.

Assuming that Istock's strategy is what you describe, I see two fundamental flaws in that (Istock's, not yours) thinking:

1: Although it seems reasonable that selling different quality material at different price points can be successfully achieved, they are making the wrong decision as to what constitutes "quality". They are are making the cut based on the fact if something is exclusive to them or not. But that does not necessarily mean it's of different quality. They should try to find a way to include (current) non-exclusive material in their higher priced collections.

2: They are not acting in a total vacuum. If (following point 1) they decide (as you have written) that high quality non-exclusive content is a danger to their strategy and thus try to minimize that content, they will most likely not have an impact on this content being offered for lower prices via their competition. (at least I have not read many comments of independents planning to go exclusive due to the announced changes).

There would be a cure to these two problems: Image exclusivity.
It would allow Istock to offer exclusive material at higher prices while at the same time have a base collection to compete against the other micro sites. And that without forcing every contributor to decide on "all or nothing" with regards to Istock.

I personally think their move from rewarding life-time achievement (the existing cannister system) to near-time achievements (via measuring last years sales) could have been a success - if they had left out the part of lowering the already industry-lowest non-exclusive commissions and opened up their exclusive scheme to allow for image exclusivity.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 06:42
Quote from: pseudonymous
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?
Prices have gone up.

If earnings have increased, while downloads and commissions have decreased, the prices must have gone up a fair whack.  What percentage increase are we talking about and over period of time?

The prices to buyers have ballooned enormously. Six years ago the average price a buyer paid per file was 96c. Today for non-exclusive it is about $3.85 and for exclusives probably about $6. That is a price increase of 300% to 500% in just six years (hand up all those who have managed to quadruple their own pay in that time).

Now, there is no doubt that the product was selling at a steep discount to its true value back in 2004 and that the value has been further enhanced by improved quality in the intervening years. However, it is obvious that istock cannot continue on the path to ever-higher pricing at the same rate. If it did, the average sale price of exclusive files six years from now would need to be something like $36 and in 12 years it would have to be $200.

As prices rise, so will resistance to further increases. From a low base, a 50% increase will simply be swallowed and will give an almost 50% increase in turnover. But when prices get significantly higher, putting them up by half might lose you a third of your customers leaving you with no benefit at all (150% x 0.66 = 100%) and if you lose half your customers then the 50% price increase costs you money (25% fall in turnover). I suspect that is where iStock has got to and the idea of exclusive+ and Vetta is to wave goodies at the limited number of customers who are not price sensitive without alienating those who are. At the same time, Thinkstock is meant to be a safety net to recapture value from those customers who are being driven out of the basic collection.

But if increasing prices by any significant amount has become counterproductive, then profits are going to hit a plateau instead of continuing their upward spiral. The one thing that was truly, literally unsustainable in the policies put in place in 2005 was the principle of annual 50% or thereabouts price hikes. That strategy was only abandoned this year, when - for I think the first time - price cuts were added to the mix and everything was made far more complicated with various special premium pricing levels (exclusive, exclusive-+, Vetta and now Agency) being introduced.

I think it is unlikely that they will try to screw any more out of the base-level buyers. Instead, they will probably try to further increase the price differential between the base collection and the premium collections next year and maybe try to market iStock directly to traditional buyers who are used to paying higher prices.

The presence of non-exclusives could undermine this strategy by offering Vetta-quality files at low-end prices. So they may go further in their efforts to push us out, while trying to get all the best exclusive files into the higher-priced collections, leaving only the lowest-quality material available at base prices.

Maybe.

Thanks for outlining this so thoroughly for me.  I didn’t realise how big the price hikes were since the Getty takeover.  I agree with you about them not increasing base prices and increasing the price of premium images.  For this strategy to work, however, there would have to be a vast difference between the quality of their premium collections and any other images found either within their own database or externally.  I just can’t see there being that big a difference (and sometimes I see no difference at all) to justify such a huge price variation. 

As for targeting traditional buyers who are used to paying higher prices, istock has completely disregarded the economic conditions we’re in and has assumed that their clients aren’t squeezing every dollar they can get, just like they are.  In today’s times, buyers are forced to shop around.  I can’t see how istock is so stupid to go down the path it’s taken in this day and age and expect to be competitive. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: OhGoAway! on September 22, 2010, 07:21
Eh? I don't think I argued those points. My only argument (in this forum) was the courtesy extended to *fellow business people*, iStock's own suppliers, and how iStock expects them to make huge business decisions based on limited information and in a very short time frame.

Although I do disagree with you on one point you made. How can you say that where iStock leads, other micros won't follow? History has shown us that iStock leads the way for  great many.

much of the outrage is from people who stand to lose because they have not uploaded significantly to their portfolios, or they have reached a canister level slowly over many years...and therefore have not really built their portfolio up enough to compete.

the actually percentages aside, which I agree seem unfair in some cases.....people who work harder are going to reap higher percentages.



The real issue isn't the changes. I don't like them but that's beside the point. I've bolded the portion that I think bears looking at -- and it bears looking at because we've been told this is how things will operate. I will concede that iStock can change the rules all they like (I think it's crappy business, but to each his own), but three months' time to go from almost reaching gold to being knocked back down to bronze level? That's a tad harsh . . .  if this was coming down the pipe all along (as I suspect it was), then they should have broken the news last year and let everyone have time to ramp up.


okay, so first of all, I'm not trying to sell you or anyone else on the new royalty model. what makes you think I like it? I've never said I liked it. I simply disagree on the extrapolation that this (like other changes were predicted to do) spells doom for istock. it's a series of decisions, made with many variables and considerations in mind. I think that iStock are probably at least attempting to advocate on our behalf, but I also think that iStock HQ is interested in evolving, and that perhaps they are in agreement with the changes. the next move, like any move in business designed to generate an increase in revenue, is going to require some risk-taking, model changes etc., especially as contributors continue to grow their download numbers and portfolios. point = I don't believe the decisions have been made maliciously or without regard for the entire future of stock photography.

secondly, no one was promised anything after the last uproar about canister levels except that the issue was PUT ON HOLD, and for the TIME BEING all canisters would be delivered according to the original model. this was not something I remembered today myself, but instead something pointed out to me by one of the top 20 iStock diamonds with whom I spoke today at length about this issue.

to suggest that any one of us knows anything at all about the cost of doing business at iStock/Getty/H&F/SS/DT/FT etc.......is moot, because none of you know, I don't know. only those privy to that information know. we retain power insofar as we hire them to be our agent, or we don't. that's where your choices are. picketing, unions, co-ops....this isn't Norma Rae and we don't work in a canning factory or a meat plant circa 1929. don't contribute to iStock. there you go. to suggest that all other MS agencies will follow iStock's business model if you don't protest.....I don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face. it's such an absurd magnification. has anyone ever tallied how many of the dire predictions have been false? I would do that but I can't be bothered, because even if I did, someone would have a reason for it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: bittersweet on September 22, 2010, 07:25
My download numbers have dropped over the years but my sales have increased. As long as this continues I'm OK with it.

The problem is that now, as the prices increase and the download numbers decrease, so do the redeemable credits. The total amount of sales dollars may be greater, but it will become harder and harder to earn a higher percentage of them.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dirkr on September 22, 2010, 07:38
My download numbers have dropped over the years but my sales have increased. As long as this continues I'm OK with it.

The problem is that now, as the prices increase and the download numbers decrease, so do the redeemable credits. The total amount of sales dollars may be greater, but it will become harder and harder to earn a higher percentage of them.

That depends on whether a price increase is achieved by increasing credit prices or by increasing number of credits needed to by an image.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: bittersweet on September 22, 2010, 08:12
My download numbers have dropped over the years but my sales have increased. As long as this continues I'm OK with it.

The problem is that now, as the prices increase and the download numbers decrease, so do the redeemable credits. The total amount of sales dollars may be greater, but it will become harder and harder to earn a higher percentage of them.

That depends on whether a price increase is achieved by increasing credit prices or by increasing number of credits needed to by an image.

True. Based on your previous experience, which do you think will be the more likely scenario?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dirkr on September 22, 2010, 08:18
My download numbers have dropped over the years but my sales have increased. As long as this continues I'm OK with it.

The problem is that now, as the prices increase and the download numbers decrease, so do the redeemable credits. The total amount of sales dollars may be greater, but it will become harder and harder to earn a higher percentage of them.

That depends on whether a price increase is achieved by increasing credit prices or by increasing number of credits needed to by an image.


True. Based on your previous experience, which do you think will be the more likely scenario?

Both. IIRC (those with a better memory of the Istock history may correct me) prices of credit packages did change more often, but numbers of credits to buy an image have been changed with the introduction of Vetta, E+ and the recent price reduction of non-exclusive images.
The general concept seems to be using different credit prices to give discounts to bigger buyers and using different credit numbers to set the prices for different content.
I would expect them to play with both parameters, but the number of credits having a bigger effect.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 22, 2010, 12:35
If earnings have increased, while downloads and commissions have decreased, the prices must have gone up a fair whack.  What percentage increase are we talking about and over period of time?

I guess it's just me, but when someone asks this sort of very basic question it makes me totally disregard any opinion they might have about microstock in general, and iStock in particular. How can you have an informed opinion when you don't even know the basic facts? Given some of the things you've said, pseudonymous, I'm surprised to be the only one to call you out on this. Although it's obvious you're not here for this reason, right now I think you should be doing more reading than writing.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: helix7 on September 22, 2010, 12:58
...The bottom line is my take home pay, not the commission...

As it is for me. And my take home pay far exceeds anything I could make exclusively with iStock. I've done the math, factored in better best match placement, commission increases all the way up to Diamond (under the current commission system), bonuses from E+, Getty eligibility, etc. The bottom line is always a huge loss in total monthly earnings, no matter how I look at it. With iStock accounting for 20% of my monthly earnings, I don't see any way that going exclusive will multiply my earnings there 5 times.

And now with the upcoming lower commissions even for exclusives, forget it. I'd be taking an even bigger beating by going exclusive.

And so goes the perpetual exclusive/non-exclusive debate. Who really knows which artists will do better where. At the end of the day, it's personal. I have a hard time seeing how anyone is more profitable in the exclusive program, but that's based on my own personal experience.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 22, 2010, 13:06
to suggest that any one of us knows anything at all about the cost of doing business at iStock/Getty/H&F/SS/DT/FT etc.......is moot, because none of you know, I don't know. only those privy to that information know. we retain power insofar as we hire them to be our agent, or we don't. that's where your choices are. picketing, unions, co-ops....this isn't Norma Rae and we don't work in a canning factory or a meat plant circa 1929. don't contribute to iStock. there you go. to suggest that all other MS agencies will follow iStock's business model if you don't protest.....I don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face. it's such an absurd magnification. has anyone ever tallied how many of the dire predictions have been false? I would do that but I can't be bothered, because even if I did, someone would have a reason for it.


The precise cost of doing business is irrelevant. The general notion that running any of these businesses on 60% of sales, say, is sound. Why, pray tell, should it cost a penny more to operate? Or grow?

iStockphoto is the world's longest-running profitable social network - http://www.web2expo.com/webexsf2010/public/schedule/detail/14511 (http://www.web2expo.com/webexsf2010/public/schedule/detail/14511) - and even though the company has been in business for 10+ years now, it's still a relatively new kind of Big Business company/model. So how the business and its employees (we, the crowd) react to unsavory changes is still being formulated. There isn't a go-to tactic or model for crowdsourced companies, yet. Is the way folks have reacted the best way to get HQ/Getty/H&F to take notice and reconsider their actions? Maybe not. But who's to say? And while this isn't 1929, it's still worth fighting the good fight for what you/I/we believe is fair treatment. No matter the era, workers should be free to demand fair pay and treatment for their contributions to any given company. And artists of all ilks, historically, have been among the most poorly rewarded/valued for their work. So if you value your work and the time/effort that went into it, then the array of angry reactions is understandable.

And because iStock is a leader (or has historically been so in microstock), it is not a stretch to imagine that any ground-breaking changes they make to the[ir] business will be adopted by the competition, if deemed successful for iStock. How is that not a logical concern or assumption?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 22, 2010, 14:01
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: helix7 on September 22, 2010, 14:20
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.

It's strange that that has ended up being the iStock strategy. HQ has never confirmed it, but it has seemed like the company was headed for a midstock model for several years now. Just not sure it's a good way to go. There is so much potential in lower-priced high-volume content. When you could get an X-Small image for your blog for $1, it didn't take much debate to click the Purchase button. At $3.00 or more for the same image, it's a different story.

It looks like iStock is betting on midstock to be the more profitable and long-term successful model, but I wouldn't bet on microstock and $1 images going out of demand.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on September 22, 2010, 14:24
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.

It's strange that that has ended up being the iStock strategy. HQ has never confirmed it, but it has seemed like the company was headed for a midstock model for several years now. Just not sure it's a good way to go. There is so much potential in lower-priced high-volume content. When you could get an X-Small image for your blog for $1, it didn't take much debate to click the Purchase button. At $3.00 or more for the same image, it's a different story.

It looks like iStock is betting on midstock to be the more profitable and long-term successful model, but I wouldn't bet on microstock and $1 images going out of demand.

Why do you think they developed ThinkStock?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on September 22, 2010, 14:28
I believe they are planning to use Getty for Macro...iStock for mid stock and ThinkStock for the subs which I personally believe is where the non-exclusives will end up if they choose not to go exclusive. I've stated this many times already and I don't know if this will happen but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it did happen. Only time will tell.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: helix7 on September 22, 2010, 15:48
Why do you think they developed ThinkStock?

ThinkStock is only cheap if you're a volume buyer. For the casual buyer, who just wants a few images per week for their blog, neither ThinkStock nor iStock meet that need anymore.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 22, 2010, 16:00
ThinkStock is only cheap if you're a volume buyer. For the casual buyer, who just wants a few images per week for their blog, neither ThinkStock nor iStock meet that need anymore.

I think the vast majority of bloggers prefer to use images for free, and in that regard no microstock agency can ever meet their needs - only Flickr can. And does.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: zzz on September 22, 2010, 16:27
I believe they are planning to use Getty for Macro...iStock for mid stock and ThinkStock for the subs which I personally believe is where the non-exclusives will end up if they choose not to go exclusive. I've stated this many times already and I don't know if this will happen but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it did happen. Only time will tell.
I think you are right on the money. iStock is moving away from microstock and will standing out from the crowd by providing high quality content at a premium price. The target audience is certainly not the casual buyer.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 22, 2010, 17:52
ThinkStock is only cheap if you're a volume buyer. For the casual buyer, who just wants a few images per week for their blog, neither ThinkStock nor iStock meet that need anymore.

I think the vast majority of bloggers prefer to use images for free, and in that regard no microstock agency can ever meet their needs - only Flickr can. And does.

totally agree with you.  as I recall, When iStock partnered with Vox blogs bloggers there could use select images for free on their blogs and the small images linked to the image for sale at istock.  sadly Vox didnt take off big and are closing down the end of this month 9/30/10.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 22, 2010, 18:34
Quote
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?  It's not possible if you've kept everything constant.  What you're probably saying is that you're earning more (at IS) because you switched to exclusivity, thereby artificially inflating your commission rate, in which case, you're not earning more because you have no idea about the potential loss of revenue you would have made had you spread your portfolio accross other agents.

As someone mentioned above, prices have gone up. I have always been exclusive and my income has risen year on year and my downloads have dropped as prices have increased. Fewer sales at higher prices.


See now some of you people are excellent photographers but a lot of you are not business-minded at all.  How can you settle for saying “downloads have gone down, commissions have gone down but it’s okay because prices have skyrocketed and hence the overall sales numbers have gone up”.   You’re accepting that you, the owners of the work that is being sold, don’t deserve a bigger piece of the pie.  You’re not taking into account the potential gain you could have made if istock didn’t shaft you and pocketed your fair share.  I don’t think you’re looking at the overall picture here.  Istock is your agent... they work for you, not the other way around.  Here are a few things you should think about....

What percentage increase in revenue are you seeing compared to istock’s increase in revenue? Has your RPD gone up or down? Has your revenue increased at the same rate as the size of your portfolio? Have your costs gone up at the same rate as the increase in sales revenue?  What about your profit margin? Has that increased at the same rate of inflation or the cost of living?  What would your potential profit be if your portfolio was with an agent paying a fairer commission or spread across many agencies that pay a fair commission?

Istock expects their profit margin to increase over time and so should you.  Istock is bloody brilliant to have brainwashed so many of you into thinking you’re getting a good deal when you are not.  I can’t blame you for not knowing any better.  You’re not accountants who sit there analysing your figures in every way possible.  You see a few arrows on an upward trend and all say “yay, i’m happy!”  What pisses me off is that istock know full well that you’re getting the short end of the stick and the pretentious pricks play on that and refer to you as “their friends” to your faces while pulling the rug out from under you.  It is disgusting how they’ve mistreated the people who have put food on their plates and I can’t stand the shifty *insult removed*. And then there’s the buyer who is also brainwashed.   istock has made a number of costly blunders.  Their way out of was to give the buyers (and the contributors) the perception that istock is the Rolls Royce of microstock so that they can increase prices shafting the buyer, while reducing commissions shafting the contributor.  What has come out of all of this isn’t just that istock are greedy, but also that istock is inefficient and that their product is way overrated.  

I don't have a lot of files (only 173), but I'm a gold, none the less (almost 19,000 sales) and have only just become exclusive (1 month now)  - for reasons other than money (I was definitely making more as an independent at 5 agencies).  I decided to make a graph to illustrate my IS earnings.  As you can see, my dollars stayed pretty flat, in relative terms, until adding videos in 2009.  As for my files online, I started in June 2004 and uploaded most of my 173 files within the first three years - I've only deleted a few over the same time - my biggest money making file was deleted one month ago, when I switched to exclusive.  Like many others, my numbers show a downward trend in number of downloads, without having a significant effect on my income (because of the increases in prices).  Since I was an independent for almost the entire time charted, my numbers are not skewed by royalty increases, because I was at the same percentage all along, up until 1 month ago when I went exclusive and started earning the gold 35% royalty.  See attached graph.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 22, 2010, 19:12
If earnings have increased, while downloads and commissions have decreased, the prices must have gone up a fair whack.  What percentage increase are we talking about and over period of time?

I guess it's just me, but when someone asks this sort of very basic question it makes me totally disregard any opinion they might have about microstock in general, and iStock in particular. How can you have an informed opinion when you don't even know the basic facts? Given some of the things you've said, pseudonymous, I'm surprised to be the only one to call you out on this. Although it's obvious you're not here for this reason, right now I think you should be doing more reading than writing.

Really?  I would disregard the opinion of anyone who doesn't ask that question when someone tells them they're earnings have increased over "the years".  What years were they talking about?  And where do you suggest I "read" about istock's pricing structure dating back to 2000?  When you go to see a financial adviser, do you not provide him with some information?  Do you expect them to be familiar with the financial records of every corporation that exists on this planet along with details of your portfolio and earnings history?

Most people here continue to talk about earnings going up without mentioning anything about the size of their portfolios, their direct and indirect costs, even the cost of living.  Everyone talks about their RPD but doesn't mention how much they're making per upload.  For every file submitted there is a cost involved and everyone disregards it and focuses on total revenue.  People also disregard the files they've submitted but have been rejected and I'd image there would be a few on IS.  What about the costs involved with those images?  What about the potential earnings of those images that are rejected at IS that can't be submitted elsewhere?  There is no point getting excited over, or being content with, a steady small increase in total revenue over time, if that revenue isn't worth what it was 5 years ago and doesn't make you the same profit.  You cannot ignore the cost of inflation and spending capacity of today's dollar compared to yesterday's dollar.  If people aren't comparing apples to apples, then whatever sales increase they're talking about should be ignored.  Everyone is also disregarding the value of their portfolio.  IS rates it highly and gives you peanuts for it.  I don't see how anyone can be content with those massive price increases without expecting to earn a fair shair of it.

I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 22, 2010, 20:56
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.

It's strange that that has ended up being the iStock strategy. HQ has never confirmed it, but it has seemed like the company was headed for a midstock model for several years now. Just not sure it's a good way to go. There is so much potential in lower-priced high-volume content. When you could get an X-Small image for your blog for $1, it didn't take much debate to click the Purchase button. At $3.00 or more for the same image, it's a different story.

It looks like iStock is betting on midstock to be the more profitable and long-term successful model, but I wouldn't bet on microstock and $1 images going out of demand.

Why do you think they developed ThinkStock?



agreed. I am not opted into the partner program in any case. not even worth the effort to click the check box.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 22, 2010, 23:43
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/this-is-what-got-my-istock-forum-privileges-and-sitemail-access-revoked/msg163181/#msg163181)). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 22, 2010, 23:51
I've compared being exclusive to being employed in some contexts. I also use the analogy that we are iStock's client, many of us do. we basically hire them as our agent, to give us a gallery/storefront, to market our images, and ultimately to sell them. as long as I feel iStock is doing those things for my images, as long as my income and dl numbers continue to rise...I'm generally happy. I also enjoy the community and the opportunity to learn from my peers through the community. I've found the inspection process is one of the single greatest contributions to my evolution as an artist, or in the least as a commercial stock producer. so, I'm getting my money's worth.

I don't think there was anything ridiculous at all about the employment analogy. pseudo, I'd quit while I'm not too far behind in this debate. frankly, there are enough pissing contests to wade through, pardon the pun, over here already.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 22, 2010, 23:56
...
frankly, there are enough pissing contests to wade through, pardon the pun, over here already.

Ain't that the truth.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharpshot on September 23, 2010, 01:59
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/this-is-what-got-my-istock-forum-privileges-and-sitemail-access-revoked/msg163181/#msg163181[/url])). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.

Did they always pay commission as a percentage of the discounted price?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 23, 2010, 02:54
Did they always pay commission as a percentage of the discounted price?


Oops, I think you got me there.

They used to pay using a system similar to the one FT uses, where 1 credit was originally $0.50 but then raised it to $1 in 2005. In 2007 they switched to using the net amount the buyer paid per credit, and when they did that any discount the buyer experienced was inherently passed on to us. So I guess you can look at that as one way they temporarily lower commissions, but the effect of it is/was small compared to the increase in income when they switched to the 'net amount' system. You can see how iStock has changed how much they pay their contributors by going here: Click Me (http://www.istockphoto.com/rate_schedule.php). It's interesting to note that they haven't updated this for 2011 yet.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 05:08
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/this-is-what-got-my-istock-forum-privileges-and-sitemail-access-revoked/msg163181/#msg163181[/url])). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.


It really doesn’t matter if you take me seriously or not, it’s your right.  You may have been in the microstock industry for many years and I may not have been an IS contributor at all but that is because, and I’ve said it several times, I thought IS was bonkers and alas, they have just proved me right.  Your experience as a photographer does not make you an expert in running or analysing a business.  If you were an expert, you wouldn’t have been so foolish to become an IS exclusive.  You were easily drawn in by the nutters who waved a bunch of empty promises in your face and brainwashed you into believing you’ll have it cushy there and now you’re locked in.  Perhaps you’re too proud to admit you’ve made a mistake going exclusive but come January, when you start to take a big hit in earnings, you’re going to have to admit it... at least to yourself.

If IS’s commission rates haven’t come down then oh well, you’re right, that’s  the “impression” I received from reading many posts scattered around here and on the IS forums complaining about previous pay cuts.  I was wrong, it was because others wrote something that was wrong.  In any case, it doesn’t really matter if commissions haven’t fallen previously.  It’s actually worse if people willingly applied to istock from the beginning handing over up to 80% commission.  It doesn’t at this point in time, matter what’s happened historically, they’re reducing already degrading commissions even further and the points I’ve raised about profitability are still valid. 

“and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway”

My opinion might not matter to you and you should ignore it if that’s the case but I’ve worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency, reduced costs (without cutting the throats of their employees) and gave them a competitive edge.  These industries were far more complicated than the microstock industry that has very little overheads and variable costs.  Believe me they’re not that difficult to figure out.  So I don’t really care if some random photographer, who has been in the microstock industry for 10 years, making poor decisions with regards to their own portfolio, doesn’t take my advice.  Most people would be happy to pick my brain for free and if I’ve come here, it’s really not for my own benefit, but rather to show my concerns and support to those who are going to feel the effects the most.  I won’t be affected by Istock’s f-up at all.  But it still pisses me off to see arseholes like that stealing money from undeserving victims... in this case, it’s you people and your families.  It's always been my nature to look after underdog and I can't help it.  There are going to be people here that think I’m full of *, that’s fine.  But there might be the odd ones that take my advice or at least use my advice to make them think about their position and future in a different light.  You’re expert photographers and all of you think you’re experts in managing your own work but sadly you’re not and it’s the agents that take advantage of that.  As vlad mentioned somewhere above... there’s a downward pressure in earnings but the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking they’re looking out for you but they’ve screwed you over in every way possible... and you’ve allowed them to.

As for your analogy, I understood what you meant, but I still think it is ridiculous.  How does it compare to working for a single employer?  I cannot see any connection at all apart from the word “single”.  For starters, Istock or any agent isn’t your employer, they are your agent who provides you a service (not the other way around) and you pay them a commission (not the other way around).  Furthermore, those working 9-5 are usually after some stability and security.  Becoming exclusive, you lose stability and security over your portfolio more so than being independent.  Also I don’t think many photographers and artists relate to any 9-5 because a big part of the attraction of photography and art is flexibility and working for yourself.  So again, I still find your analogy a tad ridiculous.  Okay, I admit, “ridiculous” is harsh.  I’ll tone it down and say it’s “irrelevant”.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 05:12
...
frankly, there are enough pissing contests to wade through, pardon the pun, over here already.

Ain't that the truth.

There are but I'm really not trying to win any pissing contest.  I'd rather be proven wrong to be honest.  Ideally, Istock doesn't turn out to be the greedy turds as they portray themselves to be, istock makes more money paying the contributors what they deserve and everyone lives happily ever after.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharpshot on September 23, 2010, 06:33
....the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking they’re looking out for you but they’ve screwed you over in every way possible... and you’ve allowed them to.
That's true but I would rather people came up with a solution to this problem than attack others for making decisions that might be the best for them.  I don't think sharply is stupid and he makes more money than nearly all of us here.  Istock pay low commissions but they also give more money to their contributors than most of the sites that pay higher commissions.  20% was hard to swallow but it is better to have 20% of a large amount of money than 50% of very little.  That is the reason why they can get away with it.

In an ideal world, all contributors and buyers would just use sites that pay at least 50% commissions and haven't hiked prices too much for the buyers.  That hasn't happened, so what can we do about it?  A few of us leaving istock wont make the difference, something else has to happen.

People were still using crestock when they were getting mainly $0.25 subs, having most of their uploads rejected and payments delayed for months.  Buyers still use them, even though they have a much smaller choice of images.  I sometimes wonder how far a site has to go before people will stop using them.  It helps us to vent about it but I think the best way to make a real change is to have more communication with buyers and get them to use the sites that are better for all of us.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 23, 2010, 07:54
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/this-is-what-got-my-istock-forum-privileges-and-sitemail-access-revoked/msg163181/#msg163181[/url])). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.


It really doesn’t matter if you take me seriously or not, it’s your right.  You may have been in the microstock industry for many years and I may not have been an IS contributor at all but that is because, and I’ve said it several times, I thought IS was bonkers and alas, they have just proved me right.  Your experience as a photographer does not make you an expert in running or analysing a business.  If you were an expert, you wouldn’t have been so foolish to become an IS exclusive.  You were easily drawn in by the nutters who waved a bunch of empty promises in your face and brainwashed you into believing you’ll have it cushy there and now you’re locked in.  Perhaps you’re too proud to admit you’ve made a mistake going exclusive but come January, when you start to take a big hit in earnings, you’re going to have to admit it... at least to yourself.

If IS’s commission rates haven’t come down then oh well, you’re right, that’s  the “impression” I received from reading many posts scattered around here and on the IS forums complaining about previous pay cuts.  I was wrong, it was because others wrote something that was wrong.  In any case, it doesn’t really matter if commissions haven’t fallen previously.  It’s actually worse if people willingly applied to istock from the beginning handing over up to 80% commission.  It doesn’t at this point in time, matter what’s happened historically, they’re reducing already degrading commissions even further and the points I’ve raised about profitability are still valid. 

“and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway”

My opinion might not matter to you and you should ignore it if that’s the case but I’ve worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency, reduced costs (without cutting the throats of their employees) and gave them a competitive edge.  These industries were far more complicated than the microstock industry that has very little overheads and variable costs.  Believe me they’re not that difficult to figure out.  So I don’t really care if some random photographer, who has been in the microstock industry for 10 years, making poor decisions with regards to their own portfolio, doesn’t take my advice.  Most people would be happy to pick my brain for free and if I’ve come here, it’s really not for my own benefit, but rather to show my concerns and support to those who are going to feel the effects the most.  I won’t be affected by Istock’s f-up at all.  But it still pisses me off to see arseholes like that stealing money from undeserving victims... in this case, it’s you people and your families.  It's always been my nature to look after underdog and I can't help it.  There are going to be people here that think I’m full of *, that’s fine.  But there might be the odd ones that take my advice or at least use my advice to make them think about their position and future in a different light.  You’re expert photographers and all of you think you’re experts in managing your own work but sadly you’re not and it’s the agents that take advantage of that.  As vlad mentioned somewhere above... there’s a downward pressure in earnings but the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking they’re looking out for you but they’ve screwed you over in every way possible... and you’ve allowed them to.

As for your analogy, I understood what you meant, but I still think it is ridiculous.  How does it compare to working for a single employer?  I cannot see any connection at all apart from the word “single”.  For starters, Istock or any agent isn’t your employer, they are your agent who provides you a service (not the other way around) and you pay them a commission (not the other way around).  Furthermore, those working 9-5 are usually after some stability and security.  Becoming exclusive, you lose stability and security over your portfolio more so than being independent.  Also I don’t think many photographers and artists relate to any 9-5 because a big part of the attraction of photography and art is flexibility and working for yourself.  So again, I still find your analogy a tad ridiculous.  Okay, I admit, “ridiculous” is harsh.  I’ll tone it down and say it’s “irrelevant”.


wow...multicorporates...you are a star...teach me more man...teach me more.

Most of us have business experience in multiple areas and I know for a fact that Sharply isn't just another photographer.  If you can't tell by his posts that he's a smart guy, then maybe you should stop and re-evaluate your own abilities to pick up information.  Just because you have some work experience in other industries (I don't know how old you are or when this happened or who you worked for or what happened to those companies so I can't make the argument that you are an outdated hasbeen) doesn't mean your opinions are all valid.  Especially without facts or properly reading the arguments presented.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 08:00
....the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking they’re looking out for you but they’ve screwed you over in every way possible... and you’ve allowed them to.
That's true but I would rather people came up with a solution to this problem than attack others for making decisions that might be the best for them.  I don't think sharply is stupid and he makes more money than nearly all of us here.  Istock pay low commissions but they also give more money to their contributors than most of the sites that pay higher commissions.  20% was hard to swallow but it is better to have 20% of a large amount of money than 50% of very little.  That is the reason why they can get away with it.

In an ideal world, all contributors and buyers would just use sites that pay at least 50% commissions and haven't hiked prices too much for the buyers.  That hasn't happened, so what can we do about it?  A few of us leaving istock wont make the difference, something else has to happen.

People were still using crestock when they were getting mainly $0.25 subs, having most of their uploads rejected and payments delayed for months.  Buyers still use them, even though they have a much smaller choice of images.  I sometimes wonder how far a site has to go before people will stop using them.  It helps us to vent about it but I think the best way to make a real change is to have more communication with buyers and get them to use the sites that are better for all of us.

I didn’t call anyone stupid.  I’m sure Stuart is a brilliant photographer who earns a decent amount but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and management might not be one of his.  That doesn’t make him stupid.  I was just pointing out that it's unfortunate that these agents play on people’s weaknesses.  I also wasn’t attacking him or anyone for doing what’s best for them and in actual fact, I was one of the first people in the Buyers Bailing thread that suggested people don’t make a rash decision that will hurt them.  By all means if istock proves to be profitable next year then of course people should stay there.  I just do see this happening and think exclusives should plan for the worst instead of sitting back being confident that istock will save the day.  

As far as a solution, I actually have one but I’m just not sure people will be bothered or are open-minded enough and ready to hear it because it would take some organisation and some conformity.  I don’t want to be the one to organise or implement it, nor do I, if people think it’s a good idea, want any credit for it but here’s what I’m thinking...

Whoever it was that raised the union idea wasn’t too far off the mark.  I’m not talking about picket lines and protesting, that would be a waste of time, but uniting and setting up some guidelines that everyone can follow would be a good the way to go.

So far the trend for most microstockers has been to either upload all their files on the big 4 and to the odd lower ranking sites that either pay fairly or provide easy uploads.  Then there’s the exclusive contributor who picks one of the big four and hopes for the best.  What I’m proposing is that, instead of the agents having control over your commissions, turn the table around and restructure the agents yourselves by uploading certain files to certain agents based on their commissions.  We all know our own portfolios better than anyone else so we should split them into three groups:  

1.   best performers
2.   medium performers
3.   average performers

Stock sites that pay 50% or more should get 1, 2 and 3.  Sites that pay between 30-40% get 2 and 3, and agents that pay below 30% get 3 only.  This way, contributors wouldn’t mind if their worst files receive lower commissions.  This also gives buyers who are looking for a cheaper alternative somewhere to go.  Doing this will make the agents actually work for you for a change like they’re supposed to.  Do this and you watch how agents change their tune to get all three categories.  It gives the contributors total control over their portfolios and lets them decide the value of their own work.  I’m not saying people should pull their files from one agent and place them on another, that’s too messy, but maybe upload this way from now on or just pull your best performers and place them on the top sites?

That’s it in a nutshell.  As I said, it’ll take some unity and it won’t work unless you have some big players involved but it would be in everyone’s best interest to do this or something similar.

As for istock exclusives, it might turn out that you're going to have to take a hit on your earnings.  If I were you, when you start to feel the squeeze, drop the exclusivity and remain an independent, at least for the short term.  This way, even if you’re commission is dropping to below 20%, some money is coming in while you establish yourselves elsewhere.  Stock Fresh is going to be a god send for a lot of you all because they’re new and no one has really marked their territory there just yet so it’ll give you guys a chance to start somewhere in the middle rather than the bottom of the pack.  

I’m pretty sure, like any other decent suggestion that’s mentioned here, this will be ignored and I’ve just wasted another five minutes of my time typing this, oh well lol
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 23, 2010, 08:06
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 08:08
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/this-is-what-got-my-istock-forum-privileges-and-sitemail-access-revoked/msg163181/#msg163181[/url])). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.


It really doesn’t matter if you take me seriously or not, it’s your right.  You may have been in the microstock industry for many years and I may not have been an IS contributor at all but that is because, and I’ve said it several times, I thought IS was bonkers and alas, they have just proved me right.  Your experience as a photographer does not make you an expert in running or analysing a business.  If you were an expert, you wouldn’t have been so foolish to become an IS exclusive.  You were easily drawn in by the nutters who waved a bunch of empty promises in your face and brainwashed you into believing you’ll have it cushy there and now you’re locked in.  Perhaps you’re too proud to admit you’ve made a mistake going exclusive but come January, when you start to take a big hit in earnings, you’re going to have to admit it... at least to yourself.

If IS’s commission rates haven’t come down then oh well, you’re right, that’s  the “impression” I received from reading many posts scattered around here and on the IS forums complaining about previous pay cuts.  I was wrong, it was because others wrote something that was wrong.  In any case, it doesn’t really matter if commissions haven’t fallen previously.  It’s actually worse if people willingly applied to istock from the beginning handing over up to 80% commission.  It doesn’t at this point in time, matter what’s happened historically, they’re reducing already degrading commissions even further and the points I’ve raised about profitability are still valid. 

“and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway”

My opinion might not matter to you and you should ignore it if that’s the case but I’ve worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency, reduced costs (without cutting the throats of their employees) and gave them a competitive edge.  These industries were far more complicated than the microstock industry that has very little overheads and variable costs.  Believe me they’re not that difficult to figure out.  So I don’t really care if some random photographer, who has been in the microstock industry for 10 years, making poor decisions with regards to their own portfolio, doesn’t take my advice.  Most people would be happy to pick my brain for free and if I’ve come here, it’s really not for my own benefit, but rather to show my concerns and support to those who are going to feel the effects the most.  I won’t be affected by Istock’s f-up at all.  But it still pisses me off to see arseholes like that stealing money from undeserving victims... in this case, it’s you people and your families.  It's always been my nature to look after underdog and I can't help it.  There are going to be people here that think I’m full of *, that’s fine.  But there might be the odd ones that take my advice or at least use my advice to make them think about their position and future in a different light.  You’re expert photographers and all of you think you’re experts in managing your own work but sadly you’re not and it’s the agents that take advantage of that.  As vlad mentioned somewhere above... there’s a downward pressure in earnings but the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking they’re looking out for you but they’ve screwed you over in every way possible... and you’ve allowed them to.

As for your analogy, I understood what you meant, but I still think it is ridiculous.  How does it compare to working for a single employer?  I cannot see any connection at all apart from the word “single”.  For starters, Istock or any agent isn’t your employer, they are your agent who provides you a service (not the other way around) and you pay them a commission (not the other way around).  Furthermore, those working 9-5 are usually after some stability and security.  Becoming exclusive, you lose stability and security over your portfolio more so than being independent.  Also I don’t think many photographers and artists relate to any 9-5 because a big part of the attraction of photography and art is flexibility and working for yourself.  So again, I still find your analogy a tad ridiculous.  Okay, I admit, “ridiculous” is harsh.  I’ll tone it down and say it’s “irrelevant”.


wow...multicorporates...you are a star...teach me more man...teach me more.

Most of us have business experience in multiple areas and I know for a fact that Sharply isn't just another photographer.  If you can't tell by his posts that he's a smart guy, then maybe you should stop and re-evaluate your own abilities to pick up information.  Just because you have some work experience in other industries (I don't know how old you are or when this happened or who you worked for or what happened to those companies so I can't make the argument that you are an outdated hasbeen) doesn't mean your opinions are all valid.  Especially without facts or properly reading the arguments presented.


Jesus calm down.  I didn't say his opinions weren't valid or that he wasn't a smart guy.  He was suggesting my opinions weren't valid and I was explaining my position.  It doesn't really matter if I work for the microstock industry, the building and construction, manufacturing, travel industries etc, I'm trained to perfom in any of them, but who gives a crap.  I'm not going to put up my CV, it's irrelevent.  All I'm saying is that it's really silly to disregard people's opinions just because they have less experience in istock or microstock.  
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 08:18
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

lol, then why . are you all here whining together as a group?  Why?

If that's the case, piss off on your own and shut your trap and put up with istock raping you.  This is it, everyone here wants to whinge but no one really wants to do anything about it.  There is no point in feeling sorry for a bunch of no-hope lifers.  At the end of the day the majority of you deserve to take the beating you're given.  You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more.  I just feel bad for ones that put up with an industry screwing them just because there's a majority of people content with being screwed.  This mentality is the reason why microstock has sunk to the level it has and why it will continue to do so till it's no longer viable for anyone other than the odd hobbyist to upload.  The agents have screwed you but you've all pulled your pants down and bent over!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 23, 2010, 09:41
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

lol, then why . are you all here whining together as a group?  Why?

If that's the case, piss off on your own and shut your trap and put up with istock raping you.  This is it, everyone here wants to whinge but no one really wants to do anything about it.  There is no point in feeling sorry for a bunch of no-hope lifers.  At the end of the day the majority of you deserve to take the beating you're given.  You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more.  I just feel bad for ones that put up with an industry screwing them just because there's a majority of people content with being screwed.  This mentality is the reason why microstock has sunk to the level it has and why it will continue to do so till it's no longer viable for anyone other than the odd hobbyist to upload.  The agents have screwed you but you've all pulled your pants down and bent over!

Wow.  Aren't you a bitter old sack of crap.  I'm not whining about the changes.  I'm here for the discussions and most of the opinions - like most people.  I enjoy hearing the views of the vets such as sjlocke and lisafx because they have different points of view given their experiences.  They offer a lot in terms of knowledge in their own unique ways.  They are also reasonable and don't have some sort of god complex like yourself because you think you are trying to save everyone with your 'management accounting skills' and because you have all this 'experience'. 

This is capitalism.  Its the evolution of an industry and the shifting of powers.  Its how technology changes industries.  It happened to music.  It happened to the movie industry.  Its happening to photography.  Is this such a big surprise? Adapt to the change or die.  Make Darwin happy.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 23, 2010, 09:59
Quote
I’ve worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency,

Now, I know a few high flying corporate types and to be honest none of them hang around microstock forums boasting of their business prowess.

Quote
You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more

Quite a lot of us aren't paid peanuts. I have a well above average income from microstock. How about you? Oh no, sorry, you're a big buck management accountant, unaccountably hanging out with a bunch of loser artists.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 10:08
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

lol, then why . are you all here whining together as a group?  Why?

If that's the case, piss off on your own and shut your trap and put up with istock raping you.  This is it, everyone here wants to whinge but no one really wants to do anything about it.  There is no point in feeling sorry for a bunch of no-hope lifers.  At the end of the day the majority of you deserve to take the beating you're given.  You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more.  I just feel bad for ones that put up with an industry screwing them just because there's a majority of people content with being screwed.  This mentality is the reason why microstock has sunk to the level it has and why it will continue to do so till it's no longer viable for anyone other than the odd hobbyist to upload.  The agents have screwed you but you've all pulled your pants down and bent over!

Wow.  Aren't you a bitter old sack of crap.  I'm not whining about the changes.  I'm here for the discussions and most of the opinions - like most people.  I enjoy hearing the views of the vets such as sjlocke and lisafx because they have different points of view given their experiences.  They offer a lot in terms of knowledge in their own unique ways.  They are also reasonable and don't have some sort of god complex like yourself because you think you are trying to save everyone with your 'management accounting skills' and because you have all this 'experience'. 

This is capitalism.  Its the evolution of an industry and the shifting of powers.  Its how technology changes industries.  It happened to music.  It happened to the movie industry.  Its happening to photography.  Is this such a big surprise? Adapt to the change or die.  Make Darwin happy.

I think it's you that's the bitter old sadsack of crap.  I did not even address you and you had a go at me, why?  awww did i pick on your istock pals, was that it?  You're not here to discuss various opinions with people who think outside the box... youre just a puppet who will only pay attention to those who have climbed the ranks and disregard anyone else's.  

God Complex?  hahaha, come off it, you watch too many movies mate.  I wasn't blowing wind up my own arse like half of you lot do.  If my position or career has offended you, that's your problem.  As for the microstock industry evolving, you're right, it is, but you people aren't willing to adapt, you're willing to become extinct, and you probably deserve it because you're the ones that are outdated.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 23, 2010, 10:15
Too bad there any beans left for you to count

You obviously have a problem with the people in this forum.  You have a problem with this business.  This is a microstock forum, not a management accountant convention.  I'm sure there are other places for you to park your big-boss I'm better than you attitude......mate
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 10:24
Quote
I’ve worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency,

Now, I know a few high flying corporate types and to be honest none of them hang around microstock forums boasting of their business prowess.

Quote
You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more

Quite a lot of us aren't paid peanuts. I have a well above average income from microstock. How about you? Oh no, sorry, you're a big buck management accountant, unaccountably hanging out with a bunch of loser artists.

lol mentioning my title is boasting of my "business prowess"?  I don't remember boasting.  Pissy pants asked the question about what I do and I answered.

As for hanging around with a bunch of loser artists I mentioned back in May what brought me to microstock.  I'm off work due to an injury and I'm dabbling in my creative side again because it keeps me still.   From memory, you were a bit of a turd back then and you apologised to me.

As for being paid peanuts, it doesn't matter how much you pocket, for the work you do and the hours you put in, you're paid peanuts per download and even worse per upload.  You're all deluded and have no clue how much you're worth.  You also have no idea how to best market yourselves and next year when your income (that YOU keep boasting about) falls, I'll be on my way back to doing what I normally do and you'll be left here in the forums taking even less from istock while continuing to defend them.  At the end of the day, you deserve the peanuts you're getting.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 23, 2010, 10:26
roflmao - who's Stuart? let me get this straight pseudo...you don't even contribute to iStock because they are bonkers. ok, well, thanks for your comments that have zero frame of reference
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 10:27
Too bad there any beans left for you to count

You obviously have a problem with the people in this forum.  You have a problem with this business.  This is a microstock forum, not a management accountant convention.  I'm sure there are other places for you to park your big-boss I'm better than you attitude......mate


shhhhh you boring twit
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 23, 2010, 10:40
my life is over...an ACCOUNTANT called me boring
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: cdwheatley on September 23, 2010, 10:47
"I'm off work due to an injury and I'm dabbling in my creative side again because it keeps me still"

This pretty much sums it up.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 11:03
"I'm off work due to an injury and I'm dabbling in my creative side again because it keeps me still"

This pretty much sums it up.

I'm really trying hard to be insulted by some caveman holding a camera, but I just can't, sorry :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 23, 2010, 11:08
roflmao - who's Stuart? let me get this straight pseudo...you don't even contribute to iStock because they are bonkers. ok, well, thanks for your comments that have zero frame of reference

hahaha, let me get this straight, hawk_eye, you're saying that my opinion is invalid because I didn't make the stupid mistake of paying istock 80% commission and saying a few months ago that istock was going down?   Are you saying your opinion carries more weight because you willingly handed them your balls on a plate and are now stuck there, without a scrotum, not knowing what the future holds for you?  yeah that makes sense!

hahaha, you're thick as!

goodnight!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: cdwheatley on September 23, 2010, 11:13
"I'm off work due to an injury and I'm dabbling in my creative side again because it keeps me still"

This pretty much sums it up.

I'm really trying hard to be insulted by some caveman holding a camera, but I just can't, sorry :)

No, it's "bushman" here in the tropics, you have it all wrong.
I don't think you need any help with the insults, you do fine job all by your lonesome.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 23, 2010, 11:17
Quote
lol mentioning my title is boasting of my "business prowess"?

I was being sarcastic.

Quote
I'll be on my way back to doing what I normally do

Your homework?

OK, lets just suppose you're really some big business hotshot. Firstly you have to understand that most artists aren't businessmen. You have to lead us. I will pay you 30% of my income if you can tell me how to leave IS and market myself in a way that would increase my current income appreciably. You can be my agent. Tell me how to go about it? I'm putty in your hands.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: thesentinel on September 23, 2010, 11:25
In a thread about forum privileges withdrawal we get to see the potential benefits of some moderation.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 23, 2010, 11:52
In a thread about forum privileges withdrawal we get to see the potential benefits of some moderation.

Yep, there's definitely irony here when you at the title of this thread.

Leaf must be away - he's usually quick to jump when things get out of hand. I sometimes think this place has grown up enough that he should promote a few of the seniors to moderators, but on the flip side, behaviour here is usually polite/good enough that it's rarely warranted.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Blufish on September 23, 2010, 11:54
Y A W N. KNOCK. IT. OFF. What are we 12?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 23, 2010, 12:31
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.

I agree - I am not comfortable with dls decreasing, even though income may be increasing. If iStock hadn't increased prices so significantly, this would not be the trend for many of us. Though, of course, as more images come online into any given collection, there is potential for one's dls to fall.

I also agree with the person who posted that it seems like iStock is migrating (or being migrated) toward a leader in "midstock". I wish them the best of luck with that. But I think I'd have far more sales if it remained a leader in the microstock market. Even in periods when I've not been uploading consistently. That's my hunch, anyway.

All I know is that the new model they're moving to does not inspire me to work more. If fact, it has the opposite effect. With goals that change from year to year and seem generally, vastly unattainable (if you want to move up the ladder), I don't see the point in knocking myself out as I'm guaranteed nothing for my efforts. I'm familiar with a few other iStockers ports that are small, but smashing. And even as they turn out new and wonderful work, their dls hardly tick up, and often continue to dwindle. So, just because one is producing consistently and of a high quality guarantees nothing. You could remain at your current commission level and never go up, or, go down. To me that seems like a lot of effort for random rewards.

Which is why going un-exclusive and spreading my work around makes more sense. At least for me and my portfolio and type of work. And also, given that I have a day job that allows me little time to hamster-wheel for any agency.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 23, 2010, 12:37
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

That it is.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 23, 2010, 16:02
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.

I agree - I am not comfortable with dls decreasing, even though income may be increasing. If iStock hadn't increased prices so significantly, this would not be the trend for many of us. Though, of course, as more images come online into any given collection, there is potential for one's dls to fall.

I also agree with the person who posted that it seems like iStock is migrating (or being migrated) toward a leader in "midstock". I wish them the best of luck with that. But I think I'd have far more sales if it remained a leader in the microstock market. Even in periods when I've not been uploading consistently. That's my hunch, anyway.

All I know is that the new model they're moving to does not inspire me to work more. If fact, it has the opposite effect. With goals that change from year to year and seem generally, vastly unattainable (if you want to move up the ladder), I don't see the point in knocking myself out as I'm guaranteed nothing for my efforts. I'm familiar with a few other iStockers ports that are small, but smashing. And even as they turn out new and wonderful work, their dls hardly tick up, and often continue to dwindle. So, just because one is producing consistently and of a high quality guarantees nothing. You could remain at your current commission level and never go up, or, go down. To me that seems like a lot of effort for random rewards.

Which is why going un-exclusive and spreading my work around makes more sense. At least for me and my portfolio and type of work. And also, given that I have a day job that allows me little time to hamster-wheel for any agency.

I couldn't agree more with all of this. +1 (to both posts!)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 23, 2010, 19:56
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

That it is.

Maybe someone should hit us in the head with a hammer, clearly we are not so smart!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 23, 2010, 23:44
I think a lot of us are very smart, and that we know very well that what works for the small and the big contributors doesn't work for the middle guys.  In the end, it would be difficult to adequately represent the individual needs of the members of that group.  But then again, don't know until you try.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Microbius on September 24, 2010, 03:10
pseudonymous you need to give up this argument, they will run you down because at the end of the day exclusives have a lot more to lose by IStock getting damaged then we have to gain.
Look how the discussion has gone over on IStock and here, the majority feel aggrieved by the crappy treatment they have received but you can only complain for so long when you are banging your head against a brick wall.
When everything that can be said has been the damage control guys from IStock attack on mass and bully the few people still trying to make themselves heard.
Forget it, they ain't going to listen.
Decide what action you want to take and do it, be that removing images, educating buyers, whatever. You're not going to get a sensible answer here and you're only going to get more and more frustrated.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on September 24, 2010, 08:50

Decide what action you want to take and do it, be that removing images, educating buyers, whatever. You're not going to get a sensible answer here and you're only going to get more and more frustrated.

Yeah, ultimately I think that is what we are left with.  For whatever reason (personally, I think the bleed-it-dry-then-sell-it theory is right) Istock isn't listening this time around.  There don't appear to be any concessions or rethinks in the works.

Now we each have to decide what we are willing to do about it. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: JamesGdesign on September 25, 2010, 03:48
I got banned - and not even for my earlier brash remarks in the thread.

Posts are being deleted left, right and center with the "lets just roll over" and "shame on you for complaining" posts remaining to stew. I got banned for responding to a post that ended with something like - "...and if you dont like it then dont let the door hit you on the way out"

Suffice to say my response to this contained 100% less sassmouth than previous yet seemed enough to get a warning. I told them essentially they could take their "priviledges" and shove it (but in much nicer terms). So be it. No Idea why you got banned though dgilder. Thats just wrong considering the things i have said (and others for that matter) ha!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: qwerty on September 25, 2010, 04:18
I've stopped uploading to them, I will make an assessment on what to do long term later. Basically I will be at 16% mark.

A small protest but something
 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pheby on September 25, 2010, 04:59
I've decided to pull my port by the end of december. I know that they won't notice that at all, but I just can't let an agency help itself to 84 percent of what my images sell for, and there's no way they will have me struggeling along to hit some obscure floating target that might give me 17 or 18 percent.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 25, 2010, 08:49
I got banned - and not even for my earlier brash remarks in the thread.

Posts are being deleted left, right and center with the "lets just roll over" and "shame on you for complaining" posts remaining to stew. I got banned for responding to a post that ended with something like - "...and if you dont like it then dont let the door hit you on the way out"

Suffice to say my response to this contained 100% less sassmouth than previous yet seemed enough to get a warning. I told them essentially they could take their "priviledges" and shove it (but in much nicer terms). So be it. No Idea why you got banned though dgilder. Thats just wrong considering the things i have said (and others for that matter) ha!

It's childish and completely random. "Lobo" is letting his emotions get the better of him. If he ever gets fired, he better not look for a job in customer service. LOL
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 25, 2010, 09:12
They locked down the new thread about Mondays arrival of the Agency collection.

Lobo locked down the thread and edited the contents of the thread orininator.  It looks like he changed the title as well.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=259011&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=259011&page=1)

I think it is good they are driving more of us to this site where we have a chance to fully expore options and express our feelings. 

Clearly they are taking care of their top money earnings, most of whom we have heard nary a peep from. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: JamesGdesign on September 25, 2010, 09:31

It's childish and completely random. "Lobo" is letting his emotions get the better of him. If he ever gets fired, he better not look for a job in customer service. LOL

That is certainly the impression i got from his overly sarcastic and somewhat immature (?) sitemails. Dude really needs to work on his comebacks... his kung fu is not strong.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: fullvalue on September 25, 2010, 09:58

Clearly they are taking care of their top money earnings, most of whom we have heard nary a peep from. 

I'm not sure how you can draw that conclusion.  Several well established Diamonds have posted over on IStock.  Several other of the top money earners may not feel comfortable commenting in English as it's not their native language.  Because someone doesn't comment doesn't mean they like what's going on or they're getting a special deal.

If this is how they put food on the table and a roof over their family's head, they might be keeping their head low, doing damage control and calculating the best course of action for the future.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 25, 2010, 12:59

Clearly they are taking care of their top money earnings, most of whom we have heard nary a peep from. 

I'm not sure how you can draw that conclusion.  Several well established Diamonds have posted over on IStock.  Several other of the top money earners may not feel comfortable commenting in English as it's not their native language.  Because someone doesn't comment doesn't mean they like what's going on or they're getting a special deal.

If this is how they put food on the table and a roof over their family's head, they might be keeping their head low, doing damage control and calculating the best course of action for the future.

How many of the very highest income producers do you think will see their royalties fall, the structuring of the reductions is evidence in itself.  I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 25, 2010, 13:09
I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gbalex on September 25, 2010, 13:38
I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the consequences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

For the most part we are making the same point and I agree. The top earners have no incentive to leave unless of course istock changes the royalty structure in the future so that the very top contributors take a major hit and so far that is not the case, nor is it likely unless the bottom line becomes dire.

Any dialog would be to reinforce those points and to discuss details such the introduction of the agency collection and so on.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 25, 2010, 14:19
How many of the very highest income producers do you think will see their royalties fall, the structuring of the reductions is evidence in itself.  I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.


Again referencing this chart (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/extrapolating-redeemed-credits/msg160664/#msg160664), you don't have to be one of the highest income producers to see your royalties remain unchanged - iStock Diamond exclusives earning $79,500 or more per year, for example, will not see a commission reduction. Sure, royalties will fall a bit from EL & subscription reductions, but my numbers show that this will result in a royalty reduction of less than 1%.

Interestingly enough, after running the numbers with the new Vetta pricing, it looks to me like they might have been able to achieve more of their profit margin goals by adjusting only Vetta pricing and commissions, which would have gone a very long way in keeping everyone happy.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 25, 2010, 14:27
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 25, 2010, 14:56
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: thesentinel on September 25, 2010, 16:44
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 25, 2010, 17:03
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 25, 2010, 17:05
From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Okay, what's your guess?

I based mine on my own data together with iStockcharts showing 716 Diamonds, with a little over half of them earning enough to stay Diamond.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: crazychristina on September 25, 2010, 17:08
I'm guessing that Vetta sales are the x factor in exclusive income. Very hard for an independent to estimate what these are worth. Perhaps sales on Getty should be factored into this too.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 25, 2010, 17:12
Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, gostwyck, you can't extrapolate your data as an independent to accurately calculate what an exclusive makes. I don't know why you don't believe me - doing things like that only leads to foolishness. Like making silly $10 bets. (grin)

That being said, I think my guess is indeed a little high, but not by that much - I'll change it to 275.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on September 25, 2010, 17:24
Up until this year it was pretty easy as an independent to guess how much you would make as an exclusive.  If you were diamond, you just doubled your 20% take and that was roughly what you would make as exclusive, give or take some best match placement. 

Within the past year things like Vetta, E+, and raising exclusive prices have all changed that equation completely.  It is indeed hard to guess what exclusives are making these days, but judging from the end-of-month threads gold and diamond members' price rises have been partially offset by the drops in downloads. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 25, 2010, 17:28
I've said it before and I'll say it again, gostwyck, you can't extrapolate your data as an independent to accurately calculate what an exclusive makes. I don't know why you don't believe me - doing things like that only leads to foolishness. Like making silly $10 bets. (grin)

That being said, I think my guess is indeed a little high, but not by that much - I'll change it to 275.

Ok, granted, my estimate was on the low side. At say an average of $4 per sale (the figure given to me by a couple of exclusives) you'd need to average about 1600 sales per month. Knowing my own sales and my ranking on the multimedia chart it seems unlikely to me that there are more than 200 that average sales of that order __ and that number includes independents as well. Maybe 150-170 exclusives make it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 25, 2010, 21:10
Ok, granted, my estimate was on the low side. At say an average of $4 per sale (the figure given to me by a couple of exclusives) ...

Here's the very last I'm going to say:

One of the reasons I became exclusive was so that I could spend more time doing portfolio management. I know that most people here scoff at such a thing, but by investing the time I've saved by going exclusive into more efficiently marketing my portfolio, I've been able to substantially increase the revenue I generate from it. In my opinion, those Diamond exclusives who are only averaging $4 per DL would be wise to do the same. There's more involved in microstock than shooting, keywording, and uploading, and ignoring the management side of things can cost you a lot of money.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Smiling Jack on September 25, 2010, 22:14
sharply_done:
Your use of the term "portfolio management" spiked my interest.I don't want your trade secrets or business strategies. But if you could  give a general statement that would start me thinking in the right direction I would appreciate it.
P.S.-Since you are exclusive and I am not a contributor to IStock I would not be competition and I have a thing about Getty from the old days. I swore I would never let them stick it to me again.
Smiling Jack
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: sharply_done on September 25, 2010, 23:26
sharply_done:
Your use of the term "portfolio management" spiked my interest.I don't want your trade secrets or business strategies. But if you could  give a general statement that would start me thinking in the right direction I would appreciate it.
...

Nope, and sorry - I wrote a proper response to you, but I think it's best for me to lay low for a while and keep my mouth shut.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: ichiro17 on September 26, 2010, 00:12
Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, gostwyck, you can't extrapolate your data as an independent to accurately calculate what an exclusive makes. I don't know why you don't believe me - doing things like that only leads to foolishness. Like making silly $10 bets. (grin)

That being said, I think my guess is indeed a little high, but not by that much - I'll change it to 275.

Some of you guys underestimate so badly its hilarious.  I'm with Sharply on this one, he's gotten the math right more often than not - and well he seems to be pretty smart and thorough instead of just bad guesses
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 26, 2010, 03:57
So by your figures then, sharply, the top one third of the diamonds will hang on to their earnings level next year, which probably helps to quell the outcry from some of the most highly respected members of the community.

But that is just next year. What happens if the average sales volume continues to fall and they leave the goalposts unmoved for 2012? A lot of the favoured 300 would probably fall out of the top level. And what if they shift the goalposts to ensure that two-thirds of those 300 slip down a level? At that point nobody will have any way of knowing what the impact of the changes is.

If iStock says sales have increased by 10% but credit requirements are only being increased by 5%, what will that tell us? Absolutely nothing. Some people will probably thank iStock for being so generous. But if that happens, then what it will really mean will be another massive but hidden commission cut, because we know that the butter is getting spread more and more thinly. iStock sales may go up by 10% while the average number of credits people earn may go down 10% as the community grows.

In a couple of years, there could just be half-a-dozen still clinging to the top level and nobody will know because, as Kelly told us, all our earnings details will be secret .... I mean, private.

Sharply, you hinted in response to Gostwyck's bet that you think you have some special relationship developing with iStock and I am willing to believe that. But you are naive if you think that chumming up with the in-crowd will protect you in the long run. It won't because it is just business now and special favors for the chosen few will only last as long as they help to boost the Getty balance sheet. The moment your friendship represents lost profit, no special relationship will protect your earnings.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 26, 2010, 22:00
I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 26, 2010, 22:45
I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

You got an official call about the announcement, to warn you of it (in detail or just in generalities?) - prior to the announcement?

I'll take you at your word and not call you a liar, though I find what you're claiming seriously difficult to believe.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 26, 2010, 22:47


you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

You got an official call about the announcement, to warn you of it (in detail or just in generalities?) - prior to the announcement?

I'll take you at your word and not call you a liar, though I find what you're claiming seriously difficult to believe.

Seems the iStock Kool-Aid is also laced with hallucinogens. LOL
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 26, 2010, 23:20
... and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

Of course you did. As soon as Nurse gets here with your 'special' medication I expect you'll remember having lots more important phone calls too.  ::)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 26, 2010, 23:34
yes, a call. the morning of the announcement. and lots of other people got calls, this isn't big news. I was simply refuting yet another piece of misinformation over here. I'm a middle of the road contributor, so if they took the time to call me, that certainly doesn't indicate a lack of concern for the well-being of contributors, financially or otherwise, ven if the mandate is to push through an unwelcome change. spin that whatever way suits you best.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 26, 2010, 23:49
I'm a middle of the road contributor, so if they took the time to call me, that certainly doesn't indicate a lack of concern for the well-being of contributors, financially or otherwise, ven if the mandate is to push through an unwelcome change. spin that whatever way suits you best.

That/if such a large number of calls went out, as you suggest, then I'd classify them/the effort en masse damage control. Because clearly the change was going to be unwelcome. And while you may spin the calls as evidence of corporate concern of some kind, I think that's the Kool-Aid talking.

It was/is a huge change that was not going to be a welcome one, so it's not rocket science to put calls out, as you suggest. It would be semi-standard/smart pre-announcement damage control, although ... when the news is going to be as bad as this news is/was, no amount of calls beforehand are/were likely to quell the ensuing storm.

If you got a call, then, as you say, everyone above you must have got a call (though none of the folks I'm chummy with who are above you got calls, or not that they're admitting to, and they don't seem the types to keep that sort of info on lock from me, but who knows). And with the number of angry Black Diamonds and Diamonds on down that have posted (many who never post in the forums, let alone voice discontent there), "the calls" - it would seem - did little to no good.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 26, 2010, 23:53
Some of you guys underestimate so badly its hilarious.  I'm with Sharply on this one, he's gotten the math right more often than not - and well he seems to be pretty smart and thorough instead of just bad guesses

Sharply is neglecting to factor in the large number of diamonds who contribute both photos and illustrations, many of whom have been pretty vocal about no longer being able to make 40% in either category.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 26, 2010, 23:54
Quote
If you got a call, then, as you say, everyone above you must have got a call (though none of the folks I'm chummy with who are above you got calls, or not that they're admitting to, and they don't seem the types to keep that sort of info on lock from me, but who knows). And with the number of angry Black Diamonds and Diamonds on down that have posted (many who never post in the forums, let alone voice discontent there), "the calls" - it would seem - did little to no good.

With the way hawk_eye lied about me threatening to stop buying at iStock since she joined, I'm disinclined to believe this claim of "a call".
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 26, 2010, 23:55
yes, a call. the morning of the announcement. and lots of other people got calls, this isn't big news. I was simply refuting yet another piece of misinformation over here. I'm a middle of the road contributor, so if they took the time to call me, that certainly doesn't indicate a lack of concern for the well-being of contributors, financially or otherwise, ven if the mandate is to push through an unwelcome change. spin that whatever way suits you best.

Hmmm __ so you think that Istockphoto identified the most likely 'disgusting little suckers of the corporate c*ck' and then targeted them first? Devious!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 26, 2010, 23:57
Correction, "corporate iC*ck". :D
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 26, 2010, 23:58
Watch it, yer getting close there to infringing on a future Apple trademark ;)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 27, 2010, 00:18
I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

I guess I'm now even more dissed and pissed off than I was before. I didn't get a call (I was away but I just checked the caller ID log to see if there had been one) - I would have described myself as active and fairly involved. what were they thinking calling some special group of people - not admins - in some "in" group?

I'd rather this was some fantasy as the alternative is that there's a high school clique mentality where there should be some solid business thinking.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 27, 2010, 00:23
Word, jsnover.

I find it quite odd that so many who are/were so involved and active did not get calls. Yourself included.

Chalking it down as more fodder pointing to the cliquish nature of the way this company seems to run runs its business.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 00:24
I don't think so JoAnn. again, it was not of any special nature or because of any special relationship. despite the comments made here, I've never even met an iStock admin in real life yet.

the call I received was from Andrew, it was just a check in about the announcement. if it were a clique thing, I wouldn't have gotten a call....clearly I'm not part of the in-crowd, at least not over here and who cares about such baloney anyways? I'm certain no one meant to diss you, you get plenty of positive admin attention in the iStock forums and you are widely respected AFAIK.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 27, 2010, 00:29
In a sense it doesn't matter one way or the other. As long as they continue to sell licenses - and this week has been very good - I'll do business with them. I don't have to like them or respect them to let them run the store that sells my image licenses.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 27, 2010, 00:30
In a sense it doesn't matter one way or the other. As long as they continue to sell licenses - and this week has been very good - I'll do business with them. I don't have to like them or respect them to let them run the store that sells my image licenses.

True.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 27, 2010, 00:33
who cares about such baloney anyways?

Clearly you do or you would never have mentioned it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 27, 2010, 00:35
Watch it, yer getting close there to infringing on a future Apple trademark ;)

LOL
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 00:38
who cares about such baloney anyways?

Clearly you do or you would never have mentioned it.

I didn't mention it. I responded to JoAnn's concern that perhaps she hadn't made THE list.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 27, 2010, 00:42
who cares about such baloney anyways?

Clearly you do or you would never have mentioned it.

I didn't mention it. I responded to JoAnn's concern that perhaps she hadn't made THE list.

???

You are the one who first posted about "the call" in the first place, obviously as a show of importance. I don't think you are fooling anyone here.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 01:00
.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 27, 2010, 01:11
Quote
yes, a call. the morning of the announcement. and lots of other people got calls, this isn't big news. I

Well I know a number of big sellers personally on IS, and I'm in the top 200 myself, and none of us received 'the call' so for some reason you're a priviledged contributor.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 01:24
. nope, why bother
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 27, 2010, 03:12
I must say, I am curious as to what "the call" said. Or even what it could have said. Or why anyone would bother calling any submitter to tell them that the announcement was about to be made (that is NOT a negotiation by the way, a negotiation would be about changing the terms to keep you happy).

It makes no sense telling a few people in person about an announcement that everybody will see a few hours later.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Amanda_K on September 27, 2010, 04:11
SERIOUSLY.  Every time I think we have reached the pinnacle of ridiculousness, the current iStock saga is ramped up a notch. If there honestly were calls going out to certain people while the rest of us get no REAL communication from anyone official in a 5,000 + post official thread that truly is LOW. They could take the time to make personal calls but can't take the time to answer questions in a post?

Also I have to wonder if these calls actually went out how they managed to avoid calling ANYONE that spoke out in the forums.  Lobo said there were about 840 different posters in that epic thread with the vast majority being opposed to whats going on and the lack of communication we are getting, and none of those hundreds of pissed off people mentioned getting a call.  Then again maybe they were asked not too.  At least one well established diamond mentioned openly in that thread that she was asked by iStock admins not to discuss certain things on the forums.

Interesting side note....my sales have fallen over 50% since I first posted in the announcement thread and the vector thread asking for clarification.  Quite the coincidence with sales tanking when I spoke out. I was told that the effects of becoming non exclusive do not take place until the 30 day wait period is up so the two week severe sales slump should not be from my cancellation.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: thesentinel on September 27, 2010, 07:26
I knew somewhere in all the posts I'd read that some had had calls from RogerMexico, and on page 111 of the first thread ( http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=111 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=111) ) we learn that none other than pom pom waving cheerleader Stacey in reply to pink_cotton_candy who'd  also had a call said:

 " I've just finished reading the additional 40 pages since I stopped reading last night. I too had a voicemail from Andrew last night. That impresses me, though I haven't spoken to anyone yet, the phone call alone told me that contributors continue to matter. as you said Dawn, if exclusives leave, the better for those of us who stay."

However the afterglow of that call didn't last too long iirc.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Microbius on September 27, 2010, 08:38
dirty
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eyedesign on September 27, 2010, 09:08
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.
A little under 500.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: dgilder on September 27, 2010, 09:22
A little under 500.

Ridiculous, there are only 800 or so diamonds to begin with.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eyedesign on September 27, 2010, 09:33
A little under 500.

Ridiculous, there are only 800 or so diamonds to begin with.

No more ridiculous then some of the other numbers being kick around here.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: thesentinel on September 27, 2010, 09:42
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.
A little under 500.

Well again from where I'm sitting, at approx 99 in the istockcharts list which is not too inaccurate at this level, I have doubts of hitting the 150,000 approx 80k usd, target to retain my 40%, I know from the forums that there's at least one - 30 places above me  - that say they won't, and there's approx 15 non exclusive above me at least, so you can see my doubt about this '500'......would that it was.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eyedesign on September 27, 2010, 09:54
I didn't say 500. I said a bit under 500, think somewhere around 420-475.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: cdwheatley on September 27, 2010, 10:04
I'd say between 200-300, the charts don't really tell us much. There could be a newer guy sitting at position 1200 selling like crazy, it would take him years to climb the chart, but he might still make the 40%. I'm at 318 and will make it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Eyedesign on September 27, 2010, 10:08
I'd say between 200-300, the charts don't really tell us much. There could be a newer guy sitting at position 1200 selling like crazy, it would take him years to climb the chart, but he might still make the 40%. I'm at 318 and will make it.

Bingo!!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: thesentinel on September 27, 2010, 10:20
I didn't say 500. I said a bit under 500, think somewhere around 420-475.

You can think what you want, but experience and research tells me otherwise.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 10:29
I'd say between 200-300, the charts don't really tell us much. There could be a newer guy sitting at position 1200 selling like crazy, it would take him years to climb the chart, but he might still make the 40%. I'm at 318 and will make it.

Bingo!!

agreed....just went through all the numbers I have available to me and this number makes the most sense. not far off of what sharply_done said earlier...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on September 27, 2010, 10:52
I posted elsewhere that I did get a call the morning the announcement was made.  I am not saying that to blow my own horn, BTW, just to clarify that these mythical calls DID go out to some contributors.  I don't know who else got them, just that I did.   I assumed they were calling all BD's but apparently they called other canisters as well.  

It was't pre-emptive, BTW, it was after the forum announcement was made.  The admin who called me was one who had established a relationship with me when I needed help with other issues.  She asked if I had seen the forum thread about changes at Istock.  I hadn't.  She did not clarify what the changes were, but sounded so solemn and serious I was sure the changes were bad.  She told me that if I had any questions after I had read it I should give her a call and she would answer any questions I had.  

Of course I went right to the forums and checked on the news.  Devastating news!  I called her back and asked for clarification, like was there wiggle room.  Could we expect some flexibility or negotiation?  No.  Was I going to drop from my current 20%?  She told me where to find my current RC tally, and yes, I am going to drop.  

I am not sure why I got a call.  They had absolutely nothing to offer by way of softening the blow.  I don't know how it was decided who got calls and who didn't.  If it was an attempt to keep me quiet, it didn't work.  But by the nature of the call and the sadness of the administrator, I concluded that these changes were not coming from the Istock team, but higher up and there was nothing they could do about them.  
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on September 27, 2010, 11:03
^^^ Thanks Lisa, interesting bit of background. It does beg the question as to the motivation behind the calls, presumeably damage-limitation, but it also leaves little doubt that the Istockphoto management were fully aware what the likely reaction was going to be. The more we learn the more extraordinary it all becomes.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 11:04
^ well said lisa. that was my experience with the call too. and as I said in my first post, it was a voicemail that I then replied to, so I have no idea what time the voicemail was left by Andrew.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 27, 2010, 13:04
I posted elsewhere that I did get a call the morning the announcement was made.  I am not saying that to blow my own horn, BTW, just to clarify that these mythical calls DID go out to some contributors.  I don't know who else got them, just that I did.   I assumed they were calling all BD's but apparently they called other canisters as well.  

It was't pre-emptive, BTW, it was after the forum announcement was made.  The admin who called me was one who had established a relationship with me when I needed help with other issues.  She asked if I had seen the forum thread about changes at Istock.  I hadn't.  She did not clarify what the changes were, but sounded so solemn and serious I was sure the changes were bad.  She told me that if I had any questions after I had read it I should give her a call and she would answer any questions I had.  

Of course I went right to the forums and checked on the news.  Devastating news!  I called her back and asked for clarification, like was there wiggle room.  Could we expect some flexibility or negotiation?  No.  Was I going to drop from my current 20%?  She told me where to find my current RC tally, and yes, I am going to drop.  

I am not sure why I got a call.  They had absolutely nothing to offer by way of softening the blow.  I don't know how it was decided who got calls and who didn't.  If it was an attempt to keep me quiet, it didn't work.  But by the nature of the call and the sadness of the administrator, I concluded that these changes were not coming from the Istock team, but higher up and there was nothing they could do about them.  

Totally bizarre.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 27, 2010, 13:49
^^^ Thanks Lisa, interesting bit of background. It does beg the question as to the motivation behind the calls, presumeably damage-limitation, but it also leaves little doubt that the Istockphoto management were fully aware what the likely reaction was going to be. The more we learn the more extraordinary it all becomes.


In general, I do think there's still a lot of power in the simple act of personal contact. In a situation less dire it might have made a difference in the type and strength of reaction.

 If I ran a stock site, I'd want to keep Lisa happy too :)

OTOH I have more respect for Lisa's intelligence than to think a warm and fuzzy call from someone is going to make her OK with cutting her income. You just can't spin anything good from this. It's "I'm bigger and more powerful than you and I'm going to keep more of the money buyers are paying. I'm betting you won't walk away because you'll want to hang on to all the income you can."
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jane on September 27, 2010, 14:33
I understand calling BD's, but I am curious how they decided who else deserved a phone call.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Amanda_K on September 27, 2010, 14:51
I just want to clarify that I think Lisa is nothing short of amazing and if I ran a stock site, I'd probably do everything in my power to get contributors like her to stay too.  Also I have nothing personal agianst anyone who got a call.  

That being said, a company picking and choosing who they want to reach out to seems to be more of the inner circle nonsense that iStock has come to be known for.  I still find the whole thing offensive. While the main thread on iStock is circling the drain there have been plenty of legitimate questions that have gone completely unanswered.  The promise of "dialogue" from the ceo was pathetic joke.  And yet they had time to make personal calls.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on September 27, 2010, 15:55

 If I ran a stock site, I'd want to keep Lisa happy too :)


I vote you and 9Lives be put in charge of a stock site immediately! ;)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Sadstock on September 27, 2010, 15:56
I understand calling BD's, but I am curious how they decided who else deserved a phone call.

--------------
I can imagine a stratagy of contacting people who they think might be able to shape the discussion as it unfolds in the forums at least in an attempt at damage control.  

If so, it seems like jsnover is behind the whole plan  ;D
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Blufish on September 27, 2010, 16:41
My 2 cents is since the calls seemed to not be prior to the announcement, based on what Lisa said, I think they were trying to just notify them and get them to read the forum announcement. As they are large contributors, that may or may not read the forums regularly, they decided to give them a heads up so the ones that are not actively reading the forums/announcements, do so and not get blind-sided.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 27, 2010, 17:28
I must say, I am curious as to what "the call" said. Or even what it could have said. Or why anyone would bother calling any submitter to tell them that the announcement was about to be made (that is NOT a negotiation by the way, a negotiation would be about changing the terms to keep you happy).

It makes no sense telling a few people in person about an announcement that everybody will see a few hours later.

Per Lisa's post, these calls don't make a whole lot of sense. Even as an outreach, damage-control effort, as there were no negotiations as part of the call. Nor the sharing of any new/in-depth explanation or information about the changes (outside of or in addition to what's been posted in the forums). And as Lisa got a call, that sinks my theory that only the pom-poms and air horns were contacted.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 27, 2010, 17:33
I am not sure why I got a call.  They had absolutely nothing to offer by way of softening the blow.  I don't know how it was decided who got calls and who didn't.  If it was an attempt to keep me quiet, it didn't work.  But by the nature of the call and the sadness of the administrator, I concluded that these changes were not coming from the Istock team, but higher up and there was nothing they could do about them.  

Totally bizarre. I don't know what to make of these calls. Nor do I understand, then, why Kelly took the blame for the changes, if, as you inferred from the sadness of the admin, they didn't come from iStock but higher up the chain.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on September 27, 2010, 17:37

Totally bizarre. I don't know what to make of these calls. Nor do I understand, then, why Kelly took the blame for the changes, if, as you inferred from the sadness of the admin, they didn't come from iStock but higher up the chain.

I'm just guessing, but I imagine he is getting paid very, very well to be the bad guy.  

Either that, or he is genuinely on board with the changes.  I can't begin to see how he could be, but who knows?  Everything Istock seems to be doing lately defies logic... ???
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: LostOne on September 27, 2010, 17:39
I'd say between 200-300, the charts don't really tell us much. There could be a newer guy sitting at position 1200 selling like crazy, it would take him years to climb the chart, but he might still make the 40%. I'm at 318 and will make it.


Bingo!!


agreed....just went through all the numbers I have available to me and this number makes the most sense. not far off of what sharply_done said earlier...

Here's a post from slobo from IS:
Quote
ok, lets make this visible. I have over 67,000 total downloads and I am currently ranked at #219 of all iStock contributors (according to the [url]http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/[/url] ([url]http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/[/url]) and I am pretty sure everyone ahead of me is accounted for) yet I will fall quite short of 150,000 RC required to maintain 40% commission.


I guess that all those diamonds that started at around the same time as he did (or before him) and have similar number of downloads will also fail to qualify. And there's many of those. Still, there are probably quite a few that are very active and managed to get to diamond since 2006 like sharply. So it's really hard to say how many will stay at 40%. I presume cdwheatley isn't far off though.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on September 27, 2010, 17:39
I'm just guessing, but I imagine he is getting paid very, very well to be the bad guy.  Either that, or he is genuinely on board with them.  But that really defies logic, IMO. 

Interesting. He'd never taken the blame for unsavory changes before. Maybe he got a bonus/raise for this? Either way ... Disappointing.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 27, 2010, 17:48

<Snip>Nor do I understand, then, why Kelly took the blame for the changes, if, as you inferred from the sadness of the admin, they didn't come from iStock but higher up the chain.

Probably because H&F said "Kelly, this model isn't sustainable for our goals (... to increase profits, sell it at top dollar, whatever). We expect you to design and deploy a sustainable model by the end of 2010". And so Kelly told the happy Istockers "your job is now to call certain contributors and tell them about the new model".

Who would be happy about being forced to make that call?

Istocker: H.. h.. h.. he.. hellooo? I.. I.. I'm calling to let you know about some ch.. ch.. cha.. changes to the contributor agreement...
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: fullvalue on September 27, 2010, 19:33
Look to Vetta.  What's missing in who will/won't make the cut is that previously a Vetta download was still only one download. Now, it's significantly more.

Sorry guys, but in this case, size doesn't matter as much as you think.  Even if you have XXXL available the sales growth and volume is in the electronic media- blogs, websites, etc.; so a file that has more RC even at it's smallest size is going to have significantly more impact.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: OhGoAway! on September 27, 2010, 22:25
Look to Vetta.  What's missing in who will/won't make the cut is that previously a Vetta download was still only one download. Now, it's significantly more.

Sorry guys, but in this case, size doesn't matter as much as you think.  Even if you have XXXL available the sales growth and volume is in the electronic media- blogs, websites, etc.; so a file that has more RC even at it's smallest size is going to have significantly more impact.

And yet another clique-y bit of business that only certain people seem to easily get into. Maybe I'm just sour this week, but I can't even read any more of this bullshizzle.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 27, 2010, 22:59
as opposed the oh-so welcoming and un-cliquey group over here? yeah right  ::)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 27, 2010, 23:24
LOL. What's with the name change?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: SNP on September 28, 2010, 00:05
I was feeling a little more 'Dude Where's My Car' tonight....I'm bored of MASH these days, watched too much of it lately.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: cdwheatley on September 28, 2010, 11:26
I was feeling a little more 'Dude Where's My Car' tonight....I'm bored of MASH these days, watched too much of it lately.
and then?  :)

sorry, couldn't resist.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 30, 2010, 19:01
Has anyone who has been banned been reinstated yet? If not, are you getting sitemails? If so, have you been able to get access to them by contacted customer service?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on September 30, 2010, 22:13
Has anyone who has been banned been reinstated yet? If not, are you getting sitemails? If so, have you been able to get access to them by contacted customer service?

are you still banned??  geez!  what a crappy way to treat a buyer!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on September 30, 2010, 23:38
Yup. Still banned. I suspect it's intended to be permanent judging from Lobo's note that accompanied it, "Good luck with your future endeavors".
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: JamesGdesign on October 01, 2010, 03:21
Yeah I am still banned. Not phased - In fact, this time has given me a chance to really re-evaluate where my income is coming from. With a small amount of adjustments I will no longer have to rely on Istock next year and I get to do things I have put on the backburner for some time.

...and if they think i am going to come crawling back for mere forum & sitemail 'priviledges' after having to deal with "Trollobo" then they got another thing coming - for I am perfectly able to get my message across without them ;)

The longer they leave it, the stronger my resolve becomes and the 'free-er' I feel. Another huge fail from IS who once had me working every other hour for them.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on October 01, 2010, 03:57
Has anyone who has been banned been reinstated yet? If not, are you getting sitemails? If so, have you been able to get access to them by contacted customer service?

I was told I needed a week break, then asked after about 9 days what was going on and this was the reply
"Your forum privileges are still being discussed by the admin team. We are taking all of you posts over the last month into consideration to ascertain if your future participation will result in another revocation of your privileges.

Whereas we had provided a considerable amount of leeway to the community regarding their sentiment towards the announcement we found some of you may have taken advantage of this fact.

In short, we don't feel enough time has passed yet to safely reintroduce your privileges. As things start to settle down and we are able to provide further clarity to the community we will then be able to allow you back in."


Still being discussed by the admin team?  I wonder how many hours they have spent on this top priority right now?  I still don't have an idea as to why I got banned since my posts were much calmer than most and didn't insult anyone personally.  Since I was told I don't do this for the money and can't post in the forums what am I doing there?  I wonder what is meant by "some of you may have taken advantage of this fact", I feel like I have been working extremely hard with over 1200 new images on IS this year and currently I'm 31st on the istockcharts for new uploads this month.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: caspixel on October 01, 2010, 09:15
Wow. What a load of total BS. I'm sure that is the answer that I'll get too (even though I made a mere 10 or so posts that were pretty general in nature and not nearly as bad as many that I've seen). Looks like a "stock" answer. Frankly, I could care less about the forums at this point, but I would like access to my sitemail.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on October 01, 2010, 10:24
the istock craziness continues.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on October 01, 2010, 12:56
Has anyone who has been banned been reinstated yet? If not, are you getting sitemails? If so, have you been able to get access to them by contacted customer service?

I was told I needed a week break, then asked after about 9 days what was going on and this was the reply
"Your forum privileges are still being discussed by the admin team. We are taking all of you posts over the last month into consideration to ascertain if your future participation will result in another revocation of your privileges.

Whereas we had provided a considerable amount of leeway to the community regarding their sentiment towards the announcement we found some of you may have taken advantage of this fact.

In short, we don't feel enough time has passed yet to safely reintroduce your privileges. As things start to settle down and we are able to provide further clarity to the community we will then be able to allow you back in."


Still being discussed by the admin team?  I wonder how many hours they have spent on this top priority right now?  I still don't have an idea as to why I got banned since my posts were much calmer than most and didn't insult anyone personally.  Since I was told I don't do this for the money and can't post in the forums what am I doing there?  I wonder what is meant by "some of you may have taken advantage of this fact", I feel like I have been working extremely hard with over 1200 new images on IS this year and currently I'm 31st on the istockcharts for new uploads this month.
You're post probably got too many thumbs up!
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on October 01, 2010, 13:00
I was told I was banging my head against a wall and that it was best for me.  No word on thumbs up though.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 01, 2010, 13:31
Well thank heavens for MSG.

I did drop my membership here briefly after I became exclusive, but decided that wasn't a sane way to approach things and signed back up again.

In the future, it may be that the main forum benefit is for contributors to compare notes and discuss amongst themselves. Once, I'd have said that it mattered to be part of the iStock forums as they gave contributors a way to discuss things with TPTB. At this point I don't think they're listening - except for the clubby little love fests among the inner circle in the exclusive forums.

The only other thing this site doesn't have that IS does is a Request Forum - a place buyers can come and ask for images they need. That's a service both for buyers and contributors (a couple of times I've shot things for people and found it filled a useful niche in my portfolio.

Other than caspixel, do we have enough buyers here to get this sort of thing going?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gaja on October 01, 2010, 14:04
The only other thing this site doesn't have that IS does is a Request Forum - a place buyers can come and ask for images they need. That's a service both for buyers and contributors (a couple of times I've shot things for people and found it filled a useful niche in my portfolio.

Other than caspixel, do we have enough buyers here to get this sort of thing going?

I like this idea! And since a few of our members are so strict on "pimping", those threads won't be spammed.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: lisafx on October 01, 2010, 15:46

I did drop my membership here briefly after I became exclusive, but decided that wasn't a sane way to approach things and signed back up again.


I am really glad you are back posting here JoAnn.  Independent or exclusive, yours is one of the most astute and reasonable voices.  You generally have important insights to add to the conversation IMO.  :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on October 01, 2010, 16:07
Well thank heavens for MSG.

I did drop my membership here briefly after I became exclusive, but decided that wasn't a sane way to approach things and signed back up again.

In the future, it may be that the main forum benefit is for contributors to compare notes and discuss amongst themselves. Once, I'd have said that it mattered to be part of the iStock forums as they gave contributors a way to discuss things with TPTB. At this point I don't think they're listening - except for the clubby little love fests among the inner circle in the exclusive forums.

The only other thing this site doesn't have that IS does is a Request Forum - a place buyers can come and ask for images they need. That's a service both for buyers and contributors (a couple of times I've shot things for people and found it filled a useful niche in my portfolio.

Other than caspixel, do we have enough buyers here to get this sort of thing going?

Yes. Thank heavens for MSG! As truly late to this party, I'm glad to finally be here.

OMG. So glad someone brought up the clubfest going down over yonder. Pom-poms and all (and the very words used therein - not mine!) ... it's ... difficult to stomach if you've just eaten and hope to keep a meal down. To say the least.

And I too wonder how many buyers participate here. That would be good to know, to get initiatives like the one you suggest off the ground
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on October 01, 2010, 16:21
So glad someone brought up the clubfest going down over yonder. Pom-poms and all (and the very words used therein - not mine!) ... it's ... difficult to stomach if you've just eaten and hope to keep a meal down. To say the least.

Really? What __ even now??? How much abuse, greed and worthless disregard does Istockphoto have to demonstrate to them before they realise they are being shafted?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on October 01, 2010, 17:19
So glad someone brought up the clubfest going down over yonder. Pom-poms and all (and the very words used therein - not mine!) ... it's ... difficult to stomach if you've just eaten and hope to keep a meal down. To say the least.

Really? What __ even now??? How much abuse, greed and worthless disregard does Istockphoto have to demonstrate to them before they realise they are being shafted?

agreed - it seems to be taking place in the exclusive forum mostly, but that's fine.  I think eventually those who are really being screwed will see it for what it is and those who are in the "clique" will just get bigger pom-poms so they can hide behind those without seeing how their fellow contributors are being screwed. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Risamay on October 01, 2010, 17:46
Really?

Really.

it seems to be taking place in the exclusive forum mostly, but that's fine.  I think eventually those who are really being screwed will see it for what it is and those who are in the "clique" will just get bigger pom-poms so they can hide behind those without seeing how their fellow contributors are being screwed.  

It's the right place to contain it. Especially right now. And I agree with everything else you've stated, also.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 01, 2010, 18:52
So glad someone brought up the clubfest going down over yonder. Pom-poms and all (and the very words used therein - not mine!) ... it's ... difficult to stomach if you've just eaten and hope to keep a meal down. To say the least.

Really? What __ even now??? How much abuse, greed and worthless disregard does Istockphoto have to demonstrate to them before they realise they are being shafted?

Not that I want you to encourage them, but apparently more than has been dispensed thus far :)

I think that there are some people who have lots of Vetta files who find the the whole situation OK for them - they feel well taken care of and don't connect with the vast majority of the contributor pool (even the exclusive contributor pool). I'm putting words in their mouths, but I think they'd make a variation of the argument often voiced by many independents that as long as the $$ keeps going up, they won't fuss about changing royalty percentages, or subscriptions or anything else.

By the time Getty takes aim at them, they may look around for support in fighting back, but I doubt there'll be much.  

As we've seen, each time one of the agencies pulls off a cash crab - and unfortunately iStock isn't the first, just the latest and most spectacular to date - it emboldens the others. They then claim they have to stay competitive.

@Lisa - we've been contributors for roughly the same amount of time.  The only constant seems to be change :)
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: jamirae on October 01, 2010, 18:55
So glad someone brought up the clubfest going down over yonder. Pom-poms and all (and the very words used therein - not mine!) ... it's ... difficult to stomach if you've just eaten and hope to keep a meal down. To say the least.

Really? What __ even now??? How much abuse, greed and worthless disregard does Istockphoto have to demonstrate to them before they realise they are being shafted?

Not that I want you to encourage them, but apparently more than has been dispensed thus far :)

I think that there are some people who have lots of Vetta files who find the the whole situation OK for them - they feel well taken care of and don't connect with the vast majority of the contributor pool (even the exclusive contributor pool). I'm putting words in their mouths, but I think they'd make a variation of the argument often voiced by many independents that as long as the $$ keeps going up, they won't fuss about changing royalty percentages, or subscriptions or anything else.

By the time Getty takes aim at them, they may look around for support in fighting back, but I doubt there'll be much.  

As we've seen, each time one of the agencies pulls off a cash crab - and unfortunately iStock isn't the first, just the latest and most spectacular to date - it emboldens the others. They then claim they have to stay competitive.

@Lisa - we've been contributors for roughly the same amount of time.  The only constant seems to be change :)

I think you pretty much nailed it.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: loop on October 01, 2010, 19:11
So glad someone brought up the clubfest going down over yonder. Pom-poms and all (and the very words used therein - not mine!) ... it's ... difficult to stomach if you've just eaten and hope to keep a meal down. To say the least.

Really? What __ even now??? How much abuse, greed and worthless disregard does Istockphoto have to demonstrate to them before they realise they are being shafted?

Not that I want you to encourage them, but apparently more than has been dispensed thus far :)

I think that there are some people who have lots of Vetta files who find the the whole situation OK for them - they feel well taken care of and don't connect with the vast majority of the contributor pool (even the exclusive contributor pool). I'm putting words in their mouths, but I think they'd make a variation of the argument often voiced by many independents that as long as the $$ keeps going up, they won't fuss about changing royalty percentages, or subscriptions or anything else.

By the time Getty takes aim at them, they may look around for support in fighting back, but I doubt there'll be much.  

As we've seen, each time one of the agencies pulls off a cash crab - and unfortunately iStock isn't the first, just the latest and most spectacular to date - it emboldens the others. They then claim they have to stay competitive.

@Lisa - we've been contributors for roughly the same amount of time.  The only constant seems to be change :)

Looking for support is meaningless and useless, except for personal confort. Agencies don't listen, not just IS: All. If istock is able to improve my earnings with these changes, my hat will be off, and I will stay here. If not, probably not. It's my war, and the only thing that really matters, because economics are 100 times stronger than emotions, and one dent in earnings and so, a threat to basic income would force many exlusives to really rethink their exclusiveness. And just that, a runaway en masse could make change politics and decisions.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: banhammered on October 01, 2010, 22:09
I got bounced too.   :-\  And judging by the response traveler got, I won't get reinstated.  I wasn't necessarily 'new' to istock but i only had a couple of files there and according to Lobo I was very disparaging to someone else's port, which I absolutely feel I was not.  I was called 'too helpful.' 

I don't know much about microstock.  When I signed up about two years ago, my life was very different, and soon after, well, life happened and I didn't do much photographically, it just didn't seem fun anymore.  I am hoping to move back to the US soon, and and am looking at gearing up again, and have been lurking here a while.  I guess I was overly vocal in expressing my opinions.   But it irks me that he accused me of trashing someone's portfolio, that is just not true.  Perhaps  I am out of place having an opinion on the changes since I don't really have a port online, what do i know.  But I am keenly following this to see how the crowdsourcing model evolves with the changes iStock made. 
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: Phil on October 02, 2010, 03:35
How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.
A little under 500.

obvisously I cant know if it is the way the new system is configured but someone did some reasonable impressive calculations halfway through the istock forum thread and it looked extremely likely that exactly 100 people will get 40%.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: pet_chia on October 02, 2010, 11:22
...
obvisously I cant know if it is the way the new system is configured but someone did some reasonable impressive calculations halfway through the istock forum thread and it looked extremely likely that exactly 100 people will get 40%.

If the calculations are right then that seems like a suspiciously round number, doesn't it.  Do you think that have they decided that 40% is a perfectly sustainable commission rate but only as long as they cull the herd down from whatever-thousand contributors they have now, to this "golden 100" of top performers?
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: traveler1116 on October 02, 2010, 11:48
Obviously the change was made to fit whatever outcome getty wants.  If they want to pay out an average of 25% they fix the numbers to be that way.  They are trying to keep the top people and encourage a large amount of silver and bronze exclusives to stay it's the nonexclusives (except Yuri maybe), gold exclusives, and a lot of diamond exclusives that seem to be losing out a lot.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: donding on October 02, 2010, 11:59
I still believe that they are moving towards making Getty Macro...iStock Mid Stock and Thinkstock as their micro. I also think that the non exclusive is going to be forced to sell only at Thinkstock if they choose not to go exclusive, so iStock will be a mid stock run exclusive agency.
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 02, 2010, 12:57
The only other thing this site doesn't have that IS does is a Request Forum - a place buyers can come and ask for images they need. That's a service both for buyers and contributors (a couple of times I've shot things for people and found it filled a useful niche in my portfolio.

I think this is a good idea if it worked properly.

Seems like every time I peek in there it goes something like this.

Buyer: "I need a picture of a dog by a pool"

Typical responses: "Here's a dog in a backyard", "what about this dog by a lake?", "what about this cat by a pool?", "here's a dog, maybe you can put it by a pool"
Title: Re: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked
Post by: gostwyck on October 02, 2010, 13:32
If the calculations are right then that seems like a suspiciously round number, doesn't it.  Do you think that have they decided that 40% is a perfectly sustainable commission rate but only as long as they cull the herd down from whatever-thousand contributors they have now, to this "golden 100" of top performers?

No, it's not a 'suspiciously round number' at all. I'd say that is exactly what they would have done. If you want to increase profitability by cutting commissions, but also want to limit the damage to your future business by taking care of your top suppliers, the first thing you need to do is to work out how many suppliers you will allow into that category. The 'Top 100' seems a reasonable enough number __ certainly more so than say the 'Top 371' which is the sort of figure some folk have mooted.

Only once you have decided on the 'framework' can you work out how much each lessor category needs to lose in order to achieve the target. The more people they allow into the top tier, the more everyone else has to lose out.