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Author Topic: Stockfresh email about new curation standards  (Read 4501 times)

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« on: August 01, 2017, 15:38 »
+5
This morning I received email from "The Stockfresh Team" saying that uploads are back. I didn't know they'd been turned off as I haven't uploaded there in a long time.

They said they've been busy upgrading the site and that they have done a content review of their 6.5 million files and decided on even stronger curation - images that "stand out of the crowd, shifting away a bit from the current, standard mix of imagery."

As far as I can tell, they are not culling existing portfolios.

At the end of the email they suggested contacting them with questions, so I did. I suggested they try to explain to contributors what they are looking for so we can avoid wasting our own time and theirs uploading work they don't want. I had though when reading the beginning of the email I might want to upload a few new files to see what happens, but once I got to the end I thought that wasn't a good idea, at least until I have some idea whether having a portfolio that sells elsewhere might be a negative factor in their new curation standards.

Every site is of course entitled to set whatever criteria they want for content, but I'm not a fan of playing guessing games with a mystery process that no one will detail.

I'll post any information they share.


Bad Company

« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 15:59 »
+5
When they start selling our images they can implement their 'New Curation Standards'  8)


« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 16:07 »
+2
Sounds like they are copying Envato


Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 17:03 »
+3
As long as they're not culling portfolios, I think it's a good way to deviate from the competitor. You shouldn't blindly accept every piece of crap image, although when an agency fails to bring in any sales, it seems a bit arrogant to be so tight about content quality.

« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 00:15 »
+1
As long as they're not culling portfolios, I think it's a good way to deviate from the competitor. You shouldn't blindly accept every piece of crap image, although when an agency fails to bring in any sales, it seems a bit arrogant to be so tight about content quality.
Lots do complain about declining standards so yes there may be a place for this...Envato are doing it no idea if its working. However, it hinges on high quality inspection otherwise its just a lottery...which is what I felt with Envato.

« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 00:29 »
0
My experience with envato was that their inspections were/ are absolutely arbitrary. There is no rhyme or reason to what they accept, so you know they will reject a lot of stuff but have no idea what. It means you have no way of curating your portfolio on the site and has the opposite effect of what's intended. You are best off throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Having said this we do need some better curated sites out there. If sf can make this work it is a good move and could differentiate them a bit from the big boys. I will upload to them and see how it goes.

« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 03:24 »
+1
So many sites have failed with this strategy.  Shame to see Stockfresh not learning the lesson.  I have no idea why they can't make a collection of their best images?  It's so subjective, I'm sure the vast majority of buyers like to make their own minds up, hence SS is doing so well and now other sites are following their strategy.

A smaller collection of images might work in theory but in practice is there a site that has made that work?  Stocksy is different because their images aren't on all the other microstock sites.  Stockfresh don't sell enough to get exclusive images.

« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 03:53 »
+2
So many sites have failed with this strategy.  Shame to see Stockfresh not learning the lesson.  I have no idea why they can't make a collection of their best images?  It's so subjective, I'm sure the vast majority of buyers like to make their own minds up, hence SS is doing so well and now other sites are following their strategy.

A smaller collection of images might work in theory but in practice is there a site that has made that work?  Stocksy is different because their images aren't on all the other microstock sites.  Stockfresh don't sell enough to get exclusive images.
don't midstock and above do that? Difference is though I think they spend a lot more time on curation and the price reflects that. I'm not sure at micro prices how sites can afford to put the work required and then sell at micro prices.

Mir

« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2017, 04:00 »
0
It could be a good thing but it depends on the selection criterion. Maybe some solid rules are needed and not a subjective view.

« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2017, 05:39 »
+2
One of the best of the low earner sites is MostPhotos.  They accept everything.  Alamy do quite well accepting everything that passes basic technical requirements.  DT tried to be more selective with disastrous consequences.  Image Vortex have always been very selective and sell almost nothing.

I do think sites like Stockfresh need a USP but this one doesn't work.  Canva got sales going by trying something a bit different.  I'm sure there's other ways to stand out from the crowd, drastically restricting content is a short cut to failure.

« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 06:03 »
0
One of the best of the low earner sites is MostPhotos.
Well not for me but their upload process is quite straightforward so I persist

« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2017, 06:22 »
0
Canva seems to be doing the same thing. I honestly tried to sit down and figure out their selection criteria and failed. But they do move merchandise so I don't particularly mind. Maybe it's working.

« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2017, 06:35 »
0
Tried uploading 1 image and got the following error message...

Oops something went wrong...
You have reached your upload limit for today.

Good update!

« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 00:32 »
+1
I received a nice note from Peter saying that it was hard to give clear rules but that they were after professional work going beyond the well worn stock themes. He was kind enough to pick a handful of things from my dreamstime portfolio he liked. All were on location; several of people doing things (riding, water sports) that looked natural

I'm sure he meant authentic :)

I'll try a few test uploads in a few weeks when I have some time and see

« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 01:30 »
+2
If they can explain how they can make this policy work when it's been disastrous for other sites, like DT, I might be interested.  For now, I will just stop uploading.  They just aren't worth the effort.

« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2017, 02:02 »
0
One of the best of the low earner sites is MostPhotos.  They accept everything.  Alamy do quite well accepting everything that passes basic technical requirements.  DT tried to be more selective with disastrous consequences.  Image Vortex have always been very selective and sell almost nothing.

I do think sites like Stockfresh need a USP but this one doesn't work.  Canva got sales going by trying something a bit different.  I'm sure there's other ways to stand out from the crowd, drastically restricting content is a short cut to failure.
DT outperforms MP by hundreds to one and alamy by a factor of 5 for me, so horses for courses I guess.

« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2017, 02:45 »
0
One of the best of the low earner sites is MostPhotos.  They accept everything.  Alamy do quite well accepting everything that passes basic technical requirements.  DT tried to be more selective with disastrous consequences.  Image Vortex have always been very selective and sell almost nothing.

I do think sites like Stockfresh need a USP but this one doesn't work.  Canva got sales going by trying something a bit different.  I'm sure there's other ways to stand out from the crowd, drastically restricting content is a short cut to failure.
DT outperforms MP by hundreds to one and alamy by a factor of 5 for me, so horses for courses I guess.
I compare DT to SS, IS and FT/AS.  They were around in the early years of microstock.  I'm sure that becoming too selective with reviews hasn't worked out for DT.  MP is more comparable to Stockfresh because they were both late to the market.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 02:47 by sharpshot »

« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2017, 02:49 »
+3
I am afraid for Stockfresh it is too little too late. RIP

« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2017, 07:43 »
0
So many sites have failed with this strategy.  Shame to see Stockfresh not learning the lesson.  I have no idea why they can't make a collection of their best images?  It's so subjective, I'm sure the vast majority of buyers like to make their own minds up, hence SS is doing so well and now other sites are following their strategy.

A smaller collection of images might work in theory but in practice is there a site that has made that work?  Stocksy is different because their images aren't on all the other microstock sites.  Stockfresh don't sell enough to get exclusive images.
Personally I think SS are not doing so well since they loosened their inspections they probably had it about right before but I agree when sites make judgement about sales potential or worse aesthetics thats wrong but I believe they should have a decent technical standard.

« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2017, 11:25 »
+3
Cutting assortment for below-low-seller is funny. Do they have buyers ready to pay for better, but less content? it is usual in retail to top up the price if you rise the quality. Do they have buyers ready for this? Do they have any buyers, actually? So invest in attracting them first!

« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2017, 13:59 »
+1
Looking at StockFresh for the first time, I like the fact that they accept PayPal. I won't buy from sites which don't accept PayPal. But like most of the microstock sites they seem to have a big problem with keyword spam.

It's getting more and more difficult to find the right content to buy at any of the microstock sites. I've spent most of today looking for a handful of images of 'brunch' in a certain style. Should be easy - in my head I can picture the sort of stuff I am looking for. But far too many contributors just add all food related terms to any image of food. Brussel sprouts, a glass of wine, Christmas party, birthday outing etc. It's very annoying. When narrowing down a search, it would be great to be able to hover over an image and select to exclude all results from that contributor. When you end up looking at thousands of results there needs to be a way to quickly exclude spammy contributors. Gets quite depressing.

« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2017, 15:03 »
0
Looking at StockFresh for the first time, I like the fact that they accept PayPal. I won't buy from sites which don't accept PayPal. But like most of the microstock sites they seem to have a big problem with keyword spam.

It's getting more and more difficult to find the right content to buy at any of the microstock sites. I've spent most of today looking for a handful of images of 'brunch' in a certain style. Should be easy - in my head I can picture the sort of stuff I am looking for. But far too many contributors just add all food related terms to any image of food. Brussel sprouts, a glass of wine, Christmas party, birthday outing etc. It's very annoying. When narrowing down a search, it would be great to be able to hover over an image and select to exclude all results from that contributor. When you end up looking at thousands of results there needs to be a way to quickly exclude spammy contributors. Gets quite depressing.

Since the sites don't seem to want to do that I see a business opportunity - open an API site and remove the spammy contributors from it. I'm sure for most searches there are plenty of decently keyworded images available. Just search on the top few hundred search terms and then remove the ports of the spammy images that show up in the first few pages. I bet it would clean things up a lot. I am sort of amazed that some sites haven't done this (or at least pushed those ports to the back of the line). They could request a readmission after cleaning up their act.

« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2017, 09:06 »
+5
Hi Everyone, thanks for  on this. I'd like to address some of the concerns voiced in the comments.

First of all, there will not be less content for customers just because we plan to be stricter with certain types of images, often the very types you have also been complaining about in the MSG forums. Remember those ridiculous, spammy portfolios from one of the leading agencies with tens of thousands of almost identical, useless images? Who needs those? Nobody. I'm sure inflated numbers sound really good at shareholder meetings, but we operate at a very different scale, and what works for the big guys doesn't necessarily work for us.

As for being arrogant by curating content and being more selective, we really don't mean to be. But I'm sure you are all well aware of the fact how saturated the market has become with images, if not from the growing number of topics here about earning mere cents per download. I'm not saying there isn't an element of greediness on certain agencies' part, but the fact of the matter is that billions of photos are taken and shared every single day (some big agencies claim to add over a million files a week) and there's so much competition -- even when it comes to sites offering free content -- that some of the images submitted to these agencies have almost zero value. I understand this thought upsets many people, but it's not like what it used to be ten years ago. Certain types of images are still very valuable of course and I believe customers should and will pay good money for them, but there are some that at this point people don't even want for free.

As a small agency with limited resources, we obviously need to operate very efficiently. On one hand it costs a lot of money to review incoming content and if we know from experience that certain types of images don't sell well, we need to stop those at the gates. This does not automatically mean that the content is bad, some just don't sell well here. This also protects contributors from wasting their time on things that don't work. On the other hand we also need to help top selling artists get their content online as easily and quickly as possible, and we're always coming up with new ideas to make their lives easier. Although we try to be as contributor friendly as possible, it's not possible to make everyone happy. In the end there has to be some level of curation, there's just no other way. It doesn't make sense to let everything online just because someone decided to upload it. Of course volume is important and I understand why people think it's the only thing that matters, but at this scale it's more like a balancing game where you need to take all sorts of issues into consideration.

I don't monitor this forum often, so if you have any questions about anything, feel free to send a message through our contact form and I'll be happy to answer it. Thanks!  :)

« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2017, 09:18 »
+2
Hi Everyone, thanks for  on this. I'd like to address some of the concerns voiced in the comments.

First of all, there will not be less content for customers just because we plan to be stricter with certain types of images, often the very types you have also been complaining about in the MSG forums. Remember those ridiculous, spammy portfolios from one of the leading agencies with tens of thousands of almost identical, useless images? Who needs those? Nobody. I'm sure inflated numbers sound really good at shareholder meetings, but we operate at a very different scale, and what works for the big guys doesn't necessarily work for us.

As for being arrogant by curating content and being more selective, we really don't mean to be. But I'm sure you are all well aware of the fact how saturated the market has become with images, if not from the growing number of topics here about earning mere cents per download. I'm not saying there isn't an element of greediness on certain agencies' part, but the fact of the matter is that billions of photos are taken and shared every single day (some big agencies claim to add over a million files a week) and there's so much competition -- even when it comes to sites offering free content -- that some of the images submitted to these agencies have almost zero value. I understand this thought upsets many people, but it's not like what it used to be ten years ago. Certain types of images are still very valuable of course and I believe customers should and will pay good money for them, but there are some that at this point people don't even want for free.

As a small agency with limited resources, we obviously need to operate very efficiently. On one hand it costs a lot of money to review incoming content and if we know from experience that certain types of images don't sell well, we need to stop those at the gates. This does not automatically mean that the content is bad, some just don't sell well here. This also protects contributors from wasting their time on things that don't work. On the other hand we also need to help top selling artists get their content online as easily and quickly as possible, and we're always coming up with new ideas to make their lives easier. Although we try to be as contributor friendly as possible, it's not possible to make everyone happy. In the end there has to be some level of curation, there's just no other way. It doesn't make sense to let everything online just because someone decided to upload it. Of course volume is important and I understand why people think it's the only thing that matters, but at this scale it's more like a balancing game where you need to take all sorts of issues into consideration.

I don't monitor this forum often, so if you have any questions about anything, feel free to send a message through our contact form and I'll be happy to answer it. Thanks!  :)

Peter,

Thanks for chiming in and being forthright on your position.  I no longer contribute to SF because sales were so sparse.  In my opinion I don't think contributors would be so opposed to tighter curation if they made money. To me, the gap is tighter standards (higher rejections) with no pathway to better sales.  So the recipe comes across as continued low sales but even tighter acceptance.  So you are addressing the content side but not the lack of sales side, hence some of the "arrogance" comments.  Would be nice to see you chime in on how you intend (or not) to grow sales.  You have a fair royalty model and many of us would love to be strong supporters of SF if there was something in it for us other than tighter standards (I'm speaking for me only regarding sales, other mileage may vary).

Best of luck.

« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2017, 03:30 »
+1
Looking at StockFresh for the first time, I like the fact that they accept PayPal. I won't buy from sites which don't accept PayPal. But like most of the microstock sites they seem to have a big problem with keyword spam.

It's getting more and more difficult to find the right content to buy at any of the microstock sites. I've spent most of today looking for a handful of images of 'brunch' in a certain style. Should be easy - in my head I can picture the sort of stuff I am looking for. But far too many contributors just add all food related terms to any image of food. Brussel sprouts, a glass of wine, Christmas party, birthday outing etc. It's very annoying. When narrowing down a search, it would be great to be able to hover over an image and select to exclude all results from that contributor. When you end up looking at thousands of results there needs to be a way to quickly exclude spammy contributors. Gets quite depressing.

Since the sites don't seem to want to do that I see a business opportunity - open an API site and remove the spammy contributors from it. I'm sure for most searches there are plenty of decently keyworded images available. Just search on the top few hundred search terms and then remove the ports of the spammy images that show up in the first few pages. I bet it would clean things up a lot. I am sort of amazed that some sites haven't done this (or at least pushed those ports to the back of the line). They could request a readmission after cleaning up their act.
Search Brunch at Stockfresh and you could see the frustration, the five Christmas presents, the girl with balloons, the plants, I guess the best is the cartoon bear on a branch, although the vector Hawk is a close second in the nonsense category.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 03:36 by JimmyC »


 

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