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Author Topic: Big changes  (Read 28489 times)

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« on: February 25, 2008, 22:18 »
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There are some big changes coming to the site. Check out the post by Duncun:

Several weeks ago I mentioned that we have some big changes coming soon. Several of them are still in the works and several are ready to be implemented this week.


3rd Party Licensing
We are opening up our library to outside authorized agencies. Put quite simply, we will be allowing other stock photography agencies and outside vendors to sell images on our behalf. Using our own API, these agencies will be able to gain full access to our library and search functions, and sell our images as if they were their own.

How it works:
1) All images will automatically be included in this program. However, photographers can choose to opt out completely, or exclude individual images.

2) Photographers will receive half of Can Stock Photos negotiated commission with the company. So say we negotiate a 75% commission with an agency. If an image sells for $2 through the agency we will get $0.75 and you will get $0.75. The selling price and negotiated commission will depend on the individual agency.

3) You will retain complete control of your images. If you delete an image here, it will instantly be removed for sale from all distributers. We control all image files. All files are managed and served up directly from the CanStockPhoto servers.

4) You will be credited with sales instantly, as you are here.

5) All buyers must agree to our current licensing contracts, or equivalent. The same terms as we use here.

I expect this to become live sometime over the next month. We have a large agency onboard that will be carrying our entire library, however for the time being I can not reveal who it is. Other agencies can be added pending negotiations. This is great for photographers, as it allows you to market your images through other agencies all from one spot. This will greatly increase the reach of your work.


Highly Tightened Submission Standards & Criteria
Quality Over Quantity
Starting very shortly we will be drastically changing how many images we accept, and what standards we hold them to. We will be only accepting the best of the best. For comparisons sake, our image standards will similar to some rights-managed agencies. We will be very selective and will only accept the highest quality images. All photos should appear to be shot in a professional environment, with professional equipment.

To allow a fair playing ground, we will be hiding the photographers name and status from our inspection screens. So image inspectors will be unaware of whose image they are evaluating this will remove the risk of any accidental bias or favoritism. The images will be judged purely for their own quality.

Upload limits will be changed. Photographers with under a 50% approval rating will not be able to upload images. Other photographers may see large reductions in their upload limits. This is to encourage people to be selective in what they submit, instead of simply dumping and running.


Library Audit
Nobody likes audits, but sometimes they are necessary. Starting very soon we will be aggressively re-reviewing every image in our active collection. We will be removing all images that do not meet our updated submission standards. Images that have been online for a while and have no downloads and/or little views will be automatically deleted. Images that are of mediocre quality, plain, boring, or not original will all be deleted. We want to prune our library so we are left with only the highest quality images for our buyers.

Some photographers will not be affected, whereas others will see a large decrease in their portfolio. It all depends on the caliber of images you have online, as judged by our team (and software). We expect to remove 100-250k images. This is a business decision that will ultimately benefit the community as a whole.


New Keyword Handling
Starting very soon our system will only be ranking images based on the first 15 keywords listed. We have an ongoing problem of people abusing the system with keyword diarrhea. Some images are submitted with 50-75 keywords. This causes a mass dilution of the search results, and hurts everybody involved.

Please note this is not a limit. You can submit as many keywords as you want and do not have to do any special editing. However, our system will simply ignore every keyword after the 15th one. Although they will all remain in the image details, they will not all actively be used by our search engine.


Site Changes
Over the next little bit we will be making a number of site changes. All changes are designed to create a more buyer-friendly environment.

1) Front Page we will be removing the statistics, announcements and discussion sections. Our forums will still be accessible from the link at the top of the site, but the main page will be updated to have more focus on the images.

2) Faster Search we are completely re-tooling our search engine to provide much faster search results. We expect a 2-4x increase in search speed. We will also add more advanced search options.

3) Revised Site we will be making some longer term changes to the site to further enhance its usability for buyers. This will involve more features in some areas, and redesigns in others.


Questions, comments?

Duncan


nruboc

« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 23:52 »
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i had such a bad experience with CanStock Photo, I will never submit there again. I don't trust them at all, but that's my opinion

« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 23:59 »
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Well, at least they are still showing effort.

nruboc

« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 00:12 »
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Yeah, an effort by removing 100-250k images from it's library and not allowing photgraphers with < 50% upload approval to submit.

What a joke, maybe this would fly if Can Stock was making photographers any money, but in reality Can Stock photo is the laughing stock of the industry and barely makes any money at all

They truly suck and are bottom of the barrel

DanP68

« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 00:40 »
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This is pretty funny.  I'm glad I never gave them a single upload.  You would think "Big Changes" would entail an aggressive marketing campaign, a complete re-thinking of a failed business.  Instead they announce a meaningless 3rd party agreement, and warn contributors they will restrict uploads, increase inspection standards, and delete their already accepted files.

Sounds great guys!  And how will this increase anyone's sales?

« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 01:21 »
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So if you submit your first two images, and one fails, you can't submit anymore?  Sounds peculiar.

Once you get below the 50%, how do you get it back up to start submitting again?

« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 01:50 »
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It is a bit early for an April's joke. Duncan will have to learn the hard way. You cannot impose the strictest selection criteria in the industry, cull images already accepted and prevent photographers from uploading, while at the same time pay the lowest royalty in the industry (0.25c per subscription download). This business model of extreme rejections and low royalties almost destroyed Crestock before they gained some sanity again. Oh well, I don't think the final demise of Canstock will be too much of a loss to most of us. We will just have to see how this plays out. Only time will tell if this 3rd party seller will make a significant difference.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 05:41 by Eco »

« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2008, 01:51 »
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I will wait and see what this other site is and if there are any sales there.  The upload is easy to canstock and I will upload more if sales improve.

« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2008, 04:11 »
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The 15-keyword limit is certainly innovative. Great move. Making the site buyer-oriented is great too. Forum links shouldn't be on the frontpage.

With exceptional image requirements, CanStockPhoto seems to do a remake of the Crestock strategy. You can, alas, not find enough people that want to sell their top work for 25 dollarcents. At least I won't anymore.

CanStockPhoto is heading for disaster; see this this blog article, especially the Alexa ratings tending to zero after begin 2006. The rather unwelcoming attitude of Duncan towards contributors doesn't help too. I still remember his warning on the CanStockPhoto forum that the accounts of critical forum posters would vanish suddenly.

In short, you can't set forth rules like a market leader if you're a market trailer.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 05:57 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2008, 04:42 »
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I can't get myself round to uploading anymore to CanStockPhoto.

Sales are just so low - it's not worth it!

« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 05:10 »
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With exceptional image requirements, CanStockPhoto seems to do a remake of the Crestock strategy. You can, alas, not find enough people that want to sell their top work for 25 dollarcents. At least I won't anymore.
Ditto
I will wait and see what this other site is and if there are any sales there.  The upload is easy to canstock and I will upload more if sales improve.
Easy upload ? Maybe, but what for? It's still waste of time.

Contakt

    This user is banned.
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 08:07 »
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Oh dear, if ever there was a prime exmaple of crash and burn PR this is it. CanStockPhoto really seem to be pissing int the wind with this latest offering and it all seems litke too little too late.

« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 09:00 »
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Duncan,

2 questions:

Does  this new site support "subscriptions"? If so does this mean that we might be seeing 8 - 10 cent proceeds?

What if our portfolios are already on that site?

Thx

« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 09:16 »
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There are some big changes coming to the site. Check out the post by Duncun:


Highly Tightened Submission Standards & Criteria
Quality Over Quantity
Starting very shortly we will be drastically changing how many images we accept, and what standards we hold them to.We will be only accepting the best of the best. For comparisons sake, our image standards will similar to some rights-managed agencies. We will be very selective and will only accept the highest quality images. All photos should appear to be shot in a professional environment, with professional equipment


Questions, comments?

Duncan



Rights managed standards for 0.75$ , only best of the best will be accepted.
O wait , don't forget subscriptions sales on site.


If so , then why are they not taking a turn with prices also and get closer to midstock waters ?






« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 11:06 »
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Duncan,
2 questions:
Does  this new site support "subscriptions"? If so does this mean that we might be seeing 8 - 10 cent proceeds?
What if our portfolios are already on that site?
Thx

Its good to see some movement and ideas for going ahead, but whether they are in a position to do so will remain to be seen. personally they are not a big earner so if I get more sales then great, if it goes bad then it isn't big loss.

culling 100k-250k images from a 650k database doesn't seem the smartest move, and once someone falls to 49.9% thats it they're gone? I see losing a number of people from not a big pool while new standards are met / worked out etc. (but i do wonder how long before other sites bring in policies where people with consistantly low quality get cut off)

I agree with anon though, are we talking subscription sales too?

I really hope you can reorder keywords after an image is submitted :) (funny limit to 15 words, I reckon I have had their keyword suggester put in 15 keywords on some images :):)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 11:13 by rustyphil »

dbvirago

« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2008, 11:17 »
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Its good to see some movement and ideas for going ahead, but whether they are in a position to do so will remain to be seen. personally they are not a big earner so if I get more sales then great, if it goes bad then it isn't big loss.


That's pretty much it. I've been riding the fence for months on this one. If it earns more and doesnt' get more difficult to upload to then I stick around. Otherwise, no loss.

« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 11:27 »
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Hi folks, I'm a hellper dude on Canstock and would like to address some of the relevant questions that have been asked about our big changes.

So if you submit your first two images, and one fails, you can't submit anymore?  Sounds peculiar.

Once you get below the 50%, how do you get it back up to start submitting again?

Good question Seren, actually when a new member joins they start with an 86% acceptance ratio, and after their first 20 images thier personal ratio kicks in based on those initial 20 reviews.  LOL it would be pecurilar indeed if it were based on two images lol.


Duncan,

2 questions:

Does  this new site support "subscriptions"? If so does this mean that we might be seeing 8 - 10 cent proceeds?

What if our portfolios are already on that site?

Thx

Hi anonymous, this question has been answered by Duncan in more detail on the CanStockPhoto forum, however, in short this new 3rd party program does not involve subscription sales models, just per image sales.

I suspect that the chances of your portfolio being on the other site are very slim, but may I request you ask this question directly to Duncan on the forums, on CanStockPhoto?

I believe FlemishDreams has asked about the order of keywords on the CanStockPhoto forum and Duncan is making sure the ordering is such that it is suitable to accommodate the many and varied requirements for keywords that are placed on photographers who submit to multiple sites.

and on another note: It perhaps would be best to ask questions directly on the CanStockPhoto forum about this, to avoid confusion and missed replies,   as Duncan posted on the forum:

quote:
I think it is important that people relax a little and see how it turns out. For someone like yourself who already has very high quality images, I think the impact will be quite nominal. I would expect your images to do better, as they would not have to compete as hard for viewership against lower quality images. The people that will be mostly impacted are the ones that are doing this as a hobby or as a way to learn photography. There are a whole lot of photographers that you never hear about or see, but are uploading quite frequently that fit into that category. Were not raising the bar, were raising the floor. Make sense? :endquote

Hope this clears up some of the questions and misconceptions about the forthcoming positive changes.

cheers

« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 11:42 »
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Hi folks, I'm a hellper dude on Canstock

Wow.  That gives me faith.

« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2008, 11:55 »
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Hi folks, I'm a hellper dude on Canstock
Wow.  That gives me faith.
That's Bennym.  :P

msv

« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2008, 12:05 »
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Well, this cleans up any doubts I could have about trying CanStockPhoto.
About standards, I'd rather be submitting to RM agencies instead of wasting time with them.

« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2008, 12:09 »
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Hi folks, I'm a hellper dude on Canstock....
I believe FlemishDreams has asked about the order of keywords on the CanStockPhoto forum
Hey Bennym.  ;)
Yap it was me but I can't change my nick on CanStockPhoto.
Let's leave the sales issue aside; I think Duncan can read Alexa too.

The 15 keyword thing, or keyword relevance is really a bold move that will benefit search efficiency. CanStockPhoto is now the second, after Fotolia. I have been hammering on this for almost 2 years. In a database of 3-5 million you end up with tens of result pages for most searches. CanStockPhoto is in the advantage here with a lean portfolio; so it can start from scratch.

I guess we'd better continue this at the CanStockPhoto forum.

CCK

« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2008, 13:02 »
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I'm not a member of Canstock, and I'm not sure if I ever visited their website, but here is my view:
What makes an agency good, from a contributing photographer's point of view?  Good sales figures, is the answer, and nothing else. To have good sales figures an agency needs buyers, and photos to sell. The most important is good photos, and only good photos for sale. No professional buyer will want to browse through pages of crap looking for a decent photo. The agency will need to advertise, but that will be a futile exercise if those reading the add doesn't get decent photos to buy. An agency needs this to get decent sales, and will only be able to pay decent commission once they get good sales. I've never considered joining Canstock because they have a reputation for slow sales, but with this changes I may reconsider.

One thing that I find disturbing: I still remember his warning on the CanStockPhoto forum that the accounts of critical forum posters would vanish suddenly. I don't know the true context of this remark, but no photographer can afford to contribute to an agency that is not absolutely trustworthy. What do I do if I have an account with $50 or $100 that suddenly vanishes? I can't litigate in another continent for that amount. Duncan will have to give a very clear explanation to clear up this one.

« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2008, 14:03 »
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Hi CCk

Yeah that line comes back to haunt these forums quite a lot, its interesting how it transforms each time its reposted.

The fact behind that comment is this... when Duncan posted announcements of previous upgrades he requested input.  At that time we were experiencing a rash of new memberships where people were joining simply to post non-constructive, negative spammish comments in the forums.  So his warning was directed to those handful of  people who at the time were creating a rather negative environment on the site.

Its not quite as feindish as it may sound.

and by the way contrary to popular perception, I am not Benny, I am Artmyth my profile is readily available on the site.

hope that helps to clear up some of the shadows...

michealo

« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2008, 14:21 »
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The focus seems to be higher rejection rates and cutting back on photographers. But CS rejects photos that are not only accepted on other sites but sell well there.

I think ultimately if there are buyers for an image then a site should sell them.

It seems like a poor business choice to annoy photographers, forgo revenue and in doing so fail to meet the needs of your customer base.


« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2008, 17:09 »
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New Keyword Handling
Starting very soon our system will only be ranking images based on the first 15 keywords listed. We have an ongoing problem of people abusing the system with keyword diarrhea. Some images are submitted with 50-75 keywords. This causes a mass dilution of the search results, and hurts everybody involved.

But CanStockPhoto keeps keywords alphabetically, how would they trim keywords in existing images?  15 is better than FT's 7, but it still few in many cases, especially as CanStockPhoto also does not take composed keywords, so as in a previous example "Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach" become 5 keywords. 

Regards,
Adelaide


 

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