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Author Topic: DT's official policy on 'similars'?  (Read 11463 times)

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« on: July 06, 2012, 16:04 »
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We all know DT has gone bananas on 'similars' and I've already felt the sting when good shots were rejected.  I now have 3 images I want to submit - same subject, but collections of objects of different color sets.  Obviously a designer wanting to illustrate this subject might prefer one set of colors over another.  But it would be pointless to submit 3 only to have 2 rejected.

I looked around their site but didn't find any actual statement of the new policy on 'similars'.  Does anyone know from experience what might happen, or want to make a prediction?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 16:31 by stockastic »


Microbius

« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 17:13 »
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I don't think anyone knows what the policy is. Seemingly random, I've had completely different concepts rejected because they use the same components. I think some reviewers just don't like to let a whole batch go through unmolested.

« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 18:44 »
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They prefer "sets" to overcome similars rejections.  What is a set? Pretty simple.  Collages.  You put 10 "similars" in a set by combining them in Photoshop or some other software.  That way when your single image that includes 10 images as a set sells for 35 cents you net 3.5 cents per image. 

A post from Serban in the DT forums says:

"Similarity is not something easy to explain or to set rules for. Criteria can depend based on subject, concept, previous uploads, portfolio type, user's experience etc. We can't give a clear answer whether your files will be approved or not, without even seeing them.  It's true that we can involve algorithms and other things to deal with this. However, they take time to build, will consume useful resources and will solve the effect, not the cause. We believe contributors need to realize what similarity means based on their portfolio's specificity. If you want examples, I would look into any portfolio with a significant value for the downloads/image parameter (data can be found on the user's profile page). Note how same quality can translate into much better sales.

We can even quadruple your limits. The more we increase them, the less royalties you will get. Do you really want that?"

These were in answer to forum posts over at DT."


Thus, he can't even give a reasonable definition.

« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 19:03 »
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...

Thus, he can't even give a reasonable definition.

That's how I see it.  Of course they can and will continue to penalize you for rejections.

Sure, mindless repetition - in an attempt to flood the search - is bad and can actually hurt you.  But just leaving 'similar' up to the whims of their reviewers does not work.

It makes perfect sense to have these 3 color set variations available, that's  what 'stock' should be about.  I guess I'll just submit them and if they're rejected I'll just have to conclude that DT is losing its way.  
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 19:22 by stockastic »

fritz

  • I love Tom and Jerry music

« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 19:49 »
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Quit uploading there 6 months ago.Having only 1248 files but don't mind.If they don't want my files ( similars ) it's OK as long as IS and SS are doing much, much better for me x10 . However I believe  DT is perfect site for beginners who.............

« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 20:02 »
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Quit uploading there 6 months ago.Having only 1248 files but don't mind.If they don't want my files ( similars ) it's OK as long as IS and SS are doing much, much better for me x10 . However I believe  DT is perfect site for beginners who.............
Right. I wonder what research or statistics have proven DT to stop accepting "similars".

It can't be the server space as that is dirt cheap, maybe they automatically wanted to reduce the entire workload and reduce reviewers in the long run.

It just doesn't make any sense.

I have many subjects that require sets and collections and DT seriously believes I should include over 200 images into one just so the file ranks higher over time which will "benefit me more" than selling each image at full resolution. Yeah right - not my experience based on an any other stock site I can say.

Sometimes I wonder if they even understand the concept of stock since pretty much no other agency acts that way and apparently DT has seen better times years ago - so something is not going smooth but hey, they want to stick to their guns, fine by me as long as others are going strong DT might as well shut their doors eventually...

Watch it.

« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 21:00 »
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The problem with 'sets' is that their web site has no UI for displaying 'sets' in a useful way.  The buyer should be able to see that a particular thumbnail is one of a set, click on that thumbnail and see the whole set. 

« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 21:08 »
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The problem with 'sets' is that their web site has no UI for displaying 'sets' in a useful way.  The buyer should be able to see that a particular thumbnail is one of a set, click on that thumbnail and see the whole set. 
I suggested exactly that I think over a year ago. Just because this feature doesn't exist doesn't mean it cannot be developed...

It's not rocket science and actually would give DT a little edge over most other agencies not having such a feature in place but hey, who are we to tell DT how to run their business...?

Alamy, amongst others, has been doing that for a looong time. It could be improved no doubt but at least it proves that others in the business know that this is a useful feature.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 22:56 »
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I'm wondering if the reviewers actually see and make a decision on similars.  I uploaded a set of four images about a month ago.  I knew two were similar to the others, but felt there was sufficient difference that buyers would want to be able to select between them.  They were uploaded via FTP.  When I checked the images to complete the submission (within one hour of upload), two images only showed a blank square, no picture.  The other two were fine.  It appeared the computer system was comparing newly uploaded images and kicking out those it considered too similar.  When I eventually got my acceptance notice for the two images that went through, it stated the other two were rejected as being too similar, even though to all appearances the reviewer had never actually seen the images.

Anyone else had a similar experience?

« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 01:35 »
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I've rejected uploading new images to DT because their policy of demotivating contributors and losing buyers is too "similar" to istock :)

With the big fall in earnings from istock over the last few years, DT could of made some real progress but they're still in 4th spot on the earnings poll here.  I think that's partly down to this policy, combined with the price hikes and commission cuts.  It's a shame, I like SS but I wish they had a stronger rival that looked like they had a sustainable future for contributors.  It would be hard for me to grow my DT earnings now and I would rather spend time making new images for sites that I think have more earnings growth potential in the future.

« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 06:26 »
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I'm wondering if the reviewers actually see and make a decision on similars.  I uploaded a set of four images about a month ago.  I knew two were similar to the others, but felt there was sufficient difference that buyers would want to be able to select between them.  They were uploaded via FTP.  When I checked the images to complete the submission (within one hour of upload), two images only showed a blank square, no picture.  The other two were fine.  It appeared the computer system was comparing newly uploaded images and kicking out those it considered too similar.  When I eventually got my acceptance notice for the two images that went through, it stated the other two were rejected as being too similar, even though to all appearances the reviewer had never actually seen the images.

Anyone else had a similar experience?

I haven't necessarily seen the evidence of it as you have, but I think this sounds right.  I believe it's a computer algorithm (Serban even admitted this in the post quoted above) that is comparing new uploads vs those already in your port.  Otherwise, I can't believe every reviewer is comparing each new upload against every other shot in my port.  My port is fairly large now, and I'm getting "similar" rejections now for one new image that is somewhat close to one other image in my port.  That's finding a needle in a haystack.  Reviewers are not doing this alone... it's definitely an algorithm.

« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 06:57 »
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I haven't necessarily seen the evidence of it as you have, but I think this sounds right.  I believe it's a computer algorithm (Serban even admitted this in the post quoted above) that is comparing new uploads vs those already in your port.  Otherwise, I can't believe every reviewer is comparing each new upload against every other shot in my port.  My port is fairly large now, and I'm getting "similar" rejections now for one new image that is somewhat close to one other image in my port.  That's finding a needle in a haystack.  Reviewers are not doing this alone... it's definitely an algorithm.

I think so too. For a while I thought if the names of the images were too similar, they would get rejected. I started changing mine to be different, and that seemed to work for a while, but then I started getting rejects too.

ShadySue

« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 07:06 »
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The problem with 'sets' is that their web site has no UI for displaying 'sets' in a useful way.  The buyer should be able to see that a particular thumbnail is one of a set, click on that thumbnail and see the whole set. 
I suggested exactly that I think over a year ago. Just because this feature doesn't exist doesn't mean it cannot be developed...

It's not rocket science and actually would give DT a little edge over most other agencies not having such a feature in place but hey, who are we to tell DT how to run their business...?

Alamy, amongst others, has been doing that for a looong time. It could be improved no doubt but at least it proves that others in the business know that this is a useful feature.

Alamy did 'stacks' for a very short time, a couple of years ago, and it was extremely unpopular with contributors, especially specialists (wildlife/travel location) who might have had extensive coverage of a particular subject but only one, randomly chosen, was shown in the search results. If the potential buyer happened not to like the 'top' photo, they probably wouldn't click on the stack to see if the others better met their needs.
Now the similars are spread through the search, but with an indication of how many images are 'related' under each individual photo. They are not stacked.
Even with the stacking system in place, it could easily be circumvented by dripping up your submissions.

« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 09:03 »
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I think when the people running an agency can no longer articulate a clear policy or set of guidelines - and don't even think that's important -  it's an indication things are heading downhill.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 09:17 by stockastic »

« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 09:09 »
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Alamy did 'stacks' for a very short time, a couple of years ago, and it was extremely unpopular with contributors, especially specialists (wildlife/travel location) who might have had extensive coverage of a particular subject but only one, randomly chosen, was shown in the search results. If the potential buyer happened not to like the 'top' photo, they probably wouldn't click on the stack to see if the others better met their needs.
Now the similars are spread through the search, but with an indication of how many images are 'related' under each individual photo. They are not stacked.
Even with the stacking system in place, it could easily be circumvented by dripping up your submissions.
I think you are talking about a different feature than the one I mean.

I just checked Alamy and they still have the system in place that I was referring to.

When I perform a search for "obama campaign" for example I see almost every image has a link underneath stating (More XX). This link takes you to the "set" of that particular photographer. That's what I meant and I think it's quite useful.

« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 10:11 »
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come on guys! DT is fine ;D

ShadySue

« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 10:16 »
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Alamy did 'stacks' for a very short time, a couple of years ago, and it was extremely unpopular with contributors, especially specialists (wildlife/travel location) who might have had extensive coverage of a particular subject but only one, randomly chosen, was shown in the search results. If the potential buyer happened not to like the 'top' photo, they probably wouldn't click on the stack to see if the others better met their needs.
Now the similars are spread through the search, but with an indication of how many images are 'related' under each individual photo. They are not stacked.
Even with the stacking system in place, it could easily be circumvented by dripping up your submissions.
I think you are talking about a different feature than the one I mean.

I just checked Alamy and they still have the system in place that I was referring to.

When I perform a search for "obama campaign" for example I see almost every image has a link underneath stating (More XX). This link takes you to the "set" of that particular photographer. That's what I meant and I think it's quite useful.

Oh yes, but I thought you were talking about stacking similars.

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 11:14 »
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We all know DT has gone bananas on 'similars' and I've already felt the sting when good shots were rejected.  I now have 3 images I want to submit - same subject, but collections of objects of different color sets.  Obviously a designer wanting to illustrate this subject might prefer one set of colors over another.  But it would be pointless to submit 3 only to have 2 rejected.

I looked around their site but didn't find any actual statement of the new policy on 'similars'.  Does anyone know from experience what might happen, or want to make a prediction?

Spread your submissions out over a few weeks.

« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2012, 12:42 »
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We all know DT has gone bananas on 'similars' and I've already felt the sting when good shots were rejected.  I now have 3 images I want to submit - same subject, but collections of objects of different color sets.  Obviously a designer wanting to illustrate this subject might prefer one set of colors over another.  But it would be pointless to submit 3 only to have 2 rejected.

I looked around their site but didn't find any actual statement of the new policy on 'similars'.  Does anyone know from experience what might happen, or want to make a prediction?

Spread your submissions out over a few weeks.

I think that's what I'll do.  I know all 3 would sell over time and I don't want some clueless reviewer tossing 2 of them to meet a quota.   Nice that we now have to trick them into accepting photos that will make them money.

« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2012, 14:03 »
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I looked around their site but didn't find any actual statement of the new policy on 'similars'.  Does anyone know from experience what might happen, or want to make a prediction?
It's up to the reviewer's taste, what he/she feels similar... Regardless of the fact that the agency constantly states that they are so called "professionals". Simply the word doesn't cover anything. Anybody can be professional when he is able to decide...
I'm also tired to death hearing "official" comments about content that isn't accepted due to the fact that they can hurt our sales. This isn't true. What isn't accepted and isn't sold, can't have statistics. Also, we, contributors obviously have a better look over what is selling best, while a single agency sees the market from his own (very closed) point of view. Thus, the majority of "low commercial value" or "similar" images are only GUESSED. While a series of images are sold good at some agencies, a several ones consider them non-creative, doing nothing else but kill the opportunity to the sales, not teaching the contributors.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 06:37 by icefront »

« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2012, 15:51 »
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You can't ask jack sh..t on DT forums about it unless you accompany it with roses and champagne.

« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2012, 17:03 »
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come on guys! DT is fine ;D

Not in my book. They have more rules - many of which are illogical and arbitrary, and not consistently enforced - than just about any other site. If these rules made for a wonderful buyer experience or better returns for contributors, I might feel better about it, but none of these rules have elevated them from the bottom of the pile in the top tier sites.

« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2012, 17:08 »
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come on guys! DT is fine ;D

Not in my book. They have more rules - many of which are illogical and arbitrary, and not consistently enforced - than just about any other site. If these rules made for a wonderful buyer experience or better returns for contributors, I might feel better about it, but none of these rules have elevated them from the bottom of the pile in the top tier sites.

^^ correct.  It only bullwhips them into fewer customers and more disgruntled suppliers (US).^^

Every time they make a change it seems to put them deeper into a back hole...at least from my income perspective.

« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2012, 17:18 »
0
come on guys! DT is fine ;D

Not in my book. They have more rules - many of which are illogical and arbitrary, and not consistently enforced - than just about any other site. If these rules made for a wonderful buyer experience or better returns for contributors, I might feel better about it, but none of these rules have elevated them from the bottom of the pile in the top tier sites.

sarcastic mode, if you notice my posts about DT you would have guess it in seconds :)

Microbius

« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2012, 02:36 »
0
I haven't necessarily seen the evidence of it as you have, but I think this sounds right.  I believe it's a computer algorithm (Serban even admitted this in the post quoted above) that is comparing new uploads vs those already in your port.  Otherwise, I can't believe every reviewer is comparing each new upload against every other shot in my port.  My port is fairly large now, and I'm getting "similar" rejections now for one new image that is somewhat close to one other image in my port.  That's finding a needle in a haystack.  Reviewers are not doing this alone... it's definitely an algorithm.

I think so too. For a while I thought if the names of the images were too similar, they would get rejected. I started changing mine to be different, and that seemed to work for a while, but then I started getting rejects too.
I assumed the reviewer would be shown similar images in the port based on keywords, like buyers do on most sites under "similar images" and the like, but just from within the one portfolio.


 

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