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Author Topic: Fotolia Banned me from their forum for posting this!  (Read 25175 times)

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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2009, 22:35 »
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You can't have a union of stockers for the simple reason you can't set up pickets on the internet.


« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2009, 22:51 »
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Remember the old saying about how you can put a frog in a pot and if you raise the temperature slowly enough, there is never a point at which he decides to jump out - so he gets cooked?  That's how the microstocks got the price of a photo down to 25 cents, over a period of years.

Hey if these sites thought they could charge us to upload, they'd do it.

RacePhoto

« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2009, 23:41 »
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More realistically what's going on is a price war between the agencies. They keep cutting prices to attract buyers. This will drive out the weak sites, but in the end we are the ones losing right now.

This happened when the railroads were starting. Lower prices until they were shipping things for a loss, just to get the business. Eventually some smart operators took the business and shipped it with their competitors, which cost the competition money and drove them under.  ;D

How's the airline business around the world? Eventually many couldn't keep giving away seats and working for nothing. There are less choices, but at least they can fly you in a safe plane without shorting the maintenance.

None of us knows when, but when the business end sorts out and there are only the select "good" micro sites, the prices will start to go back up to match the level of quality and library of available images.

If anyone wants to hasten the process, just stop uploading to the new sites that are going to discount to the limit to get business and stop uploading to the sites under the top ten. They are already on life support. Pull the plug on the discounters who are bleeding the system and forcing the lower prices.

« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2009, 01:03 »
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None of us knows when, but when the business end sorts out and there are only the select "good" micro sites, the prices will start to go back up to match the level of quality and library of available images.

If anyone wants to hasten the process, just stop uploading to the new sites that are going to discount to the limit to get business and stop uploading to the sites under the top ten. They are already on life support. Pull the plug on the discounters who are bleeding the system and forcing the lower prices.

Maybe there is better method, opposite to yours, to make sites respect us. If we uppload tons of crap to not respectful sites they will be in trouble. Numbers of  good images will not increase, only reviewers fee...
It's like voting. Less we are happy more we uppload ;D

« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2009, 02:13 »
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Quote
Less we are happy more we uppload

How true this is.....

This is what is killing us...........the less we make.....the more we upload to try to make up for it.....and the more the Companies make.    And the more photos we have online....the harder it is to quit. :'(


« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2009, 07:27 »
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To expect an open border union is ridiculous at most, highly undoable at least.
Why not just get a handful of hot shot photographers to join force with you? Your combined talents would get equal those stock producing machine that are the big sellers at this moment.  It's more realistic and doable if you just look within your own network and get the people you feel comfortable working with you , than  dream of a revolution which is like barking at the moon. A more realistic force is to get your network to form as one "band"  under one name or brand if you like.
Forget the union.


What an excellent idea, I bet there are loads of microstock contributors who have the technical knowledge to build a site, forget the union just go independent, sell on your own terms, take a risk and quit whining.

either that or just join the AOP!


« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2009, 07:41 »
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That's how the microstocks got the price of a photo down to 25 cents, over a period of years.

0.25$ ? I get many subscription sales of 0.19$ on Gods Gift to stock: iStockphoto.

« Reply #57 on: April 10, 2009, 08:10 »
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Thanks racephoto for a good historical comparison.   It's becoming clearer all the time that microstock as it is today probably isn't sustainable.  Basically we're working in a sweatshop, we have no collective bargaining power.

The only value the agencies add is screening for image quality.  If there were a way around that, we could eventualy  do without them and sell directly to buyers. You will laugh, but - why not Ebay? Mainly  because Ebay's user interface isn't sophisticated enough to view hundreds of thumbnails; but that's just a technical issue for Ebay which they could certainly address.

I'm thinking of a paid screening service, where competent people look at your images for a few cents apiece and certify itheir basic quality Once this service had some credibilty and buyers started to accept it, we could sell direct through various means.  Ebay, personal sites, "coop" sites where we pool resources to get advertising and Google ranking....

If history teaches us one thing it is to find a way to CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMAN.

« Reply #58 on: April 10, 2009, 08:25 »
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If history teaches us one thing it is to find a way to CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMAN.

To be effective for SEO, you'll need to combine several photographers. To have similar quality, you need to have trusted long-term reviewers. You'll need a coder to maintain and extend the code, and not one that runs away in the middle of the project like what happened on YAY. You'll need at least 1 full-time staff for offering support to contributors. and to buyers. You'll certainly need an accountant. You'll need a CEO to coordinate it and post to the MSG. Well... this is another microstock site;D


« Reply #59 on: April 10, 2009, 08:50 »
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[Well... this is another microstock site.

No. It's another for-profit business, but it's not a microstock. We pay for image screening - just a certification of quality so buyers know they're not wasting time looking at our thumbnails. But then we market and sell anyway we want - off our own sites, a jazzed-up Ebay of the future, or cooperatives.  We set our own prices. 

Obvously, it wouldn't be a one-man business, it would require resources and investment.  If you think about it, a failing microstock of today could transition into a screening service.


batman

« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2009, 09:23 »
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stockastic, i hate to agree with your pessimistic view of microstock but i do.
unfortunately, it is already feeling like a sweatshop as the top performing site are selling well produced images for less than the price of a packet of cashews.
when was the last time anyone paid a bob, a quarter US, for anything ?
the only big winners in this game besides the Big 6 will be those living in countries where a 15 UScents sales would make you run outside to shout to the community you just made another subscription sales , and you are indeed a successful stock photography already  ;)
well, look at the bright side, if stock prices (the real markets) keep plunging, and stock images keep getting cheaper, we could pack our bags , leave UK or US for some 3rd world country and make a good living just selling microstock images.
woo hoo !  ;)

Milinz

« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2009, 09:51 »
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[Well... this is another microstock site.

No. It's another for-profit business, but it's not a microstock. We pay for image screening - just a certification of quality so buyers know they're not wasting time looking at our thumbnails. But then we market and sell anyway we want - off our own sites, a jazzed-up Ebay of the future, or cooperatives.  We set our own prices. 

Obvously, it wouldn't be a one-man business, it would require resources and investment.  If you think about it, a failing microstock of today could transition into a screening service.



That you want is already there it is called Featurepics. They have the lowest rate for your ON-LINE shop with possibility to make collections and set your own prices... All for free upload and even review with 30% expence for authors - I see that you may even link to your collections on featurepics and make a sale froim your own site  ;)

« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2009, 10:08 »
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batman, good point - the real  problem is that I live in the US where 25 cents means nothing...

Milinz, thanks for the tip. And there is also CutCaster, where I'm already uploading. These sites are in fact already very close to what I'm talking about.  But will they survive, without charging some small amount for review?


« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2009, 10:55 »
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Obvously, it wouldn't be a one-man business, it would require resources and investment.

Well then it's a stock site. Unless you would do it all by yourself. The argument that you can set your own prices also holds for Zymm, Cutcaster and Featurepics.

« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2009, 10:58 »
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[Well then it's a stock site. Unless you would do it all by yourself. The argument that you can set your own prices also holds for Zymm, Cutcaster and Featurepics.

What I'm suggesting is a company that just does reviews.  They don't hold, display or sell your photos - that's up to you.  All they do is let you display their logo with your images, stating that they've been independently reviewed for image quality.

« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2009, 11:04 »
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What I'm suggesting is a company that just does reviews.  They don't hold, display or sell your photos - that's up to you.  All they do is let you display their logo with your images, stating that they've been independently reviewed for image quality.
1. Rinder had an idea like that 2-3 years ago, but without review. He thought skilled microstockers knew perfectly well when their image was good or not. Play your own reviewer. If you collect a bad reputation, people won't buy any more. Or do it like MP, where the buyer can zoom in at full size. He had a look into it and he concluded he couldn't handle the management, not if he wanted to stay a photographer.
You can also introduce peer review: many of the the good photographers here are already reviewer at some site.
Imagine the pressure put on the reviewer when he is directly paid by you.
2. What about Smugmug?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 11:06 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2009, 11:49 »
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Actually I think I do need review, myself.  But that's not really my point.  Let's say the web itself improves to the point where sites can advertise their content in a consistent, searchable way (if you're techinically minded, this is what the
"Semantic Web" concept - now being developed by the W3C - is all about). In that not-too-distant future a buyer could use a web search engine (like Google) directly to search for something like "image, stock, photograpic, color, vintage telephone" and get meaningful results instead of the [email protected] that would turn up today.  They'd get hundreds of thumbnails from you, me, and many other photographers, available for direct purchase at our own sites or 3rd-party image hosts.   But looking at all these thumbnails, a buyer needs to know which are actually quality images.  Without that knowledge they're reliant on a microstock middleman; they can't spend time figuring it out by trial and error.

I want to run my own restaurant, but no one will come in unless they know it's approved by the health inspector.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 12:01 by stockastic »

« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2009, 14:19 »
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I want to run my own restaurant, but no one will come in unless they know it's approved by the health inspector.

Explained like this, it sounds like a very good idea. Especially the universal image search engine by Google etc... they added metadata and surrounding info recently to power Google Images, while before, the search only relied on file names. If they would buy the Tineye technology (which I expect) they could even sift the duplicates of the same image on several sites, included those of the customers that bought it. Personal sites will have the same chance as stock sites. Paypal has developed some cool APIs to sell from a personal site directly.

A certification organism of reviewers would be a major asset then, since they can attach technical quality labels in an undisputed way. No rejection for similars nor LCV. Let the buyers decide... Darwinian approach. You've got a great idea there, when will you start implementing it?  :P

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2009, 16:09 »
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« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2009, 18:21 »
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It was discussed before, and although I think we could collectively have some strength, I don't see this union even here: we have different opinions about almost everything concerning microstock. In a few occasions, protests made changes.  In most cases however, people complained but stayed in the offending sites. 

« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2009, 19:00 »
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Well, if anyone starts a 'Union' or an 'Alliance' - I'm in (for a reasonable amount of union or alliance dues).  I would do it myself, but I do not have the experience  :-\

Snaprender

« Reply #71 on: April 11, 2009, 07:41 »
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http://www.zymmetrical.com/blog/


The idea of stockastic is not that bad: an independent review house (food health inspection) and a clearing house to guarantee your ID and legality and verify/archive your model releases while keeping your privacy. Assuming every photo then comes with an inspection and verification fee, plus you have to maintain your own site and do the SEO (adding presale costs), - the real issue is then what the difference is with a stock site like Zymm, that gives 70% and allows pricing.  ::)

One good reason to still do it is the tsunami of "low commercial value"/"we don't need this" rejections of technically perfect shots, that start to plague all the sites. A contributor is at the merci of what they think is salable, and sites often neglect the long tail.

Quote:

Quote
In November of 2006 I received an email from Bradt Travel Guides. They had found a photo of a condor in my gallery and wanted to use it for the cover of a new guidebook on Peruvian Wildlife. They offered a price, I countered, they offered the same price, I accepted. Now my photo is on a book. Its on a real book in the real world. Cool.

After selling the photo I thought hey, maybe I could sell other photos! The obvious place to do this was on stock photography websites. I tried out some of the leading ones. Most rejected the photos I submitted. One popular stock site actually called the photo that I had already sold as unsellable. That was funny.

So this, Steves story, and a few others around the office got us thinking. What gives the editors of stock photo sites the right to be policing the marketplace? Shouldnt the buyers decide what suits their needs? Shouldnt any photo a photographer wants to sell be able to be placed for sale? As we found out, the photo you least suspect could very well be the perfect photo for someone. This was the beginning of ClusterShot.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 08:05 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #72 on: April 11, 2009, 10:00 »
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Like FlemishDreams says, I really don't need some middleman telling me what images they think they like.   I just need a way for buyers to find my images, and be assured that the full-size image doesn't have problems not visible in a small online view.

CutCaster is already close to what I want - they accepted 100% of what I gave them.   I hope CC takes off.


Milinz

« Reply #73 on: April 11, 2009, 19:23 »
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batman, good point - the real  problem is that I live in the US where 25 cents means nothing...

Milinz, thanks for the tip. And there is also CutCaster, where I'm already uploading. These sites are in fact already very close to what I'm talking about.  But will they survive, without charging some small amount for review?




Featurepics will survive for sure - I know some things behind the scene but I can't tell you anything of it... And all that is completely positive with possibility to have your own site which is linked to your previously made collection there... Also many interesting changes are happening there with many to come... They are building the strong position and are long way in front of competitors as Zymm or Cutcaster in image quantity as well in traffic position and sales...

Also, they have quality reviews - not LCV except in really overabundant or too similar images - but, they are always ready to make business efforts and to listen authors!

Here is my referral link to all interested:

http://www.featurepics.com/Authors/Images9285.aspx
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 19:39 by Milinz »

« Reply #74 on: April 11, 2009, 19:51 »
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Featurepics looks interesting.  Thanks to this forum I am still learning what's already out there. 

What's "LCV"?


 

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