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Author Topic: Is MS falling apart? so many issues lately on IS and SS  (Read 10766 times)

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Slovenian

« on: March 02, 2011, 18:58 »
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And those 2 are the leaders in the industry. By far in my case. IS is now struggling with PP program, nobody received January sales and they should be calculated and added to contributor's account by the end of february. Not to mention the ongoing problem with linking material uploaded after mid september, server errors and inspection times taking up to 3 weeks in my case. All that on top of RC cuts, F5 problems, double canisters, new images not showing up in search etc. Shutterstock also has a major problem besides the site being slow. Now the accepted images don't show in portfolios and searches. Or they do for a few hours and then disappear again. At least over at IS support works and you get feedback in the forums. At Shutterstock those *insult removed* just ignore you, support needs almost a month to reply. It really makes no sense whatsoever to upload to Shutterstock at the moment and I have dozens of shots ready. I'm pissed off!

And yeah I upload only to those 2 sites, Dreamstime and Fotolia are a joke.


« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 19:22 »
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I have respond from SS at same day after I ask why I do note see my accepted images

``We apologize for the confusion.

Although your approved images do not appear in your contributor account gallery, they are available and ready for download
We are aware of this issue and our tech team is working on a solution.``

« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 19:39 »
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What exactly is wrong with SS uploads, I use it all the time....

« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 20:20 »
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Quote
And yeah I upload only to those 2 sites, Dreamstime and Fotolia are a joke.

I guess mileage varies. Both of those "jokes" earn me more than IS does...

« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 20:38 »
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In both cases they have something in common: They are adding features.  Istock is adding all that was mentioned here and Shutterstock has that new stats page and download location feature.  When Bigstock was giving their site a face lift nothing worked.  Their FTP sucked and their 10-limit upload would upload images and they would just disappear so you couldn't edit them.  There are so many connecting pieces on these sites that it is now expected that when a change is mentioned we all sit back and wonder what hiccups will happen now.

Slovenian

« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 05:36 »
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My photos reappeared in my gallery today, but are now on the zillionth side in search, so I had ZERO DLs. That have never happened before and I usually upload just 5-10 photos at a time.

« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 07:54 »
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My photos reappeared in my gallery today, but are now on the zillionth side in search, so I had ZERO DLs. That have never happened before and I usually upload just 5-10 photos at a time.

Same here, Slovenian.  I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.  * shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return. 

« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2011, 08:17 »
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Contributor side problems are not especially important. The sign a site is falling apart is when its sales side is broken - defective search, going offline, that sort of thing. Not a problem for SS, I believe.

« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 09:40 »
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It gets more painful for us when one agency already is struggling with major problems (on the sales side as well) and then problems start at another agency which happens to be the next most successful one.

Naturally that makes people nervous.

Who cares if Veer's or 123RF's search (names randomly chosen) would go bonkers for a few days?

SS fixed their thumbnail and search issue last night at least the one issue I'm aware of. So I don't have a problem with SS right now.

Slovenian

« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 09:42 »
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Contributor side problems are not especially important. The sign a site is falling apart is when its sales side is broken - defective search, going offline, that sort of thing. Not a problem for Shutterstock, I believe.

But the site is being slow for months, right now I'm trying to access a photo of mine for 5 minutes...

helix7

« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 09:44 »
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This is the first time in a while we've seen any sort of noticeable problem at SS. Hardly any reason to panic.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2011, 09:58 »
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can't login this morning ... anyone else?

Nevermind.... it was just slow... very slow.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 10:16 by WarrenPrice »

« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2011, 12:01 »
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Same here, Slovenian.  I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.   shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return. 

Microstock is not "falling apart."   What needs to be fixed is how contributors are going about it.  The sentiment above is a symbol of the biggest problem.  Relying on "Most Recently Uploaded" status to get your new images noticed is a recipe for failure.  It's admitting that your images are nothing special, and that the only way buyers will find them is if they appear at just the right moment in a Recent Uploads search.   Quit uploading more of the same old stuff that is just like thousands of other pics already online.  What are you contributing?  Noise.  It doesn't help buyers and it bogs down the agencies (no doubt contributing to the very problems that prompted this thread.)

Recipe for success: Find under-represented subject matter.  If you can't, at least offer a bold and unique approach or style to well-covered subjects.  Think like a buyer and ask yourself "Why would I buy this image over the countless others just like it?" 

If you can't come up with an answer, then microstock will forever seem "broken" or "falling apart" to you.

velocicarpo

« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2011, 12:07 »
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Same here, Slovenian.  I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.   shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return. 

Microstock is not "falling apart."   What needs to be fixed is how contributors are going about it.  The sentiment above is a symbol of the biggest problem.  Relying on "Most Recently Uploaded" status to get your new images noticed is a recipe for failure.  It's admitting that your images are nothing special, and that the only way buyers will find them is if they appear at just the right moment in a Recent Uploads search.   Quit uploading more of the same old stuff that is just like thousands of other pics already online.  What are you contributing?  Noise.  It doesn't help buyers and it bogs down the agencies (no doubt contributing to the very problems that prompted this thread.)

Recipe for success: Find under-represented subject matter.  If you can't, at least offer a bold and unique approach or style to well-covered subjects.  Think like a buyer and ask yourself "Why would I buy this image over the countless others just like it?" 

If you can't come up with an answer, then microstock will forever seem "broken" or "falling apart" to you.

I totally agree.

In the past the Microstock game might have been about volume for some. Now it is about quality. "Average and below" repetition of existing concepts just won`t make it anymore. Be original. Deliver high quality. And you`ll survive.
(Same goes for agencies. Its not only delivering high quality products for contributors, it will soon be about valueing those contributors for agencies too.)

« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2011, 12:11 »
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Well I have to say that SS's search results for recently uploaded content is (usually) working great and lately I had 90% of my just approved images downloaded within a matter of minutes.

That does make a huge difference in the "Most popular" search because the most popular search takes the number of downloads into consideration based on the period of time online. Therefore even in the "most popular" search these new images might show up before other images with hundreds of downloads.

Big difference to me.

So I did notice a big difference while that bug happened but there is nothing I can do. Hope it works from now on.

« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2011, 12:12 »
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Its not only delivering high quality products for contributors, it will soon be about valueing those contributors for agencies too.)

When is that going to happen? Do I have to wait long?  ;D

velocicarpo

« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2011, 12:15 »
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Its not only delivering high quality products for contributors, it will soon be about valueing those contributors for agencies too.)

When is that going to happen? Do I have to wait long?  ;D

Hehe, I hope not ;-)

« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2011, 12:18 »
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Recipe for success: Find under-represented subject matter.  If you can't, at least offer a bold and unique approach or style to well-covered subjects.  Think like a buyer and ask yourself "Why would I buy this image over the countless others just like it?" 

I agree - that's good advice.  But it can only take you so far, if your "bold and unique" photo appears on page 37 of the search results.   The combination of years of accumulating junk, plus popularity-based ranking, is a big problem.   Imagine if microstocks were like traditional retailers, and when a supplier offered them something better than what they had, they gave it some choice shelf space, instead of a dusty niche in a warehouse...

« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2011, 12:29 »
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Recipe for success: Find under-represented subject matter.  If you can't, at least offer a bold and unique approach or style to well-covered subjects.  Think like a buyer and ask yourself "Why would I buy this image over the countless others just like it?"  

I agree - that's good advice.  But it can only take you so far, if your "bold and unique" photo appears on page 37 of the search results.   The combination of years of accumulating junk, plus popularity-based ranking, is a big problem.   Imagine if microstocks were like traditional retailers, and when a supplier offered them something better than what they had, they gave it some choice shelf space, instead of a dusty niche in a warehouse...

Yes, this will always be an issue.  So I say focus foremost on the first part of the advice I gave: "Find under-represented subject matter."  And if you can truly marry that with part two: "offer a bold and unique approach" you'll not only have some of the few available pics for a given search, but you'll secure yourself "best of the bunch" status for some time.  Sooner or later, the copycats like Ken (see other thread) will catch on, but by then you'll already be on to other subjects that no one else has seen coming.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 12:30 by stockmarketer »

« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2011, 12:45 »
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Imagine if microstocks were like traditional retailers, and when a supplier offered them something better than what they had, they gave it some choice shelf space, instead of a dusty niche in a warehouse...
Not to be argumentative, but it's not really the best products that reach the shelves. It's the best marketed ones.  ;)

« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2011, 12:52 »
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Not to be argumentative, but it's not really the best products that reach the shelves. It's the best marketed ones.  ;)

Nail. On. The. Head.

We all like to strive for quality in our work, but the people who really thrive are those who put even more effort into thinking like a marketer -- what do buyers actually want, and how can I be the best/first/most unique person to provide it? 

Slovenian

« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2011, 14:53 »
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Well I have to say that Shutterstock's search results for recently uploaded content is (usually) working great and lately I had 90% of my just approved images downloaded within a matter of minutes.

That does make a huge difference in the "Most popular" search because the most popular search takes the number of downloads into consideration based on the period of time online. Therefore even in the "most popular" search these new images might show up before other images with hundreds of downloads.

Big difference to me.

So I did notice a big difference while that bug happened but there is nothing I can do. Hope it works from now on.

That would almost exactly be my answer to stockmarketer. If a new photo doesn't sell at least a few times in the first few days, it'll not only never be one of your bestsellers, but it will never really sell. On SS that is. On IS it doesn't even matter when it starts selling, especially if you're not exclusive, because the search engine favors vetta/AC and after that exclusives.

But stockmarketer's pointers on how to make it are str8 to the point. The only problem is really finding underrepresented subject matter. At least to me. Not that I have awesome photos, but they surely are above average and quality to me is more important than quantity. Again not the best approach to SS, but a good one for IS (but you still need a lot of files to really make it).

« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2011, 15:07 »
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Same here, Slovenian.  I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.   shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return. 

Microstock is not "falling apart."   What needs to be fixed is how contributors are going about it.  The sentiment above is a symbol of the biggest problem.  Relying on "Most Recently Uploaded" status to get your new images noticed is a recipe for failure.  It's admitting that your images are nothing special, and that the only way buyers will find them is if they appear at just the right moment in a Recent Uploads search.   Quit uploading more of the same old stuff that is just like thousands of other pics already online.  What are you contributing?  Noise.  It doesn't help buyers and it bogs down the agencies (no doubt contributing to the very problems that prompted this thread.)

Recipe for success: Find under-represented subject matter.  If you can't, at least offer a bold and unique approach or style to well-covered subjects.  Think like a buyer and ask yourself "Why would I buy this image over the countless others just like it?" 

If you can't come up with an answer, then microstock will forever seem "broken" or "falling apart" to you.

You have to understand Shutterstock and how it works.  It is very uncommon that my images do not sell right after they are accepted.  And I never said they are falling apart, you only assumed that.  What I was saying is that there are many connected pieces within a micro system and one change to that "could" have a bullwhip effect somewhere else.  So you have taken my feedback and spun it the way you mistakenly think you wanted it to read. You are clearly one of "those" microstockgroup contributors.  At least I know what you are made of.

« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2011, 15:12 »
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>>>>>>:>So I say focus foremost on the first part of the advice I gave: "Find under-represented subject matter."  And if you can truly marry that with part two: "offer a bold and unique approach" you'll not only have some of the few available pics for a given search, but you'll secure yourself "best of the bunch" status for some time.


   missing in this and other suggestions is any recognition that the images alsoi have to be something that buyers will want and need!  i've got plenty of under-represented subjects, but there's a reason they're under-represented!  they're not images that designers need!

s

Slovenian

« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2011, 15:13 »
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And now there are problems (again!) with IS ULs. I keyworded some unfinished files, completed the UL normally and now they're not in my uploads. And gone from unfinished files. All I can do is sit tight and wait, since all of my agencies are down :s

« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2011, 15:21 »
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You have to understand Shutterstock and how it works.

I'm selling extremely well on Shutterstock.  I know exactly how it works.  And I know that people who submit stuff that can't stand on its own will obsess over timing their submissions so they appear in New Uploads search results at peak buying times, and if the photos are lost after that, they blame it on the site.  Wrong.  If the photos get buried it's because there are too many like them and they are not needed.  

Is it Amazon's fault if you write a book on something extremely generic like "Making Money" and it is buried under 10,000 other books just like it and you never sell a single copy?  Maybe you should have created something more original, or at least put a unique spin on it to grab attention.  Don't blame the site, blame the author.

You wrote: "I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.   shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return."  To me, that sounds like you rely on getting into the "most recent uploads" search results to make sales.  If you do, I stand by my comments above.

« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2011, 15:29 »
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>>>>>>:>So I say focus foremost on the first part of the advice I gave: "Find under-represented subject matter."  And if you can truly marry that with part two: "offer a bold and unique approach" you'll not only have some of the few available pics for a given search, but you'll secure yourself "best of the bunch" status for some time.


   missing in this and other suggestions is any recognition that the images alsoi have to be something that buyers will want and need!  i've got plenty of under-represented subjects, but there's a reason they're under-represented!  they're not images that designers need!

Yes, of course that is an integral part.  My whole mantra is "Put yourself in the mind of a buyer.  What image is going to help you most effectively get your message across.  What makes one stand apart from the others?"  To even get to this point, of course you need to be uploading subjects that people actually WANT.  Will your puppy dog or rainbow pictures help a lawyer win a new client?  Help a sales manager motivate his team?  Help a data provider convey the power of data? 

It slays me when I see someone say something like they have 50 new pics to upload from their latest trip to Yosemite, or something like that.  Really?  Does anyone need more shots like that?  Do those help anyone, aside from an outdoorsy calendar printer?  That's just asking to be buried in the bottom of search results.

« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2011, 15:42 »
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All true.  But there still has to be a relationship between the commission structure and the cost of production.  Let's say I think of an unrepresented subject, but it will cost me $20 for objects in the shot, and take an hour to produce.  If after 2 years I've only made $20 on the shot, I wasted my time, even though there are obviously a few buyers who wanted this niche subject - and would probably have been willing to pay a few more dollars for it.

Some subjects might be unrepresented because it's not possible to make money on them at current prices.   That's a gap that sites like CC and GL might be expected to fill, but it doesn't seem to be happening yet. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 16:33 by stockastic »

helix7

« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2011, 23:23 »
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I haven't uploaded anything new to SS in about 2 months, and my sales are up month after month. If something is broken at SS, please don't fix it. :)

« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2011, 04:53 »
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Same here, Slovenian.  I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.   shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return. 


Microstock is not "falling apart."   What needs to be fixed is how contributors are going about it.  The sentiment above is a symbol of the biggest problem.  Relying on "Most Recently Uploaded" status to get your new images noticed is a recipe for failure.  It's admitting that your images are nothing special, and that the only way buyers will find them is if they appear at just the right moment in a Recent Uploads search.   Quit uploading more of the same old stuff that is just like thousands of other pics already online.  What are you contributing?  Noise.  It doesn't help buyers and it bogs down the agencies (no doubt contributing to the very problems that prompted this thread.)

Recipe for success: Find under-represented subject matter.  If you can't, at least offer a bold and unique approach or style to well-covered subjects.  Think like a buyer and ask yourself "Why would I buy this image over the countless others just like it?" 

If you can't come up with an answer, then microstock will forever seem "broken" or "falling apart" to you.


I do agree, but don't forget the images have to show up in the "recent" search before they can climb the "most popular" search. Shutterstock updates once a day I guess, and either you're lucky and have your images end up on the first page, or they end up at page 50+. I've tried both and it does make a huge difference sales-wise. It's not "sustainable" to entirely rely on this kind of luck of course, but the initial sales boost is very helpful to the images potential of going into the most popular search. SS has had bugs in the past that caused the images to show up several days after they were accepted, thus ending up at page 100 where no one sees them. Especially if the subject is a generic one like backgrounds.

Some people are talented enough to get their images in the most popular search regardless of their initial placement (Anja Kaiser for instance), but I'm sure it still makes a difference what page no. the images ends up at in the first place.

The fair solution imo, would be to update the library more often, once an hour or so. It would give buyers a chance to see all recent submissions, and better yet it would kill off any speculations and worries among contributors on what weekday to submit, how to spread uploads etc. but I guess it takes a lot of bandwidth or maybe buyers prefer it this way. It used to be okay I believe, but with this many contributions each day it requires a little more updating of the library

RacePhoto

« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2011, 18:23 »
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I haven't uploaded anything new to Shutterstock in about 2 months, and my sales are up month after month. If something is broken at Shutterstock, please don't fix it. :)

True in the long run, but feed the beast still works. Right after a new upload, I seem to always get sales across my entire collection. It doesn't last as long as it used to. For me a day or two at the most. Then everything drops back to the steady level, whatever that may be.

Sales do enhance rank, so you are doing fine. Better pictures, better downloads, you get a better boost than I do with the "CrapStock"

Also the honeymoon for new files is shorter because even three years ago, the volume of new images wasn't as much as it is now. Faster in, fast out the other side. We get new images cycled through at a higher speed.

MS falling apart, I don't think so. Even stranger is I used to be even 50/50 SS and IS earnings. (not downloads, earnings) Now IS has passed SS and IS has lowered commissions. What's up with that?

I still count dollars, not downloads, views or friendly forums or other feel good  features. IS and SS are the winners. :)   "Show Me The Money!"

« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2011, 19:15 »
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You have to understand Shutterstock and how it works.

I'm selling extremely well on Shutterstock.  I know exactly how it works.  And I know that people who submit stuff that can't stand on its own will obsess over timing their submissions so they appear in New Uploads search results at peak buying times, and if the photos are lost after that, they blame it on the site.  Wrong.  If the photos get buried it's because there are too many like them and they are not needed.  

Is it Amazon's fault if you write a book on something extremely generic like "Making Money" and it is buried under 10,000 other books just like it and you never sell a single copy?  Maybe you should have created something more original, or at least put a unique spin on it to grab attention.  Don't blame the site, blame the author.

You wrote: "I had about 30 uploaded in a single batch and non ever sold.  In fact, I could not find them with a keyword search.  Then a day or two later they were there but no DL's.   shame we work so hard on creating images and get nothing in return."  To me, that sounds like you rely on getting into the "most recent uploads" search results to make sales.  If you do, I stand by my comments above.

Not the case with me...but that being said, you obviously don't read the forums.  There is a known bug causing images to disappear.  Anthony has stated that they are aware of it and are working on resolving it.  So your assessment was wrong all along.


 

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