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Author Topic: Categories  (Read 3671 times)

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« on: June 28, 2006, 08:20 »
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I have just done the rounds on the forums today and noted that someone has posted the below quote on SS, Fotolia and Dreamtime (haven't cheaked any others).

What is everyones opinions on categories. I personally dont see the point, searching by keywords is surely more helpfull??

Quote
do we really need categories anymore? On other sites categories are already optional why not on Dreamstime. If a buyer really wants to browse through categories there are already more than enough pictures in the categories. If a contributor thinks he can improve his selling chances he/she should still be able to add categories but again why not optional. For the serious non-exclusive contributors time for uploading and categorizing really become an issue and i personally can't see any sense in the categories anymore. Dreamstime categories are one of the hardest and most timeconsuming categories and costs me a lot of time therefore i didn't upload for months. Please help me to save me some time it's really in your own interest.
Instead of (IMHO useless) categories it would be great to spend the time to add thumbnails under a picture to show buyers a full serie.
Best Regards
« Last Edit: June 28, 2006, 08:42 by CJPhoto »


Greg Boiarsky

« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 08:35 »
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Designers use them.  Since designers are our primary customers, we should keep the categories.

« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 08:45 »
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Are you sure or are you just guessing (take no offence).

The newer sites seem to be doing away with them:
optional - featurepics, stockxpress
none - 123rf

iStock has them but I understand that they are not currently used for anything (done for future development) though dont quote me on that.

« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 09:52 »
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I also think that categories should be optional.  If someone doesn't want to use them, then why force them?

But I also think that the microsites should continue to keep the category system and expand on it.  Some of the category systems out there really suck, but some are quite good.

The main problem with microstock photography is that your images are competing with hundreds and possibly thousands of other images.  And if your image can't be found, then it gets lost in the ocean of other images.  You might have a great image, but if it is on page 53, then nobody (or very few people) will ever see it.  The sites that allow you to dice and slice up the images in different manners allow a buyer to see images using different criteria.

For example, Shutterstock currently only allows a buyer to sort images by date, downloads, and randomly.  So there are only three chances that your image will show up on the first few pages.  This is the main reason why people constantly complain about sales dropping on Shutterstock and why you need to constantly upload more photos to them.

Other sites allow buyers to sort by views, by photographer, by rating, by # of comments, by best match, by size, by title, etc.  This gives your images more chances of being viewed.

In the same respect, categories gives your images even more chances of being viewed.  So I am all for them, but do think that they should be optional.

« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2006, 10:23 »
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Geopappas - I see you point but as the categories are quite wide, wouldn't designers just use keywords, and therefore if designers only use keywords, then all the categorisation that is done is completely in vain.

I can only assume that the sites monitor if the category system is being used and if it wasn't, they would get rid of it.

« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 11:30 »
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I see you point but as the categories are quite wide, wouldn't designers just use keywords, and therefore if designers only use keywords, then all the categorisation that is done is completely in vain.

Two points:

1. Some sites have wide categories, others do not.

iStockphoto for example, has quite an extensive categorization system (even though it is not ready for primetime yet).  And it seems that they will allow buyers to use the categories like keywords.  That is, buyers will be able to pick multiple categories to satisfy their search.  For example a buyer will be able to search on "Emotional Concepts > Love" + "Settings > Seasons > Summer" + "Life > Relationships > Couples" + "Locations > Natural Areas > Beaches" to find a photo of "a couple that is in love on the beach in the summer".

Other sites that have few categories need to refine them.  Having a few dozen categories for a few hundred thousand images is just plain ridiculous.  Sites with a small amount of categories definitely need to add a lot more.

2. For buyers that ONLY use keywords, the categories do absolutely nothing.  But there are a few designers that do use categories.  And as the category system gets better, then more and more buyers will start to use them.  IMHO, the more options you give buyers, the better.

« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2006, 11:59 »
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For your example for iStock, why not use keywords?  the answer is that people are more likily to spam keywords but not categories so that would make a search like your example more accurate?

Note: you seem to confirm my suspicions that iStock (the only one with a decent list of catefories) doesn't currently use them.

Any other opinions?

« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2006, 13:19 »
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For your example for iStock, why not use keywords? the answer is that people are more likily to spam keywords but not categories so that would make a search like your example more accurate?

A photographer COULD use keywords in my example.  Using a category system is an alternative that gives buyers another way of looking at the images and helping them to potentially find the image (or images) that they need.

As you stated, keywords have many problems as well.  People misspell keywords.  People spam keywords.  People live in different cultures and use different words (for example, subway (New York City), train, Metro (Washington, DC), Tube (London), etc).  People spell words differently around the world (for example, color and colour).  So categories that are set up like a keyword system could be very useful for buyers.

Like I stated before, I believe that giving buyers more options will end up in more sales.

« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2006, 14:52 »
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As you stated, keywords have many problems as well.  People misspell keywords.  People spam keywords.  People live in different cultures and use different words (for example, subway (New York City), train, Metro (Washington, DC), Tube (London), etc).  People spell words differently around the world (for example, color and colour).  So categories that are set up like a keyword system could be very useful for buyers.

Aside from spam I don't see the others as problems. When keywording photos a person should take into account regional differences including common spelling errors and add those to their list of keywords. Unfortunately some sites limit the number of keywords, others don't allow phrases, and still others perform spell checks all of which hinders the keywording process.

« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2006, 16:44 »
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Maybe some sites use a combination of keywords and categories to sort images by relevance.  This is only a guess, as categories are limited (except on iStock) and keywords can be spammed.  So if someone looks for "money" then the images that have money in the keywords but do not belong to the "Finance" category (example) would appear after those that have this category.  The reasoning is that, as categories are limited normally to three, people pick the really more relevant ones. 

As I said, is only a guess, and in many cases it may not help.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2006, 02:39 »
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I found one occasion where even categories were abused (or misused) I was about to submit some photos of San Francisco to Fotolia and i was checking out the competition and under a search for "San Francisco" I came across a picture of the Chrysler building with a closer look I found a whole series of photos of NYC (about 20) where the photographer has entered San Francisco as his second catgory. Though he didn't mention it in his keywords the category had higher "weighting" and was appearing higher up than legitimate files.

I heard elsewhere of a zero tolerance/witch hunt at Can Stock for files being deleted for one incorrect keyword no warning they just pull the file.

« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2006, 01:41 »
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Sorry to bring up an old thread.

I was just submitting to Featurepics and noticed they had done away with categories completely (it was always optional).  When was this??

« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2006, 17:57 »
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They changed that about three weeks ago.  Uploading is even easier now.

Regards,
Adelaide


 

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