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Author Topic: Contributors' Collective  (Read 45171 times)

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alias

« Reply #100 on: May 05, 2009, 03:01 »
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- QC - none. Contributors are elected in, then do their own QC. We know our stuffs, right? LCV will be no problem any more. Three strikes out on inferior uploads.

- Search engine: bias on newness and relevancy. Three kinds of keywords: essential (10), accessory (20), concept (10 from an exhaustive list) (replacing categories) note. Keywords can be wiki-ed by fellow contributors. Tackling relevancy from the start is essential. The current sites are totally winded up in a Gordian knot about relevancy/best match since basically, all keywords are treated equivalently and no way to change that any more after 5M images. Relevancy/best match is patchwork.

You need quality control. A new non specialist agency would only be successful if it has lots of content. Millions of images. That means 1000s of contributors. Without the content there will be too few customers. So you need experienced quality control. Also looking out for legal, IP and rights issues. Also looking out for stolen content.

You want a search engine which learns from sales. This is essential to prevent spamming.

A new agency would have to take the best from what has been learned so far and build something better from scratch.


« Reply #101 on: May 05, 2009, 05:02 »
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"they've got the guns but, we got the numbers" ...
I think we can have great power we don't use. We have experience, representants of almost all professions (including IT) and we live all over the world. Why not to create a company? I'm ready to put $1000 in this adventure. If we are 1000  it makes 1.000.000$. Maybe with this amount we can start something?
 I have over 1000 images in microstock and about the same number of  (better quality) images on my HD. If the big players are in, very quickly we can have 2-3 millions of images.


sui

« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2009, 05:07 »
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Hi there,

I follow this thread with enthusiasm  and it will be a very good initiative if the plan for contributors' collective works.

I like FlemishDreams idea. If somehow CutCaster can be bought and turn it into a wikipedia-like site for image/vector repository, where contributors control and administer the content, QC, LCV, etc., in a fairly democratic way, then I think that's a good model. Passing a new rule about commission or exclusivity, for example, can be done through discussions and votes from all contributors. There might be some special contributors act as administrator (much like wikipedia) to control the debates, passing the policies, etc. Electing these administrators should also go through all contributors.

For the search engine, all metadata database should be set open for other people to develop. Much like wikimedia commons [nofollow], where there are some other alternatives beside the default one, e.g., the mayflower search [nofollow], or wikiwix search [nofollow]. If these metadata, including keywords, can be accessed freely, then I might want to try to develop a search engine for that to help buyers finding relevant images. ::)

So it's basically an open site that is maintained, used and controlled from-and-by contributors only. Note that we still need to hire a few dedicated specialists, just like the Wikimedia Foundation which hire a lawyer, programmers and other clerks. We should then make, say, Microstock Foundation, as a non-profit organization that owns the site.

That's only my 2 cents, of course.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 05:09 by sui »

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #103 on: May 05, 2009, 05:41 »
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Let me add some ideas, from a buyers point of view.

This could really work if you market it as a fair-trade product. Educate the buyer about the exploitation that is going on in microstock, and then explain how, if you buy your product here, the artist is always paid fairly. There will have to be a very strict standard on what is fair, and how to remain competitive with it.

But personally speaking, I would rather pay 10 dollars for an image knowing the artist has a smile on their face and I've not exploited anyone's work, and that's how I currently work. (Plus, it's company money, and I make the cost back from my own customers, so it's not like it breaks the bank) That's where you get them. Because they can NEVER compete against the fair trade idea, because they will never pay the artists enough!!!

That could really work.. I also have a web design company, and once you guys have a real proposal together, I'd be willing to take a look and see how this could be done.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #104 on: May 05, 2009, 05:44 »
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As for who runs it at the top, that will come down to an election, so each member has a vote, and anyone can run for any position, with reasons why they should get your vote, experience etc.. everything will be done on a voluntary basis..

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #105 on: May 05, 2009, 05:48 »
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Ooooo, and, as someone mentioned, over time if the idea is a success you will need to upgrade servers/hosting, so why not ask each member to donate a % of their earnings towards the running of the site, but only ask them to, not enforce it, and only those who can afford it.. then that % can go towards running costs.. and we elect a secretary to keep track of everything so that each member can see exactly what the money is paying for..

« Reply #106 on: May 05, 2009, 05:58 »
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Among other things, what we pay the big agencies for is them marketing our images and making sure customers will come to their site. If we are thousands of photographers and illustrators in this altogether, we will be thousands of photographers and illustrators willing to try and direct buyers to our site through social networks, education (as hqimages mentions), marketing paid by donations and so forth.

We can be competitive by having lower prices than the big 5 (not too low), and we will still earn more. Also by branding the cooperation as an agency that treats the artists as they deserve.

I think there would have to be some donations involved in this, so maybe someone with knowledge could put up a site for fellow contributors to donate money? They money should be spent on either buying up an existing agency or having a person with programming skills build up a site from scratch.

I like the wikipedia-idea a lot. Self-moderation works great on Wikipedia.

A question to all: There would have to be some money spent on paying administrators and people running the site, so you're commission would not be 100% to make this work. We can all agree that 20% commission is way too little - how big a percentage would you be willing to cut off of the price the image was bought for?

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #107 on: May 05, 2009, 06:01 »
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first you get a pen and paper, and make out a rough estimate of what the yearly cost will be, then go look for that amount from members..

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #108 on: May 05, 2009, 06:03 »
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Also, if this is fair trade, it won't be about undercutting the competition, it will be about charging what the market will bear. As far as I can see, IS were just at that point, and I would start with their pay-as-you-go payment structure, where it goes up to 10-20 dollars for a super high res file..

Also the very very first step should be to get a group of volunteers to out their hands up who have time to start organising this, and then get all the volunteers into an instant message chat.. after you have more of a talk about it here tho :) need more ideas!!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 06:06 by hqimages »

« Reply #109 on: May 05, 2009, 06:07 »
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We need an accountant!

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #110 on: May 05, 2009, 06:16 »
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lol! :) That's true, we may have to charge tax on the purchase, but, you generally don't have to worry about that until the earnings go over 'x' amount, so even just to consult with someone for now would be good, and perhaps you can trade for a year before being eligible for tax anyway since you don't know what you will earn..

In Ireland at least, you dont register for vat until you think your company will hit that amount (over 35k), but we do need to ask someone!

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #111 on: May 05, 2009, 06:18 »
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I also think there should be a cap on the number of images any user has, it totally defeats the purpose, if we have one member with 10,000 images, who continuously uploads to the detriment of smaller members, so that kind of thing will have to be tackled, and not allowed!

alias

« Reply #112 on: May 05, 2009, 06:30 »
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I like the mention of Wikipedia. I think there is something in that.

I am sorry to say that I do not believe that we would be capable of organizing ourselves. We are all independents. What we need is an umbrella. An infrastructure and a set of standards. There is no point in creating just another microstock agency.

I hope though that the word gets out that there is a business here waiting to be done on much better terms and more or less based on some sort of open model. With the right model it would end up being most of the market. It would be the main player. It would be unstoppable.

I have believed for a while that this will happen one way or another. For this to happen it would take someone putting together of team of existing industry experts but who would be committed to a different model.

Milinz

« Reply #113 on: May 05, 2009, 06:33 »
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I also think there should be a cap on the number of images any user has, it totally defeats the purpose, if we have one member with 10,000 images, who continuously uploads to the detriment of smaller members, so that kind of thing will have to be tackled, and not allowed!

Interesting point... But, do you think you should be favourized due to that you can't upload in huge batches?

I don't think it is a good idea.

Milinz

« Reply #114 on: May 05, 2009, 06:35 »
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I like the mention of Wikipedia. I think there is something in that.

I am sorry to say that I do not believe that we would be capable of organizing ourselves. We are all independents. What we need is an umbrella. An infrastructure and a set of standards. There is no point in creating just another microstock agency.

I hope though that the word gets out that there is a business here waiting to be done on much better terms and more or less based on some sort of open model. With the right model it would end up being most of the market. It would be the main player. It would be unstoppable.

I have believed for a while that this will happen one way or another. For this to happen it would take someone putting together of team of existing industry experts but who would be committed to a different model.

I agree that you made the point!

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #115 on: May 05, 2009, 06:37 »
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I also think there should be a cap on the number of images any user has, it totally defeats the purpose, if we have one member with 10,000 images, who continuously uploads to the detriment of smaller members, so that kind of thing will have to be tackled, and not allowed!

Interesting point... But, do you think you should be favourized due to that you can't upload in huge batches?

I don't think it is a good idea.

Yes, Each person should have a monthly quota, so no one person can flood the pool with 1000's images, trust me, if you don't think it's a good idea now, if this idea takes off, it will be the one thing contributors will complain about non-stop, and rightly so.. so there has to be a solution to even out the playing field since it is a co-op, not a profit making corporation, so people interested in making profit at the detriment of smaller users will have to be capped imo..

Milinz

« Reply #116 on: May 05, 2009, 06:43 »
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You may be right with limiting some uploads... But, again It is not a good idea. You must compete with agencies who accept tens of thousands images weekly... If you don't follow that step - you fail in future...

I have some other idea in mind... Something like GOLD collection for non-microstock images... That would be product which will bring many buyers. Plus exclusive images which can be found only on one site and nowhere else. If you have that kind of product, you will have returned buyers! If not, you are down.


hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #117 on: May 05, 2009, 06:45 »
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Also, about using experienced industry people to create a 'new model', that has already been done, and they always get bought out by a bigger company, that's why, if you want something different, that is guaranteed to remain independent, it has to be a co-op, run by volunteers, with a budget to hire professionals when needed.. you could give an actual guarantee to each artist that joins, that the web site will ALWAYS remain independent, and will always be run by peers. And that will go a long way..

Think of the microstock community, you already have laywers, graphic designers, web designers, web developers, you have retired professionals that would love to volunteer on something like this..

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #118 on: May 05, 2009, 06:47 »
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You may be right with limiting some uploads... But, again It is not a good idea. You must compete with agencies who accept tens of thousands images weekly... If you don't follow that step - you fail in future...

I have some other idea in mind... Something like GOLD collection for non-microstock images... That would be product which will bring many buyers. Plus exclusive images which can be found only on one site and nowhere else. If you have that kind of product, you will have returned buyers! If not, you are down.


Yeah the gold and exclusive images idea is great!

I would limit users like Yuri, sorry but, he is an entire web site on his own, and he would drown the smaller users, who would become disillusioned with the whole thing, we want to make sure EVERYONE makes money, not the select few people who have 10+ staff, so there has to be something put in place for that..

Milinz

« Reply #119 on: May 05, 2009, 06:55 »
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Can you make better images than Yuri?

Put them on GOLD and let Yuri have microstock section ;-)

I believe that people like Yuri really helped in developing microstock market. But, even Yuri today knows that wide spread of same images is not the best way to make earnings - it is best way to give chance to corrupted managements on some sites that they calculate and even cut-off part of commission... As it happens lately!

I'd advise 3 product categories and that can't fail...
1. Volume Subscription (pay per download system)
2. Classic subscription for big buyers
3. Gold Label with MID-STOCK pricing
4. Editorials

Already I made my points about this on Featurepics and they are seriously considering to make all that real...
So, I believe uploading there today will bring satisfaction to all.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #120 on: May 05, 2009, 07:00 »
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Can you make better images than Yuri?

Put them on GOLD and let Yuri have microstock section ;-)

I believe that people like Yuri really helped in developing microstock market. But, even Yuri today knows that wide spread of same images is not the best way to make earnings - it is best way to give chance to corrupted managements on some sites that they calculate and even cut-off part of commission... As it happens lately!

I'd advise 3 product categories and that can't fail...
1. Volume Subscription (pay per download system)
2. Classic subscription for big buyers
3. Gold Label with MID-STOCK pricing
4. Editorials

Already I made my points about this on Featurepics and they are seriously considering to make all that real...
So, I believe uploading there today will bring satisfaction to all.

It's not about the quality of his work, the quality is great, but the idea that he can kill the competition ie. users with smaller galleries, totally goes against the ethos of having a co-op where everyone has an equal chance.. I do agree give him his own page for his newest images added, and keep the rest of the pool separate, and that's a really good idea.. so the really big players, if they join, are separated from the rest of the group, in a way it could give everyone a fair chance..

Putting a big player on a co-op site run by volunteers without any caps or control over them, never, ever, ever going to work.

Milinz

« Reply #121 on: May 05, 2009, 07:09 »
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Maybe... But, We all aim to have big portfolios, isn't it so?

In terms of what is big it is quite discutable... Someone will always have problems with someone who has more images...

I think it is also tweakable on some other way... You should attain free market - not introduce communist regime on agency ;-) The more capable should have more revenue... It is not smart to expect that great players will play small games! Also, great players deserve more money just because they are great...

Yuri was also beginner and he started with no images as you or me... It is not fair that now he is to be punished due to you or me voted him out from business despite that he has great quality images... That is wrong for business! Just think about it!

Nevertheless I suppose even Yuri has images on Featurepics and I believe he is feeling the same as all other contributing authors there... Urge for some smart changes...

So, look at this thread:
http://www.featureimage.com/Forum/Default.aspx?g=posts&m=1810&#1810




hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #122 on: May 05, 2009, 07:13 »
0
Maybe... But, We all aim to have big portfolios, isn't it so?

In terms of what is big it is quite discutable... Someone will always have problems with someone who has more images...

I think it is also tweakable on some other way... You should attain free market - not introduce communist regime on agency ;-) The more capable should have more revenue... It is not smart to expect that great players will play small games! Also, great players deserve more money just because they are great...

Yuri was also beginner and he started with no images as you or me... It is not fair that now he is to be punished due to you or me voted him out from business despite that he has great quality images... That is wrong for business! Just think about it!

Nevertheless I suppose even Yuri has images on Featurepics and I believe he is feeling the same as all other contributing authors there... Urge for some smart changes...

So, look at this thread:
http://www.featureimage.com/Forum/Default.aspx?g=posts&m=1810&#1810






Well if it was the case that big players were allowed free reign on that web site, to wipe out the smaller players, i don't want to be involved. And the people volunteering their time free of charge, in order to increase the big players already massive profits, won't be happy, and the smaller contributors, will probably just leave when they get 0 downloads due to big players monopolizing profits..

So if you want a different solution to everything that is already out there, that's how it has to go down, otherwise, go join any other web site that has no guarantee to remain independant, and no guarantee to not de-value your work once you're reeled in. There are many to choose from, but if you want a co-operative, non-profit, for the interests of the contributors and not the bottom line, then even out the playing field. Everyone should have a fair chance.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 07:17 by hqimages »

Milinz

« Reply #123 on: May 05, 2009, 07:20 »
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Let's put it this way:

Big players = More expensive images - understandable?
Small players = Less expensive images - Fair enough?

So, you can have Yuris images in higher tiers for same resolution than some newbie?
Do you think then it would be fair?

alias

« Reply #124 on: May 05, 2009, 07:23 »
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This sort of arguing is exactly why co operatives fail.

The fact is that you need a model in which everyone who is competent can participate. Without artificial restrictions or barriers to entry.

This is why I am saying that what you need is a different model rather than yet another microstock.

Some sort of market place. But it would need structure and controls.

It is worth remembering that microstock was not really invented. More like it was discovered.

I was thinking again about quality control in a market place. I was wondering whether a system of feedback might not work. A bit like ebay. This might get around the problem of inspectors - i mean the problem of how to put a system in place.

And perhaps some kind of system of levels based on some equation of sales and feedback.

Quality control is important because buyers need to be able to trust what they are buying.


 

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