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Author Topic: Contributors' Collective  (Read 45358 times)

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tan510jomast

« Reply #250 on: May 07, 2009, 11:34 »
0
:-[

 8)   Sorry you spoke , huh?  I will be your worst nightmare  ;D

ARGGGGHHHH no, you're back! YOU batty are MY worst nightmare !  ;D ;D ;D
seriously, good to see you back. I thought you eloped with Superman !  ;D
SOLD....Cutcaster to all of you ;-)  hahahahaha  justttt kiddinggggg...

This is a great development and I have been saying for a long time that there is power in numbers and don't accept that things can't change.  You guys control the content and that is power. Form a group of like-minded photographers that will act as one and that is even more power.  I also said I am NOTHING without your content and that is why I have always asked for your contributing support and patience.  I need more variety of content at Cutcaster so we can compete with the big boys and keep prices up.  I am always open to new ideas and reading this is really great feedback for what we can focus and improve upon at Cutcaster. 

If Cutcaster can be a source of positive change then I hope to be one of the leaders.

And now I am off to make more sales calls. Letssss goooo buyersssssss.

John Griffin, funny how you made the entrance at about the same time as batty babe's re-entrance !
I was wondering why you were sleeping through all this.  Seriously, good to see you here again
John....  ;)   and of course you too batty boo  ;D



batman

« Reply #252 on: May 07, 2009, 11:46 »
0
hahahahaha

welcome Monsieur Griffin,  your dialogue has been conspicuosly absent ! 8)

« Reply #253 on: May 07, 2009, 12:44 »
0
OK before we go on let's make a list of the problems that need to be fixed. That said, I'm very impressed with the quality of solutions that are being proposed. Please feel free to add any points that I might have missed. Here goes:

1. The rise of rejection rates by most of the established agencies. An explanation for this would go a long way toward easing the hostility that this problem causes. Something like, "We're full up, and it's costing more and more to add new images." If not totally valid all of the time, it would begin to give us an idea of the problems that the agencies are facing.

2. Decreasing income % from sales. This is due to subs and changes in pricing structures by the agencies.

3. No control over the pricing structures for our images other than to complain and stop uploading.

4. Irrational reviewers giving unclear or inaccurate reasons for rejections. Plus that lack of direction and detail in the rejections. Look at number 1. I'd rather hear that than some crazy reason that makes no sense. Also, I'd rather hear, "Fractals aren't big sellers, and we don't need more of them unless they are extremely new and creative." Rather than no commercial value, or this is a well covered subject. This probably isn't realistic on my part.

5. Lack of policing or cleaning out of the databases for older substandard images. It would be nice to believe that we can police our own images, but how many of us have any objectivity about our own work? Plus, the difficulty in removing images from our ports at the different sites adds to this problem. I have no idea how much this sort of quality control would cost, but it might be a good use for Attila. Let him have a go at older images that either haven't sold or have technical issues that would never be accepted now.

6. Lack of transparency by the agencies. This includes financial transparency, an explanation for the rise in rejections, and an explanation of the changing quality standards. Dreamstime is my favorite of the stock sites, but I just wish that they'd said that they needed to change and tighten their standards and given us an explanation before the rejections started. It's their company, but it's our images. They have the right to make any changes that they want to their corporate policy, but as a contributor I want a detailed explanation.

Whatever direction we go if we decide to organize formally, it is probably the best idea not to make our headquarters in the US, but I don't know enough about business in the world outside the US to say what country would be the best.

We have a long way to go before we solve this problem. Many of us are creative, but business novices. We're going to need a ton of input from the more business savvy among us. I agree that it would be nice to have the support of the major players, but I'm wondering how necessary this is? There are probably hundreds of really creative new talents out there who can't get into the major agencies who would love to join us in a new venture. There is probably even some undiscovered creative gem out there who could revolutionize the style of stock photography or illustration who just can't get their product to the buyers.

Maybe the most we can hope for is to influence the established agencies to listen and respond to our issues with the way things are currently run. Maybe we can open up a dialogue. This might be the least time consuming and cheapest way to go. We could organize as a collective with some bargaining power. Lest someone yell union, this would be different because we would never be in a position or require membership in order for a contributor to get work. Yes, some contributors would get a free ride, but life is never fair. As I said in an earlier post, we're not trying to eradicate microstock, we're just trying to find a better way to influence or establish a better pricing structure for the contributors, and take more control over our sales.

Lastly after everything is in place, marketing, marketing, marketing.





batman

« Reply #254 on: May 07, 2009, 13:01 »
0
OK before we go on let's make a list of the problems that need to be fixed. That said, I'm very impressed with the quality of solutions that are being proposed. Please feel free to add any points that I might have missed. Here goes:

1. The rise of rejection rates by most of the established agencies. An explanation for this would go a long way toward easing the hostility that this problem causes. Something like, "We're full up, and it's costing more and more to add new images." If not totally valid all of the time, it would begin to give us an idea of the problems that the agencies are facing.

2. Decreasing income % from sales. This is due to subs and changes in pricing structures by the agencies.

3. No control over the pricing structures for our images other than to complain and stop uploading.

4. Irrational reviewers giving unclear or inaccurate reasons for rejections. Plus that lack of direction and detail in the rejections. Look at number 1. I'd rather hear that than some crazy reason that makes no sense. Also, I'd rather hear, "Fractals aren't big sellers, and we don't need more of them unless they are extremely new and creative." Rather than no commercial value, or this is a well covered subject. This probably isn't realistic on my part.

5. Lack of policing or cleaning out of the databases for older substandard images. It would be nice to believe that we can police our own images, but how many of us have any objectivity about our own work? Plus, the difficulty in removing images from our ports at the different sites adds to this problem. I have no idea how much this sort of quality control would cost, but it might be a good use for Attila. Let him have a go at older images that either haven't sold or have technical issues that would never be accepted now.

6. Lack of transparency by the agencies. This includes financial transparency, an explanation for the rise in rejections, and an explanation of the changing quality standards. Dreamstime is my favorite of the stock sites, but I just wish that they'd said that they needed to change and tighten their standards and given us an explanation before the rejections started. It's their company, but it's our images. They have the right to make any changes that they want to their corporate policy, but as a contributor I want a detailed explanation.

Whatever direction we go if we decide to organize formally, it is probably the best idea not to make our headquarters in the US, but I don't know enough about business in the world outside the US to say what country would be the best.

We have a long way to go before we solve this problem. Many of us are creative, but business novices. We're going to need a ton of input from the more business savvy among us. I agree that it would be nice to have the support of the major players, but I'm wondering how necessary this is? There are probably hundreds of really creative new talents out there who can't get into the major agencies who would love to join us in a new venture. There is probably even some undiscovered creative gem out there who could revolutionize the style of stock photography or illustration who just can't get their product to the buyers.

Maybe the most we can hope for is to influence the established agencies to listen and respond to our issues with the way things are currently run. Maybe we can open up a dialogue. This might be the least time consuming and cheapest way to go. We could organize as a collective with some bargaining power. Lest someone yell union, this would be different because we would never be in a position or require membership in order for a contributor to get work. Yes, some contributors would get a free ride, but life is never fair. As I said in an earlier post, we're not trying to eradicate microstock, we're just trying to find a better way to influence or establish a better pricing structure for the contributors, and take more control over our sales.

Lastly after everything is in place, marketing, marketing, marketing.


Good long passage from you Pat. and good to see you again.  I was out of contact for a bit , had my own blackout , but now I'm back.

Actually, the lastly after everything is the main thing we have to drill into the co-op or a variation of little chapters around the globe. Like we already have in practise locally amongst artists.
We can also modify our original idea of an independent co-op to take on one or a few of the existing sites . Not to buy over them, but to offer some kinds of selective exclusiveness. Selective exclusiveness being we maintain to support the ones we favour and the ones whose culture and vision are compatible to us.  Thus, my insistent on those CEOs who were always conversing with us as they already have proven to be interested in building a viable community, albeit at this time,
we are all independent of each other.  But as I said, a morph of these ideas is the solution.

Quality Control MUST still be there. Buyers are not going to take us seriously if we just put crappy noisy bad composition images into the porfolio. We have to have a standard that is comparable to the existing model, or better. To compete again them, I would have to say better, not comparable,
as already the sub will draw them over to the comparable images.

We are back to the old analogy of why should I pay for a yacht? Our images will have to be like a yacht, or else they will go to the sub sites and get their china made yacht at kmart plastic canoe prices.

This is not an offer for a free for all. Unfortunately, the co-op will still need to reject many of the images that were rejected by the current model. Objectivity must still be in full power.

The last thing you want of this new entity is for it to be a clearing house of previously rejected images.  That would be disastrous.  If all of you can truly say your rejections were 100% unjustified,
I would say, the co-op will die at childbirth.

Milinz

« Reply #255 on: May 07, 2009, 13:33 »
0
Batman,

I said that with just other wording already several pages before this.

My English is improving but, it is far from 'PERFECT'...

Nevertheless, I've said that the best fit for this ideas are agencies where authors can control their own prices and you said it again.

So, I don't mind that about CC, Zymm and FP... But, IMHO Zymm has to high standards - At least for my images ;-)

I am working with FP to introduce microstock section there as well as to keep the best interest to all authors in that category. But, balance is to be found with pricing and what buyers are expecting from microstock. Also, FP needs your help - I can't represent you all there. You must raise your voice about what is your best interest and how to handle some extremes.

It is tough job to find some markers as well to make all happy. But, I will think hard and try to find some markers which can help us all.

You just continue to talk.. I will pop-in if I see something interesting.

bittersweet

« Reply #256 on: May 07, 2009, 13:52 »
0
I apologize in advance for this reply not being as eloquent as many that preceded it, but I have a few random observations, most of which would apply to the scenario of individual photographers managing their own sales, many "kiosks" under a common searchable tent, a "flea market" of sorts.

One of the biggest obstacles which will need to be overcome, and which surprisingly has been mentioned here only in passing (and I think as an aside by just one person), is customer confidence. By this I mean that if you wish to attract corporate buyers, beyond bloggers, they will want to feel very secure about the legality of what they are purchasing in terms of copyright and necessary releases. Who will bear the responsibility/liability for this? If it is up to the individual artist, is one person saying "it's all good" going to be enough to assuage any potential fear of risk on the part of the customer? It took me over two years to convince one of my corporate clients that the images licensed through istock were legally sound. Not all cases are that hard, but even if a customer is micro-savvy, they need some kind of assurances that proper clearances have been obtained.

Expanding on the confidence, is the issue of payment processing. How will payments be handled? If they wish to purchase two images from two separate artists, will they need to complete a separate transaction for each image? What forms of payment will be accepted, and will everyone offer the same options? A common shopping cart makes the most sense here, but that comes with splitting up payment processing fees, currency exchange, etc. etc.

Finally, there have been some suggestions that there be no inspectionthat each photographer promises to upload only their best work, or something to that affect. I think we've all been party, or at least witness to, a ranting individual who thinks his or her wonderful image has been unjustly rejected, only to then post for critique the most steaming pile of poo ever. These suggestions seem to be balanced with those who believe QC is a necessary evil, and that complete objectivity of one's own work is fairly impossible. I would like to agree that an inspection process is absolutely necessary, not only to ensure customers are getting a quality product, but to maintain an overall quality collection.

These all might lean toward the idea of adopting an existing agency to model into your vision, as opposed to starting from scratch.

I'm impressed with the depth and breadth of your discussions so far, and am sending lots of good vibes your way. :)

« Reply #257 on: May 07, 2009, 13:53 »
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Yes, strict quality control would be necessary. From my point of view, I can offer very large fractals with very high quality from my software. I've gradually been cutting back on size as it's not cost effective. It takes hours, sometimes all night, to generate a fractal that is 9,000 x 9,000 pixels. I've never offered one that large to a site, but I could. Again, I don't know enough about the technical issues of online storage, but I'd be willing to offer exclusive very large images for a larger share in sales. Is there a need for this sort of image, or am I still thinking like a gallery artist?

This thread has already generated some change for me. I'm going to start uploading to FP again and take a serious look at CC and Zym, when I have the time. My list of agencies needs to morph to support the most flexible of the smaller agencies as well as the big sellers that will accept my work.

This is off topic, but I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by all there is to be done. How do we do it all and keep studying our craft at the same time? Arrrgh! And have a life.

batman

« Reply #258 on: May 07, 2009, 14:10 »
0


This is off topic, but I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by all there is to be done. How do we do it all and keep studying our craft at the same time? Arrrgh! And have a life.

no kidding, i am glued to this monitor for the first two days it was close to obsessive. good thing i had to change server, it gave me the break .



This thread has already generated some change for me. I'm going to start uploading to FP again and take a serious look at CC and Zym, when I have the time. My list of agencies needs to morph to support the most flexible of the smaller agencies as well as the big sellers that will accept my work.

yes, even if the co-op does not happen, there is a new insight to how we play the game plan now for me too.  i am re-submitting to sites i gave up on as hopeless, as well as being selective with the existing top 6 sites. i would be giving the ones who pay more the larger sizes, and the ones for sub , i send them tiny as possible. i know this way i could be losing out on sales of L, XL. but from the records of things since subs came into play, i won't think i will be missing out too much .

also, with the XL and L available only with the sites that pay better, i suppose the buyer will no longer be able to say, "hey, i see this bugger has the same XL for 30 cents at xxx site".
this time sucker, it won't work, because the 30 cts site is only going to get my 600 by 900, or min. sizes, and the size that pays will get everything 6MP and up.




m@m

« Reply #259 on: May 07, 2009, 14:31 »
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Batman and John showing up together!...uuuh! that's scary...lol.
Batman, welcome back bud! I thought we lost you ;)...@John, where have you been throwout these storm, it was kind of strange not getting any feedback from you, I'm glad you showed up... :D


batman

« Reply #261 on: May 07, 2009, 14:47 »
0
Batman, welcome back bud! I thought we lost you ;)...

m@m sweet djarleeng. i wouldn't miss you for the world. i have a deep incest fetish for curious cuddly guys like u. curls my teeny weeny little bat toes when you pined over a sudden well english speaking serb.  oooh how i missed u in those long 24 hours without a server ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

m@m

« Reply #262 on: May 07, 2009, 14:53 »
0
LMAO...that sound nasty bat (you pervert) :-* ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 14:56 by m@m »


batman

« Reply #264 on: May 07, 2009, 15:30 »
0
LMAO...that sound nasty bat (you pervert) :-* ;D ;D ;D

oops lol, sorry m@m, that cynical stab was actually for magnum. ...
hey m@m , it's good to see u again buddy, lol  sorry!

« Reply #265 on: May 07, 2009, 15:39 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

tan510jomast

« Reply #266 on: May 07, 2009, 15:45 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D


batman

« Reply #267 on: May 07, 2009, 15:53 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D

i am much  warmer... no iron in between, only armini tailored real italian spandex  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

tan510jomast

« Reply #268 on: May 07, 2009, 15:57 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D

i am much  warmer... no iron in between, only armini tailored real italian spandex  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

SORRY BATTY BABE, IRON MAN'S MY MAN. :-* 

« Reply #269 on: May 07, 2009, 16:13 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D

I got a silhouette of a church ??? Not even close :D

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #270 on: May 07, 2009, 16:45 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D

I got a silhouette of a church ??? Not even close :D

Heh tan needs glasses...what can he say. ;D

tan510jomast

« Reply #271 on: May 07, 2009, 16:53 »
0
Thanks Batty :D   

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D

I got a silhouette of a church ??? Not even close :D



Heh tan needs glasses...what can he say. ;D


Noooooooooo you don't get it.

batman and magnum have a fatal attraction, and I just put Gwyneth Paltrow
as my avatar because batty baby said I should put my clothes on (my old avatar was my first seller in 123rf - ethnic man in spa).

I am just teasing Magnum because batty boo  has a fetish for Magnum, and since Gwyneth Paltrow has Ironman (she is Ironman's girlfriend in the movie) , we are now almost like relations,
each one with a super hero.

You get it now ????
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 16:55 by tan510jomast »

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #272 on: May 07, 2009, 17:01 »
0
I guess....I'm not a movie goer...tooooooo pooooor ::)...I need to make more off my microstock to do that.. :D
Thanks Batty :D  

Hey Magnum, I (my avatar - Gwyneth Paltrow) have Iron Man, and you got Batman. Oooh, we are almost related. ;D

I got a silhouette of a church ??? Not even close :D



Heh tan needs glasses...what can he say. ;D


Noooooooooo you don't get it.

batman and magnum have a fatal attraction, and I just put Gwyneth Paltrow
as my avatar because batty baby said I should put my clothes on (my old avatar was my first seller in 123rf - ethnic man in spa).

I am just teasing Magnum because batty boo  has a fetish for Magnum, and since Gwyneth Paltrow has Ironman (she is Ironman's girlfriend in the movie) , we are now almost like relations,
each one with a super hero.

You get it now ????

tan510jomast

« Reply #273 on: May 07, 2009, 17:10 »
0
I guess....I'm not a movie goer...tooooooo pooooor ::)...I need to make more off my microstock to do that.. :D

No kidding. these past 3 days we have been here like crazy, without a life.
but wait till this episode is over, as this is as interesting as Ironman, Fantastic Four, Batman, Superman
all rolled in one, rofl. 
The only hot thing missing is Kate Beckinsale (ooh waaaa!)    :D

« Reply #274 on: May 07, 2009, 22:53 »
0
An alternate business model - each photographer has their own portfolio online, and independent brokers provide marketing and search and transactions (forwarded to photographer - cut). Brokers could be specialist or general, and provide the 'reliability' by representing only trusted contributors (content-wise). Happens in other industries - accommodation, care hire, insurance, etc.


 

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