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Author Topic: Non-curated agency  (Read 3433 times)

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« on: July 12, 2014, 00:15 »
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I've heard different things from different people and someone asked me to post this to everyone. Can a non-curated agency exist? Why or why not? Framed a different way, is the pain that photographers get not having their work accepted, worse than the pain that buyers may face searching for content?


« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 00:41 »
+1
A non-curated agency would not be able to claim they have quality images, unless the contributors would self-curate ... which would only be possible by enforcing limits  (limited upload per week/month, or even limited number of images per contributor).

« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 03:32 »
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mostphotos  :)

« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 04:34 »
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it would probably mean folks paying to have their images there something like faa

« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 05:26 »
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Yes Mostphotos sales poor for me with some very low subs not sure what kind of experience it  is for buyers

« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 07:02 »
+1
I've heard different things from different people and someone asked me to post this to everyone. Can a non-curated agency exist? Why or why not? Framed a different way, is the pain that photographers get not having their work accepted, worse than the pain that buyers may face searching for content?

Well, you run a non-curated agency, right?  How's it working out?

« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2014, 07:48 »
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I mean, don't photographers want control over their pricing and licensing? Isn't this a huge pain? I see it so much on this forum.

@Sean, it's too early for me to say one way or the other.

« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2014, 08:17 »
+1
If I want to buy image, I won't go to uncurated site. It's a waste of time to comb through all mediocre photos or snapshots.
The experience is similar to looking for photos in Flickr or Google images, at least Flickr does offer most interesting, which somehow filter the craps out a little.

« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2014, 09:37 »
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What kind of non-curation are we talking about? Anyone can sign up and sell images? Or you need to be accepted and then you can put whatever you want up for sale?

Some of both exist already. I think it's a workable system if there is at least some initial review process or application requirement where you can review someone's portfolio before allowing them in to just upload whatever they want. And if maintaining a certain quality standard is a goal, that means that you'd have to be more selective with who you let in. Which I think is a good thing.

Buyers for sure will be put off by having to wade through piles of junk images. There has to be some kind of quality review process, so if it's not at the individual image level for uploads, it should be at the contributor sign-up stage to make sure you're letting in people who do good work.

« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2014, 10:02 »
+2
IMHO we don't need another FAA, flooded with repetitious junk.  But for most of us, Crated didn't work out either, because they were way too narrow-minded and accepted only their idea of photographic 'art'.   Maybe there's a middle ground?

« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2014, 10:27 »
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Apart from the problem of having to wade through junk, it's important to warn buyers of the potential legal issues of using sites where content is not checked for potential legal issues. It's bad enough the sites which frequently get caught out selling stolen content.

« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2014, 11:00 »
+1
The complaints you see here are about flaws in the review system - and each agency has different weak spots, foibles and inconsistencies.

A formal appeals process (iStock used to have a good one - Scout) both helps improve reviews and fix the inevitable eff ups that will occur. The problem is that a good process, with training, supervision and quality control is expensive, and all the agencies are looking to cut costs.

At various times contributors have suggested an option to allow content that meets the legal requirements (model/property releases) but fails on some other issue - primarily a perception of composition or commercial value - a trial run where it gets to stay if it makes sales and gets booted if it doesn't. No agency has ever implemented anything like this.

The issue with no editorial control (Alamy just inspects for technical flaws) is that you get masses of garbage and unless your search is amazing and/or you have a rating system that the non-curating reviewers impose behind the scenes, buyers won't stick around because it isn't a good experience.

I wouldn't assume that masses of complaints about wayward review processes means people don't want reviews. We want our work to (a) sell (b) for decent royalties (c) in good volume at sites that (d) work reliably, quickly and are appealing to buyers and (e) have good quality and variety.

« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2014, 11:03 »
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Wait, the existing agencies are curated?  ;)

Seriously though, I'm not sure it is a huge deal, but there are going to be challenges whether you are heavy handed or whether you let everything in. It is really about what you are trying to build for in the long run.

« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2014, 11:33 »
+1
It might work if you had a really kick-ass search engine/ algorithm.  Over time if the algorithm took into account views, sales history of the image, sales history of the submitter, number of times images is shown as thumb vs number of times viewed, vs number of times sold....

Basically turn your buyers into your curators.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 07:35 »
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I was in a non-curated agency years ago for RM. I won't name it, as that was 2007-9, and it may have changed its modus operandi since then. It was a pay model, at least to start; though I got a free account after the first quarter (I don't know how common that was). Contributors got 60% and my one sale more than paid for my first quarter sub.
I think the 'price for entry' kept the standard up, at least at that time. As far as I could see, it didn't do much marketing, though several times a week you'd get 'requests' emailled. Eventually, they decided to keep the general library, but focus on specialising in a particular geographical area. I believe (without real proof) that was a smart move on their part, but as I have no relevant content, I left.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 20:14 »
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I guess iStock had an idea of this with their public lightboxes, though I admit I didn't curate mine so much as make sure what was in it was what it actually said, i.e. avoiding spam/misidentifications. Then far too many people just added two random files to dozens of their own to fulfil the 'public' requirement. Still, I'm surprised how many people seem to have visited some of my public lightboxes (13 are showing as having had over 5000 views), but I have no idea how many sales derived directly from them.


 

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