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Author Topic: For people who sell their own images - invitation to join Stock Image Portal  (Read 19936 times)

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« on: January 21, 2011, 23:41 »
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To everyone selling their own images from their own websites:

The weakest point of selling your own portfolio from your website is limited choice of images. You can spend tons of money advertising but still the fact that you cover a limited number of subjects will severely limit your customer base.

To overcome this obstacle, WE ARE ORGANIZING A NON-PROFIT PORTAL SITE.
http://www.stockimageportal.com/

The idea is simple. The portal site will have links to participants' sites. The participants will be required to do just 3 things:

1.Link to the portal from their online store homepage
2.Put a link to the portal when a customer search on their site comes up with no results (we can help with the code there).
3.Pay a small monthly fee to maintain the site and advertise it (20 US dollars per link per month).

We are not looking to make money from this site. This is only to help us link to each other, have a small advertising budget and make sure customers have better shopping experience. You can join or drop off anytime you want (if you stop paying we'll just remove your link). We also reserve the right to not accept the link (for example, if you are selling just 5 images on your site we won't accept it).
We don't care what software you use or at what prices you sell your images for, as long as searching and buying on your site works.
We will keep you informed on how your money is spent.

Please PM me if you're interested in participation.

If you have questions, please post in this thread.


« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 23:45 »
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Ummm, you're just making a site of links?

« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 23:47 »
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Ummm, you're just making a site of links?

No. Pls read above.

« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 23:54 »
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I did.

'The portal site will have links to participants' sites.'

That's not really a portal.  A portal would interact with the API of individual sites making them searchable from one place.

« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 00:15 »
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I did.

'The portal site will have links to participants' sites.'

That's not really a portal.  A portal would interact with the API of individual sites making them searchable from one place.

Not necessarily - although we may get there at some point. We call it a portal now in a sense of a "doorway" to stock photography offerings (by individuals), and it's not just a collection of links but a way to direct customers to search multiple sites, although at this point not "from one place" - they will have to go to a portal site and then visit other sites if they choose. If a search on your site didn't turn up any results, you will be directed to the portal site, where the description of the available sites will help the buyer make a choice where to do.
So, we'll start with that. Being able to search multiple sites from the portal directly would be a good feature, we'll see what we can do about it in the future.

« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 00:21 »
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I'm not sure a page of links is a solution to anything.

« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 00:42 »
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A site that showed thumbnails and (preferably) prices for each file, with a redirect to that image on the owner's site would make sense. A kind of workers' co-op. I think a lot of designers might like that, knowing that the whole price went to the creator, and I'm sure a lot of photographers would. It would provide an easy sales pitch, too.
Such a site could also act as an intermediary, selling credit bundles to companies that don't want to mess with a load of individual card transactions and passing the images to the buyer and the sales cash - less, say, a 5% administrative fee - to the photo's owner.  I see some difficulties in setting that up but I don't think it is impossible. 

« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 09:42 »
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I'm not sure a page of links is a solution to anything.
Sean, you're an istock exclusive and can't possibly sell images on your own. I am not sure why are you even getting involved in this thread. I offer something concrete and very doable  to help  - loosely at this point - organize people who started selling on their own. Instead of spending hours and hours in pointless discussions.

« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 09:44 »
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A site that showed thumbnails and (preferably) prices for each file, with a redirect to that image on the owner's site would make sense. A kind of workers' co-op. I think a lot of designers might like that, knowing that the whole price went to the creator, and I'm sure a lot of photographers would. It would provide an easy sales pitch, too.
Such a site could also act as an intermediary, selling credit bundles to companies that don't want to mess with a load of individual card transactions and passing the images to the buyer and the sales cash - less, say, a 5% administrative fee - to the photo's owner.  I see some difficulties in setting that up but I don't think it is impossible. 

That would be a feature request for the future.

« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 09:53 »
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Answering some questions I received through PMs - monthly fee is to enable us to advertise the site. The operation cost of keeping the site is negligible. If we get 20 people to participate, we will have a 400 dollars monthly budget, which is very low, but still it's possible to do some advertising with it.
We can pull our resources and be better off than on our own.
Or we can keep endlessly talking:)

« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 10:02 »
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A site that showed thumbnails and (preferably) prices for each file, with a redirect to that image on the owner's site would make sense. A kind of workers' co-op. I think a lot of designers might like that, knowing that the whole price went to the creator, and I'm sure a lot of photographers would. It would provide an easy sales pitch, too.
Such a site could also act as an intermediary, selling credit bundles to companies that don't want to mess with a load of individual card transactions and passing the images to the buyer and the sales cash - less, say, a 5% administrative fee - to the photo's owner.  I see some difficulties in setting that up but I don't think it is impossible. 

That would be a feature request for the future.
I think that might make me interested.  I can't get enthusiastic about paying $20 a month for a site that isn't going to be easy for buyers to find my images and buy them.  I really don't see any point in spending anything on advertising until there's something better for buyers to look at.  I would be more interested in getting together to buy Clustershot, have you considered that?

jbarber873

« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 10:08 »
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Answering some questions I received through PMs - monthly fee is to enable us to advertise the site. The operation cost of keeping the site is negligible. If we get 20 people to participate, we will have a 400 dollars monthly budget, which is very low, but still it's possible to do some advertising with it.
We can pull our resources and be better off than on our own.
Or we can keep endlessly talking:)

 Endlessly talking is what we do best here.
 As for me, I think it's a great idea to try, and I will be submitting my site for consideration. Driving people to a website is the most difficult part of any stock image site, and i think you will find it a lot more expensive than you may imagine, but at least you are trying. 20 dollars a month is a cheap way to give it a try, so, I'll give it a try... :)

« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 10:13 »
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Are there relatively easy ways to set up ones own site for this? I've often considered setting up a site for independent sales but could never find software that made this idea attractive.

« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 10:30 »
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I'm not sure a page of links is a solution to anything.
Sean, you're an istock exclusive and can't possibly sell images on your own. I am not sure why are you even getting involved in this thread. I offer something concrete and very doable  to help  - loosely at this point - organize people who started selling on their own. Instead of spending hours and hours in pointless discussions.

Well, if interested, he could sell RM, couldn't he? Or RM is forbidden in this plan?

« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 10:35 »
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I'm not sure a page of links is a solution to anything.
Sean, you're an istock exclusive and can't possibly sell images on your own. I am not sure why are you even getting involved in this thread. I offer something concrete and very doable  to help  - loosely at this point - organize people who started selling on their own. Instead of spending hours and hours in pointless discussions.

As mentioned, I could sell RM.  Also, I am interested in anything that could help the industry to move towards higher rates or to sell more pictures.

A page of links to photographers' sites, and links from there back to the link page, isn't really anything that will accomplish anything, or that a buyer would care about, or that money spent "advertising" wouldn't just be a waste for.  The other suggestions above, linking search engines, showing thumbnails, etc. are all things that would contribute to something that might be useful, but that takes more work - integrating APIs or making some sort of transferable industry standard XML format, etc.

Heck, leaf made a wiki page to add blog links to.  That's all this sounds like.

« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2011, 10:39 »
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One obvious piece that has been overlooked so far is licensing terms.  If we leave it up to each individual person, then terms would be all over the map.  I think uniting everyone under common license would be one of the first tasks.  Kind of like the GPL, in that it's a publically available set of terms that everyone can use, but in this case governing reasonable usage of images.

« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2011, 10:47 »
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Look, here's Clustershot, right?  Individual storefronts, same type of database, selling paradigm, license terms, etc. across the collection of collections (I don't know for sure how it works - I'm guessing).  Man up, form a group, buy it, and customize it to the co-op that everyone talks about, but no one is interested in doing.

eta: oh, and change the name - lol.


lisafx

« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2011, 11:07 »
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I am just getting started putting together a website.  Not yet able to join anything, but I certainly like the general idea of the co-op. Once I am set up better I will definitely consider joining up. 

Good work, Elena, in getting the ball rolling :)

« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2011, 11:14 »
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This concept is exactly the kind of response to folks being unhappy with the trend their business is taking. Such ideas -- whether this one or the next -- are what eventually changes an industry that bites the hands that feed it. The wisest veteran company will see the unrest and figure out a way to use it to their advantage. The entrepreneurs will discover the tiny flaws in the big sites defenses and find ways to wiggle in and steal a bit of the cheese.  

« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2011, 11:17 »
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So basically, this would be a distributed storage and indexing problem.  You need a method for the common metadata database located at the portal site to be updated (daily polling for changes?), and the easiest way to do that would be to have a commonly installed software package on each site that handles indexing and storage of files (on that person's website).  

You want this to be as simple as possible, photographer uploads new files to a directory on their server and the software handles the rest.  I guess you would need a local mini-page to mark which images have model releases and which do not (is there a model release flag in EXIF?).

Software would extract keywords, create a unique identifier for the file, create an XML descriptor file, create a thumbnail file, and then move the files to a storage directory structure.

Portal server would poll site once a day for new XML files, and update its local common database, and possibly import a thumbnail image (might be better to serve it from the photographer's site).

The portal server's search engine would handle all the search complexities, and have minimal storage and bandwidth requirements (distributed!), keeping costs very, very low.

For actual final sales, portal server would redirect to the software on the photographer's server, which would deal with payment (paypal?) and delivery of the full sized image file.


I like Graphic Leftover's one-size-fits-all pricing approach, makes things much simpler and requires less storage on the Photographer's servers, but wouldn't be difficult to resize the images as uploads were being processed.


This would also make it easy for anyone with a web server to participate, even if they don't have their own storefront.

lagereek

« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2011, 11:20 »
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Rome wasnt built in a day. This might just be the beginning of something, at least it shows incentive.

« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2011, 11:21 »
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I think this has potential and I'll be watching it.  With my tiny portfolio and even $20 is way too much at this point, but there's the future.  At least we hope there's a future.

« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2011, 11:22 »
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I would like to avoid this thread being turned into yet another discussion of "What is to be done?" I appreciate everyone's opinions but if you'd like to bounce around some ideas on how you think someone should do things, please start another thread. And please go ahead and buy Clustershot if you're interested in it, I am not.

We are accepting reasonable suggestions from people who already invested money and time into creating their own stores. Our site will develop well beyond it's current simple layout, give us time. We as a member of the site are directly interested in the best buyers experience possible, and we have resources to implement that.  But we need to start simple so the site is working right away (like beginning of February).

And yes, 20 dollars a month is a ridiculously low price to pay for your site being advertised, but if we have sufficient participation we can gradually build up the brand and the relevant traffic. And it will take time - it won't happen in a month. But it can be done. So, if you already have an online store with your images, we will be glad to hear from you.

« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2011, 11:33 »
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Drat, so you are saying I shouldn't spend my Saturday writing a fun client/server distributed network project, Elena?

« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2011, 11:34 »
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I am in the process of figuring out how to set up my own shop as well, though it won't have many images in it to begin with. I would probably be interested in something like this. There is room for improvements but this is a start and and i have to support the idea

« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2011, 12:02 »
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Interesting idea. More links are always good. As a just launched site though, the value doesn't really seem to be there. Paying for a link to a page that has no page rank and sharing my customers with a new site doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I'd prefer to partner with someone more established. I'll keep you bookmarked and see how it develops though.

« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2011, 12:31 »
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 14:46 by attator »


« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2011, 12:54 »
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great idea, and congrats for trying to actually do something rather than just the endless complaining discussions that get us no where.  good to see someone with the spirit of independence.  Can't wait to hear how this project evolves over time. I am still confused as to the layout of the main link webpage will there be a search box that will help direct you to portfolios that specialize in business, medical, nature, etc. photos. or will be people have to just click through a hundred different websites with different layouts to find the images they are looking for.  I understand Rome was not built in a day just trying to understand how someone who does get directed to the site will then be directed to a specific portfolio or will the links just be grouped by categories?  Wishing you much luck, anything that helps us not be reliant on other agencies for sales is always a good thing!

« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2011, 13:03 »
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I have been away for a while but there is still elitestockimages.
It has been programmed from scratch using php/mysql with a joomla shell around it, by reading all posts here about a stock guild, a union, and a unified search engine that should be under the control of the contributors only.

The idea was to offer sales links to existing sites, either stock or personal sites - and to break in into Google as super-search engine. What elitestockimages can offer is a one stop search portal over all participants and a single sales link wherever they like.

A portal with just links to personal sites won't score high in Google since it will be considered as a link farm. The buyer will not know where to go for what type of content. A buyer likes to see the options side by side, not by clicking multiple sites.

As the search engine is the key to any sales-oriented site, I put some algorithms in it, by default random. Since I wrote the site from scratch it's very easy to change the best match or whatever: view count, age, relevance, personal weights. The intention was to make the search engine wikied and totally open for the members.

The source of elitestockimages will also be semi-open and can be used for a single photographer too. I looked into Ktools/Photostore (which I have been promoting for long) of course, but I don't like the partial search engine and the priority that is given on images. Many RF sites have defective search engines, like CC, YAY and T3D. Moreover, Fotonaut said that they are working on a totally new version (overdue long) so it's not an immediate solution.

I don't know if there would be any interest in elitestockimages. For the time being I kept it out of Google. The basic idea though is that contributors have and always will have control over the algorithms and content.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 13:07 by FD-regular »

WarrenPrice

« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2011, 13:24 »
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I have a personal site but no store front.  I'm sure it is possible to create one with searchable data base but lost my designer/developer to a paying gig.
I tried smug mug through there limited trial but didn't see that working.  Question is: could something like smug mug work as a store front to link with the discussed portal?

« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2011, 13:29 »
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'A portal with just links to personal sites won't score high in Google since it will be considered as a link farm. The buyer will not know where to go for what type of content. A buyer likes to see the options side by side, not by clicking multiple sites.'

Exactly.  It's effort that would better be directed towards something more than a page of links.  That was my point.

« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2011, 13:46 »
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Exactly.  It's effort that would better be directed towards something more than a page of links.  That was my point.
There are many photography link farms around and they score very low as such. Google punishes link farms. You need a side by side comparison of content as a consequence of a search.

You will need to reflect your comps (not thumbs) to Google Images, Bing, etc... surrounded by description, keywords, title, with all possible image SEO tricks. Starting from the comp on the aggregation site, you need just one click to the external sales page so you don't need to bother with QC, carts, licenses.

The search engine needs to be in full control of the contributors too. If you do a site-wide search on photodeck, photoshelter, smugmug, clustershot - you won't have any ranking between quality and snapshots.

« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2011, 13:49 »
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Quote
   1. Link to the portal from your online store homepage
   2. Put a link to the portal when a customer search on your site comes up with no results (we can help with the code there).
   3. Pay a small monthly fee to maintain the site and advertise it (20 US dollars per link per month).

I'd much rather prefer setting up an affiliate program than doing the above. I hope that helps as far as constructive input.

« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2011, 14:00 »
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'The search engine needs to be in full control of the contributors too. If you do a site-wide search on photodeck, photoshelter, smugmug, clustershot - you won't have any ranking between quality and snapshots.'

Right, well that's one problem with any co-op idea.  If you want people to come and use it, it must present quality. While everyone thinks their stuff is awesome, there'd be no control over innumerable sunsets or peoples snaps.  And as Groucho said, sort of,' I'm not sure I'd want to be a part of any club that would have me'.

Fotonaut

« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2011, 14:05 »
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The search engine needs to be in full control of the contributors too. If you do a site-wide search on photodeck, photoshelter, smugmug, clustershot - you won't have any ranking between quality and snapshots.
Yup, if Photoshelter (etc) had some sort of smart quality/commercial value ranking system, and a functional search (with a pricing slider such as the one Veer has), they might be worth its price and be suitable "coop" alternatives.

Oh, and keyword spamming would have to be solved as well.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 14:09 by Fotonaut »

RT


« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2011, 14:12 »
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Elena,

I applaud you for taking the leap and trying to get something like this going, I run my own site but till now have done nothing to market it other than referring buyers who have contacted me via regular sites, and yet I am seeing more and more sales coming in through my own site, There is definitely a market for something like this.

My concerns are similar to a couple already mentioned, namely:

- I'd only be interested if there was a central search that subsequently sends the buyer to the site for the image they found.
- Plus, as bad as it sounds, a serious concern of mine would be my images being mixed in amongst unregulated content, I think that could do more harm than good for both me and the site you're creating.

I echo Christians comments, it's a start and whether it works or not anything that raises the knowledge of buyers going direct to the creator is good in my book.

« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2011, 14:32 »
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'The search engine needs to be in full control of the contributors too. If you do a site-wide search on photodeck, photoshelter, smugmug, clustershot - you won't have any ranking between quality and snapshots.'

Right, well that's one problem with any co-op idea.  If you want people to come and use it, it must present quality. While everyone thinks their stuff is awesome, there'd be no control over innumerable sunsets or peoples snaps.  And as Groucho said, sort of,' I'm not sure I'd want to be a part of any club that would have me'.
I believe in good old fashioned dictators. It can't be popular as you see what types of critiques StockFresh got and why. Part of the coop system would to be coopt members too, or you could limit the images to those that had significant sales on the external sites. The point of a coop is that it is wikied and limited. An aggregation site won't have access to sales numbers but you can rely on their QC. If not, you're just another stock site.


« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2011, 14:50 »
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 14:46 by attator »

« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2011, 14:57 »
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 14:45 by attator »

« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2011, 14:58 »
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Interesting idea. More links are always good. As a just launched site though, the value doesn't really seem to be there. Paying for a link to a page that has no page rank and sharing my customers with a new site doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I'd prefer to partner with someone more established. I'll keep you bookmarked and see how it develops though.

Cthoman, I love your site and would love to have you on board. However, please consider this - if I already had an established site with high traffic, would I be asking for just 20 dollars to plug your link in? The cheapest relevant adverts we found are about 250 dollars, and that's the bottom.
Plus, you're not sharing your customers in this scenario. You are redirecting customers to other sites in case they don't find what they are looking for in your portfolio. So you're not losing a sale - you wouldn't have made it in the first place.

« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2011, 15:02 »
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'The search engine needs to be in full control of the contributors too. If you do a site-wide search on photodeck, photoshelter, smugmug, clustershot - you won't have any ranking between quality and snapshots.'

Right, well that's one problem with any co-op idea.  If you want people to come and use it, it must present quality. While everyone thinks their stuff is awesome, there'd be no control over innumerable sunsets or peoples snaps.  And as Groucho said, sort of,' I'm not sure I'd want to be a part of any club that would have me'.

As I said, we won't accept everyone. We will review the sites before adding them.

« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2011, 15:21 »
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Cthoman, I love your site and would love to have you on board. However, please consider this - if I already had an established site with high traffic, would I be asking for just 20 dollars to plug your link in? The cheapest relevant adverts we found are about 250 dollars, and that's the bottom.
Plus, you're not sharing your customers in this scenario. You are redirecting customers to other sites in case they don't find what they are looking for in your portfolio. So you're not losing a sale - you wouldn't have made it in the first place.

All understandable. I just wasn't crazy about the link exchange and link redirecting part and I didn't see the value in paying $20 a month at this time.  If there was a test drive or it was based on affiliates, I'd be much more likely to sign up. I like the idea and I'll definitely keep an eye on it, but I have some other things I'd prefer to pursue first. That's just my 2 cents. I'm often wrong and am prone to changing my mind.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 15:23 by cthoman »

« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2011, 15:23 »
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A portal with just links to personal sites won't score high in Google since it will be considered as a link farm.

it won't be just a link farm if the all the sites it links to actually links back to it

Just a bunch of reciprocal links won't accomplish anything in terms of rank.

« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2011, 15:23 »
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A portal with just links to personal sites won't score high in Google since it will be considered as a link farm.

it won't be just a link farm if the all the sites it links to actually links back to it

Thank you. I am not proposing just a link farm. I am proposing a - simple at this point - system to achieve 2 main things:
1. Give our customers more choice so they could actually purchase the image they need and come back if they need more.
2. Pull our resources to be able to do some broad advertising.

The customers will be able to do a search of descriptions on the portal site (it's not a rocket science to implement) providing we can get to hundreds of entries (which I doubt, not at this point).

About Google ranking - I have no ambitions to beat Getty in Google ranking, are you guys insane? We don't have a chance to directly compete with big guys and we won't even try. We are talking here about small niche market of conscientious buyers who would want to purchase from artists directly and willing to make a few extra mouse clicks to do that.
We won't make millions doing that. But we can make some money if we pull our resources.

I can go ahead with few people that already contacted me and put more of my own money into promoting a site and build it up and drive traffic to it. You can sit back and watch me do it. But if you decide to join a year later when the site is "offering more value" - well, it won't be 20 bucks a month to join, hope you understand. More value will cost more.

« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2011, 15:27 »
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'As I said, we won't accept everyone. We will review the sites before adding them.'

Ah, so now we're turning a bit elitist?  Only people that you like can participate?  What qualities is the 'review' looking for?

What kind of 'advertising' are you planning on doing for this link page?  Facebook ads?  Google ads?  I'd imagine you need a more thorough plan for prospectives before they'll participate.

« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2011, 15:31 »
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 14:45 by attator »

« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2011, 15:34 »
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Elena,

I applaud you for taking the leap and trying to get something like this going, I run my own site but till now have done nothing to market it other than referring buyers who have contacted me via regular sites, and yet I am seeing more and more sales coming in through my own site, There is definitely a market for something like this.

My concerns are similar to a couple already mentioned, namely:

- I'd only be interested if there was a central search that subsequently sends the buyer to the site for the image they found.
- Plus, as bad as it sounds, a serious concern of mine would be my images being mixed in amongst unregulated content, I think that could do more harm than good for both me and the site you're creating.

I echo Christians comments, it's a start and whether it works or not anything that raises the knowledge of buyers going direct to the creator is good in my book.

The content will be highly regulated. I wouldn't share my advertising money with something that won't sell.  The central search will not be available at first, but we might be able to implement it later.


« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2011, 15:40 »
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'As I said, we won't accept everyone. We will review the sites before adding them.'

Ah, so now we're turning a bit elitist?  Only people that you like can participate?  What qualities is the 'review' looking for?

What kind of 'advertising' are you planning on doing for this link page?  Facebook ads?  Google ads?  I'd imagine you need a more thorough plan for prospectives before they'll participate.

Sean - when you give me a link to your site, I'll answer your questions. Right now it's a mute point - you are discussing things for the sake of discussing things. I respect your work but I am bit confused about your position here - why do you care?

I am not taking anyone's money right now. I am asking people who'd be interested to express their interest to me. Once I have enough potential participants, there will be details,  but they won't be discussed publicly on this forum. Common sense, no?

« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2011, 15:46 »
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By the way, KTools partial search is easily fixable. Check my site www.elenaphoto.com - we don't have a partial search. Plus we made a few simple  tweaks that makes it better. We would be able to share this knowledge with our participants.

« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2011, 15:47 »
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I'm interested Elena. You can contact me via PM for more details. Thanks, Ljupco

« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2011, 16:48 »
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Cthoman, I love your site and would love to have you on board. However, please consider this - if I already had an established site with high traffic, would I be asking for just 20 dollars to plug your link in? The cheapest relevant adverts we found are about 250 dollars, and that's the bottom.
Plus, you're not sharing your customers in this scenario. You are redirecting customers to other sites in case they don't find what they are looking for in your portfolio. So you're not losing a sale - you wouldn't have made it in the first place.

All understandable. I just wasn't crazy about the link exchange and link redirecting part and I didn't see the value in paying $20 a month at this time.  If there was a test drive or it was based on affiliates, I'd be much more likely to sign up. I like the idea and I'll definitely keep an eye on it, but I have some other things I'd prefer to pursue first. That's just my 2 cents. I'm often wrong and am prone to changing my mind.

Cory, about affiliates - you'd be doing exactly what you don't want to do: driving traffic to other people's sites for free. You won't be losing sales, but why should someone who never spent a cent or made other effort to advertise their store benefit from your advertising? In the scheme I propose everyone will have to chip in to drive traffic to the common place. Only fair in my opinion.
And yes, I think we will do a trial run - offer a month for free while we're setting up, but after that we'll need cash to start marketing.

« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2011, 16:49 »
0
I'll reply to everyone's PMs later tonight.

« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2011, 16:58 »
0
Just an idea, maybe with a lower cost for everyone, and possibly inline with the discussions we had before.

Instead of each one having a selling site with Ktools or whatever, one single site with Ktools, several members - I suppose it is designed to accept several members and make the accounting per member. Would it be possible that each uploaded image would have a cost, so those uploading more would pay more? I have a very small microstock portfolio and US$20 a month would be very expensive. We could run with a very low commission at the beginning, so the site gets the cash for advertisement.

« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2011, 17:15 »
0
Cory, about affiliates - you'd be doing exactly what you don't want to do: driving traffic to other people's sites for free. You won't be losing sales, but why should someone who never spent a cent or made other effort to advertise their store benefit from your advertising? In the scheme I propose everyone will have to chip in to drive traffic to the common place. Only fair in my opinion.
And yes, I think we will do a trial run - offer a month for free while we're setting up, but after that we'll need cash to start marketing.

I'm confused. I meant my own affiliate program, so I would pay you a percentage for each sale you drove to my site. That way I'm paying for performance, and I don't have to worry about getting priced out of an advertising program. I haven't set up an affiliate program yet, so I'm open to suggestions on that. It would mean less upfront capital for you, but I think it would work better in the long run. You'll have sales statistics, so you can move your best performing sites to the top of the list and searches or as featured sites.

Also, I'd prefer not to have people leave my site for another similar site. Even if they can't find what they want, it is possible I can create it, so I'd rather have them contact me as opposed to leaving to find it somewhere else. Those are my concerns with the way you've described the setup.

RT


« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2011, 19:35 »
0
The content will be highly regulated. I wouldn't share my advertising money with something that won't sell.  The central search will not be available at first, but we might be able to implement it later.

Monitoring the content would be hard if not impossible to do, I think monitoring the content providers might be a better idea. Good to hear about the search, I'll be sure to check it out once you're up and running.

« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2011, 21:27 »
0
Best of luck with your proposal. But it doesn't work for me. I don't want to have my own website I simply don't have enough time to run one.

In a perfect world what I would be looking for is a non-profit agency that provides 50% commission and uses the rest to run the site, make it better, advertise etc. No shareholder to provide an every increasing profit to.

The obvious problem is the start up period where there are lots of costs and no income.  Microstock IPO ?

At the moment I'm supporting stockfresh hoping they can provide us with some fair royalties (until they get successful and cut our commissions)  :)

   

« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2011, 22:45 »
0
The content will be highly regulated. I wouldn't share my advertising money with something that won't sell.  The central search will not be available at first, but we might be able to implement it later.

Monitoring the content would be hard if not impossible to do, I think monitoring the content providers might be a better idea. Good to hear about the search, I'll be sure to check it out once you're up and running.

I meant selecting providers, not monitoring every single file.


« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2011, 22:56 »
0
Cory, about affiliates - you'd be doing exactly what you don't want to do: driving traffic to other people's sites for free. You won't be losing sales, but why should someone who never spent a cent or made other effort to advertise their store benefit from your advertising? In the scheme I propose everyone will have to chip in to drive traffic to the common place. Only fair in my opinion.
And yes, I think we will do a trial run - offer a month for free while we're setting up, but after that we'll need cash to start marketing.

I'm confused. I meant my own affiliate program, so I would pay you a percentage for each sale you drove to my site. That way I'm paying for performance, and I don't have to worry about getting priced out of an advertising program. I haven't set up an affiliate program yet, so I'm open to suggestions on that. It would mean less upfront capital for you, but I think it would work better in the long run. You'll have sales statistics, so you can move your best performing sites to the top of the list and searches or as featured sites.

Also, I'd prefer not to have people leave my site for another similar site. Even if they can't find what they want, it is possible I can create it, so I'd rather have them contact me as opposed to leaving to find it somewhere else. Those are my concerns with the way you've described the setup.

Now I am confused. I don't understand why I would be interested to drive traffic to your site in this scenario - to get a couple of bucks a month from your sales? I was talking about generating new traffic to the portal site so everyone benefits from new hits and we don't lose customers to outside because we can't provide required content.  But I think I explained that already, no point in repeating.

« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2011, 13:49 »
0
>>>>20 dollars a month is a ridiculously low price to pay for your site being advertised,

if i pay $20 to google, those ads go directly to my site - here i'm paying $20 / mo for ads that only go to my site x% of the time

other than pricing, i'm interested in the concept and would be wiling to work on a communal project or continue the brainstorming.   i have several 1and1 accounts with extra bandwidth that could be used for prototyping

my website is http://pix-now.com   run thru smugmug

« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2011, 14:31 »
0
Do any of the agencies have a policy against its contributors forming a competing agency?  I know you're not talking about starting a new agency in the strictest sense of the word, but if you're kicking around ideas such as aggregated searches and common licensing platforms, it looks more and more like a competitor in the eyes of the agencies.

If I joined, I would lose sleep over one or more of the big players seeing the site and deciding to shut down the accounts of its founding members.  If I were Ford Motor Co, I wouldn't allow the guys starting Tesla to be on my payroll.

« Reply #60 on: January 24, 2011, 17:31 »
0
Do any of the agencies have a policy against its contributors forming a competing agency?  I know you're not talking about starting a new agency in the strictest sense of the word, but if you're kicking around ideas such as aggregated searches and common licensing platforms, it looks more and more like a competitor in the eyes of the agencies.

If I joined, I would lose sleep over one or more of the big players seeing the site and deciding to shut down the accounts of its founding members.  If I were Ford Motor Co, I wouldn't allow the guys starting Tesla to be on my payroll.

No rules against this sort of thing....many of the top contributer are also partners in other stock agencies.....that is the benefit of being non-exclusive and Royalty Free you can do whatever you want with your images.


 

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