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Author Topic: Microstock tug o' war  (Read 30133 times)

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« Reply #150 on: September 10, 2009, 09:52 »
0
Ok - so the trained, eagle-like eyes of microstock buyers can take in 160 businesmen at a glance, and spot the one that truly conveys their message, and they'll still be able to do that next year when there are 1600.  There are still some crucial limitations to what the search functions on the microstock sites can do.

The microstocks aren't searching images, just a database of keywords, which in many cases are junk. They can't improve that situation without paying reviewers to re-keyword millions of images, which is never going to happen. The search engines can't apply any 'quality' standards to the image because that's all pretty subjective.  They can't even determine what's in the image. 



I doubt if each stock agency will be carrying 80 million images each this time next year. ;) I think the agencies also realise that image keywording and search functionality are critical for their success, especially as their collections grown even bigger. Even if there were 1600 results for a specific search query, it still isn't going to take that long to find the suitable/perfect image.


hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #151 on: September 10, 2009, 09:58 »
0
Ok - so the trained, eagle-like eyes of microstock buyers can take in 160 businesmen at a glance, and spot the one that truly conveys their message, and they'll still be able to do that next year when there are 1600.  There are still some crucial limitations to what the search functions on the microstock sites can do.

The microstocks aren't searching images, just a database of keywords, which in many cases are junk. They can't improve that situation without paying reviewers to re-keyword millions of images, which is never going to happen. The search engines can't apply any 'quality' standards to the image because that's all pretty subjective.  They can't even determine what's in the image. 



I doubt if each stock agency will be carrying 80 million images each this time next year. ;) I think the agencies also realise that image keywording and search functionality are critical for their success, especially as their collections grown even bigger. Even if there were 1600 results for a specific search query, it still isn't going to take that long to find the suitable/perfect image.

But if you're image number 1599, you really don't have much hope. In the same way that you could upload 5-10 really high quality images of 'business man on white', until Yuri and Co decide it's a great idea, and upload 200 of the same the following week.. your offering has SERIOUS competition!

« Reply #152 on: September 10, 2009, 10:45 »
0
In the old days, you went to a shoe store and were met by a salesman who knew every shoe in the store.

More recently, you could go to a discount shoe store where you just looked at what was on the racks and made your own decision.  That sort of worked because there were (if you  were a guy) only a few dozen shoes in your size.

But yesterday I went to a gigantic new MicroShoe store. They had a big sign in front saying "choose from 16 million pairs of shoes".  The employees had no idea what was in stock; but they had a cool self-service search kiosk.  The shoes were indexed by keywords supplied by the manufacturers - like "black, "brown", "cool", "fashionable", "hot", "executive", "gambler", "athletic". The were all the same fixed price, only $5  a pair.

I left without buying anything.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 10:49 by stockastic »

« Reply #153 on: September 10, 2009, 10:51 »
0
In the old days, you went to a shoe store and were met by a salesman who knew every shoe in the store.

More recently, you could go to a discount shoe store where you just looked at what was on the racks and made your own decision.  That sort of worked because there were (if you  were a guy) only a few dozen shoes in your size.

But yesterday I went to a gigantic new MicroShoe store. They had a big sign in front saying "choose from 16 million pairs of shoes".  The employees had no idea what was in stock; but they had a cool self-service search kiosk.  The shoes were indexed by keywords supplied by the manufacturers - like "black, "brown", "cool", "fashionable", "hot", "executive", "gambler", "athletic". The were all the same fixed price, only $5  a pair.

I left without buying anything.

You obviously didn't really need a pair of shoes. :)

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #154 on: September 10, 2009, 10:57 »
0
In the old days, you went to a shoe store and were met by a salesman who knew every shoe in the store.

More recently, you could go to a discount shoe store where you just looked at what was on the racks and made your own decision.  That sort of worked because there were (if you  were a guy) only a few dozen shoes in your size.

But yesterday I went to a gigantic new MicroShoe store. They had a big sign in front saying "choose from 16 million pairs of shoes".  The employees had no idea what was in stock; but they had a cool self-service search kiosk.  The shoes were indexed by keywords supplied by the manufacturers - like "black, "brown", "cool", "fashionable", "hot", "executive", "gambler", "athletic". The were all the same fixed price, only $5  a pair.

I left without buying anything.

You obviously didn't really need a pair of shoes. :)

 ;D

Or like most men, you need to grab the absolute first thing you see and RUN AWAY!

« Reply #155 on: September 10, 2009, 11:01 »
0
In the old days, you went to a shoe store and were met by a salesman who knew every shoe in the store.

More recently, you could go to a discount shoe store where you just looked at what was on the racks and made your own decision.  That sort of worked because there were (if you  were a guy) only a few dozen shoes in your size.

But yesterday I went to a gigantic new MicroShoe store. They had a big sign in front saying "choose from 16 million pairs of shoes".  The employees had no idea what was in stock; but they had a cool self-service search kiosk.  The shoes were indexed by keywords supplied by the manufacturers - like "black, "brown", "cool", "fashionable", "hot", "executive", "gambler", "athletic". The were all the same fixed price, only $5  a pair.

I left without buying anything.

You obviously didn't really need a pair of shoes. :)

 ;D

Or like most men, you need to grab the absolute first thing you see and RUN AWAY!

I take ages to choose a pair of shoes and then I wear them until they fall apart.

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #156 on: September 10, 2009, 11:17 »
0
In the old days, you went to a shoe store and were met by a salesman who knew every shoe in the store.

More recently, you could go to a discount shoe store where you just looked at what was on the racks and made your own decision.  That sort of worked because there were (if you  were a guy) only a few dozen shoes in your size.

But yesterday I went to a gigantic new MicroShoe store. They had a big sign in front saying "choose from 16 million pairs of shoes".  The employees had no idea what was in stock; but they had a cool self-service search kiosk.  The shoes were indexed by keywords supplied by the manufacturers - like "black, "brown", "cool", "fashionable", "hot", "executive", "gambler", "athletic". The were all the same fixed price, only $5  a pair.

I left without buying anything.

You obviously didn't really need a pair of shoes. :)

 ;D

Or like most men, you need to grab the absolute first thing you see and RUN AWAY!

I take ages to choose a pair of shoes and then I wear them until they fall apart.

:) Not the ideal customer for the shoe shop  ;)

« Reply #157 on: September 10, 2009, 16:38 »
0
I can only assume that many of you (and I'm sure that you know who you are) are only producers of imagery, not buyers. I happen to be both and I can tell you from years of experience that I will look through many more than 200 images to find the one that I want.

Many buyers on micro sites are in a position similar to my own: They are buying an image for a client project. Therefore, they need an image that represents that particular client, not just some "businessman in a chair isolated on white".

Even with the millions of photos available, I often have to settle for an "almost" shot, rather than finding one that is exactly what I need. It is one the (many) things that makes me so mad when photos are rejected for "we don't need any more of those".

With intelligent keywording (which iStock doesn't allow! >:() you can get your image in front of the person looking for just what you've produced, regardless of the number of images available on any given site.

Perhaps we as photographers should spend a bit of time talking to local ad agencies to find out what they are looking for, rather than guessing and hoping to get it right.

lisafx

« Reply #158 on: September 10, 2009, 17:01 »
0

With intelligent keywording (which iStock doesn't allow! >:() you can get your image in front of the person looking for just what you've produced, regardless of the number of images available on any given site.

Perhaps we as photographers should spend a bit of time talking to local ad agencies to find out what they are looking for, rather than guessing and hoping to get it right.

Really excellent post!  Keywording sounds like the answer to getting your images in front of people.  

Also, great suggestion about talking to ad agencies to find out what they need.  Reading the request forums can yield great new ideas too.  

On the rare times that I click "more like this" on my sold images on istock I generally find that the buyer has narrowed the search down quite specifically.  I see the same thing on Dreamstime where you can see what the buyer searched on.

OTOH there are always the ones that do single word searches.  I sold an image yesterday on DT with the keyword "person".  That's it.  Really does leave me scratching my head wondering how they selected my "person" out of the likely millions that came up in the search.

« Reply #159 on: September 10, 2009, 17:27 »
0
With intelligent keywording (which iStock doesn't allow! >:() you can get your image in front of the person looking for just what you've produced, regardless of the number of images available on any given site.

As you buy on iStock, you help improve the sort routine with your purchase, based on your keyword search. So don't give up!

« Reply #160 on: September 10, 2009, 19:19 »
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Thanks for the info Sean. I just get so frustrated with CV! It makes it extremely difficult to shoot concept photos when you can't put the concept into the keywords. I'll try to keep my venting under control in the future.  ;)

« Reply #161 on: September 10, 2009, 20:50 »
0
The recipe seems simple, it boils down to good eye catching images+good keywording. 

RacePhoto

« Reply #162 on: September 10, 2009, 22:15 »
0
The thread should have been called... 


 

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