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Poll

Following on from the Photographers Collective thread how to proceed

Join together for leaverage
23 (31.9%)
Create a Collective Website
26 (36.1%)
Not Interested Wate of Time
23 (31.9%)

Total Members Voted: 59

Author Topic: Photographers - Collective which Direction  (Read 18539 times)

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« Reply #50 on: May 10, 2009, 14:26 »
0
Okay, I've had some more coffee.  Here's are what are going to be some major problems that could easily blow this whole thing to shreds assuming enough photographers would even be interested in joining.

1. Collective would mean exactly that - COLLECTIVE.  If a majority doesn't agree with your idea, don't pack your bags and move - deal with it.
2. Although everyone would love to make millions...it must be remembered - this is microstock, not midstock and not traditional.  With that said, contributors can not be pricing their photos at prices that are way above the competition for the same size image.  If that was to happen the only people coming to the site, would be the photographers - no customers - fresh photos or not, we're in a recession.
3. Reviews - you get rejected, dont throw a fit...Breath in, exhale, move on...  No one's perfect and there were problems with the photo - the last thing an agency needs is 1 million photos of some half dead crocus flower with a fully dead, yellow lawn in the background.  Quality over quanitiy.
4. Willingness to listen to what the owner of the agency says about potential customers..in other words, not just catering to the photographers...but to the customers also.
5. Patience....there would clearly be no instant gratification here.  3 mo or even 6 mo down the road, I think photographers will starting pulling their ports (collective or not) if they are not patient enough.  Rome was not built in a day people.


donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #51 on: May 10, 2009, 14:32 »
0
The pricing would have to be agreed upon by all. No low balling and no high balling...same price all across the board...depending on size.

m@m

« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2009, 20:18 »
0
Waren, Dunsmore, Dongding, Snaprender, now we're on the right track, count me in, I'm a 100% on the idea, as I have mention before, with a fair deal from FP and CC I'm all for supporting not only one but both sites, and leave behind all of the rip off sites that thinks they can control the market, lets see them do it with out us, a big chunk of the contributors...bravo guys!!! now we're talking.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 20:31 by m@m »

« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2009, 08:11 »
0
Does anybody still talk about this?

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2009, 08:49 »
0
I'm listening, my current plan, is to make my own web site, which I have already started doing, and make it 100% functional. This will take some time, it's not an easy task, most shopping cart web sites are fairly straightforward, you pick the product, you check out, but with images, slightly different, slightly more complicated..

I manage my own company, so sometimes I have time for my own work, sometimes I don't, so this isn;'t something that can be thrown up overnight if it's done PROPERLY.

Once my web site is built, with my own images up there, and I personally am 100% happy with it, I would then like to invite photographers to join. I don't want commission, my idea would be that you pay a nominal annual fee (similar to Flickr), and you keep 100% for each image downloaded. The same terms would apply to every photographer though, and the same price would apply to each photographer.. that's how I would do it.

I love the idea, I think some independance is long overdue for photographers, and it is more like a collective web site, where you all have your own page, rather than attempting to build seperate web sites all over the web, most without real e-commerce functionality..

So that's the plan, I'm thinking I'll be back in 12 months when its ready to go so don't hold your breath!! ;)

Besides ideas like this though, there are some ideas here that could go ahead right away, such as giving preferred terms or exclusivity to certain web sites that you speak to as a group, and as a group come up with some kind of barter!

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2009, 11:17 »
0
Does anybody still talk about this?

Whitechild I was wondering the same thing. I've just been listening to the suggestion's and putting my insite into it along the way. I'm glad to see hqimages taking the next step. I already have a personal website and have for years. The microstock isn't on there and it's basically a portfolio web site so alot of changes would have to be made. Like he said it takes time to reorganize it. I don't make any sales off it because I'm not subscribed to something like Google to put your rating up there at the top of searchs which would need to be done to pull the buyers to any site.

Anyway I've gotta leave town becaue of a death in the family so I'll be out of commision for at least a week. I truly hope when I get back there is still discussion going on and work towards a solution and it doesn't end up buried under all the threads. I guess the only way to keep it at the top is by posting.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2009, 11:46 »
0
I'm listening, my current plan, is to make my own web site, which I have already started doing, and make it 100% functional. This will take some time, it's not an easy task, most shopping cart web sites are fairly straightforward, you pick the product, you check out, but with images, slightly different, slightly more complicated..

I manage my own company, so sometimes I have time for my own work, sometimes I don't, so this isn;'t something that can be thrown up overnight if it's done PROPERLY.

Once my web site is built, with my own images up there, and I personally am 100% happy with it, I would then like to invite photographers to join. I don't want commission, my idea would be that you pay a nominal annual fee (similar to Flickr), and you keep 100% for each image downloaded. The same terms would apply to every photographer though, and the same price would apply to each photographer.. that's how I would do it.

I love the idea, I think some independance is long overdue for photographers, and it is more like a collective web site, where you all have your own page, rather than attempting to build seperate web sites all over the web, most without real e-commerce functionality..

So that's the plan, I'm thinking I'll be back in 12 months when its ready to go so don't hold your breath!! ;)

Besides ideas like this though, there are some ideas here that could go ahead right away, such as giving preferred terms or exclusivity to certain web sites that you speak to as a group, and as a group come up with some kind of barter!

This too is interesting.  My first impression is good idea.  First negative thought ... what about marketing?

This could work on a small scale.  We would have to wait to be "found." 
Would each photographer price their own?  Market their own?  Collect their own? 

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2009, 12:15 »
0
I'm listening, my current plan, is to make my own web site, which I have already started doing, and make it 100% functional. This will take some time, it's not an easy task, most shopping cart web sites are fairly straightforward, you pick the product, you check out, but with images, slightly different, slightly more complicated..

I manage my own company, so sometimes I have time for my own work, sometimes I don't, so this isn;'t something that can be thrown up overnight if it's done PROPERLY.

Once my web site is built, with my own images up there, and I personally am 100% happy with it, I would then like to invite photographers to join. I don't want commission, my idea would be that you pay a nominal annual fee (similar to Flickr), and you keep 100% for each image downloaded. The same terms would apply to every photographer though, and the same price would apply to each photographer.. that's how I would do it.

I love the idea, I think some independance is long overdue for photographers, and it is more like a collective web site, where you all have your own page, rather than attempting to build seperate web sites all over the web, most without real e-commerce functionality..

So that's the plan, I'm thinking I'll be back in 12 months when its ready to go so don't hold your breath!! ;)

Besides ideas like this though, there are some ideas here that could go ahead right away, such as giving preferred terms or exclusivity to certain web sites that you speak to as a group, and as a group come up with some kind of barter!

This too is interesting.  My first impression is good idea.  First negative thought ... what about marketing?

This could work on a small scale.  We would have to wait to be "found." 
Would each photographer price their own?  Market their own?  Collect their own? 


Sorry to hear your bad news Donding.. hope to see you when you come back, best wishes.

Hi Warren!

Well personally speaking, I have a lot of photography related profiles dotted around the internet, but I will only refer those web sites that give me the biggest commission, why refer buyers to the web site that gives you 20%, when you COULD refer them to the web site that makes you 100%!! I think many web sites have overlooked the power of contributor referals, and it's something I would be excited about..

I specialise in search engine optimisation, and I could write an entire book on how I can promote the web site, not just by advertising (most advertising is a waste of money), but by organically coming up tops for searches in google etc.. there are many many ways to make sure the web site gets lots of clicks, again, these things don't happen overnight, but over time, by word of mouth, social networking, correct coding etc etc etc, it can be achieved.. the web site won't hit a peak until approx 12 months after launch in my experience, but if it works, it really works, and the reward will be sales..

Photographers would NOT be allowed to price their own work, all images will be equal so everyone has a fair chance at making downloads without some ass**** coming in and undercutting the rest (this is why the web site needs to exist because this is what we need to stop happening).. I would want to charge whatever the market will bear, but similar to istock pay-as-you-go structure, maybe higher..

Photographers would be free to market their own work as they please, they can buy google ads that go to their page, whatever they like..
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 12:18 by hqimages »

« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2009, 14:05 »
0
I started thinking along the same lines as hqImages a collective website, but I have repositioned my thinking and going along the lines of an indexed search engine that returns thumbnails from a search string through a software development kit, I have done a lot of research this weekend and have a rough idea how to do this using Amazon Web Services, if the web engine tools are freely distributed then they could be easy built into websites and templates.

This option does require uploading to Amazon but only once and it is pay as you go for useage, when you upload and complete the data for the image this would include released, licence type and cost which is your share and also set a maximum sales price etc: then you can submit it to the search engine, all that the search engine does is accept a packet of data and produce a thumbnail and composite image in you folder, no images are transfered because the dat packet knows where the images are in your bucket.

Now if you submit your images as private then you can use the sellers toolkit to facilitate searches on your website, if you make your images public then other services can host your thumbnails, that is agencies and merchants sites you have agreed to, and you would be able to offer a further discount at this stage, but you can set the price you want, or you could use a built in global "Fair Price", this flag would be searchable and give agents a budget value to work with.

Now any service has to have revenue and this would be funded by micro payments by the photographers and sellers, buyers pay nothing, not sure how much but I would think $0.01 for each thumbnail of yours retrieved by a search, and you can set a maximum spend per day or month.

Now how would you get paid, there are two ways, firstly for private sites you can handle the transaction collect payment and send the Image, or for both Private and Public images the transaction could be handled by the toolkit the search engine would not be holding your money at any stage, as soon as a payment recieved request comes in the full size file would be transfered to the buyer, and full payment will aready be with the photographer, no more waiting for a payout band, this action would be triggered by a IPA payment reply from PayPal or Amazon both of these have facilities for Micro Payments, also remember if the sale through an agent was $5 you would likely be getting $4 instantly.

What we have with this model is organic growth and fair trade, a system where you only pay for what you use and that does not require you to upload your assets to many websites like you do now, upload once and your image could be on many specialist sites within hours, there will be people that try to cheat the system by changing the uploaded files, but as the image is uploaded and submitted to the database a checksum will be calculated for the image, comp and thumbnail, if this has changed when a sale takes place the transaction will be declined, photographers  would register with the service with a link to thier images, any porn would not be accepted and if reported the account suspended.

Any feedback over here please:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/software-general/using-amazon-s3-for-storage-and-a-proof-of-concept-website/msg96974/?topicseen#new

David  ;D         

« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2009, 15:05 »
0
From a business point of view I don't think this venture is taking a sound approach. You should consider contracting someone with relevant/pertinent credentials (e.g. an MBA in online startups) to assess the market and make recommendations. As it is I think you're making a fundamental error by entering a free marketplace using a controlled/regulated model, and you definitely shouldn't start to design a website before you know the exact details of how you intend to operate. Based on the people contributing to this thread, there seems to be little or no interest from significant/successful photographers, and you will not succeed unless you can attract at least some of these people.

I think the best thing for you to do right now is to set up your own forum and start publicizing it. Create a few areas where people can discuss things in detail (e.g. content, pricing, quality control, accounting, wishlist, ...), choose admins to monitor discussions so that the idea has a better chance of moving forward, then invite significant people to join.

Also, and maybe it's just me, but calling yourselves a 'collective' somehow brings communism to mind, which brings up nothing but negative connotations.

... good luck!

« Reply #60 on: May 11, 2009, 15:11 »
0
Also - there is no reason why perhaps people could not link to the same image at any of the existing agencies as evidence at least that those sites have already inspected the file.

This is not totally fair towards our agencies, since they put up the initial reviewers fee. Also, imagine a buyer sees the image is cheaper at ShutterStock  :-\

« Reply #61 on: May 11, 2009, 15:14 »
0
Based on the people contributing to this thread, there seems to be little or no interest from significant/successful photographers, and you will not succeed unless you can attract at least some of these people.

Yes, to steal a quote from an article on Waterkeeper's Alliance  Bobby Kennedy fundraiser, "if you're going to go head to head with corporations with deep pockets, don't show up to the event with nobodies".

Good point sharply_done.


« Reply #62 on: May 11, 2009, 15:23 »
0
We cannot be just a copy of a microstock agency with only difference that we own it. They are just to big and can easily cover as with their hats :-) The only way it could work if it's totally open platform/API anybody can put on their website. It should connect various storage offerings (S3, Picasaweb, Flickr, SmugSmug, etc) with various selling options (PayPal, photo printing sites, etc). This way we are distributed so there is not single point of failure.

« Reply #63 on: May 11, 2009, 15:56 »
0
I think the the biggest photographers watch closely this thread, just they don't wanna be exposed because they don't want to ruin relations with agencies.

« Reply #64 on: May 11, 2009, 15:57 »
0
Are we talking about this as just another site where we could earn additional money, or there's a plan not to upload to other, established sites anymore? If it is the second case, I didn't hear anyone making a commitment not to upload to other sites anymore, or hold off uploading for 6 months or anything like that. I seriously believe that will be the crucial test where the whole idea might fail, unfortunately.

How about we make a list of contributors willing to do this? I think it is easy for a small contributor like me to do it, because I don't depend on my microstock earning in any way. I believe, however, that the key is in the big contrbutors, and only they can make a difference in this case.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 16:31 by goldenangel »

« Reply #65 on: May 11, 2009, 16:14 »
0
I think the best thing for you to do right now is to set up your own forum and start publicizing it. Create a few areas where people can discuss things in detail (e.g. content, pricing, quality control, accounting, wishlist, ...), choose admins to monitor discussions so that the idea has a better chance of moving forward, then invite significant people to join.

Also, and maybe it's just me, but calling yourselves a 'collective' somehow brings communism to mind, which brings up nothing but negative connotations.

... good luck!

Thanks for your feedback, I already had a spare domain and have setup a website so this could be taken forward, as you suggested I added a forum, this will only be to discuss this subject on my Photographers Collective website.

I am just floating Idea's but might not be clearly communicating, I have been looking at the other replies and taken on quite a few good points.

David  :D

« Reply #66 on: May 11, 2009, 17:29 »
0
So the 'Photographer's Collective' is your thing now?
That's news - I thought it was a group effort.


Milinz

« Reply #67 on: May 11, 2009, 18:36 »
0
Interesting ending of taking all in authors hands...

LOL!

 ???

« Reply #68 on: May 11, 2009, 23:40 »
0
So the 'Photographer's Collective' is your thing now?
That's news - I thought it was a group effort.

Very sorry to All,
The way I read Sharply's reply above was as a response to my post, and not as a general comment to all  :-[

The Idea in its original form was about a collective of photographers offering their assets with a uniform pricing structure.

Looking at some of the ideas, if a few photographers got together and moved to a new agency that offered mega percentages it would still be controlled by the agency owners, and it would likely turn out to be just another big agency.

Deleting portfolio's on low return sites is a good option, but only if thousands of photographers went along with the idea, but these would be replaced by new photographers and images, over on Alamy alone I have seen growth of 6 million new images in less than a year, and how many good images offered to microsites were "Not what we are looking for at this time", so pulling ports will just result in other images being accepted.

Creating an Agency would not be cheap, and then there would be problems trying to agree on structure, pricing, marketing, direction etc: and would it be just another agency?

Look at the term "The Big Six" this says it all, they already have a business model and to get them to change it to give away more of their cut is just not realistic.

This is just my own view but I think there is a need to think more about a "new model" rather than variants of the old ones, and the key to breaking this monopoly via a collective is distribution tools, where the photographer retains control of their assets, at the moment you have to upload your images to the sites and often the data has to be in a different format why?, they then have the control over a copy of your asset, they sell a licence for it and hold your payment until they want to pay you.

With distribution tools you can offer the same asset uploaded just once too many different sites and printing services on your terms and in a set data format, where you control where and how it is used, you could be paid as each transaction takes place, and using web tools there is a potential for many new small and instant markets, like creating a plug-in for Blog and web article writers, giving them a facility to purchace a licenced web sized image directly with a couple of mouse clicks to use in thier article or blog.

I know that the tools are out there to create these toolkits and with a good search engine for commercial images that could deliver the images, and that is what I personally would like to look at in more detail; and again sorry but I did not mean to hijack this thread, and I could not proceed with a new model on my own, so I am looking for like minded people to partner with to help create the tools these people will be the owners and share any profit, the Photographers input will be the driver to create better modules which can be used by a large collective of Photographers and Services, so from a business perspective the engine would be owned by the people that spent the time planning, managing and building it, the Photographers using it would get paid the price they set, and the engines transaction charge would likely be as low as $0.025 - $0.05 per transaction for delivery, not 75%.

David  :-X
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 02:36 by Adeptris »

« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2009, 00:35 »
0
"if you're going to go head to head with corporations with deep pockets, don't show up to the event with nobodies".

That's exactly what Bill Gates did when he went presenting his brand new MS-DOS to the grinning big brass of IBM in Baton Rouge. He even had to rent a suit for the occasion, and iron it in the cheap motel they staid in. I guess we know what happened since then to Microsoft and IBM.  :P

(The Big Brass saw no harm in this nerdish kid so they allowed him to offer MS-DOS next to the "fantastic" IBM-DOS on the IBM-PC. A few years later, IBM-DOS and then OS-2 were history.)

(from one of my fav books: The Unmaking of IBM).

hqimages

  • www.draiochtwebdesign.com
« Reply #70 on: May 12, 2009, 05:23 »
0
Adeptris I can feel your enthusiasm and that's great.. but you didn't consult people's opinion here fully before going ahead and finishing your idea, I just don't think it will work, sorry.. but that's only my opinion, you have your proposed model posted in two threads, so I'm sure at this point, if people want to join.. they will, you've told us all about it, thank you for your input..

Anyone else have some ideas???? I liked the idea of brokers I must say, and what I would love in an ideal world is something like twitter for images, your own page, which you can slightly customise, a url to give customer, but with a full check-out facility. You manage your own complaints etc, once the customer downloads your images, they will be given your email address as part of the order in case they need support, or need to contact you in the future.. essentially, you are running your own web site, but you have neighbours and 'power in numbers', and you take 100% of the earnings.. in exchange for your annual fee (v.low)

I feel like I need to stop talking, cos in my head, it's the best web site ever  ;D Anyway, I will start developing something just for myself, and I'll definitely come back here if I manage to put anything together that could suit, it just will take a while!!

« Reply #71 on: May 12, 2009, 13:17 »
0
I'm so new at microstock that I feel guilty even responding to this discussion.  I also posted this in the original Collective discussion. The links below are to two articles written by Dan Heller.  These articles are very thought provoking and may touch upon some of the issues that are being discussed here.

newbielink:http://www.danheller.com/blog/posts/meta-stock-agency.html [nonactive]
newbielink:http://www.danheller.com/blog/posts/virtual-stock-agency.html [nonactive]

Just my 2 cents!

Gary

« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2009, 06:05 »
0
Join together for leverage     - 22 (36.7%)
Create a Collective Website    - 20 (33.3%)
Not Interested Waste of Time    - 18 (30%) .... very disappointing. Such big percent doesn't even care.

« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2009, 08:07 »
0
Join together for leverage     - 22 (36.7%)
Create a Collective Website    - 20 (33.3%)
Not Interested Waste of Time    - 18 (30%) .... very disappointing. Such big percent doesn't even care.

Whitechild, maybe it isn't that they don't even care. Without sufficient backing from the big players,
no doubt most prefer to deal with what they face. As the saying, " Better to deal with the devil you are used to..."
 ;)

bittersweet

« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2009, 12:50 »
0
Join together for leverage     - 22 (36.7%)
Create a Collective Website    - 20 (33.3%)
Not Interested Waste of Time    - 18 (30%) .... very disappointing. Such big percent doesn't even care.


The first discussion started out very promising but eventually descended into two pages of bat signals and the like, and some people may have lost interest at that point. As more and more people voiced opinions, there was revealed to be some fundamental, and possibly insurmountable, differences in ideology about direction.

The percentage of "not interested" seemed to take a quick jump just in the past couple of days. I don't think this can be entirely blamed on apathy. There is probably a fourth option that would be more accurate. Just a guess though.


 

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