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Author Topic: Visible Download Numbers and Portfolio Protection  (Read 14669 times)

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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2011, 17:28 »
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but basically anything that is at the top of the best match older than 1 month old would be a good target.

Okay, then let's get rid of the upload date too!


« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2011, 17:29 »
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That is indeed a good argument in favor of those numbers. But is there still a lack of photographers?

By the way, getty doesnt have a search by popularity. They just have their own form of best match and a search by file age/newest.

Are there other successful agencies without a "popularity" search?

Now that I'm in the door it can be shut tight. ;)

« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2011, 17:35 »
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but basically anything that is at the top of the best match older than 1 month old would be a good target.

Okay, then let's get rid of the upload date too!

okay good point.

however I think it would only make it slightly harder again to zero in on the best sellers.
My thoughts are that if copy anything except the absolute dogs that appears at the top of the best match it would be 95% as effective as copying by download sort.

I'm not trying to justify the copiers just my opion.
 

« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2011, 04:16 »
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but basically anything that is at the top of the best match older than 1 month old would be a good target.

Okay, then let's get rid of the upload date too!

But this would mean some serious work - taking regular screenshots of searches etc...of course there might be people with enough criminal energy, but if you can deter the "normal" copycats, wouldnt that be an improvement?

« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2011, 06:24 »
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Are copy cats a big problem for you and does it affect how you work? Do you have any strategies that help against them?
Yes, badly, no. Even if sales numbers are hidden, they still will find you in the search engine. Some even hang out here (MSG) to lurk for your flames. That's why I don't put links here any more. Sorry. You're right.

« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2011, 12:11 »
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I find the download stats immensely helpful when I have what I think is an unusual concept. I'll scan through what my key words would be to see if that niche is already occupied with decent images. Only if my concept is better than what's there will I proceed with my image.

If the keywords show very few images or lots of decent images with very low downloads relative to the ages of the images I won't waste my time proceeding. Saves me lots of time and effort.

If there are no images with those keywords I need to honestly decide if I have a goldmine or just another goofy idea nobody wants. That dilemma is the most fun I get out of this business.

« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2011, 14:23 »
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Are copy cats a big problem for you and does it affect how you work? Do you have any strategies that help against them?
Yes, badly, no. Even if sales numbers are hidden, they still will find you in the search engine. Some even hang out here (MSG) to lurk for your flames. That's why I don't put links here any more. Sorry. You're right.

I have heard that people do that and some friends have suggested to avoid all online forums to not attract attention to your portfolio. But for myself I am convinced that download stats visible in searches are my biggest enemy.

But I understand why you do it. Maybe it is a good strategy.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2011, 05:56 »
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I find the download stats immensely helpful when I have what I think is an unusual concept. I'll scan through what my key words would be to see if that niche is already occupied with decent images. Only if my concept is better than what's there will I proceed with my image.

If the keywords show very few images or lots of decent images with very low downloads relative to the ages of the images I won't waste my time proceeding. Saves me lots of time and effort.

If there are no images with those keywords I need to honestly decide if I have a goldmine or just another goofy idea nobody wants. That dilemma is the most fun I get out of this business.

Same here. It helps me find holes and figure out if it's worth my time.

But at the same time as I'm trying to find holes I'm also finding the copycats.  @#$!% unbelievable. It's almost like they have my portfolio bookmarked and are waiting to see what stuff of mine is selling so they can produce almost exact copies. A few months ago I shot a unique series of images that didn't exist. There are now a couple of contributors who have taken the same images with the exact same angles. Coincidence? I doubt it.

The agencies need to come up with a better way of helping us produce unique imagery while minimizing the copying.

« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2011, 06:09 »
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I think you are not the only scanning the libraries for what is missing. But I am also pretty sure you have a few "fans" who enjoy being "inspired by you".

Getty doesnt even have a "popularity" sort, just a best match and newest.

I think this is very smart. It helps to protect the successful artist and forces all the others to come up with their own ideas. And you can still search their library to see what is missing, but nobody looking at your portfolio will see if it was worth producing it.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2011, 06:26 »
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I know I'm not the only one scanning for stuff that's missing. But way too many people are out there copying.

Like you, I'm going to start focusing on Getty here pretty soon. Hopefully there are still some buyers and money left in macro because the micro ship seems to be sinking, the lifeboats are overloaded and taking on water, and there are too many people still trying to get in them.

michealo

« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2011, 06:41 »
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No, istockcharts has only those photographers whose names have been added to teh list and most people no longer refer to it. So the majority of people isnt on there. It was never officially supported by istock as far as I know and it is the reason for the "fuzzy" numbers. It was used by too many people to sort by daily downloads and identify copy targets for the season.

Jonathan Klein said istock/getty have 120 000 photographers in the interview mentioned here somewhere. A lot of these are just registered but not active, but still, a huge number.

It wasn't officially supported by IS but Bruce was aware and ok with it

« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2011, 06:44 »
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Maybe Bruce was ok with it, but many contributors were not and asked to have their names removed.

RacePhoto

« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2011, 13:17 »
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No, istockcharts has only those photographers whose names have been added to teh list and most people no longer refer to it. So the majority of people isnt on there. It was never officially supported by istock as far as I know and it is the reason for the "fuzzy" numbers. It was used by too many people to sort by daily downloads and identify copy targets for the season.

Jonathan Klein said istock/getty have 120 000 photographers in the interview mentioned here somewhere. A lot of these are just registered but not active, but still, a huge number.

The istock charts represent a good 96% of all active photographers. Don't believe that there are 120,000 active people. Inflated claims and bragging for the press. Also that was Getty and Istock, not just iStock? Just figure about half are "photographers, who never passed the admission test!  :) Then a bunch more who never sent in the fist photo because nothing they had passed, or they uploaded ten and found it wasn't a money tree just shedding dollars, so they left.

I'd be willing to bet the under and 40,000 active photographers on IS is a good estimated number. Look at the exclusive count, look at the Black Diamonds and different levels, it matches.

Back to the comp0laint department, copying. Sorry but if people are weak minded or think they can make sales by copying, nothing the agency can do will prevent it. Not worth the time to complain or find some counter or popularity flame as the cause of the problem. May I ask, do people copy at SS where none of this exists? DO people copy from magazines or galleries or ideas they get on the street? There is no help or protection for an idea, it's not worth worrying about it either.

Keyword advantage, oh boy, big secrets, words? When there are about a dozen sites offering the same words, analysis of words, and software that has collections of most popular keywords for subjects. No advantage anymore.

Maybe something like a reviewer rejecting competing photos, or maybe seeing good ideas first hand and copying them before they are even online... Self review for reviewers is another sticky point. All of those worse than having people be able to identify best sellers! Then there are best matches designed to give an advantage to the house collections. 12 million images, check something popular and there are 10,000 photos of that subject! Dilution because of so many good choices.

And someone is worried about copying? Please, I don't think it's a big problem.

It's more like looking for things to be wrong, will cause them to be wrong.  ;) Some cute little flames are not the downfall of MicroStock sales.

« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2011, 13:31 »
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I don't know why people bother researching niches. I never have. If I feel like shooting something I do it. I don't care whether or not others have done it before. I certainly don't go and look it up. You never really know if an idea will catch fire or not - and just because someone else has failed with it doesn't say anything about whether yours will catch on.

lisafx

« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2011, 13:53 »
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I don't know why people bother researching niches. I never have. If I feel like shooting something I do it. I don't care whether or not others have done it before. I certainly don't go and look it up. You never really know if an idea will catch fire or not - and just because someone else has failed with it doesn't say anything about whether yours will catch on.

Agreed.  I shoot what I want, without bothering with "market research".  The last thing I want to do is search and see someone else's ideas, because I might be influenced to shoot a certain way, or to NOT shoot a certain way out of fear of copying.  If I never see competing images then I am not influenced by them one way or the other.  I recently uploaded a photo and then later learned that someone had done a very similar shot before me.  At least my conscience was clear because I had never even seen his image. 

« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2011, 14:23 »
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Me too.  I remember once coming up with a great concept and later saw that somebody had copied it.   I was really annoyed until I looked at the dates and theirs was in fact uploaded before mine.

« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2011, 14:39 »
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I don't know why people bother researching niches. I never have. If I feel like shooting something I do it. I don't care whether or not others have done it before. I certainly don't go and look it up. You never really know if an idea will catch fire or not - and just because someone else has failed with it doesn't say anything about whether yours will catch on.

Same here.


« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2011, 15:03 »
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I don't know why people bother researching niches. I never have. If I feel like shooting something I do it. I don't care whether or not others have done it before. I certainly don't go and look it up. You never really know if an idea will catch fire or not - and just because someone else has failed with it doesn't say anything about whether yours will catch on.

I think a little research, when it is freely available for a couple of clicks on a keyboard, makes perfect sense when deciding how to invest your time and money in a new shoot. I certainly do it on my niche shoots to see if there is a significant demand for the subject at all.

I think that many of us are also forgetting just how much we have benefitted over the years, from the download numbers being visible, in learning what stock is all about. Most of us started in microstock as hobbyist photographers who enjoyed trying to make beautiful art. It's one hell of a switch to one's mindset to then start making images that might be useful rather than beautiful. Most newbies think that the photography itself is the difficult thing to master (and therefore route to success) whereas understanding stock itself is the real key. It is no accident that so many of the top microstockers have come from a design background. For those of us without a design background those download numbers were an invaluable resource.

RacePhoto

« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2011, 15:01 »
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I don't know why people bother researching niches. I never have. If I feel like shooting something I do it. I don't care whether or not others have done it before. I certainly don't go and look it up. You never really know if an idea will catch fire or not - and just because someone else has failed with it doesn't say anything about whether yours will catch on.

Agreed.  I shoot what I want, without bothering with "market research".  The last thing I want to do is search and see someone else's ideas, because I might be influenced to shoot a certain way, or to NOT shoot a certain way out of fear of copying.  If I never see competing images then I am not influenced by them one way or the other.  I recently uploaded a photo and then later learned that someone had done a very similar shot before me.  At least my conscience was clear because I had never even seen his image.  

I've looked afterwards and found 5,000 of the same thing, but what the heck, maybe mine is going to attract someone different. (HA HA) With 15 million images, it's fairly difficult to come up with anything really "new". Why worry about it?

My other point was, I don't worry about people copying, just try to make mine good enough for the buyers to notice and download. Some old standards with many downloads may not be worth copying, so let the people who have not creativity waste their time on sold out ideas, out of date concepts?

By the way, one more indicator that the istock de numbers are correct and show the accurate number of contributors (active... have one photo, or actually past applying for membership) is the total downloads on IS compared to the numbers calculated on IS DE. Total number of files on IS vs the reported numbers calculated on IS DE.

I might be optimistic but I believe it to represent 96% of all active IS contributors.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 01:08 by RacePhoto »


 

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