pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: WE NEED A UNION!  (Read 22717 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #75 on: September 08, 2010, 16:51 »
0
@Leaf: have you thought of doing it as an offshoot of MSG ? You already exist. This could be the hub of the new site. Everyone is here already. Maybe what you are thinking and what FD is thinking is complimentary.

Initial inspection ? Easy: peer review - provide a link showing that another site we all respect has already accepted it. That will cover the first 5 million images at least :) Fastest growing site in history. Will it scale ? Will the bandwidth be too expensive ?

Really excellent ideas. (Maybe Alias is not an IS spy after all?) MSG is UGC, a stock site would be a natural outgrowth.

Is startup capital is needed, if half of the top 2% of microstockers put in $1000 each, for one share in the new venture, that would be a sizable sum to start off with. The shareholders would have self-serving reasons to make sure that they uploaded their ports to the site as quickly as possible, and in helping the venture succeed in other ways.

I'm not at all anywhere close to the top of anything, but this sounds like a good investment. Please let me know if you want my money in return for some type of shares. ;)

Approximately 1/4 of the supermarkets in Norway are owned by a major coop (called coop). Each customer pays 300 kroner (50UDS) for a membership, and get a 1% return on what they spend there. I have the impression that profits are quite good. There are also several major food brands owned by farmer coops. Coops work.  


« Reply #76 on: September 08, 2010, 16:52 »
0
Why not use photoshelter, photodeck, clustershot etc.?

Featurepics, perhaps? They have maybe all the programming we need, maybe a negotiation can be achieved.

« Reply #77 on: September 08, 2010, 17:25 »
0
Approximately 1/4 of the supermarkets in Norway are owned by a major coop (called coop). Each customer pays 300 kroner (50UDS) for a membership, and get a 1% return on what they spend there. I have the impression that profits are quite good. There are also several major food brands owned by farmer coops. Coops work.  
For years I had a policy with an insurance company owned by policy holders. I got dividends and when it was bought by another company I got $4000. I think there are all kinds of business models for this kind of thing, and the owners living in different countries might make it harder but maybe not impossible.

I wonder how many of us who are serious about microstock as a business might be interested in part ownership in an agency. I really think the time might be right, with IS possibly imploding before our eyes, and lots of refugees open to new ideas.

Maybe it's too bad this thread is titled about a union. 

« Reply #78 on: September 08, 2010, 18:55 »
0
I guess this have been discussed before, but isn't it time to start an International Microstock Union? An organization that could take the fight for us, try to keep royalties up and try to get buyers to think more about what the contributors get at the different microstock sites. They could also contact the media exposing the greedy microstock sites, giving them bad publicity.

I'm not a business guru, but a "union" wouldn't work.  A union has to have some sort of power - ie., the autoworkers or teachers or whatever stop working and go stand outside.  What is a stock union going to say?  Stopping a small percentage of uploads for a period of time?  The old stuff is still there.  The people who don't have a vested interest keep uploading.  No one is going to deactivate their entire portfolio for a week.

You'd only have "Bob" at the head of the group saying "We all don't like this idea!", which they (royal they) knew from the start.

Exactly right. If there is no power, then you're basically at the whim of the company.

Strikes work because workers have realised that sometimes they need to forgo some pay to force an employer to give them a bigger pay increase or better benefits than they'd otherwise have had. There is risk on both sides: for the workers the risk is that the employer can hold out and they're basically just loose out for nothing. For the employer the risk can be as extreme as bankruptcy.

In theory if every microstocker - or a significant enough percentage - could be organised to take the same action - eg. removing all images from a given agency, you'd have real bargaining power to get what you want. The risk for an agency would be that they don't have any material to sell. If say 50% of images disappeared from an agency overnight, I suspect most buyers would notice.

BUT... then of course there's reality. The difficulty we have is that when it comes to getting organised, we'd be lucky to get together a small fraction of the contributors that matter. If we did, getting them to agree to what form of action to take, let alone take it... very difficult odds.

helix7

« Reply #79 on: September 08, 2010, 19:35 »
0
Problem is; how to guarante the new king won't be sold to Getty once it has momentum. History speaks against Stockfresh in that regard.

Well we can't be sure that any of the sites we deal with won't be sold. Who knows... SS could be sold to Getty tomorrow. Or Fotolia, Dreamstime...

In defense of Stockxpert, if I recall correctly, it wasn't until Getty purchased Jupiter that things turned bad. And the StockXpert guys had no say in that deal since they had sold to Jupiter. And they did so with the intention of keeping things running as they were before the Jupiter deal. It was the Getty deal that changed everything. Reviews slowed to a halt, payouts took forever, etc. Until then, as far as I could tell, things were fine under Jupiter.

I'm guessing Peter and crew wouldn't make the same mistake twice and let their successful company fall into the hands of Getty and be destroyed like that. Besides, even if they did sell, it would take years to get the company into sellable shape. They need to show a history of revenues, sales trends, projected earnings, etc. It takes time to build that stuff up. In the meantime, I'd rather throw my support behind a company that is offering a far better deal than istock.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #80 on: September 08, 2010, 20:07 »
0
I don't see a union working for this. We need a new internet-based model of dealing with this stuff.

What I'd like to know is... how the heck this whole model end up this way?

Normally, manufacturers (us) typically set the ground rules and performance metrics for their distributors (stock sites). Manufacturers have control, set pricing, and decide who is or isn't allowed to be a distributor, etc.

With stock, how did the distributors get almost every bit of leverage and the supplier with almost none.

This model needs to change. I forgot who said it, but we need to establish a central database where we control the content and if the distributors want images they can use the integration/API we offer. They wouldn't physically have anything but a virtual image that gets displayed on their site from our main site. We would set the terms and if a supplier decided to hose us we would have leverage to negotiate. If the negotiations fell through we coulld simply turn off their image supply. And enough of this 6 month or 2 year lock-in BS.

« Reply #81 on: September 08, 2010, 20:11 »
0
This model needs to change. I forgot who said it, but we need to establish a central database where we control the content and if the distributors want images they can use the integration/API we offer. They wouldn't physically have anything but a virtual image that gets displayed on their site from our main site. We would set the terms and if a supplier decided to hose us we would have leverage to negotiate. If the negotiations fell through we coulld simply turn off their image supply. And enough of this 6 month or 2 year lock-in BS.

Hey, that was me!

« Reply #82 on: September 08, 2010, 20:34 »
0
What is required for something to be salable is people with money who want to buy. If StockFresh doesn't have a record of sustained earnings, etc it only means that it is worth less, not worthless. I'll offer them $150 for StockFresh right now, no questions asked.
...even if they
 did sell, it would take years to get the company into sellable shape. They need to show a history of revenues, sales trends, projected earnings, etc.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #83 on: September 08, 2010, 20:39 »
0
This model needs to change. I forgot who said it, but we need to establish a central database where we control the content and if the distributors want images they can use the integration/API we offer. They wouldn't physically have anything but a virtual image that gets displayed on their site from our main site. We would set the terms and if a supplier decided to hose us we would have leverage to negotiate. If the negotiations fell through we coulld simply turn off their image supply. And enough of this 6 month or 2 year lock-in BS.
Hey, that was me!

Well, I think you're on the right track. It would be a massive shift but we currently have rocks to throw at fighter jets. It's clear big change needs to happen otherwise more hosings are on the way. At some point anything can change at any site (acquisition, merger, CEO wants a new Ferrari) and things will go from okay to mayhem.

Imagine a central database with tens of thousands of contributors representing millions, or tens of millions, of stock images. If even the majority of hobbyists (75%+ of all contributors?) for whom this is extra spending money banded together and said "if you want our images you need to get them through the master database" that would be huge leverage. And at that point, like a lot of manufacturers do now, we could even use the database to sell direct. But that's the rub. The distributors have the buyer relationships.

« Reply #84 on: September 08, 2010, 22:47 »
0
This model needs to change. I forgot who said it, but we need to establish a central database where we control the content and if the distributors want images they can use the integration/API we offer. They wouldn't physically have anything but a virtual image that gets displayed on their site from our main site. We would set the terms and if a supplier decided to hose us we would have leverage to negotiate. If the negotiations fell through we coulld simply turn off their image supply. And enough of this 6 month or 2 year lock-in BS.
Hey, that was me!

Well, I think you're on the right track. It would be a massive shift but we currently have rocks to throw at fighter jets. It's clear big change needs to happen otherwise more hosings are on the way. At some point anything can change at any site (acquisition, merger, CEO wants a new Ferrari) and things will go from okay to mayhem.

Imagine a central database with tens of thousands of contributors representing millions, or tens of millions, of stock images. If even the majority of hobbyists (75%+ of all contributors?) for whom this is extra spending money banded together and said "if you want our images you need to get them through the master database" that would be huge leverage. And at that point, like a lot of manufacturers do now, we could even use the database to sell direct. But that's the rub. The distributors have the buyer relationships.

Well at the moment we don't even have a database of everyones email addresses and phone numbers. Maybe that should be a starting point. Opening up more effective communication methods, and maybe encouraging more active communication with each other. Get people talking behind closed doors (virtual or otherwise).   

vonkara

« Reply #85 on: September 08, 2010, 22:53 »
0
For the StockXpert case, isn't them who had the brilliant idea to sell not only subscriptions, but extended licence at subscription prices. I wouldn't bet that much on Stockfresh

« Reply #86 on: September 09, 2010, 00:12 »
0
I forgot who said it, but we need to establish a central database where we control the content and if the distributors want images they can use the integration/API we offer.
That was Adeptris.

« Reply #87 on: September 09, 2010, 00:35 »
0
As a new Microstock website( 3 month old), Stockfresh,  doing extremely well.
I had 11 sales on August, 3 sales this month so far. they offer 50% commission.
StockXpert come back alive.

They have IT team, and marketing skills.
We have Photos, Illustrations, Video, Audio, Flash.

If they are willing do something to help us, and also help themself, to reform the new site into a new "share holding macro+micro agency" for photographers,  Stockfresh will be a huge success in no time.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #88 on: September 09, 2010, 02:18 »
0
If they are willing do something to help us (...)

... then they should review our applications and let us in, as a start

Microbius

« Reply #89 on: September 09, 2010, 02:45 »
0
Maybe we can buy ads at Google AdWords?


The guy from video claims he paid $6 to have its add on a top. So maybe its cheap way to put short info about Getty :-)

Dreamstime does this already. If I search for my name the top ad is is for DT

ETA: Just did another search, it doesn't happen anymore, I must have gone down in their estimation! :( :(
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 03:39 by Microbius »

« Reply #90 on: September 09, 2010, 03:37 »
0
Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer
  :D

« Reply #91 on: September 09, 2010, 03:50 »
0
The idea of buying shares of an existing agency has been discussed in the past and it can definitely be an option.
However I think that it would just postpone the problem....why royalties should be shared with someone else who mainly looks for profits for himself instead of going to contributors only? why decisions which affect our work should be shared with people that don't do our job?
Many people here already pointed out that a coop (and building our own site) it's a hard way to go, but this at least this wouldn't be just a patch.
Why not doing a poll?
please forgive my english as I wrote this post in a rush....I hope you understand it ;)


« Reply #92 on: September 09, 2010, 03:58 »
0
With initial offer, shares can be sold only to contributors and people direct related with agency... One day if agency wil be on stock market, then anybody can buy that shares from contributors.. Quite simple..

Also there is lot of ways to protect agency from losing of 51% of shares from hands of contributors...
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 04:03 by borg »

Microbius

« Reply #93 on: September 09, 2010, 04:05 »
0
shares? the company would't be floated, it would be a coop or would it be owned in trust (?)
I think someone should draft a constitution first like http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/Download.aspx?ResourceId=4244 or else people wont know what they are voting for. At least then we can start to hammer out the details.
Sounds like what is being proposed above is just starting up another agency so you can eventually sell it off for a quick buck.

ETA: the point is that it would have to be owned by everyone that contributed, not just those that set it up. It's the model that's the problem. Don't forget that most of the agencies already out there were originally set up by photographers.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 04:13 by Microbius »

macrosaur

    This user is banned.
« Reply #94 on: September 09, 2010, 04:45 »
0
As a few people know here, I'm working on a stock guild site. The scripts aren't ready yet for easy upload. It won't be a direct sales site but merely present a link to existing agencies. The purpose is to catch random traffic from Google etc... I have some indications that this tactic can work.

Setting up a multi-photographer stock site is very easy to do actually, and with total financial transparency. The problem will be server load when it expands. The scripts I have don't account for server load.

The initial investment is under 500$, the hosting might be 2-300$ per year. Consider Photoshelter (330$) and Smugmug (150$) per year with commissions 9-15%. Did those do anybody any good? Overview here.

To get any substantial earnings from it (pricing at 20$), it needs exclusive content or picscout and other aps in the making will find out. Moreover, anybody running the site will be perceived as a competitor by the existing stock sites, and personally, I don't like to give up my earnings and karma at DT or SS. Because, they will retaliate (rightly so).


hosting tens of thousands of images for just 300$/year ? good luck, you'll need it.

« Reply #95 on: September 09, 2010, 05:47 »
0
We need to take a leaf out of Iran's Green movement and take some peaceful protest action.

I'd suggest getting absolutely everyone to abandon the forums a week. Just don't physically log in for a week. With a group of people monitoring the forums and sitemailing anyone that posts to let them know about the protest...

We need to let TPTB know we don't like it and we're willing to band together on this - and this is something at this stage doesn't hurt us or istock financially, but would give a few people brown trousers about the power of contributors banding together.

Twitter it, let's take some guerilla action to the istock streets!

« Reply #96 on: September 09, 2010, 06:11 »
0
For the StockXpert case, isn't them who had the brilliant idea to sell not only subscriptions, but extended licence at subscription prices. I wouldn't bet that much on Stockfresh
I don't think so.  I think it was after they were taken over by Jupiter, the original StockXpert was good to contributors.  I can't blame them for selling out, who wouldn't if they were offered lots of money?  Hopefully they now have enough money and wont want to sell the site again.

« Reply #97 on: September 09, 2010, 06:16 »
0
I don't think so.  I think it was after they were taken over by Jupiter, the original StockXpert was good to contributors.  I can't blame them for selling out, who wouldn't if they were offered lots of money?  Hopefully they now have enough money and wont want to sell the site again.
We can't judge the reasons behind that. The sale of CanStockPhoto was a good thing and Duncan is still in charge.

« Reply #98 on: September 09, 2010, 06:24 »
0
I like the idea of working with one or a few or the sites that pay us a fair commission.  We could give them a contributors recommendation and only link to those sites and give them as much publicity as possible.

Then we could contact buyers and explain that we will no longer be able to supply some sites because they have cut our commissions and they will have to look at these other sites if they want to see our new work.

« Reply #99 on: September 09, 2010, 06:31 »
0
I like the idea of working with one or a few or the sites that pay us a fair commission.  We could give them a contributors recommendation and only link to those sites and give them as much publicity as possible.

Then we could contact buyers and explain that we will no longer be able to supply some sites because they have cut our commissions and they will have to look at these other sites if they want to see our new work.

Yep! That could work!

It seems that 15% can ruin 85% in marketing very quickly...

So we need to find several agencies that MSG may issue a some kind of certificate " fair commision agency"or "photographers friendly "...
That would be a true example of the independence of this forum ...
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 06:37 by borg »


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
16 Replies
5590 Views
Last post March 09, 2008, 17:08
by ale1969
2 Replies
2435 Views
Last post April 17, 2012, 15:41
by RacePhoto
1 Replies
4476 Views
Last post November 02, 2017, 16:50
by chrisphoto
25 Replies
4374 Views
Last post June 04, 2020, 14:23
by oooo
13 Replies
2043 Views
Last post May 06, 2021, 09:58
by Zero Talent

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle