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Author Topic: What would it take to set up a non profit micro stock agency?  (Read 4823 times)

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« on: September 29, 2007, 06:55 »

Not that i'm too serious about it but, just as a mind game...
Reading the complains on the existing agency's made me wonder...
What would it take to set up a non profit micro stock agency?

With the focus on the photographers (& customers) in stead of the company itself.
The goal to give as much return to the photographers as possible.

Obviously there are some cost, the hardware (servers etc) & marketing/advertising.
I guess if we keep the site simple there would be a few of us that could work together to get something in the air, saving expensive software engineers. When successful, it can always be expanded. (so eg. only keywording and no categories , to save us time on both sides)

Instead of hiring people to look at the photo's for acceptance & quality, we could set the rule that if a photo is accepted at any of the existing big 6 agency's its good enough for us. So when you upload an image, you also give a link to an agency where your image is online. Checking this can be done in exchange (i do one for you you do one for me), randomly generated by the software, or in case you don't want to check other people's photo's, you can choose to pay eg 10 or 20 cents to have it done, hoping your photo will earn it back on its first sale.

Big changes and introduction of new ideas could be done by voting. Where all contributors have the same vote right or some system based on the number of photo's you have online.

Here on the forum there are 800 registered users, lets say that there are 500 active one's with an  average of 200 photo's (???) that would bring in 100,000 photo's a nice start. But i'm sure that if we give 80%(?)  to the photographer it would draw new uploaders quickly. By setting the pricing a bit below the big 6, will draw customers and since the 'company' doesn't have to make a profit, both contributors & buyers are happy.

Big question is, how much do we need to spend on marketing to get it moving?
Does this require a financial injection or would it be possible to set up a system where eg. every contributors first earned $10 would be used for marketing. And i'm sure that with so many creative people around, there is one that can write a nice article/press release (free marketing).
As soon as sales start moving the 20% on each photo earned could be used to keep the site in the air and for advertising.

Any brainstorm ideas?

« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2007, 07:20 »
Hi Bjorn,

We had that type of discussion few months ago about setting up a coop of photographer.  It was very interresting from my point of view but the tasks was huge :)

Anyway I still think that it must be something that we must look at it.


« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2007, 11:33 »
yeah it is a good idea in essence but a very big job and would need a group of people with a fair bit of 'know-how' to get it up and running.

As for complaints though, I don't think a co-op type site would have any less complaints than other sites... perhaps more.  It is the nature of humans to complain. :)  you can't and never will please everyone.

« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2007, 17:54 »
As for complaints though, I don't think a co-op type site would have any less complaints than other sites... perhaps more.  It is the nature of humans to complain. :)  you can't and never will please everyone.

Very good point!   ;)


« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2007, 23:13 »
Here is a link to a non-profit microstock agency....


« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2007, 07:24 »
Wearing my I.S. managers hat for a mo..  (It's what I do for a day job)

Look at the debacle at FL, and the recent instability of I.S.  Your technical infrastructure would have to be spot on, with sound IT planning and system life cycle management in place.

Many startup 'E' businesses get very bad growing pains as their need for bandwidth and storage out-strips the original (sometimes simplistic) development methodologies and tools used.

Heck, I could knock up a 'stock' agency website in a few weeks, and have it work for the first 10,000 images, just fine.

Start hitting it with 5000 searches an hour across 300,000 images using anything like a smart search engine and you'll be talking multiple servers in an N-tier topology with clustered database servers, static content caching, load balanced queries...  This is not the stuff of the weekend IT crew, it requires proper consideration by a skilled IT team.

Once you crunch the numbers on bandwidth and storage you'd also probably find that not too many providers are going to be interested for less than a few $k a month, and you may find trouble finding one that will scale the package as you grow from startup to mega-stock site, meaning a large financial commitment up front for hosting, on the off chance you'll hit the top 10 list.

Cheers, Me.

« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2007, 07:57 »
Hi, dont want to be negative but some thoughts

featurepics offers 70% but plenty of people dont submit to it.
albumo still has less than 100 people with 1000 images and they pay you to upload, and there are few people talking to pulling images because the are 'pricing down' as such
bigwhitebox is non profit, but basically is dead?? (or very quiet)

finally for each and every image I upload, I have to go find the link on another site and copy / paste it into this site.  Sorry I see that as very slow and boring (worse than doing categories :) I think I would want see sales of the level of least StockXpert / dreamstime level before I would consider it.



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