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« Reply #75 on: May 27, 2012, 07:32 »
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Quote from: grafix04 on May 25, 2012, 12:19
When do we get to see how the sim search works and how agents are compared?

The sim search (visual sim search) link under each image will be activated when we go live out of the Photographer Beta.  Know that we do NOT allow price comparisons (period).  When agencies compete selling the same image, the photographer loses.  When exact matches (duplicate images) are identified, we show only the originating agency (usually this is the first agency to receive the uploaded image) or the photographer (if they are on our platform).

So if buyers can't price compare, that means they have to click on an image, go to the selling site, check the price, then go back to PicturEngine, click on another, etc. I think that a buyer might do that a couple of times, but once they started finding images in their price range, they would just stay on the selling site and search. Maybe if a buyer can't find anything, and wants to see what's available everywhere, they would use PicturEngine. I think I would have to see how it all works to see if it's worth using (as a buyer), and to see if it would be worth it for me to put my personal site back up to sell my photos.


grafix04

« Reply #76 on: May 27, 2012, 07:35 »
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How many agents have signed up so far? All I see is Corbis and Deposit Photos and I plan to leave DP.

Agencies over a million images dont sign up, we index them.  We currently index over 60 agencies.


So you scrape the sites?  What do they all think about that?

I would think they would only need to index the image without scraping the site, just like most search engines.  I wouldn't mind getting an answer to your question though.  DT, 123rf and DP shouldn't care as they have the 'Pin-it' button.  

Here's another question for Justin.  How do you feel about Pinterest? :)  I hope you won't be adding a button under each image.

grafix04

« Reply #77 on: May 27, 2012, 07:46 »
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Quote from: grafix04 on May 25, 2012, 12:19
When do we get to see how the sim search works and how agents are compared?

The sim search (visual sim search) link under each image will be activated when we go live out of the Photographer Beta.  Know that we do NOT allow price comparisons (period).  When agencies compete selling the same image, the photographer loses.  When exact matches (duplicate images) are identified, we show only the originating agency (usually this is the first agency to receive the uploaded image) or the photographer (if they are on our platform).

So if buyers can't price compare, that means they have to click on an image, go to the selling site, check the price, then go back to PicturEngine, click on another, etc. I think that a buyer might do that a couple of times, but once they started finding images in their price range, they would just stay on the selling site and search. Maybe if a buyer can't find anything, and wants to see what's available everywhere, they would use PicturEngine. I think I would have to see how it all works to see if it's worth using (as a buyer), and to see if it would be worth it for me to put my personal site back up to sell my photos.

But Cathy, it's still a lot quicker than what they do now which is go to iStock, do a search, click on the image, check out the pricing, add to their lightbox, go to DT, do the same search, click on some images, check out the pricing, add to their lightbox, and so on.  At least on this site they can see all the images on one site, without duplicates, save on a few clicks and add them all to one lightbox.

PS.  Sorry for hogging the thread lol I'm just really pumped about something new and promising entering the market, instead of another new microstock, begging us to invest our time for a carbon copy model of most of the other sites.

« Reply #78 on: May 27, 2012, 07:49 »
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I would think they would only need to index the image without scraping the site, just like most search engines.  I wouldn't mind getting an answer to your question though.  DT, 123rf and DP shouldn't care as they have the 'Pin-it' button.  

Here's another question for Justin.  How do you feel about Pinterest? :)  I hope you won't be adding a button under each image.

Well, they have to scrape the page to get the keywords and other info.  The IS terms of use state:
"You are specifically prohibited from: (a) downloading, copying, or re-transmitting any or all of the Web site or the Content without, or in violation of, a written license or agreement with iStockphoto; (b) using any data mining, robots or similar data gathering or extraction methods;"

grafix04

« Reply #79 on: May 27, 2012, 08:03 »
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I would think they would only need to index the image without scraping the site, just like most search engines.  I wouldn't mind getting an answer to your question though.  DT, 123rf and DP shouldn't care as they have the 'Pin-it' button.  

Here's another question for Justin.  How do you feel about Pinterest? :)  I hope you won't be adding a button under each image.

Well, they have to scrape the page to get the keywords and other info.  The IS terms of use state:
"You are specifically prohibited from: (a) downloading, copying, or re-transmitting any or all of the Web site or the Content without, or in violation of, a written license or agreement with iStockphoto; (b) using any data mining, robots or similar data gathering or extraction methods;"

I'm no expert but as I understand it, scraping a site is when html data is extracted and then converted to something else.  What this site is doing (I think) is crawling, indexing and displaying thumbs linking to the website, which Google, Yahoo and all the rest of them do.  That's 'fair use' isn't it?

« Reply #80 on: May 27, 2012, 08:44 »
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I just did a Google searching for keywords on my best selling area. It comes up with a number of my images in the first couple of pages. Interestingly they are all either photos in use or from 123rf or shutterstock. Maybe someone can explain why other agencies don't place as highly.

If the PicturEngine search provides customers with what they want quickly, based on some great best match algorithm that is superior to the search they can do on a site then some people will use it.

I can see that there are issue however with buyers who will be confronted with images at microstock prices, mid level prices and some at much higher. If I was on a budget (or cheap) I wouldn't want to wade through looking at images above my price range. Maybe this is aimed at the higher end of the market. 

This site may be of great benefit to some contributors but I can't see it being worth $40+ per month for me at the moment.

I understand that $40 a month seems a little steep for an unproven site, but this is totally different from anything else we've had.  We do a lot of complaining about the agencies squeezing the life out of contributors and now we have something new that could revolutionize the industry.  For 100% commissions, I'm more than willing to pay $40 a month.  Besides, aren't we paying each agency much more than $40 a month?  If you make $200 a month at an agency that pays 20% commission, then you are, in essence, paying that agency $800 a month.  And that's just one agency!

ShadySue

« Reply #81 on: May 27, 2012, 08:50 »
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from the OP:
"To answer customer complaints about finding the same images on multiple sites. To accomplish this they remove all duplicates from every search and only showing each unique image once. "
How do they decide the 'one' source of the image to show (if someone hasn't forked out the big bucks, but is independent and has their pics on several agencies which re apparently being scraped)?
AIUI, if you pay, you get the version on your personal site included, not those from agencies.
Do they have some mega-sophisticated way of blocking out identicals?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 08:52 by ShadySue »

« Reply #82 on: May 27, 2012, 09:00 »
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from the OP:
"To answer customer complaints about finding the same images on multiple sites. To accomplish this they remove all duplicates from every search and only showing each unique image once. "
How do they decide the 'one' source of the image to show (if someone hasn't forked out the big bucks, but is independent and has their pics on several agencies which re apparently being scraped)?
AIUI, if you pay, you get the version on your personal site included, not those from agencies.
Do they have some mega-sophisticated way of blocking out identicals?

The image that is shown is from the agency that it was uploaded to first.

« Reply #83 on: May 27, 2012, 09:05 »
0
Quote
Quote from: grafix04 on May 25, 2012, 12:19
When do we get to see how the sim search works and how agents are compared?

The sim search (visual sim search) link under each image will be activated when we go live out of the Photographer Beta.  Know that we do NOT allow price comparisons (period).  When agencies compete selling the same image, the photographer loses.  When exact matches (duplicate images) are identified, we show only the originating agency (usually this is the first agency to receive the uploaded image) or the photographer (if they are on our platform).

So if buyers can't price compare, that means they have to click on an image, go to the selling site, check the price, then go back to PicturEngine, click on another, etc. I think that a buyer might do that a couple of times, but once they started finding images in their price range, they would just stay on the selling site and search. Maybe if a buyer can't find anything, and wants to see what's available everywhere, they would use PicturEngine. I think I would have to see how it all works to see if it's worth using (as a buyer), and to see if it would be worth it for me to put my personal site back up to sell my photos.

But Cathy, it's still a lot quicker than what they do now which is go to iStock, do a search, click on the image, check out the pricing, add to their lightbox, go to DT, do the same search, click on some images, check out the pricing, add to their lightbox, and so on.  At least on this site they can see all the images on one site, without duplicates, save on a few clicks and add them all to one lightbox.

PS.  Sorry for hogging the thread lol I'm just really pumped about something new and promising entering the market, instead of another new microstock, begging us to invest our time for a carbon copy model of most of the other sites.
If you have 10 images from 10 different contributors, they could be on 10 different sites.  Some of those sites are going to look amateurish and wont be familiar because they are run on a budget by contributors.  So I presume the buyer will have to sign up and give financial details to 10 different sites?  Over a year, how many different sites are they going to have to register with and give their financial info?

Then there's the quality issue.  Can any contributor use this to sell from their own sites with no quality control?  Stock sites reject a big percentage of the images they review.  I've seen how bad it can get on some sites that don't have reviews.  They don't have many buyers.

Buyers might use it occasionally but are they really going to change their current buying habits to use this instead of the one or two site they use now?

« Reply #84 on: May 27, 2012, 09:28 »
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If you have 10 images from 10 different contributors, they could be on 10 different sites.  Some of those sites are going to look amateurish and wont be familiar because they are run on a budget by contributors.  So I presume the buyer will have to sign up and give financial details to 10 different sites?  Over a year, how many different sites are they going to have to register with and give their financial info?

Then there's the quality issue.  Can any contributor use this to sell from their own sites with no quality control?  Stock sites reject a big percentage of the images they review.  I've seen how bad it can get on some sites that don't have reviews.  They don't have many buyers.

Buyers might use it occasionally but are they really going to change their current buying habits to use this instead of the one or two site they use now?

I have a tendency to say no. I can see a use for it if I've done my own search and can't seem to find anything. I could gather images from all over with this search and maybe find what I need. But I think 95%+ of the time, I would use 1. the site I am already registered at and buy from, because I find most everything I need from there and 2. go to my second backup site that I use if I can't find what I need on site 1. In other words, I might use PicturEngine as a last resort.

But again, I will wait and see how the site works out for some. I am happy to see people coming up with new ideas for the microstock industry, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the idea is a good one, or one that will work.

grafix04

« Reply #85 on: May 27, 2012, 09:41 »
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If you have 10 images from 10 different contributors, they could be on 10 different sites.  Some of those sites are going to look amateurish and wont be familiar because they are run on a budget by contributors.  So I presume the buyer will have to sign up and give financial details to 10 different sites?  Over a year, how many different sites are they going to have to register with and give their financial info?

Sorry, I don't quite follow what your point is.  So a buyer wants 10 images and will sign up to 10 different sites if he REALLY wants them.  There's no difference to how it is now.  This site will allow the buyer to compare them all on one site.  If he has to have those specific images, he'll buy them.  If not, he'll browse and select the images from the sites he's already registered in.  The point of this site is to browse images on one site without duplicates.  It saves the buyer who currently wants to browse different sites a lot of time.

Quote
Then there's the quality issue.  Can any contributor use this to sell from their own sites with no quality control?  Stock sites reject a big percentage of the images they review.  I've seen how bad it can get on some sites that don't have reviews.  They don't have many buyers.

I don't see a problem here either.  Buyers won't click on or buy the crappy images so they will sink to the bottom just like they do on any other search engine.

Quote
Buyers might use it occasionally but are they really going to change their current buying habits to use this instead of the one or two site they use now?

How do you know their buying habits?  Have you surveyed them or something?  From what I've experienced, when buyers really want an image, or when their client really wants an image, they buy it from wherever they can.  Before I set up my site, I used to have buyers contacting me asking if I can sell the images direct.  Other times they'd ask me if I can upload it to a particular agent because they dropped the agent I was selling it on, for whatever reason.  I got enough of these requests that motivated me to set up my own site.  My experience doesn't count for much but this site was created as a result of buyers who were surveyed.  Of course I don't know how true that is but I can't image a site like this being set up without some investigation on buyer behavior, can you?

WarrenPrice

« Reply #86 on: May 27, 2012, 09:52 »
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If you have 10 images from 10 different contributors, they could be on 10 different sites.  Some of those sites are going to look amateurish and wont be familiar because they are run on a budget by contributors.  So I presume the buyer will have to sign up and give financial details to 10 different sites?  Over a year, how many different sites are they going to have to register with and give their financial info?

Sorry, I don't quite follow what your point is.  So a buyer wants 10 images and will sign up to 10 different sites if he REALLY wants them.  There's no difference to how it is now.  This site will allow the buyer to compare them all on one site.  If he has to have those specific images, he'll buy them.  If not, he'll browse and select the images from the sites he's already registered in.  The point of this site is to browse images on one site without duplicates.  It saves the buyer who currently wants to browse different sites a lot of time.

Quote
Then there's the quality issue.  Can any contributor use this to sell from their own sites with no quality control?  Stock sites reject a big percentage of the images they review.  I've seen how bad it can get on some sites that don't have reviews.  They don't have many buyers.

I don't see a problem here either.  Buyers won't click on or buy the crappy images so they will sink to the bottom just like they do on any other search engine.

Quote
Buyers might use it occasionally but are they really going to change their current buying habits to use this instead of the one or two site they use now?

How do you know their buying habits?  Have you surveyed them or something?  From what I've experienced, when buyers really want an image, or when their client really wants an image, they buy it from wherever they can.  Before I set up my site, I used to have buyers contacting me asking if I can sell the images direct.  Other times they'd ask me if I can upload it to a particular agent because they dropped the agent I was selling it on, for whatever reason.  I got enough of these requests that motivated me to set up my own site.  My experience doesn't count for much but this site was created as a result of buyers who were surveyed.  Of course I don't know how true that is but I can't image a site like this being set up without some investigation on buyer behavior, can you?

@grafix and sharpshot -- enjoying the debate.  And learning.  This is the kind of respectful exchange that I can respect.
Good example, guys.  Thanks.

grafix04

« Reply #87 on: May 27, 2012, 10:05 »
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Thanks Warren.  I agree, I'm enjoying this too.  I welcome other opinions as I don't want to miss anything I haven't thought of before signing up.

I was just doing a search on Google for similar sites and found this one:

http://shotspy.com

Interesting.  I've never seen or heard of it before.  Has anyone else?  I see it's limitations.  It has duplicate images, the site is slow and 123rf images aren't populating for me.  What I do like about it is that they have the check boxes so buyers can tick the sites they want to see and ignore the ones they dont. 

Justin, will you be doing something similar to your site?  That would be helpful for buyers that don't want to sign up with certain agencies.

« Reply #88 on: May 27, 2012, 11:01 »
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Thanks Warren.  I agree, I'm enjoying this too.  I welcome other opinions as I don't want to miss anything I haven't thought of before signing up.

I was just doing a search on Google for similar sites and found this one:

http://shotspy.com

Interesting.  I've never seen or heard of it before.  Has anyone else?  I see it's limitations.  It has duplicate images, the site is slow and 123rf images aren't populating for me.  What I do like about it is that they have the check boxes so buyers can tick the sites they want to see and ignore the ones they dont. 

Justin, will you be doing something similar to your site?  That would be helpful for buyers that don't want to sign up with certain agencies.


There would be disadvantages in this,  with no duplicates on the site.  They could search say DT and SS, but of you had uploaded to IS first, they wouldn't see your image, even if it was there.

ShadySue

« Reply #89 on: May 27, 2012, 11:02 »
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from the OP:
"To answer customer complaints about finding the same images on multiple sites. To accomplish this they remove all duplicates from every search and only showing each unique image once. "
How do they decide the 'one' source of the image to show (if someone hasn't forked out the big bucks, but is independent and has their pics on several agencies which re apparently being scraped)?
AIUI, if you pay, you get the version on your personal site included, not those from agencies.
Do they have some mega-sophisticated way of blocking out identicals?

The image that is shown is from the agency that it was uploaded to first.

That makes no logical sense. Plus it will punish those who submitted to the easy-to-get-into, low paying sites first.

What is the payback to PicturEngine if someone buys a photo from an agency rather than from a paying user?

« Reply #90 on: May 27, 2012, 11:03 »
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I think shotspy was not updated for a while, they still have Isyndica and Fotomind links...

ShadySue

« Reply #91 on: May 27, 2012, 11:06 »
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Thanks Warren.  I agree, I'm enjoying this too.  I welcome other opinions as I don't want to miss anything I haven't thought of before signing up.

I was just doing a search on Google for similar sites and found this one:

http://shotspy.com

Interesting.  I've never seen or heard of it before.  Has anyone else? 


I don't recognise the name or the design, but I do remember something like that from a couple of years back who were required to remove iStock and SS files - and there are none there.
Again, what is the payback to Shotspy? They can't be doing it for love.


grafix04

« Reply #92 on: May 27, 2012, 11:27 »
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Thanks Warren.  I agree, I'm enjoying this too.  I welcome other opinions as I don't want to miss anything I haven't thought of before signing up.

I was just doing a search on Google for similar sites and found this one:

http://shotspy.com

Interesting.  I've never seen or heard of it before.  Has anyone else?  I see it's limitations.  It has duplicate images, the site is slow and 123rf images aren't populating for me.  What I do like about it is that they have the check boxes so buyers can tick the sites they want to see and ignore the ones they dont. 

Justin, will you be doing something similar to your site?  That would be helpful for buyers that don't want to sign up with certain agencies.


There would be disadvantages in this,  with no duplicates on the site.  They could search say DT and SS, but of you had uploaded to IS first, they wouldn't see your image, even if it was there.


You're right, good point.  It would be a disadvantage to the buyer too because even if the image linked to IS, it would still compare the image on the different sites, somehow.  I hope we get a sneak peak on how this will work before they launch.

grafix04

« Reply #93 on: May 27, 2012, 11:29 »
0
from the OP:
"To answer customer complaints about finding the same images on multiple sites. To accomplish this they remove all duplicates from every search and only showing each unique image once. "
How do they decide the 'one' source of the image to show (if someone hasn't forked out the big bucks, but is independent and has their pics on several agencies which re apparently being scraped)?
AIUI, if you pay, you get the version on your personal site included, not those from agencies.
Do they have some mega-sophisticated way of blocking out identicals?

The image that is shown is from the agency that it was uploaded to first.

That makes no logical sense. Plus it will punish those who submitted to the easy-to-get-into, low paying sites first.

What is the payback to PicturEngine if someone buys a photo from an agency rather than from a paying user?

Nothing.  They make their money from us only.

grafix04

« Reply #94 on: May 27, 2012, 11:34 »
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I think shotspy was not updated for a while, they still have Isyndica and Fotomind links...

I just looked them up on Wayback Machine.  They went live late 2009 and last updated the site July 2011.  Looks like they've abandoned it. 

« Reply #95 on: May 27, 2012, 11:35 »
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...How do you know their buying habits?  Have you surveyed them or something?  From what I've experienced, when buyers really want an image, or when their client really wants an image, they buy it from wherever they can.  Before I set up my site, I used to have buyers contacting me asking if I can sell the images direct.  Other times they'd ask me if I can upload it to a particular agent because they dropped the agent I was selling it on, for whatever reason.  I got enough of these requests that motivated me to set up my own site.  My experience doesn't count for much but this site was created as a result of buyers who were surveyed.  Of course I don't know how true that is but I can't image a site like this being set up without some investigation on buyer behavior, can you?
I think the monthly earnings polls here are a good way to see buyers habits.  The top few sites haven't changed much in years.  There's been several great new sites that buyers have been reluctant to use.  There's also several threads here with people that have started their own sites and most people don't seem to be selling a lot from them.  Am I really going to cover the expense of my own site plus a $120 annual fee for PictureEngine and make a reasonable profit?  I'm sure some buyers will go to extremes to find what they want and will have no problem registering with lots of sites but I don't think the majority are like that.  If most of them are still happy to buy the vast majority of their images from SS, istock, FT and DT after all these years, I think it's going to take a lot to make them interested in looking and purchasing elsewhere.

Perhaps PictureEngine could be good for people that sell a lot more than me but I'm not convinced that it would work for me.

grafix04

« Reply #96 on: May 27, 2012, 11:37 »
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Thanks Warren.  I agree, I'm enjoying this too.  I welcome other opinions as I don't want to miss anything I haven't thought of before signing up.

I was just doing a search on Google for similar sites and found this one:

http://shotspy.com

Interesting.  I've never seen or heard of it before.  Has anyone else? 


I don't recognise the name or the design, but I do remember something like that from a couple of years back who were required to remove iStock and SS files - and there are none there.
Again, what is the payback to Shotspy? They can't be doing it for love.


Looks like it was for love.  That's why it flopped lol.

« Reply #97 on: May 27, 2012, 11:41 »
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Another thought, wont most of the images in the PictureEngine search be from traditional agencies and at a price that's too high for the average microstock buyer?  If they can filter by price, they will end up with what's already on SS and istock.  If they can't filter by price, isn't there going to be around 180 million non-microstock images to wade through?  I really don't see the advantages for microstock buyers.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 11:44 by sharpshot »

grafix04

« Reply #98 on: May 27, 2012, 11:51 »
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...How do you know their buying habits?  Have you surveyed them or something?  From what I've experienced, when buyers really want an image, or when their client really wants an image, they buy it from wherever they can.  Before I set up my site, I used to have buyers contacting me asking if I can sell the images direct.  Other times they'd ask me if I can upload it to a particular agent because they dropped the agent I was selling it on, for whatever reason.  I got enough of these requests that motivated me to set up my own site.  My experience doesn't count for much but this site was created as a result of buyers who were surveyed.  Of course I don't know how true that is but I can't image a site like this being set up without some investigation on buyer behavior, can you?
I think the monthly earnings polls here are a good way to see buyers habits.  The top few sites haven't changed much in years.  There's been several great new sites that buyers have been reluctant to use.  There's also several threads here with people that have started their own sites and most people don't seem to be selling a lot from them.  Am I really going to cover the expense of my own site plus a $120 annual fee for PictureEngine and make a reasonable profit?  I'm sure some buyers will go to extremes to find what they want and will have no problem registering with lots of sites but I don't think the majority are like that.  If most of them are still happy to buy the vast majority of their images from SS, istock, FT and DT after all these years, I think it's going to take a lot to make them interested in looking and purchasing elsewhere.

Perhaps PictureEngine could be good for people that sell a lot more than me but I'm not convinced that it would work for me.

Some do reasonably well selling direct.  As for buyers' behavior, how can you tell using the poll on the right?  That poll says nothing of buyers buying between sites.  Shutterstock has been leading the industry for a while because it's a subscription site.  Those buyers won't budge for sure unless they switch to a better plan on another agent.  There may not have been much that has changed for years but years ago there weren't this many real options for buyers.  It's a smorgasbord out there and buyers aren't loyal, especially now that agents screw them around as much as they do us. Those buying credits can switch easily or buy across the industry without any problems.  Once they're registered at a site, purchasing isn't much of an inconvenience, I don't believe.  It would be interesting if we could survey buyers ourselves.

As for you paying $120 plus the costs of setting up and hosting your sites.  It's probably not worth it for you.  But for those who already have a site it might me.  $10 a month isn't too hard to part with.  If I was in your position, I'd probably wait to see how the site performs and then I'd go with the $40 plan when it picked up some speed, without creating my own site.  

Okay well I've hogged the thread again, sorry folks.  I'm going now :)

ShadySue

« Reply #99 on: May 27, 2012, 12:14 »
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What is the payback to PicturEngine if someone buys a photo from an agency rather than from a paying user?

Nothing.  They make their money from us only.

So you pay your commission to the agency you chose to upload to, and PictureEngine creams off it's percentage, even though we did not opt to be included there?
People who choose to use this, fair enough, but our files shouldn't be hijacked without our permission.

(Oh, but that probably already happens on those weird iStock 'associate sites'.  >:( )

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