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Author Topic: "Istock Collections" what ??  (Read 23510 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2010, 10:32 »
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The news just keeps getting better and better! Happy monday! ;D


« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2010, 12:22 »
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Didn't iStock always promote holiday and seasonal themed lightboxes? I always assumed they picked a lot of them by specific keywords or categories. The back to school one doesn't look that much different.

No, this is fairly new.  In the past they had "seasonal searches" which were just a link to a best match search on a seasonal topic.  Everybody's images showed up.  

Also, they have always promoted a "lightbox of the month" but those were user created and included any images the (contributor) lightbox admin had chosen.  

I think with the new site design, this is something they decided to feature in that space.  At least these are lightboxes and not the debatable searches like the seasonal ones.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2010, 12:30 »
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Your point, from a buyer's perspective, is exactly why all of these free and ultra cheap sites like Photoxpress need to be gotten rid of and not supported by contributors...
There's no chance of that happening. Sure it would benefit contributors immensely to see sites like photoxpress and thinkstock go away. But they have enough content and enough marketing firepower to easily compete with the bigger agencies, and they're here to stay. Thinkstock was heavily boycotted by contributors, and yet they're still here and still pushing hard with the ad campaigns, and buyers are attracted. Sure I'm probably a scumbag contributor by going to photoxpress instead of dreamstime or fotolia or even SS for a subscription. But I certainly don't feel bad about dodging istock. In this particular discussion, we're talking about istock and their push to get higher-priced content in front of the buyers first and foremost. And in that regard, I think they're are making a mistake. The whole argument about which alternative sites people should be flocking to is probably best suited for a separate thread. In this discussion, I'll just add that I have no problem leaving istock as a buyer while they continue to make it harder for me to find appropriately priced images. And in my opinion, in the context of what cheaper options are out there, the istock policy of pushing the most expensive content is pushing me towards those other options.

No chance? If the trend is that buyers in masse are heading to free/ultra-cheap sites that don't compensate contributors well, what do you think will happen? Contributor's earnings will decline, they will evaluate their micro finances, and will determine it's a waste of time. I believe this is already happening to some extent. If/when this happens on a large enough scale, supply will drop, and so will the weaker outdated sites. The fact that Istock actually increased upload limits could indicate this is already happening. Maybe mostly newbie applicants are submitting stuff they don't want and they're seeing a big drop in pro/advanced applicants (?)

I don't think you're a scumbag. You're doing what anybody with common sense would do. You're buying the right product at the cheapest cost. The problem comes with the people who are supplying images to those sites.

Sorry Lisa for highjacking your post. We'll pick this topic up in a different one. 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 12:34 by PaulieWalnuts »

« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2010, 13:29 »
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There are a lot of Exclusives as well as Non-exclusives who have great school images that were ignored or overloooked.  I don't think it's IStock catering to Exclusive's as much as IStock pushing Vetta, catering to a few select photographers and not wanting to be bothered taking the time to do it right.

It does seem odd that in the rather small animals lightbox there are a couple of pictures of the same dog looking in slightly different directions and what appear to be three black and white images of the same elephant. I'm sure they're all great photos but near duplication and multiple images from one supplier in such a small box covering such a huge subject suggests a hurried cobbling together. I wonder why there are so many animal "head and shoulders" shots, too. Is that the vogue?

alias

« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2010, 13:54 »
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Nothing stops people from getting together and curating their own lightboxes either at IS or elsewhere and building third party sites to market these as cool collections. It's only marketing.

A group of photographers might create a joint site to drive traffic to their work at one or more other agencies. Almost like an super agency. You could even build in search.

Don't make it a free 4 all. You want a good quality handpicked collection. Ideally hand picked Vetta quality but perhaps lower priced. Give yourselves a name, build a great site - maybe like a collective of photographers. Do some marketing. Put out press releases and use the social media.

« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2010, 16:29 »
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That's fair enough, Alias, but aren't these lightboxes promoted by iS itself? And doesn't that give them the seal of official approval, as being the best of the best for each subject? There's nothing wrong with iStock doing that but it does reflect badly on them if they don't then make the effort to pull out the most stunning pictures in their collection ...or maybe it is just so large that they can't find stuff, either.

Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

lisafx

« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2010, 16:46 »
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Sorry Lisa for highjacking your post. We'll pick this topic up in a different one. 

No worries Paulie!  I don't mind side trips.  What you posted about decrease in demand was very interesting :)

lisafx

« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2010, 17:13 »
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Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

This makes the most sense IMO.  Would certainly explain why there are so few images, and also some near duplicates of pretty mediocre stuff.  Like the dogs Baldrick noticed in the Animals lightbox, or the two images of the goofy guy sitting in front of a green blackboard with an apple on his head in the education lightbox.  Seriously, both of those had to be included because there was just NOTHING better?!

As for starting my own site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio.... here's a thought - I pay Istock 80% of what my images make on their site.  It's not too much to ask that they 1) give everyone a fair shot at inclusion in sitewide lightboxes; or 2) don't claim that those lightboxes are the best of the collection when clearly they aren't; or 3) let their search engine be the arbiter of what gets put in front of buyers; or 4) Make it clear to buyers that the intended purpose of those lightboxes is to highlight Vetta, E+, and/or exclusive content.     

If I wanted to devote the vast amount of time and expense necessary to start my own stock site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio, WtheF would I need Istock for??

As for curating lightboxes on Istock, I have done that for years and so have many others.  The difference is that most of us don't have the lightboxes we curate promoted by istock, unlike these "hand selected" lightboxes with "the best imagery" on the site.   

« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2010, 17:26 »
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It does seem odd that in the rather small animals lightbox there are a couple of pictures of the same dog looking in slightly different directions and what appear to be three black and white images of the same elephant. I'm sure they're all great photos but near duplication and multiple images from one supplier in such a small box covering such a huge subject suggests a hurried cobbling together. I wonder why there are so many animal "head and shoulders" shots, too. Is that the vogue?

No kidding.


That's fair enough, Alias, but aren't these lightboxes promoted by iS itself? And doesn't that give them the seal of official approval, as being the best of the best for each subject? There's nothing wrong with iStock doing that but it does reflect badly on them if they don't then make the effort to pull out the most stunning pictures in their collection ...or maybe it is just so large that they can't find stuff, either.

Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

You said it man

alias

« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2010, 17:27 »
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As for starting my own site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio.... here's a thought -
---- If I wanted to devote the vast amount of time and expense necessary to start my own stock site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio, WtheF would I need Istock for??

Suggesting that a group of you could get together and create your own additional buzz - as a way of using marketing to jointly promote your works. Your own Vetta or collections. Create a site and drive traffic to it because it offers a selection of very good results at the right price.  And you market the site as almost as a collective of photographers defined by your quality.

You still need the agencies to complete the sales. A bunch of diamond invites maybe but the images have to be chosen. And you market yourselves as a selected group.

Not a crazy idea. Half way towards setting up an agency. But you still need the actual agencies.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 17:39 by alias »

« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2010, 17:36 »
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Just noticed that I was talking about a different lightbox: I was assuming it was the "Top of the Class" one on the front page full of new images (many near duplicates as well). The lightbox "School Daze" is completly different of course. I understand your point now, Lisa. Sorry, took me ages!  :D

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2010, 17:39 »
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Not a crazy idea. Half way towards setting up an agency. But you still need the actual agencies for now at least.

Perhaps not a crazy idea, but completely beside the point.  

We are all free to take whatever additional marketing steps we wish.  That doesn't absolve our agents from providing some assurance that the deck won't be stacked against us for reasons having nothing to do with image quality.  

As for completing the sale, there are dozens if not hundreds of sites that will do that for you - smugmug and the like.  

Let me be clear:  The main reason I am on the micros is their ability to market to a larger audience than I could reach by myself.  However if they are directing that large audience AWAY from my work once they reach the site, then I have an issue with that.  And apparently so do the majority of others posting in this thread.  
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 17:45 by lisafx »

alias

« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2010, 17:49 »
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Not a crazy idea. Half way towards setting up an agency. But you still need the actual agencies for now at least.

Perhaps not a crazy idea, but completely beside the point.  

We are all free to take whatever additional marketing steps we wish.  That doesn't absolve our agents from providing some assurance that the deck won't be stacked against us for reasons having nothing to do with image quality.  

Things are where they are and you might be wasting time if you get cross about anything. You'll get cross but not make any progress. The numbers are against it. Or you have the chance to push your own sales how only smaller groups can. It is not going to get better.

If you do it on your own you would be wasting your time. A group of you could generate your own buzz.

It's "not besides the point". You need react to how the market is and see how you can best manipulate it to your advantage.

Sorry about my sloppy writing, my brain is not fully connected.

EDIT: you are missing the point. You do not want to be an agent. You want to give yourself an edge help your SEO etc. Marketing. If you put out a press release on your own and promote your own links nobody will listen. If you call yourself a group you could have more impact. Issue releases and links every week. Use the social media etc.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 17:53 by alias »

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2010, 17:59 »
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It's "not besides the point". You need react to how the market is and see how you can best manipulate it to your advantage.


I'm sorry, perhaps I failed to be crystal clear.  I didn't know your brain wasn't fully connected.  ;)

I meant that the outside marketing issue was beside the point of this thread, about istock's new lightboxes.  

Seriously, your marketing advice could be quite valuable to a lot of people who are interested in it.  Why leave it buried in an unrelated thread?  What's stopping you starting a new thread about it?  :)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 18:06 by lisafx »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2010, 18:10 »
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Wow, Lisa you must have taken some customer service training.

That was the nicest and most encouraging way I've ever heard someone be asked take their OT stuff elsewhere.

« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2010, 18:15 »
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... Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

Yeah that could be true.  There might be an internal battle ... someone committed to Vetta big time, others don't like the idea for the reasons discussed here - too high priced for what you get.  Maybe the Vetta person (or faction) came up with the "seal of approval" lightboxes in an effort to spark Vetta sales and save their reputation.  If some of the "anti Vetta" people are tasked with creating the lightboxes they could sabotage them by doing a half@zzed job.  I speculate.

Since this company cannot (I assume) afford to mess around too much with their revenue stream, what with all the competition and buyers becoming more price sensitive, they'll probably fix it and get back to something like their previous winning formula.

Or maybe they think that micro is now too crowded and unprofitable, and they want to evolve toward midstock by cashing in on their reputation and Getty connection, and start highlighting what they consider to be "better content" and to heck with the rest.

alias

« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2010, 18:20 »
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Wow, Lisa you must have taken some customer service training.

That was the nicest and most encouraging way I've ever heard someone be asked take their OT stuff elsewhere.

It's not OT because it is about ways of dealing with twhat exists by taking some of the same ideas and doing them yourselves.

It's pointless getting cross about something you cannot change. Better to study it and see what you can learn and adapt.

« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2010, 18:34 »
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Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

This makes the most sense IMO.  Would certainly explain why there are so few images, and also some near duplicates of pretty mediocre stuff.  Like the dogs Baldrick noticed in the Animals lightbox, or the two images of the goofy guy sitting in front of a green blackboard with an apple on his head in the education lightbox.  Seriously, both of those had to be included because there was just NOTHING better?!

As for starting my own site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio.... here's a thought - I pay Istock 80% of what my images make on their site.  It's not too much to ask that they 1) give everyone a fair shot at inclusion in sitewide lightboxes; or 2) don't claim that those lightboxes are the best of the collection when clearly they aren't; or 3) let their search engine be the arbiter of what gets put in front of buyers; or 4) Make it clear to buyers that the intended purpose of those lightboxes is to highlight Vetta, E+, and/or exclusive content.     

If I wanted to devote the vast amount of time and expense necessary to start my own stock site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio, WtheF would I need Istock for??

As for curating lightboxes on Istock, I have done that for years and so have many others.  The difference is that most of us don't have the lightboxes we curate promoted by istock, unlike these "hand selected" lightboxes with "the best imagery" on the site.   

Lisafx, if  in deed "near duplicates of pretty mediocre stuff;  dogs Baldrick noticed in the Animals lightbox; two images of the goofy guy sitting in front of a green blackboard with an apple on his head in the education lightbox; etc is all IStock best can present for as the best of Vetta , E+. 
Surely the buyers are not dumb enough to not know the un-level play field. Or is buyers used to be insulted of their intelligence ?

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2010, 19:22 »
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Wow, Lisa you must have taken some customer service training. That was the nicest and most encouraging way I've ever heard someone be asked take their OT stuff elsewhere.

It's not OT because it is about ways of dealing with twhat exists by taking some of the same ideas and doing them yourselves.It's pointless getting cross about something you cannot change. Better to study it and see what you can learn and adapt.

Ooooookay. The topic is Istock Collections lightboxes and you feel that adding a part about starting/promoting the OP's own site is on-topic. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

RacePhoto

« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2010, 00:41 »
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 "I pay Istock 80%  of what my images make on their site.  It's not too much to ask that they
1) give everyone a fair shot at inclusion in sitewide lightboxes; or
2) don't claim that those lightboxes are the best of the collection when clearly they aren't; or
3) let their search engine be the arbiter of what gets put in front of buyers; or
4) Make it clear to buyers that the intended purpose of those lightboxes is to highlight Vetta, E+, and/or exclusive content."

Pretty well covers it, except that we all pay any agency to market to a large group and make more sales and give us exposure that we could NEVER get running our own sites. We can have personal lightboxes, websites, Smugmug or Mostphoto, and never get the views and exposure we get from the agencies.

And about #3, all the agencies seem to have their own ways of ranking, rating or having the search evaluate the "quality" of the images. They don't want a bunch of crap showing up randomly on the first page.  ;D We don't know that reviews don't give images a 1-100 value, which is involved in the search? SOme agencies make it clear that the reviewers do give some rank to new uploads.

alias

« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2010, 05:39 »
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Ooooookay. The topic is Istock Collections lightboxes and you feel that adding a part about starting/promoting the OP's own site is on-topic. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

I have not suggested that anyone promotes their own site alone.

If this thread is only about complaining then I suppose I am OT. But the complaining will not achieve anything. You need to come up with posititve ideas and strategies which independents can use to create for themselves some of the same marketing advantages which non independents enjoy at IS? The front page collections are about marketing.

My suggestion is that a group of independent diamonds could work together to promote an always timely selection of their best images from their own portfolios. Market yourselves as special few and use the social media to propagate the idea that you are some of the best, working together. Use your own marketing to boost your numbers together and to make your work easy to identify. The collections at IS and on other stock sites are new alternatives to search.

You might want to dress yourselves up rather like an agency or a team but really it would be about creating a credible showcase for your work. Award yourselves a logo of distinction. Perhaps they'll put your collection on the front page one day if it is good enough. You want to sell more pictures and so do they. Do something new.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2010, 06:06 »
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Ooooookay. The topic is Istock Collections lightboxes and you feel that adding a part about starting/promoting the OP's own site is on-topic. Riiiiiiiiiiight.
I have not suggested that anyone promotes their own site alone.

Alone, in a group, whatever. Like I said, you're still suggesting to create a site.

Create a site and drive traffic to it because it offers a selection of very good results at the right price.  And you market the site as almost as a collective of photographers defined by your quality.

You seem absolutely adamant about your idea. Seems like a good idea. Start a new post where you can extol the virtues of it and gain supporters, which you don't seem to be getting here.

alias

« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2010, 07:23 »
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Start a new post where you can extol the virtues of it and gain supporters, which you don't seem to be getting here.

~ I am not looking for supporters or to build a movement. But what I am saying is about collections.  I believe that various different competing groups or collectives with their own collections will evolve. Not in competition with IS or any other agencies but in competition with each other and the factories. Recommendations will be more important than search. I would bet that many buyers would be happy to use sites which filtered out fewer better choices at the same price.

It believe that some of the offsite collections will probably be for profit ultimately. Suppose for example that you could pay a fee each month to cover the costs and profitability of a respected additional layer which gave you significant additional useful exposure.

Crazy OT nonsense you probably think :)
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 07:38 by alias »

« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2010, 09:10 »
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If this thread is only about complaining then I suppose I am OT. But the complaining will not achieve anything. You need to come up with posititve ideas and strategies which independents can use to create for themselves some of the same marketing advantages which non independents enjoy at IS? The front page collections are about marketing.

Personally, I'd rather see ideas than complaining, so I appreciated your post (even thought it was on topic). Even if I'm not necessarily going to go out and start a site, it jump started my brain to think about marketing again.

lagereek

« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2010, 10:02 »
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Personally, yes, I can see many buyers being interested in a site, collection or whatever where they dont have to spend time wading through a jungle of irrelevant material.
In fact I know many buyers, here and in London who would welcome this and give its support.


 

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