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Author Topic: Interesting Observation on Pro-iStock Threads  (Read 9442 times)

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« on: May 31, 2011, 07:55 »
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Not sure if anyone's noticed this, but it's interesting to see the responses to threads like these...

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=329740&page=1

Had this been posted a year or two ago, contributors would be rushing in and gushing about how great iStock is. This post got one measly response, and not even a positive one at that.  Goes to show how much they've alienated their suppliers IMHO. 


« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 07:56 »
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Probably because there was already another wooyay post that day in the main forum.

Slovenian

« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 08:22 »
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I think the only contributors that are happy are those who are at 45%. And even you don't seem to happy, otherwise you wouldn't report this;).

« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 08:43 »
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And this one got a meager 5 syncophantic responses. There were six in all, but one was critical.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=329720&page=1

« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 09:49 »
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I think a general unease about how things are going, even among those who are currently doing OK, is part of it. Another is that it was a bit unfocused in presenting its point of view - not really anything you could rally around clearly given the mixed themes.

I also think the lock-happy mood of late discourages a vigorous back and forth about anything (something you might have seen on such a post a few years back). If I have something concrete to post about, I will, but otherwise there doesn't seem to be much point.

Obviously I don't feel like I was one of the lucky ones (although I'm not a sole-income-istocker), and any of those who did feel they were in the lucky group were perhaps sensitive enough to the general mood not to point themselves out by responding. Didn't want to appear "let them eat cake", so to speak.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 10:20 »
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I think it's simply that the general tone of the forums is more business than social these days and that's by design. but I'm not surprised to see it 'interpreted' as 'proof' that we're all miserable.

I'm not at 45% and I'm--generally--a happy exclusive. things have happened over the last two years that have really worried me, but my sales continue to grow and I think the business is continuing to move in a direction that I think is an overall positive for me as a contributor.

helix7

« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 10:43 »
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I don't think anyone would argue that the community spirit at istock is fading fast. I think it was tough to stay enthusiastic about the company after the royalty cut and fraud deductions, even for those who were unhurt by those actions (although I can't imagine anyone dodged both of those bullets).

But even before that, HQ stopped fostering that community spirit. istock used to be something that people would rally behind and get excited about. Just being a part of the company was cool. Today, there's not much that's cool about the company.

Which is a shame, really. Anyone who's familiar with my forum posts on the subject know I'm not a fan of istock these days. It's especially hard to be as I close out my worst month there in nearly 3 years. But even besides the financial issues, there's been something missing from istock for a while now and it's started to really show in how people talk about the company. Especially those who were previously fiercely loyal to the company and acted as istock evangelists. Those were the people that would ordinarily step up and praise the company in the sort of discussions mentioned in this thread.

The company used to be good at keeping people excited about things, getting the community fired up about new site features, announcements, etc. There even used to be some pretty cool ways you could show your istock pride. The istock merch store used to be stocked with nice stuff, like t-shirts you'd actually want to wear in public. I bought the sugar skull t-shirt. It was just cool. But even that's gone now, and what used to be a cool merch shop is now replaced by a zazzle account with lame products.

Things aren't so far gone that the istock community can't be returned to it's former glory. But we'll still never see that day again because it's not in line with what the company wants anymore. And we'll continue to see that in how people talk about the company, both in forums and offline. When I used to wear my istock t-shirt (I "retired" it after the royalty cut), people would ask me about istock. The community power that helped to grow the company is long gone. I wonder if HQ knows how much they're losing by diminishing the community spirit of the company and making people not want to talk about istock, both online and offline.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 11:23 »
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^ I think a lot of what you're saying is true. except that I disagree that the old days were replaced by something nefarious. the community spirit IMO was eroded by both the company and the contributors. it wasn't just the company. as someone who came in after the Bruce years....personally I liked the forums but never felt they were representative of the whole community. there is a community spirit alive and well offline and online....just not in the forums anymore and I believe that is equally due to contributors' actions as it is to changes and issues poorly communicated by HQ.

no one wants to have a hand in their pocket, and that's something I hope HQ remembers. as suppliers we need to feel valued. I personally believe they are wholly aware of this sentiment within the community.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 11:27 by SNP »

« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 11:25 »
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Funny you should mention the t-shirt. I also have one, think I got it at Photoshop World (not sure). Anyway, I was going to wear it out this morning, but took it off, thinking I didn't want to publicly endorse them anymore and decided I would wear it for kicking around the house.

Quote
Things aren't so far gone that the istock community can't be returned to it's former glory.

I disagree with that statement. I suppose there will always be contributors and/or buyers that will rally at whatever happens (especially those with the istockholm syndrome), but for me, I would NEVER back this company again, as it stands today. If it were sold and it looked like the new owners had better business ethics I might give it a shot, but I don't want to be aligned with companies who treat people this way.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 11:26 by cclapper »

« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 12:21 »
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I'm not a fan of istock these days. It's especially hard to be as I close out my worst month there in nearly 3 years.
This is actually what I was thinking when I read those forum threads. I was surprised more by the fact that people were still doing well or hadn't noticed a change in their numbers. I had to go back to May 2009 to find a month this poor. Well, aside from February and the other poor months this year. It really seems like someone flipped a switch there at the beginning of the year.

« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 12:56 »
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I'm not a fan of istock these days. It's especially hard to be as I close out my worst month there in nearly 3 years.
This is actually what I was thinking when I read those forum threads. I was surprised more by the fact that people were still doing well or hadn't noticed a change in their numbers. I had to go back to May 2009 to find a month this poor. Well, aside from February and the other poor months this year. It really seems like someone flipped a switch there at the beginning of the year.

I had to go all the way back to January 2007 to find a month with earnings as low as they are this month on IS. Earnings keep falling and falling with no end in sight.

« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 13:13 »
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I had to go all the way back to January 2007 to find a month with earnings as low as they are this month on IS. Earnings keep falling and falling with no end in sight.

microstock is reaching the point of non return, it will be soon impossible to make multiple sales so the whole
point of doing micro RF ceases to exist.

the odds are all against photographers, even Yuri said his sales keep falling every despite doubling his portfolio.

« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 13:33 »
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microstock is reaching the point of non return, it will be soon impossible to make multiple sales so the whole
point of doing micro RF ceases to exist.

the odds are all against photographers, even Yuri said his sales keep falling every despite doubling his portfolio.

Yep, Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

helix7

« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 13:41 »
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microstock is reaching the point of non return, it will be soon impossible to make multiple sales so the whole
point of doing micro RF ceases to exist...

What?

???

« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 16:07 »
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Funny you should mention the t-shirt. I also have one, think I got it at Photoshop World (not sure). Anyway, I was going to wear it out this morning, but took it off, thinking I didn't want to publicly endorse them anymore and decided I would wear it for kicking around the house.


I hear they are good for cleaning toilets too. :D

« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2011, 16:16 »
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Funny you should mention the t-shirt. I also have one, think I got it at Photoshop World (not sure). Anyway, I was going to wear it out this morning, but took it off, thinking I didn't want to publicly endorse them anymore and decided I would wear it for kicking around the house.


I hear they are good for cleaning toilets too. :D

 :D

« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2011, 22:03 »
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Funny you should mention the t-shirt. I also have one, think I got it at Photoshop World (not sure). Anyway, I was going to wear it out this morning, but took it off, thinking I didn't want to publicly endorse them anymore and decided I would wear it for kicking around the house.

Quote
Things aren't so far gone that the istock community can't be returned to it's former glory.

I disagree with that statement. I suppose there will always be contributors and/or buyers that will rally at whatever happens (especially those with the istockholm syndrome), but for me, I would NEVER back this company again, as it stands today. If it were sold and it looked like the new owners had better business ethics I might give it a shot, but I don't want to be aligned with companies who treat people this way.

I have several t-shirts as well.  the ones I still wear are the ones I've gotten at the minilypses that I have attended.  I still have fond memories and friendships from those.  I used to have an iStock sticker on the back window of my 4runner and when it would start peeling, I'd put a new one on.  after the last one wore out I scraped off the remains and now have about 3 or 4 stickers just sitting in a desk drawer.  I used to be a huge evangelist.  Now I'm just one of the photographers who sells their photos through them. 

« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2011, 23:58 »
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hahaha i would love to walk in the street and meet somebody wearing an istock t-shirt .. i could take a photo of him and selling it as editorial ... who knows maybe it could even make a few sales ?  ;D

« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2011, 07:56 »
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SNP wrote: "the community spirit IMO was eroded by both the company and the contributors."

Everything has a root cause and it wasn't the contributors. :-\

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2011, 10:41 »
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SNP wrote: "the community spirit IMO was eroded by both the company and the contributors."

Everything has a root cause and it wasn't the contributors. :-\

in regards to community spirit--sorry, but you're wrong. company decisions are obviously outside our control for the most part, but the community spirit has been eroded on both fronts.

« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2011, 11:35 »
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I don't buy this notion that contributors and company are both to blame for erosion of community cohesion and spirit.

Lots of people - like me - have just bailed from 95% of any iStock discussions and I don't see the great bounce back you'd have expected from dumping the nay-sayers and locking threads every time some poor buyer dared to complain.

The woo yay crowd has an open platform, but things are awfully quiet anyway.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2011, 12:06 »
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I don't buy this notion that contributors and company are both to blame for erosion of community cohesion and spirit.

Lots of people - like me - have just bailed from 95% of any iStock discussions and I don't see the great bounce back you'd have expected from dumping the nay-sayers and locking threads every time some poor buyer dared to complain.

The woo yay crowd has an open platform, but things are awfully quiet anyway.

the damage is done. From discussions with many contributors--I know how tired many of us were of constant & exaggerated negativity from the same people...the fun in the forums was killed as much by contributors as it was by subsequent cracking down by HQ. the forums got boring and I doubt they''ll open up again. the culture has changed. absolutely it was also due to uncertainty and fear caused by decisions made. no one is suggesting otherwise. but in terms of community spirit--contributors broke that down along with the fear and uncertainty coming from above. moot point in either case. things are how they are now and I think many of us have found other ways to establish community within our industry.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 12:08 by SNP »

« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2011, 12:58 »
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they should close the forum and only use it for tech support questions etc as Alamy does.

it's simply unprofessional, and while they are at it i they should redesign the whole layout of their site
and remove all the cluttering (stars, icons, and other crap) that makes it look like a blog or like Flickr.

it's a BUSINESS, it's not facebook or a photo-sharing community, but now it looks half-baked so we will
see what they have in store.

« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2011, 13:05 »
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they should close the forum and only use it for tech support questions etc as Alamy does.

it's simply unprofessional, and while they are at it i they should redesign the whole layout of their site
and remove all the cluttering (stars, icons, and other crap) that makes it look like a blog or like Flickr.

it's a BUSINESS, it's not facebook or a photo-sharing community, but now it looks half-baked so we will
see what they have in store.

You don't know what keeps people motivated then. handing out badges and silly icons keeps people motivated, makes them happy and best of all its free for IS.
Its exactly why bussinesses hand out "employee of the month".

« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2011, 14:11 »
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they should close the forum and only use it for tech support questions etc as Alamy does.


Uh, there's a wide open chit chat Alamy forum:
http://www.alamy.com/forums/Default.aspx?g=topics&f=13

nruboc

« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2011, 14:19 »
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they should close the forum and only use it for tech support questions etc as Alamy does.

it's simply unprofessional, and while they are at it i they should redesign the whole layout of their site
and remove all the cluttering (stars, icons, and other crap) that makes it look like a blog or like Flickr.

it's a BUSINESS, it's not facebook or a photo-sharing community, but now it looks half-baked so we will
see what they have in store.

Nooooo, I think if they got rid of the icon things they would lose half their exclusives. It makes them feel important. Just look, alot of them will dabble in the other media just to pick up the new icon... wooyay

« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2011, 18:29 »
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they should close the forum and only use it for tech support questions etc as Alamy does.
Nooooo, I think if they got rid of the icon things they would lose half their exclusives. It makes them feel important. Just look, alot of them will dabble in the other media just to pick up the new icon... wooyay
Excellent point. What would IS be without their puerile little cliques, their party-patch scout badges, and their in-crowd cheerleaders? A fair open-market business maybe? Heaven forbid.

« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2011, 20:16 »
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Absolutely right, Michael and Nruboc.
The usage of those icons is a very clever idea. Wearing a tiny crown made of pixels makes mediocre camera users (with over 250 downloads), feel as if they're certified photographers, art college and all. Like, you know, the real deal.
The elite, la creme de la creme.
Since I'm not a fan of IStock I wish they would get rid of the icons.
And keep Lobo as King Moderator forever. He does a lot of damage to the site, all by himself. And from where I stand, that's good news.
May Lobo long last ... :)

« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2011, 21:30 »
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shutterstock has a no-frills web site and is doing more than fine without all the istock's bullsh-its.

« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2011, 08:28 »
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they should close the forum and only use it for tech support questions etc as Alamy does.
Nooooo, I think if they got rid of the icon things they would lose half their exclusives. It makes them feel important. Just look, alot of them will dabble in the other media just to pick up the new icon... wooyay
Excellent point. What would IS be without their puerile little cliques, their party-patch scout badges, and their in-crowd cheerleaders? A fair open-market business maybe? Heaven forbid.

I am proud to say that my single little icon is about the color of a bed pan ;)

« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2011, 10:00 »
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When I think of iStock's "flair", I think of this:

office space

« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2011, 10:18 »
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When I think of iStock's "flair", I think of this:

LOL. I was happy to see they opened a new restaurant where they filmed the Chotchkie's scenes for Office Space after they closed the Cajun place.


 

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