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Author Topic: IS Changes best match Algorithm Again!  (Read 25258 times)

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« Reply #100 on: October 27, 2008, 13:02 »
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I'm a full timer too - and let me tell you this...I'm glad I don't have all of my eggs in the same basket.  Month to month, your sales could fluctuate drastically when things like this happen.  Just last month I lost one of my largest referrals due to a "glitch" so my income will be $400 less than last month.  Thankfully that's not the only site I submit to.  I can also fall back on photo reviewing for extra income.


Referrals at IS pay just 10 $, not 400, and just one time.

On the other hand, this best match is givinvg me back the downloads I lost with other former BMs. Well, maybe some of us have also the rigth to have our turn.


« Reply #101 on: October 27, 2008, 14:29 »
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I'm making about the same as last month (less, but with still 4 days to go), so it doesn't seem I'm much affected, although this means less than 50% of my BME there.

But sometimes I wonder, like in FT, how someone finds my images there, because I try with the most obvious keywords and I don't.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #102 on: October 27, 2008, 14:53 »
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I hear ya but I'm not sure spreading the eggs out is any better for me. Before going exclusive I was with 12 sites and every one of them had something screwy going on that affected my overall income. Only four of them were really producing anything worthwhile and two of them (IS and SS) were 80% of my income. That's not much of a cushion.
[/quote]

But in the time that you have been an exclusive I have seen significant growth at Dreamstime and recently Fotolia without uploading much at all this year.   SS just happens to be slow at the same time as IS though so my income is pretty consistant month to month.  You can't entirely measure my personal experience though because I don't have a large sample of photos to totally qualify my statement.  But, this month for the second month in a row DT is #1, (BME actually) they were never close at all in the past, but always a consistent #3. 

« Reply #103 on: October 27, 2008, 15:58 »
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...I have been on Istock for 12 months and this isn't one of the usual ups and downs for me.

I have heard statements similar to this and it is beginning to make me wonder if some of the microstock sites have it built into their system to give high sales for the first year (to encourage new contributors), but then remove that increase after the first year.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

IS is the only site of my top six that HASN'T shown a steady increase since last year. - i've doubled my total portfolio and my income has increased by 70%;  on SS i've tripled my portfolio and doubled sales. on IS i've only added 20% to my port and sales are about the same

so, constant uploading does seem to be needed, but the hassle of doing so on IS doesnt seem to be worth the effort

« Reply #104 on: October 27, 2008, 16:28 »
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Maybe you forget that IS raised prices... that counts for some of the possible lost downloads. That said, looking at income from last year and with a quite big portfolio, I have more than a 50% income growth this year with just a 30% portfolio gorwth, and a dillution of my percentage of images there.

helix7

« Reply #105 on: October 27, 2008, 16:55 »
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Has IS actually said that best match will be adjusted to help vector positioning? Or is this likely something that will stay as-is?



CofkoCof

« Reply #106 on: October 27, 2008, 17:08 »
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Has IS actually said that best match will be adjusted to help vector positioning? Or is this likely something that will stay as-is?
Here's a response from JJRD in the "best match and vector" topic:
Quote
The situation is being addressed, guys... in no way, shape or form is it the willingness of iStockphoto to ''push back'' any content based on medium... and never will.

Stay tuned this one will be fast, trust me, thank you so very much indeed.

And a few days later another one:
Quote
Update : yesterday, there was an adjustement that was asked for - and granted - in order to adjust best match for vectors; however, it seems like the adjustement applied did very little as a result. There is another adjustement coming and very soon at that.

Again... thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding... as some things we simply CANNOT control... they simply need to be pushed to the entire collection in a live environment & that's the way that it is.
It looks like they've done a few tweaks already, but I don't think it's enough. Non exclusive new vector files stand no chance atm.

Mike how's your month?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 17:10 by CofkoCof »

bittersweet

« Reply #107 on: October 27, 2008, 19:46 »
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It looks like they've done a few tweaks already, but I don't think it's enough. Non exclusive new vector files stand no chance atm.


Have you seen any exclusives reporting different status? I guess it's just fun to always assume that the basis of every problem anybody ever has MUST be because they are trying to oppress the non-exclusives.

Helix, if you'd like a more accurate representation of the situation, you might want to visit the thread in the IS illustrator forum.

I think they are gun-shy and don't want to do anything drastic that will yield unexpected results (after all, that's what caused the problem in the first place). My personal opinion is that there was a weighting factor for views/DL that threw the vectors WAY back because on average they get more views -- it's the only way to find out the price of the file. This was a complete surprise to them.

They have done a few tweaks (as mentioned) but definitely more are needed. Several people have posted that they are going to stop uploading new work in the meantime, since ALL new files are being handicapped, and who knows what that will mean to whatever new incarnation the best match takes. Of course there have been a couple of people threatening to throw their toys out of the pram if IS doesn't give their files an advantage NOW but I think most are just in a holding pattern, which completely sucks for this time of year.

helix7

« Reply #108 on: October 27, 2008, 19:51 »
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...Mike how's your month?

Slow, but not catastrophically so. At this point I'm going to end up down about 5-10% over the expected income for this time of year. And sure, that sucks, but it sounds like others have taken a much harder hit from this whole best match thing, much more than 10% it seems.

I checked out that IS forum thread and I can't believe how widespread the effect is. Sometimes the top artists are able to weather the storms since their work is top notch and tends to always sell. But there are guys like enjoynz and others in that thread voicing concern and reporting low sales. Crazy.

If that doesn't get the attention of the istock brass, I don't know what will.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 19:59 by helix7 »

CofkoCof

« Reply #109 on: October 27, 2008, 20:01 »
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It looks like they've done a few tweaks already, but I don't think it's enough. Non exclusive new vector files stand no chance atm.


Have you seen any exclusives reporting different status? I guess it's just fun to always assume that the basis of every problem anybody ever has MUST be because they are trying to oppress the non-exclusives.
I didn't see them report different status, I think most of illustrators are suffering on this one. But non exclusives even more, because we all know best match favours exclusives. And if exclusives are suffering don't you think it's reasonable to asume it's even worse for non-exclusives? If non exclusives were somehow missed out by this "vectors at the back best match" we would have even more pages of best match topic, since exclsives would be even more frustrated. I only pointed that my point of view: it's not worth the trouble to upload for me since my vectors would get burried deep behind photos and old vectors (fairly new non exclusive with many vectors at the back of my portfolio). And that is the real problem atm.

PS: Don't get me wrong, I think best match preferring exclusives is the right thing to do. How else (besides increased royalites) would you justify abandonning other sites.

CofkoCof

« Reply #110 on: October 27, 2008, 20:06 »
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...Mike how's your month?

Slow, but not catastrophically so. At this point I'm going to end up down about 5-10% over the expected income for this time of year. And sure, that sucks, but it sounds like others have taken a much harder hit from this whole best match thing, much more than 10% it seems.

I checked out that IS forum thread and I can't believe how widespread the effect is. Sometimes the top artists are able to weather the storms since their work is top notch and tends to always sell. But there are guys like enjoynz and others in that thread voicing concern and reporting low sales. Crazy.

If that doesn't get the attention of the istock brass, I don't know what will.

It's good to hear that your sales didn't take a nosedive (still bad since sales should be increasing). Luckily I started doing renders and will probably have a BME ($$ wise, downloads are down for me) since I managed to get quite a few XXL sales on them this month.

Yeah it's crazy to read that topic. Usually only smaller portfolios suffer since they have a few well selling files that loose their good positions in the change. But this time it's different, illustrators with diverse/big porftfolios are suffering also.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 20:08 by CofkoCof »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #111 on: October 27, 2008, 20:47 »
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Yeah it's crazy to read that topic. Usually only smaller portfolios suffer since they have a few well selling files that loose their good positions in the change. But this time it's different, illustrators with diverse/big porftfolios are suffering also.
Today (so far) and last Monday were down around 50% in revenue and downloads over the previous 6 Mondays. Granted, I only have about 250 images but thought I had a pretty good mix of sellers accross a handful of categories.

What's really strange is a few images that were getting several downloads a day have about stopped. And they really haven't changed best match position much. They're still showing up on the first couple of pages for a category with tens of thousands of images and also a category with very few images. 

So, is there something else besides the best match going on? Did the demand for those categories suddenly disappear? Is it possible this best match has affected buyers and they've scaled back on buying at IS? Is there a huge shift toward holiday images?

« Reply #112 on: October 27, 2008, 21:33 »
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After a week or so with the new best match I can see a 30-40% drop in income with IS and in terms of site position it will be fourth place this month for sure.

What frustrates me is the lack of communication by those in the know at iStock. I wish that they would have the balls to come out and say what their policy is rather than hiding behind things like tweaking the best match algorithm. If they want a site of exclusive contributors then come out and say so; don't just grind the non-exclusives out through 'temporary' upload limits and discrimination in the best match search.

But someone did write something funny on the latest 49 page thread. In response to 'I can upload to all the other 5 sites in the time it takes to upload to iStock' someone replied that they must be doing it wrong as it takes them 10 seconds a file!!! Hell, would love to know how they upload!

bittersweet

« Reply #113 on: October 27, 2008, 21:39 »
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But someone did write something funny on the latest 49 page thread. In response to 'I can upload to all the other 5 sites in the time it takes to upload to iStock' someone replied that they must be doing it wrong as it takes them 10 seconds a file!!! Hell, would love to know how they upload!

I know! :D I didn't believe him either!

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #114 on: October 27, 2008, 22:01 »
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They're probably using DeepMeta http://www.deepmeta.com/. It's a great piece of software.

« Reply #115 on: October 27, 2008, 22:40 »
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Unless you use a Mac

traveler1116

« Reply #116 on: October 28, 2008, 01:19 »
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I'd like to hear something from the admins as well.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 01:44 by traveler1116 »

CofkoCof

« Reply #117 on: October 28, 2008, 05:40 »
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But someone did write something funny on the latest 49 page thread. In response to 'I can upload to all the other 5 sites in the time it takes to upload to iStock' someone replied that they must be doing it wrong as it takes them 10 seconds a file!!! Hell, would love to know how they upload!

I know! :D I didn't believe him either!
It was me that wrote that all other sites together take less time to upload than IS alone. It's true, I often add phrases for IS, disambiguate, remove some keywords since the right meaning of some words isn't in the CV, upload (photos are easy with deepmeta, but it doesn't work for vectors + you have to zip additional files). I can't imagine how long it would take me to upload 100 files in one shot. Apperently some can do it in 15 minutes  ;D

« Reply #118 on: October 28, 2008, 09:00 »
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They're probably using DeepMeta http://www.deepmeta.com/. It's a great piece of software.


But even then, it takes time to prepare files for submission in Deepmeta, doesn't it?  I suppose you still have to work with CV, so the alleged 10s looks more like 10min!

Regards,
Adelaide

lisafx

« Reply #119 on: October 28, 2008, 10:50 »
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I agree Cofko, it takes me around an hour to upload 15 images to istock, including disambiguation, lightbox links in description, adding phrases, etc.  It takes me another hour to upload to 7 other sites combined. 

In that best match thread, Slobo clarified that he meant it only takes 10 seconds to actually upload the files.  Don't believe he was including the time to disambiguate.  There is no way in Hades that it only takes 10 seconds if you include disambiguation.

But I suspect that istock exclusives have a keywording advantage there in that they put the istock keytags in their metadata.  Independents have to put keywords for all sites in our metadata and then adjust for istock after we upload. 

CofkoCof

« Reply #120 on: October 28, 2008, 12:18 »
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In that best match thread, Slobo clarified that he meant it only takes 10 seconds to actually upload the files.  Don't believe he was including the time to disambiguate.  There is no way in Hades that it only takes 10 seconds if you include disambiguation.
No, later on he wrote this:
Quote
I mean: Select image for upload, Title, Description, Keywords with DA, Categories, MR if needed and pressing button to UPLOAD. Many times it takes me less than 10 seconds to do it. I can set 100 files at once (my weekly allowance) and send them in batch, must like ftp which is JUST batch uploading minus titles, keywords and categories.
I can't even come up with 30 keywords for an image in that time, sometimes even title takes longer than 10s  ;D I think hes exaggerating things.  But yeah, I agree with you, we usually keyword for all the agencies and make adjustments for IS later on.

lisafx

« Reply #121 on: October 28, 2008, 12:28 »
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I think hes exaggerating things. 

Geez - yeah, apparently!

Even with that workflow he describes it would take at least a couple of minutes per file. 

bittersweet

« Reply #122 on: October 28, 2008, 15:24 »
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I assumed that the keywords were added to the file prior to the upload process. But there is still the disambiguation process, which in no way can be completed in 10 seconds.

« Reply #123 on: October 28, 2008, 17:09 »
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My views are dying here like on Fotolia last several days... >:(

CofkoCof

« Reply #124 on: October 29, 2008, 05:47 »
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My views are dying here like on Fotolia last several days... >:(
I tracked the views on my recently approved files on IS. They only got a few views when they were accepted (probably trough browse recent). Since then one file got 1 view and other files got 0 views.


 

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