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Author Topic: Istock Announcement  (Read 29601 times)

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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2006, 15:07 »
"Phrases need to be entered as single tags. If someone searches for "nursing home" as a single tag, and you have "nursing" and "home" entered as two separate tags, it will not appear in the search. You need to add the phrase as a tag."
[email protected]

Bull is right. I had phrases in many images and they've split them up into individual words.

Greg Boiarsky

« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2006, 15:10 »
I posted a complaint about the system in their announcement thread, and they deleted it.  It was not profane or obnoxious.  It was a complaint.  And, I know it was posted at one time because someone replied to it.

One more thing.  I haven't had a sale yet today, a fairly unusual occurence.

Good going, Istock.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 15:17 by Professorgb »


« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2006, 15:20 »
What amazes me is all the people on their talking about how 'great this is going to be once we get the bugs out.'

Why are 'we' getting the bugs out? It worked before. They broke it. Fix it.


« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2006, 15:24 »
The forums are back up. Here is a quote from the admin

"Here is the place to report disambiguation problems. We are specifically looking for cases where the meaning you need assigned to a tag doesn't exist - not cases where the system assigned the wrong meaning to a tag. If the system assigned the wrong meaning, you can pick the right one with the checkbox. This is the place to report meanings that don't exist at all. "

In other words, we don't care how many of your images we screwed up, you will have to fix them yourself.

« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2006, 15:26 »
If you think that nonsensical keywords is a new Istockphoto problem you should upload something there. New keywords categories is real HORROR! Even if they give us old uploading limits we won't be able to use them cause of it.

« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2006, 15:26 »
I've had a couple sales today. Both were images of pumpkins. Unless of course the keywords are to be believed, then they were either "Large Group of Animals", "Large Group of People", "Atlantic Ocean", "Showing", "Remote", "Figurine", or "Traditional Culture".
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 16:19 by IRCrockett »

« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2006, 15:27 »
What amazes me is all the people on their talking about how 'great this is going to be once we get the bugs out.'

There is no option except to say 'everything is absolutely wonderful'.

« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2006, 15:29 »
In other words, we don't care how many of your images we screwed up, you will have to fix them yourself.

In that thread a person asked what I was thinking... how exactly do you fix it? Seems like you click edit then have to write a reason why the keyword is not correct then somebody will review it? Sounds like it will take forever to fix all the errors. If somebody knows an easier way please let me know.

Greg Boiarsky

« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2006, 15:32 »
I'm going through to fix the errors in my best-sellers.  This is very time-consuming.  Oh, and guess what?  Not all of the keywords can be edited.  The infamous "Indiana" doesn't show up on the list to be removed.

Oh, yeah--they've kept the 20 upload-per-week limit.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 15:45 by Professorgb »

« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2006, 15:44 »
I tried to 'repair' a few of my pictures, but decided to let it go 'as is' for a while.  It is impossible to repair a category error when there is no other alternative correct category to checkmark, and taking off wrong categories without having a new one would greatly limit the exposure. 

So, for the time being, the breed of Pinto horses will be found in the bean food and the dog section...  It would take days to report each error and expect a follow-up  ::)

I'm wondering what the designers will think about this 'improvement' when they do their search...


« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2006, 15:50 »
That was the point of one of my posts on IS. Tell us exactly what to do! Their main thread is prefaced with 'here are the answers to your questions on the new system.'

This is followed by 50 posts with questions. And they are being very selective about which of those they choose to answer.

Greg Boiarsky

« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2006, 16:43 »
One last comment, and then I think I'll leave this issue behind.  If you think that correcting the keywords on your images will fix the problem, think again.  You are making changes in the English keywords.  As I and others have noted, there are also pretty big errors in the non-English translations.  What this means is that you cannot hope to have the keywording errors corrected unless you speak all the languages used by the Istock translation engine.

In the end, the keyword translations will open new markets.  But, we photographers will not reap the benefit we should.  We will see a minor increase in sales, but not nearly the increase we should because the file descriptors will be in error, making it hard for designers to find our images.  Instead, what will happen is that Istock will open up a huge market by and for customers who speak these other languages natively.  Chinese photographers, for example, will be best suited to take and keyword photos for Chinese buyers because they use language in similar ways.  Which will work better, I ask:  a Japanese photographer using Japanese keywords, or an English-speaking photographer relying on a translation engine to sell to a Japanese buyer?

I find this particular move by Istock to be the ultimate in arrogance.  To think that they could create a translation engine that would correctly translate the meanings of our keywords across different languages, each with its own set of idiomatic expressions and culturally-bound meanings, is ridiculous.  When Miriam Webster tried to define the English language, his initial attempts were abject failures for precisely the same reasons.  The only reason dictionaries work today is that the dictionary itself has introduced commonly accepted meanings and spellings into the culture (that, and the fact that mass media disseminate common language and symbols very efficiently).  It took over a hundred years to achieve this consistency and even today the enterprise of creating a dictionary is somewhat of a fool's errand, as words take on new meanings, new words are added to the lexicon, and others are removed.  Language is not a static entity.

Good luck to all of you in whatever future dealings you may have with Istock.

« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2006, 16:50 »
Talk about screwed up ...   :o

35 of my images have mysteriously acquired the keyword 'Indiana' including a picture of a pair of feet in the bath, a snowman in Switzerland, a fireman at the top of a ladder, climbing in through a window, and a close-up of the first page of a Victorian bible.

And I've never been within 5'000 miles of Indiana.



« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2006, 17:04 »
Yes, and several people have specifially asked about the Indiana problem on IS and those are some of the quesitons that are being pointedly ignored.

« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2006, 17:16 »
Well, as someone who can't upload to iStock because I do abstracts and fractals that they don't want, I've been watching this thread with some amusement.

I genuinely feel for you guys who have bookoo images on iStock and have to go through all this bull****, but it really just speaks to their arrogance.  :(

I can personally attest to the fact that the Euro and Asian markets can find the images they want without going through a translator--especially one that gets it wrong. My downloads come throughout the 24 hour period, and many times I get more at night (Euro and Asian times) than I do through the day. Obviously, many of the downloaders are not western hemisphere residents.

So, who needs this thing anyway?


« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2006, 17:19 »
I've just discovered that 'bleachers' is another one. Five of my images have mysteriously acquired that keyword.

But, being a Brit, I'm not entirely sure what bleachers are (Are they a type of clothing?)

What kills me is how many people on the IS forums are saying how wonderful this new change is.

Yeah ... well ... if you enjoy going through all your keywords for every image again it is truly wonderful  :(

Nice work iStock.

« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2006, 17:23 »
bleachers: a typically roofless section of low-priced, tiered-seating, usually made of boards, especially at an athletic field or stadium.

« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2006, 17:27 »
I liked the concept in when you uploaded you had to 'define' the keywords and they built it up as they went along - so the data in the database was built by the photogs as they uploaded - and it seems to me to be a bit 'awkward' (to use my 11 year old's favorite word) to try to do that after the fact to 1,000,000 images - no offense istock, but this seems to be a mistake to me.

The worst part of it to me is that again, they didn't take the time to explain it and be prepared with the 'how to' guide with many of the answers in advance. If they'd just take the time to let people know what is going on and what to do to be ready and how to work it after it is implemented, they'd (and all of us) would be a lot better off.

« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2006, 17:37 »
Murphy's law at work. I reckon the programmers and sysadmins at IS are peeing their pants and feeling the heat from everyone. This'll really take a while to sort out. But for the cases like 'indiana', it could be triggered by a combination of keywords and catergories, so if (I said 'if') they can trace the error, perhaps, it can be cleared up.

Anyway, I'm a bit confused about the uploading process now, since I reached my limit, and I use their software to do it. Think I'll just wait a week.

I don't have time to go through all my keywords, but looking at a few, the changes are 'generally' ok, with a few oddities coming up.


« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2006, 17:39 »
Better yet, send out an email. I find the site, well, awkward, to use and annoying to navigate so I don't typically spend much time there except to upload and check sales. After hearing about the snafu here I went over there to check their forums. After the shock of reading the people praise this move I noticed that one of them mentioned a keyword wiki. Thinking it was announced and I just missed I began looking. Never did find such an announcement but I did see an interesting quote....

"Some of our images have great keywords, and some don't. We've spent a long, long time developing different methods of addressing this issue (Seriously, a long time. Like, months), but in the end, we decided that no one knows better than all of you. So now you can get involved with the keywords here at iStock."

... just struck me as funny. I guess since 6/30/2006 when this was posted they must have changed their mind.

« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2006, 17:50 »
I tested the new system with one upload, and found out that the keywords are not automatically entered anymore.  The list have to be pasted, and then some keywords defined.  Added to that, the categories still have to be filled on another page before sucessful submission...

Yes, Mitch, I liked the TP system, which was quite logical and allowed for flexibility.  Sometimes, by allowing photographers to add their own definition, entering, sometines erroneously  the new info into the system, that flexibility was innocently or purposefully abused.  But altogether I think that it could have worked.

Even though there may be some mistakes with the simple keyword search result, I think that it's the simplest and the most practical for everyone.  If designers want more specific results, they can add 2 or 3 more keywords to bring more specification to their search.  I don't see this iStock new search engine as an improvement, neither for the photographer nor the buyer.  It is burdensome, time-consuming, and creates too many limitations for everyone involved.


« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2006, 19:59 »
Ok, finally took the time to go through the 200+ questions that have been posted in the 5 hours since they started with, "Here are the answers to the questions we're sure you have about the new system."

They have answered a select few questions. They have completely ignored those that ask why the system doesn't accept keywords from exif data or how do you expect me to go back and fix (500, 1200, 1500+, pick one) images thar are now broken.

It's going to get ugly

« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2006, 20:18 »
Going to?


« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2006, 20:34 »
I think there is still a little benefit of the doubt, goodwill, and patience out there. It's only been 6 hours.

Ok, going to get uglier.

« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2006, 00:01 »
I've been busy all morning here and just checked iStock and the new keywording update. OMG I think I am going to cry. No really, there will be a grown man sobbing at his Mac here in a minute. I tried doing a search for Group Business and the most spurious random images come up. How are designers going to find my pictures?? Lise Gagne must be crying too. Maybe I can call her and we can sob together.

I have 2400 images at IS and I have to go back and edit all of them???!!! I reckon I can get this down to 2 min a file but that is still going to take me 80 hours+. I just don't have time to do that. I have a business to run and a wife who likes to see me occassionally. The categories were bad enough and now this.

I think desginers are going to try one search and go to another site...

***sob sob wail wail***


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