MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Keywording Annoyance of IS's 'New' Vocab System  (Read 3839 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: December 04, 2012, 21:00 »
+1
I'm about to have a little rant.....

Being quite a newcomer to IS, (joined about 2 months ago), I have become soo annoyed at what they call their 'New Vocabulary System' for keywording images.  Most of the other stock agencies like 'conceptual' types of keywords that link well to the images which is what I have become used to doing over the past few years and since joining IS, I have had some of my submissions rejected because some of my keywords do not relate totally to the images - when they really DO relate!

Has anybody else been annoyed by this?  I know and understand that they are trying to improve their keywording systems but some of the keywords on my images that they deem to be as 'not relating to the image' ARE actually terms that have been successfully searched for on other agencies, and have indeed sold the image.  It just peeves me off a bit lol. 

I know it is something that I just have to live with, but wanted to have a rant about it now to get it off my chest!!  ;D

So I will now continue uploading the lame amount of 18 images for this week and spend time deleting "in-appropriate" keywords in the hope that IS's vocab system agrees with me lol.

Hope you are all well!!
Chris :)


gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 22:36 »
0
I agree it's annoying but I am quite glad they take kw so seriously.

If you have a picture of a dog bowl then words like nose, whisker, hair, tail, bark etc just don't belong there, and yet ppl just pour them in. It's so frustrating when you're searching for images to see so many that don't relate to the search terms.  And who is to blame? Us actually.

i've recently uploaded images of xmas baubles hanging in a sheoak tree at the beach, and the number of images that also come up when you search for "xmas baubles at beach"... you get candy canes, starfish, santa, people, santa hat... and even a pair of sandals somehow is in there before my image, with "christmas" as a keyword!! how did that even get through is a mystery to me.
[rant over]

« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 22:39 »
0
You are thinking of the disambiguation system, where you connect your keywords to a internationally translatable dictionary?
If so, I agree with you.

Also I think they are shooting themselves in the foot, as they use such a primitive dictionary, and the connections you bind are often absurd. Their dictionary is obviously based on a primitive form of American English and a set of hopeless associations, and does not really descripe the world well in a global English speaking environment. It is as if they think a dictionary from a small town library in Kansas can describe the world and such qualify their keywording whereas it in fact degrades it because of the narrowminded absurdities the keywords now get connected to.

And... Its really annoying to have to sit there and try to read through their nonsence and try and figure out what it means.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 22:50 »
0
even when using DeepMeta the kw still gets reassigned in the upload process, so i have to go back in at some point and manually check them all and remove the wrong association. yes, it's v time consuming.
they do take suggestions for terms, and a while back I was sending heaps through but I kind of gave up, they should pay us for being so helpful, I'm not here to fix their site for free.

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 04:09 »
0
I agree it's annoying but I am quite glad they take kw so seriously.

I really wish all the inspectors took it more seriously. As always, take a look at commercial kitchen (a CV phrase) further filtered with nobody (or a top line search for 'commercial kitchen' nobody. As for many years, it's just totally spammed.
Hint: there should be something which indicates a kitchen is probably commercial, not 'domestic kitchen' which is also a CV phrase.

OTOH, I keep getting the eejit who has, for instance, twice unhelpfully removed 'sunflower hearts' from photos of birds on a feeder containing sunflower hearts. (Someone told me they're called kernels in the US: fair enough, I've added 'kernels', but they're sold as sunflower hearts in the UK, and so I've readded the phrase.)

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 05:04 »
0
is that the same as "sunflower seeds"? those giant black ones we buy for the chooks?

« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 06:23 »
+1
The system, certainly, has its flaws, and should be improved, but I think it is the best possible system, and works fantastic when translating to other languages. On the other hand, if you post examples of these pics with rejected terms stating the keywords, we will be able to see if they relate or no to these images.

« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 08:04 »
+2
Being quite a newcomer to IS, (joined about 2 months ago), I have become soo annoyed at what they call their 'New Vocabulary System' for keywording images.  Most of the other stock agencies like 'conceptual' types of keywords that link well to the images which is what I have become used to doing over the past few years and since joining IS, I have had some of my submissions rejected because some of my keywords do not relate totally to the images - when they really DO relate!


No, it's likely they DON'T relate.  Of course, without some examples, we can't clear that up for you.

For example:
http://www.123rf.com/photo_16632744_red-dice-over-a-plain-white-background.html
Isolated dice should not have:
toy, throw, three, random, playing, play, paper roll, luck, lose, fun, fortune, five, family, egg roll, casino, boardgames

Now, some of those like "egg roll", I can only assume come from a poor keywording website or service.  There is no casino or family in the image, and while you may find dice in a casino, you may also find a cow in a field, but an isolated cow doesn't get "field".  If this is how you are keywording at IS, it is likely you will get rejections.

And the CV has been around for many years, and it's a great help when clearing up the meaning of keywords, imo.

ShadySue

« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 08:07 »
0
is that the same as "sunflower seeds"? those giant black ones we buy for the chooks?
Yes, but without the black or black-and-white husk.
The difference is commercially important, because although more expensive, there is no mess (wild birds discard the husk which then causes mess and possibly spreads diseases).
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 11:56 by ShadySue »

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 08:16 »
+1
@ OP: Sean's right. Your keywording is not only way off iStock standards, but way off anything sensible.
I just looked at ##22293357 at random:
It's two French style bread rolls, isolated on white.
Your keywords are:
Bread, Bun, Snack, Food, Breakfast, Lunch Break, Sandwich, crusty, Thick, French Culture, Baguette, Baking, Bakery, Baker, Side Dish, Meal, Pastry Crust, Oven, White, Backgrounds
Of these, sandwich, baguette, baking, bakery, baker,  meal, pastry crust, meal, oven, backgrounds are indisputably wrong. Also where I come from a bun isn't the same as a bread roll, but that may (?) be a regional thing.[1]
Debatable: snack, breakfast, lunch break, as people don't usually eat dry bread rolls as a snack, breakfast or lunch.
But you could have two objects, French food, isolated, isolated on white, white background, plain background.

Each agency has its standards, and if you're indie you just have to learn and adhere to each different site's standards.

Added [1] I see that the CV actually DAs bread roll to bun. Not smart. I have heard of the roll a burger is often served in referred to as a burger bun, but that's a soft thing. You could also put 'crusty roll'. It's not in the CV, but it's there, although most of those showing up in a search for "crusty roll" (in quotes) are not crusty rolls. So someone wanting a 'crusty roll' which you can deliver, might find your photo very easily on that search. OTOH, someone wanting a 'baker' or an 'oven' is just going to be p*ssed off with a photo of two isolated rolls.

As well as specific questions here, there is also a keywording forum over on iStock which will help keep you right.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 11:55 by ShadySue »

« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 09:33 »
+1
My favourite "controlled vocab" translation was the one they gave for "Venetian", apparently it means "inhabitant of Venus", which must be a shock to the inhabitants of Venice.  It was stuck in the CV for years but I think they eventually removed it.
So far, I haven't noticed any photos of inhabitants of Venus on iSTock, but I suppose they are hiding there, somewhere.

« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 11:10 »
+1
The controlled vocabulary may once have been the right way to go about keywording images, but I think it's outdated and inflexible.

Google does a fine job of finding lots of stuff and refining searches and does it without using a static CV. As long as the search engine is smart enough and contributors don't spam (which they can do with or without a CV, and I think stricter inspections are the only solution to that) you can type something approximating a sentence describing what you want and get useful results.

However, if you want to sell at iStock you have to deal with the CV - just as you have to deal with the foibles of all the sites. DT doesn't do phrases, which is ridiculous. Several of the sites have no spell check, which they all should have.

As far as the approach of being pretty literal with keywording, I think iStock has it close to right - putting sandwich on an uncut isolated loaf of bread just because it could be made into a sandwich is spam. Not as bad as putting "sexy woman" but still totally unhelpful to buyers.

« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 11:35 »
0

As far as the approach of being pretty literal with keywording, I think iStock has it close to right - putting sandwich on an uncut isolated loaf of bread just because it could be made into a sandwich is spam. Not as bad as putting "sexy woman" but still totally unhelpful to buyers.

Mmm spam sandwich, you sexy woman you !

« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 11:50 »
0

As far as the approach of being pretty literal with keywording, I think iStock has it close to right - putting sandwich on an uncut isolated loaf of bread just because it could be made into a sandwich is spam. Not as bad as putting "sexy woman" but still totally unhelpful to buyers.

Mmm spam sandwich, you sexy woman you !

Ha! The secret of staying married for nearly 25 years is out :)

« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 12:32 »
0
I gave up on IS long ago.   But I recently I decided to submit a few more, just as an experiment.  I slogged through  'disambiguation' and was left with very, very few keywords from the CV.  So I added a bunch more that I thought made sense and were closely related to the image.

Half the images were rejected for keywords.  And the rejected words were conceptual.

Now here's the punch line.  Some of the images that were accepted were shots of the same subject, with identical keywords.

So not only is this system a PITA, and omits my subject matter, but it isn't even applied consistently.  In the end I have no idea what they want.  And anyway, the ones that were approved aren't even getting any views.  I don't intend to submit any more.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 12:35 by stockastic »

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 16:21 »
0

Now here's the punch line.  Some of the images that were accepted were shots of the same subject, with identical keywords.

So not only is this system a PITA, and omits my subject matter, but it isn't even applied consistently.  In the end I have no idea what they want.  And anyway, the ones that were approved aren't even getting any views.  I don't intend to submit any more.

<slightly OT> You're not going to get consistency on anything. Some people are told that certain things aren't admissable to the collection, even as editorial, emphasised by Scout on appeal, and shortly afterwards the said things are accepted,sometimes even into the main collection.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 17:34 »
0
The CV could be a good idea, in order to improve automatic translation to other languages.

Actually, it is too bad to work (and definitely annoying).

Adding geographic names is a nightmare: only large cities and famous landmarks are available.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 17:37 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

ShadySue

« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 17:47 »
0
The CV could be a good idea, in order to improve automatic translation to other languages.

Actually, it is too bad to work (and definitely annoying).

Adding geographic names is a nightmare: only large cities and famous landmarks are available.
In SOME cases, it doesn't matter, as a name can always be searched. However, where it's more of a problem is where two places have the same name; where a place name means something else (in any of the community languages) or where, e.g. there's a St Mary's Cathedral in many towns,but only a few are in the CV.

The keywords team is presumably being stretched far too far to do all they need to do. It would take an army to clean up the spam (but most agencies would be the same).

« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2012, 18:16 »
0
I have an eternal fight with them with specialised latin nomenclatura.
"Papilio glaucus" for example.
Called Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

But is eastern east, or a football team in Ohio?
Not to mention Tiger. Striped animal? Boxer? Or a bar in new York?

OMG.


ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2012, 18:39 »
0
I have an eternal fight with them with specialised latin nomenclatura.
"Papilio glaucus" for example.
Called Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

But is eastern east, or a football team in Ohio?
Not to mention Tiger. Striped animal? Boxer? Or a bar in new York?

OMG.

I don't understand your problem.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is in the CV.
Papilio glaucus is also in the CV and maps correctly to Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

So you're OK.
And actually I'm stymied, as I have a photo of a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio canadensis, which obviously is a different species. However, Canadian Tiger Swallowtail wrongly maps to Eastern Tiger Swallowtail so my image maps to Eastern, and anyone searching on Canadian will be faced with a page of Easterns and might hopefully notice my title says Canadian. Papilio canadensis is not in the CV, luckily, so anyone knowing to search "Papilio canadensis" in quotes will get lucky.

But yes, wildlife is very difficult - but it would with both vernacular and scientific names being reassigned with incredible alacrity.
I just noticed the other day that although I have a Shoebill Vetta file which is on Getty, it will never be found, because iStock's CV maps it to Shoebilled Stork, which it hasn't been known as for at least 20 years probably longer (as it isn't even closely related to a stork), so that's what it is in the keywords, and if you search for Shoebill, my pic, and about 75% of those in Getty won't be found.
Grrrr.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2012, 00:46 »
0
is that the same as "sunflower seeds"? those giant black ones we buy for the chooks?
Yes, but without the black or black-and-white husk.
The difference is commercially important, because although more expensive, there is no mess (wild birds discard the husk which then causes mess and possibly spreads diseases).
that's the type of notes I put in for the reviewer. think how much more they learn about stuff that way.

« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2012, 01:21 »
0
I have an eternal fight with them with specialised latin nomenclatura.
"Papilio glaucus" for example.
Called Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

But is eastern east, or a football team in Ohio?
Not to mention Tiger. Striped animal? Boxer? Or a bar in new York?

OMG.

I don't understand your problem.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is in the CV.
Papilio glaucus is also in the CV and maps correctly to Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

So you're OK.
And actually I'm stymied, as I have a photo of a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio canadensis, which obviously is a different species. However, Canadian Tiger Swallowtail wrongly maps to Eastern Tiger Swallowtail so my image maps to Eastern, and anyone searching on Canadian will be faced with a page of Easterns and might hopefully notice my title says Canadian. Papilio canadensis is not in the CV, luckily, so anyone knowing to search "Papilio canadensis" in quotes will get lucky.

But yes, wildlife is very difficult - but it would with both vernacular and scientific names being reassigned with incredible alacrity.
I just noticed the other day that although I have a Shoebill Vetta file which is on Getty, it will never be found, because iStock's CV maps it to Shoebilled Stork, which it hasn't been known as for at least 20 years probably longer (as it isn't even closely related to a stork), so that's what it is in the keywords, and if you search for Shoebill, my pic, and about 75% of those in Getty won't be found.
Grrrr.

This is what I mean:
   papilio    English (U.S.)   
   Butterfly (Lepidoptera)
Remove Tag   glaucus    English (U.S.)   
   X glaucus
Remove Tag   tiger    English (U.S.)   
Did you mean...
   X Tiger (Big Cat)
   Tiger Beer (Lager)

My problem is, why do I have these choices? Why must I choose if it is a cat or a beer, -it is neither. For a long time it was even hopeless to get latin names in. Despite the fact they are often searched on. Then comes the English names which are often spelled in an oldfashioned way that the dictionary cannot read. Eastern is an example of that. And this butterfly is one of the wellknown ones, it gets really tricky when we venture into the more obscure ones. "Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary" for example. Its a long time since I have uploaded one of these but I can easily imagine what the machine will make out of "bordered".
But never mind, we dont have to discuss this, I just find it super annoying. Im not qualified to sit and connect keywords in that way, because im a non native speaker I can make the most random and undermining mistakes as can the natives when they try to label butterflies scientifically.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 01:23 by JPSDK »

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2012, 01:35 »
0
you can just leave "tiger" as "tiger" though, without the extra tick marks.

I'm quite pleased to see both UK & US spelling most of the time. As discussed in another thread, I sell more (on SS) to Europe than the US so this is important.

ShadySue

« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2012, 07:49 »
+2
I have an eternal fight with them with specialised latin nomenclatura.
"Papilio glaucus" for example.
Called Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

But is eastern east, or a football team in Ohio?
Not to mention Tiger. Striped animal? Boxer? Or a bar in new York?

OMG.

I don't understand your problem.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is in the CV.
Papilio glaucus is also in the CV and maps correctly to Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

So you're OK.
And actually I'm stymied, as I have a photo of a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio canadensis, which obviously is a different species. However, Canadian Tiger Swallowtail wrongly maps to Eastern Tiger Swallowtail so my image maps to Eastern, and anyone searching on Canadian will be faced with a page of Easterns and might hopefully notice my title says Canadian. Papilio canadensis is not in the CV, luckily, so anyone knowing to search "Papilio canadensis" in quotes will get lucky.

But yes, wildlife is very difficult - but it would with both vernacular and scientific names being reassigned with incredible alacrity.
I just noticed the other day that although I have a Shoebill Vetta file which is on Getty, it will never be found, because iStock's CV maps it to Shoebilled Stork, which it hasn't been known as for at least 20 years probably longer (as it isn't even closely related to a stork), so that's what it is in the keywords, and if you search for Shoebill, my pic, and about 75% of those in Getty won't be found.
Grrrr.

This is what I mean:
   papilio    English (U.S.)   
   Butterfly (Lepidoptera)
Remove Tag   glaucus    English (U.S.)   
   X glaucus
Remove Tag   tiger    English (U.S.)   
Did you mean...
   X Tiger (Big Cat)
   Tiger Beer (Lager)

My problem is, why do I have these choices? Why must I choose if it is a cat or a beer, -it is neither. For a long time it was even hopeless to get latin names in. Despite the fact they are often searched on. Then comes the English names which are often spelled in an oldfashioned way that the dictionary cannot read. Eastern is an example of that. And this butterfly is one of the wellknown ones, it gets really tricky when we venture into the more obscure ones. "Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary" for example. Its a long time since I have uploaded one of these but I can easily imagine what the machine will make out of "bordered".
But never mind, we dont have to discuss this, I just find it super annoying. Im not qualified to sit and connect keywords in that way, because im a non native speaker I can make the most random and undermining mistakes as can the natives when they try to label butterflies scientifically.

OK, I'm the first to admit that not all creatures are in the CV. It could be counter-argued that someone who want an unusual species is not going to go first to iStock (seriously specialist wildlife buyers (in the UK at least) don't buy from any 'general' agencies because they have no guarantee that the photo is genuine. Also, because of iStock's lighting 'standards' in particular, a lot of creatures are photographed in the wrong light, which is totally unacceptable. So it could be argued that in many cases, where a creature isn't in iStock's CV, iStock isn't the best place to sell that image. (Unless you've had to alter the photo, e.g. cloning out distractions, 'repairing' a wing etc.)

But back to your specific example of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.
That IS in the CV, so is no problem.
Keyword it, correctly, as Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and a knowlegeable buyer will find it by searching on that keyword phrase, no quotes needed.
However, not all buyers are that specific, so to cater for them, you also keyword according to the biological systematics.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a subset (gramatically, not a biological subspecies) of Tiger Swallowtail. So also keyword "Tiger Swallowtail". At this point, admittedly, the CV lets us down and splits into Tiger and Swallowtail, but the search results are fine, though that only works for those who have wrongly keyworded Tiger as well as Swallowtail. This is definitely an issue that I've been forced into for some files. I've had to spam certain keywords to have a file even seen. For example "Sandwich Tern" isn't in the CV, so, as many before me keyworded both 'Sandwich' and 'Tern', I've had to do the same, even though Sandwich is clearly wrong. I have also keyworded "Sandwich Tern" as a 'for your own use', but the problem is that since others have already put 'Sandwich' and 'Tern', a searcher would put in sandwich and tern, the system would split the two words, the buyer would get some relevant results, and wouldn't know there are more photos which are only correctly keyworded. In this sort of case, like your Tiger Swallowtail, the CV forces people to spam. I can't imagine why Sandwich Tern isn't in the CV, Arctic and Common are, and Sandwich is also a common tern.  >:(

Tiger Swallowtail is a subset of Swallowtail, so keyword Swallowtail Butterfly, and lastly keyword Butterfly.

That is in an ideal world, and admittedly, the system has failed you at the Tiger Butterfly level. If the system was working properly, "Tiger Swallowtail" would be in the CV and you would never have to consider Tiger, which should be wrong for this image (would anybody be likely to search on Tiger if they wanted a photo of a butterfly?).
'Eastern' you don't even need to consider keywording. Again, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is in the CV, and it's not likely that someone searching on 'Eastern' only wants a photo of an American butterfly.

I've got a photo of a pearl bordered fritillary on the site. Again, it's not in the CV, though 'fritillary butterfly' is. But someone who knows the site can search on "pearl-bordered fritillary" (in quotes, presuming they know or guess to do that. I often do it in Google searches to keep words together, so it may be that a new searcher will actually think to try that on iStock). As it happens, there are only 6 hits coming up for Pearl-bordered fritillary' and only two of these have sold once each, so what I said in the first paragraph about less known species not having much of a market on iStock could well be true.
(As it's 'Pearl-bordered', there shouldn't be an issue of what the CV makes of bordered', or 'Pearl'.)

OTOH, I have two photos of a Blue Salamis, which isn't in the CV and have sold a few times each. But I'm suspecting they're getting found on Blue, butterfly, and indeed on the 'natural habitat' photo, the top four words are Butterfly, Blue, Uganda, Rainforest; and on the similar cut-out version, the top four keywords are Butterfly, Blue, Wildlife, Insect. Quite possibly no-one has ever searched on Blue Salamis. (which I didn't even have on the cut-out version, so thanks for the inadvertant prompt.)

Finally, you can (I can't, as I'm banned from forum and sitemail) ask the keywords team, via Ducksandwich, to add a keyword or keyword phrase to the CV, but they are not likely to do it for a species which will only ever have a handful of images. If you do that, it's helpful to suggest the full stemming. Team Keywords, though great guys, aren't natural history specialists.

And a third reiteration of the idea that if a species is very specialised, it may be worth seeking out a specialist outlet. Notwithstanding that it's almost impossible to get in, you usually need a minimum of 100 files (often 200 or 500) of species they're not full to the gunwales with already, and they have all to be large size, so if you have to crop in, as I often have to do as my longest lens is only 400mm, you can forget it.

« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2012, 09:25 »
+1
My favourite "controlled vocab" translation was the one they gave for "Venetian", apparently it means "inhabitant of Venus", which must be a shock to the inhabitants of Venice.  It was stuck in the CV for years but I think they eventually removed it.
So far, I haven't noticed any photos of inhabitants of Venus on iSTock, but I suppose they are hiding there, somewhere.

That's because they are Venusians - you used the wrong search term.  In this case the lack of images is not the CV but most likely the difficulty of getting Venusians to sign a model release!  There is one of a Venusian space ship - maybe someone can get them to sign a model release on their next visit.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
11 Replies
3772 Views
Last post November 19, 2006, 12:52
by leaf
System Update

Started by Istock News Microstock News

3 Replies
1891 Views
Last post September 26, 2007, 15:09
by maco0708
4 Replies
2893 Views
Last post January 03, 2010, 20:18
by icefront
9 Replies
2352 Views
Last post December 26, 2016, 02:32
by Grizz
16 Replies
2642 Views
Last post October 16, 2017, 09:48
by Zero Talent

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results