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Author Topic: Nippyish note from Rebecca Rockafellar  (Read 52375 times)

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« Reply #100 on: December 08, 2012, 12:01 »
+4
As for Gostwyck's remark about "being invisible to those you lead", I don't really see the IStock CEO's job as being to lead the contributors, I see it as being to lead the employees. As has been stated repeatedly, contributors are impressed by better earnings and better conditions, they don't need guidance to do their work, we all do our own thing. If the CEO gets the staff to fix the bugs and the Getty management to agree policies that deliver growth and fairer returns for us then I think she would be doing her job. I don't need to have a woo-yay experience from her or to think that she is an ultra-cool cat. Those days for iStock are gone forever.

Istock haven't had a CEO since one Bruce Livingstone sold out. That's part of the problem. Rebecca is just the General Manager, a part-time job that she juggles whilst also being Getty's Senior VP for E-Commerce.

Istock's greatest strength was most definitely the crowd-sourcing community it built up __ and that takes leadership. Back in the day many contributors were positively fanatical, signing up for exclusivity when it was not really in their financial interest to do so, happily donating their time and services in writing articles, helping others, 'keyword wiki-ing', etc, etc. You can't buy that stuff and they don't stock it on the shelves but it is incredibly valuable. Such leadership and vision may not be essential for an agency to be successful __ but it sure does help.


« Reply #101 on: December 08, 2012, 12:04 »
0
why is everybody saying they would be happy with the initial %20 commission?

any other agency would be crucified if they announced they will pay %20, so why be happy if this ridiculous site pays us %20?

I never knew I had this much hatred in me..  >:( >:( >:( >:(

That's kind of my opinion. When they decided to pay less than 20%, it was a wake up call. It made me realize that I was getting ripped off by most of these agencies. I have to thank iStock though. They put me on the path to building a better microstock business for myself.

totally agree.. we should continue improving our own businesses.. as I mentioned somewhere above, istock is making less for me, but overall I am making much more..

the wake up call for me was when fotolia screwed up the contributors before istock but I was reluctant to act fast.. istock provided the last straw for me.. so I am grateful to them as well..

« Reply #102 on: December 08, 2012, 12:15 »
0
why is everybody saying they would be happy with the initial %20 commission?

any other agency would be crucified if they announced they will pay %20, so why be happy if this ridiculous site pays us %20?

I never knew I had this much hatred in me..  >:( >:( >:( >:(

That's kind of my opinion. When they decided to pay less than 20%, it was a wake up call. It made me realize that I was getting ripped off by most of these agencies. I have to thank iStock though. They put me on the path to building a better microstock business for myself.

totally agree.. we should continue improving our own businesses.. as I mentioned somewhere above, istock is making less for me, but overall I am making much more..

the wake up call for me was when fotolia screwed up the contributors before istock but I was reluctant to act fast.. istock provided the last straw for me.. so I am grateful to them as well..

That's basically what happened to me. I already had FT on double secret probation, and I was coming off a no growth year at SS when IS decided to drop their bomb. It definitely resonated loudly in my little world. Especially that statement about being unsustainable. It was like I learned a new word and decided to put it to use.

« Reply #103 on: December 08, 2012, 12:19 »
0
IS can call me back when they're ready to pay a reasonable commission, and just read keywords from IPTC, and I start making an occasional sale again on photos already there.   

I don't known their history, I don't know the players, I don't use their forum.  It's not personal.  Their process is just too much of a hassle, the payback is too small, and my sales stopped months ago.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 12:27 by stockastic »

« Reply #104 on: December 08, 2012, 12:23 »
+1
I caught up with what had been said overnight in the iStock thread, and Dieter (inhauscreative) Sean, Lisa, Gannet77, StanRoher - plus many others - made lots of clear, logical, practical, posts. I wish I could believe these would be taken to heart and acted on.

However, nothing that was said in this thread was new. It's all been said, repeatedly, in the forums over the last two years. If she wasn't listening before, why is she going to start now?

As was said by someone, the comments in the thread about best match - that it's all working as designed - suggest that little has changed. They just don't get how messed up the buyer experience is. And the note that zoom is coming back next week is interesting, but that's been said several times by Lobo since it went away - end of this week or next week at the latest. And so far, people are still waiting.

I still think they should borrow the magnifier from Sean's Accord site - I like that much better than iStock's old zoom feature anyway

« Reply #105 on: December 08, 2012, 12:30 »
0
^ I like the magnifier too, IS should include a bunch if not all of the GM Scripts

« Reply #106 on: December 08, 2012, 12:39 »
0
Yawn... that note at iStock sounded like the usual corporate mumbo jumbo. They could have been on the brink of bankruptcy and it still would have been: "We're number one and are looking forward to a fantastic record breaking 2013!"

« Reply #107 on: December 08, 2012, 12:49 »
0
^ I like the magnifier too, IS should include a bunch if not all of the GM Scripts

one thing at a time ;D

« Reply #108 on: December 08, 2012, 13:16 »
+5
However, nothing that was said in this thread was new. It's all been said, repeatedly, in the forums over the last two years. If she wasn't listening before, why is she going to start now?

I think RR's post has gone wildly off the topic she intended. She just wanted to announce a 'fresh start for communication'. If anything she was giving contributors a bollocking for being so mean in the forums when actually everyone at IS/Getty is working really, really hard for us.

If you read the OP, she wasn't asking what our concerns are or what we wanted to see improved. In her world our job is to listen and gratefully accept the pearls of wisdom she might bestow upon us, if and when she feels like doing so.

Unfortunately, now that she's broken cover and popped up in the forum, everyone is using the opportunity to get a few things off their chest and/or give her a well-deserved slap.

I wouldn't bet on RR remaining as Istock's GM by the end of 2013. Carlyle will want action taken if targets fail to be met at one of their prime assets.

« Reply #109 on: December 08, 2012, 13:33 »
0
I really don't get what . Rebecca thought she was doing.  Her post was alternately defensive and hostile.  How exactly was this sort of communication supposed to improve anything?  Not that the biggest problem at iStock is one of communication.  It's all about performance, what contributors have to put up with and what we get in return.  And that's a growing disaster with no sign of letting up.  At least it is for me; your mileage may vary.

« Reply #110 on: December 08, 2012, 13:47 »
0
I was surprised to see her post this about 45 minutes ago

Quote
Hello all.  Just a quick note to say that I'm in here, reading all of your thoughtful and thought provoking posts.

You have made one thing abundantly clear - we have to prove it.  Duly noted.

More from me when I've had time to process all of this - later today.  And I do mean today, unless I am hit by a bus. 

And this is even a weekend!

« Reply #111 on: December 08, 2012, 13:47 »
0
However, nothing that was said in this thread was new. It's all been said, repeatedly, in the forums over the last two years. If she wasn't listening before, why is she going to start now?

I think RR's post has gone wildly off the topic she intended. She just wanted to announce a 'fresh start for communication'. If anything she was giving contributors a bollocking for being so mean in the forums when actually everyone at IS/Getty is working really, really hard for us.

If you read the OP, she wasn't asking what our concerns are or what we wanted to see improved. In her world our job is to listen and gratefully accept the pearls of wisdom she might bestow upon us, if and when she feels like doing so.

Unfortunately, now that she's broken cover and popped up in the forum, everyone is using the opportunity to get a few things off their chest and/or give her a well-deserved slap.

I wouldn't bet on RR remaining as Istock's GM by the end of 2013. Carlyle will want action taken if targets fail to be met at one of their prime assets.

I WOULD bet that by the end of 2013 there will be no more istock. It will be absorbed into Getty or Thinkstock, whichever category the contributor's portfolio fits into by their reasoning. She's just there in the interim, to keep the troops at bay until Getty can get their house in order and make the transitions.

If they were going to make positive changes to please the contributors' and their own bottom line, wouldn't they be actually making positive changes, and not just talking about making changes? Why go to the forum and say you're going to do something. Why not just do it?

« Reply #112 on: December 08, 2012, 13:52 »
0
I was surprised to see her post this about 45 minutes ago

Quote
Hello all.  Just a quick note to say that I'm in here, reading all of your thoughtful and thought provoking posts.

You have made one thing abundantly clear - we have to prove it.  Duly noted.

More from me when I've had time to process all of this - later today.  And I do mean today, unless I am hit by a bus. 

And this is even a weekend!

Right. She's a corporate exec and she needs to read our comments to find out how to fix istock. I don't think so. It's the usual istock MO...send in someone "important" and let the contributor idiots (what they think contributors are, not me) think they are actually being listened to.

Here's my idea for her. Don't waste your time in the forum, just fix the site, and pay contributors more money! How simple is that? I should have her job and make her salary.  >:(

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #113 on: December 08, 2012, 13:53 »
0
I was surprised to see her post this about 45 minutes ago

Quote
Hello all.  Just a quick note to say that I'm in here, reading all of your thoughtful and thought provoking posts.

You have made one thing abundantly clear - we have to prove it.  Duly noted.

More from me when I've had time to process all of this - later today.  And I do mean today, unless I am hit by a bus. 

And this is even a weekend!

Give the girl a coconut.  ::)

« Reply #114 on: December 08, 2012, 13:56 »
+1
I was surprised to see her post this about 45 minutes ago

Quote
Hello all.  Just a quick note to say that I'm in here, reading all of your thoughtful and thought provoking posts.

You have made one thing abundantly clear - we have to prove it.  Duly noted.

More from me when I've had time to process all of this - later today.  And I do mean today, unless I am hit by a bus. 

And this is even a weekend!

Give the girl a coconut.  ::)

I had to bite my lip too. "Should we send chocolates or flowers?"

« Reply #115 on: December 08, 2012, 14:06 »
0
She is a manager and thats it, a go-between and ofcourse the Getty HQ is calling the shots, so no point in being angry with her.

In terms of annual turnover, yes IS, is the number 1 and has always been. There is no micro agency that can challenge that. That said, whoever is number one or two is from our point not even important.
The important thing is how they are treating independants. Ofcourse Exclusives should have an edge and perks etc or else there wouldnt be any exclusives. The total slaughter of independant ports so far is a fact and it gives a bad reputation, a bad image really.

I have been uploading steady and sure enough Im seeing a big increase in sales, not like it was but today Im just around 25% down instead of between 40-50%.

At this moment no agency is doing all that brillant and they have all got their differant problems. Right now IS have got the right timing to do something constructive here, try to capitalize on the situation. I hope they realize that.

I feel this letter is pretty sincere and I know for a big fact the Getty HQ is not too happy with the present situation but I for one will keep uploadning, plodding on and earn money. :)

« Reply #116 on: December 08, 2012, 14:28 »
0
As for Gostwyck's remark about "being invisible to those you lead", I don't really see the IStock CEO's job as being to lead the contributors, I see it as being to lead the employees. As has been stated repeatedly, contributors are impressed by better earnings and better conditions, they don't need guidance to do their work, we all do our own thing. If the CEO gets the staff to fix the bugs and the Getty management to agree policies that deliver growth and fairer returns for us then I think she would be doing her job. I don't need to have a woo-yay experience from her or to think that she is an ultra-cool cat. Those days for iStock are gone forever.

Istock haven't had a CEO since one Bruce Livingstone sold out. That's part of the problem. Rebecca is just the General Manager, a part-time job that she juggles whilst also being Getty's Senior VP for E-Commerce.

Istock's greatest strength was most definitely the crowd-sourcing community it built up __ and that takes leadership. Back in the day many contributors were positively fanatical, signing up for exclusivity when it was not really in their financial interest to do so, happily donating their time and services in writing articles, helping others, 'keyword wiki-ing', etc, etc. You can't buy that stuff and they don't stock it on the shelves but it is incredibly valuable. Such leadership and vision may not be essential for an agency to be successful __ but it sure does help.

Yes, I agree with you (and I couldn't be arsed to check up on the current official title) but all that stuff that Brucey Babe did has long since been squandered and I really don't think it can ever be clawed back. The best they could possibly do now is to make people reasonably content with the overall representation the agency gives.

« Reply #117 on: December 08, 2012, 14:33 »
0
Somewhat off topic - I am intrigued by the results of a google search on the rather unusual spelling of her surname.

« Reply #118 on: December 08, 2012, 14:34 »
+2
At this moment no agency is doing all that brillant and they have all got their differant problems. Right now IS have got the right timing to do something constructive here, try to capitalize on the situation. I hope they realize that.

That opportunity was 2 years ago. They blew it. The only people left (buyers and contributors) are the true believers and those that want the "good old days" back. Everybody else has moved on and they aren't coming back. Neither are the "good old days". I don't see how they can repair the damage even if they were sincere about doing it. Unless, they have invented a time machine.

traveler1116

« Reply #119 on: December 08, 2012, 15:01 »
0
The only people left (buyers and contributors) are the true believers and those that want the "good old days" back. Everybody else has moved on and they aren't coming back.
Interesting how you know what everyone is making at iStock and what they would make as independents, maybe you could share where you get your figures?

« Reply #120 on: December 08, 2012, 15:06 »
+5
It's quite clear from Ms Rockerfeller's post that she doesn't understand the root of the animosity to istockphoto.

The lack of communication is not the reason people are down on istock.

The money grabbing, reduction in royalty payout levels is the root of the anger.

Site not working, lack of communication, are all things that in the past we would have lived with and commiserated with istock over when we felt that we were in this together.
But now they are things that we vent our anger over because it's not a partnership now, we are the serfs, they are the master.

While income was still growing people were willing (to some extent) put up with this new relationship dynamic, they may not have been happy, but they would tolerate it.

Now incomes are dropping (almost across the board) there's much less reason for exclusives to stay exclusive. When I was earning $5k a month I would not even consider losing half that income to go non-exclusive, but now next year I will drop yet another % level, and my monthly income from istock is down to $1k there's not that much to risk by dropping exclusivity, which I will be doing in the new year - sure is going to be an interesting time, but a misguided attempt, after over a year of issues,  money grabbing and falling incomes is a little too little a lot too late IMHO


« Reply #121 on: December 08, 2012, 15:06 »
0
At this moment no agency is doing all that brillant and they have all got their differant problems. Right now IS have got the right timing to do something constructive here, try to capitalize on the situation. I hope they realize that.

That opportunity was 2 years ago. They blew it. The only people left (buyers and contributors) are the true believers and those that want the "good old days" back. Everybody else has moved on and they aren't coming back. Neither are the "good old days". I don't see how they can repair the damage even if they were sincere about doing it. Unless, they have invented a time machine.

I am not sure? wish I was. Perhaps not repair but lets say modify, make thing better and for everybody, with the help of Getty ofcourse. Never underestimate the power of Getty! they still prevail and lightyears above the rest.

FT,  took their money and ran! SS? what will they do? nothing exept "experimenting" as they called it with their "relevancy" search which costed a lot to some big ports within SS. Great hey?

Nah, basically theyre all the same, no marketing what-so-ever, policies are out the window and short term thinking. Its all a mugs game isnt it, sometimes a profitable one. Sad thing is,  it could be so much more. :D

« Reply #122 on: December 08, 2012, 15:13 »
+1
I really don't get what . Rebecca thought she was doing.  Her post was alternately defensive and hostile.  How exactly was this sort of communication supposed to improve anything?  Not that the biggest problem at iStock is one of communication.  It's all about performance, what contributors have to put up with and what we get in return.  And that's a growing disaster with no sign of letting up.  At least it is for me; your mileage may vary.

Neither Rebecca nor KKT would be the major decision makers. Klein is the directing mind behind all these with the old/new owners. She stepped out just to say, ok, we are going to fix some issues, such as the zoom (so we have paid attention to your complaints), now you guys be quiet and nice to us (when we take our next steps). Remember back when Bruce was having fights with Klein and open about the disagreements? Klein has the habit of using front line people to convey tough messages. Bruce and Kelly, being a part of the traditional iStock community, appeared friendly and attentive. Klein and Rebecca are not part of it and they will not be. It is naive to think the old "community spirit" will return.

What matters to all of us, is the bottom line. It will be interesting to see if they will make win-win next steps, or win-loss (eventually loss-loss).

aspp

« Reply #123 on: December 08, 2012, 15:15 »
0
I WOULD bet that by the end of 2013 there will be no more istock. It will be absorbed into Getty or Thinkstock, whichever category the contributor's portfolio fits into by their reasoning.

No chance. It's much too valuable as a store. Why would Getty be wasting their time moving so much content to the IS if there was any intention of killing it ?

In terms of closer integration, more likely (speculating)  is that somewhere down the roadmap at least some of those photographers who currently upload via Getty will be encouraged to upload via IS instead. Ultimately a single upload portal for most people is going to surely be the most cost effective. The crowd sourced inspection process and people doing their own keywording is a great model when it works. Much lower overheads and work can be online much more quickly than under an agency style model.

My guess is that IS is actually fairly crucial to the whole Getty plan. Knocking it into shape and fixing the broken reputation is probably important. This is all speculation.

« Reply #124 on: December 08, 2012, 16:08 »
0
The only people left (buyers and contributors) are the true believers and those that want the "good old days" back. Everybody else has moved on and they aren't coming back.
Interesting how you know what everyone is making at iStock and what they would make as independents, maybe you could share where you get your figures?

You read the same things I do, so I don't have any special insight or sources. I'm sure there are still people that are doing well at IS, but the trend seems to be down for most contributors. Clearly, there is a lot of frustration, otherwise this thread and the tons of others wouldn't exist.

I have no idea what exclusives will make as independents. They may do worse (I'm not bullish on DT, FT or SS either), but I don't see why anybody would expect things to get better at IS at this point. It's been 2 years since things started to decline there. Whatever issues they had with buyers in that time probably will never be resolved. I can only assume those buyers have moved on to new sources for their image needs.

No psychic powers here just general observations based on what people share.


 

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