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Author Topic: Nippyish note from Rebecca Rockafellar  (Read 52354 times)

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« Reply #175 on: December 09, 2012, 18:31 »
0
Hmm just thinking. IS is already second tier for most indies. Take out exclusives and PP and it is a very poor picture for the agency and perhaps worse for contributors sliding to 15% commission rate. I will not take pics down yet but it is not worth the trouble of uploading new images for very little commission if they even could be found. New images from from indies equals best match search death.


« Reply #176 on: December 09, 2012, 18:35 »
0
The reality is....why did she make that post?

1. Are they seeing a defect rate that is killing sales?
2. Is she trying to appease contributors for a "bit" longer to string us along long enough to pay off those venture capitalists?
3. Is she trying to deflect "communication" from "commission"?
4. ADD YOUR OWN SPECULATION HERE.......
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 18:59 by Mantis »

« Reply #177 on: December 09, 2012, 18:57 »
+2
Yeah, pretty much everything they SHOULD do they can't/won't do.  They've boxed themselves in to the current program and the short-term change would be too painful with no guarantee of success.  Ouch.

Yep. Nothing of any significance is going to happen because of RR's thread. If I were a betting man, which I am come to think of it, then I'd just expect IS to continue to slowly decline as time goes on.

It's strange how there's a sort of paralysis against taking meaningful action, within an overly-large organisation, despite how obvious and necessary it might seem to casual observers.

« Reply #178 on: December 09, 2012, 19:13 »
+1
I think its painfully obvious Getty has some grand plan for istock. Regardless of all the anger and speculation we'll just have to be patient to see what is is....shouldn't be too long I would think...

« Reply #179 on: December 09, 2012, 19:22 »
0
The reality is....why did she make that post?

1. Are they seeing a defect rate that is killing sales?
2. Is she trying to appease contributors for a "bit" longer to string us along long enough to pay off those venture capitalists?
3. Is she trying to deflect "communication" from "commission"?
4. ADD YOUR OWN SPECULATION HERE.......

Why? My speculation is she got the instruction from Carlyle and Klein to test the water. It could be someone who got the attention of the power that be. She said herself that her role is limited, many things on contributors wishlist are beyond her power. Now she has got the Pandora's box open, it is interesting to see the next. To be fair to her, she was not the one who started the RC and decline.

« Reply #180 on: December 09, 2012, 19:25 »
0
I can't imagine they plan to close the site like many people seem to fear. Why get rid of such a strong brand? And why start adding different payments methods etc. if they plan to close it.

I'm trying to stay positive. Whatever they plan for the future it can only get better. :P
I like that they're offering new ways to pay, and I'm hoping for an improved zoom function. And I've noticed iStock ads every here and there on Graphic Design sites.

« Reply #181 on: December 09, 2012, 19:49 »
0
naiveness among contributor community is at laughable levels  ;D

they have no intention to do anything you wish them to do and that woman tells it very clearly in her posts..

I have no respect for her and/or any other people running that company who are making a fool of us.. and most of the contributors fell into the trap by believing they have good intentions now  :D


« Reply #182 on: December 09, 2012, 20:02 »
0
They should just set istock free.

Give it back to Bruce or find somebody from the community and come to a sensible agreement. They can then have a licensing agreement for the exclusive content and cherry pick whatever they want for their luxury brands that they can micromanage to their hearts content. Getty is the Hermes of the stock industry, they have the upper market locked in very well, where you can go wheeling and dealing for multimillion dollar contracts with large cooperations. Nothing wrong with that business model.

But istock doesn't fit in there.

They need a licensing agreement similar to the one  they have with flickr.

Istock can then go back to growing organically and becoming the marketplace of the industry.

Well. at least that scenario would give us a future. Sort of like Steve Jobs saved Apple when he came back in after John Scully nearly destroyed it. And look were Apple is now, even without him.

I don't see anyone from Getty having the necessary skills and vision to replace Bruce.

They have owned the place for 6 years and still don't get it.

Give it back to Bruce?  yeah right, he was the one that put us there from the very start, by selling it, knowing full well the Getty track history after take-overs.

Youre 100% right though, Getty has the upper end well and truly and IS as you say dont fit in there.

I completely agree, Bruce threw us under the bus for his own gain!

« Reply #183 on: December 09, 2012, 20:21 »
+1
It is clear that when they screwed us, they screwed themselves more.

IS screwing its contributors does seem to have had negative effects for them. But IS are by no means screwed yet.


 And it is bizarre that most do not see that we are truly in the driver seat.  What most of these sites have failed to realize is that a significant portion of their buyers are also independent contributors.

I say let them burn in hell, they deserve what is coming to them!

Most aren't though. It's a very small percentage of contributors who provide most of the content. It's in their hands, but these few have never utilised the power that they have. Arcurs made a stand by creating his own site, but it's not much of a stand really. If those few top dogs had got together and coordinated something, which wouldn't be difficult really, companies like IS could have been long gone and other agencies wouldn't dare to pull the antics that IS did.

Absoloutely!  had the top guys got together and showed some guts the situation would have been totally differant and other agencies would have got a serious lesson. Thats what happend within the Image-Bank, in 92.

Well the way things have turned out I am sure some of them wished they had done something. The future isnt looking all that bright, is it.

IS failed to consider is the backlash from image buyers who are also part time non exclusive and low volume exclusive submitters. Take a good look at Alexa traffic numbers. They droped steadily after they made the RC announcement and in turn SS's numbers rose steadily. IS failed to take into account how many of us actually work in industries that buy images in volume.

I know that I have steered a good deal of business to other sites and my friends and business associates have as well.

Volume submitters like Yuri do not generally buy images in volume, they are too busy producing images!

« Reply #184 on: December 09, 2012, 23:39 »
0
[OT] I'm looking forward to reading the December sales thread. They're claming 42,876 extra downloads over their 'expectations', although they have made their expections non-transparent, as it's not 'extra downloads over the same period last year', but
"*"Extra files" determined by aggregating the total number of downloads over the campaign period which ranges from November 19 to December 13 and comparing this data to the total number of downloads that we expect to generate during this timeframe which is based on results from a similar period of time in the previous year; any incremental downloads beyond the expected downloads for this period will constitute an extra file.
That could mean anything. Their target could be based on the worst four weeks last year (that would be a similar period of time).

It's all smoke and mirrors.

My thoughts exactly Sue.

There's no way they'd admit they didn't hit their target even if they only sold 50,000 in the period they'd still somehow hit their target through shady accounting - because there was no transparency.
Someone needs to audit that 5h1t.

So moving some numbers around they can hit any target, and I'll guarantee it's nowhere near last year's sales - just looking at the traffic it has to be impossible, hence their new term, 'expectations'

You'll notice there's never any mention of beating previous sales totals anymore - it's all expectations.

Well I know what I expect.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 23:42 by wolfman »

« Reply #185 on: December 10, 2012, 01:08 »
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In any case. Consider this!  does Getty really need IS nowdays?  with billions of mirrored images into TS, with E+ and Vettas incorporated in the Getty search mechanism? and thats just the beginning.
So why should they need IS? I cant find one single legit reason why they should need a brand name called IS?

If IS should fail, it will cast a long black shadow over this entire industry and IMO, there are agencies which are much worse.
IS, is still a good source of income.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 01:18 by ClaridgeJ »

« Reply #186 on: December 10, 2012, 01:46 »
+2
most of the contributors fell into the trap by believing they have good intentions now  :D
I don't see any sign of that. Almost all the posts in that thread seem to be heavily laced with scepticism. Giving a civil response to a question isn't the same as believing in good intentions.

As for why she posted, I'd run with the idea that the Carlyle group, having discovered what they have bought, want to try to undo some of the damage to the brand that H&F and Getty inflicted on it. It's significant that Rebecca admitted that "some" contributors think istock is incompetent, uncaring and greedy. I can almost hear the Chairman telling her "we've got to change that perception, Rebecca, it's bad for business. Win back their confidence and it will help stop the hemorrhaging on the bottom line".

So the whole thing is probably just a PR exercise. My guess is that the response has been exactly as expected. If there are any surprises in it, it will probably only be that so many diamonds and even black diamonds are openly talking about quitting exclusivity. That one may have caught them off balance, I doubt if anything else has.

ClaridgeJ - one reason they might want it is that it is still a cash cow.

« Reply #187 on: December 10, 2012, 02:00 »
0
most of the contributors fell into the trap by believing they have good intentions now  :D
I don't see any sign of that. Almost all the posts in that thread seem to be heavily laced with scepticism. Giving a civil response to a question isn't the same as believing in good intentions.

As for why she posted, I'd run with the idea that the Carlyle group, having discovered what they have bought, want to try to undo some of the damage to the brand that H&F and Getty inflicted on it. It's significant that Rebecca admitted that "some" contributors think istock is incompetent, uncaring and greedy. I can almost hear the Chairman telling her "we've got to change that perception, Rebecca, it's bad for business. Win back their confidence and it will help stop the hemorrhaging on the bottom line".

So the whole thing is probably just a PR exercise. My guess is that the response has been exactly as expected. If there are any surprises in it, it will probably only be that so many diamonds and even black diamonds are openly talking about quitting exclusivity. That one may have caught them off balance, I doubt if anything else has.

ClaridgeJ - one reason they might want it is that it is still a cash cow.

Yes its a cash cow! as I said, still a good source of income. Dont know about you Paul but Im having a great month right now.
best. :)

« Reply #188 on: December 10, 2012, 02:50 »
+2
It's fairly lousy for me, Christian. I've made more than three times as much at SS this month as at IS. Right now, DT and IS are neck-and-neck.

« Reply #189 on: December 10, 2012, 03:11 »
0
most of the contributors fell into the trap by believing they have good intentions now  :D
I don't see any sign of that. Almost all the posts in that thread seem to be heavily laced with scepticism. Giving a civil response to a question isn't the same as believing in good intentions.

As for why she posted, I'd run with the idea that the Carlyle group, having discovered what they have bought, want to try to undo some of the damage to the brand that H&F and Getty inflicted on it. It's significant that Rebecca admitted that "some" contributors think istock is incompetent, uncaring and greedy. I can almost hear the Chairman telling her "we've got to change that perception, Rebecca, it's bad for business. Win back their confidence and it will help stop the hemorrhaging on the bottom line".

So the whole thing is probably just a PR exercise. My guess is that the response has been exactly as expected. If there are any surprises in it, it will probably only be that so many diamonds and even black diamonds are openly talking about quitting exclusivity. That one may have caught them off balance, I doubt if anything else has.

ClaridgeJ - one reason they might want it is that it is still a cash cow.

Yes its a cash cow! as I said, still a good source of income. Dont know about you Paul but Im having a great month right now.
best. :)

Yes SS is still delivering and DT is constanly on the rise, level with IS actually. In my books FT is the dissapointing one. Ever since their change some 6 months back its downhill.

« Reply #190 on: December 10, 2012, 04:06 »
+1
....To be fair to her, she was not the one who started the RC and decline.
But she has been the boss for over a year, wouldn't anyone capable of making positive changes start doing something much sooner than this?  Do you think istock is better now than a year ago?  And from her comments in the forum, she has very little understanding of the problems most of us see with the site.  She has already told us she can't do much about the big things that have ruined istock for many of us, like the commission cuts below 20% and the RC levels, that obviously should of been lowered a lot when many of their buyers were sent to Thinkstock.

« Reply #191 on: December 10, 2012, 04:15 »
+1
....To be fair to her, she was not the one who started the RC and decline.
But she has been the boss for over a year, wouldn't anyone capable of making positive changes start doing something much sooner than this?  Do you think istock is better now than a year ago?  And from her comments in the forum, she has very little understanding of the problems most of us see with the site.  She has already told us she can't do much about the big things that have ruined istock for many of us, like the commission cuts below 20% and the RC levels, that obviously should of been lowered a lot when many of their buyers were sent to Thinkstock.

I am not defending her, but as many have pointed out, when Getty was going through the due diligence of an acquisition, as well as a possible IPO if I remember correctly, the board may not be able to provide a clear direction to her. Clearly she did not come to the forum to open her heart because her conscience suddenly awoke. It is most likely a boss wanted her to do this for some reason. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

« Reply #192 on: December 10, 2012, 04:41 »
0
most of the contributors fell into the trap by believing they have good intentions now  :D
I don't see any sign of that. Almost all the posts in that thread seem to be heavily laced with scepticism. Giving a civil response to a question isn't the same as believing in good intentions.

As for why she posted, I'd run with the idea that the Carlyle group, having discovered what they have bought, want to try to undo some of the damage to the brand that H&F and Getty inflicted on it. It's significant that Rebecca admitted that "some" contributors think istock is incompetent, uncaring and greedy. I can almost hear the Chairman telling her "we've got to change that perception, Rebecca, it's bad for business. Win back their confidence and it will help stop the hemorrhaging on the bottom line".

So the whole thing is probably just a PR exercise. My guess is that the response has been exactly as expected. If there are any surprises in it, it will probably only be that so many diamonds and even black diamonds are openly talking about quitting exclusivity. That one may have caught them off balance, I doubt if anything else has.

ClaridgeJ - one reason they might want it is that it is still a cash cow.

Looks like damage control and attemps @ perception management.  I knew it could not be a great Nov/Dec when several of my black diamond mates started to refer to IS as ISuck.

Could be that they shuffled sales down to the 20% or lower royalty crowd during prime income season for many exclusives.

« Reply #193 on: December 10, 2012, 04:49 »
0
They haven't shuffled in my direction, anyway, and I'm sub-20%

Poncke

« Reply #194 on: December 10, 2012, 04:55 »
0
....To be fair to her, she was not the one who started the RC and decline.
But she has been the boss for over a year, wouldn't anyone capable of making positive changes start doing something much sooner than this?  Do you think istock is better now than a year ago?  And from her comments in the forum, she has very little understanding of the problems most of us see with the site.  She has already told us she can't do much about the big things that have ruined istock for many of us, like the commission cuts below 20% and the RC levels, that obviously should of been lowered a lot when many of their buyers were sent to Thinkstock.
Exactly. Thats why I think its a fail. She should have come prepared to the forum, she had been watching it for a year. Thats why I think she has no clue how to manage this situation.

« Reply #195 on: December 10, 2012, 07:40 »
0
It's significant that Rebecca admitted that "some" contributors think istock is incompetent, uncaring and greedy. I can almost hear the Chairman telling her "we've got to change that perception, Rebecca, it's bad for business. Win back their confidence and it will help stop the hemorrhaging on the bottom line".

The problem is there is nothing they can do to change that perception.. They will remain incompetent, uncaring and greedy for as long as the contributor royalties stay at current levels..

Already paying the worst commissions "by far" before the changes, they made it even worse than the worst..

How can a company reverse that kind of screw up?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:32 by cidepix »

« Reply #196 on: December 10, 2012, 08:11 »
+5
Im wondering if part of the problem is that all the getty employees dont have portfolios themselves.

Even if you have a small portfolio, you become much more invested in the success of the site, it stops being "just a job".

I doubt that a "search fairy" with her own portfolio would ever have allowed best match to deteriorate to the state it is in. You are simply more connected to your job if you are truly involved.

Same goes for Rebecca and the others.

The old istock had a lot of people, and certainly the executives, that had portfolios so they would always be "in tune" with the site.

istock had a culture with a strong entrepreneurial flair, with very dedicated passionate people that live and breathe the site.

I really dont think people who approach their job from a distance, or one day work on this getty agency, the next day on another one can ever have the passion that drives excellence. The emotional connection just isnt there.

They probably dont have friends or family with portfolios either, so their work does not influence the monthly income of their friends.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:14 by cobalt »

Microbius

« Reply #197 on: December 10, 2012, 08:12 »
0
The problem is there is nothing they can do to change that perception.. They will remain incompetent, uncaring and greedy for as long as the contributor royalties stay at current levels..

Already paying to worst commissions "by far" before the changes, they made it even worse than the worst..

How can a company reverse that kind of screw up?

This is spot on. There's a whole industry that likes to pretend communication is the key to building the kind of loyalty IStock used to have, and Rebecca is part of that side of things.

I don't care how you tell me you are taking an 80%+ cut, I am still going to hate you for it. In fact I would probably respect you more for not patronizing me by polishing that particular turd.

There's no way she will be able to accept that communication isn't the problem here. Her chosen field is based on the idea that you can solve these problems by marketing the message differently. And it is in her interest to sell that idea up the chain. That is the only thing she can do anything about. To admit otherwise would make her role redundant.



Poncke

« Reply #198 on: December 10, 2012, 08:15 »
0
Im wandering if part of the problem is that all the getty employees dont have portfolios themselves.

Even if you have a small portfolio, you become much more invested in the success of the site, it stops being "just a job".

I doubt that a "search fairy" with her own portfolio would ever have allowed best match to deteriorate to the state it is in. You are simply more connected to your job if you are truly involved.

Same goes for Rebecca and the others.

The old istock had a lot of people, and certainly the executives, that had portfolios so they would always be "in tune" with the site.
Good obeservation. Most stock sites were founded by photographers or designers or at least by people with some passion or somewhat related to imagery. After two take overs by investment companies and having lost and replaced loads of people in management, they probably also lost connection with creating images and the mechanics of a commercial portfolio.

rubyroo

« Reply #199 on: December 10, 2012, 08:24 »
+1
Yes, excellent observations Cobalt.

Someone recently posted on the difference in management style from people who have worked their way up through the ranks and have understood the issues and difficulties at every level of an organisation.  Their breadth of understanding and empathy makes them far better managers than those 'new brooms that sweep clean' who enter a company at a senior level with no understanding of the way things connect before they start pulling apart the critical 'glue' that holds things together and makes them work.

One of those historical errors that just keeps repeating itself over and over, and seemingly everywhere.  I doubt it will ever change, sadly.  'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it' and all that...

I remember learning at university that the number one most common problem in all hierarchical organisations is the inability of those at the top to actually listen to the people at lower levels.  Communication flows downwards very easily, but all the routes upwards are blocked.  As soon as I heard that, I realised that indeed that HAD been the major problem in a lot of companies I'd worked for.  Such a shame that this still continues... it's all just wasted opportunity.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:30 by rubyroo »


 

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