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Author Topic: Nippyish note from Rebecca Rockafellar  (Read 53195 times)

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ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #225 on: December 10, 2012, 13:22 »
+1
Futile! no matter what we say or wish. Our voices wont be heard.  Wont even be read. Their 100% top priority are all their exclusives. Thats their life-blood and frankly quite rightly so.
Sean's sales graph and many posts on RR's thread and the Oct and Nov sales threads would suggest that many/most exclusives are suffering just as much - indeed many have seen slumps so deep they're assuming iStock wants rid of 'expensive' exclusives.


« Reply #226 on: December 10, 2012, 13:31 »
0
What information are we to share with iStock that they don't already know?  We each only hold a piece of information through what happens in our portfolios.  iStock has access to every bit of information to make informed decisions in regard to this company, they own it.  The thread initiated by Rebecca is senseless.  Why was it even started?  Why?

« Reply #227 on: December 10, 2012, 13:32 »
0
There was a massive new ingestion of Getty Agency images over the last few days and the first page (200) of searches supposedly by Best Match are larded with those. Clearly new images and Getty transfers - or both - are currently considered "best" to the exclusion of just about anything else but a pink flame

So when they say the best match is right where it should be, they're not kidding.  If, as an individual, if someone asked you to 'reset the conversation' while simultaneously taking actions to hurt you ... isn't that a bit psychotic?

« Reply #228 on: December 10, 2012, 13:48 »
+4
In case anybody missed it, Sean Locke's sales chart is a devastating comment on what has been happening at iStock
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=349591&messageid=6796145
(and, in case anybody doesn't know, Sean is one of the biggest half-dozen superstars that iStock has, with a volume of sales that is statistically meaningful)


I read the situation for Istock to be really, really serious. Sean's sales have halved over the last two years, so have yours, mine and lots of others too. Pretty much anyone, it would seem, who haven't increased their portfolio massively (like 2-3X) over that period. Until Sean published his graph I had no idea that things were quite this bad.

It might sound crazy but at the current rate of decline ... in a further two years from now ... Istock's sales would actually be zero, or at least close enough for it not to matter. If you draw a trend-line on Sean's graph, following the decline from Nov 2010, it actually hits the x-axis in about 15 months from now.

Prices have already been hiked to the maximum, possibly even beyond what most customers will bear, so no relief is to be found there. All this when the contributors themselves are spitting blood on the forums and threatening to ditch their crowns, if they haven't already done so.

It could hardly be more serious for Istock. Unless they do something drastic and fast they could be effectively out of the microstock game in little more than two years. I really don't see what other conclusions could possibly be drawn from such a massive and sustained decline in sales in so short a period. Istock's position is quite literally unsustainable.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #229 on: December 10, 2012, 13:50 »
0
As a former software developer for big companies - I can tell you that questions lke "how hard could it be?" are typically not well received. 

The honest answer is often "very hard and I couldn't possibly explain why, in non-technical terms".  ...

It's not about the question how hard can it be to fix the broken site.

It's about whether they finally accept the fact that the original platform is bound to cause issues as we all can see now.

Don't you agree that if IS invested $30,000,000 some really capable company could actually design a functioning web site? They would recoup that money within months of increasing revenue because buyers would come back...

P.S. In fact who the heck designed Getty Images? Maybe those programmers would be able to provide a starting point...

That's what I was thinking too. The GI site seems to be fairly well designed, stable and performs well. I've never seen any issues after they make a change to it and I've never seen anything on forums about site problems.

This is also why I think it would make sense for them to just dump the entire IS platform and either use GI as the backend technology or move IS content as collections to GI. Only one platform to maintain, more stable and an IT team who seems to know how to run projects. Plus one platform would probably lower costs for hardware, software licensing, hosting, maintenance, and labor. And they wouldn't need to create integration connectors to move content around from different systems.

« Reply #230 on: December 10, 2012, 14:13 »
+2
In case anybody missed it, Sean Locke's sales chart is a devastating comment on what has been happening at iStock
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=349591&messageid=6796145
(and, in case anybody doesn't know, Sean is one of the biggest half-dozen superstars that iStock has, with a volume of sales that is statistically meaningful)


I read the situation for Istock to be really, really serious. Sean's sales have halved over the last two years, so have yours, mine and lots of others too. Pretty much anyone, it would seem, who haven't increased their portfolio massively (like 2-3X) over that period. Until Sean published his graph I had no idea that things were quite this bad.

It might sound crazy but at the current rate of decline ... in a further two years from now ... Istock's sales would actually be zero, or at least close enough for it not to matter. If you draw a trend-line on Sean's graph, following the decline from Nov 2010, it actually hits the x-axis in about 15 months from now.

Prices have already been hiked to the maximum, possibly even beyond what most customers will bear, so no relief is to be found there. All this when the contributors themselves are spitting blood on the forums and threatening to ditch their crowns, if they haven't already done so.

It could hardly be more serious for Istock. Unless they do something drastic and fast they could be effectively out of the microstock game in little more than two years. I really don't see what other conclusions could possibly be drawn from such a massive and sustained decline in sales in so short a period. Istock's position is quite literally unsustainable.


I have a strange feeling that the Carlyle group didn't grasp all of this at the moment when they signed the cheque.

They appear to be at the point where the decline snowballs into the loss of the exclusives - if they were making six times what we get at SS two years ago, now it is only three times, in a few months they might make more at SS alone than they make at iS as exclusives and at that point exclusivity has long since ceased to be a rational option.

Not that I would welcome them. Hang on to your crown, chaps! Rebecca will make it all good for you before long!

« Reply #231 on: December 10, 2012, 14:18 »
0
I have a strange feeling that the Carlyle group didn't grasp all of this at the moment when they signed the cheque.

I think it is about to dawn on the Carlyle Group that they've been 'done up like a kipper' by H&F!

« Reply #232 on: December 10, 2012, 14:18 »
+1
There was a massive new ingestion of Getty Agency images over the last few days and the first page (200) of searches supposedly by Best Match are larded with those. Clearly new images and Getty transfers - or both - are currently considered "best" to the exclusion of just about anything else but a pink flame

So when they say the best match is right where it should be, they're not kidding.  If, as an individual, if someone asked you to 'reset the conversation' while simultaneously taking actions to hurt you ... isn't that a bit psychotic?

I think the current word is "sociopathic" but there is meant to be a concentration of sociopaths/psychopaths among top business management. It's how they got there in the first place.

« Reply #233 on: December 10, 2012, 14:20 »
0
I have a strange feeling that the Carlyle group didn't grasp all of this at the moment when they signed the cheque.

I think it is about to dawn on the Carlyle Group that they've been 'done up like a kipper' by H&F!

Lol! There was always a rational disconnect in one rape-and-run firm selling their victim on as virginal to another one!

« Reply #234 on: December 10, 2012, 14:22 »
+3
Wow. What a thread! I can't add much to what's already been said, except that the warning bells for me really started to go off when the massive refunds began rolling in and many hundreds-of-thousands of dollars were so quickly and easily removed from contributors' accounts. Best-match tweaks and IT failures are one thing and yes a pain, but reversing so many payments at the expense of suppliers who have no power over the business owners' sales-fraud policies is on a totally different level, a street-thug level. I guess those refunds were made in the spirit of "money isn't what's going to make you happy."

Also, the Alexa trends are very telling, even if not indicative of actual profit$. I mean, a few years back I would have laughed loudly if you told me 123rf would ever pass IS in the Alexa rankings. And the speed with which they lost rank indicates some seriously huge problems.

And now a BIG BIG BIG "THANK YOU!", first to Leaf, and then also to the members/contributors who have made this site the most excellent source for stock news and camaraderie available in mature, sensible, and (mostly) well-thought-out discussions. IS has finally got the hint that "you guys are mad." Yet the overall sense here on MSG is that contributors are not running on emotions alone but are putting together sensible, intelligent ideas of how agencies can make this business better for the providers of their sole source of profit.

Thanks, Leaf, for building a site like this where honest and thoughtful opinions can be voiced and IS or others' management can't lock threads just because their failures are brought to the public light.

This place is the best! Let's keep it that way.

aspp

« Reply #235 on: December 10, 2012, 14:25 »
0
I read the situation for Istock to be really, really serious. Sean's sales have halved over the last two years, so have yours, mine and lots of others too. Pretty much anyone, it would seem, who haven't increased their portfolio massively (like 2-3X) over that period. Until Sean published his graph I had no idea that things were quite this bad.

You might be right. Again. Though in the past two years Getty have themselves uploaded masses of Agency images and wholly owned content. Certainly hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions of images. It is in their interest to sell that stuff ahead of either exclusive or independent content. There is also masses of very polished and timely high budget work being uploaded from people we never hear of.

« Reply #236 on: December 10, 2012, 14:44 »
0
Uh-oh. Rebecca (for it is she) has just spoken again on her 'Communication" thread;

"Hello all, just a brief note to let you know that I am still in here, reading and listening.  You have raised a myriad of issues, both big and small, so we're trying to get our arms around how to address them.

That said, the #1 priority for today, as it has been all weekend, is Best Match, which Mary and the engineers are looking at and working on as we speak.  Please stay tuned."


Is it just me or does anyone else notice a completely different tone to her last compared to how she started the thread?

She sure got herself some 'communication' going in that thread! I'd love to be a fly on the wall when her bosses at Getty phone her whilst reading it.

« Reply #237 on: December 10, 2012, 14:49 »
+1
Uh-oh. Rebecca (for it is she) has just spoken again on her 'Communication" thread;

"Hello all, just a brief note to let you know that I am still in here, reading and listening.  You have raised a myriad of issues, both big and small, so we're trying to get our arms around how to address them.

That said, the #1 priority for today, as it has been all weekend, is Best Match, which Mary and the engineers are looking at and working on as we speak.  Please stay tuned."


Is it just me or does anyone else notice a completely different tone to her last compared to how she started the thread?

She sure got herself some 'communication' going in that thread! I'd love to be a fly on the wall when her bosses at Getty phone her whilst reading it.
You got to wonder what her minions have been telling her all along?

Or maybe the Carlyle accountants found something different then what H&F sold them. Who knows

Poncke

« Reply #238 on: December 10, 2012, 14:49 »
0
Quote
Hello all, just a brief note to let you know that I am still in here, reading and listening.  You have raised a myriad of issues, both big and small, so we're trying to get our arms around how to address them.


That said, the #1 priority for today, as it has been all weekend, is Best Match, which Mary and the engineers are looking at and working on as we speak.  Please stay tuned.

From RR just now. It seems best match is on their radar now, no word on RC

« Reply #239 on: December 10, 2012, 14:51 »
0
Futile! no matter what we say or wish. Our voices wont be heard.  Wont even be read. Their 100% top priority are all their exclusives. Thats their life-blood and frankly quite rightly so.

is Sean independent? ::)

« Reply #240 on: December 10, 2012, 14:51 »
+1
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.

I think the problem with this thinking is that we aren't on the bottom. iStock or any other agency works for you, the contributor (not the other way around). Their sole purpose is to sell your work and make money for the both of you. When they cease to do that in a reliable or profitable way, it's time to fire them. That really should be the message delivered to RR. Everything else is background noise.

« Reply #241 on: December 10, 2012, 14:52 »
0
Uh-oh. Rebecca (for it is she) has just spoken again on her 'Communication" thread;

"Hello all, just a brief note to let you know that I am still in here, reading and listening.  You have raised a myriad of issues, both big and small, so we're trying to get our arms around how to address them.

That said, the #1 priority for today, as it has been all weekend, is Best Match, which Mary and the engineers are looking at and working on as we speak.  Please stay tuned."


Is it just me or does anyone else notice a completely different tone to her last compared to how she started the thread?

She sure got herself some 'communication' going in that thread! I'd love to be a fly on the wall when her bosses at Getty phone her whilst reading it.

I thought that the dropping in the suggestion that the tech team have been working all weekend so it isn't a 9-5 operation was a subtle stroke, much better done than her self-applause for working on a Saturday. But there also seems to be a change of priority, didn't the search escape notice in the last list of top priorities?


« Reply #242 on: December 10, 2012, 14:56 »
+1
I thought that the dropping in the suggestion that the tech team have been working all weekend so it isn't a 9-5 operation was a subtle stroke, much better done than her self-applause for working on a Saturday. But there also seems to be a change of priority, didn't the search escape notice in the last list of top priorities?

Did she? Rebecca? Worked on the weekend? I had no idea. The way things are going some of us contributors might even have to work the odd weekend too.  ::)

Poncke

« Reply #243 on: December 10, 2012, 14:58 »
+3
Great post from PeskyMonkey

Quote
It's strange that best match can go from being 'not broken' to priority #1 just like that.

Microbius

« Reply #244 on: December 10, 2012, 15:02 »
+4
I found her comment about working on the weekend terrifying. There are lots of contributors that are pros running their own businesses, to make that statement shows she has no clue what that entails. I don't know the last time I had a whole weekend off.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #245 on: December 10, 2012, 15:18 »
0
Maybe we should all take the mythological ostrich approach from an iStock thread:
"Seriously; what made iStock such an stressfull place? It used to be a peaceful place couple of years ago.
Forums are really very depressing. I hardly can see positive comments.
I'll try not to follow for awhile."

« Reply #246 on: December 10, 2012, 15:30 »
+4
Rebecca Rockafellar is a manager, nothing more, nothing less. I suspect the next big announcement will be the repair of the zoom feature to the website. It's her goal to come out on the top end of this, to give the appearance of "making progress" while ignoring the real issues that have been raised. Also if the real issues were raised, I suspect it might entail a civil action against them. Best to keep that quiet.

The problem is two different business models - Getty Images - created by a group of ex bankers. None of these people are creatives and it's their goal to present their 20% royalty rate as a "industry standard". In reality, the best possible position for you as a contributor is to die. That way Getty Images would purchase your portfolio from your family and then make 100% royalty earnings from it. The Getty Images plan was to purchase as many image sites as possible in an effort to control the market. Same as grandpa Getty did with the oil market. (And he wasn't a very nice man either) Problem is, microstock sites popped up all over and with better quality and price. Hence the plan to buy the largest, istockphoto.

And istock? It is now leaderless, and in full control by Getty Images, since 2009-2010. Nothing can happen without approval from HQ in Seattle. The best match search is also being controlled there, which is why it appears "broken" since it is in Getty's best interest to promote it's own images on istock and make us all secondary. Based on these two conflicting business models you have two options:
1: Getty Images announces it's time to fairly reward photographers and artists and raises its royalty rates.
2: Setting up istock to slowly being pushed towards their 20% "standard royalty" (remember what istock did when it first announced Vetta for illustrators? That's your first clue)

I still stand by my prediction that the istock forum will be either shut down or turned into an "information only" resource in the future. They'll spin it as "too much negative and we need to move forward." It's better to keep contributors in the dark, rather than open discussion of ideas. Crowdsourcing goes both ways, and it's hard for a corporation to control it when it turns against you.

MetaStocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #247 on: December 10, 2012, 15:40 »
-1
"That said, the #1 priority for today, as it has been all weekend, is Best Match, which Mary and the engineers are looking at and working on as we speak.  Please stay tuned."

What a farce.
An IT/ICT illiterate female announcing that another female (Mary) will take over the Best Match issue aided by their eunuch engineers.

I've seen first hand what kind of disasters females in management can do, you better leave the ship before it sinks like the Titanic.

And she must be really desperate to ask for help in the forum as it's backfiring big time.

Poncke

« Reply #248 on: December 10, 2012, 15:43 »
0
I think if this doesnt work out, it will break the camels back and people will go by the masses. How much are people willing to take? Come on.

« Reply #249 on: December 10, 2012, 15:46 »
0
"That said, the #1 priority for today, as it has been all weekend, is Best Match, which Mary and the engineers are looking at and working on as we speak.  Please stay tuned."

What a farce.
An IT/ICT illiterate female announcing that another female (Mary) will take over the Best Match issue aided by their eunuch engineers.

I've seen first hand what kind of disasters females in management can do, you better leave the ship before it sinks like the Titanic.

And she must be really desperate to ask for help in the forum as it's backfiring big time.

I thought "Mary and the engineers" were the latest sensational rock group.


 

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