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Author Topic: What is going on with iStock search?  (Read 17281 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2010, 11:27 »
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How about 2 keyword sets for each image.  One - the contributor's keywords, subject to approval of course.  Two - the CV.  Give the buyer the option of searching just within the CV, or expanding the search to include contributors' keywords.


« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2010, 11:51 »
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And a buyer is supposed to understand all of the above when searching for images? I know I would get frustrated and go somewhere else.

I also don't think a search engine should be designed for experts using boolean operators.  See the searches in DT (those that are listed in our sales) or Alamy and you will see people type one or two words.  We have to have an open mind about how a buyer will perform a search, and in this sense "thermal" should be adequate even if we can not see it.

lisafx

« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2010, 11:54 »
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It's not down to 'technology', it's just a matter of them dedicating the manpower to provide adequate choices for words that have multiple meanings. I get the impression it has largely been left as it is rather than someone continually refining it.


I agree^^.  When the CV was first implemented there were lots of changes and improvements made on a regular basis.  Jordan (Keywords) was available to refine the CV according to contributor suggestions.  

Does he even still work for Istock?  The last activity on his account appears to be in 2007.

And AFAIK nobody else has stepped into the role of refining the CV.    It is still so far from perfect - there ought to be somebody in charge of continuously improving it.

lisafx

« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2010, 12:00 »
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I was saying, I think IS should invest more in faster development of CV. They should have more people more specialized in some areas who will develop CV. I don't think they have to pay huge money to genetic engineers, or linguists, or astronomers. I think they should pay some small money to more people who would help development of CV in certain areas.

Exactly!  Better yet they could take advantage of the vast wealth of knowledge from their contributor base and allow contributors to suggest alternate meanings.  Many contributors uploading in specialized areas know enough to suggest relevant terms.  Istock would only need one or two people to approve or reject those suggestions.  A simple google search would help them determine if the suggestion was valid. 

« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2010, 12:32 »
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I was saying, I think IS should invest more in faster development of CV. They should have more people more specialized in some areas who will develop CV. I don't think they have to pay huge money to genetic engineers, or linguists, or astronomers. I think they should pay some small money to more people who would help development of CV in certain areas.


Exactly!  Better yet they could take advantage of the vast wealth of knowledge from their contributor base and allow contributors to suggest alternate meanings.  Many contributors uploading in specialized areas know enough to suggest relevant terms.  Istock would only need one or two people to approve or reject those suggestions.  A simple google search would help them determine if the suggestion was valid. 


Actually they do use contributors to help add terms and fix broken things in the CV - here is but the latest example.

The system isn't perfect by any stretch of anyone's imagination, but they are trying to incorporate contributor feedback and address issues.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2010, 12:41 »
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"Thermal", attached to a group of soaring, circling birds, makes perfect sense.   That is in fact exactly what the photo is showing.  It's not the photographer's fault that our atmosphere is transparent and so a 'thermal' is invisible.

Ok then __ let's see how much it helps not having a CV and where the word 'thermal' can be used with complete freedom by the contributor. Try doing a search at FT on 'bird thermal' and see what you get. DT isn't much better.
And at Alamy, as you might guess, it's hysterical. With whichever meaning of hysterical you choose.

« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2010, 12:41 »
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It is totally true that CV needs to be updated more frequently. It is also understandable that iStock staff cannot be be experts in all areas of knowledge.

A few examples are about geographical locations. For instance, the current CV designates "Scarborough" as a location in UK, but there are also Scarborough in Toronto Canada and perhaps other Common Wealth countries. The CV also designates Wuxi (China) as the Grand Canal, but Grand Canal goes through many Chinese cities and provinces, and Wuxi is just one of them. However I don't expect iStock staff to have personal knowledge about all these, and agree with Whitechild that CV should not be too tight to exclude other valid alternatives.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2010, 12:43 »
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I was saying, I think IS should invest more in faster development of CV. They should have more people more specialized in some areas who will develop CV. I don't think they have to pay huge money to genetic engineers, or linguists, or astronomers. I think they should pay some small money to more people who would help development of CV in certain areas.

Exactly!  Better yet they could take advantage of the vast wealth of knowledge from their contributor base and allow contributors to suggest alternate meanings.  Many contributors uploading in specialized areas know enough to suggest relevant terms.  Istock would only need one or two people to approve or reject those suggestions.  A simple google search would help them determine if the suggestion was valid. 
I suggest things all the time. Sometimes they get changed immediately, sometimes after weeks or months, sometimes not yet. But if more people did it, the system would be vastly improved, provided they increased the Team Metadata to cope.

« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2010, 14:14 »
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I suggest things all the time. Sometimes they get changed immediately, sometimes after weeks or months, sometimes not yet. But if more people did it, the system would be vastly improved, provided they increased the Team Metadata to cope.

So when you say you suggest things all the time, do you mean that you use the "Wrong Keywords, Tell Us" function when you look at the keywords for an image, or do you make suggestions some other way? Just wondering what the best way to do it is.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2010, 15:13 »
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I suggest things all the time. Sometimes they get changed immediately, sometimes after weeks or months, sometimes not yet. But if more people did it, the system would be vastly improved, provided they increased the Team Metadata to cope.

So when you say you suggest things all the time, do you mean that you use the "Wrong Keywords, Tell Us" function when you look at the keywords for an image, or do you make suggestions some other way? Just wondering what the best way to do it is.
I do a lot of wiking with a few words in my area of interest. Some are spam, some 'genuine mistakes'. If the latter, sometimes I SM the author first, as I'd hope people would do with me if I made a mistake.
But also sometimes when I'm wiki-ing, I find that the person has keyworded correctly, but the CV maps it wrongly; this often happens in the natural history field. In that case, I SM ducksandwich. Same if I find when I'm uploading that a word doesn't exist or is mapped wrongly. If it's just some lesser known species I just leave it 'for my own use' if it isn't in the CV, but if the CV is wrong I SM Ducksandwich.
I also SM Ducksandwich to ask for general additions, especially if the word you want already exists with a different mapping, meaning you can't actually have it even just 'for your own use', which often happens with place names.
If I'm not sure, I post for other opinions on the Keywords forum, and Duck or Ethan usually pipe in with an authoritative view.
(Sometimes you'd be surprised why they can't make what seem like very obvious changes. Like monkey is given as a subset of ape and vice versa, but apparently Italian, which is one of iStock's languages, unbelievably doesn't have different words for monkey and ape - at least a couple of Italians chipped in and said so, and Google translate gives scimmia for both.
All that said, I think iStock generally has the best system and gives the best returns, but it's definitely a 'work in progress'.

« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2010, 15:36 »
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Whitechild you are right. If a glider pilot or a vuture can't see a "thermal" he isn't going "soaring"
Smiling Jack

« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2010, 15:56 »
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As with many things IStock, there are just too many hoops, and things take too long. 

If the keywords I really need for an image aren't in the CV, I'm screwed, and I have little motivation to spend time altruistically helping others by using a 'suggest keyword' feature, or making forum posts, or emailing "Scout" who apparently lives on Neptune.   I won't put that image on a list and keep trying it again, hoping the keywords I need have been added.   I just forget about it for IS, and submit it to other sites.

If they want to have searches totally constrained by a controlled vocabulary, they need to get serious about it because this low-cost "crowdsourcing" isnt' cutting it.  They're losing images, and many images are submitted with just a few of the keywords they really deserve, and no one is going to go back and fix them later, when the CV is more complete.

 

« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2010, 16:16 »
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What I think people are doing sometimes is this:
Upload an image and having problems with certain keywords
Deleting problematic keywords until the image is approved
Adding the same keyword after approval, even tho it doesn't suggests relevant keyword from CV

Which finally makes a mess in search, by showing the image with vultures soaring in thermal among images of beautiful ladies in spa with hope that some buyer will search exactly using the word "thermal" ;D

I'm not saying that I plan to do it. I'm just making an example, and I'm sure people are adding and correcting some keywords after approval. I think this makes a problem, especially after some time, because these errors are accumulating.

« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2010, 16:22 »
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Adding the same keyword after approval, even tho it doesn't suggests relevant keyword from CV

That's the part I don't get - apparently you can add keywords that aren't in the CV, but I don't understand how/when you can do this, and DeepMeta doesn't make it clear to me.   

As you can see I'm just not the right personality type for IStock   :)

« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2010, 16:29 »
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is there someone who can explain what IS search engine does with words that are not in CV? Seriously, this is not a trick question or an ironic one. Does it count these words or not? Like names of cities that are not in CV for example.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2010, 16:40 »
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Adding the same keyword after approval, even tho it doesn't suggests relevant keyword from CV

That's the part I don't get - apparently you can add keywords that aren't in the CV, but I don't understand how/when you can do this, and DeepMeta doesn't make it clear to me.   

As you can see I'm just not the right personality type for IStock   :)
I don't upload or keyword using Deep Meta - I don't think the limited part of the CV that I noticed there the last time I looked (ages ago) matched up with what I mostly do; it's more geared up to the top 'Stock-y' themes, which is fair enough.
So uploading using iStock's on system, when you type in e.g. 'spingleplonk' which isn't in the CV, you get a blue message saying 'spingleplonk is unknown'. You then click on the link (it's blue, so that was a clue) you then get,
"If you choose to add this new tag it will be for your personal use only, and will not be added into the structure of the Controlled Vocabulary for translation. If you feel this is a tag that is a necessity for the CV, please email [email protected] with the relevant details." There's then an 'add' button which you click and that adds the word in English only. If it's one word like spingleplonk, buyers will find it by typing in spingleplonk, but it won't be translated into the other iStock languages, which may or may not matter, depending on the word.
If you type in a word of phrase that someone else has added 'for their own use', it will appear in the Terms column with a ! in a triangle beside it, which lets you know it's not in the official CV, and is only available in English (or whatever language you keyworded in). Like I wanted 'curly-horned' recently; it wasn't in the CV, but someone else had already added it. (LOL! I just checked and the 'someone else' was me last year!!!)
If the keyword you want to add is a phrase, a buyer needs to know, by osmosis, that they need to put it into quotes, e.g. when they search they have to put "curly horned" or "blue sky" into the search engine, whereas if you type clear sky in the Search box, Clear Sky will appear underneath, and if you click on that, you'll get the phrase "Clear Sky" to search on. I have NO idea why whoever wrote the CV went for Clear Sky rather than Blue Sky, but there you go.
And strangest of all, these non-CV words are called 'legacy terms' even if you add them tomorrow.
Hope that helped.
Now you can sort out my flat light rejections. ;-)

lagereek

« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2010, 16:40 »
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Turbine will actually get accepted, I uploaded shots of a jet-engine and Turbine was one of my keywords.
However this thread is yet another example yet again that buyers cant find or having to wade through thousands of files to find it.

Any search-engine should start strong with total relevant keywords, i.e.  "jet engine"  then the entire 1st page should be full of close-ups of jet-engines not showing a full-size  stationery aircraft with four jet-engines.

Dont understand why they cant get that together? and as far as conceptual keywording?  well thats beyond belief.

« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2010, 16:44 »
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Like I wanted 'curly-horned' recently; it wasn't in the CV, but someone else had already added it. (LOL! I just checked and the 'someone else' was me last year!!!)

LOL

« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2010, 16:45 »
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Thanks ShadySue. That was all 'news' to me.     I think I'll dump DeepMeta - it's overkill anyway, for the tiny number of images I submit.

So you can in fact submit keywords outside the CV - but of course the reviewers have to approve of them, right?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2010, 16:45 »
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is there someone who can explain what IS search engine does with words that are not in CV? Seriously, this is not a trick question or an ironic one. Does it count these words or not? Like names of cities that are not in CV for example.
I sort of covered that in the above post, but to be specific:
A town near me is called Kilwinning and it's not in the CV.
If I took a photo of Kilwinning and added Kilwinning 'for my own use' as explained above, any searcher wanting a photo of Kilwinning would be able to find it, no problem, just by typing in Kilwinning.
Where you'd have problems is where either the place name is used in many places, for example there's a small village in Ayrshire called Moscow (!) or the village I was brought up in is called Law. Now since there's a place called Moscow, and Law has other meanings, you can't add the word 'for your own use' and you have to decide whether to ask the Metadata Team (via Ducksandwich) to add it, or maybe, in the cases of Moscow and Law, decided that the chances of anyone looking for an image of these villages on iStock are remote, and send them to Alamy or another RM site. (Don't get me started on Alamy's much worse search system and engine. I try to limit my rants on that topic!).

« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2010, 16:46 »
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is there someone who can explain what IS search engine does with words that are not in CV? Seriously, this is not a trick question or an ironic one. Does it count these words or not? Like names of cities that are not in CV for example.

Using the web interface, if you add a word that is not in the CV, it will tell you:
"If you choose to add this new tag it will be for your personal use only, and will not be added into the structure of the Controlled Vocabulary for translation. If you feel this is a tag that is a necessity for the CV, please email [email protected] with the relevant details."

However, it can be found in the search.  For example, I just entered "group13" as an "personal" ( for lack of a better term ) keyword.  From now on, I, or anyone else, can add this as a keyword.  It will show up in a search for "group13".  You can add something like "New Haven" if it wasn't in the CV, and a buyer would find it in they just entered:
New Haven
as a search term.  However, add one more word like:
New Haven car
and you would get a search for New+Haven+Car .  Completely different from:
"New Haven" car.
You'd need to use quotes.  That's more about search use than adding terms.  

« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2010, 16:46 »
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Any search-engine should start strong with total relevant keywords, i.e.  "jet engine"  then the entire 1st page should be full of close-ups of jet-engines not showing a full-size  stationery aircraft with four jet-engines.

Dont understand why they cant get that together? and as far as conceptual keywording?  well thats beyond belief.

They can, and do.  That's how BM2 works.  Although some have said it's acting a bit wonky lately as far as relevance.

« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2010, 16:47 »
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If I add 'conceptual' keywords in this way, will they be accepted - provided of course they clearly apply?

« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2010, 16:50 »
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Dont understand why they cant get that together? and as far as conceptual keywording?  well thats beyond belief.

Even tho it's very important to sort all this out, it's also enormously boring, and very complicated, and it can never be perfect. So I guess no one really wants to start to sort these things out. At least not while earnings are decent even with this CV.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2010, 16:51 »
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Thanks ShadySue. That was all 'news' to me.     I think I'll dump DeepMeta - it's overkill anyway, for the tiny number of images I submit.

So you can in fact submit keywords outside the CV - but of course the reviewers have to approve of them, right?
You can add them with the caveats I've mentioned. If the inspectors mistakenly reject a correct keyword, you can either ask for peer opinion on the keywords forum (if it's a more subjective, concept-y keyword; I don't get involved in these at all, else I'd spend my life wiki-ing 'adorable' 'cute', etc from pot ugly weans) or if you know you're right you can appeal to Scout, Ethan (emyerson) or Ducksandwich. But they often look into keyword threads anyway.


 

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