Microstock Photography Forum - General > Microstock Charts

Introducing Microstock Charts

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Lee Torrens:
Amos and I have been working on another project. This one has actually taken us a VERY long time, but we're finally ready to launch it. Check it out here: www.microstockcharts.com

The idea is to take the spreadsheets that many of us use to track our earnings and other metrics and put it onto a website to get access to some cool (and hopefully useful) benefits.

The primary benefit is benchmarking. We haven't activated this yet as we're battling with time, resources and programmers and just wanted to finally get the site out there. For this reason it's also pretty ugly, but we'll fix that too. Back to the benchmarking... the first iteration will show you your earnings, downloads, RPI, RPD and STR plotted against the averages of a large group of other microstockers. We hope this will make for some very insightful charts.

The additional benefit of the benchmarking will be a general charts page which shows the combined and anonymous data of that same group of microstockers.  All together there will be over 40,000 files and you'll be able to see the charts for all metrics, updated as frequently as those microstockers update their data (which we all know is often multiple times per day!).  

The service is entirely private by default. You don't need to tell us who you are and you can register anonymously if you have any concerns.  However, if you want to share your earnings charts with the world, you can turn on the publishing option.  You can even publish charts without the figures if you prefer.  Here's the example of mine: http://www.microstockcharts.com/leetorrens

It's totally FREE too. We wanted to keep it free to use and we think we can do that by using referral links and advertising.  At the moment there's no advertising on the private pages while you're logged in and we'll try to keep in that way. We've invested quite a bit of cash in this, so we hope this method works.  Once we recover our investment we'll reinvest the bulk of the earnings to develop new functionality.

We'll be deciding which functionality to develop first based on the votes in our UserVoice Feedback Forum, so please head on over there and vote / suggest the functions you think would be most useful to you.  We'll keep this forum thread and board here on MSG as the primary place for discussion.  A big thanks to Tyler for generously providing us with this board.

A note on the benchmarking data:  We didn't want anyone to be able to maliciously influence it. So we came up with the concept of 'trusted accounts'.  I contacted some friends and pulled in a lot of favors to get people I knew and trusted to participate and input their data. I then marked their accounts as 'trusted', which puts their data into the pool of benchmarking data.  There's a healthy range of contributors, from top to bottom in both portfolio size and selling success.  To all those who did that for us, thankyou very much!  

Finally, I want to assure you all that I don't expect you to abandon your spreadsheets yet, but that's the ultimate goal. There's still a lot of things I do in my spreadsheet that this tool doesn't do, so I'll be keeping my spreadsheet around for a while too. I've listed all the things I do in my spreadsheet as suggestions on the UserVoice Feedback Forum and I invite you to do the same (just check your suggestion isn't already there first).

If you have questions or feedback, leave it here in this board. I hope you like the site.

PowerDroid:
Very interesting... I'll definitely be looking into this.  Benchmarking my success with other microstockers is the main reason I visit this forum, so I see real value in this concept.  Currently I use Google spreadsheets to enter and track all my stats, and it has its pluses and minuses.  So when I dig deeper into Microstock Charts, I'll be doing a comparison to see which method works best for me.

Lee, thanks for your efforts!

runamock:
I've just signed up. Thanks for your efforts… it looks a useful tool.

Freezingpictures:

--- Quote from: Lee Torrens on March 12, 2010, 09:41 ---The primary benefit is benchmarking. We haven't activated this yet as we're battling with time, resources and programmers and just wanted to finally get the site out there. For this reason it's also pretty ugly, but we'll fix that too. Back to the benchmarking... the first iteration will show you your earnings, downloads, RPI, RPD and STR plotted against the averages of a large group of other microstockers. We hope this will make for some very insightful charts.

The additional benefit of the benchmarking will be a general charts page which shows the combined and anonymous data of that same group of microstockers.  All together there will be over 40,000 files and you'll be able to see the charts for all metrics, updated as frequently as those microstockers update their data (which we all know is often multiple times per day!).  

--- End quote ---

Awesome! Any idea when the benchmarking will be activated?

Lee Torrens:
@PowerDroid it's still very basic so we don't expect you'll want to leave your spreadsheet yet. I use Google Docs for my spreadsheet too. There's only a few things I can't do that you can in Excel/Numbers, but the advantage of having it in the cloud and interconnected with stuff easily makes up for that.  It's that convenience we're aiming for with this project.

@runamock Thanks. Not so so useful yet, but we'll get there.

@Jan, we hope to have the benchmarking up and running in around a month. There's a few things we need to happen before then, including having all the trusted accounts update their data. The site was broken for a while, so many of them haven't been back for a while. If the advertising sells well that will help us accelerate things too.

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