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Author Topic: Zymmetrical is the best  (Read 12135 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2007, 22:02 »
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Do you see us as being "cheap beer", Keith? I think that most people who see that the "Chief Knowledge Officer" of a company has that little respect for what they do would be unlikely to give the company a much-needed lifeline by contributing. The man has said very little here- and has already called microstockers "cheap beer" and "serfs". It shows not only a lack of respect for what we do, but also a lack of understanding.
As was said before, this is pretty bad marketing. When a few dick heads in the forums with anonymous names like "freedom something something" wind you up you should ignore it and focus on what you want to do- get contributors and build a brand. All the other people who were silent during the conversation are now thinking "theres no way Im going to contribute there..."
I leant a lot from that exchange- and theres no way that I, as "cheap beer" or "a serf" that already makes over 100 dollars a day from this is going to put my hard work on a site which I do not, and will not trust. The kind of people who speak like that to contributors are just the kind of people who would reduce our cut the moment they have a million images. I recommend getting a new "Chief Knowledge Officer".
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 22:35 by FreedomFriesnBruisedEgos »


zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2007, 03:52 »
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I'm not losing much sleep over how Paul communicates; posters in this thread, after trying to roast a member of our site, proceeded to try and roast Paul, based on the opinions that he blogs in his private time.

As with the scenario he depicted, he did walk into a bar and get a pretty rude reception.  Of course ones going to think that bar is full of jerks. Probably some decent folks sitting in the back that'd be fine to talk to but there's some rowdies blocking the way. 

I'd walk away muttering some stuff too if it was a real bar, irregardless if it's 'business related'.  No one needs to put up with microbullying.

No, i'm not calling anyone anything here. I've never met you. And no ones been sour to me yet. :)    For this 'serfs' label coming from his blog post, I happen to agree with the label used for microstockers - any business that is top-heavy on the profit distribution among employees/manufacturers could probably be labeled 'feudal'.     

Yes I realize microstockers are not chained to a manufacturing line in 18th century England churning out isolated shots of businessman shaking hands (or...hmm), but there really is big room for improvement in this business, especially in the area of artist compensation.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 03:59 by zymmetricaldotcom »

« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2007, 04:42 »
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I had a quick look at the site.  The prices look similar to imagevortex.  That site doesn't seem to have many sales, even though the image quality is superior to most microstock sites. 

Perhaps 80% of contributors don't make much money from microstock but that is probably the same for most photographers.  At least microstock lets most people have a go and see how well they can do.  I applied to a macrostock site many years ago and was turned down.  Had no problems with microstock and I am pleased with my earnings after just one year.

Now I am trying macrostock again.  This time, I know that my photographs are good enough to sell and I have a lot more confidence.

Microstock is here to stay.  Will designers go back to paying large fees for royalty free images?  That is not likely to happen.  Midstock is the market that seems to be failing.  istock tried it and it didn't work.  Several sites have folded and those that are still going don't seem to have many sales.

Can Zymmetrical make this work when so many others have failed?

« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2007, 07:46 »
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There a few things we need to clear up here:

- I wrote that this forum was "like" entering in a bar. I was using an analogy. If I offended someone, I truly apologize, it was not my intent. There are a few members on this forum that are quick to respond with negative personal attacks, like bullies in a schoolyard. When you spend so many years building a product as sophisticated as Zymmetrical, it can be very frustrating to read such useless and groundless negativism.
- When I wrote that we are not interested in microstock shooters, I was referring to those who are not serious about their passions. The ones that seem satisfied with a quick buck and could be selling widgets. We are looking for the passionate photographers who would like to see more revenues for their images, as a factor of quality and not quantity. No one has a problem paying more for quality.
- Protecting companies like Istock is ludicrous when they sold for $50 million and not one contributor happened to see a cent. After all, besides the technology and the market share, they also sold the content. your images, your work.
- I will let those of you continue making fun of my title. It is irrelevant.
- My post on my blog, which is not related to Zymmetrical, is also irrelevant to the service we offer. However, if you have the time, please ask the 23 million Americans that live below the line of poverty if they shoot for microstock. Or those that have 2 jobs and commute for hours to get to work. Be thankful  of what you have.
- Finally, as I wrote before, Keith and I would love to have creative and constructive criticism of zymmetrical.com. You are all welcome to try it, test it and report your findings here, good or bad.

Sincerely,

Paul Melcher
CKO
Zymmetrical

« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2007, 08:14 »
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I'm not losing much sleep over how Paul communicates; posters in this thread, after trying to roast a member of our site, proceeded to try and roast Paul, based on the opinions that he blogs in his private time.

As with the scenario he depicted, he did walk into a bar and get a pretty rude reception.  Of course ones going to think that bar is full of jerks. Probably some decent folks sitting in the back that'd be fine to talk to but there's some rowdies blocking the way. 

I'd walk away muttering some stuff too if it was a real bar, irregardless if it's 'business related'.  No one needs to put up with microbullying.

Keith,

as much as I appreciated your first go at damage control seeing it as balanced, polite and cool-headed, this part I quoted above is a bit misguided. Here is a suggestion: take a look at three posts between Paul's first entrance and his second response. Do you see anything rude or personal in those? A bit skeptical at most, but what in them warranted the following:

"This forum is like walking in a bar full of drunken rednecks who all believe they are CIA agents...

...you stop checking your miserable earnings for a while and have a curious mind.

...Again, please rest assure that we are not interested in your images . Our site is NOT for cynical microstockers who spend more time on forums that they do shooting images.

... As you might know, freedomsomething , akaTom, vicu, and hughstonelan, it is always a bad idea to mix fine champagne with cheep beer
."

There was one poster whop called his blog "useless crap", yes, but as you said yourself it was his personal blog irrelevant to his post and run in his private time. Yet he responds on this forum in his official capacity and speaks in a manner quoted above of your site and related topics, not about his blog content.

I also appreciate his last post attempting at more balanced approach but it's still defensive and somewhat aggressive. I see some points in it that deserve calm discussion but don't you think that the sequence of exchange I cited above would require an apology from Paul first in order to restore normal communication? Really, he entered that bar calling people names before they gave him as much as first glance.



vicu

« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2007, 09:08 »
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There was one poster whop called his blog "useless crap"

No, that is not what I said. I said "BASELESS" which means unfounded in fact or reality. The two blog posts that were linked from this forum were very insulting and condescending in attitude towards anyone who contributes to microstock sites. Surely he did not expect to come here (on MICROSTOCKgroup.com) and get an overly warm reception. All he managed to do was confirm what many of us already suspected about him from reading the ideas put forth in his blog. Fair or not, the actions and behaviors that one attaches one's name to in one's personal time DO reflect on entities with which that same name is also linked.

As for what started the whole thing, the OP had the misfortune of posting nearly immediately following another similar incident in which the poster was proven to be the CEO (or whatever) of the site in question. Therefore the response here was measurably more skeptical than necessary.

Maybe the site is a worthy venture. Maybe it's the answer to all our microwhoknowswhatstock dreams. I shall never know because I can't bring myself to put my trust in a company who would exalt someone who behaves in such a manner in their "official" capacity. Maybe others feel the same. Maybe my portfolio is "cheap beer" in your opinion, Paul Melcher, but like so many other of your opinions, this opinion is founded on complete blind speculation.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 09:13 by vicu »

« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2007, 09:22 »
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Vicu, sorry for misquoting, "baseless" was what you used, not "useless"... and it's not like I disagree with you on that, lol. I just tried to find anything in responses that could justify those insults Paul hurled at us, and couldn't. Cited your words rather in order to demonstrate that even the harshest thing said here wasn't even remotely enough to warrant his response. Hope I cleared that up.

vicu

« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2007, 09:32 »
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Vicu, sorry for misquoting, "baseless" was what you used, not "useless"... and it's not like I disagree with you on that, lol. I just tried to find anything in responses that could justify those insults Paul hurled at us, and couldn't. Cited your words rather in order to demonstrate that even the harshest thing said here wasn't even remotely enough to warrant his response. Hope I cleared that up.

No problem. I didn't think it was intentional.

« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2007, 14:45 »
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I'm not losing much sleep over how Paul communicates; posters in this thread, after trying to roast a member of our site, proceeded to try and roast Paul, based on the opinions that he blogs in his private time.
This kind of got to me. When I owned my small business (yes I sold it to go back to school) I would have been very upset with anyone from my organization making rude comments on behalf of my company, even if they were in response to rude comments and made on his "private time". In fact, I would have probably let them go if they were in charge of communications.

Also, iStock didn't sell my "my content, my work" for $50 million and anyone that thinks so doesn't really understand the business of selling content. They don't own the works, they're an agent for the content owners. For $50 million Getty purchased the right to sell my work, nothing more.

Anyway good luck in your endeavor. As for suggestions about your site as you originally asked for:
(1) when I went to your site the drop menus weren't timed long enough (they disappeared before I could click on things)
2) hire someone familiar with business communications (a good bs slinger) and have them be the only person allowed to make statements on behalf of the company.
(3) hire someone with real knowledge of the industry you're in from one of the big boys (the big six to the right) or perhaps from your true competition Alamy.  I know you don't consider yourself a "microstock" site, but you're selling royalty-free licenses so call it what you want but they are your competition.
(4) your content is not on par with your prices. This is the key think you should reconsider. Either lower the prices or recruit the best of the best from each site and have them contribute shots that are exclusive to your site. Otherwise your model is doomed to fail.

« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2007, 21:33 »
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Wow. Just wow. I'm just shaking my head in disbelief.

Keith, you seem relatively level-headed.  Copy and paste this entire discussion and show this to someone experienced in business that you respect, and he/she can explain the sort of horrid damage that Paul Melcher is doing to your business. 

Remember, it's difficult to aid the success of a business while you are brimming with contempt for a key stakeholder (in this case, your suppliers).  As for me personally, I don't think I'll be contributing to a company with this sort of attitude to customer service. But then again, you guys don't want me or my kind either.

By the way, I do agree that the initial reactions from the group were somewhat abrasive. However, it doesn't matter who is right or wrong, or who started the fight. This is not kindergarten; this is business.  If you do not act professionally, you will not be treated professionally.

yingyang0: point 2 had me laughing out loud

« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2007, 23:32 »
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Modified.  removed.





         
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 15:43 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2007, 07:03 »
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(3) hire someone with real knowledge of the industry you're in from one of the big boys (the big six to the right) or perhaps from your true competition Alamy.  I know you don't consider yourself a "microstock" site, but you're selling royalty-free licenses so call it what you want but they are your competition.
(4) your content is not on par with your prices. This is the key think you should reconsider. Either lower the prices or recruit the best of the best from each site and have them contribute shots that are exclusive to your site. Otherwise your model is doomed to fail.


Id like to add to this. Things have got personal already (so lets move on)- but this has shown up some problems with the initial idea behind the site. Ive heard the owners of this site saying that "the microstock model isnt sustainable". Personally, I disagree- I just think that it isnt being sustained. Istock and the rest are raising prices because they are able to, as they have such high quality. They assume that people wont leave because of that quality. They could keep the system as it is and continue. One thing that Paul Melcher doesnt seem to understand is that selling images for a dollar- or less- is actually a perfectly viable idea. And most contributors do not contribute because we are amateurs-or money isnt important. We contribute because we sell every image many times over. This allows us to make a lot of money. It is, in fact, very lucrative. So, it is entirely sustainable. What youre doing, is selling at a very high cost- without first raising quality. No one who has heard of istock is going to go to you- even with their dodgy search engine. The only new customers will be people who move straight from buying from getty, onto your site, somehow hearing of you, but not istock. I dont think thats going to work.
You have made the same mistake my father made "a dollar?! Oh come on, youll never make money selling things for a dollar! Its just a hobby..." This, I think, is why you dont show any respect for microstockers. You think we re all a bunch of amateurs who do this as a hobby. You think "Lets do the same as istock, but with REAL artists, not silly hobbyists." The problem, really, is that you dont understand the industry. I suspect neither of you have really contributed much to any sites, or worked for any of these sites. This is why your business will fail.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 07:05 by FreedomFriesnBruisedEgos »

« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2007, 12:00 »
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Hmpfff, this thread leaves me flabbergasted. I have to admit I like this guy's (Paul Melcher) style and guts. I also read his blog extensively. He's French, so maybe I should say about what he wrote in this thread: ce n'est que la vrit qui blesse (only truth hurts).

About business communication, well, I have some experience with the (American) corporate world and sometimes I had to puke in silence about those slick hurray hoohoo guys that have it all worked out, business plans, road to success, profit projections, blabla.

They get good notes from their supervisor, get promoted, move on to the next "challenge" ("problems" don't belong in the corporate newspeak) and leave the carnage they caused behind, up to the next one.

The worst that can happen is the failure of the Peter's Principle (everybody gets stuck at a level where they are incompetent) and move on to the top. That's how things like Enron happened. Slick feelgood language is not always the right way to get your point accross and get to the meat.

Now enters Paul Melcher, with a big mouth and a number of truths we conveniently ignore. Why not give the guy a chance?

My main critique at this point to Paul Melcher is that he seems to be quite ignorant about microstock. Sure he mentions Getty, but I didn't see anything about Shutterstock and Dreamstime.

He claims not to run a microstock site, but when you look closely at zymmetrical, it is a microstock site. I challenge Mr. Melcher to explain exactly what the difference is between zymmetrical and any other microstock venture. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, well... I have to assume that it is a duck, until proven wrong.

Maybe Mr. Melcher will claim artists can set their own prices. I wonder if he ever heard about Featurepics? [I love Featurepics, especially since I got a payout last week - I will reach payout on LuckyOliver in 2011]. The content of zymmetrical right now is rather mediocre and overpriced, sure, but it's still in beta, right? At least his beta is more functional than Snapvillage's beta. There are some glitches on the site and I will mail Mr. Melcher those, that's what he asked for.

If Mr. Melcher will be as aggressive and determined in marketing his site and his artists as he was on this forum, he's a winner. I'm sceptical, but let's see...

Basically, I signed up. Shoot me  ;D

Update - Just uploaded 5 shots. I get thrown back at a page that lists my file names + the note "waiting review". Can't see any thumbnail, no tags, no IPTC info. Don't have any idea how and where to upload MRF's and how to attach them. Can't either edit nor review. Thrown back at the home page when trying to access "help". I guess for now, I just leave the link with the other dead sites. Sorry zymmetrical, I'm just a rich redneck that likes cheep bear  ;) but doesn't have that much time to waste. I try again later, who knows.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 13:18 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2007, 13:54 »
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IMHO, I think we've had enough confrontation, reaching a point were nothing good comes from it.

Our forum, although focused on microstock, has always had space for discussions about  macro or "non-micro" stock sites - ImageVortex, Alamy, Getty, etc - and even merchandise sites - Cafepress, Zazzle, etc.  So I think it's of everybody's interest to discuss Zymmetrical for what it offers to us and what it's not good about it.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2007, 16:19 »
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IMHO, I think we've had enough confrontation, reaching a point were nothing good comes from it.
Regards,
Adelaide

You are correct, madelaide!!! I have always respected your opinions and observations here.
     In my part, I did not realize that I offended, insulted, inflamed, defamed, whatever.  All I did was answer the question of the original poster, George Flopos.  Next thing I know, I'm being insulted by the Zymm-folks.
    Like the majority of the MSG family,  I am on IS, I can compete there and I am making money there!!
           Just stating a fact.
     
     Like this thread started out, we have had threads like this before and it turned out it was someone other than a mere contributor, we had been down that road before. Some owner or manager or CKO trying to bobo us all.
               Just stating a fact.
   
 Then, ............I became 'cheap beer' according to the CKO. 

Well,  I do have time and I do have money and I do like beer.  And those that think they insulted me can rest assured,  I will swill and cry in that beer.........  all the way to the bank.... to make another deposit.
     Whatever.   If I offended Mr. George Flopos or any of the officers of Zymmetrical.com..    I apologize.     -a.k.a. tom
                                                                 

p.s.  Why do I use a  'photog handle' (aka tom)?   For just this very reason, you never know what kind of   people   you are going to run into on the web. 
                             

 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 16:23 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2007, 16:29 »
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FWIW, tom. I don't think you have "offended, insulted, inflamed, defamed or whatever" anyone. The only person acting unreasonably here was (this is where I shut up in order not to add to flames).

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2007, 07:03 »
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Update - Just uploaded 5 shots. I get thrown back at a page that lists my file names + the note "waiting review". Can't see any thumbnail, no tags, no IPTC info. Don't have any idea how and where to upload MRF's and how to attach them. Can't either edit nor review. Thrown back at the home page when trying to access "help". I guess for now, I just leave the link with the other dead sites. Sorry zymmetrical, I'm just a rich redneck that likes cheep bear  ;) but doesn't have that much time to waste. I try again later, who knows.


Thanks for giving us a whirl.  The older version of our submissions system did indeed show thumbnails, but until we get to a production stage, server resources are unfortunately limited. Resizing images that are up to 100 MB, that we don't even know are going to be accepted (like I said earlier, the rejection rate is around 70%), is a strain on the system that has been removed for now.

If you notice on the photo upload form, (currently IE browser only), you actually get a thumbnail of the files selected on your HD -before- you upload. So this will hopefully lessen the problem of accidental dupes and such being uploaded.

Rest assured, when we go on with our server expansion the list will again display thumbnails.

The EXIF/IPTC data is stored in our submissions database tables, up till now I haven't seen a need for this information to be displayed in the Artist's Submission queue page - after all, you know what camera you use, right?  It's an easy change to make to have it shown, I just need a reason why - otherwise it's just extra KB slowing down the pageload (130 EXIF/IPTC fields x 3 submissions per page adds up to a fair chunk of page bloat).

No tags or editting capability until the files are approved, this is by design. Why tag a file that get's rejected in the end?

Model Release page is visible on your Account Page at http://www.zymmetrical.com/Account/tabid/93/Default.aspx.   Direct link the the Model Release page is http://www.zymmetrical.com/Account/ModelReleases/tabid/1424/Default.aspx.

For now, they are disconnected systems. You have a series of 10 pics of a particular model, upload the PDF or JPG etc. to the model release form, and we put two and two together and match them up to your approved submissions.  Don't want to enforce a 'one-photo, one release form' rule because this would mean uploading duplicate releases.

On our roadmap is to simplify the connection, probably ending up saving our sanity more than the photogs:  when the submission/approval process is going full steam, playing 'match the model release to the pic' is going to lose it's charm pretty quickly. Planned is a dropdown box next to each file in the Art Manager, with a thumbnail and filename link for each model release, so one can quickly select from any uploaded releases.

Thanks again for checking us out, things really are being improved daily - don't let us sink too deep in your bookmarks. 

« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2007, 13:59 »
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new blog entry for those who are interested:

http://www.zymmetrical.com/Blog/tabid/95/Default.aspx

best to all.

PM





 

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