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Author Topic: Lookstat without Shutterstock is useless  (Read 13020 times)

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« on: June 05, 2009, 12:14 »
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I am hoping solution is close to come.


« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 13:15 »
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It isn't a good sign that Rahul hasn't been here to keep people up-to-date with things, that's for sure. Taken together with iStock's latest change, the future isn't looking very bright for stats-based ventures.

« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 13:49 »
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Agencies were not aware of these services until they become popular. Now they think they can get money from them especially ones that are businesses and got founding.

« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 14:19 »
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If they were making money from my sales data I'd have the same mindset: I wouldn't make data readily-available without first charging a sizable access fee with an enforceable contract that did not allow for distribution or publishing of the gleaned data.

« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009, 14:21 »
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Being devil's advocate for a while: who really owns sales data, agency or contributor?

michealo

« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 14:34 »
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Being devil's advocate for a while: who really owns sales data, agency or contributor?

agency owns the aggregate


zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 16:14 »
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Even Google will ban IP's for trying to access certain services in an automatic fashion - if this is not an example that the internet isn't free and resources are finite I don't know what is.

See:
Inside A Google Data Center
        You better believe if they can't find a way to monetize certain types of traffic, then your average independent agency is going to have to throw up barriers in some cases.

We added a Captcha to our login recently too, it's really not a matter of " those pesky Artists, let's hide the info from them", it is simply a case of, why should an external service monetize our resources in an automatic fashion, incurring extra expenses, when the only application of the data harvesting is for comparing agencies to other agencies? What if we call you up on the phone 10 times a day and ask how you doin' compared to Yuri, it would not be a very friendly affair after long.  

Not trying to be bitchy, Rahul is a cool dude and I really respect the depth of his app and the other toolbars/services that try and make sense of this crazy marketplace.. but websites are for peoples and API's are for computers. As long as you keep making your voices heard though eventually this will all settle down into something workable for everyone.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 16:29 by zymmetrical »

« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 16:36 »
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Just curious, does SS actually have any API? IS uses XML-RPC but I haven't heard any other agency provides anything.

« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2009, 16:54 »
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We added a Captcha to our login recently too, it's really not a matter of " those pesky Artists, let's hide the info from them", it is simply a case of, why should an external service monetize our resources in an automatic fashion, incurring extra expenses, when the only application of the data harvesting is for comparing agencies to other agencies? What if we call you up on the phone 10 times a day and ask how you doin' compared to Yuri, it would not be a very friendly affair after long.  

Translation: We do have time or money to give contributors statistics but lets make it difficult to others to help them.

What if I could handle 10000 phone calls a day and you call me 10 times, would it be visible to me?

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 17:21 »
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The point I tried to make is that as god-like as Google is, they have a certain threshold on some services where they say "enough is enough" and cut you off if you make "10,000 phone calls a day".  I don't think someone from outside a business can presume to be able to estimate CPU cycles, bandwidth, disk IO, logging overhead, administration fees, backup, etc. resulting from a given action, and at the same time define the value of the process to the business. You may believe it's a needle in a haystack but if agencies are resorting to such measures as captchas then you can know it's probably for good reason.         

I personally think it's my right to wear no shoes or shirt into a 7-11 but the sign says on the door no shirts, no shoes, no service, so I just don't.

I would just like to see a standardized API format evolve, it would make things real simple. All that is needed is to define the data items required and then it's a no-brainer: instantly agencies would have a quantifiable business process they could choose to offer, and the artists would get the data they need.

« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 17:55 »
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I understand that this has no business value to agencies and cost them money at the same time. Aggreagators need to offer something in return like linking back to original images so people can find them. I am glad that representative of agency is here and talks. Maybe you can work out some agreement :-)

« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 19:57 »
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I warned Rahul about this long ago in his own thread in tempore non suspecto. On DT for instance, we had to agree to a clause not to give our usr/pass to third party net apps. Rahul always swept these remarks away under the carpet in a charming way. He is a cool person indeed but he underestimated the Revenge of the Empire.

Microstocks don't like HTML parsing. It sucks bandwidth, and it's vulnerable too when the layout changes. The right way to go would be use APIs or CSVs generated by the site. The real future lies in a desktop app where the contributor runs a program on his PC without interference of an external site with active code, where he supplies his passwords, and where he keeps a database of sales/uploads on his own PC.

« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2009, 04:46 »
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I hope Rahul get deals done with agencies and we finally see promised new agencies on the data grid :). Tool is great but without all major agencies support it is useless. They released info that they get funding but then nothing. If nothing happens in next 1-2 months I will delete my account there and change passwords to stock places which were used there.

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2009, 05:43 »
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I understand that this has no business value to agencies and cost them money at the same time. Aggreagators need to offer something in return like linking back to original images so people can find them. I am glad that representative of agency is here and talks. Maybe you can work out some agreement :-)

There is a business value - people need to see their stats and every extra minute spent logging into individual sites, importing into Excel, creating charts etc. are minutes that could be better spent shooting or designing. No need to put up barriers to keep people from efficiently compiling the info they already have access to.    The issue is data wants to be free (in the liberty sense), but data isn't free (in the monetary sense).  If this all packaged up into a standardized access method there would be no reason agencies should not be open to it, and the ones that don't adopt it will simply have less efficient and happy submitters.   

An opensource API framework makes a lot of sense, as FD said - at the very least developers like Rahul wouldn't have to worry about sites changing their layouts and breaking his system.. people should be out being creative and not slaving over logins, captchas, exports and bar charts all day.

« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2009, 09:14 »
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I have the right to view my sales on all the agencies that I subscribe to.

What is the difference if I go there my self to look, give my info to my wife so she can look, give it to my accountant so they can look, or give i to look-stat so they can look.  And what difference does it make that one is automated and the rest are manual?

If these request become too frequent, then I see where that poses a burden to the agency.  The solution is simple,  limit the number of times I can check per day.  Maybe 10 time per day?  If I exceed my limit, just don't let me in and I have to wait until after midnight to have a peek.  The coding is simple enough even I could do it.

Now those companies that make products like look-stats will have to modify their products to comply with this -- gone is the check every 30 minutes to see i anything has changed.  They'll either have to check only when you sign-in to their service (causing a time delay while they gather the info) or check at a more reasonable time interval, like 6 time daily, with those times listed on the webpage/taskbar in local times.

Seems like a viable solution to me.  What am I missing??

JerryL5

  • Blessed by God's wonderful love.
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2009, 10:53 »
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Unless I'm mistaken, Rahul said he would much rather use an API,
if available. It was nice to be able to see everything in one place.
With my few sales, LookStat has pretty much flat-lined.

« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2009, 18:33 »
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Hi All,

This is a great discussion and I'm happy it's happening. As a company, we would love to engage with agencies about setting up API arrangements that deliver value for agencies, contributors and for us. I would love nothing more than to have a standardized model, and pay/exchange value in some way that made sense.

The lack of SS data in our system is definitely an issue and we are working to find ways to work with the agencies. Permission driven APIs would be better all around and ideally would also help us since we would no longer need to invest as much in credential management as we do today. We also have no issues with rate limited APIs - it's a smart way to go and better for everyone.

One good thing from the SS situation is that it has brought our conversation into the open with a number of agencies and I'm cautiously optimistic about the outcomes. In the meantime, we have to find a way to continue to keep our heads above water and deliver value to contributors. We are working on that one and I think we'll be talking about those ideas soon ;)

Ultimately, we want to help contributors create and sell high performing microstock and I'm optimistic that in time we'll get there. As we've seen with Facebook, Google, Twitter - APIs drive innovation which ultimately makes the underlying platforms more valuable.

I hope that LookStat can be part of driving that conversation forward.

Rahul

@Melastmohican - your point about 3rd party access is well taken. It may well be true that a local client app is the only non-API solution but that is less than ideal from my perspective. Ultimately, there needs to be an open agreement and we'll get there in time.

@zymmetrical - very much appreciate your point about resource intensity & security and I do agree that metered APIs make sense. Perhaps we can chat live sometime soon?

« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2009, 18:37 »
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The point I tried to make is that as god-like as Google is, they have a certain threshold on some services where they say "enough is enough" and cut you off if you make "10,000 phone calls a day".  I don't think someone from outside a business can presume to be able to estimate CPU cycles, bandwidth, disk IO, logging overhead, administration fees, backup, etc. resulting from a given action, and at the same time define the value of the process to the business. You may believe it's a needle in a haystack but if agencies are resorting to such measures as captchas then you can know it's probably for good reason.         

I personally think it's my right to wear no shoes or shirt into a 7-11 but the sign says on the door no shirts, no shoes, no service, so I just don't.

I would just like to see a standardized API format evolve, it would make things real simple. All that is needed is to define the data items required and then it's a no-brainer: instantly agencies would have a quantifiable business process they could choose to offer, and the artists would get the data they need.

I love the standardized API idea. What's the best way to move forward on this? I would like nothing more than a fully open, agreed upon approach.

« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2009, 18:50 »
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Ironically, having a user go to the website just to check his/her data uses up more traffic than a simple stat download through an API. Standardized API would be great indeed.


« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2009, 19:45 »
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It isn't a good sign that Rahul hasn't been here to keep people up-to-date with things, that's for sure. Taken together with iStock's latest change, the future isn't looking very bright for stats-based ventures.


My apologies for the quiet from my end. We've been working hard to adjust to the marketplace but regardless, I should have been more present and open. That will be rectified in short order. Ultimately open makes sense and I'm optimistic about microstock and the role we can play in it. In startup land, the path between A & B is rarely a straight line :)


 

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