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Author Topic: Just joined the team at RSI (Raw-Stock-Images)  (Read 7344 times)

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« on: March 08, 2007, 09:40 »
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Hi there!

Like you may have seen in the subject line I just joined the team at RSI (Raw-Stock-Images)

To avoid confusion I registered a second time on the forum, this time with a RSI related user name and avatar. This allows me to make clear if I speak as a private person (hospitalera with the dog as an avatar) or if I speak for and on behalf of RSI.

First a short history of RSI: The site started of as the private web site of a photographer (Richard Clark) who was soon joined by other photographic friends who wanted that he represents them on his site. Recently the site opened up to all photographers who want to contribute. This explains why at the beginning there was no approval process in place and other minor hiccups of the site.

I joined the site shortly after it opened up and got in contact with Richard C., making suggestions about several things I had noticed and thought they should be improved. I was impressed how responsive RSI was to contributor suggestions and ideas and together we decided that it would be good to have me permanently working for them. A second Richard (Richard H.) joined the team at roughly the same time as I did and will be mainly, but not exclusively, responsible for the technical part of the site.  Other reviewers and investors have chosen not to make their names public on forums etc.

So, what I am doing at RSI?

I joined the team of reviewers (yes, there is now an approval process in place!)

I do PR for them, for example writing on forums and answering questions in forums, by pm or email.

Contributor care: I am in regular contact by email and phone with Richard, the site owner (we live in the same country, UK, but not in the same city) and the rest of the team to whom I will forward all suggestion, ideas etc. from the forums or from pms/ emails I have received. This has the advantage that Richard gets only one email with a summary from me instead of dozens of emails from different contributors. But if somebody prefers to contact him directly, no problem, he is always happy to listen and answer questions and concerns.

Head Hunting: We are rather ambitious in our goals and want to increase the number of quality images as quick as possible. My job in this aspect is to contact top (stock)photographers I know off and encourage them to sign up and submit their images to RSI. So, it might well be that one of you gets soon an email from me regarding RSI!

What distinguishes RSI from other sites?
1.RSI is passionate about taking the contributors suggestions seriously and to implement them asap in the site. Take for example the upload process: In the beginning it was an absolute nightmare, now it is one of the fastest upload process I know of (ftp, no categories, batch processing into the approval queue etc) 
2. RSI offers you the possibility to organize your images into galleries, so that a potential buyer can for example browse all your food related images easily.
3. RSIs guidelines for image review boil down to highest technical image quality, but openness regarding image subjects Rarely you will get an rejection email from us stating that your image isnt stock worthy. This decision we leave to the buyers.
4. Buyer friendliness. We aim to offer potential buyers only images that are relevant to their search. This means we review keywords together with the image itself and monitor them after the initial approval is done.
5. No, we don't have a lot of sales at the moment - but it would be stupid from a business point of view to invest money to attract buyers before we have enough images to choose from. But when we have a wider selection for the buyer to choose from we will start our marketing campaign and yes, we'll get sales!

Why should you upload at RSI:

Joining RSI at this point of time has two main advantages: You can help to shape the site towards the ideal micro stock site for contributors and buyers, getting actively involved with your suggestions and ideas and be part of the wider team!
When we start our full marketing campaign you're already on line with your images.

OK, I could write much more but I think now it is time to listen what you have to say

Always glad to hear from you,

SY


« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2007, 10:09 »
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I have a couple of points which as a submitter come down to money $$$ or in this case .

First you are paying out 40% good but not great (50%) and definately not the best (70%).  However, i have been stung by supporting two sites early on which had I waited i would have got a better deal (ie fotolias 20c per upload and I think LO did a 50% commision for life of photo, I got their credits which are better than nothing (just)). 

Since you are trying to attract photos why dont you do a higher commission for those who get in early.  If you dont, how can you guarantee i wont get stung by joining in quick and you decide in the future to offer such things.

Second, do you have teirs if we sell lots of photos (ie. istock cannisters) or are we stuck on 40% for life?

Third:

you have a affilitate program - Yay.
It last for only 6 months - Hmmm
You have no sales so we get no reward for referring photographers - boo. 

I guess the question is is why should we support you.  Since you pay just over half of what FP does, I would prefer you to die out and you sales to go to FP (I am still hoping istock die and all their sales go to FP to but I dont hold my breath).

Still not sure about joining another site.

« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 10:20 »
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Quick reply  ;)

I will forward all your suggestions to the team and keep you informed of the outcome! SY

« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 15:39 »
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I'm happy to support the new RSI

Good to be in there at the beginning and the admin is very friendly and responsive. Already 10,000 files online- and good quality.

« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2007, 02:14 »
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If you want to appeal to designers as purchasers I suggest you review the headline fonts, the logo and other aspects of the site such as the very old fashioned exchange link site reviews. The all lend a very amateurish feeling to the site, especially if the content becomes just the same old same old.

« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2007, 06:20 »
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Well I had vowed no more signing up to new agencies

Just signed up and waiting for the FTP confirmation.

Glad to see a UK based microstock agency sick of getting screwed over with the exchange rate from US dollars.

Good to see that your learnt from LO with an easy upload process, I have yet to test it.

Other questions prices for images?
1 for web sized
3 what size?
5 what size?
minimum payout? (obviously a long way away)

One suggestion tighten up the footprint of each image the info box is over twice the size of the thumbnail which means there is a lot of "wasted space" scrolling to see more images. I am sure the designer wanted to be different but it would takes ages to browse through a large portfolio or wide search.

In my opinion most revelevant info

image size
DLs/views
photographer

not so relevant
file size
DPI
clipping path

floating larger image, add to lightbox, clipping path  could be handled with icons with explanation with mouse over.

Does RSI actually supply images in RAW format?

« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 14:40 »
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Quick update:

New layout plus revised ToS and prices/ comissions will be live in April.

As part of the new design we are creating a new gallery for web-only images.  These images are ones that would normally be rejected at normal print size due to the image quality, however many of them are still good images when viewed at web size (around 640 by 480 pixels).

We just added a new section to our forum called Reviewers Corner where you can discuss rejections and get advice on improving your images. We hope that this will help to improve further the communication between you and RSI. We will soon add sticky topics on important issues like key wording, What to submit and more.

Review Times: We try to keep it under 24h, if we get a lot of submissions it can be longer, but we do our best! Ok, that's just a short update, have to go back, still images in queue... BTW, we have past now 13000 images on line, way to go, but a good start. Hope to review your images soon SY

« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 19:21 »
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These images are ones that would normally be rejected at normal print size due to the image quality, however many of them are still good images when viewed at web size (around 640 by 480 pixels).
This is quite interesting for me! I have some good small images that I would like to be able to sell and I could only find a couple of sites that take 1280x960 and none that take 640x480.  Are you going to accept small images to be sold at this "web size" or only larger ones that look nice only when donwsized?

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 20:39 »
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I decided to go ahead and give it a try but after getting the email welcoming me, I noticed you allow a maximum of 25 keywords and if there are more, you'll just take the first 25 relevant.  Why the low limit?  I understand most sites want to ensure relevant keywords are entered, however, I've already coded almost all of my stock photos with up to 50 keywords so I wouldn't want to have to take the time to cut them down to the 25 most pertinent.  My suggestion is to raise the limit to 50.  Thanks.

« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2007, 20:48 »
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Question :-

Have you had any sales?

Sorry if i sound cynical and weary. I am barely in stock for less than 1 year but already its been a pain to upload in new stock sites without sales.

« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 04:02 »
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These images are ones that would normally be rejected at normal print size due to the image quality, however many of them are still good images when viewed at web size (around 640 by 480 pixels).
This is quite interesting for me! I have some good small images that I would like to be able to sell and I could only find a couple of sites that take 1280x960 and none that take 640x480.  Are you going to accept small images to be sold at this "web size" or only larger ones that look nice only when donwsized?

Regards,
Adelaide

Hi Madelaide,

please email admin[at]raw-stock-images.com, Richard knows about the question and will set up something for you, at the moment we still have a "size-check" in place. But I will keep you all informed, until then if you have small but good images write to the above email adress. But please be aware that they have to pass review as every other image also. SY

« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2007, 04:17 »
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Question :-

Have you had any sales?

Sorry if i sound cynical and weary. I am barely in stock for less than 1 year but already its been a pain to upload in new stock sites without sales.

We had a few sales, but before we start marketing we need more products=images to offer. It is a little bit a chicken and egg problem I know, but two points to make it easier for you:
1. Our upload process is really straight forward: Ftp and when all images and there keywords have arrived just click "Send all images to approval". We send the images back to you that need a model release etc. I don't think there is an easier upload out there!
2. You can request a pay-out as soon as you have 20GBP in your account...
Hope that encourages you to join and upload, SY

« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 04:31 »
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I decided to go ahead and give it a try but after getting the email welcoming me, I noticed you allow a maximum of 25 keywords and if there are more, you'll just take the first 25 relevant.  Why the low limit?  I understand most sites want to ensure relevant keywords are entered, however, I've already coded almost all of my stock photos with up to 50 keywords so I wouldn't want to have to take the time to cut them down to the 25 most pertinent.  My suggestion is to raise the limit to 50.  Thanks.

Regarding key words: We suggest 10-25 keywords but we know that many of the seasoned photographers have more embedded in their files. So what happens is this: Your image with ALL keywords arrives in the review queue, after we have decided if we'll approve the image or not we either amend the key words or send them to our key wording specialist who does it for you. Only exception is obvious key word spamming like "sexy, attractive, erotic" etc for let's say an image of a tree. Then you would get an email telling you how to key word images right... As long as you don't key word spam you're on the safe site! Hope that helps SY

« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2007, 19:30 »
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Thanks for the prompt reply and the quick response on getting ftp uploading capabilities (I waited less than 24 hours).  I'll give it a shot!

« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2007, 03:42 »
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I will wait for the new layout and TOS in April.  Would be good to have a UK microstock site, so if the site is improved, I will be uploading.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 03:44 by sharpshot »

« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2007, 18:47 »
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I decided to go ahead and give it a try but after getting the email welcoming me, I noticed you allow a maximum of 25 keywords and if there are more, you'll just take the first 25 relevant.  Why the low limit?  I understand most sites want to ensure relevant keywords are entered, however, I've already coded almost all of my stock photos with up to 50 keywords so I wouldn't want to have to take the time to cut them down to the 25 most pertinent.  My suggestion is to raise the limit to 50.  Thanks.

Regarding key words: We suggest 10-25 keywords but we know that many of the seasoned photographers have more embedded in their files. So what happens is this: Your image with ALL keywords arrives in the review queue, after we have decided if we'll approve the image or not we either amend the key words or send them to our key wording specialist who does it for you. Only exception is obvious key word spamming like "sexy, attractive, erotic" etc for let's say an image of a tree. Then you would get an email telling you how to key word images right... As long as you don't key word spam you're on the safe site! Hope that helps SY

I've uploaded quite a few images and pushed them through since more than 25 keywords were already embedded.  Now I'm getting many of them back saying "Keywords are too excessive."  I'm not planning on going back and fixing them since that's a lot of time on my part for no sales at this point and it's stated above they will be narrowed down by your staff.   I also got one back for updating that says "passed."  I have no idea what that means.  Any suggestions on how I should proceed?

« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2007, 06:49 »
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Sorry Stacy,

Didn't see this earlier. I think you must have received an email explaining how we tackle this in future, here a copie for the rest of you:

Dear Members,

Hope you are all doing well.

Over the last few months we have had a lot of problems with keywords, especially  with most contributors having existing keywords inside IPTC data.
The RSI keyword limit and relevancy is causing some images to be deleted based on the keywords alone.

At RSI we try to understand the contributors problems and appreciate that having to change hundreds of images for keyword relevancy is just too much work.

To give you confidence and to help with the keyword problem we have decided to  put a new system in place.  The keywords will no longer be checked when the image is initially reviewed, this way the reviewers can concentrate on image quality.  If approved the image will go live onto the site with all your keywords.

In the background it will enter the keyword check queue.  The keyword approval team will then check the validity of the keywords and remove any inappropriate keywords.

Some off you may have already seen this happen to your images.

The keyword approval team cannot delete images just correct them. However, if bad keywords are found you may receive a notification email, especially if you are keyword spamming, for example sexy for a tree is spamming!

If at any time you disagree with the keyword changes please email us and we will look into it.  You always have the right to remove the image if you disagree with the removal or change of keywords.

We hope this will stop reviewers and contributers frustration and we get relevant keywords.

RSI being a new site has to learn as it grows and we believe that checking keywords now will benefit every one later on.  Buyers do not want to trawl through hundreds of irrelevant images due to poor keyword.

Contributers found to be keyword spamming will be warned that they are doing so and if the situation persists then will be dealt with accordingly and ultimately have their account and images removed from our web site.

Hope that helps, SY

« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2007, 06:53 »
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And here the actual reason why I locked in:

Update: This is a message we just send out to all our members, but it might be also of interest to some of you. I'll keep you updated when we're up and running again:

Dear members,

As you all will know by now, we are upgrading the RSI site. Stage one of these changes will involve upgrading the hardware. No changes to the look and feel of the RSI site will happen at this stage.

Due to needing to replace and re-configure hardware, the site will be down for several hours today. When the hardware is up and running, the site will be back online, although some of you may experience intermittent connection problems for the next 24 hours.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this period and we look forward to showing you the new RSI sit in May.

The RSI Team.

« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2007, 16:44 »
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Ok, RSI is up and running again! In case somebody is experience still problems please drop me a pm. Thanks for your patience, SY

« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2007, 03:34 »
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Something I would suggest you have a serious look at changing is the duration of the affiliate program.
6 MONTHS!!! ths is a joke for refering new photographers to your site, when you have done hardly any marketing.
If I refer a photographer to you today and they only get a decent size portfolio up in 2 months of constant uploading, that leaves 4 months for sales, but you have hardly any sales now, since you are still collecting a big database of images.
So in actual fact I might make 1 or 2 pounds in the first 6 months if I'm lucky, and thats the end of my referred photographer...

At the moment I refer all the photographers only to sites that I get a decent percentage for a prolonged period. Otherwise they waste their uploading time on sites I will not benefit from.

5p is not going to make you guys poor, to continue giving it lifelong, instead of 6 months, especialy in the initial phase of your site.

This is the single most important factor keeping me from signing up and uploading the 800+ images I have so far as stock images.
Please reconsider the period of your referral program.


 

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