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Author Topic: Maybe it's time to make a cooperative microstock agency?  (Read 9798 times)

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« on: August 25, 2012, 05:16 »
0
Many reports about discontent old and new agencies.
We make our website and hope for success.
May be worth trying to microstock with minimal disabilities?


PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Good New For You
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 06:01 »
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[pulls up chair and popcorn]

« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 06:46 »
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[pulls up chair and popcorn]
There are many people who believed that life - it's a movie.
And all my life, they only ate popcorn

« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 06:57 »
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I know people who started a COOP photograph distribution agency back in the 1980 ties. It worked well and had a surplus for many years.

It is possible to do, also on the internet.

But since we had the debate a couple of times, I have begun to think it might be better to make a MARKET place, for both buyers and sellers.
My guess is that the buyers are equally tired of the middlemen.

« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2012, 07:13 »
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I see no reason that it is impossible

« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 07:21 »
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Many reports about discontent old and new agencies.
We make our website and hope for success.
May be worth trying to microstock with minimal disabilities?

Groundbreaking idea!  Knock yourself out.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Good New For You
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 07:27 »
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[pulls up chair and popcorn]
There are many people who believed that life - it's a movie.
And all my life, they only ate popcorn

I have my own movie thanks.

About once every week or so, someone, usually fairly new, starts a "we should all start our own site" post.

In summary, the results of that post are usually
  • Lack of capital or funding
  • Lack of a management model that everyone can agree on
  • Lack of a revenue model that everyone can agree on
  • Lack of business plan that differentiates the business from any other
  • Lack of a leader who is willing to commit to making something happen
  • Arguing and lack of agreement on anything
  • Insults
  • Responses removed
  • Locked post

This then usually leads to a post about needing a union. The result of that post is the reality that this is a fragmented industry and most people will default to doing what's human nature, looking out for themselves.

The biggest missing piece is the leader. You sound like the leader the community has been waiting for. Make it happen.

Now, back to shoot, upload, repeat.

« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 07:31 »
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Quote
Groundbreaking idea!  Knock yourself out.
You are wrong. My site - my site. For many they are. My website - it's not an agency. My dream - to make a collective agency with a minimum of effort on intermediaries

« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 07:33 »
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The best thing to do, if you have a billion dollars laying around, is start one. Then once it's up and running, invite others to join in, buying shares or something. And market the heck out of it to buyers. That might work.

« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 07:42 »
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Many reports about discontent old and new agencies.
We make our website and hope for success.
May be worth trying to microstock with minimal disabilities?

Groundbreaking idea!  Knock yourself out.


hahahahahahah, bout spat me coffee all over my Playboy!! ;D ;D

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 08:05 »
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Quote
Groundbreaking idea!  Knock yourself out.
You are wrong. My site - my site. For many they are. My website - it's not an agency. My dream - to make a collective agency with a minimum of effort on intermediaries

Ooooh, I'll share the dream, as a minimum-effort intermediary.
Sadly the old adage seems to be generally true: no gain without pain, though the converse can easily be true.

« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 08:49 »
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I do not see that every week is a theme.
But I see that little interest
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 08:57 by Oleg »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 08:56 »
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I do not see that every week is a theme.
But I see that the interest of small

I looked at your site.
It says, "maximum size of image at the lowest price"
   "and for that reason, I'm out" (TM?) - straight away
But it's not true: your lowest size is 50c, but your largest size is $3.
You'd better get your marketing right and don't get bogged down in legal 'false advertising' cases.

« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 09:06 »
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You probably offended. This is a mistake a translator. I corrected.
Talk of my site in another topic

« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 09:09 »
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The words "cooperative" and "agency" can't coexist. They are, by nature, incongruous.

« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2012, 09:29 »
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I suggest that instead of the phrase - it's impossible to discuss how this can be done

« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2012, 09:57 »
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you should have continued your last thread, this is useless sorry

http://www.microstockgroup.com/selling-direct/and-i-made-82038203a-site/

« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2012, 10:11 »
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When I have questions about my site. I'll write in there.
In this section, I listen to the answers to work together

« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 13:47 »
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When I have questions about my site. I'll write in there.
In this section, I listen to the answers to work together

if so there are plenty of topics about this matter

« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 14:37 »
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I will be glad to criticism and advice about my site. But in my theme

« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2012, 14:44 »
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I will be glad to criticism and advice about my site. But in my theme

you look like the owner of the forum and perhaps us members too, go ahead ;D

« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2012, 02:29 »
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The words "cooperative" and "agency" can't coexist. They are, by nature, incongruous.


True... a business can be sold by the owner. We would then have the same problem we actually have, no control...

« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2012, 20:13 »
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Interesting idea if the microstock people would band together and setup something like that. Although i personally do not believe in the microstock model as it is now, it can only get better if people from the practise work together to improve the microstock business and take it away from pennies to a level where hard work is rewarded.

This is basically how we at GraphXT started to think in 2009 and from a few pieces of paper we've arrived somewhere in 2012 with a ready  business model. Created from the perspective of photographers who invest in their work and want to see that returned by content buyers.

On a different note; I wanted to post in the section "new sites" but it seems a first post has to be made to an existing thread.

« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2012, 03:09 »
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Quote
True... a business can be sold by the owner. We would then have the same problem we actually have, no control...
exactly

EmberMike

« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2012, 09:19 »
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Quote
Maybe it's time to make a cooperative microstock agency?

No. No, it's not.

This is a horrible idea, it's been discussed ad nauseam, it will never work, etc etc.

« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2012, 13:19 »
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I think its a good idea personally, trouble is i think everyone has a different idea. However looking on the brighter side, whatever the outcome it may not be perfect but would be a darn sight fairer than the majority of the current big agencies out there. I think all it would need is for a few people to take the reigns and come up with a proposal and then maybe setup a donation fund to get it running. Like this for example in terms of people donating money for something that they want http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console

The downside would obviously be many people with many different ideas but if someone were to come up with a proposal of how it might work you could simply agree then donate and become a part of it or not agree and stay out of it.

The upside would be portfolio, just think of how many talented top players visit here, this has got to be the single most biggest thing that agencies want and we could have it immediately - portfolio. This would send shivers down any agency's spine :)

« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2012, 14:37 »
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I agree.
But donations should be the minimum, specific and transparent
(for example to pay for hosting). The main business model is to make a pleasant and friendly
Ready to take part in this group

Poncke

« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2012, 08:48 »
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Will never work, too many big heads in here.  8)

« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2012, 09:07 »
+2
I made a list of things to consider to start a cooperative: http://tonytremblay.com/coop/

I also take name of people interested. Most non-exclusive contributors seems to be interested by the idea.

Some exclusives don't seem to like the idea. Even if I don't agree with them, I kind of understand.

I think, in the future, it's the only choice we will have.

And I won't let anyone discourage me. 

« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2012, 09:34 »
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The cart moved forward.
I have 3 hours to lay out their thoughts

Poncke

« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2012, 12:08 »
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I made a list of things to consider to start a cooperative: http://tonytremblay.com/coop/

I also take name of people interested. Most non-exclusive contributors seems to be interested by the idea.

Some exclusives don't seem to like the idea. Even if I don't agree with them, I kind of understand.

I think, in the future, it's the only choice we will have.

And I won't let anyone discourage me.


Your review process, how will that work?

« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2012, 12:10 »
+1
I did a bit of an outline plan, but first:
Today, the market is difficult images. No vacancy
Need huge investment, but for one company.
If such a company will appear, it wants to recover their investment
and profit. Therefore the interest of authors small.
Investments are needed to attract sponsors for the technical part, to pay for super administrators (who migrate from one company to another),
advertising and ...
Let's do (think about how to make) these investments to be involved (design, programming, articles, social networks ....)
Us all, everywhere and always say millions, millions, millions, millions $ $
But is it true?
Why we do not want to figure it out?
Why are we lazy?
Why are we such cowards?
Why we do not believe in your own potential?
We have about 10,000 people - is a big skilled force.
Let's make the first move.

Here's a little plan.
A. Divide the project into several parts
1 Legal status
2 The technical
3 Pricing
4 Advertising and promotion
B. Invite people to these tasks
C. Discuss and clarify the options
D. Every participant works for free and makes a very small part of

« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2012, 12:12 »
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Let's make the first move.

Go right ahead.

« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2012, 13:07 »
+2
It is almost certainly not going to happen __ ever. The SS IPO document revealed the truth about the actual costs involved in running a microstock agency and it's probably fair to say that they were much higher than most of us realised. Assuming that our own 'co-operative' could be as effective and efficient as SS currently are (and that's a very big assumption) then the only gain we would make would be the 17% profit that they make __ which we would probably need to re-invest in the business anyway.

Yes, I know, you'll say we could control/raise prices. But that's not working for Istock is it? We can't get rid of subscriptions either, as many would like, because there will always be a market for them and agencies to provide for it. We can't un-invent subscriptions and we can't un-invent all the major agencies that currently dominate our marketplace either. If we don't provide for big chunks of the market then we can be sure that others will.

SS are already the closest we are likely to get as a co-operative. You'll soon be able to buy stock and thus share in the profits and growth of the company you have helped to build. You'll be able to pore over the quarterly financial reports and attend shareholders' meetings too. You'll even be able to sack the board if enough of you vote to do so.

Ever since IS introduced their exclusivity programme (in 2005?) Shutterstock have had to walk the tightrope of paying contributors as much as they could afford (to prevent them becoming exclusive) whilst retaining enough money to grow their business. IMHO they've done a fantastic job in doing so __ way better than any other agency. I've been with SS nearly 8 years and the growth in my monthly earnings has been almost directly in-line with the growth of my portfolio. Taking seasonal fluctuations into account it is still virtually a straight-line graph. Even in August I'll only be marginally short of a BME. Together with BigStock, Shutterstock now consistently generates about 50% of my microstock earnings and that is still rising. With every month that passes the significance of all other agencies diminishes in importance. I only bother uploading to 3 agencies nowadays (SS, IS & FT). The others aren't worth the time and hassle of doing so for me.

Instead of wringing hands and gnashing teeth maybe we should be grateful to have SS to rely on. We've probably got quite a good balance between the agencies right now. Things could certainly be much worse.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2012, 13:17 »
0
Why are we lazy?
Why are we such cowards?
Why we do not believe in your own potential?
We have about 10,000 people - is a big skilled force.
Let's make the first move.

Here's a little plan.
A. Divide the project into several parts
1 Legal status
2 The technical
3 Pricing
4 Advertising and promotion
B. Invite people to these tasks
C. Discuss and clarify the options
D. Every participant works for free and makes a very small part of

The people with the huge, marketable stock files that you need wouldn't have the time to be heavily involved in the background tasks. Those that have the time wouldn't be likely to be the big hitters.
In general.

« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2012, 13:50 »
0
Quote
The people with the huge, marketable stock files that you need wouldn't have the time to be heavily involved in the background tasks. Those that have the time wouldn't be likely to be the big hitters.
In general.
I have thousands of pictures (now it is not much).
But if I am asked to do a job (2 - 3 hours) for our "cooperative" of the agency - I am happy to do

« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2012, 14:00 »
0
It is almost certainly not going to happen __ ever. The SS IPO document revealed the truth about the actual costs involved in running a microstock agency and it's probably fair to say that they were much higher than most of us realised. Assuming that our own 'co-operative' could be as effective and efficient as SS currently are (and that's a very big assumption) then the only gain we would make would be the 17% profit that they make __ which we would probably need to re-invest in the business anyway.

Yes, I know, you'll say we could control/raise prices. But that's not working for Istock is it? We can't get rid of subscriptions either, as many would like, because there will always be a market for them and agencies to provide for it. We can't un-invent subscriptions and we can't un-invent all the major agencies that currently dominate our marketplace either. If we don't provide for big chunks of the market then we can be sure that others will.

SS are already the closest we are likely to get as a co-operative. You'll soon be able to buy stock and thus share in the profits and growth of the company you have helped to build. You'll be able to pore over the quarterly financial reports and attend shareholders' meetings too. You'll even be able to sack the board if enough of you vote to do so.

Ever since IS introduced their exclusivity programme (in 2005?) Shutterstock have had to walk the tightrope of paying contributors as much as they could afford (to prevent them becoming exclusive) whilst retaining enough money to grow their business. IMHO they've done a fantastic job in doing so __ way better than any other agency. I've been with SS nearly 8 years and the growth in my monthly earnings has been almost directly in-line with the growth of my portfolio. Taking seasonal fluctuations into account it is still virtually a straight-line graph. Even in August I'll only be marginally short of a BME. Together with BigStock, Shutterstock now consistently generates about 50% of my microstock earnings and that is still rising. With every month that passes the significance of all other agencies diminishes in importance. I only bother uploading to 3 agencies nowadays (SS, IS & FT). The others aren't worth the time and hassle of doing so for me.

Instead of wringing hands and gnashing teeth maybe we should be grateful to have SS to rely on. We've probably got quite a good balance between the agencies right now. Things could certainly be much worse.

You make a good point in terms of Shutterstock.  Most people will probably be also able to purchase a equal % of stock as they have stock photos... which could be one way of working a co-op.   It will be interesting to see the stock price when it is released.

« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2012, 14:08 »
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It is not impossible.
Crowdsourcing is many things and the net connects people.

Over here in Denmark we had great many cooperatives in the last century. Typically within the distribution of milk, butter and meat. They were not small.
They worked, they were a lifestyle and they were GOOD at competing with sheer capitalism.

The financials we typically arranged this way:
People bought small shares. Fx a farmer bought a share in the butchery.
Loans from banks.

The producers then had a stabile distribution channel, and depending on the market prices, the surplus was delivered back to the contributers as dividend or bonus.
Production greatly benifited from cooperatives, new livestock races were bread and perfected, new techniques were implemented. The result is, that Denmark today, has an advanced diary industry and is market leading in many ways.

All it takes is a dedicated group of people, who can come up with well working business plan and a description of the cooperative.
I think it can be done i 2 ways:
The slow approach, where many little fish work together, there are many contributers who are also buyers.
Or the coup dtat approach, where a packet of money headhunts some of the key customer relations people from well funktioning agencies.
It is obvious that prices would be competitive.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2012, 14:32 »
0
Quote
The people with the huge, marketable stock files that you need wouldn't have the time to be heavily involved in the background tasks. Those that have the time wouldn't be likely to be the big hitters.
In general.
I have thousands of pictures (now it is not much).
But if I am asked to do a job (2 - 3 hours) for our "cooperative" of the agency - I am happy to do
2-3 hours a day? a week?

« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2012, 14:36 »
0
Quote
2-3 hours a day? a week?
A lifetime. For example you web designer, your job is to make the front page. And all.
I see this as an automated self-service shop-warehouse.
This is not a co-op - a mechanism sale.
Suppose - software almost free, hosting $ 0.05 per 1 GB per month.
Or 25 GB for free from Microsoft (per account)
Each investor site, blog, article (link) + social network.
How do you think will be the effect?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 14:47 by Oleg »

« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2012, 18:24 »
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the pictures are allready hosted, - we are connected to the net.

« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2012, 20:30 »
0
Your review process, how will that work?


Just spitballing here, but one way to handle the review process is to break it into smaller components that can be gamified and let anyone who has an account (buyer, seller, affiliate or whoever) participate.  I've been thinking about experimenting with this at toonvectors.com.

Ideally, you have a series of quickly answerable yes/no questions or short fill-in-the-blank like the following:
  • Do you like the quality of this image? Y/N
  • Is this title relevant for the image? Y / N
  • Is this description relevant for the image? Y / N
  • Is this keyword relevant for the image? Y / N
  • Write / edit title for this image.
  • Write / edit description for this image.
  • Write / edit keyword(s) for this image.

Points are awarded to the participant for answering these.  To prevent abuse, points are removed if the participant is deemed "wrong" - i.e. their Y/N answer does not agree with the consensus or their suggested titles, descriptions and keywords are deemed irrelevant.  Each participant has an overall confidence score which is calculated as the deviation from the consensus of others who answered the same question for the same image.  If a participant's confidence score drops too low, then they are suspended from reviewing (or banned in extreme cases).

Image quality and title/description/keyword relevancy scores for an image are calculated as an average weighted by participant confidence.  Each image has a separate title, description and keyword set for each language supported by the site. The currently highest ranking title and description in each language are used for the image and the participant who suggested them gets bonus points.  Only keywords above a certain relevancy threshold are applied to the image.  Furthermore, image quality and keyword scores are used as tie-breakers for search result relevancy sorting.

A newly submitted image would not be published until it has reached some minimum threshold of quality and relevancy.  Images are also removed from publication if they drop below thresholds of quality and relevancy - this could occur in two stages: 1) removed from search, and 2) permanently deleted.

Other aspects: a purchase counts as a positive quality vote (with likely more weight than a regular vote).  Embedded metadata counts as participation from the contributor for their own images.  It should be made possible for a contributor to gain a high enough participant confidence score to have their images auto-published.

So why would anyone participate in the review process?

  • For quality sellers, the possibility of auto-publication along with some amount of control over search placement might be sufficient motivation.
  • Some people might actually think it is "fun" just to participate and climb the ranks of a participant leader board.
  • Participant points could be used as an input variable to calculate a voting share for site decisions.
  • Participant points could be used as an input variable to calculate a slice for profit sharing if a percentage of site profits were allocated for this.

As an addendum, if pricing by image complexity tiers is supported on the site, then this could also be made part of the points game.  Plenty of other back-end maintenance tasks could be added as well.

« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2012, 00:21 »
+1
People seems afraid of the work to be done, but it' s like any other things.. you start small and you grow up.
If you look at all the things you will need to achieve to be successful, you might get discouraged. The trick is to take it one step at the time.

It's always easier to find excuses to do nothing... like the old legacy stock photographers did.

« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2012, 02:21 »
0
I propose to begin discussion of item number 1. Legal form.
What will it be?, Joint stock company, limited liability company, a cooperative?
I suggest getting ready site shop. Calculate% fee for authors (eg 70-99%). Make a collective agreement by store. The author makes a profit only on their sales. Devise a method of control and influence

Poncke

« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2012, 02:50 »
0
Your review process, how will that work?


Just spitballing here, but one way to handle the review process is to break it into smaller components that can be gamified and let anyone who has an account (buyer, seller, affiliate or whoever) participate.  I've been thinking about experimenting with this at toonvectors.com.

Ideally, you have a series of quickly answerable yes/no questions or short fill-in-the-blank like the following:
  • Do you like the quality of this image? Y/N
  • Is this title relevant for the image? Y / N
  • Is this description relevant for the image? Y / N
  • Is this keyword relevant for the image? Y / N
  • Write / edit title for this image.
  • Write / edit description for this image.
  • Write / edit keyword(s) for this image.

Points are awarded to the participant for answering these.  To prevent abuse, points are removed if the participant is deemed "wrong" - i.e. their Y/N answer does not agree with the consensus or their suggested titles, descriptions and keywords are deemed irrelevant.  Each participant has an overall confidence score which is calculated as the deviation from the consensus of others who answered the same question for the same image.  If a participant's confidence score drops too low, then they are suspended from reviewing (or banned in extreme cases).

Image quality and title/description/keyword relevancy scores for an image are calculated as an average weighted by participant confidence.  Each image has a separate title, description and keyword set for each language supported by the site. The currently highest ranking title and description in each language are used for the image and the participant who suggested them gets bonus points.  Only keywords above a certain relevancy threshold are applied to the image.  Furthermore, image quality and keyword scores are used as tie-breakers for search result relevancy sorting.

A newly submitted image would not be published until it has reached some minimum threshold of quality and relevancy.  Images are also removed from publication if they drop below thresholds of quality and relevancy - this could occur in two stages: 1) removed from search, and 2) permanently deleted.

Other aspects: a purchase counts as a positive quality vote (with likely more weight than a regular vote).  Embedded metadata counts as participation from the contributor for their own images.  It should be made possible for a contributor to gain a high enough participant confidence score to have their images auto-published.

So why would anyone participate in the review process?

  • For quality sellers, the possibility of auto-publication along with some amount of control over search placement might be sufficient motivation.
  • Some people might actually think it is "fun" just to participate and climb the ranks of a participant leader board.
  • Participant points could be used as an input variable to calculate a voting share for site decisions.
  • Participant points could be used as an input variable to calculate a slice for profit sharing if a percentage of site profits were allocated for this.

As an addendum, if pricing by image complexity tiers is supported on the site, then this could also be made part of the points game.  Plenty of other back-end maintenance tasks could be added as well.


Two things, I think this will not work because its too much work. For buyers and contributors both. SS accepts 80.000 photos a week, I think they accept about 10% of what is submitted. Lets say, you need to review 250.000 photos per week. Ouch.

Second, who is going to write the code for that? That looks like complicated math to me.

« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2012, 02:50 »
0
first you need to establish a platform for communication.
Then an adress, and a legal entity, based on a foundation paper.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 03:05 by JPSDK »

« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2012, 02:58 »
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Somebody let me know when we get past the parts we've discussed 20 times before.

« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2012, 03:06 »
0
you are free to not participate, and sit and polish your crown instead.

« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2012, 03:15 »
0
Quality control - no censorship.
Buyers are not as stupid as people think. Before buying a can and should look, there is the zoom.
This is my opinion, but maybe there is an alternative.
On my site there is a closed category, the beginner can ship there, and we will vote

« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2012, 07:58 »
0
Quote
2-3 hours a day? a week?
A lifetime. For example you web designer, your job is to make the front page. And all.

I assure you that a stock agency spends significantly more than 2 to 3 hours lifetime on the design of its front page.

There is nothing wrong about the concept of a coop. There will always be doubting Thomases, and they don't have to be a part of it. We have a co-op farmer's market about an hour from my house that draws people from all across the state. It's huge, and hugely successful. People who buy there do so for both the quality, and because they believe in supporting other local people instead of corporations.

However I think you vastly underestimate the amount of work to be done. Getting onto the first page of Google is not something which you can simply assign to one of the workers. And it will take years, not hours.

« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2012, 08:48 »
0
Thriving coops have hired staff, that are paid by the surplus.

There is nothing wrong in hiring a over energic salesperson and put him on straight commision.

« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2012, 09:25 »
+2
We have a co-op farmer's market about an hour from my house that draws people from all across the state. It's huge, and hugely successful. People who buy there do so for both the quality, and because they believe in supporting other local people instead of corporations.

I think the difference is, you're dealing with people you can get together with and meet, to hammer out agreements and things.  Here, you're dealing with remote people, from all parts of the world, with all kinds of different laws and ways of doing business, and plenty of different views on how things should be done.

I think the earlier observation that SS is your co-op is right on.  You can own part of the business, you've helped shape it over the years, etc.  What more could you want?  What are you looking to get out of this proposed "co-op"?  You can't have 2000 people voting on every decision.

« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2012, 10:20 »
0
I can't stop thinking of how much SS have spent on 'marketing' in 2011, its really 'from the other world' and make us think that is very hard to attract buyers

SS would be down if they havent spent over 20 Millions? the constant investment looks like 'old' buyers go way and fresh ones show up, sure they have increased annually the number of downloads but buyers really go and shop around or they wouldnt need to invest more and more

« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2012, 10:30 »
0
I can't stop thinking of how much SS have spent on 'marketing' in 2011, its really 'from the other world' and make us think that is very hard to attract buyers

SS would be down if they havent spent over 20 Millions? the constant investment looks like 'old' buyers go way and fresh ones show up, sure they have increased annually the number of downloads but buyers really go and shop around or they wouldnt need to invest more and more

It makes me think they throw away way too much money on non-converting ads. Also, I assume some of that might go to pay affiliates like me, so some of it might go back to the peoples.  ;)

« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2012, 10:33 »
0
I can't stop thinking of how much SS have spent on 'marketing' in 2011, its really 'from the other world' and make us think that is very hard to attract buyers

SS would be down if they havent spent over 20 Millions? the constant investment looks like 'old' buyers go way and fresh ones show up, sure they have increased annually the number of downloads but buyers really go and shop around or they wouldnt need to invest more and more

It makes me think they throw away way too much money on non-converting ads. Also, I assume some of that might go to pay affiliates like me, so some of it might go back to the peoples.  ;)

Don't forget that those numbers also include the expenditure on marketing BigStock too. BigStock does seem to be fairly heavily promoted in Google ad's but it doesn't seem to be having much effect on my sales there.

« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2012, 10:34 »
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Farmers' co-operatives are often the only practical means of sharing the vast cost of specialised machinery that is needed by each farmer for only a few days or weeks of the year. They don't necessarily help in maintaining prices or securing jobs, in what are often world-wide markets, as 180 pea growers in England found out when Birds Eye cancelled their contracts without notice;

http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/05/02/2010/119824/Birds-Eye-cancels-pea-contracts-of-180-East-Anglian.htm

Agriculture has absolutely nothing in common with stock photography so the continual cross-references are pointless.

Stock photographers have been bleating about agency's cuts and wanting to start their own co-operative for decades __ basically for about as long as stock photography has been in existence. It's never happened and it's never going to. There's not even a stock photographers' union, worthy of the name, that actually has any teeth and that would be a much easier and cheaper alternative to a 'co-operative agency'.

« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2012, 11:24 »
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We have a co-op farmer's market about an hour from my house that draws people from all across the state. It's huge, and hugely successful. People who buy there do so for both the quality, and because they believe in supporting other local people instead of corporations.

I think the difference is, you're dealing with people you can get together with and meet, to hammer out agreements and things.  Here, you're dealing with remote people, from all parts of the world, with all kinds of different laws and ways of doing business, and plenty of different views on how things should be done.

I think the earlier observation that SS is your co-op is right on.  You can own part of the business, you've helped shape it over the years, etc.  What more could you want?  What are you looking to get out of this proposed "co-op"?  You can't have 2000 people voting on every decision.

I'm not convinced that we have a pseudo co-op with SS. Being able to purchase shares allows you to make or lose money with market movement, but it really doesn't give you any say in the running of the organization. I own Disney shares, and nobody is consulting me on the 4 new proposed theme parks they are planning for WDW. We also have no say on the IPO pricing, which may be ridiculously overvalued per Facebook, or may be a fantastic bargain.

« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2012, 13:23 »
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Specific arguments about the unreality "of the agency," I have not heard.
Opponents - write about specific difficulties.
Maybe they just do not have?

« Reply #58 on: August 29, 2012, 13:43 »
0
I'm not convinced that we have a pseudo co-op with SS. Being able to purchase shares allows you to make or lose money with market movement, but it really doesn't give you any say in the running of the organization. I own Disney shares, and nobody is consulting me on the 4 new proposed theme parks they are planning for WDW. We also have no say on the IPO pricing, which may be ridiculously overvalued per Facebook, or may be a fantastic bargain.


http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2004-03-03-disney-shareholder-meeting_x.htm

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #59 on: August 29, 2012, 14:09 »
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Specific arguments about the unreality "of the agency," I have not heard.
Opponents - write about specific difficulties.
Maybe they just do not have?
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
See also the GraphXt thread.
If you imagine that everyone putting in 2-3 hours in a lifetime, you are either in fantasyland or you expect thousands of willing helpers.
But have fun, and you can laugh when you're piling in the money.

« Reply #60 on: August 29, 2012, 14:26 »
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I was not expecting 1000 assistants. But I did not expect and enemies.
Opponents I understand you, you think this is futile and will not help. No need to repeat it many many times.
I ask to talk constructively

Poncke

« Reply #61 on: August 29, 2012, 16:12 »
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I think Oleg was willing to spent 2-3 hours for a lifetime, not in a lifetime. And if everyone involved does 2-3 hours, you have a whole lot of hours.

« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2012, 16:12 »
0
I think most of us are being constructive. I'm telling you that 2-3 hours lifetime per person is not even close to a reasonable expectation, even if you had 1000 people contributing. Running an e-commerce website is difficult. Design takes time. A-B testing takes time. Search position is a long, long battle.

By all means go forward with your project. I'd be happy to be a part of any well run coop. But go forward with your eyes open.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #63 on: August 29, 2012, 16:31 »
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I think Oleg was willing to spent 2-3 hours for a lifetime, not in a lifetime. And if everyone involved does 2-3 hours, you have a whole lot of hours.
If doing web design/functionality, 2-3 hours wouldn't remotely even cover the liaison. It's much harder/takes more time to construct a site as a team. A lot of people offering 2 -3 hours is not a joined-up project.

I'm just not convinced that oleg really knows how much work/time/expertise it would take to get a site to the state when it could take on the current big hitters.
I also suspect he hasn't worked on many committees.  ::)

Poncke

« Reply #64 on: August 29, 2012, 16:48 »
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I am not disagreeing with that. I dont see this coop work at all. First of all, you need someone to take lead, no matter what business it is. And I am afraid if someone does, the big heads will never listen because they have made it already and would want to do things their way because they know best.

« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2012, 16:52 »
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I assumed that no one wants to do anything.
But I tried to offer it to you.
Say - millions of dollars, investments, business plan, professional management, analysis, research, weather, stock market, quotes, indices ...... is very convenient, smart, I'm not funny.
And when you need something new to do, there is always a chance crap.
And you'll look like a clown. Why would we?
People will say - we were warned.

Agencies pay us probably many.
I do not want to offend anyone
I'm sorry

« Reply #66 on: August 29, 2012, 16:59 »
+1
Why not just create a site with ktools, put some files in it. Make the site appealing and working.
I don't this would take more than 2 months to do..

Then make the legal stuff.. 

Let's start small and grow.

People that are not interested can always skip this subject forum, and bug the others ones instead.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #67 on: August 29, 2012, 17:00 »
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I doubt very much that anyone is offended.
This and similar projects have often been discussed here, and in other places.

I'd agree with Buz, but I'd research and work out the legal issues before I even started.

« Reply #68 on: August 29, 2012, 17:10 »
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I quote myself
Quote
I propose to begin discussion of item number 1. Legal form.
What will it be?, Joint stock company, limited liability company, a cooperative?
Discuss no one

« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2012, 17:32 »
0
Quote
I'm just not convinced that oleg really knows how much work/time/expertise it would take to get a site to the state when it could take on the current big hitters.
I also suspect he hasn't worked on many committees. 
You suspect wrong.
I built a small production, and organized production of goods.
Those were different directions, medicine, industry, building homes. I am not an expert in these areas, but I organized a group of people (professionals in the right part). I did it with a simple phone (there were not mobile). Yes it was a long time ago, the world changed. Much was on another, other methods different psychology.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2012, 17:39 »
0
Fair enough.


 

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