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1
Are we sure that this email is even coming from Shutterstock. I get so many phishing emails from everyone else. This almost sounds like a hack, scam, or whatever. Besides, when did Shutterstock start using titles on their consumer side?

A Shutterstock employee posted in their forums saying people could write to support to ask for a list of images identified, effectively acknowledging the sad little e-mail with no useful details came from them.

Shutterstock takes the description field from ITPC and uses it as the title (has been doing this all along). So they call it a title, even though that's not the field it came from.

Well, that's just very sad then. I'll wait until they get their act together and then respond accordingly. Considering how much my sales at Shutterstock have dwindled over the years it's certainly not going to be worth wasting my time doing anything about titles, descriptions, or any other metadata in my portfolio - especially when the exact same metadata is being used without complaint by at least 6 other agencies. And while I'm on the subject and unless I'm missing something (as I was with their stupid title creation plan), how the heck do you edit the metadata there? I admit I haven't been actively nuturing and pruning my portfolios at any microstock websites in recent years but from what I remember almost every other site was much more user friendly when it came to editing your photos on their site. I looked just now and maybe it's not easy to find but I couldn't find any link or menu to access the data and edit it.

Okay - just figured out the extremely time consuming, convoluted, and inefficient way to edit the metadata in my photos, not that I actually need to.

2
Are we sure that this email is even coming from Shutterstock? I get so many phishing emails from everyone else. This almost sounds like a hack, scam, or whatever. Besides, when did Shutterstock start using titles on their consumer side?

3
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: April 30, 2009, 15:57 »
Now that we've had an invitation to check out the client side interface and make suggestions, I would hope that there is still ongoing development of the keywording/search engine precision - and/or some serious editing of irrelevant keywords in the collection's images.  I'm no perfectionist or saint when it comes to keywording but I try to put only appropriate keywords with my images.  Sometimes there's the accidental inclusion of a keyword especially with groups of pictures from the same shoot.

But what really concerns me is that some photos from a well-known and talented photographer that are at best only tangentially related to a keyword search phrase I tested ("fitness woman") show up prominently on the first page of results from that search.  Of course the same happens on many other sites but this would definitely make me think "here we go again" if I were a photo buyer.

I know this is a difficult problem to deal with but I hope Vivozoom can set itself further apart from many of the other sites by offering a more accurate keyword search.

I do like the look of the client page and the display of the images - it's an attractive presentation and I like the effort to display images with accurate color. 

4
Off Topic / Re: Where to host a personal website
« on: April 30, 2009, 15:36 »
Just thought I would mention another host you might want to check out and compare with the others - www.hostdepartment.com - I've been using them for almost a year and have no complaints.  They seemed like a good deal to me.  I found about them when Shutterbug ran an article on setting up photo websites and mentioned them.

5
New Sites - General / Re: When is Vivozoom going live?
« on: April 02, 2009, 21:22 »
The lack of a response from anyone directly connected with Vivozoom speaks volumes.

6
New Sites - General / Re: When is Vivozoom going live?
« on: March 18, 2009, 00:48 »
OK - let's go Tom and Lawrence, how about an update on the progress of the site - an email or something soon?  I'm losing my enthusiasm so my uploads have slowed down.  I hope you're not waiting around for some bailout money to come your way before you roll out the site.  I'm generally a very patient person - have to be, I'm a public school teacher - but I'm beginning to wonder.  Frequent communication helps.

Ken

7
yeah, no good photos there - just the stuff from contributors like Andres Rodriquez and Yuri Arcurs.  I wish my photos were that "not very good".  I don't know - 20% of a $50 sale seems like a lot better deal than 50% of a $5 sale.  And who can't manage to get 300 images online to get 30%.  Hmmmm, maybe I shouldn't say anything.  Yeah, that's it - this is a bad site - contributors stay away!

8
Dreamstime.com / Re: Dreamstime - Is it time to leave
« on: March 06, 2009, 11:24 »
Wow - how can you even begin to analyze micro stock companies results with a portfolio of on 142 images - and I would guess those 142 images haven't been available online for long either?  Even 3 years ago I was told by very knowledgeable and successful contributors that I couldn't expect much until my portfolio was over 100 images - and now that there are contributors with portfolios over 15,000 images that advice has been revised to a much higher number.  DT has been a bit slow for me lately too but that's beside the point.  DT is not some startup site struggling to get buyers.  So unless you have the most amazing 142 images that are at the top of the heap in appeal and quality, you don't have the return from your portfolio to be too serious about analyzing traffic and portfolio performance.  My portfolio is almost 10 times larger and I know it's still tiny compared to the portfolios that drive these markets.  I go to the contributors that have these large portfolios and ask THEM what the trends are.  Go to Yuri Acurs website (www.arcurs.com) and check out his data and statistics on the various websites - unless he's just making stuff up he has enough (understatement of the year) data to make an informed statement about the trends of the various websites as well as the needs of photo buyers.



I have a lot of problems with DT.  Mostly I am not happy with my sales there.  I could blame my small (142) portfolio but my smaller(121/118)) FT/IS ports have outperformed DT for a long time and other sites (StockXpert, SS) do much better on a per image basis with larger ports. Even 123Rf beat them last month!

I would like to have a larger portfolio but their review system is very slow and I still have not figured out what they want.  It took me awhile to realize that acceptatnce percentage was very important so over the last 8 months or so I have only submitted images that are accepted at multiple other sites.  This has brought me up to 60% but it makes it difficult to build a substantial portfolio - and I guess uploading in dribs and drabs may be holding down my sales.

Others complain about FTs commission drop but I would rather be with them and make some money than with DT and - to date - not make anything.  At FT I not only make more I can take it out at $50 with DT I still have not reached their $100 payout limit.

I hope you all realize that this high payout level is money in DT's pocket.  Many contributors (I seen estimates as high as 80%) never reach payout and others like me have too small a portfolio to reach payout very often so they get free use of the money I make.  FT's commission drops are a much more honest way to make money than DT's high payout limit.  The only site I know of with a $100 limit is IS and they get the traffic to justify it.  DT really doesn't.

fred

9
As a non-exclusive my sales at IS have dropped about 60% since October. I never really worried much about their bizarre approval criteria or the fact that you have to pay $20 to use their FTP program to upload files, but with this sharp decline in sales and the long, long, long approval times it doesn't make sense to spend much time uploading to IS. My sales at StockXpert and Fotolia have increased dramatically in the last 3 months (coincidence?).
I don't know what the guys from IS are trying to do, or if that's their strategy to get rid of the non-exclusive members. Only they know what their doing.


I was getting pretty depressed about iS sales but mine have started moving back up in the last two months - but not to previous highest levels.  I'm not sure what $20 FTP program you're referring to - maybe ImageManager but I wouldn't call it an FTP program, it's just a bulk upload method.  However I would highly recommend DeepMeta which I think is currently still free.  It's also currently only available for Windows platforms.  You can find the latest version 1.2.6 at http://www.deepmeta.com/Downloads/ and a forum thread about it at http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=57564&page=1.  It's been a really useful program for me - and I'm a Mac user but I keep a PC running alongside mostly for this program.


10
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: December 16, 2008, 12:28 »

Hi Tom - I see VivoZoom also has a similar policy regarding property releases for photos of residential homes, taken from public streets, where there are no identifying numbers, logos, people, property visible through windows, etc.  Could it be that since these kinds of images are typically accepted on most other microstock sites (one in particular with very stringent acceptance rules in this regard) that your lawyer would consider this another case of being overly cautious?

Otherwise looking forward to the launch of the site.

Ken


Ken - possibly, but in general, if the property is an identifiable house (as in the owner would recognise and be able to prove that it was his or her property), then a release would be required.

I know this can be infuriating as the rules seem to change, are different at many sites and can be interpreted incorrectly by reviewers from time to time.  With your help, we'll try to codify the rules as acuurately as we can, but there will always be gray areas.

If you have an image in particular that you felt was judged too harshly, I be grateful if you could let me know. 

tom <at> vivozoom.com

No Tom, my question is not so much about any one photo of mine that was rejected for the need of a property release as it was a general question about whether property releases were needed for photos of private residences which were shot from public streets.  I will not upload any more photos of houses unless the situation changes - or unless I can get property releases (which I'm not planning to do).

11
Crestock.com / Re: Crestock Rejects?
« on: December 15, 2008, 14:27 »
Sorry, Josh does refer to a "Crestock Team" in his signatures - my apologies.


That blows my theory about Crestock being a one man operation, which would explain a lot of other questions.  I don't know, do they say on their website how large their full-time staff is? 



12
Crestock.com / Re: Crestock Rejects?
« on: December 15, 2008, 14:23 »
That blows my theory about Crestock being a one man operation, which would explain a lot of other questions.  I don't know, do they say on their website how large their full-time staff is? 

I feel very rejected by Crestock. I was an inspector for them for a year or more and now when I post on their forums, my posts are deleted. I am quite upset about it. I was not giving away any key secrets or "disclose details of personal employment with Crestock on a public forum" as stated. All I said is I wish I was inspecting still for Crestock as it was a good job to have. They let me go and I never got a reason why. Afterward I emailed several times asking why and got no response to why. My post can not be deleted on this site by them or many of the other microstock forums. I guess I am not welcome to post on Crestock forums without good reason. Not to mention my images that I uploaded are just dissapearing during their reviewing. They are not in my rejection folder or in my portfolio. I am sure this is just a coincidence that I am uploading and they are dissapearing.
After uploading, it shows they are pending then the same day I get a email saying they have been reviewed. Then they are simply NOT there.



13
Crestock.com / Re: Crestock Rejects?
« on: December 15, 2008, 14:18 »
Although I've had my share of rejections relating to focus issues I would suggest that it's possible that these rejections may be more about slight motion blur from an unsteady camera or too slow shutter speed or both.  I have been amazed at how much vibration there is even on a pretty good tripod.  If you have a DSLR that can do a "live view" and the view can be set to 10X (for me the DSLR is a Canon 40D) then try setting it to 10X in live view and check out how much vibration is going on even when you have it supported on a tripod.  I was amazed the first time I did this and realized that I needed to let the camera "settle" for a few more seconds before all the vibrations has ceased - and then I used a cable release. In the days before digital you would have had to inspect negatives or slides very closely with a high powered loupe - or print the images at a fairly large size to see these focus errors.


I'm not someone who complains on rejections infact I'm not going to complain even after I got 208 out of 208 rejected here. I've been doing this for just 10 months, i have lots to learn, so I can't really complain if a shot taken at f/11 with focus at infinity is rejected for "out of focus". Well, not one, a hundred of them. It means to me I have to learn to focus better, at infinity.

My only suggestion to the team is to  give more info on your rejections, some of them really don't make much sense, but at least I had a couple of good laughs :)

Thanks for your help and good luck.

I know, it sounds like I'm complaining... but... come on... out of focus... ah ah ah

14
General Stock Discussion / Re: My day with Yuri Arcurs
« on: December 12, 2008, 12:09 »
I have found that people tend to assume that most people have the same value set as themselves. Therefore, if they themselves would not help another person succeed without expecting something in return, it is very hard for them to comprehend that someone else might have that ability or inclination.

Not saying that is the case here, of course. Just a general observational statement based on my limited life experience.

While I agree with this statement to a degree, there are also plenty of wide-eyed optimists (perhaps myself included) that have been burned by seemingly well-meaning people that they have developed a healthy skepticism.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

However, my gut reaction is that Yuri is an extremely talented person who actually enjoys sharing his knowledge up to the point where it could do his own business harm and I appreciate the information that he has been willing to share. 

15
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: December 12, 2008, 11:54 »
A couple of questions:
................

I also received rejections on two of the images I submitted - one was of some 4WD vehicles with plates etc removed, another of a boat with a resort in the background, again with identifying features removed - both images were rejected for property release issues. Is the policy of your site to require releases for all property or vehicles, even where all trademarks and number plates have been removed, or are there areas where such images can be submitted?

Holgs - Provenance is very important to our clients and we warrant the use of the images whereas most others so not.  That's why you may see us doing things that don't jive with other sites' approach.

On this occasion, we decided to double check with our lawyer (probably the most experienced in the stock industry) who said we were overly cautious.

The 4x4 and the boat were NOT deemed to be "Trade Dress" - a term meaning that although no logos were visible, you could still identify the make/model.  For instance, a VW Beetle.

Please resubmit and there will be no release issues.

Now, I'm sure many are thinking this is way over the top, but please remember, we're trying to open Microstock to a whole market who do not have faith in the Provenance of many sites' images.

It's a differentiator and one that we hope will increase your revenues rather than canibilize existing sales from other sites.

Tom

Hi Tom - I see VivoZoom also has a similar policy regarding property releases for photos of residential homes, taken from public streets, where there are no identifying numbers, logos, people, property visible through windows, etc.  Could it be that since these kinds of images are typically accepted on most other microstock sites (one in particular with very stringent acceptance rules in this regard) that your lawyer would consider this another case of being overly cautious?

Otherwise looking forward to the launch of the site.

Ken

16
A $500 monopod.  Wow!

So does that mean the tripod equivalent is $1500?

17
Crestock.com / Re: Crestock Rejects?
« on: November 12, 2008, 22:15 »
at this rate, if the review situation doesn't change, a name change may be in order - from Crestock to Yuristock.

18
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: November 07, 2008, 00:22 »
This is getting silly........... Again. you Honestly think 100,ooo photographers are going to do any of this stuff, ?? Please get real guys. Just a simple attach release to this image is suffient. your WAY Over thinking this if you want to succeed. Think of the lowest common issue. if I started asite tomorrow. my biggest concern would be ease of use. Not some stupid spreadsheet listing your Model releases. no one does that except geeks. and people with 50 releases.  sorry.

Agree!.............

And I guess I must be a geek and a person with 50 releases (but I'm planning to have 3 million releases some day  :) ) and I STILL want it to be easy - and that would be because I'm lazy - no, really it's because time is money and all that.  So I guess I better temper my reading of the forums, unless it's the really good stuff - like this!

This is something I agree with Rinder about.  Please keep it easy and trouble free.

Ken

19
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: November 04, 2008, 19:44 »
Yep... but in many shoots we get shots of (say) just the vacant dining table taken before the models are seated.

If the sites agreed on a metadata standard, you'd create that list once and if all sites supported it, it would be worth the effort

The suggestion of attaching all releases to all shots for all models may end up with a still-life shot (of a dining table) showing "model released".  Now this may not seem like a big deal, but when we're trying to attract a buyer who seeks high provenance credentials, it doesn't set the right scene.

There has to be a better way without every site doing its own thing...

Tom


Hi Tom

Sorry - I'm not good with smilies and I forgot to turn on my sarcasm filter......so here's a few smilies to make up for it -  :) :) :)

I don't know about other microstock shooters' workflow but in my case I upload files from my camera to a folder with that day's date and a bit of descriptive info for the title, then title, describe, keyword, adjust in Lightroom, output to a psd or tiff, further adjust in Photoshop, then save as a jpg, then copy to another folder specifically for uploading.  Although it could happen, it would be very unlikely that I would inadvertently attach a model release to a photo of an inanimate object.

However, it would seem fairly easy for someone with some good software skills to devise a program with an easy to use interface to do exactly what you're recommending - and which would avoid the necessity of entering data over and over again - a model release attachment method like these other sites Leaf has mentioned but running locally on your computer and compiling the csv file that you mention.

Also I'm wondering if you're able to see how some of these other sites handle the model release issue since you're probably not a contributor (but maybe you are or have access to someone who is) - so you may not fully realize what Leaf has proposed for how to handle model releases on your site.  And if so, I would be glad to email some screenshots of the relevant pages to you if that could be helpful.

Ken

20
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: October 31, 2008, 11:42 »
OK - I'm with Rinder on this too - I hope you'll streamline the model release attachment process. That combined with some slow server issues is going to make uploading and submitting even my measly little portfolio a bit tedious.

However, I really appreciate the tremendous response we're getting from you and your team to our ideas and site problems.

Ken

21
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: October 31, 2008, 11:20 »
Hi Tom -

I really, really like being able to just drag a folder of images into my ftp client and upload mass quantities at a time but on the other end there is enough of a time lag after hitting "submit" that I sometimes think my computer has locked up or your servers are down or something.  I mean with my 20,000+ images and 3 million model releases (yeah, lots of people in each of those shots) I may have to wait until all the bugs are worked out  - oh no, wait, I guess it's more like about 1,000 images that would meet your site's high quality standards - so I'm getting there.  Looking forward to having all my portfolio available for you whenever this site goes live.  Any new projections or updates on when that's going to happen?

Ken

22
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: September 28, 2008, 14:10 »
Microbius et al - we are in agreement.

We will have no facilities that allow others to rate your images nor see how many downloads an image has had.  Those things have no place at VZ.  All these decisions were supported by a vocal but passionate group of microstockers who gave us some great feedback in 2007.

In retrospect, these "gimmicks" might seem like bad ideas, but at the time, the great pioneers like Bruce and Jon were trying to build a new model without a rule book.  The "community" model lent itself to so many great ideas that we've all benefited from.  A few on the otherhand, have passed their sell-by-date.

We won't get everything right, but we're trying.

Tom


Hi Tom - I've been following this discussion but somehow just now noticed this post.  After emails and a call from Lawrence I'm on board with your new site and currently uploading my portfolio to it - but I have a question about how images will be displayed on the site for buyers.  Since there will be no user ratings of images and no ability to see how many downloads an image has had, I would assume that it wouldn't be possible to sort images in a keyword search by ratings or most downloads - so that leaves the question as to how can the images be sorted or will there be any sorting capability at all?  Or could it be that a keyword search will only order the images at random?  I may be wrong but it seems to me that random display of images could be a good thing especially if you're not going to be offering the buyers the ability to sort by image rating or number of downloads or "popularity".

Ken

23
General Stock Discussion / Re: Vivozoom
« on: September 17, 2008, 21:48 »
I'm watching this thread with great interest. I hope that those who have first hand knowledge of this new site can provide some feedback for us. I'm also one of the contributors who have been approached by email and a phone call about joining up with this new site but after the LuckyOliver fiasco I'm treading pretty carefully.

But some of the comments here make it sound fairly promising...

24
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Civilized LO Discussion
« on: August 06, 2007, 03:32 »
This thread pretty much sums up my thoughts. The first thing we have to consider is whether or not the time spent contributing to the site is costing us or adding to our income. Fortunately the LO upload process is very streamlined and doesn't take too long to get images online - although sometimes reviews take awhile. I too love the feel of the site and the way reviewers handle their jobs.  Early on I noticed some of the highly successful contributors from other sites were also members and this prompted me to give it a try. Now I'm wondering what their thoughts are about the return on their investment.

I guess I'll give it a bit more time.

25
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Right Now
« on: June 29, 2007, 03:19 »
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