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Messages - bryan_luckyoliver

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1
LuckyOliver.com / Re: LuckyOliver's New Payout Structure
« on: February 12, 2008, 14:05 »
This is great news and will make a lot of the grumblers happy.  (I was one of them).  Why isn't such a big movement not on their blog though?


Not enough coffee this morning.  It's live now:
http://www.luckyoliver.com/blog/314/valentines_day_score

2
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Problems at LO
« on: February 08, 2008, 13:09 »
Bouncers have been on top of things.  Right now we're working through some big changes to the image processing and database, so we have a back up of images that have been reviewed, but not processed.

I'll give everyone an update after this weekend to see if the changes speed things up.


4
LuckyOliver.com / Re: doubts about LO
« on: January 15, 2008, 15:16 »
Just to address some of the comments:

nruboc- Well, I've agreed to do disagree with you...but to just set the record straight from an older reply:

2. To clarify the payout structure that sharpshot highlighted (it's not really apples to apples), our non-exclusive rate is .30 cents per token spent (but on volume purchases of tokens we absorb the discount, so the actual % is higher). We pay .50 cents per token spent for extend license and buyouts (we actually get a fair amount of extended license purchases). We also run image drives in which payouts on images are up to .60 cents per token spent.

The Sideshow is a free market system that allows artists to price their own work and also receive .50 cents per token spent. We don't charge for this feature now.

3. Exclusive images are .60 cents per token spent.  While our volume isn't quite there yet, longer term it's important to reward people for only having images at LuckyOliver.  It's not for everyone, but we have a lot of artists that want to earn money with only one company.

Right now our pricing is still higher than most other places, which mean the $ is higher per image.

rjmiz-
Well,  for a company that just hired another engineer, brought on a marketing person and a direct sales person, I'm not sure I would call that "doomed to fail". We also just expanded our technology by 4x.  That's an odd bet if we're looking to fail.

pelmof-
Comments play no direct factor in our search.  Google on the other hand likes comments.  An image with 2,516 views probably has direct traffic from Google. I wouldn't read too much into the views.

As always, feel free to chat with me, I'm available to talk. We appreciate the feedback.

5
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Lucky Oliver Big Wig list
« on: January 15, 2008, 14:46 »

I respectfully disagree Bryan.  I don't like the idea of awarding a lot of message board posting with increased portfolio exposure.  A lot of the posts I read when I was active had to do with griping about slow site traffic, and how people were doing at other agencies.  I don't know why this should be rewarded with portfolio exposure.



Danp68-
I put a list of artists up on our blog that highlighted /portfolio views. It was a statistical list. It shows some transparency. The traffic could be from outside sites and blogs(referrers), internal links and photo pages.  It's nothing more than a tip of the hat. These artists have participated in the community or created amazing work to get traffic to their images. Why are we not suppose to highlight people that make LO better place?

http://www.luckyoliver.com/blog/294/stunning_new_images 

At the same time we try to highlight talented artists.  We also try to let the market decide what is great with the sideshow, search and feedback.






6
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Lucky Oliver Big Wig list
« on: January 14, 2008, 15:28 »
Brian:

I am a little confused.

I was expecting a list titled "Most Viewed Portfolios" to contain portfolios that consist of images that were viewed many times.  But that is not what I found.

For example, take the second artist on the list.  As reported above, they have 27 images, their most viewed image was viewed 26 times, and all of their images were viewed a total of about 350 times.

One of my most popular images has over 1,000 views alone (http://www.luckyoliver.com/photo/91556/close-up_macro_of_water_drop_blue). 

So how is this list defined?




The portfolios that received the most views came from a wide selection of Carnies. This list is generated from unique portfolio views- not a sum of all photos views. 

Basically, I wanted to show which Carnies gain traction and exposure- if their portfolios are not up to snuff then photo views would be lower.  I might do a separate list of people with most exposure total.

7
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Lucky Oliver Big Wig list
« on: January 14, 2008, 13:37 »
Bryan: I'm looking at this from an outsider's perspective. You published a list entitled "Most Viewed Portfolios", and when I visited these portfolios I was expecting to be impressed by an excellent and diverse sampling of images available for purchase on your website. I didn't come away with that impression.


Well, sure.  Perhaps this week I'll publish some of my favorite photos.  I think this list is more of what your talking about:
http://www.luckyoliver.com/blog/294/stunning_new_images

I think rewarding Carnies that have participated in the community with exposure isn't a bad thing.  It's statistical analysis. Many of these artists are driving traffic to other people's work. 


8
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Lucky Oliver Big Wig list
« on: January 14, 2008, 10:59 »
Wow, is that 'Most Viewed Portfolios' list ever wacked: the number two spot only has 27 images! Not very impressive ...

sharply_done, the portfolio list doesn't have anything to do with photo sales or views- many on those on the list send traffic to their portfolios from outside links.  I thought it would be nice to show active Carnies. 

As an example, Yuri doesn't get much portfolio traffic, but his images do sell from search.

9
Yuri-
While we don't haven't the volume yet, we firmly believe midstock is where the industry is going.  We initiated this segment because we feel that margins need to increase for photographers.  The concept of midstock is that microstock *and* macrostock can coexist.   One drives the other.

Other agencies have held back based on fears of losing margins on their higher-end brands, but we've driven things forward. I can only think this is good for photographers in the long run.  I wouldn't be surprised if 2008 has more companies entering into this space.




10
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Considering Closing Account in 2008
« on: January 02, 2008, 14:44 »
Well... not sure how to enter into a discussion about closing an iStock account... but since LuckyOliver came into the discussion... I'll add my two cents.

1. Sabrina, your insights are extremely valuable. Thank you.

2. To clarify the payout structure that sharpshot highlighted (it's not really apples to apples), our non-exclusive rate is .30 cents per token spent (but on volume purchases of tokens we absorb the discount, so the actual % is higher). We pay .50 cents per token spent for extend license and buyouts (we actually get a fair amount of extended license purchases). We also run image drives in which payouts on images are up to .60 cents per token spent.

The Sideshow is a free market system that allows artists to price their own work and also receive .50 cents per token spent. 

3. Exclusive images are .60 cents per token spent.  While our volume isn't quite there yet, longer term it's important to reward people for only having images at LuckyOliver.  It's not for everyone, but we have a lot of artists that want to earn money with only one company. 



11
Allen- you should be able to upload. We made a dumb testing error that was left in the code.

Darryl-
I appreciate the feedback and I'm sorry we have not been able to meet your needs.  We appreciate the support from our community, but we're not patting ourselves on the back.  The focus is on making sure things are stable.

Making technical decisions can be difficult and I've made my fair share of wrong ones.  We made the decision to move over onto the new platform knowing that it would be bumpy.  The old server set-up could no longer maintain the traffic and remain stable. If we had made the decision earlier in the year there may not have been as many problems, but that's a decision that passed. I take responsibility for not being prepared.

I understand your frustration. We're working hard to make things gel. As things stabilize we hope to regain your trust.

Bryan





12
Ok, looks like we spotted the problem.  Thanks for the heads up.

13
Allen, not sure of your problem, but if email support@luckyoliver.com we'll take a look at it. We still haven't enabled FTP yet, so this might be your problem.

14
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Should LO Change Their Watermark?
« on: December 06, 2007, 01:53 »
Fred-
1. We didn't see it as a problem- we'll probably allow people to display images without a watermark.

2. We built a new processing engine with the latest release, so it changed without additional work.

3. While I like our engineers, they're stuck in bug fixes now, not marketing :)

and yes, we're marketing.

15
LuckyOliver.com / Re: doubts about LO
« on: November 20, 2007, 14:00 »
Hey guys.

We're in the final stages of moving the site over to the new platform.  All submissions have now been halted. We're aiming to make the final switch tomorrow.

Unfortunately our site traffic has also jumped a bunch in the last week, so we're battling more traffic on the old system while we make the transition. Things might be a little rocky over the next day.  We apologize for the problems- we're focusing the bulk of our attention to the new site as it will solve most of our aching pains.  Thanks for hanging in there.

Bryan

16
LuckyOliver.com / Re: doubts about LO
« on: November 15, 2007, 17:54 »
It will be interesting to see the new look site.  The bits that were previewed in the blog looked good.


Hey Stephen, just for clarification, this is an architecture upgrade- users won't see much difference.  In order to continue to meet the traffic and search demands we needed to overhaul the backend-it's been causing us some hiccups the past 3-6 months. In this release we're also increasing our server power by 2.5x.

17
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Have your LO sales ground to a halt?
« on: October 12, 2007, 12:22 »
Hey guys, I published a chart of our sales growth over the past year on our blog:

http://www.luckyoliver.com/blog/270/sales_graph


Also, my last post in a different thread might be helpful for some artists:

Hey guys, here are a few more data points.

1. Images in the database are building up three times faster than the first half of the year. Some dilution is occurring because our buyer growth hasn't quite kept up with the image growth (though we've had 12 consecutive months of online revenue growth).  We're working on it!

2. We're still putting free tokens in the hands of users, but those probably account for a very small percentage of downloads. It's more of a warm-up.

3. The next year is going to be focused on building our buyer community. We have to improve our architecture to scale.  Right now this is preventing growth.  We're in the process of doubling our capacity to handle traffic.

4. New images might take some time to get exposure based on our search engine.  As our traffic increases this will minimize, but short term it might have an impact on views.  We also have a couple new features which will increase visibility of images.

5. So far results are a little varied from artist to artist, but we have people that are making monthly payouts.  We seem to be getting a lot more extended license and sideshow sales which can make up for the volume.  General trend?  Those with lots of downloads get more downloads.

Hope this helps.

18
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Sept at LO
« on: September 28, 2007, 17:22 »
Hey guys, here are a few more data points.

1. Images in the database are building up three times faster than the first half of the year. Some dilution is occurring because our buyer growth hasn't quite kept up with the image growth (though we've had 12 consecutive months of online revenue growth).  We're working on it!

2. We're still putting free tokens in the hands of users, but those probably account for a very small percentage of downloads. It's more of a warm-up.

3. The next year is going to be focused on building our buyer community. We have to improve our architecture to scale.  Right now this is preventing growth.  We're in the process of doubling our capacity to handle traffic.

4. New images might take some time to get exposure based on our search engine.  As our traffic increases this will minimize, but short term it might have an impact on views.  We also have a couple new features which will increase visibility of images.

5. So far results are a little varied from artist to artist, but we have people that are making monthly payouts.  We seem to be getting a lot more extended license and sideshow sales which can make up for the volume.  General trend?  Those with lots of downloads get more downloads.

Hope this helps.

19
Site Related / Re: news section now minamizable
« on: September 26, 2007, 16:45 »
Also, in firefox the page is messed up when you're not logged in...the content gets pushed below the side nav!

20
LuckyOliver.com / Re: The LO watermark.
« on: September 14, 2007, 13:44 »
Hey guys, we've been following the thread and just let you guys talk it out.

We're listening. We're currently in the process of scaling our system, so our resources have been spent on building our platform.  In order to scale our marketing efforts we need to be able to handle the traffic.  We appreciate we everyone's patience as we work to build sales.

Please do not mistake views with people stealing images.  Some images get lots of traffic via search engines- that's it.  We're working hard to create more opportunity for everyone.  Our strategy has been focused on building a community based on education and people.  Early on this might seem useless and nonproductive, but longer term it will catapult LuckyOliver. This industry has to change and the current methods of attracting the longtail customer are not adequate. Many people are viewing images in curiosity.  This will eventually translate into more sales.

We thought about the watermark early on- it's not a random choice. We introduced the blog sized image to the market- others have followed. We're actively encouraging people to buy images in this size- other sites have followed.  This is good for everyone and has helped stimulate more sales across the industry. We have no intention of encouraging people to steal images. In fact there are no free images on the site.  We're interested in helping artists.

Right now our resources for scaling our system our important to our growth, but if you feel you want your watermark strengthened then let us know via email at support@luckyoliver.com. This would be changing the opacity levels. We're looking into switching primarily white images to a black watermark based on the average. We don't believe the watermark is an issue, but we're flexible in trying to meet your individual needs.

21
LuckyOliver.com / Re: Firefox, fireFTP and LuckyOliver
« on: August 11, 2007, 20:32 »
We're looking into it- seems like many people are able to FTP, but there are some that are having problems.

22
Haha, Lee.  I'm not at liberty to say his sales, but he's doing pretty good for only being on our site 6 months. Our royalty per image is much higher.

Crestock has fewer images, a lower royalty per image, and a different business strategy.  I have no idea what he makes there.

He's a great photographer. :)

23
Yuri is a special character and a pretty savvy marketer- if anyone can turn a hefty profit from those images it's him.

His average royalty across the sites for this image is over $.70 (including EL's), which means he needs 10000 downloads to break even.  Considering that there are probably 100 images in the set, they each need about 100 downloads.  Given that he is putting them on multiple sites, he won't be uploading 27 model releases, and he's got a 3-5 year outlook, those images will net him some $$$. 

Do a search on rock concert across all the sites- good images, but not as marketable as the ones he has created.  He's a pretty smart fellow.





24
General Stock Discussion / Re: Best of the up and coming?
« on: July 25, 2007, 18:07 »
hatman12-
I think we can agree on something- I wouldn't get into a relationship with a business that I didn't know anything about.  It's important to trust that partnership.

On the size of the market...potentially 100 million plus.  We're just getting started.  Relationships with ad agencies are nice, but the longtail of this market is huge.  Until everyone has a digital camera, consumers are not going to understand why they need a great digital image.

Money drives business, but new artists getting into the market will not have the same experience or opportunity you have at company X.  That's what capitalism is all about.  I love it. Exposure, education and opportunity are all elements of the business relationship.

On collecting money as an owner?  Hmmm...you've got to be able to burn through some money to get a site going.  I'll let you know when I receive my first penny in compensation. :)  This is a business relationship , we're out there everyday creating more opportunity for our artists.  I started giving away my photos in 2000- this isn't something new for LuckyOliver.  As an artist and a designer I make it a priority to respect the work of our contributors. Not everyone will agree with our decisions, but we try to communicate the thoughts behind our ideas.

I think every artist needs to look at what they want out of a business relationship. LuckyOliver understands the importance of keeping that dialog open.



25
Microstock News / Re: What is your opinion on Albumo?
« on: July 23, 2007, 12:16 »
Since we're in the new sites category, I might offer this suggestion to artists.

1. Get to know the management team.

2. Running a business built on 'credits' is about selling images, but more importantly running a mini economy.  Make sure you know who is running the show.


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