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Topics - Adeptris

Pages: [1] 2
1
Off Topic / Free CMS Portfolio WordPress theme?
« on: February 27, 2010, 11:23 »
Hi Guys,
I have been creating WordPress themes as a way of learning new skills, I have created a services/showcase/portfolio theme for WordPress, this theme is not a typical blogging theme and is designed to promote yours or your customers professional skills or services, so it needs no sidebars and is not adSense enabled although there are many other themes and plugins that could deliver these.

If you have a WordPress blog and want to make it more like a cms then this theme might work, you can see it here and find out more here:

Best thing is it is free to use!

David

2
I found some 'Free' software today, had a play for a couple of hours, it is only 70% there, but if any other dot.net developers want to explore creating a MSG variant contact me, it is not powerful enough for a large stocksite but a small niche or specialist VA it could be workable.

This is my online test environment everything you see there was free except the hosting:

there is no contributors area as such yet that would have to be developed, but the guts of the package is there and it is free.

It is only a test website, register or use '[email protected]' and pwd: raindrops, Payment Methods: PayPal and money Order are active, use money order and you can look at order status, and download the cheetah at 500 * 344

David  ;)

3
Off Topic / Once in a while you find a good application
« on: October 18, 2009, 10:47 »
As this is the off topic forum I thought I would let you know about an application I found that does what it says.

I have a few websites and a couple of blogs, I have spent a lot of good money on plug-ins or applications that are limited in functions or just not up to what they claim, I am sure there are many others that get frustrated with poor products.

I was searching for a new template for my WordPress blog, looking for a simple clean theame, there was an affiliate link on one blog to an application called Artisteer, I purchased the application was able to create a new theame for my blog in 30 minutes, easy creation and editing of the page, header, menu, content, buttons, layout etc:, you can use the suggest function or edit the elements from dropdown lists and views.

I know a few of you also do some website stuff, the package I purchased $129.95 has the following features
Free upgrades for 1 year  
Design Suggestions  
Design Features  
Export as XHTML+CSS  
Export as Wordpress Theme  
Export as Joomla 1.5 Template    
Export as Drupal 5/6 Theme    
Export as DotNetNuke 4.9+ Skin    
Export as ASP.NET Application    
Export to CodeCharge Studio    
Custom Value Dialogs (screenshot)    
Library of Textures, Glares and Gradients
Number of Color and Font Schemes 70+
Number of Photo Objects 300+

There is a cheaper option $49.95 with not so many export types, there is a Free trail version that adds a watermark, but I use WordPress and DotNetNuke and I am currently looking at ASP.NET so the full package was the one for me.

Anyway here is the results of 30 minutes with an application I have never used before:
http://www.digitalweblogistics.com/blog/

Yes the advert on my blog post for Artisteer has an affiliate link, and the 300 photo objects include many Microstock Style images.

This is a reasonable overview:
YouTube video


Any feedback welcomed!

David  ;)

4
Just for the Mac users, I am thinking of developing a small desktop application with Microsoft Visual Studio, when compiled it would need to run on Windows with the dot.net framework, before I start I was wondering about the Mac users.

I am not a Mac user but understand there are Mac applications that allow Windows applications to run on a Mac, do the Mac users here have the ability to run Windows applications, or do you only install applications for the Mac operating system.

Any other information is welcomed.

Thanks

David  ;D

5
I have read several posts about new website images and new pricing structures, is the market contracting to the point that the websites are starting to panic, or has the market growth just stalled.

My forecast is I think that credit packages and expiring subscriptions create a false market expectation, a large number of downloads would be to "use up credits because I have paid for them" and "I can download xx images a day, so that is what I will do".

The revenue generated this way gives a false picture of the numbers of assets that are downloaded to be used, and excludes a large number of customers that only want to pay-and-go, I think that there needs to be a bigger option or move to 'pay per download' and away from credit and subscription packages.

It is a bit like joining the local gym, they sell a number of sessions or a prepaid package and know that a large number will drop out after getting bored, or by not pacing themself and doing to much to soon, so it is good for business to get that limited revenue while they can, a number will stick at it and incentives can be used to keep these members happy, costs are constants revenue goes up and down, so I cannot blame the websites.

Contributors are just like the people joining the gym, but instead of money they upload assets, the owners know that there will be a steady flow of new members, many will crash and burn while others will stay the course and become stronger and a constant source of assets and licence revenue.  

Some have the idea that the web market is there for the taking, and are offering smaller web assets, but have really missed the trick with delivery, many users will not visit a website, but delivery of the assets via a plug-in will generate new revenue.    

More downloads and reducing prices is not required and is not the key to new markets, but with a small investment and new ways of asset delivery will open up these new markets!

The things I.M.H.O. that are lacking are correctly sized images for the web, with a pay-per-download service at the point of delivery, visiting a website to get an image should not be the only option, anything I need for my WordPress blog I can get via a plug-in, these services should be falling over to provide a pay per download plug-in for all types of applications.

This is my take on things, I would like to hear from others  ???


David  ;D
      

6
Off Topic / Data delivery much faster than Broadband
« on: September 10, 2009, 06:40 »
You may find this story amusing in the age of the high speed internet

http://bit.ly/18v9hF

David  ;D

7
mmmm exclusivity is delicious

This quote was from another thread, but it comes across like something the traditional guys might have said to photographers trying to break into the business back in 2000, and we all know that nothing stays the same!

Ok It might be delicious for exclusives now at Istock, but the model goes against Getty's own way of doing business, they have inherited the model to get the business and customers which was a very smart move, but they did not design the iStock business model.

I doubt if Getty as a business are really comfortable with the Exclusive Contributor model as it goes against free trade, they could leave it as is, but from my experiences with big companies like Microsoft they sit for a while after aqusition and then slowly bring things in house and change the companies they aquire to refect thier own business model and ethics, a sort of re-branding.

So this is a fake scenario, you have to decide the future of iStock:

If I was in charge of this situation what would I be looking at, the growth is falling and we will not make our projections, I would have to start with cutting costs and streamlining, now I think that for iStock the contributor exclusive served well and was a good tool a few years ago, but the parent business model is 'image set exclusive'.

I would be asking if the contributor exclusive content is a much better model than image set exclusive, and just how much value does it really add to the business for the additional cost, are the exclusive images that much better than non exclusive.

If then found that both products are a comparable quality and content then I would be looking to change things, as we will then be paying to much for a lot of our products.

My thinking would be an isolated apple may be from an exclusive artist but it has no greater value than a non exclusives isolated apple, so why we are paying some suppliers 50% more for the same image quality and content. 

I would need to restructure and clear out the old guard add a few 'yes men', get enough non exclusive quality content to balance the library.

To cut costs I would have to look at the content to see if it all had an added value, then do some gains and losses risk assesments, start to ease out poor non exclusive content to strenghen the brand, then I would start to use the parent companies model alongside the exclusive contributors and open up content from all contributors as 'invited exclusive image sets'.

This then opens up our premium collection and brings in the required images from the high production cost professional photographers that we are trying to attract as they move into microstock, build this exclusive image content from all contributors alongside the library and then turn the screw on the dross.

After a while move all contributors to the same model and have only the invited premium collection and a general library, with all contributors on the same commission structure based on the image quality not the contributor loyalty. 

After all as a business, if we lose a few contributors it is manageable and expected?


David  ;D (sleep tight don't have nightmares)

8
General Stock Discussion / The birth of Microstock 2000 ....
« on: August 22, 2009, 12:06 »
I was looking up some information to answer another topic about free images, microstock was started in 2000 by Bruce Livingston as a free service, and the interview was 2005, the concepts and ideals are interesting reads, plus some good general business pointers that anyone could think about, so I thought I would add the link here at MicroStockGroup    

Quote
a) Listening to what your suppliers and customers want
b) Intuitive predictions for your supplier's and customer's immediate and future needs
c) Taking advice and criticism with the same value

In my opinion it is worth a read.

David

9
General Stock Discussion / Poll: What is your Day Job?
« on: August 20, 2009, 02:21 »
With stock photographers coming from such diverse backgrounds, I was wondering how many are full time and which other industries the rest of us come from, I have had messages from several other photographers that work in IT.

1. Full time Photography
2. Homemaker
3. Consumer Products & Services  
   > Educational Services
   > Employment Services
   > Home Furnishings
   > Legal Services
   > Professional Services
   > Travel Services
4. Energy & Power
   > Alternative Energy Sources
   > Oil & Gas
   > Petrochemicals
   > Pipelines
   > Power
   > Water & Waste Management
5. Financials
   > Alternative Financial Investments
   > Asset Management
   > Banks
   > Brokerages
   > Credit Institutions
   > Diversified Financials
   > Government Sponsored Entities
   > Insurance
6. Government Agencies
   > City Agency
   > City Government
   > National Agency
   > National Government
   > Supranational
   > Other Government & Agencies
   > Public Administration
   > Regional Agency
   > Regional Government
7. Healthcare
   > Biotechnology
   > Healthcare Equipment & Services (HMOs)
   > Healthcare Equipment & Supplies
   > Hospitals
   > Pharmaceuticals
8. High Technology
   > Computer & Peripherals
   > E-Commerce / B2B
   > Electronics
   > Internet Infrastructure
   > Internet Software & Services
   > IT Consulting Services
   > Semiconductors
   > Software
9. Industrials
   > Aerospace & Defense
   > Automobiles & Components
   > Building/Construction & Engineering
   > Industrial Conglomerates
   > Machinery
   > Transportation & Infrastructure
10. Materials
   > Chemicals
   > Construction Materials
   > Metals & Mining
   > Containers & Packaging
   > Paper & Forest Products
11. Media & Entertainment
   > Advertising & Marketing
   > Broadcasting
   > Cable
   > Casinos & Gambling
   > Hotels & Lodging
   > Recreation & Leisure
   > Motion Pictures / Audio Visuals
   > Publishing
12. Real Estate
   > Non Residential
   > REITs
   > Real Estate Management &Development
   > Residential
13. Retail
   > Apparel Retailing
   > Automotive Retailing
   > Computers & Electronics Retailing
   > Discount & Department Store Retailing
   > Food & Beverage Retailing
   > Home Improvement Retailing
   > Internet & Catalog Retailing
14. Consumer Staples
   > Agriculture & Livestock
   > Food & Beverage
   > Household & Personal Products
   > Textiles & Apparel
   > Tobacco
15. Telecommunications
   > Space & Satellites
   > Telecommunications Equipement
   > Telecommunications Services
   > Wireless
16. Other  
17. Student Full Time

 ???

10
I have been banging on for the last few weeks about the lack of image availability for Bloggers, well today I found a link to a WordPress plug-in to deliver Fotolia images direct to the browser, insert or download, it is likely an affiliates service.

This is just the sort of service I was writing about, I was going to have a go at developing something next year, with a big difference as it would deliver from the photographers web space not an agency, a 'true merchant service with 10% - 15% for the service, 5% to the affiliate and 80% - 90% direct to the artist at the time of transaction' and I still might try it yet, but it will be interesting to see how this one goes.

http://bit.ly/2hF8k

This was my Blog post on an idea, one that cuts out the big percentages of the agencies.
http://bit.ly/4uLB2h

If photographers really want a bigger percentage then the way to do it is to stop complaining and think differently uploading is not free and are you prepared to cover some of the online costs and do some marketing, then you could look at a 80% - 90% return via a true merchant that just facilitates the transaction. 


David  ;D

11
I was quite active on the other thread about 3d Studio pointing out the negatives, so as a balance here is a more positive comment.

I uploaded 86 RF Images on the 27th July 2009, the upload was quite quick and took all the metadata as expected, so easy to manage I only had to add a category and attach a model releases where required, I checked today 30th July 2009 and I already have 1560 views and 1 sale.

Now I am not going to rush to do the IRS W-8 form, but I left the prices as the Minimum (Minimum: $4/$8/$12) which is the default, I could have set my own prices if I had wanted, the sale was 1600 x 1067 and sold for $8, the commission is $5.40.

I checked this against Istock pricing and the size relates to 1600 x 1200 which is 6 credits, in the UK the credits work out at $1.71 each, so that would be a $10.30 sale, and I would get $2.06 from IS.

Now I know that 3d Studio are not going to compete in anyway to the big players, and it will be a while until I get 10 downloads for a payout, but I thought I would share!



David  :P  ;D  

12
A horror film made for just 45 (<$80) on a camcorder is to be released in cinemas after securing a distributor. http://bit.ly/16oAus

Second Clip shows the Kit here

In another thread we were looking at 'Branding' using social networks like Twiiter and Facebook, so I love the quote from this clip:
Quote
Sometimes it is the cheapest form of marketing that is the most effective


David  ;D

13
Shutterstock have published a new article on what buyers want, it has many of the same views that were in the PhotoShelter article with the same name.

More natural images seems to be the theame, when PhotoShelter had this idea it did not filter down to the inspectors and many of the images the submitters shot with the article in mind were rejected.

just interested in a general discussion if you have a diverse portfolio and have seen a changed in what is being accepted?

David

14
This may be of general interest, if you know your work has been published in the UK, I have only had a quick look and registration does look to be free, so nothing to loose.

Quote from: DACS
If you are an artist or visual creator you could be eligible for a share of over 3 million of Payback royalties if your work has featured in a UK book or magazine or been broadcast on certain UK television channels. You have until 30 September 2009 to make your claim so dont miss out!


Design and Artists Copyright Society: Payback Scheme 2009 http://bit.ly/Dxfxy

David  ;D

15
This was broadcast in the UK on the BBC 14th July 22:35pm, well worth a watch if you have the time or download to your iplayer

The comment I found interesting was to shoot it once, then there is nothing to compare it to.

http://bit.ly/cPe0j

David

16
This service called Picapp have licenced images from some big stocksites including Getty, you can use these via hyperlinks in the body of your blog, they carry an advertisment that is how Picapp makes it's money.

What licence would cover this service, they are not transfering images so it is not distrubution, just providing the image via a feed, many subscription sales are web sized for blogs, so what could be the impact on websize image sales if this type of service picks up.  

I was able to link an image of the new york skyline licenced from Getty, but the code link returned the image, but not the attached advert when I previewed it in this post, so I did not include it.

They already have a plug-in for some services.

http://www.picapp.com/

David  >:(

17
The IRS and HMCR both treat the income from stock as a royalty payments and not as payment for a product or service, and subject this reveneue to withholding tax for non nationals.

So the stock sites are collecting this tax on their behalf, I wonder if this could change in the future where they start to include nationals as well, this is something they have done with casual and construction labour in the UK, taxed at source and claim back rebates later, this was to stamp out illegal tax evasion or avoidance, where people worked under false names, did not declare the earnings, or were non nationals that worked illegally or returned home without paying any tax.

The 75% refers to the contributors that never reach payout level, how many millions of dollars in royalties will never be subject to income or withholding tax, it will be taxed at a later date as the stock sites profit if not used, at the moment this revenue is a cynically calculated asset and factored into the business plan and accounts, and a percentage of this revenue will be used for running the business, paying the reviewers to review other photographers images, marketing, bad debt, R & D etc:, without this revenue percentages would be smaller or contributors would have to pay a fee.

The stock sites have it covered at the moment as the withholding tax is taken at the point of payment to the photographer, I wonder if the IRS and HMRC will start to take a different view as to what point the royalty payment becomes subject to tax, and who has to pay it, and move it more like sales tax and VAT at the time of sale.
Quote
Commision is the payment of commission as remuneration for services rendered or products sold is a common way to reward sales people. Payments often will be calculated on the basis of a percentage of the goods sold.

In art, a commission is the hiring and payment for the creation of a piece, often on behalf of another.
The stock sites do not hire or commission a work, and the photographer is not the salesman, so we do not get a commission payment.
Quote
Royalties (sometimes, running royalties) are usage-based payments made by one party (the "licensee") to another (the "licensor") for ongoing use ...

royalty - payment to the holder of a patent or copyright or resource for the right to use their property; "he received royalties on his book"

So it is correctly a royalty payment, the photographer is the licensor and the end client is the licensee, that would leave the stock sites as a merchant that facilitates the transaction.

David (My thought for the week)  ;D

18
Free tickets if you register online, I will be going on the Thursday.

The knowledge-based conference and exhibition for pro-photographers  :P
London Islingtons Business Design Centre

Thursday 18th June - 10am until 6pm
Friday 19th June - 10am unitl 5pm

The DPI show has been designed to be the knowledge centre for professional photographers and agencies active in advertising, fashion, photojournalism, sports/action, portraiture, wedding and lifestyle photography.

The DPI show will feature the second year of the hugely successful BJP Insight series which will include seminars from many of the leading lights in the photographic market. It provides an opportunity where you can interact with people who have been influenced by photography and in many cases have in turn influenced the world.

http://www.dpishow.com/

http://www.dpishow.com/visitor_seminars.asp

David  ;D

19
There was a post recently about collectives and how to increase the photographers share, and what would be the best model, there were several directions and a vote that was evenly split.

I had a good think about a new model, one that is not just another agency and some of the answers that were posted had good input, and I came up with a solution from these that I think could work.

I have had some interest from forum members, that would get involved developing a working solution but no one on the business and marketing yet, but I am still interested in what other have to say about the merits of this specific model.

So I do not bog down this forum with posts, I have setup a discussion group, just to discuss a possible future model and posted a blog there with the concept outline.
  
This is an open discussion group, and I would appreciate any input from Photographers, Buyers and Agents about this particular model and a way forward that increases the Photographers Share.

The Concept Page http://groups.google.com/group/digital-media-artists-alliance/web/concept

The Group http://groups.google.com/group/digital-media-artists-alliance

Thanks

David

20
Ebay won a court ruling in the UK this week, L'Oreal one of the big perfume companies claimed Ebay was jointly responsible for the goods they sell being genuine, there are several cases with the first few going against L'Oreal, and the court ruling that Ebay were not jointly liable for the goods they advertised being genuine, so this puts the liability firmly back with the seller, and I can not see companies like L'Oreal going after the little Ebay sellers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8064066.stm

If we look at it from a stock imaging perspective, this means that the stocksites are not responsible for the content of photographers (vendors) goods, which they examine and allow into thier library.

Stocksites are like Ebay and do not own the goods only act as a merchant, after this ruling I wonder if this now effects liability for things like cloning, fit for purpose, IP infringment etc, and image buying customers, if there is a violation and claims against the image buyer, with any cross claims there would be no point the buyer going after the stocksites and the courts could only really come after the contributing photographers, as this ruling states the merchant is not liable for any goods they sell where the third party owns the goods.

David ;D

21
You may have seen my rants on a new concept of image distrubution where the photographer has more control over thier own assets, I will be taking this concept forward and would like to offer anyone with the right skills the chance now to have a slice of what could be a good model, the only revenue required at this moment is time and a belief that this might just work.

My Primary contact for now is [email protected]

To all:
This is an open invitation to anyone that has any skills and can dedicate time to this project in return for a share in any business that may result from this model.

About 6 - 8 people to cover the skills:

Business (1)
Will have business skills and be the 'Public face of Digital Web Logistics' and manage the business side, look at other revenue streams that could be part of the business, one that comes to mind is not all photographers will want to signup to Amazon, so we could provide the space on a cost plus or subscription per 500 images

Marketing (1)
To formulate the marketing strategies to both Photographer and new agencies and thier customers, so this person should have a good knowledge of stock photography from a photographers, agent and customers perspective, and be able to market the positives this model will bring, and decide how we get the message across

Project Management (1)
Plan the project and milestones keeping the focus where it is needed at the time and manage any failures

Solution Architect (That's all of us)
Decide on the different modules, which are the most important and which are to go on a wish list

Development (1 or 2 more)
Anyone that can write code in any website languages, php, c#, .net etc

Testers (1 or 2)
To test the product from end to end and feedback the results of any testing to the other departments

Everyone would have an equal share in the business and have to take part in other areas as and when required

If we become winners with this model, then it will mean there will be many photographers out there getting a good return on thier assets

David

22
I am looking to use Amazon S3 http://aws.amazon.com/ for a Proof of Concept website and I am very impressed with this service, so I thought I would share my experience, please note there is no affiliate link so this is not pimping for clicks

Amazon S3 is an on line file storage where you pay as you go, I created my account, note you have to register a credit / debit card so they can charge monthly, then you go to the website and retrive your keys, these are Your 'Access Key ID' and Your 'Secret Access Key' used to logon to your file folder.

Next step was to install an add on for Firefox, there are other ones for other browsers as well as Desktop solutions, I installed 'S3 Firefox Organizer' and selected the service from the tools menu, I had to enter a unique name for my 'Bucket' which is just a root folder.

My test of this service was to upload 129 images in 5 folders that I have prepared for Alamy, so these are 5100 x 3400, the 129 files total 775mb, average file size is 6mb, I selected folder sync. so as I add images I can sync. them to the Bucket, I then uploaded, I use Virgin (NTL) and the files went up at about 40 files an hour

Lets keep it simple and work in a unit of 100 = 600mb, and look at what it will cost me, storage is $0.15 a month per GB, and uploading and downloading is $0.17 per GB

The upload these 100 files was $0.17 / 0.600 = $0.3, to store these 100 files will be $0.25 a month ($3.00 a year per 100 images, $30 a year per 1000 images)

What I have for my money is full size images securely stored on-line and I can get access to these files on my laptop without having the need for large storage, I can have an off-site remote backup of all my files, I can also store other files like model releases, I can also now have a website that uses the images in the bucket to minimise the ISP bandwidth and storage.

The proof of concept website is to allow a group of photographer to keep ownership and control of thier own images via Amazon S3 and dispaly them in a virtual Agency environment, that will take a while to pull together but looks like a realistic option

The proof of concept website which I created yesterday so has no content yet, but is here if you want to bookmark it or get involved www.photographers-collective.com

This website will be DotNetNuke and will use Xmod to extend the modules and create the Custom Areas like pricing, it will use an Install of MyMediaGallery for the image rendering and the core Store product tables and functionsfor checkout and also will be used for the lightboxes, as this is proof of concept the Production website could be then built in any language php, asp etc:

David  ;D


         

23
Following on from the recent thread about a Photographers Collective to give the Photographers more of a say in pricing and direction, there seems to be several options to go forward.

This is a simple Poll without getting into the detail

Option 1: Join together to talk to the Stocksite Owners and Stock Artists Alliance to get a representative voice and be able to put the Contributors perspective across to the agencies that manage our images

Option 2: There is a lot of marketing, programming, project management skills within the membership here and other photographers, also a wealth of experience of the stock imaging trade, should we try to pull these together to create a Fair Trade website owned by the photographers as shareholders where percentages are higher and retained earnings returned to the membership

Option 3: Do you think it is all just hot air and will never come together so we have to put up with the control the Stocksites have and make our own choices   

24
Microstock Services / New Website Photographers Tripod ...
« on: April 29, 2009, 15:32 »
Hi I have been working on a Community Website for Photographers, it is called www.photographerstripod.com

I hope that in time the site will be a useful place for photography information, with articles, tutorials, blogs etc:

On the community side there are Galleries and Albums, Friends, Groups and Events all these services are there for members to create and use, so if you have a Photography Club or Group you can register and make Albums, Groups and Events both public or private

It need a jump start so feel free to register and upload some images, create a group, invite some freinds along, if you have an article to share then email me [email protected]

Thanks for reading

David     

25
I have never used Drupal before, but I have been looking for a product that could be used by Photographers, not a flash site but for photographers that sell prints and downloads, yes there are products out there, but none that pull it all together for a Proper Image licencing site that is avaliable as a basic package to all under open source.

Drupal does not have all the functions that photographers need but looks managable, so I am hoping to form a collective of Photographer / Developers to create a set of modules to facilitate this, there are many many thousands of photographers out there that can write a bit of code, but we are badly serviced as far as software goes, many services charge monthly and promise but not many deliver.

Currently my sites run on DotNetNuke, but customisation is hard, and it is not to fast, the Photoshelter galleries are costing me over 300 a year, as there is no software I can load to my site that deal with Rights Managed pricing correctly, LightboxPhoto is the nearest but at $1000 over priced.

Now I need to pull it all together, see who is out there with skills that would like to add to a project that will be avaliable as open source for other Photographers, if there is anyone that has skills and a few hours a week contact me.

How this could work, I would setup a couple of sites one for development and one for testing so there would be a central place for the project where we could all add our input.

David  ???

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