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1
Selling Stock Direct / Bluehost phishing email!
« on: May 23, 2015, 19:19 »
Looks legit but it isn't!  Call them directly instead clicking on any links!
Regarding a 4012 error.
Just a heads up.

2
DepositPhotos / DP 4 months worth of sales in the last 12 hours
« on: January 28, 2015, 13:24 »
Over 70 downloads since midnight, over half on-demand at $.92. I usually average 3-8 sales a day. Anyone want to guess on the over/under for fraud?
I don't even know how to handle this one. Someone just got almost my entire port at DP and odds are for free.
I hope not. Am I having a great day or am I likely to get a nasty claw back in about a week?

3
Just got this 'friendly" but anonymous heads up. Anyone else get this one this afternoon? I'm almost more freaked out by the e-mail itself than by what it is telling me. Just curious if I'm the only one to get it.

Vector files sorted by Istock author. Vector line art. Apparently all of my images are on one page and ready to use complete with a jpg comp of the images.

From the Russian site via Google translate:

"47 files in Ai (CS5). From personal experience, the file is opened and Korel X5.
99 sheets of 55 writers.
Over 15,000 images."

Nice.
Wondering if this is legit and someone is doing me a favor or instead some sort of fishing e-mail.

4
This is my guess.

Step 1) Agencies devalue imagery to the point where established contributors are no longer motivated to continue uploading.

Step 2) New contributors initially take their place while established contributors (who chose to continue in microstock) will start finding/making/building more lucrative venues to sell their new images via co-ops, self hosting, or collaboration with small groups of similar contributors.

Step 3) New contributors lose interest because income from small portfolios simply cannot justify the time/expense of creating quality images. Established contributors continue to receive residual income from old images while their focus for new images go to increasingly improving and growing new venues.

Step 4) New contributors cannot/will not provide high quality imagery and established contributors refuse to offer it to the subscription model. Newer venues slowly grow in size and viability but are not available to new contributors because established artists have learned the lesson about creating a higher barrier for entry.

Step 5) Customers start to realize that quality new imagery is no longer coming to the subscription sites and start looking for alternatives.

Step 6) Smaller new venues gain more and more market share while simultaneously limiting their contributor base.

Step 7) A new market evolves for quality/new imagery and the subscription model is relegated to generic easy to produce images.

Step 8 ) Established contributors are making enough on new venues to justify pulling their entire portfolio or at the least best sellers from subscription sites.

Step 9) See step 5

Steps 1-4 are already happening (Stocksy, Symbiostock, Creative Market, ?Privately in development)... when Steps 5 through 9 will happen is just a question of how long will it take.

Some new ideas will work (Stocksy, Creative Market) and some will stumble but pave the road for new ideas (Symbiostock). Regardless the new venues that are likely to be successful are the ones that are very particular about who gets in and who doesn't and the types of images and quality they offer. Gone are the days of building a site and people just join and upload. New venues will get content primarily based on relationships and reputation of existing contributors.

Stocksy and Creative Market both have funding but smaller collaborative efforts will have success as well... it will just happen slower. The true power for sales still lies with the artists and eventually contributors will start wielding it out of necessity. Trust is gone and as a result the next generation of agencies will be controlled by the artists and are likely to be far less shortsighted than the current generation of agencies.

Do I think the big 4 are going anywhere? No, they will serve the purpose of filling the generic content and the huge libraries they have will serve them for a long time. But without new content eventually they will start seeing more and more customers going elsewhere. Competing on price is a short term strategy and will eventually not work in the long run.

5
I have a customer who just upgraded to Corel X7 last week. When he opens the ai.eps he loses all spot colors which default to existing colors in the swatch box. In other words greens are turning to pink and tans to yellow etc. This happens in ai 3 through 6 eps files. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I'm afraid that anyone with the new version of Corel will not be able to correctly open illustrator eps files. This could create some very interesting problems because as far as I know almost all vector files uploaded for the last 10 years are in cs2 or earlier eps formats.

All of these files open correctly in illustrator but not in Corel.

Does anyone know how to get around this? thanks

6
Hi all, due to all of the recent upheaval and changes in the market and the amount of negativity in the forums Leo (with a bit of help from me) has created a new alternative to the way contributors can choose to voice their opinions. The "Microstock Collective" which can be found here:
www.symbiostock.org/collective

What it is-
A way for contributors to come together to help create a consensus about what is currently happening in the industry.
A way for contributors to share their opinions in a completely anonymous manner.
A way to rate the agencies based on a much larger number of criteria than just sales.
A way to vote on current issues without having to actually make a post.

What it is not-
A Forum- discussions need to be kept on the current forums because there is not actually any place for comments on the collective.
A Soapbox- just like above, personal opinions are not really given a platform here.
A place with an agenda - Voting is the only way to show your support or displeasure for an agency or an idea.
Perfect- We know this has a long way to go but it is a step in the right direction. Additional functionality and polishing will happen on a regular basis. Also the ranking system while pretty good will probably undergo some tweaking. So be nice- its not done but it is started.

What the Collective currently offers-
A way to rate agencies on a much larger number of categories important to contributors
A way to vote on current hot topics
A way to see how many images are associated with the voting results.

What the Collective will offer in the future-
A way to break down the information into many different sorting categories.
A way for contributors to create their own voting initiatives and news items.
A way to view agency reviews by portfolio type and other cool breakdowns.

Important things you need to know about the "Microstock Collective"
1) You must be logged in as a user to vote and rate agencies- this is free and easy to do and your information will not show to anyone but yourself.
2) You do not need to offer your image library size but if you do it will help add to the credibility of the voting and overall power of the Collective
3) Portfolio Size is "Total # of images you have for sale on at least one agency" In other words how many images do you have that are represented by at least one agency - this includes self hosted. If you have 2000 images in your portfolio that is the size of your portfolio even if you only have 1000 uploaded to Shutterstock, 500 to Istock etc. It is not total images uploaded, it is individual images uploaded and accepted at least once.
4) The collective is open to anyone who is a micro stock contributor.Even though it is hosted on the Symbiostock server it is for everyone and you do not need to have anything to do with Symbiostock (other than registering as a user) to use the Collective.

I am happy to answer any questions you might have- we realize this is nowhere near perfect so please be constructive and professional in your criticism and we will do our best to fix/solve/adjust any issues that you might have. In the meantime please- check it out, vote, add your image count and just participate.

Thanks
Dennis




7
100 images for $89 with rollover.
Limited time - for now.

Just got the e-mail.
We need to make sure that DPC gets shut down to stop the other guys from completely following suit.

8
Symbiostock - General / Symbiostock V.2
« on: May 07, 2014, 11:59 »
Hi all, Leo seems to be somewhat rested and is now dedicating some time to an updated version of Symbiostock. He is balancing paid work with this new version so progress will probably be slower than before. In keeping with the nature of Symbiostock it will remain open source and free in its present form but now there will also be some paid applications which will be optional for anyone interested in supercharging their sites. He has mentioned some sort of cloud based offerings and some interesting other concepts. Also for those of you in the EU there has been a good amount of attention paid to VAT.
No confirmed date on the release of these new products but I am hopefully optimistic that it will happen before the end of the year. (My timeline not Leo's and not based on anything other than wishful thinking)

Finally the nature of the program has changed just a bit. Leo is leaning more towards a business structure that can actually compete and really change the industry. It is time and the project really needed this more mature approach but be aware that the entirely "free" nature of the previous Symbiostock will probably not exist in the more elite versions that are coming down the pipe. This will not affect anyone who currently has a site or wants to build their own site based on the open-source themes but offers some exciting options for those of us who are ready for the next step and are willing to pay a small amount for it.

There is a "wish list" thread you can contribute to if you would like to see something that isn't currently offered.
http://www.symbiostock.org/community/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=1485

9
General Stock Discussion / Heartbleed bug!
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:49 »
One of my employees just handed me a sheet about this. Looks like I need to change passwords on Gmail, Facebook, Youtube and about a dozen more. Apparently you don't want to change passwords until the patch has been fixed but you do want to change after they have been fixed.

Some other major sites apparently aren't affected. Does anyone know which micros are affected by this and which ones aren't? MSG? Any others?

Thanks
Dennis

10
I think this is what people really are interested in but the threads turn into bickering and fighting. I'm guilty of that myself. For this thread however if we could try to keep it focused on the poll results it would be much more productive. There are other threads for the bickering and comments. Please do your best to refrain and keep this one on topic. Thanks

11
General Stock Discussion / How will embed advertising work?
« on: March 09, 2014, 15:53 »
I can't see how it will work. I get the data mining but not the rest. How will advertisers choose which images to attach ads to? Would a fast food restaurant want to advertise on a blog about healthy living? Would the blog want that ad showing up? Why would someone interested in cooking click on an image of strawberries? Why would they even be interested in buying an image? If contributors get paid a % per click how many clicks would it take? Maybe someone can illuminate me on why advertisers would even be interested in this form if advertising. What do you think? If it just about data mining then what benefit is there to the contributor at all?

12
Site Related / Is anyone else having issues with the forum?
« on: November 22, 2013, 10:35 »
Starting yesterday I am no longer being directed to unread posts. Instead I am being sent to the top of the current page regardless of whether I have read those posts or not. Previously I would select the "home" button and then look for bold topics. After clicking the topic it would redirect me to the unread posts and bypass the read ones. This is no longer happening. Same on my home laptop, ipad, and work computer.
Anyone else?

13
The ftp location no longer matches after I upgraded. How do I solve this.
Thanks

14
This one has been bothering me for a while now. I think it would be interesting to see what the demographic of MSG is as far as port size goes. It also might help with trying to understand the poll results particularly when comparing independents versus exclusives.

15
Illustration - General / Illustrators Feedback Please
« on: December 17, 2012, 16:28 »
I just launched my own website and I'm getting all sorts of questions that I'm not sure how to answer.  I run a medium size shirt shop and this is just a sideline thing for me. I have been reluctant to do contract work but it is becoming apparent that I might be leaving money on the table. I really don't need additional custom work - especially if it winds up costing me money in opportunity costs - but don't want to turn away decent extra money either.

I was hoping to get some insight into how you handle these issues.

1) Custom requests where I retain the rights and can resell.
How much do you charge? - Is it hourly or do you do it by project?
Do you charge less for images that have a higher probability of resale?
Do you ask for payment up front?

How much do you charge extra if they want exclusivity?

2) How do keep your customers from walking off with the comp images - is this even an issue?

3) On your Microstock Images do you offer subscription plans or a different type of quantity discount?

Any insight you could give would be appreciated.
Thanks ahead of time.

16
Illustration - General / Vector Pricing Breakdown by Site?
« on: August 29, 2012, 15:04 »
Has anyone done a vector sales price breakdown for the top 20 or so sites?
This topic came up in another thread and I was wondering if there was some sort of compilation for comparison. I know what my average RPD for each site is but I have never just looked at the vector downloads.

If no-one already has it I will do it myself in the next couple of days and post it here. However if someone already has this info I would appreciate it if you would share.

17
Off Topic / Lets help Race Photo design "Crapstock.com"
« on: June 29, 2012, 21:43 »
I'll start-
Inspectors should use a color slide wheel like in the game "twister" and as long the main color of the image doesn't match the color selected on the spinner the image is approved.

Pricing should be determined by a very complicated and convoluted algorithm involving the time of the day and the contributor's astrological sign.

Royalty % would start at 95% and every 10-14 days a message would appear in an obscure place in the forums announcing the rate has been dropped by .5%

18
I have been vocal about supporting people/sites who are trying to make a difference and I'm OK with the idea that they might not pan out. I watch my data and I know my numbers and I have concluded that the future of microstock is not in a few big guys but rather in a bunch of little guys each doing a different niche and doing it really well. I see the big guys slowly losing market share to maybe 30 or more "little" guys who sell just a few types of images, have great collections for that type of image and pay very good royalties.

Think about it... it's self fulfilling. Contributors who fit the niche will sell well on that site and therefore upload more to that site. If they don't sell well they will stop uploading and find a different site where they do sell well. Royalties are higher so contributors make more even while selling less.

Buyers will be happier because they know when they go to the niche site they are more likely to find what they are looking for with less inappropriate images clogging up the search.
Buyers don't care about huge selections or massive libraries... they want to be able to find what they are looking for and will figure out which sites have the best selection of what they are looking to buy. A buyer who is looking for travel photos couldn't care less if the site also carries a fantastic selection of vector animals and vice versa.

I realize I'm about to take a beating here... and this is an unpopular position but this is what my data is showing. Perhaps its different for illustration but two of my best selling (highest earners) sites are niche sites that don't even come close to cracking the top 10 on the list on the right. You can say what you want but these sites are not dying. They are selling a lot of images in their particular niche and from what I can see they are growing.

We need more of these sites not less- and we need to support them by at least giving them a try.
Yuri has just started a niche site and I bet he does well with it.

I think this is to some degree what Helix7 was trying to say last week when he wrote his "Call to Arms"

I am not naive enough to think that I don't need the big guys- I do and they do bring in the $. But they are changing and I can't say I exactly trust them. I would rather deal with smaller companies with great contributor support, decent sales and good royalties. Every new site that comes in and fulfills those criteria makes the big guys less important and helps to reduce the leverage they have over the contributors

This is why I will support and continue to support
GLStock Images
Irockstock
Feature Pics
Cutcaster
ToonVectors
Stockfresh
Clipartof
and yes even this new guy
CreativeWarehouse

19
Today I did a little comparison of best sellers on my top 5 sites. Guess what... almost all of the sites have different best sellers. (I'm talking top 20-50 images) Sure, there are some images that rise to the top on all of the sites but for the most part each site is different. This leads me to think that different sites have different types of buyers and maybe they aren't cannibalizing each other as much as we believe. What are your thoughts?

20
Is there a secret to getting IPTC uploaded to sites that only take eps. submissions (without the jpg preview) like CS, Yay and Clip Dealer?
Thankyou for any feedback- I appreciate it.

21
General Stock Discussion / How things change
« on: February 15, 2012, 17:23 »
I was thumbing through an old Communication Arts design annual (from 2006). In the back are adds for SS and IS.
Shutterstock's headline "Over One Million Images- Royalty-Free $159 / Month"
IStocks emphasis -simple pricing- "Small $1, Medium $3, Large $5, XL $10, XXL $20/40"

My point is... things change and it is better if you are paying attention. You may not want to contribute to all of the new guys but it would be smart to at least pay attention to what they are doing.

Now here is my question. How many people are actually doing worse today than say 3-4 years ago? The collections are bigger, there are more micros sites, and the pricing is more complicated. Is that bad, or has it overall been good for the average contributor?

22
In the interest of fairness and comparison here is the same poll for Shutterstock.

Update: Here is the link to the same poll for Istock
http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/what-really-happened-with-istock-in-december/

23
iStockPhoto.com / What really happened with IStock in December
« on: January 06, 2012, 14:09 »
There was a lot of discussion about best match and sales in the last month. It seems there was no clear consensus as to the true result. One argument was that people who were doing well were keeping quite. If that is true they should be able to chime in here and still stay anonymous. I know that a drop from Nov to Dec is normal. Maybe some of you that have been around for a while could chime in about what was a typical change from Nov - Dec in previous years. Just curious.

Note: Categories were changed to a more accurate representation and votes were reset to zero.

24
Panthermedia.net / Vectors at Panther Media
« on: November 23, 2011, 00:14 »
Anyone know anything about this?
Thanks

25
As a newly independent contributor (exclusive at DT From Dec 2008 to July 2011) I am new to MSG and all of the other sites. I have been reading almost everything posted in the last month and am trying to learn. But I feel like I need someone to catch me up. I don't quite understand all the chaos with this Istock thing and the current threads are very confusing to someone who doesn't have the history. Maybe someone could answer a few questions to get me up to speed?
I would appreciate it. Please pardon my cluelessness but I bet I'm not the only one.

1) Why would anyone be exclusive with Istock? Are there incentives that are so great that you wouldn't want to maximize your exposure by selling on other sites?

2) Why is the PP program so bad? Once again wouldn't you want to increase your potential customer base?

3) I get a very good RPD from DT but still most of the sales are subs. I have also had good success in the last two weeks with SS which are all subs. How is what Istock is doing with the PP different?

4) There must have been something in the past that made Istock the obvious choice for contributors that isn't there anymore... what was it?

I am not making judgements with these questions I just want to understand.
Thank you for clearing some of this up.

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