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Topics - volk65

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iStockPhoto.com / I just cancelled my exclusivity
« on: May 15, 2011, 05:11 »
The reasons to cancel excluvity are well listed here in different topics and I was thinking about it for some time. My acceptance rates was the last blow.

Irrationality behind rejections were beaten to death here but I'd like to share my own experience:

The same 3d scene, the same render and light settings, sometimes the same camera angle, just a different angle or minor change, some are accepted, some rejected for not artistic but quality reasons. For example, I designed a building with Ionic columns and wrote Bank, Government and University on it. With a connection to a laptop they became e-banking, e-government and e-learning concepts. Out of 6-7 combinations with these, only 2 are accepted, the rest are rejected for "jagged edges." There is no jagged edges of course, I always use optimum sampling settings and high polygon counts for the cost of long render times. But let's assume it is true, so how the other two were accepted?

I think I'll have more chance on other sites and it will already balance the equation.

I am warned by Fotolia, that my account will be cancelled, if I carry the issue that I will explain below, to microstock forums. I believe, however, that the only way to save my dignity after such a threat, is to explain the issue to you - risking 110 earned credits, amounting to about 110 USD.

Today, I checked my Credit details on Fotolia to see 43 notes, dated today, of earned credit cancellations. Suddenly my account balance dropped down to -37 (minus 37) credits- with pending request for 110 credits payment. About 10-15 out of these 43 notes are the infamous "Credit card denied" issue. That is, a credit card fraud bought my pictures, and because of Fotalia's insufficient credit card validation process, Fotolia cancelled my "earned credits" on pictures already sold, used, and most probably distributed freely on some pirate's website. I know this issue was discussed before and Fotolia rejects to solve the issue, to the frustration of the members, but this is not my only complaint because the money I lost to credit card issue is only about $5 compared to $35 I lost for "intellectual property" reasons.

Yes, you heard it right. Those are the pictures Fotolia accepted in the past, through their supposedly rigorous selection process, and suddenly they decided that they are not acceptable anymore. Allright, it's OK by me, (new) rules are rules. I understand that there is reason to delete those pictures which don't fit to new rules. But how they dare to cancel already earned money from those pictures? When those pictures were acceptable to Fotolia, some buyers bought them, used them on magazines, billboards, websites etc. Fotolia pocketed its own commission, now, all of a sudden, they decided to take back my share of the profit - oh, no, not their own commission, of course!

So, beware: Fotolia can invent a new rule every day, to take back what youve already earned in the past months. How much did you earn from Fotolia until now? Well, by staying at Fotolia, you are risking every penny of them!

By the way, when I filed a complaint to Fotolia about the subject, and said that I will carry the subject to Fotolias and microstock communities forums if a solution is not proposed, this is the kind of reply I get from Fotolia: I do not appreciate your tone nor that you threaten us. If I see any kind of trashing information on any forum from you, I will close your account, end of story!

Ok, go ahead! Close my account. I would consider myself spineless if I stay after you insult me just because I was trying to defend my rights for the money stolen from me.

General - Top Sites / Traffic rankings of Big 5
« on: December 21, 2007, 09:22 »
According to Alexa.com and compete.com, IS is #1 in traffic rankings, almost more than the total of the rest of the crew. Although it's known that IS is the market leader, I think SS's position is something unexpected here. If you ask multistock members, most of them will say that they sell more images on SS than any other microstock site (ie. number of DLs, not the income). So, why it doesn't have any impact on SS's traffic? It's sometimes not even #2 in traffic rankings.

If you think that the number of sales at IS increase in time and surpass SS, what is your estimate of the treshold (in terms of number of DLs at IS)?

General Stock Discussion / Which day is your Best Day?
« on: October 17, 2007, 00:36 »
Mine seems Tuesdays, BDE four weeks in a row. I guess people are still sleeping at work on Mondays, or maybe still trying to initiate new projects.  ;D

General - Top Sites / How microstock sites promote your images?
« on: September 17, 2007, 07:24 »
As far as I see, on most of the sites, the potential buyers follow two main options: To search by popularity (ie. number of DLs), and by age. So we can safley say that both new and popular images are promoted. As a new contributor with limited portfolio, I should say I rely upon searches based on age because I still don't have many DLs.

On the other hand, I guess Shutterstock uses a combination of both, ie. when you use "Most Popular" criteria, the images comes in an order which reflects NOT the all-time popularity, but the popularity in the past few weeks. So, some images which sell good in the past few weeks comes first, although they are not the most downloaded images in my portfolio. (Of course, as far as I observed.) I guess that is the reason behind SS's success although they have the smallest comission percentages. I would like to see the same approach in other sites too. What do you think?

General Stock Discussion / Thoughts on microstock market
« on: September 11, 2007, 07:53 »
An exclusive photographer friend at IS told me the other day that one of the executives at Corbis was saying that the microstock market still counts only for 5% of the whole stock photography business. (Is there a market research on this?) This is a business which has the potential to go completely online than any other business. Much more than online music or movies. It means that we can expect many fluctuations including selling prices, new websites, disappearing ones, more stringent approval criteria, anything...

Although all seems positive for the contributing photographers, it may not be so for the individual ones, as big agencies discovered the potential of microstock. Look at iofoto.com. Now they have a portfolio of 10,000 photos on several microstock sites.

For now, some microstock sites still try to stay big by enlarging their number of images. Some seem to have more stringent criteria but still random, mostly influenced by the subjective opinions of the reviewers, the ratio of the number of reviewers to the number of uploaded images, unprofessionalism... These secondary factors still dictate the business. Even at IS, which seems the most professional of all, they changed the upload limits many times in a short period of time.

While the microstock sites, although some are already a subsidiary of a corporate business, are still struggling their way through technical problems, downtimes, staff shortages, they still rely upon uncontrolled costumer demand. I mean they do almost nothing to create additional demand. Direct mailing to existing stock photo buyers? I don't think so... While they started to implement better search mechanisms, lightboxes are not effectively used (as in the sense of stock CDs), nor the contributers are not effectively chanelled by the sites to take pictures/create images which have a higher demand potential. There is no business segmentation (for magazines of different sorts, advertisers, business sectors etc.). We are practically in the stone ages of microstock business.

IMHO, these will all change. But will those changes be to the good of individuals, I'm not sure. Some amateurs decided to be a contributor for a pocket money, then some even quitted their daytime job when they started to earn several thousands of dollars per month, but the introduction of photo agencies may change the picture.

General Stock Discussion / Question about ELs
« on: August 31, 2007, 06:44 »
Hi all,

As far as I understand, when you make an EL sale, you have to remove that pic from the site (if not automatically removed), as the pic is no longer royalty-free. And this also includes the copies of the same picture submitted on other microstock sites.

My question is, what would we do to delete it from DT  if we hit the 6 months limit (ie. they keep images for 6 months after we upload them)?

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