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Messages - mike_snaps

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1
General Stock Discussion / Re: Wirestock news
« on: June 29, 2019, 04:40 »
Thanks for your questions  :)

Questions:

Can I delete individual photos after submitting? Or would I need to deactivate the entire account?


Currently, we do not have a "delete" functionality on the website yet. However, you can request deletion via email. You will not have to close your account. However, we plan on adding a deletion after submission feature in the near future.

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Can I submit my images to agencies you dont have contracts with, like eyeem, twenty20, picasa etc...

The only requirement is that you can't submit the same content to the same agencies with your individual and Wirestock accounts to avoid duplicates. However, you are free to submit your images to all other agencies not supported by us.

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Can I still sell directly from my own website or photoshelter account?

Of course, you can.

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Can I spread a series over time, or must I submit the entire batch in one go (this is usually bad for sales, you get much better results if you spread out a series over time)

You can submit all your content at once.

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Do you edit submissions, i.e. do other people make artistic decisions over my content?

No, we do not edit any of the content submitted by our contributors.

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Is there any kind of technical inspection or quality control or does that always happen at the agencies?

Yes, we have a review process which also includes technical inspection and duplicate check.

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Are you connected to stockperformer? I am not the only one literally addicted to their statistic options and I always strongly favor places that do.

No we are not affiliated at all. We have built a cool dashboard that shows your earnings broken down by agencies for different timeframes.

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Any plans to sell direct or offer the option of artist webshops?

Maybe in the future.



2
General Stock Discussion / Re: Wirestock news
« on: June 29, 2019, 04:20 »
As other commented, more work needed, best wishes for you to succeed.

Offtopic.

May I ask, tokenizaion and blockchain are connected? Can blockchain work without tokens? Sorry for naive question.

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Our team realized that the market is not ready for tokenization and blockchain yet

What crossed my mind was that "free" stock services might evolve to this path?

Yes, you may have blockchain solutions that do not involve tokens or cryptocurrencies. The cool thing about blockchain with regards to image copyrights or intellectual property in general is that you can store copyright information on a blockchain ledger which is immutable. However, we are not focusing on this currently.

3
General Stock Discussion / Re: Wirestock news
« on: June 29, 2019, 04:10 »
It isn't free if you charge 15% of royalties paid, so I'm not sure you should be describing your service as free. Perhaps saying no upfront charges, but we collect...

You need to check spellings in your FAQ - lots of typos

Then you have fudged some details about payouts. You have a threshold of $30 for payout, but agencies - Dreamstime is a $100 minimum, for example - may have higher ones. I'm sure you're assuming you'll be over the threshold in aggregate, but are you really promising to pay contributors even if you don't get paid by the agencies? What about refunds - do you have a policy for those? Dreamstime holds money for 7 days for EL sales; what's your policy for paying contributors? iStock pays ages in arrears, do you just follow their payments to you with payments to the Wirestock contributors?

I know this all sounds like quibbling, but you need to be clear to what extent you are offering clear and universal terms, and to what extent contributors are still bound by the various agency rules, not your rules.

Another big thing for contributors to consider IMO is to what extent the search position of their content will be affected by submitting under one account with a bunch of other contributors' work. It's probably impossible to know for sure, but search position is a large factor in decent images selling (or not). Especially if you are openly appealing to people who are new and can't even be bothered to accurately keyword their images, I'd be worried that my images might be dragged down by poor quality overall. Would you ever turn contributors down if their images were heavily rejected by agencies?

At one time, Dreasmtime used to set your upload limits on the basis of your acceptance percentage. I stopped uploading there so I don't know if they're still doing that, but all agencies have rules about accounts and what will you do to make sure your aggregated account doesn't get closed down because someone is submitting rubbish, or stolen content, or too many similars, or...

I've previously talked about the problems with turning over keywording for anything but the simplest of images, but even if you leave out editorial, there's a lot of specialist content where you need to know the details of what and where for accurate, useful and sales-producing keywords.

Given the small number of agencies that represent the bulk of the sales, I honestly don't think there's enough time saving to make it sane to turn over 15% of our earnings to a third party, for photos at least.

Thanks for your questions. No, we follow our own payment schedule. You set up a minimum payout amount, once it is reached, the funds will be disbursed to your selected payment account regardless of partner agency payments and schedules.

We have our own review process which may reject certain images or block certain contributors if they continuously submit unsuitable content.

4
General Stock Discussion / Re: Wirestock news
« on: June 29, 2019, 03:59 »
Blackbox has a feature that allows contributors to split or assign royalty percentages among multiple parties on a per shot basis.  An interesting concept for productions involving (short term) photo/film making teams.  Will that be possible at Wirestock? 

Also, the FAQ says Wirestock will add video.. (and become a competitor to Blackbox).  Other than having photos, what will make Wirestock better than Blackbox for video contributors?

Possibly. We are considering adding revenue sharing options between models and photographers or video producers in the future. Do you think it will help in incentivizing models to take part in stock photo shoots?

5
General Stock Discussion / Wirestock news
« on: June 28, 2019, 08:31 »
Hey everyone,

I am not sure if you remember my earlier post but we are still doing microstock, though something completely different. Our team realized that the market is not ready for tokenization and blockchain yet and instead we decided to build something that actually solves a lot of major microstock problems. The platform we ended up building gives photographers one-door access to all stock agencies from a single website. So, instead of uploading and submitting content on multiple websites, you do it on Wirestock and we automatically submit it to Shutterstock, istock, Alamy, Dreamstime and Adobe. You dont need to have an account on stock agency sites, everything is done through an aggregated Wirestock account in every single agency. So you get paid from Wirestock instead of getting paid separately from each agency. Our system also provides a real time dashboard showing your aggregated sales and other relevant stats. 

In addition, for inexperienced contributors (or the lazy ones) we provide a free service (called Easy Submission) for filling out the submission form (description, keywords, title, category).

We currently have about 200 contributors with little or no experience in microstock. I wanted to share this with you guys to see what you think as exxperienced microstock photographers.

Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions. BTW, Wirestock is free and we only charge 15% of total royalties paid, so feel free to check it out. Here is the website.

Mike

6
And how can we withdraw dollars or euros to Paypal / Payoneer or our bank account?

I think you should enable converting Stocken to dollar / euro directly on your site.


edit: Also, I don't know who on Earth will be willing to buy Stocken. You would need a powerful marketing for that.

We are leaning towards the option to allow dollar conversions and withdrawals on our website for larger amounts only (e.g. above $100) available at any time. For smaller amounts, we will allow conversions to ethers, bitcoins and other major cryptocurrencies.

7
Congrats for launching Wirestock.org.
Time to kick ass the expensive agencies...

Thanks r2d2! May the force with us!

8
Hi Mike, What differentiates you from the current influx of blockchain stock projects like; https://www.wemark.com/ https://bitimage.io/ https://photochain.io/ https://kodakcoin.com/ http://creativechain.org/ https://selfllery.com/ https://www.pibble.io/

While i do believe there will be a disruptive breakthrough in the blockchain stock photo market. The question for me is, which one is going to offer me a return on my time uploading.

Photochain (although a noble project IMO) seems to be struggling to gain investments in its ICO. Although i suspect this to be due to the lack of incentives to investors (token only holds purchasing utility). How will you capture the interest of investors to garner enough funds for dev & mass marketing?


While our vision is to decentralize the stock image market and allow content creators to sell their content directly to buyers, we put tremendous focus on having a great product and providing outstanding user experience. We acknowledge the overall difficulty and challenges associated with actual usage of cryptocurrencies and blockchain based products. That is why it has been our goal to build a product where content buyer would enjoy shopping on not only because it is cheaper or more flexible but also because it provides seamless user experience just like on conventional websites. We are planning to achieve this by minimizing the requirements to interact with tokens for users who have not been exposed to crypto wallets and cryptocurrencies in general. We believe that you should not have to go to a cryptocurrency exchange if you just need to buy an image for your blog. The same approach will be used for content creators as mentioned in the above comment.

The other thing that differentiates us is the fact that we want to start with the community of stock photographers first. That is why we try to actively engage with you in this forum and other channels to have your inputs as we are building WireStock. In fact, your feedback so far has been superuseful and we hope to continue this discussion here. For example, we consid having a feature to allow buyers to request custom jobs or modifications from content creators. Would be awesome to hear your thoughts on this.

As the majority of the founding team members are from tech startup space and have experience raising funds for other startups, we are confident that we will be able to raise funds for WireStock. However, we try to talk to investors who are familiar with this space and understand the value of a decentralized marketplace for stock content. We try to stay away from typical speculative ICO investors and are looking for long term commitments.

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Where is your Team/Company located? Yerevan, Armenia?

Our core team is based in Dubai, UAE.

10
Greetings!

Wanted to share some updates about WireStock.

We recently launched our company website and the first version of the white paper ( in depth description of the project). Please check it out at wirestock.org . We tried to incorporate a lot of your previous feedback and questions into our vision.

Further feedback would be appreciated.

p.s. We also started working on the prototype version and will share with you as soon it is done.


Are you creating your own tokens? How is it based on Etherium?

Say ETH was $850 in March and now it's $400, would someone who bought tokens in March be paying a higher price for the same work than someone who bought tokens yesterday. How about the artists. We get paid in tokens with a moving value? How do we turn them back into local currency that we can spend, to avoid value changes?

If we got paid in March and didn't immediately convert the tokens, then we would have lost half our pay.

Can you explain better how STOKEN will hold a value and when you said through Etherium blockchain, will we have MetaMask wallets for example or what?


Thanks for your questions!

Yes, STOKEN (STK) is an Ethereum-based utility token and we have solutions for the important questions you have raised.

1. Setting the prices: The prices of images will be set by contributors, with an ability to set the prices in fiat currencies (usd, euro, and etc.) which will be maintained in the system regardless of the fluctuations in the stoken price. This way, the contributor will be able to fix the price in a fiat currency although transactions will be in STK.
2. For registered contributors, withdrawal of STK will be possible at any time directly on our website as well as on third party exchanges. Users will be able to convert their stokens into ethers or bitcoins for any amount and to fiat currencies (usd, eur) in case of large withdrawals given stokens are earned through content licensing/sales. A similar solution will be used when onboarding image buyers who do not have stokens yet.
3. The value of stokens will depend on the demand for images offered through WireStock. Users will be able to use their metmask wallets on WireStock.

11
Mike Snaps, not sure about block chain but I will give you an idea that might work. Work on AI and find out what the customer wants before the customer knows what they want. Talk to Facebook I think they are selling this kind of info. Although I think Zuck is in for a ride next week with congress.

We are actually going to use AI and Machine Learning. A lot of our R&D efforts will go into automation of image curation and selection processes using machine learning and computer vision technologies whereas blockchain is necessary for image copyright protection and direct trading/licensing.

12
Greetings!

Wanted to share some updates about WireStock.

We recently launched our company website and the first version of the white paper ( in depth description of the project). Please check it out at www.wirestock.org . We tried to incorporate a lot of your previous feedback and questions into our vision.

Further feedback would be appreciated.

p.s. We also started working on the prototype version and will share with you as soon it is done.


I get a blank index page....

Not a good start.


Please try the link again or click here wirestock.org. Something went wrong with the formatting on the forum should work now.

13
Greetings!

Wanted to share some updates about WireStock.

We recently launched our company website and the first version of the white paper ( in depth description of the project). Please check it out at wirestock.org . We tried to incorporate a lot of your previous feedback and questions into our vision.

Further feedback would be appreciated.

p.s. We also started working on the prototype version and will share with you as soon it is done.



14
Want to share this piece about our project and upcoming plans. Hope it will make our vision more clear for everyone.   

15
Hey Guys,

My name is Mike and I am new to the community. I am a fan of photography and been involved with numerous art/photo tech projects in the past. Currently, I and my friend are thinking about creating a new peer-to-peer stock platform where artists will have the ability to sell images/videos directly to buyers with very low transaction fees (5-10%). We are doing research in the space and would really appreciate your feedback. Would you be kind to fill out the short survey below:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ev00fvEjzN4MoHXS2

good luck and let us know the name of the project :-)

We sure will, thank you!

16
StockChain will act as a mediator and will charge 5-10% which will also be used to cover legal and accounting costs. However, we will not be involved in price setting. Contributors will set their on prices and charge buyers based on the terms they set, similar to ebay or other p2p platforms.

17
Still, while we discuss cryptocurrencies, the OP still hasn't addressed concerns about marketing.

As mentioned before, we are going to post an official document in about 2 weeks that will describe the process of establishing and maintaining StockChain platform in more details. It will also go over the diminished role of the middleman in initial phases of DAO (and eventual elimination of the middleman), marketing plans, p2p trading and etc. It is not possible to describe StockChain fully in a single forum post with no diagrams and background information about blockchain and smart contracts.

Thanks again for your feedback and questions!

18
DAOs and blockchain networks are flat and fully transparent economic units with fully liquid cryptoassets.

We haven't had a crisis yet in the world of cryptomoney. Only then will we see just how liquid those cryptoassets prove to be.
They are only liquid if someone wants to buy them  ;).

By liquidity i mean there are no restrictions based on timelines or minimum amounts to convert your earnings to cash like its the case with SS and other platforms. No arbitrary minimum payout amounts or payment cycles. Of course, the liquidity would depend on the market in case of cryptocurrencies. Thats why it is called a decentralized market. It is based on demand/ supply. More details will be provided on this in the comprehensive doc that we will share.

19
... One of the key components of DAO is that it incentivizes all network participants (in this case contributors and buyers) to expand the network and bring more participants as trading takes place in native currency which everyone in the network holds....

If you'd said up front you were selling a Bitcoin rival cloaked in a story about licensing images, that would have saved everyone the trouble. There's nothing hard to understand about the idea that this is a speculative pyramid scheme where no one is getting paid in currency with stable value. All the blather notwithstanding, Bitcoin is speculation, not a currency - it has no stable value, and there are a fair number of articles out there by people much more well versed in economics than I am as to how it can never be.

You're wasting our time

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2017/05/17/bitcoin-is-an-asset-not-a-currency/#59346d742e5b

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/bitcoin-will-never-currency-something-way-weirder/

There's lots more out there to read.

First of all, we are not building a bitcoin rival :) and it is absolutely the opposite of a pyramid. DAOs and blockchain networks are flat and fully transparent economic units with fully liquid cryptoassets. You can find articles written by the same editorials mocking and cliticising renewable energy from 10 years back, and then look at the current developments in this space. I would recommend doing more research about DAOs and smart contracts and then maybe you will have a slightly different opinion.

In any case, If you do not understand or support blockchain, then perhaps what we are building is not for you, at least not now.

20
Great questions and comments! We are happy that you are curious to find out more about our project. I think some of the points you brought up are valid concerns and will be addressed. That was exactly our goal when we decided to share our survey (https://goo.gl/forms/dhcLoEDocR5Hx3Ir1) and get your feedback.
In short, to fully understand the advantages of StockChain (platform we are building), it is important to be familiar with such concepts as cryptoeconomics, smart contracts, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and advantages that they offer particularly with respect to marketing and building P2P marketplace networks. Some of these may be perceived as buzzwords but there is strong value in the underlying technology and the opportunities it creates. One of the key components of DAO is that it incentivizes all network participants (in this case contributors and buyers) to expand the network and bring more participants as trading takes place in native currency which everyone in the network holds. We understand that these ideas are hard to grasp at this point as blockchain and cryptocurrencies are in their early stages of adoption.

We are currently working on finalizing our business plan that will outline all details with regards to business model, marketing and sales, technology and other important topics. We will share the document with you soon to cover some of your questions above and to get further feedback. We are committed to full transparency and active communication with future participants of StockChain network. Please be patient and we will answer all of your questions soon. We are currently focused on building the network and the supporting infrastucture and plan to have the demo version in the first quarter of 2018.

21
It is interesting to get most of your feedback. I just wanted to clarify that the reason why we posted our idea here was precisely to hear your thoughts about the potential challenges that we may run into. We are not after buzz trends or are amateur rookies that have no clue how to start and build sustainable businesses. We have been buying stock photography for a few years for our prior projects and know the buyer-side market quite well. We have seen inefficiencies and are determined to build a platform that will solve them (see my posts above for more details).

Again, marketing is important, but most buyers care about the costs they are incurring more than anything. So when you offer a superior cost structure made available with new technology, it will be easier to attract new buyers. That being said, we understand the difficulty and expected cost of user acquisition and will be using most of our investment and future earnings to attract buyers.

Also, we would be happy to share a more detailed explanation of how blockchain will help us solve some of the problems that exist in the stock image world covering user acquisition, transaction fees, decentralized management, copyrights and etc.

22
... what really attracts buyers is the low price of stock photo...

So what sort of low price do you have in mind?

This is no longer a situation where you just have to undercut Getty or Jupiter who charged $500 to license an image. At 123rf you can buy two images for $13 or 5 for $39. Deposit Photos offers 10 images for $49. BigStock offers 10 images for $35. How much lower than that do you envision your project going?

There's not much real freedom in "set your own prices" if the whole selling point of the business is to undercut existing agencies on price. I can't imagine too many contributors wanting to go there - a few might; see the threads here on the now-defunct Dollar Photo Club for that offshoot of an existing agency that tried to slash prices as a way of building market share.

All the Symbiostock sites allowed single purchases via PayPal and had very reasonable prices, but that wasn't enough to get a sustained stream of buyers. PayPal's fees aren't much. My most recent sale from my own site, PayPal deducted 59 cents from the $10 license (for a medium size image). When you talk about "solving the microtransaction problem", I don't see 59 cents on a $10 license as a problem.

Thanks for bringing up the examples. Lets take the specific example with Deposit Photos.

10 on demand images will cost the buyer $50 which is $5 per image. Contributors, on the other hand, will earn 34-42% per image which on average which equates to $1.9 sending $3.8 to Deposit Photos.

In our case, we will charge 5-10% (to cover markeing and transaction costs) for the same transaction. The seller will be able to charge $3.5 (for example) for the same image earning $1.25 more ($.35 goes to the platform) while the buyer will pay $1.5 less (30%) not to mention the fact that they will not have to purchase in bulk. This kind of microtransaction is only possible through the blockchain technology we are currently building. If you do the same with paypal or credit card, the transaction fee alone will be more than $.35 leaving the middle man with nothing. That is how we will have an advantage in terms of costs and value proposition that can be used in our marketing campaigns.


23
Did licensing stock become a target for blockchain technology boosters somehow? This is the second fishing expedition in a short time that was long on technology, short on problem solving:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/newby-discussion/hey-all-i-am-newbie-on-this-website/

I was about to complete your survey, but you want an email address. I don't mind handing over some data anonymously but I'm not willing to provide income range and an email address to some random survey request.

I didn't think the survey was very well put together - for example, you have a very small list of things we'd like changed in existing agencies that doesn't even begin to cover the issues contributors face. There's no "other" option for input.

I participated in Warm Picture (a collective site) and Symbiostock in its original incarnation (a network of independently hosted sites) - in other words I am open to finding alternatives to the existing agencies.

However, unless there is a plan to attract buyers I have no interest in hearing anything about the great technology with which you (or anyone else) will build a site/network/platform/collective/???

Technology is not going to find buyers or cause them to switch from Getty, Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. Tossing in buzzwords about which technology you'll use really hurts your pitch instead of helping it - it suggests you're up for the technical challenge and uninterested in the heavy lift of building a business.

"...buyers and contributors will be better off by having full control over pricing and distribution..." Full control sounds good, but what does this really mean? Buyers never control price or distribution and contributors are only better off in control of both if they have buyers as customers. Which comes back to marketing the site to attract customers away from the existing agencies - how will you do that?


Hey Jo,

The email address in the survey is optional, so you can just skip it. The "other option" to the question you mentioned is now available. We would appreciate if you could complete it now.

I am happy to hear that you are open to finding alternatives which is not surprising given the tiny royalties paid by agencies in comparison to how much they charge buyers.

First of all, I would like to note that I was a buyer of stock photography for a few startups that I managed in the past. Besides marketing that does not provide actual value for customers, what really attracts buyers is the low price of stock photo as well as the flexibility to purchase photos in small quantities and not having to pay for subscription for ridiculous prices. By using blockchain technology, we are able to offer something which current agencies are not. It is the flexibility for buyers and contributors to freely trade stock photography by setting their prices without being charged high percentage transaction fees. By solving the microtransaction problem, we will be able to create an environment where buyers will pay 30-50% less while contributors will earn 30-50% more for the exact same content. This is only possible with decentralization and microtransactions available through blockchain. So to answer your question, buyers will switch to our platform as they will be able to pay significantly less as well as buy content on demand without increased rates (the case with most existing large agencies).

24
Hey Guys,

My name is Mike and I am new to the community. I am a fan of photography and been involved with numerous art/photo tech projects in the past. Currently, I and my friend are thinking about creating a new peer-to-peer stock platform where artists will have the ability to sell images/videos directly to buyers with very low transaction fees (5-10%). We are doing research in the space and would really appreciate your feedback. Would you be kind to fill out the short survey below:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ev00fvEjzN4MoHXS2

I see your questionnaire mentions both 'freelance work' and 'stock'.
Are you scoping a traditional stock type platform, or a platform where buyers make requests and photographers vie to respond, or some hybrid of both?

We are thinking about a more hybrid solution that would enable custom requests and projects on top of regular stock trading.

25
First of all, thanks for all of your comments! You are absolutely right about marketing being the game changer factor in this space. It is important to have a critical mass of buyers to ensure constant stream of revenues for quality contributors. However, what is equally important is the way a p2p platform is set up with regards to pricing, distribution and transaction fees. Platforms like Symbiostock are not pure p2p platforms as they charge fees for hosting and other flat or reoccurring fees. What we are building is a fully transparent p2p platform based on blockchain. In our network, both buyers and contributors will be better off by having full control over pricing and distribution. In other words, by diminishing the role of the middle man, buyers will pay less and contributors will earn more.

We are committed to building this platform and that's why we are really excited to learn from microstockgroup community and your personal experiences (also through the survey shared above).

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