MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: For a new stock site: features you wanted/like/dislike at agencies  (Read 9449 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: February 26, 2013, 19:02 »
0
The time arrived to start developing my own personal stock site that will be open for other contributors also.
Since more than a year I started to develop web sites (webshops, company homepages) just to learn linux+php+mysql to create the best site I can...
I want to sell photo, vector, audio and video licenses, all these via a web site that has all the whistles and bells that a stock site needs. Yes it's a huge amount of work, but I wrote my own object-oriented php libraries and the code it's based on the Yii framework. Note that I'm putting together the pieces of the project since 2 years ago...

A brief list of targets and features:
- photo, vector audio and video licenses
- privately owned and - as the circumstances permit - upgraded servers. (To exclude the high, dedicated servers costs)
- ~1 year testing and image uploading period with zero advertising, just SEO
- in-house development, not waiting/paying programmer teams to achieve basic results/changes
- unique features & offers that agencies have partially (image fingerprints, copy space and important colors recognition and very fast search engine with detailed filters) - these may be the key features over other stock sites... I need to offer something extra...

I'm on the final stage of the project's documentation and I thought, before finishing, I will ask the people here what they always hated/liked or wanted at stock agencies. I want to have an ultra-friendly buyer/contributor portal...


« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 19:06 »
0
Big purposes, but we talk about some millions to break the scene. Database is not the limit!

« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 19:07 »
0
I'm on the final stage of the project's documentation and I thought, before finishing, I will ask the people here what they always hated/liked or wanted at stock agencies. I want to have an ultra-friendly buyer/contributor portal...

That should have been your first step.

« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 19:30 »
0
Features are nice, but it really comes down to price, royalty rate and licensing agreement. If those are good, then it's something I'd consider.

« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 19:55 »
0
Features are nice, but it really comes down to price, royalty rate and licensing agreement. If those are good, then it's something I'd consider.
This thread is about your opinion... What do you expect from a stock site???
For the licensing agreement I would like to introduce something extra and automated. Not the classic "you will earn 40% and I'll change if I want". For example, at SS, those who deserved could keep the referral earnings, if the system would be based on the actual income based on contributor sales... Like at MLM systems... - example: for lifetime earn the x% of the referred member's income, multiplied by your y income...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 20:00 by icefront »

« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 21:08 »
+2
Features are nice, but it really comes down to price, royalty rate and licensing agreement. If those are good, then it's something I'd consider.
This thread is about your opinion... What do you expect from a stock site???
For the licensing agreement I would like to introduce something extra and automated. Not the classic "you will earn 40% and I'll change if I want". For example, at SS, those who deserved could keep the referral earnings, if the system would be based on the actual income based on contributor sales... Like at MLM systems... - example: for lifetime earn the x% of the referred member's income, multiplied by your y income...

Referrals are nice, but I'd rather build sales than affiliates. I'm better at it too.  ;)

As far as what I want in a new site, I usually look for in the range of $7-$10 RPD (standard license) at around a 50% royalty rate. Sales volume is going to be low at new sites, so you want to get a good bang for the buck. Also, I want to build at more equitable partners, so if the deal starts out bad... It probably won't get better.

For the licensing, I just want something that isn't going to give away extra rights for less.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 04:28 »
0
Features are nice, but it really comes down to price, royalty rate and licensing agreement. If those are good, then it's something I'd consider.
really? versus ease of use and general niceness of the site? I'd say plenty of designers would prefer a site that's easy to use, not too chaotic, reliable etc. Price shouldn't be the first concern for a quality site.  If you can't build an awesome site, then yes, you then have to rely on a price war for attention. (Personally I've always preferred iS to all the others, there's something about it that makes it nice to use. It's just a shame they are giant PITAes)

as a contributor I'd like: easy uploading, not requiring categories (or make them optional). If you must have categories then make sure they are broad.

a decent stats page that has all info in one graph, so I can see all my details without having to click between pages.

should I even ask how you're going to review images? (need staff :D? )

« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 04:44 »
+2
Features are nice, but it really comes down to price, royalty rate and licensing agreement. If those are good, then it's something I'd consider.
(Personally I've always preferred iS to all the others, there's something about it that makes it nice to use.


Really?  I find that site soooo slow that I can check out several other sites while the page is opening there.  I often wonder how buyers put up with the slowness of the site.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 04:49 »
-1

Really?  I find that site soooo slow that I can check out several other sites while the page is opening there.  I often wonder how buyers put up with the slowness of the site.
[/quote]

maybe it's the colour scheme that calms me down? :)

« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 07:18 »
0
I quite like Fotolia's Indexing option. Mix that with 123RF's submitting system too. It was made quite clear in a previous thread, no Categories!!

« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 10:00 »
+1
Features are nice, but it really comes down to price, royalty rate and licensing agreement. If those are good, then it's something I'd consider.
really? versus ease of use and general niceness of the site? I'd say plenty of designers would prefer a site that's easy to use, not too chaotic, reliable etc. Price shouldn't be the first concern for a quality site.  If you can't build an awesome site, then yes, you then have to rely on a price war for attention. (Personally I've always preferred iS to all the others, there's something about it that makes it nice to use. It's just a shame they are giant PITAes)

as a contributor I'd like: easy uploading, not requiring categories (or make them optional). If you must have categories then make sure they are broad.

a decent stats page that has all info in one graph, so I can see all my details without having to click between pages.

should I even ask how you're going to review images? (need staff :D? )

I meant as a contributor. The first thing I always look at is what I am going to get paid. If that doesn't look good, I don't bother looking at everything else.

« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 12:40 »
0
I like a lot the way Fotolia shows the images after you made a research: with the indication of the number of views and the number of downloads indicated on the base of the preview.
This can help to understand what kind of image sells and what kind not.

I like enough the indexing mode of Fotolia. Their categories are well structured and complete.

I dislike these sites, so almost all of them, that don't propose in the main menu bar all what needs a contributor, as file status, direct access to portfolio, etc.
From this point of view I like a lot Depositphoto that propose everything in a "main menu" in the main menu bar.

I dislike (hate) the upload system of 123RF. If you use ftp, to have your images uploaded, after to have loaded you images in your ftp software, you need 6 or 7 clicks to arrive to the "unfinished files" (just absurd)


« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 12:52 »
0
as a contributor I'd like: easy uploading, not requiring categories (or make them optional). If you must have categories then make sure they are broad.

a decent stats page that has all info in one graph, so I can see all my details without having to click between pages.

should I even ask how you're going to review images? (need staff :D? )

I want to include SS-style categories but with auto-guess from title, description and keywords. Thus, 90% of the times the guessed category will be correct.
Regarding the stats - of course, highly detailed stats are a must. Witch caching techniques, there will be no captcha or other sh*t when checking the stats.

Review - I must hire reviewers at some point, no question about.
Inconsistent reviews and stupid keyword rejection are killing me - and I know, many of us hate these. I want to introduce some extras from the start:
- multi-level reviews: images, metadata(keywords), additional formats may be approved separately. This way your image may pass but the keywords not. After the keywords are corrected, the image may go (back) online.
- re-upload system for resubmission and upgraded (higher resolution, levels-corrected) versions. Replacement versions replace the original ONLY if accepted.
- less rejections due to internal "quality_factor" and "commercial_factor" parameters. The "commercial_factor" is an auto-adjusting value based on the downloads of the image. These params will help placing the better images in the front of the worse but still receiving exposure when sorted otherwise than 'best match'

« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 12:59 »
0
I like enough the indexing mode of Fotolia. Their categories are well structured and complete.
I guess, indexing means here the rearranging of the keywords in order of the importance...

To be honest I was always irritated by the extra work to rearrange the keywords and also I never found the categories complete. Too deep, always need to open and a lot of categories missing...

As I said, I want to introduce the categories, but with auto-guess feature. If the auto guessing works well, I want to remove the categories from the public and leave it internal. Another stuff that doesn't need extra attention...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 17:48 by icefront »

red

« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 13:10 »
+1
Here are some popular image titles from several different sites. How would these get categorized?

Different
Cheers
Times Gone By
On His Way
Chalkboard (business terms on front, will it be in the objects or business category)
Green Banners
Time and Money

Unfortunately not all contributors give their images titles that describe the subject. On some sites this is less important. Will you require a descriptive title, change it when submitted or look at each one to put them where they belong?

« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2013, 16:56 »
0
Here are some popular image titles from several different sites. How would these get categorized?
...
The algorithm uses the title, description and keywords to find the right category. If one level fails, or the guessing is very unsure (due to popular words), will discard the guess. For sure, there will be always room to refine the routine.
With all these, I don't expect more than 95-97% success (guess fail for 1 image out of 20-30) for a fine-tuned routine...

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 03:39 »
0

I like enough the indexing mode of Fotolia. Their categories are well structured and complete.


??? eh? their categories are the absolute WORST. I guess I should shoot only stuff that fits their categories, if I were to be shooting for FT as a top tier.

« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 05:14 »
0
 :o
Worst that SS that offer you only about 25 very un imprecise and incomplete categories?
Worst that DT that offer you a long and infinite list that you have to scroll down any time, for any image, to find the right category (very uneasy if you are working with a little monitor or a tablet)?

I cannot say that I like a lot IS too, using DeepMeta, but I think that it is a not so bad compromise between long list and more structured categories.

Personally I find the categories of FT more complete.
And I like that when you have chosen a category it stays active till you don't change it, so in this way you can use it for different images fitting the same category.
But yes I can understand that not everybody likes this system, I think that it is a question of personal taste, and mainly a question of habit (automatism due to a long time use)


IMHO categories should be more standardized and so be part of the metadata of the image; something that you can chose and set when you organize your images in your image librarian, before to upload.
But, yes, this is another story.


gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 05:56 »
0
categories should be optional.

apart from very generic: christmas, easter, valentine, wedding, finance, health.... even then, i've seen many, many abusers of those categories (sandals on the beach = christmas?? sure, i'm an aussie but even so... just ridiculous)

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 11:22 »
+1
No categories. Combined eps/jpg illustration submission. Upload and forget about it. No other steps. That's what all the smaller new agencies are doing who want to build up their collections fast.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 11:48 »
+1
No categories is good.
If you want categories, a simple field with autocompletion could be an idea

« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 11:54 »
0
categories are useless, who goes there anyway? a buyer, a designer, a contributor when looking/licensing a picture they know what they are going after so they type a few keywords, why going over categories and then over 5 million files ::)

« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 19:51 »
0
I'd like no inspectors once you prove reliable. No refunds. 80% payout to artists. No public record of sales information to stop the copycats.

« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 19:54 »
0
I'd like no inspectors once you prove reliable. No refunds. 80% payout to artists. No public record of sales information to stop the copycats.

why not 81%? I believe 50% is a fair deal, don't forget they are the ones getting us buyers....

« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 20:06 »
0
I'd like no inspectors once you prove reliable. No refunds. 80% payout to artists. No public record of sales information to stop the copycats.

why not 81%? I believe 50% is a fair deal, don't forget they are the ones getting us buyers....

Look, make it 82% and you've got a deal.

« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 20:09 »
0
I'd like no inspectors once you prove reliable. No refunds. 80% payout to artists. No public record of sales information to stop the copycats.

why not 81%? I believe 50% is a fair deal, don't forget they are the ones getting us buyers....

Look, make it 82% and you've got a deal.

whatever 82%, 81%, 80% or even 30% but with nice pricing and of course more buyers than just the owner ;D

« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 22:41 »
0
categories are useless, who goes there anyway? a buyer, a designer, a contributor when looking/licensing a picture they know what they are going after so they type a few keywords, why going over categories and then over 5 million files ::)

Categories are quite useful for search as well (in the sense of a controlled vocabulary).  Keywords on an image can be mapped into categories which in turn can be mapped back into search terms applied to that image - i.e. searches on synonyms, common misspellings, international aliases, etc. can better pull up an image that has been categorized.  Categories are more easily translated into other languages and category keywords can be updated and globally applied to categorized images in the search index.

With that being said, it is a time-consuming process to categorize images and disambiguate keywords, thus probably a bit too much to ask of a contributor to deal with directly.  However, internally managed categories can reduce the work burden on the contributor by allowing them to worry less about cramming every possible keyword variant into their metadata.

« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 12:19 »
0
categories are useless, who goes there anyway? a buyer, a designer, a contributor when looking/licensing a picture they know what they are going after so they type a few keywords, why going over categories and then over 5 million files ::)

Categories are quite useful for search as well (in the sense of a controlled vocabulary).  Keywords on an image can be mapped into categories which in turn can be mapped back into search terms applied to that image - i.e. searches on synonyms, common misspellings, international aliases, etc. can better pull up an image that has been categorized.  Categories are more easily translated into other languages and category keywords can be updated and globally applied to categorized images in the search index.

With that being said, it is a time-consuming process to categorize images and disambiguate keywords, thus probably a bit too much to ask of a contributor to deal with directly.  However, internally managed categories can reduce the work burden on the contributor by allowing them to worry less about cramming every possible keyword variant into their metadata.
Some very good points about categories, I had not thought about some of them.

It would seem to me that the value of categories depends somewhat on how good the list of categories are. On some sites I struggle to find a category into which I can put my image, and end up miscategorizing it, which has the effect of keyword spamming. FT probably has the worst list of categories.

« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 12:27 »
+1
Really?  In my opinion BS has the worst list of categories.  Or should I say the most incomplete list of categories.  I can't properly categorize 90% of what I submit there.  (Correction.... what I used to submit there.  Have held off until I decide if I'm staying).

« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 13:09 »
0
Really?  In my opinion BS has the worst list of categories.  Or should I say the most incomplete list of categories.  I can't properly categorize 90% of what I submit there.  (Correction.... what I used to submit there.  Have held off until I decide if I'm staying).
You're probably right. My images have been submitted automatically to BigStock via the Bridge for so long that I don't remember what their categories are like. I do recall that I dreaded submitting there.

« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2013, 13:42 »
+1
Really?  In my opinion BS has the worst list of categories.  Or should I say the most incomplete list of categories.  I can't properly categorize 90% of what I submit there.  (Correction.... what I used to submit there.  Have held off until I decide if I'm staying).
You're probably right. My images have been submitted automatically to BigStock via the Bridge for so long that I don't remember what their categories are like. I do recall that I dreaded submitting there.
I can't remember what the BS catagories are like either but the Fotolia ones are a PITA!!

« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2013, 13:50 »
+1
One thing that bugs me about little sites...  I like to pick the amount I cash out rather than requesting a payout and them taking my account to zero.  Some of the sites - like Veer for example - can take so long to reach that $100.  If I have $140 at the end of the month I would like the option to only take my minimum required $100 in case I want to cash out again next month.  Does that make sense?

« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2013, 20:24 »
0
categories are useless, who goes there anyway? a buyer, a designer, a contributor when looking/licensing a picture they know what they are going after so they type a few keywords, why going over categories and then over 5 million files ::)

Categories are quite useful for search as well (in the sense of a controlled vocabulary).  Keywords on an image can be mapped into categories which in turn can be mapped back into search terms applied to that image - i.e. searches on synonyms, common misspellings, international aliases, etc. can better pull up an image that has been categorized.  Categories are more easily translated into other languages and category keywords can be updated and globally applied to categorized images in the search index.

With that being said, it is a time-consuming process to categorize images and disambiguate keywords, thus probably a bit too much to ask of a contributor to deal with directly.  However, internally managed categories can reduce the work burden on the contributor by allowing them to worry less about cramming every possible keyword variant into their metadata.
For sure I agree with the categories. But I hardly believe, there can be written a fine-tuned algorithm that save the contributors from picking a category for every single image. To deal with category guessing failures I'm thinking about a sophisticated and easy batch editing tool...
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 20:44 by icefront »

« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2013, 20:30 »
0
If I have $140 at the end of the month I would like the option to only take my minimum required $100 in case I want to cash out again next month.  Does that make sense?
These payouts-at-end-of-the-month features are created for lazy managers. Also they keep the money for a long time. When the buyer purchases a subscription or credits, the money is transferred to the agency. Then, time passes, the licenses are purchased and the money slowly migrates to the contributors. I never understood why BigStock has the grace periods for payouts (=how this prevents fraud)...
I agree with the lower than $100 payout and also with the requested payout amount.

« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2013, 20:40 »
0
I'd like no inspectors once you prove reliable. No refunds. 80% payout to artists. No public record of sales information to stop the copycats.
I like very much the idea of no inspectors when somebody proves to provide high quality... I was thinking a lot, why agencies doesn't implement this time/money saving feature... Anyway, latest reviews can damage a contributor's acceptance ratio, causing a fallback to inspections. But I know, a lot of contributors do a very good retouching and corrections, also include highly relevant keyword, without (intentional) spamming.

While the public records help the buyers (somehow), it is true, it really inspires the copycats. Good point IMHO, I'm wondering, what can be the real drawback to hide the stats???

80% payout would be nice, but I think, in this case, the contributors may need to spend some money BACK for google adwords and magazine advertising. At least in the first several years... But as the picture shows, after the good times arrive, the shareholders appear...
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 20:43 by icefront »


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
16 Replies
6733 Views
Last post April 27, 2008, 19:39
by madelaide
8 Replies
2695 Views
Last post February 01, 2012, 18:37
by Micro1
11 Replies
7918 Views
Last post July 30, 2017, 22:22
by YadaYadaYada
0 Replies
1603 Views
Last post August 11, 2017, 10:33
by rmkrueger
33 Replies
11332 Views
Last post October 23, 2017, 12:51
by Chichikov

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle