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Author Topic: Murdered Shutterstock Forum Refugee Thread  (Read 14069 times)

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Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #150 on: October 16, 2021, 22:08 »
0

 Stinkystock... oops, ThinkStock

Hey, Pete, that was clever. I don't remember seeing it back then, but my aging brain is increasingly fuzzy these days.

Somebody (don't recall who) also came up with Crapstock. Was that you too?

Way, waaaaay back in the early-pandemic days (ie spring 2020), we thought Shitterstock was clever. But you were so far ahead in the renaming game.

Crapstock was a name for my own junk images, never started out to be about anyone else or their efforts. Maybe sideways about what the agencies took sometimes.  ;) Kind of like, accepted fillers to make bigger numbers, but of no interest to buyers and probably would never sell. A game that I played sometimes, "I wonder if I can get this to pass?" Or, I can't believe I actually uploaded this image, but worse, it was accepted.

Getty bought up agencies, little ones, big ones, special ones, the obscure, the old dormant places, all kinds. Near the end they bought Stockxpert, and the whole thing was a mess. "StockXpert still acts as an archive for original contributors who did not remove their images or terminate their accounts.  Images are migrated over to Thinkstock from StockXpert and earnings are reported back at StockXpert." People could keep an account if they had one, but new people were directed to Thinkstock. You couldn't upload, but the agency still had contracts and sales reporting.

Eventually Stockxpert was retired and then Thinkstock was ported over to iStock, along with all those agencies that Getty bought and had slid into Thinkstock. One of the reasons for ESP and all our files getting new IDs, with changes in the data fields, was to make the iStock collection, match the fields of the Getty system. Then everything was merged into Getty servers.

A very long and convoluted journey to the current situation of 15%, no levels, for everyone except the exclusive. Meanwhile, Getty owns all that other content and makes 100% on their investments into owning their own massive collection, accumulated from buying agencies.

The idea and usefulness of a forum has become outdated.


« Reply #151 on: October 20, 2021, 09:59 »
+1
from their viewpoint there is no reason not to keep reducing payouts :(
Technically SS already have all photos they need. Why would they need a few more photos of sunset or sunrise? I bet they survive even they stop all news uploads.

I am a client an contrbutor, they lack photos from around the world. They haver a lot of the same content and many are just editorial nothing you can use in an ad or post. So if that is what they think then they have no clue as to why its going down hill.

« Reply #152 on: October 20, 2021, 10:59 »
+2
from their viewpoint there is no reason not to keep reducing payouts :(
Technically SS already have all photos they need. Why would they need a few more photos of sunset or sunrise? I bet they survive even they stop all news uploads.

I am a client an contrbutor, they lack photos from around the world. They haver a lot of the same content and many are just editorial nothing you can use in an ad or post. So if that is what they think then they have no clue as to why its going down hill.

I think that's a good point.
To my surprise, I sell a lot of pictures from my area, and significantly more than of well-known landmarks.
Our area is not world famous, but there is tourism here and obviously the demand for pictures is there.
To cover the demand for comparable places worldwide, you need a lot of amateur photographers - and they are especially discouraged by Shutterstock.

« Reply #153 on: October 20, 2021, 11:43 »
+3
To my surprise, I sell a lot of pictures from my area, and significantly more than of well-known landmarks.
Recently I went to Yellowstone National Park and there is already 106,098 photos from there on SS. What's the point for me to shoot, process, keyword and upload one more photo that no one would able to find.

« Reply #154 on: October 20, 2021, 13:33 »
0
Recently I went to Yellowstone National Park and there is already 106,098 photos from there on SS. What's the point for me to shoot, process, keyword and upload one more photo that no one would able to find.

Well, you never know what will sell. I myself have 1-2 pictures of Antelope canyon and Arches NP, which I sell from time to time. And Route 66 topics - although quite worn out - run actually pretty good. So if I were already there, I would try my luck with Yellowstone Park. For me, that would be more adventure, as the German Lower Rhine area  ;)

« Reply #155 on: October 20, 2021, 15:08 »
0
I thought I had a nice shot of Grad Predjama Castle ( http://www.tuin-thijs.com/images/vakantie_slovenia/predjama-castle-2-20-9-2019.jpg ) until I looked on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/nl/search/Grad+Predjama . Then I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 15:36 by thijsdegraaf »


« Reply #157 on: October 20, 2021, 15:44 »
0
I thought I had a nice shot of Grad Predjama Castle ( http://www.tuin-thijs.com/images/vakantie_slovenia/predjama-castle-2-20-9-2019.jpg ) until I looked on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/nl/search/Grad+Predjama . Then I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.


Thijs, your picture is perfectly ok. I wouldn't be intimidated by the competition and submit the image - maybe boost the contrast and colors a bit. And stop thinking  ;) And sunsets also do not sell badly with me.

https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/view-on-spectacular-tropical-sunset-vibrant-1842845938

https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/burning-sky-sea-during-sunset-vibrant-1469193266
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 15:56 by RalfLiebhold »

« Reply #158 on: October 20, 2021, 16:31 »
0
I thought I had a nice shot of Grad Predjama Castle ( http://www.tuin-thijs.com/images/vakantie_slovenia/predjama-castle-2-20-9-2019.jpg ) until I looked on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/nl/search/Grad+Predjama . Then I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.


Thijs, your picture is perfectly ok. I wouldn't be intimidated by the competition and submit the image - maybe boost the contrast and colors a bit. And stop thinking  ;) And sunsets also do not sell badly with me.

https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/view-on-spectacular-tropical-sunset-vibrant-1842845938

https://www.shutterstock.com/de/image-photo/burning-sky-sea-during-sunset-vibrant-1469193266


They are very beautiful sunsets Ralf. Maybe I'll add the castle, although I'm still not expecting too much from it.  ;)

« Reply #159 on: October 20, 2021, 16:37 »
0
I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.
Keep in mind that you could win the competitors with the correct keywords.

« Reply #160 on: October 21, 2021, 02:04 »
0
I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.
Keep in mind that you could win the competitors with the correct keywords.

I know. Doug Jensen used to say that on the Shutterstock forum. :-)
I'm trying my best.

« Reply #161 on: October 21, 2021, 03:02 »
+3
I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.
Keep in mind that you could win the competitors with the correct keywords.

I don't think the lottery has much to do with the correct keywords - but with luck. Most people tend to use rather too many irrelevant keywords than not enough relevant ones. And, with for example a sunset photo - what would be the "correct" keywords there? What would a customer search for besides "sunset" ? He would possibly narrow it down to "sunset at beach", "sunset at forest", etc... but other than that? I think 95% will just enter "sunset" and go for one of the frst search results.
Now, I think the main factor is really luck - you need to upload an image just at the right time and be lucky that one or preferable more customers are looking for it at the right time and look at the "new" tab before your image gets burried among thousands of newer images with the same keyword. Then it rises to the top of the serach results and newer photos get an additional boost on SS - Some get mixed in with the "most relevant" search for a short amount of time (not sure it's at random, or has something to do with downloads or views as well. Could not figure that one out)
It's not the "right" keywords that get you to the top (or, better said, not "the right keywors alone". Of course, of your image is missing the most obvious keywords, like you only wrote "sun going down" instead of "sunset", you will not raise to the top for the "sunset" keyword), but mostly luck.

I can try to illustrate this with an example of mine: I do many dog costume photos and am doing quite well with them. Last year I wanted to do some photos with my dogs before Christmas in two specific costumes, but it wasn't snowing and didn't really look very Christmasy outsides. So I did these photos somewhere on our walk on the field with some shrubbery in the background. Strangely that image made it to the top of the serach results for "Christmas dog" and is doing really well for me. Later I had the chance to recreate the photo under better circumstances. I actually got to photography my dogs with the same costumes once in snow and once in a Cristmas studio setting. Both are much "better" photos in the sense that they fit the Christmas theme much better than two dogs in front of some green shrubbery. (Technical quality wise they should all be about the same) I used the exact same keywords for these photos, just copying them over. I probably added "snow" to the one and "studio" to the other, but no keywords were removed. If the sucess of the photos depended on the keywords alone, these images should have been found and bought by the customers just as well, or actually better, yet they never did. They might have had 2-3 sales maybe, while the first one literally has hundreds of sales. It was just luck with timing that lead the first photo to be successfull.
It's actually one of the things I find so extremely frustrating about microstock - Luck is too big of a factor, so you can spend lots of time, effort and even money creating a really great photo, but a much worse one (and usually not yours), will get all the downloads because of sheer luck.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 03:15 by Firn »

« Reply #162 on: October 21, 2021, 03:49 »
0
I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.
Keep in mind that you could win the competitors with the correct keywords.

I don't think the lottery has much to do with the correct keywords - but with luck. Most people tend to use rather too many irrelevant keywords than not enough relevant ones. And, with for example a sunset photo - what would be the "correct" keywords there? What would a customer search for besides "sunset" ? He would possibly narrow it down to "sunset at beach", "sunset at forest", etc... but other than that? I think 95% will just enter "sunset" and go for one of the frst search results.
Now, I think the main factor is really luck - you need to upload an image just at the right time and be lucky that one or preferable more customers are looking for it at the right time and look at the "new" tab before your image gets burried among thousands of newer images with the same keyword. Then it rises to the top of the serach results and newer photos get an additional boost on SS - Some get mixed in with the "most relevant" search for a short amount of time (not sure it's at random, or has something to do with downloads or views as well. Could not figure that one out)
It's not the "right" keywords that get you to the top (or, better said, not "the right keywors alone". Of course, of your image is missing the most obvious keywords, like you only wrote "sun going down" instead of "sunset", you will not raise to the top for the "sunset" keyword), but mostly luck.

I can try to illustrate this with an example of mine: I do many dog costume photos and am doing quite well with them. Last year I wanted to do some photos with my dogs before Christmas in two specific costumes, but it wasn't snowing and didn't really look very Christmasy outsides. So I did these photos somewhere on our walk on the field with some shrubbery in the background. Strangely that image made it to the top of the serach results for "Christmas dog" and is doing really well for me. Later I had the chance to recreate the photo under better circumstances. I actually got to photography my dogs with the same costumes once in snow and once in a Cristmas studio setting. Both are much "better" photos in the sense that they fit the Christmas theme much better than two dogs in front of some green shrubbery. (Technical quality wise they should all be about the same) I used the exact same keywords for these photos, just copying them over. I probably added "snow" to the one and "studio" to the other, but no keywords were removed. If the sucess of the photos depended on the keywords alone, these images should have been found and bought by the customers just as well, or actually better, yet they never did. They might have had 2-3 sales maybe, while the first one literally has hundreds of sales. It was just luck with timing that lead the first photo to be successfull.
It's actually one of the things I find so extremely frustrating about microstock - Luck is too big of a factor, so you can spend lots of time, effort and even money creating a really great photo, but a much worse one (and usually not yours), will get all the downloads because of sheer luck.

You're quite right Firn. On the other hand, there are many examples with too few or wrong words. Some insect photos have a lot of wrong names. Or no scientific name at all. When I photograph a seagull, tree, I find out what species it is. I also look for the name of windmills. A customer might just be looking for that windmill.
But you are right, I think very often it is luck if you are at the top with your photo.
Do you remember the thread on the Shutterstock forum, that we were talking about a man who was at the top with almost all of his photos? Which was impossible. I didn't hear anything about it after that.

« Reply #163 on: October 21, 2021, 04:08 »
+1

You're quite right Firn. On the other hand, there are many examples with too few or wrong words. Some insect photos have a lot of wrong names. Or no scientific name at all. When I photograph a seagull, tree, I find out what species it is. I also look for the name of windmills. A customer might just be looking for that windmill.
But you are right, I think very often it is luck if you are at the top with your photo.
Do you remember the thread on the Shutterstock forum, that we were talking about a man who was at the top with almost all of his photos? Which was impossible. I didn't hear anything about it after that.

Yes, of course, there are many topics were specific keywords are very important, mostly with animals, including insects, but also with plants and flowers, same as with places. Of course these things must be described accurately.
But there are also a lot of cases where it will not really matter much wether you have 10 or 50 keywords, as long as you have the most relevant and obvious ones. For the photo of mine I was talking about SS shows me the following as keywords that were used the most to find it: christmas, dog, pet, holiday, funny, clothes. Of course I have many other keywords that describe the picture accurately, but no customer really cares that the dogs are "fawn colored" or "small", etc. As you can see from this example, in fact, people didn't even care about the breed. There are certainly images where the breed of a dog is very important, for example when you want to show health issues that are assoicated with a breed, or a customer might need a photo of a certain breed to illustrate an article about an incident with a certain dog, but in the case of Christmas dog costumes, the breed isn't very important. You should still add it of course, but it's not going to be the keyword that makes the image successfull.

Yes, I remember the thread. There was also one about it here, but people weren't really any wiser about it. Oleg is still at the top for all keywords with his photos, so nothing changed about that. It's abslutely obvious to me that something isn't right about it, there is some kind of cheating involved that goes far beyond just using some clever keywords, but Shutterstock doesn't care, so fretting about it won't get us anywhere.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 04:20 by Firn »

« Reply #164 on: October 21, 2021, 08:21 »
+2
"What can I do if my first submission did not get approved?

Tips for understanding rejection reasons and helpful links for new contributors"

Still showing "While you are preparing your next submission you still have full access to all the tools available in your contributor account and resources such as our Contributor Forum"

https://support.submit.shutterstock.com/s/article/What-can-I-do-if-my-first-submission-did-not-get-approved?language=en_US

How moronic can't even sort their own website out ;D ::)

« Reply #165 on: October 21, 2021, 09:20 »
+1
"What can I do if my first submission did not get approved?

Tips for understanding rejection reasons and helpful links for new contributors"

Still showing "While you are preparing your next submission you still have full access to all the tools available in your contributor account and resources such as our Contributor Forum"

https://support.submit.shutterstock.com/s/article/What-can-I-do-if-my-first-submission-did-not-get-approved?language=en_US

How moronic can't even sort their own website out ;D ::)

Yep.  I find it hard to figure out with SS, whether these sorts of mistakes stem from the fact that they just don't care, or incompetence.
Maybe it's a combination of the two.

OM

« Reply #166 on: October 22, 2021, 09:10 »
+1
I left it as a holiday photo on my website and did not put it on Shuttestock.
Now it is of course much worse at sunsets photos.
Keep in mind that you could win the competitors with the correct keywords.

I don't think the lottery has much to do with the correct keywords - but with luck. It was just luck with timing that lead the first photo to be successfull...........

It's actually one of the things I find so extremely frustrating about microstock - Luck is too big of a factor, so you can spend lots of time, effort and even money creating a really great photo, but a much worse one (and usually not yours), will get all the downloads because of sheer luck.

Agree absolutely.
And the thing about 'luck' is that in the past your image stayed on the first page of 'new' for a few days thereby enhancing the 'luck' of finding a buyer who was looking for something they couldn't find in or didn't want to use from 'popular'.
When SS opened the floodgates to contributors by only requiring one good image instead of 7 out of 10, your images in 'new' stayed on page one for a couple of hours instead of days as contributor numbers multiplied by a factor of 20X or 30X and submitted images multiplied by similar factors. In the past your image had a chance if it was good enough to get noticed and bought but now it's more like winning the lottery or being struck by lightning!
The only improvement in that 'luck' can come from a potential buyer seeing 'similar images from same contributor' but first you have to have a successful image that they click on to view and even when you have similar images in your port but submitted later, there's no guarantee that the SS algorithm will show those newer images (that's my experience at least).


« Reply #167 on: October 23, 2021, 12:01 »
+3
With the level system its actually in SS's interest to deprioritise the popular images of higher ranked contributors as they get less profit per sale...

« Reply #168 on: October 23, 2021, 13:21 »
0
With the level system its actually in SS's interest to deprioritise the popular images of higher ranked contributors as they get less profit per sale...

'twould be a poor strategy --  they'll make more from 2 sales of a lvl 5 than 1 of a lvl 1 --  no reason to believe lower lvls will outsell higher
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 13:30 by cascoly »

« Reply #169 on: October 23, 2021, 18:37 »
0
With 2 images matching all the required search/metadata SS make a lot more profit if the level 1 image is bought vs the level 5.
Simple tweaks like ranking, display order and so on can easily lead the lower images into a position where they're more likely to be bought.
Especially as there may not always be a quality difference.

« Reply #170 on: October 23, 2021, 19:00 »
0
With 2 images matching all the required search/metadata SS make a lot more profit if the level 1 image is bought vs the level 5.


big assumption!

« Reply #171 on: October 24, 2021, 01:06 »
+4
With 2 images matching all the required search/metadata SS make a lot more profit if the level 1 image is bought vs the level 5.
Simple tweaks like ranking, display order and so on can easily lead the lower images into a position where they're more likely to be bought.
Especially as there may not always be a quality difference.

This theory can easily be debunked, because we all start out at level 1 in January. If SS tweaked the search algorithm to sell more images from level 1 contributors, everyone would continously sell less and less images when rising in level-
I had noticable more sales last month at level 5 than I had in January.

(Also, the difference in earnings between level 1 and level 5 is highly overrated. Most of my sales are 0.10-0.15$ sales. You get 0.10$ sales at level 1 just as you get them at level 5 and the 0.11, 0.12, 0.13$ etc. sales  make only a difference of a 1-3cents maybe. It's not really noticable. My income definitly did not go up in proportion with higher level and higher sale numbers. )

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #172 on: October 24, 2021, 19:35 »
+4

Do you remember the thread on the Shutterstock forum, that we were talking about a man who was at the top with almost all of his photos? Which was impossible. I didn't hear anything about it after that.

Yes and I think one of the reasonable answers was he worked on SEO and links and views. That means many posts on social media. There were other people who had high rank that also manipulated the system the same way. But I think the discussion also came down to, so what? His images aren't as good as many others on page one, so he's still not getting sales.

Contrary to one or two people who keep claiming and repeating, reasons why they think SS manipulates the image ranks, the simple answer is, SS has no reason to do that. Kind of like a casino that has all honest games, because they make a percentage of profit on everything, they don't care who wins or loses, as individuals, they only care about the overall profit.

I'll point out that SS makes less money on the level 1 sales, because the commission rate does not pay us 10c a download, so they have to make up that difference. That's a loss, no matter how you try to twist the numbers. Higher levels, artists make the actual rate.

Also it would be counter productive for any agency to force lower quality images to the front, and possibly lose a sale. Does any agency want to hide their best images from buyers? Sounds illogical.

« Reply #173 on: October 25, 2021, 00:45 »
+3
But I think the discussion also came down to, so what? His images aren't as good as many others on page one, so he's still not getting sales.


See, that's what I absolutely don't believe. Yes, he most likely is not getting anywhere near as many sales as the other images on the top of the search results, because there is such a big quality difference between his images and the others. But he will still get more sales than he would if his images were on page 5657. I've seen images of poor quality getting way more sales just because they rank high  compared to much better images that don't rank anywhere close to the first page just with my port alone. It happens and quite often. Some customers just don't care much about quality, just want "some" image that somehow fits the topic without having to search.
And even if he is getting much less sales compared to the other higher quality images in the top serach results, considering that he managed this with every singel one of his photos and even with the most essential keywords like "beach, dog, man", etc. I think that the sales accumulate to quite a high amount of sales.

Also - regardless of whether he is having sales or not - he is taking away multiple spots on the top search results from other contributors. Spots someone else of us could have, so sales we could have, but don't get. Instead the sales go to (either him or) any other of the images on the first page of the search results. My image could rank 105 because he is unrightfully  taking up space on the first page and most customers will not look past page 1 (just like no one ever looks past page 1 of google search results, unless you absolutely can't find what you are looking for on page 1 - but what's the chance someone looking for a random beach image won't find that on page 1?). So everyone of us could be missing out on sales because of him, so yes, of course it is bothering me.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2021, 02:24 by Firn »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #174 on: October 25, 2021, 11:26 »
+3
I'm not as worried about other peoples placement or their business.

I don't know that he's "taking away" anything from any of us. If a buyer is that stupid that they will buy what's on the top of page one, and never look at page two, well they are missing their own best interests by being that shallow and in a hurry. But to sit around and complain and worry, doesn't accomplish, change or solve anything. Assuming that buyers are stupid is an insult to their values and needs.

If you haven't watched the search webcast from Adobe, which covered some of the buyers habits, please do that. I don't have my notes handy but I remember something about, top of page two gets better downloads, than bottom of page one. How many pages deep the average buyer goes, would be of interest, if I wanted to know. But simply put, we can't control image rank. Not only that, a good search from a buyer is not one or two words, but should include specifics that we have in our images, which means we have a better match.

Putting the word pumpkin, as in the more words are better myth, won't make a sale if the image is of a watermelon. More appropriate and good related words, will help, but not just the number of words.

If someone believes that rank and 50 keywords is what primarily sells their work, I think they are under estimating their own worth and effort. Good images, that illustrate what a buyer wants and needs is what sells licenses. Not tricks or gaming the system.

Read about Long tail keywords, or specific keyword phrases longer in length. Theyre more descriptive and provide more clear ideas than single keywords. You will not have as many matches, but when someone uses a specific phrase search, your images will be ranked higher.


 

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