MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: New Community Guy at StockXpert  (Read 7663 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: February 12, 2007, 14:35 »
0
Hello! As some of you know, I've been commenting here and there in a few threads, but I haven't formally introduced myself.

My name is Steve Kapsinow, and I'm the new community guy over at StockXpert (skapsinow). I was previously the editor of the graphics.com network. I've been a photog for a few years, and I shoot an old-school digital rebel (time to upgrade, I guess).

I just wanted to let you know that we do read these posts and are currently reviewing the image review process.

As a contributor who isn't involved in the review process (thank god  :)) and who has had his fair share of images rejected, I don't know too much more than that except what I can ascertain from experience submitting.

I thank you guys for your input and comments here. If you have any (other) comments, suggestions, or questions, feel free to post them here, pm me, or visit us in the StockXpert forums.

-Steve


« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2007, 14:44 »
0
Is there a timeline on when the review of the process will be complete?

Now that Jupiter (I believe) has full control over StockXpert, will there be a massive marketing campaign to bring more buyers to the site?

Are some of the ridiculous rejections going to be relaxed?

Last question, I promise:

Are there any other changes that you can tell us about in the upcoming months to StockXpert that will make it more profitable for contributors?

- Reason I ask is that I have stopped submitting a lot of my stuff that gets accepted elsewhere because I hate - HATE - the rejection reason - We are not accepting such images and it seems to be many of the images I upload.

I would like to contribute more to StockXpert however I don't want to waste too much time uploaded and not getting anywhere with it (as bandwidth becomes an issue when u upload 500MB worth of photos to 5 or 6 sites and you only have 60 GB for the month).

« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 15:16 »
0
Hi Steve,

You certainly read a lot of complaints about the rejections.  I had a very good concept of StockXpert's reviews, as many rejections in fact helped to improve the images.  However lately there has been a lot of "we're not looking for this", what is a bit disappointing, especially when we see the same image approved and selling in other sites. 

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2007, 15:18 »
0
Ichiro

> Timeline

I can't say for certain, but it is a priority and on going.

> Mass marketing/other changes?

Well, I can't get into to specifics, but I promise you Jupitermedia is very committed to StockXpert.

> We are not accepting such images and it seems to be many of the images I upload.

For now, your best bet will be to stick to the subjects stated in the upload rules (in that order):

"Business, computers, contemporary life scenes, isolated objects, portraits, seasonal images... We want a LOT of these! Keep 'em coming!"

I know I haven't been very specific, and I hope you can understand that, but I do hope I have reassured you somewhat in our committment to StockXpert.

Thanks!
-Steve

Is there a timeline on when the review of the process will be complete?

Now that Jupiter (I believe) has full control over StockXpert, will there be a massive marketing campaign to bring more buyers to the site?

Are some of the ridiculous rejections going to be relaxed?

Last question, I promise:

Are there any other changes that you can tell us about in the upcoming months to StockXpert that will make it more profitable for contributors?

- Reason I ask is that I have stopped submitting a lot of my stuff that gets accepted elsewhere because I hate - HATE - the rejection reason - We are not accepting such images and it seems to be many of the images I upload.

I would like to contribute more to StockXpert however I don't want to waste too much time uploaded and not getting anywhere with it (as bandwidth becomes an issue when u upload 500MB worth of photos to 5 or 6 sites and you only have 60 GB for the month).

« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2007, 15:40 »
0
Adelaide,

Thanks for your comments. I understand your point, and any changes made to the review process could include a wider range of topics, but I cannot guarantee that just because other sites accept a photo means we will.

Like I told Ichiro, your best best, for now, would be to stick to the subjects stated in the upload rules.

BTW, I have a question for the group here:

How do you decide what to photograph for the sites?

Thanks!
-Steve


Hi Steve,

You certainly read a lot of complaints about the rejections.  I had a very good concept of StockXpert's reviews, as many rejections in fact helped to improve the images.  However lately there has been a lot of "we're not looking for this", what is a bit disappointing, especially when we see the same image approved and selling in other sites. 

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007, 15:51 »
0
Thanks for your reply Steve

I'm not sure if I will upload just yet as those are not categories of which I do very often, but I am considering making it a priority to try and get some of those types of photos in my portfolio.  Hopefully that way I can submit some more photos that StockXpert will accept.


« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2007, 15:52 »
0
In my opinion, SS has the best inspection policy in the business.

They basically check that an image is "technically" excellent.  They don't try and second guess the customers needs with statements such as "This is not stock-worthy" or "We don't need this" or "We have too many of this".  As most of us have learned, it is next to impossible to predict what will sell and what won't.  And if you can tell the future, then please tell me who will win the NCAA Basketball Championship (so I can make some real money)!

If you have read any of the threads by designers, they basically state that they are always looking for new and different images, which means you can never have too many of anything.

And if you ask most of the artists (on this forum or almost any other stock forum), most of them will tell you that SS is their biggest seller.

So, if you want some good advice, change your inspection policy to accept anything that is "technically" excellent.  You'll be doing everyone a service.

« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2007, 16:08 »
0
Quote
"And if you can tell the future, then please tell me who will win the NCAA Basketball Championship (so I can make some real money)!"

I can tell you it ain't going to be UCONN. :(

Quote
change your inspection policy to accept anything that is "technically" excellent

suggestion noted!

Thanks,
Steve

« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2007, 16:23 »
0
How do you decide what to photograph for the sites?

Hmm, tough question.

I don't have a specific subject. I try a bit of everything.  Food, various objects, signs, holiday-oriented images. 

Sometimes I have an idea, then I do a search in the sites to see if that has already been exploited.  It often has.  :)

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2007, 16:45 »
0
So, are you really shooting these subjects with micro stock business in mind, or are you shooting things you like, and then seeing if you can make some cash by uploading them to the micro sites?

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2007, 17:00 »
0
Steve,

The images I submit to microstock sites were all (maybe nearly all) intended for this purpose.  It's been an interesting learning process, as my "pleasure" photography is in fact landscape, nature and architecture photography I do in my trips, which I submit basically to macrostock (I have submitted a few to StockXpert because I had some 1.2Mpix images from my older digital camera, which I shoot for my website, whereas my film SLR was my "serious" camera - gladly I have managed to sell some).

Regards,
Adelaide
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 17:01 by madelaide »

« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2007, 17:22 »
0
So, are you really shooting these subjects with micro stock business in mind, or are you shooting things you like, and then seeing if you can make some cash by uploading them to the micro sites?

Both  ;D

I think that the answer will all depend on who is doing the answering.  People that are into stock photography as a profession, will obviously be shooting things with stock in mind.  Amateurs will probably steer towards taking photos of things they like.  And then there will be a large amount of people that do both (such as myself).

« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2007, 18:06 »
0
Guys, I appreciate you taking time to respond to my queries, and I hope I provided adequate answers to your questions.

Like I said, Jupitermedia is very committed to StockXpert (heck, they brought me in for this purpose), so look forward to some (more) exciting changes in 2007. :)

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 19:57 »
0
Slightly off topic but a question from the man from StockXpert -  Steve Oh

Any chance of starting to accept eps files for vectors? As I do NOT have Adode illustrator as DT, SPM, SS + iS all accept eps files.


« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2007, 21:06 »
0
Steve... can't tell you how happy I am that StockXpert has a voice now. I was beginning to lose all hope and thought that StockXpert was slipping silently into a black hole.

So glad that StockXpert is communicating through you ( I got pretty bitchy there for a while when no one seemed at the helm - sorry) and I think you are doing a great job. Thats all we really wanted was know that someone was there and listening.

Glad that they have tightened up the quality (especially when I look at some of my early stuff - I am slowly deleting some of it as I learn more)

Is Peter still involved or has Jupiter absorbed the whole site? StockXpert always = Peter

I have a special fondness for StockXpert as they were the first paying site I applied to and I was with them right from the start. (bless their patience)

Anyway... Welcome and glad you are there.

« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2007, 03:49 »
0
Hi Steve and welcome to the forums. I for one have had no negative experiences with rejections at StockXpert and I am excited to hear about the partnership with JupiterImages.

For me, sales are pretty volatile and I have great days and really bad days. To me this shows a variation in the number of buyers that are coming to the site and I hope this will stabilise to give more stable sales.

I must say, sometimes the reviews are so quick they happen just after uploading! Not sure who you have chained to a computer there but do let them out once in a while!  :) Maybe when they get hungry they start rejecting stuff!

« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2007, 06:19 »
0
fintastique, I thought we did accept EPS files:

http://www.stockxpert.com/browse.phtml?f=view&id=657987

Is it that we only accept EPS files created in AI 8? (pardon my ignorance with vector software, I'll look into this when I get into work this morning.)

PenelopeB, thanks for the kind words! Peter is still part of StockXpert, and he's done a great job with everyone's awesome images, but he is one man, and with StockXpert growing at the rate that it is, the site needs/deserves more [wo]man power.

phildate, glad you are having a positive experience over at StockXpert. We'll look into the sales volitility. I'm pretty sure this is something that can be moderated.

Feed reviewers. Got it. Hmm ... maybe we should point a Webcam at them so we can watch them in their cages? :)

« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2007, 08:00 »
0
BTW, I have a question for the group here:

How do you decide what to photograph for the sites?

Thanks!
-Steve


Thanks for your question Steve.  As a designer that submits stock photos, I shoot a variety of subject matter with stock in mind for various types of purposes.  As it's been stated before, you can never have enough photos and photos should be reviewed for quality instead of guessing if its stock worthy. Us designers have a way of making things work if we see a use for a photograph!

« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2007, 08:10 »
0
ok. At work now ...

tdoes,

Thanks for your input. I can tell you that as editor of the graphics.com network, I saw (and continue to see) some amazing work done with a wide range of stock photos. So your point is well taken.

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2007, 15:17 »
0
Well Steve, based on your posts here and the clear intentions of StockXpert to develop positively I have made my first submissions and already have 20 shots on-line.

The upload procedure was painless and the acceptance/review time very speedy.

The shots have been viewed a total of 30 times already (after one day).  Let's see if StockXpert can make the sales.

Good luck with your new job.

« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2007, 16:33 »
0
Thanks, Hatman -- and good luck with images!

In case you don't know about it, there is also a news and promo feature on the browse index page, where you can post a little promotional item and link to your porfolio or a specific image in the gallery.

Hit the "new" button next to the "news and promo" text to add an item.

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2007, 19:39 »
0
Here's a practical question: on the upload page, there are category menus. The sub categories are black text on white background. Easy to read, although the text is a bit small. The headlines however. White text on light gray background? I can read it if I switch off all other light in the room, use a microscope and flush my brain of any other disturbances first, but it would be easier just to have a darker background, wouldn't it?

« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2007, 22:12 »
0
Quote
I switch off all other light in the room, use a microscope and flush my brain of any other disturbances first

Honestly, you're the first person to say something about this. I see what you are talking about though. A darker color (even a darker gray) may help that to stand out a bit more. I'll add it to the list.

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2007, 23:40 »
0
Steve, another feedback about the presentation:  the size of the fonts require the use of magnifying glasses...

Would it be possible to have an option to receive email confirmation once a picture is approved/rejected?

For the lightboxes, we need to be logged in in order to see them.  Are the lightboxes only related to the photographer's portfolio? How then can some potential buyers see them?

The "Thanks, but we are not looking for such image" should not be an option.  It is misleading because it can be interpreted two ways:

- a discrete alternative for "Please upload better quality images" - the quality of the picture is not high enough

- an assumption that by uploading such picture we don't have a clue for what is the stock photography market.  It would be better not to assume.  If SX only want a certain type of stock images, then be more specific about the rejection of such image...

Altogether, I find SX a good site, and I really appreciate the reach-out you are doing here Steve.

grp_photo

« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2007, 06:21 »
0
Dear Steve,
StockXpert can reject all my batches but do me a just a little favour: become the Nr.1 Microstocksite and kick iStockphoto out of business - Thanks in advance!
As SXC is already Number Two of all Stocksites then it comes to traffic it should really possible just join forces even more. I noticed you changed the banner at SXC from photos.com to stockxpert.com definately a step in the right direction.
A further improvement: if you searching for pictures at SXC that SXC don't have but StockXpert has you will see no results!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is problem please show the people that you have pictures that their looking for even if they have to pay a little bit.
At the moment you only see the premium results of StockXpert if SXC has pictures of the Search-word.


grp_photo

« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2007, 06:24 »
0
The pictures i contribute to Microstock are always shot with microstock in mind i never decide afterwards.

« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2007, 13:24 »
0
berryspun,

E-mail confirmation is a features others have requested. And a definite benefit.

Well, the lightbox is for buyers who want to keep track of specific images while the browser the site, so it's a feature mainly for the buyer. Did that answer your question?

{Puts on contributor hat} Yeah. I agree about some of the rejection notices, and I hope we can modify them at some point.

grp_photo, thanks! yes. We seem to offer a search results link for StockXpert if images do exist on SXC, but not if they don't exist on SXC. Great idea! I'll pass it on.

« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2007, 13:29 »
0
Well, lots of views going on at StockXpert for my first twenty images.  That shows traffic, which is good.

Now the traffic needs to be converted into sales.

Encouraging nonetheless, and a fast and easy web site.

« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2007, 13:49 »
0
Well, the lightbox is for buyers who want to keep track of specific images while the browser the site, so it's a feature mainly for the buyer. Did that answer your question?

Yes it does, thanks Steve.  I got confused because of the term use.   It is used at IS for photographers to present mini-galleries on a specific topic for potential buyers to see.  Now I understand that the lightboxes at SX are the equivalent of saved temporary baskets.  If the photographer is not a buyer, then there is no need to create any lightbox on SX, it wouldn't be seen by others, thus meaningless.

« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2007, 14:53 »
0
Correct. You can, however, send a lightbox to others.

-Steve

« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2007, 15:02 »
0
I would prefer to have this option available along with the personal portfolio, without having to send it to 'others'.  A check mark would be a good way to make it public if we wanted to.  Just a suggestion  :)

« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2007, 15:15 »
0
I would prefer to have this option available along with the personal portfolio, without having to send it to 'others'.  A check mark would be a good way to make it public if we wanted to.  Just a suggestion  :)

If public lightboxes are allowed, then I feel that a public lightbox should have a maximum % from one submitter.  For example, limit a lightbox to a maximum of 25% of the total images.  This way if there are 40 images in a lightbox, then only 10 can come from one source.

I personally don't like the implementation of public lightboxes at IS.  There are many lightboxes at IS that have dozens of images from a single submitter and then only 1 image from someone else.  That is basically just another way to pimp images.

Remember, lightboxes are for the buyer.  They should be a way for a buyer to see many different variations on a theme.  Not a dozen or so shots from the same photo session from one artist.

« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2007, 17:47 »
0
I see what you mean GeoPappas.  Public Lightboxes on IS are supposed to include varieties of styles on a same topic from different photographers.
Series, which exist on some sites, are a way for a photographer to show more shots from the same topic within their own portfolio.  Both have different but similar purposes.
The definition of Lightboxes, Series, and Galleries, and their purpose, are different on each site, hence my confusion.  SX lightboxes remain for private use.

« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2007, 17:59 »
0
Series, which exist on some sites, are a way for a photographer to show more shots from the same topic within their own portfolio.

I don't have a problem with allowing an artist to group their images into different "series" and then having a link allowed from their personal page or homepage.  This way if a buyer likes a specific image and wants to see more of what the artist has to offer, they can click on the artist's name and be brought to the artist's homepage, where there would be the option of different "series" that have been setup by the artist.

But as you said, this would be different from a lightbox.

« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2007, 07:03 »
0
Hello Steve,
I'm sure that Community Guy can be very useful. I'm  new in microstock world but not new in photograpy. Before uploading a lot of photographs, I try to analyse and understand how MS works. I'm never sure at 100% if an image will be accepted , but I think that I start to know very well what each site is looking for (IS, SS, DT, FT, LO, BS...). Every site but not StockXpert! It seems like you change yours standards every day. And it's not quality problem. I still don't know what kind of image you want. Your technical rejection reasons seem to be "random" reasons.
If your reviewers have to work very fast maybe it's better to have only 2 options : YES - NO. So we don't waste our time to understand what are you talking about. You don't like it - it's OK.  Maybe you can send us a newsletter with a list of categories that you are looking for. Be clear it's better for contributors and for StockXpert.
I hope that you understand my bad english.
Thank you.

« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2007, 09:33 »
0
Jacus,

thanks for this feedback. I think I've addressed some of the issues you raise in this thread. For now your best bet is to upload images in these categories:

"Business, computers, contemporary life scenes, isolated objects, portraits, seasonal images... We want a LOT of these! Keep 'em coming!"

Also, if you subscribe to the StockXpert monthly newsletter, we provide the current popular searches. Here's the list from the latest newsletter:

people, business, family, wedding, party, music, woman, love, vector, beach, flower, valentine, girl, house, dance, computer, baby, water, children, car, money, heart, background, flowers, office, meeting, icons, smile, food, doctor, fruit, women, design, shopping, globe, fashion, fitness, dog, grunge, massage, school, sky, tree, hands, puzzle, butterfly

Hope this helps!
-Steve

« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2007, 10:22 »
0
Also, if you subscribe to the StockXpert monthly newsletter, we provide the current popular searches.

The problem with popular searches is that it doesn't directly relate to purchases.  For example, popular searches will contain searches from other artists that are checking out the competition or to find out where there images fall in the search results.

It would be more useful if you could provide searches where images were purchased.  That would tell us exactly what people are buying.

« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2007, 10:36 »
0
Also, if you subscribe to the StockXpert monthly newsletter, we provide the current popular searches. Here's the list from the latest newsletter:

people, business, family, wedding, party, music, woman, love, vector, beach, flower, valentine, girl, house, dance, computer, baby, water, children, car, money, heart, background, flowers, office, meeting, icons, smile, food, doctor, fruit, women, design, shopping, globe, fashion, fitness, dog, grunge, massage, school, sky, tree, hands, puzzle, butterfly

I have got a couple of thousand flower shots so I might submit them all!!!  ;D ;D ;D

« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2007, 12:13 »
0
So you want to know what search terms are most likely being used to deliver the most downloaded images?

« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2007, 14:24 »
0
So you want to know what search terms are most likely being used to deliver the most downloaded images?

Basically, yes.  Here is my thought on how a transaction would work:

1. A buyer searches for "flag".  Receives too many images of flags from around the world.  This phrase would not be saved, since it didn't result in a purchase.

2. Buyer then searches for "flag american".  The buyer pages thru these searches and finally purchases one image.  This search phrase should be saved with one hit.  If more than one image is purchased, then it should receive a hit for each purchase.

Then each day, or week, you could create a report with the keyword searches that resulted in the most sales.  Something like the following:

"business hand shake" - 3000 hits
"business female headset phone" - 2500 hits
"pet dog" - 2000 hits

I know that this system isn't perfect, but I think that it can give some more info on what buyers are purchasing.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
1626 Views
Last post September 08, 2010, 16:33
by grp_photo
2 Replies
3209 Views
Last post September 26, 2011, 14:13
by Maui
8 Replies
1404 Views
Last post March 07, 2013, 05:35
by JPSDK
7 Replies
1109 Views
Last post May 01, 2013, 19:29
by Reef
24 Replies
4531 Views
Last post August 28, 2013, 18:41
by cascoly

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results