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What is a Symbiostock Webmaster?

Pirate (Non-legit, scammy, rough-and-rugged)
0 (0%)
Explorer (Ingenuitive, profit-finding, risk taking)
22 (88%)
Voyager (Sight-seeing, no profit, just fun)
3 (12%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: Welcome to the Internet's Pirate Infested Waters. Here's Your Ship.  (Read 2340 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Leo Blanchette

« on: August 05, 2013, 14:43 »
See attached Poll

Symbiostock is a stock-photo site you deploy yourself, which is rigged to make you money without a huge financial investment. It performs processes that are quite complex, many of them a science in themselves when it comes to web/server technology.

Its time to really help people understand what Symbiostock is, and what it is not. What one should be concerned about, and what one should not. Are we Voyagers? Explorers? Pirates? Its time to answer the questions.

ALL voices are welcome in this thread, even the ones that think Symbiostock is a horrible idea. You may ask questions, give answers.

"Is Symbiostock as Scam?"

All within 1 day (a little over a month ago now), Symbiostock got barraged with critics/trolls. Which is fine, but criticism runs both ways.

If we must ask "Is Symbiostock as scam"? then we must also ask how we define a scam, and if in fact we are presently not being scammed by "legit" image selling operations? Please, discuss. What is really needed for your site to be "legit". Personally, I thought we were there. Lets cross a few "t"s and dot a few "i"s since things have advanced this far.

"How important is Metadata? And who's responsability is it?"

Meta data seems to get a lot of discussion, especially when something does not work as expected.

Symbiostock's unique in that YOUR SITE actually handles Image Metadata. Don't underestimate the value (and WORK) that goes into that. Yet in some cases, we see a few problems:

"OMG my metadata is not being written!" Its a confirmed fact that Symbiostock handle's meta data properly in the right environment.

Personally I feel metadata is extremely important for promotional purposes. But it will not stop theft. Besides that, once your image passes through an image editing program (especially when it becomes an element to another picture) image meta data is LOST.

I feel the meta data is best applied in the watermarked preview, as Symbiostock performs the highly unique and beneficial service of placing the image's product page link RIGHT into the metadata.

"Should Customers have to register with my site to get their images?"

Personally I think the highly structured paypal / register system we have presently helps keep the pirates out. Yes, the pirates. Of course this was not my intention - I simply built in registration so that the download could be connected with the buyer. Conversely customers are practically giving you a license to spam them when they provide an email address...

Still, it appears we have to schools of thought on this subject. I hope to build in the "cookie cart" soon, but please understand with every big change comes a big adjustment, and few inconveniences as we find bugs.

Unlearning "Agencies" and and learning "Symbiostock"

"We're sorry...we did not find this suitable as stock..."

Istockphoto was the first and biggest of its kind. It can't be denied that the simple line above taught the majority of us the professional discipline that got us this far.

I find that -- even as someone has called Symbiostock a "cult" -- people still think in the microstock / agency perspective, which harbors much dependence and stifles our creativity into a specific trendy mold. Both in images, and in approach.

I personally wish that people would unlearn their fears. To date nobody has ever said "SOMEONE HACKED MY SITE! or MY IMAGES ARE BEING DOWNLOADED FOR FREE!!!" whereas the most secure and trusted places have already breached this area of your trust willfully.

Symbiostock does not in any way encourage your dependence on developers, community, agency "standards" and methods, or anything at all. Believe it or not, the network is nothing more than a sophisticated SEO strategy, along a browsing engine for customers. Technically your not expected to be a community. It just happens to go that way!

Agency "technology" is freely in your hands now. But with it, the responsability. Scammers do exist and I'm still waiting for the first "Paypal fraud" report thread.

Treasure Hunters or Pirates?

Symbiostock users are growing into a very skilled lot of people. If the starting people have defined where this thing is going, then there is a VERY good future for this thing. From developers to users, I am seeing awesome potential and motivation.

But at this point, please ask yourself: Have you really taken to the ocean yet, or are you still sitting scared at the docks? Yes, things will always go wrong. But still, the big fish are out there, sunken treasure, wonders and marvels never beheld in the imaging business as its existed up until now.

Yesterday I was using Google Earth and I was absolutely inspired. I'm an illustrator, but I think photographers have not even scratched the surface of the opportunities waiting for them, and what the right technology, focused in the right way, can do for them on the internet.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 14:47 by Leo »

« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 19:33 »
I actually think microstock is a scam, if I may say so on this forum.  8)

« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 15:59 »
Leo, I really like those big posts you write from time to time. Actually I don't feel like passionately discussing metadata or registration process (perhaps I overlook something, but I don't prioritize these issues at the moment).
What I really enjoyed was the idea of unlearning agencies, getting rid of the question whether something will be considered as "suitable as stock" by an inspector or not. Of course not because I want to produce technically lousy photos in future but because I would like to get back some of the creativity you are tending to loose when producing for agencies.
Staying with your metaphor: I'm neither in the middle of the ocean yet nor sitting scared at the docks. At the moment I'm sitting in the wheel house of my ship ... sometimes I go down to the machine room tuning the engine a bit or I go on deck adding some color. But then you see me back in the wheel house, my feet on the dashboard, thinking about where my first journey should take me ... I won't sit her too long, but right now I enjoy the sunrise  :)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 00:33 by jsfoto »

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 20:49 »
Awesome! I dunno - I live in an island where discovery is a huge deal for people...sometimes I get stuck on nature and exploration metaphores  :D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 13:36 by Leo »


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