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Author Topic: Someone wrote a *great* article about Symbiostock  (Read 3150 times)

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Leo Blanchette

« on: May 08, 2013, 15:28 »
+2
http://blog.melchersystem.com/2013/05/08/crowd-managed-photo-agency/

I especially like the mushroom colony reference.


« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 16:13 »
0
very nice!

and its not someone, its actually a very famous person ;)

« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 16:53 »
0
http://blog.melchersystem.com/2013/05/08/crowd-managed-photo-agency/

I especially like the mushroom colony reference.


Great. Share it with my facebook timeline.

« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 10:35 »
0
.............  and it has obviously scared someone as they have posted a reply saying it won't work !  Little do they know.

Someone from the Alamy forum picked it up and posted there so I have responded to  some of their remarks and said they are welcome to come and visit us here.

Ron

« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 12:49 »
0
Wrote something about Symbiostock here including a small interview with Leo


http://semmickphoto.com/2013/06/10/symbiostock-fair-trade-image-licenses/

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 13:27 »
0
Thanks for the update guys. Its worth mentioning in that forum (I don't have access) that modern marketing is not all its cracked up to be, kind of like airport security. Gives us a nice cozy little feeling...but in reality...

Ok, DO NOT say that. :D But its perfectly self-prolific :D

« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 14:03 »
0
Just realised that the response I alluded to was not in the original post but this one http://rising.blackstar.com/a-photo-agency-managed-by-the-crowd.html#more-17873


« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 14:16 »
0
Just realised that the response I alluded to was not in the original post but this one http://rising.blackstar.com/a-photo-agency-managed-by-the-crowd.html#more-17873


That's a lot of fancy words for what boils down to an advertisement for another product.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 16:15 »
0
Just realised that the response I alluded to was not in the original post but this one http://rising.blackstar.com/a-photo-agency-managed-by-the-crowd.html#more-17873


I took some time to read it. I'm sure it took much more time to write it...

His words:

Quote
The size and scope of image inventoryor a presumed lack thereof by Symbiostockis not the solution. It is the problem. Symbiostock will fail.Here's why.
...


Symbiostock won't fail very easily, because every site floats on its own. So if for instance one person with high quality content and a popular site does well, then Symbiostock works for them. So Symbiostock succeeds...for that site. Its not even a big brag - Symbiostock has very little dependency (from individuals to collective users) so how many things can it trip on? Its open source...you can't just kill it or force people to take it down.

He's also pointing out weaknesses (like inventory) that can and most likely will be solved with time and development, especially as more people like AJT, Cascoly, Amanda, plrang (I mention people directly involved with code) get involved.

AJT for instance took one of Symbiostock's weaknesses (load time due to network) and made it practically perfect.

Nutshell - he probably doesn't understand the system he's criticizing yet...no big deal. This business has been very discouraging for professionals in the last few years.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 16:18 by Leo »

Ron

« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 16:20 »
+1
I agree, its people commenting on something they havent seen or tried. I was critical in the beginning as well, then tried it and turned 180 degrees.

As Leo says, if it works for one person, then its working. For me its working, even if I dont get a sale, all I ever wanted was a website to at least showcase my images and offer the option to buy. I have that now. I am over the moon. I am so happy with my site. All I ever wanted, and didnt have to pay for any subscription package or cough up 300 euros for a software package.

farbled

« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2013, 17:04 »
0
As Leo says, if it works for one person, then its working. For me its working, even if I dont get a sale, all I ever wanted was a website to at least showcase my images and offer the option to buy.

That's it in a nutshell for me as well. I already have the site and the pictures, and I love playing with technology. So it's a win win for me. That said, I do hope it takes off and starts selling. I'd love to see this become a viable alternative to low commission sales through agencies.

« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 22:09 »
0
Still trying to figure out what Tom was talking about... I asked for a more details in the replies.

Symbiostock needs exposure, so hopefully this will help.

A good flame war on a major site would be cool ( for exposure)    :o   :o

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 22:11 »
0
I had given a positive objective reply but it appears either its still in que or maybe it was deleted...dunno.

« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 04:37 »
0
What I understand is that Tom is generally talking about oversupply and dilution of images buyers want with masses of irrelevant images (produced by amateurs as if pros create relevant images only  ;D). He has a point. Symbiostock won't solve this issue, which is a general issue of the image market. However, so far all micro/midi/macro/boutique agencies are struggling providing just relevant content (and nothing else) to buyers. There's no easy solution. It's kind of far-fetched to construe Symbiostock's failure on these grounds. Because Symbiostock is a novel approach it will provide different results to a particular image search and thus might evolve into the answer to the problem Tom is talking about at least for a part of the image buyers. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I agree, a bit of controversy adds buzz. And that's good  ;D   

Edited: And Tom advertises his own answer, of course.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 04:48 by Pilens »

Ron

« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 05:53 »
0
I had given a positive objective reply but it appears either its still in que or maybe it was deleted...dunno.
I replied as well, its gone too.

« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2013, 06:05 »
0
He seems to post about once a week, maybe that is how often he visits the site?

RacePhoto

« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2013, 09:10 »
0
Went and looked at your Symbiostock site. Nice work and you got it up and running pretty fast. I don't have expectations that I'll do that well, but with people leading the way and sorting out How To and issues, maybe in November I'll be ready to take a fling at it.

Without pointing fingers at anyone else, the observations that someone could flood their site with "Crapstock" is true, but for anyone who wants to have buyers come back and wants to make a run at it, they will need to be self editing and possibly get outside opinions. Otherwise, a buyer comes and looks and say, "this is junk" and will never come back.

Symbiostock is based on self control, in many ways. Control of profits, the site, who's connected and largest of all, what materials are available to the public. If self control and self moderation doesn't work, the buyers will quickly march off somewhere else, and the personal site will fail. I'm reminding myself of this, before I put anything up or have any image offered for license.

My idea is take a swing at a particular niche, not try to be a store trying to be everything and no direction. I'm looking at creating an identity for the materials and loosely follow that theme. Maybe isolated, sliced tomatoes? (just kidding, but that's the idea...) When a buyer thinks sliced vegetables I want them to remember Crapstock is the place to go first!  :D

Anyway, nice website Ron, good design and integration.



I agree, its people commenting on something they havent seen or tried. I was critical in the beginning as well, then tried it and turned 180 degrees.

As Leo says, if it works for one person, then its working. For me its working, even if I dont get a sale, all I ever wanted was a website to at least showcase my images and offer the option to buy. I have that now. I am over the moon. I am so happy with my site. All I ever wanted, and didnt have to pay for any subscription package or cough up 300 euros for a software package.

« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2013, 09:32 »
0
I had given a positive objective reply but it appears either its still in que or maybe it was deleted...dunno.

I gave one to. It went from pending to gone, so I think it may have been deleted. I thought it was pretty tame.

« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2013, 09:34 »
0
Otherwise, a buyer comes and looks and say, "this is junk" and will never come back.


The problem is, how do you define "junk"

I have seen images in galleries that I thought "junk" that sold for more than my life's income.

We ( people on this site) have been trained to produce "stock style" images, because that is what the Micro-stores sell.

Is that what all buyers want? I don't know. Maybe Symbiostock buyers will be people looking for images and image styles that the Micro Stores reject.

I think the idea of setting up a niche site will have more traction in the Network.... but this is what I think, and until we have a year or two to work with this beast we won't know. A site just of cut veggies on white may be worth doing.... ;)

RacePhoto

« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2013, 10:02 »
0
I don't define "junk" or "art", the buyers and the market does. I don't often critique others images, because they are doing something I'm not. I don't understand models with feathers in their hair waving a scarf in the wind. They probably don't shoot smoke and flames coming out of an exhaust pipe.  ;)

What I was getting at was if someone floods their site with repetitive, substandard, or low interesting materials, the buyers will vote with their mouse, by clicking and never coming back. A good site will get remembered and bookmarked. Self moderation is the best moderation.

So while someone might want Multi-Gender, Multi-Cultural, Business Handshake, I'm never going to shoot it. It could be very interesting to an advertiser. My idea is every site needs to have a direction and identity of it's own and can't be everything for everyone. We have Shutterstock, Alamy and others to do that.

If a buyer comes and sees 300 shots of my visit to the botanical gardens, poorly edited for content, they will flee. My idea which has been the same since I started in micro, is Less Is More. Less keywords but carefully chosen for accuracy and matching the content. Don't add irrelevant keywords that just tend to piss off buyers. Spam your own site and you just sent a customer away.

Less agencies, but pick the ones with the greatest returns (for what I shoot) and edit what I upload to the best images, not a flood of redundant variations, inch by inch. And if and when I get the time for Symbiostock, I'll follow the same plan.

The site will be an attempt to display a limited number of types of images, not a morass of disconnected helter skelter shots. Limited doesn't me exclusionary, it just means selective. If I happen to have a good shot of a turtle and no other animal photos, I'll put it in. But I won't add the dozen other turtle shots "just in case" someone wants a different angle.

Junk is like a messy store, poorly maintained displays, dusty merchandise, no order or logic to the sections. Someone who puts everything and anything up on their personal image site, will find, limited success and few return visitors. Identity, organization and a direction can be a big positive.

Back to the start. Self-Moderation. I won't tell anyone else what they should or shouldn't market, only myself. That's the hardest part for some people. Keeping their inner enthusiasm in line with reality. Try to put oneself in the buyers shoes and what would you want?

Or maybe = One man's junk is another man's fortune? Ask a scrap dealer. LOL


Otherwise, a buyer comes and looks and say, "this is junk" and will never come back.


The problem is, how do you define "junk"

I have seen images in galleries that I thought "junk" that sold for more than my life's income.

We ( people on this site) have been trained to produce "stock style" images, because that is what the Micro-stores sell.

Is that what all buyers want? I don't know. Maybe Symbiostock buyers will be people looking for images and image styles that the Micro Stores reject.

I think the idea of setting up a niche site will have more traction in the Network.... but this is what I think, and until we have a year or two to work with this beast we won't know. A site just of cut veggies on white may be worth doing.... ;)

« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2013, 13:51 »
0

most of the post was the same old whining by self-proclaimed prs that the amagteurs are what's diluting their prices.  gthey still haven't figured iut that the world has changed -- the pictures they sold for $200 each thru brick agencies now sell for $5 or less -- that's not because of amateurs but because it no longer costs that much to run a stock agency.  The pictures themselves were never worth that price, but the market set the price.  may photographers still don't get the fact that they are not selling art.  (except of course for the real 'artists' and the hard working photographers  building careers in wedding, commercial and other areas still in demand).  stock keeps changing

in the old days everything was physical - you had to mail in slides, the agency had to duplicate them and store and catalog them (no iptc) and most agencies didn't have any computers.  when a 'search came in that meant staff deciding which pictures might fit,  finding them somehow and mailing them to the potential buyer -- long, slow process,with high costs.

'pros' have been bitching ike this since the early nineties when the first photo cds came on the market.  I jumped at the chance back then and sales were pretty good until intenet came along and crashed THAT bubble


 

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