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Author Topic: Symzio is now LIVE  (Read 45814 times)

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« on: December 30, 2015, 09:34 »
+3
The ultimate partner to the Symbiostock project has now been launched - though still in beta, it is fully functional, aggregating all the images across the Symbiostock network.

The Symzio system has been organized for maximum revenue and growth:

1) Firstly, and most importantly, it serves as a one-stop solution for all purchases. Customers do not have to leave the Symzio interface to complete their purchases, making the likelihood of conversion much more likely.

2) Contributors retain 70% of all sales revenue on Symzio - affiliates earn 10%. This gives the engine a small but consistent source of revenue with which to grow through promotions and advertising while passing to contributors a large majority of the earnings (as it should be).

3) Contributors set the price for all their full-sized royalty-free media. All medium sized images are standardized to $1.99 to maximize digital sales, and to attract bloggers who would otherwise pirate images or use freebies.

4) Your contributor profile is the key portal to everything: your Symzio images, your social media, and your independent site. Customers can even contact you through it.

5) With regards to the backend, we've implemented a cutting edge system whereby contributor media is spidered often, changes implemented, and most importantly, all media is sourced directly from your independent site in real-time. Symzio caches very little. If you update a title, or keywords, or a thumbnail for your independent site, Symzio will catch on soon enough. However, on the front end, the search provides results that appear seamless, much like other traditional agencies.

6) No more stress with unreliable reviewers! Once you're approved as a Symzio contributor, you control all your media. Add, delete, or revise it at your leisure.

7) Videographer heaven - no more 1 minute limits. As long as your server can handle it, all videographers can expand their portfolios with longer clips, in any format. Symzio is fully compatible with video:
http://www.symzio.com/stock-video-footage/juvenile-grey-butcherbird-sitting-tree-another-young-butcher-bird-lands-branch

8 ) SEO heaven - Symzio has been intricately optimized for maximum search engine stickiness. We've littered the site with algorithms that take your content and dynamically create unique descriptors so that as much of your stuff holds its own in the search results.

----------

Just imagine the future workflow of the average contributor: create a beautiful set of images. Come home, process them. Upload them once to Symbiostock. They go live on your independent site and soon go live on Symzio automatically. No secondary submissions, no fear of them being rejected. And when you get a $5 sale, you keep $3.50.

----------

Symzio, along with Symbiostock, provides contributors a complete independent solution: you can host and sell all your media on your own site, and syndicate it with everyone else in Symzio. Best of all, this is all 100% free. Symbiostock costs nothing, and Symzio costs nothing.

You can expand on the base functionality of Symbiostock if you need Video or agency Submissions with optional plugins. But for most of you, the core plugin will work a treat.

This is a fantastic opportunity, and has been developed to give us the chance, as a community, to truly carve a portion of the industry for independents and reduce our dependence on third parties. Here's one of our more traditional stock contributors talking about it: http://picturebreeze.com/symzio-com-a-new-stock-media-agency-idea/

I truly believe that we have been unable to break out from under the yoke of third parties because the proper infrastructure was not in place to provide both contributors and customers a competitive edge - with Symzio and Symbiostock, a wide array of contributor sites, all supporting one another is now within our grasp. All we have to do is step forward and take it.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to throw them my way, and thanks for reading. As we are still in beta, we're always open to improving the system - so if you have suggestions on how we can make it better, let us know!

I leave you with some random samples from Symzio to give you an idea how how it looks:

http://www.symzio.com/stock-photos/bird.html
http://www.symzio.com/stock-photo/detail-japanese-cherry-blossom-flowers-2
http://www.symzio.com/stock-photo/tourists-los-arcos-caves
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 03:20 by [email protected] »


« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 11:11 »
0
approved as contributor?

« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 11:12 »
+1
how is paying 20% considered 100% free?


« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 13:41 »
+14
Potential contributors to Symzio should note a few key terms

1. Content is licensed under Symzio's license - contributors do not get to set their own license terms (see Business Practices/your contract)

http://www.symzio.com/support

And the license

http://www.symzio.com/licensing

2. The contributor terms allow Symzio to close accounts for any or no reason. This is standard for stock agencies, but seems odd considering the tag line on Symzio's home page "Welcome to Symzio, the first completely contributor controlled stock photo, vector and video licensing agency"

http://www.symzio.com/terms

There are other references to closure for violation contributor guidelines, but also the following:

"Symzio may, at its own discretion, for any reason whatsoever, close a Contributor's account without notice. If the Contributor's account is closed for a breach of any of our terms, any outstanding royalties will be forfeited.

Symzio may, at its own discretion, reinstate Contributor accounts. In this case, Symzio may charge Contributors $250 for reinstatement."

They close the account and then charge $250 to allow it to be opened again? Really?

3. The contributor FAQ talks about the importance of accurate tagging and ensuring editorial content is tagged as such - absolutely reasonable. But it then follows up with a rather vaguely worded condition that you'll have to cough up $250 to get your account back if some audit determines you've made mistakes too often:

"Our team regularly peruses the Symzio engine and if an image that appears to be editorial is found to be missing the tag, we will flag it. If your images are found to be missing editorial tags more than once, your contributor account will be temporarily disabled and you will have to pay the re-inclusion fee for reinstatement."

And who gets to decide if the editorial tag should be there? If there are to be such draconian penalties, there need to be detailed guidelines as to what the Symzio agency's standards are for requiring an editorial tag. Vague handwaving about "appears to be editorial" just doesn't cut it.

Using "contributor controlled" as a marketing gimmick and having terms like most agencies that leave the contributor largely powerless seems to me to be contradictory.

Read the agreements very carefully to be sure you can live with them before participating.


« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 19:19 »
+3
See, it's through contributions like these that Symzio becomes more and more robust:

"Our team regularly peruses the Symzio engine and if an image that appears to be editorial is found to be missing the tag, we will flag it and notify you. If we are mistaken, no harm done. If it is missing the editorial tag, you will be encouraged to check your entire collection to ensure everything else is accurately tagged. If your images are found to be missing editorial tags more than once, your contributor account will be temporarily disabled and you will have to pay the re-inclusion fee for reinstatement."

FAQ has been updated to reflect the mechanism more thoroughly - thanks Jo!

begging the question - WHO decides whether an image is editorial or not?  each agency has different rules for what they consider editorial

« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 19:53 »
0
Hi, i have a my website and iy was creat with ktools... it work with Symzio???

« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2015, 23:28 »
0
i just creat my Symbiostock page, which file did i upload if i want to upload a vector? just the eps? or the jpg and the raster hi res jpg? or a zip file with both? i upload the eps and the jpg, but only see the eps file, with out any metadata and no preview and the raster with the metadata, but isnt a vector, i want to sell vector, what im do wrong?

please help!

« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2015, 01:22 »
+1
I am glad to see that Symbiostock is on track again evolving and potentially changing the currently barren landscape of microstock (well, "barren" for contributors at least) into greener pastures.

In his Microstock Diaries blog Lee Torrens recently summarized the difficulties and pitfalls of selling direct (www.microstockdiaries.com/pricing-strategies-for-selling-direct.html). His conclusion: a direct sales website is not for everyone. Well, not for me. He got that right. I have no illusions.
 
So why am I still maintaining my (legacy) Symbiostock website and why have I started working on migrating to Robin's new Symbiostock WP plugin? The answer is that I see a third way to success in selling direct that Lee completely ignored: a community driven effort. Done right it could work, maybe not for everyone but for many of us. And many of us will be needed to make it work.

IMO old Symbiostock has been a big push in the right direction. However, it had its share of flaws and never reached critical mass to become worthwhile for most of us who tried, including myself. Since Robin picked it up this spring he has worked on ironing out the flaws. For instance, by combining Symbiostock with wooCommerce he created a licensing/payment/download environment that is on par with today's internet shopping standards. The quirks of old Symbio in this area are history.

Maybe even more important Robin tries a different approach on community building. Creating Symzio is IMO now at heart of the community building/networking aspect of Symbiostock. Without it Symbio will fail for most of us because Lee is right in his analysis. With old Symbiostock every Symbiostocker, while being part of the network, was on her/his own. IMO it didn't fly partly because it created too much of a chaos of different pricing schedules, licensing terms, login/register requirements etc to be trustworthy for most image buyers. Symzio clearly aims at resolving this issue. It greatly simplifies searching, selecting, and buying images with unified license terms from various participating Symbiostockers. At the same time it leaves every Symbiostocker the freedom to do with the same images checked-in into Symzio and/or other images on his/her site as pleased. While Symzio acts like an agent it is much more than that by linking in and out every single participating Symbio site creating the SEO juice the community will need to succeed. Robin can explain the details much better than I, but this is the bigger picture I see.

However, I understand that for Robin running Symzio like an agent comes at the price of added responsibilities and legal liabilities. He simply has to protect his back. As always with such "fine print" there are worries and valid concerns for him as well as us (potential) contributors. Not much different from all the other agents. I hope and trust for now that "contributor controlled" also means that nothing of this is written in stone but open to reason and discussion as Symzio/Symbiostock continues to grow and evolve.

As it stands now I want to be part of Symzio and I hope to meet you there all as fellow Symbiostockers. Let's prove Lee Torrens wrong!

@Ana: I am no vector guy and can't help, but I am sure you will get answers on the Symbiostock forum: http://www.symbiostock.org/forums/.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 01:31 by Pilens »

« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2015, 02:41 »
+1
Hey ana,

If you are uploading a vector, just upload the EPS. Symbiostock will generate a thumbnail for you. However, everything runs via the processor which you must run manually or on a schedule through your operating system:

http://www.symbiostock.org/docs/setting-up-the-schedulerimage-processor/

If you do not run this after uploading media, your media won't show up. When you upload media, it is being put in queue. Also, you must have Imagick running on your server to process EPS files.

You also have the option of uploading your own JPEG version of the EPS once the product is created. Just use the 'upload alternate' form on the product edit page.

As Pilens mentioned, if you have other questions, you can throw them over on the Symbiostock forums. Welcome aboard!


« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2015, 03:23 »
+3
it is the ignoring of any difficult questions and comments that instill distrust in me. if you are a proper agency/tool/platform you address the criticisms as well

and thanks jo for your analyses, some important issues to consider

« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2015, 09:12 »
0
Hi, thankyou for your answer! here is an screenshot, the dark squre is my eps and the colorful one is the same image raster jpg, the raster one come with the metadata, the eps is empty. why it happend???? ???

by the way the Imagick PHP Extension is enabled.

Hey ana,

If you are uploading a vector, just upload the EPS. Symbiostock will generate a thumbnail for you. However, everything runs via the processor which you must run manually or on a schedule through your operating system:

http://www.symbiostock.org/docs/setting-up-the-schedulerimage-processor/

If you do not run this after uploading media, your media won't show up. When you upload media, it is being put in queue. Also, you must have Imagick running on your server to process EPS files.

You also have the option of uploading your own JPEG version of the EPS once the product is created. Just use the 'upload alternate' form on the product edit page.

As Pilens mentioned, if you have other questions, you can throw them over on the Symbiostock forums. Welcome aboard!

« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 09:13 »
0
Hi, thankyou for your answer! here is an screenshot, the dark squre is my eps and the colorful one is the same image raster jpg, the raster one come with the metadata, the eps is empty. why it happend???? ???

by the way the Imagick PHP Extension is enabled.

Hey ana,

If you are uploading a vector, just upload the EPS. Symbiostock will generate a thumbnail for you. However, everything runs via the processor which you must run manually or on a schedule through your operating system:

http://www.symbiostock.org/docs/setting-up-the-schedulerimage-processor/

If you do not run this after uploading media, your media won't show up. When you upload media, it is being put in queue. Also, you must have Imagick running on your server to process EPS files.

You also have the option of uploading your own JPEG version of the EPS once the product is created. Just use the 'upload alternate' form on the product edit page.

As Pilens mentioned, if you have other questions, you can throw them over on the Symbiostock forums. Welcome aboard!


« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2015, 09:14 »
0
This is the correct preview (it was generate frome the raster jpg)

Hi, thankyou for your answer! here is an screenshot, the dark squre is my eps and the colorful one is the same image raster jpg, the raster one come with the metadata, the eps is empty. why it happend???? ???

by the way the Imagick PHP Extension is enabled.

Hey ana,

If you are uploading a vector, just upload the EPS. Symbiostock will generate a thumbnail for you. However, everything runs via the processor which you must run manually or on a schedule through your operating system:

http://www.symbiostock.org/docs/setting-up-the-schedulerimage-processor/

If you do not run this after uploading media, your media won't show up. When you upload media, it is being put in queue. Also, you must have Imagick running on your server to process EPS files.

You also have the option of uploading your own JPEG version of the EPS once the product is created. Just use the 'upload alternate' form on the product edit page.

As Pilens mentioned, if you have other questions, you can throw them over on the Symbiostock forums. Welcome aboard!



« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2015, 11:45 »
+5
medium file sizes are all $1.99? Is there any site that sells it for cheaper? Confusing pricing if you want to sell your hi resolution image for $50...

If i was selling photos, this would be automatically be a deal breaker for me as this means that I am ok with pricing my file this cheap to the buyer. Further devaluing the price of images to the buyer isn't doing any content developer any good for the longevity of this industry.

At least with the nasty subscriptions model, the buyer had to initially pay a decent amount in monthly fees to get images. This model, you can just buy the images for less than $2. Im not sure what is worse. Maybe I am clueless to where this industry is at currently but i didn't think it would be at these rock bottom prices to try to compete.


« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2015, 13:29 »
0
Robin, the advanced color correction option was enable. See the srceenshot... and my eps are saved as rgb... the other probleme is that all eps uploaded to my site dont have metadata, the raster version is ok but the eps is empty :-( please help me with the metadata too... see screenshot..

Thankyou for your help!!!!

Ana: Try enabling advanced color correction in your settings - some Imagick installs invert the colors of EPS files.

VB inc: The pricing was determined after a lengthy discussion with contributors. The central things to remember are:

1) These are one time use licenses - the only other agency to currently offer these on a mass scale is Canva, and they charge $1 for full sized images.

2) Most agencies pay you about $0.25 for a royalty-free, full sized image. With Symzio, for a medium sized, one-time-use license, you earn over 700% more ($1.80). With Symzio, we are remaining highly competitive and structuring the pricing and licensing in a way where customers pay less and contributors get way, way more.

To match what most contributors earn with agencies, Symzio would have to limit charging customers $0.31 for a full sized, royalty free image.

It seems unbelievable, but that's how much more the revenue share is. It is astronomical when you look at the math - which is all that matters when it comes to your earnings. Volume, and revenue per image.

Thanks for your comments - much appreciated, and I hope this has shed some light on your concerns.

« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2015, 13:35 »
+1
I see that you are based in Australia. How do you handle VAT for customers in the European Union?

« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2015, 13:47 »
0
Robin i just send you PM with my info in the symbiostock forum... thankyou for your help!

« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2015, 15:34 »
+2
...

VB inc: The pricing was determined after a lengthy discussion with contributors. The central things to remember are:

1) These are one time use licenses - the only other agency to currently offer these on a mass scale is Canva, and they charge $1 for full sized images.

2) Most agencies pay you about $0.25 for a royalty-free, full sized image. With Symzio, for a medium sized, one-time-use license, you earn over 700% more ($1.80). With Symzio, we are remaining highly competitive and structuring the pricing and licensing in a way where customers pay less and contributors get way, way more.

To match what most contributors earn with agencies, Symzio would have to limit charging customers $0.31 for a full sized, royalty free image.

It seems unbelievable, but that's how much more the revenue share is. It is astronomical when you look at the math - which is all that matters when it comes to your earnings. Volume, and revenue per image.

Thanks for your comments - much appreciated, and I hope this has shed some light on your concerns.

Red by me. Its more important how much the buyer paid for my images as i hope this stock industry to survive this race to dirt cheap prices. I guess you missed my point about buyer perception on what an image is worth to them. To a buyer, these are great prices. And the perception that these prices are so cheap, why would they think these images are as good as prices they need to pay 5 times more for.

I don't know anything about canva, but from the little i know about your project is that it is from a contributor standpoint and not an agency. I guess I can see it as a good marketing strategy to initially sell it at those prices to attract customers but to have it at a set price seems like a bargain bin type site filled with a lot of rubbish no one would pay for in the first place.

This price offering might be putting off the more valuable images helpful to the library. Maybe i am just in denial stage that we got to this stage with prices like these. As Im only a part timer and my only experience with stock is istock, shutterstock, and now fotolia so my view is limited.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2015, 15:43 »
+1
Hi VB

I'm another of the old Symbiostock supporters that have moved to the new plugin and am supporting Symzio. I think you are misunderstanding the pricing here - someone can get a full size JPEG on the other micro-sites under an RF license and use it as many times as they want in as many projects as they want, for ever. Here on Symzio we are selling a single use 800 pixel image suitable for a website for $1.99. Anything larger takes a price as set by the contributor themselves. For simplicity that is a full size JPEG with an RF (multi-use) license.

The individual contributor sites can separately sell different sizes at different prices if they want.

Is everything perfect - no, but at least we are giving it a go as a contributor driven venture.

Steve

« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2015, 16:34 »
+2
its a crock and wont attract any contributors nor buyers, forgive my pessimism

« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2015, 16:41 »
0
Hey ana: I responded to your request on the forum. It appears your EPS files are corrupted in some manner, which may even be because they have metadata stored in them - from what I've read, storing metadata in EPS files may make them unreadable in other software. I'm not 100% on this, but it appears to be the problem.

I see that you are based in Australia. How do you handle VAT for customers in the European Union?

We haven't looked into this yet.

VB Inc: As Steve pointed out, with our one-time-use license, we are effectively creating a new price model that provides a more restrictive license while providing a slightly more competitive price for on demand sales. It blows subscription pricing out of the water.

But all of that is totally irrelevant. Agencies are publicly advertising media for $0.33. Do some searches and you will stumble on graphic ads that clearly state to customers that they can get media for a third of a dollar. We can't curb the effect of that by charging more. By comparison, Symzio looks outright boutique.

I sympathize with the surprise, but it may be beneficial for you to do some market research as a customer to really see how your media is being priced to customers.


 

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