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Author Topic: Is Zym actually sometimes usable ?  (Read 16320 times)

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« on: January 30, 2009, 13:10 »
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Oh man, it was worse than being back to my first modem... (not talking V90 here...) I don't know how I even completed the registration. The site was so slow yesterday for my first visit (and registration) that I have big doubts I'll start upload there. Is it usually better ?

After registration, I was so frustrated that I couldn't find their upload page. Could anyone give me the ftp address ? Do we use the same user/pass there as in the site ?

Also, how bad is it to finalize an upload ? Clicking 20 times and going through 4 pages per photo a la IS, or is it faster ?


hali

« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 13:57 »
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that ebing said, don't you appreciate uploading to Fotolia? so quick and the categories so easy to find a fitting one.  why can't the others be like that?
StockXpert is cool too.

« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 14:15 »
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Well I guess it's another debate, but I really don't understand why stock photo sites bother with categories. I mean really, do buyers browse using categories ?? My guess is they use search terms.
Time to move on ! In 1995, we were browsing the web by category, with yahoo as a hierarchical starting point. Now in google world, all is about keywording and ranking. We spend time keywording our photos, why do we have to fiddle with categories ?
To my mind, upload should only be ftp, then model release attachment, then select all / submit.
Fotolia is not bad, but not my favorite on that subject.

Sorry for the digression, I still wanna know how to upload on Zym and if it's usable at times, so if you could gime a link or ftp instructions...

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 14:43 »
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Sorry for any strangeness, we are currently in-process of moving to some new servers. The plan is to do it seamlessly without disabling uploads etc. however murphys law dictates there may be some service interruptions/slowdowns despite our best planning.     

As for categories, "hierarchical starting point. Now in google world, all is about keywording and ranking." makes a key point for categorization - Page title, URL keywords, and on-page content form a large part of search engines such as Googles ranking of a given page.
http://www.zymmetrical.com/art/photos/photos-nature-form-color/fileid/zyimgnfc06064/
trumps
http://www.zymmetrical.com/art/photos/fileid/zyimgnfc06064/

I don't have much time right now to dig more into why categories matter, but I can at least say that since it's optional that you assign categories on Zymmetrical (our staff will choose if you don't), you at least don't have to spend time on it if you don't believe in it. :)


« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 15:11 »
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how long does it take for accepted photos to get indexed by the search engine?

I uploaded a few to give it a try. I can see that after some time they disappeared from "pending" and didn't appear in "rejected". However Art Manager is disabled so I can't check them; and when I tried to search using my keywords I wasn't able to find any of my photos.

« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 15:36 »
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Hmm still problems...............sounds no good.................. glad I'm closed my account for multiple issues

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 16:14 »
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Miklav, it's generally within hours- however at the moment as we are expanding the servers some parts of the 'assembly line' in the system have to be slowed down or put on pause in order to allow the move.   I am working on this expansion all weekend with our tech guys - it's a classic work hell weekends but will be worth it.

« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 16:16 »
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My guess is they use search terms.

We can only guess.  They make their decisions based on a mountain of data about buyer behavior on their site. They're not stupid, despite how it may seem from the outside at times. If they choose to retain categories, chances are pretty good that it's because they help sell more images. New agencies that "listen to photographers" and don't use categories may not be listening to the most appropriate group.

« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 16:51 »
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I have to admit that after yesterday's very bad impression that Zym let me, the fact that you responded on this thread so fast is impressive and shows that you make effort to stay close to the photographers. Or should I say "artist", as on your site ?
 ;)
I think I will let the week-end pass and give it a try next week for some uploads.

« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 17:26 »
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I have noticed that it is taking a loooong time to open the sales manager (to check sales).

Regards,
Adelaide

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 17:27 »
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Totony, yes we prefer to use 'Artist' because generally people are multi-disciplined these days.    'Contributor' sounds like the submitters owe something to the agency, 'Submitter' sounds kinky and 'Uploader' sounds like the person is a piece of software. :)
 
Should be worth the wait.. we are going to all  64-bit processors, and many of the hard disks on new servers will be this one: http://hothardware.com/Articles/Seagate-Cheetah-X156-Hard-Drive/ .     Now, pretty much everyone here must have a few months of life-time wasted waiting for all those moments when Photoshop is loading an image.. it's a given: you spend X amount of time in your life in the bathroom and X amount waiting for * computers to load stuff. Now imagine a photo agency where we have to plan to be able to process tons of photos at once, through the internet. A bit of a technical challenge, especially when the agency has a relaxed west-coast attitude towards limiting submissions like us. So upgrading to all the latest gear really does make a dent in performance issues.

In our initial tests today I have to say this hard disk in particular is just great.. it may sound geeky but I am really excited to see how the new setup will perform in a live environment. For us it's the agency-level equivalent of going and buying the new Mac/PC workstation most people need every few years.  We'll see how it goes. :) 

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 17:31 »
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I have noticed that it is taking a loooong time to open the sales manager (to check sales).

Regards,
Adelaide

Yep too many cooks in the kitchen at the moment. At this point it looks like we may have to go offline in the wee hours to finalize things.         Rest assured, sales are picking up in the last days few days despite some of the reports of site usability slowdowns, and of course we send your money on the 15th as expected.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 17:40 by zymmetrical »

« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 17:46 »
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Well I guess it's another debate, but I really don't understand why stock photo sites bother with categories. I mean really, do buyers browse using categories ?? My guess is they use search terms.
When I asked this question to Stockxpert guys when we met in Moscow last year they said yes, some buyer do browse categories. So I suppose the customers of other agencies do (although it doesn't make much sense to me with so large database of pictures).

« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 20:49 »
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The site was so slow yesterday for my first visit (and registration) that I have big doubts I'll start upload there. Is it usually better ?

No, worse.

Also, how bad is it to finalize an upload ? Clicking 20 times and going through 4 pages per photo a la IS, or is it faster ?

Slower. Zym is like the jungle at night without a torch wading through thick jelly. It's even worse than Vivozoom. Clicking on anything gives that Zen-Nirvana feeling and takes forever. You'll only be saved in this game of goose by hitting square one or "home". It's a site with sales potential that is killed by its programming.

« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2009, 21:28 »
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This dialog reminds me of a saying....

K
I
S
S



....

And for those who'd not familiar with this saying, it stands for:

Keep
It
Simple
S t u p i d

This goes for a lot of thing...  Don't overdo the programming.... Keep it in a state where it actually does work... The zymm application is a killer!  Sorry to say this, but it really is...

Neither buyers nor contributors benefit from this.. Please just peel of some 80% of the killing software and make it run smoothly... No categories, just keywords... Please let us have a seemless upload and search functionality on keywords alone.. Kill most of the upload preparation workflow...

Please just let it be....  UPLOAD - VERIFY ITPC - SUBMIT !


« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2009, 02:30 »
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Most of the time the site is reasonably fast for me.  The upload process is good, once you get the hang of it.  The big problem I had was waiting for FTP files to appear on the site but I see they are working on that.  Sales were good but I haven't had one for a while now, hopefully that will be fixed soon too :)

« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2009, 06:51 »
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Zymmetrical looks like an agency that knows what needs to be done. Yes, they have some problems now, but I will stick to them. I am into several agencies, and I have nothing to lose while I wait for things to become normal. Keith is a nice person, and I appreciate his effort to do listen to sellers and buyers and to try to fulfill the needs of his clients. I think we all should have some patience, because obviously Zymmetrical is working hard to provide us with good service. In the mean time, I am sure we all have something to do, not just to distract Keith's attention to this forum.

Imagine you are a surgeon, and you are just having an operation, and family of a patient is entering the surgeon room every minute to ask you:"How's going doctor? Are you gonna finish this soon doctor? Doctor, can you do it faster?"

« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2009, 07:18 »
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Miklav, it's generally within hours- however at the moment as we are expanding the servers some parts of the 'assembly line' in the system have to be slowed down or put on pause in order to allow the move.   I am working on this expansion all weekend with our tech guys - it's a classic work hell weekends but will be worth it.
ok, apparently I've chosen a wrong time for my trial upload :) Will wait then... (so far my images are still unsearchable).

« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2009, 08:23 »
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Most of the time the site is reasonably fast for me.

You don't have a lot of models in your port. Try attaching a MRF.
The site certainly has sales potential and the midstock price level is great.
That's why it's a shame they are caught up in those design problems.

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2009, 08:53 »
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You do know we did add multi-select to the MR dropdown, right? :)      We're open to any and all UI suggestions.. about the only possible improvements I know of right now would be an 'Apply AND Submit' button, and to somehow increase the number of actions that can be performed before a page refresh is required.   Oh and the wait time during refreshes (which should be dramatically shorter after our current systems upgrade).     

Some ideas that seem simple, like having a MR dropdown under each photo selected on the page, sound OK but when you try that with 400 photos selected and 40 release forms each, it will cause a slowdown because of all the HTML output.  Not to mention the more bulk options you give people, the more likelihood they make a bulk mistake (which thankfully doesn't happen too much it's current form).         

I fully agree with KISS but always go back to the TV remote control analogy: theres lot's of buttons on a standard remote control, and many people hardly ever use them.. but they are there for a purpose and cannot simply be removed for the purpose of having a pretty remote control.     Yes Ipod has come along and presented a way to clean up the 'buttons and widgets' issue, but there is still the same level of logic in the system as with a standard MP3 player - you still have to provide X amount of options somehow.   

Anyways, the Submissions page along with most other custom creations on Zymm are 1st generation and obviously were created in busy times where there were more projects than work-hours available. As we stabilize and continue to grow we can plan the next versions of such systems with a lot less chaos going on.. any ideas you have are always noted.


« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 11:35 by zymmetrical »

« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2009, 12:00 »
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site's down...

« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2009, 13:09 »
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Zymmetrical is working hard on improvements, and I believe they have quite a good concept and sales potential. Their very responsive customer service shows that they want to stay close to contributors and listen to their comments. It also doesn't hurt when you see a few dollars in your account from just one sale :) 70% commission is also nothing to complain about. I had one sale there and I believe I will have more in the future.

« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2009, 06:07 »
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Making progress here... The site was much faster yesterday and today. Not lightning fast, but usable (for basic navigation at least, I have no content uploaded for the moment...)
I got my ftp login and password on the site, but tried for two days to connect with error 530 everytime (wrong user/pass). I tried typing the password instead of copy/paste, verified that I was on passive mode. Still 530.
Do I have to wait for a while to have my ftp account activated ?

« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2009, 07:42 »
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Yesterday I contacted them about a problem I found and I got a quick reaction.
They said they are "moving to new, more powerful web servers over this weekend" and that also some problems should be solved then.
I am going to wait until next week to see if things are going faster at that time and if the art manager has coming back.

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2009, 18:24 »
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Hi Guys,

Well normally weekends are relaxation for most folks.. I have personally for sure been through harder experiences than this one before.  This time I think we have at least have come out ahead.       

In this case, yes the site went down without even a friendly "Sorry site is down" message at some points. It's poor but that's how it goes. I wish it was as simple as copying a few files from here to there .. I accept full responsibility as chief geek. We still need a day or two to check the submission system and ensure everything is running normally.  To the new members, some of whom I know may have been skeptical of us, I am sorry your initial experience has been annoying. I hope you can know that I and several others have been at it literally the whole weekend to finish this upgrade. In the end, it's the same site, maybe only a few blinks of the eye faster, but the long term payoffs will work out to have been worth the effort.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 22:20 by zymmetrical »


 

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