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M.Chapman

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Everything posted by M.Chapman

  1. Beware of the infamous Spikeyfolia prickythumbia plant... Mark
  2. I don't think it looks like a pyracantha in spring, I think the blossom isn't right and the leaves are too far apart. You need an expert (cue John Richmond ) Mark
  3. Are you using a VPN? I had some trouble with NORD VPN that seemed to stop part's of Alamy's site from working. I've no idea why it was, maybe Alamy blocks some servers or locations or protocols? If I turned the VPN off, everything worked straightaway. It was weird, I could see my dashboard with the VPN on, but when I went to try and download a sales report, I just got a spinning blue disk. Click the VPN off, and the sales report loaded fine. Another option might be to try FTP upload, Filezilla is recommended. Although you say you have a fast internet connection, is it reasonably fast when uploading too? Mark
  4. Luminar 3 is currently free in the UK with Digital Camera Magazine Issue 225 Feb 2020 Mark
  5. Try changing the zoom setting on your browser. It's probably set at 120%, try changing back to 100% or smaller. Mark
  6. Try emailing Alamy at contributors@alamy.com Mark
  7. Have those images ever been zoomed with the search term Toronto Blue Jays? That would help promote them. Alternatively do you have an exact match of the phrase Toronto Blue Jays in your tags or caption, but you don't have the same for Toronto street car? Also check which of those words appear in your tags, supertags and captions as they all carry different weighting. It also depends on the ranking of your competitor for each of those searches. Mark
  8. In theory yes, but it used to be the case that this only happened when they ran a re-rank calculation every 6 months or so, at which time the ranks of all contributors were updated at the same time. No idea what they are doing at the moment. Nobody has reported in a change in rank that's been confirmed by other contributors for well over a year, if not two. Maybe they are doing it individually now? Mark
  9. Shame Alamy don’t seem to have run a re-rank for well over a year now. Or did I miss something? Mark
  10. If an image has been zoomed previously, using the same search term, it’s position in the search results may be improved relative to your other images that also meet the search term. This effect can be powerful, beating whether the search term matches any combination of tags, supertags or words in the caption. At least that’s how it used to be when I examined this over a year ago. But there’s an important caveat, Alamy can and do change the search algorithm. Nevertheless this may explain your observation. I’ve never found that a sale promotes the position of an individual image relative to others that meet the search term, but it may improve you overall rank, which may improve the position of all your images relative to those of other contributors. For some searches, the age of the image can also affect position, or so I was told (by Alamy). Mark
  11. Yes, I thought of the same idea too, but then couldn't think of an easy way to automate the process of determining "uniqueness". If it was based on individual keywords, a contributor could simply add an irrelevant, but unique, keyword to falsely gain the "uniqueness" premium. Mark
  12. Thanks Chuck. Another idea a colleague suggested to help improve Alamy’s portfolio might be a mechanism for Alamy contributors (and maybe customers?) to report problems with captions and keywords directly to the contributor concerned. A sort of automated email when a button is clicked? I know on the forum we often spot issues, but other than posting in the forum, there’s nothing we can do. A sort of crowd sourced keywording QC. It’s in all our interests to ensure Alamy images are accurately captioned and keyworded. Alamy could automatically track the number of errors reported, and if a contributor exceeded a certain threshold, take a closer look. I suppose it might be open to trolling, but you never know... Mark
  13. Alamy at the moment is halfway between the two. It's nowhere near as efficient as some micro-stock libraries (where the customer pays up front and contributors are automatically credited on download - totally administered by the software). Versus Alamy, where many customers are on a download now, pay later model and the contributor finally gets paid after invoices have been raised and chased if they don't. There's also clearly the ability for some Alamy customer's to negotiate bulk deals and also Alamy can provide search assistance. There's a lot more "manual intervention" in Alamy's current business model. This costs money, which is fine if the prices secured remain higher than MS. But, because Alamy try to charge prices based on the customer and application irrespective of the uniqueness or value of the image their overall pricing is being dragged down by the general trend in prices. (All images are put in the same bucket - apart from some restrictions set by contributors). To survive, Alamy either has to find ways to maintain or increase prices on some of its portfolio, or increase efficiency (e.g. further cuts in commission, swapping to subscription pricing with automatic billing on download). Or a combination of the two. Just adding more and more images is not going to work. There appear to be some business principles that Alamy believes are valuable. 1) Uniformity of image pricing for a customer (it doesn't matter which image(s) you choose - the prices are the same for given licence terms) 2) Uniformity of treatment of contributors 3) Curation of an edited collection is too expensive to implement. So with these in mind, what can/should Alamy do? Here's a few ideas. 1) Alamy introduce a "Premium" (or some other name) category which contains images which are selected, and have minimum pricing, set by the contributor. Premium images appear in normal search results with a star in the corner (or some other designation). The customer can filter their search results to exclude or include such images. Contributors can designate no more that 5% of their images as "Premium", and those images must be Alamy exclusive and they can set their own minimum price for these images. Alamy would instruct contributors to only use this category for images that the contributor believes are particularly unique or valuable and therefore deserve price protection. Obviously it might be abused with some contributors putting "standard" images into the "premium" category, but if the ranking system is actually re-introduced (see 3 below) their images will sink in the search results. 2) Alamy introduce pricing that varies according to the image size across all licence types. High resolution images merit higher prices. 3) Re-introduce regular (6 monthly) contributor ranking and disclose what a contributor's rank is (e.g. 1-5 stars) and on what parameters this is based. This will encourage contributors to behave in the ways Alamy wants/needs. For example the Zooms/View and Sales/View and Sales/Image are three powerful metrics that encourage efficient keywording and uploading and reduce keyword and image spamming. At the moment Alamy seems to take great pride in concealing such details and contributors end up relying on "forum folklore". When was the last re-rank??? 4) If Item (1) above works well, then it could be extended, allowing contributors with high ranking to increase the number of premium images to 10% (or more?) of their collection. Just thoughts... Mark
  14. Indeed you did (July 16th 2019), and it was much appreciated. However that was after about 10 days and 5 pages of forum debate, and I'd purchased two of my own test images, found that Alamy had converted them to sRGB and their colour profiles had been stripped, and I posted the results on the forum and emailed contributor services with the evidence. Previously the response to emails from other contributors appears to be that you worked in aRGB. That would be great. Thanks, possibly see you at the NEC show. Mark
  15. It would be great if Alamy could share some of their plans/ideas in the forum, rather than in occasional face to face discussions or emails. James West's video Q&As (apart from the ones cutting our commission ) were a great idea. Indeed it was one of the reasons I joined Alamy in the first place. I imagine Jame's West is too busy these days, but maybe you could ask for some questions and then do a short video like James West did? Yes the last forensic analysis (colour space) was done to death. But why did it take 6 pages of Alamy forum discussion before Alamy finally chipped in? You could have saved us all a great deal of effort. Similarly, on the new 5 star QC ranking, pages and pages of discussion with no comment from Alamy. (Sorry for going off topic) My recent "forensic" (not my word) analysis has concerned Alamy's financial returns and dividends in comparison with those of another stock library, which I'm sure you wouldn't want to discuss openly on the booth at the show. So I won't come chasing you for answers at the NEC (unless James West turns up of course) Mark
  16. Did James say if he was going to be on the Alamy stand at the Photo Show at the NEC in mid March? I’ve met James there before and it’s always useful to have discussions face to face, (although I tend to be influenced more by the facts, figures and actions than friendly chats). Oh dear, now I’ve got a reputation to live up to. Mark
  17. Given that the categories we have to choose between in Alamy Image Manger don't match those on the Alamy search page, they do seem to be more trouble than they are worth. I might give up using them too. Mark
  18. Some nice images, but captions and keywords need some attention e.g. M3MRMN has no children in it. I think you may have keyworded/captioned another image whilst this one was still selected - easy to do in Alamy Image manger. Don't expect sales to come quickly, it can take time and you need many more images. Mark
  19. Seriously?? So why not share some of the information you gained from the Cambridge meeting (which you declined to do in the other thread). I'd be delighted to hear some more about the initiatives Alamy is undertaking to grow the business and maintain licence fees. At the moment my negativity (sorry) is based on falling licence fees, cuts in my commission and subsequent increases in dividends. I know that Alamy (like all stock agencies) are under severe pressure, but it would be great to hear what Alamy are doing to grow the business (and at least maintain our income), if not via the attendees at the Cambridge meeting, from Alamy themselves.. Their current strategy seems to largely focus on adding more and more images... it would be good to hear about other initiatives. Without information there's a risk of supposition taking over. Mark
  20. It's because you seem to have contradicted yourself and then got upset when asked to clarify what you meant. Mark
  21. Unfortunately, if those "newer horizons" are Manything Systems Ltd, they seem to be really struggling. It's normal expect startup losses, but at the moment the losses just keep rising and are now approaching £1M / year. On the bright side sales are rising (£549K in 2018 versus £376K in 2017), and there's good gross profit margin on those sales (75%). But the distribution costs (£341K in 2018 and £330K in 2017) and administration costs (£1,046K in 2018 and £871K in 2017) are currently turning the good margin on sales into thumping operating losses (-£979K in 2018 and -£913K in 2017). Just have to hope that Manything Systems Ltd grow into a profitable business so that Alamy can get a return on the £4M they've invested in them in loans and shares. Hopefully when Alamy get a return they can invest more in their stock photo business, (and restore our commission - here's hoping!!). For those interested, Manything Systems Ltd (now called Videoloft) annual accounts can be found here and their website is here. Mark
  22. Agreed These packs have been around for a while too, so it possibly explains some of the variation in PU/Presentation/Newsletter fees being reported? Mark
  23. Looks a bit like a Dunnock to me. Mark
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