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Alamy Image Manager - want a sneak peek?

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I wonder if the new contributor tools will give us the option of having our licensed images credited to our real names rather than to pseudos (where applicable). This possibility was discussed a while back, but there has been no further mention of it by Alamy.

 

Also, will keyword phrases in quotation marks automatically become "super tags" when imported by the new system? Confused. :wacko:

Edited by John Mitchell

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I'm not convinced about the 50 tags, surely some images need more than that?

 

50 tags @ max 4 words per tag = 200 words (characters not limited)

More generous than 856-character limit...?

 

Ah, I see. I got it wrong, my bad.

 

This whole comma thing, I'm a relative newbie and I've used commas in my keywording from day one.  Have I been wasting my time and character spaces?!

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Do I or do I not have to review ALL my 42,700 images because I keyword in Bridge, so my keywords appear on Alamy WITHOUT commas. Am I now put at a disadvantage because my keywords / tags show as Eurasian beaver European beaver beavers Castor fiber ..... instead of Eurasian beaver, European beaver, beaver, beavers, Castor fiber, ...... 

 

Will my "European beaver" images appear further down the line in search results because those images - which show tags with commas - have priority? I sure hope not!  :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Exactly my worry too Philippe. I'm pretty sure I know the answer, and I feel for those like yourself with huge portfolios. It's bad enough for me with my relatively tiny number of images. I don't use commas because we've been told not to, and don't use quotes or square brackets because they caused problems before. I re-did a lot of my keywording because of those issues, so now will I have to go back yet again to re-do them all? I think so. Like I've said already though, everyone is in the same boat, and most won't bother changing things so I hope those who do, get some advantage back.

 

Geoff.

 

 

I'm in the same leaky boat, it seems. I keyword using Photo Mechanic, and the commas get stripped when imported by Alamy. Bummer.

 

 

Bear in mind that, on request, Alamy will provide an Excel spreadsheet populated with the existing metadata, and the other data. You can edit that and Contributor Relations will apply it to your portfolio.

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Do I or do I not have to review ALL my 42,700 images because I keyword in Bridge, so my keywords appear on Alamy WITHOUT commas. Am I now put at a disadvantage because my keywords / tags show as Eurasian beaver European beaver beavers Castor fiber ..... instead of Eurasian beaver, European beaver, beaver, beavers, Castor fiber, ...... 

 

Will my "European beaver" images appear further down the line in search results because those images - which show tags with commas - have priority? I sure hope not!  :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Exactly my worry too Philippe. I'm pretty sure I know the answer, and I feel for those like yourself with huge portfolios. It's bad enough for me with my relatively tiny number of images. I don't use commas because we've been told not to, and don't use quotes or square brackets because they caused problems before. I re-did a lot of my keywording because of those issues, so now will I have to go back yet again to re-do them all? I think so. Like I've said already though, everyone is in the same boat, and most won't bother changing things so I hope those who do, get some advantage back.

 

Geoff.

 

 

I'm in the same leaky boat, it seems. I keyword using Photo Mechanic, and the commas get stripped when imported by Alamy. Bummer.

 

 

Bear in mind that, on request, Alamy will provide an Excel spreadsheet populated with the existing metadata, and the other data. You can edit that and Contributor Relations will apply it to your portfolio.

 

 

Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, at this point, I wouldn't know what changes to make -- commas, quotation marks, etc. Hopefully all will be revealed soon...

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Can I just say, I didn't intend to panic anyone with my thoughts.

 

Alamy will be aware of the replies to this thread and i am sure will be working to find some sort of solution to mitigate the effects of the new key wording structure on its established contributors.

 

There are many reasons for me to be looking forward to the new regime, let's just hope that the baby doesn't get thrown out with the bath water.

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Can I just say, I didn't intend to panic anyone with my thoughts.

 

Alamy will be aware of the replies to this thread and i am sure will be working to find some sort of solution to mitigate the effects of the new key wording structure on its established contributors.

 

 

You have more faith than me then. I don't think their established contributors matter anymore, not the individuals anyway, we are just a drop in the ocean these days.  Their main concern will be to make it easier for libraries or large agencies.   

 

Pearl

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Can I just say, I didn't intend to panic anyone with my thoughts.

 

Alamy will be aware of the replies to this thread and i am sure will be working to find some sort of solution to mitigate the effects of the new key wording structure on its established contributors.

 

 

You have more faith than me then. I don't think their established contributors matter anymore, not the individuals anyway, we are just a drop in the ocean these days.  Their main concern will be to make it easier for libraries or large agencies.   

 

Pearl

 

 

 

Aye, maybe I do.

 

I did say they they'd be "working to find"a solution to our concerns.  I don't know how hard, or whether one can be found.  We'll just have to see, i suppose.  I do think reducing the maximum number of super tags to something like 6 would help, though.

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Ah - when I click on one of my images where I put some keyword combinations in quotation marks (which is almost all of my images), I see that the commas separate out those keyword combinations. So I presume that such a keyword combination will be translated into a single tag.

 

Doesn't solve the 10-supertag problem, though. But Alamy should be able to continue their extraction of supertags into the Main keyword field, until they reach 10.

 

FYI, I have only used the old Manage Images. 

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I've always separated words and phrases with commas in the old and new Manage Images. Looking at my keywords in an image preview I see what Bill does; commas between words and phrases. Never understood why spaces alone would be sufficient. I'm hopeful this will remain intact during the change as the blog contains this: We want to make it clear that any work you’ve already done with the existing tools will not be wasted. Any annotation already completed or currently being worked on will transfer over to the new system.

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Ah - when I click on one of my images where I put some keyword combinations in quotation marks (which is almost all of my images), I see that the commas separate out those keyword combinations. So I presume that such a keyword combination will be translated into a single tag.

 

Doesn't solve the 10-supertag problem, though. But Alamy should be able to continue their extraction of supertags into the Main keyword field, until they reach 10.

 

FYI, I have only used the old Manage Images. 

 

 

I wouldn't want them to use anything from my existing "main" box as supertags. Just like using the "essentials" box for the most relevant words, the aim isn't to fill it to capacity. This is part of the art of keywording accurately, and judging when you want a word to have a high, medium or low relevance.

 

Geoff.

 

 

Yeah, I see your point. I generally put the more important keywords in Main first, but not consistently. But Main is where I would get my additional supertags. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I have any images with keywords in the Comprehensive area. (I used to, but I cleaned those up during the last great re-do.

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Also, I separate out multi-word items with commas when I keyword in Lightroom. Now (probably) they will be retained during Alamy intake.

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I've always separated words and phrases with commas in the old and new Manage Images. Looking at my keywords in an image preview I see what Bill does; commas between words and phrases. Never understood why spaces alone would be sufficient. I'm hopeful this will remain intact during the change as the blog contains this: We want to make it clear that any work you’ve already done with the existing tools will not be wasted. Any annotation already completed or currently being worked on will transfer over to the new system.

 

From the beginning, Alamy adviced me NOT to use commas, because they only gobble up precious characters. Better use those characters to add more valuable keywords. 

Good boy - as I am - I followed the advice ....... and now I'm screwed!

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

They've always told us not to use commas, but so far have they actually clearly stated that if you do use commas, then where each word is not separated by them, they will be treated as supertags? I don't think that's been made clear yet. I'd imagine that all of us, whether we use commas or not, will be in the same position.

 

Regarding the quote from Alamy saying that our existing work will not have been a waste - That is simply not true. With the existing/old system, putting words together gave that phrase more weight (even without commas or quotes or whatever). With tags, the words will surely (???) stand on their own and won't register as "next to another tag" UNLESS WE EDIT THEM in order to combine words to be supertags. So unless we do that, those of us who have written several phrases using duplicated words WILL have lost that work, and we WILL have to re-do all that. I'm NOT complaining here, I'm just pointing out that fact, and I do feel for those with 10 times more images than I have.

 

Geoff.

 

 

 

I think there may be a little confusion between what is a super tag, and what is a multi word tag.

 

Alamy say;

 

"Phrases such as “New York City” can be added as a single tag, so you wouldn’t have to use 3 tags up for “New”, “York” and “City”. Out of these tags, you can choose to make 10 of them ‘supertags’."

 

Which suggests that multi word tags ("New York City") ca be chosen as super tags.  

 

What I think they mean is that any tag can be a super tag, because they go on to say that; "for those images already online, the essential keywords will be transferred over to be super tags."

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I usually do follow directions, but didn't regarding commas. In comparison to keyword spamming I felt a few commas wasn't going to tax the system. When I joined Alamy the forum was full of comments about lots of time spent re-keywording so I've been wary of this. I hope thing go well for Phillipe and other contributors with large numbers, but can't disagree with Geoff's statement above.

 

Ian; I think the concern is how existing keywords will translate into tags if there is no comma or quote marks between them.  

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If words side by side will still have strength even if not a super tag (as long as each of the three words is a super tag) then at least that would compensate for a bit until contributors can go in and change some things.  I believe they did say that we wouldn't lose any of our current keywords even if they go over the 50 tags.  So in some areas it could be an advantage to have the extra tags.

 

Also, if we go in to edit some of our older images to combine words, will we lose the extra tags when we save the changes?

 

Overall, I think the changes are good, but if you are Phillippe or Jeff and have thousands of images, it could take awhile to go over all the keywords.

 

Jill

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If words side by side will still have strength even if not a super tag (as long as each of the three words is a super tag) then at least that would compensate for a bit until contributors can go in and change some things.  I believe they did say that we wouldn't lose any of our current keywords even if they go over the 50 tags.  So in some areas it could be an advantage to have the extra tags.

 

...

 

Jill

 

 

That's a bit of an if.  It is really difficult to tell for sure looking at the image at the top of the blog post, but it looks like the super tags are all at the top in the field in alphabetical order, and the others underneath, also in alphabetical order.  It's possible that your keywords will be alphabetised when they transfer to the new system.  So, while you may well have put them together previously, there's nothing to say they will remain together.

 

It might be that if you have New, York, and City as three consecutive words in the essential field of an image, you will end up with those three separate words as super tags, and not with New York City as a multi word super tag.  Which could mean that your NYC images will appear in a search for new potatoes.

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One thing that it sounds like will change, which is what I've been worried about, is that adding duplicate words to the Main and Comprehensive fields will no longer improve image placement. It is one of the "tricks" that I don't think is widely known about, and I haven't seen discussed previously. Let's say I have an image of Leeds Castle and I put Leeds Castle in the caption and essentials boxes. If I was to check the position in the search results and note it, then add Leeds Castle to the main section, the next day my image would be higher up in the results. If I was then to add Leeds Castle to the Comprehensive box too, it's position would rise up again. I have proven this many times with different images and it definitely makes a difference, and is one of the things that gave some of us an edge over our competition who weren't so familiar with the system and hadn't done this testing for themselves.

 

 

It's always been my belief that Alamy frowned on this.

 

Alan

 

 

I wasn't aware of that Alan. If I'd known, I wouldn't have done it. I simply did lots of testing and found that duplicating the main search words in all fields helped, so that's what I now do. If I'd known that such an advantage was frowned upon by Alamy, then I would have stopped doing it, but of course that advantage will be taken away now with the new system anyway. One way of looking at it would be that those who keyword spam and use RF incorrectly to get higher in the results are left to get away with it even when they're reported, so we need to grab any advantage we can.

 

 

 

Geoff.

 

 

I don't think Alamy frowned on this at all, at least not in the early days.  I remember them giving some examples of how to keyword and they actually said that repeating the most important words would emphasise their importance and therefore bring the images up higher in search results.  So if the image was of a man in jeans and a T-shirt smiling on the beach you should repeat the word "man" so you might have man jeans, man t-shirt, man beach, man smiling, man happy, etc.  I'm not saying that was an exact example but it was along those lines.

 

As a result I have done as Geoff has done and repeated the most important words.  This has also given me some control on the order in which my images appear.  I guess we are going to lose this with the new MI.

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A lot of my images have square brackets around pairs of words, to conform with Alamy's published but unimplemented criteria for linking words into expressions. Now, if I have "[European beaver]", will I end up with two tags, "[European" and "beaver]"? If so, do I have 2 meaningless tags, or are the square brackets simply ignored with no detriment to searching?

 

Graham

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Alamy, can you show us a clear screenshot of the new Alamy Image Manager?

 

I'm asking because I'm anxious to know whether the tags are shown in alphabetical order or not (my eagle eyes can't tell from the image in the blog, but I fear they are). I also work with a famous stock video agency which shows its tags alphabetically (not for clients, but for the author to edit), but at least it respects the commas (read semi-colons) I placed in bridge so my combined words show as one tag and are thus kept together as sensible combinations and not scattered all over the place. I don't think I have to explain again what consequences that would have.

  • American americanus bear black Ursus
  • beaver Castor Eurasian European fiber
Edit to add: I have a better view on my tablet. Unable to read all the exact words but can determine in the screenshot that the tags' first letters (with white star) are indeed alphabetically arranged. The last tags clearly start with a "w".

Coincidence or not? Here's what I make of it if I squint my eyes: ..... courier ...... digital, electronic, equipment, ..... gadget, ..... health, ...... personal, plastic, .......running, ..... sport, ship, .... target, ..... technology, track, tractor, tracking, .....walk, walking, ........wind

 

OK, now I'm R E A L L Y worried :wacko: All my Latin names will become meaningless individual tags scattered among others to name just one example. All my hard work over the years, carefully arranging my keywords to maximize visiblity ................ down the drain :angry:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

I think it's too early to worry about that. Those words may have been typed or imported in alphabetical order for demonstration purposes.

 

We won't know either way for some time yet.

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Alamy, can you show us a clear screenshot of the new Alamy Image Manager?

I'm asking because I'm anxious to know whether the tags are shown in alphabetical order or not (my eagle eyes can't tell from the image in the blog, but I fear they are). I also work with a famous stock video agency which shows its tags alphabetically (not for clients, but for the author to edit), but at least it respects the commas (read semi-colons) I placed in bridge so my combined words show as one tag and are thus kept together as sensible combinations and not scattered all over the place. I don't think I have to explain again what consequences that would have.

 

  • American americanus bear black Ursus
  • beaver Castor Eurasian European fiber
Edit to add: I have a better view on my tablet. Unable to read all the exact words but can determine in the screenshot that the tags' first letters (with white star) are indeed alphabetically arranged. The last tags clearly start with a "w".

Coincidence or not? Here's what I make of it if I squint my eyes: ..... courier ...... digital, electronic, equipment, ..... gadget, ..... health, ...... personal, plastic, .......running, ..... sport, ship, .... target, ..... technology, track, tractor, tracking, .....walk, walking, ........wind

OK, now I'm R E A L L Y worried :wacko: All my Latin names will become meaningless individual tags scattered among others to name just one example. All my hard work over the years, carefully arranging my keywords to maximize visiblity ................ down the drain :angry:

Cheers,

Philippe

I think it's too early to worry about that. Those words may have been typed or imported in alphabetical order for demonstration purposes.

We won't know either way for some time yet.

I just mailed James Allsworth about it. Very curious what he has to say. I have the impression the new tools are not very well thought over. I prefer to share my thoughts with Alamy 'cause maybe I come up with things they overlooked. Anyway, I look at the new tools from the contributors' perspective. Can only hope they take my fears in consideration and take a second look at their Image Manager instead of launching it, making a complete mess of our hard work and only then realising ...... "Oeps! We overlooked a couple of things :wacko: Better listened to that angry Belgian".

Just my gut feeling, but I fear Alamy concentrates its new tools too much towards new, future images. But seem to neglect its "old" archive of 90 million images.

Cheers,

Philippe

I would like to think that among the beta testers they have contributors such as yourself and others with large portfolios who are offering suggestions on these type of issues.

 

Jill

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That would be the correct meaning of "like", as in similar but including, because they sure didn't ask Philippe, or indeed anyone else who posts here.

Edited by spacecadet
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That would be the correct meaning of "like", as in similar but including, because they sure didn't ask Philippe, or indeed anyone else who posts here.

We know they obviously didn't ask Phillippe, but it is quite possible there are posters here who are beta testing but are not allowed to acknowledge that as part of their beta testing agreement. Posters here represent a very small number of the contributors.

 

Jill

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If not the likes of Philippe, Jeff or Keith, then who?

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If not the likes of Philippe, Jeff or Keith, then who?

I'm sure there are many other contributors with thousands of images besides those who post here. Overall, Alamy may prefer testers who aren't big forum contributors. Easier to maintain confidentiality, and not leave a poster in a quandry on issues brought up on whether to comment or not.

 

Jill

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Coping with change is part of life.

 
In photography I have gone from B&W neg to colour transparency. 35MM to 6X7, to 4X5. Film to digital. Archive in film boxes to, digital on tape, then CD, then DVD, then Hard Drive. Abandonment of early photo programs I wrote in Basic computer language for MSDOS. Photoshop 2 to Photoshop 13. Change of direct stock sales by myself, to sales by agent. Pruning of none performing agents. Multitudes of small Mom and Pop agencies, that photographers could play one against the other, to mega-agencies answerable only to big banks. The industry wide change of agents who had legal obligations to the photographer, to libraries who have almost no legal obligations. Reduction of photographers commission from 60% to 20% in some places. Photography a profession, to everyone is a photographer. Ease of copyright theft over the internet. 
 
I have survived all of the above, and have turned some of it to my advantage.
 
As I have done in the past, I will examine this very small Alamy change, and treat it as an opportunity to turn that small change to my advantage. This will probably include some overdue re keywording and overdue culling of images, and my collection will be the stronger for it.
 
In the words of John F. Kennedy. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
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Alamy, can you show us a clear screenshot of the new Alamy Image Manager?

I'm asking because I'm anxious to know whether the tags are shown in alphabetical order or not (my eagle eyes can't tell from the image in the blog, but I fear they are). I also work with a famous stock video agency which shows its tags alphabetically (not for clients, but for the author to edit), but at least it respects the commas (read semi-colons) I placed in bridge so my combined words show as one tag and are thus kept together as sensible combinations and not scattered all over the place. I don't think I have to explain again what consequences that would have.

  • American americanus bear black Ursus
  • beaver Castor Eurasian European fiber
Edit to add: I have a better view on my tablet. Unable to read all the exact words but can determine in the screenshot that the tags' first letters (with white star) are indeed alphabetically arranged. The last tags clearly start with a "w".

Coincidence or not? Here's what I make of it if I squint my eyes: ..... courier ...... digital, electronic, equipment, ..... gadget, ..... health, ...... personal, plastic, .......running, ..... sport, ship, .... target, ..... technology, track, tractor, tracking, .....walk, walking, ........wind

OK, now I'm R E A L L Y worried :wacko: All my Latin names will become meaningless individual tags scattered among others to name just one example. All my hard work over the years, carefully arranging my keywords to maximize visiblity ................ down the drain :angry:

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I think it's too early to worry about that. Those words may have been typed or imported in alphabetical order for demonstration purposes.

We won't know either way for some time yet.

 

I just mailed James Allsworth about it. Very curious what he has to say. I have the impression the new tools are not very well thought over. I prefer to share my thoughts with Alamy 'cause maybe I come up with things they overlooked. Anyway, I look at the new tools from the contributors' perspective. Can only hope they take my fears in consideration and take a second look at their Image Manager instead of launching it, making a complete mess of our hard work and only then realising ...... "Oeps! We overlooked a couple of things :wacko: Better listened to that angry Belgian".

Just my gut feeling, but I fear Alamy concentrates its new tools too much towards new, future images. But seem to neglect its "old" archive of 90 million images.

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I would like to think that among the beta testers they have contributors such as yourself and others with large portfolios who are offering suggestions on these type of issues.

 

Jill

 

Nope, they overlooked me. Perhaps I'm too critical ^_^

Contacted James Allsworth. Hopefully he'll answer my concerns here, out in the open. 

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

I am sure because you are a very prolific poster, that pretty much knocked you out of the running for a tester.  If I were Alamy, Iwould want beta testers that did not post in the forum, or didn't post frequently.  Easier to maintain confidentiality.

 

Let us know what James tells you.  It would be nice if Alamy would address some of the concerns here to keep our minds from going down the rabbit hole.

 

Jill

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