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Dont blame the Beta testers for the Image Management problems

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I was not a beta tester, but I have seen quite a few comments of incredulity that the IM problems were not sorted out during beta testing. 

 

Frankly that's not the nub of the problem. The problem is that Alamy made 2 very significant changes within a very short space of time. On 5th Dec they introduced a new search engine algorithm, and then a month or so later they introduced the new IM system.

 

 

When I was a GP (family doctor), and had a patient who needed some changes to their medication, I never introduced more than one change at a time. If you did that, and there were subsequent problems, you had no idea which of the two new medications had caused the problem, or indeed whether the problem was due to the combination of the two. You introduced one medication first, looked to see the results and then, and only then, after a further period of stability, did you then introduce the second medication and did the same again.

 

Some (not all)  of the obvious problems with the new search engine/IM system are difficult to sort out for this reason, and the beta-testers only tested the new IM system. 

 

If Alamy is reading this, Please consider introducing one of the changes at a time. The new IM system is obviously here to stay, and I can understand they wont want to go back to the previous IM. The search engine changes, however would be easy to reverse (indeed they have reversed back to the old search engine system a few times recently). 

 

I would strongly suggest to Alamy the following

 

1. Revert back to the Old Search engine system

2. Sort out the problems with the new IM system, no matter how long it takes

3. Once these have been done, and the IM system has been working properly for a sufficient period of time, THEN introduce the new search engine algorithm.

 

Kumar (the Doc one)

Edited by Doc
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Please, no change back! A lot of effort is already being invested in changes to accommodate AIM. We don't want to have to do all that again.

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It's a great pity that all of the functionality of the old IM wasn't incorporated into the new IM - plus more features making it better and easier to use.

 

It seems we haven't really gained a great deal, if anything, and in fact we have lost a lot of the things that we could do with ease in the old IM.

 

John. 

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I was not a beta tester, but I have seen quite a few comments of incredulity that the IM problems were not sorted out during beta testing. 

 

 

Great analogy Doc. Obviously there are two problems - one is the new IM itself and the other is the search engine.

 

As far as the IM goes, I think the problem is a lot more fundamental than anything to do with the testers - it is the basic user interface design that is the real problem: the lack of a cut and paste facility, the inability to drag a set of images for batch processing to a separate screen area or to otherwise separate out the batch of images being worked on, the non-standard image selection processes, the absence of a good search and filter system (this last one may be fixable) and the design of the tagging area probably sum up most of what is wrong. All of this goes back to whoever designed the system, way before even the alpha testers got their hands on it. The testers are not at fault in any of this. They came in way too late for that.

 

A better medical analogy for the IM would be that the old system was sent to a surgeon who amputated much of what was useful or essential and replaced it with some ill-considered parts designed to make it more compatible with modern technology (mobile devices) but seriously damaging the poor patient's abiliy to function on computers where it spends the vast bulk of its time in any case. It is now severely handicapped in my opinion and nothing short of putting back the bits that have been hacked off will suffice to make it properly functional.

 

I'll leave comments on the search engines to the specialists in that area.

Edited by MDM

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Yes, having two changes to the system introduced at the same time did , and still does,  make things difficult to disentangle

 

km

beta tester

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This is what I do.

Accept the things I cannot change, and just get on with it.

 

Yes, the new IM has some warts. I think the technical team will sort some of them, but as Alamy has said, it will take time. Meanwhile, I'm not losing sleep over it but I'm just getting on with it.

 

I can tell my husband 100 times to quit leaving the tap running, but he's going to continue not noticing he left it running a bit. So it's easier on my temper to just check the tap myself when he's been in the kitchen.

 

Yesterday I fixed and supertagged about 150 images. I think I have done about 1750-1800 of them to date. Meanwhile, I've image's in the slow lane of QC.

 

It's a treat (for me) to process new images, since I tag in Bridge before uploading. If you all who do it in LR could copy/ paste to move yours around, that would be good. I truly hope that's one of the features that will be added.

 

If it were me, though, I'd do as Allan did and get the free Bridge (that keeps your tags in the order you entered) and at the least give it a good test. I'm always challenging myself with learning something new. Good for those brain cells that love to go rusty.

Betty

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100% agree that you can't blame the beta testers.

 

To some extent, I would guess that the change to AIM and the new search engine were designed to go hand-in-hand. Going from three "levels" of tag/keyword (i.e. essential, main and comprehensive) to two levels (supertags and "normal" tags) was always going to have an impact. But that said, it does seem that they can switch from one to the other and back again.

 

With the search engine change, however, there were always going to be winners and losers. The losers unfortunately appear to be some of the bigger, longer standing contributors who have been used to seeing that their images appear regularly in the first few pages of any given search for which they have images. But as their pictures move down in the results, the space vacated must be filled by someone's images and these are the winners. And I suggest that someone like Janet who started this thread  http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/7106-first-sale/ is probably one of the winners.

 

I guess what people don't like is the unpredictability whereby they see images move or see their images appear in totally different places based on different searches. But this might be intentional in order to help buyers see more of the total Alamy collection.

Edited by Matt Ashmore
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+1 Matt and Betty.

 
As someone who had good placement and a large collection, I am just getting on with it. 
 
It is a waste of time to concentrate so much on the Alamy search engine. How about keywording/tagging in Bridge for your own internal library, or another photo agency, or future search engine technology? I am keywording/tagging, captioning, my own internal archive masterfile TIFF to industry standards in Bridge, and then later designating supertags in Alamy image manager.
 
We will never know exactly how the Alamy search engine works, because, If we all did, then poor images with spectacular Alamy search engine metadata would appear at the top of the search. Any good search engine will be changed from time to time, to reflect new industry realities, and in order to prevent the above.
 
All we can do is clean up our old Alamy metadata, keyword/tag to industry standards in Bridge, and try to improve our photography.
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+1 Matt and Betty.

...
 
All we can do is clean up our old Alamy metadata, keyword/tag to industry standards in Bridge, and try to improve our photography.

 

 

I agreee. That is why I am waiting until the new metadata spreadsheet is available and I will rework my older images then and hopefully the dust will have settled on the changes. More recent, and new, images will pretty much go straight into the new format except for designating super tags. Then any sales will fall where they will, my main efforts will be going elsewhere.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Please, no change back! A lot of effort is already being invested in changes to accommodate AIM. We don't want to have to do all that again.

 

Hi Spacecadet - please note I have not suggested for one minute that we change back from the new IM - it is obviously here to stay and I agree a lot of work has gone into it from all of us

 

But I do suggest Alamy should change back to the old search engine, as they should only be changing one thing at a time. There are some obvious anomalies in the way images are coming up in searches now, (and this is not just a previously high selling contributor whingeing!  LOL )

 

Kumar (the Doc one)

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Aargh, sorry, Doc, reading problem. Or rather not reading.

Edited by spacecadet
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I truly wish the previous search engine returns.  2016 was a great year for Alamy and for me. 

If things continue as is, 2017 will be the worst year in more than a decade (with far fewer images).

 

We have a new search engine with very unexpected, unpredictable results (and Alamy's new political position of providing much less information about these changes than ever before) and a new annotation tool that makes it extraordinarily difficult to edit keywords. 

Alamy previously required multiple boxes to be filled in.  Now they've amalgamated these into one, not paying heed to the duplication of keywords this involves. 

Sloppy, careless work.  The only way Alamy will respond to these issues is if overall sales decline.  I doubt that will happen.

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Maybe I'm missing something but I think the emphasis on Bridge here and elsewhere is potentially misleading as the reason people are saying that Bridges is supposedly advantageous over Lightroom is to do with the order of the keywords or tags. However, Alamy has said several times that order of tags is unimportant in searches. http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/7101-new-image-manager-quotes-direct-from-alamy-only

 

Alamy are saying that it is proximity of the words within the tags that is important and this can be dealt with by creating multi-word tags whether that is in Bridge, Lightroom, another program that does keywords or a separate text document and pasted into the new IM.

 

To be clear, I am not saying don't keyword before upload, just that the importance being afforded to tag order in contrast to word order in multi-word tags is incorrect (and hence the importance of using Bridge rather than Lightroom or another program) if Alamy's responses to questions is to be believed. I think it would be useful if those that are advocating the use of Bridge could demonstrate why it is actually better than Lightroom.

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Maybe I'm missing something but I think the emphasis on Bridge here and elsewhere is potentially misleading as the reason people are saying that Bridges is supposedly advantageous over Lightroom is to do with the order of the keywords or tags. However, Alamy has said several times that order of tags is unimportant in searches. http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/7101-new-image-manager-quotes-direct-from-alamy-only

 

Alamy are saying that it is proximity of the words within the tags that is important and this can be dealt with by creating multi-word tags whether that is in Bridge, Lightroom, another program that does keywords or a separate text document and pasted into the new IM.

 

To be clear, I am not saying don't keyword before upload, just that the importance being afforded to tag order in contrast to word order in multi-word tags is incorrect (and hence the importance of using Bridge rather than Lightroom or another program) if Alamy's responses to questions is to be believed. I think it would be useful if those that are advocating the use of Bridge could demonstrate why it is actually better than Lightroom.

 

what if you can't fit all your words into one tag?  

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Maybe I'm missing something but I think the emphasis on Bridge here and elsewhere is potentially misleading as the reason people are saying that Bridges is supposedly advantageous over Lightroom is to do with the order of the keywords or tags. However, Alamy has said several times that order of tags is unimportant in searches. http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/7101-new-image-manager-quotes-direct-from-alamy-only

 

Alamy are saying that it is proximity of the words within the tags that is important and this can be dealt with by creating multi-word tags whether that is in Bridge, Lightroom, another program that does keywords or a separate text document and pasted into the new IM.

 

To be clear, I am not saying don't keyword before upload, just that the importance being afforded to tag order in contrast to word order in multi-word tags is incorrect (and hence the importance of using Bridge rather than Lightroom or another program) if Alamy's responses to questions is to be believed. I think it would be useful if those that are advocating the use of Bridge could demonstrate why it is actually better than Lightroom.

 

what if you can't fit all your words into one tag?  

 

 

Put them in the caption? They say the caption has a high weighting.

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I don't think I have ever taken full advantage of the keywording shortcuts in Lightroom because I've not learned it completely. I would rather spend my time doing that rather than using something different. Staying in Lightroom with forays into the NIK filters is my comfort zone right now.

 

Paulette

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100% agree that you can't blame the beta testers.

 

 

 

 

Matt no one is blaming the beta testers and I am sure they spent a lot of time on it doing what Alamy asked of them but I think there should have been a larger cross section of users doing the testing.

 

Allan

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I would strongly suggest to Alamy the following

 

1. Revert back to the Old Search engine system

 

Kumar (the Doc one)

Yes please. There seem to be winners and losers under the new system as well as contributors who are both winners and losers - i.e. some of their images appear near the top of a search and others near the bottom. I fall into the latter category. I'm clearly delighted that many of my images do well in searches but there are quite a few that are buried. My current views and zooms are approx 50% down on this time last year.

 

I understood the old system where we all started off with median rank. Those who sold well, rose in the ranks and those who didn't sell well tended to fall behind. It was a bit of a blunt instrument but at least we knew where we were. We understood that if we took well composed, well lit pictures and understood the type of subject matter that was in demand, we had every chance of making good sales. If we were successful, the reward was that we would rise through the ranks so that our images were usually returned high up and with consistency in a search. Now, as has been observed in other posts, the result is a lottery for many contributors.

 

I understand Alamy's reluctance to provide precise details on its search algorithm but I think a broad explanation would be helpful. Despite Alamy's insistence that it is so, it's clearly not enough to take good pictures and keyword them well - there is some other mechanism at work here, of which a photographer's rank now seems to play little part. 

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I think that again the red arrows will fly to me right now, but my two pence.

Opponents of everything new was always lot. It seems that everyone wants to live in the old, proven, as in the days when "plowing with oxen and sowing", and when the tractor was invented, but still adapted to his plow, were also opponents.

I think that time will put everything in its place, and those who have a very decent portfolio, does not suffer from the innovations.

"Mail send pigeons" - send via email itnrnet.

Here are two options come in comparison.

I soon misunderstandings will disappear and the practical use of new algorithms (by the way all the micro something like this happens at this time)

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I think that again the red arrows will fly to me right now, but my two pence.
Opponents of everything new was always lot. It seems that everyone wants to live in the old, proven, as in the days when "plowing with oxen and sowing", and when the tractor was invented, but still adapted to his plow, were also opponents.
I think that time will put everything in its place, and those who have a very decent portfolio, does not suffer from the innovations.
"Mail send pigeons" - send via email itnrnet.
Here are two options come in comparison.
I soon misunderstandings will disappear and the practical use of new algorithms (by the way all the micro something like this happens at this time)

 

 

Are you using Google translate?

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I think that again the red arrows will fly to me right now, but my two pence.
Opponents of everything new was always lot. It seems that everyone wants to live in the old, proven, as in the days when "plowing with oxen and sowing", and when the tractor was invented, but still adapted to his plow, were also opponents.
I think that time will put everything in its place, and those who have a very decent portfolio, does not suffer from the innovations.
"Mail send pigeons" - send via email itnrnet.
Here are two options come in comparison.
I soon misunderstandings will disappear and the practical use of new algorithms (by the way all the micro something like this happens at this time)

 

 

Me I'm no luddite (good word for you to learn :)). I love new things but only if they are better than what went before - the story of life and evolution. 

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I think that again the red arrows will fly to me right now, but my two pence.
Opponents of everything new was always lot. It seems that everyone wants to live in the old, proven, as in the days when "plowing with oxen and sowing", and when the tractor was invented, but still adapted to his plow, were also opponents.
I think that time will put everything in its place, and those who have a very decent portfolio, does not suffer from the innovations.
"Mail send pigeons" - send via email itnrnet.
Here are two options come in comparison.
I soon misunderstandings will disappear and the practical use of new algorithms (by the way all the micro something like this happens at this time)

 

 

Are you using Google translate?

 

You are absolutely right. While my English does not allow me another option. Excuse me!

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I think that again the red arrows will fly to me right now, but my two pence.
Opponents of everything new was always lot. It seems that everyone wants to live in the old, proven, as in the days when "plowing with oxen and sowing", and when the tractor was invented, but still adapted to his plow, were also opponents.
I think that time will put everything in its place, and those who have a very decent portfolio, does not suffer from the innovations.
"Mail send pigeons" - send via email itnrnet.
Here are two options come in comparison.
I soon misunderstandings will disappear and the practical use of new algorithms (by the way all the micro something like this happens at this time)

 

 

Me I'm no luddite (good word for you to learn :)). I love new things but only if they are better than what went before - the story of life and evolution. 

 

So who now can be 100% sure what will happen tomorrow !?
I am an optimist and I believe that the skeptics "tomorrow" will be the first to admire.

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I think that again the red arrows will fly to me right now, but my two pence.
Opponents of everything new was always lot. It seems that everyone wants to live in the old, proven, as in the days when "plowing with oxen and sowing", and when the tractor was invented, but still adapted to his plow, were also opponents.
I think that time will put everything in its place, and those who have a very decent portfolio, does not suffer from the innovations.
"Mail send pigeons" - send via email itnrnet.
Here are two options come in comparison.
I soon misunderstandings will disappear and the practical use of new algorithms (by the way all the micro something like this happens at this time)

 

 

Are you using Google translate?

 

You are absolutely right. While my English does not allow me another option. Excuse me!

 

 

You have made tremendous progress with your English. I can now say I now understand what you are saying. I know I am resistant to change but, for me, the way I was working before the change has made the change a really disappointing one. I can only work with my older images by spending way too much time reducing the number of keywords so this new thing is truly not an improvement for me though it seems to be for some others.

 

Paulette

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