iStock can be a confusing place. We all have made-up online names and funny little 25 pixel avatars, which for the most part are the only ways we know each other. To top it off, you have people who have been around the place for years and are used to certain ways of doing things. This scenario probably sounds familiar: a new iStocker, having scanned through the FAQs and quickly given up on getting an answer from the forum search, starts an iStock discussion thread.Newbie: Err, hi. I was looking at the free image of the week and wondered how people get their pictures into that? Is there a waiting list? Do I have to mail someone the negtives? How does it work?
In the interest of everybody knowing what the h*ck is going on, we've prepared a list of notable admins and staff. This is not complete. There are dozens and dozens of hard working, important people who aren't listed. Instead we've focused on specific members with public functions who you may, for one reason or another, need to know.
There are two different sorts of iStock Administrators. First of all, we have our staff here in Calgary, Alberta. There's more than 100 of us now in our new office at the train switching yard in Ramsay. Most of us, you'll never hear from: marketing coordinators, video editors, php coders, network administrators — they may occasionally pop into the forums to make an announcement on a specific issue or offer an opinion on last night's episode of 'Heroes', but mostly keep quiet. So say hello if you see an unfamiliar name with a gold badge hanging out in the Off-Topic, and you'll probably make a stressed-out sysadmin's day go a little better.
In addition to our Admins, iStock Inspectors view and approve the images in our queue. They have a certain set of tools which they use to do this. They cannot change the way the site works, restart the servers in Calgary, or fix that spelling mistake on the Extended License page. They are, however, to a person, incredibly helpful, patient, gifted in their various fields, and ready to answer questions in the Critique forum about how to get rid of that pesky purple fringing. There are more than 130 of them now, from Prussia to Portland. Someday, we'll have a list for you.
Finally, we have a few individuals assigned with moderating our forums (both in English and in German). Anyone with the M badge is assigned to help keep the communication flowing, direct people to the right resources and welcome new faces into the forums.
Mostly, though, you're probably familiar with a smaller set of about two dozen Admins who turn up regularly in the forums, warning you about scheduled site maintenance, letting you know when upload limits have changed, or offering opinions on last night's episode of 'Heroes'. Some of these more public members are in the office in Calgary. There are also plenty of them from elsewhere, who we've tapped over the years because of their unique skills to help us out in various special areas.[color=#77beec]The Brass[/color]
Bruce Livingstone created iStockphoto in 2001, opening the world's eyes to the possibilities of community-generated content and creating the microstock image industry. Now Bruce splits his time between Calgary and Seattle, overseeing both iStock and Getty Images' Consumer division.
Thompson holds a computer science degree from the University of Calgary, which thankfully didn't get in the way of his creative side. His early knack for human-computer interface design put him on a quick and obvious trajectory to the web. Bruce convinced him to come work for iStock in 2004, which turns out to have been a good idea. As Chief Operations Officer, he's responsible for keeping the company running smoothly.
Our Chief Technology Officer, Aaron Springer, has been with iStock from the beginning: the very beginning, actually. He was the first employee. He oversees our Development and IT teams, making sure that not only does iStockphoto.com work, but that we're always a step ahead of the rest of the industry.
JJRD recruits and oversees the operation of our Inspection team. As Vice President of Content, he guides the visual direction of the iStock collection, working with the Inspection team and the Contributor Relations department to develop standards and guide contributors. JJ is passionate about the continuing artistic integrity of iStockphoto, and makes all of our lives a little more beautiful every day.
If you have any kind of technical problem with how the iStock website operates, you need to log a support ticket. This is the quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to get resolution of the problem. The ticket system lets our team track and catalogue known issues and stay on top of what's been resolved and what hasn't.
It's probably tempting when something goes wrong to fire off a sitemail to that one Admin you get along with so well. Or bump a forum thread on a Sunday afternoon demanding attention from Calgary. We understand the feelings behind all of that, but we can't stress enough: nothing helps everyone out more than logging a Support ticket.
Bili is in charge of our Client Relations team, managing the group on the front lines answering phones and tickets, ensuring that the mood is calm, the nerves soothed and the flow of information and help is always moving. She and her team haven't had a vacation in a long time. Be nice to them.
Joyze used to run our Client Relations department, and has since moved over to specifically looking after the needs of our contributing artists in the Contributor Relations wing. With more than 40,000 contributors bringing their work to iStock every day, it's a busy job. Her team includes the Scouts, our Forum moderators, and the 'Lypse coordinators.
The Scout team are your Image Ombudspersons, re-examining Inspection decisions which you, our treasured Contributor, disagree with. Use the Scout System: forum threads about the impaired vision of the Inspectors don't accomplish anything. Be nice to Scout: they go through a lot in a day. You can read the complete guidelines to the system here.
Everyone's favorite New Hampshire backyard nature photographer is the Mayor of the iStock community. He's the guy with the big oversize scissors who cuts the ribbon every time we open a new supermarket. He brings a ladder over when your cat gets stuck in a tree. And he's always there to put the chairs up on the tables and lock the door when a discussion has run its course. Rob maintains order on the iStock forums and does his best to ensure that everyone follows all the rules. Ask him anything.
There are always going to be special problems which require special solutions: that's when we send Lobo. Lobo resolves unique, out-of-the-ordinary messes — he's the iStock Jack Bauer. He likes pie. A lot.
I'm the communication liason between the iStock office and the outside world, bringing you all 'The Message', and helping out my pal Sylvan out in the forums. I also commission, edit, and occasionally even write the articles for the site. I handle public apologies when our fancy new features bomb out (having spent months building them up to all of you before hand.) I decided against writing about myself in the third person.
Elissa is our conduit between iStock and Getty Images, looking after the needs and concerns of our Exclusives contributing their work over at Getty.
Jeff is your point of contact with the iStock legal team. He ensures that iStock users follow and obey the terms of the Content License agreement. If you encounter suspicious usages of iStock images, you need to get in touch with him and his team. Email all the important facts to ce (at) istockphoto.com. He will get to work sorting out your case.
The iStock forums are spreading into other languages, beginning with German. You can spot our German language forum moderators by their fancy badges.
Brent (not to be confused with Brentman, even though they're the same guy (it's complicated)) manages our Systems Administration team. We hesitated about including him here, because basically if you ever think you have an issue for him, you really need to send it to Support. Seriously, by the time he gets to his sitemail, his phone has typically been making this crazy Submarine sound for quite a while. He thanks you in advance.
Braddy was one of the original hands on the iStock deck back when the site was just a part-time hobby for the guys at Evolvs. A lot of our first images came out of Brad's camera. Now, as Senior Creative Director, he oversees the look and feel of iStock, managing our Design and Creative teams.
Yvonne handles the massive task of marketing iStock across the globe. She directs the print and online advertising, promotions, and public relations campaigns that keep us in the limelight.
Danny travels the world, finding partners and making relationships, coming up with new ways to sell iStock. You'll find him and his team at trade shows and conferences around the world, pushing the iStock gospel. He is a deadly Foosball player.
Brenda is in charge of looking after our Corporate Accounts clients. If you can't figure out how to distribute the credits to your Corporate Network, she's there to help.
There are postmodernists out there who will try and tell you that there's no necessary relationship between any given word and any given meaning. These people have never met Jordan Lane. Keywords is the ultimate authority on what means what here at iStock. He decides which new terms and mappings belong in our Controlled Vocabulary, taking your suggestions and tweaking how our search engine defines its parameters for meaning. He manages our whole Metadata Team. Ask him any questions about search terms, keywords, and what feat a rogue should take at third level.
Alison is our site-wide copywriter, handling text wherever it appears, from ad copy to those blurbs explaining how to buy a credit. She also creates the Contact Sheet and our Weekly Tip mailings. It's a massive job. She makes us all sound smart and articulate, and fixes rogermexico's spelling mistakes.
Somehow, Lise finds the time in a busy day full of ruling the photography world to help our team, lending them her eyes, know-how, and knack for the perfect shot. We can't thank her enough.
Simon is one of our longest standing Inspectors, and is our go-to man for all matters of technical quality when it comes to images. He trains new team members, drilling them with the native resolutions of every digital camera model ever put on the market. Seek him out in the Critique Requests forum and ask him what you can do to compensate for the in-camera upsampling your Fuji FinePix S3 Pro insists on doing. He also selects the Free Image of the Week — you can see the submission guidelines on his blog.
Our Vector Queen handles all things illustrated. She moderates the Vector Forums, maintains the Weeklies for the Vector portal page, runs the illustration wing of the Inspection team — she's a busy woman. We've run down several FAVQs on the next page, so if you're wondering about illustration pricing or your last rejection for unclosed paths, the answers are there.
Video has become a huge part of iStock, and VCR has been the man behind it all. He heads up our squad of Video Inspectors, hammers out the policy issues that matter to all of you Videographers and none of the rest of us understand (NTSC or PAL? Can you repeat the question?)
David is in charge of our burgeoning Audio collection, guiding the ingestion and development of this new new part of our world. He owns the most massive, expensive pair of headphones you've ever seen.
With Inspectors speaking dozens of languages 24 hours a day on every continent, keeping the team coordinated is a full-time job. Specifically, it's Evilclown's job. He keeps all 110+ Inspectors updated and in the know, all the time. Shaun also has the vital daily task of keeping JJ more or less sane.
We put a lot of time and effort into the Contributor application process. It's the first point of entry for the people who will potentially shape how iStock looks in the future, and we want the experience to be helpful and productive for everyone involved. That's why we put the remarkable Stefan Klein in charge.
After it came up in the last painfully out-of-date Inspector Interview that Henk was teaching Flash in a Capetown college, he was immediately badged and put to work in our Flash Queue. He'll help you with your code, your action-scripting, and all the other important issues that the rest of us understand even less than Video.
Our number one New Zealander and former King of the Cage leads the Vector inspection team.
While 3D renders still aren't a separate department within the Content department per se, we are taking steps to give them some more love. Step One: bring in Mevans. He's happy to answer any questions about 3D files and Aussie-rules football.
Diane handles all of our raster illustration. Pixel art, photoshop paintings — basically anything that isn't a Vector (although she knows plenty about those, too.)
The man who brought you iStockalypse: Slovenia has been in the trenches here at iStock as long as anyone, and is in charge of keeping the team current on all the latest in camera technology.
We know you're still out there, buying up all the 100 speed Velvia slide film you can get your hands on. Painstakingly blowing the dust off your drum-scanner. Slowly filling your home with shoe-boxes full of negatives and prints. Because you still love film and what it does. Well, so do we, and efenzi is our man for making sure that our scanned content looks the best that it can.
A long-time photo inspector here, Donald put a lot of time into helping people out in the Critique forum — so much so that we decided to give him the keys to the place. The next time you have an image rejected, or even better yet, before you even submit it, head over to the Critique Forum, read the guidelines, and get some feedback from Donald and the other regulars.
Ethan works with Keywords to make sure that the Inspection team is up to speed on accurate search data tactics. He helps Jordan explain and implement our keywording policies out there in the Forums. And he knows more about comic books than you do.
These two remarkable artists all lend us their eyes, talents, and experience, for all sorts of content-related matters which we won't get into here. They are all passionate about the community and will be more than helpful if you ever have a question.
Che handles the submissions to our Designer's Spotlight. He's the head of the Battle Elder Council, the fearsome legislative body of the iStock Steel Cage. He makes our Articles section look good. And he does it all from Australia. Seriously, he's on the other side of the International Date Line. In the future.
Steve is a member of our in-house development team, and has worked on a lot of projects over the years, but it's the Cage that made him famous. He's the guy who controls the guts of the cage: let him know if you're having any technical problems.