we NEED categories

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NNehring
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 7:47AM
Made my big Jan 31st deadline so have a little free time. There has been a lot of discussion about the new categories and how useful they are. Love them or hate them, we NEED them. As photographers, we need them. As designers, we need them. What categories do is they provide STANDARDIZED KEYWORDS.

Is it a spanner or a wrench?
Is it an airplane or an aeroplane?
At least a biscuit is food everywhere, isn't it?

Us iStockers are trying to form an English language based working community worldwide. The problem is that there is no universal English. Categories provide that universal or standardized English - both in usage and spelling. It puts everyone on the same page -- using the same words to describe the same things.

Categories ARE keywords. The last category tree level should be one of the keywords that you had been/are placing in keywords. I hope that Admin will ease the photographer's burden by having the last category tree level AUTOMATICALLY placed in the keywords. In theory, your category choices should cover about 90% of your keywords. As standardized keywords, that lets the designers find your work quickly and easily. The last 10% of your keywords, the ones you type into the current keyword box by hand, should be things in your photo that set it apart from the norm.

So a big pat on the back for Admin and the new categories. We need to embrass categories and help Admin continually improve them. More on that in another post coming in a few minutes titled Focus Groups.
sjlocke
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 8:00AM

Categories ARE keywords.


Categories should not be keywords. Categories should be generalized concepts. Otherwise, you are duplicating efforts. If you want to make a dictionary of keywords to pick from, fine, but get rid of the keyword option and set up an ajax interface to pick from the dictionary.
lisafx
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 9:27AM

Categories should not be keywords. Categories should be generalized concepts. Otherwise, you are duplicating efforts.


Exactly.

Keywords are by their nature more comprehensive and thorough a way of classifying images than categories.

I have nothing against categories, but lets not imagine they could (or should) replace keywords.
Maica
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 9:38AM
But I think that when finished and accurately translated to many langages, they will be a very useful tool to expand istock trough the whole world. Maybe is better doing searches with keywords, for english speakers, but browsing through the categories tree is also an effective way to find what you are looking for, without the need of speaking good english.

(Edited on 2006-02-02 09:38:59 by Maica)
Bennewitz
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 9:39AM

Categories ARE keywords.


Yes and No. Categories should HAVE keywords (also the more general ones), pictures in categories should be found automatically when the buyer seraches by keywords. The real keywords are than to refine the description even more because not every word will make it into a category.
Of course the "automatic" keywords should be visible, so we dont double the work. And the old keywords must become optional.

For legacy pictures a better way must be found to add categories (semi-)automatically from the existing keywords. The same applies when new categories are added to the system.

The next step would then be to offer the functionality to search in other languages. Easy, because every category needs only to be translated once.
9Lives
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 9:56AM

But I think that when finished and accurately translated to many langages, they will be a very useful tool to expand istock trough the whole world. Maybe is better doing searches with keywords, for english speakers, but browsing through the categories tree is also an effective way to find what you are looking for, without the need of speaking good english.

(Edited on 2006-02-02 09:38:59 by Maica)



I think the problem with system (again like with keyowrds) is that placing images in categories is left up to the individual contributor. Many have already stated that the category system has proven to be too much of a pain and some of those with larger portfolios have no intention of going back to recategorize hundreds of images.

I agree that the theory nehind the categories is great but from day one the problem has been in the lack of automation of the process. The current process for keywording and categories is absolutley a duplication of efforts.

Are there still refinements to this system coming soon?
danishkhan
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 10:02AM
making a set of a cat. and applying it to number of images though site would be really helpful.
Bennewitz
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 10:24AM

making a set of a cat. and applying it to number of images though site would be really helpful.

Yes, this is missing. As keywords can be copied easily. Otherwise i find putting a new image into categories comfortable and fast now.
abzee
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 10:54AM
Firstly searching by keywords is such an ingrained habit for all internet users that I still wonder just how many users are making use of the categories to find images. And secondly a system that is in constant flux as you would propose by your other thread would find those that obsess on such things constantly updating their image categories instead of being creative and taking more shots.

I've not changed the auto generated catgeories on my 800 plus images yet and don't think it's made a jot of difference to my downloads.
ybmd
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 11:18AM
At least a biscuit is food everywhere, isn't it?


FYI - Biscuits are used in woodworking. I wouldn't recommend eating one of them. See below

file_thumbview_approve
PaulCowan
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 11:28AM

At least a biscuit is food everywhere, isn't it?


FYI - Biscuits are used in woodworking. I wouldn't recommend eating one of them. See below :)

file_thumbview_approve


There are solid gold bullion biscuits, too. And in the US a scone is called a biscuit and a biscuit is called a cookie.

If categories replace the keyword search, I'm screwed. 1,200 pictures to recategorise otherwise they wouldn't be found and the need to get my head round the whole category tree to make sure nothing is missed.
Difydave
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 12:05PM
This is probably a daft question. Is there a way to search by category apart from image manager's tool when you are categorising your own images? I don't use the search facility much. To be honest I don't really see what the categories add to the keyword search unless you can search by category.

Incidentally I just love the taste of those woodworking biscuits, great with PVA dressing!

(Edited on 2006-02-02 12:06:57 by Difydave)
abzee
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 12:36PM
Biscuit is also a type of porcelain
emyerson
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 12:40PM
Is there a way to search by category apart from image manager's tool when you are categorising your own images?


That's apparently in development and should go live soon.
Difydave
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 12:52PM

Is there a way to search by category apart from image manager's tool when you are categorising your own images?


That's apparently in development and should go live soon.


In that case then, as long as the categories are kept reasonably general it should be a useful tool for anyone looking for a particular photo. Just look at the "biscuit" example It would be a lot easier to search in "Wood" or "food"
depending what you want.
Strange about the woodworking biscuits I was looking in the box the other day thinking "PHOTO" and then noticed that mine have all got the makers name pressed into them---!
lisafx
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 3:55PM

But I think that when finished and accurately translated to many langages, they will be a very useful tool to expand istock trough the whole world. Maybe is better doing searches with keywords, for english speakers, but browsing through the categories tree is also an effective way to find what you are looking for, without the need of speaking good english.



This is a good point. If istock is positioning itself to have language translation that will be a great thing.

There is no reason not to have comprehensive categories and keywords, but as already mentioned, more automation would be nice if I have to go back and recategorize 1000 + images.
StanRohrer
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 7:50PM
Somebody around here timed a group of image category efforts and determined 2 minutes per image. With 1277 images already here I'm not even contemplating starting such an effort. Life is just to short to start down this path.
eyedias
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Posted Thu Feb 2, 2006 9:41PM
Categories are potentially useful for filtering out images you don't want. If you want an image from a certain geographic region, for example, this is easy to narrow down using categories.

I've seen photographers including keywords from several geographic locations for the same image, because the same kind of subject matter exists there, even though the photo could only have been taken in one of the locations.

If you would automate the process, how would a script know if a location is meant to be a geographic designation? Many keywords can have several meanings, or relate to the image in only one of many possible contexts. And some are just spam. Categories could cut down on keyword abuse, but they have to be entered intelligently by a human.

I also noticed that my keywords were a great help in finding categories to include. And not a few times I added keywords that were inspired by categories. A standard dictionary of keywords, gleaned from the categories list, could become a powerful aid in finding an image, once you get familiar with it - assuming everyone is using it.

I understand those with large portfolios balking at the work involved in upgrading their categories. But I think it would take iStock's search options to the next level in terms of effectiveness. Maybe there should be iStock Category Fillers? I think the job would be much easier for someone really familiar with all the subcategories. Perhaps just for the pre-v.8 images? My own small portfolio is half done already, so I'm not suggesting this for my own benefit.

(Edited on 2006-02-03 07:56:06 by eyedias)
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