BM Discussion: Updated Jan 25th

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hatman12
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveRecognizing those who reach the 100,000 download mark
Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:45PM
Posted By brittak:
Search still definitely broken. Tried to seach one of my own private LB:s for "not safari" (Wanted to make sure I had added that keyword to all appropriate images). First two I checked in the selection did have "safari" as keyword.

The NOT function doesn't appear to work when searching inside one's own portfolio.  Perhaps this problem also applies to lightboxes.  This problem has been evident for some time and is documented in the bugs thread.
jsteck
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusiveThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.
Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:37PM
Thanks for being up front about the CSA Vetta file import, Mr. Erin. It's a bit shocking to see 3,000+ injested at one time. 
hatman12
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveRecognizing those who reach the 100,000 download mark
Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:09PM

I went back to test again a couple of my trial searches that I documented here a month or so ago.


First Ribbon + Gold.  The basic search for ribbon now produces a much more appropriate, attractive and relevant set of results.  Adding the keyword Gold now further refines the search and does indeed provide the customer with a comprehensive selection of gold ribbons, just as might be reasonably expected.  These searches have improved markedly in the last day or two.


Next Beach + Copyspace.  The basic search for Beach now produces a much more attractive and relevant set of images.  But adding the additional word Copyspace takes the search back to the problem area of page after page of zero download files.


One would have expected that a change to the basic underlying search algorithm would change the results for all searches equally, but that hasn't happened.  There's clearly still a problem somewhere when adding additional words to refine the search - some searches now produce good results, others flick back to the 'hundreds of zero download files' problem.
SWKrullImaging
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:01AM
Interestingly, copyspace doesn't do very well by itself either.  Just putting in copyspace or "copy space" results in one blue flame image followed by a bunch of zero downloads agency files and series by the same contributor.  Changing the mix to sort by downloads shows that there are obviously many other and better choices.  Why would some one word searches favor agency contributors while other one word searches work just fine?  Its like some keywords are hard coded to a different code path in the algorithm.  As a software engineer, if I were going to do this I would just make table of reserved search terms that if found in the sequence would link to an individual or group of chosen user names.  Just sayin' ...






Next Beach + Copyspace.  The basic search for Beach now produces a much more attractive and relevant set of images.  But adding the additional word Copyspace takes the search back to the problem area of page after page of zero download files.



(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:04 by SWKrullImaging)

(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:30 by SWKrullImaging)
brittak
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:45AM
Thank you Hatman, had missed that the NOT search was already a known bug.

(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:45:54 by brittak)
MichaelJay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:08AM
Posted By brittak:
Thank you Hatman, had missed that the NOT search was already a known bug.


I think you always have to search for a "positive" keyword first before adding an exclusion. You can search for "photography" and "NOT safari" in your lightbox - if I'm not wrong, this should work.


Only a NOT search within a portfolio or lightbox will not work as it won't work for any generic search either.
georgeclerk
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:16AM

Good to see that some progress is being made.


But there's still a long way to go.  'Barcelona architecture' results here are still a long way behind the competition, despite the quality that's available here for those terms.
MichaelJay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:18AM
Posted By mr_erin: To provide some context these Agency batches are much smaller than the E+ migration, for E+ we've moved over 400k images to the Getty site, these TAC batches are typically a few hundred to a rare maximum of a couple thousand per month. The combined total for this group of migrations we're working on right now is just under 4k. The total GI content in Agency is about 35k (half of which is the Lifesize collection). 


Well, you forgot 20k of HultonArchive (3500 of which are Vetta). And the total of CSA_Images is at almost 9k now, all Vetta. And obviously EdStock with 123k images up to today. Don't get me wrong, all of those are valuable additions to the iStock offering and differentiates this site from competitors, so I welcome them in general. Just don't make it look like the total number is tiny, all of them sum up to about 200k.


If I remember correctly, when the first large batch of EdStock images was added to iStock, the import was handled in a way that those files received a different "File Age" with regards to the search and therefore did not pop up in huge lumps on the first page of each search. I would kindly ask you to investigate if this couldn't be done for future batches as well. Not just in the interest of contributors but also in the best interest of iStock in general. I don't think it looks good to the site if a majority of search results for a photo search are actually (rastered) illustrations in the same style. 
hatman12
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveRecognizing those who reach the 100,000 download mark
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:52AM
Posted By SWKrullImaging:

Interestingly, copyspace doesn't do very well by itself either.  Just putting in copyspace or "copy space" results in one blue flame image followed by a bunch of zero downloads agency files and series by the same contributor.  Changing the mix to sort by downloads shows that there are obviously many other and better choices.  Why would some one word searches favor agency contributors while other one word searches work just fine?  Its like some keywords are hard coded to a different code path in the algorithm.  As a software engineer, if I were going to do this I would just make table of reserved search terms that if found in the sequence would link to an individual or group of chosen user names.  Just sayin' ...




(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:04 by SWKrullImaging)

(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:30 by SWKrullImaging)


Yes, someone on an external forum descibed the istock search as 'search and deny' rather than 'search and find'.  It's possible that the search engineers have spent a lot of time over the last couple of years finding ways to deny access so as to scrape every last penny away from higher canister files.  There have been lots of comments about how strangely sales have been falling even though artists can 'see' their files at the top of searches.


If so, perhaps searchfairy and her team are going to be surprised and shocked at the complex structure, and the weird and wonderful techniques invented to skew the search this way or that.


None of that rubbish has 'worked' except in the short term anyway.  When will people learn that the best way to run a business like this is to give the customers the best, easiest and most relevant buying experience.  Build and it and they will come....


 
lagereek
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:58AM
Posted By hatman12:

Posted By SWKrullImaging:


Interestingly, copyspace doesn't do very well by itself either.  Just putting in copyspace or "copy space" results in one blue flame image followed by a bunch of zero downloads agency files and series by the same contributor.  Changing the mix to sort by downloads shows that there are obviously many other and better choices.  Why would some one word searches favor agency contributors while other one word searches work just fine?  Its like some keywords are hard coded to a different code path in the algorithm.  As a software engineer, if I were going to do this I would just make table of reserved search terms that if found in the sequence would link to an individual or group of chosen user names.  Just sayin' ...





(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:04 by SWKrullImaging)

(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:30 by SWKrullImaging)



Yes, someone on an external forum descibed the istock search as 'search and deny' rather than 'search and find'.  It's possible that the search engineers have spent a lot of time over the last couple of years finding ways to deny access so as to scrape every last penny away from higher canister files.  There have been lots of comments about how strangely sales have been falling even though artists can 'see' their files at the top of searches.


If so, perhaps searchfairy and her team are going to be surprised and shocked at the complex structure, and the weird and wonderful techniques invented to skew the search this way or that.


None of that rubbish has 'worked' except in the short term anyway.  When will people learn that the best way to run a business like this is to give the customers the best, easiest and most relevant buying experience.  Build and it and they will come....


 


Exactly!  and thats the logic behind all Trad RM agencies! algorithms and thats why they still exist and prevail. Where as most Micros with short term profit thinking are slowly one by one going out of business.


You can have the best most outstanding pictures in the world. If you dont flaunt them, youre gong down.
brittak
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:50AM
Posted By MichaelJay:

Posted By brittak:
Thank you Hatman, had missed that the NOT search was already a known bug.


I think you always have to search for a "positive" keyword first before adding an exclusion. You can search for "photography" and "NOT safari" in your lightbox - if I'm not wrong, this should work.


Only a NOT search within a portfolio or lightbox will not work as it won't work for any generic search either.

Thank you.Did not wotk with photography added, but when I also added Keuya to the seach I did get the NOT safari files.
dcdp
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:05AM
Posted By mr_erin:

Hi all,

I work with the content and inspection team and just wanted to help clarify a few things we're seeing in BM today.

Contrary to how this might look at the moment, there is no artificial BM boost for Agency or any other migrated content from Getty Images. Unfortunately our situation with Agency is similar to what was happening with E+, we had a backlog of several months of migration batches (actually all the way back to March) that we are just now catching up on. As a result these are flooding some searches where images with significant downloads run out quickly and newness takes over the results.

To provide some context these Agency batches are much smaller than the E+ migration, for E+ we've moved over 400k images to the Getty site, these TAC batches are typically a few hundred to a rare maximum of a couple thousand per month. The combined total for this group of migrations we're working on right now is just under 4k. The total GI content in Agency is about 35k (half of which is the Lifesize collection). 

There is also a batch of CSA content that is part of this migration work, which has also been delayed for quite some time, this is a bit larger than the TAC batches at about 3500 images. These will continue to go into Vetta as they have previously.

As with E+ our intention is to stabilize these processes so the loading is smaller more frequent batches and there is less disruption to BM, this approach should start in January. We realize what's happening right now isn't ideal for anyone, just wanted to explain why you're seeing it.


And yet you don't see E+ images flooding the front of Getty searches ... strange isn't it.


The other problem with externally sourced Agency images is that in many cases they don't deserve to be Agency images. It is very difficult for iStock contributors to get images into the Agency collection, whereas significant numbers of the externally sourced Agency images aren't anywhere near the quality, uniqueness, (etc, etc whatever rubbish reasons were given to us at the start) and as a result the Agency collection loses it's purpose.
Juanmonino
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:19AM

Posted By dcdp:
Posted By mr_erin:

Hi all,

I work with the content and inspection team and just wanted to help clarify a few things we're seeing in BM today.

Contrary to how this might look at the moment, there is no artificial BM boost for Agency or any other migrated content from Getty Images. Unfortunately our situation with Agency is similar to what was happening with E+, we had a backlog of several months of migration batches (actually all the way back to March) that we are just now catching up on. As a result these are flooding some searches where images with significant downloads run out quickly and newness takes over the results.

To provide some context these Agency batches are much smaller than the E+ migration, for E+ we've moved over 400k images to the Getty site, these TAC batches are typically a few hundred to a rare maximum of a couple thousand per month. The combined total for this group of migrations we're working on right now is just under 4k. The total GI content in Agency is about 35k (half of which is the Lifesize collection). 

There is also a batch of CSA content that is part of this migration work, which has also been delayed for quite some time, this is a bit larger than the TAC batches at about 3500 images. These will continue to go into Vetta as they have previously.

As with E+ our intention is to stabilize these processes so the loading is smaller more frequent batches and there is less disruption to BM, this approach should start in January. We realize what's happening right now isn't ideal for anyone, just wanted to explain why you're seeing it.


And yet you don't see E+ images flooding the front of Getty searches ... strange isn't it.


The other problem with externally sourced Agency images is that in many cases they don't deserve to be Agency images. It is very difficult for iStock contributors to get images into the Agency collection, whereas significant numbers of the externally sourced Agency images aren't anywhere near the quality, uniqueness, (etc, etc whatever rubbish reasons were given to us at the start) and as a result the Agency collection loses it's purpose.



Posted By hatman12:
Posted By SWKrullImaging:

Interestingly, copyspace doesn't do very well by itself either.  Just putting in copyspace or "copy space" results in one blue flame image followed by a bunch of zero downloads agency files and series by the same contributor.  Changing the mix to sort by downloads shows that there are obviously many other and better choices.  Why would some one word searches favor agency contributors while other one word searches work just fine?  Its like some keywords are hard coded to a different code path in the algorithm.  As a software engineer, if I were going to do this I would just make table of reserved search terms that if found in the sequence would link to an individual or group of chosen user names.  Just sayin' ...




(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:04 by SWKrullImaging)

(Edited on 2012-12-12 00:05:30 by SWKrullImaging)


Yes, someone on an external forum descibed the istock search as 'search and deny' rather than 'search and find'.  It's possible that the search engineers have spent a lot of time over the last couple of years finding ways to deny access so as to scrape every last penny away from higher canister files.  There have been lots of comments about how strangely sales have been falling even though artists can 'see' their files at the top of searches.


If so, perhaps searchfairy and her team are going to be surprised and shocked at the complex structure, and the weird and wonderful techniques invented to skew the search this way or that.


None of that rubbish has 'worked' except in the short term anyway.  When will people learn that the best way to run a business like this is to give the customers the best, easiest and most relevant buying experience.  Build and it and they will come....


 



Yes, the BM has been used and abused here, instead of being an instrument of search, it has been an instrument of manipulation. And sooner or later one's pay for these kind of actions. Remember the time when all vetta and agency images used to be first in the search and it was no option to exclude them when searched? the important thing was to sell at higher price no matter if the customers run away. I hope they fix this time the BM and this kind of situation we are in never happens again.

(Edited on 2012-12-12 04:22:45 by Juanmonino)
ChrisSteer
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:18AM
BM: People appear to be buying my pictures again like they used to 12 months ago
PeskyMonkey
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusiveAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:45AM
It's odd how for weeks and weeks of the busiest sales period people were screaming BM wasn't right, yet we were told it wasn't broken. And then all of a sudden when iStock got the message that people were prepared to pull their portfolios (since sales had dropped to negligible levels we had nothing to lose) they tweaked some dials and magically DLs appear to be returning. I doubt very much the return of the zoom would have made such a dramatic impact - the buyers that left probably aren't even aware it has been restored yet.

It's very hard to believe that the BM manipulation we were forced to experience wasn't intentional... and aimed at pushing more profitable Agency content etc in front of buyers. Everything from my end looks so shady. Of course they use BM to push content they want sold. I lost all faith and trust in this place long ago so I'm never going to believe anything a member of admin has to say to try and convince us otherwise - even if they have their name and nice smiley corporate headshot posted. 

(Edited on 2012-12-12 06:00:05 by PeskyMonkey)
Difydave
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:16AM

As I've said before, if the search becomes too much of what "they" want seen and bought instead of what is relevent and good, buyers don't like the results and will go elsewhere. To say nothing of the effects it has on us contributor's sales, and the possible knock-on effect of us stopping uploading, and/or looking at exclusivity with a jaundiced eye.


It looks at the moment as if things are back to somewhere near "normal". Ie where they were before the start of September. It looks like a good thing for contributors. Lets hope the buyers like it too.


It's a good start but it would take a lot more to persuade me that we are viewed as having any real value here.
Starkblast
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:45AM
Excuse me, but what does TCA and CSA stand for exactly....?
MoreISO
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:48AM

CSA is "contributor" CSA_Images


TAC is The Agency Collection 
Starkblast
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:05AM
I see, thx!
NicolasMcComber
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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:28AM
Posted By Difydave:


It looks at the moment as if things are back to somewhere near "normal". Ie where they were before the start of September. It looks like a good thing for contributors. Lets hope the buyers like it too

There is still a lot of work to be done. Most of what they did was push best selling images on top of single word searches and other searches lucky enough not to have tons of recently imported material using their keywords. Anyone with more recent portfolios (it's much harder to get best sellers now than it was 5-10 years ago) and/or few best sellers are not at the level they were last Summer. And it's still a balancing act between artwork stats/collection/price/age instead of being about relevance to the customer. I really like this debate. I'm rooting for relevance to return in a purer form as well. That's a level playing field for all rewarding clarity and quality.
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