The big news in December for contributors was full launch of photoworkflow.com, we posted a review earlier in the month.

Other than that things were relatively quiet, most of the news coming from various changes at istockphoto. (most of which I'm not going to weigh in on - but the description "Istock F5 epic fail" that has been flying about does not seem all that unfair considering this is supposed to be a leader in the microstock industry.) It's not easy to make changes to a big website without issues cropping up, but sites like google, paypal, amazon etc seem able to do it without all that many "unforeseen" problems. This, I guess, is the price you pay for making the royalty structure complicated.

istock launched their new search, which is supposed to be location aware and feature extra facets to refine your search (like using advanced search but doing it on the fly). Once they got everything working searching for various keywords reveals collections of results I can only describe as fantastic - well rounded mix of results for very generic searches like 'finance'. BUT (and there always a BUT), location support is still not working for me 2 weeks after the launch, a search for finance or money reveals lots of US dollars but no Australian ones (being in Australia I'd kind of expected to see some australian dollars in at least one of the first 200 results). Plus (inexcusably I think), after 2 weeks we still have the old javascript chestnut of clicking in the search box and sometimes either having to manually delete the text "enter keyword(s)" or else mistakenly searching for "enter keywords(S)money" 0 results; surely it's not beyond reason to think that if a search string like that comes in you could strip off the start of it to get to the keywords? or just make your client side scripts work properly in the first place??? Despite all the facets you still can't properly filter non exclusive images as that would in effect allow you to filter by price and for obvious reasons istock don't want to allow buyers to search for the cheapest images. The spelling correction / suggestion feature no longer seems to work(?). It would all be somewhat tedious if the mix of results provided were not so excellent.

istock also announced plans to accept editorial images. A thread on the istock forum details that celebrity and news events are not going to be accepted as they were already available from other Getty sites. This opens the door for street scenes with people, travel images featuring some famous buildings etc that were previously off limits as royalty free. More about editorial images and microstock.

 

Other News In Brief:
 

 

Best wishes for 2011 from microstockinsider.com


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