by Gwyn Headley
I recommend anyone joining fotoLibra to read the Great Expectations blog posting to find out more about the exciting community they are joining.
Ben Shipley posted a comment which I said I’d answer in a new posting. Now David Carton has reminded me that I haven’t answered it, so here goes. First, Ben’s original comment:
It would be nice if the list view showed lightbox adds as well as views (at present the only way to get this info is to try to delete the photo).
Also, after working with other libraries, I am not sure what “views” means – did the photo show up among 1,000 others, or did someone actually bring up the full-size preview? And is that “someone” a valid customer or does it also include fellow members?
The best thing about fotolibra for my money is the way you all try to keep members informed – you seem like a very cool bunch of souls in general – but one can never get too much clarity, especially when it comes to what is selling out there.
Along same lines, I am curious where you see yourselves in the photo universe – what niches you aim for, where you saw this going when you started, where you see it headed today, where you fit into the whole amateur/professional photography experience, not just commercial stock. We get hints from Jacqui, but clarity definitely breeds patience.
Right. The first request is a simple feature enhancement. We already gather this information; the problem is figuring out to feed it to you in a neat, uncluttered, intelligible way. The data feed you currently get has nine columns; adding a tenth is going to make it uglier. We will work this out. It may involve having to drop down through layers of data.
‘Views’ (I answered this) means Thumbnails that have been clicked on to create Previews. The people who click could be either buyers or sellers; if they’re not logged in we don’t know who they are.
We always enjoy compliments. Thank you for that one.
OK, here’s the big one. In our photo universe, we’re not Getty Images, Corbis or Alamy. We’re much smaller, much more flexible, faster and much more personal. Buyers deal directly with the owners of the company, not a nominated ‘account handler’. Some people love this, others actually prefer anonymity and disengagement. When did you last speak to someone from Amazon, Adobe, Google, Microsoft or Apple? But you probably give them your money.
In Britain there are over 600 picture libraries. 440 of us are serious enough about the business to pay an annual subscription of about £500 to BAPLA. In terms of visitors to our web site, we come eighth. So we’re in the top 2%, and we only started 5 years ago. But we still need to do better.
Our major market is book publishing. It’s a market we know and feel comfortable with. We don’t reach ad agencies and design groups as we should. We sell to calendar and greetings card publishers. We don’t do much in the way of celebrities, news or sport.
We started with the intention of providing access to family albums, shoe boxes, the fading photographs in Granny’s attic. But we were swamped by the digital revolution.
HERE’S THE BOMBSHELL. We still want those pictures, so now we’ve decided to do something about it.
Alongside the existing Member, Pro Member and Platinum Member accounts, we are creating a completely new membership category.
It’s going to be called HERITAGE MEMBER. It is completely FREE, and it gives you UNLIMITED storage.
WOW!! I hear you shout. What’s the catch?
The photographs must have been taken before January 1st 1980. They must adhere to our Submission Guidelines.
And that’s it.
Membership will run in tandem with your existing fotoLibra membership. Full details will come with the formal announcement. We hope to have this in place by the beginning of September.