Jacqui Norman has been berated by several members for shouting at them and generally being a Bad News Bear. She has been urged to display the sunnier side of her nature and I have persuaded her to take a leaf out of the American Business Book, so in future in her Newsletters she will be presenting everything as uniformly and unfailingly wonderful, great, successful, happy, excellent and perfect. Sadly it is not her nature (I have yet to see her sunny side) but she has promised she will try.
This leaves the coast clear for me to shout at you. Well, not you personally, obviously, because your fotoLibra input is perfect in every way, but a couple of your colleagues could brush their ideas up.
I’m talking about over-enthusiastic keywording. The only people who search the fotoLibra site daily and in great depth are Yvonne and me, preparing lightbox after lightbox for our clients. We need to find the correct images fast, and in fotoLibra we have built a wonderful system that enables us to do just that.
But we are dependent on the keywording skills of our photographers. We do realise that if you’re great in the chemistry classroom that talent may not transfer to the cricket field. And if you are gifted with a photographer’s eye you may not have the same facility with language. Yet words get your pictures seen. So they are absolutely crucial to the successful retrieval and possible sale of your images. We try to assist by providing you with a Typochecker so you can catch errors such as Hippopotmus instead of Hippopotamus.
What really, really irritates picture researchers like us are people who add irrelevant keywords to images in the hope that they will rise up the visibility rankings. Last week a customer wanted a picture of a radish. fotoLibra showed me a plate of dried mushrooms. The photographer had added potato parsnip radish tomato parsley mushroom swede turnip vegetable squash courgette zucchini marrow carrot and more to his keywords. None of the keywords, apart from mushroom, was visible in the image. That is plain wrong.
Yvonne needed a picture of a hippopotamus. She found a close-up photograph of the head and shoulders of a cheetah, along with these keywords: St Lucia; safaris; estuary; boat trip; excursion; travel; holiday; sightseeing; Kwazulu; wild life; hippo; crocodile; Nile; tourists; calendar; brochure; travel; holiday; adventure; bird life; fish eagle; Hippopotamus; Hippopotmus amphibius; seekoei; fischadler; aguila pescaddora; lowenbaby; cachorro de leon; leeuwelpie; elegant; elefant; olifant; gepard; guepardo; jagluipaard; nijlpaard; nilpferd; lion; leeu; lowen; leon; Panthera leo; predator; hunter; feline. In this photograph of a cheetah, the word “Cheetah” did not appear among the keywords. But Hippopotamus did, as did Lion, Crocodile and the German for Osprey.
Why? Why? Why? What possible help can it be to add Carrot to a picture of a Tiger? Or Lion to a picture of a Potato? When two or three examples of this excessive, inaccurate keywording crop up, we simply click a button and exclude that photographer’s images from that search. So they are damaging their own chances of making a sale. I am glad to say that out of tens of thousands of fotoLibra photographers, only a handful are spoiling it for the rest of you.
So please, please, please don’t do it.
And You Know Who You Are!