Well, like many of you I have decided to take the plunge and join up to RB and ImageKind
When I started doing Microstock a couple of months ago, I tried out 8 different microstock sites. I uploaded 25 images to each, and decided that at the end of the first two months, I would review the sales, and the winner would get my business exclusively. Istockphoto won that hands down (and sales have been great ever since)
I have decided for the sake of scientific exploration I am going to do the same with RB and ImageKind. IK has a 24 image limit for their free account, so I have uploaded the same 24 images to both services and will see how things go with both after a couple of months. If IK goes well, I will sign up for their subscription service. If it doesnt, I will expand my image library on RB. Well, either way I will expand on RB after the two months because they don’t restrict your library or have a subscription service.
My first impressions are that I prefer IK over RB simply because it is a more mature product. They have ironed out many of the teething problems that RB are going through. However, I think RB has a lot of potential so I am happy to support it.
My main issue so far has been the uploading process.
IK has an excellent desktop upload application available, and I was able to drag and drop the 24 images i wanted to upload, tell it to go, and it sat there and uploaded it for me. I then just added the text descriptions/keywords etc afterwards (using my istock keywords etc). All up, uploading took me about 20 minutes of actual working time. Now, to get a return on that time investment from a business point of view, if my hourly rate is $100, I need to get $33 worth of income from those 24 images over lets say the next two months (the normal turn around for a client to pay an invoice)
RB on the other hand requires me to upload each individual image through a form one at a time. This is a painful and irritating process when you have a large library (like I do). To upload the same 24 images, it took nearly 3 hours, and I had to be involved all the way in the process. This is simply unacceptable from a business stand point. Using the formula I used above, I will need to get $300 worth of income over the next 2 months to recoup my invested time.
If RB wants to attract a thriving community of professional photographers to their site, something needs to be done as soon as possible to improve the image submission system, wether that be adding FTP, allowing CD’s of images to be posted in, or a multiple file upload web form.
Whatever happens, I look forward to seeing over the next two months how both services perform, and I commend the crew at RB for creating a world class service in good ole Victoria!