For a moment, let us put the visual world, captured through photography and footage, all into one box, and take into account the perspective of User-Generated Content, Social Networking or Social Media, Community and Crowdsourcing. Phrases which partly have become synonyms and unfortunately buzzwords. Here is my personal list -- micropayment stock photo companies are intentionally not included -- with the real heroes in the visual world of the year 2006 and the upcoming year 2007, alphabetically:
- Getty Images´Lifesize collection (and also the Open workflow model), although starting not until early 2007
I know it is nearly superfluous to reason and repeate over and over again why these ventures are -- in the case of Lifesize in all likelihood will become -- the real heroes of the visual world. Or in the case of Lightstalkers, the heroes of a social networking site for photojournalists related to the visual world.
This had been done here and elsewhere sufficiently in the past:
- "If you´re tired of Flickr, you´re tired of life" (Flickr´s Caterina Fake). Still we are waiting for "Flickr photos would find a different niche on the marketplace, but still a viable one" and "the site´s potential as a stock house"
- "Getty has a history of introducing new business models that are sharply criticized at first, but gradually become the norm" (Daryl Lang) and may "put many of its image partners out of business" (Jim Pickerell)
- "I was seeing sites like Friendster and MySpace and realizing that every 15-year-old in the world had a more sophisticated communications system than professional journalists. I thought it was silly that we weren't doing it too." (Teru Kuwayama)
- John Cloud on "The YouTube Gurus Steve Chen, 28, Chad Hurley, 29, and Jawed Karim, How a couple of regular guys built a company that changed the way we see ourselve:
Let's say you're in your 20s and you start your first Internet company. Let's say 21 months later you sell it for $1.65 billion. What happens next?"
The restriction regarding the buzzwords are however the borderline cases ...
- Lifesize: not a community, but, since it is basically open to all, it belongs more to the category content generated by specifically trained users with specific skills, tightly selected and sold for higher prices. It´s a fight of words whether or not only Flickr and YouTube are examples of user-generated content. If iStockphoto is one of the best examples for crowdsourcing, as Jeff Howe once wrote, then Lifesize will become the best example for selective crowdsourcing
- Lightstalkers: not open and useful to anyone, but to photojournalists
And while on the topic of social networking sites like Lightstalkers, American Photo writes also about "then, of course, there are all those bloggers".
Although nationality is definitively not a significant attribute, it was fun for me to read that another german (Joerg was born in the seaport Wilhelmshafen) was mentioned in this list, and Dennis´family has also partially german roots.
- Content generators transforming more than just the Web (Mathew Ingram/The Globe and Mail, today)
- Person of the Year: Me... (Jeff Howe, Dec. 19, 2006)
- Time´s Person of the Year: You (Dec. 13, 2006)
- You Are In: Getty Images Offers Contracts To iStockphoto´s Exclusive Diamond Photographers (Dec. 05, 2006)
- Crowdsourcing and its True Impact on the Stock Photo Business (MacTribe, Dec. 2006), with this restriction
- Meet Lise Gagné, The First Global Crowdsourcing Stock Photography Star, With 390,000 Sales (Nov. 18, 2006)
- Hello Amateurs: With The Lifesize Collection, The Controlled iStockphotozation Of Getty Images Continues (Nov. 16, 2006)
- Crowdsourcing Creative Content (Jim Pickerell, Nov. 14, 2006; req. reg.)
- The concept behind iStockphoto starts to rule the world (Nov. 05, 2006)
- iStockphotozation And Flickrzation: User Generated Content In Terms Of Image Numbers And Image Quality (Nov. 03, 2006)
- Microstock: How Much Money Can Photographers Make? (PDN, Nov. 2006)
- Jonathan Klein: "We´re Interested In The User Generated Photography From A Consumer Perspective" (Oct. 26, 2006)
- Jonathan Klein: "The Continuous Re-invention of Getty Images" (Oct. 26, 2006)
- Snippets From Getty`s Conference Call: More On The New Creative Workflow Model Called "Open", Photographers Contracted To Individual Brands, and Wholly-Owned Imagery (Oct. 25, 2006)
- Crowdsourcing: Milk the masses for inspiration (Sept. 19, 2006)
- Google turns to crowdsourcing with image labeler (Sept. 05, 2006)
- Making Money For The Flickr Flock?: "Flickr photos would find a different niche on the marketplace, but still a viable one, Stewart Butterfield added. And then it begins to make sense" (Internetnews.com, Aug. 09, 2009)
- How "ordinary" photographers are making Big Money shooting for small stock agencies (PopPhoto, 3 pages, August 2006)
- "We believe micropayment sales could potentially cannibalize Getty's royalty-free sales," PiperJaffray´s analyst Aaron Kessler wrote (July 06, 2006)
- What does 'crowdsourcing' mean for business innovation? (June 16, 2006)
- “If someone’s going to cannibalize your business, better it be one of your other businesses,” says Getty CEO Jonathan Klein (May 25, 2006)
- The Rise of Crowdsourcing (May 25, 2006)
- Will Flickr Enter The Commercial Stock Photography Business? (May 21, 2006)
- All entries in the Flickr category