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Thomas J. Sebourn

Why Deactivating is a Mistake (at least for me)

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Sunk cost fallacy. Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort) (Arkes & Blumer, 1985).

The time and energy that I've all expended uploading to SS is not something I'll get back. If were to deactivate my account, I'd be guaranteed to receive nothing for that previously spent energy. However, I realized many many years ago that continuing to upload to SS would not be good investment of my time & effort--and the new payout structure confirms that decision even further as its a complete slap in the face to contributors. Until the juice is worth the squeeze, I won't be uploading new content; but I'm not having to squeeze for the juice in my existing portfolio.  

Personally, I do not take offense to the way SS goes about maximizing their profits. They are a publicly traded company and are required to act in the best interest of their shareholders, not their contributors.  Until the demand for our images/footage exceeds the supply, the game is rigged against the contributor.  If everyone with a Huntington Beach or Manhattan Beach pier image were to deactivate their accounts, I would have some true pricing power, so please go ahead and deactivate your account if you're in my market ;).

 

 

PS- This was my first visit & post to the forums in 3+ years. I hope everyone is happy/healthy/staying safe!!

 

 

 

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Since there are 51 pages of angry people, claiming they are closing and leaving, hasty and angry rants and threats... this could be a thread for calmer thoughts.

I enjoyed your points. Here's my view:

I'm going to wait and see how this plays out, look at the information and evaluate my position, then decide.

I hope the people who are threatening to remove everything, close and leave, find satisfaction in their decision and I hope that brings more sales around to my portfolio. Thanks!

 

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33 minutes ago, HodagMedia said:

I'm going to wait and see how this plays out, look at the information and evaluate my position, then decide.

😁 hahahaha well I'll give you a clue ... 

Upload upload upload but only stuff so sharp and clean you can zoom in from space and see which side the microbes (crawling through canyons that are someone's crow feet) part their pubic hair on.

But that'll only go up for sale after it's been rejected a couple of times for spin the wheel, spin the wheel reasons. But that wont affect you cause you're all Zen and shit. Hello birds, hello sky, chillax etc 😉 or "the voice of reason" 🙄 apparently. 

Meanwhile things continue to play out and um .... your uploading twice as hard and earning 40% less. 

Hey .... you can be the new old, old, timer, "I remember when there were subs for $0.25 .... thems were the days. You had to work harder then you know. Quality was another level. You had to process shit manually. You lot have it easy" 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Thomas J. Sebourn said:

Sunk cost fallacy. Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort) (Arkes & Blumer, 1985).

The time and energy that I've all expended uploading to SS is not something I'll get back. If were to deactivate my account, I'd be guaranteed to receive nothing for that previously spent energy. However, I realized many many years ago that continuing to upload to SS would not be good investment of my time & effort--and the new payout structure confirms that decision even further as its a complete slap in the face to contributors. Until the juice is worth the squeeze, I won't be uploading new content; but I'm not having to squeeze for the juice in my existing portfolio.  

Personally, I do not take offense to the way SS goes about maximizing their profits. They are a publicly traded company and are required to act in the best interest of their shareholders, not their contributors.  Until the demand for our images/footage exceeds the supply, the game is rigged against the contributor.  If everyone with a Huntington Beach or Manhattan Beach pier image were to deactivate their accounts, I would have some true pricing power, so please go ahead and deactivate your account if your in my market ;).

 

 

PS- This was my first visit & post to the forums in 3+ years. I hope everyone is happy/healthy/staying safe!!

 

 

 

You missed a very important point, I should say fundamental: the contributors are the soul of the site!

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10 minutes ago, lonndubh said:

What a selfish attitude the first contributor to this thread has. Without contributors there would be no shareholders. If a company mistreats its workers they leave or stop making an effort. Given the reaction so far the company's reputation has unquestionably been damaged and it will experience a drop in (quality) submissions. 

1 - Maybe 10% of contributors, probably less, use the forum.  Anything organised on the forum can at most involve that number and that number will have been taken into consideration by SS

2 - We are not workers or employees of SS, we are all independent self employed contractors and each of us has to decide the best way to proceed for our own individual circumstances.  We choose whether to upload or not.  We choose whether to keep our ports available or not.

3 - Who exactly has the companies reputation been damaged with?  The paying customers?  The hobbiests who use it for a bit of pin money and do not worry how much sells?  The big libraries that have their own contracts?  Those living in the developing nations with much lower wages to whom any money is better than no money?


Free market rules - those that accept the the income possibilities of the new terms will continue to submit.  Those who do not will quit.  If so many do not like them that affect the companies bottom line they will re-evaluate.  Otherwise if the new terms result in an increase in profit to the company they will be deemed a success.

As contractors our problem is we are not being provided with enough data to assess how much of an impact this change will have - and until I can see what this is actually going to to do to earnings I cannot decide my best decision in relation to working with SS.  So I will monitor my earnings - if they stay relatively stable in relation to download numbers there is no need to quit.  If they drop signifcantly I go somewhere else.  In the meantime I will pause uploading - not as a statement of my displeasure, but because continuing to increase my port numbers futher clouds the data for me to assess the impact this is having on me personally.

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22 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Who exactly has the companies reputation been damaged with?

You know I love these empassioned multi paragraphed edicts of yours. Crammed packed full of facts lol. 

Well let's dig in. Whom has it hurt their reputation with. The very people they rely on. They are a shop front and nothing more. Nothing. They are a hard drive manned by a gang of happy go lucky yeee haaaaarers. You've seen the video right? Agreed they have a big shop front but only cause everyone on utube has trotted out a vlog of best earners 1 to 10. SS have slipped down radically as of that email. 

You see using the forum or not everyone got the email detailing exactly what we won't be getting. 

Which means your 10% of users of the forum statistic doesn't mean anything. Everyone knows. 

All those who are going to meditate on the matter before disrupting the force should realise this is most likely phase 1. More exciting changes to benefit you coming soon etc ...  

But please don't state with such certainty that it won't work or is pointless.  It's so weak as to be embarrassing. 

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14 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

Completely agree, I don't upload as much as I used to but I am not going the disable/delete my port. It's all passive income no matter how much. I don't depend on SS for my income so why would I be worried. I did the same on IS didn't delete my port but stopped uploading. The only thing one has to decide if it is now feasable to continue to upload to SS based on the new earning scheme.

I stopped uploading to IS some time ago. I'm down to about $10 a month. I'm to the point if I don't see a payout this year then next time I get one I will close my account. I don't need the income. At this point it's pointless. 

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41 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

1 - Maybe 10% of contributors, probably less, use the forum.  Anything organised on the forum can at most involve that number and that number will have been taken into consideration by SS

2 - We are not workers or employees of SS, we are all independent self employed contractors and each of us has to decide the best way to proceed for our own individual circumstances.  We choose whether to upload or not.  We choose whether to keep our ports available or not.

3 - Who exactly has the companies reputation been damaged with?  The paying customers?  The hobbiests who use it for a bit of pin money and do not worry how much sells?  The big libraries that have their own contracts?  Those living in the developing nations with much lower wages to whom any money is better than no money?


Free market rules - those that accept the the income possibilities of the new terms will continue to submit.  Those who do not will quit.  If so many do not like them that affect the companies bottom line they will re-evaluate.  Otherwise if the new terms result in an increase in profit to the company they will be deemed a success.

As contractors our problem is we are not being provided with enough data to assess how much of an impact this change will have - and until I can see what this is actually going to to do to earnings I cannot decide my best decision in relation to working with SS.  So I will monitor my earnings - if they stay relatively stable in relation to download numbers there is no need to quit.  If they drop signifcantly I go somewhere else.  In the meantime I will pause uploading - not as a statement of my displeasure, but because continuing to increase my port numbers futher clouds the data for me to assess the impact this is having on me personally.

You are of course right. We are not employees. There are so many photos available for free.
Photos are offered simultaneously on different stock sites. The supply of photos may get out of hand.

On the other hand, we are also the ones they depend on. I'm sure they wouldn't have dared to put it this way in the early days when they were still scared of losing us.
If they had come up with a clear explanation, what the problems are, why these measures are needed and what exactly the financial consequences are for us, I could have accepted it.
In this way it is disrespectful. They respectfully call us "our artists". But here I miss respect.
This does not come across to me as a well-organized company that has its affairs in order.
Furthermore, I will also wait and study the other stock sites. But I'm afraid the good years are over.

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I agree, Tom.  All this is temporary.  If management changes again and SS changes their commission structure back in our favor, anyone who has removed their port, just to spite SS, will lose out on future higher revenues.

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2 minutes ago, Scorsby said:

You know I love these empassioned multi paragraphed edicts of yours. Crammed packed full of facts lol. 

Well let's dig in. Whom has it hurt their reputation with. The very people they rely on. They are a shop front and nothing more. Nothing. They are a hard drive manned by a gang of happy go lucky yeee haaaaarers. You've seen the video right? Agreed they have a big shop front but only cause everyone on utube has trotted out a vlog of best earners 1 to 10. SS have slipped down radically as of that email. 

You see using the forum or not everyone got the email detailing exactly what we won't be getting. 

Which means your 10% of users of the forum statistic doesn't mean anything. Everyone knows. 

All those who are going to meditate on the matter before disrupting the force should realise this is most likely phase 1. More exciting changes to benefit you coming soon etc ...  

But please don't state with such certainty that it won't work or is pointless.  It's so weak as to be embarrassing. 

Of course everyone recieved the email - but those who join forums are the most likely to be pro active.  Maybe those who are not on the forum are disabling their ports en mass without organisation but unlikely.  If there were a formal organisation or group then I would join, and I never knock the minorities ability to change things.  It is just to treat this as an employer employee relationship and moan about unfair treatment is pointless.  It is not that type of relationship.  It is a market place - the only assessment that matter is for each individual do the returns justify the outlay.   For some individuals after the change the answer will be yes - for some it will be no.  Right now for most of us it is an "I dont know" 

If SS got its some wrong and there are too many nos then they will have to change terms again to correct that.  If another player appears - or an existing players terms now appear more worthwhile and SS will lose market share.  However if they show an increase in profits to make up the lost share this will not be a major issue.

SS will, like Alamy a while ago, have done some serious calculations before changing their terms and will be betting that said change will benefit THEM - whether those bets were correct remains to be seen.

 

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22 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

Don't think this will be temporary. SS didn't just decide this a few months ago but has probably been at least a year in the making. Of course they didn't want to do this while Jon was still CEO, that would have really been bad form, but as the new CEO took over 2 months ago they where ready to go and they did. Actually I am really surprised that most people didn't see something like this coming once they announced that Jon was leaving as CEO.

I'm surprised SS didn't do this years ago actually.

It's all about money, and if this new comission structure HURTS SS' profit, in the form of losing cintributors and thus losing new content, they'll revert back to the old comission structure or do something different, to entice contributors to contribute again.

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12 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

There will always be people who are willing to submit top quality work for pennies, they get a kick out of a sale especially when they are not dependant on the ms income. That's why people submit to the free sites, they think they are getting some form of recognition when an image is downloaded.

Agree 100% with this.

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25 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Right now for most of us it is an "I dont know" 

You must stop leaving yourself open to being shot down. You dont know that statistic stop assuming it is a fact. But you must stop stating it as a fact because it isnt. You cannot possibly know that. 

26 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

.... done some serious calculations before changing their terms and will be betting that said change will benefit THEM

Yeah well I doubt that. Any serious calculations they did are based on what they know or think they do. I doubt they bet on people taking their port out of the loop. They will assume probably that it will be a minority thing and nothing to worry about. But do not forget that predictions or algorithms or whatever they are using are based on known data sets. And by removing ports and thereby assets any calculations will be adrift. And that adrift data set will contaminate any figures that can be used as future data. Its actually quite a big deal. People in their position like to have knowns. Knowns allow future investment, bragging rights whatever you like. Having a contaminated data set leaves it completely unusable as a factual data set. 

I have to agree that the more people that select no and switch their port off the more corrupt the data set will be. But that means the word has to be spread widely. Moaning its all so useless ... is a total waste of time and just implies your in on it. I detest people that do that. In the time it takes to educate people like that I could have done it by myself, gone home, had a shower and be tucking into my first portion of cheesecake. 

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1 minute ago, Rudy Umans said:

Well, I am seriously considering to fire SS as my pimp

An appropo analogy to be sure.

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The time you spent uploading a couple dozen images over several years? Some of us have tens of thousands of images here, sweetheart. Some people here make their living selling stock images. I see from linkedin that you represent, or represented, artists and musicians and enforced copyright violations. Were your clients aware of your blase attitude towards unfair payment and representation? I’m assuming as an attorney you “make a living,” as my attorney sardonically puts it. So you make two bucks a month with your snapshots and several hundred dollars an hour as a lawyer and have no worries about a pay cut to what amounts to maybe a cup of starbucks coffee once a month? No kidding?

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1 hour ago, Sharon Day said:

I stopped uploading to IS some time ago. I'm down to about $10 a month. I'm to the point if I don't see a payout this year then next time I get one I will close my account. I don't need the income. At this point it's pointless. 

The same here. I don't upload there (iS) any more. Partly due to the fact that they take forever to review! Also the monsterous 1 1/2 to 2 months delay to find out that I made 8 bucks or 30 bucks a months prior! Just waiting for my next $100 payout level and close shop there. 2 cents a DL or 6 cents : ). Just an incredibly bad joke! SS is going down on the exact same spiral. Just a matter of time for them to reach bottom. They are shooting themselves in the foot. I just can't bring myself to upload to SS with their reject twice, accept the 3rd time ploy and with this new payout sceme. Thanx, but no, thanx!! They can go with their "think outside the box" BS of how to screw us (again). Be my guest and see if I care about losing a few miserable dollars a month! They will lose 4 or 5 times that if we deactivate! 

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12 minutes ago, Scorsby said:

You must stop leaving yourself open to being shot down. You dont know that statistic stop assuming it is a fact. But you must stop stating it as a fact because it isnt. You cannot possibly know that. 

Yeah well I doubt that. Any serious calculations they did are based on what they know or think they do. I doubt they bet on people taking their port out of the loop. They will assume probably that it will be a minority thing and nothing to worry about. But do not forget that predictions or algorithms or whatever they are using are based on known data sets. And by removing ports and thereby assets any calculations will be adrift. And that adrift data set will contaminate any figures that can be used as future data. Its actually quite a big deal. People in their position like to have knowns. Knowns allow future investment, bragging rights whatever you like. Having a contaminated data set leaves it completely unusable as a factual data set. 

I have to agree that the more people that select no and switch their port off the more corrupt the data set will be. But that means the word has to be spread widely. Moaning its all so useless ... is a total waste of time and just implies your in on it. I detest people that do that. In the time it takes to educate people like that I could have done it by myself, gone home, had a shower and be tucking into my first portion of cheesecake. 

So if stating the majority "dont know" is not a fact (in regards to the majority do not know exactly what the impact is going to be on their individual port) please tell me where I can find the necessary data so I can "know" what the impact will be on mine.  Is there some place that will tell me which of my 25c subs came from 5 basic licence packs and which from 750 a year pre billed?  (in that under the new scheme the first will make over 4 times the amount of the old while the other will make the paltry 10c - I mean if all my subs came from 5 basic licence packs I would be laughing under the new scheme)  Without knowing these details I cannot assess the impact - if you and everyone else have some knowledge I have missed please tell me otherwise I will continue to assert that right now the majority cannot know exactly what the impact on them as individuals will be.

And again if there is an organisation or movement I will join it - but unlike as an employee there is no union to protect my "rights" and no rule that the businesses I do business with (because each individual one of us in this situation is our own little business) have to be decent about it.  Yes it is shit - but I expect nothing else.  It is shit when the supermarkets decide to pay farmers less per pint - but the farm is a business and the supermarket is a business and there is no rule they have to be nice (and yes I am well aware of the move in pay all suppliers more than the little guy until other buyers go out of business then squeeze the suppliers well below what they were getting before).

It is not a case of being shot down it is a case of it being a public forum where people are free to express their own opinions - having a different opinion and using it to call someone wrong is not shooting them down it is expressing a different opinion.

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1 hour ago, Mike Kuhlman said:

I agree, Tom.  All this is temporary.  If management changes again and SS changes their commission structure back in our favor, anyone who has removed their port, just to spite SS, will lose out on future higher revenues.

And then wait for them to do it again, or do something worse. I left a bank over a $5 a year change. Companies only get one chance to $^#% me without buying me dinner first. 

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1 minute ago, john sklba said:

...anyone who has removed their port, just to spite SS, will lose out on future higher revenues.

That's why people should choose the "opt out" option instead of deleting their images.  If and when things change again in our favor, you just have to opt back in.  And if they don't, SS is paying for servers to maintain media that they can't sell.  It hits them in the pocketbook twice, which appears to be the only thing they understand and care about.

2020-05-27_02-06-45.thumb.jpg.a94351ab87075972c7aa42e2c22e9efd.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

please tell me where I can find the necessary data

I dont know what you don't get. Or rather how your not getting it. 

Old scheme 

You get a bean for every photo you sell. Enjoy your beans. 

New Scheme

Now you'll get 1/2 a bean for every picture you sell for some of the year for every picture you sell. Until you sell enough photos that you work your way up to earning whole bean for every photo you sell. 

How fast you make your way up to getting whole beans is partly up to you running around snapping like a tourist but largely up to SS showing everybody how clever you are. If they dont do that very efficiently then you'll not make it to the whole bean gang. And you'll remain in the half a bean gang for longer. 

And in January you get demoted to the half a bean gang again. And the treadmill begins again. Except that year you may never get into the whole bean gang. 

Percentage or license is never going to be a workable statistic because you will.never be able to predict what license it will be bought under. Chances are the cheapest. 

You are focusing on the wrong part of the issue. 

Half a bean until you've sold enough photos then you get whole beans. Instead of getting whole beans from day one till end of days. 

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5 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

That's why people should choose the "opt out" option instead of deleting their images.  If and when things change again in our favor, you just have to opt back in.  And if they don't, SS is paying for servers to maintain media that they can't sell.  It hits them in the pocketbook twice, which appears to be the only thing they understand and care about.

2020-05-27_02-06-45.thumb.jpg.a94351ab87075972c7aa42e2c22e9efd.jpg

Sir, that wasn't what I said. I think you made a mistake there.

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4 minutes ago, john sklba said:

Sir, that wasn't what I said. I think you made a mistake there.

Sorry.  Kuhlman wrote the quote, but I pulled it from the quote you made in response to him.  My bad.

 

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11 minutes ago, Scorsby said:

I dont know what you don't get. Or rather how your not getting it. 

Old scheme 

You get a bean for every photo you sell. Enjoy your beans. 

New Scheme

Now you'll get 1/2 a bean for every picture you sell for some of the year for every picture you sell. Until you sell enough photos that you work your way up to earning whole bean for every photo you sell. 

How fast you make your way up to getting whole beans is partly up to you running around snapping like a tourist but largely up to SS showing everybody how clever you are. If they dont do that very efficiently then you'll not make it to the whole bean gang. And you'll remain in the half a bean gang for longer. 

And in January you get demoted to the half a bean gang again. And the treadmill begins again. Except that year you may never get into the whole bean gang. 

Percentage or license is never going to be a workable statistic because you will.never be able to predict what license it will be bought under. Chances are the cheapest. 

You are focusing on the wrong part of the issue. 

Half a bean until you've sold enough photos then you get whole beans. Instead of getting whole beans from day one till end of days. 

Amen. And explained so a second grader can understand. Well Done. Well Done.

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46 minutes ago, Michele Paccione said:

The time you spent uploading a couple dozen images over several years? Some of us have tens of thousands of images here, sweetheart. Some people here make their living selling stock images. I see from linkedin that you represent, or represented, artists and musicians and enforced copyright violations. Were your clients aware of your blase attitude towards unfair payment and representation? I’m assuming as an attorney you “make a living,” as my attorney sardonically puts it. So you make two bucks a month with your snapshots and several hundred dollars an hour as a lawyer and have no worries about a pay cut to what amounts to maybe a cup of starbucks coffee once a month? No kidding?

Why are you making this personal? I expressed the reasons why I'm not deactivating my portfolio, and you are free to disagree and/or point our where my logic is flawed.  I'm sorry that your livelihood is in jeopardy, but that isn't an excuse to take shots at my portfolio and certainly not my reputation as an attorney.

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4 minutes ago, Thomas J. Sebourn said:

Why are you making this personal? I expressed the reasons why I'm not deactivating my portfolio, and you are free to disagree and/or point our where my logic is flawed.  I'm sorry that your livelihood is in jeopardy, but that isn't an excuse to take shots at my portfolio and certainly not my reputation as an attorney.

Because you’re making a ridiculous statement about a very small portfolio with minimal time and effort invested to people who take this very seriously and whose income will be negatively affected during a pandemic when millions of people are out of work. And your work as an attorney representing people like us should give you some clue about how incredibly tone deaf your post is. You lack any sense of compassion or empathy, writing a smirking post about your work bringing in an extra couple of bucks when others will be struggling. And this is a very nice way of putting it.

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