Random Thoughts 140

Posted on 6/5/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)



June 5, 2007

Alamy to Change Search Engine

Alamy, a rapidly growing U.K. stock agency, announced plans to change its Web-based search engine in a recent email to contributing photographers. While it is designed to improve search functionality, current image suppliers may have to re-keyword images represented by Alamy.

Supplier-generated image information includes three fields: keywords (with a maximum of 856 characters), caption (128 characters) and description (3,000 characters). When an image buyer enters a search term, the Alamy engine searches all three fields. However, the planned change will "demote the relevance of the description field" and limit it to 2,000 characters.

In preparation for the launch of the new search engine, Alamy is working on a new set of contributor tools. CEO James West says the company is within weeks of releasing a beta version of its first customer search-reporting tool. Contributors will be able to review customer searches that returned their images, including statistics of views and clicks within such searches. Comparative stats will also be available for other providers whose images were returned by the same search; actual images will not be shown.

According to West, a detailed preview of the new keywording schema will be released in days. West also notes that Alamy has taken precautionary measures so contributors who keyworded images under the old system are not disadvantaged. "We will be applying different relevancy weightings to fields, depending on which system they were keyworded under." Whether this is a stop-gap measure or a long-term solution will become apparent after the new search engine launches in the middle of the year.

U.S. Copyright Office Invites Beta Testers for Online System

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

eCO, the new electronic copyright system, is going into beta testing in July 2007. The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a call for participants, offering reduced registration rates in exchange for assistance. Visual arts works, such as images, are among the four categories accepted during the eCO beta phase. Participants must be pre-selected in the order of applying and based on an array of submission criteria. Applications are accepted now at http://www.copyright.gov/eco/beta-request.html.

Masterfile Wins 3 European Design Awards

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

Other stock agencies can learn from Masterfile, whose dominance at design awards places it center stage with the largest professional image buyer segment: designers. The Germany-based photo agency won three prizes at European Design Awards 2007. Selected from a range of European graphic design, illustration and multimedia projects, Masterfile's winning works included a short film, pocket diary and a promotional micro-site.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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