Keedup Launches Micro Keywording Standard

Posted on 6/12/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (1)

New Zealand keywording company Keedup has announced the launch of a streamlined keywording service aimed at the microstock market segment. The service relies on a 15-word standard that captures the most important technical, literal, thematic and conceptual keywords.

The primary goal of the new micro standards is cost-effectiveness. Keedup is targeting agencies and photographers on a budget, or those with large collections that would incur a prohibitively high keywording cost.

Why couldn’t the photographer come up with these 15 words himself? According to Keedup chief executive Kevin Townsend, there are benefits that go beyond the sheer volume of work it would take to keyword a sizeable amount of images. For example, Townsend says that the best results are achieved by keyworders with experience and an excellent grasp of the English language.

“Knowing the right balance between the literal and conceptual is also important,” he adds. “A picture of a woman meditating could include many keywords describing her literal appearance, such as eyes closed and legs crossed, but more useful keywords could relate to the subject of meditation or words such as peace, harmony and well-being.”

Townsend also suggested that the new micro standard is a good first step of a deeper keywording process, which can be done at a later time, in a less budget-constricted environment. He hopes that the cost-effectiveness of the new service will attract customers who have not previously outsourced keywording tasks.

Copyright © 2009 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


  • Sharon Mcdonnell Posted Jun 14, 2009
    I am a new Keedup customer and I congratulate them on a brilliant proactive move. If their standards work -- ie help customers find pictures and everyone else manage visual content-- then they will be fill in an important gap.

    Indeed a photographer can do their own key wording. And, If said photographer is really good at it then the standards Keedup has suggested will be helpful and makes the scope of the task clear and the scale manageable. But, in the circumstance where a photographer is not particularly interested, knowledgeable, or skilled then, as they say, they would get exactly what they paid for. Any photographer can write a novel and some of them will be good at it. Developing guidelines provides a tool not a noose.

    In the current world of stock photography we rely on our key words to market our images. What smaller agencies used to do through personal connections, conviction and saleswomanship is now a database issue/challenge. Thus, packaging, placement, access, timing, ease, fit, and most of good marketing is compressed into a very small event. Imagine if you had to buy all of your food through key words on a computer.

    In this business model it seems like creating and maintaining (updating) good key words that are targeted to the customer(s) is wise. For example, when swine flu blew on the scene I went in and located various pig images and spiffed them up with a few new key words such as "swine flu" and others references. Oh, if I had been quick I would have pulled out photoshop and slapped a surgical mask on one of them for the local hospital or newspaper.

    I sent a test batch to Keedup and I was very impressed with what they sent back. Never in a million years would I have come up with some of the words they provided. They not only addressed the specific interests of marketers such as copy space but they also hit the emotional, visual, and conceptual information as well. The decision to open up my processes to them is so recent I cannot say if sales have changed -- truly its <1month. But, I do believe that the development of standards for key wording is one way to help photographers and all who manage visual content. I work in public health data systems and to some extent based on my experience with national size data systems I think we would be better off if one layer of keywords for a picture could be applied almost algorithmically using standards that all could choose to follow (taxonomic descriptions, overall emotional tone, color, number, and the like) and then a second layer that allowed for creativity, a big vocabulary, and up-to-the minute changes.

    It is in our best interest that our customers and agents apply some kind of standards to categorizing and key wording images and to the extent that our advocates and agents can do we should teach these standards to the customers or make it easy for them to use the basic algorithms. This could avoid the need to re-key word images to new standards, different agencies, and could be used to develop ever better tools to help us market.

    For these standards to live up to their potential they will need input and "approval" from many key sources, careful field testing, and short and long term evaluation so that in the end we have guidelines and perhaps tools that are robust and widely used.

    I will say that the product I am getting back from Keedup has helped me be more knowledgeable about key wording in general and I use this information for other pictures aiming for economic efficiency. I will see how my test plays out and in time I will know if I have hit on a great idea and partners or not. For those that cannot bear another agency or step that costs money then perhaps we might think of it like writing and remember that it is a process that is improved by good review and input. The more feedback we can get about our keywords on images from those who buy and sell them the better.

    Keedup may serve to benefit greatly by their forward thinking on this issue but if their standards are good and catch on then other agencies will also benefit that look to do what they are doing.


    Sharon McDonnell
    Gay Bumgarner Images
    Peacham VT

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