About Me

Crowdsourcing: A Definition

  • I like to use two definitions for crowdsourcing:

    The White Paper Version: Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

    The Soundbyte Version: The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.

The Rise of Crowdsourcing

  • Read the original article about crowdsourcing, published in the June, 2006 issue of Wired Magazine.
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November 21, 2007


Jon Mitchell


I agree with Jeff, though I look at it a lot differently. I mostly still shoot Rights Managed stock and now contribute (when I have time) to Microstock sites.

I shoot images especially for both markets. Back when RF was new, I disliked the concept, though lost a lot of cahs because of my opinion. I don't think either it is just amateurs, some yes, but mostly pros. I saw a shot of an American suburban house on istockphoto which had sold something silly like 7,500 downloads!

It is clear, that if a pro can crack this market and get a few popular shots, there is a lot of money.

I also think the clients are 80% new clients and people who won't/can't pay Rights Managed or even pricey RF licenses.

Russel mentioned the word complex, though I would say super-complex.

For instance, I am shooting now in the Everest region of Nepal. There is a fair amount of this material posted as RF Micro, so I am shooting a special set for that market.

Also, worth remembering that Rights Managed stock is different in the sense that it is editorial and so faces, logos etc, are a no-no.

Hence those images which fit the Micro criteria go to those sites, ones that fit the RM criteria go to tradstock.

One pain of Micro sites is some of them editing is brainless and the people who manage the incoming files would win medals for their stupidity. One site says my image is "slightly grainy and best used at smaller sizes" - when it is shot on digital at 200 ISO!

Shutterstock, Crestock, Dreamstime and many of the mainstream ones are awful to work with. Geckostock and Snapvillage are better. Bigstockphoto is tolerable.

For that reason, I have only uploaded a few bits and bobs, though I think any stock pro needs to carefully study this market and will make good returns with a clever approach.

Some talented amateurs may well make good money from it, though in my opinion, supplying these sites needs almost as much professionalism as rights managed and the selection rate can be low.

Therefore, I would urge other professionals to embrace this new market, as it could well buy that new lens or lighting system!

Dan Heller

I've written extensively about this subject. My research is too exhaustive to summarize here, but you can read the results of my research on this page:

The source of the broader misconception about microstock's effects pricing is based on the erroneous misperception of the size of the total licensing market. You can read more about that here:
And here:

Anyone who is interested in the stock industry in general might find these links useful:


Mark Harmel

News from PDN.

iStockphoto Goes After Corporate Buyers
Getty Images's iStockphoto has just introduced a program for corporate accounts – customers buying $600 or more worth of credits at once. This is significant because micropayment sites like iStock have never been serious about large corporate clients. They usually describe their customers as small office/home office folks who are only willing to spend a few of bucks at a time on imagery. But iStock's corporate accounts are apparently designed for companies with more than one person involved in buying art – think ad agencies, publishers, online services, and so on. It's another sign that very low cost imagery is appealing to customers who traditionally paid a lot more.

Thomas Pickard

Other news too, is the increase in prices at iStockphoto for 2008.

Though many people might not agree, sometimes I think that when you look at the history of microstock, a lot of the big agencies have themselves to blame for microstock. Not only did they shun amateur photographers from submitting work, they also missed out on what at the time was probably an emerging market for images - small businesses that couldn't/didn't have the means to pay for RM and RF images.


Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2008. Alan


Happy New Year everyone. CS in 08.Alan.

"Big Internet companies are beginning to learn what game developers have known for decades."
Amazon Gets Into MMO-Powered Crowdsourcing:


This is great information as I use istock a lot.

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I found one photography search engine with all kind of search features.
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Thank you for introducing me the wonderful information.And .....Totally boring.!

Health News

This is a wonderful site. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.


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I've written extensively about this subject. My research is too exhaustive to summarize here, but you can read the results of my research on this page:

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Great to hear from you Russel! It's good to hear that the microstocks haven't hurt your bottom line. I spent a week at iStock earlier this year and have looked closely at the industry this year.

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