A few weeks back, I introduced my personal portfolio website, AccordStock, where you can use the kinds of tools you are used to from your regular stock image sites to browse my portfolio and identify images of interest. Today I’m introducing a new sorting method that should help you find your images a bit quicker.
When you do any kind of search of a database, anywhere, the database needs to know how to sort the results so they can be displayed in some sort of order. As AccordStock does not fulfill sales at this time, I don’t have any data that would indicate how relevant a keyword is for a particular image. iStockphoto attaches a relevancy factor to each keyword on an image, based in part, on whether a buyer searched on a term, discovered an image and then purchased it. The purchase indicates, in some sense, that they found what they were looking for when searching on said term. The relevancy is then figured into the “Best Match” sort, in some percentage.
Instead, I’ve turned it around a bit. When a stock shooter sets out to create an image, or image series, they normally have a theme or subject in mind that is paramount to the series. There may be other subjects or themes within, but typically, 1-3 terms will nail what the image is about. Let’s call these “primary terms”. These are what you would want to see if you did a one keyword search. For example, in the following image, you could pick 2-3 terms that, if searched on, most people would be happy seeing this as a result:
I would say “Thanksgiving”, “family” and “holiday” would all be primary terms for this image. Sure, it’s a bit subjective, but it’s a good start. “Turkey”, while valid, would not, in my mind, be a primary term. If I was a buyer searching on “turkey” by itself, I would want an image where the main focus is on the bird.
So, with that in mind, the contributor (who, admittedly may be blind to their faults or mistakes 🙂 ) has a pretty good idea of the main idea of the message of the image. This premise, of course, only works if everyone plays by the rules. If the above image had “business” as a primary term, that would just clutter the “business” search and turn off buyers from the site. That is something that may need to be monitored.
The sorting method pull-down on AccordStock now has “Contributor Rank” as an option. “Descending” gives you the highest ranked images, and it falls from there. If images tie for rank in the database, they are randomly sorted.
Here’s a look behind the scenes. Each piece of content has a pull-down that allows the owner to select the top three terms for each image. Fun!
As you can see in this search/sort for “pharmacist”, we’re showing pretty spot on results, where a pharmacist is the focus or driving theme of the image. As the sort goes on, the pharmacist will fall into a secondary theme, and eventually, just a background player.
Anyways, not having a degree in database management, and working this all out myself, I hope you find it useful when searching my portfolio over at AccordStock.com. Thanks!