I’ve been half-heartedly following the discussion on the Alamy forum about the changed Alamy search engine. Anyway, first off, I am sort of pleased to be semi-detached because we have all been through this so many times at Alamy. I suppose the basic ‘problem’ – if that is the right word – is that Alamy is essentially about software solutions and not about human decision making over photography. So, the fixes are all technical and not based human decisions over image quality. What many have commented on is that every time there is one of these major changes in technology at Alamy it is always the long-standing, most successful, contributors who take the biggest hit ( not including me in that category but am very negatively affected it seems). By ‘hit’ I mean that each shake of the kaleidoscope seems to favour newer contributors with a smaller collection of images. Is this deliberate in order to share out the ‘jam’ or an unintended consequence, or possibly just imagined?
I do notice that the diversity algorithm seems no longer to automatically place RF images in the first slot and then at regular intervals thereafter ( good news!). The search order is now based on ‘tabs’ and ‘super-tabs’ rather than the previous keyword hierarchy. So far all this remains extremely opaque, and in any case, responding to each of these search engine technological revolutions becomes increasingly unjustifiable to a contributor with a large collection. I just cannot see a way of re-working the over 45,000 images that I have on Alamy. In a way this is a relief. I do feel semi-detached from Alamy and quietly pleased to have that sense of distance. I do feel great empathy for some talented, committed Alamy contributors who through immense hard work were until recently at the top of the greasy pole only to find themselves now sliding down towards the bottom of the search engine system.