Deep Meta Test Drive Part 1

I’ve been contributing to iStock for a very long time now. I like to think I have a handle on how the upload process works, and how to properly promote and keyword my files. At least, I should know how to do this by now.

But lately, I’ve been working to upload more frequently – my goal is to double my portfolio by the end of the year – and I’m getting tired of the maintenance needed to keep my new submissions up to date. For example, I use lightbox links to similar files. Constantly combing my new uploads to add them to different lightboxes, and editing my file information to include lightbox links and graphics is beginning to get tiresome.

Years ago, something new was introduced to iStock contributors by a very talented fellow named Franky De Meyer: it’s called Deep Meta. This labor of love is a standalone application launched back in September 2007 and offers a wide variety of tools for contributors to upload and manage their iStock portfolios in one quick and easy place.

I’ve heard people rave about this program for ages now. Yet, I never bothered downloading it myself. Why? Because if you upload illustrations like I do, it can’t be done through this application (yet). I figured why should I bother, if I can’t fully use the tool?

Recently, I overheard someone waxing poetic about how easy it is to update your file’s metadata in Deep Meta. Huh? I thought this tool was only for uploading files. You can use it once your files are online too?! Hmm, interesting.

Given the fact my goal is to produce around 1,000 new vector files this year I know I’ve got a lot of portfolio maintenance coming down the pipes. Keywords, descriptions, cross-linking files, lightboxing, changing titles, shuffling categories… Blah. My first 1000 files on iStock were uploaded over a period of 7 years so I didn’t feel the pressure of having to take care of all the details. Now? Uploading the same amount in only a year? I’m freaking out!

Here’s the deal. I have never, ever used Deep Meta before. I have had the pleasure of meeting Franky in person (he’s wonderful), and someone once showed me part of the keyboarding tools built into the program. That’s all I know about this application: I’ve met the guy who makes it, and I know it has some kind of keywording help built in.

For illustrators on iStock who are struggling to grown their portfolios I’m going to take one for the team and give Deep Meta a go. I’m going to download it, install it, and figure it out using Franky’s Deep Meta thread and the Deep Meta website. Since I’ve been so tardy with my blog lately I’m going to post my results right here for everyone to see.

Wish me luck!

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