Evaluating A New Channel For Publishing My Bits
I have used Shutterstock for some time now when it comes stock images but I've only recently started playing around with their publishing program, hoping to make some money from some of my photos and videos. As with any other channel that I am considering for inclusion in my line-up of tools and services, I am spending time going through their platform and evaluate the tech, business, and political considerations of adding any new service to work into my world.
First, a service should always have an API. This isn't just because of what I do for a living and my obsession with APIs. This is so that I can integrate seamlessly with my existing operations. Another side of this argument is that I will always be able to get my data and content out of a system, but I am working to be a little more proactive than that. I want my system, that operates within my domain to be the lead, and any new channel I adopt only play second fiddle. In this scenario, each photo or video that I publish to Shutterstock will live within my image and video systems and then with the Shutterstock API, I will publish to the Shutterstock domain as I deem worthy.
The Shutterstock API (potentially) gives me more access and control over my digital bits and allows me to do more with fewer resources. I do not have to depend on APIs, or a platform's data portability to get my data and content out, I've always possessed this control and ownership from the beginning. Then this control and ownership is now exercised and strengthened in three areas: technology, business, and politics. I technical have control over my bits. I have business control over where they are sold, by whom, and how much of the action they get. I have political control, and when I want to change, evolve, or end the relationship I can do what I think is best for me, and my API Evangelist business.
I still have a lot of reading and learning to do when it comes to understanding the legal terms of services, and the details of my Shutterstock partnership, but a company having an API is increasingly the first step of any new business relationship for me. If I can help it, I will not add any new business relationship into my world unless there is an API. Of course, there are deviations from this, but as a single operator small business, this is critical for me if I expect to be able to scale the technical side of my operations, while also meeting the business and legal requirements I have in place to help me achieve success in my business.