Why are stock photo sites so useless for human interest stories?

[Read the post]

1 Like

I never understood why every. single. site. has to add to every. single. article. a header image. Is this a journalistic law?

To add insult to injury many sites even drop the paragraph of text that should accompany the often useless image and it’s not even possible to get a feeling for the click-through content.


50 Completely Unexplainable Stock Photos No One Will Ever Use

5. Fat Santa pinching his nipples:


Yay http://boingboing.net/category/post


https://bbs.boingboing.net/ :smile:

[and https://boingboing.net/blog/ is fine, but my question/complaint stands]


I always assumed this was SEO, but perhaps that’s naive.



It’s because a picture is worth a thousand words. If the picture is germane it may even help people process all that text.

A business I ran put together a pamphlet that was dry and boring. Then we let a graphic designer work on it. He added a dozen pictures of serious-looking people in suits, and suddenly the pamphlet seemed so much more interesting. Not kidding - I think the human brain is keyed to be interested in the human face.

Now I look at sites through this lens, knowing that 90% of the time those photos are not actual employees.


Here’s my theory on one of the factors. In short, everyone is a blatant Yuri Arcurs copycat because he makes the most money, and the result is a deluge of watered-down generic stereotyping in both subject and style.

Continuing the discussion from Stock art junkies:

Am I the only one who quotes themselves around here? You’re making me self-conscious by omission.


To create is “infinite”, to duplicate is “finite”.

You’re talking about images and graphics supporting the content and adding something to the complete package.

I mean specifically the useless header images, like this one in an article about piratebay (or similar)


Better than scrolling through a list of headlines, having to read each one to find what you’re looking for. With a picture to scan for you can scroll (or flip pages) much faster.

but the images have no correlation to the content

1 Like

Doesn’t matter as long as they break it up and give each hed its own "badge.”

BTW, you seem to be using Firefox; the Interclue extension will give you a preview of link targets on mouseover. It’s very configurable wrt to how much preview, how much delay before popup, etc. Take a look.

1 Like

I’m not interested in technical solutions. But I am honestly interested in a rationale for all the meaningless symbolic images scattered all over the web.

It has either a measurable positive effect or it is similar to economics as a science with really weird assumptions to “prove” this and that.


As long as you don’t mind missing ~24 hours of posts when you move from page 1 to page 2.

Stock photos fall out of favor but stock woodcuts are all the rage

1 Like

I boing frequently enough that I hadn’t even noticed that.

I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say. Now all I can think is I want to write an article to go with that image.

Is it better when the picture itself suggests a story?


Because it makes them radically more successful when promoting them on social networks.



http://boingboing.net/blog is better

http://boingboing.net/ascii is of course best