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


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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


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.


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


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