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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
October 2003 Newsletter

Hi,
This month I've decided to talk about RSS something many of you have probably heard of but not thoroughly understood. If you have suggestions for future topics please drop me an email. It was clear that last months information concerning VAT was dear to the heart of many developers. I hope to be following that article up in a few months with any industry changes.

An html version can be found online at:
http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/author-resource-newsletter32.html

RSS FEEDS
***********************

Lets face it as much as we all rely on email communications it is not really a reliable technology.

Why Should I care about RSS Feeds
SPAM and viruses have wreaked havoc with a communication medium and reduced its value. Users have become admittedly paranoid about privacy issues and have begun "tuning out" and mentally filtering mail. What this means is that vendors really ought to begin exploring alternatives means of communciation in order to be heard. One of these alternatives is RSS or Really Simple Syndication.

While I'm not suggesting that you abandon email I think that many might want to consider RSS feeds as well. Because RSS Feeds are selected by the end user spam is not an issue. RSS is created using XML, a very basic markup language. One that does not contain the risks inherent to email.

Endusers select the feeds they wish to view. Content providers select the feeds they wish to display. By providing a RSS feed another site may pick up "news" about your software and post it. If email continues on a self destruct course RSS will become a new standard and an accepted viable alternative or more likely an email supplement. For now if you have a "technical" customer base RSS might be a "cool" thing to add.

What are RSS Feeds -
In very simple non-technical terms RSS is an XML file containing a directory of web pages with related news or information. The RSS is contained in an XML file and referred to as a "feed". RSS format is very simple, in fact even I was able to create a feed with little effort.

The XML file basically contains what would be commonly used as a title and description in an html document, along with the url of a web page containing the actual content.

Sample feeds can be seen at: http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/feed.xml http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/marketing-feed.xml http://www.notepage.net/feed.xml

Once uploaded to a website the feed should be validated (to make sure you did not use any invalid characters). The feed can then be submitted to engines. Individuals can view your content in a reader. Individuals can also add news feed to their websites by using an aggregator and tapping the feed of news vendors or others.

For convenience I've created a webpage with RSS resources at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/rss-feeds.html

UK LEGISLATION
*************************

Britain on Thursday became the second country in Europe to criminalize spam, that unwanted barrage of e-mail and mobile phone text messages that promise get-rich-quick schemes, cheap home loans and a better sex life.

The unsolicited messages, which industry groups say account for more than half of all e-mails sent, have become the scourge of Internet users everywhere.

Under the new UK law, spammers face a 5,000 pound ($8,057) fine if convicted in a magistrates court. The fine from a jury trial would be unlimited. Spammers would not face prison, according to the new law, which was introduced by Communications Minister Stephen Timms on Thursday.

Spam is defined under the UK law as any messages sent to consumers without having first established a consensual customer relationship. The UK's Office of the Information Commissioner will enforce the regulations, which go into effect on December 11.

The law does not however cover workplace e-mail addresses. Anti-spam proponents had been calling for a blanket law that would criminalize all forms of spam.

NEW FORUMS
**********************

Messaging Software - Announce your Messaging related software or answer questions from potential customers in the new Messaging Software forums at: http://www.messaging-software.com/forum

Digital Sea - Post your PR and news in the 'New Releases' section of the new forums at: http://forums.digital-sea.com/

ISDEF - PERSPECTIVES OF RUSSIA
******************************

David Halls from Emetrix http://www.emetrix.com was kind enough to send me this summary of the ISDEF conference held in Russia a few weeks ago. David had a unique perspective in that he is American but speaks fluent Russian. The 2003 ISDEF Conference in Moscow, Russia was a huge success.

ISDEF CONFERENCE - The conference kicked off Thursday evening and was packed full of well-prepared presentations and discussions that continued through Monday afternoon. Every author that I spoke to talked about the value and benefit of the conference, and how the conference provided them with the ideas and contacts to take their businesses to the next level. I met many authors who did not attend the conference last year (the first year of the conference) so it seems that the conference is already gaining momentum. In fact, it is likely that this conference is already attended by more software authors than any other conference in the shareware industry.

The software authors in Russia, Ukraine and other near-by countries include some of the most talented authors in the entire world. However, starting a small business in that part of the world presents some interesting challenges and issues. Given their unique and evolving business environment, the conference has become one of the most valuable resources for those trying to build a successful software business in Russia.

The conference organizers have a wide range of experience in the software industry that comes from operating successful businesses from Russia and western markets, which provides a strong foundation to the event. Based on that experience, the presentations are well-balanced with a variety of useful topics including things such as small business management, taxes, marketing to US and Canadian markets, and more. Some of the discussions were presented by large technology companies such as Intel and Microsoft, which provided an important perspective.

I am certain that the ISDEF Conference will continue to be a success for many years, and that the participants will receive important benefits that will make a big difference in the success of their businesses. (the above by David Halls from Emetrix - http://www.emetrix.com ).

On a more personal note the following article details Joe Burke's visit to Russian and the same conference. http://www.infinisource.com/lifestyles/russia01.html

SEARCHING
***************************

Google has a new feature. You can add synonyms to your search. By adding a tilde symbol before your search word, your search will include synonyms.

Example: ~sayings

will bring up related searches.

PPC
****************************

According to Ah-Ha Did you know that the top three pay-per-click bids receive 78% of click throughs?

SIIA AWARDS
***************************

Nominations are open for the 19th Annual Codie Awards, presented by the software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). The Codie Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and vision by software, digital content and education technology companies.Nominees receive extensive exposure to software and technology business professionals and consumers along with key media, analysts and market decision-makers.

Learn more about the 46 Codie Awards categories and nominate online at http://www.siia.net/codies2004. Contact Cristina Stensvaag, SIIA, at cstensvaag@siia.net or +1.202.789.4458 with questions. Nominations open through October 17, 2003.

USER GROUP REQUEST
**************************

The East Tennessee Computer Society is looking to beef up their inventory of door prizes for meetings through the remainder of the year. They currently have about 100 members. Special interest groups include: Linux, C, Digital Imaging, Cold Fusion, New Users, details on ETCS can be found at http://etcs.org.

Contact Chuck to offer door prizes to the organization vendor@etcs.org


SHAREWARE TREE REVIEWS
****************************

Software Authors - you've received a great review for one of your programs; get more people to see it by adding it to your program listing at the Shareware Tree!

It's easy - just re-submit your PAD file here, add the full URL to the review, and select the correct reviewer / graphic. From then on the review site's graphic will be displayed just to the right of your program's icon at the Shareware Tree. http://www.sharewaretree.com/reviews.htm


FINDING CATALOGS
****************************

Great link to find mail-order catalogs that target a specific audience http://catalogs.google.com


MICROSOFT NEWS
****************************

MS recently announced a revised Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP)http://www.vsipdev.com/ .

A couple key changes are free (no-cost) access to the VSIP SDK, used to integrate a development tool into the Visual Studio IDE, and the $3k/year Alliance level marketing program that along with extensive marketing benefits includes a MSDN Universal subscription ($2799 FPP). Information at : http://www.vsippartners.com/programbenefits.aspx

Have your application added to the Windows Catalog, http://www.microsoft.com/windows/catalog/ See http://www.microsoft.com/winlogo/windowscatalog.mspx for information on having an application listed in the Windows Catalog.

Microsoft is offering the Windows Catalog as a portal for users to find applications, devices, and PCs that are compatible and work well with Microsoft(r) Windows(r) operating systems. In addition, depending on a product's support of the Windows XP platform beyond compatibility, the product can be eligible for additional benefits. http://www.microsoft.com/winlogo/software/swcatalogcriteria.mspx

A "basic listing" in the Windows Catalog does not require the application to have the Windows logo, but logo'd applications get better visibility.


SEARCH ENGINE NEWS
************************

LOOKSMART - LookSmart has again raised their prices. Now, after your first 5000 clicks at 15 cents each, your price will be increased (yes, increased!) and calculated based on your business category ranging from 23 to 75 per click.

MSN - Pay attention to MSN rumor has it that Microsoft will integrate search functions into the operating system in some way in the near future.

DMOZ - For the past month DMOZ has essentially been crippled, whether they just don't have the volunteers to handle the volume their system has been inopperable until the last couple of days. Hopefully they will begin indexing the backlog and get caught up though I fear that is unlikely.

Thank you for your continued interest in Software Marketing Resource
Sharon Housley
Software Marketing Resource - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
NotePage, Inc. - http://www.notepage.net


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