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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
January 2004 Newsletter

Hi,
Welcome to January's Software Marketing News. An HTML version can be viewed at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/author-resource-newsletter35.html

Scroogle
***************

Do you remember Scroogle - http://www.scroogle.com the site created by Daniel Brandt, of Google-Watch.org,when he discovered that you could see pre-update results for search terms when you included "-garbage" after your key term.

The Scroogle site was blocked by Google on December 7th, 11 days after it was created. Google has apparently blocked the IP of the server so that queries could not be made.

Ah-Ha
******************

New Name for New Year?
ah-ha.com has a new name: Enhance Interactive. Ah-ha says they do not expect any immediate changes in their services but feel their new identity better defines their evolution into a business to business paid listing pprovider.

Emetrix - VAT / DR
******************

"No taxation without representation" were the words spoken this past summer with regards to the implementation of VAT. Emetrix initially took a somewhat defiant stance refusing to collect VAT, sadly that changed as of December 1st. The reason behind the pendullum swing was soon made clear, when the announcement was made that Digital River had aquired Emetrix. The implications are that Emetrix as an independent company with a US precense, could afford to take a radical stance on an issue they felt strongly about, Digital River, a public global company could not afford the risk of ignoring VAT collection.

What does this mean to developers? A whole lot more than you think. As another year draws to a close, lets take a closer look at the aquisitions of Digital River (also known as DR).
More on Digital River A Monster ? http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/article24.html

EmmaSoft
*****************

Emmasoft closing :-( - After fourteen years of award winning software I'm sad to say that Emmasoft has closed its doors. Dan Veaner, my good friend and Emmasoft's founder, is pursuing other interests and a "real" job.

Thornsoft Development has retained rights to the Darn Password product and Sam Belotto from Crossdown will be supporting Emmasetup. It is my hope that Dan will stay active in the software community and provide advice and words of wisdom to those still active in the industry.

Reflections
******************

Look back and reflect on 2003, determine what worked.

1.) Compare your logs from January to December how effective were you in increasing search engine traffic? Compare download numbers. Compare sales figures. Are the trends consistent?

2.) Take a look at your affiliate relationships. Are you doing enough to support your affiliate partners? Are the sales where you want them to be? Do you need new creative or higher incentive for affiliates? Figure out what is working and what is not and making changes accordingly.

3.) Is any advertising working? Do you have a plan in place to track sales as a result of advertising? What campaigns worked and what didn't? Look at your ROI (return on investment) and determine the best areas to advertise for 2004.

4.) Think outside of the box, think of one radical marketing idea for 2004 and give it a go. Perhaps you offer your software with coupons as a fund raiser to schools or perhaps you participate in a local trade show or speak at a user group, try something different for 2004!

Game Developers Awards
**************************

Game Developers Choice Awards feature games and developers that are truly worthy of recognition. The recipients are chosen by those who know games best -- their creators. Only porfessional game developers who nominate, however, are eligible to vote for the finalists. Nominations for the 4th annual Choice Awards begin January 5th, 2004. Details at http://www.igda.org/awards/

TUCOWS Changes
******************

Scott Swedorski, the founder of TUCOWS has left the company. I spoke with Scott the other day to find out the details of his future plans. Scott has big plans and will be staying in the industry. His new venture will be launched January 15, 2004, stay tuned for details!

Scott has been integral in the advancement and changes at TUCOWS over the years, keeping it in the forefront of the industry. It will be interesting to see what happens without Scott at the helm.

Euro-Conference
*******************

The following is a review of Euro Conference from Karin at SharewarePromotions http://www.sharewarepromotions.com (thank you Karin!)

f you take a hundred-odd software developers from a dozen different countries, mix them up in an elegant hotel by the Rhine and add equal amounts of useful information and free beer, what will you get? The latest European Shareware Conference! Those of us who were there will never forget it, and those who weren't, well, they'd better make sure they come next year!

The ESWC was a resounding success, and several attendees were heard saying that it was at least as useful as the US-based Shareware Industry Conference. It is true that this conference is smaller than its sister conference in the US, but it was still very impressive considering that this was only the third time it was held. There was a friendly, welcoming atmosphere as soon as you arrived, and the conference organizer David Boventer was there to shake the hand of every attendee. There were a lot of cheerful reunions in a variety of different languages as software authors from every corner of Europe met up and prepared for two intense days of gathering information and socialising.

Indeed, there was a lot of information to be gathered. With sessions http://www.euroconference.org/timetable2003.htm on topics varying from copy protection to customer support, there was a lot of frantic scribbling as everyone tried to make sure they'd remember all those useful hints and tips. Our very own Dave Collins http://www.sharewarepromotions.com/conferences/esc/2003/pages/032_JPG.htm gave a popular talk on search engines and web log analysis, and as usual there was a chance to quiz all the e-commerce providers on the benefits that they provide.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between this conference and the SIC was that you never forgot where you were. Whereas the hotel in Rochester could have been anywhere in the world - just another gleaming, air-conditioned building with gentle piano music and the ubiquitous "continental breakfast" - there was never any doubt that this particular gathering of developers took place in Cologne. Hotel Maritim nestled cosily between the steely grey Rhine and the enormous, looming cathedral, and local culture seeped through your pores whether you liked it or not. The eve of the conference set the tone, when Digital River http://www.digitalriver.com sponsored an evening at a local brewery/restaurant which provided the travel-weary attendees with an endless flow of local beer! Nobody had to leave hungry, either - the buffet was brimming over with different kinds of meat, cheese, bread and UPOs (Unidentified Pickled Object - if you've been to Germany, you know what I'm talking about!). On the first morning of the conference, the vice mayor of Cologne held a welcome speech which came as a pleasant surprise. It was obvious that we were in a real place with real people - and the mayor had even bothered to find out what shareware was and how it worked!

The conference itself went by rather quickly. Long days of work were followed by even longer nights of freely flowing conversation and beer, and nowhere near enough sleep! The Tuesday night finale was the high-point for many attendees, when ShareIt http://www.shareit.com/index.html sponsored a medieval banquet that involved copious amounts of bread, meat, medieval music and dancing, and beer gulped from large earthenware mugs. If you want to see a 13th century cellar full of happy, intoxicated shareware developers swaying along to the tones of minstrels and troubadours, have look at these pictures http://www.sharewarepromotions.com/conferences/esc/2003/pictures3.htm

If they don't convince you that you should be there next year, nothing will! Finally, I'd like to thank David Boventer and his wife for doing such an excellent job - they worked very hard to put this conference together, and it showed. I'm already counting down the months to next time - and hopefully I've just persuaded you to join me there!

A personal thanks to Karin from Shareware Promotions for documenting the event!


Taxes
********************

Two important dates for those in the US, March 15 and April 15th depending on how you are organized one of those dates will be tax day.

SIC Sponsorship
************************

If you have an interest in sponsoring the 2004 Shareware Industry Conference now is the time! In order to have your information included in all of the promotional material consider sponsoring now. Sponsorship levels can be viewed at: http://www.sic.org/sponsors.asp


NEW LOOK for OLD SITES
**************************
For whatever reason I became inspired when updating the copyright notice on a number of our websites and as a result I've done complete site updates. Giving 5 sites a new face for the new year. Check out some of the new looks at:

http://www.mobile-phone-software.com
http://www.bank-software.com
http://www.call-center-software.com
http://www.911paging.com

They all still need a bit of attention but were at a point we could share them.

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
Messaging Software - http://www.messaging-software.net


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