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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
SMR - Decemberr Issue SMR Newsletter

Welcome to the December issue of Software Marketing News, an independent voice for software developers. An HTML version can be viewed at .

Article - Do I Need a Feed?

RSS has been around for more than 10 years but has only recently become popular. RSS provides headlines and summaries of information in a concise and standardized way.
Complete Article -

Article - Violence in Games

With the holidays approaching I felt it that it was appropriate to address the issue of violence in games. As a parent I abhore violent games. Actually I dislike the way companies use violence to market to children. Sadly more and more entertainment companies are using use violence as a marketing tool.
Complete Article -

Product / Technology Reviews

Last month's technology reviews were well received, and as a result I am continuing the trend. If there is something you would like to have reviewed please let me know.

Internet Business Promoter
With the launch of FeedForAll we've recently created a number of new websites. Getting the word out about new sites has becoming increasingly more difficult, as the web has become more cluttered. The site submission services appeared expensive or of questionable character and as result we decided to have a look at Internet Business Promoter. In the past I had used Web Position Gold, and while that handled the main engines I wanted the link popularity that comes with inclusion in all the little directories.

All I can say is Internet Business Promoter is very cool! The package itself has a number of features including a keyword generator and optimization analyzer, spider simulator, and while all the bells and whistles are very nice I focused on submissions. IBP is actually 10 tools in one, with automated and semi-automated search engine submissions broken out into different sections. Their isn't much to say about the automated submission other than it works, its kept up to date and it saves hours and hours of time. the Semi-automated directory and search engine submitter pre-filled all the submission forms when possible making semi-automatic submissions equally as painless.

I intend to upgrade my license so that I can use IBP on all of our sites and I hope to dig deeper into to some of the other web site promotion tools that are included.
More information and a trial version -

Registration Service News

asknet - asknet AG, a global leader in outsourced electronic software sales and distribution services announced the creation of its U.S. subsidiary, asknet Inc. and the formation of its North American team. The new asknet team consists of seasoned eCommerce professionals who have provided sales and marketing services, operations management, customer service, deployment and fulfillment to North American software publishers over the past decade. The new division was established following a recent funding round granted to fuel the expansion of company's ESD services into the North American and Asian markets.

Digital River - Digital River has acquired BlueHornet, a company specializing in e-mail marketing services. The new acquisition will be integrated into Fireclick another DR acquisition. While DR promotes only opt-in email marketing, BlueHornet appears to not have the best reputation on some of the newsgroups.

Speaking Opportunities

Software Industry Call for Presentations. The Shareware Industry Conference attracts software developers, and publishers with a common interest in software development marketing and distribution. One of the goals of the conference is to encourage indepedent developers to adopt the shareware distribution mehtod and provide shareware developers with helpful information related to marketing, development, packaging, distribution etc..

The Shareware Industry Awards Foundation is currently seeking submissions for presentations for the 2005 Shareware Industry Conference in the following areas:

Marketing - internet marketing, email marketing, direct marketing, promotional items, alternative marketing, co-markeitng, vertical marketing, tradeshows, up-selling, cold-calling
Search Engine Optimaztion - submissions, doorway pages, optimization techniques, link sponsoring
Business Networking - relationship networking, partnering, bundling, exchanges, getting involved in local groups
Mergers and Acquisitions - negotiation, deal breakers, due diligence, findinga buyer, valuations,
Press - press releases, reviews, ratings, in-house vs hiring a PR firm,
Software Success Stories - history, retail success, inspiration
Contracts - negotiations, distribution agreements, licensiing, private labeling, copyright protection, trademarks
Development - developing platforms, market testing, outsourcing, UI design, update cycles
Affiliate programs - coupons, tracking, cookies, wrappers Localization - foreign partners, translation, foreign support
Hosting & Tracking - file hosting, tracking, bandwith, blocking, analysis
Web Design - graphic design, compression, site speed, content development, navigation
Support - outsourcing, forum support, phone support, call centers, implementing support packages, tracking support
Incentives - link exchanges, banner ads, magazine ads, newsletter advertising, shareware site ads, classifieds, measuring ROI Payment Options - ecommerce, paypal, in-house merchant accounts, wires and purchase orders
Miscellaneous - how to use blogs, rss, forums; pay per click search engines, effective advertising, pricing your product or service, general business advice

Abstract submissions are due January 31, 2005. The conference will be held July 14-16, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. Additional Details -

Alawar Software Success Story

This month's software success story is Alawar Entertainment. Alawar Entertainment was founded in 1997 by a group of Novosibirsk State University's students. Initially game development was a hobby, eventually the hobby became a steady job. Over the years Alawar's product line has expanded to include shareware games, PDA games for PocketPC and PalmOS and set top box games.
Read Success Story -


Software Business Magazine has set the dates for their 2005 conference. Next years Software Business Conference for executives & managers of software companies, will be held November 1-2, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Tampa in Tampa, Florida.


The 2005 Awards have been announced. The 9th annual SharewareJunkies nominations are open. Users are invited to nominate programs until Decmber 18th. Winners will be announced January 3. The three categories for awards are: Best Windows Program, Best Mac Program, and Best Freeware Program. Details can be found online at:

I recently investigated various options related to software protection and tracking. One of the individuals I spoke with was Anton Baranchuk from is an anti-piracy service designed to verify software licenses and limit the spread of illegal copies. ActivateSoft uses product activation to ensure that the users only install each software license on as many computers as it is permitted to by the licensing agreement. Everytime software is installed on a new PC or there is a hardware change the user must activate the copy of the software by obtaining an activation code from an activation server. ActivateSoft will work with any e-commerce provider and does not rely on a specific protection scheme. It allows for the tracking of downloads and activation of licenses.

Having seen software industry companies come and go, I was concerned with the long term stability and reliability of relying on a third party for activation. Activation only takes place during a new installation or if the hardware is changed. If corporate stability becomes an issue, ActivateSoft guarentees that they will provide the full source code for ActivateSoft to every client and they will provide no less than 3 months of notification during this time period customers can implement the system in-house.

Developers are constantly struggling to ensure that users comply with their license terms. It is a constant balance and trade off, protecting intellectual property and making the purchase experience as effortless as possible for the "good" customers. ActivateSoft acts as a license manager allowing developers full control over registration, activation keys, blocking registration keys, and unblocking keys that were blocked due to excessive activations. Developers have full control over the level of implementation.

Additional features of using an ActivateSoft's activation scheme include:

-export of all keys, offline key generation capabilities
- activation page and product key reminder pages can be branded and integrated directly into a website
- automatic key delivery
-full statistics and reports
-cross-sale and affiliate platform support
-reseller performance tracking

And while some in the software industry balk at using "activation" or any level of "hardware locking" nearly all of the larger developers have implemented some level of activation in order to prevent piracy.

The concept is simple. Activation is a piracy protection and license agreement compliance control method, at the time of product installation, a user enters a registration key, the program generates a hardware identifier, the information is sent to an activation server where it is checked and if the useage of the key is legitimate an activation code is sent.
More info -


I don't have much news from this years European Software conference other than the fact it was a small but enjoyable event. I've included the photo links that attendees have posted.

Euro Conference Photos -

Microsoft Opportunities

David Boventure from the European Conference passed this along:

Do you want to help Microsoft design software for shareware developers? Microsoft is dedicated to better supporting the shareware community in the future, and is planning on building special offerings for shareware developers. In this context, we are looking for shareware companies and developers who are interested in working with us closely and providing valuable input and feedback. You'll enjoy the benefit of direct product team support, early access to pre-release software, and potential co-marketing opportunities. If you are interested, please contact Frank Prengel ( for more information stating: "ESWC 2004" in your reference line.

New Sites/Services for Software Developers

Box Coop - High gloss, full color boxes on heavy thick paper. BoxCoop is unique in the industry as they consolidate many companies jobs together to print. The costs are then shared between all involved. The result is customers get high end box packaging for very low costs.

Shareware Statistics - A new system is now available to English speaking software developers. Shareware Statistics is a system for collecting and analyzing statistical data for shareware sites. It allows you to determine the sources of those who buy your products, estimate the cost-effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and integrate it with popular registration services. The installation is simple only requiring a single line of code being added to each website page. Additional details -

SharewareBlogs - A new portal to advance the Shareware Industry has just been announced. Henk Devos, has recently launched SharewareBlogs. The portal is a compilation of software and shareware blogs, with the intention of increasing the visibility of the industry. Developers are encouraged to submit press releases and software related news. (note do not use the www in the url)

Search Engine News:
Overture - Overture Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo Inc. and provider of essential online marketing services, today announced the extension of its sponsored search distribution relationship with Microsoft Corp. in the United States and internationally through June 2006.

Under the terms of the extension, Overture will continue to provide its sponsored search results to MSN sites in the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Asia. The previous agreement ran through June 2005.

AdSense - Internet search giant Google Inc. filed a lawsuit against one of its AdSense Online clients this week, claiming the company defrauded the search company by clicking on its own ads multiple times. complete article

Google DeskBar - An API for Google Deskbar so that programmers can add their own tools to Google Deskbar.

Google Adwords - Google Adwords rumors are that they will ban affiliate links in Google Adwords! This is causing a raucous in the Affiliate community and members.

Thank you - Spread the Word
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Software Marketing News tries to keep developers informed about important industry changes. Software marketing resource is an independent voice for developers. We welcome suggestions and feedback on our articles and information

Thank you for your continued interest in SMR.
Sharon Housley
Software Marketing Resource -
NotePage, Inc. -
Small Business Software -

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