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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
SMR - January Issue SMR Newsletter

Hi,
Welcome to the January issue of Software Marketing News, an independent voice for software developers. An HTML version can be viewed at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/author-resource-newsletter49.html .

I've always been a firm believer in looking forward rather than back but with all that is going on, the horrible devastation in SE Asia and ushering in the new year I think that it is important to reflect and learn from the past.

First off I would like to commend members of the software community who have stepped forward and pledged revenues to aid victims of the recent tsunamis. Hats off to Nick Bradbury who prompted the effort. I know many other have donated and contributed as well.
Details: http://nick.typepad.com/blog/2004/12/disaster_relief_1.html


Reflections

1. Registration Services - In the beginning of last year I made bold predictions related to all the registration service shakeups. Many of those predications came true. The Digital River purchase of ShareIt / Element 5 however, still came as a surprise. The field of competition has narrowed in 2004. With some notable events such as Steve Kiene stepping down from management at eSellerate. eSellerate is positioned to give Digital River a run for their money. eSellerate has managed to establish what I believe to be, one of the best affiliate channels and programs available for developers. Plimus has gained customers and popularity. Sparks flew from SWREG with the announcement that Cyrus former head of Digbuy would be the new SWREG CEO, but little has happened in that area recently.
(see predictions for more on registration services)

2.) What is Working? It is important to review web logs and website statistical data. Don't just compare results from previous months, but take a look at what has worked over the past year by comparing statistical information from last December to this December. What areas have improved? Has search engine traffic fallen? Is it time to refresh keywords, and title tags? As search engines and technology changes, it is improtant to compare and track statistical information.

3.) Software Community - The software community is truly becoming global, with conferences focussed on software marketing occurring on 3 continents in 2004. It is clear that this trend is just the beginning.

4.) Blogs - It would be impossible to reflect on 2004 without mentioning blogs. With blogs giving voice to independent software developers and an added distribution channel to developers in 2004. While blogs were "IT" in 2004 I believe RSS will hit a homerun in 2005. (see predictions)

5.) Growth - Last but not least - thank you all - in the past year we have tripled the number of subscribers to SMR news! Thank you for helping us spread the word!

Predictions for 2005
1.) Ecommerce- Ecommerce will likely become a commodity, with developers seeing less value in outsourcing online purchases. The value-ad will remain critical to an ecommerce vendors success. eSellerate has leg up on this competition with RegNow following. DR still needs to find a way to make their properties work together so the value exists for all of their properties not just some. They appear to be focussing on just a handful of properties and leaving the other aside.

2.) Strategic Relationships - Relationships will be key in 2005, developers who work together will prosper. Talk to other developers, participate in the many software forums and communities and see what happens.

3.) RSS - Dave Collins hit the nail on the head when he stated in the Shareware Promotions blog that 2005 will be the year of RSS. RSS and podcasting (an RSS file with an audio file as an enclosure) will take the Internet by storm in 2005. While blogs have turned bloggers into journalists, podcasting will turn podcasters into radio personalities. Tools have made content distribution so simplistic that I believe in 2005 this technology will take off.

4.) Globalization - Russian and English speaking developers have bridged the gap, and are working on a number of collaborative efforts. I think 2005 will see increased community and collaborative participation from developers in China and India in 2005.

5.) Outsource - While the concept of outsourcing is not new to developers, the concept of spending money is new to some of the smaller independent developers. ;-) Developers are now seeing the value in paying others to promote sites, provide graphics, and other professional services. When developers realize their limitations they are able to outsource and grow their business at a faster rate.

 

Game Developers Awards
Nominations for the 5th annual Game Developers Choices Awards will commence on January 3rd , 2005. Transcending consumer fads, the 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.
http://www.igda.org/awards/nominations.htm


SIC Sponsorship Opportunities
If you have an interest in sponsoring the 2005 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


SIC News
******************************
In an effort to keep individuals informed about deadlines, awards and related conference activities the Shareware Industry Awards Foundation has created an RSS feed that will contained information related to the Shareware Industry Awards and the Shareware Industry Conference. Add the following url to your RSS reader - http://www.sic.org/sic.xml


Product / Technology Reviews
Help & Manual
************************************
My favorite help software, Help and Manual has just released a new version. The new version adds support for Macromedia Flash animations in compiled HTML Help and Browser Based Help.
Additional Information - EC Software - http://www.ec-software.com

Paessler Site Inspector
***********************************
Paessler Site Inspector is a comprehensive set of website and web page analysis tools. This web page analyzer is the perfect companion for people creating websites or working with the Internet. Site Inspector brings various analysis techniques and selected online resources together in one place. Measuring is critical to knowing what works!

Dirk Paessler is extending a discount for to Software Marketing Readers of a 25% discount off of Site Inspector - the coupon code is "feedforall-psi"
Additional Information - http://www.paessler.com/products/psi/


Copyright Update
********************************************

Having just ushered in the new year be sure that you update your copyright notice on your website to 2005.

Create Custom RSS Buttons
********************************************
Free graphic tool to create RSS buttons. The online tool allows you to customize the look of your RSS button so that it will match the style of your website. Give it a try:
http://www.feedforall.com/public/rss-graphic-tool.htm


Software Marketing Resource Forum - RSS Available
*********************************************

Realizing how it is difficult to visit a forum on a daily basis we have made the SMR forum posts available via an RSS feed. Simply add the following url http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/forum/rss.php to your RSS reader and receive all of the SMR forum posts.


Reminder Speaking Opportunities
**************************************

The deadline for speaking proposals for the Shareware Industry Conference is approaching. Abstract submissions are due January 31, 2005, so get your proposals in soon. The conference will be held July 14-16, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. Additional Details - http://www.sic.org/files/SIC-2005-Call_for_Papers.pdf


Tools for Online Tracking
***************************************

In order to determine which advertising and marketing efforts are effective you must have ways to measure the results of those efforts. Alerts and instant notifications can be instrumental in monitoring search engine position, trademarked terms, monitoring competitors and staying abreast of online occurrences.
complete article - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/article50.html

Understanding Web Logs
***************************************

General web statistics give pertinent information about website visitors. Webmasters analyzing these statistics have a better understanding of who their website visitors are and how they perceive the website. A lot can be learned by evaluating navigation patterns, most-viewed pages and exit pages.
complete article - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/article51.html


Abbyy Software Success Story
********************************************

Unfortunately I was unable to complete this month's software success story. Abbyy Software's story will be available in the February issue of Software Marketing news, and it is truly a story that will inspire everyone.

Search Engine News:
****************************************************
Google - Google has just released a special search form for its AdWords ads. The search form allows you to quickly find out the position of an AdWords ad.
http://www.google.com/sponsoredlinks

Yahoo - Yahoo has released a list of the top search term collections for 2004.
http://tools.search.yahoo.com/top2004/


GDC Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications
****************************************

The IGDA has just launched the 5th annual Student Scholarship Program. Twenty-five college students will be awarded complimentary full access passes to the Game Developers Conference. Students can now apply online. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, January 18, 2004. Recipients will be announced in early February. Applicants are required to be full-time college students (or equivalent) and IGDA student members for consideration. The IGDA's Education Committee and board members will judge scholarship applications. http://www.igda.org/scholarships/

Additional Newsgroups Reopened
***********************************************

Due to Scott Kane's prolonged illness the comp.software.shareware newsgroups became inactive. Now with the help of Kathy Morgan the groups have reopened. The groups are moderated usenet groups and posts can be made to:

comp.software.shareware.authors
comp.software.shareware.announce

I'd like to personally thank Scott Kane for running them as long as he was able.


Best Wishes for 2005
**************************************
I would like to personally extend good wishes, happiness and prosperity to all in 2005. My heart goes out to those affected by the recent Tsunami's and Earthquakes. My hope is that in 2005 the world will be a better place.

If you know someone who would like to subscribe please have them send a blank email to webmaster@softwaremarketingresource.com with "subscribe" as the subject line.

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 - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
NotePage, Inc. - http://www.notepage.net


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