Protect Your Bandwidth From Content Thieves


Content scraping, the process of automatically copying one website’s content and publishing it on another, has been gaining popularity lately. Content scrapers don’t really care if they’re caught plagiarizing the hard work of someone else, because they’re looking for better rankings on search engines, rather than a genuine audience to interact with. Nevertheless, it’s always wise to make sure everyone knows where credit is due. This is easily achieved by putting the author’s information on every article.


What’s more problematic are content scrapers who not only steal your content, but grab images from your website as well. Aside from claiming credit for the compelling visuals you use to make a point, they are also eating up your bandwidth.


Neerav has a great solution, and it is also completely automated. He may not be successful at embarrassing RSS scrapers (for the reason previously mentioned), but at least he won’t spending unnecessarily for bandwidth. At the same time, he also makes sure that the visitor to a content scraper site knows who’s responsible for what they’re reading.


What happens is that when a content scraper tries to load an image from your site, it will be replaced by an image of your choice. It could contain a brief message explaining that your content is being stolen, or simply an obscene visual. It’s all up to you.

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Limit Experimentation and Focus on Proven ROI

Membership in social network sites has been growing rapidly in the last few years and advertisers have been quick to exploit this opportunity. Along with this growth, advertising video spending is expected to grow 45% this year to reach $850 million.  Part of this increase is attributed to the added presence of professional video content on the Web.

Social networks provide companies with one of the best ways to build brand awareness and increase sales while content providers realize these sites have the potential for efficient distribution channels.  This realization has led to much experimentation with various applications and widgets.  However, the time for experimentation has passed and marketers are now consolidating their strategies and sticking with fewer proven vendors in order to increase their ROI.

What are the best practices that marketers should keep in mind as they consolidate?

SplashCast CEO Michael Berkley says the first step to maximizing ROI is to ensure content is professional, compelling, and constantly updated.  “Basically, for the sought after viral spread that gives presence in this space its value potential, you want to advertise on content that already has legs,”  Berkley says.

Also, a content provider should have the ability to update content in real time.  A particular widget developer may be preferred because it makes it easier to upload and refresh live in every application that is installed.

A marketer should have the means to measure the success of his advertising video campaign.  Metrics such as up-to-the-minute click-throughs or length of time a user spends time interacting with an application should be kept track of in order to help the marketer allot resources to the approach that works best.

Choose a widget provider who understands, hooks, says Berkley.  This way, more people will be able to view the message marketers wish to get across.   Utilities which make users’ lives easier are hooks in and of themselves, he adds.

Berkley also advices to work with companies that have figured out how to become available on any web page and mobile device.

Finally, always maintain quality in content.  Following these tips will lead to a better return for any marketer’s advertising video online campaign.


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How to Take Advantage of Your Great Communication Skills


Despite technology’s presence—or perhaps because of it—there are an increasing number of concepts that remain mysterious to the average person. We can’t exactly blame John Q. Public’s lack of widespread knowledge, considering that there is simply so much available information nowadays. Because of limited options, people tend to take the easy route, and concentrate on what won’t take too much of their time.


This fact represents a great opportunity for freelancers who have a knack for communication.


A great communicator isn’t judged by the amount of knowledge he or she possesses. Rather, it’s how well they can convey certain concepts to people who need or should know about them. Wouldn’t you respect someone who can make a topic more understandable? Personally, I appreciate those who take the time to explain complicated concepts in an easily comprehensible language.


Clients do too. Almost any client has a message that they want to convey, usually the benefits of a product or service. They are always looking out for people who can do this effectively. And a message’s effectiveness depends on how quickly it can be understood. Do you have what it takes to convert any message into an easily digestible form?


As a bonus, consider this: with great communication skills, you’ll have an easier time convincing clients to pay for your services. If you can summarize what you offer into an easily understood and compelling package, they will see how you can be so valuable for them. So I ask you this, fellow freelancers: how do you take advantage of your great communication skills? What do you do to improve them?

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How the Flea Market Helps Freelance Negotiations


If you have experience shopping at a flea market, then you also know how to effectively negotiate. The best hagglers in such venues know to fight for their interests while keeping the impression of a win-win deal intact.

The key to getting the price at the flea market is the 50% rule. When someone quotes a price, always offer 50% less (if you’re buying), or ask for 50% more (if you’re selling). This applies to freelance negotiations.

Another key is to never be the first one to quote a price. By keeping your cards close to yourself, you’ll always have more room for negotiation. Try to always politely get a prospective client to offer a price first.

An additional key to flea market/freelance negotiations is to know when to walk away. If you’re haggling skills aren’t making an impression on a client, politely thank them for their interest but assert that you cannot work for their quoted price. It can be scary to do this if you currently have no paying jobs, but if a client really wants your services he’ll give in. And you should never work for less than what you’re worth.

The last and most important key that we can learn from flea market commerce is the need to know what your price is. You should have a good idea of what skills are needed for a proposed project, and how long it will take to accomplish it. That way, you can immediately make a counteroffer if your client offers a ridiculously low price, and provide the rationalization for your figure.

Being a good haggler at the flea market will bring good finds at low prices. Being a good haggler at freelance negotiations helps you earn decent money for what you love to do. Do you have any effective haggling tips you’d like to share?

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FTC Sticks With Online Advertising Self-regulation

Government is resisting calls from some sectors to increase regulation in the online advertising industry.  The US Federal Trade Commission is urging the advertising industry to more meaningful and rigorous self-regulation even as it expanded the guidelines for online marketers engaged in behavioral advertising, according to a report by Grant Gross of IDG News.  FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz wrote in a statement that this is the last clear chance for advertisers to show that self-regulation with their advertising video can effectively protect consumers’ privacy online lest government be forced to intervene with a more regulatory approach.

The FTC released its revised behavioral marketing principles recently and critics are not satisfied with the stance the government agency has taken saying it does not do enough to protect consumer privacy. “Unknown to most members of the public, a vast commercial surveillance system is at the core of most search engines, online video channels, video games, mobile services and social networks,” said privacy advocate Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

The FTC report makes some changes to four privacy principles first laid out in 2007: transparency and consumer control; reasonable security and limited data retention; consumer consent for major changes to existing privacy policies; and affirmative consumer consent for using sensitive data for behavioral advertising video.

The FTC also clarified its stance on retroactive changes to privacy policies saying a company must keep any promises it makes with respect to how it will handle and protect consumer data.  Companies, therefore must, before using previously collected data in a manner materially different from promises the company made when it collected the data, obtain the express affirmative consent from affected consumers.

Four online marketing and advertising groups have already said they are committed to working together to develop a set of privacy principles for online advertising.  The American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau have created a task force to support the FTC’s goal of a self-regulatory program, according to Gross’s report.

Despite its critics, many people want to see self-regulation work. Time will tell whether advertising videos alone will effectively balance companies’ marketing and data collection practices with consumers’ privacy interests.

You can also read in my blog Limit Experimentation and Focus on Proven ROI.


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Direct TV Is Just Like On Line Video

Direct response video is a well-established, wildly successful marketing tool that is becoming mainstream throughout the Internet.  Since its inception on TV 20 years ago, direct response video has sold more than $100 billion of products for entrepreneurs and small business owners and people with great ideas and vision. In 2007 Direct Response TV is had one of its best years on record. However now with the economy in a recession budgets are tighter, and advertisers are more selective in selecting the media they choose to promote their products.

Online video marketing is still growing. There is a reason for that, online video is fast becoming the most effective way to reach and connect with Internet audiences.  The direct response video is designed to bring Internet users emotionally closer to the audience. Online video is close enough to television to feel familiar to traditional marketers and advertisers.  Large fortune 500 companies are using online video to promote their products. Apple sold a million video downloads within 21 days of launching its service.  Right now, online video is still a work in progress with much of the chaos – and dreams – that the early entrepreneurs experienced in TV of the 1950s and early ’60s.

Don’t get lured into a false sense of security, because these products are incredibly successful, direct response TV is without risk. It is easy to put video on your blog or website.  Along the lines of rich media content delivery for blogs and websites, the product must match the market.  There are even products like Instant Video Generator that easily and instantly turns your emails and websites into full sensory, multimedia marketing communications tools.  We are seeing more and more pictures, audio and video being integrating and syndicated within web content.

The delivery of visual and video content is dynamic; advertising models are in flux; and marketers and advertisers have a great many places to place their bets.  DRTV is far different from general advertising and therefore offers must be positioned accordingly.

Get creative, time to crank up the volume and craft your own Internet video. Online video is fast becoming the most effective way to reach and connect with your Internet audiences.  It all adds up to this: Now is the time for Internet video.


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