Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Worst Ad Campaigns of 2007

Accentuate the Positive. Forget the negative

I have noticed that there has been a new crop of broadcast media ads that do a miserable job in hawking the clients’ products and services. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

Burger King Corporation

It is already bad enough that the over-sized plastic coated, bobble-headed 'King' elicits the gut response; 'man, that looks creepy' , now Burger King has chosen to associate underlying messages of death and destruction to their services and food products.

The first ad campaign features urban mom's hiring a hit man to oust the 'King'; to make the hit, slow and painful. What does a slow painful (hit) aka (murder) have to do marketing with fast food? Agreeably, the stuff can cause a slow painful artery-clogged death.

The second ad campaign features three mom's in a mini-van, attempting to 'run down the King'.
Agreeable, the 'King's food may look like road kill from time to time, but what does extreme road rage, aka (murder) have to do with fast food?

This is very, negative and lacks taste. (figuratively)

Force Flex Bags, The Glad Products Company

A couple of bank robbers get nabbed when they take too long stuffing the Force-Flex bag with everything but the kitchen sink. The advertising agency for Force-Flex chose to use a ‘bank robbery’ at the heart of their concept.

This is very, very negative.

Wendy’s International

A group of people are in a hospital setting. Their mouths are missing and they have to communicate by writing suggesting that their ability to use their mouths was “removed” because they did not eat at a Wendy’s. The advertising agency for Wendy’s chose to use a rehabilitation clinical setting for the heart of their concept.
While rehabilitation can be a positive step in the right direction, a major fast food chain should not pin their branding to rehab.

This is tasteless as well as negative.

Nationwide Insurance

Looking through the eyes of a Nationwide representative you see a normal home. Moments later the home is in flames, cars at an intersection start crashing and finally a wedding ceremony is transformed into a funeral. I think this one titters on the line.
Any novice could have rubbed two brain cells together and come up with catastrophic examples of collision and death to brand an insurance agency.

This is lacks total creativity and is negative.

Verizon Wireless

A father and son are window shopping for phones. The son asks his dad when the phones will go on sale. His father retorts, ‘When pigs fly’. At this moment a large pig waddles into the shot – (walking) just as a Verizon sales person puts a ‘red-hot’ sales sign in the window.
I have watched this commercial several times and cannot figure out the concept. For gosh sakes! – The pig is walking and the phones are on sale. Am I missing something here?

This commercial is not necessarily negative, but is ambiguous and confusing.

And now… the absolute worst commercial for 2007

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Panicked office workers run for cover when one of the associates screams. “She’s got a knife.” The knife-wielding worker responds, “she has a knife and fork.” (Because she’s eating a KFC meal, of course). The brainchild of this concept uses killing, mayhem and murder to sell their client’s product.

This commercial is especially insensitive to families who have lost love ones in similar real-world circumstances akin to the recent rampage at Virginia Tech.

This commercial is tasteless, insensitive and extremely negative.

All of these companies and their advertising agencies have broken the cardinal rule in advertising. Never reinforce your branding with a negative idea or concept. A smart ad agency accentuates the positive. Nike, Coca Cola USA and McDonald's are good examples of running ad campaigns that touch on a positive note.

From a psychological perspective humans tend to bury and suppress bad or negative memories.
So why in the world would a business or company ever consider reinforcing their branding with a negative concept or idea?

It’s just bad business.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

There's Marketing Gold All Around Your Business

Many companies have marketing gold laying around their office or hidden in their computers. These untapped assets can give you a leg up on the competition if marketed correctly.
Google wants to show its users more than text and photos, and it has successfully been rolling out a program called Universal Search that targets Blogs, News, Video and Images.

For the smart business owner, the days of posting only news releases, marketing content and still photos are over. You can now enhance your search engine results and potential client base by taking advantage of this new opportunity.

Go to the Google homepage and type in "Google headquarters." You should see three photos at the top of the results page.
Now type in "Google datacenters." You should see a thumbnail photo of Matt Cutts, the Google-Guy. This is a thumbnail from his talks posted on Google Video.

Video Shows and CommercialsIf you have a show, seminar, teaching session, marketing video, trade show video, TV commercial, instructional video, industrial video, safety video, educational video or webinar you should post it on any of the free, large video Web sites.

These include:
Truveo Video Search
Google Video also Google Beta Upload Program for TV Stations
YouTube Broadcast Yourself
SoapBox Video (Beta Microsoft)

I'm not going to promise that your image, photo and video resources are instantly going to start popping up in search results, but chances are they will over time. Especially when there are searches for more cryptic information.

Be sure to tag and title your video properly. For example, if you're uploading an instructional video about "Sexual harassment in the Workplace," make sure you include the title as such and a complete description of the video.

Convert Your Power Point to Video too!Just about every company creates Power Point presentations. Convert these to video and upload them as well. If you have a Power Point about "The Impact of Unregulated Chinese Toothpaste in the US" chances are your Power Point will appear in the Google search results for this topic.

Multiple Stores, Businesses and LocationsCompanies can also leverage there multiple locations. Google allows stores, companies and businesses to register their individual locations through Google Local. (Google Maps).

Google wants to capture, saturate and grow hyper accurate local results! So why not help them and tell about your locations across the US!
If you have more than 10 locations, Google will let you manage these from one spreadsheet.

Google is so serious about this program that they're paying independent contractors to visit local businesses, gather data and photographs of local businesses, and tell the business owners about Google Maps and Google Ad Words.

Photos, Images and GraphicsGoogle and other search engines, most noticeably, show photos, images and graphics in their search results.

Go to and type; Andy Warhol Work that there are three images at the top page that link to other Web sites.

The images in your Web site may start appearing in search results depending on the amount of imagery you use and its related search query. Here are some helpful hints to pass along to your webmaster.

1) Use keywords or key phrases in the image file name.Example: < src= "red_rubber_ball.jpg">

2) Use the same keywords or key phrases in the ALT TAG.Example: < alt= "red_rubber_ball.jpg">

3) Keep the image near the supporting content or text on the Web page.

4) Upload your images to popular photo sharing sites like Flickr and Photobucket.

Adding videos, listings and images to your web site will give your business a competitive advantage as Universal Search grows and takes hold in all the popular search engines.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

Doing Keyword Research? Here Are Some Resources To Help!

Jul. 9, 2007 at 8:29am Eastern by Danny Sullivan:
Doing Keyword Research? Here Are Some Resources To Help!

Search term research is one of the fundamental activities for a successful search marketing campaign. You've got to know the words people are using if you want to target them properly. To help, I've expanded the Search Term Research section of Search Engine Land to list a variety of resources and tools you can consult. The Search Behavior section also has been updated to list places where search engines generally report on search activity, such as popular trends in searching. Both sections also recap articles we've covered on these topics. Below, a bit more about what's in both sections, along with the sad decline of the Yahoo Keyword Selector Tool and some alternatives that have come along in its place.

One of the best things when the former GoTo paid search service arrived nearly 10 years ago was that it soon began offering a free tool allowing you to see what people were searching for, ranked by popularity of search. GoTo renamed itself Overture, and the Overture Search Term Selection tool was an essential component of any search marketer's toolkit.

Yahoo later purchased Overture, and the tool to support Yahoo Search Marketing customers was renamed again, though it continued to operate as normal. Then Yahoo rolled out its new Panama paid search system, and the tool seemed abandoned, as a result.

Yahoo promised earlier this year that a new tool would be coming, and one was delivered last month. But compared to the old tool, it's a joke.

Consider a search for terms related to cars. The old tool, when it doesn't timeout, tells me these are the top five related words and their search volumes:

car insurance: 3,148,492
auto purchase: 1,734,429
buy a car: 1,311,773
new car: 1,080,103
car rental: 1,030,755

Sounds great? Sure, if you don't mind the data being half-a-year old. Those volumes are from January 2007. Normally, this tool should show search data from the previous month.

Well, Yahoo has this new keyword tool now. One disadvantage to it is that you can only reach it if you're logged into a Yahoo Search Marketing account. OK, so it doesn't take long to set-up an account (though only allowing user names only up to 10 characters long sucks -- everything I wanted was taken). Plus, placing a $5 deposit isn't much for those just after some free keyword research.

If you get past those disadvantages, there's the bigger issue that the tool isn't that helpful. A search for [cars], for example, gives a list with no apparent order. Consider the top five things that show up and the estimated monthly searches for them:

used car: 257,220+
new car: 257,220+
automobile: 20,160-257,219
car for sale: 257,220+
buying car: 20,160-257,219

Are these in order of popularity? If so, why are there further down on the list matches with ranges above that 20,000 minimum mark? And what's with these ranges? From 20,000 through 260,000 is Yahoo's idea of granularity? The tool might work well enough for paid search marketers, but for SEO work, don't bother.
Of course, the tool IS designed for Yahoo's paid search customers. Why should it care if others get a free ride off it?

Mainly, because it's good PR for Yahoo. What's the first tool I use and recommend these days? The Google AdWords Keyword Tool! Unlike Yahoo, I can link to it directly (with Yahoo, to use its tool, you have to hunt for it as part of the ad creation process). Unlike Yahoo, I don't need to log into AdWords to use it. Unlike Yahoo, the data is fresh -- from June 2007.

Sure, Google doesn't give you actual volume figures. Still, you can sort the terms generally by search volume, and the small graphs in that column give you a good idea of relative popularity. In addition, you can exclude synonyms and just find terms related to the exact term you entered. The top five terms related to cars according to Google?

cars movie
cars the movie
new cars
rental cars

It would be nice to see Yahoo step up and take on Google by making its search term research tool more robust, more specific and available to anyone. Consider also that after Google expanded Google Trends (another awesome research tool) with Hot Trends (see Google Meme: Hot Trends Added To Google Trends), Yahoo wasted no time reminding the world of its long-standing Yahoo Buzz area that covers search trends.

Sure, that's wonderful, as long as you happen to be interested in whatever Yahoo Buzz is talking about. It's not so great if you want to dive into a particular area of your choosing.
Yahoo also loses to Microsoft in the PR battle of providing search term information. Consider adCenter Labs, which offers a variety of keyword research tools including adCenter Labs Keyword Forecast. This is like Google Trends, where you can drill deep on whatever terms you like -- plus you can get the age and gender breakdown of those searching, as estimated by Microsoft.

Even smaller players have cashed in on Yahoo not supporting its old, useful tool. Both Wordtracker and Trellian have fee-based keyword research tools. But when Yahoo abandoned its tool, they rolled out basic free ones to gain some PR. They deserve it, because the tools are helpful.

The Wordtracker Free Keyword Suggestion Tool for [cars] tells me these figures for daily searches:
cars: 73,994
used cars: 27,871
car: 23,767
fast cars: 15,056
car rental: 10,647

The Trellian Free Search Term Suggestion Tool for [cars] tells me these figures for yearly searches:
cars" 1,036,784
used cars: 322,583
new cars: 86,787
fast cars: 69,364
rental cars: 60,904

The downside to both tools is that I'd like to see them describe more about where the data comes from (Trellian is unclear on this) and how fresh it is (for WordTracker, I think it is daily searches on average over the past two months).

Keep in mind that the volumes from each service (Yahoo, WordTracker, Trellian) won't match each other for a variety of reasons. First, the time periods are different (monthly, daily, yearly). Second, the search networks are different (Yahoo will be larger and have more searches overall).

Instead, the numbers are just guides as to the popularity of terms relative to each other. From WordTracker, [cars] is roughly three times as popular as searches for [used cars]. Looking at Trellian, you can see its figures show roughly the same percentage. Looking at figures from several services can give you a better idea in general of what terms you ultimately decide are popular enough to overtly target.

Overall, I hope this provides a glimpse of some of the current free tools out there. As I said, there are many more listed on our Search Term Research page, plus be sure to see the Search Behavior section for those ways that search engine let you have fun seeing broad trends. Meanwhile, I'll be hoping that Yahoo steps up and reclaims its former glory as a search term research resource.

How To Build An Audience On MySpace

Orginally posted on Search Engine Land:

MySpace is a great social media site that marketers can leverage in a number of different ways. One of these is building up a large audience for your profile, which can then be used to drive traffic to your site, interact with consumers, create mind share, and even empower people to brand your company for you.

The problem is that most people don't know how to build a large audience. And unless you're a well-known, popular brand, chances are that if you build it they won't come. Here are some things that you can do to build a large relevant audience on MySpace:
Gather in groups. MySpace has groups for pretty much every topic under the sun. Find the groups that are relevant to your business and start befriending the people who are members of these groups. It is also a good idea to establish a group of your own based on your brand or topic of interest.

Participate in forums. Many people are not even aware that MySpace has forums on their site. Well they do, and many of the sections are very popular. A good way to find people that have similar interests is to drill down into discussions based around relevant topics.

Find like-minded users. You can search for people on MySpace based on interests that people have listed in their profiles. What better way to find people that would be interested in your brand then finding them based on interests?

Seek out friends of friends. Usually people are friends because they have interests in common. Searching through friends of friends is a great place to find people who have a good chance of being interested in you, too. Not all friends of friends will be into what you're doing, but there's a good chance lots of them will be.

Don't overlook friends of competitors. Just because a user has friended one your competitors does not necessarily mean they are loyal to that brand. Often times they have just friended them based on interests and not because they are evangelists for that brand. Besides, people can like more than one company in each space.

Promote your MySpace profile elsewhere. Link to your MySpace profile from your website. There's a good chance that many of the people visiting your regular site also use social networking sites like MySpace. They may not even know that you have a profile. Let them know and they just might add you as a friend.

Optimize your profile for search. Having your MySpace profile rank well for your brand name is not only a good reputation management strategy but also a good way to increase your audience. Avid users of social networking sites like MySpace would often rather visit your MySpace profile then your regular site. So when they search out your brand make sure they have that option.

There are many ways to find potential friends for your company's MySpace page. These tactics aren't limited to MySpace—many other social networks work in a very similar way. Cameron Olthuis is director of marketing and design for ACS and writes regularly on social media issues through the company's blog, Pronet Advertising. The Let's Get Social column appears Tuesdays at Search Engine Land.

Jul. 3, 2007 at 1:55pm Eastern by Cameron Olthuis

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Official Google Maps API Blog: Google Maps API Version 2

Official Google Maps API Blog: Google Maps API Version 2

What's the Story on PageRank?

By Donald Nelson (c) 2007

A lot of website owners are upset or puzzled when their website's Google PageRank goes down or does not rise. Is it worth losing any sleep over changes in that green line and number that appear in a Google tool bar at the top of your browser? I think that excessive worry or thought about PageRank is not constructive, and it is better to put it all in perspective by taking a rational look at what PageRank is and what it is not.

First of all the concept behind PageRank is indeed at the heart of Google's ranking process. The Google founders came from academia and they noticed that in many academic documents some sources were continually cited. They reasoned that if a particular document such as a book or research paper was mentioned in many places then it must be important. They applied this to the web and assumed that if one website links to another it is in fact, giving a "vote" for that site. A website that has many incoming links must have a certain degree of importance. In the current Google algorithm the quantity and quality of incoming links is certainly a factor in deciding the ranking of a particular website for any given search-query.

Think about it. In the early days of the web people would build websites and then they would tell their visitors to chëck out other "cool" sites and they would link to these sites. This is the process of natural linking and it still goes on. If you really have good content, people will link to you without letting you know. Similarly, if your name is Bob Dylan and your website is, thousands of people will link to you without you having to send a cheesy email begging for a link.

Various government agencies, educational institutions, established companies and anyone else who is "big" in the "real world" is likely to also be big on the Internet simply by virtue of their previous fame and accomplishment. Google's ranking system took this into consideration and this is one of the reasons why Google is currently the number one search engine. It gives better results and that is why people use it.

But, does that mean that only the big players can be seen on the net? Far from it. While there is a difference between one guy working in his house with one computer and a corporate giant with a whole staff, and this is indeed reflected in rankings, the Internet provides a much leveler playing field than in yesteryear. Prior to 1995, it would have been very hard for someone to spread their news and views far and wide as bloggers do today. It costs millíons of dollars to publish a daily newspaper or to print and circulate a magazine, but it costs far less to publish a website or a blog, and lots of "little guys" have taken advantage of the power of the Internet.

But what about PageRank, how much of it do I really need to get my site noticed? For those who are not familiar with the PageRank system. Google supplies a tool bar which you can download and install on your browser. If you make a complete installation with all the advanced features, then every time you open a new website you will see a green and white bar with the label PageRank. Put your mouse on the bar and you will see a number from 0 to 10. If a website is not indexed by Google or banned by Google, the bar may be grey or all white.

But what do the numbers mean? I had a client who was worried about his number 3 PageRank figure and based on my observation I answered him with my unofficial view on the rankings. Here is how I currently see it:

PageRank 0-2 shows that a site does not have many links and needs work, However, and this a big "however," it may not really affect your search engine rankings. I have a client with a page rank of 2 and his site ranks well, even number one, for several search terms in a fairly competitive industrial category. So PageRank is not everything; it may have an impact on your rankings and traffíc, but in some cases it may not matter. In any case if you have a PageRank of 0-2, you can work on it through proper link building activity which I will explain at the end of the article.

PageRank 3 can be OK in some cases but in highly competitive industries you should work to improve it.

PageRank 4
is quite a normal number and indicates that you have enough links in either quantity or quality to make your site competitive.

PageRank 5
indicates that a site has many links or links from authoritative sites, and that Google has good "trust" in the site. It is a respectable and attainable PageRank.

PageRank 6 is very difficult to attain. This rank indicates that the site has many links and links from respected places. Remember the example of, which I mentioned above; it has a PageRank 6, so you can get an idea of the difficulty involved.

PageRank 7-10
is usually earned by large and established institutions or websites which have tremendous authority, due to the quantity and quality of the incoming links. It is extremely difficult to attain this ranking. You really have to be special to get it.

So, don't worry excessively about PageRank. First look at your traffíc, then look at your salës and finally at your bottom line. They are the important numbers to watch. If you want to íncrease your traffíc and also PageRank, then here are a few steps that you can take:

1. Add content to your website. Make your website so good and so useful that people will link to you without you asking for a link.

2. Write articles and get them published on other websites and blogs with a link back to your site.

3. Distribute online press releases

4. Judiciously exchange links, or even better, exchange content (containing links back to your site) with other websites.

5. Get your site listed in online directories.
These efforts will certainly help you to build targeted traffíc, and they most probably will also help you to íncrease your PageRank as well.

Truths & Myths to Google PageRank Tool BarSearch engines assign a value to your web site based on the links pointing to it. The most popular term for this kind of ranking is called "PageRank". The PageRank is a value that Google gives to a page based on the number and types of links into a page

About The AuthorDonald Nelson is a search engine optimization specialist and the publisher of the A1-Article Directory, a source of content for website owners and blog publishers.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How to clear bad press from search engine results

Search Engine Facts 5 June 2007 ~

Disgruntled customers sometimes write negative comments about a company in their blogs or some of your competitors might like to damage your reputation by creating fake comments about your site.

No matter how good your company is, some people will always write something negative about your site, even if you tried your best to help them. What can you do if web pages with negative comments appear on the first result page for your company name?
1. Just ask
Send the webmaster of the web page in question a polite email and ask for removal of the negative comments. Be friendly and don't threaten the other person. Many webmasters will cooperate if you explain the issue.

2. Give web pages with positive comments a boost
Find web sites that contain positive comments about your site. Link to these pages from your own website to increase the link popularity of these pages. The web pages with the positive comments might get more inbound links and higher rankings then.
You could also suggest web pages with positive remarks about your website on social network sites such as Digg.

3. Use Wikis if appropriate
Websites like allow you to create an article about your company. If your company is important enough, you might even create an entry in Wikipedia. These Wiki pages might also get listed when someone searches for your company name.
It's very important that you don't spam Wikis. Only add information about your company if it is appropriate. Spamming Wikis will backfire on you.

4. Ask for testimonials
If you receive positive feedback from customers, ask them to write a review on, or similar sites.

5. Make sure that your own web site has the first position
If your own website comes first for your company name then most people will click on your link and don't look further. Use IBP to make sure that your own web site has position 1 in the search engine results.
Removing negative comments from the search engine results can take some time. It's best to avoid negative experiences at the outset by providing high quality products and good customer support.
If negative comments still appear on the Internet, use the tips above to restore the positive image of your company.

Orginal Post from

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Create an RSS Feed for Your Website Step-by-Step

By Michael Fleischner

Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I'll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content - even if you know very little about RSS feeds.

RSS Defined
According to Wikipedia, RSS is a simple XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites. Using RSS, webmasters can put their content into a standardized format, which can be viewed and organized through RSS-aware software or automatically conveyed as new content on another website.

Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I'll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content - even if you know very little about RSS feeds.

Feeds are typically linked with the word "Subscribe", an orange rectangle , or with the letters RSS or XML. Many news aggregators publish subscription buttons for use on Web pages to simplify the process of adding news feeds.

Choosing the Content you want to Syndicate
Okay, so you're interested in syndication but aren't exactly sure what you should be syndicating. There's really no hard and fast rule here. Howerver, keep in mind that anything you plan to syndicate via RSS should be unique, of value to a given audience, and something that gets updated on a regular basis.

So How do you Create an RSS Feed?
All RSS feeds are written using a code type called XML. If you're not familiar with XML, don't let that scare you off. I'll provide the specific code you need and instructions on what to do with it.

To begin, you'll need to create an RSS file that contains a Title, Description, and Link URL. This information will be used by the RSS reader when individuals subscribe to your RSS feed. Follow these simple steps.

1. Go to your "Start Menu" in the lower left-hand corner of your computer screen. Clíck on "All Programs" and navigate to Accessories. There you'll find an option called "Notepad". Notepad is a simple text editor that you will use to develop your RSS scrípt.

2. Write the RSS scrípt which contains information about your website or content page and information about the content you'll be syndicating. To do so, copy the following into Notepad. Replace the bold content with your own site's information.

This RSS feed should be viewed using an RSS Reader or RSS Aggregator. Firefox users clíck the Subscribe to feed icon.
Feed URL: Marketing articles covering a variety of marketing topics en-us If you own a small business, you probably don't have a lot to spend on marketing. These simple techniques will help you generate more referrals than you can handle.

That's it. As noted above, be sure to use the Title of your website and article, links, and descriptions. When your done, save your file by selecting File, Save as, from the top bar in the Notepad window. Warning: name your file with a .xml extension but save as text.(example:

Be sure not to use any ampersands or quotes in your code as this may cause an error. XML requires ampersands to be replaced in the code with "&" and quotes with "&amp;amp;quot; whatever is included in your quotes. The best advice I can give is just don't include quotes or ampersands and you won't have any coding issues.

3. Save, Upload, and Validate your .xml code. After saving your RSS file via notepad, the next step is to upload your .xml file to your web server. This file should be placed in the same directory as your homepage or the directory of the page you've selected to syndicate.

Now that we've created and uploaded your RSS feed, we must validate it. By doing so, we know that the feed is active and will work when individuals subscribe. To validate your feed, visit and enter your feed URL. The URL of your feed is simply the URL of the .xml file you just uploaded to your server. So, if your file was saved to your website's main directory and was called "rssfeed", then simply enter your website's URL, followed by /rssfeeds.xml. Once validated, your RSS feed is ready to be syndicated.

4. Place your RSS code on your website. The best way to do this is to copy the RSS button and include a link to the RSS feed you just created. You can grab the RSS or XML image by simply visiting a website like and right mouse clicking the image. Save the image (give it a name like RSS.gif) and copy it onto your server. The code should look like this:

rss feed for my website

Be sure to replace the information above with your own feed link and image link.

5. Subscribe to your own feed. After you've uploaded all of your pages to your live site or testing server, open Internet Explorer and clíck on your own RSS button. You should be taken to a dialogue box that asks if you'd like to subscribe to your feed. Subscribe and confirm that the feed has been added to your líst of RSS feeds (it should appear in a dialogue box on the left hand side of the page).

Note: If you're using Firefox, you will only receive a text page when clicking on your RSS button. Those using the firefox browsers can clíck on a small icon that resides on their browser
nav bar to add your feed. Additionally the text file contains your feed URL which can also be used.

6. Ping aggregators to let them know that you've created an RSS feed. In order to let the world wide web know that your feed is up and running, you must give them a Ping. This is very easy to do - just go to and choose the appropriate sites to inform. Select blog related sites if you're a blog and non-blog related sites for other content. Complete the information and Ping.

Another site you should Ping is Yahoo! Simply visit the Yahoo! RSS submit page and add your feed URL. This will let the big boys know that your syndicating.

A final note. Whenever you want to syndicate new content, you will need to update your .xml file with a link to the content and a revised description. Once you've done so, upload the file to your server, replacing the existing .xml file and the code will do the rest.
Related Articles about RSS, converting RSS feeds to Java Script:

About The AuthorMichael Fleischner is an
internet marketing expert with more than 12 years marketing experience. He has appeared on The Today Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. For more free marketing articles like this one, visit

Friday, January 12, 2007

Introduction to Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks

Introduction to Copyrights,Patents, and Trademarks
By Deepak Dutta

What is a copyright? Can everything be copyrighted? A copyright is the expression of an idea. The idea itself is not copyrighted. Ideas can be patented and I will talk about patents later.

Let's consider the example of a story: a poor man who found lots of cash on his way back to his home from his work. He decided to keep the cash to improve his financial situation. But he could not sleep at night because he was haunted by strange voices that told him to find the owner and return the cash. This idea cannot be protected. Anybody can write a short story based on the idea. What is protected is how the author expresses the idea in the form of texts, illustrations, drawings, photographs, etc.

Once an expression is copyrighted, others can still use it for fair use. You can tape a few 15 seconds video clips from a copyrighted TV program and post it in your video blogs about a commentary on the program or broadcaster, etc. This will be considered a fair use and you will not infringe the copyright.

After a copyrighted material expires, it falls into the public domain. The life of a copyrighted material is the life of the author, plus 70 years. The public domain copyrighted materials can be reproduced without any infringement. For example, if you have an old picture with expired copyright, you can post the picture in your website.
In the USA, the Copyright Act of 1976 governs all copyrights. The Copyright Act does not protect any ideas, procedures, process, systems, and methods of operations, concepts, principle or discovery regardless of how it is expressed. It is the expression that is protected by the Copyright Act. You cannot copyright titles, names, slogans, and short phrases even if those have new ideas.

As mentioned earlier, the life span of a copyrighted material is the author's life, plus 70 years in most cases. There are a few exceptions to this rule and they are: un-renewed copyrighted materials published pre-1964, materials published before 1978 without a copyrighted notice, and materials published by the US Government.

All copyrighted materials should be fixed in a tangible medium (papers, CDs, DVDs, etc.). If it is not fixed in a tangible medium, it is not copyrighted. For example, your speech to the graduating class that was never recorded, taped, or published is not protected under the US Copyright Act. Your can register your copyrighted materials with the US Copyright Office. All expressions of ideas are copyrighted regardless of whether they are registered with the Copyright Office or not. If you register the expression with the Copyright Office, you can receive statutory damages and attorney's fees if an infringement occurs. If the material is not registered with the Copyrighted Office, you can only recover actual damages.

A patent holder of an invention has the right to exclude others from using, selling, and making the invention. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) awards patents. There are three kinds of patents: utility, design, and plant patents.

The most frequently used patents are utility patents. They have a life span of 20 years from the effective filing date if the filing date is after June 8, 1995. A utility patent also requires periodic maintenance fees. A utility patent must be a novel, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, manufacture, or compositions of matter or improvement to the same. There are three things that define a utility patent. First, it must be novel. Nobody should have invented, published, used, or manufactured the invention before. Second, one should be able to do something useful with the invention. If it is just novel without any usefulness, it cannot be patented. A patentable invention should not be obvious to the person with ordinary skills in the same technology space related to the invention.

A design patent is the appearance or aesthetic of an article and it has a life span of 14 years after the patent is issued. A plant patent, as the name applies, protects a distinct plant produced asexually. It has life span of 20 years from the filing date.

A trademark is word, symbol, design, or a combination of one or more of these items. It is used to identify the source of goods or services of one company and differentiate a company's goods and services from others. A trademark should not be confusingly similar to other existing names or symbols.

A trademark is registered with the USPTO. It can also be registered through the state's Secretary of State's office. If the trademark is not registered, the rights to the trademark may be geographically limited. You cannot use the symbol ® to represent a mark if it is not registered.

If you want to maintain a trademark for your business, you must actively use it. Just registering a trademark without using it actively will result in diminished rights over time. Never allow a trademark to become a generic word. For example, the trademark "Aspirin" by Bayer has become a generic word to represent acetylsalicylic acid. Others can use it without causing any infringement. When you see a trademark used by authors as a noun or a verb, it may become a generic word. Trademark owners vigorously pursue authors from using the trademark as a noun or a verb. A trademark should always be used as an adjective. For example, Google is preventing others from using the word Google as a verb.

About The AuthorDr. Deepak Dutta is the creator of - an interactive social network website based on user shared text and picture contents on any topics. His other website - is one of the oldest online classifieds sites.