readwriteweb say mediaLast month marked the end of one of my longest-running consulting engagements, with popular technology blog ReadWriteWeb. Founder Richard McManus announced last month that ReadWriteWeb is being acquired by Say Media, a company formed by the combination of VideoEgg and Six Apart (formerly the maker of Movable Type). Congratulations to Richard and the rest of the RWW team on this exciting next step!

ReadWriteWeb will soon be migrating from Movable Type to a proprietary SAY platform, which, based on publicized rumors (I have no inside knowledge), may be based on the TypePad platform that came with the Six Apart acquisition (which in turn, many moons ago, was based on Movable Type).

During the fours years that I worked with ReadWriteWeb, most of the services I provided were Movable Type management, maintenance, optimization, and custom development. Projects included at least one major re-design integration and a hosting migration from one provider to another. I also helped RWW integrate social media services through several of my Movable Type plugins including FriendFeed Comments, Twitter Commenters, and Twitter Tools. My Visitor Stats plugin helped provide real-time stats about traffic to RWW stories and show which posts were most popular.

Once again, congratulations to ReadWriteWeb and thank you for 4 years of interesting projects. I wish them all the best in future.

apple-ios-5.jpgIn 2011, I stared learning how to create iPhone and iPad apps. In 2012 I will start offering iOS app development services, in addition to Movable Type development, SEO, PPC advertising, and other internet marketing services.

I have one iOS app that is a work-in-progress, which I plan to finish soon. I had to put it hold due to higher priorities but hope to jump back into that project very soon. I also have another idea for a "fun" app that mixes photography, art, and social networking -- this one remains at the idea stage, but hope to start work on it soon.

After one (or both) of these projects launch, I will begin to offer iOS app development services. Stay tuned for more details.

One of my sites sites received almost 100 million page views last month. Fantastic, but not as much as you might think. I made approximately zero dollars from this. One of the things on my 2012 todo list is to do something about this. I am still not sure what, but i gotta do something. It is not conventional traffic, so its complicated. But even a CPM of $0.10 would be very nice. Hmmmm...

It has been 4.5 years since I have posted to this site. Time flies, different things vie for for attention, etc. etc. So it often goes in life, and things - like this site - get neglected. With a new year beginning, this is as good a time as any to start blogging again. Daily would certainly be good, but i won't set such an ambitious goal.

What will I post here? I am not sure, to be honest, time will tell. In the past, I have posted mostly business stuff here, leaving personal stuff for other venues. Maybe its time to mix it up a bit, so I think it will be a mix of things to start with. If you care, reply in the comment if you think the entries are too varied as to be distracting. I may try to aggregate some post from other sites here, or perhaps just link to them, we shall see.

I have just change the site's theme to Free Flow, a theme that I am working on for Movable Type (another unfinished project that needs to be finished in 2012!). It's not quite finished, there are likely bugs, but feedback is appreciated.

Here goes nothing.

New criteria for restricting the scope of what the US Patent Office considers patent-worthy poses a threat to numerous software patents, including Google's famed PageRank.

Editor's Note: Losing the PageRank patent could be troubling for Google, but the broader scope of patent reform-something Google has championed otherwise-is intended to protect innovators from the itchy trigger finger of an overly litigious society. What you you think? Good idea? Let us know in the comments section.

Google climbed past a morass of ineffective search engines when it arrived on the Internet. Its devotion to the most relevant possible solution for a given query quickly made it the de facto search choice as millions of people shifted their browsing habits from walled garden content to the broader World Wide Web.
The essential and much-discussed PageRank technology holds a patent, a common legal protection sought by software developers small and large. Some have claimed software patents affect far too broad a scope of potential innovation, leading to lawsuits where a patent owner claims damages by multiple companies.

Those on the losing end of such suits end up paying for what they argue are obvious and non-original concepts. That could change with a shift in the way the USPTO looks at software patents, the Patently-O blog on patent law said.
A series of cases may remake the software industry, all the way to the top where Google and other companies reside:

In the most recent of these three (cases)—the currently pending en banc Bilski appeal—the Office takes the position that process inventions generally are unpatentable unless they "result in a physical transformation of an article" or are "tied to a particular machine."
Patently-O sees Google's PageRank, the patent for which is owned by Stanford University, as failing the first part of the test, as generating scores isn't a physical transformation. The second part proves troubling given recent decisions made by the USPTO in a couple of other cases, not only for PageRank but other Google patents too.
"Google might have thought that the patent system would surely protect new technological developments that are highly creative and socially valuable. The PTO’s new position proves that view mistaken," Patently-O said.

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I recently returned from an amazing vacation to the Galapagos Islands. What an amazing place, its hard to put into words. I will soon be posting some stories and photos on my Galapagos Travel Blog. I just need time to sift through 1,300 photos and pages of my hand-written journal.

As I mentioned briefly in my previous blog entry, my Galapagos blog currently contains a bit of fun: the first 33 entries were not written by me, but by Charles Darwin way back in 1835, when he first visited the islands. At the same time, this also serves as an experiment in public domain web content. The 33 entries were taken from a single chapter of "The Voyage of the Beagle", a book written by Darwin about a trip around the world, that included many stops, including the Galapagos Islands. The book is now in the public domain, which means that the book is no longer covered by copyright. As such, it can be republished freely and legally.

Of course, my travel blog is not the only site on the web that includes some or all of the text of the book. The key question for the experiment, therefore, is would I be able to generate search engine rankings and traffic using content that has been previously published many times over?. The answer, which is a little surprising, is yes.

Here are some stats since I left on vacation, April 23, 2007:

  • 141 visitors
  • 205 page views
  • 140 people came from a Google Search, 1 from an AOL search
  • 94 different keyword phrases were used to find the site
  • several top rankings, including a #2 for tortoise mating, a #10 for Galapagos Climate, and a #12 for the non-specific phrase "different plants".

Since I don't have any ads on the blog (yet), the site has made no earnings. But 141 visitors from search engines within less than 3 weeks from public domain content that I cut-and-pasted isn't bad at all. And remember, I used just one chapter from the book. If I had used all 21 chapters, perhaps I would have received 2,961 visitors. And what I did the same for 10 public domain books of similar size? Then the total would have been almost 30,000 visitors in just over two weeks. Now we are talking significant traffic.

Of course, this experiment in public domain web content is not completely fair. Based on my experience building web content and search engine optimization (SEO), I did a number of things to help improve my chances of success. I am going to continue to research and experiment with public domain web content. Look forward for more from me on the topic in future.

Tomorrow I head off on vacation for two weeks, to the Galapagos Islands! My wife and I are very excited about this trip, and plan to take many, many photos. Look forward to stories and photos on the Galapagos Travel Blog. So far the only entries on the blog were made way back in the 1800s by Charles Darwin, when he first arrived in the Galapagos (partly this is just for fun, and partly it is an experiment in public-domain web content). You will probably have to wait until I return for the stories and photos from 2007.

This is the second of two entries on "Master Resale Rights". The first arcticle was about buying master resale rights. This article will focus on the perspective of the seller. If you have created an information product, what are the pros and cons of selling master resale rights to it? Is it a good idea?

So you have created your own information product (ebook, report, software, video, etc.). You are ready to sell the product to the masses. You have probably noticed that some information sellers also offer master resale rights (MRR) as an additional "one time offer". It seems like an opportunity to make even more money, doesn't it? Well, sometimes, but no always.

If you are considering selling master resale rights to your product, the first thing you should consider is your main goal with the product. Often times, maximizing earnings will be the goal. Sometimes, however, building an email list, or building a reputation for yourself, may be a strong secondary goal, or even the primary goal. Selling master resale rights can affect both types of goals in different ways.

Offering master resale rights gives you a quick and easy opportunity to boost your earnings. The product is complete, and it doesn't take much additional effort to sell the master resale rights. Plus you can often sell the MRR for several times more than the cost of the product. This can add up to some healthly "back-end" profits. I read recently from an experienced Internet marketer that he was earning twice as much on the back-end offer compared to the original offer. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? Well, it's not. If you think deeper about it, its actually more complicated than that.

When you sell master resale rights, you are usually giving people 2 options: 1) promote your product via your affiliate program (no cost to them) or 2) buy the master resale rights and resell the product directly, cutting you out of the picture all together. Under the first scenario, you don;t earn anything for the MRR, but you may still make money if the person promotes your product via the affiliate program. If they buy the MRR, you make some money selling the rights, but you get zero for every item they resell -- in other words if they turn around and resell 1,000 copies of your product, you don't get any of that money -- plus you don't get any new subscribers to your email list either.

Which brings us back to your goal. If you have a strong goal to build your email list, selling master resale rights may not be 100% in line with that goal, for the reasons described above. However, if your goal is to build a reputation for yourself, selling MRR may be a very good idea. When you sell master resale rights, it makes it more attractive for successful Internet Marketers (the ones with really big email lists!) to promote your product. Why? For the same reason described in the previously paragraph. They have big mailing lists and they know they can sell a lot of your product. They also know that if they buy the master resale rights, they can also make more money by reselling the MRR themselves on the back-end. Bottom line: since they know they can make more money reselling your product (via MRR) than via your affiliate program, it becomes more attractive to promote your product. And don't underestimate the value of building your reputation (even if you earn $0 and get zero emails). In Internet Marketing, reputation and trust are very important, especially when you are just starting out.

In summary, selling master resale rights to your products can earn you more, or less, money. And it may result is less opt-ins to your email list, but at the same time it will make your product more attractive for others to promote. For the reasons discussed above, I think it is a good idea to think long and hard about your goals before deciding whether or not to sell master resale rights.

Oh, by the way, have you claimed your free list building eBook yet?