Sunday, June 17, 2007

Using Stock Photos - Images

Stock photography refers to the practice of licensed photographic work that is able to be used by other parties for specific uses. Many website owners, affiliate marketers, print publishers, advertising agencies, artists, and creative marketing groups frequently use stock photos as aesthetically-pleasing additions to their work. Using Stock Photos for projects can save a lot of time and money for these entities, but in return they are not fully warranted the rights to the photograph that they use, if they retain any rights at all. The end result is that it is possible to see the same stock photograph used in an ad for web hosting as in an advertisement for a mortgage brokerage firm.

Stock photography is typically sold to agencies by the photographer in exchange for potential royalties that will be collected. Another model is for the photographer to collect a percentage of royalties collected from the use of their work and the other percentage being held by the agency for exposure and distribution of the work.

There are several ways that stock photography can be legally utilized and distributed. The first of which is called “royalty-free.” Many people mistakenly believe that royalty-free means that the image is free for the taking but this is not true. There is a one-time fee that applies in order for another entity to be able to use the image but there are no usage fees that apply after that, unless the agreement comes with such a stipulation. No one person has the exclusive rights to a royalty-free photograph, meaning that the originator – being the photographer or the agency – is allowed to resell the image as much as they want.

Rights-managed stock photography is set up so that the end user pays each time the image that was bought is used. During that period of time, the buyer has an exclusive right to that image so that no one else can use it. The time increment for use is typically one year. Anyone that wants exclusive rights to an image must use rights-managed stock photography. The price is exponentially more for the use of the image, but the end user has greater control. After the contract expires, the artist has the right to resell the authorization to use his or her image once again.

The World Wide Web has enabled rampant theft and unauthorized use of photographic images and there is no fail-safe way to stop thieves as long as the image is displayed. With emerging technology, however, artists are better able to handle tech-savvy thieves and protect their work.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What are Vector Graphics?

Common question in Live Chat.. so here's some information about those.

Vector graphics are used heavily in web animation, 3D animation, and computer design. Also known as object-oriented graphics, vector graphics relies on shapes to make up larger, complex pictures. These shapes can include, but are not limited to, arcs, circles, lines, and rectangles. Vector graphics is a mathematical formula-based design development image representation protocol.

Unlike bitmaps, which distort and blue when resized, vector graphics maintain the integrity of the picture even when shrunken to a fraction of their size of blown up many times the original size. This is because of the mathematical relationship that vector graphics utilizes that allows the varying facets of the picture to relate to one another.

Most graphics systems that are relatively sophisticated utilize vector graphics in some form of another. CADD systems, animation software, and 3D rendering models all use vector graphics in order to accurately display images that are flexible and maneuverable.

Even though almost all commercial computing output equipment are raster devices – devices that display bit-mapped graphics – high resolution output equipment such as monitors and printers still display vector graphics as more crisp and clear. This is because vector graphics are not transformed into bit maps until the last possible moment, meaning that all specifications of resizing and resolution have been completed. For this reason, vector graphics can be utilized by almost any output device at any size at almost any resolution.

Scalable vector graphics (SVG) is an open standard that was created by the World Wide Web Consortium. Describing two-dimensional vector graphics for use on the web that are both animated and static, scalable vector graphics is an XML markup language. Scalable vector graphics allow for three types of graphic objects: text, digital images/ raster graphic images, and vector graphic shapes, such as geometric designs.

Scalable vector graphics are widely used on newer, dynamic websites that utilize Ajax. Scalable vector graphics enhance Ajax because it provides graphical page elements that surpass those specified by simple CSS and HTML. It is for this reason and its wide spread popularity that many web designers believe that scalable vector graphics are the future of web imagery design and implementation.

We partnered with GoMedia for our vector graphics supplier you can learn more about in my software section called whatelse.. Vector Graphics

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Screen Capture Video Software

Today I came across some software that I just had to try out. I've been looking to make some demos of how to add a listing to one of my directory sites as it can be confusing for some. Many people use this type of software to make big money on the web by creating video tutorials, how to demos such as how to use the software they sell on a web site.

The software is call ScreenShow Pro and you can now get it from our site as soon as I tried it out I just had to get this to our clients and surfers. It's cheap and easy. There's all kinds out there as I've tried many but none were as easy to use with such great results.

I will post some demos on my site soon but for now go ahead and start making some yourself and let me know how it turned out for you.

Have fun!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

SEO - Search Engine Optimization Software

Search engine optimization is the practice that website publishers engage in to increase their popularity in the search engine results for their chosen niche. Search engine optimization users hope to gain higher priority for their chosen search terms in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live. Search engine optimization, when done correctly, can have a profound impact on any business, online or off, since it enables thousands or even millions of internet users to better find the optimized website whereas without optimization they may not have found it at all.

Search engine optimization (SEO) software includes tools that help webmasters research their chosen markets in order to hopefully rank better in the search engines. SEO software also sometimes automates much of the research needed in order to accomplish this goal. While many SEO software offerings are not worth their asking price due to being outdated or irrelevant from their inception, some search engine optimization software gives a competitive edge due to the resources they provide.

Some examples of features offered by SEO software:

  • Find competitors’ websites that rank higher. This can be a very useful function because once a competitors’ website is found, their methodology in ranking higher can be reverse-engineered and thus beaten.
  • Backlink searches. Backlinks are the backbone of the internet since search engines utilize links to crawl websites for data and determine how each website should be ranked. A website that has backlinks relevant to its content will place much higher in the search engine results than one with little or no links.
  • Alerts webmasters to how many pages of their websites are indexed. Since search engines only index web pages and not entire sites in their results, it is important to know what has to be done to ensure that all relevant pages are indexed in order to better understand what methods are successful and which ones are not.
  • Finds penalized websites that websites are linked to. This is a very important feature of any SEO software. A website that is penalized means that it has been dropped from the popular search engines because it has been involved in unscrupulous activity. Linking to such websites can hurt the linking websites rank in the search engines. This feature helps webmasters eliminate that problem.
Search engines are constantly working to evolve the algorithms that they use in order to rank websites for relevant content so SEO software also continues to evolve. The savvy webmasters utilize SEO software to elevate their websites so that they are able to receive maximum exposure.

I have more information about this on my software page.

Thanks for reading my blog and happy SEO'ing!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Not Selling Anything, But Want a Web Store?

Not Selling Anything, But Want a Web Store?
By: Scott "Snerdey" Lawrence,

Isn't it amazing how much eCommerce has changed over the last few years? What was once a relatively new and uncertain medium is now a safe, secure method of doing business online. In fact, the majority of the money being transferred around the world is done through the Internet.

If you are trying to capitalize on the online economy, you have probably already considered your options. But, have you considered starting up a web storefront that doesn't actually sell anything? It might sound like a daunting or even impossible task, but in reality it's simple and quite effective. If you haven't thought of that yet, you need to seriously consider the increase in commissions that it could bring.

A new type of online store management software, called osCommerence (short for “Open Source Commerce”) is making the task of starting an online storefront easy. There are no licensing fees, as it has been developed by the open source community, and it is completely free. But what does that have to do with selling nothing and making money?

  • OsCommerce allows you to set up shopping carts for affiliate products. If you are promoting an affiliate product, such as an eBook or some other intangible product, you can set up a shopping cart that will show the users the familiar online shopping experience. This could increase conversions, and it does not cost anything.

  • OsCommerce is compatible with just about every affiliate system out there. Just plug in your affiliate link, create your pages, and start making money.

  • OsCommerce is completely free. You can set up multiple landing pages, some with osCommerce and others without it, without having to worry about expense. This means that you can split test your landing sites and see which ones are converting better without having to worry about losing profits.

  • OsCommerce is seamless. The users sees a simple, familiar process. There are no added steps or procedures that the user has to go through, meaning that your conversions are not affected. The user makes the purchases that they desire and receives their product, while you make your commissions.

OsCommerce has been implemented, with great success, with intangible products, affiliate links, eBay affiliate links, as well as other, more obscure forms of monetization. I can ramble on and on about the benefits of maintaining an actual web store, but you probably already know that the web store is the type of environment that most customers are already comfortable with. It really comes down to not reinventing the wheel.

OsCommerce runs off of Apache, and it can be found and downloaded here, or you can visit and purchase pre-made osCommerce templates at very reasonable prices. Snerdey Web Designs actually has quite the selection, and it's a great way to get your virtual store up and running quickly, with a clean, professional face, and a well thought out back end.

Could it be any easier to set up your online storefront?