Thursday, March 26, 2015

Alternatives to Watermarking Photos for Copyright Protection



Watermarks for photo copyright protection? Upload crappy resolutions if you fear people may steal your photos. Or don't post the photos online. Watermarks are easy to hack or crop out.

Are we afraid someone's going to steal our photo and make a ton of money off it? Fat chance.  

Have you ever known anyone this happened to, someone ripped off their photo and got rich? Really, you'll be lucky if anybody pays any attention at all to your photos. There are trillions of photos online now.

PHOTO ABOVE: Kim Johnson, photographer for Art & Society magazine.

On PhotoForum, Josh 66 said: "As far as protecting your work, the best thing you can do is not post it online if you're that worried about other people downloading your stuff. No watermark will stop someone from downloading your picture, and if it's too big it will just make the picture look like crap.

Either deal with the fact that people are going to download your pictures, or don't put anything online.

A nice compromise would be to only put crappy resolution pictures online. That way, when people steal them, their prints will suck."

Studio 101 Imageworks said: "Copyright is Federal Law and to secure all your legal rights, you have to register your copyright ownership with the US Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress. www.copyright.org

So, the only sure way to keep your images from being stolen from the Internet is, don't put them there in the first place."

http://www.thephotoforum.com/threads/do-you-really-need-to-watermark-alternatives.187770/

When I see a photographer or studio name on a photo, I automatically think of it not as a stand alone image but as an ad. I hate to say this, but it typically detracts from the aesthetic experience of the image. I feel the same about certain painters who sign their name really big on every painting.

Here's an article with reasons why you should not use watermarks.

QUOTE

While they make you feel more professional, poorly conceived or designed watermarks can make you look like a total amateur. (Make sure you choose a classy font and not Comic Sans.)

One thing’s for sure: Watermarks insert an extra layer of the commercial into your work, and it can be hard to know how people will react to that. If you’re comfortable with that, then you probably have no qualms about plastering your photos with watermarks.

But how many people have you met who actually make money this way? More often than not, successful photographers find clients by referral, not by random searches on the Internet.

That said, there’s no denying watermarks offer a way for you to brand your work if that’s important. But keep in mind that the most renowned photographers don’t seem to need watermarks; their style often speaks for itself.

It may sound depressing to hear it, but that beautiful photo of the sunset at the beach you took last summer is crowded out by about 134 million similar photos in Google Search. Unless you’re running a commercial stock photo agency, your images are lucky to be found, much less stolen.

END QUOTE

http://blog.pixlr.com/post/53343679858/why-you-shouldnt-watermark-your-photos-plus-a

What is your opinion on this topic?



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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Controlled Bleeding does Pink Floyd and King Crimson

I always liked Controlled Bleeding, ever since I discovered the band when I lived in NYC. One of their best albums is "Trudge."


Controlled Bleeding: "Another Brick in the Wall" (Pink Floyd cover) video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49JI7FIhyB8


Controlled Bleeding: "Talking Drum" (King Crimson cover) video:




Wikipedia states:

QUOTE

Controlled Bleeding have been highly prolific since 1983, putting out more than 30 full-length releases on labels such as Dossier, Wax Trax!, Subterranean, Soleilmoon, and Roadrunner.
Controlled Bleeding's total recorded output spans many different genres including harsh noise, dub, progressive rock, industrial dance, metal, gothic, darkwave, classical, sacred music, ambient, free jazz improvisation, and musique concrète.

Through the 80s and 90s, the group jumped from genre to genre; they would often release two or more full-length albums of music in the same year featuring radically different musical styles.

Controlled Bleeding's music is difficult to categorize, not only because of the experimental and varied nature of their work, but also because of the confusing ways in which their music has been released over the years.

Some of the band's releases are made of remixed earlier material from multiple other releases, sometimes with new or missing song titles.

The band's full-length releases occasionally contain material that jumps abruptly between multiple disparate genres; most strikingly, tracks of harsh noise appear on releases that are otherwise not noise-based.

Additionally, in some cases, later CD issues of their original LPs are renamed, heavily remixed, or feature different tracks altogether, due to the group's desire to "improve" earlier material.
END QUOTE

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

News page: your secret marketing weapon




Use your website News page to deliver fresh content to search engines and customers. 

News page content updating helps your branding -- and search engine results page (SERP) ranking. 


Google is increasingly fanatic about fresh, frequent, original content. 

4 major ways to update content:

(1) Website News page.

(2) Blog (embedded as subpage of website -- or cross linked to website).

(3) Social media, primarily Facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, and YouTube (varies depending on client).

(4) New webpages and PPC landing pages.

Today, let's look at winning the content contest by aggressively implementing News page strategies. 

First, you as CEO, business owner, manager must be excited about something new every day regarding your business. Each day you wake up, you should have some focus pertaining to the solutions your products provide for customers who use it to fulfill a need.

You must have one primary thing you'd like to tell the world about your business, every day, or at least a few times each week. 

A new product now stocked. 

A new way to use a current service. 

A new feature installed in a product. 

A new blog post. 

A new employee. 

A link to an interesting article you just read, related to your industry or expertise.

A list of information you want all customers to understand.

A Red Cross banquet you attended last night. 

A new insight on a customer concern.

A news item related to an event related to something in your field that you have a strong opinion on. 

You need access to your website admin panel so you can update your News page with these types of announcements and notices and links.

SEO is now far more oriented to building new webpages that answer customer questions. 

This is now, more than ever, the heart of content SEO. 

Google must see your website as the "go to person," the #1 expert, and the most easy to read answer to whatever questions being asked in internet searches related to your business.

Your website content must be personal, conversational, even breezy and awkward to some degree, to signify a real, warm, human presence. Photos of you, your staff, and happy customers (with permission) will flesh out your website and help people connect with you.

Some human frailty is good -- to avoid the perception of being slick and super optimized. While you need to implement various SEO tactics, your website should not be screaming "I"m Search Engine Optimized." Google even suggests adding some amateurish anchor text for links, like "Click Here" instead of the more savvy keyword anchor like "information about our KSwiss casual shoes."

Does your website content seem human, easy to relate to?

No typos, but eccentric turns of phrase are good. Anything that makes your content original, unique. Not plagiarized, imitated, or copied and pasted from some other website or blog.

Once the HTML is tweaked for SEO values (meta tags, img alt attributes, H tags, robots protocols, site map, etc.), content that is worthy of links and that satisfies customers is the key.

Try to add something to your News page at least 2 or 3 times per week, if not daily. Google will notice. Google will consider your website to be more current and up to date than your competitors' websites. Your website will gradually rise higher and higher in search results.

The next step would be to make sure that once visitors arrive at your website, they have a good experience, find what they need, and are able to work the functional widgets like online registration forms or ecommerce shopping carts.

Excel in the strategic SEO use of your website's News page and gain a strong, hard to emulate, competitive advantage.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bad Website Content Can Be Funny



Your website content must be intelligently written, with a customer-centric and conversational tone, and must adequately answer customer questions in an FAQ or similar format.

Website content can be very strange. So weird, it makes you laugh. 

This website appears to have been written by a person who is terrible in the English language or it's some SEO algorithm that is plugging in keywords without well-written context surrounding them.


http://www.sclifflaw.com/


No "About Us" page.

"Contact Us" page has no land address, email, or phone number, just a web form to fill out.

Fantastic spammy textual gems like:

"A marketing squads help be certain this develops."

"Harm is actually unstable and really should anyone with any point of one’s."

"This foliage you..."

"Other wonderful attorneys conduct incur it expense..."

"...negligence is against anybody who likely would have prevented a good injury together with intentional not fit for purpose is alongside anyone or the majority of things that offers purposely caused the exact injury one example is domestic battery power."

"Ever accidentally your job in the international area If you possess nearly just about anything to carry out with modern world business, then you’ll want to know of many methods worldwide company law credit card debt you, your business enterprise interest and additionally you’re are usually."

"And then why don’t you the company law scene in your?"

"This lets the attorneys to achieve the word out and about about ones own practice plus their proficiency, while aiding point folks while in the right track."

I do SEO and web content development for businesses in the Peoria, IL area primarily.

If you need help with your website content, or want to drive more qualified traffic to it via Google-compliant SEO, contact me:

steven.streight@gmail.com


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Directory listings for SEO? Be careful.



Google-compliant SEO is not easy. The rules keep changing and so does how people search online.

Directory listings for SEO are no longer recommended, except for a few local and niche directories. 

Companies used to want to get listed (business name, address, phone number, email) on thousands of directories, for the link back to their own website. This was smart strategy. For a while.

The best directories are tightly focused, well designed, serving a specialty or local community, and include educational material on the industry (a great place for naturally occurring keywords) that explains things, or has a forum, rather than just lists of businesses.

Spammers have hit directories pretty hard. Directory listings have been abused by black hat practitioners, along with article submission sites, press release links with SEO savvy anchor text, guest blogging, and other old skool tactics.

Yesterday's safe directory can become unsafe tomorrow. What may have been a safe link neighborhood at one time can suddenly turn bad. Then you need to get unlisted. You may even have to pay a lot of money to get unlisted by a directory, in order to avoid penalties from Google.

Some still good directories and business listings recommended by Yahoo include:

Yelp
Mapquest
Topix
LocalPages
Manta
Merchants Circle
Yellowmoxie
Mojopages
Avantar
localdatabase
superpages
Americantowns.com
Co-pilot
Tupalo
Yellowbot
Yellowise
8coupons
Metro PCS Whereto
Citysearch
Whitepages
YellowPageCity.com
Elocal
CitySquares
Factual
USCity.net
ShowMeLocal


The main Yahoo Directory has been closed down.

http://www.webpronews.com/the-yahoo-directory-is-officially-dead-2014-12


Yahoo Local Small Business Directory is still considered good. But check out these categories for "Peoria IL Professional Services":

https://local.yahoo.com/IL/Peoria/Professional+Services/

Animal & Pet Services
Auctioneers (10)
Business Organizations
Design Services
Employment Services
News & Media
Office Supplies & Services
Paranormal Services
Photocopying (10)
Photography
Printing Services
Private Investigation (11)
Publishing Services
Sex
Shipping Services
Storage
Telecommunications
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Win with Customer Oriented Content



Wall Street executives call it "getting dirty," but marketing people call it "getting smart" -- contact with customers.

You can gain incredible competitive advantage by learning more about your customers. This is one marketing secret you don't have to keep secret.

Your competitors won't care enough about customers to implement this strategy.

So this is really a quick and relatively easy procedure that pays off big. You can talk to people who visit your store and the ones who visit your website, blog, and Facebook page.

Quit selling products. Start selling solutions. Solutions based on an exclusive, hard to come by expertise.

You position your company as Top of Mind Choice when a need arises by using user-centric content dominance.

When a customer does an internet search on any phrase or word related to your business (or customer problems solved by your product), your website appears high on the first page of Google results. That's the goal.

You gain this marketing superiority by proving, via content, that you are the Go To person or company, the one with all the answers and products and user guidance for perfect, affordable solutions.

That means grinding out unique, original, frequent content. In FAQ format per Google Hummingbird semantic search requirements.

Content that meets customer needs, websites that answer questions, Facebook updates that share your expertise, and blogs that provide expert opinions on timely issues related to your industry.

PHOTO: Art from Van Loon's Lives.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

King of Blogocombat Declaration 2015



I coined the term "blogocombat" in my previous role of usability curmudgeon known as Vaspers the Grate (grate as in abrasive, not terrific). I owned the term by using it myriads upon myriads of times, every chance I got, on my own blog and in comments and articles all over the Internet.

Do a Google search on "blogocombat" and see how the first 300 items are attributed to me. It was fun to explore different styles of online discussions.

I enjoy brief debates on Facebook, as long as I don't have to type much. 

I prefer to encourage, rather than correct. Playing the role of Avenging Angel whenever I spot a wrong opinion or an abysmally uninformed remark, who has time for that?

At best, if I'm really energized and bored, I'll give my scholarly insight, bolster it with a few links, perhaps even retaliate against a contrary view comment with a minor albeit caustic clarification, a sturdy statement of the intent I meant, or an example from Search Engine Land, SEO By the Sea, or Google Developer Web Fundamentals, and I'm done.

Long-winded, impassioned, super serious and strident "agree with me or perish" blogo-jousting -- I avoid nowadays. 

I'm too busy to mess with such wrangling like I once did, way back in 2005, when I was perfecting the advanced techniques of troll smashing. 

I'll chase a troll out of a thread once in a while, just to remind myself of how effective my esoteric methods are, but it's just a game now, nothing serious, not a topic I really care about or know much about. 

Frustrating a troll to the point they declare "I'm done with this thread" is still a gratifying experience, even after all these many previous triumphs.

So it makes sense to stay in the game.

That way, I stay up to date on the latest troll mutations, like the Recipe Troll, who was saying things like "I don't really have an opinion about this, but here's a great recipe for Alabama Blueberry Muffins" accompanied by the recipe.