Monthly Archives: January 2011

Release 2 Launching in 2 Days Time!

I’m pleased to report that the launch of Release 2 is on schedule for the 31st January. It will most likely be at at approx 12 Noon PST, 3pm Noon EST, 8pm GMT! 100 spaces for the Pro membership will be opened up and the price will be $49.95 for all new members – existing Pro members will continue to pay $24.95 as long as their subscription is active.

We’ve been working hard to incorporate more sites into the system – particular bookmarking sites. We should have around 40-50 bookmark sites live on launch day including a few with quite high PR and we’ll be continuing to add more in the coming weeks.

One of the great things about web software is that it is live and therefore constantly changing. Launch day is nothing more than the day that I modify the number of Pro memberships that are available – the software itself continues to grow and evolve over time. The feature list that is shown on launch day is just a snap-shot of the state of the software of the current time. Unlike desktop software which stays the same until you manually update it, IMAutomator grows daily without you having to do anything!

I’ll be sending out two emails – one around 24 hours before the launch so that people know when look out for the launch email and one when it is actually open. After that, I won’t be bothering you again for a while!

The Drop in Bookmark Sites and What We’re Doing About It

We mentioned in some earlier posts and email newsletters that sometimes we have to remove sites from the system when they stop working. However there is a second problem that has been affecting us recently – some sites are blocking IMAutomator submissions which of course causes them to fail.

We’ve had to get rid of several more today and that has brought the number of live sites down to below 20 when we want to be above 50 right now! Currently we have a single, large-capacity server running our submission engine. If a site decides that it does not want IMAutomator submissions it only needs to block the IP address of our server and that site stops working. We have a 3-phase plan of action to deal with this problem:

Phase 1: In the short term, if a site blocks our submissions we don’t delete it because the site itself still works, but we put the site into trial mode to prevent further submissions from being scheduled. This allows us to keep the site in play whilst we address the problem.

Phase 2: Over the next week or two we are migrating to a server-farm so that instead of just one server running our submission engine – we’ll be running on a whole bunch of servers. If a site blocks one of them, the submission can be re-tried on another server. This should solve the problem, but we still need to address the cause.

Phase 3: The most important point this raises, is why are IMAutomator submissions being blocked in the first place? Unlike some other similar services – we play nice with the sites that we submit to and do nothing but offer a time-saving solution. We don’t duplicate submissions or manipulate them in any way. So we know that it is not the system itself that is the problem, but what is actually being submitted – the content that is being bookmarked.

With a service that is so easy and quick to use like IMAutomator, people forget what it is they are doing – when you submit a bookmark, you are sharing that content for users of the bookmarking site to enjoy. But people get so caught up with the SEO aspect that they completely lose sight of the social aspect and end up submitting what can only be considered spam. Thus, we need to start being a bit more restrictive about what can be posted using IMAutomator.

Content & Language Filtering Coming Soon

So far, we have trusted members to submit good quality content and have put together training materials to advise people on how to use the tools effectively but human nature is such that this stuff is rarely read. Even this blog post will be read by only a tiny proportion of members! However, the changes we will be making will soon become apparent to any member who is submitting poor-quality content!

There are two main areas that are going to address. The first is the subject material of the content being posted. Right now we don’t apply filtering but we’re going to start weeding out subjects such as adult material, piracy, gambling etc – we’ll be using the guidelines of the sites we submit to, to form our own rules. I know that will mean that our service is no longer viable for some of you but we have to maintain the integrity of the system as a whole.

Another major area is language. We use mostly English-speaking sites and whilst some don’t mind what language is used, most do – especially article sites. Therefore we are going to restrict content to the English language only. I know this will be a disappointment to some of you, and speaking another language is certainly not ‘wrong’, but again, we have to consider the integrity of the system as a whole even if that means that our service is no longer viable for some members.

I’m writing this post to give you some warning as to the changes which are on the way as I’m sure they will upset some people. If you think that your content is not going to be suitable with these new rules, then now is the time to start looking for an alternative service.

IMAutomator Directory Tool Live & Release 2 in One Week!

Today sees the introduction of the 4th IMAutomator tool, the Directory Submitter! This is now available for all Pro members to test. Those of you who currently have a free membership and are looking to upgrade will be pleased to know that we are on schedule to launch Release 2 on the 31st January – ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! This will bring with it another 100 Pro spots.

The Directory Submitter

The Directory Submitter is a one-off tool to allow you to submit your websites to various web directories and search engines. Unlike bookmarking sites, directory sites list only web SITES, as opposed to PAGES which means that you need to submit just the home page of your website. The submission tool works just like the others and should be self explanatory, but we’ll have some training materials in place soon.

Release 2 Coming in ONE WEEK – 31st January

Finally the launch of Release 2 is around the corner. We now have 4 submission tools in the suite:

  1. Social bookmark submission
  2. Article submission
  3. RSS Feed submission
  4. Directory entry submission

We’ve also brought a fantastic feature called Secondary Submissions that allows you to re-submit your existing links to any new sites that have been added to the system since the original submission which means an endless supply of new backlinks for all your submissions! One area we would have liked to have done more with is Site Support. The bookmark sites in particular have been problematic recently and we’ve had to delete many sites. However, they remain our top priority and we’ll of course continue to be adding lots more over the coming weeks & months. Note that we have stopped adding sites based on templates such as Pligg and Scuttle (unless they are at least PR3), and are now spending the time on well-established, higher PR sites. You can see the current list of supported sites that are in the system at the following link: http://www.imautomator.com/info/supportedsites

Price Increasing to $49.95, 100 New Places Opening

As indicated during the launch of Release 1, this new release brings with it a price increase to $49.95 per month but this ONLY AFFECTS NEW SUBSCRIBERS – existing members who are paying $24.95 will continue to pay that price for as long as they keep their Paypal subscription active. When a PayPal subscription is made, PayPal will continue to re-bill that same amount every month which is how we can offer ‘lifetime’ price fixes.

The same fixed price will apply to Release 2. We have another 2 releases planned this year and each one will come with another price increase but all existing memberships will be honored at the price they were started.

Once again, 100 Pro places will be available but there are a LOT more members now than there were in June when we launched Release 1 and there has been a lot of enquires so I suspect the places will fill fairly quickly. Last time it took a month to fill the 100 spots but it may not take that long this time so if you’d like to go Pro then do keep an eye on your email on the 31st and be ready to sign up when it goes live!

Article Submission Update

There was a problem with article submissions yesterday that caused most of them to fail. This now now been fixed! We’ve also increased the allowance to 10 article submissions per day and we now have 23 article directories in the system so if you’ve not tried out the article submitter yet, please do give it a try! We’ll be uploading a training video within the next few days but it’s pretty simple to use 🙂

New Training Video for RSS Tool

We’ve just uploaded a new training video showing how to use the RSS Submission tool. The submission tool itself is covered only briefly as it works in exactly the same way as the Bookmarking tool so what I’ve done in this video is explained how RSS Submission and Bookmark submission differ, how RSS Submission helps you, and what feeds are actually worth submitting.

Data Field Minimum Sizes Increased

In order to improve the quality of data submitted, and the integrity of the IMAutomator system, we have increased the minimum field widths for Bookmarks, RSS feeds and Articles. All title fields now need to be at least 20 characters, and descriptive fields need to be at least 80 characters.

To understand why it is important to submit good quality content (and not just one-word titles for example), please work through our Training resources – these are designed to help you get the most SEO benefit from the IMAutomator tools.

Article Submitter Glitch & Some Questions Answered

We ommitted something when uploading the new article submitter files yesterday and this caused the submission engine to fail when it encountered an article. This has now been fixed and all is running smoothly now 🙂 We also managed to get 18 article directories into the system last night so if you’re a Pro member and you’ve not tried the article submitter yet then please give it a go!

Also, since the announcement yesterday, we’ve had quite a few questions from members that I thought I’d clarify some points here:

Do I Need Unique Content For My Articles?

As far as the IMAutomator tool is concerned – no, you may submit any article content that meets the minimum length requirements (this is 2048 characters, somewhere around 400 words) and we don’t do any checks on the content itself. However, submission to the article directory is only the first step and is as far as IMAutomator can go as an automated tool. After that, it still needs to be accepted by the directory. We want to make the service as accessible as possible so we don’t include directories that are overly-picky about what they will accept.

Is Spinning Supported?

Not at the moment. The article you submit will be posted as it is to every directory in the system. Once Release 2 has been launched we will work on a method to generate unique articles from your content. We have two methods in mind, both of which require additional work from the member so we will be conducting a poll to see which is most desired.

Can I Become a Pro Member So I Can Test The Article Submitter?

Not yet! When we launched Release 1 back in June, we only allowed 100 places at the discounted rate of $24.95 because we knew there was a lot more functionality to come and we would be charging more for it. The first batch of memberships sold out in July and only the occasional few have been available since when members have not renewed their memberships.

We plan to launch Release 2 on the 31st January. This will be priced at $49.95 per month (existing Pro members are still charged only $24.95 for the lifetime of their membership!) and another 100 places will be offered. We intend to follow this pattern through another 2 releases so I’m afraid you can no longer join at $24.95, but if you would like to take advantage of the Pro tools (RSS, Article & Directory submitters) and increased Bookmark links then make sure you act fast when Release 2 is opened – keep an eye on your email!

Article Submitter now live for testing!

We’re pleased to announce that the new Article Submitter is now live for testing for our pro members! We have started with 6 article directory sites in the system and should be increasing this to around 20 over the next couple of days.

Also, we’re starting with a limit of 5 submissions per day but this will certainly increase upon the launch of Release 2, if not before. We’ll be putting together some training materials soon but in the meantime, please take note of the following points:

As with other IMAutomator tools, and unlike most other article submission tools, we manage the accounts for you. The IMAutomator philosophy is always to build tools that are as simple as possible for the member to use. What this means, is that your articles are submitted under our pen names – not yours, so this could be a concern for some of you. If this turns out to be a major issue, we’ll work on a solution at a later date but for now – just submit and forget, just like the other tools.

Secondly, unlike bookmarks, all the article directory sites we have seen so far, employ a MANUAL review policy. This has two implications. Firstly, when IMAutomator makes a successful submission it means that the article has been submitted for review but it is not live yet – that could take anywhere from a few minutes for a fast site like Article Dashboard, to several days for other sites. The second implication is that if the article you submit if of poor quality then it will be rejected so please submit articles of a good length (300-600 words recommended), and spell check it!

Also, the available categories for articles are far more comprehensive than that for bookmarks – we have around 130 of them! Take care to choose an appropriate category for each article. We have an intelligent category lookup system which maps our internal categories to the most appropriate category available for each of the sites that we submit to.

Lastly, the submitter takes your article exactly as is and posts the same copy to each article directory in the system. There is no spinning or mashing going on at this stage. We plan to develop a feature that allows multiple human-readable versions to be automatically generated and submitted but this will be developed after the launch of Release 2.

So, please go ahead and test the tool and if there are any problems, suggestions or questions then drop us a note using the contact form.

Tag Extractor now works with InfoBarrel

We’ve improved our tag extraction utility again and this will now pull in tags from InfoBarrel articles. If you’re submitting bookmarks to IMAutomator and the extract button doesn’t pull in the data you think it should (it’s usually tags that are the problem as many sites use their own custom format) then contact us and send in some sample URL’s and we’ll see what we can do – it’s usually a quick enhancement 🙂

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