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Roadfly Corporate Blog

New Solutions for Small Business Advertisers

Filed under: Press Releases & Roadfly News
Written by Charlie Romero      April 25, 2006 , 10:28 am

The job of attracting new customers and retaining old ones just got a little easier for Roadfly small busines advertisers. In the past, Roadfly only offered one advertising option for direct mail and small business advertisers. The option was banner ads. This was the same advertising option offered to auto manufacturers and their agencies and therefore was too costly for small direct mail businesses.

We knew we needed to develop a more feature rich yet affordable advertising solution. One which would allow for text only ads, flash video ads, HTML ads or any combination of the above, all within the same easy to use web interface. A primary goal of ours was to have a simple system which didn’t take hours for the small business owner to administer. We knew that small business owners had very little time to spend administering advertising campaigns. Roadfly AdMarket was designed to meet their needs.

Roadfly AdMarket was designed specifically to allow small business advertisers, direct mail advertisers and others to reach the Roadfly Community. Advertisers can place text or banner ads directly in front of the largest automotive community in the world, the Roadfly Automotive Forums.

The advertisers can target ads when, where and how they want to. They can send visitors to their website home page, or directly to sale items. Because AdMarket easily allows text in addition to graphics the advertiser can even display their toll free telephone number directly in front of visitors to the forums. The key is total flexibility of the campaign at an advertising rate small businesses can afford.

Roadfly AdMarket is the solution. The advertising solution for small businesses, direct mail advertisers and others looking to directly target the automotive community.

Advertisers can start advertising immediately with a few clicks of their mouse. Roadfly AdMarket

Roadfly AdMarket Advertising

Scraping, the new buzz word. What’s with all this blatant stealing?

Filed under: Opinions & Commentary
Written by Charlie Romero      April 6, 2006 , 12:06 pm

First it was mp3 music, then it was Hollywood movies and now it’s editorial content. Editorial content which is blatantly stolen via RSS/XML feeds. What’s with all this stealing? Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s free to be stolen.

We recently modified the Roadfly Terms of Service to more clearly explain that commercial businesses can’t take our RSS/XML feeds, automatically scrape out the content they like and then republish or distribute it as their own.

The wild, wild west Internet along with Google’s AdSense program has spawned a cottage industry which builds web sites using other people’s copyrighted content and then republishes it as thir own. These unscrupulous webmasters publish their website and then generate AdSense ad revenue from Google. The Google AdSense example is most typical and most talked about but there are also big businesses that do it. Big businesses that use robot technology to harvest or scrape copyrighted information from our pages. Companies that build entire business models around stealing via RSS or web crawlers. We are working to put a stop to it and so far it looks like our efforts are working.

You’re probably wondering why this topic made it onto the Roadfly Corporate Blog in the first place. Well there are two reasons, one is that it gave me the chance to rant and the other is to help bring the illegal practice more negative attention.

Our software developers (headed by the uber-genius himself Alan Riley) are in the process of enabling RSS/XML feeds for all the content on Roadfly. We first RSS enabled our car classifieds about a year and a half ago. A few months ago we enabled RSS on our car reviews, feature articles and other editorial content. We’ve also RSS enabled our car picture galleries which we include in our car reviews, etc. Over the course of the next few months we’re going to gradually enable RSS/XML feeds of our forums and all of our other content.

Knowing that we are syndicating nearly all the valuable content on Roadfly didn’t sit well with Alan and me. And, you know what our copyright lawyer the famous Steve Trattner had to say. So in addition to RSS enabling all of our content we are building monitoring tools to keep an eye on the content thieves.

The scrapers have been noticed all over the net because they’re doing some pretty bad things. In plain English they’re stealing copyrighted work. They know what they are doing and most of their legal deptartments turn a blind eye. They tell the boss “let’s see how long we can get away with it.”

Well Roadfly for one isn’t going to sit on the sidelines and be a victim. We’re watching the thieves and building walls. Stay tuned for more.

Playing in the Mud with Nissan Trucks

Filed under: Fun at Work
Written by Charlie Romero      April 3, 2006 , 10:27 pm

The Roadfly editorial staff gets invited by auto manufacturers to various driving events around the world. Sometimes they’re exotic locations like South Africa or maybe the mountains of Hawaii and other times they’re right here in the good ole US of A. Bein’ as how we’re all just a bunch of good ole boys there’s nothin’ that gets us as excited as playing with Nissan Trucks in the dirt and mud of the Texas plains.

Click the link to read the article Max Farrow wrote about The Nissan Truck Off-Road Experience

Nissan Trucks Off-Road

Charlie Romero and Max Farrow with Nissan Trucks Off-Road

(Left: Max Farrow, Right: Charlie Romero)