Thursday, May 28, 2009

A New Tool for Group Admins!

Our brand new GROUPS feature got a wonderful upgrade today, when the development team rolled out SEND MESSAGE TO GROUP. With this feature, group administrators can send a single message to the entire group! Need to let everyone know about some great news? Need to ask for feedback? Send a message to the entire group — it’s easy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May Roll-out: Millions of People!

We think all our roll-outs are special, of course. In addition to numerous bug fixes and performance improvements, this month’s roll-out has something for just about everyone:
Facebook Connect — You can now log into YouPublish using your Facebook username and password. Which means that the 200 million Facebook users can now join YouPublish without the added effort of creating a new account from scratch.
Simplified Chinese — YouPublish is now available to the 1 billion people, worldwide, who use simplified Chinese characters in writing, and we couldn’t be happier!
Several Upgrades to Groups:
  • You can now password-protect your group!
  • You can now add a publication to a group in the publishing process — without making it exclusive to that group.
  • Discussion authors and group admins can now delete discussions and comments.
  • Discussion lists now show newest discussions at the top.
  • Group administrators can now hide membership rosters, publication lists, and discussions from non-members.
  • Discussion Notifications — If you’re participating in a group discussion, you’ll get an email when someone else posts to the discussion. Don’t want e-mail notifications? You can turn them off in the MY YOUPUBLISH area of the site.
Study Courses — We’ve added a new publication type to the line-up to make finding your publications easier!
FAQ — Updated the help documentation.
As always, we’re happy to receive your feedback and suggestions.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We're on a Roll!

Today, the development team quietly unveiled yet another roll-out, featuring huge improvements to our document player, updates in the publishing process, better site navigation, and a host of smaller feature tweaks and bug fixes.
New Document Player
When we rolled out the multi-format player, a few months ago, we introduced something amazing: a way for our site’s users to enjoy most of the files they find on YouPublish without having to download them. And tonight’s update brings a huge update to one of the most important parts of the player: the document window. The new document viewer now loads large documents with ease — and updated zoom and paging controls make reading and moving through documents a breeze!
Types & Keywords
From the earliest days of YouPublish, publishers have been asked to describe their publication’s “type”. The idea being that reading a book about love is a completely different experience from listening to music about love or (heaven forbid) scanning a spreadsheet about love. Because they’re so different, we wanted a way for folks to differentiate. With today’s update, we’ve expanded our list of publication types (more than 30!) and made the processes of choosing a type smarter. We’ve also introduced a new concept of keywords. In addition to well-written desciptions and titles, keywords will help search engines better understand your publications. Together, types and keywords make your publications easier to find.
Improved Navigation
We’re constantly looking for ways to help people move through the site. Making it easier for folks to figure out where they are, when they’re dropped into the middle of the site by a search engine means more traffic for you and your publications. That’s why we made the site header bolder and easier to understand at a glance. With the new header, users will always know exactly where they are!
* * *
Of course, you know that more updates are already in the pipeline … so keep checking here for the latest news! And keep the great feedback flowing! We’re always interested in what you think and how you use the site.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

YouPublish 講中文!

It’s true! YouPublish now “speaks” Chinese! Well, to be more accurate, YouPublish is now available in Traditional Chinese — in addition to English and Japanese. Just use the pulldown menu at the top of every page (right next to the logo). Choose the language you wish to use, and the site reloads automagically.
Of course, we do a some work on the back-end to deliver the correct language to you from the start. How is that possible? Well, when you visit a site, your browser announces a few peices of information, including the language that it currently uses to display its own menus. We use that information, and assume that if you’re browsing the site using a browser that displays Chinese (or Japanese or English) menus, then you probably want to see our site in Chinese (or Japanese or English). So 99% of the time, we’ll guess correctly. The rest of the time, the handy language selector is available!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Say Cheese!

Do you have a camera attached to your computer — a web cam, or maybe one of those nifty built-in cameras that come with so many of the new models? Well, now you can use it to snap a profile picture of yourself! Why fish through tons of old snapshots when you can update your profile pic whenever you want!
It’s easy: just go to MY PROFILE in the MY YOUPUBLISH area and choose “Take a Photo with My Camera”. You’ll need to have Flash 10 installed, and you’ll be warned that Flash is asking to access your computer directly. Say “yes”. Take as much time as you need, then click to snap a photo. You’ll have a 3… 2… 1… countdown to give you a chance to look directly into the camera. Now review the photo. Save if you like it, retake it if you don’t!
It’s easy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Roll-out: Groups at Last!

Today, the development team rolled a major update to YouPublish — and the star of the roll out?
Groups!

Groups have been a part of the YouPublish plan from our very first meetings in Hawai’i and Tokyo. We’ve known, from the very beginning, that an important part of making the platform meaningful was helping people with similar interests or common goals — families, church groups, companies, hobbyists — connect through their files.
Think about your life … what groups do you already belong to? Your family? A church, mosque, or synagogue? Your department at work? A jogging or quilting club? Each of these groups have files that are important to them — that bring them together or help them achieve their goals.

Family
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Journals & Life Histories
  • Recipes
Community of Faith
  • Inspirational Writings
  • Audio recordings of Sermons
  • Memberships Rosters
  • Maps for Retreats or Youth Outtings
Work
  • Budget Spreadsheets
  • Sales Presentations
  • Training Materials
  • Project Files
Affinity Groups
  • The files here are too numerous to imagine. If there’s a file created, chances are there’s a group who will think it’s important — or at least interesting.
What files are important to your group?
Start a group today, and find out!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March Roll-out: Can You Keep a Secret?

This month’s roll-out is, of course, FILLED with all sorts of improvements behind the scenes… faster server response, improvements in security, all the stuff that folks demand from modern web sites. But they’re probably not the sorts of things you or I find terribly interesting.
Lucky for us… March’s roll-out includes a few interesting developments up-front:
  • Private Publications
  • Restricted Downloads
  • New Home Page
  • Messaging Notification Preferences
Private Publications
Leading the pack of improvements is the ability for you to make your published files private. What does that mean? It means that unless folks know the secret link to a private file, they won’t be able to find it. Have a file you want to share with co-workers but not the world? Make it private, then send around the link in an e-mail! It’s just a matter of checking a box during the publishing process. Dead simple — and as private as your care to make it!
We started with breaking down the barrier between free and paid … and now we’ve added public and private.
Restricted Downloads
When we developed the file player, we made it possible for folks to “experience” most of your files without having to ever download them. Now we allow you to add an additional level of security to these playable files. Check a box during publishing, and files that can be played online will not be available for download.
Of course, folks WANT to download the files they like — especially if they’ve paid for them. So please think twice before checking the box.
New Home Page
Our spiffy new home page is packed with lots of ways for folks to find your publications — there are now dozens of places for you and your files to show up! And the clean, well-organized layout delivers all of this information without overwhelming the visitor. It’s a tough balancing act — but we’re pretty excited about the results.
Messaging Notification Preferences
Last but not least, we’ve added a preference — accessible in the MY ACCOUNT area under MY YOUPUBLISH — to turn off e-mail notifications of site messages. Check the box, and those helpful little e-mails alerting you to each message received will stop coming — which will be a big relief to those of you who’ve been receiving a flood of messages!
So, there you go … another amazing roll-out! Stay tuned for more excitement. And, as always, send us your thoughts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February Roll-out: Google Love and More!

Last night’s roll-out was a pretty special one — with a couple of big items folded into the code:
Google Friendly Documents
Let’s face it, Google is the biggest search engine out there, and if you want to be seen, heard, or watched, you need to make certain you’re on Google. That’s why we’re constantly fine-tuning our site to be as search engine friendly as possible… and last night was a huge step forward! Starting today, documents are now fully indexable by Google. What does that mean? It means that we’ve made it possible for Google to index your published documents… which means Google, in turn, can help it’s VAST audience find them! Google indexes the web on its own schedule, but we expect to see much more traffic to the site beginning within the next few weeks.
Messaging
Another big update last night was site-wide messaging. Now you can send messages directly to other YouPublish users. Just surf to a member’s profile page, and you can send a personal note from the messaging center found there. It’s that simple!
Not familiar with messaging?
Well, messages are short notes that can only be seen by the sender and the recipient. Use a message like you might use an e-mail… but unlike e-mail, neither of you have to share sensitive contact information to communicate.
Explore the MY MESSAGES area, and you’ll discover that you can reply to messages you’ve received, open threads to read a message’s history, and delete old messages. MY MESSAGES is designed to make managing your messages easy.
So there you go. Messaging. Another way we’re helping you to publish, find, talk about… whatever!
More From… YOU!
You work hard to make your publications shine… you start with a great file, take time to describe it well, you even offer sample files on paid publications. But any marketer knows that the secret to sales success is the accidental find… you know what we’re talking about: you go to the store for milk, but walk away with $200 of stuff you didn’t know you needed. That’s why we’re working hard to make the site more accident friendly! One part of that effort, came with last night’s roll-out: on every publication’s page, there’s a new little area called “More from…” which showcases other publications you have. Now it’s just that much easier for folks to surf the site and stumble upon that must-have publication. Look for more features like this in the months ahead!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Less FLASH-y Publishing

By now we’re sure you’ve noticed that we’ve made some changes to the YouPublish website. One of our latest updates has made publishing your works even easier! Who knew? Have you ever had trouble uploading files? We felt your pain, heard your requests and made a great modification: instead of requiring users to update to Flash 10, the development team has provided an Alternative File Uploader.  This new uploader works without Flash and is perfect if you’ve ever run into Error #2038.
Give the Alternative File Uploader a try today! Log into your account, press “Publish Now!” then press the blue link that reads “Try the Alternative File Uploader.” You’ll find it is simple, and probably a bit similar to the way you’ve attached documents to emails or uploaded other files in the past. (Go ahead Internet Explorer 6 users, it even works for you!)
When uploading cover art or a profile photo, you’ll also notice another exciting change… we now accept .PNG files as well as .JPG files!

Strategic Segmenting

Hopefully, in your mind,  this news blast hasn’t droned on too much about segmenting. We really want you to succeed, and figuring out a segment of the population and finding your target market is crucial. Sometimes it happens that one may not know how to segment the population into groups that will be interested in its products. Today we are going to give you two strategies for doing so.
The first strategy is called self-selection, which essentially is motivating prospects to identify themselves as being interested in your creations. What you need to do in this strategy is to create a response mechanism for you potential clients to check out your YouPublish page.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing so is by offering free products to said segments. This can be accomplished through emailing your referral link, your YouPublish page link, blogging or even a quick note on Facebook.
The second strategy is called permission marketing. It is what it sounds like; getting the customers’ permission to contact them. This is effective because it gains your segments trust, by allowing them to be involved in who contacts them, instead of being bombarded by a flurry of advertising messaging. This can be done by any sort of offer or incentive. It’s your segment to figure out though, find its sweet spot and use it to your advantage.

Featured Creators

Intriguing Creation




Check out Jason’s works at:
Check out Rod’s works at:
Eye-Catching Cover Art



Check out Jaime’s works at:

youpublish.com/jaimemurphy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Public Domain Publishers

YouPublish has created Public Domain Publications, which brings the most sought-after public domain classics to you for free! Our goal is to publish as many classics, such as Les Miserables, Oliver Twist, Frankenstein and many many more.
Over the next few months make sure to keep tabs on the constant updates we are publishing with Public Domain Publications, there is sure to be something you will enjoy, whether it’s a classic you haven’t read before, or for a long while.
Eventually, we want to have spoken audio books of every book we publish. This will take a bit more time, but we are determined to have a vast swath of classics for you to read or listen to wherever you may find yourself.

Adoption — The Marketing Kind

Establishing yourself as a creator, author, musician, videographer, etc. can be a tough road. Last week we spoke of finding your niche by segmenting, and this week we are going to show you why finding your audience is so important.
By most market researcher’s perspectives (sourcing from Tom Duncan’s Advertising and IMC), there are 5 categories of adopter: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards.
Innovators make up only 2.5% of the population, but are extremely important. These are the individuals that will first try buy new books, music, videos, etc. Using blogs, discussion boards and other internet resources are important to retain Innovators, which becomes more important as Innovators are the ones who influence Early Adopters.
Early Adopters make up 13.5% of the population and are considered leaders in their circles of influence and are often looked to for information about what new products, goods and/or services are top-notch. Again, use internet means to retain these individuals, as they influence the next group, the Early Majority.
The Early Majority (34% of population) takes their cues from the Early Adopters. If the Early Adopters approve of a book, the Early Majority will soon follow. These people like items that are called “new” and “better,” even if the product has been around a while in the Innovator circle.
The Late Majority (34% of population) and Laggards (16% of population) are two groups that are hard to reach at times. Generally, the Late Majority will eventually come around to products that are stellar.  Laggards are suspicious of anything new and are very set in their ways. One idea to reach the Late Majority is to show some kind of testimonial from a respectable person praising your creation. In the Late Majority’ s mind, this will help alleviate any skepticism that might exist.
All this information and percentages are here to simply show you where to focus your marketing energy. If hardly anyone has heard of your products, it is your job to find those who fall into your creation’s niche, find out where this niche resides on the internet, and direct them to your YouPublish page so they can buy your goods and influence their friends, co-workers and families. Each step you take in finding your niche and retaining them will bring more and more success to you, your products and YouPublish.

Featured Creators

Intriguing Creator




Check out Seven Car Pileup’s works at:
Check out Michael’s works at:

Eye-Catching Cover Art & Title


Check out Ana’s works at:

youpublish.com/ana-garcia

Monday, January 19, 2009

So Much to Do … So Little Time!

Well the roll-out of the new brand, the updated search, the improved player, and numerous improvements to the underlying codebase went off without a hitch … and you know what that means. It means the dev team is already back to work getting ready for the next roll-out!
We’re not ready, just yet, to hint at what is in the pipe. But we’re pretty excited for the next few months as a couple big additions to the site make their way through the development process. As always, look for incremental updates to roll out silently along the way. A bug fix here, a smaller feature there. All with the goal of making YouPublish a place where you can publish, find, talk about … whatever!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

YouPublish Scholarship Update

The YouPublish Scholarship submission deadline has been moved to March 31, 2009. In case you missed the last news about the YouPublish Scholarship, here is the information you’ll need: YouPublish wants to boost your creativity and help you out with school too. The YouPublish Scholarship is awarding four prizes for best original works in: Writing, Video, Music, and Other (which can be any file type, from photos to PPTs and beyond).
Entering is simple!  Publish your file then go to youpublish.com/scholarship. Fill in all information and press “Submit Scholarship Application!” The deadline for submission is March 31, 2009.
Judging will be based 70% on a panel from YouPublish, and 30% downloads and comments from the YouPublish community. Publish your works and enter today, or encourage those you know to do the same! Check out published files daily and make sure to download, comment and rank your favorites. You could be helping someone pay for their education.
If you know a student who would like a little extra cash for school, refer them to YouPublish with your referral link and get them going, and you will of course get 7.5% of their commissions for two years.
At this time, the scholarships are only available to USA participants. Good luck!

YouPublish Born Again

Over the last few months, the development team has been working on a big update to YouPublish. Most of the changes aren’t visible to the public — they’re deep inside the code that makes the service work. Among these, are changes that make the site run a whole lot better in Internet Explorer 6 — one of the most popular web browsers among our Asian users. We also tightened up the code so that it was more efficient. Out front, where you can actually see the differences, we dialed back the branding on the site and launched a new file player.
When we first launched YouPublish almost a year ago, we had no publishers and no content. So the only thing for people to really see was the site. So we made it colorful. Really colorful. Over time, we’ve slowly knocked back the use of color to allow your publications to shine. With this roll-out, we’ve taken the branding all the way back to gray. It’s a bold step — but we know who makes YouPublish special. It’s you. You’re the star of the site … and our branding needs to reflect that. We’ll continue to refine the look of the site to improve the user experience, but we’ve put our candy-coated color wheel away and will only bring it out for special occasions.
And the player? When we first launched the player late last summer, we were all really excited. “Finally!” we thought, “Our users will be able to immediately enjoy so much of this amazing content”. Since then, we’ve continued to improve the player and expand the types of files it accepts. And now we’ve taken it to the next level by vastly improving the organization of the player and how it displays the files it plays. We think you’re going to love it.

Featured Creators

Intriguing Creation


Check out Professor Solomon’s works at:

Check out Shiva’s works at:

Eye-Catching Cover Art & Title


Check out Roland’s works at:

youpublish.com/rolandmillward

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Scheduled Outage

Over the last few months, the development team has been working on a big update to YouPublish. Most of the changes aren’t visible to the public — they’re deep inside the code that makes the service work. Among these, are changes that make the site run a whole lot better in Internet Explorer 6 — one of the most popular web browsers among our Asian users. We also tightened up the code so that it was more efficient. Out front, where you can actually see the differences, we dialed back the branding on the site and launched a new file player.
When we first launched YouPublish, we had no publishers and no content. So the only thing for people to really see was the site. So we made it colorful. Really colorful. Over time, we’ve slowly knocked back the use of color to allow your publications to shine. With this roll-out, we’ve taken the branding all the way back to gray. It’s a bold step — but we know who makes YouPublish special. It’s you. You’re the star of the site … and our branding needs to reflect that. We’ll continue to refine the look of the site to improve the user experience, but we’ve put our candy-coated color wheel away and will only bring it out for special occasions.
And the player? When we first launched the player late last summer, we were all really excited. “Finally!” we thought, “Our users will be able to immediately enjoy so much of this amazing content”. Since then, we’ve continued to improve the player and expand the types of files it accepts. And now we’ve taken it to the next level by vastly improving the organization of the player and how it displays the files it plays. We think you’re going to love it.
We certainly do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Cure for Your Questions

FAQ, or Frequently Asked Questions, are a list of questions and answers commonly asked by users.  On the YouPublish Web site, however, FAQs are referred to as “Help.”  Help is a more common term that users worldwide will interpret correctly. You can find the Help (or FAQ) section by scrolling to bottom of any page and clicking the “Help” link.  Once you arrive on the Help page, you’ll see we have broken the questions into categories to make finding an answer even simpler.  These categories include: The Big Three, General Questions, Files, Publish a File, People, and Mine.
If you’ve got a question, chances are it can be answered by visiting the Help page. We realize that not all inquiries have a quick answer; in this case, please contact the very helpful YouPublish support team by emailing support@youpublish.com or by using the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page and filling out the form.
Warmest wishes for a successful 2009!

Find Your Niche

When people think of advertising and marketing, generally their first thoughts are of television, radio, newspaper and other forms of mass marketing. The problem with mass marketing for the individual, start-up or small company, is that it is terribly expensive. 30 seconds of airtime on television will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars (and millions if you want to be a part of the Super Bowl).
Another problem with mass marketing is that there is a lot of wasted viewership, which equals wasted dollars on individuals who will more than likely never purchase your product. The shotgun approach of mass marketing, while highly visible, is generally not the most effective means of promotion for creators and authors alike.
The solution to this marketing conundrum is segmenting and targeting, which will ultimately lead you to a niche market where your creation can be a success.
Segmenting is simply determining the group of individuals who will be interested in your products. Targeting is analyzing your segments to discover which sub-groups will bring the most success and profits to your pocket.
Think of your products; what groups of people would enjoy them? Who among them would most likely be interested in buying your product immediately? How can you reach these sub-groups or niches?
Once you have targeted the appropriate niche for your product (each different product of yours could have a different niche), a zero cost way for you to reach them is to find out where they congregate on the internet; Web sites, message boards, and discussion groups actively viewed by your niche are great places to spread the awareness of your products on YouPublish.
Finding creative and intriguing ways to promote your product to your niche audience is an essential way for you to gain awareness, credibility and success.

Featured Creators

Intriguing Creator


Check out Steve’s works at:
Check out Jonathan’s works at:

Eye-Catching Cover Art


Check out Bruce’s works at: