Monday, March 31, 2014

Want to Write an Article for BitsDuJour's Tech News?


Got an idea for an article for our Tech News section? We love to hear what you have to say here at BitsDuJour. Below are a few guidelines for what to write and how to write it, so pencils at the ready... we'll begin.

First a bit of history. BitsDuJour is all about it's community of software developers and software enthusiasts. We love that the comments on our deals put developers in direct contact with buyers, and that's why we call it "The Conversation". We have tens of thousands of comments, and add to that forum posts where you can chat about whatever you feel like.

We realized recently that people had a lot more to say than just comments and posts. Some of our comments get really long, full software reviews and information that's about much larger subjects. So we created a new section of the website, open to everyone, but vetted. That's the new "Tech News" section.

Tech News articles are special. We feature them on the site in category pages, the homepage, and the Daily Bits email that goes out to hundreds of thousands of people. That's why we have to make sure that the subject matter and writing meets a certain standard, and that means a couple guidelines to follow.

Tech News articles all live in a category. First step is to select a category from the list and think of a subject.


The best subjects are topics that relate to software, but are not just straight up product reviews. We won't accept any blatant advertorials for software products, but you can put in a mention of a product. Your subject should always be bigger than any products. Let's give a few examples...

Productivity: "How to organize your online life"
Development: "The easiest way to start out developing an application"
Security: "Are anti-virus programs enough to keep your computer safe?"

Good subjects answer a direct question, and give information around that. Bad subjects are simply descriptions of a topic that read like a dictionary. Don't feel shy in expressing an opinion, either positive or negative, just be sure to fact check your sources.

We prefer HTML format, and images are encouraged, as are links and videos. Articles should be at least 350 words, and feel free to go longer.

To get started writing please Contact Us and tell us what you're thinking of writing so we can make sure that it's a good subject.

We really look forward to seeing more submissions from the ever-growing BitsDuJour community!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

iOS App Discounts at BitsDuJour

iOS App Discounts have never been so popular, so we've taken a big step in bringing you the best iPhone, iPad and iPod deals we can find!

If you've been following our daily deals then you'll know that we've always excelled in bringing you the best Mac and PC apps, well now we have iOS apps too! So if you've got an iPhone, iPad, iPod or any Apple device come check out what we have on offer in the new section.

We'll be showing apps that have dropped prices in the Apple iOS Store, so you can easily see what deals are available and you can download them straight to your iOS device in the usual way.

iOS Apps
iOS App Discounts from BitsDuJour

This is our first step in bringing you iOS deals, so expect a lot more features coming in the following weeks.

All these changes mean a new header on the website. We've split our Mac and PC deals across two easy to navigate sections using our new header control.

Mac, PC and iOS Apps

So swing by every week (or every day) to see the latest apps for all your devices!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Tech News on BitsDuJour

We're very happy to announce the start of our Tech News section on BitsDuJour!

Check out the first article.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What's your Favorite Software Category Icon?

So we've spiced things up over here at BitsDuJour, and added this cute little guy to all our software categories! As you browse through the site you'll see him in a variety of places, holding a paintbrush for the art page, and a briefcase for the business page. He's a sharp developer too and knows how to code and all about technology. He's also clearly been doing some push-ups in the Security section!

We haven't decided on a name yet, maybe he's called Bitsy?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

BitsDuJour has given away over a Million pieces of free software

Here at BitsDuJour we spend a lot of time analyzing our data. We're neck deep in custom reports and SQL queries. Imagine our surprise this morning when we discovered that we've given away over a million pieces of free software over the last few years!

We're not talking about any feature-crippled versions, or "Lite" versions either, we're talking about the real thing. Fully functioning software, without any gotchas. That's great news for anyone searching for a fantastic deal - it doesn't get much better than 100% off.

Oh and there's more to come, check out what we have on offer today!

Monday, January 13, 2014

BitsDuJour Surface 2 Competition Winner!

The BitsDuJour family is happy to announce THERESA PIERSON as the winner of the grand prize in our latest Christmas promotion!  Theresa now joins the ranks of proud owners of the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, the latest portable computing device from the masterminds in Redmond, complete with Office 2013 RT and Outlook for the ultimate in mobile road warrior-ing.

The results of this contest really did result in a perfect match.  Limited mobility due to disability means Theresa’s computer provides her with invaluable access to the rest of the world, but until now she has been restricted to her desktop computer.  More savvy and creative than the rest of us, Theresa has taken full advantage of her hardware, using it as a learning device, for creating art, writing, and for gaining insight into the lives and perspectives of people from around the world.  But she’s been scheduled to visit her daughter soon for a month-long visit!  The catch?  Her daughter has no computer.


Imagine being so connected with your computer, but having to go without it for an entire month!  Well, thanks to her new Microsoft Surface 2, Theresa won’t have to worry about this – in fact, she may even develop a preference for her new tablet over her desktop during her trip.  Bon voyage, Theresa, and keep us updated on your new life with the Surface 2!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

BitsDuJour at Business of Software

BitsDuJour will be attending Business of Software this week in Boston. This specialist conference is everything we like about the software industry. It doesn't reply on sponsors so everyone who attends is really there because they are putting their software business first. We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Friday, September 27, 2013

How to Sell Software on Facebook

Over 50% of the US population has a Facebook account, but are they all posting pictures of their cats? Or can ISVs to actually make money selling software on Facebook?



In this slideshow we’ll be looking at real ways to build your Facebook fanbase on a shoestring budget, seeing what posts generate traffic and de-bunking a few Facebook myths.



Download PowerPoint
The downloadable PowerPoint file contains extensive notes and links to articles and features highlighted in the slides.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New Mail Server Up and Running

We send a lot of email at BitsDuJour - and when I say a lot I'm talking millions of email messages a month. It's a big task, fraught with problems, and we're happy to say we've just completed taking a huge leap forward in switching to a new hosted solution.

We know some of our fans had problems unsubscribing from the old system - and that was to do with the way we had one list on our site, and one list in our email service providers. These lists needed constant syncing, and sometimes requests to unsubscribe would get lost.

Now with the new system we have one list on our site and unsubscribe requests are processed instantly!

Not only that - take a look at this screenshot from our new admin control panel:

It's rare that sites that send the volume of email that we do get a spam complaint rate of 0.00%. The bounce rate, meaning the number of times an email is sent to a bad email address, is almost never 0.00% either.

We're really happy that means we're continuing to send the email that people want to receive!

While we're talking about green lights BitsDuJour also scores a green ranking on the Web of Trust. If you like what we do then please cast your vote and add a comment.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why Plimus is Really Changing its Name to BlueSnap

E-commerce companies are all alike, right?

Well maybe not! One of the first e-commerce companies to hit it big in the Software space was Plimus, founded back in 2001. For years Plimus was a developer favorite, with a control panel that, at the time, was ahead of it's time, and solid customer service. Things were all good, ISVs were selling software, and money was being made. What could go wrong?

Plimus was even fending off the big Digital River as DR slowly started acquiring, RegNow, SWReg, ShareIT, and then, finally, unthinkably, eSellerate sold to Digital River in 2006. Plimus was the last holdout, the underdog but the developer's favorite - David taking on Goliath... and winning!


What really set Plimus apart was it's affiliate network, which allowed bloggers and website owners to sell software on the Plimus network. At the time only RegNow had an affiliate network and as Google had yet to crack down on affiliates there was a lot of money to be made quickly and easily.

Affiliates would put up page after page of content featuring products on the Plimus network, which had now expanded to sell not just software but e-books and any electronic merchandise.

Needless to say the affiliates loved the system, loved the products, and unfortunately some of them took advantage of it. Affiliates started selling products themselves, and some of the affiliate websites started using excessive marketing tactics to make the sale.

In August of 2011 Plimus finally did sell to Great Hill Partners for a whopping $115 million, but the honeymoon didn't last too long.
Now Plimus, like most e-commerce systems, accepts PayPal as a means of checkout. All of a sudden vendors started to receive emails like this from Plimus.

Dear Vendor, 
As we continue our efforts to improve and upgrade the Plimus service, we must unfortunately advise you that PayPal will be temporarily unavailable for purchases made through your account, effective immediately. Your customers will, of course, be able to make purchases using any of our other payment methods. PayPal availability will return, better than before, in the coming months. More information on our PayPal strategy will be made available in the very near future. 
We are taking this step based on our evaluation of your products as being higher-risk than the majority of our clients’ offerings. Examples of products that fit into this category include: 
· Forex Signals / Advice
· Cell Tracking
· Unlocks
· Media (e.g. Music, / Movie downloads)
· Bids / Auctions
· VPN / Proxy Services 
If you believe your product type was incorrectly included in this high-risk category, please contact us with your product description(s) and link(s). 
We appreciate your continued business, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 
The Plimus Team
- November 14, 2011

We can only speculate at the exact reason here, but after reading the posts on the web, and yes there are plenty, the consensus seems to be that PayPal probably got unhappy at the large amount of chargebacks coming from Plimus and something had to be done.

Chargebacks, if you don't know, are when disgruntled customers refund their payment through the payment provider directly, instead of through the merchant, as they're unhappy with the service. This usually entails some fees, and someone is always left holding the bag.

Plimus then took the step of disallowing affiliate sales through PayPal to curb these chargebacks, and has kept these limitations in place to date.

Then from bad, to worse.

In January of 2012 Plimus got hit with a class action law suit. The lawsuit claimed that:

“Defendants, in conjunction with third parties, actively promote and profit from an array of websites that purport to offer unlimited access to downloadable digital goods, such as eBooks, movies, TV shows, and video games, all for a low one-time fee,” the Plimus class action lawsuit states. “For this one-time fee, Plimus represents that consumers will receive lifetime access to thousands of digital goods, including bestselling books, newly released movies, current TV shows, and brand new video in games. In reality, these websites do not, in any manner, offer products in the manner advertised.”

Now that's a pretty tough case to have leveled, and all this bad press out there on the web adds up. It adds up so much that when you Google "Plimus" you now get these suggestions:


So it it really a surprise that we started to see a new little tagline under the Plimus logo... introducing BlueSnap.


Now don't get us wrong, we personally know a lot of great people over at Plimus/BlueSnap, and we know a lot of great software that is still sold on the Plimus system, as yes we still sell it too!

So as of today Plimus's website no longer mentions the Plimus name and redirects over to BlueSnap. Gone are the odd cyan colors and questionably pronounceable brand in favor of something more palatable.


It's sad to see it go, but it just goes to show how too much bad press can really hurt a brand name. We hope that BlueSnap will continue with all the great software vendors that we know and love for years to come!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why is Performance Marketing is the New Affiliate Marketing?

Next week BitsDuJour will be at the Performance Marketing Insights Conference in New York, March 12-13th.

"Performance Marketing" is a new term that is quickly replacing "Affiliate Marketing", so why the need for a new term? Well affiliate marketing covers a huge range of terms, from sites like us at BitsDuJour where we are paid by vendors as a percentage of a sale that we refer. Affiliate marketing is now huge, with companies like Amazon and eBay making huge sums, and spreading the wealth to their affiliates. Affiliate marketing covers anything from those long long website pages that keep on selling and selling, until exhausted you either purchase or simply give up. Performance Marketing is aimed at more established sellers. Companies that have heir own customer support, send their own emails, and run full advertising and marketing campaigns, not to mention social media campaigns.

Since the changes in the Google algorithm last year, a lot of the traditional affiliate marketers in the software space have suffered. Gone are the days that affiliate marketers could simply put up a download site with content from the PAD directory. These sites all had the same content, the same screenshots, the same apps, and at last Google has pushed them down in the search rankings so that the software seeking public no longer has hundreds of the same listing repeated over and over again.

Regardless of your views on the new term, we hope to see you in New York next week. A big thanks to our friends at iAffiliateManagement for the invite!