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Zac Altman
05-16-2008, 12:12 PM
I am thinking of starting up a laser resource site even though I am new to the business (havent even started yet). I know there are sites like ladyada and these forums which provide very good information, but it isnt all in one spot, if you know what i mean, and it doesnt include everything.

So I was thinking:
- templates (for iPods, Laptops, Phones, Woods, etc.)
- Settings list (for various devices)
- Links to Art resources
- Forums - Im not sure whether it would be a good idea to set up a whole new forum, or just link here (you guys would want me to link here, eh?)

Any suggestions for what should go on this site? any comments are welcome

Scott Shepherd
05-16-2008, 12:25 PM
Zac, I think you have great passion, but I'd be careful about posting all your trade secrets and work online for others to copy. There's a fine line there, as we all want to help each other, but there is a limit where you're running a business and you don't want to give everything you work on away for free so others can compete against you.

Just an example, if you post all the templates you create, what's to stop the guy down the street from buying a Chinese made laser for 1/4 the cost of your Epilog, then take your templates, and sell the same thing you do for less money, leaving you with a big fat machine payment and no work to support it.

I'm not saying you shouldn't share information, but you really need to be careful not to create your competitor. Let me say it again, I'm all for sharing information, but you really do not want to share everything you do. In the end, it will come back to bite you, in my opinion. I'll share anything I do with most anyone, but certain things, I take and share privately, rather than publically, so I have some control over who's seeing certain things.

Zac Altman
05-16-2008, 12:28 PM
so your saying a half-"private" site. I could make it, you have to be registered here with at least x posts to be approved. Something like that.

Certain things public, certain things private

Good idea!

Doug Griffith
05-16-2008, 1:02 PM
Before making a living got in the way, I almost completed a settings site for the many different manufacturers/machines/materials/etc... Trust me, it is a daunting task because of all the variables. Unless you are very familiar with lasers, I would think twice about this feature.

When I get some time, I will finish up the site and make it public.

Scott Shepherd
05-16-2008, 1:08 PM
so your saying a half-"private" site. I could make it, you have to be registered here with at least x posts to be approved. Something like that.

Certain things public, certain things private

Good idea!

I'm not saying anything about your site specifically, I'm only cautioning you on giving things away that you will spend hour and hours creating when they can (and will) be used against you at some point. There's a very different method helping people. I'm all for being able to ask for things and share helpful information. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of so many others, however, no one gave me any trade secrets, they helped with specific issues, which is what forums are great for.

In the computer world, Open Source is a loved concept, but in business, it's not so great to be "open source" so all can see, have access to, and do, everything you are doing. You're building a business, just run everything through a filter on whether or not it will possibly harm your business if you post it.

Joe Pelonio
05-16-2008, 3:06 PM
I'm not saying anything about your site specifically, I'm only cautioning you on giving things away that you will spend hour and hours creating when they can (and will) be used against you at some point.
I have to agree. Many of us do a lot of production work for mostly local wholesale and retail customers, but others depend on internet sales. Those people, possibly including yourself, Zac, are helping the competition by posting things like templates. Anyone can all go to competitors' website galleries and get ideas from what they are doing, but at least specifics on "how it was done" are kept private which allows a business that spends a lot of time (and $) developing a product or method to keep their advantage.

Dee Gallo
05-16-2008, 3:25 PM
As a graphic artist, I have to go one step further -

Any original design or illustration work you do is a copyright you own. These days, it's way too easy to "lift" a design from someone, who would normally be paid for their work, and who has every legal right to sue you for copyright infringement. How do you think people who run template-selling sites would like it if you just used one of their templates without paying? It's generous of you to create copyright-free art, but please don't encourage people to take without checking to see if they are infringing first.

Most photographs are covered, too, which is why most of us take our own photos to work from, to avoid that trap.

If you decide to do this, please state clearly if a piece is copy-right free. Most clip art you buy is copyright free, but it should be stated anyway.

As a person who has created a lot of clipart, designs, illustrations and logos, I must protest anyone who wants to demean this work by giving it away as if it fell from heaven for free. It cheapens the whole profession. Our time, experience and expertise are worth something, too.

Okay, my two cents are in the jar - dee

Mark Winlund
05-16-2008, 5:45 PM
I'm thinking of registering as an official trademark the words "laser engraving". I'm sure everyone in the forum would be willing to pay me a licensing fee for the use of my registered, copyrighted trademark....

There are few things that engravers do that are all that unique and valuable, regardless of what the originator thinks of them. Most of the value of engraving comes from personalizing something, whether it is a watch or an award.

Mark

Zac Altman
05-16-2008, 7:53 PM
When I was originally thinking templates, i meant like (iPod as example) have it 40mm x 100mm with the apple logo in white and the are with the text in white. If you get what I mean. Like the epilog examples, but without the images.

As for the art, only links to where you can find art, so copyright shouldnt be an issue (but you may have been thinking about what I said above)

Doug - maybe we can collaborate... PM me if you're interested.

David Fairfield
05-18-2008, 10:56 AM
Original ideas and art are great but they're only original for so long before somebody copies them... So I agree with Mark.

Maintaining viable business boils down to the personal service, location, and attention to detail and quality you give to every piece that goes out the door.

As far as graphics go, the only effective copy protection is just keep coming up with fresh material.

Dave