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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello from Texas...want to ask anyone

Hello all,

Just a couple of questions from a newcommer.

1) do people just have to click the vote box on your site and a vote is automatically added?

2) what is the best t-shirt site to advertise with a banner on (for peace and diversity messages?

Will take any critical feedback on my site:

http://www.mycolorstoo.com

Layla
 

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Re: Hello from Texas...want to ask anyone

laylaazure said:
1) do people just have to click the vote box on your site and a vote is automatically added?

If you're talking about t-shirtcountdown, then yes, people click the vote box on your site and a vote is automatically added once they click through the "Voting Gateway" page that comes up right after they click the voting link on your site. This intermediary pages helps screen out fraudulent votes.


2) what is the best t-shirt site to advertise with a banner on (for peace and diversity messages?
You may want to try out blogads.com. It's not necessarily a "t-shirt" site, but they have a lot of political blogs that you can advertise on.


ill take any critical feedback on my site:

http://www.mycolorstoo.com

Layla
My first thought would be that you should make the t-shirt images on the front page clickable to the page where you can actually buy the design.

I would my your mycolorstoo logo in the upper left hand corner clickable back to your homepage.

I would also suggest rearranging your navigation links so PRODUCTS is right next to HOME so as a natural progression of people clicking through your site, they can get to your prodcts faster.

My last suggestion would be to make your navigation menu easier to read. Blue text on a blue background isn't very easy to read. I would make it stand out more and maybe even make the links underlined so people know exactly where to click to get where they want to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
when asking people to vote, they didn't see any intermediary page. It just takes them straight to the t-shirt countdown website t-shirt list. Plus, I'm checking my votes and there are none so far ????

Frustrated!

Layla
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What about google adwords? Which blog would you advertise in.. I'm on a low budget... anything over $25 - 50 per month is too much :)

Layla
 

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Re: Hello from Texas...want to ask anyone

laylaazure said:
Will take any critical feedback on my site:
Quotes from your website:


Patriotism cannot be owned

and

...A MOVEMENT ™
...own terms™
...COLORS TOO™
...proud to sell...


This presents a contradiction, and hypocrisy is not an attractive quality in a business. Plastering trademark notices all over your site really dulls the impact of your message, and in fact undermines your entire credibility.
 

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Re: Hello from Texas...want to ask anyone

Solmu said:
Quotes from your website:


Patriotism cannot be owned

and

...A MOVEMENT ™
...own terms™
...COLORS TOO™
...proud to sell...


This presents a contradiction, and hypocrisy is not an attractive quality in a business. Plastering trademark notices all over your site really dulls the impact of your message, and in fact undermines your entire credibility.
It brings the neo-communist doctrine that that "All property is theft, except when owned by the State"....

And I agree with you....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would like to know what others think about the trademark issue. I'm guessing most online tshirt companies are for profit. I have put together a unique (i think) business model where enriching others in my company, and outside of it is built into the DNA of My Colors Too. I didn't think too much about the trademark issue, i just thought it was important to protect slogans from being copied, just like copyrighting artwork.

Feedback... Feedback please...negative positive or indifferent...
 

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What about google adwords?
Google adwords can be effective, but there's a bit of "learning" involved before you start spending (or at least there should be). Making sure you're targeting the right words, exact matching when necessary, writing the ads so they get the best response, etc.

Which blog would you advertise in.. I'm on a low budget... anything over $25 - 50 per month is too much :)
You're going to need to visit blogads.com and do your own research there :) If you have political stuff, just try to find the blogs that agree with the views expressed on your designs.

However, with a budget of only $25-$50, you may find that it doesn't take you far.

You may want to focus your efforts on learning some of the basics of search engine marketing and starting your promotion that way until you have a budget for a larger spend.

I'm not saying you won't find a blog that you can advertise in for $25-$50 per month, it's possible that there are some there...you should definitely start looking. I'm just saying that you may want to see if there might be more room in your budget for the "right" ads if you happen to run across them.

Basically you're trying to think like the people that buy your shirts. What websites do they visit? What blogs do they read? What magazines/newspapers do they read? What TV shows do they watch? What keywords do they use to find related products in the search engines?

Once you have that info, you want to make sure your site is targeted around their interest and most importantly that you get your site in front of their eyeballs (through advertising and marketing).
 

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Uh ohhh!!!
I'm still staying quiet!!:cool:
Any feedback is fine. I will consider it.
Okay...
I think the whole site screams of hypocrisy. It seems to me you are saying two different things. The theme to me says this: "No one can own patriotism, but I own part of it, so let me make money off of my part, and be careful you don't steal my part!"

The trademark symbols are over-the-top:

Patriotism cannot be owned
Patriotism cannot be forced
Be a Patriot on your own terms™

BUY A SHIRT, START A MOVEMENT

It is very hard to trademark phrases, and complete sentences are almost impossible. Trademark issues can spark lively and spirited discussion on the forums. Believe me, I understand the need to protect your products just as much as anybody, but it seems that you want to make sure that anyone who visits your site knows that you happen to own this piece of patriotism, while at the same time proclaiming that it can't be owned. You say you want people to express patriotism on their own terms, but what you really seem to mean is expressing it while they line your pockets.
The line between promoting a cause that is dear to you and profiting from that cause is a fine one, and can be tricky to navigate.
I don't want you to think that I think you are money-hungry, or just trying to get rich off of something. I don't. I, too, have a product that ventures into that "murkiness" of "pro" something, but also "for profit".
I have some urban wear products that are meant to be encouraging and uplifting to those that feel downtrodden(sp?) and feel they may need something like that, especially those in the urban community. But I'm not a charity and still would like to make a profit from my message.
This seems to be where you are. Of course, since you don't have a registered trademark yet, you need to protect your property with the TM symbol to let others know that you own the property. No problem there. But I think if you put it where your logo is at the top of all the pages, that would be enough. I don't think it needs to be everywhere you have "MyColorsToo". Also, the TM symbols after the sentences and phrases are overkill. Again, just enough to let people know you own it and you are trying to protect it would be enough. I really don't think you would be able to trademark the sentence and the phrases, anyway.
I think you have a product that definitely has an audience, but you don't want to scare that audience away with "This is mine" if part of your message is: "It is everybody's".;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is invaluable and just what I'm looking for. I struggled so hard at the beginning on whether to do a for profit or non profit with this kind of a message. We decided to do a for-profit yet idealistic if that makes sense. I think I am agreeing with you on the trademark stuff. I guess I got a little trademark crazy!!!>>.%^&*^%%%

I will fix it up as soon as I can.
 

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I would like to know what others think about the trademark issue. I'm guessing most online tshirt companies are for profit. I have put together a unique (i think) business model where enriching others in my company, and outside of it is built into the DNA of My Colors Too. I didn't think too much about the trademark issue, i just thought it was important to protect slogans from being copied, just like copyrighting artwork.
If you have a slogan that is unique to your brand. Basically, the slogan has to BE your brand, then you should work on getting it trademarked if you are serious about protecting it. But that also means that you have to be willing to defend the trademark if you see others using it. It's also not an inexpensive process.

Like COS said, it will be hard (and expensive) to try to trademark just a slogan. The artwork itself is still subject to copyright protection though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
By the way, when I was deciding. I read a good article that was saying that non-profit is not always the way to go. The guy was arguing for for-profit businesses with idealistic causes.. i guess like whole foods. Please also check out my other post about business books. The one, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is indispensible.
 

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laylaazure said:
I would like to know what others think about the trademark issue. I'm guessing most online tshirt companies are for profit. I have put together a unique (i think) business model where enriching others in my company, and outside of it is built into the DNA of My Colors Too. I didn't think too much about the trademark issue, i just thought it was important to protect slogans from being copied, just like copyrighting artwork.

Feedback... Feedback please...negative positive or indifferent...
I understand the importance of protecting what's yours. But I think the problem exists with your trademark being everywhere.
Do you have a no left click feature on your shop?
This would really help.
 

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You can find a happy halfwayhouse between non-profit and profit. You can't be totally non-profit...essentially you'll be paying to do it (through your lost hours). That's fine for giving your time up to do normal charitable work, but it this takes offit could equal a big chunk of your time.

I have several shirts which give speciic % contributions to charity (a % of the profit of course...not the base expense costs). Any your time *is* an expense. Just because you want to give to charity, doesn't mean you need to live like a martyr and impoverish yourself.

Make sure all charitable contributions are fully documented, and such documentation avaliable to anyone on request. Using charity are a marketing tool is fine, but *only* if you actually are doing what you say and can prove it.
 

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Good thoughts from CominOutSwinging. The double-message inherent in the site hit me as well. Perhaps you could overcome it by being upfront - ie., "here's what we think about patriotism, etc., and, by the way, we'd like to make a few bucks while we're at it." There's probably a more elegant way to say it as opposed to my version. At any rate, losing the TMs all over the place would go far...
I'd guess that your core market might be somewhere over on the Kos blog, but that's one heck of a pricey blog for ads.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm sorry, being my low-tech self I lost track of this thread and just found it again now..YIKES. Anyway..

1) i don't know what a left click feature is but I can try to find out about it?? What does it do, exactly?
2) i will lose some of the trademarks, definitely, however, I have to figure out which ones to lose... I know I went trademark crazy but you guys don't know how obsessive I became and thought that everyone was going to steal my ideas. It was crazy and I was crazy... :) am still crazy!!%%&^&**(&&^^%
3) I love the idea of being more upfront so it doesn't seem so hypocritical... i will experiment with that.. any suggestions would be appreciated, i think i'll just come out and say that it's for profit yet idealistic and name some other companies like that???
4)my business plan involves equity and profit sharing and enriching others so I may put that on the site as well
5)plus, my costs are a little bit hight b/c my shirts are screenprinted and I buy the nicer shirts, not the cheapo's so i should probably include that on there.
6)i really want to get some interest in my blog... any suggestions here..??
http://mycolorstoo.blogspot.com/
7) thanks all for all your help
 
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