Paypal comes to Canada (finally!)
Posted July 24, 2001 12:25pm
As you know from my constant griping in this column, it costs a lot to run this site, financially and time-wise. I run the site without ads, and will continue to do so ad infinitum, but the various costs were starting to really be a hassle. I started the Amazon bookstore (see link to the left) as one way to help defray these costs, but I longed to set up a PayPal donation button on this site, so people could help make direct payments to this sites' costs.
Problem was, I couldn't do it - I am Canadian, and PayPal didn't offer the service for Canadians. Until today that is.
Now by clicking this button to the right, you can help pay for some of the associated costs of running this site, which amount to $120 a month plus taxes. I figure if I could get only 50 people a month clicking the link and donating the minimum $2USD, it would cover the site costs (after PayPal's payoff for this service). Not much when you consider that some 65,000 people a month visit. And I'm hoping more than 50 will click thru and make at least the minimum donation per month.
So what happens if the amount goes over $120 in donations a month? I've given a lot of thought to this. One thing not many of you know is this: besides my own time and effort, a fellow by the name of Wayne Venables, my chief programmer for WebMotif, has done all the programming code on this site that runs stuff like the searches, the forms, and most importantly the Reviews Section. Wayne constantly twiddles it because it runs on an Access 2000 database which was simply not built for the kind of traffic this site gets. He has to constantly tweak it and fix things because it tends to collapse a lot. Most of you never notice this because he's usually on the ball and gets problems fixed within an hour or so.
And Wayne has pretty much zero interest in coffee. And he doesn't get paid for this work. So what I'd like to do is maybe toss him some money for all the time and effort he's put into this site, and I think I will if donations exceed $120 a month. It would be a nice gesture on your part too, knowing that the guy's effort is being rewarded.
As for me? I still do not want any financial gain from this site. Call me crazy (and many have with regards to coffeekid and the revenue potential should I turn it over to some 3rd party ad company), and I have no plans to. I have very strong ethics about this, and will continue to do so.
If for some reason people are REALLY generous and donations exceed $320 or more a month, I'll be giving that cash back to you, the visitors. I'll organize some sort of contest or questionaire or something and use the dough to purchase a prize as a giveaway. That's my promise to you.
CoffeeGeek. My famous vaporware. Here's the latest I can make public. I can't spew too much for fear of someone copying some of our cooler ideas before we launch. Here's what I can tell you.
- All Templates, graphics, forms, layouts, html and dhtml code are done and in the bag. DONE! There's some 35 templates and forms, and over 400 graphics including a big time graphics library for the use of the regular columnists to spice up their articles. I'm jazzed about this.
- CoffeeGeek.com will be using the most advanced version of my company's WIPS software to date (Version 2.3a). It includes a lot of automations and some new modules we developed just for the CoffeeGeek site. I can tell you that approximately 1400 person hours (three people involved) have gone into this back-end software development, and it ain't over yet.
- The site will be almost completely self-automated. It will update itself on the fly as new content is added by consumer reviews, detailed reviewers, columnists, feedback in discussion forums, how to pages, the works. All the work we're putting into this thing will pay off for us - once launched, the site starts to live and breathe on its own.
- I have tentative deals for both advertising and hosting that should keep the site "non-painful" (ie, no advertising popups, only 2 or 3 ads per page, 1 banner, 1 or 2 tiny side ads) that will cover a) hosting costs, b) columinst stipend costs, and c) promotional costs. We're operating the site as a not-for-profit legal entity. All extra monies will be spent on the site. I don't make a dime from it.
- You're seriously going to be impressed by it. :-) Not much of my work impresses me - I kind of get blah'ed by it all, staring at the templates for weeks or months on end. But 3 months after building the design for our current version of the new CoffeeGeek site, it still turns my crank when I see it, and know the functionality its gonna have. You haven't seen anything like it online!
And yes, it IS coming soon. With a big time "Site Launch Giveaway" contest to boot, thanks to the folks from Baratza. Stay tuned.
Till next time, thanks for stopping by!