More Paypal news, more CoffeeGeek plans
Posted August 9, 2001 2:40pm
First, a hearty thanks to EVERYONE who donated some of their hard earned money to this website. In two weeks, almost $50 was donated, and I appreciate it greatly.
Second, I've been asked by email if there was a way to set up a paypal scheme as a monthly payment, like a subscription service. At first, I didn't think it was offered by PayPal, but when I checked back, yes it was. So I've set up three "subscription" type accounts for users of this site, for $3 a month (I get about $2.50 of that), $5 a month (I get about 4.45 of that) and $10 a month (I net about $9.35 of that). Each month the payments are made automatically from your paypal account, and you can cancel at anytime.
Again, these efforts really go far to helping me maintain this website, pay the fees associated with it, and keep it completely advertisement free.
Coffee News and Rants
Things are actually pretty quiet for me on the coffee newsfront. Several things are brewing though. Terry from Espresso Parts Northwest has been in touch with me lately about some new products he's going to be carrying soon, and how he wants to get some of them into my grubby little hands so I can do a detailed review on them. Heh Heh, we'll see. One note about Terry. The very first time I was "made aware" of the guy, for some reason I had a negative vibe about him. But I have to tell you - every single time I have spoken or written to him since, my opinion of the guy goes through the roof. He's a class act, more obsessed with coffee and espresso than I am, and a very conscientious retailer. If you're in the market for one of the more serious espresso machines out there (say above $800) you should really consider this company. Terry will take very good care of you.
Speaking of detailed reviews, I know the last detailed review on this site dates back to a year ago. I have five ready to go believe it or not - complete with photos and complete reviews written out. But I haven't put them online because I'm waiting for the CoffeeGeek site to launch, with its spiffy new interface and input means... this means I won't have to code the pages :-) Those detailed review pages are harsh to code - very complex stuff. The new Geek engine will automate it for me... pretty sweet. Products include a 2 year evaluation of the Rancilio Silvia, reviews of the Starbucks Barista Grinder and Solis Mulino grinder, and two "surprise reviews". If we don't get 'Geek moving this month, I'll put one up at this site.
And speaking about this here site, CoffeeKid.com, it's in need of an overhaul as well. There's so much content all over the place, and much of it is piecemeal hand coded stuff, so some linkage is out of date, some copyright notices are fudged up, and if you look hard enough, you'll even find some Y2K bugs! Oh well, next major project on my task list.
CoffeeGeek News (More of it)
Frustrating times for me with regards to the forthcoming CoffeeGeek website, because it is now completely out of my hands. I have no more control over when it launches or when things get done. It's all in the hands of my capable programmers now. The site is seriously a technological marvel. All 100% original code too - we could have gone out and used third party applications and programming, but we're coding this thing from the ground up, from scratch. We're doing this for two reasons - one, we intend to resell the code for other purposes, but two, because there isn't anything out there that does exactly what I want the site to do. So we built it. Whether "they come" or not is up to you guys :-). As a reminder, here's all the stuff done for the site, and what to expect:
- 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 1500 (yep, more than 100 hours since two weeks ago) 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" (i.e., 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) columnist 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.