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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

It's truly sad what happened there. My prayers go out to all those affected and to the families of the people who lost their lives in this tragedy. It looks like after the tsunami hit, it's a real mess. Even those of us who weren't hit by the hurricane are still finding ourselves affected one way or another. I'm in Canada and we're feeling the effect through gasoline prices. Prices climbed as high as $1.32 per liter, that's close to $5.00 per gallon!
It will take those people a long time to get back on their feet and I wish them all the best :(


this was posted by Scott on his blog

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnind. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcusease the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh, and I was awlyas tguaht taht slpeling wsa ipmorantt!

A tip to combat procrastination

I just posted this as comment on someone else's blog who wanted to know a tip to find the time to work on her online business, I thought I might as well post it here too in case it might help someone else. If you've got other tips to make you time more efficient, post them in comments!

The best way I've found to discipline myself to work is to always have a "to-do" list and I list the in order of importance. That way that list is always staring right back at me (post it all over your house if you have to!) and I check them off as I go. This way every minute you have available can go towards trying to make that list go down.
Another tip to online success: Do 1 thing, but do it really, really well before you pass on to other things. One thing I did wrong when I first started out is that I tried to do too many projects at once.

Perl Hackers

In my years of managing my own server (ok, I'm not the one managing it but my server administrator and I work closely together, so I'm involved... somewhat, ok?)
Anyways... in those years of server management :)... I've come to realize that Perl - based scripts are more a liability than an asset (side-note, I recommend PHP to everyone). The reason being that PERL or CGI requires some special attention to security and even then, usually leaves doors wide-opened for hackers to get in. Their preferred method is using processes that are usually owned by the server (to make it look like the server is running the process) and to upload scripts giving them access to shell.
After numerous attacks originating with he above-mentioned methods, we've developed a custom system that blocks Perl process from being run locally so it allows only authorized processed to run and blocks all others. This, coupled with tight firewall settings and other basic security settings has discouraged most of the attacks and we're now mostly attack free (successful attacks anyways). So if you have your own server and are experiencing similar problems... you might want to try a similar approach or contact me for more details on the custom solution we implemented.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Improve Customer Retention

An article I wrote recently.


Rub 5 quarters for 5 minutes until it makes 75$. Rinse and repeat.

Apply daily for best results. What I’m about to share with you is as silly as the title, everyone knows about it but far too few practice it. I’ll be using recurring membership based businesses but the principles can apply to non-recurring sales stores as well.

I’ll share techniques that I’ve personally used in my online businesses to:

● Increase member retention period by up to 150%!

● Build customer loyalty.

● Turn 1 members into 3 or more paying members.

● Get more positive testimonials

● Make more money per member

● Retain members who want to drop-out.

First lets be honest, people that first come to your site won’t stay long unless something catches their eye. Something that could fulfill a need they have. Then, if what you offer interests them, they might stay a while BUT before they buy they’ll try to figure out if you’re legitimate. With all the stories of identity theft, phishing scams, credit card fraud, etc etc , people are very cautious to whom they give their information to.

So you’ve got all that taken care of and after long and hard work you’ve got a website that has a very professional image, you’ve figured out a need that needs fulfilling and the advertising is paying off; the visitors are coming and they’re buying!

If you have your contact information posted on your website, I guarantee you have maximized your advertising dollars. If you don’t, people have backed off because they were afraid.

It’s a lot easier to trust someone that isn’t hiding behind a computer screen. If you have your phone number, street address, email and fax number posted, you’re projecting a positive image, one of a company that has nothing to hide. Dismiss the idea that posting your phone number will immediately inundate you with phone calls. Most people just want to see a number so that they know they can speak to a real person in case something goes wrong.

Already have all that taken care of? Great, good job! So far, you’ve really put the chances on yours side and profited the most from your advertising investment.

As you know however, it’s a whole lot easier to retain an existing customer than to get a new one. So are you really doing all you can to retain them? Hopefully not as you’ve read all this for nothing.

My simple and highly effective method for retaining members much longer and thus improving your ROI is to follow up with your members. DUH! You might say. Hear me out however. Most companies don’t bother checking in with a member unless the member first contacts them with a question or problem.

I suggest a more pro-active approach. Don’t wait for them to contact you; by then they have already experienced frustration and you might just be one strike from being out without even knowing it.

You’d be surprised what a phone call can do (yes phone call… a real person is much more effective than an email.. emails can be automated, are rarely read throughout and don’t have the same impact.). What can a phone call cost, if it’s long distance and 5 minutes? 0.25? That’s one of the best investment you’ll do for your business, believe me. Even if everything is going smoothly, the member will be very happy to hear you call just to check in. How are things going? How’s our service or product working for you? Is it what you expected? How can we help you further?

Those are all simple questions, that coming from a real person on the phone, will have a huge impact on the customer. They know there is someone out there concerned with their satisfaction and that if they need help, they can trust this company to come to their rescue IN PERSON.

Try it out and see for yourself how much it improves your customer retention. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Want to start making money online?

Whether you want to make some extra pocket cash or plan to make online business your full time job, one question remains for all new entrepreneur who make this plunge in the online business pool. How and where do I start?
There is a good and free resource out there that, if followed step by step will give you a good start without breaking your bank or requiring you to have any deep technological knowledge or years of experience. The site is Check out the article "Success Beyond eBay" I've contributed the majority of that article and the site owner modified it to fit his content.
Follow the instructions on that site, put a little research, sweat and tears into and you'll be a money making online entrepreneur in no time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

E-business ressources

I've decided to create an ebay account and sell all kinds of webmaster and e-business ressources. Let me share my years of experience with you and save you time and money! :)
Check out my auctions here
As time goes on, I will be adding more and more items.