Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Want a UK Dropship List

One of my friends from an online business forum has created a site which has listings of many dropshippers in the UK. It's a good little site, and the list is well priced at just £1.99 - has to be a bargain! Dropshippers for the UK market - well worth the cost in my opinion. Could be a nice way to startup your own Income Stream...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Public Holiday in the UK

Today was a public holiday here in (most of) the UK. Nice weather too! Not a lot of work got done today! Quite a few beers got drunk though, as well as over the weekend due to Liverpool winning the Super Cup. Ra ra ra ra Rafa Benítez.. Anyway, I just noticed that Adsense now allows you to track 200 "channels" which is a good increase over the previous 100 available. Now I can track some of my sites earnings page by page - which will help with my experiments to see what placement of Adsense is the best producing. Good work, Adsense People.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Travelling Europe

One of my (online) friends is travelling Europe for the next month. He's keeping an online blog, updated whereever and whenever he can. Check it out at Lee in Europe.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another nice Comment!

Firstly, I want to thank for your great e-books. I have a new client which will be my first osCommerce venture and needed a quick overview of things with regards to the layout. Your 'How to make osCommerce look like a million dollars...' ebook was great.
Good stuff! thanks very much to that buyer for the feedback provided! The 'Million Dollars' eBook is available from oscbooks.com if you want to take a look. There is a freely downloadable chapter which you can grab.

A quiet day today

Today will not be a busy day - I finished answering all my emails already, and have built 1 Adsenser (which is uploaded, ready to be promoted). This afternoon I have an appointment that I have to keep, so will not get anything more done today (as the appointment will probably keep me waiting most of the afternoon). And no work for me tonight as Liverpool are playing Moscow in teh UEFA Super Cup! C'mon the Reds! Yesterday I did $437 and a few pennies across all my AIS sites (not just Adsensers). Not bad! I don't get good days like that every day (wish I did!) - but one day I will crack the $500 barrier.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Adsense - Invalid Clicks

One of my acquaintances on a forum has just had his Adsense Account disabled for "invalid clicks", and I've noticed a growing trend in this happening. If you are an Adsense publisher do not click the links (even for testing purposes)! If you do, then make a note of the link clicked and the date/time and immediately report to Adsense via the "help" pages - along with a profuse apology. I did this not so long ago (1 accidental click), I immediately let Google know, and got a very nice email in return telling me not to worry as it had been taken care of. So, the moral of the story; ~ don't click the ads on your own pages! ~ if you accidentally click, let Google know *immediately* Hope this helps!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My latest Adsenser is up and running and earning cash!

Yippee. My latest Adsenser came from an article that I read about a new technology that is set to sweep the UK - I thought about it and decided to make a site about it. That was 2 days ago. I registered a Domain for $2.88 (about £1.50), I set up hosting (I have a resellers account so that costs nothing). I purchased some software, and joined up on a site that is dedicated to helping Adsensers...the software I purchased is on special offer via that site also which is nice! I made a 50 odd page site and integrated an .rss feed in around 15 minutes. The domain I purchased was already working by this time! I uploaded it. I got someone else to Blog and Ping (for $5) the site to get it visited by the Search Engine Spiders... This all cost me: ~ 15 minutes of time ~ $7.88 in cash I already made that cash back! Every penny from here on in, is pure profit. Onto the next site now! My aim is to produce 3 sites daily for the next month, that'll mean I have around 100 sites all producing an Adsense Income. Working on the basis of earnings of $1 per site per day, that's $100 in earnings daily (which is very large portion of my $137 aim)...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Break it down to managable chunks...

AIS = Automated Income Stream. In other words, a way of earning money for doing very little ongoing work... Anyway, I started selling Templates for a popular piece of software (not osC before you ask) - and so far I have earned $1305 in 17 days on this new AIS. Of course my earnings on this new AIS will not stay at the same level, but I hope to sell at least one $125 template pack per week. That's not bad and goes quite some way towards my aim of earning $137 a day (overall AIS earnings from multiple sources)...why $137 ? Over the course of a year that is $50k in earnings (from AIS, thus very little work)... Whenever you have an aim in life, break it down into managable chunks: ~ $50,000 a year sounds like hard work. ~ $4,167 a month sounds more managable ~ $962 a week sounds do-able ~ $137 a day sounds easy! Of course, running AIS's means that you are open for business 24/7/365 - and a true AIS means that the person orders, pays and downloads without you (the business owner) having to intervene...a beautiful way to work!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ad Sense

Recently I've been working on getting my Google Adsense Income up to $1000 a month. I'm not there yet - to help with my aim I joined up at a Forum which is dedicated to increasing Adsense Incomes. There is a monthly charge, but I already picked up loads of great ideas from some of the more experienced people. The main one being; build build build sites! Some of these people are building 10 sites a day! And earning $50k a month! Is better than a 9 to 5 grind, I think. Anyway, I'll try to follow some of the advice and let you all know how I get on!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

So, it is not just me!

Very annoyed people...

The team wonders why the community sometimes gets frustrated? Here's a very obvious example. Am I alone or do others fell the same way?
Frustrated with the lack of a Summary/Progress report
they should/could have used the "Belgium Fund" to upgrade the servers
It's no surprise that there is so much frustration expressed on these boards.
I am very frustrated about the team's decision to close down public CVS
this project needs to get a little kick to shine again
This is why the Community is frustrated, disheartened, upset, annoyed, dismayed, crazed, angry, discouraged, dispirited, downcast and exasperated...pick you favorite adjective.
I thought I was the only one who is unhappy at the (in)actions of the "Team" with regards communication. I guess for the osCommerce "Team", It's so much easier to press the "delete" button than to answer the questions that really matter.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Where does all the time go?

Apologies to regular readers of this Blog - I know there's at least one or two of you ;-) I have not had enough time this week to make any Blog Posts - I'll try to get back into the swing of things next week, after this manic week is over. Cheers all!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Fake Email Addresses

Someone was wondering about how to stop people inputting fake email addresses when buying from an osCommerce Store. There is no way to do it, at present; There is a banned emails contribution that I coded up, which can help to weed out fraudsters and fakers. There is an option in Admin to turn on DNS checking for email addresses, but this won't help as it checks DNS on the hostname, not on the actual email address - thus made_up_bit@hotmail.com would pass DNS check... The only option was as I explained:

1/ The site creates a random password for them. 2/ The site logs them out with a "check your email address" message. 3/ The email contains their password. 4/ When they get their password they can log back into their cart and complete the checkout procedure.
This would be very easy to accomplish as I already have a "random passwords to email" piece of code that I use. I think that all that would need to be done is add a few lines of code to the create_account page (after the welcome email is sent) like this: tep_session_unregister('customer_id'); tep_session_unregister('customer_default_address_id'); tep_session_unregister('customer_first_name'); tep_session_unregister('customer_country_id'); tep_session_unregister('customer_zone_id'); tep_session_unregister('comments'); Obviously a redirect would be needed, possibly to the Login Page, which includes a "check your email" message... And the whole thing would work well! I think. The customer would be able to log in, his cart would be ready for him to check out. The only problem is that this may be enough to put buyers off of using your store - so you'd need to weight up the advantages and disadvantages of this idea before implementing.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The "official" osCommerce View on my Blog?

During an email conversation yesterday with Harald where I was attempting to find out the reason for the recent problems, this quote from Harald randomly cropped up:

If you want to cry and moan about the way we manage the project on your blog, you're most certainly welcome to.
I'm guessing that this is the official osCommerce take on my Blog? Anyway, what I wanted to know was why there is all this BS about Corporate Sponsorship, and the real reason behind me not being allowed to be a Corporate Sponsor. Here's the reply:
I did provide the following reason... "Regarding your enquiry to participate in the osCommerce Corporate Sponsorship program, I do not think a healthy relationship currently exists between yourself and the osCommerce team, and do not see how participation in the sponsorship program can work out when issues arise in the future as to how we manage the project."
This is not a reason - this is the effect. What I wanted to know is why Harald thinks this: a healthy relationship [does not] currently exist. I can't get through to Harald that without knowing exactly what has happened to upset him in the past 3 months then I cannot look at the problem(s) and solve them. However, what he did say is this:
It is indeed a personal issue, as I described in the reason provided to you.
So, at least I and the readers of this Blog do now know for sure that Harald holds personal issues above what is right for the osCommerce Community. Good work, fella!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It took 16 days, but I finally got my refund...

As regular readers of this Blog will know, I was turned down for Corporate Sponsorship on the basis of a personal issue. As that was the case, I wanted to cancel my personal sponsorship of the Community. I emailed Harald, and this was done on July 26th. It took 16 days for him to refund the unused portion of the subscription! Anyway, I today received the refund and have donated it to the FSF (Free Software Foundation): Unfortunately the FSF only accept USD payment, so that is why the amounts differ. Thanks for the refund Harald!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A conflict of interest...

I was thinking about reasons why commercial providers of osCommerce services are not welcomed at the osCommerce Forums. I thought it might be because of some sort of conflict of interest, so I decided to do some checking... From what I see the Moderators & Developers; A - runs a webdesign firm. B - runs a hosting firm. C - runs a hosting and webdesign firm. D - runs a website design firm. E - offers customization, design and consultancy for osCommerce. F - software developer specialising in osCommerce. G - runs an agency specialising in ecommerce. H - runs a development site specialising in osCommerce. Amazingly only 3 of the 11 main developers / moderators do not offer osCommerce services - perhaps the reason why commercial services are not allowed to be mentioned is because of the other 8 wanting to create a closed business for themselves... Of course, there is nothing wrong with these people operating businesses that are aligned with osCommerce - but let's think about what's right for the Community, not what's right for these 8 people. I don't know. It's all a conspiracy, make up your own minds ;)

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Moderators at osCommerce are quite unbelievable

Yesterday, someone asked how to incorporate "tabs" into their product_info page in order to save space. I advised to go and search google for "webfx tabpane", and advised that I had this code working in my osC Store but could not post the URL as that would be aginst the Forum rules. Today, I receive this PM from a Moderator

Title: Discussing offsite solutions: Contents: Posting this is also is against forum rules
How the heck can me saying "go search google" for code be construed as "discussing offsite solutions" when the webfx code is already a core part of the MS3 Admin !!! I cannot believe that Harald surrounds himself with these people who don't know the code contained in osCommerce. It defies belief, and is yet another example of how the osCommerce Forum & Team has rapidly gone downhill since the recent departure of the only sane Team Member.

I've never understood the reasoning...

In the osCommerce Forum, there is 2 areas where you can add your (osCommerce powered) sites. #1 is the "My Store" channel where other users of osC can critique your store and offer advice on what is good and what is bad. #2 is the "Live Store" list - which is a listing of a number of Stores that are powered by osCommerce. Some are bad, some good, some excellent. However in both of these areas there are some people who cannot place their URLs - the reason for this is supposedly "commercial advertising". Therefore if you run an osCommerce store selling (for example) hosting, domain names, templates, webdeisgn services, coding services and other products/services like that, then you are banned from entering your URL into the "My Store" channel or the "Live Shop" area. My argument to this is; Sites selling illegal goods, such as drugs, hardcore pornography, nazi memorabilia and the like are allowed, and yet sites selling useful services which give the osCommerce Community more choice are not allowed! I find this whole situation unbelievable - another example of poor choices made by the osCommerce "Team". Or is there something more sinister going on? Call Mulder and Scully please ;)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Forum Idiots

On one of the business oriented forums that I frequent, there is one certain person who delights in pointing out the mistakes that others make. These are inconsequential mistakes such as simple typing errors, or spelling errors. It annoys the hell out of a number of people. I suppose correcting other people makes him feel like a big man. Anyway, today he surpassed himself by moaning about people using acronyms (such as PHP, HTML and the like). He made a nice racist "joke" today also :-( Recently I started to bite back at him - he calls himself a "professional designer", who's been designing websites since 1995. He's come up with some BS about how websites should work (based on his own ill-informed opinions). I politely pointed out that his own website has more than 100 HTML errors on it's index page alone. So much for the "professional"... :- All I can say is "what a fscking idiot". I feel better now I've had a rant. :-D

Saturday, August 06, 2005

My latest adventure (not osCommerce based!)

Yesterday I started up a new site which sells pre-made templates for a very specialised piece of software. Today I had my first sale - which was nice and quick! An easy $47 earned :) To make the business take off quickly, I've set the price at $47 for the first 5 buyers, $57 for the next 5 buyers, $77 for the next 10 and from then on all sales will be at the normal price of $97. For a pack of 3 highly functional and good looking Templates that is outstanding value. The selling of Templates is quite an easy business to be in. All you need to do is make a nice looking template and then sell it time and time again. On top of this you can also offer extras such as personalisation of the Template bought by the customer. All in all, a good business to be in, particularly if you have automated the sales and download procedures... By the way, I am not talking about selling Templates from "Template Monster"! That is a different sort of Template business.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Some really nice feedback :)

It's always nice to receive feedback from buyers;

Just want to say a big huge thank you for writing these books. For the first time OScommerce makes sense. You have done a great job and made it so simple. I have not finished my site yet but I know it will only take hours and not months like it would have before getting your great step by step info. I was determined to learn this myself so I can have freedom to do what I want when I want without paying hundreds of dollars and now I can.
In the last 2 years I've sold well over 2,000 osCommerce eBooks and Tutorials, mainly via osC Books - and in all that time received just 25 emails or so of feedback! So to get this one was a really nice thing to wake up to! Plus...it's Friday, which is always a good thing!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Yahoo to launch blog ad network tomorrow ???

Well, according to c|net news, they are.

Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google...
Sounds like a good war is on the cards between Yahoo and Google. Which can only be good news for the Consumer I would have thought.