Archive for October 31, 2006

Get Rich, the Absolutely Bizarre Way??

Got-Zip.com is attempting a wholly-odd way to attract investors.  I mean affiliates.  Frankly, I'm not sure what they are.  They call it GeoAffiliate Marketing and in a nutshell they pay commissions by zip code and territory.  Territories which affiliates are required to pay rent on to maintain their claim and interests, essentially making them something between a speculator and an investor.

Commissions are paid on sales made through their custom homepage and web portal, Pagellan.com and other partnered eStores on their network.  Any commissions that are not trackable by location are divided up among the group as a whole.  In some ways it sounds very cool, but like any new idea I'm a bit wary.  "Wait and see" sounds like a good idea, but by the time the results are in, opportunity is gone.  On the other hand, there is not a lot of technical information for a savvy investor to really make an informed decision.  There's a lot of general info but pretty much signing up looks like a leap of faith to me.  

Their basic concept is that their affiliates can generate sales through word-of-mouth and get people in their area to switch their homepage over to Pagellan.  Since there are no affiliate codes to track, entire new worlds of opportunities would seem to be opening.  Of course, while this breaks new ground in that way, it simultaneously is breaking new ground by actually charging affiliates for the right to collect commissions.

Although that caveat could be likened to a dividend system for corporate shareholders, with the primary difference being that shareholders pay once and own part of the company.  Got-Zip affiliates rent their territories, but the owner (who comes across as very sincere) insists upon making sure none of his affiliates lose money.  He's got a money-back guarantee where if someone cancels their account their territory will be auctioned off, and if no one buys the spot after 60 days the affiliate will just get a plain old refund.

It's certainly an interesting idea, essentially keeping the company's marketing and sales functions entirely centralized and capitalizing on the capital of their affiliates rather than their ingenuity, as more traditional (read: ever other) affiliate programs do.   I guess it all comes down to whether or not they've got a solid business plan.  There simply is not a lot of information on their site regarding specifics.

The owner explains the general idea of his business by likening it to Yahoo! — he does make it clear he's not claiming to be the next Yahoo!, but follows up that clarification with a tease about "what if we were?"

I dunno.  Weird is weird but while I don't know if I'd jump on board that ship I do think it is very cool in concept.  These days everyone is blathering on about Web 2.0 and that's cool too but on sheer innovation I've got to give the trophy to this guy.  Now where did I put my Pets.com stock certificates?

- one 

 

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Same Sex Marriage is Gay

Almost by definition, right?  Seriously though, I find it absolutely disgusting to even think about how so many voters went out last election to vote against gay marriage in every state that had a proposition on the ballot.  It sickens me to think of how many are going to go out this November to do the same thing in states that weren't proactive enough to have their bigotry put down into legal-speak in time for the last election.  Frankly the only people doing anything to expand "equal rights" in this country are the judges, and they're doing it with one hand tied behind their back while being beaten with the "Activist" stick and thrown into a boiling cauldron of "Un-American".

Most people don't realize this, but legally gays are not entitled to equal rights in any specific way.  There are three tiers of discrimination that are illegal in the United States: It is absolutely illegal to discriminate by race, it's fairly illegal to discriminate by sex and it's kind-of illegal to discriminate by age.  Sexual orientation is fair game. The judges who are ruling in favor of gays' right to marriage are doing so in spite of this, meaning that despite the fact that you're legally permitted to discriminate against gays (at least they can still sue and win) they're still entitled to the same rights and priveleges as Joe Homeless Guy and depending on the actual language of the law in particular states, that often includes the right to marry.

Some states do in fact refer to a man and woman in their marriage laws, but many just specify two parties without referring to gender (or, ergo the need for opposite genders).  Seems kind of cut and dry: Bob is legally allowed to marry Jim and Mary can marry Marie.  Of course then come the whackos who insist this kind of legal ruling is going to set precedent so Frank can marry (and consumate with) his dog and Father Brian would be able to marry little Timmy (if Catholic Priests were allowed to get married. Hey, maybe that's part of that problem right there?)

Yes, the Christian fundementalists of this country would like you to believe it, and the folks over at NAMBLA are dying to believe it themselves but frankly anyone who is standing a little further from the edge should see quite clearly that gay marriage will not impact their daily lives and, in fact, the illegalization of it has the potential to lead to the government stripping ordinary citizens of other rights down the road.  So anyone who cried havoc about the Patriot Act, but isn't supporting the gays on this issue should reexamine their priorities.

Enough said, I hope?  Seeing that I just wrote about weddings a few days back I find myself wondering about the wedding logistics of a gay marriage.  Is buying engagement rings customary? I suppose you either just get all bridesmaid gifts or all groomsmen gifts.  You probably have to get a lot of cheap wedding favors because you'll want to be nice to all the religious nuts who crash your reception.  Of course, a couple of gay guys is sure to have some close women friends… how do they include them in the bridal party?  All right, I give up. Planning a gay wedding has got to be really, really hard.  Just remember to use bird seed or wedding bubbles.  No rice!  Don't want to kill the little birdies.

- one

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FireFox 2.0: Almost Here (HERE!)

FireFox is arguably the best web browser in current existance.  I say arguably, simply to allow for the inevitable arguments that surround web browsers.  For some, it seems like Cola Wars all over again, but the bottom line is that it's free, it's easy to use, it does a good job, it's got tons of 3rd party extensions to plug-in and, at least for the moment, it is more secure than the all-time-champion #1 browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer — which surprisingly manages to tout more flaws on its resume than its famous cousin, Windows Explorer.  When it comes to awarding a best-all-around medal, I don't think there's much room for argument, FireFox is just "it".

And, with great anticipation, many have been waiting for the next full-version-release from parent company Mozilla. Well, it's here. Sort-of. Release Candidate 3 is available for download on Mozilla's site, but be forewarned: Many of your existing extensions may cease to function, or in a worst case scenario may actually cause your monitor to explode. It could happen, I saw it in "Final Destination".  I assure you, Microsoft is scripting a press release right now warning IE users of just such an eventuality.

Cool New Stuff: The new version of the browser can detect, at least much of the time, if a website is pretending to be something it isn't. For instance, if you're about to eagerly enter your login information on www.citbank.com, FireFox 2.0 will give you a little tap on the shoulder and point out the grave error you are about to make. It also boasts a slightly updated look, a session-saver feature so you don't lose that page you were on when you close the browser, search term suggestions, in-line spell-checker and a host of other interesting, not-so-interesting, techie-cool and downright boring features.

If you don't currently use FireFox, I suggest you take it for a test drive.  When you install it, it lets you import all your favorites from Internet Explorer and you can always click NO if you're not sure when FireFox asks you if you want it to be the default web browser.  Follow this link to get FireFox 2.0 or, if you prefer the stable version you should download version 1.5.

For current FireFox users, you are at somewhat of a disadvantage at the moment. If you have a spare Windows computer hooked up to the internet that you're not currently using for web browsing then you know what must be done! For the other 99.9% of us, we've got a tough choice to make between test-driving this shiny new version of FireFox before it's officially released and losing all of our assorted FireFox extensions we've amassed over the past two years.

I do not envy your decision. May the light guide your path.

- one 

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