On blogging, payment processing, and the finite nature of time

I think I will stop apologizing for not posting often. I’d love to post frequently, but both software development and business development take so much time.

Some people are able to post almost daily to their blogs. Of course, that depends on each person’s circumstances. If you are setting up a software business, you have sw development to do, setting up and running the business also take a lot of time, so blogging usually comes third after these. Most starting microisv’s (I don’t like the term, but everyone’s using it so why complain) don’t post that much to their blogs (with some notable exceptions which I think are all linked from the sidebar here). What they all do is put a solid amount of work into their products and websites.

For some reason, it takes me much more thought to post on the blog than to post in a forum. Probably because I kind of like to post interesting, well written, content-rich blog entries - and that takes its own time to do. If I allowed myself to post more undigested stuff I would post more often.

As well, when I get into my “writing” mood, I like it and posts grow and grow and grow and…

One other thing is that, when you’re setting up a business, there’s probably information you don’t want to disclose. At least, I still think it’s worthwhile for my business strategy to not disclose some things. Future business opportunities, etc… apart from regular business info - I’ve thought more than once about posting actual ViEmu sales figures, but I think it could be damaging in the long run. I’m sure people are curious. For those curious, it seems it’s actually taking off a bit, although nothing that makes it qualify as a major revenue stream.

More than one person asked about my experience with adwords. Again, I feel I should dig a bit into the logs and post actual stats, rather than just my impression. So I end up posting nothing, due to lack of time for proper research. The summary: they help. There is fraud, but the cost for low-competition keywords such as mine covers for it. How do I know there is clickfraud to my site? Because some hits only ever request the html page - not even the CSS or graphics get requested!

Anyway, I was going to post about payment processing - mainly due to a thread at JoS started by the wondefully informative Andy Brice of PerfectTablePlan fame, a piece of software to solve your reception seating arrangement problems, I’ve been researching into payment methods (yes, the previous link to Andy’s page was designed to help with search engine results, as he’s been so nice sharing so much info and his company seems so serious).

To the point, it seems using paypal to process your payments can help in getting commissions much lower that other services such as share-it, the one I’m currently using. I’ll be looking into setting up paypal for ViEmu, and I’ll report back on how it works.

But there was another piece of advice I wanted to pass.

When I set up my share-it account, it let me choose whether to process my statements in euros or US dollars. Given that I’m euro based, euros seemed more reasonable, but their fees were lower for US dollars. $3 + 5% for accounts in US$, €3 + 5% for accounts in euros. Given that US$3 is cheaper than €3, I chose US$.

Only to find out that currency exchange in monthly wire transfer killed me - charged both from the originating bank and from my end (the receiving bank).

No need to say that I promptly switched to an account in EUR (a non-automatic process that the share-it people solved nicely after requesting, their service being usually quite responsive).

Just so that you don’t make the same mistake.

Anyway, just to recap, I wanted to share my problems to find time to blog and share out some interesting info regarding payment processing. Nothing intersting for hardcore C++ programmers today.

No promises, but I intend to post some time soon (or not too far in the future) about my experiences with:

  • NGEDIT development (with which I’ve been pretty much all time since I released ViEmu 1.3 last week)…
  • … which will include the evolution of the C++ string class that doesn’t suck (but is sucking life out of me)…
  • …product development and release strategy for NGEDIT (I can post really often about this, as I can refine or redesign the strategy so many times before I can release the editor)…
  • …possibly on adwords (if I ever get to dig the weblogs properly)…
  • …web site traffic / marketing (although you can read the meat of the information at this JoS post)…
  • …and too many other issues to name, including open source, the software industry, and the now so popular google bashing, including the many meanings of the word evil

Wish you all nice luck with your own projects.

3 Responses to “On blogging, payment processing, and the finite nature of time”

  1. Sascha Ebach Says:

    The reason other ppl post way more often is because they don’t try to make their posts too long. Like you say, once you are in the mood, those articles get longer and longer and before you know it it took 2 days to get it ready to publish. Exactly the reason I have tried to start a blog 5 times and never succeeded :)

    I heard the secret is to force yourself to be shorter (more concise). For example, this post could have been made into 4 parts and posted over a week it would seem like you post alomost bi-daily. And than keep those longish pieces for every 3-4 weeks. Sounds like good advice … if I would have taken it I would have had a blog for two years now :)

    Good luck trying

  2. J Says:

    I was about to tell you that I’m happy with how the posts are, although maybe not with the frequency…

    …but then I though better and I think you’re pretty darn right. I’ll try to go concise except for the subjects that actually _require_ a longer treatment. And, that way, I think I can lower my own barrier to writing, which will also help in getting my thoughts down in writing, and will let me share more information.

    Thanks for the note!!

  3. The growing pains of NGEDIT » Blog Archive » Focusing my development effort Says:

    […] I’ve also talked about my inability to write short blog posts, and failed miserably to do so almost systematically in the past. […]

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