The joys of a new year. A time to reflect on what all you accomplished and start planning out those new years resolutions. One of the hardest parts of this process is figuring out what all you did the past year. Sure big events are easy to remember and if you keep a journal then going back through it will help fill in the gaps, but there is a lot that slips through the cracks.
A new trend that has started becoming popular is apps and services sending you a personalized yearly review based on the data they have.
WordPress sent me one highlighting the number of posts, website traffic, most popular days, and most commenters.
Todoist, featured in the main post image, sent one showing how many tasks I completed each month, when I’m most productive, and how I rank compared to others using the app.
These are just two of the services I use that did this and I loved it because it made me want to share the results publicly and, in turn, give the vendor direct word of mouth advertising.
From a business standpoint if you have the data then generating user reports like this shouldn’t be too expensive to create, especially if you are comparing to other forms of marketing, but the benefits are a more personal recommendation.
Plus since it’s all in your database you’ll be able to reuse this same marketing tactic year after year with no further expenses.
In the latest Bootstrapped, Ian and Andrey discuss Snappy and some of the thought process behind the decision to shut it down.
Ian also mentions a few people or companies might be interested in purchasing it. Maybe it will live on.
I’ve been running a weekly Laravel newsletter for almost a year now and it’s been a lot of fun. When I first started, after each send I would watch the unsubscribes, subconsciously using that as a metric to see if what I was doing was any good.
A year later and my outlook is completely different. I now enjoy unsubscribes. When someone leaves it tells me they didn’t care what I had to say or lost interest in the topic and it prevents me from getting bumped up to the next pay grade.
Looking at it from the angle removes so much stress. I’d trade high subscriber numbers for high open rates any day.
A little over three years ago the team at UserScape had the idea to start a new light and simple helpdesk application that would later be named Snappy.
Today it was announced that we will be shutting it down. For me, this is a sad day. I’ve spent countless hours on the project, but it’s deeper than that. When you and your team have built something from just an idea on a whiteboard, you have a passion for it that others can’t see. It’s your baby.
There is a popular mantra among programmers, “You are not your code” and it’s true. I don’t want to be defined by any code I’ve ever created, but the code and product as a whole are deeply personal. Saying this is the end is sad.
As with all failed projects all you can do now is look back objectively. Try to grow from the experience and keep pressing forward.
My thanks to everyone involved in the project. It was a fun ride.
Last week I moved my Laravel Newsletter off a self hosted newsletter application and over to Campaign Monitor. While I was working on the move I remembered a post by Ryan Battles on how to integrate one-click Twitter signup and decided to set it up.
Integration was super easy and in fact it would even work with the self hosted app Sendy if you have an SSL. I didn’t.
To get started I filled out all the instructions and downloaded Ryan’s free psd template. A few minutes of customizing and I was up and running.
I pushed the Twitter card live on November 28th and have already seen good results. In five days, around a holiday, I added over 100 new subscribers from just the card. I assume that is a decent number.
I am curious to see how it works over a longer time frame or if this is just a short term gimmick.
About a month ago my two year Verizon wireless contract ended and they had a special trade-in offer. Trade in any iPhone 4 or higher and you could get up to a $200 gift card. I thought this seemed like a decent offer and up until this point I have been satisfied with Verizon.
I filled out the information on 4 iPhones, all in great condition by the way. Removed activation lock and did a full factory reset on each, then sent them off. Tonight I was sent an email with the value of the first phone. They gave me not $200, not $100, not even $50. A $36 credit!
I am upset and just thinking about the run around I’m going to have to go through makes my blood boil.
Apparently, I’m not the only one either.
What also surprises me is that I follow a lot of Apple bloggers and I haven’t heard mention of this.
Have you ever had those crazy weeks where everything goes wrong? That describes this week for me.
It all started Tuesday night. After dinner I dropped my glasses and the lens fell out. I squinted while trying to fix them but that just caused a massive headache. Concerned about staring at a computer the next day and the ensuing headache, I asked for the morning off so I could get them repaired. But not before fixing them myself:
Pretty genius right? I think so as well.
The next morning I dropped the kids off at school and went out on a mission to get them fixed. The first place I stopped, a nice lady welcomed me and asked what she could help me with. I told her my situation and she took the glasses back in a top secret room where I can only assume they do really cool stuff.
A few minutes later she came out and had not only fixed the problem, but tightened all the screws and even got the glasses bent back in shape. At that point I asked, how much do I owe you? It caught me by surprise when she said nothing.
I’m not sure if my genius™ fix made her feel sorry for me or if it was just the store policy. (I’m thinking the former) Either way for my future vision needs they have a new customer.