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Update News for July 2011
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
Last month we told you that we had decided that we wanted to add a new feature to the Mobile Quote option before implementing Mobile Quotes for our Canadian subscribers. The new feature will allow the user to email a PDF copy of the quote to the client. The feature turned out to be more work than we imagined but it is now complete and testing well.
IMPORTANT: We have not yet copied the new template files over to the various users folders and so implementation for U.S. subscribers will take place early in July.
You can see a sample of what the PDF quotes look like here:
In order to send the email, the subscriber simply clicks on an email button that appears on the top of the quote display. Once the button is pushed, a questionnaire will appear with the following:
NOTE: The message is a default that can be changed by the user. The email to the client will be "from" the email address that you enter for "Your Email". Further, the email will be automatically cc'd to the sender's email so that you get a copy of what you sent to your client.
We have decided that the next mobile quote feature will be the health analyzer, but that will be on hold until the Mobile Quotes have been implemented for Canada. It is our goal to have the project for Canada completed by the end of July.
Two separate events delayed our DrudgeReport advertising campaign until July 10th to the 11th.
The first delay came from our advertisers who had to bump us due to a large political ad buy. Here is the email that we sent to everyone in that regard:
Then, three days before the ad was to run, we were notified by GoDaddy that our server was going to be undergoing maintenance on the date of our advertising. They warned us that our server could be down. We sent out another email to explain:
We had been trying to avoid the vacation season with our first advertising run, but we seemed to have swerved right into it. For those of you on holidays we apologize but would recommend that you keep up with your emails during the time the ad runs.
We did agree to a change to weekend dates for a strategic reason. We seem to get more term4sale requests on the weekends and suspect it is because people who are busy during the work week are more apt to kick back and review personal finance information on the weekend. For that reason we also think a lot of people will be likely sit down with Drudge on the weekend, much as they used to sit down with a Saturday paper.
We'll keep you posted on how it turns out and what we have planned next.
A week does not go by without a call from a subscriber wondering what to do about setting up a website. The first question I ask is if the subscriber has a domain name. Most do not. The discussion usually rolls around to what makes a good domain name.
Good domain names are short and sweet, easy to spell and remember.
You should avoid domain names with suffixes other than .com. When you say "something something DOT com", people know that that is a web address. By contrast, when you say "something something DOT info" many people will think or ask "DOT info DOT com?" DOT com is much less confusing.
Avoid short forms for words. If you do use a short form, as we do for "Term4Sale" (registered trademark), also register the domain name that is the long form of the short form. For example, if you enter in www.termforsale.com it goes to www.term4sale.com.
Avoid dashes like the plague. In most cases people who have registered domain names with dashes are doing so because the domain name that they really want is being used by someone else. If you use dashes to distinguish your domain name from the name that you really would have liked to have had, then all that will happen is most of your customers will end up at the other web site; not good.
Your domain name is important. Once you build up traffic and recognition for a domain name it is a bad idea to change it, even if you suddenly realize the old one was not a good one.
With those basic principles in mind, Compulife has spent time searching for available short domain names and we have been buying up recently abandoned domain names that we think are good. A number of the domain names that we have registered are for sale.
To get a list of current domain names for sale click this link:
The prices listed are a one time fee to Compulife which currently owns the domain names (except for those otherwise listed, which are for sale by third parties; compare prices!). The price includes the balance of the current one year registration of the domain name. Typical renewal costs are $12 per year for .com domain names.
Once you have a domain name then we can set a quoting site up for you. You can get your hosting at GoDaddy or other low cost IP's for about $60 per year. Once you setup your web site account, we can put your quoting page on your site at no charge.
The annual cost of the Compulife quote service for your web site is only $99 per year. The good news is that you can get the first 4 months for free by applying here:
To date we have about 400 of these out there and the numbers are growing. Remember, the first 4 months are FREE.
Call us and we will be happy to discuss it further.
Once our work on the web engines and Mobile Quotation software is complete, we will be turning our attention to some important maintenance work that is needed to the data entry systems. Those programs have not been updated for quite some time, and some need to be converted to take advantage of the newer programming compilers that we have been using for the Windows software that we already distribute to you. Our goal is to make it easier to program future software, which will ensure that we can roll out changes and improvements more efficiently.
Further, having reviewed where we are heading over the next few years, and the changes that we would like to be able to make in the future, we have decided to stop and do a much more extensive overhaul than simply changing our data entry software. We have determined that we would also like to implement a better data storage structure that will make maintenance easier on both a data entry basis, as well as a programming basis.
To achieve our goals in this regard, we will be spending a fair bit of time reviewing our new data storage needs, and then building conversion software that will convert our existing data files into our new data file structure. Once we have done that, we will then introducing new comparison software that does exactly what it does now, but which derives its results from the new data structure. In other words, you will end up with a new program that does exactly what the old program did/does.
Once this first stage is completed, we will have both old program and old data, with new program and new data. Moving forward we will use the old data entry systems to maintain the old version, then converting old data to the new data forms for general distribution.
The next stage is to create the new data entry systems that talk to the new data format. Once we are satisfied that the new data entry system give us everything that we have now, we will then switch to the new data structure alone. We will only do this once we have thoroughly tested the new software to ensure it gives us no problems in maintaining the date. This may take several months. As far as the part you use, by the time we make that transition, you will have been using the new software for several months.
To summarize, the current Compulife program is called "GOWIN.EXE". The new program, when it is ready for you to use, will be called "CQS.EXE". The objective is to have CQS.EXE do exactly what GOWIN.EXE does, and only after that has been thoroughly test, and we are certain we can maintain the new data structure directly, without the need for data conversion, will we move over to the new system. Until that happens, you will have both programs in your system. This is no different a transition strategy than when we took our DOS software to Windows. Those who have been subscribers for years, will remember that transition and how relatively smooth it was.
The point of sharing this with you is that the process will be quite lengthy and so from this spring throughout most of 2011, you will not be seeing many changes and improvements to the software that you use, even though the underlying foundation will be going through a massive change. Once the foundation has been reconstructed, and all the tools to work on the foundation have been built, the program will be in a position to make some substantial moves forward.
Think of it as transplant surgery, where you need to keep the patient alive and well, at the same time as you are swapping out the organs.