Summary of Immediate Needs

Here is a short list of some things I need as soon as possible. This is just a brief description of each need, and I intend to expound on these in later posts. For the moment, I only have time to offer you a small glimpse into some of my immediate needs.

Escrow Service
First of all, I am looking to find a very inexpensive escrow service with an API so I can tie it into my site and the whole thing will therefore feel seamless to the end user. I have been looking into present escrow services and other online payment systems, such as MoneyBookers, 2Checkout, PayPal, etc. I think the least expensive is about $5.00 for the range of dollar transaction I anticipate. However, there are additional fees and the sum total of using these services will discourage my users from participating with these escrow services.

Very briefly, I need an escrow service to alleviate the concerns of both buyers and sellers. When a buyer is interested in obtaining what the seller has, then the buyer uploads the total dollar amount to the escrow service. The seller can then see the funds are available and will therefore ship the product to the buyer. When the buyer receives the goods, the buyer releases the funds to the seller. In a subsequent post, I will touch on why I think escrow services will be much more important to a global economy.

Again, I need an inexpensive escrow service. Ideally, the cost of using the service should only be a few cents, under a dollar. In the end, this would be a very lucrative service because I envision transactions by the millions. I should also be able to integrate the service into my website with very little hassle. An API would be ideal.


SMS Gateway
Second, I need a cheaper global SMS gateway provider with an API. I am currently using ClickATell.com but their SMS credits costs me $0.06. When I do the numbers, this does not give me enough profit for the type of SMS service I have for my end users. I have been exploring other alternatives. One is to use a GSM modem or a CDMA modem hooked up to my server. The modem would contain the SIM card from my cellphone and I would pay my cellular service provider for the SMS credits, preferably under a text messaging plan. I have not tried this approach and am wondering if anyone can offer some advice.

I suspect SMS is very cheap but the current SMS providers have a monopoly on the pricing. I have seen various services and some upcoming ones, that offer some kind of service based on very cheap SMS rates. Some are Joopz.com, MindCaller.com, Group2Call.com.

If you have been keeping up with some trends, you may know SMS messaging is getting more popular around the world. Gen-Y is also using it as second nature. It is therefore obvious SMS will play an even more important role in the very near future.


Tag Clouds
Third, I need a very easy way to add tag clouds to my site. I have seen some really cool ways to add user comments and ratings to sites, and most of these are free. Some are js-kit.com, Disqus.com, SezWho.com, PowerReviews.com, and BazaarVoice.com. It is really easy to integrate any of these by just adding a few lines of javascript code to your site.

I envision I should be able to do the same with tagclouds. Of course, the service would need to collect data from my site and perform some kind of data aggregations before being able to present tagclouds. This is where I see RSS could provide this kind of data and meta-data. Everytime something changes on my site, the RSS feed would show the update and the tagcloud service could collect this new data. I will have more about how this kind of service could work.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey.. Thanks for your visit to my blog…
    Well.. Perhaps, there is another way… Not sure either offer at your country or not… Maybe you can try to use the SMS gateway services which offer reverse charge(the customer have to pay for the sms subscription), means you gain some profit from the the reverse charge of the sms or using the subscription fees…

    In other way, is that you can try to buy the GATEWAY system, include installing all the devices to allowed enable the SMS system (on your own server… after all one time investment is much more better than ongoing investment) and you can just pay for the SMS gateway bills directly to the SMS gateway provider (not the third party like joopz.com, mindcaller.com or group2call.com, but propose the communication provider such as AT and others that offered in your country). Maybe it will help to reduce cost on sms, and also enable you to do side business such as SMS gateway provider..

    I hope this can help you to give more idea..

  2. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….

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