Category: Reviews

Could it be? The first affiliate marketing movie review?

The other day I was sitting on IRC, shooting the shit with some people in a ninja hidden channel you probably don’t know about because you’re not k-rad like us. Someone linked up a movie as a joke saying “it’s about affiliate marketing”. I was like wow, really, someone made a movie about our industry that’s not some boring dry technical thing, a fictional one with guns and capers and fake blood. Wow! This needed to be reviewed. Just don’t forget that you saw it here first folks.

Ladrón que roba a ladrón
Ladrón que roba a ladrón

So, Tonight I finally found the time to sit down and mostly watch Ladrón que roba a ladrón (To Rob A Thief). It’s what appears to be a made for TV movie, or at least the camera work, sounds and overall lighting don’t make it look like a theatrical release but alas I don’t live in Mexico, so I could be totally wrong on that one.  That’s not to say it “looks horrible”, but it looks like something made for the Hallmark channel, not your local cineplex. The actors seemed pretty good to me on the whole, though I don’t know the language so maybe they were emoting totally wrong, let me know in the comments if you’ve seen it too.

The movie starts out showing us Moctesuma Valdez, the infomercial king of Central America. He sells products on TV like Vince Offer or Tony Little, hawking everything from diet pills to food processors and the people watching the show are obviously eating it up as it cuts back and forth between them showing them wanting to lose weight or process food or whatever. Okay, maybe it wasn’t food processing but it was like 2 hours ago, I forget. You get the idea.

The Evil Affiliate Marketer
The Evil Affiliate Marketer

Fast forward a little bit, we meet an eager group of people ready to rip this guy off (the affiliates) because he was selling legitimate products to Latino immigrants. Hey, makes sense right? They were doing the same thing as him, but now wanted his money.  They’re headed by two former thieves who feel now is just the right time to pull of a big caper and steal the big one to retire. However the affiliates all chicken shit out of the plan to use day laborers, so they decide to use the real thing for extra movie time drama.

The Gang
The Gang

Uh oh! Time for the hijinx to begin. What follows next is about 1.25 hours of planning, and development of how they are going to get back at this guy and steal his informercial monies. This was meant to take about 2 weeks “in real life”, and it almost felt like it in “movie life” too. I feel as though it could have been around 40 minutes shorter and still had the same effect. I was kinda bored throughout lots of it and kinda wasn’t watching while they planned out the whole shebang, because it didn’t really matter – we’d see it at the end anyway.

Anyway, the chick was kinda hot and she was spunky so that was fun to look at for most of the movie. The guy who tried to look a lot like Antonio Banderas was also funny sometimes too, in a “haha you’re lame” kinda way.

Anyways.

After the boring middle part then it gets to the “real” action. The evil affiliate marketer mentioned above had a party at his big blingin’ mansion in California and the team set to work with their fancy outfits to rob his ass. Some of them crawl through air conditioners and some of them dress as waiters, and some of them even mingle with the guests to blend in while the money is underway of being stolen. It’s a super original plot I thought.

Thiefin' money is fun
Thiefin' money is fun

This is TV land so their plan goes off with pretty much no trouble, and there’s a crazy surprise (omg!) twist at the end, but, if you paid any attention at all you totally would see it coming anyway. The best part was what they left in the safe. The guys products. That musta stung.

Don't sell bottles they'll rob you
Don't sell bottles or they'll rob you

I didn’t really give any spoilers away except for the pictures of the bottles. So if you feel like wasting two hours and watching something related to the industry, then go nuts. But I wouldn’t recommend planning an evening around this one folks. Save your time for more PPC guys.

Overall: 6/10

Hey! Do you know any other fictional movies about sales, affiliate marketing or internet marketing, or anything related? Let us know in the comments.

Using SSL POP3 (Google Apps/Gmail) with Kayako SupportSuite

Many of us need to run Support Software to keep on top of client needs and requests, as well as remove some of the burden from our support staff.

Because of this need, we are using Kayako SupportSuite for our helpdesk application. While setting it up, we noticed that the latest release has a little bit of an issue with fetching mail using google’s pop3 service.

We haven’t looked into the problem too much, but we have noted that there is mention of it on the Kayako Forums that other users are experiencing the same difficulties.

Of course, we made sure our PHP installation was indeed compiled with SSL and IMAP and IMAP-SSL support, but this still did not fix the problem. So far, this is the only “solution” given by the Kayako support representatives.

Well, we actually wanted it to work, so we dug a little furthur into it. As it turns out, it’s not actually Kayako’s fault that this doesn’t work, but merely a not-so-great implementation of SSL/POP3 in PHP. Kayako could work around this, and are aware of the problem so we assume it will get fixed in future releases.

We did get IMAP SSL working using the Kayako fetching script, but IMAP is not perfect for support queues. So, we still wanted to get POP3 working. No matter what was tried, we could not get it to work.

Then, an ephinany hit – we also use Microsoft Small Business Server on our Intranet, and we ran into this problem previously with Exchange server not being able to communicate with SSL enabled mail hosts.

So, we introduced the same hack that we did on the Microsoft Exchange Server, to our Kayako SupportSuite Linux Server.

We used Stunnel.

Elegant? No. Best Solution Ever? No. Does it work? So far, flawlessly.

It’s very easy to setup, and get going. Here is what we had to do under Gentoo Linux.

First we made sure our use flags were proper

# emerge -pv stunnel

Which outputs this

net-misc/stunnel-4.21-r1 USE=”ssl tcpd -ipv6 (-selinux)”

This looks fine, we need tcpd, and ssl. Now we install stunnel.

# emerge stunnel

Then we have to configure some options, which are very straight forward

# nano /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf

Now we make the file look like this

setuid = stunnel
setgid = stunnel
pid = /var/run/stunnel/stunnel.pid
socket = l:TCP_NODELAY=1
socket = r:TCP_NODELAY=1
output = stunnel.log
client = yes
debug = 7

[pop3s]
accept = 127.0.0.1:1109
connect = pop.gmail.com:995

[smtps]
accept = 127.0.0.1:259
connect = smtp.gmail.com:465

Save and exit the file. These lines will make the SMTP-SSL server listen on localhost port 259, and connect out to gmail at port 465. The POP-SSL will be listening on localhost port 1109, connecting out to gmail on port 995.

That’s it for the stunnel configuration. You can start it up like so.

# /etc/init.d/stunnel start

Now add it to your defaults so it will auto start

# rc-update add stunnel default

So, we’re done with the stunnel configuration. Now we’ll need to configure Kayako so make use of this.

  1. Login to your Kayako Administration Interface
  2. Click on Settings on the left menu
  3. Click on CPU Optimization & Server
  4. Scroll down to “SMTP Settings” and make sure it’s the following:Enable SMTP: Yes
    SMTP Host: 127.0.0.1
    SMTP Port: 259
    Use SMTP Authentication: Yes
    SMTP Username: youraddress@gmail.com (or youraddress@yourdomain.com)
    SMTP Password: yourpassword
  5. Click Update Settings.

Now we’re done with the SMTP setup, so we’ll have to setup your email queues with the proper information. We’ll assume you’ve already read the Kayako documentation on email queues and will not go into them here.

  1. Still in the Kayako Administration Interface Click Mail Parser on the left menu
  2. Now click on Manage E-mail Queues from the dropdown menu
  3. Click on your Email Queue (for example: support@yourdomain.com) or create a new one
  4. Scroll down to Login Information and ensure these settings are configured:Host: 127.0.0.1
    Port: 1109
    Username: youraddress@gmail.com (or youraddress@yourdomain.com)
    Password: yourpassword
  5. Configure any other options for your email queue.
  6. Scroll down and click on Update to save your changes.
  7. Repeat with any other email queues changing the email address/password for each account.

Now you are finished the Kayako configuration. You should be able to run your administrative cron script to check for new mail. Check the Scheduled Tasks -> Task Log to verify that your mail is being fetched. If you don’t know what we’re talking about here, you haven’t read the Kayako documentation, and should do so now.

We’ve been using this for a few weeks now and haven’t had an issue. It’s cronned to check mail every 2 minutes, and we have the added benefit of Google Apps archiving all incoming mail for us automatically before Kayako picks it up for delivery.

Hope you like the tutorial, we welcome feedback in the comments.

Covert Persuasion Tips and Tricks

Today I finally finished this great book that I’m reading called “Covert Persuasion : Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game” by Kevin Hogan and James Speakman.

This book is pretty hardcore sales material, but if you run and operate your own business I’d say it’s pretty much required reading. Getting into people’s heads is very hard to do if you don’t have multi-million-dollar budgets like the large companies. You have to rely solely on yourself. People will not buy your product or service, without buying you first. This book gives one all the tactics, tricks, tips, and anecdotes needed to make the most of your personal and business meetings. While it may seem a bit selfish, and self absorbed to focus on the selfish goals, ultimately what does sales come down to? Exactly that. You must convince the client or prospect that what you are giving them is the best and there is no other product or service that matches what you are selling. I don’t mean lying, that would be wrong and unethical, I mean spinning the truth so it is always in your favor (or, in your clients favor).

I won’t go into much detail about this book, because I think you should go out and get a copy of it to read yourself to learn all the points included. I’m not saying this is the be-all-and-end-all of sales tactics books, but it’s definitely worth the addition to your current library.

In the back of the book they include 5 charts they allow to be printed and reprinted for use, and I’ve saved them to PDF and uploaded them here in case anyone wants to download them to use them. Very good stuff in these sheets.

Covert Tips Sheet 1
Covert Tips Sheet 2
Covert Tips Sheet 3
Covert Tips Sheet 4
Covert Tips Sheet 5

Note these were reprinted from the permission in the book and I express no warranty or anything on these PDF’s. There may be spelling mistakes etc, and you will not get rich by simply reading these! Go buy the book already!