Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

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Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
From InfoAve Premium Issue #95 - August 12, 2005
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A Thank You Card

Sometimes we're guilty of thinking of all our subscribers as "friends". Well to us you are friends but you don't really know us and we don't really know you. We're just the people who write the newsletters you get each Friday and you're the nice people who read them (even though at least two of you think I'm whacko, I still love ya anyway!).

As most of you know by now, sometimes I'm guilty of circumlocution - well you know, being long-winded. I tend to ramble like I'm doing right now. But that's just me. Anyway, Eightball told me to keep this brief so I'm going to try. I promise. Really I do. Despite my tendency to be garrulous, today I'm going to follow Eightball's advice and turn it down a notch.

We both wanted to thank you for your support of our new Start page. Summertime is a very slow time for our Cloudeight Stationery site. Since we have volumes of things for Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day, autumn and winter are our busy times. Sometimes in the spring and summer we find the bills pile up faster than our income and we start scratching our heads for ideas how to make it through the summer financially.

We discussed several ideas - including putting pop-ups and pop-unders on the site again, which we really didn't want to do. Number one: We hate them. Number two: You hate them. And we hate to continually ask for donations, although they're always welcome and appreciated. We can only advertise our own products a zillion times before everyone is so used to seeing them they become invisible. So, the "Start Page" idea was born.

Google pays us a few cents for searches conducted from the search box on our Start page. It's not much, but it adds up when enough people use it to perform searches. However, we realized that just sticking a search box on a page was not going to be valuable to you. So we talked about what things we liked and used and we came up with news headlines, dictionary, and weather. We put together a start page we thought would be interesting to enough of you and told all of you about it. And, some of you answered by making it your start page and it has really helped us. We appreciate those of you who've already make our start page your start page more than you know.

We've tried to add features to the page without adding bloat to it. Many of these features were based on your suggestions. Still, there are other suggestions we just cannot do because of various issues such as database storage, scripts and other things we don't want to get into for various reasons. We have talked about making the page customizable so each of you would have a start page featuring the items you want most. But, this requires we store data about you in a database and we didn't want to do that. And, after all, there are many other sites that let you do this and we didn't want to get into that fray. We just a small business and we have no desire to go head-to-head with Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Google and the others. I mean if you're an ant you don't intentionally try to get stepped on, do you?

But we have tried to make it as nice as we can for you. There's not a whole lot of decoration or other things that would make the page load more slowly - especially for those of you still using dial-up Internet. We have put a lot more tips, tricks, and Cloudeight site news on the page too, and try to keep it updated several times a week. The news of course is updated as it happens and the new Photo News is very nice too.

Well, I suppose by now, all of you and Eightball too are shaking your heads because I'm back to my usual chatty self, huh? OK. I'm sorry. I can't help it. It must be something in my genes.

We really do appreciate those of you who have helped us a great deal by making our new start page your start page. We want to thank you. And we want to thank those of you who buy our products and make donations too. Without you we couldn't continue nor would we have any reason to continue.

It's hard to convey emotion in this format, but we are truly touched by your support. We try hard to earn your respect by telling you the truth about things on the Internet as we see it. Sometimes you might think we've gone a little overboard. We care a great deal about what you think of us and we will never intentionally do anything to diminish the trust you place in us.

Thank you so very much for all you do for us. We appreciate it more than you know and more than all the words I could ever write could say.

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