Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic May 31, 1999

RobFrankel (5/31/99 8:53 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 8:54 AM): Think anyone else will show?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 8:54 AM): Probably not ;)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 8:55 AM): I have you all to myself! (EVIL GRIN)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 8:55 AM): Most of the sensible Americans are firing up their barbecues about now...

RobFrankel (5/31/99 8:56 AM): Mano a mano

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 8:56 AM): Well I'm recovering from my weekend and you my friend would be cooking awful early in the morning if you were to BBQ!

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 8:57 AM): Can we talk about

RobFrankel (5/31/99 8:57 AM): nah, I did my thing with the kids yesterday, capping it off by pitching a tent and camping overnight in the backyard.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 8:58 AM): Sure. Go ahead.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 8:59 AM): I have a problem with the system..

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:00 AM): I have a merchant account already, but the only method the Mind Store has for using my Merchant account is to use a different credit card clearing house than I already pay a monthly fee to use.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:00 AM): So I'd have to pay another $75 application fee

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:00 AM): And pay additional charges per sale

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:00 AM): What? Why would you pay that?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:01 AM): On top of whatever other fees I am paying for FrankelBiz

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:02 AM): Mind The Store has its vendors. Nothing I can do about that....but have you contacted Mike Tingle about that?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:02 AM): to quote: 95$ application fee, $10 per month, 15.00 non-sufficient funds, .50 per item, 35.00 annual fee, .60 voice avs fee

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:02 AM): I'll bet that if you pleaded your case to him, you could at least get the app fee worked on.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:02 AM): I contacted Mike but he never returned my call.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:03 AM): Those fees aren't MTS fees, they're MTS's vendors.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:03 AM): Rob I am paying a vendor for this service already. I DONT need this additional service.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:03 AM): Even if they could give me the info in an email I could setup a script to automatically process the order

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:03 AM): Through my vendor. But Mike hasn't responded and I get the feeling he doesn't care

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:04 AM): Okay, Benjamin, this is an issue I will take up with Mike. Although the best way to contact him is NOT phone, but email.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:04 AM): I get the feeling he thinks I am a problem child

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:04 AM): And he can ignore me.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:04 AM): Hey, you're anything but a problem child. You're a client! If he can't make it good, then he's in the wrong business. Make sure you copy me on your mail to him, too.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:04 AM): If I have to pay additional fees on top of what I pay for I will close my store.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:05 AM): Your service would have to bring in A LOT of business to justify that

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:05 AM): is still in a beta phase. It isn't working the way I need it to, and it's Mike's responsibility to help us make the site work. I rely on your input to make it work for everyone else. so keep it coming.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:05 AM): Because I could always post to the mailing list and link to my own store on another site.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:06 AM): (/end rant)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:07 AM): Well, that's not the goal of At the same time, I have to explore what his vendor relations are like. Theoretically, there shouldn't be a problem with him hooking up with your vendor.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:08 AM): Well it is supposedly a software issue

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:08 AM): I just sent Mike a note about it, too.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:08 AM): But if I could just get that info in email. I could setup my own scripts to parse that email and process it

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:10 AM): ok , Muhammed I'll shut up so you can ask some questions ;)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:10 AM): I expect it to be very light today, so don't sweat it....

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:12 AM): my should not be a problem...merchant systems are designed to work with everyone's software...I have never had trouble linking various systems together

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:13 AM): I agree. There are other problems, too. I want Merchants to be able to put a link in their signatures that takes potential agents right to their FB site. And that's not happening yet.

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:14 AM): can't the software be modified so that everyone has their own unique URL? How does that work exactly?

Stuart( (5/31/99 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:16 AM): Yes, Muhammad, that's how I want it to work, but I have a feeling that MTS is undermanned right about now because they're going through an expansion/funding phase. That's why we haven't launched big time yet.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:18 AM): I see....

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:20 AM): A follow-up from an earlier conversation in this chat.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:20 AM): I'm seriously counting on your suggestions and critiques here, because I am broadening my base of site on which we will be promoting FrankelBiz (through columns, etc) and I want this to be right.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:20 AM): I had a large company want me to partner with them and provide my content to their new site. (for free)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:20 AM): All I would get is ad revenue.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:21 AM): Basically they wanted my stuff for free.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:21 AM): Yes, I recall that conversation.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:21 AM): Rob pointed this out and said it sounded like they were penny pinchers...

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:21 AM): So I offered to license my content to them for a flat fee.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:22 AM): They balked and claimed sticker shock.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:22 AM): When I did this type of deal back in 1996 we would get $6,000 a month for the type of service I asked $2,000 for.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:22 AM): Obviously Rob was right and I am not going to be doing business with these guys

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:22 AM): Did they even counter offer?

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:23 AM): Rob ever hear of the just click network? they want my firm to develop a Java ad server for them in exchange for half the profits it would generate....

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:23 AM): Not at all. They said (showing their ignorance) that they could hire someone to create that content for that much money.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:23 AM): Thing is it would only serve rich media ads, so the revenue right now is negligible.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:24 AM): I haven't heard of them, but I think I saw your post (or someone else's) on a list.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:24 AM): So my offer is to do it on a paid basis, in case this works know of any good ways for my firm to develop it and still retain some rights?

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:24 AM): See? It's the same with Just Click. I don't even know them, but why can't they pay the going rate?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:24 AM): Mark Welch at Adbility says this about Just Click:

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:24 AM): (click on pay per click)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:25 AM): Just Click [Germany] Promises: 04¢ Be wary.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:25 AM): Sure, make it a license deal. Quote them the full rate to buy it, and then offer them a lower rate to license it.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:25 AM): Well it would be a serious piece of software that I could sell to other firms

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:26 AM): That is a good idea, 2 b honest my instincts tell me that they won't go for the payment method

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:26 AM): be wary usually means he has had negative feedback from them, but it is quite normal for him to list "be wary" very few sites don't at least have be wary

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:26 AM): I do very few "partner" deals like that. If it's that much work, first se if the rest of the market wants it. You don't want to be in the "custom software" businesses.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:26 AM): They said they would and they seem desperate but still.....good idea with the licensing deal

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:26 AM): Others with worse ratings would be branded "Vapor" "Defunct" "Scam" etc.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:27 AM): I've never seen the Freeloader promising back end payoff that didn't explode on impact.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:27 AM): Hmm....well we do a fair amount of programming.....and the idea is something we have been thought about before....

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:28 AM): It's hard to turn away a potential deal, but bad business is bad business any way you look at it.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:28 AM): Muhammed, in general the ad serving solutions out there are weak at the low end.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:28 AM): Well, if you've thought about it before and you think others would buy it, you have your answer: build it and license it.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:28 AM): well I was never going to take their profit sharing deal, they sell all their ads through affiliates.......and how many rich media ads do you see daily?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:28 AM): There isn't much a site can buy for less than $5,000 that would support a professional site.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:29 AM): That's the thing, this would be a formidable ad server. but for rich media so the profit would be slim

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:29 AM): Depending on how you define "rich media" I still think that's broadband issue and that's still way off.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:29 AM): The software I bought for $1,000 only allows GIF and jpg banners.. it doesn't support html banners, or any sort of rich media at all

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:30 AM): That's odd ... we use's WebAdverts by Daryl Burgdorf ... cost us $50 & we're very happy.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:30 AM): Licensing deal it is, if they go for it fine...if not, move on....might even develop it anyway....

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:30 AM): Rob there are quite a few technologies that allow for "rich media" in a banner. The total size of the banner might be like 100k but it only takes a fraction of that amount to be downloaded before the banner starts

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:31 AM): We serve HTML banners, and probably could do others, with WebAdverts.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:31 AM): Yeah, but you're still waiting for the other 90K to stream in...

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:31 AM): I used to use WebAdverts as well but it wasn't professional enough for me.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:31 AM): Even at 56K, where most people are still not, that gets very annoying.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:32 AM): Not really Rob because you are playing a game or something in that banner while that 90k is downloading.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:32 AM): And don't realize it

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:32 AM): I notice that you think the page is finished loading (visually) but the browser is still loading and you think you've stalled or crash.

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:32 AM): Maybe I'm missing something; how much is there really to ad serving? I just got tired of posting the stuff by hand and manually counting impressions :-) so I splurged the $50 ... seems quite professional 2 me

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:33 AM): David the problem with WebAdverts was that it didn't look professional to advertisers. When they log in to look at their statistics it just doesn't look professional.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:34 AM): and the technology is pretty weak on determining accurate statistics.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:34 AM): It would be extremely easy to "cheat" the software (webadverts)

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:35 AM): That is nothing more than a GUI problem.....if you tweak the software....

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:35 AM): Hmm... appearance is totally configurable ... we've configured the pages to look like the rest of our site ... enough people said that having the software would actually be a selling point to potential advertisers, so I moved the login page right to (where we try to sell our inventory)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:35 AM): Plus David perl scripts just don't run as well as isapi or nsapi

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:36 AM): David maybe I am being ignorant then. Who are some of your advertisers? Any big ad agencies? or companies?

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:36 AM): cheat? it detects unique IP's for both the impression and the clickthrough ... it actually was tough to test at one point because I *couldn't* "cheat* it ... it "knew" that I had seen the banner earlier ...

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:36 AM): and on the ad server that we are setting up for my firm.....the appearance of the login area fits right in with the look of my firm's site....which is fairly professional

mandyky (5/31/99 9:37 AM): Entered the room.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:38 AM): BTW I completely customized the software by actually hacking the perl and not just the config files.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:38 AM): Hi Mandy...don't be intimidated by the tech talk...jump right in with your question/comment

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:38 AM): no big agencies ... I can't see y I should pay them such a large cut ... I pay people 20% to sell our inventory ... I think that's quite fair

mandyky (5/31/99 9:39 AM): OK, Rob, Thanks, just trying to catch up to see the topic :)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:40 AM): David, do you get any inquiries via listing your advertising in some of the advertising resources?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:40 AM): I just imagine listing "WebAdverts" under software and not getting any inquiries

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:40 AM): I still don't see why you think the software looks unprofessional...I work with David and when we ran a campaign for goto they liked it

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:41 AM): funny, I've made some mods, as well, then sent them back to Daryl, who I believe at this point has incorporated them into the next version of the software ... we're actually considering doing even more of this as our needs grow

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:41 AM): I seriously doubt that listing web adverts is going to keep you from getting an advertiser

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:41 AM): How many ads are you serving and on what type of machine/os?

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:42 AM): (maybe I jumped to too many conclusions and spent unnecessary money!)

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:42 AM): I've talked to advertisers plenty of times and never had the issue of ad software come up

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:42 AM): That's a good idea, Benjamin; I haven't really propagated out our link ... I pay a 5% referral fee (when the webmaster or whoever had no participation in the actual sale), and would certainly be willing to pay that to you if you wanted to place our link in the right places. :-)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:43 AM): Another FrankelBiz deal, ladies and gentlemen!

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:44 AM): LOL

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:44 AM): Anyone checked WebAdverts for Y2k compatibility?

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:45 AM): Hey, when you three get a minute, would you mind sending me a critique (in e-mail) of the mechanics? I think your suggestions would be very helpful. No stress, just looking for different input.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:46 AM): I could really use the input of three knowledgeable minds....

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:46 AM): Let's see ... Our primary inventory is a half a million page views a month... I haven't converted all of the ads over to WebAdverts yet, but let's say maybe an average of two per page delivered through the software ... The main machine is a Sun SPARCstation 20 running Solaris 2.6, and I just recently bought an UltraSPARC I (same o/s)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:46 AM): ..and it would give you the opportunity to be brutal to me.

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:47 AM): Rob, when have I not been brutal?

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:47 AM): we don't need an excuse to harass you, Rob :-)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:47 AM): David so everything is running on the same sparc 20?

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:47 AM): I KNEW that was the right motivation!

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:49 AM): Currently, yes, Benjamin. One of the things that Muhammad and I are looking into is to integrate an SQL database into WebAdverts so that everything will fly (HTML ads included) over multiple machines.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:49 AM): Entered the room.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:49 AM): I can turn my super critical eye towards FrankelBiz

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:49 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:50 AM): It was kinda funny when I first experimented with load-balancing ... I had intentionally set things up years ago to permit just that, but I had forgotten about WebAdverts ... everything ran just fine (and Ultra fast!) but the ads didn't show up! :-)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:50 AM): Well I think I will have to take a second look at WebAdverts. I'd love to hear your results from tying the software into an SQL database.

Muhammad( (5/31/99 9:50 AM): Ya' know, while I am working on this rich media server, maybe I can develop a "plugin" that will allow it to serve rich media

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:51 AM): I did not check WebAdverts for Y2K, but I *did* ensure that everything else on the new machine ran ok ... I ran the entire production environment ten years forward, so all of my system files now show a mod date of 2009 :-) It was an interesting experiment, but there were zero problems.

Stuart( (5/31/99 9:53 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:54 AM): Stuart, do you have any issues you want to discuss? Ump in...

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:54 AM): Well, drop me an e ( so you can help with the SQL work, and you can also confirm a tracking identifier for propagating my link, e.g., for places where you are just placing the link, and when you are actively working with a specific client that you will sell them on our inventory.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:55 AM): Jump in, I mean...

Stuart( (5/31/99 9:56 AM): Thanks, Rob. We're in the Radio (sales) biz; branding is a big issue, so I thought I'd check out the discussion.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:56 AM): Well we have a few minutes left, if you like.

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:56 AM): Oh, good! Any interest in buying ? :-)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:57 AM): It wasn't heavily branding based today, but these sessions usually ramble around anything having to do with business..

Stuart( (5/31/99 9:57 AM): We rep Radio stations, selling their time. What is Profit Radio?

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:57 AM): with a modicum of Internet-orientation sprinkled in ... :-)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Benjamin Fitts (SoccerFans.Com) (5/31/99 9:58 AM): But we DO real business, even if Rob sometimes just becomes the intermediary.

Stuart( (5/31/99 9:58 AM): I'll be back. The internet will be an important tool for us!

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 9:59 AM): We were working with another FrankelBee on a specific radio program project that would use the domain, but that fell through, and I was just wondering if you or someone you knew might want to buy the domain.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 9:59 AM): Yes, if you check the transcripts, you'll see a lot of good stuff that's happened here over the last year or so.

mandyky (5/31/99 9:59 AM): Thanks for the clinic, I did not have any specific questions, just wanted to drop in and check out this forum..

Stuart( (5/31/99 10:00 AM): It has a nice ring, but I don't think it conveys our USP. Thanks for the offer, though!

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 10:00 AM): speaking of which, Rob, could u pls. email me when u place this transcript up? I wanna let Daryl know to come take a look.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 10:00 AM): It's usually more business, but today is a holiday so it was a light turnout.

RobFrankel (5/31/99 10:00 AM): Okay, you guys, I've gotta run. But you are most welcome to continue as long as you want. You can also use this site to meet any time you like during the week. See you online!

David Beroff ( (5/31/99 10:00 AM): Stuart, if you do find someone, we pay a nice commission :-)

RobFrankel (5/31/99 10:01 AM): Transcript will be up late today.

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