Videos For The Richmond Hill Board Of Trade

Videos For The Richmond Hill Board Of Trade

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Hello fellow members of the Richmond Hill Board of Trade.

At the urging of the incredible RHBOT staff, I am going through my MIC profile, including adding an offer to RHBOT members. Well, in doing so, I started writing a pretty big profile. There's a 1,000 word limit. So I'm adding what I was getting into at the end of this post.


Well, I cannot meet any of you personally right now. So I created a series of screencasts.

These are rough videos, because I am at the beginning of learning OBS Studio and DaVinci Resolve software. Still, better to get these videos out now.

My LaSalle Software is now feature complete. I am now in the midst of getting my podcasting administration/management/publishing software done for my new podcasts -- and am right on track.

I am an independent software developer who does web applications, looking for a few wonderful RHBOT people to work with on an ongoing basis on custom software to help with their businesses. I have new screencasts just for you going over all this.

Video for RHBOT:


Accounts for custom software development:


Revisiting AWS and Twilio for transactional email and sms:


Software developers use a ton of free and nominally priced stuff:


It is usual for me to work with people I never see in non eastern time zones, not in Canada, and who are not the "end" client. In these times, I will get immense pleasure applying my talents to help local businesses in my own neighbourhood. It will be a very nice change of pace being able to meet my clients!

I want to do a screencast(s) of real life case studies. Would you email me at "bob.bloom@lasallesoftware.ca" with your bottlenecks and pressure points? In particular, but not exclusively, I am keenly interested in "customer engagement" scenarios that potentially involve text messaging. Also, looking to answer questions in these screencasts about custom software development.

Really, actually shoot me a missive! Right now, start complaining at https://bobbloom.me/contactform/contactform so I can look into for free and do a screencast about it for free.

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Well, whilst updating my RHBOT profile on their MIC, I noticed that I stopped trying to "sell", and just started talking to you. Can I continue just talking to you?

At RHBOT events, my fellow members want to know what I am selling. Do I sell "websites"? Do I sell "systems"? Do I sell "training"? Do I "do apps"?

I do custom software.

Ah, the varied reactions I get!

I should be a multi multi millionaire because I "do software". So why am I at RHBOT events! Really!

Some eventually excuse themselves because they don't know what category to slot "custom software". Oh yes!

Common reactions are "sounds expensive", "I'm not a techie", "I'm not in the computer business, I am trained as _____, and my business is _____".

Another common-ish reaction is: "oh, you mean SEO". No, but I'm the guy that helps you get people to do what you want to do when people reach your website. What are people doing when they get to your website?

I've seen a lot of RHBOT members' websites. 95% of RHBOT members' websites are https://wordpress.org. Most themes come from https://themeforest.net. My guess: 75% pay for themes, 25% use free themes. Most sites use https://contactform7.com for their contact form (just announced last Saturday that this plugin is now on GitHub.com!). 

A common complaint: no one is clicking their contact form. 

Fixing this problem is not easy. Not easy at all. 

A great place to start is taking a good hard look at your Google Analytics stats. 

Can my doing a "custom software" form solve your problem. On its own, no. Wish I did, because if I had a quick-fix solution for this particular problem I'd do a land office business. 

What I have is the power to create. 

It's an awesome power. We have to use it wisely!

The tools at our disposal are so powerful that it will change your perception of what your problems, and solutions, are. 

Can you initiate text messages programmatically, instead of from your phone? Yes, absolutely yes!
Can you send emails generated programmatically? Yes. You get these emails all the time. But can you do the same yourself? YES!

What about databases? Can we do a little database? Can we export from one database and import into another? Can we do this every night, do some stuff automatically after the import, and then send out some text messages? Yes.

I know this sounds expensive. And, in one way it is, and in another way it is not. 

To do custom software development, you need to put the code somewhere, and then "deploy" that code to "production" where it runs. That place you put the code should be https://GitHub.com. Cost: free. Really. The server running the code (in "production") will likely be a cloud server. Cloud server: $10usd/month. If we are using a cloud server, I cannot stress that you should pay for a site that sets up the cloud server called https://forge.laravel.com. Cost: $19usd/month. You'll pay me more than this for messing around with cloud server set-up. 

Using Amazon Web Services' "Serverless" platform is not imperative, but it is the future. If you are willing to try it -- it is not for the faint of heart, and won't make sense for every scenario -- you won't need the cloud server nor Forge. You'll just spend that money elsewhere. I will be very interested in working out a deal with my rate. As well, for scenarios that can scale quickly, "serverless" may be the way to go. That's another discussion!

Preferably, we would sit down together to set up your initial AWS, GitHub.com, Forge, and other accounts. You could ask questions, get a sense of the "software pipeline", grant me account permissions, and generally be a great introduction to the software development process. I would charge a nominal fee. Now, I'm not sure how we would do this exactly, but we'll figure it out. 

Once you set up your accounts and grant me permissions to use them, I then have to do some set-up of my own on your accounts. So there's an initial cost there. It's in the hundreds of dollars, not thousands. The upside is that there will be nominal or no cost  in setting up a new project. So we can do small focused projects, break up bigger projects into smaller bite-sized projects, and pursue multiple projects simultaneously. Doing "A/B" testing, iterative development, and just plain seeing which approach works the best is do-able because the cost of doing a new project is so low. 

Well, I was going to continue, but I'm getting anxious about getting back to my own podcast API that I am building. I want to do two podcasts, but the problem I have is where to "host" it. Having looked at a lot of podcast hosting sites, I started to worry about having my podcast data controlled, and harvested, by others. So I am building my own podcast admin/management/publishing. I am so close to getting the intial publishing done this week that I can taste it! 

I won't be at the RHBOT Golf Day, and there are no other in-person events coming, so do go to my contact page and reach out.

-Bob