Ecomonkey – The Backend

For the very first time all is revealed from behind the scenes, well not exactly, but enough to get a flavour of the system complexity, which required a half time mechanic to keep it fed with fresh and up to the minute data and fresh looking.

Naturally Drupal, even in primitive version 5, coped admirably and mostly without fault. My lovely developers didn’t always use the drupal hooks and filters, which was a minor irritation in the great scheme of things, but mostly without their help I was able to take over day to day management e.g. run bespoke database queries to do interesting things in the front end, as well as keep the back end tidy (joining tables seemed relatively easy compared with access once I got started); but also deploy an array of modules which could do some of the heavy lifting for me.

Ecomonkey – the front end

We had to take the demo site down. So I spent an hour or so setting up a local version and snapping the main screens so that others could see how the reward scheme operated. There were a number of bespoke templates driving each of the views, but eventually both Drupal Panels and Drupal Views came into play to automate the tricky stuff.

Deprecated functions mean that ecomonkey has had to be put down

After several years of leaving ecomonkey on the web for demonstration purposes, for others to copy, emulate or simply do it better, we’ve reluctantly decided to put it to sleep. Ecomonkey is dead. Maintaining the code base was not really practical, since it was not making us any money, never had.  The deprecated functions resulted in far too many warnings and kept our little server overworked.

So we backed up the code and database pulled the plug.

Rest in peace.

The Kiva legacy

For those not in the know, Kiva is a Micro Loans Programme. It specialises in loans to small family-owned or community businesses mainly in the developing world, but also in the USA and some of Eastern Europe.

Ecomonkey started lending on Kiva a couple of years ago as Ecomonkey. We always lent out $25 amounts to reduce the risk of losing the principal, as you don’t get any interest back on your (for we are helping build up human capital too!) and there is also some risk associated with exchange rate fluctuations (wow!). We started this from our own pockets at first, just a few hundred dollars, and then proceeded to use the unclaimed commissions received from participating retailers on the Ecomonkey shopping programme. Continue reading “The Kiva legacy”

And what about weegreen.co.uk?

What about it? The idea for weegreen (wee small, and perhaps as in ‘we’ collectively; green – you know what that means don’t you?) was to marry the power of Google and its Co-op search engine  (a ‘collaborative’ search engine) and have real people filtering and categorising stuff, perhaps collaboratively – but not necessarily.

People like to search for things before they do anything else. They don’t know the url can be placed in the url bar cutting out a few steps. Oh and whats going on here? Where has the url bar gone? So how do you get to places then? Have you heard of a search engine? It is almost universal now that the search engine is used to find even the most familiar website, which any half decent browser will remember. People would rather type in a complicated search query into google than type one letter to return a familiar website.

Continue reading “And what about weegreen.co.uk?”

Why clutter things with Google Adsense?

The short answer? We had already decided it was over. At the outset, being an affiliate based site, we resisted the temptation to run competing adverts (even for our own affiliate partners’ ads).  Google however kept pushing traffic our way long after we had decided the numbers were not stacking up. So we thought we would reciprocate, as they were not always finding what they wanted on EM, and sent customers on the way. Continue reading “Why clutter things with Google Adsense?”