Affiliate / Partner Program Leaves Beta with First Payouts, TrackLabor leading

We’re excited to announce we’re helping our best fans add new income to their bottom line. Our partner and affiliate program has been in a private beta for a while to tune the process– but we’re ready to let others join in the opportunity now, as we announce our highest earning partner from our beta program. You can get started as an affiliate easily, just checkout this simple setup guide:

https://www.rescuetime.com/earn

ReplaceMyself.com earns highest partner payout after an experimental referral campaign effort!

Specializing in helping small and one-person businesses develop outsourced resources, ReplaceMyself.com has wrapped RescueTime up in a value-added offering called TrackLabor. As experts in our product, they are able help their clients hit the ground running and get the most from RescueTime– and that is worth a lot to us. Their clients have dived in and brought us a great new user base with lots of ideas for product advancement. As their clients continue enjoying RescueTime through TrackLabor, ReplaceMyself gets regular and recurring income from us. We’re very excited about our future potential working with our partners to help drive product development and customer engagement!

Thanks to Dan Goggins and John Jonas for their patience and careful assistance with this process. Here’s a summary of ReplaceMyself.com’s mission, with TrackLabor and RescueTime as a principal tool:

ReplaceMyself.com teaches employers how to live the 4 hour workweek by using workers in the Philippines!They not only teach employers how they can find workers for under $2 an hour, but they also give them everything they would need to do so: Two large exclusive resume databases to search through, example contracts, tasks, emails, etc.Not only that, but ReplaceMyself.com also automatically trains workers on tons of internet marketing tasks! Employees receive new training modules every month to keep them trained and busy without the employer having to create the training themselves.


Google IO Follow Up: Why candy is good for you

tldr; Innovation gets easier, loots = better apps sooner, look for substantial feature adds on RescueTime Android and full featured Chrome version.

Well, we’re back from Google IO. I can say, having been there three times running now– this one was rampant with the nerd herd stampeding from one awesomeness to the next like no other place on earth. Like squirrels in a nuthouse. Android momentum is, as they say, “off the chain”. Alright, I’m done with the memetheme, here’s the meat:

The best news is the claimed effort to de-splinter platform branches across all types of devices with Android, Chrome and the Chrome OS. This really will make the world easier, for a company like ours. This includes the drive for Ice Cream Sandwich release to bring phone, tablet, tv, and whatever Android device under the same tree. It lets us programmatically adapt to device capabilities inside one version of RescueTime rather than building from separate branches to separate targets. And that means you get our app on your device sooner, and likely more bug free. It also encourages us to think outside the box, by making funky lateral product spread easy, like maybe a realtime team pulse dashboard for your office lobby? or automatic coupon credits to your mobile dev for hitting goals in RescueTime?

As to the Candy Store at the Chocolate Factory: the practice of showering uberloots on attendees has its detractors, but my (possibly biased, heh) opinion is that this makes perfect sense: I was able to track down an issue with RescueTime on tablets that the emulator couldn’t help me with, in about an hour, thanks to having a tablet to test with in hand. Developers using Google tool kits get updates out faster than other platforms by virtue of Google sponsored test platform access.

Even more exciting is the chance to work on a full featured Chrome / Chrome OS version of RescueTime that will work online + offline on the browser and upcoming chromebooks. Using HTML5 and Chrome APIs *should* let us provide a seamless experience in both browser-only and full OS systems. When imagining this kind of dev effort, there’s a big difference between planning out your strategy, functional item in hand, chatting with the Google project manager and engineer who worked on the APIs, than sitting at a desk hunting StackOverflow and waiting on user group posts. It’s the fast track for good apps that a submit-a-form-lottery wouldn’t provide.

What do we expect next year? There’s an obvious collision course for Android and Chrome, I expect there to be news on that front. This kind of collapse-of-complexity innovation lets companies like us focus on what we’re trying to be best at: using data to help you understand yourself better, helping people get more done and hopefully getting them more quality play time while we’re at it, rather than tracking down the latest reason for some client feature to fail on some variously-patched desktop system on some archaic OS.

What would I ask from Google for next year? Let’s have more deep dive technical sessions. Maybe some more on linking between platforms and services (eg Chrome OS -> AppEngine). Most important for you to compete with Amazon to get the start-up pool? You need to provide some kind of migration path or toolkit for those of us with monstrous and complicated data mines. Smart, funded early startups are already past the prototype stage and can ill afford much platform layer costs. Finally, the idea of the Developer Advocate is great- build on that, and spread out geographically to get face to face outside the valley.

– Mark Wolgemuth FIRSTNAME@rescuetime.com


GoDaddy disables RescueTime.com with NO Warning!

Update: as of ~12:20 PM PST site access was restored.

We are not too pleased with GoDaddy right now.

We had the RescueTime.com domain set to auto-renew every 2 years. The credit card they had on file was no longer valid (one of the frequent instances where banks randomly send out new credit cards and invalidate old ones to keep ahead fraud).

The amazing thing is that GoDaddy sent the notice that the billing failed at midnight last night. And then promptly parked the domain! No grace period.

All of the domains that we DON’T have set to auto-renew, GoDaddy bombards us with notices. RescueTime.com? No courtesy note saying, “hey, even though you have 15 domain names that you’ve paid for successfully, this one isn’t auto-renewing successfully– maybe use another card?”.
They just parked the domain.
Given this, I think it is MUCH safer to NOT auto-renew.

We’ve renewed the domain – and are waiting for GoDaddy to re-enable RescueTime.com. Apologies to folks who are being inconvenienced. All of your data is still there and while RescueTime.com is down your tracking data is being stored locally on your computer and will be sent to our servers as soon as we are back up.

Thank you


How to fire your boss

Tweet ItRecently, one woman fired her annoying boss and exposed his computer habits, which included playing FarmVille for 19.7 hours a week.
A lot of people have to put up with a manager who seems to have nothing better to do than irritating all of the people who are actually trying to get work done. When they aren’t annoying employees they surf porn, get drunk or just pass out. These guys need to be fired.

Some managers use corporate spy-ware to nitpick their employees over trivial amounts of break time — time that has actually been proven to improve productivity. Just as bad, others put up draconian firewalls which kill productivity and breed dissatisfaction. Isn’t it time that these managers were held to the same standard of accountability for the ways they spend their time?

One of the biggest problems is that upper management often doesn’t know what is really going on down in the trenches. It’s hard to have any idea if managers are actually doing anything, since often, they don’t directly produce much more than the odd slide show or some random memos. The sleaziest of these leeches take credit for all the success and blame their subordinates for any failures, regardless of the real contributions.

Trust and accountability are two way streets. Employees should be able to use tools like RescueTime to defend skipping out early on Friday, after putting in extra time to meet deadlines during the week. Managers should be able to show their team the sort of work ethic that is expected, not with words, but by their own actions.


Nominate RescueTime for Best Startup in Seattle!

Hey folks– we don’t often seek recognition or PR, which is probably not necessarily the smartest business decision. So here we are, hat in hand, asking you to nominate RescueTime for Best Startup for the Seattle 2.0 Awards. The nomination form is here:

http://www.seattle20.com/awards/nominate.aspx

If you happen to be a fan of Tony’s Blog, feel free to nominate that for best Entrepreneur Blog as well. I’m sure he’d appreciate it!


We love surveys, yes we do. We love surveys, how ’bout you?

We love the fact that our users are vocal.  We get dozens of opinionated emails every day requesting features.  In the past, we’ve distributed a mess of surveys to get a understanding of which features were important to you.  But this survey is different…  It’s a more general “State of the RescueTime” sort of survey to try to help us understand more about you and your relationship with our product, how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.

So whether you are a current RescueTime user or not, we’d love to have you fill out this survey.  It’s 8 questions and should be super quick.  We’ll select 5 random participants to receive a free month of RescueTime (so be sure to include your email if you’re interested).

Thanks much to all– here’s the link: http://survey.io/survey/8b287


Technology Overload Roundtable (video from PBS) (RescueTime mentioned)

There’s a great roundtable discussion on “Technology Overload” on a recent PBS Mediashift show featuring Leif Hansen (follow him on Twitter here: @leifhansen). The whole show is 25 minutes, but if you skip to the second video section titled “Taking Breaks” at 2 min 30 sec there’s a nice mention of RescueTime by Leif (another panelist chimes in with “It’s brilliant!”).

Technology overload is something we here at RescueTime are acutely aware of.  Every day we’re being introduced to new products and new bits of information– all of these require time.  Purveyors of distraction and “info porn” (our affectionate name for news and blogs) are scientifically optimizing their sites to grab more of our time and attention and we’re all pretty ill-equipped to deal with it.  So how are people dealing with this kind of overload?  They’re working longer hours, catching up on weekends, and taking fewer vacations.