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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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 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
Just a note to let you know that the recent release broke the open source Linux RescueTime Data Collector. While we don’t technically maintain or support this app, we LOVE that it exists and want to help out however we can. From what we can tell, the Linux Collector needs a pretty simple fix, which we might eventually find time to do. Because it’s right after a release and we’re dealing with other issues, it might be a little while.
This seems like it’s a good time to give a shout out the the folks who’ve helped out to date on the Linux client and a request for other Linux-heads to chip in. There are a lot of good reasons to participate in open-source projects– and the RescueTime Data Collector for Linux could really use some love.
Hot on the heels of bringing on a new team member (Montana Low– read about him on our refreshed company page), we’ve just pushed a new release!
Accompanying the standard pile of tiny bug-fixes and improvements are a few exciting new features that we’d like to introduce you to.
Revised Scoring System
A few months back we launched a scoring system to give people a single number to represent their efficiency (ratio of good time to bad time) and productivity (sheer amount of good time). The goal with these scores was to give people a clear understanding of how they compared to other folks and how they compared to people across their business teams.
The problem with the scores (which we heard loud and clear from our users) was that they were a bit complex/confusing. It was difficult to know what they meant and required a bit of reading/digesting for neophyte users to understand even the basics of how it worked.
So we’ve simplified matters and come up with a single score (“efficiency”) directly based on how you’ve rated your tags and/or categories. Under the score, we show you your total hours for the period (just because you’re efficient doesn’t mean your productive if you’re only working 4 hours per week… Sorry, Tim! ). And next to your score, we show you a comparison population of either the entire userbase or the business group you’re a member of (for our business customers). The end result looks like this:
We love the new look. We think it’s clearer, simpler, and it communicates our scoring system (and colors) a lot better, too. What do you think?
I am in love with filters. As soon as we had the concept of efficiency scores, I noticed a peculiar side effect. In the evening, when I was goofing off on the computer, I’d turn off RescueTime. Why? Because goof-off time was negatively impacting my scores and I wanted to clobber my co-workers. We firmly believe that being inefficient after hours is fine… Our data strongly indicates that sweatshop hours end up hurting us more than it helps us.
But clearly turning off RescueTime isn’t the answer, because we lose valuable and interesting data about ourselves. Enter, filters.
Filters allow you to focus the data you are seeing based on specific hour and date ranges. For example, in my situation the time I care about being truly efficient is 8am – 7pm Monday thru Friday. Once I’ve created a filter for this, I can look at a week, month or year– but ONLY be shown data (and be scored on) time within that criteria. But heck– I’m curious about my evenings. Do I ever work after hours? How much time do I spend productively on weekends? Blam. I create a filter that shows data only 7pm-Midnight on weekdays plus all day on weekends… That’s my “work/life balance” filter. Here’s a screenshot of what filter controls look like on your dashboard:
And here’s a shot of what it looks like to create/edit a filter (which you can access by clicking on the manage filters link shown above):
Note that free users can only have two filters. If you need more than that, we’d love to invite you to upgrade to a paying plan.
We hope you’re as excited about these features as we are. As always, we invite any feedback and would love to hear from you if you’ve got any feature ideas for RescueTime.