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Shameless (self) promotion

2002-02-18 16:47:49+00 by Shawn 14 comments

Millerswork, Inc. (bias alert: Of which I am the webmaster) has just completed an extensive facelift and UI redesign. Our mission is no less than the redefinition of porn as a responsible, respectable business.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:25+00 by: ziffle

I keep looking -- do any of them have a plot?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:25+00 by: Shawn

Not yet. But we're taking script submissions...

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:25+00 by: ziffle

lets see, 'sex in the city' with real sex scenes..

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:25+00 by: Shawn

Send us a script :-) I haven't seen Sex In The City (I'd like to, but no HBO), so I don't really have a clear idea what that would be like.

#Comment made: 2002-02-19 03:21:59+00 by: meuon [edit history]

ROFLMAO.. A 'realistic' porn site.. I love it, but probably not in the way it was intended. I'd call the site design pretty darn effective. But I find humour in some of your videos.

Now about the shopping cart: It SUCKS.. First I get redirected to remotecart.com, then redirs me to authorize.net.

If you can get a secure cert for your server, you should run your own cart and your own 'in the background' gateway to a credit card processor.

I'll bet you are missing more than half your sales, and you are not getting a chance to fix them, they just go away. A good cart/gateway system will save your attempted sales, and allow potential customers to 'fix' their orders as well as you to contact them (e-mail at least). It also should not attempt to process an invalid (missing info) payment request and rack up CC gateway fees for BS orders. I Got:

I'm Sorry, but the following error was reported while processing your payment information:
Invalid Credit Card Number
Please use your browsers back button to correct the error if possible.

I apologize for the swat over the head... but I hate bad shopping cart/payment solutions. To be fair, so that you can pick back.. my WORST one is:


#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:26+00 by: Shawn

Thanks for the feedback meuon. We too are unhappy with our shopping cart provider (they refuse to even recognize design bugs, much less fix them), but finding a better solution has been a long, arduous process. Not the least of which has been trying to gain a decent understanding - at a meta level - of how credit card processing works. All the pieces that are needed, what works with what, etc. Trying to ask questions and get basic information typically just gets me rude responses like "nobody's forcing you to use our service".

All that said, I'm finally making some progress and we definately will be implementing a better solution in the near future.

You mentioned being sent to another site as a bad thing. Can you elaborate on why - as a shopper - you view this as a negative? Is this alone (assuming the cart works fine otherwise) really a sale killer?

On the other note; what is it that you find humorous about our products?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:26+00 by: ebradway

More shameless self-promotion: I happen to know an out-of-work eCommerce programmer who can help you get things straightened out. I also know a thing or two about credit cards and check processing.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:27+00 by: Shawn

Thanks for the offer, but I think I've finally gotten a hand on it (mostly) now. The toughest part is getting the right answers from the specific providers - with the biggest question currently being;

"I also want to resell shopping cart services to other companies. For X price, can I do that, or do I have to pay X for each merchant account that goes through my cart system?"

So far, no one has answered this question.

You see, I'm kinda playing all sides at once ;-) My full-time employer also wants to set up a shopping cart for his company and as a way to offset the cost, he's considering hiring out the cart service to Millerswork and possibly other adult businesses (or even non-adult businesses ;-) who might need it.

Every other aspect is pretty nailed down at the moment: I've got a basic shopping cart app (in perl) to work with, and I've recently gone through the gateway API (AuthorizeNet is what we're leaning towards). All I need is to know how much more it might cost and any other complications involved in processing cards for multiple merchant accounts.

Some of the funny things I've discovered along this journey:

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:27+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think you can pool merchant charges if you're willing to explain to customers why your name is on their statement (rather than who they thought they bought from), and if you're willing to allow their chargeback rate to affect every one of your credit card accunt users.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:27+00 by: Shawn

No, that's not what we're looking for. We want to keep separate merchants separate. The question I'm looking to get answered is whether we have to pay the full rate that we pay to set ourselves up for each merchant, or if there is some reduced rate for setting up successive merchants, or if we don't have to pay anything extra at all.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:27+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh yeah, Ziffle, on plot: Every time this subject has come up on the SHS mailing list, the conclusion has been that the folks who already watch porn don't want plot, and the folks who don't already watch porn probably want enough skill in acting and directing that it'd be hard to do on porn budgets. I've got a Mary Anne Mohanraj[Wiki](http;//www.mamohanraj.com/) short story that she thought would make a good film that I've been trying to storyboard, but as I try to go through it I find that making the sex scenes more explicit would make the story weaker. If every shot has to increase the dramatic tension, then putting enough dramatic tension in the sex scenes is damned hard.

I wonder if Jourdan Shelbourne's Pushing the Envelope[Wiki](no time right now to look for a link) might be a reasonable story, given that he tells a lot of it in flashback so that the sex is heavily interspersed with the narrative, but I think that'd be a larger budget flick. But my impression is that if you find a story that might lend itself to film, there's not an erotica writer out there who'd say no.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:28+00 by: meuon

Shopping cart issues, I might trust my 'erotica supplier' with my personal info, but I want to feel that's the only person I am giving it to. As for 'everyone is using Authorize.net', this is BS, they are a minor player in the real E-Commerce world but a major player in the online CC processing fees/percentage scam. They have also had some of the worst fraud and abuse problems on the 'net. And the form redirect gateway way of doing this is BS. If you want a demo why, I'll go buy a bunch of your stuff for one dollar each. by modifying hidden text: item-63001|50.00|Real Kink - Volume 1: Daddy Blue & Lydia|1

Is your server Linux/BSD.. or more specifically: can it run perl and openssl?

Do you have a real bank merchant account, or one of those "CardService International/License to abuse you with extra charges and contracts" accounts.

Eric knows a lot of stuff about the back end of CC processing, I know a lot about the front end. but before this becomes an advert, e-mail at mike@geeklabs.com if you want some sample perl code and places/methods better than authorize.net. It's not a friendly site but: www.ezic.com is incredible.

As for funny: http://www.millerswork.com/pics/rk3_2.jpg

OK.. It's not my kink.. I have others. :) But I find this hilarious. On the good side.. I like the idea that these people are really enjoying themselves..

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:28+00 by: ziffle

Since this has become an shameless advertising event, consider www.signaldata.net, we have our own built in payment gateway to all the banks and networks - no authorize.net needed.. you pay us, not them.

Dan, plot: I have a tape called 'Someone Else' which has a plot and is very graphic. Wonderful combination. The couple has communication issues, and each tries someone else over the weekend, and finally they realize they like each other best.


#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:30+00 by: Shawn

Thanks for the offer Ziffle, but I don't see any gateway or cart services mentioned on the page...