March 10, 2014

selling files

I bought a webstore

In June 2011 I heard that Brad Fallon created uQast, a platform for selling files. I have had the feeling for several years that people do want to sell files. Software developers, writers, trainers, musicians, and filmmakers sell files.
Some bad things have happened to me because I have got the habit of going later and later to bed. One thing is that I listened to a uQast seller from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. and then I transferred to uQast LLC from Atlanta, Georgia, USD 397 via PayPal. It was June 25, 2011.
Immediately after logging in to uQast I saw that the platform was not ready to use and asked uQast to send me the money back because they said they would fulfill such requests made within 30 days from the first payment. Carolyn Zagony gave me some agony by ignoring my request in her written reply. I called her using Skype and she said that I should pay the other installments, too, because the uQast team was going to make good on their promises to grant me for USD 1,090 lifetime access to my uQast store, to enhance the store's features and to make the store fully functional. I paid USD 1,090.

The hosting business failed

The uQast team continued developing their platform and it was usable (almost without errors) in 2012. In 2013 the business stopped. 
What has happened for many months now:
  • When I try to log in, I am informed that the site's security certificate has expired.
  • Images are not displayed.
  • Uploaded files are not available.
I think that Brad Fallon last communicated with us in November 2012.

I haven't really used the store

All this time I have been unsure that I would become a prolific content provider. I might run a radio station or a television station, and I want to create a practical global encyclopedia; I will probably sell digital content. (I have been selling files containing translations, but these are custom-made and do not belong in a store.) But I have tried to host other people's content in my store; Brad Fallon said that store owners would receive a sales commission for each person that first visits their stores, irrespective from what uQast store they buy. I would have enjoyed owning a large store with excellent content.
I have liked it that one could activate a tip jar for each product in the store. I think it's nice if any visitor can donate even the smallest amount. Vimeo introduced a tip jar, and Flattr lets one donate to those who publish content.

So I have invested wrongly

I have given Brad Fallon weeks from my life; I spent these weeks earning the money with which I bought the store, communicating with Brad's team and advertising my store and uQast's services. This has brought me no income. Moreover, I posted in my store songs of the band Sham MCs and their lead singer asked me if I could organize a tour in Romania for them; I tried, but my facebook advertising made no sales, so I wasted more weeks. 
The most important event in this chain was that in November 2012 I created a show around my stand-up comedy, tried to sell hundreds of tickets and hardly sold any of them. This was my first failure in business. I failed mainly because I had too little money and time for advertising the show. I spent 2013 recovering; this was my worst year. 
I was offered the COO position at RockingMouse.com and I would really enjoy working in arts and entertainment, but the founder of this business has postponed starting it.
So I got back to translations. I have been a translator for a long time and I started a language service business.

The laws do not provide that one should compensate a person for damages that this person incurs by taking risks. This also applies to my trying to earn money using my uQast store. I would ask uQast to give me the USD 1k back because they haven't provided much service. They have communicated with me, but their communication was altogether poor. Would any lawyer accomplish this? He has to calculate his profit. I should either receive almost the entire amount back or make a more complex case and sue for damages.
My mistaken investment also has these important aspects:
  • I have given money to people that I haven't trusted fully. I must plan relaxed and clear conversations with people, and then act in full awareness and trust.
  • In their advertising, uQast said that Brad Fallon had earned during the last several years USD 114 million. In 2011 he was asking us to fund his start-up business. I should have understood this contrast before paying.
  • Investments must base on other things. I have been driven by the urge to make a larger income in a more pleasant way. A larger income because I have borrowed money to build my house and I were better off without this debt. A more pleasant way because I am more interested in arts and communication than in translating manuals. I am addicted to online communication and have thought of a dozen of possible online businesses.

Other ways to sell files
  • We can sell files using a service like sellfy or Digital Goods Store, or directly from our websites using a file storage service.
  • We can sell video files using YouTube.
  • We can sell music using a service like Google Play (no global service), iTunes (not what one would expect of a global service) or ReverbNation (not bad).
  • We can sell documents using a service like Scribd.

If I invest in a platform for selling files, what needs must it meet?
It should improve communication, entertainment and work.
(I have started writing about computing and its benefits.)
Do we prefer a global mall or many thousands of shops?
I understand globalization and would create such a mall or network of shops. I would offer an outstanding interface, very good communication and excellent services, and would charge little money.
One issue is safe hosting. People may prefer a local host, in an attempt to control their files better.
People buy e.g.:
  • music, movies and software for entertainment,
  • books and courses in order to know more and to earn more,
  • software for working better or more profitably.
People are entertaining enough; we don't need devices; entertainment with files is sometimes associated with loneliness, so we dislike being lonely; e.g. recordings make us imagine that we see or hear people.
We can actually live without any computers or machines.