Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at the New York ColdFusion User Group (Sep. 2008) with:

Kinky Solutions Shop - Holiday Season Beta Launch

Posted by Ben Nadel

For the last few years, many of you have helped to make Kinky Solutions one of the most excellent online resources for ColdFusion and web development. Through your comments, questions, and insightful conversations, you have enabled me and many other Kinky Solutions readers to become better web developers. Up until now, none of you have needed any incentive to participate on my blog, and I truly thank you for that. But, after all that you have done for me, I'd love to give back to you. To do so, I am launching the Kinky Solutions Shop beta, an incentives-based shopping experience in which you can trade in earned points for products.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Kinky Solutions Beta Launch - Putting More Kinky Products In Your Life. 
 
 
 

Points will be awarded per blog comment with reader-approved comments (functionality not finalized) being awarded extra points. This way, you can get points not only for helping me to learn, but for helping each other to learn as well.

While the functionality of the Kinky Solutions Shop is not yet complete, I wanted to launch this for the Holiday season as a gesture of my appreciation for all that you, the true heroes, have done for me; this blog would be nothing without your help and I hope that the Kinky Solutions community continues to grow in the coming year.

How To Use The Kinky Solutions Shop

I have created a user account for each unique email used in my blog post comments. The email address used in your commenting is how I will be tracking points in the future. Every time you post a comment, it matches your author email to a web user account and awards points accordingly. For security's sake, you must activate your user account before you can start redeeming points (earning points will happen regardless). Activating your account will prompt you for a password selection in order to create a secure login to the Kinky Solutions Shop (note: passwords are stored using a one-way hash and cannot be read from database).

If you have never commented on my blog before, comment here (or on any other Kinky Solutions blog post) and a user account will be automatically created for the given author email address. Be cautious about changing the email address you use in the blog commenting - this will create a new user account rather than updating your existing user account. If you would like to change your email address, please do so in the Settings section of the Kinky Solutions Shop.

Thank you very much and have a very happy holiday season!

 
 
 
 
 
 
Happy Holidays And Best Wishes From Kinky Solutions - Wishing You A Very Kinky Holiday, 2008-2009. 
 
 
 



Reader Comments

Wow Ben, what a great idea. Looking forward to what you have planned for this. Hopefully you'll still manage to pay for your hosting :P

(+1 to me, woot!)

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Thanks guys. I've just had so many comments that I read and think to myself, "What an awesome comment!" and feel like simply replying to it is *not* enough of a thanks. So, this is just my attempt at giving back. Sometimes I think people don't realize how much their comments and questions help me to learn :)

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<cfloop from="1" to="infinity">
<cfhttp method="post" url="ben nadel's blog"...>
</cfloop>

Can I have that trip to the Bahamas now?

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@Todd,

Where do you define infinity? I'd be interested in trying this solution as well, but there seems to be pieces missing.

I _really_ don't mind getting away from the snow... and the ice... and the cold... *shiver*

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Creating yet another account and trying to keep track of it isn't what a lot of folks will want to do. How about using OpenID ( http://openid.net/ ) as a user authentication method? The bonus here would be if you haven't implemented OpenID before, it gives you at least several more blog posts about how to implement OpenID. :-)

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@Danilo,

No worries bro - the account is not necessary for blog commenting. Nothing to keep track of unless it is something you absolutely want to do. In fact, you can carry on as if nothing has changed at all :)

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Decided to make the term "the marketplace of ideas" a reality, eh? :)

While I've seen community sites award points for participation, I think this the first personal blog where I've seen a reward system put in play. Should be interesting to see how this plays out, and if it leads to a measurable increase in comments/site traffic.

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@Brian,

I figure it would be fun to try. I don't see how it could possibly have a negative impact; so, worst case scenario, life just carries on as is :)

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How in the world do you remain so consistent at blogging? I can't seem to keep up with the "Once a Week" rule and guys like you and Ray seem to write forever ... What Gives? Heh?

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I can't speak for Ben, but most of my blog entries come from two sources:

a) I just spent hours trying to fix bug A. So now that the hard work is done, it takes just 5 minutes to blog it. We all fight bugs, all week, all the time, etc.

b) Questions sent in. These take more time normally, but it helps provide content. (Speaking of which, I'm late on my blog post today. ;)

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@Ray,

Pretty much the same here. A lot of what I blog about is based on problems that I have come across and questions asked.

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Ben,

Awesome idea! This combined with all the great postings and hot chicks will make it an even more entertaining venue. Bravo!

Todd

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@Todd M,

Glad you like. I'm looking forward to experimenting with this, getting feedback, and just always seeing how I can improve my site.

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Hmm, I wonder if I'll be able to rack up enough points to attend the Hal Helms/Ben Nadel OO class in Florida ...

All kidding aside, interesting idea Ben. I'm curious to see how this all works for you (and everyone else too).

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This is a fantastic concept - I just hope it doesn't work out to be a financial milestone around your neck...

Of course, the amount of time this blog has saved me over the last year, we should probably be paying you... ;)

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@Gary,

It's all a fun experiment; if it gets out of hand, we live and we learn. To be honest, I'm not even considering a down side right now. I'm just kind of excited.

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Wow Ben, after I logged in I noticed you're offering up some pretty decent stuff! It appears I only have enough points for a piece of bubblegum at the moment though. ;-)

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@Steve,

The program is new :) Depending on how I see points accruing, I will adjust prices accordingly. Right now, I have no experience to go off of, so its just guess work.

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I see this as really helping drive more traffic as well. I bet you grow you double your RSS subscriber list just from this post.

It is such a cool idea I am trying to figure out how I could do something similar for any of my projects...

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@Joshua,

We'll see what it does. My traffic has been fairly consistent for many months, so it will b easy to tell if there is any marked difference.

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What if instead of points for posting or maybe in addition to you do a thumbs up icon and if there is an especially good comment that really adds great value people can thumbs up the comment and would have to limit one or two thumbs up per entry.

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@Brian,

That is the next thing on the list to implement :) I just wanted to get this out here for the "holiday sentiment" and I didn't want to delay the launch. But, yes, that's exactly where I want to go with this.

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@Jake,

I considered it... but I don't think I can handle the bulk. I need to feel it out as it happens gradually.

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Ben,

You know, I noticed I failed to thank you for doing this. So ...

Thank You!

On that note, I don't remember seeing any kind of "Ben's Wish List" on your site either ... and honestly, I'm sure there are many of us who would like to express our appreciation for your countless contributions (not to mention your time) to the ColdFusion (et. al) communit[y/ies]. Just a thought.

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Funny ... has anyone else noticed when you hover over the names next to "Posted by" you can see how many points they've earned. Big Ben has 391 points!

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@Steve,

That was for debugging purposes when I was building the Kinky Solutions Shop :) I'll probably remove that.

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Ben,
I really like the "feature" of seeing the points on hover.
It would help to know at a glance if the comment is from a "regular" here on your site.
Actually, as an enhancement, possibly doing like some message board systems, where you have different levels associated with different point ranges
[i.e. 0-300 = noob, 10,000-50,000 = kinky master]

that would be neat.

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Something to consider are ways people would try to game the system. IE I post under someone else's email. Either to spoof them for positive or negative results.

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@Ken,

That's too funny. I kind of like that idea :)

@Josh,

I considered that; but really, that's the kind of problem that people want to have. If someone wants to spoof me and give me points, all power to them :) The only way to game the system is over-post under your own email.

I try to monitor the system though, looking for suspicious activity in general. If something pops up, I'll nip that baby in the bud.

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@Ben, with this concept you will definitely increase the activity on the blog. Why don't you add a link to the comments, something like: "Spam Comment" or "Report Comment", this way the visitors can help you police the blog. Also, you may want to consider finding companies, web shops, etc... (maybe adobe) to sponsor some of the items in the shop. This way you don't have to incur all the expense from the shop.

I love the idea, IMO, I think it will be a success!

Keep up the good work!!!

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@Ben, just another thought, but whatabout a "Kinky Forum". Since there is a large community around the blog, maybe a forum would fit in nice to allow users to post and get help from other users.

I also want to see how many points i'm going to get for this one!

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@Ken & Ben,
I kind of like the idea of seeing the points accumulate for the purposes mentioned ... however, once a "regular" uses up some or all of their points for a "Kinky Item," then they would no longer _appear_ as a regular. Just a thought.

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Wow . . . what a great way to give back to the community! Best of luck in getting this off ground. I'll do my best to comment when I can, even if I may not know as much as the regular commenters . . .

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Wow . . . what a great way to give back to the community! Best of luck in getting this off ground. I'll do my best to comment when I can, even if I may not know as much as the regular commenters . . .

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Wow, that seems backwards. With as much as I've learned from your blog (and Ray's), shouldn't we be buying YOU stuff?

Thanks for all your hard work.

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Hey, that's a very clever idea, and very nice too. I've never thought about this before (dammit!) :-), but I reckon this can revolutionize the blogsphere ;-)

Keep the good work man

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Since you are implementing this back-end rating system, you may want to also implement a way to visually distinguish high-rated comments. Maybe give them a non-white background? That would be especially helpful on longer pages such as this where you get dozens of comments.

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Very cool idea, Ben! I agree with the comment about highlighting "helpful" posts though...as I have a feeling this will greatly increase the noise-to-signal ratio on the blog. I would worry about having the public vote on the "helpful" stuff as well. I'm a top ranked reviewer over at Amazon and I've seen all too often how much people will try and game a system for their own benefit (although I personally have yet to see why a reviewer ranking is so important to some people!) Perhaps you alone should be able to "tag" them.

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Great idea! But as another commenter posted, I think you've got this the wrong way around...with all the time and effort you've saved us, we should be buying you stuff :) Hopefully all of the extra posting will help boost those ad revenue that you've got going.

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Ben,

You really are a hero to the CF community! I truly don't know how you do it. I look forward to your stuff popping up in Reader. I guess I'll have to way in on topics more often now...

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