A Letter to Our Users About Google Alerts Feeds Shutdown and Our Software

Dear Friends, Customers and Users,

I wanted to take a moment to address your concerns and thoughts as we move forward from the latest Google surprise. I want you to know that I feel your pain because I believe the Google Alerts system was an amazing insight into the workings of Google. I believe that may have been the reason it was terminated – it was giving too many people direct access to Google’s “nervous system” and Google decided it was tired of everybody curating Google’s own indexed material — because with all the new stuff coming on the internet every day, what Google really needs to get is more stuff that they don’t already have indexed. So, they are now forcing us to go outside of the “Google Nervous System” to bring THEM content, rather than the other way around.

It makes sense on a business level for Google to do that, but it kind of sucks for us, both you the end user and us, the product vendors, who based our functionality around Google Alerts Feeds.

There are a lot of customers who seem to be really peeved at me over all of this because they feel that I am trying to force them to buy something new. And in a sense, I am. But it’s not just because I sat down and tried to figure out a new way to make money off of people — in fact what I needed to do was move everyone onto a new software platform up from ICC Pro. So by bringing you into my new ICC Express in fact I’m trying to do you a favor that you may not quite recognize yet.

If you have used either of my other “Viral” products, you will notice a distinct difference between those and my ICC Pro software – that’s because they are programmed on a better and more secure platform known as Adobe Flex, while ICC Pro was written in html and javascript. With Adobe Flex, we can integrate so many more advanced internet and graphical features than we could do with just the javascript interface.

ICC Pro was my first effort at releasing software, so I wrote it in the language that I knew best at the time, which was JQuery javacsript. In the following year, I read the Adobe Flex textbooks from cover to cover, and eventually moved all my software development over to the Flex platform. I knew I was going to have to rewrite ICC Pro and that became ICC Express. Many, many hours went into ICC Express after spending thousands of dollars to develop a codebase with other developers which eventually became the new codebase for all of my forthcoming products (at least until the platform-du-jour changes again at the whim of the large corporations who really control all this stuff at the highest level).

Now it appears the question has become — should I charge money for people to get my new software? Well, I’m not like trying to throw numbers around to impress anyone, but I personally spent over $30,000 of my own money to develop the codebase for ICC Express and the planned upgrades, not to mention hours and hours (still ongoing) of my own time and labor, so I feel it’s completely fair to charge admission. To be frank, I’m really surprised by the response coming from some people into the support desk berating me for wanting to sell my (better) products and not just give them away for free.

That having been said, I want you to know that I have gone to some additional expense and effort for you, to integrate ICC Pro with Talkwalker, and finally, as of today it has been implemented for you so you can still use every function in the software, albeit without Google Alerts Feeds. Please update ICC Pro to 1.16 in order to get the latest code which allows you to consume feeds from TalkWalker instead of the deceased Google Alerts feeds.

While you do that, I would really like you to take the time to consider the reasons that I may be trying to “wean” everyone onto my new platform, that being ICC Express.

1) It’s highly scalable and upgradeable – meaning, I can program just about any function in Flex that I want to and the sky is the limit to the kinds of functionality I can plug in. This is not at all true with the javascript platform that ICC Pro was written on. Therefore, ICC Pro is not upgradeable to the level of an application written in Flex. It’s never really going to be much more than what it is now just simply because of those limitations. To put it in an analogy, it’s sort of like taking a sailboat and trying to turn it into a motor boat, it’s really just not made for that.

2) My new software is more secure for me – with ICC Pro people can literally steal my code right out of the program directory because it’s just Javascript. I’ve done my best to obfuscate the code, but there it is anyway. With Flex/Air applications, the program is issued as a compiled binary exe file, meaning that the code is never exposed for stealing. That’s way better for me.

3) Because of the scalability mentioned in the previous points, I am able to imagine greater things for all of my software going forward, things that will help YOU tremendously even if you don’t quite realise it yet. I’ve been developing some amazing systems to help you automate your business and they would never really work with ICC Pro because of the platform differences I’ve already described. These systems are literally just days away from being rolled out to my unlimited members.

So while you may see this as some kind of money grab, in fact I am trying to do you a favor so you won’t be left behind when the really good stuff starts to happen with my new platform. I’m really sorry if anyone has taken this as some kind of disappointment or rejection, but I think if you observe any of the new marketing tools coming out these days everyone is going through a kind of evolution — Google is forcing us to do that, by undergoing its own evolution. And the internet is that way always – what worked last year may not work this year.

I hope this post gives you a little more insight to the issues I have been dealing with and why I have in fact marketed you to my new membership software. I would never have done it if I didn’t think it was much better for you, as well as me. I sure hope you don’t have such a disillusioned view of me that you don’t feel that’s true; I assure you, it is.