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Who Are You?

Who Are You?

The Who asked, poignantly, Who the fuck are you? And the answer is overwhelmingly that you are pieces of data collected and maintained by the world’s wealthiest companies.

In a recent post on BBC’s Futures “The Online Data That’s Being Deleted,” Chris Baraniuk discusses the consequences of a digital catastrophe. He focuses on a recently published book by Susan Donovan: New York City Hypogeographies. The premise? In 2250, electrical pulses wipe most data from our servers. All hell breaks loose. I highly recommend the read.

Information wants to be free.

The quote is attributed to Stewart Brand, publisher of The Whole Earth Catalogue. There is a second line to that edict: “Information also wants to be expensive.” And it is. We may think nothing of snapping away at blurry ceiling fans and cute kittens and what we’re eating without thinking of the real cost. Well, there are very real costs.

The BBC reports that bitcoin mining (data) uses “more electricity than the country of Argentina.” To be precise, this much:

RELATED: How to profit from greener bitcoin miners:

Critics of crypto mining, including dogecoin fan and Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, have slammed the practice for being bad for the environment because of the massive amount of energy consumed. Mining farms in China have been scrutinized in particular, and the Chinese government has since cracked down on the practice.

Deciding which data needs to be preserved is a subjective exercise. What do you pick? And why? What importance does 10 Gbs of (adorable and cute-for-days) images of my dog have? And at what cost? as an example, this site contains 8+ Gbs. We tend to think that this costs nothing. But it does. Data-centric companies rely on an endless stream of independently created data. So we rush about our day creating it, for free, so that they may resell it. Kinda fucking brilliant.

Curate or Die

As an ecommerce retailer, it’s important to understand that more is not necessarily better. I’ve written before about the importance of curation. Selectively, critically and mindfully choosing the information you present has far greater value than simply vomiting into peoples’ laptops. You’re not Amazon and you will never be Amazon, so act smarter.

cgk.ink works with businesses to narrow their focus and pinpoint opportunities. Let’s talk to see how this might benefit you.

4 Things to Contemplate About Ecommerce

4 Things to Contemplate About Ecommerce

I’m very interested in this piece by Jay McCall in DevProJournal.com:

Retail Industry Trends Software Developers Need to Respect

Although the intent might have been different, it did trigger my mind to organize the main points into (broadly) four categories worthy of ecommerce professionals’ attention.


Subrah Iyar, CEO and Co-Founder of Moxtra, sees retailers shifting from a “push” model to a “pull” model. “Businesses need to adopt digital solutions to keep customers satisfied and continue growing their businesses. They’ll shift experiences to doing businesses where customers can pull services on-demand rather than pushing their services onto a customer. To enable the on-demand ‘pull’ engagement model for customer experience means that digital workspaces will be consolidated to act as virtual extensions of business,” he says.

In other words, stop annoying your customers. I’m pretty sure no one wishes to receive more unsolicited emails.


Christine Spang, CTO of Nylas, says, “Over the past five years, there has been an explosion of communication platforms, from Twitter to Slack. We have seen certain channels like SMS messaging shrink while, surprisingly to some, email is growing as a primary form of communication.”

Digital marketplaces are expanding at an alarming rate. Every app/platform/thingamajig can conduct traditional ecommerce. And that might create some major opportunities. It also requires a strategy and an actionable plan — otherwise, you will scramble trying to manage your marketing efforts across dozens (if not more) of platforms. You can see this in action by checking out brands across the chaotic shit storm that is “social media.”


Scott Agatep, Executive Vice President, Solutions and Services, ScanSource: “developers are working feverishly to make all business functions, from payments to inventory management and payroll, easy and accessible to everyone.”

If ecommerce technologies make your outward reach nearly universal, it also means everyone knows your business. And if you try and block that access, you will quickly find that no one is interested in buying your stuff. Be open about where you source materials from, who makes your products and (a big one), what is the environmental impact your .com is having.


Yes, I am close to vomiting at the thought of millenials being used as a noun. So let’s get this one over with:

“Millennials are rejecting traditional payment solutions like credit cards in favor of options that are integrated into their favorite merchants’ e-commerce sites, such as digital revolving credit,” says Harris. “Market research shows that 67 percent of millennials don’t even have a credit card because they regard them as financially burdensome.”

Harris suggests integrating more flexible online payment solutions into e-commerce sites to meet millennials’ demands for more flexible payment options – and increase revenues for merchants – will be an important retail industry trend that developers need to consider when planning for 2021.

This, of course does not even address the rise of cryptocurrencies (but I have).

cgk.ink is a nimble, rapid and deep solution to implementing these four points. Let’s talk.

New Payment Options

New Payment Options

UPDATE: Newer Options with Cryptocurrency

Online payment methods have seen tremendous growth over the past couple of years.

The standard, PayPal, has dominated the ecommerce payment market for years (1999 to be exact). It is, by far, the most widely used payment service.
But there are several competing services recently which both advance and confuse consumers’ choices. We’ll take a look at two of the more advanced options here: Venmo and Zelle:


Venmo is actually PayPal under a different name. It’s focus is on mobile payments with a social feature that can disclose who paid who (without the amount). After several lawsuits, users can opt out of that feature.
The key focus of Venmo is to make splitting payments among friends easier (dinner, rent, groceries, etc.) and not as a robust business processor. This is changing rapidly as they have begun to allow certain merchants to accept it as a form of payment. The integration with ecommerce platforms is problematic because of this and requires that the merchant also accept PayPal. There some clunky work-arounds, including the use of QR codes. Be aware that Venmo is restricted to US accounts. (Source)


This one’s a lot more complicated. In essence, Zelle was created by major banks as a way to transfer funds quickly. Wire transfers are expensive and slow. Zelle allows almost instant deposits into your existing bank account.
Zelle is bank-centric, meaning, it’s not an app per se (although there is one) but a service and is made available through your existing checking account. In other words, you use Zelle through your bank directly. Money received does not go into a seperate, Zelle-branded account which then needs to be transferred.
The pros are that it’s absolutely free and it’s nearly instant.
The cons are that it’s composed of over 400 banking institutions who can impose any type of regulation or fee they see fit. I’ve personally ran into situations where a business account could not be used to either send or receive money (sometimes). Most smaller banks are open to using Zelle, but smaller, regional banks may not be.
Zelle’s stance on ecommerce is a little unclear. If both you (the merchant) and your consumer are already using Zelle, then it’s just an issue of requesting money and getting paid. However, if your an ecommerce merchant, it gets complicated. There’s an application, forms, tax records,and even then, you’ll need to also get a Braintree account (which is owned by PayPal!) for some reason that confuses me. Read more at: zellepay.com


As an ecommerce developer, I find that integrating either of these payment options is prohibitively complicated. I’ve integrated a few work arounds on my site and I’ll report back with how it goes. I also see an incredible opportunity here to challenge the near-monopoly that is PayPal. Other processors, like Google Pay, Apple Pay, Square, etc. are also actively developing new tech and services that will keep this marketplace fluid.

cgk.ink understands how important choosing the right merchant account is to your online business. Let’s discuss what’s most important to you:

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