Home blog Blog – 5/12/16
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Blog – 5/12/16

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600 Fan Funders!

The 600th fan funder hit the LockLab two days ago!  Wow, I never thought we’d reach that number. We did TWO random drawings; one for fan funders #501-600, and a second for all 600 funders.  The winners and prizes are on the “You WON!” page.

To give you an update, the average donation is $1.42, the highest $250, and the lowest 0.01.  The total amount received to date is $1,417.  So far on the reviews and postage I’ve invested $3102, so my reimbursement rate is a bit low at 46%.

A huge expense was postage.  The last month alone I spent $424 mailing items to winners of the free drawings.  As a cost cutting measure, winners now have to pay their own postage.  Sorry, but there was simply no way I could afford to keep paying all the postage.

There IS good news.  The Patreons have truly made it possible to continue these reviews.  Right now there are 127 Patreons that have pledged $315 for the first video every month, then roughly $40 for each video thereafter.  Most of the Patreons are funding the videos, but I’m using the proceeds to fund the LockLabs’ Consumer Reports theme.  So, while the Paypal contribution option has dried up in the past month, the Patreons are helping gain back lost ground.  Combined with the postage savings, we should get back to break-even in two months.

Lock Picking Course

Many of you may have noticed but I’ve completely rebuilt the lock picking course under the LockLab University tab.  It is much more extensive, contains better pictures, and incorporates some short instructional videos available only on the website.  Whether you are a brand new to the hobby or an advanced picker, there is something for you there.  If you have ideas for more “courses” please let me know!

Lock-Lab.com

We’re still incorporating the changes you suggested three weeks ago.  Many of them are minor, cosmetic changes, but some require some extensive programming.  I am still determined to put up a LockLab Forum, but integrating it into the website is not an easy task.  It is much more than simply installing some software, particularly if you want to maintain security, which I insist on.  The technical support rates are quite high, so please give me a little more time to make this happen.

Free Drawing Entries

Registering for free drawings on the website is working out well.  We had some glitches with the first attempt – it was easy to scrape the password – but now everything is done in the back end.  After each drawing we wipe the database so no data is retained. So, it took some experimentation but we finally devised a secure, reliable way to register for the free drawings.  A by product is that the YT comments are now cleaner and much more readable.  Many people said they didn’t receive the automated response after registering.  We’ve tracked this down to two possibilities; either your spam filter it catching the message, or the ISP has some filtering.  Automated messages have no_reply@lock-lab.com in the header, making them easy to filter out.  Bottom line: If you get the green “your are registered” after pressing submit, then don’t worry about the auto-response email.

Security

You’ve probably noticed the Green Icon in the address bar.  Yes, we are encrypted now and pretty secure, but I’m still working on obtaining the highest level of SSL.  The process takes time as the have to do a background investigation, but hopefully within a couple of months we’ll have the conveted “Green Bar” SSL.

TRIBAL Suggestions

As always, please send in any suggestions you have for improvements.  I’m a one-man shop and can’t do it without your help.

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Comment(7)

  1. hi bill, i always try to get u hat i can thro paypal as u know, but pateron i dont get, it wants this per vid then that etc, can u set it also so u can pay x amount each month no matter what??? as i dont work its far easier to budget ..not knowing how many vids u post makes that way imposible, so i cant set up a regular!! i dont mind continuing with the odd paypal payment(next one coming soon with locks and pick from revtat2, as well as a UKLS donation to help!) x But if u can set up a monthly pateron as well as video based may help get more, as i know some would that way but per video is hard unless they know its 4 a month or 8 or whatever!! Keep it up bill, i know its hard but you are changing MANY lives i promise x x Mark Molly and Marley x

  2. Bill, I am a huge fan of your YouTube channel. I have learned 99% of what I know in lock picking because of you. Your doing the community a huge service and I hope you never stop. Thank you for everything!

  3. Bill, I’m loving what you’re doing with the site. The lock picking course is a great resource and greatly appreciate! Looking forward to having a tribal forum, whenever that day may come.

  4. Thank you for your hard work and time sir. I firmly support your decision to balance the finances, with any measures necessary, and I’m sorry to hear that you are still financing any of The Tribe’s expenses. I Yes, I need to do my part and contribute as well. Moving drawings to an independent system and charging for postage seem like solid moves. Thank you for the update sir.

    P.S. …..even a Master Lock starts looking pretty good after a few beers but they are still just too easy to be entirely satisfying in the end…..(maybe a future video idea there?)

    1. Kind a “how drunk can you be and still able to beat a MasterLock”? ^^ Might be a funny idea for a gathering. For YouTube though….not so much 😛

  5. Keep up the good work Bill – the videos are compulsive viewing. I am waiting for my mad bob’s picks to arrive in order to tackle my first lock!!

  6. Congrats on 600 donors! I noticed that you said that PayPal donors have dried up, does the 600 count those who donated through YouTube donations as well, or are they strictly PP and Patreon? PS: I did a small survey of my friends, you’d be a bit dismayed how many think Master Lock is “High Security.” The advertising power is just disturbing and then some… (where’s ABUS when you need them?)

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