Actually, that is exactly they way it works. We need to manually add support for each site, but because we use existing affiliate programs, and don’t have to negotiate new deals with retailers, adding support for each site takes about 10-20 minutes.
Every couple of days we go over a list of shopping sites people used GAS on the most, and we make sure to add them to the sites we support.
Every week we support more and more sites, and as long as we can green about 90% of the transactions our users make, I feel comfortable calling it Green Any Site.
But yes, it will always be true that sometimes you will use GAS on a site that we still don’t support. But even then, you’re still helping by letting us know about it (anonymously of course) and hopefully next time you shop there, it will be supported.
GAS is completely self-funded, and there are of course costs to maintain and develop it.
But it is my plan to make it completely sustainable in the near future, through two main methods:
Extremely targeted, ethical advertising at the time of purchase… Knowing what a user is about to buy and where he is about to buy it, is an amazing opportunity to advertise other products to him, and to help him make greener choices. This is one of our plans on how to not only raise money for the environment, but also help our users make smarter, greener buying decisions.
For example, when you’re about to buy a book online and click “green this,” you may see a small notice next to the GAS window suggesting you save an extra tree and buy the audio or e-book instead. This space may also be used for green tips such as suggesting places to recycle your old phone when you purchase a new one.
It should be noted, that GAS uses the data about a user’s purchase only for the duration of the transaction. No personally identifiable information is kept on a user’s shopping habits, in order not to intrude on his privacy.
Packaging and providing our technology for use by other non-profit and for-profit companies, so they can create their own version of GAS, completely branded to their charity, and benefiting different causes.
Yes. Conservation International is the current beneficiary of our donations, and they were chosen after consulting with a number of prominent green bloggers. But they will not be the only ones.
Soon we will let our users nominate charities and vote on which charity they would like to benefit from GAS that month. We may support a different charity every month, or perhaps divide the donation among a few charities every month, depending on the amounts and what our community votes for.
This is actually our weakest link right now. I am looking for opportunities to reach more people, and increase the number of users we have.
I have always been a treehugger. When I first came up with the idea for GAS, I had every intention for it to be something I do in my spare time... My way of using my web skills to do something good for the planet.
But the more I worked on the site, the more I realized that besides doing a lot of good, GAS could also be a viable sustainable business.
These days, GAS has taken over my life as a full-time job, and it is my hope to see it profitable in the near future.
Exactly. A part of my plan is to offer GAS as a hosted service to other organizations in different verticals, so that they could use it with their community and to benefit their cause.
Labels: Amazon Web Services, Conservation International, Green Any Site, Tal Ater, United Negro College Fund