Richard Soderberg, college student.
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Richard Soderberg. I developed a Firefox extension that uses affiliate links to pay for my college education. If you’re using the Firefox web browser, install my extension. Every purchase you make helps pay for the 100+ school credits I’m taking this decade. It works silently in the background without disturbing you or your browser. It requires no information from you and costs you nothing.
Why did you do this?
For the past ten years I worked overtime as either a programmer or a system administrator. I worked so hard on making the Internet better that I was never able to set aside time for learning. It was lots of fun and provided a great deal of experience in the field. I realized in 2008 that I was missing classroom experience. I discovered after several failed attempts in prior years that it is possible to go to school and work at the same time, as long as I restrict myself to part-time work only. Full-time Internet work simply doesn’t mix well with school work. This is one of my part-time projects come to fruition. It is my goal to bring tremendous value to the world through inventions, and I’d like your help learning how.
Why are you in college?
I intend to make science fiction gadgets into real-life objects that you can buy on Amazon or ThinkGeek. It will take several years, so I need to get through school as fast as possible. Then I can invent the things we all dream of having.
No way! Like what?
- A light saber (plasma in a cylindrical magnetic containment field)
- A warp engine (complex energy field conforming to the Alcubierre equations)
- A cloaking field (an area of space that reroutes photons around itself without disruption)
- A teleporter (temporary instantaneous quantum superposition at the macro scale)
How many times have you wished for a teleportation device? Now’s your chance to make it happen. I know in my heart that it’s possible to do some or all of these things before I die. I just have to teach myself how.
How do my purchases pay for your education?
You install my Firefox extension and then go back to surfing the Internet as usual. When you buy something from Amazon, they’ll send me a few cents after a few weeks time.
Can you see what I buy?
Absolutely not. The extension operates entirely on your computer, without ever sending anything to me. Amazon protects your privacy (and your identity) when generating my affiliate reports.
What’s the catch?
There’s no catch. In the future, I’d like to provide you a way to choose your own affiliates. That way all of this work can benefit others besides myself. This is my first Firefox extension so that will take some time. (My college doesn’t have a class on building extensions.)
How can I trust you?
I’m currently registered at West Valley College - send me an email and we can have lunch sometime! You can check out my social networking profiles - I’m connected to a wide variety of real-life people on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and another thirty or forty sites as well. I have a perfect 5-star seller rating on Amazon Marketplace. I used to write code for the Perl programming language.
Why don’t you get a job?
This extension is designed to be a source of income for college that doesn’t take time away from my classes or part-time work as a jack-of-all-trades computer consultant. I do a wide variety of tasks, such as helping folks sign up for Twitter, removing spyware, deploying WordPress, and MySQL performance optimization. I have five hours per month left in my consulting schedule right now. Send me an email if you’re in need of my services - the address is above and to the right.