Agloco Viewbar Released

After much anticipation Agloco released their Viewbar today.  If you already have an Agloco account, you can login and download it now.  If you don’t have an Agloco account, you can sign up here.  And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read my original post about Agloco.  Basically Agloco is a service that intends to help you earn money from your regular web surfing.

When I first got the email from Agloco earlier today, I found their site was too busy to get through — they warned this might happen — but this evening I was able to connect and download the Viewbar with no trouble.  If you can’t get through to your site though, just try again later.  Tons of people are probably trying to download the Viewbar.

First impressions

I installed the Viewbar under Windows XP, and it seems to be running fine.  I’m pleased with how thin and unobtrusive it is.  It sits quietly at the bottom of my screen, just above the Windows Taskbar and roughly the same height.  Even after a few minutes of use, I don’t really notice it.

The Viewbar can be docked at the top or bottom of your screen, and you can change the skin color to blue, red, purple, or green.  I prefer the default settings (docked at bottom with blue skin).

One potential issue I noticed is that when I use the Viewbar’s built-in search feature, it opens the results page in Internet Explorer, which isn’t my default browser (I use NetCaptor).  I think it should use my default browser instead.

I’m not currently seeing any ads displayed in my Viewbar — it just shows a link that says, “Ads to appear here shortly, Click here for Viewbar FAQ.”  That link takes me to this FAQ page (which also opens in Internet Explorer instead of my default browser).

The maximum credit you can accrue from running the Viewbar while web surfing is 5 hours per month… not a heck of a lot of time to have the Viewbar displayed on your screen.  I can easily go through that in an afternoon.  As far as I can tell, there’s no benefit in terms of credit earned from running it more than that, although I’m sure a lot of people will once they become habitualized to it.

The Viewbar has a colored indicator that lights up green while you’re actively earning credit for your hours of web surfing and turns red when you aren’t.  As many of you know, I’m colorblind.  Fortunately they chose a bright enough green and a dark enough red that I can easily tell them apart.

I notice the indicator light turns green within a second or two after I open a page in Internet Explorer or Firefox, but when I open a page in my default browser, it stays red, so apparently I’m not getting credit for my default browser.  I notice that when I minimize IE or Firefox or switch to another app, the indicator turns red after a minute or two.  I suspect the software is polling periodically to see if a known browser is the active window.  Hopefully Agloco will add broader support for browsers, since I prefer NetCaptor’s tabbed interface to IE or Firefox.  The Viewbar FAQ seems to imply that the only browsers supported right now are IE and Firefox.

Early results

Agloco currently reports that I have 1851 referrals in my network, and 1343 of them have directly signed up via my referral link (I signed up less than 2 months ago).  It also reports that I’ve accumulated 0.7 hours so far from my own usage and 6.8 hours from my network.  It will be interesting to see how hours convert to dollars down the road.

Final thoughts

Since I haven’t had a chance to try the Agloco Viewbar until today, and since no one has earned a dime from it so far (at least to my knowledge), I’m not endorsing this service.  But I did announce it here in April for several reasons:  1) It’s free, 2) it’s interesting enough to merit a look, 3) the risk of trying it out for a while to see if it works seems negligible, and 4) it could moderately benefit people, particularly those who get in early and refer others.

If you think Agloco is totally stupid though, you may be right.  If it bombs and no one earns a dime from it, there will be plenty of outrage directed at the company, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares?  On the other hand, if it does moderately well, those who got in early will be glad they invested the negligible amount of time to sign up, download and install the Viewbar, and pass on the word to others.

To me this is a relative no-brainer.  Due to the negligible risk, one can afford to place a lot of these bets and lose most of them.  If Agloco charged money to sign-up though, I wouldn’t go near it.

Consider looking into Agloco if you haven’t already done so, or see my original April post about it.

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