Well, as the site name says, I’m Jason Lotito. I’m a programmer by trade, a hacker by night, a gamer all the time, a husband, a father, and an all around good guy.
I’ve been involved with numerous projects and companies, many private, some public.
- Contributor to PEAR
- Owner/Founder of DevNetwork, a PHP-focused web developer forum that’s been around since 2002.
- Founding technical partner of myVirtualCard, a 3rd-party payment processing system, the first to utilize an out-of-band confirmation system, an automated telephone authentication, for credit card processing (Yes, long before PayPal started doing it)
- Founding technical partner of Funds2Go, a debit card payment system
- Maintainer of Eclipse (Extensible PHP Class Library)
- Original owner of NewbieNetwork.net and PHPComplete.com, sites dedicated to teaching PHP3/PHP4.
- Senior Developer at Gamma Entertainment handling the TrustCharge processing system
- Creator of DuctMail, and email reminder system
I joined myYearbook.com on August 15, 2011 as a Senior Developer. Since then, the company was bought by QuePasa Corp., and then renamed to MeetMe.com. We are a publicly traded company (MEET), and are in the top 10 social networking sites in the US, and we are growing.
My first big project at MeetMe was the web version of the Locals product. It’s a fun product, and is the second feature in the sites main navigation. Since then, I’ve been involved in cleaning and updating numerous parts of the site. I also added the online now indicators throughout the site (the little green squares). I also worked on adding Facebook sharing throughout the site.
I was the tech side of a company called myVirtualCard (eventually became PayMonde). It was a 3rd party credit card processing company. It was built alongside a telephone authentication system. Basically, out-of-band authentication. A customer would make a purchase, we’d call his phone, he’d enter a code, we’d validate the code, and allow the purchase to finish. It was awesome technology at the time, long before PayPal or other processors started using it. We were, as far as I can tell, the first to do it.
However, our clientele ended up mostly being adult sites, and getting a phone call wasn’t something the customers wanted to deal with, so we ended up dropping it. Besides, the extra security wasn’t anything we could bank on. Friendly fraud was still an issue.
I built a lot of technology into MVC to combat fraud, and provide our customer service with ways to turn fraud or refunds into apologies from distraught wives and mothers when they found out that Joe Bob or little Tommy did in fact purchase a membership. It’s surprisingly easy to talk to someone and provide them with information and explain that, yes, we do in fact have specific information that can target where someone did make the purchase from.
I also focused a lot on fine tuning the purchase experience. While MVC was alive and running, I was able to takes steps that turned a normal purchase page into a powerhouse of simplicity. It got to the point where we had a 40% over the industry standard in conversion (at least from what I could gather from merchants). 40%! I did measurements on everything from the order of the form elements, what information to capture, as well as a system to auto-correct errors. You’d be surprised all the things you can do to fix a simple mistake for the customer without them needing to intervene.
MVC shut down in 2007, and PayMonde, Funds2Go, and other companies under the same roof shutdown soon after that. This all occurred because we lost processing. The interesting thing was, we were never provided with why we were shut down. They did provide a few “bad transactions,” but I was never able to trace these back. And our chargeback rate was well below 1% for both Visa and MC. I don’t know many more of the details. I was mostly interested in the tech side of things. But I do know that our system, over it’s lifetime, processed in excess of $20,000,000 in transactions. This with a small staff, a small startup budget, and a group of people essentially learning as they went along.