Put the knife down and take a green herb, dude.
One feller's views on the state of everyday computer science & its application (and now, OTHER STUFF) who isn't rich enough to shell out for www.myfreakinfirst-andlast-name.com
|FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!!! Back-up your data and always wear white.|
|Tuesday, March 04, 2014|
Stop Using The Cup of Coffee vs. $0.99 App Analogy | A Designer Life:
Note that he doesn't say your app. Okay, okay, that's wrong. He does, very explicitly, say "your app", but the "you" there isn't you, the specific, real, quality app author. It's "you" the composite app developer, that makes lots of unScottish (aka "crap") apps. It's how the concept of "app developer" appears to your audience -- an author-persona, if you will. (See, honestly, how many dev blogs mention Foucaultian terms? No additional cost to you. I know.)
How do you make your $4 app a trustable experience? That's an app developer's -- any app store software developer's -- challenge.
Or, as Jeff Atwood says in App-pocalypse Now (linking to the post above):
Have you ever noticed that the people complaining about apps that cost $3.99 are the same people dropping five bucks on a cup of fancy coffee without batting an eyelash? Me too, and I'm with the coffee people. $3.99 for your app? Outraaageous!
More specifically, it's your attention, but those terms are relatively interchangeable.
There's only so much attention to pass around. Folks set aside time to take a look at new apps, with an expectation in their head of what they'd like to find. It's like rushing to a store to take advantage of a sale. If the item you want isn't there, you've wasted your time, and that, you can never get back. You're not so upset that the item isn't there, but that you traded in your time trying to back it.
If I'm actively looking for an app that does X, I typically can't afford to try out 15 of them. I have $5 set aside to find a great RSS reader. I research. I try out free alternatives. I finally shell out for Unread. I still feel it's not as good as it could be. How many times to I shell out $5 trying to find a good one? How long do I lurk around review sites? When do you settle for what you've got/good enough?
How do you, as an app developer, rise to the top of that process?
posted by ruffin at 3/04/2014 11:11:00 AM
|Saturday, March 01, 2014|
10 Years of being Haacked - You've Been Haacked:
Today Jeff Atwood commemorates 10 years of CodingHorror.com. Congratulations Jeff!
posted by ruffin at 3/01/2014 10:56:00 PM
|Wednesday, February 19, 2014|
Messaging: Mobile's Killer App | stratēchery by Ben Thompson:
Conversations are never ending, and friends come and go at a pace dictated not by physicality, but rather by attention.
Great line from Ben Thompson on the importance of instant messaging.
He's one of the few pundits that's good enough that when I find myself disagreeing with him, I stop and take the time to figure out how (most likely) 1.) I'm plain wrong or (occasionally, if I'm thoughtful enough) 2.) we're not really disagreeing, but taking different tacks at thinking the same thing.
But absolutely regardless of my petty self-interjection, that's a well-written line that deserves some credit.
posted by ruffin at 2/19/2014 02:21:00 PM
|Tuesday, February 18, 2014|
The Bottom Feeder: Why Indie Developers Go Insane:
Think about this. I mean you, personally. Think about what it would take to make you run from a gold mine like this. Really. Think about why someone would do this.
Man, this line from Jeff Vogel on the end of Flappy Bird's run on the App Store has gotten some play in iOS app blogs recently.
Look, guys, Flappy Bird's still here. It's still on devices that downloaded it before The Great Flappy Bird Culling of 2014. Thus the stupid [I assume fake] eBay listings of devices that already had the game installed. He's greatly slowed its pace of adoption -- to nothing -- but his installed user base didn't change and all. And now, well, who doesn't have a copy of Juggling?
Nguyen hasn't run from the gold mine; he only slowed the stream. He still has the old mine as it stood on Culling Day, and got a heck of an advertizing boost for his other, smaller, previously ignored (relatively speaking) games.
More interesting to me is considering how the game succeeded.
Bird Gotta Fly: Why Flappy Bird Flew The Coop - Forbes:
Stuart references Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto who studied arcade game players and realized that the appeal of these games “was born of the players being mad at themselves… So I would try to analyze how the game made players feel that way.”
Regardless, don't cry for Nguyen's GEARS, okay? He's created three fractions of one percent of Wario Ware and apparently lucked into a decent payday from the work. Good for him, but enough with the pity.
posted by ruffin at 2/18/2014 12:30:00 PM
|Friday, February 14, 2014|
King has bought an old trademark, and you're not going to like how they're using it | Gamezebo:
At the time of Ransom’s filing, King had little ground to stand on. Ransom’s game predated theirs, and he already held the mark for CANDYSWIPE, so it was up to the courts to decide. So here’s what King did: they bought an earlier trademark from another company, and are using that to try and have Ransom’s CANDYSWIPE trademark registration cancelled.
A guy has a game that was released months before Candy Crush, and whose name and approximate gameplay is reasonably reproduced in that later game. So he's got a trademark for CandySwipe, and fights Candy Crush's application for trademarking the name Candy Crush & Candy. He, rightfully enough, seems to think he should have seniority in the candy-named, match three (?) games.
So Candy Crush buys an older game with a similar name so that they can shut him down.
Seriously, our legal system is too weird if not for words, then because of them. Reminds me of advice I give kids, "Be careful how you word your wishes, in case they come true." Wish someone would warn lawmakers too. If only they didn't stand to gain by going through a revolving door out of lawmaking and into the business of selling the friction of enforcing them.
posted by ruffin at 2/14/2014 08:50:00 AM
|Thursday, February 13, 2014|
It appears Firefox is going to have what are, for now, non-intrusive ads that fill up your "frequently visited" tabs on an empty page with some adverts until you visit enough sites, as if those were helpful suggestions.
There's a painful irony in reading this shortly after DaringFireball linked to a post from a former RealNetworks employee explaining how adware was forcefully driving RealNetworks' business:
My manager then said, “More than half the company would have to lose their job in order for us to stop these tactics … so are you volunteering to be one of them?”
I understand making money from having Google as your default search engine. That's an easy win-win. Google seems to offer the best (and if not the best, no worse than top two, and you'll have to pick who the other is) search engine, folks enjoy the simplicity of a search box/unified search bar, and you might as well pocket the cash for giving the bar to them.
But don't try to link this new ad grab to the search bar, as if Google was going to stop paying, which the originally linked news item about Firefox's new ads does:
Mozilla is heavily reliant on income from search royalties from Google, and has been for some time, so this would seem to be an exploration of other financial options – with possibly more alternative revenue streams to come?
That stream simply isn't drying up. How much do you think Bing would pay to be on Firefox? Everything I can tell from the rumors surrounding Microsoft now that they have a new CEO suggests that they're going to be less Windows-first-and-Windows-only than they have been in the past. And it's not like Bing was a stranger to search bars before now either.
There's plenty of revenue to keep Mozilla afloat without becoming the next RealNetworks, and only so many places where you can put ads without becoming intrusive. And hopefully only so many times you can insert ads before someone starts building Firefox without them. See Banshee, the crossplatform iTunes replacement -- there's been a small tempest about how its affiliate fees for music purchased through its UI at Amazon get rerouted on different Linux distros. It's not that hard to "re-monetize" software.
We've been happy to give Firefox a few dollars to provide us with better functions. If you want more cash, innovate with new functions, dang it. Or you might be surprised how quickly your users' goodwill dries up when you start demanding more tribute.
posted by ruffin at 2/13/2014 08:05:00 AM
|Tuesday, February 11, 2014|
Begging For App Ratings:
I’ve just submitted a new version of Delicious Library 3, and I’m scared out of my head that the first two or three people who review it won’t like it, which will tank it to the extent where nobody discovers it any more, so there won’t be any positive reviews to balance them out.
Probably the most well-argued case I've seen for devs bugging users to rate something. The strange disincentive to release updates to well-rated apps seems, well, insane. What a broken system.
posted by ruffin at 2/11/2014 12:52:00 PM
Task Manager Menu Bar and Tabs Are Not Visible:
When you start Task Manager, the menu bar and tabs may not be visible.
Who knew? MSDN, that's who.
posted by ruffin at 2/11/2014 08:49:00 AM
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