Like Nick's FeedDemon entry, this is just a stub. It's missing a lot of things - of course the latest version is not mentioned (only being a couple of days old), the new 2006 Shareware Industry Award is not listed in the Awards area, I'm never mentioned anywhere (boo! hiss!), it doesn't mention anything about all of the original games that I invented for the program, and there's no link to this blog.
Like Nick, I can't edit this entry (because of Wikipedia's policy that the person who knows the most about a subject can't contribute). But hopefully over time some people will come along and edit it and make it better (hint, hint).
A typical bookshop will experience a certain amount of shoplifting,
especially of products as tempting as my book. Nobody is better placed to
benefit from shoplifting than the shop assistants.
If books — or any products — were roundly priced at £10, £15 or £20, then
customers would frequently offer the correct change. In such cases it would be
simple for the shop assistant to bag the item without ringing it through the
till, and to pocket the cash.
Consumer researchers know that people are terrible at remembering store
prices: two seconds after taking a product from a shelf, the average person has
roughly a 50 percent chance of remembering how much it cost. But few researchers
have examined why some prices are more memorable than others.
According to a new study, it is a matter of syllables. Each extra syllable in
the price reduces the chances of it being recalled by 20 percent, according to
the study, which will be published in the September issue of The Journal of
Consumer Research [JCR]. In other words, someone faced with a $77.51 camera
(eight syllables) and a $62.30 bookshelf (five syllables) is about 60 percent
more likely to forget the camera’s price than the bookshelf’s, after half a
It turns out that in the last forty years, the length of stay of a typical
bestseller at #1 is down by more than 85%. In other words, bestsellers used to
be bestsellers for seven times as long as they are now.
Exclusive Interview with Plentyoffish.com. Andrew Johnson posts an interview with the founder of a dating site. The site is making $10,000 a day from Google AdSense. And it is a two person (husband and wife) business (!), just like we at goodsol.com are. Now that's inspiring!
And since this is a blog in the independent/casual game industry, the special casual game post is:
Portals Are Good. Phil Steinmeyer explains why he thinks portals are good. Personally, I don't think they are good, but they aren't bad either, they just are. At least for now.
And that is this week's Carnival of Marketing.
If you are interested in hosting the Carnival of Marketing, email Noah
at noah [at] okdork.com with your website and which date you want to
host the carnival. If you want to submit a post to a future carnival, articles can be
entered on the Blog Carnival submission form.
Take a drive through Illinois -- home to McDonald's headquarters --
and you might discover that many of the towns you pass don't have one
"real" restaurant. No diner, no place for a fancy night out. Just a
Hardee's, a Pizza Hut, and, of course, a McDonald's. This is not a
phenomenon limited to tiny towns near Springfield. There are thousands
of McDonald's franchises across the country, along with chains like
Arby's, Subway, T.G.I. Friday's, and countless others churning out
anonymous, forgettable meals to people in a hurry. Hey, it's what we
In fact, most small towns in Illinois do have diners, usually small cafes. But you usually have to drive away from the interstate or into the main part of town to find them. Look for the little cafe with all the cop cars in the parking lot, they always know where the best food is.
Springfield in particular has a lot of non-chain restaurants. I go out to lunch every day (many days its the only time I get out of the house). While I do hit some chains like Pizza Hut or Chili's, mostly I go to small local restaurant/bars. There are plenty of such places in Springfield (although admittedly there is a lack of good pizza places. For some reason, all pizza in Springfield is thin crust. There are no good Chicago style pizza joints. For someone used to the pizza in Champaign-Urbana, that is annoying.)
Unfortunately, many of Springfield's best places are currently closed due to tornado damage. I went looking today for an open place in one of my usual eating areas (Wabash Ave), and nothing was open:
The Barrel Head - this great bar/restaurant no longer has a roof, greatly expanding their beer garden. I don't know if they are going to reopen.
Steak n Shake - this is a chain, I know, but a good one. The SnS on Wabash is closed, can't tell when it will reopen.
Sgt Peppers Cafe - a local cafe. The one on Wabash is closed. I ended up eating today at the one on Stevenson.
Amber Jacks - a great place for burgers. Part of the roof is missing, but there was activity all around it today, it looks like they are repairing to reopen.
Darcy's Pint - they lost their sign, but they are open. But they are always incredibly crowded. I'm not sure how they escaped damage when you see how badly some of the warehouses next to them got hit.
Getting back to the Godin post, there will always be a place in the market for local restaurants, no matter how well chains do. In fact, the better chains do, the more there will be a demand from people for something different.
This is true in the indie/casual game market as well. The better the portals do with their games that are all the same, the more niches that will be available for those who are different.
I would say there are reasons for this. First, he optimized the game for portal sales. It's designed the way portals design games, it is not designed as a game to sell direct.
I think it would sell better direct if it were a little different. First, the name of the game is not good for direct sales. The name "Bonnie's Bookstore" does not tell you what the game is. It is a word game, but the name doesn't reflect that. To sell direct, you need search engine traffic. You need a name that will generate search engine hits. You need the game to come up when people search for word games. Nothing in the name Bonnie's Bookstore does that. It's a bad name for direct sales.
Also, if I had made that game, I would not have "themed" it. Themes for casual games is a recent portal fad. A theme is a subject for the artwork and storyline for a game. Themes have become very popular on portals, to the point where it looks like the portals are almost demanding that games have themes. The theme for Bonnie's Bookstore is artwork of a woman named Bonnie who has a bookstore. It actually has nothing to do with the game itself. The game could be made and played without the theme. The theme really adds nothing to the game play, and in fact one of the problems with themes is that some people are turned off by particular themes.
The game would be better if there were no themes, or if the player could change the backgrounds or set their own background. That would make it more like the kinds of games that sell well direct.
I suspect that these themes got started when a couple of games with themes sold well on the portals, so they made more. Now it is to the point where they just take the same game and put it out with several different themes and try to sell them as different games. That's probably not going to last long when the customers figure it out.