Monthly Archives: January 2009

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Interruption Marketing

Category : Business , Thoughts

I'll be the first to admit that I know very little about business. I have started businesses in the past. I have closed businesses in the past. I know how to do those two things. But I also know that interrupting your viewers before they even have a chance to see your business is really, really bad business. I know this because this is exactly what Fast Company's web site does.

Interruption marketing is nothing new on the web. If you go to CNet's websites like GameSpot, are not logged in, and try to click on content, there is a chance that you will see an ad on the way to the content you really want to see. I do not have a really big problem with this, even though it interrupts the usability of their site. I know that they need the revenue from the ads and interruption marketing is well-entrenched.

Fast Company, on the other hand, interrupted me before their main page...and the ad did not load correctly. It was akin to walking up to a shop that looked somewhat interesting and being told by the doorman that there was a really cool thing to see down the block. He was not exactly sure what it was, but that it was better than what I had been looking for at the shop. Undeterred by the doorman, I entered the shop and found he was right.

The site definitely has some interesting articles, but most of them are somewhat underwhelming to be gracious. I should have taken the doorman's advice and gone somewhere else. However, just like I did not click the ad that refused to load, I would not tip the doorman in this case; providing no click-through revenue for Fast Company or whatever company's ad had failed.

Now, I don't like people stopping me on the street to sell me encyclopedias and I don't like sites interrupting me when I'm trying to find something relevant to my interests. But I'm willing to say no to the pushy encyclopedia salesman and I'm willing to click the "skip this add" link if I have to. I'm trained to jump through bad marketing hoops, and I'm good at saying no and forgetting whatever was pushed at me--the likelyhood of me actually being interested in your interruption is low and my irritation rate is high at having to be interrupted.

However, I do often click ads and such that I find interesting on social media sites like Facebook (which often have a voting mechanism to let the marketing group know if their ad was effective or not). But I have to find it interesting and find it on my own. If I'm in the middle of something, I'll bear with your ad and clicking to ignore it. But if I see an ad before I even see your front page and who you are and what you do...there's a problem with the way you do business.

If I can't connect with what you do, why would I want to go to your site at all? Maybe, if interruption advertising on this front were effective, I would never go to your site at all because I would keep clicking on your partner's. Sadly for those partners, I think that in my many, many years of being online and dealing with online marketing, I have never clicked on an ad presented in this fashion.

It just tells me that you do not care about your customers or your own brand (or else you would show your frontpage before anyone else could stop someone from getting there). Or else that your only focus is on advertising; any conent that you have that might draw customers to the site is secondary (if not further down the list).

If I'm going to your site; if I might be interested in spending money there (if you have such services) then let me get there. If one of your premium services is that I do not see ads (as many sites are wont to provide to paying customers) will I even know that the service exists if I'm blocked from actually going to the frontpage of your site?

Just some thoughts.

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How about adding “Make games that don’t suck” to your to-do list?

Category : Development

I frequent a lot of game development communities (as well as gaming communities) and often see people who get really excited about new markets (the current really exciting one is the iPhone App store). I can understand that excitement. New markets are by definition pretty exciting, especially to people who like breaking into new markets (ie, indies).

Unfortunately, if you have visited the iPhone game store, there is an awful lot of crap there. I'm not talking about a couple of bad games here or there or games the I just don't like. I'm talking about "I'd rather play Barbie Vacation Adventure on an Emulator than play this shitty excuse for a game"-type crap. There are, of course, some fun games on there like Dr. Awesome, Rolando, Sushi-to-Go, and Vay...but there is a lot of crap as well.

And sadly, a lot of the games that I really don't like come out of the communities that I really do like: the indie game communities. I like the little guy. I am the little guy. I try to support the little guy...and in doing so I have bought some really, really horrid games that should never have been released in the first place. Not just games that I don't like (I've bought some of those, too). But I can differentiate between games I don't like and games that are just plain unworkable messes that make me want to punch the dev's in the throat.

I've played a lot of bad games. Hell, I have written FAQs for bad games. But I really, really wish I didn't have to support indies making bad games.

So how about adding "Make games that don't suck" to your list when developing a game. Make it playable. Make it fun. Even if it's not my type of game, I can recommend it to people who would love it. But right now, I often find it hard to recommend a lot of indie iPhone games to people because they're just not that great.

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Great pieces of advice.

Category : Film , theatre , Thoughts

None from me. I'm not the best giver-of-advice, but I do like to read the advice given by others. Here's some great advice from some people that I quite enjoy reading:

Joss Whedon's 10 Tips for Writers

The biggest one, in my opinion, is the first one: finish it. This is an area where most people I know who write have an issue. Finishing is hard, and often times nigh impossible because we try to incorporate all of our revisioning into the first draft. And yes, I know that I need to follow this as well. Manifest Destiny is actually coming along nicely for dreaming about it two nights ago and writing it the next night while getting snockered on Jameson.

Lefsetz Letter on FedEx

Love him or hate him, Bob Lefsetz has a lot to say about the music industry, and I think that we should listen to him. He's been throwing punches around the music industry for a long time. Unlike many people who comment about the industry without being an insider, Lefsetz is an insider who does not pull punches and isn't afraid to go for the throat. His advice in this piece, while a bit rambly in comparison to his other pieces, is on good word of mouth. People who have their own businesses, who work support for other businesses, who deal with customers, who are members of non-profits, or who are interested in sharing the things they like should take notice.

You're Boring by Seth Godin

Seth's one of those great marketing minds who fits into two very distinct categories: 1) he is successful enough at what he does that people listen to him and really want to listen to what he says even if they can't quite fathom it in their practices or organization, and 2) he makes a lot of marketing people or people embedded within the status quo quite nervous, often because he makes up analogies that they just do not understand (the Big Moo, the Purple Cow, etc). He is also worth listening to since he has a great perspective on how to stand out. I've been a fan for years; now if only I would take some of his advice.

Unhappy Thespians - A Manifesto on Training

I love Jill Dolan. She's an extremely gifted mind in theatre and has one hell of a head for theory. Her Utopia in Performance, while lighter on the theory than say Geographies of Learning, is a testament to the utopian power of theatre to transform the indivuals involved in it and the spectators engaged with it. In this essay, presented at the ATHE 2008 conference "elephant in the room" session, Dolan asks fundamental questions about why departments break down the spirited enthusiasm of their students during the course of training.

Original Manifesto

Response by Fran Dorn

Rebuttal by Jill Dolan

(as a side-note, Dr. Sandra G Shannon's "American Theatre History: A Segregated and Untruthful Affair" is also an interesting read)

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More Zoe and Broots

Category : Pets

While this isn't the most exciting video of Zoe, it is one that I could get while she was relatively motionless. Otherwise she was quite a blur.

And here's Broots again, this time getting the camera strap. He's pretty damn viscious with those paws. He grabs on and refuses to let go!

Yes, I know I sound like an idiot.

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Broots goes crazy on carpet.

Category : Pets

He is definitely one funny ferret! Zoe just explores.

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Just watched Peter Podgursky’s Cheerbleeders.

Category : Film

Cheerbleeders is one hell of a film that was made by Peter Podgursky, a one-time alum of ISU and one hell of a filmmaker. I'm proud to say that I've tried to help out on his films in some capacity. Whether it was a little or a lot or none at all, I support him to the top.

It is good to see that he did great work at USC. I wish him well with everything he does. If you can see it, see it. It is a ton of fun. May he make many, many more.

Oh, and he as an IMDB credit (or a few, actually since he's a film school junkie!).

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Do what you love.

Category : Thoughts

From Jeff Tunnell's blog at MakeItBigInGames.

"If you want bling-bling. If you want to buy the jets. You want to do shit? Work. That's how you get it."

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I have a hankering to do a slasher flick this summer…

Category : Film , stuff I'm doing

I'm still unsure as to exactly how I want to do it, but I'm thinking that 10 minute chunks (the official timestamp length on YouTube videos, though I have a feeling that it would be pulled in short order (assuming anyone actually watched it). Mainly because there are a couple of things that I want to do with it, but am unsure as to whether or not I'll be able to find the right people.

  1. Nudity. Yes, I think there will probably be nudity; and perhaps a lot of it. Often combined with the blood and bodily detritus that makes up point 2.
  2. Blood and various pieces of flesh. There will definitely be a ton of it. Often combined with the above nudity.
  3. Torture. There will probably be some serious torture scenes as well as the brutal chop-chop that happens in these movies.

All of these things point to content restrictions on YouTube or Vimeo. Yet these are the venues that I seem to be targeting in my head (yes the streaming internet videos will be free; which adds a whole "how will I make any money back that I put into 500 gallons of corn syrup and food coloring?").

Hopefully soon I'll get to post a little more on the slasher flick.

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Music for the Day – Eminem, New Order, Megadeth, Men Without Hats, Liz Phair, Tori Amos, U2, Joe Satriani

Category : Music for the Day

Eminem's "The Way I Am", New Order's "Confusion", Megadeth's "Peace Sells...", Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance", Liz Phair's "Fuck and Run", Tori Amos' "Silent All These Years", U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday", Joe Satriani's "Always with Me, Always with You"

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Music for the Day: Skinny Puppy, The Killers, Primitive Radio Gods, Crash Test Dummies, Our Lady Peace, Chumbawumba, Jill Sobule, Static X

Category : Music for the Day

Skinny Puppy's "Killing Game", The Killers "Somebody Told Me", The Primitive Radio Gods' "Standing Outside a Broken Telephone Booth with Money in My Hand", Crash Test Dummies' "God Shuffled His Feet", Our Lady Peace's "One Man Army", Chumbawumba's "Homophobia", Jill Sobule's "Under the Disco Ball/Manhattan in January, and Static X's "Push It".

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