Archive for January 24th, 2008

Bad weather music

As you can probably tell by now, the weather here has been crappy all week. Rainy, overcast, cold. This kind of weather makes me pretty tired and just sad in general. And when I feel like shit, I like to listen to music that makes me feel even sadder. One of my favorite songs to listen to when the weather is bad is this great breakup song by Moxy Fruvous called Fly. Makes me want to cry every time I listen to it. Some of my other favorite songs of theirs (that are much peppier) are Michigan Militia, The Drinking Song, My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors, The King of Spain, and their version of Psycho Killer.

When it is weathering out and the sun is noticeably absent, I also like to listen to two albums I picked up in England when I was working there: The Best Album In The World…Ever! and The Best Album In The World 1996 . Each came with two CDs packed full of British Pop that is great for foggy/rainy/snowy weather. Sadly, those CDs seem to be missing from my collection now. I wonder what happened to them.

Bottle Man

Every morning while I’m walking, I run into this guy in his mid sixties, blue windbreaker and baseball cap. He drives up in his dirty old Mazda MPV, takes out some garbage bags, and wanders into the complexes to steal all the returnable bottles from the recycling bins (and yes, this is illegal in most towns).

And every day I see him, I wonder what the right thing to do is? Let this guy continue to steal and make our recycling rates go up (someone has to pay for the recycling trucks to come by and empty the containers while they make less and less money on what they are picking up), or do I report him?

I usually just smile and say good morning. I think the police have better things to do than to stop a recycling thief (like pull me over for a busticated headlight. ;-)

Making money on Facebook

How do you make money with a Facebook app?

Not an easily answered question. Blake makes enough through ads to pay for his servers and a little extra on top, but it isn't a multi-million dollar business. What would?

A few key things need to happen.

Make your app addictive. The app must have daily repeat traffic. Many apps have a lot of initial users who download the app and then immediately lose interest. You need a reason for the user to keep using your app, especially if it is based on ad revenue. And if they aren't using it daily, they may not notice all the cool features you've added.

Keep innovating. The attention span of Facebook users is smaller than a peanut. If you don't change with them, they will drop you like a bad habit.

Make it viral. You need a way to get an initial user base. Your app needs to be something that a new user will invite all of their friends to use.

Now the hard part, how to make money. Sadly, I'm not certain anyone has really figured out how to do this yet. The fabulous thing about all these Web 2.0 apps is that they are gold mines, but no one has figured out how to mine the gold in a way that makes a real profit. If you figure out how, will you let me know?

The other thing to figure out is how to mine users. Facebook let's you interact with all these users but they aren't *your* users. You can rarely keep a user once you leave the facebook world. If you can figure out how to escape from Alcatraz, you might just be a future millionaire.

Lotus

Since I was freezing from standing outside (my new FMBs are not warm) I decided to walk over to the Four Seasons hotel bar. Always something intriguing about hotel bars. I don't think this one will be as much fun as the hotel bar in Dallas. Mostly couples.

Two older guys alone that are flanking each end of the bar. To my right is Mr. Black Suit, shaved meat head guy with the small glasses and the blackberry. Glass of red wine, eating dessert now.

To my left is country club man in his kahkis, striped oxford and dark blue sweater. Glass of white wine next to his IBM Think Pad.

Me in the center. Leather boots, fitted black pants. White button-up shirt with a v-neck black sweater. Black leather jacket and gloves. Using my iPhone and drinking a Lotus–Grey Goose, Lychee Juice, Fresh Mint, Sparkling Blueberry Juice.

Zombies & Vampires

Plan number 3 for finding a date: Geek events.

Tonight was supposed to be a talk by Blake Commagere about creating Facebook apps. Blake's claims to fame are the Zombies and Vampires apps.

So why is he standing under a tree? Well, it seems that the company that was hosting the event had a gas leak. What did we do? Stood outside in 40 degree weather having social hour and eating pizza.

Like always, I met a few new people. Of course I was facebooked by the only other girl there and the married host of the event. Talked with one guy who had just graduated from business school. Not really my type, but I think he left with the girl. They might have been in school together.

I spent most of the night listening to the questions that people asked Blake. When it cleared out a little, I asked my own. The most useless of which was to find out what possessed him to write such silly apps. He just wanted something fun to do with his friends. He used to work on the Causes app, at least that had some socially redeeming value.

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