Wired's Game|Life published a great article on freemium games - games which are free to download and play (mostly on mobile phones), but have in-game bonuses that the player may buy. Some games take the time honored website model of in-content-advertising to the extreme by:
selling eyeballs to advertisers instead of selling games to gamers.
For my money (or eyeballs, if you will), here are some key properties of a successful free-to-play experience:
- Free games are "safe" downloads - the only initial investment from the user is time. If they like it, they keep playing. It's an economy of interest.
- Players can spend money to save time - buy buying things that they could otherwise earn with an investment of hours. Games fail when what they sell cheapens gameplay, however.
Some games that have created a successful FtP model include Tiny Tower (on iOS), Packrat on Facebook, Bejeweled Blitz on iOS or Facebook, and League of Legends on Windows.
Let's talk about "tasting rooms" - sort of like a brewery's company store, they sell a few ounces of their beer for a buck or two. Sometimes they have pretzels or nuts, but they're not a full bar and they don't have food. They just have beer from the brewery that they're in.
As a beer connoisseur, the husband loves these places. But as a non-beer drinker, they offer very little for me. So what can a tasting room do to ensure that they're something more than a quick stop while I watch the husband drink?
- Make some root beer, and offer it on tap with the other beers. If nothing else, carry another brand's root beer or soda.
- Get some food. Seattle has a great wealth of food trucks, and I'm sure they'd love to park at your place and sell some food.
The longer that the non-beer-drinkers (aka the designated drivers) are kept entertained - rather than feeling left out - the longer our whole group will stay at a tasting room.
It doesn't seem like it's been all that long, but I've been a student glassblower for 3 years. When I first started taking glassblowing lessons, I would always buy glass color supplies from the convenient store inside the hotshop.
But in the past year, I've been going to Olympic Color Rods, and I really do prefer them for glassblowing supplies. The folks at OCR are always super nice, and they're great at helping me find what I want, or explaining something if I'm not sure what I'm looking for. And they've got tons of copies of Ed Schmid's glassblowing books (both Beginning and Advanced), which Amazon doesn't seem to stock.
The best thing about buying your color at OCR is that they've got several huge bins of scrap bar color, and they'll let you select which chunks of scrap you want. You can dig through the scrap box and choose those lovely reds, pinks and purples without getting stuck with more white or green from a pre-packed student color pack. I made this little amphora using one such scrap bar.
Ingrid the cat was very interested in my photography session.
In February, our household ditched cable T.V. service in favor of a combination of Netflix, a new DVR and less T.V. overall. For our new DVR, we chose an over-the-air DVR from a company called Sezmi. Unfortunately, last month Sezmi decided to cease providing direct to consumer service.
While we could watch previously recorded shows, the DVR stopped recording new shows, and seemed to lose the listing service. We could still manually set recordings, and choose live T.V. by network.
However, we recently rebooted the Sezmi, and since then it's started automatically recording shows, and it's been showing the listings information again. Hooray! This will certainly stave off the need to research and purchase a new DVR solution for a while.
I may be a fully employed professional computer geek, but there are some methods of quick money that I respect:
- Prevalent on Vegas pedestrian skybridges, Water bottles from a cooler (especially on a hot day) are also effective outside of sporting events. The margins on this are pretty good because you can get a 24-pack of water bottles at Costco for about 7 bucks, and sell each bottle for a just a buck and you'll be severely undercutting the stadium prices. (Qwest Field used to allow sealed bottles of water into Sounders games.)
- Who can resist homemade ethnic specialties, like tamales from a food truck? If it were me selling, I'd be peddling snickerdoodles and peanut blossoms.
Remaining blogs about economics: