Cause Recession sucks!

Well I still have my day job (but that may fall through so if you’ve got leads!?) – and I’m just a baby, nearly virgin of the blogosphere, but some people DO make their living off the blogs. So help a brother/sister/blogger out and click it! Page views are GOD in the making-a-living-off-the-internet world. At least until they find a better way to track the metrics. So Click-through! Keep those mousies clicking but if you get sore fingers, blame your porn/smut clicks, not the ones I said to click through on!


Phallic symbols and the gaming industry

Yeah I get that most of the gamers out there are guys. And I get that guns and people with penises just seem to go together but really, did they have to be made so…. graphically similar? I mean really look at them (the blue things are the guns!)

It was all I could not to laugh when we put the “guns” on the ships. Seriously! I guess I’m the only one who found it at all amusing. I’m glad I didn’t laugh!

On to the serious part. I like this game (but I do like all the Catan incarnations) We played it with 6 people, all Catan players but only half knew THIS game. It was LONG and SLOW because of the learning curve. But it was fun. Lots of set up, toys to play with. The encounters with aliens (whee!) read like the old choose your own adventure which was rather fun. The lovely brown ships also act as a form of dice so lots of cool gadgets. And really, it’s Catan! I’d enjoy having this one and playing again. Wonder how well it works for two players?

Geek Girl Gamenight part I

notice the part I at the top? That’s cause I’m hoping there will be a part II, III, IV etc. Because I’m having a heck of a lot of fun playing all these games. Of course I may not blog EVERY time, but it is fun to take note of the games I’ve played and how I felt about the experience.

Game one: Setllers of Cataan
Since this is my first game post, and I LOVE this game and never get to talk about it, it’s going right here. Hard game to sum up in a bite but: you’re a settler, you have land, you get goods from said land, you use the goods to build roads to take you to new lands so you can settle and beat out others who are trying to settle in the same place. I’m pretty crappy at this game. (I’m pretty crappy at a lot of these games because I don’t think far enough ahead to be dangerous.) However, I do love it. Enough so that I bought the card version so if I can talk ANYONE into playing, I’ll have a game to play with. And yes, I do like the card version as well.

Gamenights – Virtual Fridays:
Quick recap since these are long past: a group meets at a local game store every two weeks and plays Euro games. Nice couple that run it (thank you for running it) and introduce us to lots of games like Zooloretto and Pandemic, both of which end up on my favorite list. Next time I play there I’ll remember to write down the games we play for a full recap.

Fresno Games group (meets once a week):
I’ve been 3 times to this now and I’ll say this much, this is a good bunch of guys. As usual, I’m the only girl. But so far they haven’t held that against me.
Games played:
Race for the galaxy: not a bad card game, doesn’t take much set up which is nice. Will have to play it a bit more to really get a handle on it, but I liked it.
Puerto Rico: Love it. Take turns choosing roles that will help you to build factories, make goods, and trade said goods. Much more complex than that of course. 2 player version is San Juan and I really like that one as well.
Droles de Zebres: Okay I lost this one – by a whole lot. And I thought I had the hang of it! You know you’re going to lose when the person you’re playing keeps saying “Yes, that’s where I thought you’d go” or “Yep, I knew you’d do that.” Every Turn! Would play it again, it is fast, but I need someone else who’s like me and doesn’t know the game well.
Dungeonquest: Kind of cool game. I would definately play it again.Take one adventurer, with strengths and weaknesses, set him in a dungeon that changes each time, give him things to fight and treasure to find – and keep if he makes it out alive. I’ll give you a hint on this game: the winner is the one who makes it out alive – and when we played, no one did.
Hart an der Grenze: You’re smuggling goods in these cute little suitcases, some legal, some not. Trying to declare as little as possible so you make as much as possible – without being caught by the mean customs agent (Sherrif). I lost – horribly! Was fun though. Love the suitcases and the owner of said-game was smart and added little plastic sleeves for the endgame!
Aquaretto: Zooloretto with twists. You’re trying to build your own tourist-attraction aquarium complete with seals, dolphins, killer whales and more, but you’re limited on space. You don’t want the whales close to the dolphins – so set up is important. I lost this one too – and I was doing so good! I really like it though – there are rules for playing a combined version with Zooloretto and Aquaretto that we want to try sometime.
Pandemic: The world is afire with viruses, ready to explode into an epidemic at any moment! You and your team (fellow players) must work together to get the cures before the world ends! Very fun game, I like it a lot! The world ended though and we found no cures (sad shake of the head). It was all my fault! I take the blame, I chose the wrong role. Next time we will be victorious!
Note: these guys are a blast to play with, and I know they only keep me around so they aren’t the ones losing the games. Score: me 0 them 500000000 (yeah that’s a complete exaggeration)

That’s it – at some point I’ll try and link up to descrip for each game. Live in Fresno or close enough? We’re open to new players! Come join us – we need more girls!

Social + Marketing + Me thinking

One of my currents hats is as an “analyst” for a sales&marketing department of a print (loosely defined) product – yes I mean newspaper. With the changes in the way advertising is being handled now I’ve had a lot to think about and muse on. This is my musings – it is not based on pure date – it is me… thinking aloud. This post: became a springboard that finally launched me into actually putting my musings down on paper er computer. Do not blame anyone else if the ideas are grammatically incorrect or don’t seem well thought out – this is the raw stuff and mine own fault.

Social networks and the art of advertising

I’ve been doing some reading and trying to find a definitive answer as to how well social networks and advertising work together. There seems to be little consensus as to the actual mechanics of it, the numbers say that online advertising – with social networks being a part of that – is way up. Yet it seems to be little drops here and there for the majority of advertisers. There seem to be some key issues regarding advertising with social networks that need to be addressed.

People using social networks are task oriented, they’re not there to find a product, they’re there to fill a very different type of need: socialization.

So what needs are being met with social networks? What does make people move to the next site? Thinking of myself, I may find myself wandering down streets I wouldn’t normally go because I’ve seen it recommended by someone else – or even by someone connected to someone else that I already follow. What does that do for links at the end of my travels – unless they want to up their follow rate, or they are selling something I think I might like to buy, not a whole lot. What advertising am I more likely to get excited about? When someone genuinely finds a product they like (and are not sponsoring or getting a kickback from) and describe it well, it might get me interested in finding out more about it – word of mouth is a big deal.

Like any good reader they’ve learned to skim a page to find the content. Reading a book is much the same: textbooks get skimmed for just the key points, even a great fiction book isn’t read word for word. People on facebook, or myspace, or twitter, or any other blog site are looking for only the content they want to read. Everything else is, including advertising, is hiding in the blind spots.

When do I peruse through the blind spots? When it’s someone whose word I value, I might be interested in looking at who sponsors them. When they’ve been helpful: (a friend meandered over to a magazine’s twitter and got not only great help but a better look at the content of said magazine and is now interested in buying it – subscribing even). When they’ve got something I really like which brings us appropriate matches.

There isn’t a lot of “best fit” advertising. People are trying to “preach to the choir” with their advertising: trying to get the gaming enthusiast to switch games, or the guy who loves his Ford truck to buy the latest truck (which he either already has or he’s planning on buying).

I follow various “groups” on twitter: moms, music, books, games, thought provoking, witty. So I might be a bad example but if I happen across a gaming site that leads me to a geekdom site I might sign up. I might even buy stuff from them. That speaks to the geek in me and I can never have enough geek. So really research says this is not the way to get me, however they’re probably not going to get me to change my mind about d&d but they might get me to buy new dice. Now this is kind of an odd category because you know geeks can never have enough dice, or games, or books, or music. They used an example about skateboards – you’ve got a store you already like to shop from, a certain company you purchase your gear from, but I still think there’s room for more. So I’m a Ford fan, and you probably won’t get me to switch cars, but maybe you could get met to buy new accessories, or buy a different car for my young daughter. Or suggest the car to a friend who doesn’t like Fords, but might like this one.

Final Thoughts
How we decide the “best fit” isn’t always obvious – the key I think is to build up the “connection factor” of the site – make ads more “word of mouth” not a click through picture as we think of advertising. Growing a connected audience builds up the relationship and makes them more open to what you’ve got to say about products somewhere down the line. Connect first, advertise later with something that grabs my attention, and change the advertising to a much less-traditional format. Social networks are about a community – be a part of the community before you try and sell me something please.