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Social Killed The Smartphone Games

Social Killed Smartphone Games

Smartphone games like Draw Something rose fast because its social approach and fell because … yes, it’s social approach.

In this Forbes article Zynga Nightmare Continues Tero Kuittinen tells us how the popular smartphone game company Zinga is struggling to keep people playing Draw Something.

Zynga recently acquired OMGPOP, a small company that created the game Draw Something. This game in a matter of days became a hit and was played by millions of people.

But here it seems that what easy comes easy goes. People are stopping to play Draw Something.

Tero argues that

Not only may it be impossible to predict the future success of games based on the first months of sales. But the quality of upgrades may ultimately turn out to have a decisive role in determining long-term success of a title.

From my point of view Tero gets part of this wrong.

He gets right that predicting the success of a game is difficult. It is not a precise science.

What he gets wrong is that upgrades played a role in the long-term success of games. In the case of Draw Something or WordFeud, their social approach is responsible for killing the game.

How smartphone games like Draw Something rise?

I read in Mashable that this game is getting hot. Next thing I do is to download the app and try to play with it. But I need a friend to play against. It’s not a single player game.

So I spam my friends with invitations, some of them will accept and spam forward to their contacts.

Draw Something grew socially because in order for a person to play, two have to download the app.

The same applies to stopping to play. If one player quits, the other cannot continue playing. In the extreme case, if one person stops playing, two will end up deleting the app.

And here lays the reason for the rapid decline on Draw Something. After a 2 hour spree of non-stop drawing, we get caught up by the busyness of our daily life and after a while we forget we were playing with a friend. We get bored and delete the app.

The same cascading effect of that makes people to massively download the smartphone games, also makes people massively uninstall them.

Are you still playing Draw Something? I am not.

10 Most Viewed Posts From 2011

10 Most Viewed Posts In 2011

This is me in Koh Chang (Thailand) during Xmas 2011 holidays

Dear readers, thanks for coming to my site. These are the 10 most viewed posts in my blog during 2011. I started to blog seriously from September 2011 and I am quite happy with the amount of readers I got in 3 months.


How To Identify A Social Media Douchebag

Most of those social media gurus/experts are in fact social media douchebags. Learn how to spot them and stay away from them.

The 4 Hour Workweek Guide To PhD Motivation

Boost your PhD motivation using the learnings from The 4 Hour Workweek. Finish your PhD faster. Increase the quality of your research.

Top 7 Things You Need To Know Before You Start a PhD

7 things you are not told before starting a PhD. Ignore them at your peril, you future PhD student.

Motivation Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs

PhD motivation letter sample that you can use for PhD jobs. Use this cover letter for graduate school when applying for a graduate degree.

5 Phases of PhD Motivation Explained: The Roller Coaster Curve

During a PhD, graduate students go through 5 phases of motivation, here is how they work.

Free Template: Cover Letter Template For Scientific Journal Submission

Useful template for when you are submitting a scientific article and the journal requires a cover letter.

Top 42 Books For PhD And Graduate Students

From writing papers, to giving presentations, to grad school humor. The top 42 books for PhD and graduate students. Read them to survive grad school.

3 Websites For Alternative Income Generation As A Scientist

Generate alternative income as a scientist in your free time. Do freelance work using your expertise.

How To Use The Oxford Comma

How to use correctly the Oxford Comma when enumerating items in English.

Kill Procrastination Guilt With The Pomodoro Technique

Beat procrastination guilt and determine when a day was productive enough with the pomodoro technique. You might be more productive than you think.

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How To Use Google To Find Topics For Your Posts


How To Use Google To Find Topics For Your Posts

Image by annais via Flickr

Finding topics for your posts

Sometimes it is hard to come up with topics to write in your blog. If you want to attract readers, these topics should interest them. How can you find these topics? Good old Google can help you.

In this post I will show you how I used Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Insights to find ideas for new posts and keywords. Furthermore, I will assume that one of your goals is to increase the number of visitors for your website.

Step 1. Google  Analytics / Webmaster Tools: What is your blog known for?

How To Use Google Webmaster Tools To Find Topics For Your Posts

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools allow you to check how well does your website rank for certain search queries.

Ideally you would want to rank as high as possible in Google Search in those topics that you are covering with your blog.

Since my blog is small and I cover many topics, my results are not spectacular. But If you check carefully, you can see that I rank well for “motivation phd” and “phd motivation”.

This tells me that if I keep writing on phd motivation I have chances of appear on the top results of Google and establish a reputation as expert douchebag in phd motivation.

Step 2. Google Keyword Tool: Are there enough searches?

How To Use Google Keyword Tool To Find Topics For Your Posts


Keyword Tool from Google Adwords gives you an estimate of the number of monthly searches keywords receive. Ideally, you would like to write about topics, i.e. keywords, that receive a lot of searches AND have low competition. Why low competition? Because it will be easier to rank higher in Google, which will bring more readers.

Here I see that in Keywords Ideas a word pops up, “graduate”. I realized that across my blog I was only use the word PhD to describe this research position. What about graduate? This word is the most used in USA for what in Europe we call PhD.

If I want to get more readers from USA I should also include “graduate” in my posts and my keywords.

You can also come up with new blog posts that use some of the suggested keywords. I did this with the Motivation Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs.


Step 3. Google Insights: What are people really searching for?

With Google Insights you can check in detail search data, breaking down the searches by territory, date, and trending related searches.

What I want to see is what volume of searches received in 2011 certain terms in different areas.

Worldwide searches show me that effectively there are lots of searches that target “graduate”, so I should also include this word in my posts. It also seems that “advice” is a hotter term than “motivation”, so I should also use the former.
When I query for the same 4 terms in USA, I see that the only relevant is “graduate advice”. Same conclusion like above, since I want to get readers from the States.

What about India? They have an army of millions and millions of young university students, that might consider a Phd or graduate degree in science as a viable career path.

Here Google Insights shows that people from India mainly search for Phd and not graduate, so if I want to attract some of them, I should keep writing about PhD motivation.

What other tricks or tools do you use to generate ideas for your blog posts?

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How To Identify A Social Media Douchebag

How To Identify A Social Media Douchebag

Nowadays everybody wants to be a social media expert, a social media manager, a social media marketing guru, a social mediaaarrgghhh!!! Enough, I got sick of so much crap going on in Twitter and other webz.

Let me say this with a haiku I wrote in

You are passionate,

social media manager,

a fucking douchebag.


What is a douchebag?

Urban dictionary defines douchebag as

An individual who has an over-inflated sense of self worth,compounded by a low level of intellegence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears.

A Social Media Douchebag uses colorful but empty words.

Well, originally they were not empty, but because so many people use them, they lost their punch.

Let’s check some real examples I found. This is the sort of B… people write in their bios for Twitter or when guest blogging. When you find this, you know you identified a social media douchebag, run for your life!!

  • “She’s about making a difference while taking passionate, authentic action”

I apologize if I made you puke, but this had a high concentration of regurgitating material. “making a difference”, “passionate, authentic action” … fine, but what’s your job?

  • “Professionally, she writes and inspires on her trailblazing blog”

Damn right, I would buy anything inspiring, specially if it is promoted in a trailblazing blog.


A social media marketer douchebag uses “calls to action”

Because remember, they are marketers, so they sell stuff, inspiring stuff.

  • “Go out there and do great stuff”

This morning I did a great turd, does it count?


A social media douchebag connects with people


  • “People can relate to what I out our there”

Moving away from the scatology this time, of course people relate to you, you are stupid!!! They feel comfortable reading you, they don’t feel stupid with you around.


How to fix this?

It certainly hurts your eyes when you see those key words “guru”, “expert”, and the like. Ryan Plesko wrote a priceless Greasemonkey script that replaces all these keywords by their real meaning, DOUCHEBAG. Thanks Ryan!!


If despite reading all my bile acids, sorry, words, about social media gurus you still want to become one, you can learn everything here, or at what the fuck is my social media strategy.

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