Welcome to the seventh edition of Ephemerata, a weekly-ish digest of links, ideas, learnings, and sounds that I think are worth sharing.
I’m doing this to stimulate discussion around what I find interesting, and also to share things before they disappear into the void of my journal.
Thanks to ‘Lawrie’ (AKA my dad) for contributing to my Open Collective this week .
The latest episode of Metamuse is a comprehensive overview of issues around software pricing. They discuss sustainable business models, data ownership, trade-offs of using app stores, the importance of letting people try the app first. Might be a worthwhile listen for anyone wondering why many apps are moving to subscriptions.
Some useful concepts for me:
- The term “modern living app” expresses how apps need regular maintenance and are never ‘finished’. To ‘sell it and forget it’ is unrealistic and so is charging for it once.
- The concept of “alumni mode” is about making sure people have access to their data even if they cancel their subscription. I demoed this in my funding button earlier this year, and I’m glad to have a short name for the idea.
[One does not simply change the price: they need to rethink the product, marketing, analytics, testing, support, etc… It might be useful to have a dedicated pricing person, in the same way as designer or engineer.]
[Consider the psychological goods as well as the commercial ones (community, social signaling, ambience).]
For even more discussion, check out their episode with the creator of Agenda, which goes into the dynamics of producing apps as an independant developer, and engaging with your community.
My upcoming event with Fission on July 8th, 2021 around “earning a living from apps without holding other people’s data” will also get into these topics, so please join us if you’re interested.
I’ve been rediscovering Plausible Analytics this week. They wrote about all the marketing practices they don’t use:
- Don’t confuse marketing with advertising, spamming and shouting
- We don’t do any paid advertising
- We don’t use spy pixels from Facebook and Google to retarget you
- We don’t track your every click using session recordings
- We don’t do any exit popups and other intrusive calls-to-action
- We don’t have affiliates and don’t pay anyone to recommend us
- We don’t do A/B testing and other experiments
- We don’t try to get you on a sales call to test our product
- We don’t have a fancy email sequence to “nurture” you into paying
- We don’t try to engage you after you sign up for our product
- We don’t use a chatbot or an AI-tool to engage and convert you
- We don’t ask you to join yet another webinar to learn some secrets
- We don’t participate in any link buying to game search engines
- We don’t have a podcast and a video channel
- We don’t know who you are, what you like or where you’re from
- We ignore all other unethical proposals we see in our inbox
Respect for making a more conscientious option profitable.
They also describe some noble properties of open-source software:
- Open source is software that you can trust
- Software that is ethical
- Software with more earnest goals, motives and principles other than profit making and shareholder value
- Software that tells you what it does upfront, direct and honest.
- Software that is open and transparent
- Software that you are a user of rather than a product of
- Software that is created by real people rather than faceless organizations
- Software that can be verified that it does what the creators say that it does
If you’re enjoying this, consider contributing to my Open Collective. Virtually everything I create is public, accessible for free, and open-source. Your support helps me keep adding to the commons and making it available for everyone.
[Every baby has cried and been scared of being abandoned.]
[We’re hard-wired to avoid rejection and abandonment because it’s directly linked to our survival.]
[Be loving and accepting, and undo any false sense of scarcity that has been created.]
David Chapman describes a theory of how subcultures arise and fall in Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution. (via @firstname.lastname@example.org)
Guess who said this:
I’d like to do my part in encouraging a return to longer forms of thinking and writing, which provide more room for nuance and more opportunity for establishing consensus or, at the very least, respecting a diversity of perspective and, you know, science.
I want to revive the original spirit of the older, pre-commercial internet, with its bulletin boards, newsgroups, and blogs — if not in form, then in function.
Hint: rhymes with ‘feds were snowed in’
Love in English versus Persian:
In English we suddenly ‘fall in love,’ but in Persian love comes in stages: First the ‘havā’ (infatuation) of youth, then the ‘dūstī’ (affectionate love) of a couple, followed by the ‘eshq’ (passionate love) of newlyweds, and finally the ‘mohabat,’ (caring love) of an old couple.
Been getting into Ze Frank’s inimitable videos again and found his Guide To Candy Trading after Halloween. His series on obscure biological creatures (such as killer surfing snails) can be fun in moderation.
All the following items can be accessed as a one-click playlist via Joybox without accounts or sign up—just open and play.
fran’s coração tambor from raiz (2020) documents the artist’s search for his ancestry in Angola, featuring some indigenous music and percussion. (via Sushma)
More music in last weeks’s edition.
I always love receiving music. Send me recommendations anytime, anywhere!
Feel free to reply and share any reflections you might have, or just say hello.