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WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

Black Friday/Cyber Monday = Programming Books Buy Craze!

Book shopping spree!!!

This morning I was browsing the Pragmatic Bookshelf’s catalog and end up buying a bunch of books:

All came with a 40% discount using the coupon: turkey. This offer stands from 23rd to 26th of November, so take a look at the Pragmatic Bookshelf before it is over! And don’t forget to check out Apress’ any book for 15$ deal on Monday.

P.S. Btw, did you know that you can follow Minecon 2012 live at GameSpot? (I am shocked about the huge ecosystem that Mojang managed around Minecraft! Kudos!)

Windows Phone App Marketing 101: quiz4couples

Hi folks! :)

Thought I would write a little bit about what I am doing to market quiz4couples, tips, tricks and interesting resources that I have found so far that may be useful to you when you market your app.

1. Create a Landing Website For Your App

The first thing I wanted to do was to have a central hub for marketing quiz4couples where people could find out about the app, but also, and perhaps more important, where users could contact me and influence quiz4couples roadmap and development. I thus created apps4couples.com (also quiz4couples.com) this last week, which at present it is just a static website and which I will continue developing adding some super basic CRM functionality (controversial decision) in the upcoming weeks.

For this particular website I bought and customized a twitter bootstrap template at WrapBootstrap.com. As a software developer with a full-time job I have veeery very few time to work on side projects, so I really need to pick my battles, and if I can get the job done to a certain quality standard with 15$ and an hour of investment, then that’s great :).

There are a Gazillion other options for creating quick websites, choose the one that you are the most familiar with (come on, you are a developer after all xD) and rock on! Also, don’t forget to take a look at Scott Hanselmans’ first windows phone app experience for more great tips.

2. Engage With Social Media and The Windows Phone Community

The fastest, easiest, cheapest thing you can probably do to start marketing your app is to leverage social media. You most surely already have a twitter, facebook, google+, linkedin, etc account, use them to spread the word. Next, write an informal press release and send it out into the windows phone community: wpcentral, wmpoweruser, everythingWM, Windows Developer Show, and any other media source that you can find. The press release should include:

3. Build a Community

This is huge: Taking care of your users, listening to them, making them feel that you care and that you are approachable, that they can influence the development of that app that you made and they love and find super useful or fun. I will definitely be working on this :)

A Note about Nokia’s Marketing-In-A-Box

An interesting tip I got from the AppBizDev podcast was the existence of Nokia’s Marketing-In-A-Box, a windows phone app marketing bundle for dummies :):

It comes with a 40 page app marketing crash-course guide (which I haven’t had the chance to read so far) and with a series of digital resources that allow you to create a website, facebook tab, video and banners, all super streamlined and taking advantage of the resources you already have in the windows store marketplace. The video is a liiiittle bit cheesy and the app screenshots don’t fit in 100%:

But the banner making tool was pretty nifty:

quiz4couples

Other Interesting Resources

God I am tired… xD Three hours awake and I feel like going back to sleep xDD

Cheers!

Awesome sessions from Build 2012: Scott Hanselman Kicks Ass

I have started watching some sessions from //build/ and catching up since I was uber busy last week and could barely follow the event. I had in mind to focus on Windows Phone 8 for starters but then I saw that Scott Hanselman had a talk Angle Brackets, Curly Braces, One ASP.NET and the Cloud and, of course, could not resist. It was awesome, do not miss it.

I also started listening to Alan Mendelevich new podcast AppBizDev, a podcast completely focused on “Windows Phone and Windows 8 app marketing, funding and monetization”, and found out about this super interesting joint initiative by Microsoft and Nokia to support Windows Phone startups: the AppCampus.

Apart from investing 20,000 – 70,000 euros per project, AppCampus also supports the admitted applicants with comprehensive support, training in mobile technology, design and usability, and funding to create innovative new mobile apps and services. Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store offer local and global business opportunities to program participants via distribution to consumers around the world.

We don’t take equity or commission from the investment. Successful applications are expected to be available exclusively on Windows Phone and other Nokia platforms for the first six months.

Check it out!

Barbaric September: Quiz4couples is Finished!

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a windows phone application, in this case a simple quiz game called quiz4couples, and releasing it to market.

And so I am finally finished with quiz4couples! Last night I pushed the app through the certification process and hopefully in a couple of days, if all goes well and good, it will be published in the Windows Phone Store. It is weird, even though it has only been a month and a half of development, it feels much longer :), it was definitely tough, and I think I will probably take a week or two off from side-projects, read a little, blog a little, watch some sessions from //build/, in summary, chill

I am planning to create a landing page for the app (and future ones, who knows what the future holds… XD) at apps4couples.com. I will probably have something ready by the end of the week, so keep an eye out. Anyhow, you won’t be able to miss it since I will most definitely shout out to the four winds when quiz4couples is finally published.

Here are some screenshots:

Quiz4couples Screenshot Almost Final Version Quiz4couples Screenshot Quiz4couples Screenshot Quiz4couples Screenshot Quiz4couples Screenshot Quiz4couples Screenshot Quiz4couples Screenshot