Welcome to Curious Business

Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, October 07, 2011

Is There Anybody Out There?

It looks like Facebook’s latest interface upheaval killed the Networked Blogs app. Last week’s post appeared on my wall and my Twitter feed as usual, but the “number of impressions” fell from 200-ish to 25.  A manual wall post made on the same day appeared under “Top Stories” and got the expected exposure, so I have to think that autoposts from Networked Blogs aren’t making the cut, even though they look normal to me.

Sigh. Sometimes I wish the Internet would stop being such a prima donna and be pre-Madonna instead. Should I reinstall Networked Blogs? Look for a new app? Hope it automatically fixes itself? Post blog links manually? I don’t know. Ken White’s Popehat promos often inspire me to click through -- but their posts are inherently more interesting than mine. 

So why not make Curious Business more like Popehat? In the first place, I’m not a collective of writers. In the second place, it’s hard to be fresh and witty after writing about the same narrow subject (namely, Curio City) for five years. And in the third place, I’m simply not clever enough to come up with “You Wouldn’t Say That If A Terrorist With An Expired Registration And Six Tons Of Ammonium Nitrate Drove Onto Sesame Street, Killing Big Bird And Elmo, Would You?”

Betcha all 25 of my readers will click on that one.


Last week’s Sunshop upgrade didn’t quite rise to disaster status, but it sure stretches the definition of “upgrade.” What should have been the most visible improvement – the Flash image viewer – doesn’t actually work in a typical Internet Explorer install
(and Apple products famously don't support Flash at all, but I already knew that). Neither did Turnkey’s fallback routine, at first; I spent a lot of time figuring out why IE8 was being petulant. To my dismay, Sunshop dropped support for the old rollover thumbnails, so my product display took a great leap backwards. 

I decided to try the Flash viewer despite these drawbacks, and promptly went 36 hours without a sale. Wednesday became my first shutout since late August; the corresponding day last year was $588. I reluctantly turned it off again on Thursday (sorry, Firefox users) and within five minutes a sale came in. Coincidence? I’m sure not going to test it any further to make sure. This week's shortfall mostly wipes out my gains from the past two months.

The much-delayed random act of media finally yielded exactly one sale…from a New Jersey resident who bought some Switchables. So much for the ravening hordes I greedily anticipated. I never sold a single Science clock. I didn’t know that any publicity could flop so completely, even for a year-old product that had already proven itself a turkey.


In the Nobody Cares Department: I have decreed that payday shall fall on the Monday following the close of the pay period, rather than Friday, as before. I originally delayed payday in case the cash flow wasn’t there to support it; that concern has ebbed. Advancing payday by five days should bring in one more paycheck this year than last.

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