Nick Harris

Archive for December 2016

Strange Things at Serpent Mound

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Ever since I read about The Great Serpent Mound in the Haunted Ohio books when I was a kid I’ve wanted to go. I didn’t have anything going on today so I decided to make the drive. I’ve heard a few stories about strange things that happen there but I didn’t expect anything would happen to me. I just wanted to see it.

But a strange thing happened to me.

I’ve had my iPhone for over a year. I’ve never had any problems with it. Today while I was walking around Serpent Mound taking pictures it suddenly turned itself off. When I tried to turn it back on it had the dead battery graphic. I know it wasn’t dead. I had it on the charger the whole way there. It was at 100%. After another try or two it restarted but was down to 40%. When I tried to take another picture it turned itself off again. I repeated this at least a dozen times. It would show the dead battery graphic, then startup on the next try, stay on for about 5 seconds, then turn off again.

I decided to put it back on the charger in my car just to see what would happen. After a few minutes of charging with it on, I unplugged it and took a picture of my steering wheel to make sure it wasn’t going to turn off again. It was working fine. So I went back out to take the pictures I wanted from the observation tower. Lo and behold, after taking pictures for another 5 minutes it went right back to turning itself off. I decided to go ahead and leave.

I put it back on the charger in my car and left. About 20 miles down the road is the abandon Belfast Elementary School. Its creepy looking so I decided to stop and take some pictures of it as well. My phone worked fine. Its worked fine the rest of the day. I expect it will continue to work fine.

I love a good ghost story and unexplained things. That’s only the second time something truly unexplained has happened to me (I once caught a voice say “you’re in the hole” while using my iPhones’ voice recorder in a cell at the Ohio State Reformatory).

Today was awesome. I was dumbfounded. Serpent Mound really is a strange, special place.

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Written by Nick Harris

December 28, 2016 at 2:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Ad Rev

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Back in June when I released Super Euchre! and Solitary Solitaire I started an experiment. I wanted to see if the banner ads I had always used in Euchre were worth it or if moving to interstitial ads was a better way to go.

Banner ads are always present. I personally hate them. While I’m using an app they’re always there taking up space the app could be using and ruining the overall design of the interface.

Interstitial ads are ads that overtake the app (sometimes with a timer before you can dismiss them). They’re way more intrusive then banner ads, but they’re also easier to mold to your user experience. An ad that over takes your app in the middle of reading an article is incredibly annoying. Presenting one when you’re in a “paused” frame of mind is more seamless.

With that in mind, Solitaire only shows an interstitial ad after you’re already playing a game but have given up and are trying to start a new one. You’re in a position of change within the app already so pausing your transition for a few seconds to present an ad is the least intrusive opportunity.

Euchre has an always present banner ad.

The Results

I think its hard to deny that interstitial ads are the way to go in my case at this point.

1. They’re less annoying
2. They pay MUCH better
3. They are less annoying and pay MUCH better

Between my two apps, Solitaire has about 10% the install base of Euchre but produces 20% of the overall ad revenue.

Here are the numbers:

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The Plan

I plan on moving Euchre away from the banner ad to an interstitial only on loss this weekend. The impressions will fall off dramatically but the RPM should rocket. Users will have a better experience and I’ll make more per install.

There’s more to digest here but its mid-week and my head is in the middle of a refactor for my day job, but I hope to revisit this.

Those are real numbers though. If you’re better at business math then I am, send me a note about what you think. 

Written by Nick Harris

December 1, 2016 at 5:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized