Search Keyword Madness

I make a post like this every now and then because I’m fascinated by how people find this site completely by random chance or typing is crazy search terms, luckily my curiosity is easily sated by StatPress and Google Analytics.

After being back online for only a week it seems that the popular keywords are already suitably nutty but that’s just as much a reflection of the eclectic range of topics I post about as the insanity of the internet. Here’s the top few, for example with the posts they arrived at linked:

So there you have it. It seems like a fair proportion of these come in search of images, so it’s lucky I’m diligent with my alt tags (actually, I’m not).

Of course, this junk is only of interest to me so posting it is pointless other than to give people searching for these terms one more place to land.

The number of spammy comments has reduced considerably (from 10 a day, to none) since I turn on CAPTCHA on the comments page so that was an easy fix, although I do kinda miss the creative ways these spammers were disguising their garbage as actual comments, for example:

Hi! Is it OK if I go a bit off topic? I’m trying to read your page on my Macbook but it doesn’t display properly, do you have any suggestions? Thanks! Roderick

You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren?¯t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

very informative site

They look like real comments mostly, until you take a look at the website or email address used by the bot, they look so scary only a true idiot would click on them.

I do get the odd genuine comment from someone who’s stumbled upon the site and that’s nice. So, if you’re reading this now because you found this site looking for fallout wallpaper, hints on charging your iPod without iTunes or alpaca porn, feel free to leave me a comment, sorry about the CAPTCHA but it’s a necessary evil.

Sync or Swim

This post is about how I have manage to avoid paying full price for most of the iPhone apps I have installed.

Sure, there are some which I have paid full price for and they have been worth every cent (Camera+ -currently unavailable- springs immediately to mind, as does eWallet and SprintGPS) but some apps are good value at $1.19, and even better value at $0 (most aren’t even worth $0 but that’s the topic of another post entirely).

The thing is that quite often iPhone app developers will drop their price for a special promotion, or set the price to FREE for a random 24 hours period to create some buzz, sometimes because they have another app coming out soon and want to raise awareness and sometimes just because they’re batshit insane and like living on two minute noodles and expired beer.

Anyway, it’s not rocket surgery but what I do avoid paying developers for their hard work isn’t completely obvious either, so here’s the deal:

The easy way

As the name would suggest FADD offer one paid app for free every day, most of the apps are only free for one day but some persist for several days and the FAAD app keeps track of them for you.

See, I told you it wasn’t rock science. I used to use an app called AppSniper but it became increasingly unstable and unreliable so I removed it and now prefer to use the method below.

The slightly less easy way

  • Sign up for a Google Reader account
  • Use google reader to subscribe to the appshopper.com rss feed at http://appshopper.com/feed/?mode=featured
  • Check the feed on your iphone using the google app or via your browser on the dekstop, as per the image to the right it clearly shows apps which have dropped in price and even notifies you of new ones as they are released.

The other great feature of Appshopper is that when you view the app page in their site it shows you a price history of the app so you can see when the sneaky developer increased the price from FREE to $5.99 then to FREE again within the space of two days. These are the ones you usually know to avoid because they’re permanently free for a reason (not all free apps are shit, but it’s a generalisation I stand by).

You’ll be drowning in free apps before you have time to say “Chris, you’re a certified genius!”

One Caveat: I have noticed a disturbing trend of once paid apps going free but integrating either micro-transactions or iAds in to their normal flow.Tower Madness is one example. This once $2.99 tower defence app has gone free but now seems to offer upgrades to weapons or new maps, for a price. While I understand the developers need to feed their families I much prefer they do so by offering a product which people will actually want to pay for without using dirty tricks.

So there you have it, enjoy your free apps and remember if you like an app you happen to get for free make sure you support the developer in the future, the good ones deserve your money and encouragement  and who knows, maybe one day the signal to noise ratio in the app store will favour the apps worth paying for rather than 698 fart apps.

yes, 698 fart apps

Don’t Panic!

New site, new theme, no content! I’ve moved the site to an actual host rather than hosting it on my NAS via my home connection which means that it should be faster, better, stronger….well, at the very least it will be UP!

Of course, that doesn’t promise posting more frequently, if at all, but at least I’m now paying for the right to not post and hopefully that will inspire me to actually keep the site going more than I have over the last year….maybe.