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The Programming Strategy (nickmudge.info)
4 points by mudge on Dec 29, 2007 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

I found that quote interesting too, so after reading your post I took a look at your app. I wasn't able to figure out what it does in the 60 seconds I usually allot to these things. I had trouble finding the "About Newsconomy" link (hidden at the bottom), and once I did it didn't make sense to me. I'm not a baseball person so that metaphor didn't draw me in. You might consider adding a more prominent "Start Here" link or some such thing that would provide examples of cool things your app can do. Good luck.

I agree. I find it difficult to see what the next step is. How does owning an item help me (or it)? My thought is a created item would be of low value but I can set any price and that is the value. Do I buy an item to promote it? or just to have edit control over the description and title?

The items seem to be sorted simply by the order they were created irregardless of the value in lambdas. It seems like an interesting idea that is still missing a few core features.

You are right, you can set the price of any item you own and that is its value, especially if someone else buys it for that price. When you buy an item you get the ability edit the description, the title, the tags, and the price. You can change the price on any item you own. Also, when you buy an item, it puts it at the top of lists.

I find myself having the same problem with my own work. I feel like it's not at a point where I feel good about promoting it. I too would rather talk about a product I can stand behind. In addition, I fear that if I introduce it to users too early, they'll take one look at it and won't come back until many months later. There's only so many times new users will look at something in the beginning.

However, on the flip side, the fear is also that I'm building it away from what users would want without feedback. "Release Early and Release Often", right?

So I'm torn between promoting it to get feedback but "wasting" some early adopters, versus keep working on it based on what I think should go in there, and saving it until it's at a point where early adopters would have a better chance of sticking around.

What's the right balance?

I totally know what you're saying. Maybe promote it a little bit, get some feedback, make it better, promote it a little bit more, get some more feedback, make it better. Promote it more based on your confidence of the site being better. That's what I'm doing. I've loved some of the feedback I've gotten, and it has been really helpful.

Do you keep promoting it to the same crowd? Or do you have a couple different places where you promote it and do a round-robin?

I write blog posts sometimes. When I write something that I think might be interesting to Hacker News or programming.reddit.com I submit it there. I also submit stuff sometimes a few other places like mixx.com and digg.com. I tell friends when I add features to newsconomy. When the site is better I'll write more about it and submit blog posts to more sites, and I'll send email to bloggers and other people on the Internet I don't directly know but who I think the site might be interesting to.

I just went there.

The first thing I thought was "These just look like stories but what's up with these lambdas and what's the deal with the Buy link?". Sadly after a minute or so I got no answer and my interest waned. You definitely need an "About" or a "What is this?" page.

One simple thing you should do is eliminate the "dead end" transitions (e.g. I press Submit and I get to a "you must login first" dead end page). If I can't submit, make the link inactive or at least take me straight to the login page.

Another thing you could do is add some descriptive tooltips so if I mouse over a link like "Buy" I'll see something more informative than "Address: https://newsconomy.com/buy/208".

Hey, thanks very much. I see that I need to make it much clearer what it is. Also, here's a list of items that give more info: http://newsconomy.com/tag/newsconomy

I just wrote another blog posts that explains some uses of newsconomy. Hopefully it makes it clearer what it is about: http://nickmudge.info/?post=81

Yeah, I wasn't sure what lambdas were, and wasn't sure what 'buy' was on first glance. However, after reading that you can "do stuff" to news that you "buy", and putting it together with the name "newsconomy", it comes together in my mind.

You're basically using capitalistic model to better rate the "value" of a news item--hence an economy/market based on trading(buying/selling) news, instead of using a basic democratic process modeled after political organizations (which is what digg/reddit/yc is modeled after).

I think it makes sense for those that understand basic supply/demand and capitalism ideas, such as "decentralized market determines price", "invisible hand", etc. But for those that don't, they'll have a hard time with understanding why they're buying web links with no inherent value with virtual 'dollars'

I assume lambdas are unit of exchange--price. You might want to call it something that people can infer are money...like "rupies", "newsdollar", etc.

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