Random thoughts, observations, nonsense, and rambling...



February 22, 2009: Ads suck ass, free apps rock!
I thought I'd blog a bit about Ad Support in iJiggles. To make a long story short, Ads suck. BUT having said that, I think I might have inadvertently found a really good way to make money off of your free apps at the same time without them.

iJiggles was a paid app at the beginning. But it wasn't selling at all (except for a few copies obviously). So I decided to make it free. Little did I expect that it would shoot to the top of the free lists. 100000+ downloads a day and I wasn't making a dime. The coverage is really good though.

So I was left with a predicament. I could make it .99 cents again and fall completely off the charts - back to mediocrity, or I could add Ad support. So I chose the latter knowing full well that I'd get some blowback on it :(

I added ads as a banner at the top of the title screen which is the same screen that you use to load new pictures or take pictures with your camera. So during a single usage of the app, you would see it multiple times but it wouldn't interfere with how the app actually works. It seemed like the least annoying way to do it for the users.

A few days later, Apple released the update and Ads were being displayed all over the world. iJiggles is displaying 2 million+ ads a day... and my profit for all of this trouble and hassle? About $200/day. This is barely more that I was making at $0.99 cents per copy at the rates that it was selling. Except, I'll saturate my user base a lot quicker now.

So Ads suck... but making your app free doesn't necessarily suck...

There are some unintended side effects to having a free app that sticks to the #1 free spot on the App Store. The largest one is exposure.

If you look at the description for iJiggles right now, the first 1/3 of it talks about OTHER apps. These are apps from some friends of mine that I really do honestly like (so the blurbs are real). They are the ones that have been benefitting from iJiggles.

Case in point, 7 Cities. It was released a couple of months ago and did really well for the author, but only got to about #53 on the app store - even while it was featured by Apple. A little while later it fell off the top 100.

Since I have added the blurb about it to my description, not only is it back on the charts but it's at #44 and climbing!! Basically, my blurb did more for their ranking than being featured by Apple!! (Coupled with a price drop). This is also much better than when they released a Lite version which is the strategy many devs are taking.

Mouse House has seen similar success. They are selling something like 10x as many apps as they were before. Their sales from the small blurb are making them more $$$ than admob support is making me!

So what does this mean exactly? Well, this is a new way to make money off of the top free apps. Devs could approach the top free app developers and "sponsor" their app. It really doesn't take much. A one or two line blurb talking about how awesome the app is has a HUGE effect. But these "blurbs" or "ads" are WAY more effective than any "in app ad system" by several orders of magnitude. Free app devs basically are their own ad provider. Neat!

So, I'm looking for sponsors for iJiggles. Contact me via my contact page.

Feb 17, 2009: iJiggles update
Due to the phenominal reception of the free version of iJiggles, I'm going to release it for free permanently! I am going to integrate AdMob so if you want to support me, please click one of the ads.

Unfortunately, since I'm not releasing a separate free version, the people who initially bought the app for .99 will get the ads too. If it bugs you that much, let me know who you are and I'll try and make it up to you in the future somehow.

Tomorrow should mark a special occasion where iJiggles will crack 100,000 downloads in one day. Today was so very close at 99371 copies. Pretty crazy!

Thanks to all who have downloaded it.

Feb 4, 2009: iJiggles is FREE (for a while)
That is all.

Feb 3, 2009: More Mentions
theiphoneblog.com

And a funny, not related article in PCMag. I think it is categorized appropriately.
pcmag.com - 10 Stupid iPhone Apps
"Blame our lack of interest with this app on the fact that this article has a female author, but iJiggles-3D-Wobble (99 cents) is plain stupid. You take any photo, select Jiggle mode, and you can "jiggle" anything in the photo. Choose the Inflate setting to increase the size of any object in your photo as well. The makers of this app use a photo of a woman holding watermelons as an example. Enough said."


Feb 2, 2009: Macenstein Article
There's a very good article over at macenstein about this whole Wobble vs. iJiggles thingy. It is a very good read: http://macenstein.com/default/archives/2484

I sent them a bit of a clarification email which I've reprinted here:

Hey Doc,

That was a VERY good article. It was very well balanced and fair. You are
absolutely right that this is completely immature.

I would like to clarify a few bits though, if you don't mind:

1. My name isn't Tod Martin. It's Tod Baudais. :)

2. iJiggles was never intended as a "boob app". It was originally developed as
an image manipulation toy - hence the interface. I did realize, however, that
it would probably used for boobs 90% of the time at first, but I was hoping
that it would wear off and people would find more entertaining uses for it.
The whole concept of a "Toy" is why the interface is how it is. It was meant
to be fun. At the same time I realize it is not for everyone. This "not a boob
app" thinking is why the first images of the app on the app store were of my
6 month old son.

3. I'm a little disappointed in Jon for his comparison of Wobble vs iJiggles.
I have an equally biased image here: http://www.smellslikedonkey.com/images/interpolation.jpg.
In fact, his image shows a feature of iJiggles! It allows you to push and
stretch images like they were putty which he has obviously done here. That
and this screenshot is from iJiggles 1.0. The new version is MUCH smoother
and prettier. Shame on him for misrepresenting this.

4. Speaking of features, iJiggles does everything that Wobble does and a lot
more. He makes no mention of the iJiggles stretch mode (which he used in his
comparison), the "inflation" feature, full support for multi-touch, interactive
simulation, settings for springiness, camera interface right within the app,
etc. Instead his argument is always "it does boobs" which iJiggles does as well.

5. His assertion that any sales spike can be attributed to his name and he is
absolutely right - sales stayed flat at around 100 copies a day. Some noise,
but nothing to write home about. Maybe there's a lesson in there for other
developers. In the end it doesn't really matter though, the whole point of
the name change wasn't to drive sales, but to send a clear message to play
fair.

The funny thing about this whole episode is that on thursday, I was content
to let iJiggles fade out of existence. I've made more than I put into it and
I wasn't willing to go the full distance and market it as a boob app. But the
name change on Friday, the personal attacks and weak legal threats from Jon
is what has inspired all of this. So the blog will stay up and the bully will
get a little bit of bad press.

So what is next? I think he got a taste of his own medicine. I'll change the
name of iJiggles back at some point - iJiggles-3D-Wobble *is* a stupid name
after all. I'm also thinking of adding a "Wobble Mode" that changes the
interpolation scheme a bit - without all of the ugly artifacts of course ;)
I'm also pondering a free, ad-supported version. We'll see.

Take care,
Tod B.



Feb 1, 2009: Those crazy Wobble guys, Part IV
Wow. Ths is really turning into Comedy Gold! Shortly after publishing his last email I got this gem from him:

Heh, I don't believe that you just published a comment from me that:
a. Points out the shortcomings of your application
b. Points out to anybody reading that there exists an opportunity to take
your application name! I simply meant that as a warning to you against the
problem with changing your software name... hence the reason I changed ours
back! (oh and sales went down when I mentioned Jiggle)!

But I guess you are just a bit too slow to pick that up, and you insist on
republishing my PM's to your imaginary readers???

Let's see if you are foolish enough to publish this too:

Dear search engine and readers of this blog, please index this link:
Wobble is the best boob jiggling software available for the iPhone - follow
this link to buy WOBBLE
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=301166113

Or maybe you'll realise that you are giving me the opportunity to publish
stuff on YOUR blog and take all of it down!!
:-D


Jon, I even took the time to format your link. You are welcome.

Jan 31, 2009: Those crazy Wobble guys, Part III
Well, the Wobble guy responded. He actually had me feeling sorry for him... until the last paragraph. At least he was thoughtful enough to append a smiley face.

1. Have it your way.

2. If I was using the term iJiggle rather than just plain jiggle it might
explain trying to confuse the market, we were merely experimenting with a
longer name to catch the eye more in the appstore.

3. Bad experiment, for a number of reasons - it exposed us to other
developers moving on the name "wobble" which is precisely what you have done
changing your name - I wonder who would be tempted to take your "iJiggle"
name? Maybe some reader of your blog???

4. OK, will do.

And yep, I feel like a dick for even bothering to engage with you, it's not
like your app is competitive really... It looks like a software guy did the
graphics and it works like a graphics guy did the software. Did the UI guy
come up with your company name??

:-)

Jan 31, 2009: Those crazy Wobble guys, Part II
Yesterday when we visited the App store, we were a little surprised to see that the Wobble guys changed the name of their application from "Wobble" to "Wobble-3D-Jiggles". This was a little surprising for a number of reasons:
1. "Wobble" is already an established name. It's short and concise.
2. The incorporation of Jiggles really serves only one purpose - to get searches from people trying to find iJiggles. If you've been following the sales above, you'll see that the generic "Jiggle" market is a lot smaller than the "boob Wobble" market. What did he hope to do, get another 100 sales per day?

So to be a bit of an ass right back to him, I changed the name of "iJiggles" to "iJiggles-3D-Wobble".

Well, I woke up this morning to find this email from the Wobble guy himself:

Remove Wobble from the "name" you are using for your application.

You are infringing our trademark.

It would seem by your statement that "You have nothing to lose" that you are
attempting to benefit from our large sales and marketing effort. Might I
suggest that you do have something to lose?

As your name stands you are deliberately using our name to try to increase
sales of your own and you will be liable for damages, to minimize such damage
you must CEASE AND DESIST using the Wobble name immediately.

My IP lawyers will be writing to Apple, in addition please supply an address
for service for your company to the email address above.


And Here's my Response:

Jon,

1. It is doubtful that you have already applied and received a Trademark for
the name Wobble. Also, Wobble is a generic term and is probably not
trademarkable. If I am wrong, send me a trademark number or an application
number and I will be happy to change it.
2. At the time of the name change, your app is called "Wobble-3D-Jiggle" and
not "Wobble". Quite a bit different
3. By using the term "jiggle", you are obviously attempting to benefit from
our large sales and marketing effort.
4. I'll leave it up to Apple to decide. Get my address from them.

Have a good day.


I also noticed that he changed the name back to WOBBLE (all caps this time) so he's obviously feeling pretty dumb right about now.

So for now, I'm leaving the name how it is. If Apple wants me to change it, then that is fine. It's pretty funny though, had he apologised for being a dick instead of sending a threatening letter I would have changed it back in a heartbeat. If anyone has any opinions on this, I'd love to hear them

Jan 30, 2009: Those crazy Wobble guys
I see that the Wobble guys have changed the name of their app from "Wobble" to "Wobble-3D-Jiggles", presumably in honour of iJiggles. I thought I'd honour them back by renaming "iJiggles" to "iJiggles-3D-Wobble". What the hell, I've got nothing to lose.

Jan 21, 2009: Interpolation comparison
iJiggles 1.1 has been released to the App store (expect it Friday or Monday). Here's a summary of the patch:

- Smoother and Faster Animations
- New "Inflate" feature to further enhance parts of your photos
- Multitouch interactivity
- Saving and loading
- And a bunch of little tweaks here and there.

Thought you'd like to see a comparison of image quality for Wobble and iJiggles 1.1.


Jan 19, 2009: Down she goes!
Jan 19: 239 Copies sold
Official Youtube Videos: 1019, 741 and 174 views
eugene4023 videos: 20,676 and 769 views
(Also, Tricorder views are up too! 157 views)

Now monday is here. We're hoping some other sites will start mentioning it now.

Jan 18, 2009: A little biased comment
Here's a nice little nugget from the youtube comments on eugene4023's vids, kinda made me laugh:


Jan 18, 2009: It's Saturday
Well it looks like Wobble being released a day or two earlier has given them a huge advantage. That and iJiggles came out on a Friday so a lot of sites haven't picked up the story yet.

Here's some stats:
Jan 16: 339 Copies sold
Official Youtube Videos: 785, 589, and 141 views
eugene4023 videos: 17,467 and 292 views (new Japan one apparently, crazy)

Maybe monday more of the mainstream sites will kick in.

Jan 17, 2009: Marketing has begun
Some of the Marketing has started up and apparently there's also a competitor: Wobble Here's some stats:
Jan 16: 456 Copies sold
Official Youtube Videos: 444, 345, and 83 views

And the unsung hero of the ijiggles app:
eugene4023 video: 11,036 views

So it seems like it'll take a bit more work to get it into the mainstream.

Jan 16, 2009: Well done sir
I sent out a ton of promotional codes and news tips last night so today will be an interesting day.

In other news here's a very entertaining YouTube video showing what iJiggles is best at: Another iJiggles YouTube Video (NSFW)

Jan 15, 2009: Email from Apple saying iJiggles was accepted
Just got the email from Apple saying the app was accepted. So it'll be a few hours before it shows up on the store. So from conception (the day I thought of it and started writing code) to release was 12 days.

Here's a link to some youtube videos showing it: iJiggles YouTube Videos

Jan 13, 2009: App Sales Mobile
Here's a cool App: App Sales Mobile

Figured it was worth another entry.

Jan 13, 2009: Blog started
Well everyone. Since iJiggles has been submitted to the App store, I figured that I should start up a Blog and post routine progress of its sales and milestones. So stary tuned - hopefully this will get interesting.

Jan 10, 2009: iJiggles Submitted
I Jiggles submitted to the App Store today. Let's see how long it takes.






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