Posted on July 5, 2011 by Colin

CoMo, Media Binges, Experiments and India

 

In CoMo

For the first time in a while, I find myself back in Columbia, Missouri (where my family lives, and where I spent most of my adolescent life), and with time to spare (and my mostly-naked mug spanning a few spreads of a local magazine).

I allotted myself this time intentionally, partially because I wanted to be able to visit with my family for more than a week or two, and partially because I wanted to be able to focus on some of the more tedious aspects of my work, unencumbered by a social life (as most of my friends from high school have moved, and I haven’t had the chance to make many new friends in the little time I’ve spent back here since leaving for LA so long ago).

But then comes the wanderlust.

I like staying in one place for a while when I can, but my online social life lives on, and I see all of these opportunities; things I want to do, people I want to see, adventures I want to have, and all of them so far away! Time to buy a plane ticket…

I don’t, though. I hold back and prevent myself from running too quickly. I don’t want to become that guy who can’t hold still – who can’t find excitement or entertainment anywhere, and is therefore forced to take flight every time boredom takes hold – so I’m focusing, taking on a few projects (more on this in a second) and making the most of the time I’ve set aside to hold still in a familiar place. I may still take a few jaunts around the US while here, but not nearly as many as my travel-ticket-purchasing reflexes want me to.

It helps to know where I’ll be moving next, however, which is…

India

That’s right, you have spoken, and India will be the next country I’m moving to (India took almost 7% of many thousands of votes).

The plan is to head over that direction at the end of August or beginning of September, and since I know nearly nothing about the country, I would love any advice you have to offer as to which city I should live in, what I should see and do, and who I should meet. Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email.

I’m crazy excited to finally be making my way to such a buzzing and culturally-rich country! Thanks so much to those of you who voted, and watch for the next poll when I arrive in India!

Media Binge Project

So I’ve got this new project I’m working on while I’m here in Missouri, and I’d like your help on some of the specifics.

It’s come to my attention that I’m totally out of the loop about certain aspects of pop culture. In particular, I haven’t owned a video game console since the Sega Dreamcast, and a lot of times, while on the road, the only movies I watch are in languages I don’t understand or whatever is available on the screen embedded in the back of the seat in front of me on the plane.

Basically, my pop culture knowledge is suffering, so I’ve decided to take some time while I’m back in the States to refill my media tank.

Here’s the deal: before I leave for India, I’m going to beat five video games, watch ten movies, and watch every episode of two TV shows. There aren’t any hard rules for what I watch and play, other than that I haven’t seen/played them before, and that ideally the games will be sufficiently next-generation that my brain will be all like “whoa, what the hey?”

What I would like from you: recommendations as to what media I should be consuming. What’s the most important game of the past few years? What are some of your favorite movies of all time? What TV show is the cat’s meow? And do people still say ‘the cat’s meow?’

Drop me some knowledge in the comments below, or shoot me an email. Either way, I’d love to hear what you fine folk have to say about my endeavor and what brain-food it should involve.

The My Exile Lifestyle Pre-Launch Loophole

And finally, a quick report on the first few days after my new book‘s release.

There are a lot of little experiments involved with My Exile Lifestyle, but there’s one in particular that I’d like to share with you.

Before the official launch date, I opened up sales of the book to the folks who are subscribed to my newsletter. While I was setting it up, however, I realized that there was a complication with the system I was using to take orders and process the sales: when I put an order through, I received an email with a download link before I finished going through the payment process. In essence, this meant was that someone could fill out the order form, click the ‘purchase’ button, and then receive the book for free.

I asked a few friends if they had a solution to this, and one of them told me that he thought it was lucky I caught this glitch ahead of time, because if I had opened up sales with that loophole available, at least half of my pre-launch sales would have gone unpaid for. “Even at less than $3,” he said, “people love to steal stuff when they think they can get away with it, and that’s why DRM is necessary, yadda yadda yadda.”

I disagreed with him, and bet him that 5% of people would take advantage of the loophole, tops. “People don’t mind paying for things made by people whose work they respect,” I said, “and these people in particular opted-in to my newsletter, so I assume they have at least a modicum of respect for what I’m doing.”

To prove it to him, I left the loophole in the system when the pre-launch orders started coming in. I sold a total of 200 copies before launch day, and you know how many people didn’t pay?

One.

There were six people who went through the whole ordering process a second time when they realized they skipped the payment part. There were ten people who emailed me about the loophole, offering up advice on how to fix it. Five of those people had accidentally not paid, and sent me Paypal payments on their own, without me having to ask.

This is something I’m really glad to see that I was right about, because I’m always willing to pay for products online so long as they support people that I like and causes that I agree with (fair prices help too), andost of my business decisions are made based on how I would act in the customer’s place. This is why I don’t run ads on the site (they’re so ugly), don’t do popups asking you to join my mailing list (so annoying), and why I’m going to continue to treat you the way I’d want to be treated.

Thanks for helping me win that bet, folks, and thanks for helping me have another great launch!

PS

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of the new book and didn’t see the link above, you can snag it here for less than a cup of coffee. I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a review once you’ve had a chance to check it out, too (and tell your friends, if you’re feeling especially motivated)!

Thanks!