Monthly Archives: December 2007

2007 Year sum-up

Okey, so the year 2007 is soon at an end. And I thought it was time to summarize the year. I believe its been a good year, its always hard to judge. A lot of things have happened, and where do I begin?

To get it out of the way I can start with the music album of the year, namely Armamentearium with the German group Neaera. The same group who’s responsible for last years best album too. One can only hope they continue to make great albums! Overall, this year was great when it comes to new music. Even if I discovered many, to me, new acts that necessarily didn’t release any new album this year. Great groups like Feast for the Crows, August Burns Red, …. .

2007 is also the year I meet Emma, my girlfriend since April. She is studying at the University of Gotland, which is hard cause I’m in Stockholm and she still in Visby. But we have spent much time with each other now during Christmas.

 

If we look at the gaming side of this year, its been a really good one. But thats what we expected when you look at the line up. Never before have I bout so many games in one year. Not to mention, 2 new consoles. First the Nintendo Wii and then Playstation 3. And I have to say that I spend most time with the big beast, PS3.

And now the really difficult question, game of the year 2007 for ME. First we can look at the lineup and the games I bout and played this year. Ill probably miss one or two.

Games of 2007: God of War 2, Okami, Final Fantasy 12, Guitar Hero 3, Call of Duty 4, Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Paper Mario, Motorstorm, Resistance: Fall of Man, The Darkness, Assassins Creed, Warhawk, Callin All Cars, Final Fantasy 3 DS and Children of Mana DS, Half Life 2 Episode 2 and Portal.

And the winner is….. Warhawk! Its been a great year filled with really good games, but Warhawk is the game that surprised me the most, and stoles maybe to much of my gaming time! My expectations was zero, and it came and swept me of my feet’s.

Other games I wanna highlight is God of War 2, Okami and Call of Duty 4 that really delivered on the skyhigh expectations.

The biggest disepointment this years was unfortunately Final Fantasy 12… sad, but true.

This year have been a really good book year too! I don’t recall ever reading this many books in one year. And not to mention, buy to read (eventually) when I get time. Amongst the book I read and want to recommend is:

  • The New Rules of Marketing And PR – David Meerman Scott
  • Videogame Marketing and PR – Scott Steinberg
  • The Secret of the Game Business – François Dominic Laramée
  • The Long Tail – Chris Anderson
  • JPod – Douglas Coupland

Of cause, all these books weren’t released this year, but I read them and recommend them either way.

Other things I wanna highlight is the fact that I started a blog (this one, or at least what became this blog, I have had problems deciding on a final platform and place to host it). And not to forget, all the travel I’ve been doing. Both for work and for personal reasons.

Inside Sweden its been trips to Malmö (Nordic Games 2007), Gothenburg (TUR-Convention), Östersund (Storsjöyran 2007), Karlstad (party!) and of cause the regularly trips back and forth between Gotland and Stockholm. Outside Sweden I’ve been to Austria (work), Denmark (family vacation) and Japan (vacation). Hope 2008 will be equal good!

I ended my job as Information Technology and Web Manager at Gotlands Toursist Association, and started as Traffic and Content Producer for Yahoo/Kelkoo. And with it, moved back to Stockholm. Currently I’m living home with my family, but if we’re lucky, me and a friend from Gotland gonna split a apartment in January next year.

All in all its been a really good year! Can’t say I have anything to complain about. But one can always work and hope towards improvement for 2008!

And I only have one New Years promise resolution, to blog even more!!

Search engine “marketing?”, “optimization?” and all the confusion…

[Update]

To make it even worse for the credibility in the search Ads, a new trojan have been found that hijack peoples computer and replace the Google Ads with their own network of Ads. Google will loose money, the advertiser will loose traffic and the user will not get the results they want.

Search engines. Most of us use them for many many things. And we have been for over a decade. I suspect that we wouldn’t use them as frequently as we do, if we had to pay to use them. They have also become one of the most important tool for online marketing, mainly cause people use them. I work with them everyday, they’re my work tool.

In the early days of the search engine, they were jokes, compared the modern search engine. Back then the model was the classic, the more you pay the higher you get. And then came Google and changed the SearchEngine market. They focused on relevance, and developed a algorithm that have been kind of the standard for the industry. That made them big was the simple fact that people actually find that they were looking for.

Alongside the rise of the search engines, a new business have emerge. Namely the Search Marketing business! That’s the vital simple thing that created the whole economic of Google. The consumer never have to pay anything to make a search. And free is good!

In the Search Marketing area there’re two main areas:

Search Engine Optimization

PPC (pay per click)


In brief, optimization focus on improving your own website according to a few (not completely confirmed) guidelines. Everything from Tags, Links, Text and structure. The result should be improved organic search placement. But the basic idea is to improve the site, not really for the search engine, but rather the people actually bother to visit your site.


The other method it the new way of working with ads online, namely PPC. This stands for about 98% of were Google make its money. Here companys create an accont and then make the ads, select keywords and decide what they are willing to pay for them. And when people search for that keyword, hopefully the ad will be displayed beside the organic search results. Here the 2 leading platforms are Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing.


The search industry is one of the most hyped right now, and the grown of the market for search marketing company and consultans is really high. Here in Sweden the industry is suppose to be worth about a billion Swedish “kronor”. And in a lucrative market like this, its inevitable to attract crucks and bad people just wanna make a quick buck!
The search engine have guidelines for web developers to follow, and those have been implemented cause people have misused some unethical techniques to fool the engines. And the market and companies have matured. But still there some fucking quackers out there, trying to fool companies that desperately want more traffic from the search engine but lack the knowledge.
Then I work in Visby a sales person called me from one company, offering search engine improvement services. The product he sold was basically a tool that duplicate websites, and we where suppose to pay for this tool, and then do the duplication our self! That’s fucking insane! And it was only about a year ago. No wonder that people and company are sceptical with all the hype working with search engines. The search engines constantly trying to implement new features stop these bastards.

 

The problem is often focused on the optimization part, but sometimes things happen with PPC too. Just the other day I read an news about the Swedish site Tradera, who paid a second company to buy keywords for their Adwords campaign. And the second company had bought many strange words and negative words to, just because they where cheap. Tradera have now broken the contract with that company.

I work with PPC everyday, and in my view one should always try to be as honest. And the search engine wants that too! They want people to find that they search for! Still the search industry is so young, company have much to learn. I’m glad that I work with it now, when its evolving.

Latest games demand to much of our computers

One interesting news on the Swedish web magazine Dinapengar.se, have looked at the latest PC games and the hardware requirements that follow. A comparison of the hardware requirements and the average PC, concluded that regular computers will have problems to play the new games. The game they mention was Crysis, with its beautiful graphics, pushes even new top of the line computers to the edge.

Also this weekend, online game sites reported low sales number for Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 in the US. The reason for this isn’t clear, but Next-gen.biz speculate that one big reason could be the tough hardware requirements both game demand. One should not forget that this fall had a enormous game release line-up, pact with good games.

Microsoft oppose the new DVD formats?

On the train into work this morning, I was listening to one of all the podcasts I subscribed to. And they talked about a news I totally missed. The action director Michael Bay, have apparently made a statement that Microsoft is trying to make none of the new DVD formats win the war. A secret that Microsoft gives the big studios larges money checks to create confusion.
The idea is that neither Blue-Ray or HD-DVD will be the winner, so that Microsoft can save the day with digital distribution!

Yes the future is in digital distribution, but not just yet! The Internet connection isn’t sufficient yet in my opinion.
But if its true that Microsoft try to mess up the format war, shame on them! But why I am even surprised, it Microsoft!!!

3D-modeling – again

I don’t know what it was, but I just got a feeling that made me start looking into 3D modeling again. So now I spend the most of my free time after work, in front of my computer trying to learn how to work in 3D. I even have problem sleeping cause Im lying thinking of what I should make. I have an idea of combining movie editing with 3D, but there is much for me to learn first. One of my many flaws is my lack of patience, that make this really hard cause I want to learn everything now! To little time… Hell, I even have problem finding time to write here! Where will I find the time to learn 3D modeling? Probably over Christmas I hope…

Gamers don’t drink or stress (almost!)

A new Swedish report made by “Ungdomsstyrelsen” have concluded that young people that spend much time playing games, consume less alcohol and stress less. The study even showed that they spend no less amount of time on exercise to. So this would contradict the debate that people who play games, is in the danger zone to become overweight.

Not to forget all the other good skills connected with playing games, like coordination, strategic thinking and the development of organizational skills.
Im tired of hearing all about all the negative sides of games, so finally some good news!

First week at Yahoo/Kelkoo

So was the first week at my new job at an end. Its been an interesting week in high pace. Theres still much to learn and to get into, but it will be great in the end I think.
But now I won’t have that much time to write in the blog, so the density of post will decrease. But I will try to manage as good as I can.