Everything looked so calm and predictable as the weekend started. Instead, I’m off to do some last-minute travelling, but not before I share some links and articles that I enjoyed this week on the web. You can sign up to have this posted out to you every week, subscribe to the newsletter version here.
You Helped My Battleship Transport Wool!
There’s nothing like a good family board game at Christmas, and a big stack of them by the table during the rest of the year. So The Observer’s look at the resurgence of board games – especially the so-called ‘German’ board games that rarely pit you directly against your opponents family members – is welcome, even if many of us are already here collecting brick, timber, and ore:
“About five years ago, I noticed we were selling fewer miniatures,” says Wooding, “so I started putting shelves of board games down here” – he gestures to rows of colourful game boxes with snappy titles, Small World, Agricola, Carcassonne, Pandemic – “and every time we did that the takings went up.” He also noted a decline in what he tactfully describes as the “stereotypical gamer” – dyed-in-the-wool hobbyists who would typically be lone, white men.
“You get a lot more couples now – young, professional, just bought somewhere. They still want to meet up with mates but they don’t want to go out and get pissed any more. They like the idea of getting a game out, having a few drinks, bit of fun for two or three hours around the table.”
As ‘International Podcast Day’ dawned around the world, my old podcaster-in-crime from The Podcast Network took to the stage at OzPod 2016 to talk about how to earn a living from podcasting when you’re not a celebrity. Monty Munford reports for Forbes:
“I don’t claim to be the biggest or the best podcaster in the world – far from it. However I have spent over a decade talking to myself in a little room and wondering if anyone would be entertained by it. I’m just an average guy who has ideas and opinions he wants to share with other people.
“When I set out to build the website for a premium-subscriber-only podcast, I expected it to be easy. On the contrary, I found it to be extremely time consuming and complicated. It takes a lot of work, but people will pay for premium content and the market is ready for it,” said Reilly.
In the end I settled on podcasting the Eurovision Song Contest, while Cam went for Caesar. I think we both managed to give up our day jobs!
When Candy Crush Saga Is All You Have
The BBC’s Leo Kelion looks at the fortunes of King Games. In 2012 Candy Crush Saga accelerated the company towards the top of the mobile charts for downloads and income. As the follow-up games failed to find the same success, King Games are still riding the crush train nearly five years later. What does happen next?
“King reported it had 409 million monthly active users at the end of June 2016,” notes Jack Kent from the research firm IHS Markit. “That’s its lowest level since 2013 and a drop from a peak of 550 million users in early 2015. “It still has a huge audience to monetise… but it needs new intellectual property or a revamp of its existing titles to achieve significant growth.”
Sign, Shake Hands, Smile, Take The Cash
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Lesley Goldberg looks at one of the most profitable jobs for an actor in a ‘genre’ television… appearing at a convention. If you wonder why everyone wants to be on these shows – apart from regular employment – the numbers offer you the answer:
According to multiple sources familiar with convention deals, the basic guarantee rate for genre stars is in the $5,000 to $10,000 range per appearance — with leads on such current TV series as The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Netflix’s Marvel shows and The CW’s DC Comics fare commanding anywhere from $35,000 to $250,000 and up, depending on their popularity and the frequency with which they appear. At top conventions, it’s not uncommon for a star to earn anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 on top of their guarantee (more if they spend extra time signing).
The ‘old soaks’ who cover the Edinburgh Fringe look back on the 2016 Festival with wit, skill, insight, and a few sweary words (well, Kate Copstick is involved).
Speaking of swear words, OFCOM’s reports into the strength, power, and association of certain words is now available in its ‘Attitudes to potentially offensive language and gestures on TV and radio‘ report (PDF Link). Which naturally comes with a earning that ‘this guide contains a wide range of words which may cause offence.’
What Have I Been Up To
As the San Francisco Giants started to play the last game of the regular season, I was looking at a quiet week. As the ninth inning sent the Giants into the Post Season and a Wild Card game with the New York Mets on Wednesday, I had a last-minute trip to see the game all ready to be booked. So…
If you’re around in New York on Wednesday or Thursday, I have an almost empty diary and looking to meet interesting people and see some great new tech and ideas. Get in touch ASAP!
Other trips for the rest of the year include the Web Summit (Lisbon 7-10 November 2016), and Tech Crunch Disrupt in London (5-6 December 2016). Next year’s plans include attending SXSW (Austin, 10-20 March 2017). If you want to meet up at any of these events, let me know.
‘Trivial Posts’ is a mostly weekly series of posts that brings together interesting posts, ideas, video clips, essays, images, and anything else that catches my eye on the Internet. Read it online, or subscribe to the email newsletter version here.