ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

AdDuplex Gift Coupons for Your Developer Friends

12/19/2012 2:49:38 PM

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Do you have Windows Phone or Windows 8 developer friends? One of the best holiday gifts you can give them is some extra exposure for their apps. That’s what AdDuplex gift coupons are fore.

There are 3 types of coupons:

  • $15/5,000 impressions
  • $50/20,000 impressions (list value $60)
  • $100/20,000 impressions (list value $200)

That’s an easy and valuable present for your geek friends.

Buy AdDuplex gift codes here.

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Ad Rotator (Gergely Orosz and Simon Jackson) on AppBizDev

10/15/2012 4:00:53 PM

If you monetize your Windows Phone (and Windows 8) apps with ads you probably know not to rely on a single ad network. Some do better in one region and have nothing to show in all others, some pay more in some countries but less in the others, etc. And the fill rate is never 100%. So to make sure you utilize your ad space to the max you use multiple ad providers.

It’s not too difficult to implement a system that will switch from one ad provider to some other when there’s no ad to show. But if you want to do it really well you’d probably need to have different defaults for different locales. And to make things more complicated performance of different ad networks changes regularly. So you don’t want to hard code any of these settings into your app and issue an update whenever market situation changes. You can still implement an intelligent system like that yourself, but why reinvent the wheel?

There’s an open source project called Ad Rotator which can do all of the above and more for you. We’ve interviewed lead contributors to the project – Gergely Orosz and Simon Jackson on the latest episode of AppBizDev podcast. Check it out and make sure you subscribe in Zune, iTunes or any other tool to get new episodes automatically.

And, btw, if you have some music skills in addition to your awesome dev skills, you can get a MILLION free ad impressions on AdDuplex network by contributing a theme music to the podcast. Check out more details here.

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Don’t Automate Technical Administrivia in a Startup

8/12/2011 2:22:50 PM

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Photo by Chris Stickley

Yesterday I’ve spent 6 hours semi-automating a technical administrivia task on AdDuplex.

Up until now I did log archiving and truncating manually, along with some other things. I did it once in 2 weeks at first, then once a week and lately 2 times a week. Each time it took about 10 minutes of attention (netto). It actually takes about half an hour but most of that time I can do other things while different processes are in progress.

Whenever I told that I did this manually to a corporate alpha-geek developer or admin they frowned. As a self-respecting developer you are supposed to automate these things. I always responded like “it’s on my to-do list but with a relatively low priority”, but I always felt like I’m hiding my laziness under this “low priority” mask.

Some time ago I’ve read a book by Rob Walling titled “Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup”. Here is a brilliant quote from it:

Every hour spent writing code is wasted time if that code could be replaced by a human being doing the same task until your product proves itself

This brings perfect sense to what I’ve been masquerading as “low priority” task. And I disregarded this advice yesterday.

I’ve spent 6 hours working on something that took me 20 minutes a week to do manually. This means that my “investment” will only payoff in 4+ months and there’s no guarantee that in 2-3 months I won’t rewrite some parts of the system in a way that will render this automation code obsolete.

I’ve effectively borrowed time from my own business and didn’t add any value to users in the process. I could’ve worked on something that is useful, but I behaved like a disgusted “self-respecting” developer, not like a businessman. And now I’m writing this down, so I don’t behave the same way again.

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Informal introduction to AdDuplex

1/11/2011 6:43:54 PM

banner_squareYesterday I’ve announced a new project called AdDuplex. In a nutshell it’s an ad exchange network for Windows Phone 7 apps. You display ads for other WP7 apps, they display ads for your app. Simple as that.

Why?

1. First of all, I’m not allowed to develop for Windows Phone 7 by Microsoft. But I’m still really captivated by the platform. So, different indirectly WP7 related ideas keep spinning in my head and this is one of them.

2. Microsoft’s pubCenter ad network is open for US residents only and targets users in the US only. Other ad networks aren’t very mature, don’t generate any substantial revenue or just don’t support WP7 directly. So developers of free apps outside US can neither generate revenue nor get any other benefits (except for fame and user gratitude) for their hard work.

3. There has been a lot of criticism of the way Microsoft treats independent developers in the WP7 Marketplace. It’s practically impossible for a non-Xbox Live game to be featured in the Marketplace at the moment and there’s no way to order apps by ranking or any other popularity criteria except download count. So developers are pretty much left to promote their apps any way they can outside of the Marketplace itself. At some point I had an idea that we can help each other promoting our apps and this is how AdDuplex concept was born.

What’s the catch?

I’ve been asked a couple of times on how I plan to finance/support this project. The idea is that you’ll get 80-90 exposures of your ad for a 100 exposures of other ads in your app. And hopefully I’ll be able to sell that 10-20% ad balance. That should pay for hosting and other expenses (including my mansion, yacht, Ferrari and other stuff).

So, if you like the idea, want to promote your app for free and don’t mind me getting insanely rich in the process, go request your invitation and lets start this thing. Early adopters will get that 90% ratio which will go down as the system matures.

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