weekly cornerplay

When the Cornerplay turned 100, I highlighted my 22 favorite posts. It feels much too soon to do that again, so for this milestone, will instead share what I’ve learned.

Google is king. That’s been the biggest surprise for me so far. The Cornerplay is syndicated weekly on TechSpot and e27 — two fine publications — primarily because as a casual writer, my objective is to be read. Yet, the largest referrer of traffic by FAR is Google. Nearly 27% of all traffic came from Google search and the next largest is 6%.

For example, Googling “the credit card information is not valid. please check your entries carefully.” will get you my article about Sony’s epic failure to process payments on PSN as the top result (as of this writing). I guess I’m the only person who wrote about it outside of forums and the like. It suggests long tail topics — especially those about consumer pain points that aren’t addressed — can generate enduring traffic from Google.

It’s depressing if you think about it. For publishers, it’s no longer about building an audience who loves your content and checks in everyday, even if via RSS or Twitter. That path takes a lot of time and money. No, if you want to become a business, it’s about getting Google to like you and send you traffic. Or becoming click-bait central and relying on Facebook to go viral.

That’s if you’re in the game of building traffic. Fortunately, I’m in the game of writing about whatever is interesting, so I can speculate what winning might require and then proceed to ignore it. Nevertheless, here’s more about the Cornerplay, 200 days in:

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With Microsoft in the news recently (18,000 in layoffs!), we thought we’d check in with Skype 5.0, which launched last month for iPhone and will soon debut on Android. Skype used to be the name in messaging, but in today’s mobile world the venerable brand has become an afterthought to Whatsapp, LINE and even Google Hangouts. So how does Skype 5.0 fare?

The Skype team apparently rebuilt the app from scratch with a focus on speed. I’m glad to report the new version doesn’t feel slower than its competition. It looks good too. Microsoft wisely decided to stick to one common design (Windows Phone) and apply it everywhere. One nice upgrade is that if you use Skype for both desktop and iPhone, if a message is read on one it’s automatically marked as read on the other.

However, Skype remains as unusable as ever. Why? Contacts still works like it’s from the 90s. To message a new contact, I have to first search, hope the right person shows up and then manually add her. What makes it worse is that I haven’t used Skype in a long time, so most of the contacts in the “people” section are outdated.

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