Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sparter CEO Dan Kelly Interview

Sparter doesn't usually put up blog posts so when this one came through I thought it was an interesting read. Its an interview of CEO Dan Kelly of Sparter done by Usable Markets Alex Kirtland.

Some interesting information from the interview for me was these points from Dan Kelly:

Globally there is a 2 billion dollar per year business for digital items in all the online games, from World of Warcraft to Maple Story, mainly centered on games in the Korean, North American and European markets.

Imagine that, a whole economy worth 2 billion dollars that could basically be erased if someone formatted each game company's hard drive.

A typical seller makes enough to play World of Warcraft for free - about $200 a year - but some make a lot more than that.

I chuckled at this one since I find making gold fairly easily. Why would someone just make a few hundred, and leave? I guess the answer to that is that I know a lot of people who stop playing wow, and just sell off their gold/characters never to come back to the game again.

Some guilds in WoW, for example, only want to raid. They prefer to buy the gold they need and focus their time — 20-50 hours per week — on the parts of the game they love most. This is not a bad thing.

Desperate times call for desperate measures I guess. I remember raiding with a not so full guild, and we were always hurting for certain classes or consumables. While hard core role players hate people who just buy a lvl 70 character or buy gold just to get mounts or gear instead of instancing. There are times when those people just shut up just to have that extra player or character around. This way the whole guild can experience end game raids, and get further ahead. The 20-50 hours a week raiding adds up, and when you have to farm for repair costs or consumables you either have to play WoW full time, make a lot of gold efficiently, or straight up buy gold to stay ahead in progress.

We think that online communities will continue to grow at very attractive rates. As they get bigger, more people will want to trade. And the secondary markets will have to be there because otherwise they’re absence will hold back the growth of the primary markets.

The black market for gold in World of Warcraft or currency in other games will always exist as long as it takes a certain amount of time required to maintain a character. The key is the time required to acquire those items. There's no black market currency for games like Dota, Team Fortress, Counterstrike since all players start out equal with items being reset at each session. However once you start involving time or ranks a market will appear to sell that service to save you time. Even if one were to try, and stop a virtual black market. They would just find another way to sell the services without getting caught.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WoW Season 3 Brings Great Gold News

Today and yesterday was a good day for many people in World of Warcraft. While people were hoarding arena points to get their new Season 3 pvp gear. The smart ones were hoarding materials to sell for today. Here's the WoW Professions thread in which some people claim to have made up to 58k gold. Many Miners, Jewelcrafters, Enchanters and even some Tailors/Leatherworkers were marking up their goods.

While I thought I did well cashing in at 1,600 gold today, I guess I was beat by those people who prepared in advance for this. I apparently didn't follow my own WoW Auction House Gold Tips regarding preparing for Tuesdays. Don't mind the Earned/hr part of the screen shot since I only logged in to check my mail so not very accurate on that part. Also my Titan Bar money mod is a little screwed up ever since Patch 2.3 came out, and I haven't bothered to fix it since I only look at it when I log in/out.

Anyways I want to know if anyone of you readers were able to cash in on this last update with some impressive numbers. Let me know, and good luck to you all for when the next Season's arena gear comes out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Contest - Would You Do With $25?

$25 dollars doesn't do much now a days. It can't get you a pizza delivered to your house in Maui. It can't buy you a full tank of gas (unless your driving a moped). So why am I asking this question? Shai at JMMO is running a contest for $25. So this post is my entry ticket to the contest. By the way if you haven't read my free blog traffic tips, you'll find that holding contests are a great linkbaiting method to gain back links as well as exposure for your blog.

Anyways back to the subject matter on what I would do with $25. Since my blog is still rather new, I would use it to gather some exposure. What would be the best way to get some exposure for $25 though. I could:

Purchase a link for this website

With all the Google Page Rank penalties being sent out recently about paid links though I don't think I'll go with this one. Also sidebar or sponsored posts don't really do great for traffic unless its from a very high traffic source anyways. I wouldn't be able to purchase a good spot for $25 so nope.

Use Adwords or other Pay Per Click(PPC) advertising.

While this might be a great way to bring in targeted traffic, I would rather spend PPC money to a landing page that sells a product over just sending to my website. I guess this one won't work for me either.

Buy a gift for Shoemoney

Yup, its decided. I'll use my Cafe Press account for once, and make a T-shirt with my site on it for his Free T-Shirt Friday promotion. I think in my position this would probably be the best bet, since it'll get a link from a high PR site, and hopefully some traffic. Worth a shot right?

So what would you do with $25?

Interested in participating in the contest? Read the post here for the entry rules. Its free so why not. If you don't want to make a blog post, you can leave a comment with your answer to participate as well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

RssHugger Some Lovin For Your Feed

Last month I mentioned that I was going to try to add myself to more directories to generate visitors for this blog. On my list was to submit my blog to directories which bring me back to the subject of this post. RssHugger. What is RssHugger?

Lets take a look at their about page.
"rssHugger is a unique website that aims to bring bloggers and readers together. rssHugger aims to provide blog owners with a unique easy-to-use way to promote their blogs by sending them traffic, building backlinks for search engine optimization, as well as attracting new rss subscribers if the content is interesting to the reader."

Why should I join now?

Its FREE now, previously rssHugger was a pay to join directory. (you may still join by paying $20 if you wish to skip the write a post about rssHugger part of application, and receive a manual review).
What are the benefits to me as a blogger?

  • Raise awareness of your blog
  • Send tons of visitors to your blog
  • Share traffic with the community
  • Be part of a viral/buzz marketing campaign
  • Build deep-links for your blog posts to help with search engine optimization
  • Get new interested RSS subscribers who view your content on a regular basis.

  • Besides just a directory how does it help get me more traffic?

    The more visitors you send to your rssHugger page, the higher you will rank on the Top 100 page. To keep everyone on an even playing field, the Top 100 blogs page resets everyone back to zero on the 1st of every month. This will allow those that actively participate or promote their page on rssHugger to receive much more promotion in return.

    How does one send visitors to their rssHugger page?

    Your page has the following address:

    For example my page there would is:

    So if you go to my page you raise monthly votes by 1, which will then hopefully raise me up a rank or two in the listings.

    A free service that gives you backlinks to your posts, and more exposure for your blog. If you think that's a good deal, sign up with rssHugger now.

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Cyber Monday Myth or Now Internet Genre?

    Happy Cyber Monday to you all. What is it? In 2005 coined a new marketing phrase called "Cyber Monday", based on some data in 2004 about the Monday following "Black Friday" being the biggest online shopping day of the year. Shortly afterwards, and after some actual research they found that it in fact didn't measure up to the hype. The term came under some harsh criticism, and even Rob Hoff posted a retraction of sorts to his article in Business Week. However as most advertiser's know there is no such thing as bad advertising, and many people follow the ideology of bad press is better than no press.

    Fast forward another year to 2006. Again more people downplayed the term Cyber Monday. However with each article posted, each comment created the term spread throughout the internet. persisted in marketing the term as well as their website was launched. Even though many people said that the day was just hype, there were still a few companies that reported great earnings like

    Fast forward again to 2007. The term that only showed 779, 000 results in 2005 now pop up almost 2 million results today in Google. Currently as I write this's website went down for unknown reasons. Maybe just my connection since I can't find other reports about the site's statistics. While there are some that say that Cyber Monday is a Joke, it can't be denied that this phrase is taking root in the American language. Market Watch, InformationWeek, TechCrunch, and CNet are expecting better results this year compared to previous years.

    Their persistence paid off. While this is only the third year that the term has been around, it may become a day similar to "Black Friday" which major businesses aggressively target sales.

    Morale of the story? Don't give up, even if you get a bad review. Bad press isn't bad since its always going to get you more exposure (unless of course your Britney Spears [NSFW]).

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Update For World of Warcraft Tip For Leatherworkers

    I just wanted to update my free tips for the poor WoW leatherworker post. Seems like there are many people wanting to know more about a particular product called Heavy Knothide Armor Kit that was released with the recent WoW patch 2.3.

    Heavy Knothide Armor Kit

    What is it?
    Permanently increase the Stamina of an item worn on the head, chest, shoulders, legs, hands or feet by 10. Only usable on items level 60 and above.

    Where can Leatherworkers learn it?
    In Lower City Shattrah, from the Master Leatherworking Trainer Damari at location 67,
    67(The southeast part of the city map near the exit into Terrokar Forest.

    Who makes it?
    Leatherworkers with 350 or greater skill.

    What does it take to make one?
    It takes three Heavy Knothide Leathers.

    How many skills ups can I get from it?
    Heavy Knothide Armor kits are Yellow from 350-354, Green 355-364, and go Grey at 365.

    Can I make gold selling it?
    Definitely, I make more gold selling these than selling the Heavy Knothide Leather on the auction house by themselves.

    I hope this answers many of the questions that people seem to be searching for regarding Heavy Knothide Armor Kits.

    Happy Birthday World of Warcraft! 3 Years Old

    Yup the title says it all, Happy Birthday World of Warcraft. WoW is celebrating the third year after its North American launch. During that three year period Blizzard has somehow managed to accumulate more than 9 million subscribers world wide. Very impressive numbers so in thanks they are holding a sweepstakes to give out some prizes.

    Sweepstakes terms rules are posted here, and yes you need to be 18 or over to qualify as well as being in the United States (sorry Florida you don't qualify either). You will be entered automatically as long as your account was in active, and in good standing before November 19th, 2007.

    Now the good stuff - Prizes!

    • During the week of November 26, we'll award 10 J!nx gift certificates valued at $100.00 each.

    • During the week of December 3, we'll give away 20 sets of four World of Warcraft action figures.

    • During the week of December 10, we'll provide 5 lucky players with an Apple iPod Touch and a two-year World of Warcraft subscription.
    Good luck to everyone, and let me know if you win.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Mr. T Hacks World of Warcraft

    I just have to say why a bloody night elf. He should have rerolled horde.

    Anyways this is just one of the recent commercials for their popular World of Warcraft games with the catch phrase, "What's your game?".

    The other celebrity that was used was William Shatner playing a Tauren Shaman. I don't know, I would have cast him as a Draenai Paladin or something. I mean he was wearing Jedi robes in the commercial. Both commercials can be found here in the World of Warcraft movies download section.

    Personally I'm waiting on the next commercial which is supposed to use Verne Troyer the Mini-Me from Austin Powers.

    Update 12/18: Mini-Me Commercial is live. Posted here.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    What Type of Salesperson Are You?

    Its nice to be home after a trip out of the country, even if it was only for a brief period of time. I learned quite a bit visiting the tourist town of Cozumel. The atmosphere, and weather is almost identical to that of Maui where I live. Nice cool breeze, beautiful water, sunshine, and even the slight drizzles in the morning. The people were a little different. Back here on Maui we don't have very many shop owners out on the street hawking their wares. The idea of haggling over a price also isn't something that we're not really used to.

    It struck me then that there were a lot different types of people about in the streets, and I couldn't help but to start grouping them into categories while dodging them in the side streets.

    The go getters - These were the almost too friendly salesperson that would always walk up to each, and every passerby with a smile, and warm welcome. Announcing clearly what they had in the stores for sale, or what were the unique items that were available here. It didn't matter if they were trying to sell you a diamond or a used rug. They always showed that happy face, and politely wished you back as I passed along. I usually enjoyed their welcomes, and they were never rude. I usually made a point to stop by on my way back for their efforts.

    The arrogant shopkeeper - These were spotted more abundantly closer to the port. Some were welcoming, but others not as much. Each of them had an air of arrogance about them. They stood by nice clean shops in a good location, but that was about it. It was almost as if the attitude of "This is my store, I found a good location so you have to buy something". They almost expected people to walk in to their stores just because it was there, and almost always sniffed at you when you left the store without purchasing anything. They also never wanted to haggle over any of their over priced items either. The very same items that could be bought around the corner for half the price.

    The I'm just here for a job type - These were spotted throughout the town in front of the stores. It seemed like they were only there doing nothing, because their supervisors weren't. They had pamphlets to hand out, but rarely showed them. Some just bowed or grinned if you actually walked into or out of the store. They were just there to show up for work, pay the bills, and go home. Unless what they were selling was of any interest to me I quickly picked up my pace, and moved on to the next store.

    The too good to be true salesperson - This one is as friendly as the go getters, but with a slight twist. They wanted to offer you everything, even so far as making up things just to get you into the store. While amusing at first, and fun to chat with even, they were the most obnoxious of the bunch as they would lead you into a store even if you didn't want to. While I most likely won't be coming back for a long time anyways, its salespeople like these that make me walk on the other side of the street to avoid them.

    The ghost - What used to the part of the bustling business street, now has a few cobwebs hanging in the corners. It looks like this store has seen better days, but for the most part is now neglected. Visitors pass by, and some even look around to ask about a certain piece of merchandise, but the shopkeeper is nowhere to be seen. Sad, but even the nicest of stores with the friendliest of people will still shut down if continued this way.

    The easy money cart - Lured by promises of riches these are working hard out in the hot sun trying to earn that promised commission. However their demeanors change throughout the day, starting from a happy go getter, to a arrogant salesperson later in the day as the sales don't come easily. They are trying to sell the same merchandise as every other store, but end up haggling down to the lowest price just to break even. Sometime they may just take a break, and become a ghost as the confidence to succeed has been sapped from them.

    The quiet shopkeeper - These are run by a shy owner, but with nicely kept merchandise. They could probably make more money if they were to speak up, and talk to their customers. These have nice locations like the arrogant shopkeepers, but they let the customers browse as they feel like it. Out of all the types of people running various stores, these are my favorite ones to visit. Since the atmosphere is laid back, I can walk around without any pressure. I usually end up buying something for myself, if not just to make the shopkeeper happy for letting me have what I came here to do in the first place. To relax, and enjoy my stay.

    Throughout the streets there was a myriad of little shops, and friendly faces. There were some people that fit the description of more than a few of the above listed categories. It also reminded me of how much like the internet these people all are. Out here in the open I could see the personalities, and could imagine what their stores would be like if they were an online store.

    What type of personality do you fall under?

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    And Away We Go - I'll Be Back

    I head out to Texas, and Mexico today so I won't be posting anything for a little while. I will be back home before Thanksgiving though so stop on by or subscribe to my feed so you know when I'm back. Have a safe and happy Veteran's day weekend while I'm out.

    While I'm not trying to sound like a certain governor, I have just to say it. "I'll be back".

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    Tag Your It - 7 Things About Me Meme

    Just when I thought I had everything ready for my trip I get tagged by a meme from Shai @ Just Make Money Online. Well if its one thing I can resist its games so here we go, and the game name is "7 Things About Me That You Might not Know". I haven't done one of these before, and I'm a little late on sending out some link love this month so I'll mix the two together! Ha the lazy game-a-holic procrastinator still wins! I also need to make a mental note to add to the list of things to do to increase traffic to your website. Also just because your blog is - for business only, doesn't mean that you can't change it topic around a little to fit the blog like Shai did in her meme. I don't have a very descriptive about me section so maybe this info will fill in some gaps for some people.

    7 Things About Me That You Might not Know - Well here goes nothing.
    1. I play video games ALOT - While you probably know that I play video games, you don't know to what extent I do so. Xfire keeps track of how many game hours you play if you have the messenger program running, and here's a glimpse at my World of Warcraft playtime: 2,115 hours. Whew I'm a Gameaholic for sure, and that's just the hours that the xfire logged. I used to turn the xfire off most of the time that I play to avoid interruptions.
    2. Being bi rocks, bilingual that is - Growing up in Hawaii, but with one parent from Japan I did get to learn how to speak Japanese fluently. Only thing that sucks is having half your family halfway across the globe.
    3. Playing with lenses is bad - Well this is a good a place as any to place confessions. So to my family, remember when our front yard looked like someone applied the scorched earth tactic to it? Well that was me playing with ants, and a magnifying glass. Note to kids, don't try to burn an ant with a lens while its on dry tinder.
    4. I'm Greek don't ya know - Not in blood, but in spirit at least. Delta Tau Delta was my fraternity of choice, mainly because I wanted to be around the friend's I made. While I won't become as famous as Drew Carey (another Delt member), hopefully I'll atleast be known around the blogosphere.
    5. Maui born & raised - Yup locally grown, and cultivated this variety of Mitch has been sheltered here on the island of Maui for almost 30 years. The species isn't know to wander too far away from the island, but has been spotted in some areas of Tokyo or Chicago for brief periods of time.
    6. Anime Daisuki - I'm not an Otaku, but I do love my animations. Anything from cartoons, but mostly Japanese animations are my favorite. Current items being watched are Bleach, Clannad, Naruto, Bamboo Blade, and Dragonaut. One can never grow too old for anime.
    7. It's a boy! - Yup I'm a father of a very overly energetic, rascally little five year old. He's also very smart. How do I know this? The son-of-a-Mitch managed to bring a wheelbarrow full of dirt into the house every day, with no wheelbarrow or shovel. Just the with the undersides of his small four inch feet. I have yet to figure this one out.
    Now the hard part who to tag with this meme. I did say that I was also going to basically make this my November's linkages. Here's some people I've met recently over on Blogcatalog thats been fun to chat with in the forums, and also some people kind enough to send me traffic so here is my thank you. =)

    Lex @ Parisukat
    Alan @ The Thin Red Line
    Megha @ Life in Black and White
    JoanJoyce @ JoanJoyce
    Joanne @ The Laid Back Buddhist - Good Luck on the 2007 weblog awards btw
    Ritu @ Work n Play
    Andy @ Andy Beard - That Greasemonkey solution for trackbacks is definitely easier to use than Haloscan. Thanks for the tip!

    Friday, November 2, 2007

    World of Warcraft Gold Tip for The Poor Leatherworker

    So you wanna be a leatherworker in World of Warcraft? This isn't the guide for you then, the leatherworker power-leveling guide is located here along with all the other professions. This quick tip is for those poor leatherworkers who finally got the nice shiny Epic leather gear. Now the only problem is once you made your gear what else can I do with the skill? I know, I can sell various armor kits to make money like that expensive Nethercobra Leg Armor! I'm sorry to say it'll be a slow going process for you unless your running heroics day in and out for those Primal Nethers.

    Well this quick tip won't make you rich fast, but it can put an extra 50-100g a day for a few minutes work.

    Here is what you'll need:
    Minimum LW Skill: 325 (yep fund your 300-375 training with this)
    About 100g to start off if you have no materials.
    Skinning - Not required, but useful
    Auctioneer - Not required, but makes things go a lot faster. Check my post on Auctioneer Guide.

    First thing first - check for your competition

    Go to the Auction House, and search for Knothide Armor Kit and Heavy Knothide Leather. As of Patch 2.3 there is also a Heavy Knothide Armor Kit(LW Skill 350) available as well. Write down the prices of those items, and also check which increments are selling. Are there stacks of 20? Or are there stacks of 1s and 2s. Figure out the unit price of Knothide Armor Kit, and Heavy Knothide leather. (ie: if a stack of heavy knothide leather is 40g each piece is 2g. [40g / 20pc = 2g])

    Step two: Next based on this unit price figure out how much you need to buy your materials for to make a profit. For the purpose of this tip we will use Heavy Knothide Leather at 3 gold sell price, and Knothide Armor Kit at 2 gold 50 silver sell price.

    Heavy Knothide Leather
    Materials: 5 Knothide Leather OR 25 Knothide Leather Scraps

    Unit price of Materials for Heavy Knothide Leather:
    Knothide Leather: 60 Silver [3g / 5pc] or 12 gold per stack
    Knothide Leather Scraps: 1 silver 20 copper [3g / 25pc] or 2 gold 40 silver per stack

    Knothide Armor Kit
    Materials: 4 Knothide Leather OR 20 Knothide Leather Scraps

    Unit price of Materials for Knothide Leather Armor:
    Knothide Leather: 63 Silver [2.5g / 4pc]or 12.6 gold per stack
    Knothide Leather Scraps: 1 silver 25 copper [2.5g / 20pc]or 2 gold 50 silver per stack

    These listed prices are your unit costs. You want to get your cost down to around 1/2 to 3/4 this to make a worthwhile profit. So your target prices are 30 silver [6 gold per stack] for Knothide Leather, and 60 copper [1gold 20 silver] per Knothide Leather Scrap

    Step Three: Check the Auction house for materials at this amount.
    Due to each server having its own economy, you will have to adjust according based on the above formulas.

    If there are materials (knothide leather or knothide leather scraps) with a buyout with the target prices listed above. Buy those materials outright. On my server Leather Scraps can be found for less than 1g a stack(knothide leather for around 7g), and I can sell it for 3g making me 2 gold per piece. If material costs are high, but there is no finished products (Heavy Knothide Leather/Knothide Armor Kits) you might be able to start making a little extra money. Just figure the cost of the finished product, and sell for a profit.

    Step Four: Put your goods on the Auction House

    Now that you bought your materials start making those armor kits, and heavy leathers. Then put them up on the auction house in increments of 1 or 2. I would maybe start with 5 stacks of 2 heavy knothide leather to feel where the demand is. Then check back the next day to see if it all sold or not. Adjust this accordingly so that you don't lose your deposit if an item doesn't sell. Do the same for your knothide armor kits. Put them up in increments of 1 or 2. I usually sell out if I place 10 auctions of 1 pc, but it never sells when I put up 1 stack of 10. Remember this!

    Step Five: Restock your materials

    Now you've started to sell some goods, but don't stop buying materials. Your next goal is to buy out all the materials at below your unit price. Also place bids on the other items if the bid price is lower than your unit price. This does two things for you:

    1. You have a ready supply of product to sell if the market suddenly dries out.
    2. By buying out everything cheaper than your material unit price you are setting the price in the market for your goods. If someone tries to undercut you they will have to do so at a loss or at the expense of time farming their own goods. Neither is something most people will do for an extended period of time.


    I say look for scraps for one main reason. Skinners who never took leatherworking.
    They cannot convert their scraps into regular leather, so they end up with bags filled of scraps to list on the auction house. Use this to your advantage. Buy the scraps, and convert it into these two goods, and rake in the money.

    Why do these two items make more money than selling an expensive armor kit like Nethercobra leg armor?

    Answer #1: Volume - You can sell 20-30 pieces of heavy knothide leather in the auction house overnight, but will probably only sell 1 Nethercobra Amor kit a day IF you have the nether for it.

    Answer #2: Quest - People wanting to complete the quest chain Quenching the Blade need 4 heavy knothide leather.

    Answer #3: Other Trade Skills - Both Tailoring and Engineering require Knothide Leather, and Heavy Knothide Leather for some of their goods. However since they only use 2-4 pieces at a time the big stacks aren't very profitable for them. If your the nice leatherworker that puts up stacks of 1s and 2s of Heavy Knothide Leather these people will love you.

    This tip is part of a series of tips I will share on my site so stop by every now, and then. Also check the Auction House Day tip while you're here.