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2007 — The Year in Review

December 31, 2007
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Sol at WildAboutMath suggested writing a Year in Review post, so I decided that to do just that, on this last day of 2007…

Most popular posts:

6. Middle Schoolers and the Unsummables

5. Extra Credit — I Don’t Get It

4. Calculator Rant

3. Elementary Problem Solving — Making Generalizations

2. Gifted Math Education: acceleration, enrichment and the Calculus Trap

1. Pairing up with Gauss

So, why did I choose to list the top six posts? Because it allowed me to include most of my favorites. ;-)

I’ve always been surprised by how popular my Gauss post on summing arithmetic sequences has been. It got more than twice as many hits as the next most popular, according to my WordPress Blog Statistics. I see hits from search like “Gauss Method Arithmetic progression” or “arithmetic series explain” or “arithmetic series for a fifth grader” virtually every day. Few people comment, so it’s hard to know whether the post gave them what they were looking for or not, but I hope it did.

Least Popular Post:

Some POW Links has according to WordPress received only 1 hit! I assume it got at least a few more via RSS feed readers, visits when it was on the front page, etc. It’s nothing earthshaking, but it does link to a few worthwhile resources, so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you might like to.

I’ll also throw in another plug for my young friend’s cool new business idea — that post has received only two recorded visits, though that is partially, I’m sure, because it is so new. This young man is proposing to sell custom computer games that can be used to send a personalized greeting to a friend or loved one, but he’s not sure on where or how to market it, so any suggestions or links would be welcome.

My Favorite Under-Appreciated Posts:

These are both from this past month, so perhaps they just haven’t had time to become as popular as some of my other favorites:

NCLB Leaves Gifted Behind — I think this is such an important issue, I hope people will continue to discuss it here or elsewhere, but don’t let it drop. This post was, for some reason, the #1 post on MathBloggers earlier today (perhaps because Vlorbik linked to it?), so perhaps it will get more eyes yet.

Is This a Permutation Question or a Combination Question? still contains an as-yet-unsolved circular arrangement problem, so if you like combinatorics and crave a challenge, check it out!

I wish everyone a peaceful, healthy and wonderful 2008. Happy New Year, everyone!

If you like the idea of this post, consider it a meme and consider yourself tagged. ;-)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2007 12:38 am

    I think your friend could do really well marketing his software on Ebay. People send him money and their message and he emails them back the software or makes it available for download.

  2. December 31, 2007 1:07 am

    Thanks Sol! He does have a listing on Ebay, but their listing fees are a bit steep for a slow-selling item, since the listings are so short-lived. He sold one on Etsy today, so he’s happy. :)

    The problem is, he figures no one goes on to Ebay looking to buy a custom computer game to send a personalized message to a gamer friend. ;-) So he needs to figure out how to spread the word to the right demographic of folks who might be interested in paying for such a thing.

  3. December 31, 2007 6:25 pm

    I have a similar post on my blog as well, but sis the top ten. I also did mine a little earlier, like just after Christmas.

    I like your site and will have to come back.

  4. December 31, 2007 6:35 pm

    Thanks for your kind words, Wyldth1ng. I’ll have to take a look at your blog in the new year. Have a great 2008!

  5. January 1, 2008 1:53 pm

    Maybe an Ebay store has lower fees than an Ebay auction. That’s something to look into.

    If your friend were to create an affiliate program and give commissions then others would sell for him. If he’s complaining about the Ebay listing fee for an auction then he’s not going to enjoy the commissions he’d have to pay out, though. He might be able to price his game at $10 and give a $3 commission via Clickbank and still make his $7 per game.

    To sell it himself he’s got to create buzz and get people to know what he’s selling, which seems quite innovative to me. He may want to create a blog and write about computer games and sell his product there. Basically, your friend is going to have to get an education in Internet marketing and create free press releases, blog postings, blog comments, social networking and a slew of other things to get people’s attention.

    As an example, maybe he can get his software reviewed at some game sites and blogs. Then he’d better have his own web-site or blog that people could go to read about him and his game. It’ll take time and work but if your friend is motivated I think he can make money selling this game.

  6. January 1, 2008 2:07 pm

    Thanks for all your comments, Sol!

    He looked into Ebay stores but there’s a substantial monthly charge to have a store, so that’s out for now. :)

    His game was created using Game Maker. He has a sample up at YoYo Games, mainly for people who are considering buying to be able to check it out first. But he is looking into whether it is “kosher” for him to include a link to his Etsy store on the YoYo games site (in the description of the game, or maybe in the game itself).

    I don’t think he would mind giving commissions on sales. He just doesn’t want to invest a lot in just listing it with no “guarantee” of a sale.

    You are right that he needs to create a buzz. He just needs to figure out how to do that. Creating a Blog is a good idea, if he can think about enough things to write about. :)

    The game wasn’t designed to be particularly exciting/difficult/etc. as a game, so I don’t think most gaming sites would be excited about it. The cool part is that solving the various puzzles delivers the custom message.

    I’ll pass all your comments on. Thanks again!

  7. January 21, 2008 10:55 pm

    Hi again. In keeping track of my most popular posts, it’s the LOL cat bible lectionary readings of all things. Nobody is attacking me for it, either, as I feared. I hope things are going well for you and your family in this new year. I am glad that you mentioned the Gauss series because it is so important and I still have not used it in class. I had trouble getting the worksheet and was going to do it out by hand. Tomorrow I will go back and see if I can get it (we have to go into school but no kids: inservice, and nothing is planned except busy work. The worst kind of inservice.).

    But we have a new text for the fifth graders this year: don’t know when it’ll fit in. So I’ll have to make it fit in!!

  8. January 21, 2008 11:43 pm

    Thanks, Andree. Things are going well for my family this year, and I hope that things are going well for yours also. I have been enjoying your squirrel and bird photos, although I rarely comment on them. I have to admit, the LOL cats bible readings are not my thing and I just skip them.

    The worksheet is a Word for Windows document, if that helps. Good luck making everything fit! That is always a challenge!

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