Thursday, July 10, 2008

Learn How to Connect with the Core Social Gaming Demographic: Teens

Build something you'd use yourself is the worst advice anyone ever gave to developers. We're not normal. The average person does not know what an algorithm is (which is why Ask's marketing attack on Google, "The algorithm is not your friend" was a colossal moronic waste of money - I say this as an IAC shareholder). The average person has no opinion on Ruby vs. PhP. The average person reads celebrity blogs and watches reality TV shows. And sports.

I feel that a lot of people out here in Silicon Valley have no clue about the people who use their products, especially teenagers. I've hear one too many times from developers in their mid-twenties claiming that teenagers need to be protected from racy content. Which is retarded if you have any recollection of being a teenager. I mean, seriously, were you thinking about anything besides sex. Didn't you stay up late to watch Skinemax? Did you want to be protected from "racy" content?

And that's just teenage boys. The development community is overwhelming male. Most guys didn't understand teenage girls when they were in high school, and they understand them less now.

And yet, if you're developing on Facebook, your core audience is teenage girls (if you want a viral app, that is).

Teen girls are more willing to send invites. If your game connects with them, then you can have a serious (business) hit on your hands. Boys are more likely to install an app if they received an invite from a girl.

So get to know your users. For app developers, that's teens. Read Ypulse. Read Danah Boyd.

The Ypulse! conference is in San Fran next week focused on trends among teens. They have three sessions focused on teens and casual games.

Ypulse was nice enough to offer a 10% discount code for the conference. So go here and use "BRET" to get the discount.

Do it quick, online registration ends tomorrow.