Midterm Thoughts

19 Oct

The semester is almost halfway over. Personally, I’m shocked by how fast it’s gone by so far. With the first draft of my formal business plan due about a month from now, I’m focusing in on figuring out the rest of my site idea. The major issue is still monetizing it, given that I haven’t figured out a fool proof method as of now. More rambling on the subject after the jump:

In a recent class period, my professor Adam Penenberg briefly talked about how the new marketing tool in the coming years is probably going to be online gaming. I initially thought it was a stupid idea, though after more consideration I’m beginning to see where he’s coming from. Much of a game’s content (and possible rewards) can be structured around a business, and it’s guaranteed to be seen by a large audience given that practically everyone loves games and prizes. Putting together a game for a cheap eats database of all things seems worthless, but it might have some potential. When I think of online games, I think of one that was on Facebook for a long period of time in which college students could win cash to use at various restaurants around their campus. The game operated like a game of mindsweeper: you clicked various tiles, and depending on what was under it you either gained or lost cash. In the end, you usually came out with a small sum of money that you could apply towards a takeout order. I suppose the same concept could be applied to the restaurants on my site. One could strike up a deal with a restaurant, add them to the list, thus allowing folks to get a few bucks off their order next time they stop in. They get the publicity, and the readers get the discounts, especially appropriate given that this is, in fact, a “cheap eats” blog. I would, of course, have to get a cut of this whole thing somehow.

Mobile apps have also been on my mind lately. I have the Yelp app for my Android phone, and I find it to be very convenient when I’m out and about and want to find something to eat quickly (and cheaply, of course). While the GPS on my phone screws with my location and thus the recommendations, I like the idea of having a website in the palm of your hand for whenever you need it. Something similar to the Yelp app could be designed for Food on the Cheap, I’m sure of it.

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Comments? Leave ’em here.

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