Saturday, March 28, 2009

The ongoing discussions about MacHeist

Discussions. Is that the correct word? I'm not so sure. Blatant flinging of opinions may be more accurate.

Those of us not on the inside would do well to stop flinging opinion and accusations at the crew that started and currently manage MacHeist. At least there are a few more people who are calmly making posts about it now. That's refreshing after fora, blog and podcasting flame wars that ensued in the first two years of the event. To be sure, MacHeist still has it's share of detractors.Among them this time around is Marco Arment, who is certainly entitled to his opinion. One response to Mr. Arment's posted opinion is from a dev who is involved directly with MacHeist.

Here is some additional opinion from a developer at M Cubed Software and Buzz Andersen's Sci-Fi Hi-Fi blog post.

So, what more can I seek to add to all of this discussion that gets exhumed and rehashed with each iteration of MacHeist?

I'm the consumer. I've purchased all three bundles that have been offered. I've participated in all but the very first "heist", only because I didn't get invited until just as that one ended and didn't have time.Overall, it's been delightfully entertaining and a great core community has grown up around the annual bundle releases. By far, as the consumer, I'm more annoyed by whiners and complainers who think every step should be picture perfect with no hiccups or issues than with anything I've had to deal directly with the MacHeist team about.

The MacHeist folk are treading new ground in many instances, pushing the envelope and bringing us interesting puzzles, free software to try — or to ignore or delete if it isn't useful to us — and a bundle of software that is so reasonably priced that it really is hard to pass up.

What I think a lot of the naysayers and supporters alike are missing is the ongoing community aspect that sprung up without originally being intended by the creators. That community is acknowledged now, within the MacHeist team but, originally, the forum was an afterthought. To be sure, in the thick of activity building to a bundle there are a lot of fluff posts. It got even fluffier with the advent of teams and points that none of us knew how to really earn other than myriad speculated methods. We still don't have an explanation as to what points are all about or how we gain and lose them. Meh, big deal.

I took a quick, and silly, quiz. I got assigned to the Green Team (my husband gave nearly identical answers and ended up my opponent on the Orange Team but he's not really into it anyway). I've now made a group of friends via our Team Chat. A super core of people on the team with whom I interact regularly. We are Mac users. We help each other find apps of use, hardware recommendations and a variety of other things including sharing our musical tastes via

Oh, and did I mention, as a consumer I've been willing to check out independent software developer's wares much more since I did my first heist. I've gotten some great software from MacUpdate's mupromo and macZOT, both of which are ongoing, year-round.

We even have an enterprising MacHeist community member who is digging up deals for us and posting them in the fora for all to take advantage of on a regular basis. I've gotten in on two of those so far was well. Folks are certainly entitled to their own opinions. It's akin to people who complain about the posts of people they are following on twitter being annoying... Unfollow! If you as a dev don't think you will get a good deal out of participating in MacHeist... Don't! If you can't afford the bundle, even with the ridiculously low price for what is included or you don't see software in it you want... Don't Buy It!

Oh, and if you don't like the FREE software you got for solving the puzzles don't whine to the rest of us who are quite happy to give them a try or just ignore ones we don't want. No one is being forced to do any of these things against their will. Gee whiz, they were FREE.

I've spent money to upgrade some of the free apps that I found useful. I've spent money to upgrade bundle apps as well. I'll echo others when I say that I likely would not have sought out some of the apps that came in the bundles. Those very apps for which I've paid upgrade fees to the devs. I've bought other apps from some of the devs I'd possibly not have found otherwise. My exposure to MacHeist has certainly produced a positive for developers of software that I make use of on a regular basis.

Participate in the community a bit before accusing, whining or denigrating it. It would be refreshing to see people do some real research before spouting off.

Dear Bankers...

Our family has tried to be pretty responsible with our finances over the years. We have a few too many Legos, some stuff we could live without if we had to. But overall, we've been careful with our earnings.

Our mortgage lender thinks so too. So, what do they do to indicate that? They send us a nice piece of mail with two plastic cards that have our mortgage loan number on it, telling us how wonderful we are and that we now have Preferred Status. Hooray for us!

Why did my bank need to spend money on two useless pieces of plastic, an oversized envelope and the postage to tell me this? Look at your records, Dear bankers. I'm sure you can easily see... every payment on this loan has been done electronically.

I'm set up for email notifications. I've asked you to stop sending me other paper stuff. WHY would I want these stupid plastic cards? There are so many other effective ways you can market to me, your targeted consumer, that don't use paper or plastic. I respectfully ask you to please STOP producing junk I'm going to cut up and add to a landfill somewhere.

If I want to contact you I am not going to go rooting around for a card that sort of looks like a credit card but isn't. You should be watching your budgets as you try to do the right things to stay in business. Cut out the junk!

When was the last time I was actually transacted business inside one of your banks? This is trackable. You actually bill people for doing this. Stop spending money on this useless stuff, pay employees a decent wage to be there when I do need the help of a human being! Not everything you offer can be done online or at an ATM. We both know this. Can't we somehow get back to doing smart business with each other? I'll be contacting you, my bank, directly about this. I want to encourage others to do so as well when they encounter wasteful or stupid marketing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Veronica Belmont to host the MacHeist 3 bundle reveal show!

It's time again for the annual MacHeist bundle and this year they're doing a live video show to reveal all the apps in it. Hosting the show will be Tekzilla's Veronica Belmont, Lisa Bettany, and Chris Pirillo.

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