Announcement: Across Crossword software to integrate Crossword Butler Service

We are pleased to announce that the next generation of crossword solvers from Litsoft, including Across Lite, on computers and mobile devices will embed a new and revolutionary version of Alex Boisvert’s Crossword Butler Service within them. Continue reading

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Publisher vs Aggregator: A case study

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of copyrights and patent protections of crosswords (and software), it would be useful to understand why the world of commercial digital content is in such a messy situation especially with what technology has enabled.

I will illustrate one type of conflict with the curious incident, back in June of this year, involving The New York Times and an iPad newsreader app called Pulse written by two Stanford University students. Continue reading

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The dark side of the Crossword Business

Before I get to the copyright issues, a post on our initiation into the darker side of the crossword business which is no different than any other business – warts and all. The contents of this post will not be surprising to anyone who has done any competitive business in any field but some may be surprised at such things going on in what is considered to be a fairly harmless and highly intellectual pastime. Continue reading

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In search of sustainable business models

The previous posts made a case that the current trajectory for the crossword industry is in a direction opposite to where we should be going – to keep the art form alive and thriving. Assuming that we manage to reverse course with the constructive suggestions, what kind of  business models will likely be sustainable in the new world? Which ones are unlikely to be sustainable and furthermore may even be destructive?

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Crosswords marketplace – The inmates are running the asylum

Gordon Bethune, ex-CEO of Continental Airlines once remarked in reference to United Airlines -”The inmates are running the asylum.” If he had looked at the crosswords industry, I suspect he would have expressed the same sentiments. Continue reading

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Crossword Industry – the case for a unified marketing effort

Another detour from the promised post in the series. As I started to write about solutions for branding and differentiation, I realized that I hadn’t made a clear case for the industry participants, who now live in their own silos, to co-operate on such efforts. Without such co-operation and an unified front, the marketing required to rejuvenate the industry would be difficult to execute logistically. Continue reading

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Evolving the crossword industry – why fix something that isn’t broken?

In the last post, I listed four categories for change in the crossword industry to move forward. There may be questions on many people’s minds as to what “move forward” means and why it is necessary. Valid questions.

So, before I continue with the next category of change and solutions, I will slip in a post to address this important issue to prevent losing at least some of the audience to “where is the problem?”. Continue reading

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Knowing the customer: Bordeaux or Two-Buck Chuck?

I find the analogy in the title apt and illuminating for several reasons:

  1. There is the equivalent of a Two-Buck Chuck in the crossword industry Continue reading
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Crossword content differentiation – Is it a better hamburger or a more gourmet meal?

I will begin to look at some of the pricing-related issues facing the crossword industry by starting at the source of the value chain – authors and crossword content creation. Continue reading

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Announcement: Free interactive crossword self-publishing service launched

We have just launched a crossword sharing/embedding service similar to photo or video sharing services.

This service is extremely useful to author/publisher readers of this blog Continue reading

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