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 who would benefit from being able to embed interactive crosswords within their posts or web sites. Moreover, since the terms allow limited commercial use of the service, authors who self-syndicate or freelance to online sites should now be able to offer interactive crosswords to third-party sites without requiring any hosting facilities or requiring their clients to install any software on their web sites.

All you need is a .puz file (Across format) of your crossword. First, you upload this file into the service. The service will provide you with a link to share in e-mails, tweets, etc., to send people to a page on the service with that crossword in interactive form. The service will also provide small HTML code snippets that you can just copy and paste into web pages and blogs where you want the crossword to appear. Nothing could be simpler.

To demonstrate, here is the CrosSynergy sample puzzle from the distant past embedded into this blog post. I copied the small code snippet supplied by the service for this crossword into the post (the whole process can be accomplished in less than a minute):

(TIP: WordPress requires you to have an Editor role to be able to embed HTML code snippets from the HTML tab of the editor).

Each reader of the page gets their own copy of the crossword to solve of course. Work can be saved between visits via a cookie in the browser.

The interactive applet is available in two sizes – the standard size embedded above, and a narrower version for Facebook tabs and other width-constrained blogs or web pages.

We will have the ability to embed it in Facebook pages shortly. A Flash version is also in the product roadmap.

Feel free to try it out and embed crosswords in your web page or blog post. If there are some requirements that we have missed or anything you would like to be addressed to make the service more useful to you, just let us know.

And if this helps you make a few bucks from sites, great! And yes, it is a free service.

This entry was posted in Service and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Announcement: Free interactive crossword self-publishing service launched

  1. Guda says:

    Thanks to all that have been trying this out. We have had a few questions about commercial use of this service. Since many of the questions are similar, let me clarify it here.

    The intent behind the relevant terms in the TOS regarding this issue is the following:

    1. If the use of the service results in free access of crosswords to solvers, then we will not come in the way of any commercial transaction that may happen between the author and the owner of the publishing venue where the crosswords appear. The pricing in such arrangements is typically so low that us taking a cut would simply discourage the use. This doesn’t mean that there is no commercial value to authors or syndicates. For example, an author can sell a crossword subscription to an online newspaper, host the crosswords here and provide the embed link to each of its client newspapers. As long as that newspaper is publishing it free on that site for visitors perhaps with ad revenue, then we don’t come into the value chain.

    2. If authors or other entities want to sell an interactive crossword service using our service to end-users directly, then we will not prohibit it but ask for a revenue share arrangement for using our service for this purpose. It doesn’t make sense for us to give away the bandwidth and storage so someone else can make money off of the end users at our expense. We aren’t Google! It is like renting crossword publishing hosting service to create a paid service but to pay the rent only if and when you get paid directly from the solver customers.

    So it is quite simple really. You don’t get a free ride from us if your business model involves selling interactive content to end users for a fee and you will need to do a revenue share. Otherwise, it is free for you to use even when there is a commercial transaction involved.

    We don’t want to define or limit what potential business models can come out of using this service. And we want to encourage content owners to make money using this if they can. They just didn’t have a convenient way to self-publish interactively before without hosting services of their own or having to make their client sites install software. This fills that gap.

    Hope that clarifies.

  2. Vasanth says:

    Guda,

    I should say its a great idea to bring crossword as a service on the go.

    Very useful for die hard crossword fans.

  3. Pingback: Crossword Industry – the case for a unified marketing effort | A Cross Business