Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Holidays, Everyone! See You In 2013!

I hope that everybody's having a wonderful holiday season!  As regular readers have no doubt noticed, I've been falling behind on keeping the blog supplied with a steady stream of Shakespeare goodness.  I did finally get to release my iPhone App ShakeShare, which I hope that everyone (who's able to) downloads and enjoys.  I hope that it is the first of many.

It's not like I've forgotten you. Every day I say, "I should put something up on the site."  And things get in the way.  First it was the app, then the day job, now the holidays.  I can never seem to get the time and the focus to post things where I think I've given them the attention that they deserve.  Then I start focusing on everything that I've missed talking about, and the pile becomes insurmountable.  I bookmark things to post, then so much time goes by that I take them back off the list since they're no longer newsworthy. That weighs on me.

And so I'm taking a holiday break.  Shakespeare Geek will not be posting any new content for the remainder of 2012.  If you're following on Twitter or Facebook you'll not doubt see some Best Of content, and maybe a #hashtag game here or there.  Those only take a couple of seconds in between bigger projects.

I hope everybody has a wonderful rest of the year, celebrating whatever holidays you may choose.  Thanks for being the loyal audience that you've been, and I hope to see everybody in a couple of weeks.  (* I know for a fact that I'm getting some new Shakespeare stuff for Christmas, because I bought it myself!)

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 03, 2012

My New iPhone App! ShakeShare Shareable Shakespeare

Here we go!  The big announcement!  A few weeks ago I tossed out an idea here on the blog that went a little something like this :  "Somebody should take a database of wallpaper images and then combine that with a database of Shakespeare quotations.  Randomly pick one from each column and you get a cool image that can be pinned, shared, tweeted, or just enjoyed as the background on your phone."  Then I pretty much disappeared.


Introducing ShakeShare : Shareable Shakespeare 
Shake it, Share it, Shakespeare. Need some words of wisdom, something romantic, something motivational? How about a pun or a joke? The editors at, the original Shakespeare blog, have compiled hundreds of quotes both by and about William Shakespeare, combined those with all of our jokes, puns and one-liners about our favorite playwright, and rendered them all atop hundreds of high quality wallpaper images suitable for sharing. Shake your device until you find a quote that makes you think (or makes you laugh!), then share it with someone who loves Shakespeare as much as you do. Don't like our images? Go ahead and use one of your own! The most important thing is that you share it. Shakespeare everywhere! 
Available now for your iOS device (though, honestly, the image are optimized for iPhone, not iPad).
That's what I've been up to, learning how to get an app through the entire system and out the door (remember my ebook experiment?)

"Really?" you're telling yourself, "A quotes database? That's it?"  Not hardly!  Half the database is source material (with citations, since I don't ever want to be accused of sneaking in a NotByShakespeare).  And then there's the hundreds and hundreds of jokes and puns that we've become known for, from Bardfilm's lists to Twitter hashtag games.  Many of them were written just for the app, and have never been seen anywhere else!

This is not made for a bunch of Shakespeare geeks to flip through bits of text they've already seen a thousand times before.  This is all about the sharing.  I tried very hard to make the material (that we all love oh so much) look good, so that you could then go share it with the rest of the world who might not yet fully appreciate its beauty.

You know the mission here.  More Shakespeare.  This app hopefully becomes one tool in the arsenal of making that happen.  What's your favorite sharing service - Twitter?  Pinterest?  Facebook?   Every now and then pull out this app, shake it a few times to find a quote you get a kick out of, and then share it.  Every time you do that there's a chance that somebody else, sees it and says, "I want more Shakespeare in my life, too."  And then the cycle repeats.

Most importantly, come back and tell me about it. This is a first effort and I know that.  It can and will get better.  It's also the stepping stone to bigger projects.  The most important variable, though, is you the users.  What works, what doesn't?  What do you wish it did?  What does it do badly, that I could fix?  If you're not going to use it, what could it have done that would make you change your mind?  I've got a list in my head of what I'd like it to do differently (let's face it - I just learned how to do this and there were some things that I wanted it to do and just couldn't figure out how to make it happen).  I need user feedback, and lots of it, to help me prioritize that list.

Of course, it also helps if you go in and rate/review the app as well!

Thanks everybody!  Now get out there and SHARE SHAKESPEARE!