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Getting Lost in the Shuffle

January 17, 2017 eCommerce

Getting Lost in the Shuffle and Why You Shouldn’t Take Personal Offense

So Why Are We Here?

A lot of us find ourselves asking this same question every day. When Lara and I decided we wanted to start making puzzles and join the fray of eCommerce, we had no idea of the depths of personal involvement and active participation in groups, communities, etc… that would be necessary to market our brand. Not to mention, writing blogs, posts, tweets and newsletters, and, in turn, liking, re-tweeting, following, friend-ing etc… In time we found ourselves asking, “How important is social media for eCommerce?” “And how involved should we really get?”


“Lost in the Shuffle”

Can we be friends?

Around the time when I started my first Facebook business account, my father, who absolutely refuses to have anything to do with Facebook and Twitter, sent me this as a witty antidote to my latest venture:

“Presently, I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.

Therefore, every day I go down on the street and tell the passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before and what I will do tomorrow night.

Then I give them pictures of my family, my dog and me gardening and spending time in my pool. I also listen to their conversations and I tell them I love them.
And it works.

I already have 3 persons following me: 2 police officers and a psychiatrist.” I think that about sums it up = )

A Brave New World and the Age of Voyeurism

“Say Cheese!!”


Thanks to reality TV and Hollywood gossip shows we have become obsessed with other people’s lives.

So I need to be on camera? Make friends? And provide valuable information and tips to make your life better? We just want to sell puzzles, is that so wrong?

Although I’ve managed to make a few good friends and meet some very creative and talented people, I am becoming disenchanted with trying to be socially savvy all the time and with good reason.


  1. We have to make a living, outside of making puzzles. In order to pursue this passion, we have day jobs as most of you do as well. Therefore, we don’t have time to keep up with the daily pace of social living.

  2. Being clever takes time, thought, and energy. Putting thought into every post with the aim to drive customers to your page is the objective of the mission.

  3. Do you really want to be my friend? Chances are if you knew me personally you might not. But why should that matter? We shop tons of online and offline merchants all the time without being invited to join their company picnics and annual fishing trips.

  4. Rather than pry into your personal life or engage in a heated socio-political debate, we’d rather focus on making a great product that you will be happy with. That’s all that really matters in the end: satsified customers and good business relations.

Follow Me and I Will Follow You?

This is mostly Twitter related, but it does happen on Facebook and other outlets as well. People just start following you without having any knowledge or interest in what you’re doing and then un-follow you when you don’t follow them back. Huh?

Wouldn’t it be better to follow people you’re genuinely interested in based on the actual appreciation for what they do, rather than like, follow, or friend someone if you have no interest in anything they post? And then in return hope they follow you while not liking or commenting on anything you post? Who started this anyway?

The Final Outcome

Alton_1Has social media been helpful to us in business so far? The answer is both yes and no. In the short term we have gained somewhat of a following and made sales through various social outlets and that’s good.

In the long term (accompanied by two crowdfunding attempts) we spent hours and hours trying to build an audience to buy our puzzles, and the ratio of labor to actual revenue as a result of our efforts amounts to a rather large deficit.

The amount of information overload that we all experience every day is overwhelming, and getting lost in the shuffle is par for the course.


So in the end we’ve decided to be direct and honest in our approach to business. It’s nothing personal. Like Alton Brown says of the Food Network, “I’m just here for the food,” and we’re just here to sell puzzles.

But you can take comfort in that because we want to make outstanding puzzles with eye catching art that makes you say, “That would look damn good on my wall!”

In other words, the top niche of the market resulting in satisfied, happy customers =)

What do you think so far of our posts?  Any particular topic you would like us to write about? Thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Written by Eric Andersen

Edited by Lara Andersen

Art provided by Phelonius Fuddlemuddle and PlayingGrounded® Ltd.


©Alton Brown

©Bill Watterson

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2 thoughts on “Getting Lost in the Shuffle

  • DOD

    I’m touched. My boy is growing up. That is perfect and it only took how many years? You and Lara have dream/goal and you are getting there. I love it.

    • playinggrounded@gmail.com

      Thanks Dad,

      Sorry it took a while to see this. I don’t check comments to often, most are spam and people looking to take my money. I’m glad you read this, it means a lot to me, also that you enjoyed it and that means more, because that’s why I write these posts in the first place = ) I have to say although I do have my own independent way of thinking, I attribute a lot of work ethic and principles to your influence. You’ve taught me a great deal about life and what’s important and I guess somewhere in my subconscious mind where it lay dormant it finally kicked in. Only took an extra 20 years, right? Well anyway, Thanks again.

      Much love,


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