Community Review MMOG

I don’t play Massive Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG), Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), or Massive Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter games (MMOFPS), but I bet everyone knows someone who does. My nephews play, my friends children play, and my friends play. MOG (Massive Online Games) are typically subscription based services that host massive amounts of people in worlds that give them an opportunity to play and interact with each other at any given moment.
For this post I wanted to ask my friends what about online gaming appealed to them the most. The first thing they all mentioned was theme or genre. Some of them liked playing war based games like “Call of Duty” (MMOFPS), a VP of a company I worked for liked playing “World of Warcraft” (MMORPG), a friend and her husband like playing “City of Heroes/City of Villains” (MMORPG).

Then second most important aspect was the graphics. They needed to like the total look and feel of the game. The graphics needed to be detailed, realistic, have good color, good sound, and good sound effects.

The third most important thing on the list is that the Super Group needed to be with like minded people. My friends wanted to play with people who, as they put it “keep chat humorous, adult, yet kid-friendly… and mist of the people we play with are in professions like cops, social workers, computer experts and some kids, Its not a bunch of hyped up 12 year olds on Red Bulls and Pixie Sticks…hehe.” “We’ve (her and her husband) met some of them personally.” I have a feeling my friends would say that all three of these aspects are equally important, but coincidentally this is the order they all described what they liked most about playing online games.

As far as spending goes, the US spends the most on MOG games, with Britain, German, and French players following behind. More and more games are going mobile and with the increasing popularity of virtual economies it only looks like The future for online gaming is going to get better.


Speaker Review – IPG

IPG Emerging Media Lab is a subsidiary company of IPG (Interpublic Goup of Companies).  They’ve been bringing cutting-edge media technologies to demonstrate their capabilities to advertisers and agencies.

IPG provides a wide spectrum of marketing services. Core services include: -performing primary research about trends
– Consulting with other marketing professionals
– Maintaing a knowledge base of papers and data related to digital marketing and tools
– Hosting events and forging strategic partnerships, with the idea that IPG provides a unique, cutting edge environment, and a group of core experts that will benefit clients.
– Relationship building. IPG connects clients with subject matter experts.

IPG’s website makes them appear to be more focused on ‘connecting the dots’ than on drawing the map…


Industry Round Up 4.25.11

Industry Round Up

By Brigette Kidd

TechCrunch and Mashable have carved out an important niche in the industry. They are both the go to sites to stay on top of the latest changes in the industry.   Here is some from this week:

Facebook Launches the ‘Send’ button for Selective Sharing.  This will be a friend to Facebook’s ‘like’ button. All you have to do is click on a webpage that has the ’send’ button to share content with a select group of Facebook friends or any standard email addresses. This is a strategic move by Facebook, which has a mission to reinvent email using their own “modern messaging system”, as stated by Mark Zuckerberg.

WuFoo sold to SurveyMonkey for $35 Million. This is an inspirational story because WuFoo started with only $118k back in 2006. The online form maker has helped process over $100 million in transactions using its forms. This is the third purchase made by SurveyMonkey, following its acquisitions of ClickTools and Precision Polling.

Facebook Gets Sued for $1. Last February David Fagin, an AOL News Writer was blocked from sending friend requests from his Facebook account. He was blocked and labeled a “spammer” by Facebook and warned that his account would be totally inactivated if he did not stop his actions. Mr. Fagin is suing Facebook for $1.

Amazon Server Trouble! Some of Amazon’s AWS services have been experiencing technical difficulties.  AWS is the company’s cloud computing platform. A few of the sites impacted by this problem are Reddit, Foursquare and HootSuite.

Yahoo Grabs IntoNow for $20-$30 Million. IntoNow is the media check-in game that launched just 12 weeks ago! Facebook and Twitter were interested in the startup, but Yahoo grabbed it fast! IntoNow went from 0 to $30 million in four months.

PlaceIQ will Target Block by Block.  This mobile advertising data startup with $1 million in angel money will gather data from cell phones users block by block. Using GPS coordinates, zip codes and different times of the day, PlaceIQ will gather data and provide information to marketers.


Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams is a book about large communities collaborating on projects which evolve and adapt with time. The strange part is that Wikinomics is a book written by two people, not a community, and it is already woefully out of date. The authors make some confusing references to 2010, due to a recent, half-hearted attempt at a revision. But the majority of the book was written in 2006 and it shows. Badly.

They talk a lot about MySpace and make no reference to the financial crisis or smart phones. And, at one point, the authors discuss the possibility that one day Apple might make a portable, pocket computer. What, like the iPhone?

I can’t blame the authors for not knowing the future (although I can blame them for the sloppy revision). But, I couldn’t help thinking, if this book were a wiki, someone would have updated it long ago. I think the problem for me is that writing a book about wikis and mass-collaboration just seems contradictory, like having a conversation about Twitter through telegraph.

I decided to put the irony behind me and just enjoy the book on its own merits. But I found myself distracted again. This book uses more jargon than a bad comp lit seminar. I couldn’t help cringing at made-up words like prosumers, b-webs and ideagoras. I just wish the authors would forget trying to coin hip-sounding lingo and stick to the point.

They could use a lesson in brevity, too. Like several other business books I have read, the authors have a couple really good points, but they hammer them over our heads until we’re numb. In a book that is in large part about efficiency, they sure waste a lot of space, presumably just so the book is thick enough to look good on a shelf.

Nonetheless, I found the main thesis compelling.  The authors make a forceful case that mass-collaboration can produce results faster and more efficiently than traditional methods. The authors encourage companies to take an open approach to innovation and, basically, put the public to work for them.

In other words, this book describes the crowdsourcing phenomenon before the term was even coined–although I bet the authors wish they had coined it!

Perhaps most worthwhile are the well-explained examples of how businesses have used mass collaboration and open sourcing to their benefit. I particularly like how they took examples from the tech world and elsewhere. I enjoyed reading about the enormous success of a gold mining company that made all of its geological data public and held a contest imploring others to help them find new gold. On the tech side, I found the discussion of web APIs informative and it still seemed timely in 2011.

While they make a convincing case for companies to open source, the authors would have done well to consider the possible problems this can cause. An open approach may have helped Google, Procter & Gamble and IBM, but even these companies must defend their intellectual property. The authors do not clearly articulate when to share and when to protect innovations.

Also, I also would have liked to have read more discussion on how mass-collaboration can be used outside the business world, for example, on art projects.

All in all, I would recommend this book, but mostly for the interesting examples. They convincingly illustrate how mass-collaboration can be used effectively and how it can be a profitable business decision. Many CEOs would do well to take this advice, but they should take it with a grain of salt. And maybe an aspirin–they’re going to need it after being pounded over the head with the same information over and over again.


Industry roundup

1. Search marketing will grow 16% this year to $19.3 billion and 74% of North American ad agencies say their clients use Facebook, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization reported that search marketing will grow 16% this year. A survey of 920 companies was given at the beginning of the year. The report shows a rise in mobile marketing and local search was cited as the trend with the most significance with behavioral targeting is becoming increasingly important. They also discovered that more marketers are outsourcing their SEO and social media to agencies rather than having an in-house staff.

2. Why Social Media Reinvigorates the Market for Quality Journalism
Content being created, updated and pushed by links and tags to increase its relevance and ranking in search results has been a standard practice, but sites are getting more and longer page views when readers come from social media sites. Journalists have always grabbed information and put it into context to create a story, but content created by social sites are making it so users are doing the reporting. I really enjoyed this article. You can read more here.

3. Rent & Watch Movies in Your Web Browser With Walmart’s Vudu
Walmart purchased Vudu in February and instead of being a set-top box they are now licensing the service to consumer electronics makers. Walmart is a huge retailer of electronics and televisions which gives them the ability to drive sales of Internet-connected TVs with Vudu and eventually content delivery. Users can rent or buy movies and TV shows from Vudu.com, even if they don’t own a Vudu-compatible TV or Blu-ray player. Vudu has more than 17,000 titles in its library with a big focus on new releases and major studio films. Users can rent titles for 24 hours for $3.99, $4.99 or $5.99, depending on quality level. You can read more about this here.

4. Internet Ad Revenues Rebounded, Hit Record High in 2010
According to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau revenues from Internet advertising broke records last year. Online ad revenue jumped 15% to $26 billion compared to a 3.4% decline in 2009.

Search took the biggest share of revenues, display advertising accounted for 38% of the market, but the biggest category growth was in sponsorships.

Here are some of the other categories and you can find more of the report here.

– Classified advertising accounted for 10% of revenues for 2010 or $2.6 billion, which was up 15% from 2009′s $2.3 billion.
– Lead-generation revenues were down 8% to $1.3 billion.
– Email marketing revenues fell 33%, to $195 million. That’s just 1% of the market.
– Mobile advertising, which hadn’t previously been included in the IAB’s report, is now estimated to account for between $550 million and $650 million.

5. Apple Adds “Do Not Track” Features to Safari
Safari includes an option that lets users prevent cookies from tracking their browsing behavior.
Congress recently introduced a Do Not Track Me Online bill that would allow consumers to opt out of online tracking. It would work a lot like the Do Not Call registry, which allows consumers to opt out of telemarketing phone calls. And the FTC has been exploring do-not-track options since last year.

Some major web browsers have preempted this law by adding do-not-track features on their browsers. Firefox 4 allows users to opt out of advertising-related tracking. Internet Explorer 9 has an option called “Tracking Protection” that allows users to turn off third-party ad tracking software. Google released a Chrome extension called Keep My Opt-Outs, allowing Chrome users the ability to opt-out of data tracking.

6. U.S. Government Shuts Down 3 Biggest Online Gambling Sites
The Government shut down the three online gambling sites located in the United States. Federal prosecutors accuse the sites of illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering and the government filed a $3 billion civil suit to recover profits. Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker allegedly disguised billions of dollars of gambling payments as online store purchases.

7. Startup Aims To Build Billboards That Target You, Personally
Immersive Labs introduced billboard technology that combines a web cam, analytics, Twitter, Foursquare information to decide what the best ad to display at that moment is.


Texture — Human Expression in the Age of Communications Overload

Texture — Human Expression in the Age of Communications Overload
By Richard H.R. Harper

As everyone in this class knows, we’re living in an age of a whole lotta communications.  We’ve got emails, IMs, tweets, calls, posts, and more to handle.  Now whether you believe you’re under the strain of a “communications overload” or just handling 21st century life, it’s a topic we can relate to and so it piqued my curiosity enough to give this book a read.

I was expecting a book that takes a real hands-on, direct approach to modern communications and how to best handle them efficiently and effectively…from the perspective of a consumer as well as a content-producer. I didn’t really get that.  The book take a much more conceptual, abstract point of view and focuses not so much on the particular modes of communications and strategy in using them, buy more the human element of communications. The author looks at what drives us to communicate — be it through a hand-written letter or a quick Facebook post — and the impact of those communications. A central theme of the book is why we seek out so many (new) ways to communicate despite complaining of the burdens of communications. Harper stresses the goal of communicatoins should not be efficiency, but rather enriching the human experience and social bonds.

While I certainly can’t call this my favorite book, it was an interesting read.  The author is well-read and versed in his field, but hampers readability and flow in this book by citing or referencing other authors/works seemingly in every other sentence. “See this” and “See that” is great, but I’d rather have the author give me the relevant reference paraphrased and then make a point. I also caught a couple typos…maybe that’s only in my Kindle edition of the book, but that’s still something that should have been weeded out.

Now, back to your regular barrage of digital bits and messages.


Community Round Up

Community Round Up

Brigette Kidd

This weekend I was chatting with a friend. She and I have known each other for over 35 years and shared tears of joy at each other’s weddings as well as celebrated with laughter and drinks when our divorces were final!

My friend is single and wants to find a male companion that she can talk to, attend a play or go out to dinner with. She is not alone in her request, as I have heard the same words from both my male and female friends consistently for the past three years. It has been difficult for everyone to navigate through the dating arena especially if you have been married.

As I was listening to her I started thinking about my blogging homework assignment. I decided to take a look at the online dating industry. It helped that she mentioned that a mutual friend of ours had just joined eharmony.com. Also our friend Lisa was still excited about reconnecting with a high school sweetheart on Facebook the day before.

Most social networking sites initially have difficulty generating revenue; take Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. In fact they were started with venture capital funds with the hopes of selling the site for millions later. This business strategy worked for MySpace and both Facebook and Twitter are exploring different revenue models with ads and technology sharing.

The social networking of online dating is a billion dollar business. Some common online dating sites are; Match.com, eharmony.com, Blacksingles.com, Spark.com and Christianmingle.com.

Why is online dating a billion dollar industry? Simple, people want and need other people. People are willing to pay to meet someone. Whether the user is looking for companionship, marriage, dating or just sex, online makes it easier to connect. Setting up profile and loading a photo is easy and it can be done from the comfort of a person’s home. To search and browse profiles on these sites are often free, but users then have to pay to make a connection. Many sites offer coupons and discounted annual memberships, but on the average membership fees range from $25 to $60 per month.

One of my favorite songs is “People” by Barbara Streisand.  The meaning of the song is basically that people who do not cut themselves off from society or the love of others are “the luckiest people in the world.” It is pretty clear that the millions of users of these online dating services want to get lucky!