I am trying out Windows Live Writer for the purpose of creating this blog entry. While I like what I see so far, I will have more of an opinion once I’ve used this tool for a while. Hopefully, this will be one of the better efforts by Microsoft.
Electronic Arts has accused Zynga of copying its long running ‘The Sims‘ franchise and thus is taking it to court. This bad news follows not so exciting Q2 results from Zynga. As this chart from statista shows, Zynga has a monetization problem (something that many had suggested during the IPO hype). Zynga’s average monthly revenues per user have been declining for the past year. Zynga’s stunted growth also reflects upon Facebook’s slowing revenue growth figures, due to their deep integration.
Or in the words of Statista
After crunching the numbers, we found that Zynga is still having trouble monetizing its ever-growing user base. Average bookings per monthly unique user are on a downward-slope, having declined year-over-year in each of the past four quarters. If Zynga doesn’t manage to turn this trend around, the company will have trouble justifying the hype that surrounded its IPO last year.
See the original infographic here.
- Electronic Arts Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement Over The Ville (allthingsd.com)
- Zynga reports $23m social gaming loss as Facebook worries mount (slashgear.com)
On the heels of recent news that Samsung has overtaken Apple as the largest Smartphone manufacturer, one is seeing more aggressive marketing. There was a recent deal on Groupon in Hong Kong, which offered a Samsung Galaxy SIII in return for an iPhone 4S plus 90 US dollars. While this seems quite a steal, there were not many takers for this deal. This implies that either folks are not keen on the switch (iPhone 4 s to SIII), or that there are better (cheaper!) trade-in offers available in the Hong Kong market. Note that long-term contracts are not in vogue in this market, hence contract lock-in can be plausibly ruled out as the cause for low uptake of this offer.
This infographic, by Statista, presents Facebook‘s Q2 earnings report. The bottom line – revenue growth is slowing as more users access Facebook via mobiles. The sinking stock price reflects investors’ concerns about the lack of a clear mobile monetization strategy.
See the original infographic here.
- Facebook’s day of reckoning: 2Q earnings report (metronews.ca)
- Facebook Q2 Earnings: Everyone In The World Is Watching (valuewalk.com)
This blog is back. After another, this time longer, break. A look at the Bio page should be enough to explain my absence from the Blogosphere.
Is this a peek into the future, where successful authors (or their publishers) will bypass platform owners (Amazon, Apple, and others) and directly offer e-versions of their top sellers to customers?
Despite the wide availability of pirated copies, the ebook versions of the books have been widely successful.
During an interview with Radio Litopia’s “The Naked Book” Wednesday afternoon, Redmayne said Pottermore sold more than $1.5 million worth of Harry Potter books in the store’s first three days online.
What is to be seen is if JK Rowling will follow a similar strategy for the sales of her new novel. Though ebook prices have been announced, it is still not clear if the publisher of this book will bypass the Amazon, Google and Apple platforms. A Kindle version is currently available for pre-purchase, but eventually, this link might forward buyers to the publisher’s website.
The Casual Vacancy
480 pages (approximately)
ISBN 9781408704202 (hardback) price £20.00
ISBN 9781405519229 (ebook) price £11.99
ISBN 9781405519212 (audio download) £20.00
ISBN 9781405519205 (CD) price £30.00
- Harry Potter eBooks augur changes in digital publishing strategies? (abhishekkathuria.wordpress.com)
- Pottermore throws open Hogwarts doors to all (slashgear.com)
There is a lot of recent research studies that investigate what factors influence the popularity of memes on social networks. Much of this research analyzes twitter posts and has identified many reasons why certain tweets go viral. These include factors related to the tweet itself (e.g. how controversial the tweet is) and factors related to the tweeters (e.g. number of followers, influence, and frequency of posting). New work says that ‘going viral’ is a random process.
This new study uses an agent-based model to study this phenomenon. This model simulates message sharing on a social network and incorporates two key characteristics of such a context: users have limited attention spans and can only view a portion of all tweets.
The predictions of our model are consistent with empirical data from Twitter, a popular microblogging platform. Surprisingly, we can explain the massive heterogeneity in the popularity and persistence of memes as deriving from a combination of the competition for our limited attention and the structure of the social network, without the need to assume different intrinsic values among ideas.
Or in other words, the pattern of twitter memes can be replicated in the absence of tweet or tweeter based factors. This raises interesting questions regarding the direction of causality – do tweets go viral because of certain factors, or is the popularity of posts on social networks a random process and we find mere correlations in our bid to find explanations. While some say that this correlation versus causation conundrum can be solved only empirically, others say that a controlled, experimental approach is the way to go.
Suppose, Menczer says, that in his study he randomly assigned different colours to each tweet. If red tweets ended up being the most popular, one could argue that colour was a predictive factor for success when in reality the popularity of red-coloured tweets was coincidental.
Read more at Going viral on Twitter is a random act – tech – 13 April 2012 – New Scientist and Competition among memes in a world with limited attention : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group.
Weng, L., Flammini, A., Vespignani, A. & Menczer, F., Competition among memes in a world with limited attention, Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 335 doi:10.1038/srep00335
- How To: Go Viral On Twitter (socialbusinesstoday.net)
AppleInsider.com has reported that Apple has filed a patent for a WYSIWYG editor of sorts, that will enable non-programmers to create iOS apps. This proposed digital content authoring tool would use pre-defined app templates to make app creation easy for people who don’t wish to code.
In other accompanying art, the filing shows a number of examples of software that could be created with an amateur-friendly content creation tool. One simple example is a game of tic tac toe, another shows a menu from a coffee shop, and a more complex example features the ability to purchase video of live performances from the show “American Idol.”
Creating these applications would be a simplified process in which the user could select a template for their software. From there, they would begin to fill in the pieces and build their own iOS application, webpage, or advertisement.
While this is still just a patent filing, it does fit in with Apple’s objective of reducing the friction in bringing Apps to the App Store. As building apps becomes easier, a proliferation of localized apps will increase the network of the Apple ecosystem as well as provide a nice launch pad for their (app embedded?) NFC based payment system.
Google has posted a video about Project Glass – a
concept technology that enables a heads-up display through a pair of wearable glasses. Termed Google Glasses by some, this product will enable users to access Google’s growing basket of services through a combination of voice and gesture commands. This product, which is rumored to hit the market by the end of the year (plausibly in a less finessed form?) and is being tested in the wild, will provide augmented reality displays by pulling data from Google Search, Maps, and Plus, and also have calendar, contact book, music player, and video conferencing capabilities. Images of the glasses show a rather minimalistic design, thus it is possible that the glasses will connect to a base station (an Android phone perhaps?) via bluetooth for memory storage, GPS, phone and internet access capabilities.
Some games become ‘boring’ and ‘uninteresting’ after a few hours of game play, others (like Diablo), are imminently replay-able and enjoyable. This is because good games enable players to get into the ‘Flow’. The concept of flow becomes even more important as gamification trends catch on. This article presents an introduction to flow and provides recommendations for game developers (and others who wish to incorporate gaming concepts into their products and services). It provides a scientific explanation of why text-based games and adventure games are increasingly relics of the past (a simpler view by xkcd is below).