A few weeks ago, Facebook announced an Open Graph initiative — a move considered to be a turning point not just for the social networking giant, but for the web at large. The company’s new vision is no longer to just connect people. Facebook now wants to connect people around and across the web through concepts they are interested in.
This vision of the web isn’t really new. Its origins go back the the person who invented the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. This vision has been passionately shared and debated by the tech community over the last decade. What Facebook has announced as Open Graph has been envisioned by many as semantic web.
The web of people and things
At the heart of this vision is the idea that different web pages contain the same objects. Whether someone is reading about a book on Barnes and Noble, on O’Reilly or on a book review blog doesn’t matter. What matters is that the reader is interested in this particular book. And so it makes sense to connect her to friends and other readers who are interested in the same book — regardless of when and where they encountered it.
The same is true about many everyday entities that we find on the web — movies, albums, stars, restaurants, wine, musicians, events, articles, politicians, etc — the same entity is referenced in many different pages. Our brains draw the connections instantly and effortlessly, but computers can’t deduce that an “Avatar” review on Cinematical.com is talking about the movie also described on a page on IMDB.com.
The reason it is important for things to be linked is so that people can be connected around their interests and not around websites they visit. It does not matter to me where my friends are reading about “Avatar”, what matters is which of my friends liked the movie and what they had to say. Without interlinking objects across different sites, the global taste graph is too sparse and uninteresting. By re-imagining the web as the graph of things we are interested in, a new dimension, a new set of connections gets unlocked — everything and everyone connects in a whole new way.
A brief history of semantic markups
The problem of building the web of people and things boils down to describing what is on the page and linking it to other pages. In Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision, the entities and relationships between them would be described using RDF. This mathematical language was designed to capture the essence of objects and relationships in a precise way. While it’s true that RDF annotation would be the most complete, it also turns out to be quite complicated.
It is this complexity that the community has attempted to address over the years. A simpler approach called Microformats was developed by Tantek Celik, Chris Messina and others. Unlike RDF, Microformats rely on existing XHTML standards and leverage CSS classes to markup the content. Critically, Microformats don’t add any additional information to the page, but just annotate the data that is already on the page.
Microformats enjoyed support and wider adoption because of their relative simplicity and focus on marking up the existing content. But there are still issues. First, the number of supported entities is limited, the focus has been on marking organizations, people and events, and then reviews, but there is no way to markup, for example, a movie or a book or a song. Second, Microformats are somewhat cryptic and hard to read. There is cleverness involved in figuring out how to do the markup, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
In 2005, inspired by Microformats, Ian Davis, now CTO of Talis, developed eRDF — a syntax within HTML for expressing a simplified version of RDF. His approach married the canonical concepts of RDF and the idea from Microformats that the data is already on the page. An iteration of Ian’s work, called RDFa, has been adopted as a W3C standard. All the signs point in the direction of RDFa being the solution of choice for describing entities inside HTML pages.
Until recently, despite the progress in the markups, adoption was hindered by the fact that publishers lacked the incentive to annotate the pages. What is the point if there are no applications that can take advantage of it? Luckily, in 2009 both Yahoo and Google put their muscle behind marking up pages.
First Yahoo developed an elegant search application called Search Monkey. This app encouraged and enabled sites to take control over how Yahoo’s search engine presented the results. The solution was based on both markup on the page and a developer plugin, which gave the publishers control over presenting the results to the user. Later, Google announced rich snippets. This supported both Microformats and RDFa markup and enabled webmasters to control how their search results are presented.
Still missing from all this work was a simple common vocabulary for describing everyday things. In 2008-2009, with help from Peter Mika from Yahoo research, I developed a markup called abmeta. This extensible, RDFa-based markup provided a vocabulary for describing everyday entities like movies, albums, books, restaurants, wines, etc. Designed with simplicity in mind, abmeta supports declaring single and multiple entities on the page, using both meta headers and also using RDFa markup inside the page.
Facebook Open Graph protocol
The markup announced by Facebook can be thought of as a subset of abmeta because it supports the declaration of entities using meta tags. The great thing about this format is simplicity. It is literally readable in English.
The markup defines several essential attributes — type, title, URL, image and description. The protocol comes with a reasonably rich taxonomy of types, supporting entertainment, news, location, articles and general web pages. Facebook hopes that publishers will use the protocol to describe the entities on pages. When users press the LIKE button, Facebook will get not just a link, but a specific object of the specific type.
If all of this computes correctly, Facebook should be able to display a rich collection of entities on user profiles, and, should be able to show you friends who liked the same thing around the web, regardless of the site. So by publishing this protocol and asking websites to embrace it, Facebook clearly declares its foray into the web of people and things — aka, the semantic web.
Technical issues with Facebook’s protocol
As I’ve previously pointed out on my post on ReadWriteWeb, there are several issues with the markup that Facebook proposed.
1. There is no way to disambiguate things. This is quite a miss on Facebook’s part, which is already resulting in bogus data on user profiles. The ambiguity is because the protocol is lacking secondary attributes for some data types. For example, it is not possible to distinguish the movie from its remake. Typically, such disambiguation would be done by using either a director or a year property, but Facebook’s protocol does not define these attributes. This leads to duplicates and dirty data.
2. There is no way to define multiple objects on the page. This is another rather surprising limitation, since previous markups, like Microformats and abmeta, support this use case. Of course if Facebook only cares about getting people to LIKE pages so that they can do better ad targeting, then having multiple objects inside the page is not necessary. But Facebook claimed and marketed this offering as semantic web, so it is surprising that there is no way to declare multiple entities on a single page. Surely a comprehensive solution ought to do that.
3. Open protocol can’t be closed. Finally, Facebook has done this without collaborating with anyone. For something to be rightfully called an Open Graph Protocol, it should be developed in an open collaboration with the web. Surely, Google, Yahoo!, W3C and even small startups playing in the semantic web space would have good things to contribute here.
It sadly appears that getting the semantic web elements correct was not the highest priority for Facebook. Instead, the announcement seems to be a competitive move against Twitter, Google and others with the goal to lock-in publishers by giving them a simple way to recycle traffic.
Where to next?
Despite the drawbacks, there is no doubt that Facebook’s announcement is a net positive for the web at large. When one of the top companies takes a 180-degree turn and embraces a vision that’s been discussed for a decade, everyone stops and listens. The web of people and things is now both very important and a step closer. The questions are: What is the right way? And how do we get there?
For starters, it would be good to fill in some holes in Facebook Open Graph. Whether it is the right way overall or not, at least we need to make it complete. It is important to add support for secondary attributes necessary for disambiguation and also, important to add support for multiple entities inside the page (even if there is only one LIKE button on the whole page). Both of these are already addressed by Microformats and abmeta, so it should be easy to fix.
Beyond technical issues, Facebook should open up this protocol and make it owned by the community, instead of being driven by one company’s business agenda. A true roundtable with major web companies, publishers, and small startups would result in a correct, comprehensive and open protocol. We want to believe that Facebook will do the right thing and will collaborate with the rest the web on what has been an important work spanning years for many of us. The prospects are exciting, because we just made a giant leap. We just need to make sure we land in the right place.
(05-20) 10:57 PDT — The news this week of Google's open-source release of the HD video codec VP8 plays into the ongoing debate over which video codec browsers can use to display high-definition video without a plug-in, such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight.
Google obtained the codec when it acquired On2 Technologies in February. Under the name of WebM, Google, along with other contributors, will maintain the source code, specifications and application programming interfaces of VP8.
Observers have noted that should Google release VP8 as an open standard, it could potentially solve the ongoing possible performance and legal issues surrounding other high-definition video codecs that could be used with the HTML5 standard.
Thus far, browser adoption of VP8 has been quick — at least when market leader Microsoft is not factored in — though performance concerns have arisen about the codec.
Both Opera and Mozilla have built test versions of their browsers that can run videos with the .webm suffix, as does a beta version of Google’s own Chrome browser. Adobe has also pledged that Flash will be able to run VP8 video.
The Free Software Foundation has praised Google for putting VP8 into open source, a move that FSF had urged Google to make in February.
"The world would have a new free format unencumbered by software patents. Viewers, video creators, free software developers, hardware makers — everyone — would have another way to distribute video without patents, fees, and restrictions," Holmes Wilson wrote on the organization’s site in February.
Technically speaking, however, video codec experts seem to be split over how well VP8 stacks up against the H.264 codec favored by Apple and Microsoft for HTML5 playback. They do seem to agree that the format does not hit the performance claims made by ON2.
In terms of compressing files, “VP8 appears to be significantly weaker than” H.264, wrote Jason Garrett-Glaser, one of the developers behind the x264 open-source library for rendering video into H.264, in a blog analysis. In his tests, VP8 decompression seemed to require more processing power as well.
Garrett-Glaser noted that these results are especially problematic because Google has finalized the specification and organizations such as Mozilla and Adobe have rushed to support it, which will make it difficult to make the changes needed to improve performance.
"It would have been better off to have an initial period during which revisions could be submitted and then a big announcement later when it’s completed," he wrote.
Garrett-Glaser did note that VP8 performance is better than that of Ogg Theora, the other potential choice for Web video.
Streaming media consultant Jan Ozer also compared the performance of VP8 and H.264, and found the two to be about roughly equivalent, performance-wise.
Copyright (c) 2010, IDG News Service. All rights reserved. IDG News Service is a trademark of International Data Group, Inc.
Google App Engine for Business, which offers new features that enable companies to build internal applications on the same reliable and secure infrastructure that Google uses for their own apps. $8/user/month/app . Maximum of $1000/app to me is such an amazing deal for businesses.
Google waves is now free for all no invite needed. salesforce.com now have incorporated Google waves in their app for instant collaboration.
http://www.vmware.com/ cloud portability partnership with VMware was announced. It was shared that this is to make it easier for companies to build rich web apps and deploy them to the cloud of their choice or on-premise. In just one click, users of the new versions of SpringSource Tool Suite and Google Web Toolkit can deploy their application to Google App Engine for Business, a VMware environment or other infrastructure, such as Amazon EC2.
New Chrome Web Store was announced as an open marketplace for web apps that helps people find the best web applications across the Internet
As I am preparing to write this blog post I am actually going down the memory lane some 11 years back. Circa 1999 – 2nd day of my induction training at SQL Star International New Delhi’s regional office. SQL is a leading provider of training and learning solutions in IT Industry. Ok so coming back to the class room , I was still digesting the over dose given to us on first day about ecommerce, IBM websphere , Oracle apps and now the trainer said have you heard of ‘Paperless Office’ ? We were some 6 or 7 in the session and almost everyone’s reaction was – What the hell !!! The trainer then wrote on the white board that spelled like this – LOTUS NOTES . The rest is history.
Circa 2010 – Office is completely paperless if you wish so and to top on it no several thousand dollar worth of software solution to achieve it all you need is to implement Google Apps for your business.
What is Google Apps? -
Google Apps is a simple online messaging and collaboration tools for groups/ collection of people / employees of organization/ students of a class etc.. It is a best answer for expensive and maintenance demanding software like Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes. Today businesses of any size can start using Google Apps and the best news is that the standard Edition of it is free for until 100 users.
Components of Google Apps –
- Gmail with inbuilt chat
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
- Google Sites
- Google Groups
- Google Videos
- Postini – message security solution for google apps
The Standard Editionis free and any organization can implement it. This comes with Gmail, calendar, docs and sites.
What is needed to Start? The ease with which Google docs can be implemented is truly amazing. All you need is a domain name registered for your organization for example www.mycompanydomainname.com and the Standard edition comes to you for free!
Update: I just saw a simple calculator that google has placed here to show cost comparison with Microsoft Exchange server
Google Apps vs Microsoft Exchange Server
Leave a comment below if you wish to know more about this solution or need any help in implementing the same….. remember the Standard edition is free
. And this is just the beginning as your organization grows you will find suite of applications at marketplace that are compatible and integrate directly with Google Apps.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is likely to open a preliminary inquiry into Google Inc.’s disclosure that it accidentally harvested data from unsecured wireless networks for several years, several people familiar with the matter said.
The process is at an embryonic stage and whether the FTC has begun gathering information from other parties about the incident remains unclear. Any resulting investigation wouldn’t necessarily lead to action. But if the FTC decides to pursue, it would be the latest federal inquiry to examine the Internet search giant’s behavior.
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition is currently deciding whether to challenge Google’s proposed $750 million takeover of mobile advertising company AdMob Inc. At the same time, the FTC’s consumer protection arm is conducting a wide-ranging review of the ways in which online companies collect and employ data about their users’ online behavior.
In this case, the Bureau of Consumer Protection is the most likely part of the FTC to be tasked with investigating whether the behavior detailed in Google’s latest admission broke any laws.
An FTC spokeswoman declined to comment. A Google spokeswoman also declined to comment beyond the company’s blog post Friday.
In it, the company said it had discovered that the roving cars it uses to create its online mapping services were inadvertently gathering data from people’s web use over “Wi-Fi” networks without passwords.
Google said it was “reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose” of the data the company had collected. The post also said that Google would ask a third-party to review the software and what data it gathered.
On Monday, Google updated its blog post saying it had started to erase some of the data it said it had inadvertently collected in Ireland after the Irish Data Protection Authority requested it do so. If the FTC opens a formal investigation, some legal experts said they would probably ask that Google preserve the relevant data.
Consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog said Monday it was sending the FTC a letter urging the agency to investigate the mishap. John Simpson, the group’s consumer advocate, said he was concerned that Google’s promise to get third-parties to review the software in question was insufficient.
Other privacy advocates said it was unclear whether the FTC was the correct agency to review the matter and that they would wait to see how European authorities—who have been scrutinizing Google’s collection of Wi-Fi information for months—reacted before deciding whether to petition U.S. regulators to intervene.
Futurity.org – Who’s the vital link in your social network?
“Past research has focused on identifying central individuals, or leaders, in the group to accelerate behavior change or stem disease spread within groups, organizations, or communities,” says public health expert Thomas Valente. “This study shows that identifying bridging individuals who connect two otherwise disconnected subgroups is a more efficient way to achieve these same goals.” (Credit: iStockphoto)
USC (US)—Call them bridging individuals or critical connectors, but in social networks they’re the ones who drive the flow of information from one network to another. Now researchers have figured out a way to identify them.
The same holds true for communities, where bridging individuals tend to influence the spread of disease.
While central individuals or opinion leaders in the group are more inclined to maintain the status quo, bridging individuals may be more open to new ideas and practices. Central individuals also may have less capacity to persuade any one individual in the group because they must spread their persuasive energies among many people.
“These bridging individuals appear to be more effective at changing others, and more open to change themselves, which makes them intrinsically interesting to study,” says Thomas Valente, professor and director of the Master of Public Health program at the University of Southern California.
The new measure will enable researchers, policymakers, and public health professionals to better understand how information or behaviors move from group to group, says Valente, principal investigator of the study appearing in the journal Social Networks.
“Past research has focused on identifying central individuals, or leaders, in the group to accelerate behavior change or stem disease spread within groups, organizations, or communities,” Valente says. “This study shows that identifying bridging individuals who connect two otherwise disconnected subgroups is a more efficient way to achieve these same goals.”
In order to calculate an individual’s bridging, the team systematically deleted each link in the network and calculated the resulting changes in network cohesion. A person with two links to members in two different groups when no one else links the groups is a perfect bridge.
The findings may have particular significance for disease prevention, Valente notes.
“To prevent diseases from spreading within communities, researchers and public health experts usually advocate immunizing central individuals, as they have the greatest effect on preventing further spread. To prevent disease from spreading between communities, however, bridging individuals should be immunized,” he says.
The study cites two examples of previous research: A 2005 study that collected friendship data from Dublin adolescents to investigate social network influences on substance use behavior, and data collected among the first 40 HIV cases diagnosed in the United States. In both cases, the USC researchers’ analysis correctly identified the bridging individual who facilitated the spread of the behavior or disease to a different subgroup.
Using the new model in the future may help experts identify potential bridging individuals and intervene in harmful behaviors, Valente says.
“From a local perspective, it makes sense to focus on central individuals. But from a global or macro perspective, bridging is critical,” he adds.
Reader Corey relays his explosive tale, filled with luxury coupes, detonating phones and chemicals in the eye.
I have (had) a Samsung Rogue cell phone with Verizon. I was leaving the gym and had the phone in my pocket. As I sat down in the driver’s seat of my car, the phone fell in between the seat and the center console. (Isn’t that the worst!) After unsuccessfully trying to retrieve it by the tips of my fingers, I got out of the car and moved my seat up. (Infiniti G35 Coupe) The reason for giving you the make of the car is that the seats automatically slide forward when lifting the lever.
So here I am, torso in the rear seat’s foot space, trying to see my phone, when I begin to hear a creaking. I look closer underneath the seat and my phone explodes in my eyes, and my face. I immediately ran to the gym window, banging on it to get someone to let me in, and sprinted to the bathroom to rinse my eyes. Black crumbs and remnants of what I thought was the screen bursting streamed out of my eyes the 20 minutes I was rinsing it. The burning sensation in my eyes receded slightly, but I was still afraid of what chemicals could be eating away that I couldn’t rinse. My roommate pulled the phone out from underneath the seat and couldn’t believe what he saw. “No way dude.” I have a few pictures attached.
After rushing to the hospital and getting rinsed out, checked for scratches on the eye, and being prescribed antibiotics I’m feeling much better. I thought I was going to be blind for the rest of my life. This was a very scary experience and I still have the phone. I took it to Verizon today to see what they could do about it. I have insurance on it but obviously don’t want a phone that can basically be a bomb. The associate there proceeded to take pictures of it and showed it to every other employee in there. “I’ve never seen this before in my life.”
I’m just happy to have my vision. Fortunate really. After telling my friend that, he said one thing no one else said, “Regardless of your seat sliding slowly into it, the phone should not turn into a bomb.”
Corey then follows up with Verizon, who took the cheap way out.
I spoke with Verizon/Samsung yesterday. Verizon at first tried to give me a refurbished phone as a replacement. After having problems putting that phone in the system under my account I asked them, “So is this what you guys do when a phone malfunctions or blows up, give them a refurbished one?” He then said that’s why he’s getting me a new one. (Crappy one by the way)
But logically, this is a Samsung problem, not a Verizon problem, since Samsung made the phone. But Corey had even less luck there.
Just as an update, the Samsung rep has yet to return my call. I called him back after he spoke to me on Monday, he gave me his email to send the pics, the email didn’t go through, and he still hasn’t called me back. This situation is super :/ My eyes have been irritated the last couple of days and I’ll be seeing an Ophthalmologist Friday.
At the very least, Samsung, you should reimburse the guy for his medical bills (it doesn’t seem like much) and provide him with a new phone. A better one, even, like the Samsung Moment, that just got Android 2.1. In any case, like his friend says, a phone should not turn into a bomb…ever. From what it looks like, it’s the battery—the most volatile part of the phone—that exploded.
Leonardo Da Vinci once wrote, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Kelly Johnson modernized that philosophy with an alternate twist, KISS, Keep it Simple, Stupid a.k.a. Keep it Short and Simple.
In a social economy where attention is a precious commodity, the ability to strip a social object down to its essence to capture attention has less to do with compacting character counts and more to do with the art and science of packaging and presenting content so that it is immediately compelling, simple to grasp and appreciate and in turn, share across social graphs.
For participants in the socialization of media, an ever-thinning attention span is forcing the rapid evolution of our ability to multitask – albeit at shallow depths. Cognition is thereby stimulated by relevance, simplicity, and in social networks, the objects and content screened and shared by peers.
In Twitter, we learned that there is indeed an art to ReTweets and to increase the likelihood for tweets to spread, the words and times we choose dictate their lifespan and ultimately, fate. To examine social objects and how they affect sharing in Facebook, I once again reached out to my friend and social scientist, Dan Zarrella.
Zarrella studied Facebook data for quite some time and observed that simplicity, among other interesting linguistic and timed attributes, is the key to triggering word of mouth.
Readability’s Effects on Sharing in Facebook
With a view from the top, we can see that Facebook sharing is enhanced by simple language and thus modernizes the old adage KISS to now represent Keep it Simple and “Shareable.”
In his research, Zarrella examined article titles and matched the propensity for sharing with reading grade levels. The results were revealing to say the least. Essentially, the higher the share rates, the lower the reading grade level, with notable spikes resonating at fifth and ninth grades.
For those looking to capitalize on propagating your content in Facebook, although the same could be true in other online mediums, consider the addition of digits to your titles.
Yes, there’s a reason why we as content consumers, are duped into reading and distributing social objects with numerical digits in the headline. For example, the title of this article is intentional “7 Scientific Ways to Promote Sharing on Facebook.“ Social science now shows that there’s a reason why articles with similar titles consistently perform well.
In Facebook, titles with digits (1-9) outperform text only titles. As much as I’d like to see more originality in and creativity in the school of compelling headline writing, the numbers add up to make a strong case for considering alternatives.
Similar to Twitter, there are days and times where we as content consumers transform into curators by sharing relevant content objects.
Whereas on Twitter, RT’s occur most often on Monday and Friday, Facebook users seem most likely to share on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s important to note here that while sharing is notably higher on the weekend, the volume of URLs introduced into Facebook are higher during weekdays, most notably Wednesdays and Fridays. However, as Zarrella observed, stories published on the weekends tended to be shared on Facebook on average, more than those published during the week. This could be due in part to the fact that more than half of businesses in the U.S. block Facebook and other social networks in the workplace. But then again, if this were true, the science of retweets would also prove otherwise.
Personally, I’ve experimented with this over the last couple of years. Indeed, content introduced on Twitter, tends to spark greater reactions during the week, with Monday and Wednesday and Friday in particular. However, when I withhold the same object and introduce it to my social graph in Facebook on Saturday morning, responses are far more notable.
What Are Words For, When No One Listens Anymore
The act of sharing implies so much more than curation. When we “Like” or share content in Facebook, we are essentially endorsing it and as such, recommending it to friends and followers to act and react.
The words we intentionally or unintentionally surround the objects we share result in either relevance or irrelevance.
While current events play a role defining the most shareable content, truly, experiential words such as “why,” “most,” “world,” and “how” trigger the greatest volume of shares in aggregate. However, when viewing the activity of words in isolation of sharing events, “you” and “video” prove extremely noteworthy.
When words aren’t working for you, they’re working against you. As documented, certain words serve as inhibitors to sharing, closing the attention aperture before content has an opportunity to breathe. According to Zarrella’s research, the least shareable words include expressions I would not have otherwise guessed, including “review,” “poll,” and “social.” Among the least shareable words however, the following terms are introduced with greater frequency, however do not engender the desired outcome, “time,” “Twitter,” and “live.”
Action Speaks Louder Than Words
Part-of-speech also lends to the shareability of social object. Much like Tweets or any other update in the “statusphere,” brevity serves as a framework for what we introduce into the stream.
Seems that we have proof that actions speak louder than words, or at the very least, verbs as action words appear to motivate sharing with important nouns following in second. As to be expected, there are a greater number of nouns introduced into updates, however, it is verbs that imply action and therefore the right verbs compel us to share. Adjectives and adverbs appear to be among the least shared parts-of-speech in Facebook as our attention spans are trained to look beyond promotion or hyperbole.
The Glass is Half Full
The effect of linguistic content and the tone of updates and objects introduced in Facebook say everything about you. At the same time, determine whether someone reads, ignores, and more importantly, shares what they encounter.
Negative updates are among the least shared objects with positive sentiment and words sitting on the opposite end, prove to be among the most shared. It’s interesting to note that a greater number of negative updates are introduced into NewsFeeds than those that are positive. I suppose it’s to be expected, but sex is at the very top of the list and also among the least often introduced into social feeds. I’m also pleasantly surprised and encouraged to see learning, media, work and constructive in the company of shareable linguistic performers.
There are times where the content we introduce into the activity feeds of those in our social graph is intended to inspire sharing across the graphs of friends and friends of friends. Consider the science and then craft the update to employ it to your benefit – and hopefully the benefit of others.
Antione de Saint Exupéry observed, “Perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Here is anotherlost iPhone 4. The photos show it turned on—with some kind of console screen titled Inferno. The photos and video also show some new interesting details. Update 2: Processor is an A4, RAM other componets.
Here’s the Apple-branded chip, which could be is a reduced version of the A4.
After enhancing the image, the chip is tagged:
APL0398 339S9084 <- Apple A4 K4X2G643GE <- 256 MB Samsung DRAM (two dies)
Externally, it seems like a sightly more polished version of the one lost in California. This one doesn’t have the screws on its bottom, and the silkscreening seems final, showing 16GB. The screen looks really good, really sharp. Definitely higher resolution than the current generation, with a quality and viewing angle comparable to the iPad.
Social Game Publishers Hit Payday From Mother’s Day Flower Offers
Thanks to the increase in number of gamers signing up for flower delivery offers for Moms, Mother’s Day was payday for social game publishers this year, with ad-funded payments skyrocketing during the holiday. TrialPay,
a startup that powers an offers-based payments platform on Facebook, has released a number of data points that show the strength of the Mother’s Day market this year.
Mothers Day represents a huge gift giving market, second only to the holiday season. Last year lone, $14.1 billion was spent on Mother’s Day-related gifts. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, about $1 million per day was generated by “gifts for mom” promotions that paired offers from online flower merchants like 1-800-Flowers with free in-game virtual goods and currency. According to TrialPay, social game publishers running Mother’s Day campaigns saw five-fold increase in offer-based revenue, which generally accounts for 15-20% of a social game’s total revenue.
Visitor conversion rates more than doubled during Mother’s Day (player-to-payer conversions). And 40% of consumers were first-time buyers that had never made a purchase through a game.
TrialPay Facebook-focused offers platform is used by a number of big-name social game publishers including Playfish and Playdom. In fact, Facebook recently announced its foray in the offers game, and partnered
with TrialPay to use their offers in the test round. Clearly, there’s a lot of money in the offers space and Facebook wants a piece of the pie.
TrialPay enables customers to pay for one item by trying or buying something else. Their system is used by merchants like Skype to provide users with free trials in exchange for participating in deals from their advertising partners. Learn More
Do you often find ideas that change everything in a windowless conference room, with bottled water on the side table and a circle of critics and skeptics wearing suits looking at you as the clock ticks down to the 60 minutes allocated for this meeting?
If not, then why do you keep looking for them there?
The best ideas come out of the corner of our eye, the edge of our consciousness, in a flash. They are the result of misdirection and random collisions, not a grinding corporate onslaught. And yet we waste billions of dollars in time looking for them where they’re not.
A practical tip: buy a big box of real wooden blocks. Write a key factor/asset/strategy on each block in big letters. Play with the blocks. Build concrete things out of non-concrete concepts. Uninvite the devil’s advocate, since the devil doesn’t need one, he’s doing fine.