Monday, January 28, 2013

Social Gaming Info

How many people play Social Games per day?

What are the top 5 social games of 2012

How may people quit social games after the first day?

What is social gaming?

Social gaming commonly refers to playing games as a way of social interaction, as opposed to playing games in solitude. It is the activity or practice of playing an online game on a social media platform: It may refer to:
    Card games that involve multiple players
    Social network game, games that have social network integration or elements
    Board games, in which counters or pieces are placed, removed, or moved on a premarked surface according to a set of rules
    Multiplayer video games, where more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time
   MMO (as well as MMORPG and MMORTS)
    LAN party, a temporary gathering of people establishing a local area network (LAN), primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer computer games
    Role-playing games, a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting
    Live action role-playing games, a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters' actions
    Miniature wargaming, a form of wargaming that incorporates miniature figures, miniature armor and modeled terrain
Alternate reality games, an interactive narrative that offers a platform to explore possible situations and social interactions while avoiding real world consequences

In other words these are games played within social media applications such as facebook. Using virtually currency and centred around shared user experience the demographics defy traditional stereotypes as the average social gamer is a 43 year old woman.

Around 68.7 million Americans will be playing social games by 2012, according to analysis firm eMarketer. A number like that might seem unreal, but it makes perfect sense. There's something extraordinarily appealing about logging into Facebook or picking up your smartphone and instantly playing a game alongside countless other people across the world. Check out the other post on my blog so that you may learn more about social gaming.

What does Social Gaming mean to you? What are some of your favorite social games you like to play? Let me know in the comment section below.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What is SEM and SEO?

     It would be cool if we humans had the ability to know the answer to any question in just a matter of seconds. So today we have the internet for that. With the internet came massive data-bases. With so much data came ways of sorting through all of it efficiently. These tools are called search engines and are like the librarians of the internet.

     When you have a question or want to do some research you hop on the web, run a search on some keywords, and your favorite search engine (Google most likely) will find websites that can help you. It seems almost magical that the first five to ten websites listed on the search engine results were exactly what you were looking for! What actually happens is that a search engine has a specific algorithm that appropriately weighs different factors in websites to provide results that you will find useful. Factors weighted are site reputation, keywords, titles, links to the website, keywords or titles in these links, and so forth.

     When a company develops a website that is focused on maximizing all of these factors, the company is thus practicing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The purpose is to make the company website more favorable to the search engine algorithm that evaluates it.It would be like writing, designing and explicitly labeling a book to fill an exact vacancy in a specific library.

     Search Engine Optimization is branch of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM is a broad term, and can be used to describe "anything that is done to utilize the technology of search engines with the goal of promoting a web site and increasing its traffic, its 'stickiness' and, in the case of sites that promote a business (or are a business), increase profits. SEM can encompass such strategies as SEO, paid inclusion (bribing the search engine company basically), traditional advertising on the search engine, and the more time consuming Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.

     So the next time you search for a hotel and the first ten results on Google are Marriott, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline,, etc. remember that it isn't some magic technology. It is smart marketing and great management.

     Watching the video should help you understand the process of generating attention for SEO and increasing your market via search engines. However the video should leave you wondering about how the smaller scale companies might fare against the giants like Marriott. 

     In your comments discuss how you might optimize your website for search engines if you were a small hotel company; or discuss how you as a large company might do things more efficiently to cut costs. 
     Or just comment with fun things to say! Thanks readers!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Smart Marketing with Smartphones

Photo taken from

You’re waiting in the car at the gas station. You’re bored at the doctor’s office. You’re waiting for your professor to arrive to class. You’re at a party that’s lame. What do you do? 

You do exactly what everyone else does. You reach for your phone. You check your Facebook notifications, then you check the weather for tomorrow, next you see who won the big game.The list goes on. Anything you used to do on your PC, you now have the capability of doing on your smartphone. 

There are currently 4 billion phones in use, of these 1.08 billion are smartphones. 

How many applications do you have on your smartphone? How many do you think the average person has? And, what does it take for you to download a free App or spend money to buy an App? 

According to an article written back in 2009 on CNN Money, Apple employs 40 individuals to approve Apps for the App Store. Every week, approximately 8,500 applications are submitted to this team for approval. As of September 2012, 650,000 Apps were available on the App Store. 

Photo taken from
So, now that you have downloaded the Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and GoogleMaps you only have 56 more to go to reach the number of Apps the average person has downloaded. 

Restaurants, movie theaters, television shows, airline carriers, travel agencies, banks and retail stores are all utilizing SMS advertising and mobile applications to generate leads, traffic and add new customers. 

But, why are companies investing billions of dollars into this new platform of advertising?

Companies understand the ROI on the mobile movement. Nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action. For instance, going to Starbucks because FourSquare offered you a coupon or going to the movies because you watched a trailer on your Fandango App or trying a new restaurant because you saw great reviews on Yelp. 

What are your favorite Apps you have downloaded or purchased? Which Apps do you use on a daily basis? And, what companies do you think are leading the mobile movement? 

Check out this video for a better understanding of the mobile movement. 


Costello, S. (2012). How Many Apps Are in the iPhone App Store. Retrieved from

Elmer-DeWitt, P. (2009). 40 staffers. 2 reviews. 8,500 iPhone apps per week. Retrieved from

 Olenski, S. (2012). American Express Looks To Shake Up Mobile Advertising. Retrieved from

 Perez, S. (2011). App-ocalypse. Retrieved from 

Pham, D. (2011). Smartphone user study shows mobile movement under way. Retrieved from

Online Reviews: Why does it matter?

How many times have you clicked on the rating and reviews for a product or service? Did those reviews become the deciding factor in your purchase? Over the past five or so years there has been a significant increase on the use of websites featuring customer ratings and reviews of products and services. These websites include (but not limited to):






Increasingly the importance and weight of online reviews have grown to the point they may affect the profits and returns of businesses. Local/small businesses seem to have the most to gain (or lose) from this, and it shows accordingly. In an article by Myles Anderson, he states that “More local consumers are now taking notice of online reviews and online reviews are an important factor in deciding which local business to use. Consumers appear to best swayed by location and price which don’t represent any guarantee of quality or reliability.” Supporting Anderson’s statement, it is found that approximately 52% of consumers are more likely to use a local/small business if the reviews show to be positive.

However, local/small businesses are not the only businesses heavily affected by the increased significance of online reviews. The success or failure of hotels and restaurants is starting to become heavily dependent upon these customer reviews to the point where even just a half-star increase in rating can prove to have a positive effect on bookings.

With the growing importance of online reviews one must begin to question the legitimacy of some or many of them. It is not an uncommon phenomenon, today, for businesses to go on consumer review sites to post fake reviews in their favor. These reviews are often very biased and overly enthusiastic and often used to counteract negative reviews floating around. Though this is becoming more of a problem as the internet expands in everyday lives, some websites like Tripadvisor are trying to prevent businesses from doing so on their sites.
How important are online reviews to you? Will you regard them as much as personal recommendations?


Anderson, Myles. "Column: Local Search." Search Engine Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.

"Customer Reviews Affect 6 in 10 Online Shoppers." MarketingCharts. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.

Doward, Jamie. "How Online Reviews Are Crucial to a Restaurant's Takings." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 01 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.

"The Importance of Online Reviews for Local Businesses | US Daily Review." The Importance of Online Reviews for Local Businesses | US Daily Review. US Daily Review, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.


Friday, January 18, 2013

What are RSS feeds and Why Should We Care?

RSS is an abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication, Real-Time Simple Syndication, or   Rich Site Summary and was invented in 1995. 

RSS brings the best of the websites to you. Think of RSS like your own personal assistant – all you have to do is press a little orange square button that you are interested in. Next, RSS will automatically keep track of all your favorite websites.

Many websites offer RSS feeds or sometime called web feeds, which you can subscribe so that you are notified when new content appears in chronological order. To subscribe, you will need RSS reader software, which looks like an email inbox and some even offer pop-up notifications.

Most RSS feeds keep a running list of the latest content items posted to a site. Each item in the feed includes a headline and often a summary that corresponds to a new piece of content on the website. Some venues offer their full content (complete articles) via RSS feed instead of just headlines and summaries. There are many other options to web feed content, too.

What are the main advantages? RSS feeds save your time by looking through a web feed much quicker than you can browse a web site. You can maintain a list of several RSS feeds from your favorites sites. In other words, if (like most people) you have limited time for web browsing, you can check your feed reader to quickly learn what your favorites sites offer, and go straight to the items that interest you most. Lastly, RSS feeds are definitely SPAM-PROOF and because you have not handed over your email address or other personal details. You can unsubscribe from an RSS feed at anytime. Is that cool?

A list of popular online, desktop, and mobile RSS feed readers available below:
  • Yahoo! Pipes for Yahoo! email account users.
  • Google Reader for Google email accounts.
  • FeedDemon 4.1 for Windows users.
  • NetNewsWire for Mac/iPhone/iPad users.
  • Pulse for iPhone/iPad/Android/Kindle users.
  • NewsGator for Apps users.

Additionally, RSS makes it a great way to discover when new blog post cartoons, podcasts or online video clips. Social media services such as Facebook and Twitter offer RSS feeds making RSS handy for keeping track of your friends. The truth is no single company owns RSS and it does not have a central point of failure, so it is impossible to be bought or sold, shut down, blocked or used as a pawn by politicians or big companies. Facebook and Twitter play a similar role to RSS but when social media services rise and fall - RSS lives on. 

Do you agree? Will Facebook and Twitter kill RSS in the future? What are your thoughts?


Gahran, Amy.  “What are webfeeds (RSS), and why should you need them?” 4 May 2004. WordPress. 16 Jan. 2013
Turner, Adam. “Keep it Really Simple, stupid.” The Age. 15 Sept. 2011 Web. 17 Jan. 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Virtual Worlds: What Are They?

We all know that one person that "lives" on there computer. What could they possibly be doing for hours on end? When  you ask them their answer is usually,"I'm playing my game or I have to check how my avatar is doing." This means they probably playing a massively multiplayer virtual world online game.Some of the more popular ones we know of today are:
World of Warcraft
Second Life
Face of Mankind
Gods War Online

Massively multiplayer online games represent a range of worlds, including ones based fantasy, science fiction, the real world, super heroes, sports, horror, and historical. The most common games are fantasy worlds, unlike real world based games are pretty rare. Many massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPGs) have real-time actions and communication. Players can create a character that travels between buildings, towns, and worlds to carry out business or leisure activities. Communication is usually textual, but real-time voice communication is also possible.Virtual worlds are not limited to games but, depending on the degree of immediacy presented, can encompass computer conferencing and text based chat rooms  Sometimes, emoticons are available, to show feelings and facial expression.

"A virtual world, or virtual environment, is usually an Internet-based simulated environment inhabited by avatars, or graphic representations, of its interactive users"(Safko). An avatar can be represented textually, by a photograph, logo, image, or more popularly used a 3-D cartoon-like person, animal, or object. Although the social interactions of participants in virtual worlds are often viewed in the context of 3-D Games, other forms of interaction are common as well, including forums, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, instant messaging, and video-conferences. Communities have their own rules, topics, jokes, and language. Members of these communities can find like-minded people to interact with. whether this be through a shared passion, the wish to share information, or a desire to meet new people and experience new things. Users may develop personalities within the community adapted to the particular world they are interacting with, which can impact the way they think and act. Internet friendships and participation online communities tend to complement existing friendships and civic participation rather than replacing or diminishing such interactions The most popular virtual world is Second Life. The name itself is kind of explains what it is, it's the players' second life outside of the real world.  Rosedale developed Rig, a large, slow, expensive, and difficult to wear and use system. It then evolved into the Internet software Linden World, which was designed to allow its users to play games and socialized with other users in 3D online environment. Linden World then grew into today’s Second Life software experience.     In 2008 Second Life had a banner year. There were 16,785,531 people registered Second Life and "residents" spent more than US $100 million on virtual goods and services. Across the world players participated in more than 397 million hours.

Disabled or chronically invalided people of any age can benefit enormously from experiencing the mental and emotional freedom gained by temporarily leaving their disabilities behind and doing, through the medium of their avatars, things as simple and potentially accessible to able, healthy people as walking, running, dancing, sailing, fishing, swimming, surfing, flying, skiing, gardening, exploring and other physical activities which their illnesses or disabilities prevent them from doing in real life. This one of the benefits of the virtual worlds. But people with medical conditions aren't the only people using them. Companies are using them as well. Big names like Disney run have their avatars and businesses running 24/7, so anyone that that logs in at anytime can "go" to Disney and have some to interact with.Other than people that use these worlds for business and relief from their medical condition, is it beneficial for people to sit at their computers or TVs for hours on end? They is no end goal for the game, you are basically living a second life through the computer.Thank you for reading. I would like to know your thoughts.
What do you think?
Do you think virtual worlds can become too much?

ReferencesBateman, Patrick J., Jacqueline C. Pike, Nicholas Berente, and Sean Hansen. "Journal of Virtual Worlds Research." Time for a Post-Mortem?: Business Professionals' Perspectives on the Disillusionment of Virtual Worlds. N.p., 2012. Web.Kamberi, Shahnaz. "Journal of Virtual Worlds Research." A Cross-Case Analysis of Possible Facial Emotion Extraction Methods That Could Be Used in Second Life. N.p., 2012. Web.Safko, Lon. The Social Media Bible Tactics, Tools, & Strategies for Business Success. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print