GlobalMedia-Gaming giants differ on mobile, social games

kotickMuch of the buzz in gaming these days revolves around two small but fast-growing areas: social games and mobile ones played on smartphones. But two titans of the video game industry have decidedly different takes on those markets.

There are already tens of thousands of game apps available for the iPhone and competing Android smartphones, and tens of millions of people playing free games on Facebook.

Still, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick (pictured) sounded less than enthusiastic about those markets when he spoke to the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York on Tuesday. And that represented a stark contrast from what Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said just a day earlier

Kotick on apps: “We don’t view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games.”

On tablets: “I think it is a different device than a mobile device, but from a gaming perspective it is probably not a big opportunity for us just yet.”

Why is Facebook worth ten Twitters?

Twitter is reportedly in talks with private investors for another round of investment, one that would value the company at $3 billion. My first thought was: Only $3 billion? In this time of irrational web 2.0 valuations?

After all, Facebook’s reported value is $41 billion, according to Bloomberg. As fast as even Facebook is growing, that figure—up from $30 billion a few weeks ago—is hard to justify, given that the company’s revenue will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion this year. But even so, at Facebook’s $30 billion valuation, it’s ten times bigger than Twitter. So why would Facebook be worth ten Twitters?

For one thing, Facebook has worked out a solid business model, targeting ads to its members in an effective way. Twitter is at an earlier stage in the process of developing a business plan. It recently hired a new CEO, Dick Costolo, to ramp things up. Since then, it’s announced a few initiatives aimed at exploring new revenue streams.

Too much of a good thing: Flipboard launch hype overwhelms service

It looked like a product launch home run.

When Flipboard, a hot new social media iPad app, made its public debut on Wednesday it had all the key pieces in place: endorsements from influential tech bloggers like Robert Scoble (who declared Flipboard “revolutionary”), a $10.5 million funding round from big-name investors including some of the co-founders Facebook and Twitter, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and even Ashton Kutcher, and a slot to demo the product at this week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado.

But the company appears to have overlooked one key checklist item: server capacity.

FlipBoardThe hype that Flipboard created for its new product was so great that the company was quickly overwhelmed by the resulting crush of demand. As users downloaded the app and attempted to use the service’s social networking features late on Wednesday, they were greeted with a message telling them the service wasn’t available and asking for patience.

from The Great Debate UK:

UK political parties take mixed approach to social media

RachelGibson- Rachel Gibson is a professor at the Institute for Social Change in the University of Manchester. The opinions expressed are her own. -

The three main parties have clearly moved into full battle mode since the UK election campaign starting gun was fired on April 6th. And while the pounding of pavements and pressing of doorbells will no doubt be crucial in producing the swings needed in key marginal constituencies, the online technology driving these targeting efforts seems to have advanced a step or two since the last election.

Taking a leaf out of the Barack Obama presidential campaign management handbook, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats have all set up ‘hub’ sites on the web to recruit volunteers and spread their messages virally.

from The Great Debate UK:

A social media vox populi experiment

IMG01877-20100318-1751The BBC World Service tested its capacity to produce large-scale social media events by hosting an ambitious global conversation in multiple languages from Shoreditch Town Hall in London on Thursday.

For the six-hour event, billed as "Superpower Nation Day", the public broadcaster used television, radio and the Web to connect with people around the world.

Contributors answered the question "Is the Internet a right or a luxury? by typing into a social media platform that used Google's translating tool to interpret comments.

from The Great Debate UK:

Rory Cellan-Jones on virtual democracy

Direct, real-time communication among politicians and the public through social media platforms is reshaping democracy and the news media, but questions remain about how the fabric of society might change as a result, argued a panel at an event hosted by the BBC on Tuesday evening at Westminster.

The Web provides a de-centralised opportunity for users to communicate from various points on the political-economic spectrum, but gatekeepers are emerging who try and curtail the dissemination of information they find objectionable, suggested panellist Aleks Krotoski, who recently completed work on the BBC series "Virtual Revolution".

"Innovative social-media platforms start off being interactive, but then they can become broadcast tools," cautioned Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC's new digital election correspondent.

from The Great Debate UK:

Are publication bans outdated in the Internet era?

IMG01299-20100115-2004The debate over freedom of expression and the impact of social networking on democratic rights in the courts is in focus in Canada after a Facebook group became the centre of controversy when it may have violated a publication ban.

The group, which has more than 7,000 members, was set up to commemorate the murder of a 2-year-old boy in Oshawa, Ontario.

The breach of a publication ban could lead to a mistrial, a fine and even jail time. Violating a ban could taint the opinions of witnesses or jurors, and the news media must wait to report information protected under a publication ban until after the trial is over.

Facebook nearing $1 billion revenue run rate, Zynga revenue triples

Everybody knows social media firms are growing like gangbusters. Facebook, for instance, recently surpassed 350 million users, 16 months after reaching 100 million users.

How much money the Web start-ups are making is less clear — though industry-watchers were treated to a few tantalizing revelations this week.

Facebook is within striking distance of a $1 billion annual revenue run rate, according to TBI Research analyst Rory Maher.

from The Great Debate UK:

Social media is real and here to stay

Nic Newman- Nic Newman is Controller Future Media and Technology in BBC Journalism, and former Journalist Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. On September 30, he will speak on the Rise of Social Media and its Impact on Mainstream Media. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The news last week that the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, has more Twitter devotees than Stephen Fry, is a further reminder of the onward march of social media

Politicians, entertainers, marketers and captains of industry are just some of those waking up to the potential of social media in transforming the way they relate to voters, fans and consumers.

Tweeting hits high note with Fortune 100

(Reporting and Writing by Laura Isensee)

    Still not sure about Twitter?
   More than half of Fortune 100 companies are using the wildly popular micro-blogging site, according to a new study, adding to growing buzz in the business world that Twitter hopes to convert into revenue this year.

Twitter trumped other social media as the online tool of choice for the Fortune 100 firms, according to the study by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and its digital media unit Proof.

Some 54 percent of them regularly send out “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less. The companies primarily use Twitter to blast news; for customer service; to announce promotions; or for employee recruitment.