Daily Marauder

GAMING by Marauder


Earlier Techcrunch broke the news on the upcoming launch of City Of Eternals, the first Flash MMOG from Ohai.I have the rough footage below of in game play, and will add a proper screencast shortly. This is a World of Warcraft style MMOG that’s free to play and Flash based. It’s also integrated with Facebook Connect to allow easy signup and, more importantly, you can play with your friends and see the real identity of other players. (Techcrunch11/10)

Although it’s not yet live to everyone, a new Xbox LIVE Dashboard Update that adds social networking integrations with Facebook, Twitter and last.fm is currently in preview mode to beta testers and will go live to the public in short order. (Mashable 11/11)

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MOBILE by Marauder
November 10, 2009, 3:45 PM
Filed under: WIRELESS | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Now that in-app purchasing has been live for a few weeks in the iTunes App Store, and Apple is now ranking the top-grossing apps, whether they start out as free or paid, we have some initial data on what kinds of apps are pulling in the most money from in-app purchases. (In-app purchases allow apps to offer a free version and then make money by requiring consumers to pay for additional features or content). Today, Distimo put out a report (download it here ) which breaks down the top 40 grossing in-app purchasing titles by category. Games, social networking, and Book apps are doing the best job upselling consumers from free apps to paid enhancements. Music, news, and finance apps, not so much. (Techcrunch11/10)

In App Purchases iPhone

Today’s announced deal to by mobile ad startup AdMob for $750 million is Google’s largest acquisition since its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in March, 2008, and its third-largest ever after the $1.65 billion YouTube acquisition in 2006. (Techcrunch11/10)

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GAMING by Marauder
November 9, 2009, 11:38 AM
Filed under: GAMING | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Last week Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said that they would take steps to remove scammy advertising offers from their social games. There have been a couple of missteps since then, and Facebook responded by taking Zynga’s newest game, FishVille, offline. (Techcrunch11/8)


Facebook app maker Zynga, the developer behind the wildly popular Farmville Facebook app, has a new virtual social networking app set in a fish bowl. (It may be tough to get into but keep trying – the app was overloaded over the weekend.) Instead of planting and harvesting crops, FishVille has users raise and feed colorful tropical fish. Earn money as you go along to buy more fish eggs, decorations and eventually a bigger tank. Zynga’s applications are successful because they provide addictive goals to results-oriented users and incorporate social aspects such as gifting that create such viral explosions on the platform. Zynga’s Farmville app is currently tops by a mile among Facebook apps, according to Inside Facebook’s independent metrics firm AppData. (Cynopsis 11/9)

Top 10 Applications on Facebook by Registered Users

Rank App                    Developer   Category        Users

1     Farmville             Zynga        Games         63,543,438

2     Causes                Causes       Education    35,222,871

3     Café World          Zynga        Games         28,378,477

4     Mafia Wars          Zynga        Games         26,269,933

5     Happy Aquarium CrowdStar Games         24,741,376

6     Pet Society          PlayFish     Games          21,503,624

7     FamilyLink.com   FamilyLink Friends/Fam.20,119,046

8     YoVille                Zynga        Games         19,765,144

9     Texas HoldEm     Zynga        Games       18,825,441

10    Farm Town         Slashkey     Games         18,430,454

Source: Appdata

Microsoft believes it has cracked the code on how best to bring advertising into the vast video-game universe. The software giant will host an Advertising Gaming Upfront at Lincoln Center in New York on Thursday, during which it will unveil several new partnerships. (Iwantmedia 11/9, Mediaweek11/8)

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In the last year, people somehow found a way to spend 73% more time on Facebook and other social networking sites, according to a new report from Nielsen. In February, Nielsen says, people used social network sites more than they used Web-based e-mail for the first time ever. (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2009/04/nielsen_facebook_use_outstrips.php 4/22)


Hulu, the video site owned by NBC Universal and News Corp., is said to be in talks with the world’s largest record labels to offer music videos in competition with Google‘s YouTube. Hulu plans to compete with Vevo, the music service planned by Universal Music and YouTube. (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aIve2K3rJFl0 4/22)


BBC’s hugely successful iPlayer will begin to offer a selection of programs in HD from the BBC HD channel. Featured shows include Doctor Who and Dragon’s Den. (Cynopsis 4/23)

Comcast is developing a Web site that will function as a portal through which the company’s cable subscribers can watch its TV content on the Internet, according to Karin Gilford, who runs Comcast’s Fancast Web site. Gilford would say only that the service, which initially will be free of charge to Comcast customers, will premiere soon. PCWorld (4/21)

Us Weekly magazine is selling sponsorship of its new Facebook profile to insurance firm State Farm in what appears to be a first for a media company on the social networking site, as well as a first for a company fan page. Facebook will not get any revenue from the deal. (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=136214 4/23)


YouTube class=”snap_preview_icon”> is trying to find more ways to monetize the popular web service, and recently started a test project with selected partners who were invited to start offering video downloads to interested viewers (they subsequently killed our own download tool, presumably because they want to minimize the risk of losing money on unauthorized download apps). Now it seems the Google-owned online video community site is ready to expand the program to other interested partners based in the U.S. (see screenshot below). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/23/youtube-starts-rolling-out-video-download-program-for-partners/ 4/23)


Microsoft is launching a service that allows users of its MSN portal to create a home page dedicated to the goings-on around Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and other celebs. Microsoft in the future plans to offer home pages customized around other topics. (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/ebusiness/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217000208 4/22)

Discovery CEO David Zaslav said he had nothing against putting content online, except when it didn’t make for a smart business decision. Discovery is beginning to find some success with its full-length content in the lucrative syndication market and, because of that, Zaslav said he was willing to sit on the Web-video sidelines for a little while: “We’re waiting to see if an economic model develops.” Los Angeles Times (4/22)

Josh Schwartz, co-creator of NBC’s “Chuck,” says there is a push on the Internet to get fans to go to Subway to buy sandwiches to support the ratings-challenged series. (The sandwich shop was featured in a recent episode.) Also, many fans are Twittering their support. (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/04/can-twitter-and-subway-save-chuck.html 4/22)


Barry Diller is said to be shopping the “hipster” tip sheet Very Short List. The media mogul’s IAC is in talks with several potential buyers, including Bob Pittman’s The Pilot Group and New York Observer owner Jared Kushner. The small business “likely won’t fetch a substantial sale price.” (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://www.nypost.com/seven/04232009/business/diller_dealing_web_site_165741.htm 4/23)


Not with a bang, but with a whimper. Yahoo! is unceremoniously closing GeoCities, one of the original web-hosting services acquired by Yahoo! in 1999 for $2.87 billion. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/23/yahoo-quietly-pulls-the-plug-on-geocities/ 4/23)


comScore Top 10 Gaining Properties by % Change in Unique Visitors* (U.S.) March 2009 vs. February 2009
Total Unique Visitors (000)
Feb-09     Mar-09     % Change     Rank by
Unique Visitors
Twitter.com                         4,033      9,313        131           78
Grisoft                                4,260      7,764          82          114
Oprah.com                          2,814      4,505          60          234
Usmagazine.com                  3,863     5,943           54           47
Technorati Media               11,692     16,021          37             2
MLB.com                            5,069       6,860          35           75
Groupe Lagardere                4,253      5,705          34         122
Limewire.com                      7,861     10,414         32           71
Universal Music Group          5,626       7,421         32           49
Nestle                                 3,269       4,278         31         201
Total Internet: Total Audience 192,187    192,173        0          N/A
Source: comScore Media Metrix
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in March 2009

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just posted a message on the company blog confirming the number of users for the social networking service that’s been floating around for some time now. The blog post, titled ‘200 Million Strong’, says the milestone will effectively be achieved today (no more speculation needed). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/08/zuckerberg-welcomes-200-millionth-facebook-user-wants-to-know-how-it-affected-your-life 4/8)

That’s a whoooole lot of users considering of that 200 million, 100 million  sign on to their accounts every day.  Just in case there was every any question, Facebook = media company.


Facebook’s members may have initially reacted with horror at the new homepage redesign which introduces a Twitter-like stream as the main interface. But Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg thinks that advertisers are going to love it. In a speech today at a digital advertising conference, and a subsequent blog post, she preached the many benefits of the stream and even had some data to back it up. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/08/facebooks-sheryl-sandberg-preaches-that-the-stream-will-bring-us-closer-together 4/8)


Youtube is doing everything it can to turn the professionally-produced content on its site into a big source of revenues. Through its Content ID program, it digitally fingerprints the video libraries of 600 content partners and offers those media companies and video creators the option to place ads against any video that contains their copyrighted material. They also have the option to automatically take those videos down, but more than 90 percent opt for the additional ad revenues. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/08/youtube-quietly-rolls-out-adsense-for-video-to-claimed-copyrighted-content 4/8)


Google CEO Eric Schmidt, speaking at the Newspaper Association of America conference, says he foresees media services mixing professional content with user-generated material. Online newspapers, he adds, will be supported by subscriptions, micro-payments and advertising. (Iwantmedia 4/8, http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/04/07/schmidt-describes-future-media-still-driven-by-advertising/ 4/7)


To fight “misappropriation” of its content, the Associated Press plans to build its own online news aggregator. Local newspapers will be showcased. Importantly, participating news outlets will share advertising revenue, which is “different from the Google ecosystem.” (Iwantmedia 4/8, http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2009/tc2009047_310532.htm 4/8)

Social networking features available on sites like Facebook will soon become part of many of Yahoo’s sites. The Yahoo home page, Flickr and the Internet company’s other products will add social media elements, including a common user profile, to tie the properties together. (Iwantmedia 4/8, http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSTRE53562820090407 4/7)


The new firm Twitter Partners aims to help brands and media companies harness the power of the microblogging site. Twitter Partners is being endorsed by Twitter itself, which is said to be taking an equity stake in the outfit. The firm helps “broker brands” onto Twitter. (Iwantmedia 4/8, http://www.nma.co.uk/Articles/42113/Twitter+backs+first+UK+ad+partner.html 4/8)

The Federal Communications Commission is beginning work on a national broadband plan, with the goal of ensuring that all U.S. consumers have access to services that are fast and affordable. The plan could guide “the future of telecommunications regulation and the Internet.” (Iwantmedia 4/8, http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2009-04-07-fcc-broadband-internet-service_N.htm 4/7)

CBS is launching MoneyWatch.com, a personal finance site supported by partnerships with LinkedIn and others. The site’s editorial talent will be featured as contributors on CBS News shows. Top editor Eric Schroenberg is a former managing editor of Money magazine. (Iwantmedia 4/8, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=103634 4/7)


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Many people ask me about Twitter and how they can use it.  Here’s a little known fact.  I actually don’t like Twitter.  Until I noticed its promotional power for pushing traffic to my web site, I thought it was one more social networking tool in an already crowded world.  This video is dead on.  There are a whole lot of people screaming at a wall on Twitter and only a few people listening.  But for those who want to listen, there is a wealth of information to be had; information which would better you and/or your business.

So get tweeting…but please don’t share intimate details of your sex life.  It’s creepy…  Oh yeah, and join the Daily Marauder twitter feed.

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Twitter, the subject of endless business model speculation, added another weapon to the arsenal today – house advertisements on the home page when you’re logged in, and some search results. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/16/twitter-experimenting-with-text-advertising 3/16)


U.S. traffic on social networking sites rose in February compared with last year and Facebook‘s traffic more than doubled year over year, says Hitwise. Facebook’s traffic jumped 149% in February. Visitors over age 35 increased on Facebook — and decreased on MySpace. (Iwantmedia 3/17, http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/reporting/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=215900415 3/16)

Internet Movie Database hopes to add one-button streaming for all of the 1.3 million titles it indexes, says founder Col Needham. While the vision will take some time to come to fruition, the site already offers 14,000 television episodes and a few thousand movies. (Iwantmedia 3/17, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10197486-93.html 3/16)

An online petition FixCNBC.com, prompted by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart‘s savaging of CNBC’s Wall Street coverage, is receiving about 400 signatures an hour. Among those listed as sponsoring the letter are reps for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting and Free Press. (Iwantmedia 3/17, http://www.multichannel.com/article/190087-FixCNBC_Push_Gains_Momentum.php 3/16)

A big difference between Facebook and MySpace has always been how the two companies approach the privacy of user data. At MySpace your profile is public by default and users can choose to make it private (except under 18 users, who default to private). At Facebook, your profile information has always been private and shared with your friends and, optionally your network (your school, company or geographic location).  Starting today, though, users can change their privacy settings to make virtually all of their profile information public. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/16/facebook-privacy-now-optional 3/16)


TheWB.com unveils it latest scripted original series today – Rockville CA, from Gossip Girl, Chuck and The O.C. show runner Josh Schwartz. The series, set in a fictional rock club in Echo Park, LA, features performances from an impressive line-up of up-and-coming acts personally selected by Alexandra Patsavas, the woman responsible for finding all the hip bands featured on Schwartz’s shows. Following the 4 initial episodes already posted, theWB.com will introduce 17 additional episodes each Tuesday, viewable on the site or via a downloadable widget available on RockvilleCA.com. (Cynopsis 3/17)


Google accounted for 72.11% of all U.S. online searches conducted in February, an 8% increase over the same period last year, according to Hitwise. Google’s February performance extended its search dominance over Yahoo, with 17.04% of all U.S. searches. (http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090316/FREE/903169979/1078#seenit 3/16)

Hulu this week will premiere another network prime-time ad, with a preview of it at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Following a Super Bowl ad featuring Alec Baldwin of NBC’s “30 Rock” and a February ad featuring Eliza Dushku of “Dollhouse,” the new spot will continue the theme of promoting Hulu as a way to watch TV shows and movies online. TVWeek.com (3/16)


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