Games on Google Plus

You can see the games icon quite discreetly- thus gaming is in a seperate universe of its own, not cluttering your stream ala you know who.

The only flipsyde- you may end up spending much more time here 🙂

Angry Birds-

https://plus.google.com/u/0/games/971508122032

 

Bejeweled Blitz-

https://plus.google.com/u/0/games/78439823804

 

Number of Games is too low- though I am glad Zynga is on Google Plus- but then Google is an investor in Zynga and by any standards it is a wonderful platform

Rest of the games as below-

Review of Google Plus

After resisting for two weeks I have decided to write a Google Plus review. This includes both the changed designed parameters, the invite growth features and all of the main sub-items and activities you can do in the G+  Stream, Share, Hang Out, Pictures, Circles.

Since I have 2500 people in my circles and I am in 91 circles

To keep it simple – I have noted the following 6 main sub-points.

1) Content Dissemination-

 

  • Sharing Blog Articles
  • Micro-Blogging
  • Sharing Pictures

2) Online Professional Networking  and 3) Online Personal Socializing

4) Spam Control / Malware /Phishing/Porn Protection

5) Time Cost versus Networking Benefit

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

1) Content Dissemination-

  • Sharing Blog Articles

 

Sharing is as simple as Facebook but the design makes it simpler.

Note G+ uses lower number of colors, bigger fonts, slightly bigger icons to reduce the appearance of clutter.

Contrast this

with this-

 

Interesting to see that G+ has four types of media to share- besides writing the status/micro-blog (unfettered by 140 characters). Note these show icons only with hover text to tell you what the icon stands for.

Photo,Video,URL,Location (which seems to be Twitter like in every share)

Facebook has 5 types of Sharing and note the slightly different order as well the fact that both icon and text make it slightly more cluttered- Status (which is redundant clearly ),Photo,Link,Video,Question

G+ thus lacks polls /questions features. It is much easier to share content on Facebook automatically as of now- but for G+ you need to share the URL privately though. There exist G+ meme-s already thanks to re-sharing in G+ plus which seems to be inspired by Tumblr (?).

In addition Google has made your Google Profile the number one SERP for searching your name, so there seem clear tied in benefits of SEO with content disseminated here.

G+ has sharing in circles whereas Facebook has only Everyone, Friends, Friends of Friends ,Customize.  This makes G+ interface slightly better in tweaking the spread of content to targeted audience esp by Bloggers.

  • For sharing Photos– G+ goes in for a whole new separate tab (one out of four) whereas Facebook treats photo sharing less prominently.
  • Google has lesser white space between photos, (The Facebook way used to be just snap photo by iPhone and send by email to auto-post), and the privacy in sharing photos is much better in G+ as the dropdowns in Facebook are not as granular and neither as nifty in icon design.
  •  
  • Also I like the hover and photo grows bigger feature and the auto import from Picassa (but I would like to auto-import into G+ from Flickr just as I can do in Facebook)
  • Google Plus also has a much more detailed version for sharing videos than photos as compared to Facebook  -upload Photo options  versus
  • G+ has much more focus on auto-sharing from mobiles

 

 

 

2) Online Professional Networking  and 3) Online Personal Socializing Organizing Contacts in Google Plus and seperate privacy controls make it easier to customize sharing without getting too complex. You can make as many circles and drag and drop very easily instead of manually clicking a dropdown box. Effectively speaking Facebook has just 4 kinds of circles and it does not distinguish between various types of friends which is great from philosophical point of view but not so goodn enforcing separateness between professional and personal networks. Note Facebook privacy settings are overwhelming despite the groovy data viz

4) Spam Control / Malware /Phishing/Porn Protection 

Spam Control in Facebook versus in Google Plus- note the different options in Google Plus (including the ability to NOT reshare). I am not aware of more enhanced protection than the ones available for Gmail already. Spam is what really killed off a lot many social networks and the ability to control or reduce spam will be a critical design choice

5) Time Cost versus Networking Benefit

Linkedin has the lowest cost in time spent and networking done. If G+ adds a resume section for jobs, recruiters, and adds in Zynga games, the benefit from G+ will expand. As of now G+ is a minimal social network with minimalism as design ethos.

(Zynga would do well to partner with G+)

 

Tips to Play Farmville Really Well

Here are some tips to play Farmville really well-

1) Keep your Farmville friends in a seperate friend list  by creating a list at http://www.facebook.com/friends/edit/

This ensures friendship , work and Farmville dont mess around with each other. You also dont need a lot of friends in Farmville (max 40 actives) unlike Mafia Wars

2) Register at http://rewards.zynga.com/ to get free or double rewards by doing the same work. These rewards can be redeemed in-game

3) Set a time as well as money budget. Like $10 per month and 1 hour on weekends with 15 minutes on weekdays with max 3-4 logins. Continue reading “Tips to Play Farmville Really Well”

Deduping Facebook

How many accounts in Facebook are one unique customer?

Does 500 million human beings as Facebook customers sound too many duplicates? (and how much more can you get if you get the Chinese market- FB is semi censored there)

Is Facebook response rate on ads statistically same as response rates on websites or response rates on emails or response rates on spam?

Why is my Facebook account (which apparently) I am free to download one big huge 130 mb file, not chunks of small files I can download.

Why cant Facebook use URL shorteners for the links of Photos (ever seen those tiny fonted big big urls below each photo)

How come Facebook use so much R (including making the jjplot package) but wont sponsor a summer of code contest (unlike Google)-100 million for schools and 2 blog posts for R? and how much money for putting e education content and games on Facebook.

Will Facebook ever create an-in  house game?  Did Google put money in Zynga (FB’s top game partner) because it likes

games 🙂 ? How dependent is FB on Zynga anyways?

So many questions———————————————————— so little time

 

Microsoft Online Games

No, this is not about the X Box kind of games. It is about Microsoft ‘s tactical shift in the online space from going it alone, and building stuff itself, –to partnering, and sometimes investing and exiting business.

In Blogs- It recently announced a migration of MS Live Spaces to WordPress.com – It gives Automattic 30 million more users- no small change consider there were 26 million existing WP users.

Microsoft Messenger, which is the oldest online app in the suite, now provides instant messaging services to about 350 million users, and from now on Windows Live Writer works specifically with the WordPress.com blog service by default. Hopefully Skype, and Google Voice will show MS the way to monitize that business app yet.

Google buying blogger-blogspot seems to have done little, but given Biz Stone room to create another content disruption-Twitter.

With the round of lawsuits by proxy, in Android -Motorola, or for acquisitions – MS is just doing what Marc Anderseen (who’s apparently a better VC than Paul Allen was), Sun and co did to it in the nineties.

Google seems to be regretting putting a spade in the Yahoo acquisition- that would have tied up a big chunk of Idle MS cash- leaving it little room for niche investments (like the 250 mill that helped Facebook ramp up in time).

The real surprise here could be Apple- it has shown little interest in cloud computing- and it seems to be testing the waters with Ping. But Apple sure smells competition- and Android is doing to Iphone what Windows did to the Mac in the early 1990’s.

Google lacks presence in online gaming (despite it’s own Zynga investment)- and needs to start monetizing properties like Android OS (say 10$ for every phone license ??), Google Maps (as an app for GPS) and Google Voice. Indeed it may be time for the big G to start thinking of spinning off atleast some products- earning better returns, while retaining control (dual stock splits) and killing those anti trust lawyer fees forever.

As the Ancient Chinese said, May you live in interesting times. Fun to watch the online games people play.

 

 

A Company called Zynga

Here is one of the coolest companies making a buzz right now- it is called Zynga http://www.zynga.com/

They have built some of the top games on Facebook (including a game called Mafia Wars which is sadly so addictive it should be made).

Gaming communities and discussion boards including at www.travian.com are one of the hottest forums , with steady revenue generation models and quite a lot of nice math and statistics behind the wheels.

image

(Psst- if you are present on Facebook please send me a Facebook invite at ajayohri@yahoo.com and we can play Mafia Wars too)