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Brand Engagement Made Simple With Games And Rewards

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If you haven’t noticed yet, people online are obsessed with two things (beyond politics/religion): playing social games and finding the best deal. So if you want to reach – and interact with – your audience, you’d be wise to explore both options the next time you give that marketing plan a refresh. And here are some options to consider.

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Zynga Makes Major Executive Changes as CFO Heads to Facebook

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Zynga has announced a complete overhaul of its senior team. The company has appointed David Ko as chief operations officer, Barry Cottle as chief revenue officer, Steven Chiang as president of games, and Mark Vranesh as chief financial officer and chief accounting officer. Current CFO Dave Wehner has resigned in order to accept a new position at Facebook.

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The 5 W’s of Social Game Purchases [Infographic]

The 5 Ws of Social Game Purchases

The first wave of the social gaming bubble may have popped. I’m not the first one to say it, and I won’t be the last. Zynga is at an all time record low, and traffic is declining. Playdom and Playfish, two giants of yesteryear, have seen their player numbers fade out.

That said, I know a lot of people in the industry, and the smart ones always knew they couldn’t keep every player forever and so began to focus on the more serious players. By offering them bonus packages and improved experiences, they incited those users to buy more.

So what exactly is involved in the art of social game purchases? A new infographic takes a look.

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What Will Be The Next Wave of Social Gaming?

FB Games

Gaming pundits across the board have been looking at Zynga’s slow stock decline, as well as the ebb of its monthly user count, and wondering aloud whether social games are just a fad. Zynga just held a press conference this week and along with its own new gaming social network, announced FarmVille 2, which received a lukewarm reception from critics everywhere. So is it true that “social gaming” has already seen its peak?

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Interview: 21-Year-Old App Developer Brian Wong Talks About Virtual and Real Achievements

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Brian Wong never imagined he would become the world’s youngest venture-funded entrepreneur when he founded Kiip in 2010. Nineteen years old and newly laid off from Digg, Wong was in a plane when he noticed that the other passengers were happily playing games on their smartphones. Seeing a potentially “huge market for advertising” through games on mobile devices, Wong decided to create a rewards system for gamers. Eighteen months later, the mobile app dispenses 5 rewards every second from brands like Pepsi and Best Buy, and Wong is building a brand of his own.

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Myspace Settles With FTC | 55,000 Twitter Accounts Breached | Memes as Dissent in China

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Myspace Faces 20 Years of Government Scrutiny for Privacy Violations (Mashable) Myspace’s privacy practices will be kept under close watch by a third-party observer for two decades as part of a settlement related to an investigation of the company’s advertising sales strategy, the Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday. The agreement also prevents Myspace from making “future privacy misrepresentations” and requires it to make significant changes to its privacy policy. The New York Times The FTC asserted that from January 2009 through June 2010, and again from October 2010 through October 2011, Myspace transmitted information, including internal identification numbers of users, and their ages and genders, to outside ad networks that served ads to Myspace. Using that information, the FTC said, third parties could obtain the user’s name and other personal information and use a file placed on the user’s computer to view a history of websites the user had visited. AP The settlement is similar to deals the FTC struck previously with Facebook and Google. In March 2011, the FTC settled with Google over charges that it deceived users and violated its own privacy policy when it started a social-networking service called Buzz. In November, the agency reached a settlement with Facebook in which the company agreed to get explicit approval from its users before changing their privacy controls. CNET Myspace was sold by News Corp. to digital-media company Specific Media last June for a rumored $35 million. News Corp. had purchased the social networking site in 2005 for $580 million with the hopes of using it to drive traffic to Fox’s various media efforts. PC Magazine In a statement, Specific Media said it “thoroughly examine[d] the company’s business practices and, where applicable, make improvements” following last year’s purchase. “A major focus of this review was to ensure that Myspace delivered advertisements to consumers in a manner that safeguarded their privacy,” Specific Media continued. Read more

Facebook IPO Nears | Tumblr Offers Advertising | Social Game Connecting Georgia Communities

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Source: Facebook’s IPO Show to Hit the Road May 7 (Reuters) The roadshow for Facebook’s initial public offering is scheduled to start on Monday, meaning the company’s shares should begin trading on May 18, a source familiar with the process said on Tuesday. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has mostly operated in the background during Facebook’s closely watched journey to public markets, will be involved in the roadshow, another source said. Mashable However, Zuckerberg will only be present for some of the roadshow, sources said. COO Sheryl Sandberg will handle the rest, along with CFO David Ebersman. San Francisco Chronicle Numerous details remain unknown, especially the range where the Menlo Park company expects to price its stock. MSN Money Some are beginning to question whether the social networking giant is worth the investment. Revenue growth is a major issue for investors, according to Boston University professor N. Venkat Venkatraman, chairman of the Information Systems Department of BU’s School of Management. “Other [investors] will focus on Facebook’s monetization machine and question if Facebook could create and maintain the growth in revenue and profits,” Venkatraman said in an email. Read more

Pinterest Co-Founder Exits | Groupon’s Stock Drops | Tumblr’s Facebook Integration

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Paul SciarraPinterest Co-Founder, Paul Sciarra, Leaves for Andreessen Horowitz (Paul Sciarra /Pinterest Blog)
I’ve accepted a role as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz. I hope that eventually leads me back to doing what I’ve done for the past three and a half years — namely, building cool things with awesome people with unexpected results. Startup Grind Paul takes a significant amount of time in his post to clarify his role in building the company, perhaps to make sure it’s clear in the history books what he actually did to make Pinterest the huge success it is today. TechCrunch Andreessen Horowitz is one of the leaders among VCs building out the services that they offer to young companies beyond funding. The EIC role will see Sciarra potentially help Andreessen evaluate future investments, offer advice and assistance to its portfolio companies and perhaps even aid Andreessen Horowitz to be more disruptive in its own ventures. SocialTimes Co-founder Ben Silbermann recently gave an interview for a lengthy feature in Fortune magazine. He also sat down for a Q&A with investor and entrepreneur Chris Dixon at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, TX. Silbermann has been the sole window to the inner workings of a company that hasn’t done much self-promotion outside the Facebook Timeline. Read more