Archive for the ‘gist’ tag
During a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con today, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski revealed that the upcoming stylized zombie-defense game Fortnite is the first game powered by Unreal Engine 4.
Bleszinski also said the title “will be a PC exclusive” and heralded the PC as a critical component of Epic’s “heritage.”
The engine’s flexibility and modular design turned heads at this year Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) when its demonstration showcased a real-time visual scripting editor for on-the-fly changes. Our own Dean Takahashi came away impressed with the tech’s capabilities.
Scant details surround Fortnite, but the game’s gist involves adopting a cartoonish look and gathering materials and constructing fortifications to defend against shambling hordes of undead. A trailer released late last year, but it’s unclear if the footage shows Unreal Engine 4 content or not.
Fortnite releases sometime in 2013.
Filed under: games
I’m rereading The Art of the Start written by Guy Kawasaki.
The book is still very current in that Kawasaki focuses on his experience to address a series of frequently avoided questions (FAQs).
What should we work on and do today, this moment, that can make a difference?
The hardest thing of all to starting anything is the starting point itself. We find millions of ways to avoid the hard questions and doing the work.
Read the Change This manifesto for a sample of some of the practical tips Kawasaki shares (with plenty of humor) in the book.
The gist of the book is surprisingly close to the reasons why I continue to devote time and attention to blogging:
1. Make meaning — bettering yourself and making the world around you a better place. How do you make meaning?
2. Make mantra — talk can change our lives is a mantra. See the great examples of hypothetical mantras in the manifesto. Do you have a mantra?
3. Get going — position, then test as soon as possible. Blogs are ideal places to test ideas and thicken skin. How can you go to market with your idea more quickly?
4. Define your business model — who is your audience? What’s your value/attention exchange? This can be as short as a sentence. For example, eBay’s business model: It charges a listing fee plus a commission. End of story.
5. Weave a mat (milestones, assumptions, and tasks) — Kawasaki lists seven milestones that apply to every business. When you start a business, you
- prove your concept
- complete design specs
- finish a prototype and show it around
- raise capital or how are you going to make money
- ship/show a testable version to customers
- ship/show the final version to customers
- achieve break-even.
What are some of the assumptions and tasks you should consider?
Blogs are still relevant. Properly managed, they can create a trust path with customers.
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And on top of everything, Twitter also has a brand-new logo.
After playing with the new Twitter features for a while, I have quickly grown very fond of them. Take a look yourself and see how Twitter can make your daily information intake easier.
#1: Find Out the Week’s Top Twitter Stories
After Twitter acquired popular email digest service Summify a few months back, they made a strong point that email is not dead.
Recently Twitter announced a brand-new feature. It’s a weekly email digest filled with great stories from your stream.
Or to put it in the words of Twitter’s VP Othman Lakari, you will get “the most relevant tweets and stories shared by the people you’re connected to on Twitter.”
When the first Twitter email hit my inbox I was very excited. What you’ll notice immediately is a list of the top five stories from your stream this week.
I was pleasantly surprised with the content of the first email. The top story was about “Facebook.com.”
It seems there are still a few things with the stories algorithm that Twitter needs to resolve. But it’s also great to be able to click through from each avatar to the actual tweet.
If you can’t spend time during the week on Twitter and still want to get the gist of what was going on that week, these stories are gold. I’m definitely looking forward to using these email digests.
#2: Discover the Top Tweets of the Week
What Twitter has now introduced, on top of the original Summify format, is a list of the top tweets that don’t contain links. And frankly, this was a very pleasant surprise too.
Although the value of these tweets from a business viewpoint is rather low, they are very entertaining. These tweets tend to be funny status updates or pictures that were retweeted hundreds or thousands of times.
It seems that this feature is intended to pique your interest and encourage you to spend some time on Twitter’s site instead of providing you information. It’s a great combination to have these top tweets and the informative stories by email digest.
And if you want to turn off these emails altogether, you can always go to your Twitter settings and switch them off.
#3: Get Tailored Trends From Twitter
Another very powerful feature Twitter launched recently is called Tailored Trends. So in case you never got any value out of #JustinBieber or #LadyGaga trending, Twitter’s trend feature is now much more closely related to what you care about.
What are Tailored Trends all about? According to Twitter, “Trends offer a unique way to get closer to what you care about. Trends are tailored for you based on your location and whom you follow.”
The idea behind Tailored Trends is fantastic. The results are a vast improvement and have already helped me to stay on top of news from my industry. Check out the list of new Tailored Trends I received.
You can easily click on “change” anytime to customize them further.
#4: Get Follow Suggestions in Your Inbox
The last feature in the list for new emails from Twitter is one to send you suggestions on whom to follow. Twitter picks out a few accounts that you might enjoy following based on whom you already follow.
The suggestions from Twitter are still very general and don’t quite go into too much depth connecting them to my interests. I’m sure this is something they’re working on though.
You can use the Follow Suggest feature found on the left-hand side of Twitter. This was improved a few months ago and works very well.
Personally, I believe this suggestion box is very useful—especially if you’re trying to expand your network by following new accounts that are highly relevant to your business. Try it out and spend a few minutes following people from the suggestion box.
#5: Expand Tweets in Your Stream
The last new feature that Twitter has introduced is expanded tweets. In Twitter’s official announcement, this feature is described as follows:
When you expand tweets containing links to partner websites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos and more.
Now this is nothing new, as this feature already existed with images, YouTube videos or Instagram pictures. But if you’re a blogger or author, this could become very interesting for you soon. Twitter plans to open this up, so any website can display previews to articles very soon.
Expanded tweets work both for your mobile phone and for the web.
Twitter has only launched this feature to work with a handful of websites, including Time, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, BuzzFeed and a few others. On the web, this is what you get:
This is definitely another effort to keep users coming back to Twitter.com and keep them engaged longer on the site.
Personally, I am very excited about how Twitter continues to hammer out new features, even though it’s a very established company.
The new email digest feature can be extremely handy if you suffer from information overload like I do. I’m also keeping an eye out for when I can add my own blog post previews inside expanded tweets.
Over to You Now
What do you think of Twitter’s new efforts to make the site more compelling? Which of its new features will be most useful for you? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
A social enterprise is a business where employees are able to connect with one another and customers using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. That’s why, according to a new infographic from Gist, it’s a shame that 71% of business actively block social networking sites at work. Take a look at a few great ideas on how to use social media in your organization in the infographic below.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
February was a big month for Kickstarter. Not only did they have a number of record-breaking projects, but they were shoved into the mainstream consciousness with a flood of traditional news coverage.
But there was always the question of whether these thousands of pledges would have any lasting effect on the site. Could such a rush of attention actually have negative effects, increasing competition and bringing in more projects than the site’s population of donors can handle?
Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to have been the case. The site’s big month appears to have made a lasting increase in both projects, users, and funding.
There are a ton of details at Kickstarter’s blog post, but the gist is this: the two biggest projects lately, Double Fine Adventure and Order of the Stick, brought in millions of dollars themselves, but have also produced a halo of funding where there was very little before.
In the gaming category, for instance, only one project had reached $100,000 in funding before last month. Since then nine have. And in webcomics, where the Order of the Stick book was categorized, the number of pledges per week, on average, has doubled.
They’re not just staying in the original category, either: 22% of each group of original backers have been busy in other categories, backing nearly 2000 projects with over $1m all told. Many of the backers were on Kickstarter for the first time to back the big projects, and these big names on the marquee ended up working as advertisements for the site itself as well.
It just goes to show that crowd-funding is a space with a ton of room to grow as new models and ideas are found to be applicable. Before last month, many would have thought that raising millions via Kickstarter was a fantasy. But the scale of the site is growing and naysayers are constant casualties. What remains to be seen is how long Kickstarter itself can remain on top. Just as it brought a change to the world of funding and launching products, another could bring yet more changes to the still-nascent field of crowd-funding.
All the talk these days is of the new iPad and its magical screen. Apple isn’t the only one who can do that, you know. In fact, most display makers are looking forward to post-HD resolutions as one of the big selling points of the next generation of displays. Other tablets are already approaching iPad levels of pixel density and it would be foolish of the likes of Google and Microsoft not to be planning for it.
Fortunately, Microsoft is well aware of the trend and has plans in place for dealing with displays with pixel-dense displays (or “Retina” to the vulgar).
The specifics are laid out with no quarter given to laymen in this post at Building Windows 8. The gist is that they have analyzed the expected range of display sizes and resolutions, and have identified a sort of “Goldilocks Zone” for the three general classes of resolutions: standard, HD, and quad-XGA (2560×1440). Inside this zone, text and UI elements aren’t blown up too cartoonish proportions or shrunk down to a size that’s frustrating to touch.
In the first case, buttons and text will be shown with no scaling. In the second case, they’ll be 140% normal size (i.e. elements 100 pixels wide will become 140), and in the third, 180%. 50 and 100 percent increases apparently were not convenient to the Windows 8 team, though whether they decided on these numbers because of, say, certain sub-pixel scaling methods, or because 50 and 100 were too big, it is not known.
The alternative is a resolution-independent continual resize that would render every button and character the same size regardless of the size or resolution of the display. Unfortunately, the infrastructure is simply not in place for that: the way text is stored and rendered, the size and restrictions of web content, and much more prevent this more advanced solution. It’s on the way, but for now these scaling milestones will have to do.
The author of the post, Microsoft UX team member David Washington, admits that high-density screens make many familiar UI elements, such as pulldown menus and small close boxes, “increasingly burdensome.” A new ecosystem of gestures and visual elements will succeed them, presumably — Metro, for instance.
Lastly, Windows 8 thoughtfully includes native support for the SVG filetype as a development asset, so you can build good-looking scaling into your app more easily than with multiple or high-resolution bitmap images. How easy it will actually be to build for what is certain to be an incredibly diverse hardware ecosystem, we’ll soon find out.
The iPad (which gets a mention in the post as well) currently has the best screen on the market, but that’s an advantage that likely won’t last out the year. Whether Windows 8 and its apps will utilize equally well the promise of high pixel-density screens is yet to be determined, but it’s good to see the future of personal displays and devices being planned for and executed on by the majors.
Huh. Well, Spin Sucks.
Particularly in the case of The Guardian, which just published a blog post titled, “Have You Ever Been Lied to By a PR?” Which, apparently, was in response to a Press-Gazette blog post, by the editor, with the same title.
The gist of it is all PR professionals (at least in the U.K., though he makes mention to all of us) are liars…or, at the very least, stretch the truth.
In my experience, PRs have not lied but several of them have been extremely economical with the truth.
And some have spun negatives into positives with a breathtakingly cavalier attitude towards the reality.
I’m not going to pretend we’re all Pollyanna and none of us are unethical. That’s just not true. But to paint all of us in this light drives me crazy.
And it’s not just The Guardian. When the New York Times reported on the new PR definition, the meta description they used was, “People submitted 927 proposals in an effort to update the definition of public relations for an age of social media and spin doctors.”
The vision of Spin Sucks Pro is to change the perception of the industry through daily professional development and education. But it’s an uphill battle when we have national, and international, media using their experiences with a handful of unethical PR professionals to perpetuate the perception we’re all liars, thieves, and spin doctors.
Perhaps part of the reason is our industry organizations (PRSA, IABC, CIPR, CPRS, IPRA, etc.) don’t regulate the industry. The barrier to entry is extremely low. Of course, every one of us is a communicator, so how hard can it be? We aren’t required to test or take boards or prove we know what we’re doing.
We can just open shop or join a company and call ourselves PR professionals.
Last May, when it came out Burson Marsteller was working with Facebook to smear Google, I was astounded. After all, they are one of the biggest and best agencies in the world. And Harold Burson, we know, wouldn’t approve.
So I called my friends at PRSA and asked why the heck they weren’t doing anything about it. After all, we’re all supposed to be working within the code of ethics - in our contracts, in our client work, and in our dealings with the public (which also includes media).
But, as it turns out, PRSA is a membership organization, which means they’re there to serve the members, but they have no authority to punish or remove professionals from the industry.
Yes, there are some unethical PR professionals. As it turns out, it’s not just in PR. There are unethical people in every profession.
Why is our industry painted in such a poor light all the time?
It’s time to regulate the industry. It looks to be the only way we can manage our own reputations.
- Half of small & medium businesses are using social media for marketing (Neal)
- Yes…but few are doing it well. They don’t apply marketing smarts (Drew)
- True, but huge potential to maximize social business (Neal)
- No doubt. But when done wrong, potential for damage is equally large (Drew)
- I agree completely (Neal)
See — that’s the problem with free. Business owners (or many so called social media experts) look at the price of entry for having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or (fill in the blank for whatever’s hot in SM) and they think….”you can’t beat free! Even if I suck at it, it didn’t cost me anything.”
Wrong. So wrong.
Would you buy a TV commercial that had misspellings? Or instruct the announcer to swear or say something off color? Or better yet…would you buy radio time and then not put anything there…so you basically bought :60 of silence?
Would you promise that your newsletter would be packed with useful information and then blather on about yourself, your sales and your products when you get around to sending it?
I’m sure you’re saying (or at least in my head) “No, Drew of course not.” So why in the world do you (universal you, not you you) do it on your social media sites?
We see unprofessional behavior on FB pages all the time. And abandoned blogs, Twitter accounts etc. And the biggest sin of all — being boring because you can’t stop talking about yourself.
Here’s the thing. People have gotten a little numb to selfish, self-centered marketing in the traditional marketing space. It’s not right, but it’s been going on for so long — we accept it as the norm.
But social media is different. Social media promises real people. It promises relevance. It promises a relationship. It promises timely interaction.
And if you violate any or all of those promises, here’s what happens:
- The good feelings I had for your brand/company are gone
- I feel like you lied to me/tricked me
- I will simply choose to disconnect from you
- I won’t be interacting with you anymore…which means my feelings for you have no chance at turning more favorable
Keeping those promises takes a lot of time. And keeping your eye on the big picture. It’s easy to get sucked back into old habits and begin marketing instead of connecting. If you really want your social media efforts to work, you have to make a big investment. No, it may not be money (unless you hire some help) but it’s a time crunch.
Maybe this analogy will help. When you do social media badly — you are basically enticing someone to come close to you with the promise of a gooey, fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie and when they walk in and reach out their hand for the cookie — you smack them with a ruler, over and over until they leave.
The cost is huge. The damage is real. And too many businesses are stumbling over themselves as they rush to a “free” marketing opportunity.
So what does a small business do, Drew? you ask. (again, perhaps it all takes place in my head). You put together a social media strategy that is built on SMART goals and best customer personas.
How do you do that? Come back on Thursday and download the absolutely free 18 page e-book that walks you through how to build that strategy, step by step.
It’s a tool we use at MMG with clients every day. And we’re glad to share it with you. Really.
And….there’s not a sales pitch or MMG promo in sight. I promise. Would I offer you a cookie and then smack you with a ruler?
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The tale of Google Wallet’s life thus far is a bit of a weird one, but here’s the gist: Google launched it back in September, initially as an exclusive feature on Sprint’s Nexus S. We reviewed it here. Then came Google/Samsung’s new flagship Android phone, the Galaxy Nexus — and, for one reason or another, none of the Galaxy Nexuses on any of the US carriers supported Wallet. Android fans roared, and everyone involved pointed fingers everywhere else until everyone just kind of forgot about it.
Flash forward to day: without much fanfare, AT&T Galaxy Nexus owners are reporting that Google Wallet now appears to support their devices.
Word of the newfound support came from Droid-Life, who noticed that it could be downloaded to their device following a rather ambiguous “Small changes for device compatibility” update.
Meanwhile, they’ve also figured out a somewhat hit-or-miss trick for getting the same package installed onto the Verizon Galaxy Nexus right through the market (as opposed to manually hacking the APK onto the device), though it’s still pretty unclear as to what’s enabling it for some and not for others.
Anyway: if you’ve got a Galaxy Nexus on AT&T, go hop into the Android Market and see if you can nab Google Wallet. What do you have to lose? At worst, you’ll be back where you were before. At best, you’ll be paying for your Jack In The Box like a time traveler by the end of the evening.
This is my buddy Aaron’s idea originally (@lloydxmas). I’m sharing because he and I would like someone to create this. I spent a bit of time exploring this idea. You’ll see my mockups below. The gist of the idea is that people currently have no way of tracking our life’s win/lose percentage in games. I wish I had a history/record of all the Monopoly games I’ve played with friends over my life.
Imagine if before you start any game (kan jam, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Sorry, etc), that you initiate that game via an app. You specify who you’re playing with/against. Then you could share that to twitter/facebook, telling the world that a battle has begun in Monopoly. During the gameplay, you and your opponents/teammates can take photos, write comments… basically keep a record of all the action from the game. When the game concludes, you specify if you won or lost. Also, once you start a game with these players, the app will show you your win/lose percentage with your teammates, versus these opponents, and overall. You could even specify where you are playing [via foursquare].
I think this would make a neat app. Below are my mockups, as well as all of my notes. I have not built this app. I hope someone will build it. If you think this is neat, or have comments, add comments to the bottom of this post. And please, someone, create this app! I called it ‘Broughten’, which was a word used in the film ‘Bring it!’. I thought it was witty and sarcastic. Most of my friends disagreed with the name, to be honest. This entire post is all yours, please do something with it. This could be a good StartupWeekend project for someone
Win lose percentage — original idea
Examples of Games & Scoring
Posted by Steve Poland
- Is this a tournament (multiple games added together) or a single game?
- [ability to select all kinds of games for a tournament, not just the same one; i.e. beer olympics]
- How many players?
- Next screen: Who are the players?
- [You should track the overall win/loss, not individual hands or turns.]
- Tag which ones are your partner [they will result in same score as you].
- If online game, what’s your username for the game? [optional]
- Ability to add meta data to a game. Ex: What piece you were in Monopoly? What color you were in Blokus or Sorry.
- There might be multiple teams [mult partners] — unsure how to do this. A team might have 3 people.
- Ability to specify 4sq venue this game was at.
- Ability to share to twitter and facebook.
- Post-game: What place did each player result in? [Show their names with a place marker under (or next to) each name]
- Ability to group individual games together as a tournament game. Like Euchre, we play 4 games in a night
- play to 100, that’s the winner.
- could be 3 or 4 [or 5?] players
- I would want to know that I came in 2nd place, behind Tom Poland.
- Can’t really track how I do individually amongst others.
- My partner is Tom Poland [or none if rotating].
- Might be 4 players, might be 24. [I might want to add some names from the game: Jim Greico, Tom Poland, Steve Poland]
- My partner and I might come in 3rd as a team. Someone else I know [Jim] might come in 1st, but he’s really playing against a different pool of players [N/S vs E/W].
- I might play in a tourney with 85 players, I don’t know who they all are, but I might track some friends in there. [Even if I don't know how they end up, knowing they were in that game is cool]
- I might play with 20 people. Some are friends that I’d want to mention.
- I likely want to know my score at end of game. Maybe at end of tourney too.
- In Euchre I have a partner, and we play against 2 others. We might win 10-6.
- Teams, 2 vs 2. partners.
- Automatic win is someone that hits it in the slot.
- Score is first to 21, but can go to OT. Some people play to 15.
- Could be multiple teams, multiple partners.
- meta data: what color were you?
- Typically played vs 3-5 other players.
- notes would be how the user started and ended
- Users ranked when they get kicked out.
- 3-5 players. Whomever has most money at end of game, wins.
- Typically 3-6 players. no teams.
- Users ranked when they get kicked out.
- notes would be how the user started and ended w/strategies. What piece were you?
- 2-4 players I think. What color were you?
- 3-8 players. Everyone for themself. Score to 15 I think.
- 2-4 players, no teams.
- Score is involved and winner determined from lower score.
- What color were you?
- Not sure there is a win or lose.
- You might specify when you start, or when you level up. When do you earn achievements?
- You either win or lose.
- You might play other people.
- You might play other people and be on a team. Did your team win?
- You might do campaign and specify when you started a campaign, and when you get different achievements [when you leveled up].
- Typically a team of 2, but can be a team of 3. vs another team.
- End result is a team losing and having 4 cups left to drink. [out of 10, or 15 typically]. This could be a meta detail, or
- We played 4 different games at a tournament called ‘Beer Olympics’.
- 2-6 players. First to 100 wins!
- You could specify everyone’s rank, and scores.
Posted by Steve Poland
- avatar, name
- twitter username, hometown
- last game played
- # of games played
- Most Played Games [last 6 months]. ”Kan-Jam” 2nd among friends
- Friends. [34 >] [Add Friends >]