Social Significance In Search Rising

Online search agencies and their clients may notice the impact that recommendations contribute to paid and organic search engine results. Because of this, it makes sense to run an integrated media campaign around a product launch or announcement in advance of the introduction to gain social recommendations based on specific keywords.

Find out the full story at MediaPost.

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Integrated Campaigns By Brands Needed Reach Connected Consumers

Digital strategies such social marketing will influence at least 80 percent of consumers’ discretionary spending by 2015, according to Gartner. In light of that, The Marketer’s Guide to Multichannel Campaign Management suggests looking towards integrating campaigns like email, social, search, voice, video and more with each other.

Find out more at MediaConnection.

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Wikipad Cleared For PlayStation Certification

Wikipad has announced that it passed Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation Certified license program and will feature PlayStation Mobile games. The tablet with a gamepad controller compliments SCE’s plans to deliver the PlayStation-like experience to even more users around the world.

“Wikipad is the first true video game tablet built with an attachable gamepad controller that enables a mobile console experience. As we head into our upcoming launch we are partnering with the industry’s leading players,” said James Bower, CEO Wikipad. “PlayStation’s commitment to delivering innovative entertainment experiences that captivate gamers is unparalleled and we are thrilled to partner with them.”

Sony later announced it had added Asus as a PlayStation Certified partner.

Sony’s Hirai Talks Importance Of Smartphones, Cloud Gaming

Sony is a vast worldwide corporation with holdings in factories, movie studios and software development. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai indicates that they’re looking to shift away from manufacturing, a staple of the “old Sony”, and shift more towards entertainment aspects.

“People are moving more and more to the mobile space, so the two keywords, and you’ll probably hear this from everybody: smartphones and tablets,” said Hirai. “Related to that is moving a lot of things to the cloud. That’s why, for example, we felt that it was very important that we acquire the 50 percent of our joint venture in Sony Ericsson and make the cell phone business or the smartphone business a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Sony.”

“We needed to make decisions a lot faster. In regards to the cloud, one of the things that you probably saw is our acquisition of a company called Gaikai. That is a company that’s going to propel the movement of the video game business into the cloud space very quickly,” he added. “We need to make sure that we continue our success in the entertainment space-in the music space, in the video game space, and in motion pictures. That’s an area where we are profitable, and it needs to continue to grow.”

Source: BusinessWeek

Video Games Have Reached Critical Mass, Says ESA

The ESA released their annual research report, “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry” which said that the average gamer in 2012 is 30 years old and 47 percent of game players are female. Furthermore, 49 percent of U.S. households own a dedicated game console, and those that do own an average of two; the average household owns at lease one console, PC or tablet for gaming.

“Computer and video games have reached a critical mass,” said Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA. “Today, nearly every device with a screen plays games, providing interactive entertainment experiences for a wide diverse population… Their (developers and publishers) innovations drive consumer demand for our products, solidifying our industry’s position as one of the strongest and most cutting-edge sectors in the U.S. economy.”

On the parental side of things, an overwhelming 98 percent of parents feel the ESRB rating system is either very or somewhat helpful in choosing games for their children. 66 percent of parents believe game play provides mental stimulation or education and the top reason parents play video games with their kids is because it is fun for the entire family.

“Although it is the newest of all industry content rating and labeling schemes, the video game industry’s system — the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) — is in many ways the most sophisticated, descriptive, and effective ratings system ever devised by any major media sector in America,” said Adam Thierer, senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

“What we’re seeing in games is art at a world-class stage design that is almost unmatched anywhere else,” Al Gore, former vice president and co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management. “It has been very exciting to me to see so many ideas that integrate social good and efforts to make the world a better place into games.”

Source: TheESA.com

PlayStation Cross Buy Grants PS Vita Games For Free

Sony announced at Gamescom that they will launch a Cross Buy program for PS3 and PS Vita. This means that a purchase of certain PS3 titles will grant a download of the Vita version for free.

“SCEA will have a similar offer for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault,” confirmed SCEA. “Users who purchase the PS3 versions of these titles will be able to download the PS Vita versions of the respective titles from PlayStation Network at no additional cost.”

Sony also announced that it will be launching a Little Big Planet Vita bundle along with a Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified bundle, the latter of which will include a a limited-edition Call of Duty-themed Vita along with the respective game. Finally, it was confirmed that PSOne Classics will launch on August 28, 2012.

NASA More Than Curious About Social Media

NASA’s Curiosity mission has been going on longer than the eight months it took for the lander to go Mars and land on August 5, including the years it took the design the rover, build it, plan the flight path, and test it to make sure it could complete the flight to Mars safely…. and social media was incorporated into almost all of it.

“We’d really been building this audience for years,” says Veronica McGregor, social media manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Curiosity’s touchdown on Mars was a trending topic on Twitter for nearly a day. NASA’s social outreach meant that millions of people watched live feeds on the Web despite a lack of live coverage from the major TV networks

The @MarsCuriosity Twitter account started in late 2008 when NASA was testing the rover’s various components, coming soon after the first mission account, which McGregor also launched for the Mars Phoenix mission. JPL’s social media team started a Facebook page about two years later.

The JPL team got permission to broadcast a live stream from the clean room where the rover was being built. For the next nine months, NASA broadcast the assembly for four hours each day.

“People could drop in and watch the rover in whatever stage it was being built,” McGregor says.

That live stream, broadcast via UStream, also featured a chat box in which people could chat with the social media team. This included special guests from the mission team from time to time and lasted about two hours every day.

“We would answer a lot of the questions, every day,” McGregor says.

The stream got 4.3 million unique visits over nine months. Videos like “Cruising with Curiosity” and “7 Minutes of Terror” filled the void after the stream ended.

“That’s using real mission data,” McGregor says.

Another group worked on an Xbox Live game that launched a few weeks before the landing. “There was a lot of groundwork already laid on this,” McGregor says. “Certainly at this NASA center we’ve been leading a lot of things. We are pretty well oiled.”

The years worth of work built an audience of about 150,000 Twitter followers the Saturday before the landing, which they hoped might grow by another 100,000 when it landed. “We thought that was maybe a high bar,” says Social Media Specialist Stephanie Smith. “We knew it was going to be big. We didn’t know how big.”

NASA tripled that number to 300,000 or so as the landing took place, and by Thursday was up to 900,000. The live streaming video had millions of viewers, some of whom gathered for overnight showings at museums.

The lab’s two UStream feeds had a total of about 1.1 million viewers, while the NASA stream itself had several million. Twitter interactions with the Curiosity Twitter account were going so fast team members couldn’t even read them and about 100,000 people were trying to chat in the UStream chat room.

Courtney O’Connor, a social media specialist, says that proves people with a strong interest don’t necessarily need to rely on their local news channels to dictate what to watch. “Social media is allowing [fans] to find each other and connect,” Smith says. “We see these relationships blossom.”

Curiosity’s Twitter account has a personality and has a light tone to her (yes, it’s a her). “If some kind of pop culture reference or song lyric or movie quote comes to mind that makes us laugh, and we can use that hook to get people’s attention, there’s a good chance they’ll click on the link and be exposed to some science and engineering coming straight out of the mission,” says Smith.

Expect to see more over the next two years, where she’ll send back new information including high-resolution video. “It’s a mission of discovery, so we can’t put those discoveries on a timetable, but everything we’ve seen so far has been amazing. We’ve only just begun,” says Smith. “She’s a multitasker. We love her.”

Source: Ragan.com

EA’s Origin Coming To Mac, Android, Smart TVs, Facebook

Electronic Arts has confirmed that their Origin service will be coming to Mac, Android, Facebook and smart TVs. This was announced during the keynote by EA COO Peter Moore.

Moore emphasized the importance of pushing Origin out to as many platforms as is possible. He also said that 21 million people have signed up for the download service.

PS Vita Black Ops: Declassified Called ‘True Call Of Duty Experience’

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Some feel that Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified will be a significant chance for the PS Vita to see a breakthrough as a system. Activision and Sony are set to talk more extensively about the game at Gamescom after barely mentioning it at E3.

“You can really expect us to deliver a true Call of Duty experience,” Michael Sportouch, Activision’s European VP and GM of the Santa Monica business unit. “We are really excited about the opportunities that the Vita could offer us in terms of connecting with a new audience.”

Source: MCV