Twitter has successful IPO
Twitter’s IPO went very smoothly, unlike the rocky debut experienced by Facebook shares. The stock closed at $44.90 per share, up considerably from the $26 IPO price. Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams also made out nicely, as they agreed to lockup agreements in lieu of selling shares through the IPO. Both are billionaires on paper.
Now we’ll see if Twitter can now live up to this IPO hype. It’s an incredible services, but its revenue and profit numbers are much smaller than those of Google and Facebook when those companies went public. We’ll see what kinds of revenue-generating projects they are willing to consider, and whether users will have a problem with any of them.
NFL Network huge media success
Some are questioning the future of cable TV, but nobody questions the importance of valuable content which can be distributed through various means. The success of the NFL Network is another example of the value of great content. The popularity of the NFL continues to explode and their investment in the NFL Network ten years ago appears to be another stroke of genius.
Sports, news and new TV shows are some of the items that will help cable TV stay relevant in the face of new trends where appointment TV is giving way to streaming TV that can be watched at any time. Many people are giving up the notion of regular TV and are watching shows when it’s convenient for them as they now have multiple devices like iPads that they can use to watch their shows.
With the NFL Network, that isn’t much of a worry, as sports-obsessed fans can’t get enough of NFL programming. They’re into their favorite teams, their fantasy football teams or their weekly picks against the spread. They’ll be absorbing as much NFL content as they can as they plan for their 2014 Super Bowl betting picks. On Thursday nights they’ll watch even the most lame matchups on the NFL Network and then complain about the game endlessly on Twitter, which brings up the social media angle. Sports is one of those things people love to talk about and argue about on social media. It fuels a ton of activity, making a simple NFL game a global conversation as opposed to a lonely evening alone on the couch.
The NFL could have screwed this up, but they quality of the programming has been excellent. They brought over Rich Eisen from ESPN to be one of the lead anchors and then signed a bunch of former NFL players. Of course they also have a stable of hotties showing off their legs like Nicole Zaloumis, Molly Qerim, Amber Theoharis and Lindsay Rhodes. They leveraged years of NFL Films content and put together tons of those silly lists people love to argue about. Reports indicate that ESPN almost invested in the NFL Network several years ago. I’m guessing the NFL execs are happy that didn’t happen as the network has grown into an incredibly valuable media property.
Proliferation of daily fantasy sports games
Did you capitalize on Brian Hoyer starting for the Cleveland Browns once Brandon Weeden got hurt? Or have you been riding Peyton Manning’s incredible performances so far this season. You might think I’m referring to typical conversations for fantasy football, but with the explosion of daily fantasy sports games, millions of dollars are legally changing hands as websites and now even apps try to capitalize on these games of skill. This has completely changed the landscape of sports betting as players now have the option of risking cash on daily fantasy games as opposed to the traditional method of picking games against the spread. Now with SideDraft being added to the Apple app store we might see the games become even more popular.
The key revolves around the notion that picking lineups in a fantasy game makes these games “skill” games that are not prohibited by various state and federal laws. With the popularity of fantasy football and other sports, these new sites just add the cash element and suddenly we have a new niche exploding around the web. The key difference from a game point of view is that you pick different players each week, so you’re not stuck with a crappy like regular fantasy football if you have a bad draft or have key injuries on your roster.
Most of these games have salary cap of course, so you’ll pay a price for using Manning or someone like Adrian Peterson. The key is finding cheap bargains who can have big games, like Hoyer of course. Even veterans like Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers can help you win, as he’s having a huge year but wasn’t in great demand in typical fantasy leagues.
These games can be just as addicting as regular gambling or regular fantasy football, so the popularity isn’t surprising. I am surprised however that some lawmakers have tried to stop everyone from having so much fun.
Gaming on the iPad
One popular use of computers by computer owners has always been Online casinos. However through advancements in technology it is now easier than ever for users to obtain an internet signal on other smaller devices, as a result the manner in which people game has changed. Out of these smaller devices the most popular for gaming is the tablet. Of all the tablets on the market today, the most popular is of course the iPad.
The iPad is run with an operating system just like a personal computer. In this case, it is the iOS designed by Apple. Apple has made some changes in recent years making their operating system incompatible with some browser plug-ins that have been necessary for gaming. One of these is Adobe Flash. Therefore online casino firms have had to create casino games that are compatible with the iOS. HTML5 was what developers came up with that made it easier for the iPad to access casino games in lieu of a special app. This makes it must faster to start playing. As a result, today’s online casino gamers on the iPad have an optimal gaming experience that is quite realistic.
Certain casino games such as those offered by online casino australia can now be enjoyed on the iPad. For instance games such as roulette, poker, blackjack and slots are now just a click away. These games really show off the great features of the iPad including its speed, graphic display and audio technology. The large screen really helps with the graphic display. The iPad version of roulette is particularly popular due to the touch screen playing.
Twitter keeps screwing with my email notification settings
I hate it when awesome social media services like Twitter get so big that they become desperate to drive more growth. It’s one thing to keep improving the user experience, but it’s quite another to manipulate settings in a lame attempt to drive more engagement.
Twitter keeps messing with my email notifications across my various business accounts. I don’t want my email inbox flooded with useless email notifications from Twitter, so I shut them all off. But the folks at Twitter keep adding more reasons to send you an email, like “Someone shares a Tweet with me” and “Someone from my address book joins Twitter.” Naturally, their default option is to have the box checked, so even if you wipe all the email options clean in your settings, Twitter keeps adding new reasons and then checking them so you get more emails.
Enough. Please stop. This is just ridiculous. Please add an option at the top that let’s me tell you I never want to receive any emails from Twitter.
Adobe pisses off more customers with Photoshop CC subscription mandate
If you want to use Photoshop CC, you have to purchase a monthly or yearly subscription. The days of the perpetual license are ending at Adobe, and that has left many customers furious, as these letters to the NYT reviewer make clear.
I have mixed feelings on this. I don’t have a huge problem with Adobe’s strategy, but I think they’re pricing it too high. The same goes for Dreamweaver. David Pogue points out that GIMP is a free competitor to Photoshop, and while Adobe will make out big in the short run, perhaps by pricing it too high they risk losing serious market share over time.
We’ll see how it plays out.
Quality vs quantity in online publishing
If you’re an online publisher without a huge staff, trying to keep up with the big boys can be exhausting.
This article explains how publications like Huffington Post and even old, traditional publishers like Forbes are playing the page view game, trying to generate as much content for the lowest possible cost. Too many companies are trying to play this game.
On the other side of the spectrum, publications like Salon have abandoned this losing game and instead focused on quality and long-form articles that will have an impact. Fortunately it’s working for them.
DoubleTree tries to leverage photos and social media
Check out this interview with DoubleTree Hotels global head John Greenleaf about how DoubleTree is using contests and sharing around photos and videos uploaded by their customers, tied to specific locations.
Mobile Gambling – There’s an App for That
Abstainer, noun: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
So wrote Ambrose Bierce (also known as Bitter Bierce) in his cynical look on life, The Devil’s Dictionary. And let’s face it, Ambrose probably has it right as we all like a little gamble now and then to liven things up.
However, you no longer have to head over to a casino to get your gamble on because your mobile phone probably offers more gambling action than the mighty Bellagio.
So just how is mobile gambling getting ready to take over the world? Read on to find out…
Try Before You Buy
Perhaps one of the most interesting elements of casino and poker apps is the fact that you can play for free. Yes, you get to enjoy all the casino games without any of the risk, making them…well…fun.
However, it won’t take long before you wish your winning streak was happening with a real money game and the boasts of being rich on play money will become empty. However, it is great for refining your game play and sharpening your skills. You can then take your new strategies to real money play on a casino or mobile hold’em website and put them to the test.
Welcome Bonuses Are Free Money
Another highly attractive feature of mobile gambling apps is that casinos and poker sites actually give you free money to play with. And they do it just for signing up.
Well, OK, you have to actually deposit some money there – and you have to do some gambling. The bonuses are then unlocked depending on how much you play. It’s rather like getting achievements or trophies in other games – except these reward you with actual cash.
Mobile Gaming Offers Fast Access
Having casino and poker games on your mobile allows you to jump straight into the action wherever you are. Online casinos and poker rooms have responded to this by offering games that require no waiting times to keep mobile players in the heart of the action.
This means that if you have a few minutes spare you can always spin some slots reels, or play a few hands of poker.
Not All Poker and Casino Apps Are the Same
Poker sites and online casino do vary in their offerings. While many of the games they offer are quite similar, the bonuses and promotions the sites give out can be quite different. So it is worth shopping around and checking out some comparison sites (and reading a few reviews) to get a feel for who is offering the best.
Poker players should also be aware that the ability to find opponents is directly related to the popularity of a site. The more popular a poker room is, the more people play there, and the fuller the tables are. Bear that in mind when signing up.
A Final Word of Warning
Do remember that online gambling is illegal in some countries and some US states. Check out a specialized website to make sure you are playing within the law.
Also, don’t gamble with money you cannot afford to lose. Gambling is a bit of fun – so keep it that way. If your ability to pay the rent, or eat, depends on the spin of a roulette wheel then you are doing something wrong.
Now, with that said, don’t be a fuddy-duddy abstainer. Get out there and live a little!
Posted in: Apps, Games, Mobile, New Media, Social Media
Tags: casino apps, cool apps, fun apps, gambling apps, mobile gambling, mobile gaming, poker apps
The Bitcoin roller coaster
Bitcoins have been in the news quite a bit lately, as the trading value of this new virtual currency has been fluctuating like crazy over the past weeks.
The scale of the recent boom and bust has been staggering indeed. At the start of the year, a Bitcoin was worth $13.51. Earlier this week, it traded as high as $266. And on Thursday, it plummeted to less than $100, as one of the exchanges where Bitcoins are traded closed temporarily. This would be comparable to the exchange rate for the British pound soaring from $1.62 (where it was on Jan. 1) to $31.90 and then falling back to $12.
The topic got even more attention when we learned that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss had amassed a rather large Bitcoin position.
The video above provides an excellent primer on the topic of Bitcoins, along with the article linked above. It will be interesting to see whether online retailers or marketplaces started accepting this virtual currency.
Posted in: New Media, Social Media
Tags: Bitcoin, Bitcoin issues, Bitcoin mania, Bitcoin revolution, Bitcoin roller coaster, Bitcoin valuation, online currency, virtual currency, Winklevoss, Winklevoss twins