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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Mark Zuckerberg has announced the new Facebook phone as you can see in the video above. The phone will be based on Android but it will be laid out differently with the home page of the phone being devoted to people rather than apps.
Let’s see if this takes off. Not everyone wants the world to see who is on their Facebook “favorites” list on their phone home page. I can see plenty of drama with girlfriends, etc.
Kristen Bell has become quite a star, and she’s getting plenty of notoriety for her edgy role in “House of Lies” on Showtime. This photo from her Maxim shoot gives you an idea of how good she can look!
Now her star power is being put to use in connection with a very successful Kickstarter campaign to create a Veronica Mars movie. The campaign has raised more than $1 million in a little more than 4 hours. Kickstarter has become an incredible tool for raising money online, and with Hollywood projects featuring proven stars it’s not too surprising that something like this would be very successful.
Watch the video below for more information on this successful campaign.
I have to admit that I finally saw this promo video today, but it now appears that Google Glass will cost less than $1,500, so expect to see these things everywhere. It’s a pretty fair price for what looks like a revolutionary gadget. I think Steve Jobs would be proud, and of course pissed that Apple didn’t come up with this.
Tons of people love Facebook, but most will agree that the search function sucks. It’s pretty surprising that new developments have taken so long for Facebook in this area, but today’s big announcement reveals a pretty impressive evolution in the whole search concept.
Graph Search, which is initially launching as a beta product for U.S. audiences only, will allow users to uncover social connections between other members of the site and quickly identify which friends have been to certain places, “liked” specific topics or appeared in certain photos.
Friends, places, interests and photos will be the foundation for queries when the search engine launches, Facebook said. For example, Facebook explained how Graph Search could be used to find “My friends who live in Palo Alto who like Game of Thrones,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India” or “Photos of my friends taken in Paris.” Singles looking to meet people could search “Friends of friends who are single men in San Francisco.” Someone trying to remember a person she’d met at a friend’s party evening before could query, “People named Drew who are friends of Peter and went to Harvard.”
We’ll see if the actual service lives up to the hype, but the potential seems significant.