Facebook is constantly making changes, whether you like it or not. There's one change few have noticed that creates a huge opportunity to increase engagement with rich media on Facebook. First let's look at the way it used to be. You develop some rich media, let's say a game, that you want to drive traffic to from Facebook. You would probably host that content on a Facebook tab or a micro-site. You would then post a link or an image on your Facebook timeline to drive traffic to your game. But what if users never had to leave their Facebook timeline? What if clicking on that link in the Facebook timeline opened the rich media experience right there. You've been able to do this with videos for awhile but now anyone can create rich media that can be played the same way. This functionality has been around for almost a year now however few have begun to experiment with it. The idea can be extended beyond games to create interactive surveys, custom video players, contests and more. All that's required to get going with "Feed Gaming" is a little knowledge of how to create Facebook apps and the open graph. Unfortunately the rich media units will not work on mobile devices that don't support flash but that just creates an opportunity to show off your HTML5 know-how to develop mobile friendly alternatives on your micro-site.
The second the plane is safely in the sky and cruising toward its destination, the flight attendants give us the go-ahead to utilize our precious electronic devices. Out come iPods, iPhones, PDA's, laptops, portable DVD's, and the myriad of other devices that now litter the marketplace. And I am not immune'?¦I reach for my own laptop and dive into my own agenda of things I have told myself I can 'do on the plane'? as I make my way to my destination. That is when I spot it'?¦and no matter how many times I see it, it still shocks me. The white collar professional'?¦wearing the outfit (black pants, colored collared shirt, nice belt and dress casual shoes) and carrying the bag (black leather with bag tag containing a business card)'?¦hunched over their company provided and paid computer or PDA'?¦playing Solitaire!!! This singular act irks me more than I care to admit, especially in today's tough economic climate. There are still people who have the time and inclination to play Solitaire all the way from Philadelphia to Atlanta? I am not afraid to admit that this is a sick fascination that has gotten to the point where I will actually get up and walk the plane to see if I can identify any transgressors. I will move seats if someone near me is blissfully lost in a game, as I am unable to concentrate on anything other than what else this person could be doing and why they are wasting life's precious time. I have even started a group on Facebook where people like me (I am the only member to date) can discuss alternatives to playing solitaire'?¦alternatives that lead to personal and professional betterment instead of wasted time... Some popular options include: '?¢ Create to-do lists to organize what you need to do and by when '?¢ Merge/enter to-do list with PDA or Computer calendar program '?¢ Write a hand written note to family, friends, clients, politicians, etc. '?¢ Pay bills and/or manage finances '?¢ Update charts/activity reports/spreadsheets/proposals '?¢ Brainstorm ideas that you think would make your company/group make money, operate more efficiently, or increase morale. Put into an e-mail and send to your manager '?¢ Write an article for your company's monthly newsletter '?¢ Create e-mails saying hello and checking in with family members or business clients you have not spoken to in over 4 weeks '?¢ Read a book that is relevant and beneficial to your person or profession '?¢ Review general company correspondence or industry trades/news '?¢ Review and study sales materials for a product or service that you are not very familiar with at your own company or a company you do work for '?¢ Download and/or sort through digital picture library '?¢ Enter information from collected business cards into computer contact list Some of you out there might be Solitaire players'?¦or Bubble Breaker, or Texas Hold 'em, or Tetris'?¦.and all I ask is that you stop yourself the next time you go to tap or click on the 'games'? folder of your personal electronic device. Ask yourself if there is anything else you can do before you lose yourself in Solitaire?? And if all else fails'?¦I recommend Spider Solitaire and challenge you to beat my score of 1504, playing with all four suits.
If you have talked to a kid between the ages of 5 to 12 you have probably heard of Bakugan. Bakugan is the latest game phenomenon that has hit the tween set. Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a Japanese action adventure anime television show. In February 2008, the Cartoon Network began airing the series and in conjunction with that anime series Sega Toys and Spin Masters released a game version of the series. It is a character based card game that involves metal cards and magnetic spring-loaded miniature figures. Kids have fallen in love with this game. However, the majority of the players didn't fully understand the rules. This is where AMP comes in. Working with the game creators, AMP has launched the Bakugan Ultimate Battle Tour. The primary objective of the tour is education, specific objectives include the following: Learn how to play Bakugan the right way Meet real Bakugan Battle Masters Sharpen their battle skills with expert tips on strategy and the use of traps Event Logistics The event itself is made up of several different sections. First, kids check in and receive a passport which will be stamped in each area as they go through Bakugan training. In the first area, Master Ray goes over the basic rules of the game as the game is demoed and he asks some review/trivia questions where kids can win some prizes (books, DVDs, Bakugan). After this basic training, the kids move onto Guided Play where they are paired up to play each other as Bakugan Masters watch over them to make sure they are playing correctly, but also to help them to use their Bakugan and cards strategically. The third area is the Battle Zone. This is where kids can participate in free play with friends and where some of the higher skilled Bakugan players can learn about using Bakugan traps, from Master Henry (aka MC Trapz). After the kids complete the training areas, they return to the registration area where they receive a green screen picture, button, and poster. The core target is boys 8-11, but we have seen a wide range of audience from 5-19 boys and girls. One surprise is the parents. Parents enjoy being able to be at an event with their child(ren) to learn how to play their kid's favorite game and to play along with them as well. Since the game is utilizing math skills, parents give it their stamp of approval and we have had many parents become Bakugan fans on the spot! The Bakugan Masters (our field team) also do in-market stops at day camps, boys and girls clubs, and after school programs (during school) as well as their weekend event. These events are very scaled down, but kids really enjoy getting a chance to play Bakugan and, of course, meeting the Masters! The tour has just left Comicon in San Diego and is heading to Arizona and Texas. It will hit most major markets through out the US and will run through November. Let us know if you are interested in learning more about the tour or the game.