Google+ — Not About “Circles”, More Like a Downward Spiral

Google+ and It’s Discontents

What is it about Google+ that makes it so tedious to use? Why can’t the social network get the kind of traction it needs to really have it take off as a viable platform and contender of Facebook?

Every since Google+ launched, I have been luke-warm about it.

I really want to see the service succeed. As someone who makes games, I’d like to have more than one social gaming platform to consider outside of Facebook. I also love the idea of having all of my Google services integrated into one profile and destination.

In and Around New York City: The Reservoir of Central Park (Photos)

In and around Manhattan… The Central Park Reservoir is one of my most favorite places in Manhattan. Here are some photos I’ve snapped there. The Reservoir holds a billion gallons of water and takes up 106 acres of the park….

One of the Many Beatiful Views from the Reservoir in Central Park NYC

The Reservoir used to supply water to the city of New York but has been decommissioned. It still provides water to other lakes in the park, such as Harlem Meer.

The city skyline taken from across the Reservoir in Central Park, NYC. The water embodies106 acres of the park.

Today’s Hot Topics: Mindjolt, Facebook Friends, Red Robot Labs

Here are some recent stories in the ever-exciting world of tech, media or gaming that have caught my attention:

“MindJolt gets a third of its revenues from social mobile games” – Venturebeat: http://t.co/P1t5tir

This story gained a lot of attention in the game industry. For a company like MindJolt to make any announcement around revenues is a pretty interesting moment. Some people were surprised that one-third of their revenues comes from social mobile games. Revenues are generated through a combination of micro-transactions and advertising revenue.

Scenes in and Around San Francisco [My Photos]

Landscapes, Cityscapes, Skylines — Oh, My!

San Francisco — the city by the bay. A unique combination of free-thinkers, tech professionals, awesome cafes and so many awesome restaurants per capita that it’s hard to count. Here are some photos of San Francisco I’ve made over the years — mostly of sea, sky and cityscape.

Here is a photo I snapped while embarking on a fun Pirates of Silicon Valley Cruise on the San Francisco Bay a few months ago.

View of the SF Cityline from the Bay.

Another view of the SF skyline, this time taken from a hotel somewhere in Union Square.

From the Vault: My 2006 Interview With “Business Week”

What my ‘vault’ would look like if it actually existed.

“Enough with the Shoot ’em Ups: Skunk’s Margaret Wallace develops casual games. Turns Out the Market for them is Huge.”
— Business Week, 2006

 

On the heels of my write-up on The Sheenification of America, I thought it might be fun to take things down a few notches.

So, today, I’m digging deep into my non-existent “Vault” that, if it actually existed, would all sorts of remembrances and ephemera from the world of tech, media or gaming.

Is the Whole (Tech) World Going “Charlie Sheen”?

“Take this job and shove it — I ain’t working here no more.”
— David Allen Coe, the original Charlie Sheen

The “Sheenification” of America?

Charlie Sheen: Madman? Genius? Both?

There must be something in the air these days. It’s a bit hard to pinpoint but I will try: When I take a deep breath, a really deep breath, I smell the heady fragrance of renunciation hanging in the air of public discourse. Can you smell it, too? The fetid air of discontent? In both personal and professional spheres, we’re witnessing the abandonment of the keeping up of appearances. In place of “sucking it up” when faced with life’s adversities, there’s been a radical rejection — even condemnation — of possessing any quiet comportment whatsoever.

“What Kind of Man Owns His Own Computer?” (Vintage Apple Ad)

Old Skool Apple Mac Icons

Well, Benjamin Franklin, that’s who — at least according to this vintage Apple Computer ad, hanging in the foyer of a San Francisco tech office building.

Happy Shark

Photos of Zurich During My Visit to Shadow Government’s Zurich HQ

I’ve had the opportunity on several occasions over the past few months to visit the lovely city of Zurich. Shadow Government, Inc. has a lovely office there — in addition to our NYC Headquarters. Here are a photos I snapped while in this quiet but beautiful city — surrounded by water and mountains….

The Zurich Skyline

I love snapping photos of cityscapes and skylines. I really think there is so much to learn just looking out the window and observing what’s there. Here are some photos of the Zurich cityscape –a place so unique and full of character.

Playmatics’ Margaret Wallace On Reality-Based Social Gaming

Shadow Government is coming soon to a smart-phone near you.

Here is a re-print of a recent interview I conducted for a great publication, called Socialistic, on our forthcoming game (Shadow Government) and on the topic of reality-based social gaming in general. The original interview can be found here. Enjoy!

The Socialistic Interview: Playmatics’ Margaret Wallace On Reality-Based Social Gaming

Shadow Government is a new “reality-based” social game being developed by Playmatics founders Margaret Wallace and Nick Fortugno in collaboration with Philippe Trawnika (formerly of the investment firm Bridgeworks.ch) in partnership with the Millennium Institute. According to a description in TechCrunch, the game is a massive project that will “use economic and sustainability data, and government-modeling software from the Millennium Institute to give players a chance to build and run, or destroy their own virtual countries.”

“Killer Game Loops in Social Games” — Great Presentation from @wooga

Killer Game Loops -- Like "Froot Loops" -- Can Be Totally Addictive, Yo.

The Berlin-based social gaming company, wooga, has seemingly come out of “nowhere” to become the 2nd top social gaming company on Facebook — right up there after Zynga. The truth of the matter is that this young company — founded in 2009 — has found meteoric success because they apparently made a series of smart moves along the way — starting with their first game, Brain Buddies. As a start-up owner, it’s amazing to me how the seemingly small decisions can contribute to the bottom line of the health and life of a company just as much as those big decisions.

Twitter Updates: Arianna vs. Arrington (go, Arianna!)

The #Gamification of….Everything?

Here is a presentation that I gave for a keynote a few months back, called The Gamification of….Everything? Although I plan to update this presentation in the very near future, I still think that the information contained is relevant in terms of providing an overview of how gamification fits into current product development practices.

I also wrote a piece to accompany this presentation on Gaming Business Review, which can be found here.

Sure, there are those who maintain that Gamification is Bullshit, but I think the topic merits consideration as much as it deserves derision.