This Poo Has Gone Too Far: “Angry Turds”?

January 30, 2011 at 12:01 AM (Musings) (, , , )

I think we all share a similar thought when it comes to Angry Birds: possibly one of the best time-wasters of our iGeneration.Angry Birds: Come on, who doesn't love a game that involves breaking everything in sight and taking out grotesquely obese pigs? I think we also all share a similar thought when it comes to monkeys throwing their own excrement (among other things): immaturely hilarious. In math class I learned that a positive plus another positive equals another positive, so why does the love child of Angry Birds and monkeys unrestrained by civil convention of society seem like such a horrendous idea?  I am talking, of course, of the newest app trying to score a coattail-ride, which TechCrunch describes as Angry Birds with more poop in it.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your prayers have been answered: Apps Genius has launched Angry Turds.

Look! It's Angry Birds, only with monkeys throwing poo. Really, people?

In this game, you’re a monkey, and evil explorers have kidnapped your baby monkeys.  How do you save your young?  With whatever you can get your little monkey hands on . . . like poo.  Wonder where this app came from?  Me too.  TechCrunch asked Apps Genius CEO Adam Kotkin for his two cents. As it turns out, “People are into the whole poop thing. When you speak with a 12 year old you realize that they know more than the rest of us … It’s fun to throw poop around. Poop sells.”

Okay, so I wasn’t an advertising major, but given that people confuse ad folks with PR folks often enough, we did cover some basics of our sister industry in my classes.  You know what I was told sells?  Sex.  You know what I was told leads the news?  Whatever bleeds.  You know what apparently makes a box office hit as a result of someone who knows those two tidbits of information?  Vampires.  Not once did any of my professors or ad friends mention fecal matter.  Maybe I needed to know a secret handshake or something. Who knows?

Tonight’s Tunes
“The Time (The Dirty Bit),” Black Eyed Peas
“Grenade,” Bruno Mars
“Put It in a Love Song,” Alicia Keys

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Good For You, Twitter

May 24, 2010 at 4:58 PM (Happenings, Musings) (, , , )

This morning, TechCrunch posted an article about Twitter’s decision to prohibit all third parties from advertising within the tweet-stream.  My response?

Yay!

twitter birdOne of the aspects of Twitter that I really appreciate is the lack of adverts that I can’t control interrupting my feed.  If I decide to follow someone who turns out to tweet only in spam or product promos, that’s my own fault and it’s my job to either live with it or un-follow the account.  I could grow used to banner and sidebar adverts (because let’s face it, if you want to use the free version of anything, chances are you have to see an advertisement somewhere on the site): eventually I just learn how to ignore them.  However, if one shows up in the middle of a game, page-load or – gasp – tweet stream, it becomes a lot tougher to overlook.

TechCrunch linked to the Twitter blog as well as highlighted a key passage outlining the reasons for the decision (emphasis added by yours, truly):

First, third party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created. They may optimize for either market share or short-term revenue at the expense of the long-term health of the Twitter platform. For example, a third party ad network may seek to maximize ad impressions and click through rates even if it leads to a net decrease in Twitter use due to user dissatisfaction.

Secondly, the basis for building a lasting advertising network that benefits users should be innovation, not near-term monetization. Twitter is uniquely dependent on and responsible for the long-term health and value of the platform. Accordingly, a necessary focus of Promoted Tweets is to explore ways to create value for our users. Third party ad networks may be optimized for near-term monetization at the expense of innovating or creating the best user experience. We believe it is our responsibility to encourage creative product development and to curb practices that compromise innovation.

It is important to keep in mind that Twitter bears all the costs of maintaining the network, protecting the Tweet stream against spam, supporting user requests, and scaling the service. Indeed, Twitter will bear many of the support costs associated with any third-party paid Tweets, as Twitter receives support emails related to anything a user sees in a tweet stream. The third-party bears few of these costs by comparison.

Granted, as a non-advertiser, my opinion isn’t exactly unbiased, but as a recreational user, I’m pretty happy about the announcement.  Good for you, Twitter.

Today’s Tunes
“Quiet Times,” Dido
“Mediocre Bad Guys,” Jack Johnson
“December Baby,” Ingrid Michaelson

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“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Twit-ter . . .”

April 6, 2009 at 7:44 PM (Musings) (, , , , )

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Twitter is “a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices” (twitter.com).  As one Tweeter put it (whom I can’t remember, so unfortunately I can’t credit him or her), “If blogs, Facebook statuses and chat rooms were to have an orgy, Twitter would be the love child.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Below is a screenshot of my Twitter Feed:

My Twitter Feed.  Good stuff, right?

I love Twitter – as you may notice from that little section on the right – and find it useful for getting PR news, Boston news, friend news, promoting my blog and friends’ events, and chatting with my friends.  However, occasionally all the Tweets I receive can be a bit overwhelming (as one Twitter glossary phrases it, “Twitterhea”), so I’ll use TweetDeck to filter mass Tweets relevantly.  I was not thrilled when the new Facebook homepage took on a similar look:

Suspicious resemblance, no?

I have decided that there’s too much going on with Facebook for this layout to be a good idea.  For starters, I don’t care about all of my friends on Facebook enough to know about each of their updates (and considering some of the mundane things I post on Facebook, I’m pretty sure many of my Facebook friends could say the same of me).  For the entree, Facebook has so many more features than Twitter.  I can’t even remember what the old Facebook looked like before the News-Feed debuted, but I do recall that few users considered it an improvement.  However, at least the News Feed offered updates that may have been more interesting than “Chris is buying socks… finally.”  I could see what events my friends were attending, who had added a new mutual friend, and other stalkeresque such-like.  I doubt Facebook will revert back to the News Feed, but perhaps it would consider an option to filter updates, because, really, who cares about that guy who sat in the second row in freshman year biology that no one ever actually spoke to?  For Pete’s sake, he claims to have lost a contact lens!

Today, I decided to toodle through TechCrunch and discovered that yet another social networking site had fallen in-line with the Twitter doctrine: FriendFeed.  I don’t use FriendFeed, so I can’t comment extensively, but it looks like it could be TwitterExtra:

Come on!  It doesn’t even limit you to strict, 140-character copy!  And what’s worse, according to TechCrunch, the page updates constantly.  Again, it looks like FriendFeed offers too much to benefit from the Twitter layout, but not having an account, I can’t comment with confidence.  TechCrunch posted a video of the “short version” of the demo they saw, but when I saw that it was 17 minutes, I decided that I had better things to do.  However, I will post it below for those of you who have the time and interest.

In the meantime, I have to say that Twitter, although subject to the sarcastic criticism of folks like John Stewart (unfortunately I can’t remember the episode where he poked fun so I can’t link to it), is on the rise.  Less and less frequently do I receive the response “What the [expletive] is a Twitter?” when I mention it, and more and more often do I see and hear it referenced on the rare occasions when I’m near a television set.  And now, it’s even leaking into other social networking sites.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the up and coming social networking deity:

Today’s Tunes
“The Melee,” Beastie Boys
“Drink Whiskey and Shut Up,” Brian Setzer
“Falling In Love At a Coffee Shop,” Landon Pigg
“In the Light,” Led Zeppelin
“The Boy’s Doin’ It (Carl Craig Remix),” Carl Craig & Hugh Masekela
“Standin’ Round Crying,” Eric Clapton
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” The Rolling Stones
“Zoot Suit Riot,” Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
“Plastic Stars,” Freezepop
“Closer,” Joshua Radin
“The Ballad of John and Yoko,” The Beatles

Fun fact: I didn’t realise that linking back to TechCrunch’s post would earn me a spot on the site (if perhaps only briefly).  Check it out!

I'm famous!  I'm famous!  Okay, not really, but it's still cool to see.

Don’t worry: I promise I won’t let it get to my head (I know it was automatically generated). This time.

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