“An expansion where it’s really about exploration and mystery”

“After Wrath of the Lich King, where there’s a threat to destroy the world, and another expansion like Cataclysm where Deathwing did wreck the world, after so much ‘We have to save the world, we have to save the world!’ it’s like, hey, let’s go into an expansion where it’s really about exploration and mystery, which was a word that popped up in a lot of design things.

“That sense of going into an unknown land, this place that just rose out of the mists and no-one has ever seen it before and it’s all different out there, so absolutely – that was a huge goal”

Why Mists of Pandria


Riot place faced a crowd that turned violent in Haren, The Netherlands, late Friday after thousands were drawn to the town by a birthday party invitation on Facebook that went viral.

A sleepy Dutch community was still recovering on Saturday from the aftermath of a sweet sixteen party whose invitation, for no clear reason, went viral, spawning a YouTube video, drawing impromptu partygoers by the thousands as well as riot police, and causing the young celebrant and her family to flee town.

Fires were set, a car was burned, shops were vandalized, six people were hurt and some 34 arrested, according to the BBC and the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation.

“She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like wildfire across the Internet,” a spokeswoman for the Groningen police, Melanie Zwama, told Agence France Presse, according to the BBC.

Haren, a town of 19,000 about 110 miles northeast of Amsterdam, had been girding for trouble all week after the youngster’s Facebook party invitation, which had not been set to be private, ended up going out to a reported 30,000 people. Popular deejays endorsed the event, a Twitter account was born, and T-shirts were printed, sold and sported by some who descended on the town. NYT

When it Comes to Social Media Marketing…

Toronto marketing firm a5MEDIA founder, Yusuf Gad, says most businesses will take at least six months to a year before they begin seeing the effects of online marketing and social media use translate into a sales uptick. And, although it has become an important niche in the marketing world, Gad says social media is only equally as effective — if not less so — than traditional advertising.

“People assume online marketing is a panacea for marketing solutions and it isn’t, it’s simply another tool in your arsenal,” he says, suggesting small business owners look into radio spots and outdoor signage to supplement an online presence.

It’s not as easy as it looks 

Gad says the number one mistake most entrepreneurs make is thinking they can run a social media campaign themselves.

“Managing social media has the illusion of simplicity, when it’s actually very complicated and time consuming,” he says, advising owners outsource to specialized social media consultants, or — if financially viable — a marketing firm. “It can bury an entrepreneur and detract from actually growing their business and driving sales.”

Jack Shapiro, President and CEO of The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada, learned this firsthand after a number of failed in-house marketing attempts.

“We found it tough to find someone who was well-rounded enough to handle all of the online platforms we had,” says Shapiro. “We made many mistakes before deciding an external company with many experts would be better value for our money.”

Shapiro’s marketing firm conducted in-depth research before rebranding the company’s message, rebuilding the website and implementing a social media campaign to reflect those changes.

“Looking at our old website, it seemed like we were trying to sell people something, which is not what you want when you’re running a healthcare-type business,” he says. By changing their message and implementing a social media strategy based on practical advice and user engagement, Shapiro’s business grew from near anonymity to more than 1500 followers on Twitter and 1000 likes on Facebook.

Still, Gad says, successful marketing involves much more than online popularity.

“There is no magic solution, but marketing begins with the fundamentals,” he says. “Understand your market, develop your brand and message, and ensure your website and sales materials reflect that message.”

Check out more: Social Media Is Big

Solomonic: Who owns the word ‘catholic’, ‘islam’, ‘bible’ online

Centuries-old theological disputes have broken out in cyberspace as religions aim to influence the future presentation of faith on the Internet.

The forum for the rivalry is not the pulpit or church bulletin, but the website of ICANN, the corporation that oversees the Internet address system and now wants to expand it beyond the usual .com, .org or .net domains.

When ICANN began accepting applications for new names early this year, bids came for extensions such as .catholic, .islam and .bible. Not far behind were critics who challenged many applicants’ right to monopolize those and other religious terms.

“I respectfully ask you not to award .bible to a bunch of hardcore Bible-thumpers,” wrote one critic of an application by the American Bible Society to manage that extension.

Questioning a Turkish IT company’s bid for the .islam domain, Fahd Batayneh of Jordan’s National Information Technology Centre asked how it could ensure no pornographers or Muslim extremists would use names with this ending?

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is accepting comments on these and other applications for another month and will then evaluate the bids for new extensions, known as top level domains (TLDs).

First results are due next summer. A group awarded a TLD can manage that domain exclusively, renting out addresses that use its extension and rejecting bids it considers unsuitable. Via Stuff NZ

Uh-Oh! Warcraft Players Hit By US Sanctions


Iranian players of the popular online multiplayer franchise World of Warcraft have expressed their anger at being unable to play the game due to US sanctions in place against the Islamic republic.

Game enthusiasts have gone on to the message board of the US company behind the game, Blizzard Activision, to complain about how they could not log on to the service – only to be told that US law was to blame.

“United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran,” the company said in an email sent to players.

“Blizzard tightened up its procedures to ensure compliance with these laws, and players connecting from the affected nations are restricted from access to Blizzard games and services.”

A post to Blizzard’s message board by a company employee also noted that rules meant Iranian players would not be getting refunds.


Via Sky.com

“It’s absolutely the worst scenario for us”: Samsung

$1 billion judgment levied against Samsung for infringing on Apple’s patents reportedly has the South Korea company reeling. While Samsung executives weren’t optimistic about an overwhelming victory in a Silicon Valley courtroom last week, the one-sided decision loss apparently caught them by surprise.

It’s absolutely the worst scenario for us,” a senior Samsung executive told the Korea Times as he rushed into the company’s Seoul headquarters.

Since a jury in a San Jose, Calif., courtroom on Friday decided overwhelmingly in favor of Apple’s patent claims against Samsung, the Korea electronics giant has focused on the verdict’s effect on the smartphone market. The company called the awarding of $1.05 billion in damages to Apple “a loss for the American consumer” and promised that “this is not the final word in this case.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a companywide e-mail that the case was about “values.”

“For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values,”

From TechT@lk Read More Here

PC Game Companies Still Making Dough


Despite persisting rumors of Vivendi  is eager to sell its $8.1B stake in ActivisionBlizzard; WoW publisher has become a bright spot among the videogame giants, weathering lethargic industry sales (especially for console games) by pushing out more content for Call of Duty

While net income for the quarter came in at $185 million, down from $335 million in Q2 2011 and down from $384 million in Q1 2012, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was optimistic in the company’s earnings statement thanks to its renewed international efforts and its gains online mitigating shrinking retail sales:

On a non-GAAP basis, we delivered record Q2 and first half net revenues, operating income and earnings. Our performance was driven by strong audience demand for our great games. We are very excited to have announced our expanded investment in China through Activision Publishing’s agreement with Tencent to bring the Call of Duty franchise to the Chinese market.

As for other highlights, the company said that, unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft remains the top subscription-based MMORPG, with approximately 9.1 million subscribers, and announced that it expects to release its newest WoW title on September 25th — “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.”

From Techcrunch.com Read More Here