Monthly Archives: February 2012

Nokia finally merges location service Plazes into Maps service with Nokia Pulse

I was a long time user of  an early pioneer location-based site Plazes dating back to July 2005.  Then in 2008 the announcement was made that the acquisition of Plazes was made by Nokia  After absorbing their 13 or so employees it still functioned but became very dormant.  I would have thought Nokia would jump on the opportunity to integrate an existing location-based service into their phones directly. Instead I watched it languish.

It seems that recent announcements points to Nokia Maps for Plazes data.  Unfortunately I cannot find a single piece of it.  Locations are muddled, past reviews and check-ins seem to be non-existent.  So I found a tiny link for their Pulse beta.

What is Nokia Pulse?

Nokia Pulse is an exciting new way to check in with the people you care about most—your family and close friends.

Nokia Pulse automatically tags the photos, updates, and links you send with your location. So every conversation, from pickups and drop-offs to meet-ups, is as instant, private, and simple as sending a text, but far more useful and engaging.

And because it’s integrated with Nokia Maps, finding people nearby, discovering new places, and getting directions is a snap.

Pulse only runs on very specific phones and a mobile web interface for the rest.  Windows Phone  7 was the first choice listed.  You must have a Nokia account to use the service so it would have been nice if they ported over my login information and history into Pulse from Plazes.  it appears they had no intent.  With almost 1200 Plazes across 12 countries I have a lot of historical data there.

Plazes service Radar also appears in Pulse showing you close locations and people based on your contact list.  Once again I have to rebuild this in the Nokia Maps world so I have lost all of that connectivity.

Attempts the last few weeks to log into Plazes to see if I can export the data in some format return a single sad screen:

We are making the service better to handle your request the way you expected. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Check back in a minute or two.

Shame on Nokia for not taking advantage of an existing user base and historical data.

Book review: Social Game Design by Tim Fields and Brandon Cotton

Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics

With the recent push of social business and gamification I wanted a viewpoint from the originators of the idea.  Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics by Tim Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and MechanicsFields and Brandon Cotton comes from true successful experience.  Game designers lead the way in gamification and monetization with many of the tips applicable to social business design.

I am glad I was able to get this book for review after getting into the second chapter.  The first chapter was just introductory and gave you an idea on what the book does not cover.  I fully anticipated it to be about online and mobile games with tons of technique I could apply outside of that.

Chapter 2 has a subsection that summed up social business ideas in many enterprises.  Just being online or multiplayer in their words does not make you social.  This is a point often overlooked by businesses entering the deployment and ideas.  The ability to bring employees, partners and customers back again and again is a key component.

A highlight of the book is the interviews at the end of each section with major names in social game monetization.  They openly talk about how they built the empires and what mistakes they made along the way.  It is great knowledge and the same mistakes that we will all make.

While chapter 3 is only a few pages on the history of game monetization,chapter 4 gives the business reason to build social into the game or your company site if you look at it with the same lenses I did.  Industry terms were not as important that were shown in Chapter 5 but serve a good reference point for some analytics you will need when deploying.

I felt Chapter 7 was the most important one I read showing you how to acquire, keep and regain users.  Not only through innovation but by building in rewards and systems to keep them energized about your platform.  Acquiring the users is the highest cost a social business will have.  Providing value back to the enterprise is a grassroots effect.  Getting the data into the system and having it grow is where rewards, leaderboards and badges come into play.

For the gamers reading this the book definitely covers virtual goods, payment systems and forms of currency.  Being able to decide what platforms will be beneficial and how to set varying levels of gaming are all explored with great expertise.

This book has value for both the game writer and business trying to get into the social game.

Disclosure: The above links are Amazon affiliate links for the book.

Announcement: Social Stalking is now part of TheSocialNetworker

I am happy and relieved to announce that Social Stalking has now been merged and will be part of TheSocialNetworker.  Welcome to all the readers and subscribers from Social Stalking to a much larger pool of content.  Readers will now get the best of both sites in one location.

A while ago, there was a definite need to separate the content for all the social media site reviews, issues and concerns with privacy that I covered in live seminars, screencasts and blog postings.  Those lines have been blurred.

I have played with the idea of merging the content for some time and new developments in direction of content, writing and outside influence made the decision easy.

All of the past security and privacy content from SocialStalking.com has been merged into this site in the exact location and dates with redirections set from the previous site.  Screencasts will cover both topics, web and live events will cover both and blended content will be easier to follow.

So welcome to the moved readers and for those already here, welcome to the new content.