Tag Archives: social networking

GamersCircle Comics – Comic Book Shipment Update

Those of you that got and checked their emails updates in regards to this weeks [7/10/2013] comics now know that there was a shipping problem and GamersCircle Comics didn’t get the full shipment when we were supposed to.  Many also asked why the website wasn’t updated with this information.  I choose not to update the website, because for the most part, the site is only checked on Monday or Tuesday and it wasn’t until yesterday when the bulk of the status’ were found out, so it would have been after the fact vs knowing in the here and now.

This is what we know so far:

Today 7/11/2013 – GamesCircle Comics will be getting part of the shipment that will contain the missing trade paperbacks and graphic novels.

Tomorrow [Friday] 7/12/2013 – An emergency shipment will be arriving and this box will have the missing comics that we should have gotten on 7/9/2013 for New Comic Book day on 7/10/2013.

Things to Note:

The up and coming New Comic Book day [week of 7/17/2013] everything should be back to normal, but the emails notices for that week will be not 100% accurate.

Will any of this impact the Magic the Gathering M2014 Pre-Release?  No.

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Growth of Facebook leaves MySpace in dust

Social networking is definitely seeing a reshuffling of its top players.

Facebook and Twitter are in, MySpace is out, according to Experian Hitwise.

The Internet monitoring company reported last week that Facebook, the No. 1 social network in the U.S., grew its share of all the visits to social-networking sites from 19 percent in September 2008 year to 58.6 a year later. That’s a more than 190 percent increase.

Over the same period, Twitter’s share jumped from 0.15 percent to 1.84 percent, and the service now ranks as the fourth largest social network.

Ailing MySpace, which is scurrying to remake itself into an entertainment portal, is still in second place behind Facebook, but scores of users have begun walking away.

According to Hitwise, MySpace can still boast 30 percent of the social-networking market, but the site is in freefall. Last year at this time, MySpace captured 66.8 percent of the market.

MySpace is hunkering down to develop more compelling music and video services, but it needs to emerge quickly from its chrysalis with something attractive to offer.

Once the traffic goes, then content owners–such as the musical acts that promote themselves on the site–may be the next to flee.

Overall, U.S. visits to social networking Web sites rose 62 percent from September 2008 to September 2009, according to Hitwise, which tracks 155 such sites.

Facebook ensnared in two social networking patent disputes

Two companies are taking social networking heavyweight Facebook to court over claims that Facebook’s website infringes on patents related to personal pages and establishing human relationships. Tele-Publishing Inc, a Boston-based company known for providing personals services to newspapers since the 1980s, is accusing Facebook of violating its patent on "providing a personal page." Meanwhile, Japan-based Mekiki Co Ltd is suing Facebook for infringing on three of its US patents for a "human relationships registering system."

Tele-Publishing Inc was awarded in 2001 US Patent #6,253,216, "Method and Apparatus For Providing a Personal Page." The patent abstract is generic enough that it honestly could apply to any social networking service or other website that allows the creation of a profile page. The main aspect of this patent that Facebook may be running afoul of is that it covers a method of selectively controlling who can and cannot view a particular person’s information. Facebook’s privacy settings include fairly fine-grained control over who can see what part of your Facebook profile, including contact information, wall posts, photos, and more. Tele-Publishing uses the technology ostensibly to allow users of its online dating and personals sites to limit access to personal information.

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BlizzCon ’09: The Future of Battle.net

What’s the deal with Blizzard’s fancy new version of its Battle.net online multiplayer service? Blizzard offered a look into the future of Battle.net at BlizzCon today.

There’s quite a bit to digest about the new Battle.net, but the bottom line is that Blizzard is taking what is an extremely outdated service and bringing it up to date in a world that’s full of social networking, community-oriented gaming and all that "let’s be friends online" jazz. Blizzard executive VP of game design Rob Pardo namedropped names of everyone from Facebook to Xbox Live to Plants vs. Zombies to Google Talk, and the influences are clear in the features.

First off, how this all relates to the thing you kids really want to know about: StarCraft II. The service will launch with the game, and as Pardo says, the two are "extremely connected." Your Battle.net account covers all your Blizzard games, tracking achievements and info across multiple games. For SC2, the game’s interface is designed to look like an online service, with multiple panels ("widgets") that bring to mind the old Battle.net multiplayer interface meets the World of Warcraft launcher. You’ve got campaign and the different modes, but also a friends list and a feed of Blizzard and StarCraft news.

"Even before you play your first game you’re already connected to the online community," Pardo said. "We really feel like we’re in an online world."

Battle.net will maintain a profile for your StarCraft account, which is a bit like a WoW Armory page. It tracks your achievements, match history and more. Speaking of achievements, there are some concrete rewards for unlocking them – you unlock user icons to use on your Battle.net account, but more interestingly you get Decals, which are little icons and designs which will appear in-game on your SC2 units and give a real touch of customization to your Battle.net play.

As much as people love superficial stuff like decorations and user icons, Battle.net’s about playing the damn games, and this new iteration brings quite a few new features for both competitive and casual players. The Ladder system has been totally overhauled so that it caters to players of all stripes. Now the Ladder is divided into seven different leagues (from "Practice" to "Pro") and within each league you’re grouped into a division of 100 people that Battle.net’s magic machines guarantee will be on your level of play. "Everyone has a chance to win your division," Pardo said, and if you do happen to win, you’ll advance to an inter-division tournament to really prove your mettle and "win the league."

For casual casuals (as opposed to "serious casuals"), there are other multiplayer options, like the Practice League, which will offer slowed-down gameplay and maps designed to prevent you from getting completely steamrolled by advanced techniques.

Of course when you’re getting steamrolled it’s a bit easier to swallow when it’s by someone you’ll never have to face the shame of confronting in real-life, but if you’re the kind of guy who likes to mix your real with your online life, Battle.net is pretty much made for you. Blizzard’s planning a system called "Battle.net Real ID," which structures your online social life around your real world one. If you add someone to your friends list using Real ID (they have to verify you’re actually friends, you can’t just e-stalk them after a click), Battle.net will group them at the top of your friends list.

You can register Real ID friends by actual human names, rather than having to remember who WORGENWARRIOR1 is in one game and who he is another. That’s something I’d love to see in Xbox Live. Real ID friends can publish "Toasts" or "broadcasts," which sound a lot like Facebook status updates. This makes it so you can do things like play SC2 while having a message up that says you’d like to play WoW later, so you’re not jumping around private messaging people or sending them texts just to tell them what you’d like to do.

Of course there are other features of the type you expect from any online social network service these days: an IM-style chat system that lets you group chats (and should alleviate some headaches when you’re juggling a million different whispers), a Party function that lets you create Xbox Live-style parties with groups of friends and more.

Those things will launch when Battle.net comes out with StarCraft II…whenever it comes out. What comes after that should prove to be one of the most interesting things about Battle.net: the StarCraft II Marketplace, which Blizzard says will "a vibrant ecosystem of user-generated content, including multiplayer maps, single-player scenarios, challenges, themes, and more."

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MySpace to buy Web music service iLike

NEW YORK (Reuters) – News Corp’s MySpace said on Thursday it has agreed to buy music recommendation service iLike, as the once-hot social networking site tries to reinvent itself as an entertainment portal.

MySpace declined to disclose financial terms of an acquisition that brings iLike’s twin brother founders Ali and Hadi Partovi and Nat Brown into the MySpace fold.

The site was backed by venture capital funds and Ticketmaster Entertainment. Several blogs, including AllThingsDigital, reported earlier in the week that iLike would be bought by MySpace for around $20 million.

iLike is best known as a popular social music discovery service on Facebook, the social networking site that has overtaken MySpace as the top Web destination for friends and family to share photos, messages, video clips and other media.

MySpace, which was once the most popular and fastest growing social networking site just two years ago, has lost ground with users who have moved onto Facebook or other sites.

"We think that integration of iLike should help drive stickier traffic and ultimately improve monetization of MySpace user base," said JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan.

The acquisition comes as News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch has pressed to reinvent MySpace as an entertainment portal, taking advantage of its continued strength in areas like music and movies.

While it is still one of the most popular video and music sites, data from Nielsen shows time spent by users on MySpace fell by 31 percent between April 2008 and April 2009. In the same period, user time on Facebook grew 700 percent.

MySpace Chief Executive Owen Van Natta said on a conference call that iLike’s social discovery technology can be extended to other areas for MySpace users beyond music — areas such as entertainment, video and games.

He explained this is why MySpace, rather than MySpace Music, made the acquisition. MySpace Music, which launched last September, is a joint venture between MySpace and the four major music companies EMI Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group.