Website Personalization: Does Nintendo Do It Right?

Nintendo has two unique ways of personalizing their services:

1) Not long ago, Nintendo introduced the “Miiverse,” a social media service for their Wii U system. This service offers a fully interactive and intuitive way for users to personalize their gaming experience, in the form of a social networking service. The Miiverse allows players to post status updates about the games they are playing, and communicate with other players for advice on games they are struggling with. This service also allows players to personalize their gaming experiences by expressing themselves in the form of artwork of games that they can post.¬† In addition, players can take this experience on the go with the Nintendo 3DS version, which offers the same experience for players wishing for a truly unique and personalized social gaming experience.

2) Nintendo Technical Support Forums: Much like other gaming websites, Nintendo offers a forum service operated by a support staff of moderators. The purpose is obvious: To work with players to solve technical problems with their gaming systems. While this seems standard, it is unique in the fact that these forums enable users to choose which topics they have access two, specifically which subjects they would want to read about. While this seems standard, it is. However, Nintendo and their policy of complete simplicity set it apart from other companies.

Overall, I feel as if these two examples highlight Nintendo and their user friendliness. This is important for a company, as a huge part of how it presents itself is through how it interacts with its user base. By offering a means of personalization for their support channels, Nintendo is more accessible, which is a very important thing that more companies should grasp today.

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Embracing Facebook Advertising.

According to Pat Flynn at “Smart Passive Income,” the key to successful advertising lies in advertising on Facebook. There are four really important reasons why this is so:

  • Facebook ads allow you the flexibility to reach your target audience when you are on a limited budget.
  • Facebook ads allow for more diversified traffic.
  • Facebook offers great testing grounds for testing the marketing of your project. If you can generate interest from your Facebook ads, it should give you an idea on how to handle your non-Facebook ads.
  • Testing with Facebook also gives you a chance to test-run names for your products. The names that get the most clicks on Facebook are the kind you should use in your non-Facebook ads.

I think Nintendo could seriously benefit from understanding these reasons and using them to increase their ad services through social media channels such as Facebook. It will allow them also, to research their target audience and find out what it takes to market their services properly.

Facebook ads are also effective by design. They capture the attentions of users through vivid colors and imagery, with empowering headlines, by outlining what the product is offering, with a sense of urgency.

Overall, if Nintendo shifted more towards advertising through Facebook, using the above rules and guidelines, they could really turn things around. It is no secret that they have been struggling financially lately. With their lack of attention given to the hardcore gamers with how they handle game releases on their systems, it is of no surprise that they have been struggling. A good idea would be to use these rules given by the writer to study their target audience more so they can improve the quality of games on their systems, as well as their relationship with consumers.

Reference:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/paid-advertising-strategy/

 

Nintendo vs. The World

Nintendo is a GIANT. Not only did it save the gaming industry in the 1980’s but it loomed over it as king for decades, defending it’s title over the course of many console generations (The Nintendo Vs. Sega console war comes to mind). Now, the console wars have devolved into a three-way battle, between the champion Nintendo and it’s competitors Sony and Microsoft.

I figure their websites are good starting points to probe and prod this war.

For starters, Nintendo has a very “clean” image. Everything is neat and orderly and WHITE colored. Nintendo took a very apple inspired design choice for their official website:

http://www.nintendo.com/

It has a very family and social group oriented feel to the whole thing. Numerous visual aides show families and friends playing to the style of white marshmallow-y blandness with a “fun for the whole family” attitude. It is so easy a caveman could literally do it.

Now lets look at Sony.

http://www.sony.com/

Much like Nintendo, Sony takes the concept of simplicity but adapts it to a more trendy, modern and mature crowd. Sony shows off not just their games, but also their electronics. That, I think, is the key. Their whole website is really more like an electronics store website, showing more of the product than the actual user-base (which is what Nintendo focused on).

Finally, we go to Microsoft and their Xbox One website.

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/#fbid=-7bqlwQbaqD

Microsoft took Nintendo concepts and layout for their website, but flipped them on their heads. They took the same organization, but put a completely opposite spin on them. Rather than showing families and friends playing kid friendly games, Microsoft shows more of the games themselves, and the games are very mature (“Metal Gear Solid 5” and “Titan Fall” being the top tier products being promoted).

Overall I subscribe to the belief that Nintendo should begin to focus on more of their hardcore gamer crowd in order to succeed. Nintendo has been suffering as of late, and I believe it whenever I log onto their website. I consider myself a more mature gamer. I am into M-rated games. However, I have my moments of nostalgia where I would want to relive my childhood by looking at old Nintendo games. I go to the home page, and the first things I see are kid friendly imagery and overly simplistic design. For mature gamers, this is a huge turn-off, which I think is reflective of Nintendo and their policies on more mature games.

Social media wise, they all three are the same. They have their official Facebook pages and their fan pages and their have their podcasts. There is nothing special here.  Perhaps it is time to think of new ways of reaching out through social media perhaps?

 

Talk about TED: SETI

“Join the SETI search” by Jill Tarter is a good video from the TED website and I will explain why. It doesn’t talk about UFO’s or conspiracies. It doesn’t go into alien abductions, cattle mutilations or Roswell, and it doesn’t talk about the Alien Agenda or Lizard people. It talks about the universe, and our place inside of it.

Jill Tarter spends much of the time discussing why we need to support SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) from a very self-realized point of view that puts perspective in our place in the universe. She does so by describing the complexities of the universe we live in: We live in a galaxy composed of billions of stars that floats through the universe between millions of other galaxies. She also describes the complexities of life here on earth and how, even in the extreme situations, life can thrive such as how bacteria can live within extreme environments that are otherwise unlivable (“Life finds a way” as Jeff Goldblum puts it). The point she makes is that we live in a very complex ecosystem that floats through another very complex ecosystem that is billions upon billions of years old. Anything is possible.

What really struck me about this though, was the way she described her beliefs on life and why we should seek it out. She describes in a grand and almost epic way that, we are so insignificantly small, yet complex, in a massive universe of complexities. We could be a part of a very complex system without actually knowing it. To her, it is about “waking up” humanity to the reality that not only are we NOT alone, but that seeking out and meeting other forms of life could be experiences that allow us to grow as a species and a civilization. We think we are alone, so we do things that are detrimental to ourselves. We damage our planet and ourselves. I can’t imagine how quickly our differences could be resolved if we knew that there was a civilization somewhere that was near identical to our own. It would really put things in perspective, that maybe we should be trying to better ourselves instead of staying the course and causing more harm to ourselves. This was the most interesting part of the video for me. I highly recommend watching, even if the video itself is several years old.

Link:

Jill Tarter, Feb 2009

https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_tarter_s_call_to_join_the_seti_search

Accessed: 4/27/2014

A Reality Check on a Reality Check: Scientific Progress

I’ve always believed that I was born in the wrong era. Ever since I was a kid, I would watch forms of media depicting space travel and advanced pseudosciences and I would envy the protagonists in those stories. I would witness the adventures of space marines, scientists and captains of massive star ships and just think “Wow. I was born about 300 years too early.”

But I could always speculate. It’s probably why I am a science fiction writer. It is almost like a cycle really: A writer writes a story based on his or her own speculations, and fills the minds and imaginations of readers and viewers with theories and speculations about what the future holds.

Speculation is the name of the game in the article, “Reality Check: How Close are We to Teleportation and Mars Colonies?” by Drew DeSilver. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the Smithsonian Magazine, 59% of Americans believe that scientific progress in the next generation would improve lives overall. The survey also asked Americans about five specific scientific advancements, and how they could potentially play out in the future:

1) Lab grown organs:

22% believe that this will definitely happen, while 60% think that it will probably happen. We have already begun this process with lab-grown bladders in 2006. The “Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology” (or HART) is also working on synthetic trachea using stem cells to grow the titular organ in a lab.

2) Genius-level computers that can create art:

16% definitely believe this will happen, while 35% think that this will only probably happen. Simon Colton, a British computer scientist, has created “The Painting Fool,” software that he claims can generate its own artwork in a variety of different painting styles. Other researchers at the University of Malaga in Spain have created “Iamus,” a self-sustaining and self-operating composer capable of generating music without human interference or instructions. However, despite these improvements, there have been setbacks in the form of software designed to generate books and stories, as none of these experiments have been successful (or even readable).

3) Teleportation:

7% definitely think this is possible, while only 32% believe its only probable. While scientists have been able to transport individual atoms, we are far from transporting people. However, researching this further could very well lead to teleportation technology in the future (The kind that doesn’t turn you inside out when used, hopefully).

4) Human colonization of space:

Unfortunately, only 5% believe this is possible (with a 28% probable rating). NASA has been in talks to mount a manned mission to mars since we landed on the moon. Currently, we are set for a 2030 landing date–but that could change. A private group, the “Inspiration Mars Foundation,” wants to shorten that time span, with a 2018 fly-by however. Another organization, the “Mars One” plan, seeks to establish a permanent colony (The one way trip kind).

5) Weather control and manipulation:

6% definitely, 13% probably. This one is one I personally believe we shouldn’t dabble with as it could be misused, but I digress. Thankfully, weather control has been out of our control for centuries. However, slowly but surely, we are making progress. Cloud seeding has been in use for decades, and one researcher named Jozef Solc believes we can reduce the destructive power of hurricanes by pumping seawater near the eye wall, which would conceivably diffuse the storm into the wind.

As I have said before, I was born way too early. For many of our advancements, we are still in our infancy. We can barely stay on our own moon, let along explore the solar system with any confidence. We are still basically crawling in a lot of ways, which is why we should learn to walk soon. This is something that many people (particularly those who fund the research into these sciences) need to understand: Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in the name of progress. The million dollars you donate to NASA research could lead to groundbreaking developments. Perhaps if we had shown more bravery in the 70s with the Apollo programs, we would still be up there today, inching closer and closer to the next world, or even the next solar system.

Research is a trial and error process, and we need to put effort in recognizing those errors in order to progress as a civilization.

Source:

Drew DeSilver. April 17, 2014.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/17/reality-check-how-close-are-we-to-teleportation-and-mars-colonies/

Accessed 4/20/2014

Bungie Studios: Why I want them to conquer the world.

I want to go on record by saying that I love anything Bungie does. I am not just saying that as a Halo fan either. I am a equal opportunity fan of anything they produce. I first discovered them through Halo: CE, which was where I cut my teeth as a gamer. It was when I was transitioning from being a Nintendo-centric platformer gamer to a more adult gamer, and Master Chief hailed my arrival. When I started looking into their other games, such as Marathon, I really started to cut my teeth in their games.

There is a certain theme I am noticing with all their games, which I feel adds to my fascination with them. From a science fiction writer point of view, I really feel that they always do a perfect job of blending grand space opera with fantasy adventure. Large generation ships entering worlds of ancient ruins built by long lost civilizations. Alien empires laying waste to entire worlds, viewing the inhabitants as literal demons challenging their faith. These two themes are prominent in both Halo and Marathon, which I truly enjoy from a story perspective. When I play their games, I get a sense of mythical exploration. To put it simply, Bungie is great at creating Sci-Fi and meshing it perfectly with fantasy. These are worlds built by talented people, and the way Bungie manages them is both rewarding and enticing, which is why I want to work with them, and why I want their so-called “7 Steps to World Domination” to really play out.

I feel that every company should take a page to how Bungie manages their business. Everybody works passionately at Bungie studios for a reason. Management is both casual and loose, yet firm and fair. Dress code? Anywhere else it would be business suits. At Bungie, however, expect to see many programmers and artists sporting casual wear and viking beards. Work environment? Normally you would expect a clean and orderly cubicle. At Bungie, your cubicle is your lair that you can fortify and alter to your hearts content. Great employee benefits (great insurance, great camaraderie, and the usual care packages offered) mean that all an employee has to do is be passionate about his or her job.

They treat their fans well too. I have never seen a company have greater contact with its user base than I have with Bungie. In addition to appearing at conventions, they regularly maintain contact through various social media services: Facebook, Twitter, and the forums on their website. It truly makes a fan feel like one of the team, having such a connection to this level.

I truly believe that if Bungie were to take over the world, and every company operated as they do, working in general would overall  be a much more interesting and unique experience than it already is. And if and when that day comes when they stage their takeover, I may find myself being apart of the marching crowd under the Bungie flag.

 

An introduction to Armascribe

Hello! If you are reading this, you have stumbled onto my blog! I have been putting off creating a blog for a very long time, so I should probably introduce myself:

“My name is Andrew, and I am a writer. I try not to use the word “writer” in the same way a man at a coffee shop would to impress people. I have been writing short stories, poems, and plot ideas my whole life, however I didn’t discover my passion in writing until the past three years or so. Ironically, it was a math class of all things that got me really interested (In addition to the pushing and encouragement of my writing buddies of course). Recently, I finished my first novel, which I plan on editing and getting published. Ultimately my dream and goal in life is to become a novelist in various forms of fiction, though my aptitudes are in Sci-Fi, Horror and sometimes High Fantasy.”

So that is my introduction, really! I plan on using this blog for a variety of things, including but not limited to:

  • Opinions or reactions to current events.
  • Reviews of movies, books, games, and other forms of media.
  • School projects (the kind that require weekly journal entries. Speaking of which…)
  • Journal entries regarding life.
  • Rants on things in general.

Anyway, I hope whoever is reading this enjoys (or at least tolerates) my strong and VERY opinionated beliefs, or as I put it “Armascribe” or “Ballistic writing.”

–Andrew

 

Ballistic writing: Sharp words for sharp readers