Yoostar Connects Movie Karaoke and Social Networking

The movie karaoke game, Yoostar 2 is designed to put players in scenes from their favorite movies and TV shows, enabling them to “perform” with professional actors. Users can then post the resulting video clips on the Yoostar web site, or social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. Yoostar 2 for the Xbox 360 Kinect and PlayStation Move was released last month.

The connectivity between gaming and social networking could mark the first step toward an experiment that might soften the tension amongst developers in the two arenas.

Scott Steinberg writes in a Mashable post: “You can seamlessly upload video performances online via PlayStation Network or Xbox Live right to social networks, where others can vote, bestow Internet fame and follow your antics. Using the service, it’s not only possible to share viral videos of you doing your best impression of Marlon Brando in ‘The Godfather’ via Facebook and Twitter. You can also earn rewards that unlock content in the disc-based console versions of the game.”

In an era where major game publishers tend to categorize social games into standalone experiences, Yoostar 2 may represent “one of the first efforts to bridge the gap between devices and platforms.”

Steinberg provides an interesting six-minute video report from the Yoostar offices in Santa Monica, California that includes interviews, demos and footage from the game, and of particular interest, the technology used to eliminate the need for green screen.

Identifying Effective Tools for Analyzing Social Media

Seth Grimes of InformationWeek reports there is a growing demand to analyze social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, but he has yet to see “satisfying criteria” for assessing existing analysis tools. This article outlines what Grimes considers to be six fundamental missing pieces in analysis tools that could prove effective in measuring social media.

Grimes breaks his approach down into six basic categories: Metadata, Resolution, Integration, Alignment, Interface, and Walk the Talk. The following are excerpts from his rationale.

1. Metadata: “Let’s not look at messages in isolation, as so many tools do. SMA tool makers: Help us understand message diffusion and discourse (threaded conversations) with an analytic that incorporates demographics.”

2. Resolution: “Content analysis is the real challenge, getting at the entities (names of people, companies, places, products, etc.), facts, opinions, and signals. For this, you need sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis with the ability to resolve parts of speech and, especially for source materials longer than tweets, to spot co-references including anaphora.”

3. Integration: “To integrate, or link records across sources, you need to capture or discern identity. I think the information is more available than most people would suppose, with significant digital sleuthing involved in discerning it.”

4. Alignment: “I’m looking for analysis tools that measure and predict social’s ability to drive business transactions — money-making outcomes — as well as how business news will play out on social platforms.”

5. Interface: “BI tools will typically let you nest variables in an axis to create a pivot table with several dimensions. You often have a choice of measures — sums, counts, percentages, calculated values — and the ability to navigate up and down dimensional hierarchies (such as year-quarter-month-week-day) with automatic value aggregation. I rarely see these capabilities in SMA tools.”

6. Walk the Talk: “I look for clue-ful SMA suppliers. If a company doesn’t know how to use social media effectively, or if it won’t make an effort, do you really want to trust it with your business? The question isn’t moot; anyone who spends time on social platforms can tell strong from weak social engagement and has seen instances of both.”

Can Twitter Save Live TV?

Earlier this year, Mass Relevance commented on the possibility of “Social TV” developing from the interaction of Twitter and television. The post indicates that successful integration could, in fact, rescue live TV.

Addressing the NewTeeVee Live conference on this topic, Twitter Media team’s Robin Sloan discussed how Twitter has recently been used to enhance the live viewing experience, including: running commentary from reps of a given show, viewers tweeting about a program, and live integrated content where viewers tweet about the show and selected content is actually incorporated into the program.  The posts suggests that this last approach is, “tremendously undervalued, and represents no less than a complete revolution for the television industry.”

Mass Relevance reports that tweeting to a show could create some dynamic possibilities for increasing viewer engagement. Examples include swapping out viewer mail segments on talk shows with live tweets, soliciting questions via live tweets on political commentary programs, and incorporating Twitter into the rapid-fire approach of sports analysis shows such as Pardon the Interruption on ESPN.

The report summarizes the win/win potential: “With the audience actively participating — to drive the direction of the show, to interact directly with TV celebrities from the comfort of their living rooms, and ultimately to see their name in lights — media companies will be rewarded with a truly engaged audience, something that is not possible in a DVR-recorded, time-shifted world. Since audience members only get this shot at notoriety by interacting with the show, they are effectively forced to watch it live. This social TV experience is good for the media companies (increased ad sales), good for the advertisers (increased exposure), and — if they’re smart enough or witty enough or artful enough in their Tweets — good for the watching participant (a shot at glory).”

Warner Bros. Looks to Facebook for Movie Rentals

Looking for a new distribution channel in the face of decreasing DVD sales — and new ways to leverage increasing consumer time spent online — Warner Bros. Entertainment announced it will start renting movies via the popular social networking site Facebook. The first offering will be the 2008 Batman hit, “The Dark Knight.” The choice was based largely on the fact that the film has already been “liked” by 3.9 million Facebook users.

The studio created the rental application independently of Facebook, so the films will be hosted and streamed by a third party.

According to comScore, Facebook was the sixth-most popular video site in the U.S. in January. Despite its growing popularity for streaming video, Facebook has not announced any plans to launch its own paid video service.

Some analysts responded to the news that Facebook could become a serious competitor for Netflix and other online video services.

Flipboard CEO Discusses New App Version

Forbes spoke with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue about the latest version of Apple’s official iPad “App of the Year.” As of December 2010, Flipboard was running on about 1 million iPads — and the 25-person company is developing HTML5 code for the app to eventually run on Android, iPhone and the Web.

The recent Flipboard upgrade includes more dynamic and immersive features such as deeper integration with Facebook and Twitter (and a new focus on other social networks like Google Reader and Flickr), the ability to upload content (for example, you can post Facebook status updates or tweet from Flipboard), and access RSS feeds.

Flipboard has future plans to offer more social integration with the likes of LinkedIn, Posterous, Instapaper, and Vbulletin.

IntoNow App Takes Social TV to the Next Level

IntoNow is a new iOS app that identifies and tags live TV shows in realtime, creating something similar to Shazam, but for television rather than radio. Users press a button on the app interface while viewing a television program and, with the aid of a platform called SoundPrint, the app uses the program’s audio for identification within 4-12 seconds. The results appear on the iPhone or iPad screen and can be shared via social networking entities such as Facebook or Twitter, or can be added to a Netflix queue.

Engadget has a video demo where the user is watching CNN on a laptop (place-shifted via SlingBox), and uses the IntoNow app on an iPad to identify the TV stream. Based on the sharing features, users can also see what their friends are watching, check out program info for selected shows, and even leave comments. Social interaction is taken to the next level with push notifications in which the app lets users know when their friends are viewing the same content.

This is yet another step toward media content sharing that may significantly impact consumer viewing habits. Engadget reports that the initial launch is iOS only, but the company has plans to tackle other platforms such as Android.

Related Forbes article/review: “IntoNow Just Foursquared TV. Can It Groupon Its Commercials?” (3/25/11)

Page 43 of 43«...1020...34353637383940414243