According to the study, "12% of the overall population surveyed reported that they had bought virtual goods in the last 12 months. However, a closer look at the digital entertainment habits of virtual goods buyers reveals that virtual world visitors are the heaviest virtual goods buyers, with 46% of these consumers buying virtual goods (from virtual worlds, games or social networks) and nearly one … Read more
Funding for virtual worlds has grown dramatically over the last year and companies need to find sustainable revenue models. Transactions of virtual goods allow for new cash flow into both subscription and nonsubscription sites.
But some users don't like the idea that you can simply buy something to affect the game in your favor. Accordingly, games need to be very clear about the purchased goods unfold into the game.
China has unveiled the first official rule on the use of virtual currency in the trade of real goods and services to limit possible impact on the real financial system. The Chinese government also spelled out the definition of "virtual currency" for the first time, which includes prepaid cards of cybergames, according to a joint announcement from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Commerce Friday. It said:
The virtual currency, which is converted into real money at a certain exchange rate, will only be allowed to trade in virtual goods and services provided by its issuer, not real goods and services.
The ban is primarily aimed at "gold farming," an Internet-age phenomenon in which players in less developed countries collect and sell virtual gold (common to games like World of Warcraft) to wealthier gamers in the developed world. This enables gamers who have the means to buy virtual gold to get ahead in the games without actually having to accomplish the grunt work.
The trading of virtual currency for real cash generates between $200 million and $1 billion annually, according to a 2008 survey conducted by Richard Heeks at the University of Manchester. … Read more
Have you done your good deed for the day? I understand: You're busy. You forgot. You couldn't think of anything good to do. Enter DoGood, a free app that suggests and encourages good deeds, crowdsourcing-style.
The app recommends a new "DoGood" every day: give someone a hug, turn off some lights, thank an old teacher, and so on. Once you've done the deed, just tap "done" to record it.
DoGood keeps a running tally of how many people acted on the daily deed, and lets you post and read stories about it. There'… Read more
Adam Hirsch, COO of Mashable, joins the show today to talk about something that we thought would never happen: social networking for doing actual good in the world.
Yeah, instead of flash mobs or sending NSFW pictures to your buddy, Adam has started the Summer of Social Good, which harnesses the power of social media to actually do some charity work in the world. You can donate a minimum of $10 to the organization, and it will split the donation evenly between The Humane Society, LIVESTRONG, Oxfam America, and WWF--not the World Wrestling Federation. We also chat a bit about the future of social networks, especially given the election of Barack Obama and the on-going Iranian election controversy. There is even a city in America that now asks for your Facebook log-in when you apply for a job in its government!
Also today, the iPhone 3G S launched this morning. It wasn't nearly as mad crazy as it was last year or for the original iPhone launch. Mostly, we think it's because there aren't that many new great features aside from faster speed, bigger capacity, and a faster processor. Also, we think that AT&T might have been a little too harsh with its upgrade policy. But if you really, really want the new iPhone 3G S and you have an older iPhone, check out YouRenew.com. For this week, it will buy your old cell phone and give you back some hard cash. Owners of the iPhone 3G 8GB can get $200!EPISODE 366 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video No video today! Technical difficulties.… Read more
Some would say our cell phone bills are high enough already. But two emerging start-ups are hoping to make mobile devices a hub for one of the hottest trends on the Web: micropayments.
Enter Boku, which launched officially on Tuesday with a whirlwind of announcements: its public launch after a year in stealth mode, its acquisitions of smaller companies Paymo and Mobillcash, and a $13 million round of venture funding led by Benchmark Capital with contributions from Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures.
A social-networking, gaming, or retail Web site can install Boku as a payment platform much like PayPal. But … Read more
NEW YORK--As he kicked off the Wired Business Conference on Monday, Wired magazine's editor in chief, Chris Anderson, started talking about Jell-O.
Anderson was explaining the thesis of his forthcoming book, "Free," about the realities of making a profit and building a business in an environment rife with digital goods that can be replicated at almost no cost. The Jell-O angle came from an anecdote that detailed how, in the late 1800s, the manufacturers of the then-bizarre dessert got the word out about it by distributing free Jell-O recipe books around the United States.
"Giving away … Read more
Start-ups peddling virtual goods raised $69 million in funding in the first quarter of 2009, holding at a steady pace from the previous two quarters according to data from Show Initiative LLC.
I've long held the stance that virtual goods and services are an interesting way to make money online. What's not clear is what business models work and what segments of user populations are the best targets.
The amazing thing about the 10 financings listed below is how large they are. This indicates that VCs are betting big, or that the companies are giving away a lot … Read more
I make traditional chicken soup with matzah balls every Friday night for my family. I've tried going with easier soups that come from mixes or boxes, and the result is nothing short of an uprising. So every Friday morning, I find myself hovering over the stove, spooning off the fat as it bubbles to the top of the pot.
The OXO Fat Separator is a nice solution for my soup--and it works on gravies and sauces as well. It's easy to use: Pour the soup into the separator. The liquid settles to the bottom, and the fat rises … Read more