Tuesday, February 10, 2009

AOL Celebrates First Anniversary With Goowy Media, Inc.

AOL People Networks celebrated the first anniversary of its acquisition of enterprise widget platform Goowy Media, Inc. Founded in 2004, Goowy makes it easy for content owners and third-party developers to build, syndicate and measure user interaction for widgets across social networks such as myAOL, Bebo, and Facebook. Throughout 2008, Goowy drove almost 2 billion widget impressions for AOL, and served more than 3 billion widgets.

Prior to joining AOL People Networks, Goowy created original widgets for myAOL, (http://my.aol.com), and a number of major retailers, and since has allowed third parties within AOL to create widgets including, Daily Horoscope, MapQuest, MP3 of the Day, and PopEater's Pop the Question.

"Over the past year, we've put a lot of focus at Goowy on building the most interactive and innovative widgets on our platform, and developing the tools that content creators and third-party developers need to measure engagement across the social networking community," said Gary Benitt, founder & COO of Goowy Media, Inc. "Joining the AOL family has really accelerated our ability to do this -- we've since grown our team, migrated to the AOL infrastructure and signed on with new partners. We're excited to offer unique monetization opportunities for them."

With its rich analytics, content creators have the power to better understand how their widgets are performing and being used, allowing them to serve their users more relevant content and advertising. Goowy's sophisticated measurement tools include visual representations of where users have clicked within a particular widget, illustrating interactivity as a "click heatmap", and allowing developers to visualize how users engage with their widgets.

Goowy also offers a dynamic ad unit that includes real-time content and provides a rich media experience with greater interactivity than traditional online ads. Since its acquisition by AOL, Goowy has launched widgets as ads on both the AOL Network and third party networks for a range of leading retailers. To increase the viral nature of its widgets, Goowy lets consumers to copy widgets to social networks, blogs, and their desktops, creating both additional exposure and turning consumers into marketers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nintendo Wii – A Console for the Entire Family

After a little over two years, sales of the Nintendo Wii are still going strong—and for good reason. The Wii is affordable, adaptable, downward compatible, and fun. Families throughout the US are learning that the Wii is the game system of choice for family-friendly gaming. Take a look at some of the many reasons to look into getting a Wii for your family.

Physically Involving Games

One of the main reasons so many parents are thrilled with the Wii is the fact that it is a physically demanding game system. Wii Sports, which comes with the console, includes games like baseball, golf, bowling, and tennis, which all required players to stand up and physically interact with one another as the TV acts as an interface.

Wii Fit, another extremely popular game offered by the folks at Nintendo, actually tests the balance of participants, measuring body mass index, weight, fitness age, and much more all while tracking progress over a period of time. The balance board used with Wii Fit is also used for participation in yoga exercises demonstrated on screen, which must then be performed by players. The balance board is also being used in conjunction with skateboarding and snowboarding games.

Family-Friendly Characters and Games

Nintendo has long been identified with more family-friendly games. Mario is still a character used in many of the games, which have grown far past the Super Mario Brothers games of the mid-80’s. Most games made by Nintendo are intended to encourage cooperative and competitive play, all while keeping things fun and friendly.

Besides their own games, many other companies have made games for the Wii with great success, like EA Games’ Boom Blox, designed for interactive play. Additionally, using the Wii Ware option on the online store, customers can purchase and download new Wii games directly from their console, leaving players able to enjoy new games in just minutes.

Multiple Systems in One Unit

Also available for download are many games from the systems of yesteryear, including NES, Sega Genesis, Turbo Grafix 16, and Nintendo 64. The system itself can play Gamecube games and even has ports for Gamecube controllers. Used games can be purchased at gaming stores fro as little as four dollars. In all, this system is one of the most family friendly units for a variety of reasons—including its versatility and wide selection of gaming possibilities.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of an internet provider. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12@gmail.com