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Playfish In Numbers Infographic: Online Gaming Is Bigger Than You Think!

A new infographic released today by Playfish is proving that online gaming is bigger than you might think.  Would you believe that if all the Playfish gamers lived in one country it would have a population bigger than England?  It’s true, along with a ton of other surprising facts illustrated on the ‘Playfish In Numbers’ infographic.
‘Playfish In Numbers’ offers great examples to help you wrap your head around the sheer numbers of gamers playing all sorts of Playfish games, from Restaurant City to Madden NFL Superstars, Pet Society, My Empire, EA Sports FIFA Superstars, and Hotel City.  The stats are pretty impressive.

Check out the infographic below and let us know what you think.  Did you know that 10.9 million people have built their own ancient Roman city in My Empire?  That’s more than 10 times the population of Rome in its prime!

Playfish in numbers UK



Tbe gamification summit 2011 M2 Research presentation

A good friend Wanda is giving the keynote at the Gamification Summit this week. Here is her presentation.

The conference is focused on the idea of taking game mechanics and game thinking to solve the various problems, engage the users and provide fun way to achieve goals. Applications are now branching out to the various industries outside the normal entertainment such as health and productivity to help engage the users. We'll see more and more of this as this area develops.

Everyone has the common thread of playing games, look at how many people are playing "Farmville" each day. Those same emotional attachment and engagement are an attractive theme to other industries.



Child's Play Takes in Nearly $2.3 Million - the[a]listdaily

The Child's Play charity announced that it has raised $2,294,317 in 2010, which is a new annual record for the organization. The charity which provides video games, toys and books to hospitalized children, has raised over $9 million in eight years.

"I could not be happier with the record shattering results of our incredible Charity," said co-founder Mike Krahulik.

"The world may be a better place than I previously thought," added co-founder Jerry Holkins.

Major Child's Play donators included the Humble Indie Bundle, which raise $300,000 for Child's Play this year, the "Desert Bus for Hope" marathon, which raised $207,000 and Microsoft's Gears of War-focused "The Fate of Carmine" campaign, which raised $150,000.

Child's Play currently serves hospitals in the U.S., U.K, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Egypt. Participating hospitals usually maintain Amazon wish lists and the organization accepts Paypal donations year-round.



Shopping as a Gift to Charity - Noticed

Turns out shoppers can now give to charity without actually giving, with check-in applications like Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and the latest major player to join the ranks, Facebook Places. The applications allow users to broadcast their locations using their mobile devices.

For example, each time someone checks in to a Hard Rock Cafe in the United States using Facebook Places, Hard Rock International donates a dollar to WhyHunger, a charity fighting global poverty and hunger. The effort continues through the end of the month, or up to $100,000.

Bill Ayres, a talk radio host who is executive director and a founder of WhyHunger, said the development was an exciting for charities like his.

“This promotion signifies a new direction for organizations like ours to embrace social technologies and reach a wider audience with an easy way to get involved and give back,” he said.

Charity apps are nothing new. But the concept of giving with no money from the user has only recently built steam. The idea takes its cue from CauseWorld, which began around this time last year. Users check in to common shops and grocery stores to earn “karma” points, which are later donated to dozens of select charities of the user’s choice, like the National Breast Cancer Foundation or the American Red Cross. Sponsors like Kraft, Citi and Proctor & Gamble match the karma with money.

Other check-in apps have proved fertile ground for charitable partnerships. Melanie Mathos, a manager at Blackbaud, which provides fund-raising technology to about 24,000 nonprofit groups, pointed to Foursquare’s efforts at last spring’s South by Southwest music and film festival in Austin, Tex. Each time someone checked in on Foursquare from any business in Austin, or sent a specific hashtag on Twitter, Microsoft and PayPal 25 cents combined together donated 25 cents to Save the Children’s Haiti relief effort.

Within two days, the effort counted 371,804 check-ins, saw 2,683 Twitter messages and raised $15,000.

“It is definitely a concept that many nonprofits are embracing,” Ms. Mathos said. “With the explosive growth of Foursquare and with Facebook’s new check-in feature, it is sure to go mainstream.”

Because the applications are open and accessible to users and businesses, and because of how the applications work, partnerships can evolve freely. Foursquare and Facebook Places, for example, do not arrange relationships between businesses and charities. Business owners simply join the network and promote special deals at will, some of them charitable.

At the Gap, customers who check in get 30 percent off purchases. But for every check-in, the Gap also donates a dollar to CampInteractive, a charity that helps poor children explore nature and technology (donations will be made through Dec. 25).

Bridget Forney, a marketing executive from Baltimore, said she had no idea she was donating to charity when she checked in at the Gap this month. When employees told her about it, she was thrilled.

“I’m spending money at the Gap, but they’re taking care of the donation, so it takes out the guesswork and I don’t have to do as much work,” Ms. Forney said. “I just have to spend money and shop.”




Apple Ban on IPhone Donation Apps Anger Nonprofits

The nonprofit world is stewing over the ban Apple has put on making donations on the iPhone via charity apps.

No one, including Apple, has data on how many nonprofits have created apps for the iPhone. Organizations like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and American Cancer Society have them, but none can be used to make gifts. Prospective donors instead are directed out of a nonprofit’s app and to its Web site, which the organizations say makes the process of contributing more cumbersome.

“When you’re popped out of an app, you then have to go through a whole bunch of clicks to make a donation,” said Beth Kanter, co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit” and chief executive of Zoetica, a consulting firm. “It’s cumbersome and it doesn’t have to be.”

In protest, Ms. Kanter said she planned to replace her iPhone with a phone that used Google’s Android operating system, announcing her decision on Twitter, where she has more than 366,000 followers.

She also has started an online petition invoking the Grinch and seeking to draw the issue to the attention of Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had attracted more than 1,600 signatures.

An Apple spokeswoman, Trudy Muller, declined to explain the rationale for banning charitable solicitations via apps, saying only, “We are proud to have many applications on our App Store which accept charitable donations via their Web sites.”

Ms. Kanter and others acknowledge that allowing donations through apps might present challenges. “One of Apple’s major objections has been that if donations were to go through its payment mechanism, it would have to be in the business of managing and distributing funds and verifying charities as well,” said Jake Shapiro, executive director of Public Radio Exchange, or PRX, an online nonprofit marketplace for licensing and distributing public radio programming.

PRX has developed iPhone apps for many public radio stations and programs, like WBUR and “This American Life,” and Mr. Shapiro said apps had the potential to become a “core revenue source” for those organizations.

He said he and a group of other executives from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting met with Eddy Cue, the Apple executive in charge of iTunes, the umbrella under which the App Store operates, three years ago. “We heard there were really serious internal discussions about this at Apple after that, but we haven’t gotten any traction,” Mr. Shapiro said.

Earlier this year, in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, Apple itself solicited donations for the American Red Cross through iTunes, establishing what some regarded as a precedent for iPhone-assisted donations. That increased speculation that the real issue was money.

Apple takes a 30 percent slice of purchases made from the App Store, an amount that would be frowned upon if it were to be taken out of a charitable donation.

In August, eBay’s PayPal unit introduced a donation feature that enabled charitable gifts through its app for the iPhone, teaming up with MissionFish, which helps nonprofits raise money on eBay. MissionFish handled all the administrative chores required to ensure donations received proper documentation and went to the right, properly vetted nonprofits.

Just two months later, Apple demanded that PayPal eliminate the donation system from its app.

Clam Lorenz, vice president of operations at MissionFish, said roughly $10,000 had been raised in that time in the United States, Canada and Britain, in donations averaging $10. “We proved it’s a solution that offers the user choice and flexibility and provides a dramatic cost benefit for nonprofits compared to what’s available in text-based giving,” Mr. Lorenz said.

Anuj Nayar, a spokesman for PayPal, said it was on the brink of introducing a similar feature — for its Android app.