Here is an interview I did with gamezebo, one of the leading source of information for everyone interested in the casual game space. Gamezebo was founded by Joel Brodie, formerly head of Business Development at Yahoo! Games.
Wow, just sw the demo of Apollo from Adobe and I was impressed. Check for example the scrybe calendaring offer, so coool ! (Apple are you watching ?, this is what Ical should be in Leopard).
I think this technology has the potential the change the web big time. With technologies such as S3 and EC2 from Amazon, access to cheap and highly qualified resources in countries such as India and China, massive penetration of FTTH, there will be so many opportunities for small start up to innovate on the internet.
I discovered Jajah a few months ago but have become an avid user only in the past few weeks. Skype has become almost impossible to use as a VoIP service ( I have no idea why but the quality is terrible). The service is very convenient and so cheap ! For calls between Jajah users, it is even free under certain conditions. This is very useful to call our people around the world.
I was trying to explain the Jajah concept to other people but found it difficult to do it in a simple way. Once you understand it, it is so simple and so powerful, no wonder Jajah is skyrocketing !
By the way there is a great Firefox add-on for Jajah users. Also be sure to check Jajah for mobile phone (unfortunately they do not have a version for my Blackberry Pearl)
Boonty and Cafe.com is a partner of Microsoft in the IDEE program. It feels great to work with Microsoft. I was invited to attend the IDEE presentation at the French Senate, this is Francois Filon (maybe the next Prime Minister of France some people say) with the CEO of Microsoft France, my friend Loic Le Meur and myself. Congrats to Julien Codorniou for organizing the event.
Great post today from GigaOM about social networks. He wrote this piece after our phone call and I am glad that cafe.com is compared to Myspace, Facebook or Joost !
"The more intriguing and perhaps interesting feature of Cafe.com is its social networking features. There are elements of presence management, chatting features, and by end of this year there will be voice added to the mix. You can create buddy lists and even build your own homepages. Nouzareth is hoping to build a close enough replica of an offline experience. He doesn’t call it a social network, but that’s what it really is."
My company Boonty has been in the games business for over 6 years, and has just released a new offer – in open beta – for consumers. It is called cafe.com and is a new type of experience for casual gamers and is disruptive for the industry. A few features:
The business model is based on the "Free-to-Play" model.
Basically all the games are free forever (no more "try-before-you-buy"), and there is no limitation on features, level, etc.
All games session can be enhanced by the purchase of small items ("boosts"), for example an "repair" item will repair your ship if it is damaged. You can buy boosts with our Gold Coin system (virtual currency)
All games are multiplayer (almost unheard of for downloadable casual games) but can also be played single player
There is a built-in avatar system, and your cafe.com avatar will be displayed in the games as well as in chats, etc.
We have added community features such as in chat gaming, a lobby system to find friends, and there are many more features to come
Games for this new platform (or virtual console if you want) are either self-published by Boonty or coming from third parties. We now have 4 games and plan to release more soon.
It took us many months of work by a very dedicated team (up to 100), so congrats to all the team behind it in our offices around the world.
And we have many interesting things to announce soon, so stay tuned !
" I think the smart money is on casual, web-based game sites like Pogo, BrainKing.com, and IamGame.com, which feature titles which can be played during idle times at work, or by non-gamers which skew to women and older players"
This post has been followed by a detailed comparison by Nabeel Hyatt between Pogo and Youtube in terms of page views and time spent. As expected youtube has much more pageviews but visitors spend more time on Pogo than youtube..
Will 2007 finally be the year of time spent as opposed to pageviews to measure the succes of online properties ?