Thursday, September 17, 2009

The "delights" of Facebook

The most famous social networking site around, "Facebook". Some joined facebook to connect with their friends and families that around the world. You get to see pictures, share videos on the site. Others joined facebook for the "delights" that I'm bout to write. There are many flash games offered by facebook and it attracted people to join, it keeps people interested. Look what happened to friendster, it got boring.

When I first joined facebook, the games available were very static. It had games such as mafia, vampires, where you do jobs, level up and more options are unlocked. Those games had no flash, just pictures as descriptions of items, words, links and virtual money used to do buy/sell like Utopia the online game on the internet.

Slowly, more developers joined in developing applications either for making money or for interest which bring birth to flash games. I started with playing "Pet Society", "Who has the biggest brain?" which was owned by Playfish games. Then more games started to come and compete with them which brought Zynga's "Farmville", "CafeWorld", "Roller Coaster Kingdom" and many more from both.

Pet Society was about you having a pet, you earn money by racing and visiting other people, you use the money to buy clothes, food, furniture. Earning money was hard but it was fun to buy stuff, sort of like a Sims 3 game but in a much smaller scale.


Then the fun "Restaurant City" from playfish games became the hype, most of my friends were playing it. The game is about you owning a restaurant and serving customers a variety of dishes based on the ingredients you have. Everyday you'll get ingredient and there is also a quiz that gives an ingredient as a reward. Ingredients given are totally random so it's hard to upgrade your dish cause a few are needed for one dish. Serving those dishes to the customers (AI ones) increases your level in the game which unlock more space or more staff. Money is used where yo can buy furniture to decorate the restaurant and change the clothing of your staff.




Competing with Playfish games was Zynga. The first game I played from this group is "Farmville" where you own farm and you plant vegetables, you can have an orchard. All those grow in different timing. You also have farm animals to produce goods for you to sell.



After this game came out, Playfish games introduced "Country Story", in comparison, "Country Story" was drawn better but less vegetables are available for harvesting, but it had quest for you to complete that rewards points and food to level up and many items for decorating the farm.



Zynga has "Roller Coaster Kingdom" which reminded me of Rollercoaster Tycoon. Basically you own a theme park, you level up by having customers visit your park, you add more features by the money you earn. In terms of graphics, it is much better than "Farmville".



The current game that most of my friends are playing now is "Cafe World", the concept is similar to "Restaurant City" where you sell food and earn money to decorate. But one thing different is you get to prepare the dishes, there is a time limit on how long it takes to cook it, therefore you are not serving the same thing in your restaurant.




While some surf Facebook to check out on their friends and look at pictures, many of us indulge in the games that are available to spend our time using the internet. Facebook certainly changes the concept of Social Networking sites compared to Friendster, with this they remain interesting for all ages.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twitter

I first heard of this application last year in Tech Ed SEA 2008, to me it was a new way of communication. Twitter was slightly famous in the US, but not many people have heard of it locally. Then 2009 came and more people started using it, even movie stars, singers uses it. The success of twitter finally came, because it was widely used by famous people like Ryan Seacrest, Ashton Kutcher, and John Mayer.

Now it has become such a hype that websites uses it, such as Engadget, Eonline, Wired.com, all to keep people updated from time to time. Twitter is a great way to market yourself to the public, for movie stars it's a way for them to let people know what they're doing, their thoughts, fans feel closer to them. One thing goo about twitter is that you can update it with your mobile easily, it's like sending an sms.

Unlike Facebook, you have to log in to change your status message, where else twitter is on the go, which is why it is widely used in the US because sending in a new tweet is just cheap. Unfortunately for people in other parts of the world, it will cost us a bundle. I like reading tweets from movie stars, they constantly update all the time. People I follow are like Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Dane Cook. I do follow a few of my friends too, but we here in Malaysia are still a bit converse, we don't tweet about everything and anything. Sometimes we still like to keep our lives private :p.

This time is the right time to join twitter, learn to express yourself to the world through a simple application. You can always be creative and update it with special messages. You can follow my twitter account at : www.twitter.com/LiZan_Hiu. I don't update daily but from today onwards I'll try to be creative and update everyday :)
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