Month: December 2018

Gemfields forms JV to explore gemstones in Sri Lanka

Precious stones miner Gemfields Plc has formed a joint venture to mine sapphires in Sri Lanka as part of its long-held ambition to become the De Beers of the global coloured stones market.

Gemfields already mines emeralds in Zambia and rubies in Mozambique, and this venture will allow it to complete what Chief Executive Ian Harebottle calls the “traffic light of coloured stones” – emerald, rubies and sapphires: red, green and blue.

The miner, which owns luxury jewellery brand Faberge, said on Monday it would hold a 75 percent stake in the joint venture with East West Gem Investments Ltd (EWGI), a company registered in Jersey, the Channel Islands.

The London-listed company, which produces about a fifth of the world’s rough emeralds, said it paid $400,000 to acquire 75 percent operating interests in 16 exploration licences, covering diverse minerals.

“A relatively small consideration for Gemfields, but a positive development exposing the company to a greater diversity of precious stones to market,” Investec Securities analyst Marc Elliot said.

The joint venture will also include creating a gemstone trading company, called Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones Pvt Ltd, that will focus on sourcing rough sapphires from the local market.

Sri Lanka is a key source of sapphires of all colours is known for the highly sought-after padparadscha sapphire.

Gemfields aspires to create a stable market for coloured stones and polish their image in the same way that Anglo American Plc’s De Beers unit has long championed diamonds from London’s Bond Street to China.

Gemfields’s shares were up 2 percent at 48.66 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 1030 GMT on Monday. (Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Savio D’Souza)

4 Questions to Ask before You BYOD

“Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD, is becoming a big trend in the workplace. More and more, employees are finding it preferable to use their own laptop, tablet and/or smartphone when it comes to accomplishing their day-to-day tasks. BYOD

That’s all well-and-good, and perfectly understandable from an employee perspective – why can’t I use the device I’m most familiar with to make it easier for me to get my job done? But BYOD does have implications beyond the device users. Fred in accounting wanting to use his Macbook while everyone else is using Dell laptops is going to cause problems for the IT staff that has to make it all work. Still, there’s value to be found in BYOD, so let’s see take a closer look at this new trend.

Device expenses. Obviously if our friend Fred in accounting is bringing his own laptop, the company doesn’t have to provide Fred with his own laptop. Just be aware that when Fred’s laptop stops working, the company may have to provide a stand-in until he gets a new one (or worse yet, will have to buy him a new one).

 BYOD

Network vulnerability. Different devices from different people utilize different security software and protocols. You, and more likely your IT team, will need to make sure there aren’t any gaps in network protection. It may be in the company’s best interest to invest in security software for personal devices.

Communications. As the variety of devices utilized by individuals and companies grows, there will be more demand/need for a communications platform compatible with all of those devices. Companies will be under more pressure to implement a unified communications (UC) solution. This technology is on the rise anyway, so BYOD would merely be expediting its inclusion in the workplace.

 BYOD

Support. If your company is utilizing Google for email and apps, or something similar that is supported externally, then BYOD probably won’t create as much of a strain on your IT department. If you’re still using Outlook and other non-cloud/web-based programs, then IT will have a much more difficult time operating at maximum efficiency.

Obviously this is just a quick overview of some of the questions companies will have to ask and answer as BYOD continues to grow in popularity. In order to know if there’s practicality and value in BYOD for your company, speak with your IT department and other employees throughout the organization. The pros – and cons – may be greater than you anticipated.

Throwaway Marketing – Why We Trash Some Of Our Best Ideas

IdeasWalking away from a good idea is difficult, but it’s often just as important as creating one in the process of making a concept come to life.

The agitation that flows from a poorly conceived idea can be endless…I recently told myself that I’d create a relevant and inventive post about the backlash issues regarding the Kony 2012 campaign. A week later I’m deleting drafts, accepting that I simply won’t be writing on that topic.

I had overindulged in information about the foundation, and even reached a point where I was researching tax law and angered with each new Google alert, convinced that everyone had somehow found out my idea and stolen it. This was the nod I needed that my idea was no different than any other marketing blogger and I needed to reevaluate.

Walking away from an idea is difficult. I had created a state of personal angst that I couldn’t complete a project I had assigned myself. I found myself wishing someone had said to me that it was a poor choice, that it would simply be Ideaswashed away with the flood of other bloggers pouring out similar ideas. Yet even then, if warned, would I have walked away from my own idea?

Learning to accept that what you had conceived is not the best, packing up the side notes, and saying goodbye can be one of the hardest things to do as a marketer. If you’re anything like me, there are at times, periods of grandeur where you can’t imagine the idea failing. It’s a great mark of confidence but an immediate set up for failure since you’re already convinced the concept will be hallowed by critics for ages, turning your small proposal into a best selling novel, and eventually leveraged for a high budget film.

…The Great Gatsby started out as a print ad, right?

On a personal level, this is why a team atmosphere is extremely important. We have that here at Star…a creative establishment where people can build elements, make suggestions, and when needed, nullify a long-standing idea that just isn’t going anywhere. Professionally, even in the branding process, we may divert to a line of thinking much Ideasdifferent from where we started. At the heart of it, getting rid of ideas can be just as important in the process of making a great concept come to life.

Ultimately, I found a way to express exactly what I had aimed to say about the Kony 2012 campaign. Not every idea can be the best, and if you can’t foresee multiple outcomes other than success for your work, you should look closer before you launch. When you have skeletons in the closet, at the very least, contemplate cleaning them up. When the negative aspects of your campaign become newsworthy there is often no one to blame but yourself. It may be time for people to start considering an advertising factor similar to karma. Never expect that even the tiniest pebble can’t cause the largest wave.

Mobile Marketing Is King – Cyber Monday Mobile Marketing Sales Up 192% Over Last Year

For those marketers and advertisers still not sold on the power of mobile marketing and the need to engage their customers and prospects via a mobile website, a report issued by IBM showed that sales via a mobile phone/smartphone/tablet on Cyber Monday 2011 increased an incredible 192% over last year. And you can expect that number to only go higher next year.Marketing

The IBM report also showed that the number of people using their mobile phone/smartphone/tablet to just visit a retailer’s website increased 177% from last year to this year on Cyber Monday. Clearly boys and girls we are living in a mobile world, but you already knew that, right?

So riddle me, this Batman and Batgirl, why are so many retailers NOT engaging their customers and prospects via a mobile ready website?

From a post I wrote at the end of September Even More Proof Of The Importance Of Mobile Marketing And Mobile Advertising…

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Accoridng to a survey conducted by Brand Anywhere and Luth Research:

51% of consumers more likely to purchase from retailers that have mobile-specific websites
4.8% of U.S. retailers have mobile-specific websites
22.8% of the top retail websites (ranked by Alexa®) have mobile-specific websites
Web retailers could increase consumer engagement by 85% with a mobile-specific website
Take out the word “Web” in that last bullet for EVERY retailer – whether they also have bricks-and-mortar locations in addition to their “regular” website, should have… operative words “should have” an optimized mobile website.

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Among all Interactive Marketing platforms, Mobile Marketing is expected to grow 38% over the next five years with an estimated $8.2 billion being allocated to it by the year 2016.

That was the opening line of another post I wrote on mobile marketing, Mobile Marketing Spending To Have The Biggest Increase Over Next Five Years.

So let me see if I got this straight… Most marketers and advertisers see the need to spend money via mobile marketing, mobile advertising, etc., yet many – only 4.8% according to at least one study, do not see the need to engage consumers via a mobile website, even though the evidence is clear that more and more consumers are going online via their mobile phone/smartphone/tablet?

The Social Media Factor…

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One of the other key findings I wanted to share from the IBM report is this:

“Discussions on social media sites leading up to Cyber Monday increased in volume by 115 percent compared to 2010. Top areas of discussion focused on consumers sharing tips about using price comparison websites while avoiding cyber scams.”

Again, another opportunity for brand managers, product managers, marketers and advertisers of all shapes and sizes to engage their customers and prospects… that is if these same brand managers, product managers, marketers and advertisers of all shapes and sizes were monitoring what was being said on the social media sites then capitalizing where they could to converse and actively engage folks.

Bass Fishing Tips for the Winter

The winter months can be some of the most difficult during which to consistently locate and catch bass. During this time of year, the water is cold and the metabolism of the fish is very slow. As a result, the bass do not need to eat much and will not expend much energy chasing down a meal. However, for those anglers who want to fish year-round, there are bass to be caught in the winter.

Bass Fishing Secrets & Tips

Find the Bass

Since the water temperature is so cold, bass are not likely to chase a bait that is moving quickly. As a result, the spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits that you relied upon to find fish when the water was warmer are all but useless now. The bass will take a meal if they can get it, but they will not work too hard to get it. As a result, slow-moving lures like large plastic worms, jigs and pigs, jigging spoons and crankbaits with a slow, wide wobble are best during the winter. But since you are fishing with slow-moving lures, you need to find the bass before you begin fishing. A fishfinder is particularly helpful. Look around points, ridges and humps that are near the main creek channel. Clear-water areas also tend to produce better than stained- or dirty-water areas. Look for bait fish, too, like shad. The bass may not chase them all day long, but they will be near their food sources.

Bass Fishing Secrets & Tips

Slow Fish

A spinnerbait that zooms by a bass’s nose likely will not draw a second look from the fish, but a big jig and pig that weighs 1/2-oz. or more and is retrieved slowly along the bottom might be just the ticket. Since bass have to expend energy to eat, and since they do not have much extra energy when the water is cold in the winter, choose a large, slow-moving bait. The bass will see that it is moving slow, so it should be easy to catch, and also that it is big, so the bass does not have to eat again for a while.

Bass Fishing Secrets & Tips

Drop a Spoon

Jigging spoons can be especially productive in the winter, because bass are often found in schools. Once anglers locate those schools of bass, dropping a jigging spoon into the school and lifting up and letting it drop is a good way to entice bass to bite. Since anglers fish a jigging spoon in a vertical fashion, they also can fish very specific areas that are holding bass. The distance you raise and lower the jigging spoon is an important part of getting bass to bite. Experiment until the bass let you know which they prefer.

Bass Fishing Tips for the Winter

Temper Your Expectations

The bass angler who heads to the water in the winter and expects to catch large numbers of bass is likely to be disappointed. Most anglers who fish during the winter months consider a couple of quality bass per day to be pretty good.

The Power Of Words In Brand Marketing

When crafting information on clients’ behalf, it’s important to make sure messaging is consistent while balancing the need to keep language fresh.

Words are powerful. As a public relations professional, I use them every day for a variety of purposes. Whether I’m writing a news release or editing a bylined article, I constantly need to be aware of the words I choose. According to the late, great author Ray Bradbury, “Digression is the soul of wit.” This may be true for authors, but in communications, being succinct is key. And as a recent article asserted, there are certain words and phrases we should avoid.The Power Of Words In Brand Marketing

When we’re crafting and disseminating information on our clients’ behalf, whether through articles, pitches, marketing material or tweets, we have to make sure messaging is consistent and reflective of the organization we’re representing. Balancing this with the need to keep language fresh and avoid repetition is always a challenge.

The Power Of Words In Brand Marketing

We’ve all been in meetings where people throw out adjectives like “revolutionary”, “innovative” and “proactive”. Some might even view them as “old friends” that provide the perfect description for an idea. Instead of succumbing to this clichéd communications jargon, take advantage of words such as streamlined, progressive and forward-looking. They allow you to convey the same idea without resigning to the old standbys.

The Power Of Words In Brand Marketing

In communications, creativity is paramount; it’s what separates one agency from another. Without distinct ideas and a fresh approach, the messages we communicate become stale and yield mediocre results. As an intelligent man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So, use your words wisely.

About Alaska Salmon Fishing Charters

Alaska is home to thousands of salmon-fishing charter services, which you can find in most cities that are near rivers or the coast. These companies range from single-man operations to large commercial businesses. Salmon fishing season is mainly from May until September, but the best charters will book up sometimes years in advance, so attend to reservations accordingly.

Alaska Trophy Salmon Fishing Guide

Types

Charter-boat services are split into offshore and river categories. Offshore charters navigate the North Pacific Ocean or the Bering Sea, while river charters travel some of the many great fishery tributaries in Alaska. The most popular of these is the Kenai RIver, which holds some of the largest salmon in the world.

Time Frame

Fishing charters offer two types of charters: half-day and whole-day, which run 4 and 8 hours of fishing time, respectively. Charter boats will leave the dock usually around 6 a.m.; afternoon charters leave around noon unless you book sunset fishing, which commences at around 6 p.m.

Alaska Trophy Salmon Fishing Guide

Cost

Cost depends on several variables, including the number of people, the length of travel and the length of time. Some charters require the boat to be reserved and will allow only a limited number of people for one price. Other charters will charge per person. Packages, in which a single rate covers accommodations, food and fishing, usually offer the best value; most Alaskan lodges will have several package options available.

Features

Charters may include amenities, including fish cleaning, wrapping and packaging for shipping back to the “Lower 48.” Many charters provide lunch and snacks for their guests as well as beverages. Fishing gear is also provided, as the equipment is tailored to Alaskan conditions. Many charter boats have cabins that include full restroom and living space, allowing guests a chance to get out of the cold and rain, if necessary.

warning

Warning

Research the charter boat before paying for it. Make sure the captain and boat have proper licensing, which ensures that the boat and captain are safety approved. The extreme weather and conditions make this a concern in Alaska, especially for offshore journeys.

LIverpool Wasps Nest Control

Liver-pool Wasps’ Nest Control are the premier firm specialising in eradicating Wasps’ Nests in the Liver-pool area and are generally in a position to offer you a same day service. It is usually simpler to telephone us, but we can easily always be emailed at info@liverpoolwaspsnest.com nevertheless for a much more prompt service please cell us. When it’s a really pressing job we always do our very best to help you.

wasps` We take great pride in having the ability to offer you a preset tariff of only £35 for the whole of the area.

We aren’t 9 – 5 persons, we are able to attend in order to suit you, after work or at week end and there will not be any added cost.

Liver-pool Wasps Nest Destroyers will furnish a totally trained and insured specialist technician to take care of your wasps nest or another pest elimination difficulties and to give you advice on on aftercare.

We are proud of our workmanship which is totally guaranteed and on the very unusual times we do not get it done properly first time we make a return call every bit as rapidly and cost-free.

Despite the fact that some every day pest infestations can be eradicated with Do it yourself merchandise, don’t attempt to remove a wasp nest by yourself, it is rather unsafe and you could probably experience several stings as wasps are really protective within their nests.

As soon as the nest has been eliminated, the nest offers no risk and ought to continue in place.

People frequently use the phrase “remove a wasps nest” but in practise this is simply not what we undertake. Literally removing a wasps nest, is in practice neither needed nor advisable. Our professional will inject a tiny amount of wasp powder into the opening of the nest, then the returning workers will tranport it within the nest with them and the complete nest will die inside a short time.

wasps` Pest Controllers will not remove a wasp nest, even on the rare occasions it could be achievable, because it is important to let it remain in its place for the arriving workers to penetrate.

The wasps nest is merely manufactured from paper which will crumble away. A wasps nest is used for a single summer only and is not used again.

There are some issues when coping with nests later in the summer which could require a different technique. We’ve written a web page which details the problems and difficulty in managing these late season nests, please read it at Dealing With Late Season Wasps Nests.

If you think that there is a wasp nest on your property, visit our Wasps or Bees? page to make sure and to avoid a callout fee, then call today.

If you do not fancy wasting time waiting in to get the nest eliminated, then assuming we can get to the nest without going through the property we can destroy it when you’re out if you pay online.. You’ll be able to pay beforehand with the buttons on the right from any page, let us know the spot where you have noticed the wasps flying and arrange for us to access the outside of your home.

While you anticipate our technician’s visit, check out our Wasps Nest Dos and Don’ts page and learn the way to help us assist you.

The awful summer of 2012 was not beneficial to wasps, in Britain we saw many wasps’ nests die from malnourishment for the reason that the wasps was not able to get out to feed as a result of rain.

The nests which in turn did make it through were very delayed in generating queens and we were still discovering live nests well into November.

With the football, and then Wimbledon, The Olympics and Paralympics along with wet weather a lot of people simply didn’t spot the fact that they had a wasp’s nest, naturally it wasn’t a very good summer for out-of-doors events.

LIverpool Wasps Nest ControlThis meant that many nests that would typically have been eradicated were able to go full term and generate their queens, about 2000 per nest normally.

If we have a warm spring and a reasonable start to the summertime this could indicate that there’ll be even more wasps’ nests during the summer time of 2013.

Another strange element of the summer of 2012 was that for the 1st time ever in the North West we were called out over a hornets’ nest. Received understanding has always declared hornets are restricted to the southern area. Hornets (Vespa crabro) usually are only seen in southern Britain and about as far north as the southern midlands so it was a weird call-out indeed.

In the north west an urban fable has evolved that hornets are much smaller than wasps, this just simply is not correct, Regardless of northern urban misconception hornets are a lot bigger than wasps, hornet queens might be around two inches long. It’s common for clients to mix up wasp queens for hornets later in the summer, but hornets are considerably larger even than wasp queens.

LIverpool Wasps Nest ControlAs opposed to all of our indigenous wasp species hornets fly through the night and might give you a scary surprise to anyone on a comfy summer’s evening time when you’ve got the windows ajar and the lights switched on, specially for more northern individuals who aren’t familiar with encountering them.

If you think that you have a wasps nest there’s an easy check that you can carry out in summer is to wait for a warm, sunny day in mid-July and walk all-around your property looking up and down, in air-bricks and chimneys etc and if there’s a wasp’s nest you will evidently see wasps coming and going at an disconcerting rate. Phone us then before the queens appear in mid-September and you should break the breeding cycle.

Just one word of warning, ‘wasps’ in chimney stacks often end up being honeybees. If you find comings and goings inside the chimney Don’t light the fire, contact us.

If you happen to be finding a great deal of wasps getting into your home on a day to day basis it often signifies that the nest is on a nearby building, amazing but real!

Recommended Reading
Remove a wasps nest
How to get rid of a wasps nest
Reappearance of wasps sets Minnesotans abuzz – Minneapolis Star Tribune
Man sets fire to a home while trying to smoke out a wasp nest – Wake-field Express
Maker Mayhem: Ham Can Crafts – Boing Boing
New Zealand’s wasps ‘worst in the world’ – Stuff.co.nz
Wasp Catcher

Seven Marketing Lessons From 007 Villains

Much has been written about the simple mistakes that Bond villains make in allowing the nominal spy to escape and foil their evil plans. But along with recommendations to overcome previous superspy-killing bungles, there are marketing lessons to be learned.

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With the film franchise’s 50th anniversary and the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, out this week, there’s a lot of excitement around the legacy of everything Bond. Beyond the drinking, fighting, intrigue, women, gadgets, fast cars, and espionage, there are the villains. What purpose would Bond and MI6 have if it weren’t for the deviant masterminds of nuclear, drug-related and generally destructive plots?

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Aside from their schemes, these criminals are often successful entrepreneurs or high profile public figures who are bona fide geniuses. Much has been written about the simple mistakes that Bond villains make in allowing the nominal spy to escape and foil their evil plans. But along with recommendations to overcome previous superspy-killing bungles, there are marketing lessons to be learned.

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In that spirit, here are seven marketing tips from 007 bad guys that can apply to your brand.

  1. Don’t give away your secrets to the competition: The classic Bond villain mistake. Things seem like they’re going in your favor, so why not have a little loose talk including your plans, tactics and weaknesses? These days especially, “transparency” is a virtuous attribute for companies to have, but there is still a line between being transparent in your actions and engagements, and keeping certain things proprietary. Don’t be like Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun; keep information about your “secret weapon” to yourself. A sense of mystery can positively provoke curiosity in your audience while guarding against being scooped by the competition.
  2. Stick to your core competencies: Too many Bond baddies stray from or manipulate the businesses that gave them their wealth. Had Elliot Carver stuck with his core competencies, he wouldn’t have incurred the wrath of 007 in Tomorrow Never Dies. It’s wise to stick with what you know – both on and off the screen.
  3. Never assume that everything will go according to plan…prepare for failures and setbacks: The hubris of Bond villains is often their greatest weakness. As detailed and focused as they are, it’s surprising that there are hardly ever any fallback plans. Gustav Graves didn’t plan on James Bond secretly boarding his cargo plan in Die Another Day, but perhaps he should have. If my colleagues in the public relations group always banked on getting a client in The New York Times without paying attention to hundreds of other worthy media outlets, their myopic approach wouldn’t benefit anyone.
  4. Keep up with trends and technology: Don’t get outsmarted by a competitor using tools that are ahead of the curve. Villains may have had billions for infrastructure, rockets, submarines and henchmen…but Bond had Q and the latest forward-thinking nimble gadgetry. He outwitted enemies because he took advantage of items that were essentially in “beta” testing. As Q states in the new film Skyfall, “Every now and then a trigger has to be pulled.” That new monitoring service, influencer algorithm-based database, or sweepstakes app could be the difference between drawing attention to your brand or being ignored.
  5. Go for strategies that are proven, rather than elaborate tactics: New, untested tools may be one thing, but there’s no substitute for sound strategy. There’s no need for something as convoluted as Goldfinger’s “Operation Grand Slam,” which involved killing members of the mafia, breaking into Fort Knox, nerve gas and a nuclear bomb. If your brand needs to engage with your audience, don’t create obstacles that they must “like” and “share” in order just to participate with you…act like a human and just have a conversation.
  6. Let situations play out/stay calm: The prime juxtaposition to any Bond villain’s tediousness in attempting to kill a superspy is their overzealousness in giving away their secret hideouts. Had Bond not been attacked by helicopters when near SPECTRE’s base in You Only Live Twice, perhaps it would not have been discovered. Not jumping the gun on social media has its benefits many times as well. Reputation management is crucial, but if someone posts a negative comment or opinion about your brand on your Facebook page, give your advocates a chance to respond on your behalf before getting defensive. What you may find is that your supporters will come to your aid before you even need to stick up for yourself.
  7. Make quality hiring/staffing decisions: You’re only as good as your team members, and if they are inept or can’t be trusted, like Kamal Khan in Octopussy, find a good headhunter ASAP.

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If you can learn from the mistakes of others, you won’t be crying bloody tears like Le Chiffre. The Bond franchise can teach us a lot about business and marketing, especially when you look at the characters’ failures along with the successes.

PlayStation Goes Social – Video Game Engagement Trends

With the announcement of PlayStation 4’s social elements, companies, game developers and gamers are coming together in a more integrated social ecosystem.

After watching last night’s PlayStation 4 LiveStream I learned some interesting things about Sony’s next iteration of their upcoming system the “PS4”. I learned that Sony has been watching and listening by integrating social networks, integrating 4th screen technology and cloud technology.

PlayStation Goes Social - Video Game Engagement Trends

I assume Sony is planning on hitting these mediums as follows:

Social Networks:

Sony has partnered with Facebook and UStream to help gamers collect and share content instantly with a dedicated “Share” button on the back of the controller. This is HUGE news to any gamer who’s ever wasted their time saving, editing and uploading their pwnage (pure ownage) to YouTube. Now gamers will be able to share their pwnage instantly in game as well as to the world. Seems like a gaming marketer’s dream.

If you don’t believe that people are actively doing this as we speak, here’s a clip from my COD:MW3 (Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3) clan member Dan.

YouTube: http://youtu.be/kge8esdag1I

PlayStation Goes Social - Video Game Engagement Trends

4th Screen:

Sony is leveraging what it calls “Remote Play” so users can experience their game on multiple screens and keep users engaged in their game for longer periods of time while helping to boost their PS Vita handheld sales.

Game developers and Sony will also be working on separate apps to leverage smartphones and tablets to help bring gamers together and incorporate updates, news and invites to gamers on the go. Do you see the “social” theme coming through here?

PlayStation Goes Social - Video Game Engagement Trends

Cloud Technology:

To the Cloud! Everything has to be on the cloud these days, even our games! Sony seems to have the right idea of leveraging cloud services to give users instant gratification by allowing them to buy a game and play it instantly while the rest of the game downloads. On top of that, Sony will or should be leveraging some of the PS4’s new social technology to help target market specific games to users on their networks based on their “likes”.

Only time will tell how successful the PlayStation 4 will be when it’s finally released, but it’s a great idea to socialize their technology on a medium that’s already its own social channel.