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Do you "like" receiving Facebook messages about, say, your buddy Rich's new row of corn in FarmVille? If not, you're in luck: Facebook CTO Bret Taylor told earlier this week that it's just those kind of messages the company focused on while looking to cut down on spam in the system--way down. Mission accomplished. Such spam was down 95% in 2010. That’s an impressive achievement.
“Look, but don’t touch” has been the watchword for museums. The only exceptions were institutions designed for children that offered lots of bells and whistles to keep the kids entertained. The rest of us trooped past static exhibits and often emerged with glazed eyes, believing we had to take our cultural medicine the way our parents did. Not anymore. Museums recognize that one boring experience can turn off a visitor for life, says Patrick Gallagher, who has designed museums and exhibits ranging from the International Spy Museum in DC to the D-Day Museum in Normandy that opened on June 6.
How is it possible that Facebook gamesmaker Zynga will turn in 2009 revenues approaching a reported $250 million -- making 90% of its money selling gamers nothing but virtual goods? The answer we've given before is that, like arcade games from the 1980s, Zynga's social games charge people small amounts of money to reduce friction in games they are addicted to. But instead of paying another quarter for another life the way arcade gamers do, social gamers buy sub-machine guns in "Mafia Wars," and new farmland in "FarmVille" in order to level-up. But while this answer is technically correct, it leaves us cold. Worse, this answer doesn't make much sense if you've never actually seen a Facebook game.
<img width="299" height="224" border="0" src="/images_blogs/geekdad/images/2008/07/02/img_giornatamondiale.jpg" title="Img_giornatamondiale" alt="Img_giornatamondiale" style="margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px; float: left;" /> Forget the stereotype of the stuffy, don’t-touch-the-art, kid-unfriendly museum. Interactive museums can be entertaining, engaging and educational — even for a generation of kids raised on Nintendo DS. The days of "look, but don’t touch" are being cast aside as museums strive to compete with theme parks. And in a time of shrinking entertainment budgets, museums offer great alternatives to cartoon characters, long lines and sticky roller coaster seats. Museums — by and large — are inexpensive destinations, as the admission at many museums is either cheap or free.