Facebook & Zynga Blog

A No Holds Barred Approach.

>MySpace Now Lets You Post Things On Facebook – Tampa Bay Social Media

>MySpace Now Lets You Post Things On Facebook – Tampa Bay Social Media

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | Leave a comment

>Check Out The Facebook & Zynga Podcast

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We are back LIVE today at 6PM ET / 3 PM PT On Blogtalkradio.com 


We will continue our discussion about Facebook disabling account and their anti social behavior. We will give you updates on your favorite games and take your calls to try and help you get some answers. 


All you do is wait till show goes LIVE and call this number Call-in Number: (347) 327-9074. You also have the option to talk VIA Skype by clicking talk and that is a free connection. I am sorry for my deaf fans I dont have an option for you at this time but I do have a LIVE Chat that goes on during show and I will see your questions and will try to answer them in the chat room during the show as well as say it on the show. So Tune in and see what you missed during our past shows and please tell all your friends


http://www.blogtalkradio.com/john-sweeney-jr/2010/08/30/the-facebook-zynga-podcast


“This podcast is not endorsed by or affiliated with Zynga Game Network Inc. or Facebook, Inc.”

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | Leave a comment

>Facebook Is Becoming More And More Of An Anti Social Site Than A Social Site

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Facebook the world’s largest social site is becoming more and more like an anti social site everyday. They are disabling accounts for not using actual pictures of one’s self, preventing people from adding friends to play games, disabling people from posting on their walls messages to their friends and the list goes on and on.
Over the past few weeks 100′s of people I know, who play the games on their site, have been disabled for not using a real picture or having a pseudo name. They give no warning and they require you to send in an id with that account name. So these people are not getting their accounts back because they are using the site to play games and socialize with their online game friends. 
Yes, this does violate Facebook’s terms of service, but they were made before the social game craze took hold on Facebook. Now it is a big business for them as they get 30% of the social games profits when a person purchases credits to buy a virtual game product and this turns into millions for them. But they have yet to adjust the TOS to reflect this and don’t seem like they are in a hurry to do so. 
The people who play games also are getting disabled for posting to many messages or requests for help to play the game. Now this is the fault of both the social game developers and Facebook as the games require you to ask for help and Facebook refuses to tell the users the limits on posting. So the social games need to put limits on the amount of posts their player can put up a day to protect them. And Facebook needs to be more forth coming on what the rules are.
The social game companies are now trying to help the Facebook users by trying to go to bat for them in helping them get their disabled accounts back. They are also trying to track the number of accounts disabled as this is not good for them as it cut into their profits when a user is disabled and this is big business for them. To give you an idea how big it is, Zynga, the largest developer of games on Facebook, is on pace to make almost 700 million dollars this year and should make well over a billion dollars in 2011. 
The newest thing Facebook is doing to their users is preventing them from adding friends to their accounts. They are telling them that their request can not be sent. And then ask them if they know them personally? Then tell them to go to the help center for an answer because Facebook does not have a real customer service department and has no telephone customer service. 
So once again the users suffer because they are trying to be social and Facebook is preventing it. The social games want you to add friends to play the games but Facebook doesn’t want you to add them unless you know them. The social games are also looking for solutions for this one as well. 
Facebook is a good site to socialize on if it is only with your family and friends. Try to play the games on their site then you are a target. They don’t give you any clear guidelines on how to use the site, they have no real customer service department, they expose your private information to the world including your credit information when you buy game credits and give you no real warning that you are in violation and are putting your account in jeopardy. Not a good thing to be doing if you are a social site. So you decide, are they social or are they anti social? 

August 28, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 1 Comment

>Z Lotto for Zynga Games

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Z Lotto by Zynga : A new scratch and win game. Each ticket allows the player to scratch three spots for a chance to win a loot prize from one of four sets. If one of those spots is a star, the player wins.
Loot sets are for Mafia Wars, PetVille, FarmVille, YoVille and coming soon FrontierVille. There are 4 prizes to win for each game and they seem to be pretty good especially the Mafia Wars ones, Set 1- Bola Knife 65 attack/27 defense, Set 2- Protective Shirt 27 attack/64 defense, Set 3- Yeti Snow Cruiser 63 attack/26 defense and Set 4- Jackal 25 attack/65 defense. 
So how do you get this? Well you need to register your email and set up an account with Zynga, and this is very easy and quick to do, just click this link http://lotto.zynga.com/  and fill out the information. If you already have an account with Zynga there is no need to re-register just log in to your account. You will then get a prompt to check your email to confirm your account. 
Once confirmed you will see you have a scratch off to try and win a prize. You then click on 3 boxes to see if you win. You need to find the star & if you find it and win you will be asked to chose a prize. You pick what game you want to get prize from and collect it.  Then you will be prompted to ask your friends for more tickets and you can get up to 20 tickets per day from your friends. All you do is either email your friends a request to send you tickets or you can use a link that you can copy and paste for Facebook on your profile. 
You will receive in your email a notification every time your friends send you a ticket. You then just click the link and click play and it opens up a new scratch off card to try and win. You can also send every friend a ticket back right from there so they can play too. 
You can also book mark the page so you can go back each day to play. This game is for a limited time only so if you want free loot check it out. Have fun everyone

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 1 Comment

>How To Use Facebook Places For Your Business

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Oil spills,bad economy,lack of funds to advertise the are just a few of the things hurting businesses in the Tampa Bay area as well as in the rest of the country. Businesses need to be penny wise when it come to advertising. Facebook has just introduced Facebook Places which may help and best part it is for free. 
For companies that have a physical location it makes sense to have a Facebook Place in order to track the people who are stopping by and let them know whats going on there.It also helps during the tourist season as lots of people use their phones to help guide them  Here is a quick step by step guide to help get your place of business exposure.
  1. Create Your Place: You’ll need to load up the Facebook iPhone application or go to Facebook for touch devices  site and check if your place exists already. You can do this by searching for the place. If it doesn’t exist, you can quickly create it by clicking on “Add” or the “+” sign depending on whether or not you are using Facebook for touch devices or Facebook for iPhone.

  2. Claim The Place As Yours: You’ll need to log in to Facebook and search for the Place that you’ve created. Once you find your business place you can click on the “Is this your business?” link at the bottom of the place and claim it. You will be prompted for information to confirm your business information such as physical address and other business related information. 

  3. Merge Your Place & Page: Finally merge the Place and your Facebook Business Page (if you have one and if you dont I suggest you get one it is Free and really helps you get more business) once you’ve completed the verification proces. The result is a combined Page which effectively serves as your local business page. The new merged design will be completely different from your existing Facebook Pages but will still have all the same content your current Facebook page has so you wont lose anything you have already done to it. 

So there you have it all in all a very easy process. And it is a cheap and effective way to expose your business to the world. Now remember Facebook Places is only available in the US right now on your phone but is viewable to the entire world on Facebook (500 Million Users).
(Reprinted from my new column at Examiner.com and please feel free to subscribe to my daily column)

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | Leave a comment

>Attack on Cancer Mock War – August 27th-29th

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Recently, our good friends Chris Robinson, (UOMA) Margarita, and Mike Caulfield (UOMA) Morgan, lost a loved one after a long bout with Cancer. In memory of Terrie, Chris’s Wife and Mike’s Sister, and all the other wonderful friends and family that have been lost to this indiscriminate disease, we have decided to hold a No Holds Barred, open to all, Mock War.
Mock War Details: 

When you sign up for this mock war, you will be place on a side chosen at random. The mock war will be held from August 27th at 12:00 pm Central Time (1:00 pm EST), through August 29th, 6:00 pm Central Time (6:00 pm EST).

This war will only have the following rules: NO HITLISTING, and NO ASKING MAFIA TO ATTACK.

Sides will be determined randomly, and not by clans or tags. ALL TAGS ARE WELCOME.



PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST FILL OUT THE REGISTRATION FORM IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MOCK WAR. https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dGtLQnk1M2RCLUVZSGo3Qi1pMVAtbnc6MQ


Here is the link to Donate
http://www.cancerresearch.org/give/memorial.html?ekmensel=15074e5e_74_0_938_3OR 


If you are in the U.K. -http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/


Here is the link to the group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=103653123026705&v=info&ref=ts

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 1 Comment

>Zynga’s Advice On How They Can Help To Get You Unbanned On Facebook

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As you know by now Facebook seems to be on the warpath and are disabling peoples accounts left and right. In some cases Facebook is right but in most cases they are wrong and are punishing the innocent and Zynga see’s this and has offered to help you get your accounts back. They are not guaranteeing anything but will try.


This is taken from a room on skype with some clans representatives and some zynga reps. They are aware that the FB bannings are increasing and in order to help, this is their suggestion:



[8/20/10 4:13:38 PM] zynga: So obviously we want you to play the game and banned accounts keep you from doing so. It is not good for us nor is it good for you. So in order to help track these issues, we have a process we will need you guys to follow…

———————————————–

If you get banned…
Submit a Customer Service (CS) ticket… “I’ve been banned from facebook!” or something to that extent. You will get a response with a specific escalation URL for Facebook
Use that URL to appeal your ban to facebook…
If your ban is lifted… Halelua!
If not…

Copy the response you get from facebook and reply back to the CS ticket with the response. We will then be able to take that information and escalate it from our end. So… here is why we need to do it this way…

We need you to submit the ticket so that we can have a solid tracking in our system so no one gets dropped in an email shuffle. Use the URL that we provide you to appeal, while there are many URLs out there that can do the samething, this one is specific to our issues.

And we want to know the response that you get because we want to know what is being communicated back to you.

Use the above guideline if you ever find yourself FB banned.

Also, it was hinted at that accounts that are looked at are accounts that are created only for gaming purposes, have no personal data, one or two cartoon avatars at most. So basically fake names, energy mini’s, and so on. Read below:

[8/20/10 5:02:16 PM] zynga: I don’t… Zynga doesn’t condone the creation of fake accounts for the purpose of playing the game… but this I can say…
[8/20/10 5:03:42 PM] zynga: If all you have is one cartoon image in your account and no personal info/message posts… it is highly suspect :).
[8/20/10 5:03:56 PM] zynga: And we completely support Facebook’s ToS :).

We asked Zynga if there will be a platform for us to play on that does not require a FB logon (if you are banned):

[8/20/10 5:16:29 PM] zynga: Yes… we are looking at options to improve the game and playing experience… any change… be it swaping energy packs in game or creating an entire platform, requires time to plan, program, test and implement. The larger the change, the longer it is going to take. All I can say is that there are many projects currently in many different phases… and we still have to provide new challenges to keep the game interesting for all level of players :). Fortunately we have teams of people who are able to work on multiple projects at one time. So while it may seem that we keep launching missions or new cities… that doesn’t mean we don’t have another team working on other issues/improvements.


So if you have been disabled, give this a try and see if this helps. Remember Zynga isn’t promising anything and they have no control over what Facebook does BUT they do make the most money for Facebook than any other Social Game on the site so they might listen to them.

Give it a try it cant hurt and continue to do do what I recommended in my other blog by sending emails to Facebook and try to be respectful.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 12 Comments

>The Ultimate Event Failure

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Well once again Zynga has proven how they can screw up an event. Tonite they blew up the Armored Truck LIVE on USTREAM in celebration of US the players. LMAO what a joke.

First off the announcer was horrible and not professional, he had no idea what to talk about and gave us no real info on the event. None of the Mafia Wars executives were there, only low level staff. Even the CEO Mark Pincus didnt show up !!!
They got a celebrity to blow up the truck, Snoop Dogg. Are you kidding me ??? They said they couldn’t think of a better person to do it. LMAO !!! I could and so could the entire Mafia Wars Community. They get a rapper, a gangsta, a person who has no idea what Mafia Wars is and told everyone to buy the game in the stores. Plus the fact all he did was curse up a storm and even worse was BLOCKED THE SHOT of the explosion.
I mean come on they could of got Joe Pesci, DeNiro, the cast from the Sopranos. How about that for a celebrity guest to blow up the truck. They would of been a better choice and would of represented the game better as they played Mafia members.
This was a complete waste of time for all of us, a total failure on Zynga’s part. I mean the celebrity you got cursed so much a truck driver would of blushed. They should of prepared him better for the event and told him no cursing. I mean come on some of us had our kids watching because we thought it would be fun for them to see.
The Mafia Wars Community as a whole I can assure you were very disappointed. The event was a complete FAIL !!! We were all Zynga’d !!! I wonder who will win the prizes of $25,000 and all those iPads. I bet Snoop Dogg gets one LOL !!!

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 15 Comments

>I Am Fighting To Try And Get You Some Answers

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Here Is an email I sent to Facebook & the mucky mucks there to try and get answers for all of you with these questions. I figured I would start with these questions first and try for more later. They never return any phone calls or answer any emails thats why I put some of the big boys on it.


from: john sweeney

to: pjanzer@facebook.com, bling@facebook.com, mzuckerberg@facebook.com, eschrage@facebook.com, elliot@facebook.com, josofsky@facebook.com, info@facebook.com, legal@facebook.com, customerservice@facebook.com, press@facebook.com

date Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 3:06 PM

subject I need answers for my show and column

mailed-by gmail.com hide details 3:06 PM (1 hour ago)


To the following at Facebook,


I have repeatedly attempted to contact you for comments to some questions I have for a column I am writing and for answers to my listeners on my talk radio show. I have never heard back from anyone to address these concerns that your users are encountering, So I will try once again. If you would be so kind as to answer my questions please I would greatly appreciate it.


My questions are as follows :



1. Why the sudden change in policy as to what a fake account is? You have been disabling hundreds of good peoples accounts for what you are saying, “they have been reported as fake accounts” . When in fact they are not fake accounts but have been reported this way to you as a tactic by some groups who play mafia wars in order to win a virtual war in a game.


Here is a sample of your form letter to some of the players.


Hi XXXXX,


Your account has been disabled because we have determined that you are not representing yourself authentically on Facebook. Fake accounts are a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. All accounts must abide by the following policies:


• You must provide your real first name and last name.

• Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited.

• Profiles created to represent celebrities, pets, ideas, or inanimate objects are strictly prohibited.

• Profiles created for the purpose of spamming or harassing others are strictly prohibited.


People on Facebook want to interact with their real friends and the people they know in the real world. Since fake accounts can damage the integrity of this environment, they are not allowed to remain on the site


Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason, nor will we provide further information about your violation or the systems we have in place. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.


Thanks for your understanding,

Eli

User Operations


Now in a majority of these cases you have reinstated these people and in some like the letter above states but you have never offered them any reason why it was done and by whom as they do have a right to know who is reporting them especially when they spend alot of money on their account to play your social games. If you could, please clarify your position on this matter and what can be done to correct this especially on what can be done to the people who falsely accuse Facebook users of having Fake accounts.


2. There is also a major issue that has been coming across from 1000′s of users about being disabled for adding friends. Some of these people are being disabled for adding just 4 people. Now you say this is a social site and you encourage people to add their friends and be social BUT how can they is they keep encountering this issue. You do realize that people must add people as friend to play your social games and some of these game require alot of friends to play the games properly. My question is this, Is this just a bug on your side or is this your policy now? I was told once before from a former manager there that the threshold setting were just off and needed to be reset but that has never happened.


3. A big issue people are having is the fact that you are storing users credit info on their pages instead of in a secure location when they purchase Facebook credits for games and other virtual items on your site. Thus exposing the users private credit info to hackers and thus putting the real persons credit information and financial life out there to be stolen from them. Will you be correcting this major issue any time soon ? You also make it impossible for some who have purchased Facebook ads in the past to remove any information without giving you new credit information.


4. Will you be adding REAL customer service for the users of your site instead of directing them to your help center and having other users answer their questions for them? Like adding telephone or online support features. I really appreciate your help in getting these questions answered as they public really needs answers. please feel free to contact me directly either via email or by phone.


Thank you,

John Sweeney

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 1 Comment

>Who To Contact If Your Account Is Disabled.

>Hi Everyone, I have some useful information if your Facebook account is disabled. Please save it as you never know when it may come in handy for you or a friend of yours.


As you know Facebook is becoming more and more ANTI-SOCIAL every day and they are disabling accounts for just adding friends amongst other things. So you need to be careful. It seems you also have to be careful when you are in a clan war as there are a few of them reporting accounts to win wars.

Well here is a list of contacts at Facebook on who to contact. A temporary disabled account can stay that way for anywhere from 8 hours to 30 days. If you email Facebook this can be sped up to get you back online quicker as they need to manually override the system and they want a good reason to do this so sob stories help your cause and friends emailing them on you behalf helps too. http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=disabled and you should hound them with emails from yourself and your friends telling them why your account should be restored and be respectful. Here are the email addresses and include your facebook id with each email. Mail at least 2 a day if you give up after a few days you dont have a chance.


info@facebook.com ; disabled@facebook.com ; appeals@facebook.com ; privacy@facebook.com, abuse@facebook.com ; warning@facebook.com ; customerservice@facebook.com ; legal@facebook.com

Also here is some additional contact info for Facebook:

Facebook, Inc.
471 Emerson St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301-1605
or
156 University Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone#’s:
650-543-4800
650-853-1300
650-543-4811 (Interview Request Line)
Fax #:650-543-4801

I know how frustrating it can be when your account is disabled. So please be respectful when you send these emails or they will just ignore you and you may never get it back. Remember Facebook does NOT have customer support so don’t click that option or it will direct you to the help section and you will be disconnected.
Now I decided to include some information on Zynga too but only customer service info as they actually have a customer service department.
If you run into trouble and need support from Zynga:

Customer Support Site: http://zynga.custhelp.com/app/home/

Customer Support Guide: http://forums.zynga.com/showthread.php?t=324238

or their direct email for mafia wars support is : mwsupport@zynga.com


Zynga Game Network Inc.
(866) 820-2321
365 Vermont Street San Francisco, CA 94103

So please be careful and I cant stress this enough please be respectful as frustrating as it is. I hope this helps. This information can also be found on my podcast Fan Page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Facebook-Zynga-Podcast/145826638767230 so you can see it there too, but this is easier to share with your friends.

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs | 17 Comments

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