Facebook credits at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target
After announcing that Target will sell Facebook credits gift cards, Wal-Mart and Best Buy have also been added to the list of retailers offering Facebook fun at a price. Beginning this week, Wal-Mart and Best Buy will offer Facebook credits in increments ranging from $5 to $50, which can be used for purchasing virtual goods on social games, such as FarmVille and Bejeweled Blitz. The cards can also be used to contribute to charities like Nothing But Nets, a United Nations foundation to fight malaria.
But out of all of the people buying these Facebook credits card, who really is going to donate their hard-earned credits to fight malaria when they could buy a cow, scarecrow, or bundle of crops for their exquisite farm on FarmVille?
It’s extremely interesting to see Facebook’s presence in retail stores like Target and even when Zynga games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille had promotions throughout 7-11 stores. Facebook already has an arrangement with online payment services through PayPal and MOL to purchase credits. These stocking-stuffer sized gifts couldn’t have made for better timing, as the holiday shopping season is right around the corner.
The momentum behind the social games is expected to grow to $6 billion by 2013. And if you have already forgotten about the recent commotion over these games leaking user information to third parties, make sure to check out my recent article here.
It may just be coincidence that these easy-to-find and easy-to-use Facebook credits giftcards have been introduced into the market shortly after the games in which the credits can be applied, have gotten a slap on the wrist for releasing thousands, if not millions, of users’ personal information to third parties associated with advertising and Internet tracking.
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”