5 Things to Know About Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey

The biggest Mario game in a long time.

Nintendo’s latest game Super Mario Odyssey is launching in a big way.

Starting on Friday, game lovers around the globe will have the opportunity to buy the latest Nintendo NTDOY game, Super Mario Odyssey. As its name suggests, the title centers on the iconic Mario character, and gives you the opportunity to enter a virtual world with your protagonist and explore it at your leisure. And as always, you’ll be chasing the antagonist Bowser around the world in hopes of saving Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped.

But is Super Mario Odyssey worth buying? And should you spend this weekend exploring its vast world?

Read on for the key things you should know about Super Mario Odyssey before you plunk down $ 60 on the game.

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What Is Super Mario Odyssey?

Super Mario Odyssey is the latest installment in the famed Mario franchise. The game is an open world title that allows you to explore the world and enter levels to take on enemies and collect Moons that “power” the Odyssey, a spaceship that gets you around.

Super Mario Odyssey puts you in the place of Mario, who is aiming at saving Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped by the evil Bowser. It’s a tired concept, of course, but Nintendo apparently feels it’s still going to appeal to gamers.

Where Can I Play the Game?

If you’re hoping to play Super Mario Odyssey on the game console of your choice, you’re out of luck. The game is available exclusively on the game company’s Nintendo Switch console.

What Are the Reviewers Saying?

So, Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the best games ever released, and is the highest-rated game on the Nintendo Switch.

According to MetaCritic, a site that collects reviewers scores, Super Mario Odyssey has attracted an average score of 97 out of a possible 100.

What Makes Super Mario Odyssey Different From Recent Games?

Super Mario Odyssey is the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64, a game that was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1996, and Super Mario Sunshine, a popular title released in 2002 on the GameCube.

That’s because Super Mario Odyssey is an open-world adventure game that lets players explore wherever they’d like. It also includes various levels inside worlds that offer full, 3D gaming.

Nintendo has released Mario games in recent years, but they’ve mainly been 2D adventures like the Super Mario games of old.

OK, So How Do I Buy It?

Sold on Super Mario Odyssey?

If you’re looking to get your hands on the game, it’ll be available starting on Friday, October 27.

Most major retailers, including GameStop GME , Best Buy BBY , and Amazon AMZN , will all start selling the game on Friday. Nintendo Switch owners can also buy a digital version directly on the console.

Both physical disc and digital Super Mario Odyssey versions will cost $ 60.


6 Rules You Must Know for Using SEO and SEM to Grow Your Business

If you’re managing a business, you know how important a web and mobile presence is. Whether you’re selling tacos, tiaras, or terabytes, customers need to be able to find you.

You’ve probably dipped your toe into the complex world of organic or “free” search, also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But what do you really need to know about SEO and SEM?

I spoke with SEO/SEM expert Andrew Shelton, founder of the digital marketing agency Martec360, who gave me six rules that you need to pay attention to right now if you want to increase your sales through search:

1. Mobile is king

Need evidence of the importance of mobile? Some 96% of smartphone owners use their device to get things done. About 70% of smartphone owners use their phone to research a product before purchasing it in a store. Half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Furthermore, Google has begun to make its search index “mobile-first.” That means that Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results.

2. Paid search pays off on mobile

On mobile, paid search (SEM) is increasingly paying off. Shelton says he used to tell his clients to focus on free search (SEO) but with users putting mobile first, the continuum has changed.

“The greatest return on investment is email,” Shelton says, “because you have those customers in house. But paid search is next.” He estimates that paid search spending went up by factors of 25% to 50% in 2016.

3. Have a solid content strategy

The old adage is the new adage: “Content is king.” You need high-quality content for your website if it’s going to compete in the free search business. You can’t go about that blindly.

Consider what customer problem you’re solving. What customer questions can you be answering?

Do you have a mechanism for customers to ask questions? There could be a wealth of ideas for blog posts, FAQs, and buyers’ guides right there.

4. Social media is worth your return on investment

Social media can be vexing for many businesses. You definitely have to perform a cost-benefit analysis on it. Spending six hours a day sending out tweets that don’t lead to conversions is going to be a losing proposition.

Treat social media as “an engagement with an ongoing conversation with your customers,” Shelton recommends. “It’s not just for selling.”

In fact, if your social media channels are too hard-sell, they’ll be counter productive. You have to create value. Tools like Hootsuite, Falcon.IO, and Curalate can help.

5. Manage your online reputation

According to Shopper Approved, an app that helps its clients collect online ratings and reviews, 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.

All of those reviews are part of the SEO equation. They can help you, or they can hurt you. But an app like Shopper Approved can help push more positive reviews where you need them.

6. Measure and monitor your progress

The only way you’re going see your business grow exponentially through SEO, SEM, and social media is to measure what you’re doing. You have to know where you’re starting, set some benchmarks, and monitor your progress.

Install Google Analytics. There is a plethora of other e-commerce tools you can use for analysis. Data is your friend. Get used to swimming in it.

And if you need help, find a consulting firm that understands your customer and your goals.

Just remember, effective search is process. You won’t get it right the first time. But you’ll get better at it with everything you learn.

About the author:

Kim Folsom is the Founder of LIFT Development Enterprises–a not-for-profit, community development organization with a mission to help underserved, underrepresented small-business owners – and Co-Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator and revenue based venture fund. Learn more about Kim and her company’s mission to help grow and fund 1000 underserved and underrepresented small businesses by 2026 via their Founders Business Growth Bootcamp program at www.foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com.



Edge computing: What you need to know before you deploy

I explained edge computing back in May, and how it’s related to cloud computing. But I continue to get questions on the use of edge computing, especially on whether should enterprises begin to use edge computing anytime soon. 

To make that decision, there are three aspects of edge computing that you should consider:

1. Edge computing is tactical, not strategic

Edge computing is about putting processing and data near the end points. This saves the information from being transmitted from the point of consumption, such as a robot on a factory floor, back to centralized computing platforms, such as a public cloud.

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