7 stories to read this weekend

Here we go — of all the stories I read this week, here are the ones that I think are worth reading. Much of it is about the tech industry, mostly because I ended up being too work-focused as I recovered from my New York trip.

The 3 don’ts of high-engagement apps

At the Tuesday afternoon Mobilize panel on how to keep people coming back to your mobile app, panelists from a variety of services like Hipmunk, Formspring, ngmoco and Yahoo agreed that there were three things you should avoid doing if you want to create high-engagement apps.

Apps Need Great Experiences, Not Tech

It’s tough for developers to standout in the apps market. What’s even tougher? Trying to build a scalable business based on the apps. Neil Young, co-founder and CEO of ngmoco, a mobile gaming company, knows it all too well, and shares his insights in an interview.

What ngmoco, Intel and a Donkey Have In Common

As the fable goes, when faced with the prospect of being buried alive, donkey finds a way to inch its way out of the well. That is a good lesson for companies big and small. Neil Young, CEO of ngmoco reminded me why.

Mobile Virtual Goods Generate 4X More Revenue Than Ads

Mobile virtual goods accounted for 80 percent of revenue from iOS apps in September, far outpacing advertising, according to new data from analytics firm Flurry. January was the last month advertising revenue was greater than revenue from virtual goods.

Today in Mobile

There’s still plenty of attention surrounding yesterday’s official unveiling of Windows Phone 7, but the biggest news so far today is that Japan’s DeNA is acquiring Ngmoco for as much as $400 million. A San Francisco-based operation, Ngmoco has gained traction with mobile social games on the iPhone and is expanding to Android following a reported investment from Google. Social games have become huge moneymakers on the web through communities like Facebook, and they’re a natural fit for wireless because they leverage connectivity, can be played on the go and don’t require the immersive graphics or sophisticated controls of traditional console-type games. Which is why Ryan Kim at GigaOM.com is right when he says the future of social games is mobile.

The Future of Social Games is Mobile

Japanese social platform maker DeNA is snapping up mobile game maker Ngmoco, continuing a run of acquisitions in the social gaming space. The deal reflects the growing interest in social gaming and underscores how important mobile is for gaming as it is for all web services.