Category Archives: Video

“Video Sneak Peak of New WordPress ‘Crazyhorse’ at Wordcamp 2008”

socialTNT spent our Saturday at Wordcamp 2008 learning about all things social media and blogworthy. You’ll be seeing the results of what we saw in future posts. In the meantime, we did manage to video a demo of the new WordPress (aka Crazyhorse) given by Liz Danzico and Jane Wells.

WordPress designed Crazyhorse after they laser-tracked the eyes of bloggers as the interacted with the dashboards of their own blogs. Sounds hot, right? Wait till you see the video! (Apologies in advance for the shakiness!)

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To see full coverage of Wordcamp, check out ZDNet for Andrew Mager’s Liveblogged post of the event. Also, check out TechCrunch’s coverage of Matt’s State of the Word keynote.

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Filed under Blogging, Future of Media, New Media, Recap, Video

“And…Cut! How Not To Pitch Video Content”

Last night a top-tier blogger told me they were having problems with people using video to promote and pitch their company. To make sure video doesn’t become the new press release that pisses journos and bloggers off, I wanted to share the problem and discuss a couple of ways to pitch video effectively.

Problem

Startup Z wants Blogger X to write about their new product announcement, so they send a video. Nope, not a link to YouTube. Not a link to a social media news release. Nope, they send a 60+ MB file as an attachment with no textual support. They also offer a link to a YouSendIt type place to download. Why is that a problem?

Think about it like this:

  • Assumes blogger is near a connection that can download
    • Many bloggers travel like nomads going from conference to conference
  • Assumes bloggger has time to download 60+ MB
    • As a rule of thumb, if you can’t send it from your email, maybe you should rethink the file size
    • Is a link better?
  • Assumes blogger will open it
    • I generally don’t open unsolicited attachments for fear of computer viruses
  • Assumes blogger has the proper program to play that file format
    • Sadly, we don’t have universal standards on video. Some blogos are Mac-based while other are strictly PC (shocking!)
  • Assumes blogger has time/brainpower to sit and watch the video
    • At the end of the day, I just dont have the strength to watch another video

Solution

I love video more than most people in PR and applaud anyone trying to create content that tells their story in innovative ways. As we as an industry try to figure out how to integrate these new technologies into our campaigns, we may encounter a few hiccups along the way. You want journos and bloggers to be interested in the content you are creating, so be mindful when you pitch them

To make sure your video gets the attention it deserves, try these steps:

  • Load the video to YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Blip.tv (Need help choosing? Read our review of the top video platforms)
  • Under Embargo? Not ready for the world to see the video?
    • Blip.tv allows you to create password-protected videos. Send a link with the password to the bloggers and reporters you do want to share the vid with
    • Blip.tv also allows your viewers to download the video in a variety of formats that the viewer chooses
  • Send a text summary (preferably bulleted) in the email alongside the video
    • Watching a 3 minute video may not seem like a big investment, but it is. Give journos and bloggers an alternative
    • Bullet out the key points so the journo or blogger can see if it’s something they are interested in
    • This also helps ensure that all the messages and facts you want them to pull from the video will at least be acknowledged

We all want to do the best things for our clients. Whether the video is featured in a post on a top-tier blog, inspires another post or gets picked up by several long-tail bloggers, the visual format can have a significant impact on your audiences. Just be mindful of the people you are pitching and you can guarantee your content gets the attention it deserves!

How do you pitch out your video or audio content? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “Digital Alarm Clock” by Endless Studio on Flickr, used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under Best Practices, Blogger Relations, How To, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video

“PR Firm 2.0: Lights. Camera. Action!”

In December, socialTNT posted a piece calling for a change in video strategy. Today, we propose a change in the way PR folks look at content creation. Whether blogger relations or the social media news release, the way we share information has been forced to evolve. As 2008 unfolds, the PR Agency is transforming into a full service studio.

PR professionals spend several hours each week writing press releases. This form of content creation got an upgrade a couple of years ago when Todd Defren unleashed his Social Media Press Release template into the wild. [DISCLAIMER: I’m honored to work daily with Todd at SHIFT Communications.] Because the new release contained multimedia aspects like video and audio, PR peeps had new channels of content creation to whet their creative appetites.

Along with the evolution of the press release, the last couple of years have seen the rise of the blog as thought leadership tool. We’ve also seen many new technologies emerge that help increase communications and connections between people. In order to better reach their target audiences, the firm of the next decade will offer a full suite of options incorporating social media, including video production, podcasting studios, and live video capabilities.

Think your client’s industry isn’t ready for video? Think again. Last year saw an increase in videos watched online. It’s not just teenagers; it’s everyone, including people involved in industries like security and health care. Also, direct from the trenches: more and more editors are asking for video or audio assets with the release. If more publications are hungry for video content, give them what they want.

It’s up to us to get creative and produce compelling content that people will want to watch, listen to and share. We’ve got to flex our brains and figure out new ways to move beyond the press release. Some ideas for ways to supplement traditional outreach: behind-the-scenes with developers, demonstrations, talks with the founders, live video-conferences, or any other valuable content that niche audiences might enjoy.

Let’s move past the release to get our message out. Let’s move beyond the blog to build thought leadership for our clients. In addition to great writers, let’s hire video editors, directors, radio show producers and anyone else working in distributing non-written messages. It’s up to each one of us in our industry to grow with the times, not linger in the dust.

So how do you move past the press release? What is your vision of the firm of tomorrow?

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[The above photo, “Raton et piers” by Nika on flickr, is used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Rants, Social Media, Video

“May I Have The Embed Code, Please? Evaluating the Oscars Social Media Strategy”

Can’t get enough Oscar? Neither can we. But, unlike other blogs, we aren’t gonna recap the show or even discuss the stars’ outfits. Stepping out in true geek fashion, today socialTNT looks at the Academy’s social media strategies and offers up tips on how Oscar can stay young.

Best CyberScreen Adaptation

  • Oscar makes his CyberScreen debut in style with his own YouTube channel. We have to admit, we were really impressed! The videos, numbering 69 at time of writing, cover the full gambit of what we have come to expect with video campaigns. The channel includes favorite acceptance speeches and greatest moments in Oscar history.
  • We’re suckers for behind-the-scenes videos, which is probably why our favorites were short video interviews with past winners discussing topics like: What it’s like to be nominated, the voting process, what it’s like to win and how to produce an Oscar montage. Aspiring Future Winners: Avoid the embarrassment of being drowned out by the orchestra, and check out this video on how to prepare an acceptance speech
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ President Sid Ganis did have some videos for a video blog. Check out the last entry chronicling final preparations before the big night.
  • We were a little confused by other cool features like the “Thank You Cam” and Antonio Sabato’s overly produced “Road to The Oscars” journal. They are hosted on the Oscars page, but not found on the YouTube channel. This schizophrenic offshoot requires that you watch a video ad before the clip and it’s not sharable or embeddable. What?!
  • How to make it better? Give nominees webcams and let them video blog the full experience, from nomination to post-awards. Sadly, not everyone can be nominated for the movie world’s top prize, so this could provide a more unfiltered look at the drama and excitement that is the Oscars.
  • Following in the footsteps of the Crunchies, maybe the Oscars could have 10-second video responses filmed by each of the nominees.
  • You know all the technical awards? Well, there are tons of aspiring young make-up artists, sound editors, and costume designers who would love to see behind-the-scenes of the award nominees in action. Those vignettes are shown during the awards presentation, so why not make the full videos available online!

Best Original BlogPlay

  • Yup, the Academy had an official live blogger, Joel Stein.
  • Now, we’re not knocking Joel, but maybe the Academy could have also invited a couple of bloggers from big entertainment or movie blogs to officially live-blog the show from the Kodak theater. Yes, they are probably going to blog it from home, but an official invite is a powerful gesture that could leverage preexisting reader communities’ excitement about the show.
  • Nominees are busy busy, but they could still Twitter 🙂 The academy could also aggregate all discussion on Twitter regarding the academy awards and post it on the home page.
  • What if iJustine could videocast backstage?! HOT!

Best Application in a Social Network

  • You may not have known this, but the Academy has a Facebook widget. According to the Oscar site, the widget has a countdown feature, trivia game, and plays the ad-sponsored videos not found on YouTube.
  • Sadly, Oscar’s widget only has around 1,000 users, with only 32% of them active. This could be due to the oh-so-uninspiring description on the app’s page: “Follow the latest buzz about this year’s Academy Awards! Add the OSCAR Widget today. Click the blue “Add to Page” button in the right column!” *yawn* Also, it looks like it may have just been launched a few weeks ago.
  • Application adoption is really hard to break in to. Some suggestions for Oscar: let users earn points to send virtual gifts, or allow them to create mash-up montages of the nominees or past shows. Also, people love movie-compatibility quizzes.

Next Year’s Nominees?

  • The Academy should try to utilize preexisting communities like Facebook groups to build buzz.
  • Flickr photo stream to compile all the photos tagged with Academy Awards. Also, make the photos already on the site embeddable.
  • Wikis on all the Lifetime Achievement folks we might not know.
  • Tribute pages for the dead Academy members.

All in all, socialTNT was really satisfied with the Academy’s social media efforts. The Academy should be fully applauded for their YouTube efforts. In terms of strategy, our only suggestion would be to start the seeding process a couple weeks–if not months–out. The first videos to be posted were from 5 days before the event. That’s not really enough time to “go viral.”

As Hollywood starts to see online video as a valid and viable revenue stream, and as TV viewership drops, the Oscars will inevitably be faced with doing more CyberScreen adaptation. How did you think the Academy fared? Was there anything you thought could have been added that wasn’t? Tell us in the comments!

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[The above photo, “Oscar” by Alan Light, is used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under Best Practices, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Recap, Social Media, Video, Viral video

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Liz Gannes, NewTeeVee”

No Valentine? No problem! Today’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” comes with all the sweet sentiment of a box of chocolates, but without that bad stomach ache afterwards.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT chats with Liz Gannes, Editor of NewTeeVee. In today’s “3 Q’s in 3 Min” Liz shares best practices for PR pros, and also explores the future of online video now that the writers’ strike is over.

In December 2006, Liz left her very PR-pitch popular position as writer covering the Web 2.0 beat at GigaOM to edit NewTeeVee, a new media focused blog published by Om Malik’s Giga Omni Media network. If you or your client is a start-up specializing in some aspect of new media–particularly focusing on the convergence with video or broadband–this is the place to be.

When Liz agreed to the interview and gave me a pier number as an address–and then told me to meet her by the docks–I got a little worried; had I sent a bad pitch and was about to get offed? Silicon Valley can be a bit of a mobster state. Plus, Om’s stogie-smoking imagery and all-encompassing media network are pretty mafia-like. Not so, said Liz. They had just moved and didn’t have any markings up yet.

Fun Facts About Liz:

  • Before moving to Palo Alto, Liz used to live a couple of blocks from me in SF’s hipster-haven Mission district
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelors in Linguistics
  • A night person, she wakes up late and then catches up on the daily news by reading a couple hundred RSS feeds
  • While not opposed to being pitched through Facebook and Twitter, Liz sees those as personal realms — email is best
  • Liz organizes the NewTeeVee Pier Screenings in SF
  • Introduced me to my new Video Valentine: blip.tv

Watch as Liz tells us a little more about her beat, names the most influential new media innovation in 2007, and let’s us know what makes a good communications professional.

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What was the most influential new media trend in 2007? Or, for PR pros, how do you add value to your reporter relations? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “Liz Gannes” by joeywan on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Best Practices, Blogger Relations, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video, Video Interview

“Jealous, YouTube? Find Your New Video Platform Valentine”

Today’s post was written by contributing writer, Marie Williams.

Let’s face it: When it comes to online video, YouTube may be your main squeeze, but that shouldn’t keep your eyes from wandering. Ever wonder what hot, new online video service is waiting in the wings to sweep you off your feet?

Today, socialTNT gives you the rundown of most eligible suitors. Let’s make YouTube a little jealous this Valentine’s Day by checking out your options:

Viddler: The girl (or boy) next door
Viddler has a great selection of organic video content created by people like you and me. The coolest part: You can comment at various time stamps in the video. Viddler even has the heart of online lifecasting and social media queen iJustine (she’s even featured in the “How To” video on the site). C’mon, if iJustine thinks Viddler’s hot, isn’t it worth a try for you? Check out iJustine’s original music video, “Lifecaster.”
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Revver: Good for a short-term commitment

The content on Revver is well-produced and slickly packaged. The site is also endorsed by iJustine. The plus for Revver is its revenue sharing programming, splitting the revenue 50/50 between Revver and publishers. I have to admit: The ads running across your screen are a bit annoying, but it’s still a great place for short n’ sweet clips like this one by Mike Burk of Cupid dancing on a stripper’s pole. Dance, Cupid, dance!

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Blip: Content Casanova

Blip, currently in beta, will charm you with its sleek design and professional-grade content. Billed as a TV alternative, it has a lot of cool, well-produced serial shows by publishers like Alive in Baghdad and Wallstrip. Like Revver, there is a 50/50 revenue sharing. Yes, there are embedded ad captions, but, due to Blip’s spacious screen, the ads appear less intrusive than on Revver.

With so much amazing content, you’re guaranteed to find something you like, and may even want a second date (or a third, or a fourth, if you get hooked on one of their original shows). Here’s a video by WatchMojo for you singles (and possible V-day haters):

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Metacafe: You hafta get to know ’em first

With reposted television advertisements and promo vids taking up prime real estate on the splash page, Metacafe initially seems devoid of original content. After we scratched the surface, however, we came across a huge cache of technical videos–perfect for Geek Love!

Metacafe’s publisher rewards program and well-organized interface make it great for distributing content. The below video, from KentChemistry.com, helped them earn a whopping $9,299! But ads BEFORE the videos are SUPER annoying. Who wants to watch a full-on spot for Jack in the Box before you get to the goods? Total deal-breaker. Our reviewers are not giving it a second date.

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Now that you have some newbies vying for your heart, tell us: Is YouTube still the top dog, or are you finding yourself attracted elsewhere? Who’s your online video sweetie and what’s your fave place to create and view content? Tell us in the comments!

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[The above photo, “._* { Sometimes I wish my life was a movie, I can puase, rewind and forward when ever I want or need to !! } *_.” by Adoodi , ™ in Manchester ❤ , on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under Just For Fun, New Media, Product Review, Social Media, Video

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jon Ray, Suited Productions”

Like a marshmallow in a cup of hot cocoa, today’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” is guaranteed to sweeten up your cold winter’s day.

Jon Ray is the FutureEvery Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

While on vacation in Austin, socialTNT was able to catch up with Twitter friend and Social Media Marketing Consultant, Jon Ray. Today, Jon tells us what it is a Social Media Consultant does and also what to look for when choosing a live videocasting host.

At the ripe age of 23, Jon is founder of Suited Productions, a media production and marketing firm. The company, founded in 2005, originally started off as an HD video production company for television and music video. Jon’s move into social networking campaigns began in the early days of MySpace, when a real estate company asked him to figure out ways to attract a younger crowd to the near-campus district. Jon set up a renter community to help calm parents’ and young renters’ fears, while also generating leads for the real estate firm.

Since then, Jon’s main focus is helping brands integrate their ad campaigns and marketing goals into social media campaigns that create a conversation. His biggest success so far has been the Toyota Line of Scrimmage to introduce high school students to Toyota. The series involved reporting on and broadcasting high school football games from the back of a Toyota Tundra. Not surprising, Jon has been hired as a consultant for ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

Jon’s approach to social media is very hands-on and experiential. He’s not just satisfied with reading about the various tools and strategies, he has to test the technology and see what works. You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Right now, Jon is testing transparency while trying out various lifecasting and video casting platforms.

[For an archived video of Jon’s lifecast from our interview and warm-up, click here. Watch as we talk about Apple’s lack of social media strategy and other geek stuff.]

See the results of Jon’s trials to find out which videocasting platform Jon prefers and listen to him say sooth on upcoming social media marketing and advertising trends for 2008!

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Are you as much a video fan as Jon and I are? Or do you think live video is just another fad?

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[The above photo, “Jon Ray is the Future,” used by permission from Jon Ray]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Stick It To the Man, Video, Video Interview