Tag Archives: YouTube

“Punk’s Not Dead: Rethinking SXSW Criticism”

Whether Twitter, blogs, or the Main Stream Media, the topic this week has been the SXSW festival. Many in attendance feel the Conference and its presenters just don’t get it. Is it the promoters’ fault, or the audience’s? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

In this corner, the Returning Heavy Weight Champion: The Organizers

I grew up in Texas and have attended my fair share of SXSWs. As an indie/alterna-kid In junior high and high school, I always followed SXSW. After graduating high school, I moved to Austin for college.

Originally, SXSW started out as something that was a celebration of independence and musical innovation. As it increased in size, it seemed, to me, to lose its edge. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great place to see some of your favorite bands, but if they play there, they’ve probably already made it big in the underground. The real music is out on the streets, in garages and in hole in the wall bars.

The traditional conference model was, at one time, a great way for professionals to get together and talk about what’s going on. The SXSW organizers have assembled a good line-up of industry relevant speakers, but the way people exchange ideas has changed. Social media tools like blogging, Twitter, YouTube and streaming video have changed the way people communicate. That’s why, for me, looking to SXSW for innovation is like reading news from 2006; it’s great if you want to track progress, but it’s not going to tell you what’s on the cutting edge.

For interactive media, the truly innovative strategies and tools are being discussed in the blogosphere and, more rapidly, on Twitter. You don’t need to pay money to go to a conference; you can suck it all up here for free. But for the people who don’t have time to scan feeds or follow 500 Twitter friends, the traditional conference model still works.

And in this corner, we have the Underdog: The Audience

In the music realm, the majority of the attendees are usually suits and big wigs who want to get wasted and feel like they are a part of the underground again; anyone truly punk or indie can’t afford the price tag or goes to the unofficial events. The majority of attendees want to find out the next big thing to market and consume. And you’ll never be able to please anyone that wants instant enlightenment but doesn’t want to fall in the mud. Because they’ve built up this event and these speakers as having all the answers, when the audience sees the man behind the curtain is human, they throw tomatoes in revolt. In terms of social media, they want the tools and secrets, without taking the time required to learn and process the philosophy.

If you are a regular reader of this blog–or follow me or Marie on Twitter–you are probably more like one of the indie-kids. Remember: You don’t go to SXSW to see cutting edge, you go to see bands that have already had hits in the alterna-scene. Be realistic with the event, and you’ll have fun.

Aren’t happy with the conference? Next year plan your own rebel panel. Punk kids organize unofficial shows to protest the commercialism SXSW has become. Also, part of being indie is supporting your local scene. When was the last time you attended or organized a tweet-up, social media breakfast or event? Do you blog, share good links, tweet your ideas?

Who’s to blame? Let us know in the comments. Also, what suggestions do you have for organizers to help them embrace the hard-core fans? What can you do to increase understanding of social media?

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[The above photos, “rock ‘n roll face” by BohPhoto and “Mons Punk” by To Tof on Flickr are used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under New Media, Review, Social Media

“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.”
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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

“2.0 Politik: Do Democratic Candidates Make the Grade?”

“Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickrThe Hillary/Big Brother Mashup Video from last year ushered in a new era for political campaigns. No longer content with televised debates, citizens everywhere raised their mouses in unison and called for a technological perestroika. 2.0 Politik was born, giving citizens direct access to politicians…Ok, maybe not, but candidates not hooked up with social media are missing out on influential demographics.

On Wednesday, socialTNT gave you the 4-1-1 on Republican social media campaigns. Today, socialTNT directs our browser to the Dems to find out who makes the grade and who gets held back.

Barack Obama, Most Likely To Succeed (Overall Grade: A+)

  • Online Video—At time of writing, there are 572 videos on Barack’s YouTube channel full of debate clips, campaign stops, direct conversations with the camera. On the site, you can find BarackTV, a really pretty player integrated by Brightcove . Don’t miss the interesting, YouTube-meets-digg-style “citizen generated campaign” called YouBarack. Chris was let down at the lack of streaming video. [UPDATE: Obama does stream some campaign stops through ustream.tv] Grade: A-
  • BloggingActive blog with some posts receiving an impressive 1000+ comments, but our reviewers couldn’t find any posts older than Jan. 31st. The “older posts” link took us nowhere, and no archive–what?! Mad props for asking for feedback from readers. Extra credit for allowing citizen blogs hosted through my.obama.com community. Grade: A-
  • Social NetworksObama’s Facebook profile supposedly has the more friends than any other candidate, but his Wall is full of teeny-boppers spouting racial epithets (Where are the chaperones community managers?). Surprisingly, his MySpace has a clean look with more commenters actually adding to the dialog. Oh, and widgets for everybody! Flickr is current. Extra credit: With LinkedIn, MiGente, Eons (Boomer SocNet), AsianAve, and BlackPlanet, he has all his demographic bases covered Grade: A+
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the blog. No RSS for Press Releases or coverage, and what about an Events RSS?: B+
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Ok, so he’s got a Twitter profile that gets updated every coupla days. That’s worth something, right?

Hillary Clinton, Most Studious (Overall Grade: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, has a YouTube channel with a so-so 232 videos at time of writing. There is also a clunky looking player with Hillary commercials videos called HillaryTV. Most interesting attempt to seem human: The videos section link to “The Hillary I Know,” a Web 2.0-style site with video interviews of friends of Hill Grade: B+
  • BloggingHillary’s blog seems to serve as a news room, with mosts post consisting of news round-ups. Unlike Obama’s blog, the comments are pretty low, with most posts receiving 30-100. Clinton’s team should try to make it more about conversation, less about messaging. Grade: B-
  • Social Networks—If I were trying to guess messages based strictly on social network membership, Hill is looking to win over the college age and boomer voters. MySpace, Facebook and Eons pages are all pretty standard, but we do love the behind-the-scenes, not super-produced flickr page. Grade: B+
  • RSS—The blog has its own RSS feed and–gasp!–so does the news room. No feed for HillaryTV, but we’re still in shock about Newsroom RSS! Grade: A
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—There is a Twitter page, but “Hillary” isn’t following anyone…shame!

Now that John Edwards and his ustream.tv are out of the race, the Dems aren’t quite as cutting edge. But how can any hip Dem hit the town without an Obama ringtone?If you could give a piece of social media advice to the candidates, what would it be? What is your primary source for political news? TV? Friends? Blogs?

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[The above photo, “Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under 2.0 Politik, Democracy and Media, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Politics, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“2.0 Politik: Do Republican Candidates Make the Grade?”

Today’s post was written by socialTNT Contributing Writer, Marie Williams. I promise we’ll get personalized bylines showing soon. 🙂

“vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr

With Rudy Giuliani’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential campaign yesterday evening, the competition for the Republican nomination is heating up. Social media tactics have the possibility to tip the balance, but which candidates are using social media to their advantage and which are missing the boat? Today, socialTNT separates the cool kids from the amateurs.

Ron Paul, Class Valedictorian (Overall Grade: A)

  • Online Video—up-to-date and frequently refreshed YouTube channel, a Justin.TV channel (although that hasn’t been updated for two months), and Mogulus Live Streaming Video. Impressive, Ron! Grade: A+
  • Blogging—There’s a hidden bloggish section called “daily updates” (click here and scroll down to below the Flash-animated banner to find it) and a very difficult-to-find blog called The Daily Dose campaign HQ blog. While not very aptly placed, both blogs are well updated and contain some good, meaty posts. Grade: A-
  • Social Networks—Very active Facebook profile updated with hundreds of posted items and notes pertaining to Paul’s campaign. While his MySpace page is definitely not as snazzy as his competitors with all the bells and whistles, it is very personal and includes all pertinent links to more information on campaign activities. Grade: A
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the daily updates blog, as well as The Daily Dose, although the newsroom sections don’t have RSS feeds available. Grade: A-
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Unlike all the other Republican candidates, Ron has an official Twitter page.

Mitt Romney, Second in Class (Overall: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, Mitt has the token YouTube channel, but the Mitt TV section of Mitt’s site is what sets it apart in terms of visual online content. The section is incredibly well-organized and catalogs videos by category, including events, interviews, news, and even a section for “fun” videos. Grade: A+
  • Blogging—Mitt’s “Five Brothers” blog, which includes posts from Mitt, his wife Ann and five sons, is updated on a regular basis, sometimes more than once a day. The posts are often made by Mitt’s sons (Mitt himself hasn’t updated since 9/11 of last year), and add a great personal element to the blog even if Mitt isn’t the one posting. Grade: A
  • Social Networks—Facebook profile? Check, and it’s well fleshed out and updated with news and videos to boot. MySpace page? Check, and also very well-organized with personal profile info, a video welcome, and Slide photo show. Mitt also has a Meetup page and a Flickr account that includes photos from the campaign trail. Grade: A-
  • RSS—While the “Five Brothers” blog does have separate RSS feeds for all authors (click here and see lefthand corner), there’s no RSS feed for Mitt TV and no RSS feed for the news section. Bummer! Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope! But if Mitt decides to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, someone’s already parked the MittRomney username and has 34 followers (no updates to speak of).

Mike Huckabee, Average Abe (Overall: B)

  • Online Video—Typical YouTube Channel and a video archive in the newsroom. Nothing special, nothing innovative. *Yawn* Grade: B-
  • BloggingMike has a very consistently updated blog that runs the gamut from video posts to general news announcements to calls to action. Also includes a great, incredibly lengthy blogroll of other blogs supporting Huckabee’s campaign. Extra credit for some cool blog widgets for supporters to load on their own blogs. Grade: A+
  • Social Networks—Very basic Facebook profile, but brownie points for the active discussion boards. Standard MySpace profile with a video welcome as a nice personal touch. Mike goes for the basics but could stretch his social networking skills much farther. Grade: B-
  • RSSRSS for the blog, but nothing else. Eh for minimal effort to syndicate content. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—No dice. Not even a parked page for this one.

John McCain, Barely Passing (Grade: C)

  • Online VideoYouTube channel and some videos on MySpace. Blase, much? Grade: C+
  • Blogging—The blog is a very basic set of general updates and video posts with little to no personality. Grade: C
  • Social Networks—Blah Facebook profile, although his MySpace page boasts some multimedia facets and a few videos. Overall pretty weak. Grade: C
  • RSSFeeds are available for the blog but there’s no feeds for the newsroom or any other part of the site. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope, but as with Romney, someone’s parked the JohnMcCain username and already has 28 followers (no updates to speak of).

And that’s a wrap. No doubt as the race for Republican nominee continues to heighten in intensity, candidates will consider additional social media tactics as a way to boost their visibility among their wavering constituents.

But don’t worry Dems, we haven’t forgotten about you. socialTNT will be posting on the Democratic candidate reviews this week. In the meantime, tell us how you’re following the presidential race using social media technologies. Is it Twitter? Blogs? Online video? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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“Hi Mom! I’m on TV: A Seesmic First Look”

Image by Domake Saythink on flickrLast Friday I was honored to receive an invite to participate in Seesmic’s Private Beta. For those of you who don’t know, Seesmic is the hottest invite in Silicon Valley. That’s due, in part to French Founder Loic Le Meur‘s charisma plus a lot of blogger outreach. It also doesn’t hurt that TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is an investor.

So What Is It?

On its most basic level, Seesmic is a social network for people engaged in video conversations. Because of its use of video, people are apt to draw comparisons with YouTube. The design of Seesmic, however, is much more intimate than YouTube. Instead of being overwhelmed with content, when you login to Seesmic you can either watch the most recent videos uploaded (the public timeline) or record your own. Even Seesmic’s tagline, “Join the video conversation,” contrasts YouTube’s “Broadcast Yourself,” highlighting the underlying difference: YouTube is more for those wanting to create or share video content while Seesmic, on the other hand, is intended for short video messages woven together to create conversations. YouTube is about You. Seesmic is about the community.

Speaking of community, it has grown very quickly over the last month. On November 20th, Michael Arrington reported that there were 300 users. In a Twitter interview Sunday night, Loic said the site has about a thousand users. With almost half posting daily, Seesmic’s community is very active. Loic also stated that there are still around 7000 people on the waiting list for an invite. [See this video explanation of why they can’t expand any faster]

Usability

Seesmic is very easy to use. My MacBook’s built in camera allowed me to just hit the record button on Seesmic and start talking for up to five minute. If you don’t have a webcam, you can also upload videos that you record with a digital camera. Because the site is powered by flash and Ajax, some users might experience a drain on their CPU.

Many people have called Seesmic a video Twitter. Since Twitter is text, you can easily read, re-read and edit before you hit send. Video feels much more spontaneous.

I have to admit, when the camera started rolling, I didn’t know what to say; it really felt like the first time I’d ever left a voice message: “Um, Hi, this is Chris and I, um, just wanted to say…” Thank goodness Seesmic allows you to playback your video before posting and discard if you aren’t satisfied. After typing a subject and a brief description, hit save to post the video. Voila, you message has been sent out to the community and, if you’ve registered your Twitter account, a Tweet is automatically sent informing your Twitter friends that you have posted on Seesmic. Now others can watch your video and instantly reply. And then the conversation starts…or continues.

[Loic does a fun 3-minute video tutorial of how to use Seesmic here.]

Initial Impressions

First off, I have to give mad props to the Seesmic team for creating such a beautiful platform. Scrolling through the Seesmic stream, I watched conversations discussing everything from light-hearted music trivia to more esoteric topics like the psychology behind Seesmic. Loic’s team makes it easy for the lurkers–or those not always on the site–to catch up on the day’s major meme’s by offering a daily review, appropriately titled “Seesmix.”

As a newbie, it was hard to figure out what to say. Twitter asks “What are you doing,” but Seesmic leaves you hanging. Since Twitter’s purpose has evolved as the site has grown, I’m not sure if this is really a big deal. Also as a newbie, I don’t have any friends to converse with. This, however, wasn’t intimidating; all of the Seesmic users seem very open. It’s also just a matter of finding people I know.

In the upcoming months, members will soon be able to send direct messages to each other. Users will also soon have more options like message recording through Skype and distribution through email, Facebook and YouTube. When Seesmic launches in February, tagging and video grouping capabilities will make it easier to follow conversations. This feature will prove invaluable as the site grows. I also see RSS capabilities as something very useful.

Applications

Due to the visual nature of the media, video has a stronger impact that text communication could ever allow. For that reason, I would love to see Seesmic incorporated into company websites. I see it as a place where customers can leave video questions to the company moderated by the Community Manager with conversation threads left for future visitors to see. I can also see Community Managers interacting with customers through polls, quizes or direct relations with the press. It might also be used for internal communications like a video IM.

As I play around with it, I’m sure more ideas will come up. Like any community, it’s going to take some time and energy to fully understand how it works. As I learn and experience, I will pass it on to you. Hopefully, I’ll also be able to pass out a few invites. In the meantime, check out my first Seesmic post.

Are there any quesitons you would like me to ask the Seesmic community?

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.seesmic.com posted with vodpod

 

[Above image used under Creative Commons License by domake.saythink on flickr]

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Filed under Future of Media, Internal Public Relations, It's A Conversation, New Media, Product Review, Review, Social Media, Social Networking, Video

“Please Standby: Rethinking Online Video Strategy”

Ahhh, what a difference a year makes. Last year, “You” won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, user-generated content was king, and everyone wanted to create a viral video.

This week, there has been a lot of discussion of online video. The magicians are telling their secrets. And as the magic wears off, it seems many times the Emperor is actually wearing no clothes. Today, we’ll take a look at what the last year has taught us about online video and try to find ways we can make it a conversation.

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

This week, two articles came out, both promising to provide readers with tips on viral video making. Let’s take a look at some of the tips and see if they are fully utilizing social media to engage the consumer

The first, a post on TechCrunch by Dan Ackerman Greenberg, felt like I was reading something dirty. He does outline several good specs on the video itself, but it’s the more outreach oriented tips that pose dangerous:

  • “We reach out to individuals who run relevant blogs and actually pay them to post our embedded videos.”
  • “…kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users.”
  • “We get a few people in our office to log in throughout the day and post heated comments back and forth (you can definitely have a lot of fun with this).”
  • “Also, we aren’t afraid to delete comments…We can’t let one user’s negativity taint everyone else’s opinions.”

Sounds like old-school, one-sided, totally opaque marketing to me. This is truly pushing content at the consumer without caring what they have to say. In fact, it reminds me of a modern day laugh track; the consumer is fooled into believing that others have thought about, commented, and enjoyed the video.

The second article comes from Kevin Nalts in a guest piece for Advertising Age. He offers several of the same specs (keep it short, quality doesn’t matter, proper tags, etc.) but gives brands suggestions that seem more community-focused.

  • “We’ll watch your advertising and even spread it for you — unless you promote gratuitously, insult us or, worse yet, bore us.”
  • “The smarter play is to sponsor popular video creators to create entertainment with product placement. This requires brands to let go of overt marketing messages and trust the instincts of creators to please their audiences.”
  • “Some brands fear running a contest because they don’t want to be ridiculed. But brands will be bashed by disgruntled consumers via online video whether or not their companies dabble in the space. Quietly watching from the sidelines is no insurance policy and certainly won’t grow revenue.”

I think Kevin’s piece gets closer to the idea that social media should engage a community. Considering the user-base and realizing the conversation is already in progress are great suggestions, but can we take it deeper? How can we better engage our audiences?

Turn That Pumpkin into a Carriage

In a NewTeeVee post yesterday from Craig Rubens, the question is asked: “Online Video: Is It Really Interactive?” Although specifically about online entertainment series, what he says can be applied to marketing and PR video campaigns:

Although the online video experience would appear to be this mythical, multilateral, interactive video utopia, the reality is, in fact, quite different. Because while it’s certainly possible for a network of collaborative video artists to work together, online, to piece together a long-term video mosaic of participatory brilliance, the reality has often been more of an ad hoc, trivial mess of mediocrity.

As we awaken from the spell of online video, we have to take it to the next level. I know online videos are entertaining ways to convey messages, but can we use the medium more effectively? It may be a Utopian dream, but we have to incorporate all the features and beauty of social media into our online video campaigns. What can we do?

Contests seem to be the most common approach to getting the consumer involved. Most companies simply have users generate commercial content for the company. But is this really two-sided?

In order to converse with users in their community, we have to learn how those communities work. On YouTube, most people post videos which are then replied to in either video or text form through comments. Full threads sprout and conversations go back and forth.

With that in mind, here are some tips:

  • You’ve got a blog, great! What about a weekly video series?
    • You can create a company channel on YouTube and then embed into your blog.
    • It’s Really easy to set-up. Just buy a digital point-and-shoot camera. I recommend the Canon SD-series.
  • Don’t spam. Offer tips or tricks. Or Industry trend commentary.
    • Make the content valuable, not just forgettable. Give people a reason to share the video and return to your channel.
  • Post casual conversations and interviews.
    • Mini press conferences, these can inform your community or be re-purposed by vertical blogs.
  • Live videocasts of press conferences, company events or trade shows.
    • Set-up a Ustream.tv account and do
    • A spokesperson can be a newscaster interviewing other top execs.

Hopefully this infuse some creativity into the use of online videos. What other ways can we jumpstart our video campaigns to engage our audiences and actually communicate with them instead of just pushing content? Or is everything cool in YouTube-land?

Oh, and if you think consumers aren’t creating their own dialog with your “viral video” campaigns, check out this mash-up created by a guy who realized that Dove and Axe are both owned by the same company. Both have viral videos with conflicting messages. Take a look:

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Filed under Best Practices, Community Relations, Enterprise Public Relations, Future of Media, How To, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Social Networking, Viral video