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Friday, October 31, 2008

User generated Advertising might be a true Business Opportunity

Here is a success story from the other side, the users part. The New York Times reported about a guy who made 200000 dollars by user generated advertising. This confirms that user generated advertising is serious. On one side there is money and on the other side there is a real business opportunity for creators. What might be necessary to succeed? Usually there is a need of a larger audience that may become reached by viral video or widgets. This may be the case for the uga systems that work by voting. The other option is to be creative and to capture the idea of a product. A good example and another success story is the ad that has been created for the super bowl for some time. There has been an award, which has been won by a guy driving in a car and eating chips. The story has been that the spot made it to tv and that is has cost just a couple of dollars to make it.

Finding a Gold Mine in Digital Ditties.

User generated Advertising Sources

Do you know Machinima?

I found an article related to the video posted a couple of days ago showing a scene within Second Life. There is a special term describing such videos. It is Machinima. I have not known this, but this is what research is for. Here is a link to a definition at wikipedia. The article describes Machinima as "animated films created by using a number of different game or virtual world engines" and is stating that this kind of films may be an option for marketers. This is similar to my statement at the former post, in some way marketing related and a possible new form of journalism.

Machinima is a futuristic, viral option for marketers

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Video Start Up Clipta aims to index 1 Billion Videos

Clipta.com is a video search engine and video sharing network that has been launched in May 2008. Now a new and self learning deep web crawler technology has been implemented. Using this technology Clipta aims to crawl 1 billion videos up to 2010. Actually about 35 million videos have been indexed by the search engine.

According to a press release Clipta is one of the fastest growing search providers worldwide and has found an investor lately. An interesting issue are the markets, where the video search engine is available. Beside others Clipta.com has started by targeting some of the most populized markets by being available in english, chinese, japanese, portuguese and spanish.

The Need for Social Media Engagement

Business Thursday: Social media sites and activities for social networking are now reported as mainstream according to the latest social media stats according to up to social media statistics Twitter is the fastest growing social media network and if Twitter itself has already become mainstream is the issue of a discussion. However, being in the tv news and being subject of a an article of the Wallstreet Journal is something significant and indicates the importance. This is a real and nice success story for a service, especially as mostly everyone who visited it for the first time has been wondering what it is about. It has been a place, where people are telling what and where they will eat.

The conclusion for marketers now is that social media has become the place to be. Whereas up for now the discussion was on how to become evolved and where, now the need to be represented is emphasized at marketing publications. This trend is a business opportunity for all participants. Up to date business opportunities have always been a part of the emediablogger weblog. Some recommendations to find relevant services are the tags business, social shopping and widgets.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Co Browsing and Information Management by Online Annotations and Notes

This is the fourth part and for now the last part of the co browsing software and tools series. At this article annotation tools and information sharing services with sticky notes at third party websites are introduced.

Online annotation services enable to share information about a site either by a social networking community or by sticky notes at websites. There are annotation services strictly for sticky notes and others are real social networks. The way these services do work is most different, too. Usually there is a browser plugin necessary to make annotations, but the information sharing can happen in completely different ways. As diverse as the services work so are the purposes they may be used for. But at all online annotation services are closer to clickstreams and used for information sharing even in a professional way opposite to co browsing with chat.

At first there are the social networks, where Diigo is probably known best and the service with the most features. Diigo works by a browser extension. It enables to make sticky notes and to share these notes by different means. Information can be tagged and there are buzz and top lists. To find like minded people and relevant information the service is stuffed with a recommendation engine. It is a real research and information sharing service, which is offering particular conditions to educators. Another annotation service that works with a browser extension is Fleck. Fleck enables social notes and information sharing.

Reframe It offers two different way to share information and to make annotations. This may either happen by a plugin or within the community. When browsing from within the community the information will appear within a sidebar. Too, collected information and annotations may be shared by emailing a link.

Another way of sharing information about a website is by citing it. kwout is a tool to share whole websites or citing parts of it. For sharing members get an own website or can post the citations to other social networks. Quotations are also a feature of SharedCopy.com. Annotations and quotes may be shared with others and posted to other social networks. A further step beyond does ShiftSpace. It is an open source software that even enables to change the look of a website for sharing.

Last but not least there are collaboratiion tools. A.nnotate and Stixy do enable to make annotations to uploaded documents, that may be changed or complemented by co workers.

There are a couple of further tools that have been reviewed lately at FOLDEN.INFO. If you are interested in these have a look at information management.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Widget Platform for Data MashUps

youcalc is a new widget platform that has a directory and a community with widget creation tools. It is a vertical widget platform dedicated to data. Data is supplied by youcalc, which is gathering information by data sources at the web. The data can be used for analysis and calculations and to generate data presentations and research. What is making the youcalc widgets advantageous in comparison with presentations is the feature of up to date information. Visitors who see a widget on a blog or website will always see information that is updated in real time.

Presentations from the Web 2.0 Expo Berlin

To those who are interested in the Web 2.0 Business here is a link to a lot of presentations from the event.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nice Video about Crowd Sourcing at Virtual Worlds

I came across a nice video, which shows something like crowd sourcing in virtual reality worlds. It is a video about a group of women, who seem do have assembled. Then they are swarming into the virtual world of Second Life and do visit some places. They do either look like some activists or something like a workforce or maybe they have just gathered because of common interests. Whereas in some way it might be natural that groups arise within virtual worlds or that groups are made professionally for some purposes, this video is giving something like an impressive view of such groups and their power. And while the video has something like a journalistic style one may think about a new form of journalism and reporting from within and about virtual worlds. Ok, there are already journals about games and virtual reality, but have a look how this video has caught the scene. Unfortunately the video ends a bit adrupt.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Platform for User Generated Mobile Content

Playscreen is platform for user generated content used at mobile phones and a mobile commerce system. The service is dedicated to everyone as well as to professionals. There are tools for wallpapers and ringtones. Members may use own images and sell them by using the mobile commerce system. The same is due to ringtones. Ringtones may either consist of available media or may become created with the Playscreen Music Mixer. The ringtone feature too does offer bands and musicians a way to promote tracks and montize by selling ringtones at a mobile content portal.

Social Networking is as popular as Email is

There are some up to date stats about social media usage available. Now about 75 % of internet users do connect with others by social networking. Additionally users do embrace other social media services like blogs to be informed, do use recommendations and reviews as well as video sharing sites. 75 % is an amazing large share and one may contemplate if social networking is replacing email in part. Email up for now has always been the number one internet activity. A couple of years ago it has been considered if newsfeeds would replace email. Newsfeeds today are used everywhere, but these are not interactive as email and social media are. But newsfeeds are an enabling technology for social networking and by this it seems that those considerations might become real.

The mentioned study, which I became aware of by an article at ReadWriteWeb, has been released by Forrester Research .

Report: Social Web Usage Tipped in 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Researching Popularity for Social Media Campaigns

Business Thursday: A successful campaign does always need a basic research where to start. For social media campaigns this means to find relevant publications or buzz at the live web and for shopping it might be recommendations. The second step will be to find the most popular places to be most effective. At the same being represented at popular services is a proven mean to publishers to become noticed.

To find relevant places there are two basic strategies. One may either research a topic at a vertical directory like blog directories or choose to start at the big social media sites by looking for opinion leaders based on their activity or the amount of followers and the like. The decision where to start depends on the issue of the campaign. Blog directories are an ideal way to research a topic. Particular topics may also be represented at large social media sites, but in general these do already target the mass market. Exemplary for the latter are new features offered lately like offering music to broad audiences. To start at large social media sites the motto is to become involved by making interesting offers e.g. by widgets.

Even while new social media technologies like lifestreaming and live applications become popular, weblogs do remain a basic mean. This is due e.g. for the popular lifestreaming service FriendFeed as I have found that there is no way to add a particular newsfeed to own lifestream profile. The newsfeed must either be collected from within a blog or become added by a third party service like Twitter.

So blogs are really a good way to start researching sources for a social media campaign and to find relevant sources. Furthermore opinion leading blogs do mostly refer to other important sources that may become a starting point for a campaign. blog directories as well as popularity indexes for social media research are available at FOLDEN.INFO.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Instant Website Chat with Business Opportunity

Gabbly is an instant chat application, that neither require an installation nor to join a network. The service has an ingenious simple way to put a chat onto a blog or website. Simply the url of a website needs to be added behind the url of the Gabbly homepage and a chat window will appear. For the emediablogger it looks like that: click gabbly.com/emediablogger.blogspot.com and you are welcome to the chat. By closing the chat window one becomes relocated to the original url of the website using the chat. Advanced features are embedded and private chat rooms.

There is a business opportunity by using the embedded chat and replacing the ad within the chat window by own adverts. Read more or try the chat at the Gabbly homepage.

Video Gift Guide enables Interactive Video Shopping

There has been a lot of posts about interactive video and video shopping lately. Video Gift Guide now is launching a new service that will seriously use interactive video to feature goods. The site will launch finally on 24th November, but there a video introduction available showing the interactive parts and aims to use them and giving some general information. So there will be shopping shows that are live. At the range of shopping this is another innovation. At the shows special deals will be introduced by real people and viewers are encouraged to request product introductions and deals.

The concept reminds on crowd sourcing to facilitate affordable prices. For now I wonder how the website will look, when the service does launch finally. As the shows will be live it will rather not become a video shopping directory like the introduce video shopping sites Shopflick or Talk Market. It might be one show every day like Woot does it with one product every day.

There is a Twitter Channel to keep updated with news about Video Gift Guide.

Wildpitch.tv makes User generated Advertising

Wildpitch.tv is a service for user generated advertising. Wildpitch.tv is dedicated to video advertising. Members can make videos about and for their favorite brands and products. Primary eatures of the service are voting for videos and sharing videos at the social web. There are contests to win prizes for the best videos.

CBS launched Interactive TV Showrooms with Chat

These are hot news at all and to those who are in the media business it is something like groundbreaking. CBS, one of the biggest media companies in the world, is the first who launched internet tv with advanced viewing features beyond the availability of tv at the internet at all. The feature is called Social Viewing Room. This Social Viewing Room do enable visitors to chat while watching tv online and enhance the tv experience online by being interactive. Unfortunately the program is only available to viewers in the US.

A couple of other big players in the reach of internet video (not tv) are offering similar social viewing and do start to enrich the tv experience. In the reach of showrooms there is Lycos Cinema (US only), a video on demand service with social viewing of movies, and YouTube with Streams for social viewing of internet video, which has been introduced at the post Interactive Video goes Mainstream. At tv there is a project by Yahoo aiming to enrich the viewing experience by bringing widgets to the tv screen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Chat Application with Visitor Visualization

eyebees is a cool chat tool that connects people on a website and visualizes visitors like the co browsing software of me.dium. Now, when the visitors are visualized they are able to click each other and to chat with each other. The eyebees software even shows at which page a visitor is browsing. By this they are able to talk about particular topics. To homepage owners and webmasters it is even a great tool to see where the buzz happens and to join a discussion. The installation happens by a simple integration of code.

Tangler is for Live Discussions at Websites

Tangler is another live application for websites. It is a hosted forum solution for live discussions, meetings and events. The application is customizable by templates or individual design and easy to integrate into websites. Even media can become posted and the status of a live forum can be public or private. Furthermore it has social networking features by user profiles and the ability to share discussions at other websites and blogs.

Tangler is already hosting over 10000 discussions. The forums can be explored by an own search engine.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cbox Chat Widget for Blogs

This is another great widget to enrich a blog and to enable visitors to communicate. Cbox is a chat widget, that is suitable for blogs. The chat box enables visitors to leave a message and to talk with each other. There are two versions available. A free version suitable for blogs and small websites and a premium version with more comprehensive chat room features. Both versions are compared at a chart. The premium version is just 2 dollars a month and upgrading from the free ad supported version is possible at any time.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 4 Business Networking

The Web 2.0 Expo Berlin starts tomorrow. It is a three day event about social media business. There is a business network to connect, discuss and to be represented by a profile and blog at the conference. The business network is hosted by CrowdVine. The Web 2.0 Expo Berlin business network is located at webexberlin2008.crowdvine.com. There is also a live community supplied by sixgroups.com (review) with streams to follow discussions at the top of the business networking page. If you like to connect with me at the expo business network or sixgroups, visit either the emediablogger expo profile or the sixgroups profile page.

Writing a Guest Article at emediablogger

The emediablogger weblog is looking for guest authors and this brief article is just related to do business with the the emediablogger weblog. Advantages of writing a guest article are well known. It is a chance to reach a broader audience and to increase the visibility. On my side I am looking for content and for new contacts. The latter for social networking, if you like, too.

So here are some basic facts and requirements: Most covered topics at the emediablogger weblog for now are live blogging tools and video, blogging, internet marketing at the social web and social networking, virtual reality and widgets. It is all about innovative and interactive services. If you like to write an article to increase your reputation by showing your knowledge about a subject or to represent an own product or service, you are welcome to submit a request for further communications and evaluation.

Please use the following link to be redirected to a contact form.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Social Networking enabled Music File Storage Service

There are a lot of file sharing services to choose from to store various kinds of files. The new SoundCloud file sharing service now is going beyond the common features by offering file hosting and integrated tools for social networking and music distribution. It might even become described as a media management platform. SoundCloud is dedicated to host music files by serving the needs of labels and other music professionals. Beside the basic file hosting SoundCloud is offering a couple of networking tools. These do range from messaging and sending music files by email up to a music player widget that can be used for social networking and to publish and play music at social media pages and websites. Another very interesting feature is a widget that enables others to upload music files to an own account to introduce themselves or for other purposes. Last but not least there is a developer api to create own applications.

Profile Name Check for Social Networking

Getting the right name to start social networking in a serious way might be a crucial task. This is due because of protected names and availability in general. Personally I always make a check using a search engine at least. usernamecheck.com is a new service to easily check for usernames used at a broad range of social media services by just one click. This is most useful as having a unique username that can be used across all networks will increase the visibility and may help to improve the reputation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

User generated Advertising, Social Media and Viral Marketing

Business Thursday: User generated advertising is a special kind of user generated content. It is an opportunity to a lot of market participants, creatives, enterprises and users at all. There are several aspects related to user generated advertising beside the general availability of platforms and possible interaction by the internet at all. The idea of the platforms is to connect people with enterprises giving an opportunity to communicate, to users a way to be heard, getting feedback from customers as well as to get authentic statements for marketing. As advertising and marketing are business issues to enterprises there are also business opportunities to all participants. Usually this happens either by contests or even getting paid for creative work. Furthermore to media professionals or selfmade creatives it is a chance to become noticed and get a reputation by media showcases. In the following there is an introduction to a couple of platforms for user generated advertising.

Brickfish encourages to create various forms of media like blogs, photos, videos and other creative work. It is a platform that connects people with enterprises and brands. Enterprises may introduce a campaign and ask for a desired form of media. There is a list of campaigns available to browse by the menu at the homepage, which are assorted by campaigns open for participation, most popular and most shared. To share own campaigns or those of others there are social networking facilities to share media at other social networks. To users the participation at Brickfish is a chance to enhance the reputation and to win prizes.

GeniusRocket has a more professional approach with job listings and by offering a platform for business networking and professional collaboration. Nevertheless there is no restriction to join the community for independents, selfmade creatives or the like. It is a platform to get real contracts and to list real orders, to be seen and to earn cash.

XNLTads and the new introduced Poptent service are associated platforms dedicated to connect brands with independent film makers and semi professional talents to work on commercials. At the same time XNLTads is a platform for collaboration. The services do focus on internet video and its chances to be authentic and a more cost effective way for distribution and production. This is especially due to the new launched Poptent, which is equipped with online tools for video creation. Both platforms are offering real business opportunities to earn cash.

Zooppa.com again is a platform for everyone that connects people and brands to get into a creative relationship. It is a platform for various kinds of media, even concepts are requested. The idea is to connect the participants and to promote the work by viral marketing. Incentives for creatives to participate are reputation and cash prizes.

Advertising Community and Business Network for Creatives

xipax is a business networking platform for advertising professionals and creatives. The idea is to showcase adverts and to give media professionals a place to talk and discuss their work. The portal is dedicated to all kind of media, online and offline advertising as well as direct marketing and mobile advertising. Members are encouraged to upload and present their creative work to other media professionals. At the homepage there are presentations of new uploaded work, top ads and most viewed showcases. There is a search engine to find particular ads and even a facility for sharing.

Stickam starts Broadcasting Support for Smartphones

One of the pioneers of live webcam communities has started to offer a live video application for video broadcasting using smartphones. It is Stickam, one of the largest live video networks. The service is available to members and linked at the left of the Live Streams Page. This is an interesting case, as Stickam is much larger than other live video services.

Mashable has an article about the launch with a comparison chart with a couple of live video services. It seems that the estimation and description as a niche market made at the first article about live video is true. Nevertheless I think about this as an emerging trend, that will arise with broader adoption of mobile broadband services, better knowledge and broader dissemination of smartphones. Another newcomer, zaplive.tv, that is not mentioned at the chart already has reasonable viewing stats.

Stickam is coming up with another effort to make their service a success. They have launched pay per live, which is in invite only mode up to now. This service will pay people for live streams of events.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Using Clickstreams for Bookmarking

Clickstreams just have been introduced at the former article about co browsing as a unique feature of the Cluztr service. Now another service has been launched using clickstreams to replace bookmarking. The service is called Infoaxe and is realized by a browser plugin. The service is still in alpha actually, but open to everyone opposite to the up to date invite only of Cluztr.

To me the name is interesting as I would categorize clickstreams as a way of information management. This is especially due to the approach of Infoaxe, which is described as a tool for information sharing. Opposite to this Cluztr has a social networking approach. Whereas clickstreams might be an interesting option for fast information gathering and to recover formerly visited sources; I guess privacy is a sensible issue.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Co Browsing with Lifestreaming Part 3

This is the third part of the co browsing software and tools series. This article is about co browsing software with a social networking approach.

At first there is Socialbrowse. It is one of the easiest way of social bookmarking and sharing websites I have seen and a complete social network and networking tool. The application consists of a browser extension that consists of three tiny buttons and a sidebar. By the buttons a bookmark is added with just one click and becomes catogorized already with just two clicks. Add and view comments is done the same way. The sidebar is displaying lifestreams either of all, hot or personalized topics or comments. Managing topics happens at an own profile page that is equipped with several feeds to share activities at other services and a facility to follow others. Twitter is completely integrated and posts and messages may become posted and reposted at Twitter immediately.

The second exciting tool is yoono, which again is a complete social networking solution. The primary element of yoono is a sidebar that may become personalized by a couple of ready to use proprietary widgets. The friends widget has complete social network aggregator capabilities. It integrates the most important social networks and instant messaging services and enables to follow updates either by streams at the sidebar or by tiny popups at the screen. New friends may be found at yoono by similar interests and a profile seach engine. An interesting feature to share links and content is integrated at the web notes widget. By this widget any content, text parts or media, may become shared by copying or drag and drog. Other great features are photo and video widgets, the integration of last.fm to listen music and more. Furthermore yoono offers several tools to discover new sites and recommendations.

Last but not least I had a look at Cluztr, which I guess is unique by streaming clicks instead of social networking activities. As what they are doing this feature is called clickstreams. Another interesting thing about these clickstreams is that these do replace bookmarks as clicks become recorded automaticly. Co browsing may happen with friends or by visiting popular websites evaluated by the own ranking system based on the number of clicks. There are a couple of tools to connect with others like recommendations, instant messaging and chat. Cluztr is in private beta and the only service I have not tried. Invitations may become requested at the registration page.

All co browsing services at this article are useful social networking tools offering aggregation facilities and integration with other social media services. Another feature all of these services do claim is the ability to leave comments at third party websites. This has been the only feature I have not been able to experience, which might be due a lag of time and being a novice user. Doing annotations at websites will be the topic of the next article about co browsing.

New Online Video Editing Software

BrushVideo.com is a new and free online video editing software. A lot of video editing features are making it a comfortable tool. The software may be used to cut video films and webcam videos and mix them online. Other media like music, texts and images may become added and integrated into a video. What makes it even interesting for professional purposes is a watermarking facility and an integrated tool to automaticly upload a finished video to YouTube.

Blogcatalog introduces a new Blog Search Engine

The blogger social network blogcatalog introduced at blogger communities has started a new blog search engine. The search engine searches the blogcatalog network, blogs and posts, as well as 20 other social networks.

Video Social and Business Network

VidEngage.com is taking another approach to social networking using video by being a social network offering various video solutions. Basic to all is a profile page with social networking functions, This feature is called the Personal Video Network enabling video messaging and presentations. Presentations may be used for other integrated networking features. These do include resumes and dating, which are both essential parts of the homepage. Video conferencing is another available networking tool, It is a video chat similar to those of some personal broadcasting services like Stickam. Last but not least there is an ecommerce site with a store to buy and sell videos.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Co Browsing beyond the Web Part 2

This is the second part of the co browsing software and tools series.

me.dium is a co browser software that visualizes website visitors like the introduced avatar software does. The software is primarily designed to surf the web with friends. These may become added manualy or by synchronization with other services and if enabled the online status of friends is displayed and the location. If friends are online it is easy to start a chat and to surf the web together by a click within the sidebar. Last but not least there are a couple of facebook tools integrated at the me.dium toolbar.

A new feature that has been added lately is the me.dium social search, which is still in alpha. There are two ways to find results, either by searching pages visited by others or by searching the web. More about this new social search engine is available by the faq.

An Online Blog Reader and Search Engine

bloglovin´ is an online blog reader that automaticly displays updates. It is an aggregator to read all favorite blogs in one place. What makes it most comfortable is that updates come in like streams at a lifestreaming service. There is also a search engine to discover and find new blogs and to immediately add new blogs to the own stream to follow these blogs. Submission to the search engine are simply done by typing in the blog url into the search box.

A couple of standard icons are available to enable visitors to bookmark a blog:

Software Development Portals

Here are two further portals for software development. One is for online collaboration and the other to find developers for collaboration.

github is an online platform, that is designed for online collaboration on software development. Too, it is a social network to get in contact with other developers.

CollabFinder is a community for software developers to find others to collaborate and work together on projects. They have implemented a lifestreaming feature to stay connected and receive updates..

Friday, October 10, 2008

QikCom is Microblogging for Enterprises

QikCom is a new microblogging service designed for enterprise usage. With other services offering business microblogging solutions like present.ly, Rejaw and Yammer the market becomes crowded. Furthermore there are some open source solutions available.

QikCom is calling themselve a micro messaging service. The service is free and claims to be secure. The business model is to offer addtional applications for business usage called tabs. Actually the service is in public beta and has already announced an api for developers.

Digital Signage at Mobile Phones is a Trend

Mobile usage is rising and a clear trend. Something that is less known and that might not have been expected is that using mobile phones for digital signage is a trend, too. This becomes feasible by smartphones with an installed bar code reader software or a scanner. Other services do enable this by using phone cams. There are a couple of differing services offering various mobile digital signage solutions. There are even solutions that send information in response to a photography of an object.

The trend of using mobile phones for digital signage has been found by the Web Analytics Association describing it as a challenge.

The article: Emerging Digital Trends impacting Web Analytics

Online PR Services do start Social Media Formats

Social media becomes an important issue to public relation professionals as social networking in part is about news and news sharing. There are a couple of terms around like PR 2.0, social media release and social media news release or social media newsroom. The key issue is to deliver news in a format that may become easily adopted and shared by multiplicators like bloggers and social networkers. Up to now social media newsroom has been a term to describe company activities to enrich online press rooms with social media formats. These might be newfeeds or video and the like. Two established online pr services now have started to offer social media features by offering social media newsroom as professional services.

PR Newswire has a service for video called MultiVu, a multimedia news release service. The service may either combine various media formats for representations or is using video. Especially the latter may have the potential to increase visibility because search engines now show videos within search results. Search engines as well as internet video sharing sites and portals are an additional channel for news releases of increasing importance.

PRWeb has introduced RSSPAD. It is a service to create newsfeeds and to distribute them. Whereas the service is still in beta there are already thousands of feeds listed. PRWeb is offering free and premium services, the use of RSSPAD is free.

Co Browsing beyond the Web

Co browsing or shared browsing is a way of social networking beyond the web. It is in some way a mixture of instant messaging and lifestreaming but either enhanced or different. By co browsing there are other issues shared than with lifestreams and messaging happens not only within a software but at websites in person by avatars and chat. By this it is a kind of immersive web experience.

weblin is a browser add on and software. The service describes itself as a 3d avatar chat and instant messaging. What makes it unique is that members may meet at third party websites with their avatars like within a virtual reality world. There are some typical vr features like an own inventory and even a virtual currency. The software integrates a couple of social networking features to share websites and to make posts to popular social media sites. A useful tool to meet others is the tagcloud of topsites. By the tagcloud it becomes easily recognized that weblin users do populate well known social media sites. For further information there are couple of videos available.

A similar service is itzle, which is in public beta. To use it there is no download necessary, just a plugin to install and a registration.

There are a couple of other services that will be introduced by upcoming posts. To keep connected you may subscribe to the newsfeed at the upper left.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Short URL's with Tracking

Business Thursday: URL abbreviation services are useful tools to make a long url suitable in many cases. They might be easy to type and look better and even might be necessary because a long url may broke into several parts and become unclickable or to post to microblogging services. Some services do offer advanced features that make these even useful in any case. Depending on the aim this might be earnings by advertising, managing shortened url's, a better look by a generic name and especially statistics to track the number of clicks.

BudURL is a service with a couple of features and url tracking. It is especially designed for tracking and offers a comprehensive statistics suite. There are charts available and the service tracks clicks by locations. The service even factors in possible effects to search engine marketing and has the option to create several generic link names to test click through rates. The service is designed for business usage and future features are announced.

Another service offering statistics and tracking is tweetburner. It has been launched to track Twitter posts. Meanwhile some additions are made to track links posted to friendfeed, too. There is a bookmarklet plugin for browsers to abbreviate and post url's while surfing. Most clicked links are visible at the homepage and an api for developers exists.

There are a couple of other interesting services. bit.ly describe themselves as a simple service to shorten url's, but there is an api to access further features and stats, too. A description of all the features is avaible at the blog. bit.ly is a development by the switchAbit Team, that is developing social networking tools.

Last but not least there is the Snipurl service also available by the domains Snipr and Snurl. This service is available in several languages and offers an account to manage url's. There is also a browser plugin to shorten url's while surfing. A browser plugin is also offered by TinyURL.com, one of the oldest services. A new feature they are offering is a preview of the url where a user becomes redirected to and there is a form to put the service at a website.

There are always new services coming up to shorten url's. As there is really a new generated need related to new applications like social networking it will be interesting to watch upcoming business models.

Myrl is live and connecting Virtual Worlds

Myrl is live now and offering an aggregated access to virtual reality worlds. It is an aggregator to manage several accounts of virtual reality worlds and much more. Myrl comes up with social networking capabilities and is leading the way to an immersive web of virtual worlds. They are already connecting about twenty virtual reality services. It seems that this is another and proprietary solutions for connected worlds beside the opengrid initiative. At least I have not found any information about it at their blog.

There are already a lot of things happening at this meta virtual reality portal and social network. There are group activities and people featured and there are business opportunities with virtual clothes and the like. I guess this is a must try like the opengrid access supplied by Syntronik is.

Video Shopping Portal and Video Advertising

Shopflick is another site offering shopping by video. It is a shopping destination and a video solution for merchants. Merchants may host their videos at shopflick and open a store. To those who like to get a professionally produced video there is a service offer. Widgets are available to promote videos at other sites and at the social web, which makes it an alternative video advertising opportunity. For now there are free stores and listings available within a launch period. An introduction how to sell at Shopflick is available here.

Online Business Applications and Application Development

Online application development is a trend and cost effective. There are general platforms called Platform as a Service and specialized ones for social networks or widgets.

Zoho is a service for webbased business applications and collaboration purposes. With Zoho Creator there is now a new online development platform dedicated to business applications. It is a service both to get applications developed and an opportunity for developers. People and enterprises who are in the need for an application can post a request to contact developers. Developers can use the platform for free to develop applications for own purposes and to develop applications for customers and on behalf of members. Developers may sell their applications or participate in the partner program generating income based on a subscription model and by referring new customers. Developed applications are represented at the Zoho Marketplace.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Blogvertising and Social Media Marketing

Two new blog advertising networks and social media marketing services have been introduced within the last couple of weeks. Those might be most interesting to bloggers and advertisers as they are part of important and established social media services and do serve niche markets.

At first there is the Conversation Ad Network by BuzzLogic. BuzzLogic offers marketing services targeting the social sphere and especially influencers. Their key product is BuzzLogic Insights, a service for marketers and pr professionals to reach influencers at the social web. The idea behind this product is to indentify influencers at the social web to be able to start conversations and to reach a better visibility for a product or service. The ad network is based on the same principle by using adverts. As BuzzLogic is specialized is targeting niches the ad network might be an important mean to monetize qualified blog project with low traffic and an important mean to advertisers to promote niche products.

The second ad network is Technorati Media by Technorati, an authority for the blogosphere (See the latest study of the study of blogosphere.). The advertising network is dedicated to the blogosphere and the social web.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Interactive Video for Advertising and Shopping

With Live Link Video there is another service for interactive video. The solution has the typical interactive video features, which means that every part of the video may become a link. This link may be used for a shopping offer, for additional information or anything else. An additional feature are drop down banners, that may become inserted into a video. The business model of Live Link Video is based on delivering a service instead of offering a self service as most of the other suppliers of interactive video solutions like Innovid, Overlay.tv, VideoClix.tv or Vimation (Whereas they may do offer services, too.). At Live Link Video customers send in a video and get back the interactive enhanced version.

interactive video for sure will become an interesting and engaging option for shopping. The Innovid solution even has the Digital Video Ad Format Compliance Seal of the IAB, which is certifies that the solution is compatible with standard formats and that it may become used as an ad insertation within a third party video stream.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Video Interface with Recommendation Engine

Here is a further service in the range of new interfaces to access internet video. DNAStream is a video surfboard with a couple of navigation features. What makes it special are automated recommendations.

To navigate there is a menu at the left to access internet tv, a search function at the upper right and by mouse over at the bottom. The menu at the right is what makes DNAStream special. The service integrates several recommendation functions, which are realized by a recommendation engine. Opposite to social networking recommendation engines do suggest interesting stuff by technical means based on a user profile, bookmarks and maybe behavior. DNAStream has several recommendation areas, the menu at the right and a mouse over area at the bottom.

Music Business Service for Project Financing and Investments

Bandstocks is another music business service introducing an alternative to the ad supported free music business. Bandstocks is about financing music projects.

As the music industry is on the move the term project might become an interesting subject. Creativity today is not only required by the artists themselves to create something that is desired, but too by creators of concepts and marketers in the entertainment business to establish a successful business. As one may state that the time of the million billion dollar business is over for the music industry today new concepts might be needed to establish a business model based on art. Art might be the right term beside music as there indeed exists a broad playing field consisting of music, video opportunities and further ways of expression. Maybe a more comprehensive and integrated approach might be the new success model in the entertainment business. This is a chance to a broader range of market participants, the established entertainment business, independents and new artists as well as for other players like programers and even event organizers.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Open Source Microblogging Software

The popularity of Microblogging and especially Twitter with its useful tools already had a broad coverage at emediablogger. And too the ongoing development by diversificated vertical microblogging has been mentioned. Now there launched an interesting open source software that enables the integration of a microblogging interface into websites and that facilitates to send messages to third party microblogging sites that support that a particular protocol.

It is OpenMicroBlogger. This open source software supplies an interface that enables to login and send messages to third party microblogging services that do support the OpenMicroBlogging Protocol. Installation as an interface is feasible as a stand alone application or as an addition to a weblog. There are some minimal requirements like php and a database for the installation and the service to work.

A similar feature is offered by Laconica. Laconica is an open source microblogging software, which powers the Identi.ca microblogging service. Members of Laconica based microblogging services are able to send messages within a community or to another Laconica based service.

The OpenMicroBlogger software is a great tool to enhance a blog or a service with a microblogging feature and to participate in this emerging trend. It is also a chance to start and populate and an own microblogging service. For further information there are articles and a newsfeed at the OpenMicroBlogger homepage. I may recommend the following article to get an overview about the features and connections of OpenMicroBlogger and Laconica An up to date list of active microblogging services is available at
Microblogging Services and Software:

Laconica’s Not the Only Cool Kid In Town - Introducing OpenMicroblogger

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Website Navigation is a crucial Success Factor

Business Thursday: Did you know that website navigation is a crucial success factor? It is. A clear navigation is a necessary mean to make a website or blog a success. At this blog you find at least six different navigation tools, labels, lists and search boxes. A site search is always recommendable. In the following there are some search tools for blogs and websites and solutions for social networks.

Lijit is a customizable search, which is designed for blogs and sites of friends in the social graph. It is a nice tool to ease the access to the information supplied and to keep visitors connected. There are statistics to get aware which content is visited most. A graphic is introducing the way the search works. The search box becomes integrated as a widget.

The Quintura site search is my personal favorite as you may see at the right. The search index is customizable by submitting various sources. What I appreciate is the visualization by tags and by this the various ways to access the information. The search box is customizable, but needs some space to show all of the navigation features.

Rollyo is another customizable search engine. The way it works is easily described by the naming. Search Rolls are done by submitting sources and the search box again becomes embedded by a widget. Search Rolls may even become shared with others.

To ease the information access at social networks some particular business and publisher solutions have been launched suitable to the social sphere. At first there is Praized Media offering a complete solution with millions of data sets about local businesses. The solution is social networking enabled and has primarily a local focus. The second one is Sightix, which focusses on the social graph of social network members. Sightix enables people to search within their social neighborhood.

If you are interested in search engines have a look at the october revision at FOLDEN.INFO. There you may access a large list of new search engines and an article about search engine trends and marketing.

Become part of the Music Business

The music industry is really on the move and changing. Today there are hundreds of music sites enabling independents and unknown musicians to upload their songs and showcast them and on the other hand there is the discussion about copyrights and other issues. Now here are some alternative business models and chances to participate in the music business.

At SongVest rights to songs are auctioned off. By buying a share one gets some rights to a song. And if so one participates in the revenue streams and gets royalties everytime a song is played or performed. Actually there are only a few songs listed, but some have been created by well known artists. Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and, wow, now I read Ringo Star are listed. This might be worth a try. I have not visited all pages, but for now there are no bids at the visited pages and the auctions do start with just 1 Dollar. The fees are $ 150 for legal transfer and $ 30 for shipping.

Popcuts is doing something else. People may earn by recommending. It is a social network offering premium downloads for just 99 cents. If someone has bought a song and someone else buys it later, the one who bought the song earlier will earn some money. This may work well at music sites and by actively recommending songs.

MotionBox offers HD Video Sharing

With MotionBox another video sharing service is now offering hd video services at the internet. MotionBox is a place for private sharing with friends and family or to showcast videos at the internet. To share videos at the internet there are options to embed the uploaded videos at websites or at social media services. There are free and premium accounts. Premium members have unlimited storage and there is no limit to the length of a video. What makes this services interesting in particular are a couple of tools. Members may archive and organize their video collections. Furthermore there are online tools for video editing, to create a dvd or collections and download tools to download the videos to computers and portable media players.

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