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Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Insights into successful User generated Video Business

Here again is an article about successful business with user generated content. It is about video business at YouTube, where some people are earning a reasonable income.

YouTube Riches

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Live Monitoring Tool for LiveJournal Posts

A live monitoring tool for posts at the LiveJournal blogging and social media community has become introduced. The tool is called Aqua and has a cool flowing interface. The service is both a surf board and research tool. For professional research at the help section there are instructions available to set filters and the like.

Widget Generator and Marketing Services by iWidgets

iWidgets is offering several kinds of widget services, that suits the needs of small as well as established publishers. The solution enables to distribute existing content across the social web and the sharing of content to increase the reach of content suppliers by viral marketing effects. To make a widget there is an easy to use wizard available, which allows to create widgets by drag and drop. The widgets are customizable and there are tracking facilities including profile information and social graphs.

There are two versions available at iWidgets, a free ad supported version and a viral marketing package.

Using own Domains for shortened URLs

This is great stuff. Shorty is a software application, which enables to use the own domain name for url abbreviation. One needs to have some technical skills as the software needs to be installed on a server. If the software is installed, the own domain name can be used for url abbreviation.

The tool is even comfortable by offering several ways to create abbreviations. This may either happen by using a particular keyword, several keywords or randomly by automatic url generation.

Some further information sources about installation are available by this article.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Short Films and Video Business

I became aware of some nice and new video sites, which are both great to view videos and for business.

At first there is Openfilm, a site dedicated to short films. It is an open place, where everyone can become a member for the purpose of watching videos, reviews or to connect with others to discuss or to do business. But as Openfilm wants to be a place for films of high quality, the content and especially the films are moderated. Film makers may run own channels and earn revenues by of revenue sharing. At Openfilm there are already a lot of well known internet celebrities represented.

Another site with nice short films is Coffee Shorts. They got nice films and are offering uploads and monetization, too. NomadsLand is dedicated to documentary films. It has a similar approach like Openfilm and enables watching and uploads, discussions and business networking.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blogging Business

Business Thursday: There have been launched a couple of new and useful services for improved and professional blogging, that have not been mentioned for now.

At first there is Bloggapedia. It is a new launched blog directory and community with a couple of interesting features. At all it is a directory, where bloggers may submit their blogs. Additionally members are able to rate blogs Both members and popular blogs may become featured at the homepage. The directory is searchable for blogs as well as contributions by members. Last but not least there is a tool box. which is not comprehensive but contains a useful list of blogging tools. If you visit Bloggapedia to submit a blog, do not miss the list of blog directories at the tool box.

Two further blogging communities are Blogger Talk and FreelanceBlogger. Blogger Talk is a blogging source and support community for discussions with information and help forum. There is also a blog directory and source page. FreelanceBlogger.net is community for the blog business, that connects bloggers with companies.

Another but different kind of blogger support is offered by GooseGrade. By connecting authors and readers GooseGrade aims to improve the writing style and to help bloggers to correct spelling and writing errors. This works by a widget, where improvements may become suggested.

By the way, a new blog publishing service has launched using Twitter usernames for login. The service is called Twitblogs. The service combines the microblogging features of Twitter and common blog facilities like usual length of posts and multimedia publishing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Content Monetization and Social Sharing

Grouptivity is a content sharing tool for information sharing with monetization opportunity to publishers. The tool works with plugins both for information sharing and to enable the process. Once the tool has become implemented into a blog or a website visitors are enabled to share the content and to start co browsing and sharing the content. This leads to a viral effect by spreading the content across the web by promoting the content source. To publishers there is a monetization opportunity by integrated adverts. The advertising revenue even goes 100 % to the publisher as the key issue to Grouptivity is to develop publisher tools.

The Space of Microblogging Solutions becomes crowded

Another provider of a webbased microblogging solution has entered the market. This is Yonkly. It is a white label solution enabling personalization. Further features are an image viewer and a search engine. There are only premium accounts available at Yonkly.

By 400 % growth of Twitter the market seems to be attractive to new participants. There is already a broad range of solutions available. Everyone may run a microblogging community by joining ShoutEm or Twingr. Enterprise microblogging solutions often are more comfortable by additional social networking facilities. Providers of enterprise microblogging solutions are Co-op, present.ly, SocialCast and Yammer. Beside these there are open source microblogging solutions available.

New Study about Social Networking Trends

A new study about social networking has been released by Netpop Research. The results of this study do confirm a strong trend to social networking as the already mentioned study by Forrester Research does. There are some more findings in this study especially about shopping. The results do refer on on time spending. It has been found that there is less time with online entertainment and shopping to the advantage of social networking. The latter may wonder because of the shopping season. But there have always been shopping related statements, that people often spend time researching products at shopping sites and then spend their money offline. So the time shift probably is simply reasoned in social shopping sites with product comparisons and reviews.

The study concludes a need to rething advertising strategies and to be presented at social networking sites. There is an extract available at the following link with a presentation and further information on downloading the whole study:
93 Percent Growth in Social Networkers Reveals Need for New Approaches to Online Advertising

Monday, December 15, 2008

Online Music Player with Synchronous Playlist Listening

Spool.fm is an online music player and playlist editor with a great feature for music lovers to listen to playlists of songs synchronously. To find tracks there is a search engine. Editing playlists is facilitated to everyone, non members and of course to members. To members there is the unique feature to create playlists, that may become listened synchronously by sharing links. Editing playlists is most simple by drag and drop of songs. There are also rating and voting tools and introductions to top rated tracks. Unfortunately I have found that the playlist editor does not work with every browser. It works fine with IE but not with Firefox.

For video viewing a similar feature is available by online video show rooms like SeeToo or Streams by YouTube.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Video Commerce Platform with Widgets

Qoof has an interesting offer to both, publishers and retailers. The service enables to publish videos at social networks by widgets. The customizable widgets do carry promotional videos as well as commerce facilities. To publishers this works like usual affiliate programs, which means that earnings are generated by referral fees. There are even solutions for parked domains.

To retailers it is a most comfortable service by offering various ways to become involved in video shopping and connected to publishers as well as to customers. If a retailer is ready to go, there are several solutions to start. One may start by using own media or use the Qoof video production tools to create new videos. To start to distribute the videos there is already a complete network of publishers available, which may become affiliates to spread the videos and to sell the advertised products. Last but not least Qoof even enables to become involved with customers by letting them create customized videos as user generated advertising.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Social Recommendations with Earnings

With Ciao there is another social shopping service available, which pays for reviews. It is a comparison shopping site, that offers product reviews and recommendations by members and price comparisons. The site is free to join and offers a lot of features. Beside comparisons and recommendations there are product lists and video reviews by members.

I know Ciao for long. It has been one of the first services offering product reviews by internet users. As far as I know it started in Germany and expanded through Europe. Today the service is active in Europe and North America. According to the corporate homepage it has been acquired by Microsoft lately.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advertising and Money with Twitter

Business Thursday: Twitter is the fastest growing social network as reported in September. Figures in September have been 400 % growth rate. Meanwhile I read that about 6 million users have been reached and found an interesting article lately about upcoming features and strategies to monetize the service. Advertising will not be an issue told Evan Williams, one of the founders. Monetization probably will happen by charging companies, who want to reach twitter users at the platform.

But one nice thing about Twitter is the openness of the services by its api and the possibility for third parties to develop services relying on the platform. By this at least two advertising services have become developed to earn money and to reach users by advertising, which are most different.

The newer advertising network is be a magpie. This ad network matches advertisers with users based on interests. At the adverts keywords are used within tweets to reach interested parties. Keywords may be found by the various Twitter services like search engines. Additionally tweets containing ad messages are marked with a #magpie hashtag. The earning is calculated by the general popularity of a topic and the numbers of followers. To join the be a magpie network one must submit the Twitter member name at the homepage at first. Then the amount of possible earnings becomes calculated and a sign up form appears.

The second advertising service network relying on Twitter is Twittad, which has already been mentioned at a former article about Twitter tools. Twittad offers advertising by uploading background graphics.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Video Contest Site combines Advertising with Awards

TubePrize has created a platform to connect video creators with promoters for video advertising by product placement and the like. The service allows everyone to create a video contest and by this to promote a product. The service relies on YouTube and the winner will be the one who generated most views based on YouTube statistics. The latter might be just an example as contest creators are free in the creation of a contest. The service just started and has two contests listed actually.

Social Bookmarks with Following and Lifestreaming

The just launched Krumlr social bookmarking community combines a couple of most successful features of todays popular social networking services. Integrated tools are microblogging, lifestreaming and news ratings.

For social bookmarking there is tagging of course. Tags or clouds are called a 'krum'. Further available tools are a browser bar plugin and an iPhone mobile version. For more visit the Krumlr homepage.

New Live Video and Personal Broadcasting Service

Floobs is a new and promising live video service. The service is still in beta with some features already available and some in preparation. Floobs surprises with some features that have not been found elsewhere. At first this is an integrated VJ tool, which enables to mix live streams with other videos. This might be most useful for presentations and of course music shows.

According to the FAQ various different video formats are supported enabling the usage of nearly every camera device as mentioned at the company wiki. The up to date beta version already supports webcams and computer connected digital cams. The usage of smartphone cams and even tv cameras is in development, but may become tried by arrangement.

Floobs is available in various languages.

Interactive Video Features at Overlay.tv

Overlay.tv has added a couple of new interactive video features since it has been covered by the very first post at this blog about interactive video. Also the website has been completely redesigned. As far as I remember the site has been dark and it has been turned into a bright one now. Furthermore videos produced by members now are in the center of the page instead of being placed at the bottom to showcase the interactivity of the video platform. Whereas promoting own products is still a key issue of the site this gives it a video sharing touch.

Some of the new interactive video features are unique as far as I know. These features are amazing and come along with the embedable proprietary video player. At first there is a chat, which is placed directly within the video screen. One may suppose this might be intrusive, but I have not felt like that. It rather improves the comfort and enables to chat without diverting the video watching experience. Technically it is a true overlay feature like it has been shown in some science fiction movies. A second tab at the video player is for information purposes showcasing the author and possible third party sources.

One of the key intentions of interactive video is to represent additional information or products within a video and to enable to shop for represented products. At Overlay.tv this feature has become enhanced by a new bar at the bottom of the player. This is a comfortable step, too, as one now may find presented products easily after watching a whole video.

Furthermore the player now is full screen enabled. Below there is a nice video with product presentations.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Internet Music TV with Personal Channels

MUZU is an internet music tv site and a vertical video sharing portal for music related content. It is a site for music lovers, artists and labels. The service enables everyone to start an internet music tv channel. Topics may range from artist features and interviews to gigs and music videos. Videos may become shared and embedded at third party sites.

There are even more features for artists and business networking. A recording studio is available to unsigned artists and a video tool to convert existing videos. Artists and labels may connect to the music industry for contacts and promotion.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Come2Play Widget and Social Gaming Platform

Come2Play is an online social gaming platform with some amazing opportunities. It is a platform with free multiplayer flash games to share and to embed at social networks and websites. This is already a great opportunity for gamers and to enrich sites. But by offering a couple of business opportunities Come2Play is much more.

There are business opportunities for publishers and developers available. To publishers (in this case blog or website publishers) have several options to embed content at their sites. The opportunities start with a simple widget integration followed by a customized widget gallery. In the latter case customization includes a free selection of ready to use games as well as co branding with an own logo. These game galleries may become shared by users and by this they are a free advertising and branding tool. The third option supplied is even more comprehensive. There are whole hosted gaming communities, which may become added to an existing project. At all these option there is monetization by sharing of advertising revenues.

The opportunities to game developers are amazing as those to website publishers. Come2Play offers a complete environment for game development and testing by an api. Created games may become hosted at the platform, which makes developers game publishers at the same time. Now developers are able to distribute their games through the Come2Play network or to share and develop a gaming community like it is offered to website publishers. Furthermore developers may earn even 100 % of the advertising revenue generated by their games.

For further information and advertising options visit the Come2Play homepage.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Document Sharing for Business Networking and Marketing

Business Thursday: Today a big part of doing business at the internet is about new contacts at the social web. A proven way to get in contact with prospects is by distributing useful information. Depending upon the business this may happen at general social networks and for b2b at particular business networking sites. For business networking some services have specialized explicitely in enabling the exchange of documents and to deliver relevant information. These services are as well value information sources as they are a place to distribute information and to collaborate on industry news and even to get content for blogs and websites by embedding documents.

A popular services for document sharing and collaboration as well as for generating leads by distributing information is Docstoc.com. There is a comprehensive service offer to exhange documents and even forms. The service is stuffed with a search engine to find related information and assorts documents by rubrics. Documents may become shared at blogs and websites.

Scribd is another already popular service with features to embed documents at third party sites. There is a broad range of categories available. Scribd has started to feature most popular documents lately at a site named Topics.

The edocr service is rather b2b oriented. The service is still in alpha mode with categories on construction, finance and government. The service encourages to upload documents, to collaborate on case studies and white papers and to promote a business.

New launched services are Issuu, a publishing and sharing hybrid, ThinkFree Docs by the collaboration and project management platform ThinkFree and WePapers, a document sharing and collaboration platform for scientific papers.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A first to Market Vertical for Product Reviews

This seems to be the first service that is offering a vertical search engine dedicated to product reviews. The service is called OpThink and it lists nothing else than reviews and user opinions about electronic products. Further verticals are planned.

Success Story about Instructional Videos

In a press release 5min, a video sharing site for how to and instructional videos, has informed that they now are reaching 110 million monthly unique users. This vast number is facilitated by a network of syndication partner sites, which may syndicate content by a proprietary content syndication platform, the VideoSeed platform. The content in indexed with semantic data to assure most relevant content. 5min foresees a bright future for properly targeted user generated content in a similar way as it has been reported here.

Another Insight into User generated Advertising

Here is another insight into user generated advertising. This is related to Wildptich.tv, which has been covered already here by this article. By a press release there is given some insight about the way business customers may assign artists at the Wildpitch.tv platform. At a cooperative press release by Wildpitch.tv and its business partner Kimochis it is reported how a creative has been selected from the Wildpitch.tv pool. It is a nice case study, which you may read by the full press release here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Convergence of Digital Signage and Mobile Marketing

Guest Article by Mobi33

The Power of Convergence

Over the past year, a tremendous amount of buzz has been generated by the convergence of digital signage and mobile marketing. Advertising agencies and ad networks want to know what convergence means for the future of their enterprises. This article will clear up some of the myths surrounding the buzz and show you how to prepare for the future of digital signage.

Mobile technology will soon be at the center of all cross-media advertising convergence. Look at the numbers and you'll understand why mobile is already on everyone's mind: The number of mobile subscribers worldwide rose from 11 million in 1990 to 2.6 billion this year; that number is projected to rise to 4 billion by 2010. And almost all mobile phones are capable of receiving ad content in one form or another.

Before you decide on a mobile strategy, you should understand two things: how mobile marketing works to your benefit, and how to determine the optimal configuration for your digital signage network.

If you're familiar with mobile marketing, you probably know that it's next to impossible for mobile carriers to push your ads directly to their subscribers. Meanwhile, mobile Internet is still in its infancy compared to online advertising. As a result, mobile ad content still relies on other forms of media in order to be distributed. But here's the key: As soon as mobile content takes up residence in a mobile phone, it produces a long-lasting effect.

A Merger That Makes Sense
The key to understanding the changing landscape of advertising lies in the simple fact that mobile ad content forms a symbiotic relationship with digital signage. It does this by solving some of the deficiencies associated with digital signage, such as information recall, distance of influence and lack of long tail marketing opportunities. On the other hand, digital signage is an excellent medium for generating leads from the natural traffic found in public venues.

In addition, mobile increases consumer engagement by offering a tangible benefit on the spot. Before consumers are willing to take part in any commercial activity, they want to know, What's in it for me? Consumers want answers to these questions:

Can you deliver the information I need right here? Right now?

Can you save me money?

Can I get something for nothing?

A clear Call to Action in the digital signage ad encourages viewers to respond to content that captures their interest. Viewers are given the option of calling in or sending a text message to receive product information and coupons on their mobile phones. Offering prizes for advertiser-sponsored sweepstakes and trivia games increases consumer engagement; few people understand the crucial role that prizes play in subliminally training consumers to look for deals on digital signage screens.

Planning a Mobile Strategy
Sweepstakes promotions create a win-win relationship for consumers and advertisers. For example, a franchise who has store presence in shopping malls is sponsoring a trivia question on the malls' digital signage network. Shoppers participate by calling in or sending a text message with the correct answer. All participants immediately receive a $5 coupon as SMS to their mobiles. Trivia winners have a chance to win an iPod in a weekly drawing. The iPod winners are notified by SMS after each drawing.

The coupons get consumers into the store even though the trip wasn't on their original agenda. Although most participants will not be winners, the weekly iPod drawing creates the opportunity to stay in contact with customers by sending them a "Thank you for participating" message as SMS. In addition, every SMS communication creates the opportunity to include a promotional message and a link to a mobile landing page. The goal, of course, is to create as many marketing opportunities as you can.

An optimal mobile marketing strategy must have the ability to:

deliver content to ad viewers' mobiles immediately

communicate with opt-in customers for future promotions

provide a mobile site that customers can access for future offerings

deploy text-to-win, voting, polling, surveys and trivia games

collect marketing data such as demographic information, signage site response rates and ad effectiveness

What kind of resources do you have to invest to implement this type of cutting-edge campaign? Less than you think. Thanks to next-generation software technologies, many components of mobile campaign deployment are fully automated, including: (1) mobile content delivery, (2) winner selection, (3) mobile alerts and notifications, (4) mobile Internet site creation, and (5) capturing of response data from consumers. With the software automation, new campaigns can be created in minutes and deployment cost can be kept to a minimum.

Content Access: An Important Consideration
The final element to consider is the choice of methods for content access. A content access channel makes it possible for consumers to send coupons and other information to their mobile phones. The most widely used channels are text messaging and interactive voice response (IVR).

IVR allows consumers to call a voice number and enter an ad code to receive content as SMS. Text messaging allows consumers to receive content as SMS by sending a short-code keyword. Some mobile marketing software platforms offer both access channels. You can use either channel independently or combine these two channels in your mobile marketing strategy. The strategy you choose will determine your deployment cost.

Research shows that text messaging is most popular among younger demographic groups. Older audiences are less likely to know how to text message—and therefore less likely to participate in text message campaigns. On the other hand, everyone knows how to call a voice number and enter an ad code from a keypad. An additional benefit of IVR is that the use of short-code keywords requires advertisers to pay a monthly fee; IVR ad codes incur no charges. Unless you're running a campaign that targets a younger audience, always use IVR as your access channel.

Short Term Goal
What does this mean for the future? The answer is clear: Digital signage networks will increasingly equip their ads with mobile response capability. Now is the time to start planning your mobile strategy. One suggestion is to work with a provider who can help you set up a test campaign. Once you're familiar with the process, you'll discover how easy it is to merge these two applications, especially since no hardware or software integration is required.

According to a recent survey, mobile is the most important emerging media, followed by digital signage. Due to their symbiotic relationship, the convergence of digital signage and mobile responses is sure to give rise to a powerful and effective advertising medium.

About Mobi33: Prepare for the Future Today
Learn more about how to put the power of convergence to work for you at mobi33.com. Mobi33 was the first company to develop a mobile platform that enables ad content to be accessed and delivered over multiple channels, including voice and SMS. Our interactive cross-media solutions maximize the effectiveness of any digital signage network. We also provide auto-generated mobile and online sites as landing pages for advertisers to conduct long tail marketing.

Visit www.mobi33.com to set up a test campaign.

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