Media Mall Blog by Jon Leland

New media & online communication insights, Web 2.0, podcasting, Mac & Apple stuff, and small business internet marketing and search engine advertising.

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10.31.2008

My Ba-Rock the Vote Greatest Hits


I know this is not a political blog, but I'm pretty blown away by the inspirational energy and phenomenal creativity of the music videos, original songs and down right brilliantly edited videos that have appeared on behalf of Barak Obama. It's a grassroots energy that lifts my soul and gives me, yes, hope.

I was asked to put together some of my favorite videos for some friends, so I thought I'd share them with you. Some of this is really state of the art Internet video production. Of course, in the case of Dave Stewart (formerly of the Eurythmics, who co-wrote the first song below with Bono), this is new work from some of the top rock musicians in the world. But there are a number of much lesser known artists below that are also sensationally original. I offer these links with sincere appreciation for the way these folks are using the new media to make a difference. Thanks!

My American Prayer by Dave Stewart
This is just awesome. Taking inspiration from the 40 years since we lost MLK, and using top acting talent as well as top music making, this multi-layered montage takes us back to "the mountain top." Yes, to many, Obama is an answer to a prayer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVi4rUzf-0Q

Vote for Hope by M.C. Yogi
A young rapper whose uplifting message and visual style are first rate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iojPaw8yX0

Respondele a Obama by Jose Conde
Infectious Latin rhythms and Latinos on the streets of NYC make me want to dance with joy. Obamanos!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ycu0sy5RW8

Hockey Mama for Obama
One mama whose voice is worth hearing. I like the moose too. Hysterical.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh9BmNuqeiQ

A Message for Sarah Palin from "the Young Girls of America"
These young women speak for themselves. Touching & motivating.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53XnLUUL82k

The American Promise by the Obama campaign
Is there anything that this campaign does that isn't first class?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCx0J3NiABY

The original "Yes We Can" video by will.i.am
from February just in case you didn't see it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY

and for good measure, how about a little
Bruce Springsteen in Philadelphia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFnCc20E87g

Enough? :)

YES WE CAN.

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10.09.2008

Howard Rheingold Parses the Video Language

Howard Rheingold was a thought-leader before the term entered the vernacular. For example, he wrote the original book on virtual community. Now, Howard is helping people to understand what he's calling the "video vernacular" by walking his talk ie by posting a video on his vlog (video blog).

Just like us videographers used to talk about the "language of film making," Howard is correct that the whole video language, along with all the various forms of interacting with video are going through a radical metamorphosis. Video will never be the same. Will we? Doubtful.

Howard does a tease at the end of his six and a half minute video clip for the relevance of these new forms of video to education. In any case, I appreciate Howard's effort to help those of us who don't swim in this cyber-crap daily to get some perspective on what's happening.

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7.10.2008

Matt Makes Viral Video Delight & Super-Hit

Frank Capra used to say (regarding the requisite creative direction to make a movie), "One man, one movie." In today's world of viral video distribution, one man (or one woman) can make a super-hit all by themselves... or in this case with the support of one partner and a chewing gum company for a sponsor (no kidding). The story is well-written in this NYTimes coverage, "A Private Dance? Four Million Web Fans Say No" (although as of this writing it's been viewed 5.5 million times.) The Times calls it, "an almost perfect piece of Internet art: it’s short, pleasingly weird and so minimal in its content that it’s open to a multitude of interpretations." I like it for all of the reasons above as well as the fact that it's just plain fun and makes you feel good. :) (btw, clicking on "watch in high quality" is HIGHLY recommended, although you have to view the clip here on YouTube to do that.)



I also recommend viewing Matt's "Dancing Out Takes" at http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/

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6.05.2008

The Ultimate Video Blogging Camera?

Hey, I've got a birthday coming up. :) But seriously folks, as much as I enjoy the flexibility of my Flip Ultra, this looks like the professional's on the run camcorder. I still dream of finding the time to do a kind of video blog and this is the kind of tool (and toy) that could help me make it happen. Click here for the TechCruch review of the Sanyo Xacti with 1080i HD and 300 frames per second slo-mo (I sure could use that to add cool video to my golf blog).

And speaking of video blogs, I actually saw an exercise video clip today that I enjoyed. Get exercised! :)

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4.29.2008

YouTube Video Quality & Flip Video Illustrate Latest Dynamics on The Video Web

One issue we've been dealing with that I think many people struggle with is how to get better quality video on YouTube. Here's the most useful insights I've seen to date on this subject:

>> Read: "Hi-Res YouTube Hacks"

Some of you know that I'm impressed with the amazingly simple, little video camera called The Flip. Here's why another thoughtful person thinks The Flip is important and perhaps indicates meaningful web video trends pointing toward our future:

>> Read: "Video Flips for the Future"

And while we are illustrating what's cool about the rapidly expanding world of video on the web, here's my son's newest favorite short video, which clearly would not have been possible without "the video web" both in terms of production as well as distribution. Pretty cool, eh? Enjoy!


People in Order

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3.22.2008

Enhancements to the Video Web: The Mini-Camcorder Du Jour & Intelligent Video Conversations

A couple of quick blog bites (vs sound bites) from the NYTimes website which indicate continually brighter days ahead for what I affectionately call The Video Web:

First of all, my fave tech writer David Pogue not only reviewed my Christmas present (see posts and demo video below), The Flip Ultra, but his latest "State of the Art" column, "Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot" pretty much nails it. It also informed me--and I had no idea about this--that the Flip is now garnering a rich 17% of all US camcorder sales and "has been the best-selling camcorder on Amazon.com since the day of its debut. For Pogue's finely articulated perspective, click here.

The other item is what appears to be a new feature on the NYT website, which is Bloggingheads.tv "diavlogs." Language-wise this is a double-derivative term. I'll bet most people don't even know that the term "blog" is derived from "web log" let alone that a "vlog" is a video blog. Just the same I welcome this combination that creates a new kind of conversation. (kind of rolls off the tongue) I've been thinking and occasionally saying that the use of webcams and the ease of the current state of video conferencing should be put to more use. Little did I know that this kind of video dialog, oh OK, diavlog was being so widely distributed. And then imagine my delight when I found at least these two commentators talking about the Barak Obama race speech being more articulate and interesting than most of those duds on cable TV news shows. Right on. It was also nice to see the NYTimes editing down and providing a solid 4-minute excerpt of what appears to be an almost hour-long original conversation on BloggingHeads.TV At least the whole thing is there for you if you want it.

Click here to watch the NYTimes-BloggingHeads edit: "Obama's Grandmother" which asks the scintillating question: "Is everyone missing the whole point?"

I have to add that the intelligence of this BloggingHeads conversation is in stark contrast to my experience experimenting with the Seesmic.com video "conversation" website which is mentioned in the Davos post below. That turned out to be an interesting attempt from a technological point-of-view, but extremely boring overall. Even Seesmic's specially produced (and apparently funded) posts were disappointing (to say the least). Sorry. I liked their bushy-eyed enthusiasm, but there's good web video and a lot that is not so good. Like everything else...

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1.26.2008

Live from Davos via The Video Web


I'm presuming that most of you know about the World Economic Forum held in Davos each year and attracting a virtual planetary A-list who's who... from heads of state to Bill Gates & Rupert Murdock to celebs etc. etc.

As the video web expands, live person-to-person coverage is becoming quite interesting; and perhaps the best of that batch is Loïc Le Meur, the French self-proclaimed "serial entrepreneur and blogger." Here's a taste of "live from Davos" via the video web featuring Emma Thompson, Bill Gates and more...



Btw, Le Meur's latest start up is Seesmic.com "the dashboard for your videos" and an online video "conversation" platform that's still in alpha (testing, limited user base, etc.) Click here for a review/demo by BBC News' Dot.Life

Oh yeah... And then there's "The Davos Question" on YouTube:



And (drum roll) a darn good (IMHO) answer by "rock star" Bono :



It looks like the video web's conversations are heating up! ;)

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1.24.2008

My First Pocket Camera Video is on YouTube

I mentioned that I got a Flip mini-video camera for Christmas:
My favorite new gizmo is The Flip (Ultra), a pocket-sized, web-ready video digi-cam. No tape, just 60 mins of MPEG-4 video in Flash memory and a flip-up USB port.
This camera is about the size of a pack of cigarettes. It's easy to use and for what it is, it works quite well.

So, I took it out for a drive... my buddy Keith Bailey had a photography show open at a restaurant in San Francisco last week. I shot the following while in attendance, in a very noisy atmosphere, in some instances with virtually no light... and the results are not bad. I edited it in about 1 and 1/2 hours with iMovie and "borrowed" some music from a friend, Gary Malkin (his collaboration with Tito La Rosa will be for sale soon.)

Anyway, here's my quick first effort at pocket-cam event videography. It's about 3 minutes. Please let me know what you think:

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10.04.2007

Google Mail Video Best Viral Video User-Generated Video Marketing I've Seen

Geez, I'm always posting about how hot the online viral video space is becoming, and wouldn't you know it, here comes Google with not only my 2nd viral video post of the night, but one that leverages user-generated content to the max. Great stuff you all, and I really mean you all. And, oh yea, nice job Google for editing it all together in such a snappy fashion. More info here: http://mail.google.com/mvideo

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8.10.2007

A Viral Video with Massive Heart, Energy & a Difference

Sometimes I see something that moves me and is sufficiently "right on" that I feel I need to post it. This is one of those times:

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7.08.2007

A New Way to Distribute Your Videos on the Web

What's a video producer to do? We all want to have as many people as possible see whatever we produce... So should we upload our clips to MySpace, to YouTube, to Google Video, etc. etc. Or, wouldn't it be nice to have a simple web-based service that does this kind of distribution for us?

Well, now there is. It's called Hey!Spread. Get it? They help you spread your video around the web.

It's a basic, practical, straight-forward service (but you do need to set up accounts at the services you want them to populate with your clips) and most importantly, it's immediately useful. I like that. ;)

Thanks to TechCruch for their mini-review of this service.

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3.25.2007

NYTimes Spotlights The Internet-to-Cable Comedy Incubator

I love this. More evidence of the power of putting video online. More creative freedom and opportunities for creative people. More media power to the people. More breaking up of the old guard media empires (oh yeah, they call those "disruptive technologies"), etc.

New York Times television "news" section calls its report: Online Yesterday, on Cable Today

Enjoy.

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3.12.2007

Finally, An Overview of Video Sharing Sites and Revenue Opportunities

I've been wanting someone to write this article. (Thanks to Beet.TV for the tip.)

A site called LightReading (which calls itself "the leading integrated business media company serving the telecommunications industry and other related next-generation communications markets") has published Online Video: Show Us the Money which includes information on no fewer than 75 video sharing sites with mini-reviews of the Top 10 revenue sharing sites. It's complete with comparison charts, and I recommend clicking on the "Print" link to get the whole report with charts embedded. You could really call this a white paper in the purest sense.

Great work. Thanks, Light.

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2.27.2007

Online Video Monetization Blooming

If you still don't believe that there's money to be made, not to mention good marketing buzz to be generated, with online video clips, then you better check out The New York Times coverage of the competition between video sites to make revenue sharing deals with producers and talent who can develop a following using online video. They call it, New Hot Properties: YouTube Celebrities.

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2.21.2007

Online Video Explosion Signposts

One nice thing about the online video explosion, revolution, or whatever you want to call it, is that it does have signposts. (FYI, I'm still waiting for some professional publisher to ask me to write more about all this... hello?!).

But meanwhile here are a couple of recent articles and/or posts that I found to be of interest and encouraging re: the re-emergence of my own "video-video" enterprises (videos about video and online communications) which are percolating in the background:

> VideoEgg Hits 3 Million Uploads -- TechCrunch insights on the growth of this online video leader vis a vis GooTube (Google-YouTube) who may have the best ad platform of the moment. I said "may."

> All The World's a Stage (That Includes the Internet) -- NYTimes writer Scott Kirsner offers a nice overview with examples of how user-generated content can and is making money, at least for a few leading edge folks.

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2.02.2007

Online TV & Video: "social revolution" No Longer an Exaggeration

Sighting a pressing TV industry need to monetize the "massive interest in online (video) content," eMarketer.com summarized an Informa Telecoms & Media research report (which I could not find on their site) including numbers that would make almost any venture investor salivate. For example, "In the US alone, revenues are forecast to rise from $538 million in 2006 to nearly $4 billion in 2012."

"These trends are now so pronounced, that the term 'social revolution' no longer seems too much of an exaggeration," said Adam Thomas of Informa.

Personally, today, I was checking out VideoEgg.com which boasts an easy to use video upload, Flash compress, and, yes, video editing platform as well as a pretty impressive online video ad network that's focused on social networking sites.

Does anyone have a good comparison of all these new Web 2.0 video platforms?

TechCruch seems to think that SplashCast may have the ultimate player platform.

I wish it was like the Videography days when I could get paid to research and write about this stuff. Who knows, if I can find a way to monetize it, maybe I'll be doing some video clips soon. Potential channels would include internet marketing, online video, and the joy of golf. But should I do SplashCast channels, distribute via the VideoEggNetwork, BrightCove, all of the above, or what?!?

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1.05.2007

New Easy Way to Monetize Your Internet Video Clips

(Sometimes I still feel like I'm covering the "Video Web" the way I did in my "old days" at Videography, yet I know not how many of you readers even know or care.)

I not only think that AdBrite's new InVideo service is useful and practical, but I really like the fact that they're walking their talk with a quick, clean and illustrative video that does a good job (see below) of explaining the advantages of and how this new way to place ads in your internet video clips works (still in invitation-only beta).

Maybe some day I'll get around to producing some online video content? Especially now that I know that I can produce video clips with easily self-embedded video ads that are not offensive and which will travel with an embedded video player to anyone else's website. Nice!

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11.26.2006

Net Video Sites Up Offers of Cash for Content

Reuters reports that video sites are now paying real cash money for what has been the amateur-only user-generated content category of web videos. In particular, Break.com has upped it's payments to $400/clip, with more being paid for original animations; and the site claims to have already paid over $300,000 for original user generated content. The universe of web video appears to be beginning to mature in terms of its business models with paying of eyeballs (viewers) and quality content motivating submissions. Stay tuned.

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10.27.2006

Self-expression vs Professional marketing communications: There's room for both

I like it when I find a commentary that takes on something that I've been thinking about. Such a piece is Dorian Sweet's column, "Amateurism: The New Gold Standard" on ClickZ.com.

With the much-hyped (including by me) rampant exposure of new media platforms like YouTube and MySpace, professional marketers may be somewhat baffled. Sweet calls the content produced by these folks (normally labeled user-generated content) "digital amateurism" and he's right. It's not advertising or marketing. "It's self-expression." Two completely different things.

But, I was surprised that he didn't mention the LonelyGirl15 professional attempt to capitalize on the social video networks. Just the same, I have my own bottom line. Not only are professional marketing communications still completely viable, especially when they include an authentic sensativity to the medium as well as the intended audience; but (all back-handed references to Marshall McLuhan aside), the message is still the message. When you have something to say and when you say it well, you can still cut through the clutter. And if you really do your job well, you can even ride new waves of viral success.

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10.26.2006

The Birth of the "Social Video Network"
(video blogging & social networking remixed)

You take a little MySpace, you add some YouTube, and mash 'em up. That's the latest in easy to use video blogging... er well, I mean video sharing/syndication... well, actually, I mean video "channels" based on MySpace social networking and YouTube video sharing type o' technologies.

The business model et al was written up on AlwaysOn or go straight to Dave.tv (the "social broadcast network") or vsocial.

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9.11.2006

LonelyGirl15: Viral Video Victory

If you search YouTube for "lonelygirl15," you get all kinds of debunking, profanity and other forms of extremely personal video reactions. Whether hoax or otherwise, the girl's got buzz. Personally, I'm with the crowd that thinks she's too polished not to be a professional production (and I am a video production professional). Regardless, she's the latest generation of viral video star; and, as New York magazine says, she's the leading edge of a new (albeit commercial) art form.

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