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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

SodaHead.com Wants You to Disagree!

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Jason Feffer, one of the people who helped start MySpace, is creating a different kind of community; one that thrives on opinion. A quick perusal of SodaHead.com and one will find what looks like a typical online social community. But SodaHead brings a little something more to the table: community building widgets. The hottest widget is the fully customizable polling widget and an ability to integrate polling into other social networks (twitter, facebook, bebo, etc.). ABC News uses the polling widget on its front page. Rocket’s Tail recently sat down to talk with Jason Feffer. Here is what he had to say:

New Tallest Imagination in the World (from the top)!

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Yesterday the world heard news of the new tallest building in the world. What I did not see on top in this footage was a webcam. That maybe coming soon… wouldn’t that be interesting. Either way, kudos to the builders for their really large imaginations:

Enjoy the footage here:

Special thanks to Richard Geller for sharing the link.

Written by @SibLaw_Official

January 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

Best Online Video Startup 2009 (NY Video)

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Holiday recipe for 2009

  • Yaron Samid and NY Video
  • A hearty startup competition
  • A month of preliminary online voting
  • Approximately 200 Online Video Professionals in one room
  • Live online demos
  • Mobile SMS voting

Take the ingredients and shake ‘em up. Throw in the coldest night of the year. Place them comfortably in the Columbia University Business School. Let the ingredients fight it out for 90 minutes. When you’re all finished, you’ll have a rockin’ good time.

Shout Outs!

Shout outs of the night go to Israel Drori, Founder of Zixi who, after his demo froze, came back strong with a live performance of “Stairway to Heaven” by his neighbor’s son some 250 miles away. And to Mike Sommers of KickApps who, when questioned, gave some good ole fashioned smack-talk; claiming Brightcove’s customers would one-day come walking through their door.

How The Contest Went Down

Yaron Samid welcomed professionals and newcomers and introduced the top six competitors: Kaltura, 5min, Adotube, KickApps, Popscreen, and Zixi. Each company presented an online demo. And then attendees voted from their seats via SMS. Despite a couple of minor technical glitches, all six companies demoed their products and responded to two questions. The audience spoke—and 5min came out on top. Congrats to 5min, and to all the finalists, for their excellent work, products, and presentations.

Rocket’s Tail condensed the night into 10 minutes of video. Meet the contenders here:

Get Ready for 3D to Kick You in the Face!

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Yeah, you heard it right…kicked in the FACE! I recently sat in the screening room at 3ality (said: three-ality) Digital in Burbank, California. A camera swept across the stadium toward Bono and the Edge in a clip from the U23D concert movie, and I brought my fingers to the side of my neck to check my heart, which was pounding! Quick cut to a kickoff in last year’s Super Bowl in 3D. I’m not talking about a layer of one team, a layer of another team, and then everything else. I’m talking about a real three-dimensional image; smooth 3D from the closest player to the very back of the stadium, the way my eyes naturally see it. Absolutely amazing! And still, most of the population is perplexed by all the 3D talk.

Over the past year the press has done little to clear up why some people are talking so much about 3D television. The same questions always come up: Do I really need to buy yet another TV to get 3D? Can’t I watch 3D on my current TV? Do I have to wear those funny glasses? The immediate answer to these questions is always “Yes,” and then the writer goes into tech speak and my eyes roll back into my head as I start thinking about something on another website and click away from the article.

After watching the sample in the screening room, we walked into the lobby, where we watched clips from popular television shows in 3D. Again, the images were incredible. So what’s the big deal? Why can’t I have my 3D TV now? Well, you can…sort of. Get ready for the rich-nerdy-tech-girl down the street to have the coolest, newest TV technology before you do. But it won’t be long before you can have it too!

Acer is coming out with a cool new laptop pimped out with a 3D monitor that’ll run somewhere in the neighborhood of $800. But the real test will be next year when FIFA and Sony team up to produce 25 live sporting events in 3D. What I’ve heard is that the events will feature Manchester United, that 3D monitors will be placed in pubs throughout England, and that 3D glasses will be given out with beverages  (gives a whole new meaning beer goggling!).

So here’s the key for me: blow-your-mind-incredible production values. What made those images of the Super Bowl and the U2 concert and even the nature images in the 3ality Digital screening room so compelling? They were well produced. When I was watching them, I wasn’t thinking, “What great 3D images.” I was thinking, “Wow, what an incredible experience!” The impression was so mind-bending because it wasn’t just about the 3D images, it was about being engaged with and immersed in the content. It would be pure joy to be in a pub in England with a group of happy (um, drunk) fans when that first ball comes flying out of the television at them. Now that’s just good clean fun! Fortunately, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg are leading the charge with 3D films. We can hope that equal heavyweights lead the charge in television.

While I was at the 3ality Digital studio, Angela Gyetvan gave me a brief tour of their system for capturing 3D images, as well as talked about common misconceptions regarding the technology. Please enjoy the tour…and meeting Angela:

When I left 3ality Digital that afternoon, those images kept coming back to me. The experience was unforgettable! Not only do I want to own the latest and greatest technology to view this incredible new content, I want to start shooting in 3D…now!  So, yes, you will need glasses, but the latest versions look more like Raybans. And, Yes, you’ll need a new TV, because, NO!, your current TV absolutely will not play 3D like this. Once you see 3D this way, you won’t want to go back.

Bunchball’s Peter Daboll Wants You to Have Fun.

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Peter Daboll wants you to have a little fun, or at least stay engaged when you visit your favorite brands online. He is the CEO of Bunchball, an organization that creates interactive experiences for the likes of NBC, USA, and SyFy. Including aspects of gaming and social networks as well as linking to user’s social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter; their closed environment allows them to not only create the experience, but also to track how engaged the end-user is with the brand. They power the the interactivity behind NBC’s The Office (dundermifflininfinity.com) and USA’s Character Arcade.

I had the good fortune of sitting down with Peter Daboll this Fall in Santa Monica at Digital Hollywood to talk a little bit about Bunchball. Here is that conversation:

FlipMino HD Reviewed

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(Please note the YouTube Demo of the FlipMino HD is embedded below.)

As you can imagine, I shoot a lot of video. Usually, I find myself behind Panasonic equipment and have grown to like their P2 system and the incredible color they provide. But, let’s face it, none of the Panasonic P2 cameras tuck nicely into your back pocket. Earlier this year, I was watching something on Tim Street’s Blog and asked him what he was shooting on. Turns out he was using one of the Flip standard definition cameras at that time. Quick perusal of their website and I picked up a FlipMino HD. I’ve now shot some 20-30 interviews on the camera and plenty of other footage. What I have found is that I have some strong likes and dislikes about the camera. Here they are:

What I like:

  • This thing is darn small! Truly it’s smaller than my mobile phone (a blackberry), so it tucks away nicely, even into tight pair of jeans.
  • Especially in bright daylight, the clarity of the images is pretty spectacular. In the demo below, please note the incredible blue sky and silhouetted mountains behind the subject about half way through.
  • The flip-out port/USB charger – on the ultra models you have to buy batteries, but on the Mino, the charge comes directly from the computer. (Please note that I once uploaded video from a hub, which didn’t provide power back to the camera and spent a day wondering what the heck happened to my new camera, which the hub had drained of power!)… This is a personal preference thing, but I like the fact that if I plug it in each night when I’m shooting, the camera is ready to go when I wake up in the morning.
  • The software needed to make a quick video is located on the camera, meaning that if you have access to a computer and the internet, you can make a quick video edit and post it to the world from virtually any cafe in the world (save parts of China and Cuba, where they would be screened).
  • Surprisingly, the camera is pretty good in lower light situations. In side-by-side comparisons with the Insignia, the footage from the flip was much better.
  • This may seem funny, but I really like the handy little pouch the Flip comes in. Not only is a storage bag, but it doubles to keep the lens clean; excellent for yielding high quality images.

What I don’t like (or just bugs me silly):

  • A red/orange light comes on the front of the camera when you are shooting. My finding is that this can unhinge a subject. We were shooting a public meeting one time and as soon we hit record, the public officials stopped talking. LAME!
  • The codec – What I have been told is the way Flip fits so much video data into its camera is by shooting to square pixels. Whether or not that is true, I don’t know. What I do know is that the Flip video has difficulty when being edited outside of the Flip video software. I captured some excellent interviews earlier this year and wanted to marry them up with a cool intro for Rocket’s Tail. The Flip Video just wasn’t compatible. Additionally, I have tried to upload the movies to Youtube without going through the export process or it’s native (upload to Youtube) option only to have Youtube’s file conversion fail. So, while I like fitting so much footage into the camera, I want video that is more compatible with other systems (PLEASE NOTE: I also shoot on an Insignia, which comes at a similar price, and I find similar issues with it’s footage).
  • The editing software – On the one hand, I very much like that there is editing software in the camera. On the other hand, some aspects of the software are limiting: 1). Low word count and/or control of the title screen and credit screen, 2). software only allows 4 pieces of footage to be edited together, 3). it doesn’t natively allow you to incorporate non-flip video in the edit (I know I keep coming back to melding video from different sources… but, it’s important to me!)
  • The microphone is located on the operator’s side of the camera… this is completely weird. I have heard that newer versions of the camera have fixed this… but for now, when you watch a Rocket’s Tail interview that was done on the Flip… my questions will be louder than the subject’s answers.

The Demo:

I had the fun happen stance of unknowingly introducing Liora Mendeloff (InstantMediaKit.com) to Matthew Gill (Burn the Boats Produtions), one of her clients. After raving about his experience with InstantMediaKit, Liora did what any good marketer would do; she asked for a testimonial. She pulled out her Flip Ultra and I immediately pulled out my FlipMino HD. What I tried to do was capture various lighting and sound situations available in the moment. There are some close-up and perspective shots. At times the subject is in silhouette. You be the judge.

Summary

The FlipMino HD has some great applications, but it’s not great for every application. If you’re doing Gotcha! journalism, the record alert light is not going to help. However, it’s great for those on-the-fly interviews or footage that will be instantly posted through the system, the images are great. If Flip comes out with a camera that delivers footage fully compatible with alternate editing systems, I want to check it out!  For versatility, ease-of-use (and pocket), the Flip takes the cake!

MTV’s Austin Chang talks about Streaming and Social Media

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Austin Chang talks about MTV‘s new approach to streaming and social media. Until recently, MTV utilized its online presence to augments its broadcast brands. Now, MTV is launching TRL, in an effort to tap into the audience to help them create the programming and allow the audience to interact with the programming in some new and interesting ways.

Video Explain’s Toilet Made from Poo!

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London based design student, Virginia Gardener has created a toilet that is not only made out of poo, but it also bio-degrades the poo and uses all the poo for all sorts of constructive things, without the use of water. Kudos go to Mark Dawson for a snappy video that demonstrates and explains the idea with the added benefit of exposing the viewer to Gardener’s very pleasant on-screen personae. We sure are glad for people who care, like Gardner, and for people like Dawson who introduce us to them. Great work guys!

Written by @SibLaw_Official

June 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Ready to Launch

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Screen Shot of Entry to aSiteAboutSomething.com

Tonight Press Forward Publications will launch aSiteAboutSomething.com. Promotional material of the site describe it this way: “Over two years in the making by a small coalition of the willing, talented and inspired and an even smaller budget, the site promotes the diverse novels and songs of Richard Geller.”

Coinciding with the launch of the website, Saxon Mills has produced a music video of one of Richard’s songs. “Wishing” is a song about people helping each other during hard times. It was my pleasure to work with Richard and the team of actors and filmmakers to realize a vision for a video with a powerful message. Releasing this video during what we hope is the bottom of the recession; we are curious to see if the piece touches a note with people, if people hear a call to action. The text “help where you can” flashes on screen at the end of the video.

Whether “Wishing” becomes a large commercial success, or remains an inspiration to a few, we wish Richard Geller and his team much success with their innovative approach to online, viral, and social marketing of Richard’s books and songs.

 

Written by @SibLaw_Official

May 27, 2009 at 10:57 am

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