Monthly Archive for January, 2008

subscribe to pixelpod’s shared items

I’ve been writing this blog for about a year now. During that time my RSS feeds have grown exponentially to crazy proportions (I go through 600+ a day). Over the last week I’ve begun to add the most interesting ones to my Google Shared Items – it’s much quicker than posting them and most of the time I don’t have a particular opinion to add – they’re just interesting. Hope you enjoy it.

Feel free to subscribe to my Google Shared Items to get a pick of the most interesting stuff.

I’ll still be writing on this blog so keep checking back, or subscribe to my pixelblog feed Cheers.

dataportability.org – what it means in a nutshell

Great video outlining what DataPortability.org offers to users:


DataPortability – Connect, Control, Share, Remix from Smashcut Media on Vimeo
More information can be found on ReadWriteWeb.

From a brand point of view it’s important to realise that by incorporating the same accessibility you’re enabling more people the opportunity of interacting and experiencing your own content, brand and services.

making a video go ‘viral’ – Who vs. How Many

A couple of months back a guest post on TechCrunch outlined how he gets at least 10,000 people watching his clients’ “viral” videos.

The writer was Dan Ackerman Greenberg, co-founder of The Commotion Group and he got roasted alive for the ‘secrets’ he outlined.

The main reasons for this were to do with the underhand methods he described. What his views showed was that it was clearly possible to force something viral. What it also highlighted was the liklihood of being shown up if you did it badly – being seen as a charlatan is the last thing a big brand wants – particularly if they’re pushing their content in order to generate greater advocacy – it’s counter-productive.

There was another post I found recently which showed another way of doing it. Written by Kevin Nalts, a career marketer, on his blog willvideoforfood has written a 34 page booklet on how to promote your videos on YouTube. Called “How To Become Popular on YouTube (Without Any Talent)“, it explains how hard work, passion and dedication have made him the YouTuber he is today.

Both the above views should be read and digested. When it comes to promoting content on behalf of a brand a balance between the two views needs to be found. More often than not there simply isn’t the resource available to create the kind of YouTube persona that Kevin has achieved – it’s only over a long period of time and constant effort that he’s created the influence he has. More often than not agencies need to hire that kind of influence in the form of a guerilla marketing company along the lines of The Commotion Group.

However, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure content spreads successfully:

  • Content - Is the subject matter and story compelling enough to get people to pass it along? This is a different question to whether or not it’s entertaining.
  • Optimisation – This has to do with how long the clip is, how you optimize it, what tags you use, and when you submit it. In this regard, both Dan and Kevin have some excellent suggestions which are worth reading.
  • Reach – This is a key element to getting a video viewed by as many people as possible. It boils down to finding the right influencers to pass it on. In Kevin’s situation he is the influencer. This is the best scenario – by truly spending the time to find people that the video will be relevant for. The worst way is to spam large groups of people; only a small percentage of whom will find it relevant, and to fabricate identities which leads to the 4th factor
  • Inflation - This is where the views of Kevin & Dan vary the most. A key element of Dan’s strategy in making videos go viral amounts to Inflation. By gaining views by spamming friends, creating fake profiles and hiring ‘click monkeys’ it’s true that you do get better stats, sadly they are tactics that many SMO are employing, bringing the entire business sector down with them.

YouTube and others are investing a great deal of time and effort against fraudsters who employ inflation and spamming. Whilst it’s possible to create an approach that avoids necessitating use of Inflation, it may mean that you don’t reach that elusive 100,000 viewer mark.

At the end of the day, a much better metric for success is usually whether the right people saw the video, not whether the right number of people saw it…

“The more people you reach the more likely it is that you’re reaching the wrong people” – Seth Godin

cultivating a brand

pato
The Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato, born 18 years ago when Napoli last won the championship, is expected to make his feverishly anticipated debut for Milan. Beginning at the age of 3, “Pato” has already put 15 years into his career.

Nicknamed ‘The Duck’, the translation of his surname and place of birth, Pato is regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in world football in recent years.

Pato, signed from Internacional di Porto Alegre for 14.5 million Euros (equivalent to $21.5 million today) after the under-20 World Cup, is the most highly regarded player to come out of Brazil since Kaka, his Milan teammate. But because of his age, he had to wait until January to be eligible to play for the senior team.

This is what he is: Cool, calm, collected, communicative, endearing. This is what he is not: Over-hyped. Most of the hype is coming from his fans themselves, including a few photo montages on YouTube by love-sick self-dubbed Patomaniacas.

Read more.

I was struck by the similarities to our own Lewis Hamilton.

lewis_hamilton

I was going to add to Brand Noise’s conversation, but it involved logging in and alot of hassles, so I’m tracking back to them.

flip.com turns to widgets

fliplogo

Flip.com was launched in February 2007. Today Conde Nast, which owns flip.com, announced that it was reversing its strategy saying that Flip will be “reshaped as a flexible web application designed to live on social networking platform, starting with Facebook.”

Translation: “We give up.”

flipcom

From the above you can see that at its peak flip.com was getting over 400,000 monthly users, so what happened?

I think there are a number of reasons:

  1. The campaign money ran out – social communities need to keep going far longer than your average campaign timeframe otherwise the time invested by your audience will turn from advocacy to distrust.
  2. There weren’t enough clearly defined success criteria to guage whether more investment should be made in maintaining it.
  3. The ‘niche’ they were going for (teenage girls) wasn’t niche enough. It was too big a market segment to succeed.
  4. Flip.com was born out of a print culture – they couldn’t conceive of simply building an application – which is what they’ve ended up with, so they created alot of editorial that people didn’t read or interact with.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens…

more

Alternative Reality Games

Following on from the below quote, AGRs have really taken off recently.

‘Lost’ carved out a huge following last year with it’s online biscuit trail of rumour and intrigue, and it’s going for it again with Fly Oceanic Air.

It started with billboards spotted in Knoxville, Tennessee. The billboards advertised a URL, www.flyoceanicair.com.

On visiting the website, you are sucked into an adventure involving multiple websites, video diaries, photos with text hidden among the pixels, clue hunts, and strategy games. You can even call a toll-free phone number and get progress updates about the search for missing Oceanic Flight 815. Interesting characters and mysteries keep web players engaged and new content is posted at seemingly random intervals, forcing frequent check-ins to see if there’s anything new.

Last week Enitech Technology popped up as well…

  1. Enitech Research’s blog began posting in June last year, with links off to other bogs starting in October. Content on it started coming thick and fast at the beginning of the month.
  2. Despite that, even as early as October there are blog posts which link out to other fake blogs which go into minute details concerning the physics behind the research companies.
  3. 4 days ago a video was posted onto YouTube by an Enitech employee, in it she mentions that they’ve created something that enables them to see something like 1193 into the future.
  4. The FOX promotional website to Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (http://www.takebackthefuture.com/) has a countdown clock matching the same number of days.
  5. In the video she mentions that one of her previous jobs was at Cyberdyne (which any Terminator fan will remember as the California tech outfit that reverse-engineered the technology to build Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger).
  6. There’s a Facebook group for Former Cyberdyne Systems Employees.
  7. Enitech’s blog post today integrates comments & suggestions left by visitors on previous posts.

ARGs are a perfect fit for sponsors looking to fund immersive, cutting-edge brand experiences and for people who love a good story — not to mention the feeling of contributing to it — There’s a whole genre of interactive experience here that we’re only just seeing the start of…

“Intelligence is advertising turned inside out”

“Secrets are the very root of cool.” – Spook Country, William Gibson.

Your facebook profile page is your social desktop

Every once in a while I clean up my desktop. I remove all the crap that’s been saved to it, copied in haste and not filed away properly, and delete it all.

In another move that strengthens the concept of your facebook profile page being your social desktop, they have just launched a “Profile Clean-up Tool”.

The Profile Clean-Up Tool will recommend to users that they keep their Friends, Mini Feed, Wall, Basic, Personal Infomration and the top 12 application boxes. Any other applications which are currently installed but not used as much as those top 12 will be placed into a “Show Extended Profile” box.

The profile box is a major point of both existing user re-engagement and new user acquisition – A surprising number of applications are downloaded after seeing them on friends’ profile pages as opposed to invites and the Application browser – Any move by facebook to ‘hide’ application boxes from profile pages is bound to negatively impact application use and growth. That being said, the average facebook user has 13 applications installed, so this change should hide at most only 7.5% of a person’s profile box.

Ultimately, I think this is a good move which protects the user experience – some profile pages were taking as much as 30 secs or more to load. Add to this the knowledge facebook have of seeing user’s ‘spring-clean’ their profile pages every 3-4 months and it makes sense.




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