March 7, 2012 1 Comment
March 5, 2012 2 Comments
A couple weeks ago, I posted an article about a new category of user-generated content (UGC) called professional user-generated content (PUGC). The concept is pretty simple. Professional user-generated content is that which is produced by an individual or group who wouldn’t normally have the means to broadcast across traditional media for purposes such as professional advancement, profit, commercial, etc. That’s the gist of it. Still, before reading the rest of this post, I recommend you read that post.
Online video being produced for professional purposes is beginning to migrate away from UGC sites like Facebook and YouTube. Producers are moving to paid hosts like Viddler for several reasons.
The shift to paid hosting services will really start to happen when professional content creators realize they can either give money to free video hosts like YouTube by directing much of their video-watching traffic to those sites, or they can use something like Viddler (which doesn’t aim to direct traffic back to its own website), keep most of the traffic they’ve generated, and ultimately increase their own profits.
When users watch the videos of individuals who produce content for professional purposes on YouTube, potential and value are lost. It’s a lot like when a million dollar house is built in an area full of 70-thousand dollar houses, the 70-thousand dollar houses go up in value while the million dollar house loses value just by being in the same market area. The same thing happens with web real estate. If Viddler client Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV, now retired) were to publish alongside skateboarding dog and cute kitty videos on YouTube, his content would lose value, and much would be lost in all the noise.
Another cause for the shift to paid hosting is the large percentage of boring content that fills free hosts like YouTube. Users want what they want when they want it. Only if the content is interesting will users give up control of which specific videos they’re watching. It’s the same reason TV channels that focus on one major attraction, like TBS focuses on comedy, are growing in popularity. Viewers don’t have to jump any hurdles to get close to what they want.
Marketing guru Seth Godin swears by the human tendency to form tribes; groups of people who express much enthusiasm on a topic. The YouTube tribe is made up of people who love YouTube. The NFL tribe is made up of people who love football; the ones who watch the NFL Network (TV channel) all year long. Publishing video through Viddler allows the producer to create its own tribe rather than borrowing people from YouTube’s. People have an innate desire to belong to tribes, Viddler puts the video on the producer’s website or application. This makes it easy for consumers to find and be part of the producer’s tribe.
Any PUGC video host will offer the benefits I mentioned above. I chose Viddler as my example because I believe it has the most potential. They’re known for outstanding customer service. It’s wise to market customer service right now because there is a lot of competition offering very similar features.
Viddler is also my favorite candidate for its ability to innovate. It’s a constantly changing, constantly growing company as far as features go. According to Ian Borg, Viddler’s Product Marketing Manager, they’re the ones who pioneered timed comments and timed video comments. They were also the first to support high quality video and playback on a large video player. These are only some of the many innovations. The folks at Viddler also reached out to another PUGC (predominately) platform by giving users the ability to comment on a video through WordPress. And another PUGC-oriented innovation by Viddler was the branded video player.
Plus, they’ve already got a handful of well known companies as clients. Sony, AOL, Fail Blog, and Engadget are just a few of them.
As you can see, Viddler’s doing a lot of things right. They’re strong contenders in a new market. My prediction about the future of online video, then, is this: Free video hosting sites like YouTube will remain leaders, but only in the UGC market (people posting videos for friends and family). The new market of PUGC video (people posting videos for professional purposes) will expand, and paid hosting services like Viddler will grow substantially. The shift in location of quality video will cause internet users to break up into tribes.
After that, technology will have advanced enough that users will host their own content. No need to worry about that now. We’ll get to it in a few years.
Note: I have worked with social media and online video for the past eight years, but I am aware that nobody can predict the future with 100% accuracy. That said, I hope you’ll share your disagreements and agreements with me in the comments!
- A New Way to Look at UGC and Social Media (Important Information) (mediumjoe.wordpress.com)
- Web Video Hosting Strategy for Small Business: Easy vs. Control (noobpreneur.com)
- The Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained (hubspot.com)
Filed under Culture, Marketing/Advertising, Predictions, Reviews, Social Media, Video Tagged with Business, Internet, Marketing, Media, Medium Joe, New Media, News, Prediction, Professional User-Generated Content, PUGC, Seth Godin, Social Media, Technology, Tribes, UGC, User-Generated Content, Viddler, Video, Web 2.0, WordPress, YouTube
February 27, 2012 2 Comments
After watching the festivities this weekend, I decided I better write about the magnificence that was NBA All Star Weekend. I kind of wanted to blog about it when I found out viewers would be judging the slam dunk contest through Twitter (and other web outlets). But at that point, I couldn’t come up with much to say other than the NBA will be the next NFL if it keeps up its presence in social media. Now, after watching everything, I’ve got plenty of great things to say about how the NBA handled All Star Weekend.
First of all, it was loaded with entertainment: Kevin Hart (comedian) and Arne Duncan (US Secretary of Defense) kicking butt in the celebrity game, Shaq smack talking Blake Griffin in the rising stars challenge, flashy musical performances by Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull and a handful of others, Jeremy Evans’ two-ball dunk in the #SpriteSlam contest, and top notch hustling by both teams in the all star game.
Built into all the entertainment was fantastic marketing. Super Bowl commercials are good, but NBA All Star Weekend is scores ahead of the SuperBowl as far as advertising goes.
I’m not sure if it was planned this way (it may have been), but the celebrity game turned out to be a great advertisement for the new basketball movie Kevin Hart is in, Think Like a Man. Hart stole the spotlight several times during the game; mostly with his crazy antics that seemed an awful lot like those of his character in the film. The movie trailer was shown during the game, and Hart won the award for MVP. The whole thing worked out as a big advertisement for the movie.
After receiving the award, Hart shared it with his teammate, Arne Duncan. That’s funny because he’s the Secretary of Education, and one of the charitable causes of All Star Weekend was keeping high schoolers from dropping out. The All Star game shot clock rule was changed, from the usual 24 seconds, to 26 seconds because every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school.
The NBA even integrated their advertising into Twitter. As I mentioned earlier, they did away with judges for the slam dunk contest, and allowed viewers to vote via Twitter. On top of that, they made the voting hashtag “#SpriteSlam.” This not only advertised the NBA by making it a trending topic on Twitter, it advertised Sprite at the same time.
As you can see, the NBA was really on the ball for All Star Weekend 2012. And, of course, they had several awesome advertisements in the form of traditional TV commercials too. I’ll leave you with my favorite one which is a Sprint commercial featuring Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. It’s the best celebrity endorsement commercial I’ve seen in a while.
- NBA All-Star Game 2012: Ways the NBA Can Improve Underwhelming All-Star Weekend (bleacherreport.com)
- Kevin Hart – NBA Celebrity All Star Game 2012 MVP Winner (kalongkong.wordpress.com)
- J. Cole Will Be All Over NBA All-Star Weekend (ksfm.radio.com)
Filed under Culture, Internet, Marketing/Advertising, Predictions, Reviews, Social Media, Sports, Television, Video Tagged with Advertising, Arne Duncan, Blake Griffin, Commercial, Entertainment, Kevin Hart, Marketing, Media, Medium Joe, National Basketball Association, NBA, NBA All-Star Weekend, NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest, News, Prediction, Social Media, Sports, Sprite Slam, Television, Thoughts, TV, Twitter
February 19, 2012 2 Comments
In 2005, user-generated Content (UGC) became a mainstream term. UGC is just what it sounds like, content produced by the individual consumer as opposed to content produced by large companies. If you’re still unsure, think of the crazy dance video someone just posted on YouTube, or the album review a Blink-182 fanatic just posted on Amazon.
Until now, UGC has been thought of as any content produced by the user. That means famous YouTubers like iJustine and Shay Carl were considered UGC producers. It means this blog, produced by me, was considered user-generated content.
Now, we need to move things a step further. There are clearly two types of UGC, and the separation is growing wider.
The two types are similar in that they both consist of content produced by individuals or small groups that wouldn’t normally have the means to broadcast over traditional media. The two types split when we look at uses and gratifications of user-generated content.
First, there is the UGC I mentioned in the first paragraph. We’ll just leave the title UGC to that. And we’ll define it as content produced by the user for purposes such as (I say “such as” because the reasons for using media fluctuate as trends and time pass. For an example of this, check out the new purpose Seth Godin discovered) self-expression, social interaction, personal documentation, etc.
Second, there is what I call professional user-generated content (PUGC). This is still content produced by individuals or small groups who wouldn’t normally have the means to broadcast over traditional media. But it is produced for purposes such as professional advancement, profit, etc. It’s UGC with more of a business aspect to it. YouTube celebrities like iJustine and Shay Carl fit more into the PUGC category.
Profit potential often causes the producer to take into greater consideration things like viewer acceptance and content quality. When these things are considered, consumers are more likely to consume. That is why PUGC must be separated from UGC; essentially, money talks. PUGC and UGC are separate economies.
In the next couple days, I’ll be publishing an article about a PUGC platform called Viddler. This article is a precursor to that one. If PUGC didn’t exist, Viddler would probably be dead because it would be in direct competition with YouTube. Instead, Viddler is a major player in the future of online video.
Of course, I didn’t forget the content produced by traditional media outlets and other large companies. This article is about individuals and small groups, so we’ll leave large companies/producers under the title Mass Media for now. Note: It’s also important for these guys to get in the UGC world at times. Most of them already use UGC platforms like Twitter, and several of them use PUGC platforms such as Viddler.
- UGC Competitions Are Key To Social Network Success (prweb.com)
- Idle Hands are the Devil’s Tools – Support in a Post-UGC World (hurricanelabs.com)
- What kind of web content will make my business more sustainable? (marketing.yell.com)
Filed under Culture, Internet, Marketing/Advertising, Predictions, Social Media Tagged with Advertising, Announcements, Business, Economics, Entertainment, Future, Marketing, Media, News, Prediction, Professional User-Generated Content, PUGC, Seth Godin, Social Media, Social network, Technology, Twitter, UGC, User-Generated Content, Viddler, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, YouTube
February 8, 2012 1 Comment
When my sister (a college student) mentioned her love of the social media site, Pinterest, I realized how popular it has become. I keep reading about it on tech news websites and even blogs of individuals. People are just smitten with it.
I’m sure many of you have heard of Pinterest. It’s a social, virtual bulletin board where users post favorite pictures, recipes, quotes, etc.
These days, one might wonder how another social network could possibly gain momentum in the crowded web of social networks. It’s pretty simply. Pinterest has content users like to see.
All social networks have similar user-generated content. All social networks allow that content to be interacted with; commented on, rated, “liked,” etc. Pinterest stands out from the rest in that it consolidates all of the most popular user-generated content onto its front page.
It creates an endless stream of top quality (based on user preference) content.
I recently read a study saying that two out of every three Tweets are “boring.” I believe it. And the same probably goes for every other social networking site.
Pinterest makes it easy for the consumer to consumer what she wants to consume. They weed out the two-thirds of boring content so the consumer doesn’t even have to see most of it. They provide more entertainment, less garbage. On top of that, much of the content is usable in real-life: recipes for valentine’s cards, art projects, food, etc.
- Are you addicted to Pinterest?- A teacher’s dream! (adaptivelearnin.wordpress.com)
- Why User-Generated Content Is More Important Than You Think (hubspot.com)
- Can Pinterest Sustain The Growth In 2012? (alltopstartups.com)
January 20, 2012 Leave a comment
There are two reasons why art is duplicated. First, an artist duplicates (not necessarily exact duplication, but as close in style and format as possible) a piece to bring back a forgotten or missed era. The punk rockers of the 80s brought back the simple chord progressions of the earliest rock’n'rollers. Second, an artist duplicates out of laziness. They duplicate what they know will sell.
It’s scary because more and more artists are duplicating for the second purpose. It impairs the continuation of beauty. It expands a world of art focused not on creativity, but on money or fame.
The songs are fine. The instrumentation is free of any noticeable mistakes. Everything is in key. But it’s the same thing that’s been on the radio for the past decade. There is no originality. And it really bothers me that a band like SafetySuit took this route because they’re one of those bands that has fans that will stick around no matter what. They could have at least gotten creative with the stereo field, or by using a different time signature; something.
If a group is going to put out new art, they shouldn’t put out the same art that’s been coming out for years. I really feel SafetySuit just put out another album because they had to. I’m sure they enjoy the songs and everything, but there’s just nothing spectacular or original.
Sure, the album is well made. The lyrics are good. I’m sure millions of teenagers and SafetySuit fans will buy the album. They might even get a couple radio hits out of it. Radio stations like carbon copies because, well, they’re in it for the money. Carbon copies are safe bets. But These Times will not have even come remotely close to advancing art.
Seth Godinonce said (years ago) that being creative is standing at the very edge of something, and building onto that edge; adding something new to it. SafetySuit successfully sat down right in the middle.
Normally, I don’t bother to review art that I dislike so much. But this isn’t just about giving my opinion on the work. This is about not letting art become a senseless, empty, uninspired wasteland. This aggression will not stand, man.SafetySuit isn’t the worst offender. There are much worse, but SafetySuit a group I didn’t expect this from. And they kind of drew the short straw on my list of bands to make an example of.
On the bright side, maybe all this unoriginal art means there is another art renaissance soon to come!
- Music Review: SafetySuit – These Times (blogcritics.org)
- Adele, Jason Mraz top 2012′s first Billboard chart (canada.com)
- Daughtry Announces Tour (q104.radio.com)
January 19, 2012 Leave a comment
Augmented reality is the thing I’ve heard most about in predictions for 2012. Sorry to keep bringing those things up, but this isn’t about predictions. This is just an informal post about augmented reality, and my idea for a sweet augmented reality game.
First of all, augmented reality is a way of seeing reality through a camera, on a screen. It’s that webcam effect that takes a picture and makes it look like your were underwater, or that iPhone appthat shows you all the constellations when you hold your phone toward the sky.
As a student of communications, I’m aware that many great minds believe we already live in an augmented reality. Many psychologist and philosophers say we see things through the languages we speak. Yellow is yellow because we call it yellow. It wouldn’t exist in our reality if we didn’t have a word for it. I’m not sure I agree with this theory as it’s extremely complicated, and very difficult to prove. It is certainly one of the most interesting topics I’ve ever talked about though.
Philosophical beliefs aside, here’s my idea:
A sword fighting game.
Two people hold their devices up so they can see the screens. They’re aiming the device cameras (not the face cameras, the ones on the back) at each other. On the screen, one sees the other. They hold up something that looks like a light saber without the light, just the handle. The device’s camera detects that handle, and creates a blade on the screen.
Bystanders see two people dueling with invisible swords. The duelers see an intense battle. When the blades clash, one must not move his sword through the other’s sword. If he does, the sword slips, and his opponent has an advantage. When the blades clash, the competitors must hold their wands steady, and slowly push toward each other’s blades, but only when their screen flashes. The first one to push at the wrong time slips. When someone gets stabbed, the vision gets blurry and wobbly.
There could even be a headset that holds the device in place.
How cool would that be? I mean, I’ve never tried it or anything, but I bet it would be fun. At least until the novelty of augmented reality wears off. Then, you’d have to have some kind of proximity-based ranking system (or some other competitive marker) to keep gamers interested. Either way, that’s my idea. What do you think?
Now for a tangent: Now that I’ve written this, I technically own the copyright (unless someone I don’t know of wrote this idea before me). However, if a large company wanted to steal my idea, they would. They know they could win in a court case because they’ve got the money for the lawyers. They could just keep fighting it until I have nothing left to fight with. It’s happened throughout history. It happens today, it happened when radio was invented.
At that, I’d like to offer, to anybody who wants to purchase my idea, the cost of half of what it would cost to take me to court for it. That’s a great deal, if you ask me.
One more thing, if SOPA/PIPA gets passed, it won’t be able to protect my intellectual property rights any better than the laws of the past protected the small guys.
- Wikitude voted Best Augmented Reality Browser 2011 (droidflash.wordpress.com)
- Birds and Mice Come to Life on Your Plate With Augmented Reality App [VIDEO] (mashable.com)
- Typographic Optical Illusions Predict The Future Of Augmented Reality (InnovationToronto.com)
Filed under Art, Culture, Informal, Internet, Predictions, Social Media, Video Games Tagged with 2012, Augmented reality, Consumer Electronics Show, Copyright, Design, Entertainment, Fun, Games, iPhone, Law, Media, Philosophy, PIPA, Prediction, Random, Social Media, SOPA, Sword, Technology, Thoughts, Virtual Reality
December 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Facebook had been around for quite some time before Mark Zuckerberg allowed advertisements to be placed on it. He worried Facebook wouldn’t be as cool if it had ads. Unfortunately, ads are like oxygen to a business like Facebook. Now, the ads won’t just be off to the side, they’ll be right in your news feed. If ads are like oxygen, then Facebook’s plans are like putting on an oxygen mask. But do they need an oxygen mask?
I’m sure Facebook is doing just fine with the ads off to the side, but social media is becoming more mobile every second. And the people who use Facebook on their mobile devices don’t see the side bar. I’m led to believe that ad placement in the news feed is Facebook’s way of adjusting to the mobile revolution (if you want to call it that).
Still, putting ads in the news feed seems to be Facebook’s first step away from its coolness. We’ll know for sure in January, but I have a feeling each sponsored item in the news feed is going to feel like a medium sized stick in an otherwise clear pathway. Up until news feed advertisements, users had complete control over what information came into their feed. Unless Facebook only uses sponsors that users are already subscribed to, that amount of control is diminished.
Usually the people at Facebook make the right decisions about this kind of thing. Maybe they will only use items that would be in a users feed anyway. If they do take that route, they’re geniuses for what they did a couple months ago.
In November, I praised Facebook’s well-disguised marketing device known to users as the “People To Subscribe To” section in the sidebar. If they’re only going to use items that a user is already subscribed to for the sponsored news feed posts, the “People to Subscribe To” section was a part of a brilliant plan. They got users to start following all of these marketers on their own. Now, they’ll start having the marketers pay for extra entries into user news feeds. If this was Facebook’s plan all along, I think we should all stop for a minute to recognize such grand planning and pure genius.
If their plan is to just start putting sponsored stories where users wouldn’t prefer them, they’re walking on the edge of a slippery slope. And they’re not that brilliant.
It’ll be interesting to see how all of this plays out. Especially since Google Plus – which hasn’t become as popular as many of us expected – doesn’t have any paid advertisements, but offers users all of the other gratifications that Facebook does.
November 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Call of Duty ELITE is basically a social network for Call of Duty players. They access the website through a computer or through their Xbox, and they can see their gaming statistics, those of their friends, and get all kinds of tips. I experienced the beta, and it’s actually very fun.
However, the site has been “temporarily” down since MW3 was released. Their servers were overloaded or something.
My question is:
Will this hurt Call of Duty ELITE since so many people are playing MW3 without it for so long. Or will it help Call of Duty ELITE because anticipation keeps building.
If ELITE is back on in the next couple weeks, I’ll be on to check it out. If it’s longer than that, I have a feeling I won’t bother.
It may be wise for ELITE to announce a new release date so the gamers don’t keep checking to see if it’s working yet. The more they check it when it’s down, the less likely they are to check it again.
I would love to see some other opinions on this. Let me know why you think this situation will help or hurt ELITE.