Five Digital Media Updates Making Headlines

3Here are five digital media news stories ripped from the headlines. I’m most interested in Amazon’s entry into the Internet of Things, one of my tech obsessions and Periscope’s new On Air Button. I’ll be using Periscope to do a live broadcast of my “Social Media For Nonprofits” talk at The Daily Good Conference and to broadcast the breakaway sessions. I’ll report back on my user experience with the web page interface after the conference. In the meantime, here are my picks for the top five digital media news stories making headlines.

Variety: Snapchat Shutters Original Content Channel

Snapchat is laying off members of a team assigned to a channel on its Discover platform devoted to original programming, dubbed Snap Channel.

The closure has prompted the exit of Marcus Wiley, a former executive with broadcast network Fox who was brought on to figure out how Snapchat would build up its programming lineup. Since his hire in May, Wiley led a group of 15 that has been disbanded, with some being pink-slipped and others being reassigned elsewhere in the company.

Until its removal from Discover a few weeks ago, Snap was the home of short-form content produced internally at Snapchat since launching in January. The channel was once home to ‘Literally Can’t Even,’ a split-screen comedy series starring and written by Sasha Spielberg, daughter of Steven Spielberg, and Emily Goldwyn, daughter of John Goldwyn”

TNW: Periscope now has an embeddable ‘On Air’ button for broadcasts

“Periscope now has an On Air button for websites that tell everyone when a broadcast is live.

It’s a useful little tweak that anyone can use. All you have to do is enter your Periscope username (typically your Twitter handle without the ‘@‘) into Periscope’s button generator, and it creates a code so you can embed a button into a webpage. Your username takes the place of the ‘broadcaster’ text, seen below.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.40.32 PM

Periscope’s On Air button also comes in two sizes, and automatically toggles when a broadcast goes live.”

Re/code: Twitter Unveils New Video Advertising Strategy

“The company is taking a different approach to video ads. More precisely: Twitter is adopting YouTube’s video advertising approach. What that means is that publishers and video makers can upload their video to Twitter, and Twitter will attach short ‘pre-roll’ ads in front of those clips and split the ad revenue with the video owners. Which is how YouTube, the world’s biggest video site, does it, too.”

TechCrunch: Amazon Launches AWS IoT — A Platform For Building, Managing And Analyzing The Internet Of Things

“Make way for another big player entering the Internet of Things space. Amazon today is announcing its long-awaited IoT platform for AWS at its re:Invent developer conference in Las Vegas. As Amazon describes it, it is a managed cloud platform ‘that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.’ The platform, which is launching in beta, will be able to support billions of devices and trillions of messages, ‘and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and to other devices reliably and securely.’ AWS IoT will integrate with Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, and Amazon DynamoDB to build IoT applications, manage infrastructure and analyze data.”

Advertising Age: Reuters Is the Latest to Try Reinventing News With Digital TV Service

“Early next year, the company plans to introduce Reuters.TV, an ad-supported digital service that allows subscribers to receive personalized video content created solely for the platform. Reuters.TV will cost a monthly fee, but the company declined to say how much it will be. The service will initially be available on iPhones and iPads.”

5 Tips For Your Crowdfunding Pitch

3Thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign? Maybe you want to raise money for an upcoming project. Or, maybe your client needs to fund a worthy cause. Whether it’s raising money for your next CD project or a fundraiser to send a group of students abroad to study, there are a few things you should consider before you launch a crowdfunding campaign. One of the most important things to consider is the crowdfunding pitch. It’s the story behind what you are doing and why anyone would want to give to your cause. I’ve been working on a small crowdfunding campaign that is going to lead to a larger, capital campaign. Here are things I’ve learned along the way and five things to consider when beginning your crowdfunding campaign.

Any crowdfunding campaign starts with the pitch. Your crowdfunding campaign pitch is your first point of contact with potential donors. For your pitch to be effective it’s crucial to plan and include all the elements that make a compelling story.

A Crowdfunding Pitch Needs To Include:

  1. The Backstory – What is the campaign? Why will people care? Why will they donate? Talk about where the crowdfunding efforts will go and how it will help you or your cause. Show your passion, explain the impact of your campaign or explain about the people who will benefit from it.
  2. A Thought Provoking Video – Video clips give visitors a better idea of your project — they can see you or your project in action and not clicking through a series of static images. Do you have assets such as photos, powerpoint slides or digital images that can be assembled into a compelling video? If so, you’re halfway there.
  3. What You Are Raising Money For – Be specific and include your funding goal. Also include a breakdown of where the money is going and the purpose it will serve.
  4. When Will Your Project Take Place – Set a deadline, this creates a sense of urgency.
  5. How People Can Get involved – Have a multi-level donation stream offering. What will people get if they donate $1000, $50 right on down to a $25 donation? Beyond just donating money, what else can people do to help you? Outline any perks you have created.

Once all the elements for the pitch are addressed, then you much decide one of the most important details, which crowdfunding site to use.

Crowdfunding Sites– There are several crowdfunding sites. Each has their own pros and cons. Research the ones that will best suit your campaign and don’t be shy about asking others what has worked for them. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Then when you are ready to roll out share, share, and share some more.

Need help getting your crowdfunding campaign started? I’m here to help!

You Can’t Afford Not to Do Video Marketing

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You can’t afford not to do video. Seriously. You can’t.

“In a world where earning attention is harder and harder, and customer acquisition is getting more and more expensive, video is one of, if not the best, way of earning those eyeballs. By 2017, video will account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, according to Cisco.

In comparison with text content, video quickly delivers information to our brains in a way that makes it easy for them to digest. Using video results in better conversion rates for businesses and provides a better, more human relationship with their customers, that increases brand awareness, loyalty, and fuels sales.”

Read the full article on Why You Can’t Afford Not to Do Video from Entrepreneur.com. Then when you are ready let me and my team help you with your video marketing needs!

Know The Length of Everything Online

Have you ever wondered how long your blog posts should be? That email you just sent, was it too wordy? What about your Facebook update? Did it go on forever? Maybe you’ve agonized over the proper word count for a blog title. Oh, come on, don’t act like it’s just me.

How long should your email be? How many characters should you use in your Facebook post? What is the proper count for use as your titles, tags, and other descriptions?

A lot of time has been put into calculating the exact length of titles, tags, posts and everything in between. The crazy good people at The Next Web have found out the best length for everything on the Internet. In fact, I may be typing too much right now! Take a look.

The-Length-of-Everything-online infographi

Editors Note: I took their advice. The title of this blog is only six characters, as they indicated it should be. Interestingly enough, the title of their blog was eight words. Things that make you go, hmmm.

Search Engines Want To Sit Between YOU and Your Friends

You may have noticed that the online marketing strategist in your life has been sweating a little more than usual these days. It’s not because the heat inside your building is set to unnaturally high temperatures to combat the cold. Thanks to recent changes in search engine security, online marketing has just gotten a bit more challenging.

Major search engines – including Google, Yahoo, and little brother Bing – are looking to find that sweet spot between customer privacy and satisfaction. As Christopher Soghoian, technology researcher and Principal Technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union, stated during his speech with Edward Snowden at SXSW, “Google, Yahoo and other internet companies want to sit between the conversations you have with your friends and add value…That business model is incompatible with your security, with your having a secure, end-to-end connection to your friends.”

Players in the virtual world were up in arms after revelations about government internet monitoring were brought to life (synopsis here). In response, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and six other integral names in the information exchange mix formed Global Government Surveillance Reform. This committee strives to limit government oversight of user data and increase transparency of back-end snooping.

So why are marketing strategists feeling the stress? You may notice (or, if you didn’t, you will notice it now) that after you type a search into Google, the resulting page URL begins with HTTPS. This extraneous S automatically encrypts data or veils them to potential eavesdroppers. This means that keywords, or search terms that eventually lead a potential customer to your site, will no longer be included in the analytics.

Yes, keyword searches are an important piece of the marketing puzzle. They provide valuable insight into how you can move your website up the Google food chain. However, this recent layer of protection is not an impenetrable barrier. Here are some ways that you can respond to this strategy change:

  • Enlist outside help. Programs offering ways to interpret available data have begun to surface. For example, gShift Labs unveiled Not Provided, a program that analyzes daily metrics to offer popular keywords. Their website advises this product is best for medium-sized-and-up companies, so if you’re a small business, this may not be work for you.
  • Pay to play. Those who advertise on Google using AdWords still receive keyword data. Yahoo and Bing do not. This handy chart breaks down the differences between each major search engine’s handling of secure search.
  • Keep doing what you’re doing, and then some. You are the expert on your intended audience. When maintaining your online presence, it’s important to research key terms and common subjects; however, trying to stick to a few choice statements puts barriers on creativity and increases chances of redundancy. Having limited contact with keywords limits your chances of self-imposed restraint. Given that changes in security, protocol will not affect current rankings on search engines, embrace your new-found freedom and get creative with content!

Look at it this way, marketing gurus: secure searching is a challenge, but not a barrier. It’s time to let your flag fly: highlight your great design of infographics and not your ability to work “changemaker” and “sustainability” onto every page. If you build it and build it well, your well-protected clientele will come.

This post was originally written All Things E.

It’s a Smart World After All

The “Internet of Things” is exploding.  It’s made up of billions of “smart” devices — from minuscule chips to mammoth machines — that use wireless technology to talk to each other.  Our IoT world is growing at a breathtaking pace–from 2 billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 202.  SOURCES: IDC, Intel, United nations:

VIDEO: The Smart Work in 2020

In his post, When Things Matter More than People, author and marketer, Geoff Livingston shared that:

The Internet of Things is beginning to drive the tech industry and soon the marketing and media sector. You need look no further than this year’s CES to see the trend unfold. At the same time, social media is losing luster in the eyes of traditional technologists and marketers.

The Internet of Things incorporates Internet capable sensors into many objects in day-to-day life, including current electronics but also new unthought of ones (like refrigerator magnets).

iStrategy LabsPeter Corbett recently noted that Internet of Things trend was becoming a powerhouse in marketing: “If you’re a communicator and you’re not at least conversant in what’s going on in that space you’re at a dramatic disadvantage. With this technology, you can build anything from a James Bond style bookshelf opener to a Spongebob Skill Crane that you can play with over the Internet.”

Silicon Valley investors like Marc Andressen are focusing on start-ups that leverage sensors. And with good reason. The market opportunity for this new layer of smart things is huge.

From a marketing perspective, the Internet of Things allows incredible new possibilities for precision. Connected ads allow brands to serve content based on someone’s demographics as determined by their physical body or the data they willingly surrender via social media, mobile phones, and web cookies. Unique applications can be created (like pizza delivery by pressing the aforementioned refrigerator magnet) or apps like Nike’s sensor-driven Fuelband.

He goes on to share: It’s not that businesses won’t continue spending on social or that PR people/community managers will be out of work. Far from it. Social isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s a primary driver of data needed for contextual media and word of mouth trust. Social remains a valuable asset for companies.

It’s not that businesses won’t continue spending on social or that PR people/community managers will be out of work. Far from it. Social isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s a primary driver of data needed for contextual media and word-of-mouth trust. Social remains a valuable asset for companies.

It’s just that, well, social media marketing is not new anymore. You could argue that companies are in the learning phase, but last I checked they were still determining how to build a decent website, too.

Although I agree with Livingston that social isn’t going anywhere, I do wonder how companies can keep up with the trends and yet still stay true to our Brand Promise. How are we able to continue to make those personal connections; to remain change agents.  I asked Livingston, “what can you share with current social media marketing experts who may have no clue how to wrap their brains around the concepts you shared in your blog?  You say “social” isn’t going away but surely strategist will need to think about how they continue to market.  What should they be doing now to stay relevant and on top of things for their clients?”  Livingston replied:

I think social media marketers need to focus on how and where their interactions impact the customer acquisition life-cycle. We know now that social is not just top of the funnel, but an actual medium that touches various points. Where do you fit in, and how do you make sales increase?

I think social media marketers need to focus on how and where their interactions impact the customer acquisition life-cycle. We know now that social is not just top of the funnel, but really a medium that touches various points. Where do you fit in, and how do you make sales increase?

 

This post originally appeared in AllThingsE.  Read the full story here.

Bridging the Tech Divide… it all starts with an idea.

I had a great day geeking out with the Baltimore New Economy Tech Initiative Collaboration team.  We came together to discover, dream, and rediscover programs that will ultimately drive the citizens of Baltimore on a holistic tech entrepreneurship path. 

The challenge: create a program for 18 – 30-year-olds in the Baltimore, Maryland area that will teach financial literacy and tech entrepreneurship.  The things to consider: the digital divide is not about people who don’t’ have access to technology.  Rather, many in underserved communities do not know how to use the technology they have to create real change. 

The conversation is just getting started, but it was a wonderful day of great ideas, passion and innovation.  Special thanks to the Baltimore Mayor’s Office on Information Technology for pulling us all together.  

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Sony Hacked… AGAIN!

Hackers may have stolen the personal information of 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment users, the company said on Monday.

Amplify’d from www.wired.com

Sony Online Entertainment games like DC Universe Online were taken down Monday, after a security breach that exposed 24.6 million Sony users’ accounts and some credit card numbers.
Image courtesy Sony Online Entertainment

It’s bad news piled on top of bad news for Sony.

Hackers may have stolen the personal information of 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment users, the company said on Monday. More than 20,000 credit card and bank account numbers were also put at risk. This is in addition to the recent leak of over 70 million accounts from Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

“We are today advising you that the personal information you provided us in connection with your SOE account may have been stolen in a cyberattack,” Sony wrote in a statement on its website on Monday.

Sony Online Entertainment is a division of the company that publishes online multiplayer games like the recently released DC Universe Online. Sony turned off all SOE game services Monday after it learned of the intrusion.

Sony said that the compromised personal information includes customers’ names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birth dates, gender, phone numbers, logins and hashed passwords.

Also at risk are the credit card numbers and expiration dates of 12,700 non-U.S. customers, plus 10,700 direct debit records from customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, containing bank-account numbers, customers’ names and addresses. This information was stored in what Sony said was an “outdated database from 2007.”

Hackers may have had this information for more than two weeks now. The intrusion occurred April 16 and 17, Sony said.

Customers first noticed that Sony’s PlayStation Network service was down April 20. After a week of downtime, the company said that hackers had attacked its services and that the personal and credit card information associated with more than 70 million accounts were at risk.

At the time, Sony said that the Online Entertainment division had not been affected by the hack and would remain in operation, telling customers that their data was safe to the best of its knowledge.

Though both Visa and American Express told Wired.com last week that they had no reason to believe their credit cards had been compromised, several dozen Ars Technica readers reported what they believed to be PSN-connected fraud.

The PlayStation Network is still offline, but Sony says it will restore some services later this week, including online multiplayer gaming for PlayStation 3 and PSP. As a goodwill gesture, Sony says it will offer all customers a selection of downloadable content and 30 free days of its premium PlayStation Plus service.

As compensation for the Sony Online Entertainment leak, Sony said that it will give all of its customers 30 days of additional subscription time, plus an extra day for each day the servers remain down.

Sony did not say when its SOE services would be back online.

Read more at www.wired.com

 

Publishing Companies Prepare Tablet App Store… notice I did NOT say iPad Store

If you can’t beat ’em… join ’em. Here’s how newspapers and magazines are competing in the eMarket while snubbing Apple’s iPad.

Amplify’d from www.mediabistro.com

Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst Corporation, and Meredith Corporation are adding the finishing touches to their tablet app store. Morgan Guenther, the Chief Executive of Next Issue Media (NIM), the new venture owned by the publishing companies, says that it should launch within the next few months.

He says that when the store launches, it will feature at least two titles from each of the companies, and by this summer, every magazine will be available. Guenther also says that News Corporation’s (another owner of NIM) newspapers will be available by then.

For now, the app store will only be available on Android tablets. This is because NIM is the result of publishing houses not wanting other companies (read: Apple) to dictate how their products are distributed.

For NIM, its success comes down to one thing: Will people snub iPads in order to get their favorite magazines on a tablet? Right now Apple has the advantage because the iPad has been out for so long; not to mention the cool factor that comes with the brand.

We’re guessing Apple will win this battle, because being cool is very fun, even if it does mean missing out on tablet versions of O: The Oprah Magazine. Besides, we can probably guess who’ll be on the cover.

Read more at www.mediabistro.com

 

2011: The Rise of a New Breed of Blogger

I am LOVING the term “Lifestyle Blogger”. Have I found my calling?

Dec 27, 2010Let’s face it: blogging is big business. I predict that in 2011, there will be a rise of Lifestyle Bloggers. This new breed of business-savvy blogger not only writes, but also handles business development and prioritizes having a fulfilling life NOW. Cash flow positive with a happy, small and flexible team, this type of blogger has a balanced, sustainable new business model.

As creating content gets easier, we are faced with more noise online than ever before and more data than people are willing or able to parse. Curation was the inevitable trend of 2010 — everyone from huge corporations to small businesses to college kids uses platforms like Tumblr and Twitter to distribute content and create influence. In 2011, we’ll need people to curate the curators to find a more refined signal.

This is where the Lifestyle Blogger comes in. Are you a Lifestyle Blogger? Do you want to be? If not, does your business know how to best work with and benefit from this rising group?

Read more at www247.americanexpress.com