Francisco Espinosa

International Man of Mystery

Archive for May, 2010

HTML5 Video in Internet Explorer 9

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Article by: Dean Hachamovitch

In previous posts, we described why IE9 will support H.264-encoded HTML5 video. Microsoft and other browser providers see hardware support, customer and partner readiness, and intellectual property rights as key factors making H.264 an excellent choice for video encoding and playback. These posts generated a significant amount of support and suggestions. This feedback together with today’s industry announcements create a good opportunity to follow up and provide more information about HTML5 video support in IE9.

In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.

As we said at MIX recently, when it comes to HTML5, we’re all in. This level of commitment applies to the video codecs that IE9 will support as well. We are strongly committed to making sure that in IE9 you can safely view all types of content in all widely used formats. At the same time, Windows customers, developers, and site owners also want assurances that they are protected from IP rights issues when using IE9.

We have technical specifics to work through. We want to be clear about our intent to support the same markup in the open and interoperable web, and to do so in a manner consistent with our broad view of safety and security.

In the meantime, in choosing a video codec, customers and partners have many issues to consider.

Today, hardware support is widely available for H.264 both on PCs and phones. (You can read about the benefits of hardware acceleration here, or see an example of the benefits at the 26:35 mark here.) Codecs have been a source of security and reliability issues (link1, link2, link3, link4) for some users. New code often faces security issues; the H.264 codec in Windows 7 has been in broad use for some time now. Sites also need to think about the issues in supporting multiple formats.

As this article points out, the issue of potential patent liability is “ultimately for the courts to decide.” Some web groups have cited concerns about patent issues with similar codecs and the costs that may be associated with shipping codecs not covered by patent licenses. At the same time, there’s been community discussion about the lack of H.264 support in some browsers, for example here (via a comment on the IE blog).

Again, we want to be clear about our intent to support the same markup in the open and interoperable web. We are strongly committed to making sure that in IE9 you can safely view all types of content in all widely used formats. When it comes to video and HTML5, we’re all in. In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.

Thanks,

Dean Hachamovitch
General Manager, Internet Explorer

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 19th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Posted in Film/Video News,Tech

Five Quick Tips for Successful Online Video Marketing

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Article by: Troy Dreier

Creating great content is one thing, getting it noticed is another. Here are five steps you can take to reach the widest possible audience.

1. Add Subtitles
If you’re trying to reach people in office environments, keep in mind that they may well have the volume off on their computers. Those cloth cubicles don’t block sound and people don’t want to disturb their neighbors. Add subtitles, so the viewer can read along, and they’ll likely watch longer.

2. Make Embedding Easy
It might seem risky to let your videos play on other Web sites, but you’ll get a lot more traffic that way. If you’re offering compelling content, let your viewers share it. The positive word of mouth will do your company good.

3. Remember Metadata
Many of your viewers will come from search results, so make your videos easy to find. Make sure your work is titled well and that you use specific keywords to describe it in the metadata. Leave out the metadata and you’re throwing away hits.

4. Use, but Don’t Abuse, Social Networks
Yes, you should absolutely have a Twitter account to tell viewers about new videos, but don’t make those the only messages you tweet. If you do nothing but push videos, people won’t want to follow you. Entertain with messages about what’s going on in your company or provide information on your industry, as well.

5. Don’t Expect Results
If you’re creating videos to push your company’s products or services, don’t try to turn every viewer into a buyer. That will result in hard-sell videos that no one wants to watch. Instead, deliver content that people will enjoy watching and simply try to create a positive image around your brand.

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 18th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

The Three Types of Business Videos

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Article by: Troy Dreier

Before you get started creating videos for your business, take a minute to acquaint yourself with the three types of videos you can make. Each has its own purpose and own benefits.

To get a handle on the topic, we spoke to Steve Crow, executive producer and founder of Crow Digital Media, an online video production company based in Palo Alto, California. Crow has been shooting profiles, how-tos, and videocasts for the Silicon Valley area and beyond for three years, and was a web producer prior to that.

Viral
Viral videos get the most attention, since the media is constantly latching onto some bizarre new YouTube clip, but they’re the most challenging for companies to create.

A viral video is one that’s passed around from one viewer to the next, building an audience by word of mouth. They’re usually non-commercial, featuring some unusual event from daily life. But ever since there have been hot user-generated videos, there have been companies trying to bring the same heat to their online campaigns.

Even with producers well-versed in viral videos, however, the success of the video is simply out of your hands. There’s no way to ensure that a video goes viral. In the end, it’s up to the audience, says Crow, and he thinks the chance for success is narrow. You can film whatever unusual stunts you want, but you can’t make people recommend your work to their friends. If you’re doing something outlandish, just be sure you don’t hurt your brand. There could be a backlash for something tasteless or controversial, Crow says, although it would likely be only temporary.

Conversion
Most people creating online business videos are creating conversion videos, where you try to convert a viewer to a buyer, or simply make the viewer take some kind of action, such as clicking a link or requesting information. That defines the category too narrowly, however, says Crow. Creating a positive image of the corporate brand is also a successful result.

Before any kind of conversion can take place, you need to create an emotional or trusting relationship between the organization and the viewer. It’s a mistake to think that online videos work like television commercials or, even worse, infomercials, says Crow. Don’t create a hype-filled, inauthentic campaign.

There are some basic mistakes that Crow sees over and over with conversion videos. Don’t forget to brand the video with your company’s name and logo. You can’t build a relationship if your viewers don’t know who’s behind the video. And be sure to include a firm call to action at the end.

Educational
Don’t neglect the educational, or how-to, video, says Crow, because a lot of viewers are searching for them. If your business gives you some kind of expertise, create videos and share it on YouTube and other video hosting sites. The more you share, he says, the more your online reputation grows. When people turn to YouTube to learn how to fix a tire or cook a pizza, they could be getting your branding with the instructions.

This type of video can be done quickly and in-house. Make sure the sound quality is good, as viewers won’t watch something with poor sound, but the production values can be basic. Keep running time to three minutes or less. Use a variety of shots to illustrate your points, and make sure viewers can clearly see what you’re talking about.

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 18th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

How to Get Started with Google Analytics

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Article by: Troy Dreier

It’s amazing what you can get for free online. YouTube is free web syndication for many companies, and you can find royalty-free tracks on various sites to add music to your videos. Leave it to Google to provide not just free website analytics, but really good analytics. If you haven’t gotten started with Google Analytics yet, spend a little time adding it to your site. You’ll learn a lot more than just how many views you’re getting.

1. Create Your Account
The accounts are free, so go to the Google Analytics homepage and sign up for one. All you’ll need is a site URL and your contact information. Once you’ve registered, you’ll get a tracking code that you’ll use later.

2. Customize Your Profile
Next, you’ll want to tweak your profile so that Google Analytics gives you exactly the information you need. Tell the profile what the default homepage is for your site, for example. If you sell goods over your site, you’ll need to indicate that this is an e-commerce site.

3. Use the Tracking Code
Google Analytics won’t track just any old site: it looks for unique tracking information buried in your site’s coding. Before the service can tell you about your visitors, you’ll need to have your unique code added to every page on your site. You’re going to add it just before the tag at the end of your pages, so a simple find-and-replace will have the whole site done quickly. After you’ve added the tag and republished your site, you should be able to see results on Google Analytics within 24 hours.

4. Set up Filters
You won’t want to track every hit your site gets. You might get a lot of traffic from your own employees, but that information won’t do you much good. To exclude certain results from your reports, set up filters. Go to the Analytics Settings page and click to add a filter. To block results from your internal employees, you can set up a filter for your IP address. You can also set up filters based on the domain or the geographical location.

5. Add your Site Employees
Everyone working on your website should have access to the Google Analytics data so they can monitor it to improve your site’s performance. Let the people creating your videos see which ones are getting the most hits. After all, they need to learn what your customers are interested in. Do so by clicking User Manager and then clicking Add. You can decide if each added person can view reports only or log in as an administrator.

Tip: To get accurate information from Google Analytics, you’ll need to be sure you’ve added your tracking code to every page on your site. Rather than sort through they pages by hand, let SiteScan do the work for you. This online tool (another great free service) will scan your site and report back if it finds any errors.

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 18th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Tech

Hard Rock Cafe Supporting Denver Zoo

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The month of May will be rocking as Hard Rock Café Denver offers two ways for you to support Denver Zoo. From May 1-31, Zoo visitors can bring their admission ticket stubs or Denver Zoo membership cards to Hard Rock Café Denver on the 16th Street Mall and Hard Rock will donate 15 percent of a lunch or dinner purchase (not including alcohol) to the Zoo.

Hard Rock Café Denver also has designed an exclusive, limited-edition pin to benefit Denver Zoo, available in Hard Rock’s Rock Shop for $12. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Denver Zoo.

Hard Rock Cafe - Denver Zoo Pin

Click here :: Hard Rock Cafe – Denver website

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 18th, 2010 at 11:57 am

Posted in Random

Webinar – How to Be a Video Blogging Powerhouse

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Join Steve Garfield and Gary Lombardo for a free webinar
May 20, 2010 at 2pm ET

Video blogging has become a top activity on the web, as online video has taken off as an effective way to communicate with an audience. Steve Garfield, author the recently released book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Business, is one of the web’s first video bloggers, having launched his own regular video blog in 2004. Since then, he’s become a leading expert and innovator with online video. Join Steve and Gary Lombardo of Brightcove, as they provide you with insight on what you need to do to be successful in building your business with video blogging.

Topics include:

* What equipment you will need to get started
* Tips on creating great videos and thinking like an editor
* Best practices in producing & publishing video on your blog
* Optimizing your video blogging efforts
* Examples of video bloggers that have become online powerhouses

Register for webinar at brightcove.com :: Click here to register.

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 17th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

12th Annual Downtown Denver Arts Festival

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The 12th Annual Downtown Denver Arts Festival is happening on Memorial weekend – May 28-31 – at the Denver Pavilions – 16th & Glenarm. This festival showcases only Colorado fine artists and this year there are over 130 from all over the state. The festival opens Friday evening at 4PM and is open each day through Monday.

For more information including a map and an artist preview go to the website :: Click for Downtown Denver Arts Festival website.

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 17th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Art

Interesting Facebook Infographic

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Facebook Infographic

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 14th, 2010 at 11:12 am

Posted in Social Media,Tech

From On-Demand to Always On

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From On-Demand to Always On /// How to Reach and Engage a Mobile Audience
Sponsored by: Limelight Networks
May 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm EDT

Limelight Networks and MTV Networks
Talk Mobile Video

The webcast will cover:

Media delivery to mobile browsers and mobile apps across a wide array of devices
A range of publisher scenarios from premium television delivery to “how-to” video streams
A list of variables to consider when forming a mobile strategy, as well as recommendations for implementation and monetization
An in-depth look at how MTV Networks has expanded into mobile delivery with many of its well-known television brands.

Register now for this FREE live web broadcast :: Click here to register now on StreamingMedia.com

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 14th, 2010 at 10:35 am

Posted in Tech

3 Ways to Leverage the Power of Online Video

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Article by: Ethan Boldt

Seventy-one percent of Internet users watch video. If you’re a C-level executive, 33 percent of you under the age of 50 check out work-related videos on a daily basis. And, overall, 65 percent of all videos are viewed Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Those stats came courtesy of Chris Crafton , chief marketing officer for eCorpTV.com, at a recent Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association networking and breakfast meeting. And those stats woke everybody up in a hurry. Online video has to be taken more seriously. After all, it’s got low deployment costs, lower production costs than those of a few years ago, message control and the ability to track results.

Crafton stated that B-to-B marketers are using online video with many goals in mind, including employee training, customer service, marketing, product launches, trade show promotion, branding and more. “Brands using online video have seen lifts of 20 [percent] to 40 percent in terms of incremental buying, with conversions that are twice the rate of other media,” he revealed.

Just as significant, Crafton noted that online videos are 53 times more likely than text pages to pop up on the first page of search engine results.

So, how do you leverage this potential power? The next speaker, Craig Hunter , director of global Web marketing for Vishay Intertechnology—one of the world’s largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive components—showed how his company successfully uses online video to engage with design engineers about its technical products.

1. Shorter succeeds. The optimal video length appears to be only 90 to 100 seconds. Why? Crafton explained, “You want to raise interest and engage with your audience. Any longer than 100 seconds, and you’re likely to lose them.”

2. Improv! According to Hunter, scripts don’t work nearly as well as ad-libbing. Then, you cut the video into workable segments through the employment of jpeg images, screenshots and logos.

3. Post those videos. Make sure you put videos in a prominent place on your corporate website, and include a description as well as a link to other related content that can increase engagement. Also, offer accessibility to other related videos.

Of course, Hunter also recommended that marketers go beyond the corporate website with their videos, including channel partner websites, e-newsletters, e-mail footers, social networking fan pages, industry websites and so on. He concluded, “Distribute to as many places as you can and promote the video to get the most for your investment.”

Written by Francisco Espinosa

May 12th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Social Media,Tech