Monday, November 22, 2010

Reviewing ReelSEO’s Google TV Prep Blog

Is it premature to start making recommendations on how to prepare for Google TV when the API isn’t even available yet? Perhaps, but we all know that those who are most prepared are often the first ones to get picked up and those who are the first often get the most out of any new offering like this.

Reading ReelSEO’s blog entitled – Optimizing Tips for Google TV – Is Your Content Ready for Google TV? Written by Christopher Rick  I wonder if all the prep work in the world will really help someone with a small business like mine. The blog is very thorough without a doubt. And it is the best article I’ve seen written that condenses a lot of information in one place. But, I don’t know how helpful it will be to small businesses to compare themselves to Blip.TV or other video sites that are already “in the know” as to how things will work with Google TV. It’s nice to see what they are doing, but without their resources how will small businesses benefit?

The article really isn’t created to tell you what to do. Only Google can really do that. But, it is intelligent, organized and as complete as it can be without actually handing you the API and telling you “do this, but not that” which isn’t what ReelSEO says it can do.

It is a great article and anyone even remotely interested in preparing for Google TV now should check it out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reviewing ReelSEOs Twit Happens Series

I’m a fan of ReelSEO and have been for a long time. Anyone doing anything with video should know about this site and its content.

When I saw the site is doing a series called “Twit Happens” I had to chuckle. The name is clever and I knew right away it was about Twitter.

It’s easier not to use Twitter as a venue for video in a more substantial way, but what are the legal risks to that? That’s just one of the things this series looks at in regard to Twitter.

I thought I knew a lot about Twitter, but this series points out things I haven’t thought about, or haven’t thought about in this way. The blog about legal issues with Twitter and video has a great video interview that I highly recommend to anyone using Twitter to post video to.

What are the consequences of ignoring copyright? What could happen to your brand? Can defamation come back on you as a lawsuit when tweet about someone in a negative way? Great advice and information in this series!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Study in Book Video: Crazy Love

We worked on a non-fiction book video for St. Martin’s Press called Crazy Love. It’s a first person, true account of domestic violence. The story is so moving, so incredible, I couldn’t put it down once I started to read it. That was early 2009.

So why, in late 2010 did we see a sudden and significant spike in views to this video?

Like many things in life, timing is everything. Opportunities don’t stop just because the book video has been out for over a year. That’s the great thing about the internet; you can keep things up there forever, working hard to sell your book.

This, though, was very special and meaningful. A site called TakePart did an article on domestic violence and while looking for appropriate multimedia for the piece they found the video for Crazy Love. The article did extremely well as did the video.

This is a tough issue and one that is very personal for many people. It was great that the video was getting a lot of traffic, but it was equally, if not more, important that it was being used in such a significant way – to help others.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Study in Book Video: Loser Queen

This book video is absolutely one of the most unique. Not because it has some kind of special effects or motion graphics, but because the book wasn’t written before the video was created. And having something that unique has resulted in a wide use of the video on sites to debate the entire project of the book.

Loser/Queen is an experiment in fan interaction. The fans are helping to determine the outcome of the story and what happens to the main character. Very interesting way to write a book as a community. And that has caused a lot of interest in the blogosphere!

It’s something about that visual enhancement that adds a little something more to a blog interaction and we’re thrilled to see so many bloggers utilize the video!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Website Redesign – How Important is it?

This blog isn’t about stats or best practices. It’s my own personal journey into the realm of website redesign which I’m currently suffering through.

I am not a web designer. I hire web designers and I actively participate as much as I am able (hopefully without frustrating our very nice web team).

We are redesigning two sites and both are set to go live Jan. 1, 2011. First is the COS Productions website. I have to say that I am so excited about this redesign. Sometimes you come up with a natural evolution concept for your site that you know is perfect and this one is exactly that for me. We have spent so much time working on “How do people want to interact with us? And “What do people seem to want the most and how do they want it?” The entire site is shifting from “presentation”, meaning we give you our information in an organized fashion and you look through it until you find what you’re looking for, to this paradigm shift of “serving”.  We want to have a website that feels good to the person visiting it. It lets them know we care about them and what their needs are.

Of course that means a lot of work. Most of it in content, some of it in multimedia.
We have hired someone who is a communications expert. She understands what we’re wanting to do with the changes and she will help us communicate that clearly with our visitors. Very excited about that too.

The other site we are working on is HUGE. We will be creating a new Reader’s Entertainment site that will be functional with mobile, online and television. That is a huge undertaking. We have to follow all the specs for Google TV network and mobile. That means we have to have three sites that function just a little differently according to how you land on the page.

We will also have new content that’s exciting and a lot more interaction on the site than ever before.

It feels overwhelming. I hate being technologically challenged when it comes to learning what I can or can’t do and why, but I love learning, so that evens out I guess.

There’s so much to consider now that online and portable and television are all accessible to our content. Or that our content is accessible to all of those different venues. But, we’re about to see a huge explosion of opportunities and I can’t wait!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Study in Book Video: Zombies Vs. Unicorns

The great thing about analytics is that you can tell when there’s something going on with your video and the figure out what “that” is.

We saw a spike in views from embeds on Vimeo and so we went to see what was going on. We did a video called Zombies Vs. Unicorns this year and it’s very cute.

With all the “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” stuff going on in the YA sphere, it wasn’t overly surprising to see libraries and YA blogs utilizing the video to promote interaction and community.

Here is a site that we got a good number of views from the embed. Friendswood Library used the video and did a poll to find out if people were “Team Zombie” or “Team Unicorn”. Other sites did similar events and those who participated had a good time choosing their team!

We also found that the bookmarking site, Tumblr had the video on several profiles. It was passed around a lot there. So, I guess if you have something zombie-themed you know where to go! Lol

This one was a HUGE hit with all kinds of blogs, social sites, booksellers and libraries.

We even found sites that sell zombie paraphernalia had taken the video and promoted the book for sale!!

This video went viral throughout the blogosphere and you just have to appreciate the blogs it ended up on!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Vimeo Festival in Review

It was fun, I learned a lot and now I am taking what I learned and making Vimeo a great place for people to find and utilize our video!

I have blogged about the event back when I was still in NY. But, now time has passed and I can give a review of how that information I learned while there has paid off.

First of all, I leaned a great deal. The festival was packed with a variety of sessions. Very classy and well organized as an event. I will certainly attend the next one.

I made some great contacts there and sometimes that’s the best pay off. I met a group of young filmmakers out of southern California doing some really interesting things and have offered them a production partner agreement. I met someone from Vimeo’s executive branch and got an opportunity to talk to him about our videos and was able to get our entire profile added to the “accepted professionals” list so that we won’t have to go through review or moderation and our videos won’t be flagged or removed due to copyright which is always a challenge since we work with a lot of famous companies and people.

I learned a great deal about TransMedia. So much so that I have written a contract that we will be utilizing with celebrities, agents and even stock companies such as Getty Images that outlines the way we use TransMedia, Cross Media and Incidental Media with book trailers. What I learned there was directly instrumental in my ability to create this document that my company now benefits from in a huge way.

I attended a session that talked about how to get the most out of Vimeo. It was a sort of Tips & Tricks session that I learned so much from! Now I can fully take advantage of the Vimeo analytics which rocks! Amazing analytics! And, I am doing more on Vimeo to interact with others and stimulate a more quality profile and experience there.

It’s always hard to say when attending an event like this is going to pay off. ROI for events are tricky. But, I have to say that I walked away meeting some great people, seeing some great video talent and learning a great deal!