Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm Now Part of the Triiibe

This is a follow up post to one I did in July regarding Seth Godin's new book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. 


The skinny: I got on the pre-order list for the new book which got me into Seth's social network Triiibes. I have already got some great value out of the network from the community which has offered great advice on everything from books to read, to people to connect with. So it has been a very engaged and intimate experience (with under 4,000 people) who are all very much into social media and the web. 

Seth told everyone that the book would be shipping sometime in November (or December I can't quite remember) but I already have my very own copy thanks to his belief in under promising and over delivering. 

But Seth always takes things to the next level and this time he asked everyone to send him remarkable pictures of themselves so that he could feature tons of people on the book's inner cover, a very tribe-like idea. So I did that taking some pics of myself with an original milk carton that he gave away some time ago while promoting the book Purple Cow. Find me on the 3rd panel (from left to right), 5 rows up, and 7 rows in (from right to left), and make me feel like Waldo. It feels great that I'm part of the book, something that last forever, a piece of Godin history if you will. 

Seth is all about sharing so he gave everyone a complimentary book to share with their friends, and help word of mouth promote the book vs a costly (read ineffective) advertising campaign. He also included a letter in the free book which reads: 

Hey...

Here's a gift. 

No strings attached. 

I want to thank you for believing in the Triiibe, for signing up sight unseen, for buying a book you hadn't read yet, hadn't heard about yet, hadn't browsed yet. 

You went first, took the lead, took a (small) chance with your money and a big chance with your time. 

Thanks. 

Here's an advance copy of Tribes. An early copy, for you, before anyone else gets one. Please read it and keep it. And when the one you paid for comes, I hope you'll give that one away. In two weeks or so, when it arrives from the bookseller, take that second copy and spread the word. If all you do is file it away, I've failed. 

I write books so people will spread the ideas inside. I write them to change things, to give a name to something that might be invisible and to give you a tool to make the change you hope to see in the world. 

Working with you (and the rest of the Triiibe) is the entire purpose of my career. I hope you'll put this gift to good work and give it to someone who needs it. 

Thanks again, 

Seth

Wow, how cool is that and how it relates to social media marketing. I have already sent Seth a thank you email (and several over the years) to tell him how he makes the community of his personal brand feel special and part of something that makes meaning. 

I just had to share this story with you because I love what Seth does, and I think we can all learn a thing or two from him which helps us become better people not only in business but in our overall lives as well. 

Do you need my copy of Seth's book? If I was to give it away to you how would you help Seth (and me) spread the good word? Let me know with a comment below, or email jeremy@unleashvideo.com. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

UnleashVideo.com updates

Just a quick post on the new developments for our video sharing site


1. We have integrated the 2nd version of our site's video player, see it here and let us know what you think. It's more interactive, the interface is very simple, and it looks cool so we're very happy with the direction we're going in our video player evolution. There is still some work to be done, and it should be ready for prime time sometime next week. 

2. We mentioned a couple times on Twitter that we would be releasing an original web video pilot sometime in early November. That has now been cancelled due to production, actor, and timing issues with our LA based content partner. In the meantime we are looking at other web shows to sponsor, and integrate our brand into. If you or someone you know has a show or videos that are entertaining and of need for a sponsor, please get in touch with us.

3. We are sponsoring a web show's (Assisted Living) 2nd season which is now being shot, and will be released sometime later on next month. We also have secured the distribution rights for the 1st season and will be airing all 7 episodes in 2-3 weeks prior to the 2nd season's debut.  

4. We will begin our site's marketing and PR "push" next month. Up until now we have been aggressively testing and tweaking features to make the site more broadly appealing to viewers. 

5. We will be taking the site out of beta sometime before the end of this year. 

As always if you have any ideas or feedback for the site, get in touch with me directly at jeremy@unleashvideo.com or here

Friday, October 3, 2008

List Of Web Video Companies To Watch

Founding a web video sharing site, I really watch and follow the space closely on a daily basis. Over the last few years I have seen a lot of companies come and go in the space, but I have assembled a list of the ones I think have a bright future ahead and will be around for the long-term. 


1. YouTube - The largest player of them all, and firmly under the Google umbrella. YouTube brings in close to 50% of all web video streams. Look for Google to increase their pressure on the YouTube team to increase the site's ad revenues, which to the dismay of viewers may mean introducing pre-roll and post-roll ads in some of the video content for 2009.  
2. Qik - My favorite player in the live video space for mobile phone broadcasting, Qik has done a great job accommodating a wide array of compatible hardware. A concern for Qik going forward is implementing a business model that their community welcomes. 
3. Overlay.tv - Provides the ability for the tagging of objects within flash video, creating a more interactive experience for viewers as each object is clickable for additional engagement. Brand/product integration opportunities for creators and marketers also exist, and I believe this ad format will boast very lucrative revenue streams by the end of this decade. 
4. Visible Measures - Tracks viewer's actions within their web video consumption experience. Statistics currently available on viewer engagement are: moving back, moving ahead, pausing, embedding destinations, and other interesting analytics. Marketers really want this information for making educated purchases, so this player is well positioned in the space and could really assist in bringing more ad dollars to the medium.  
5. Adap.tv - Used to be a web video advertising company that matched advertisers with publishers within their own ad network. But over the last few months have changed strategies to aggregate the top web video advertising networks to help put the most relevant ad in front of the right viewer at the right time. Why compete with many networks when you can partner with them instead?! Good job Adap.tv. 
6. Kaltura - Have been quoted as "The Wikipedia for video". They allow anyone to take any video in their network and remix it, edit it, and tweak it as they wish. Some very interesting creations have been produced thanks to their slick editing technologies. They won the TechCrunch40 and have had great momentum ever since. 
7. ManiaTV.com - A new web video studio attracting millions of viewers to watch popular shows such as Dave Navarro's Spread TV. They expect to be profitable sometime in 2009, and certainly have the attention of Hollywood. 
8. Blinkx - One of the top web video search and discovery players. With more and more video content coming online, this company is committed to providing a simple interface which returns the most relevant results to viewers. 
9. Hulu - Was supposed to be the "YouTube killer" but certainly has no intention of doing so since they are quality focused, not user-generated focused. Hulu is one of the fastest growing web video destinations, they have professional content from parents NBC and Fox and are attracting more content from many other large networks, monetize a very high percentage of their inventory, and can attract top CPM's from advertisers.  
10. TubeMogul - Allows video creators to upload their videos to multiple web video sharing sites simultaneously, and measure the analytics from each destination under one centralized dashboard. They are rapidly expanding their offerings and are very dedicated to pleasing their content creators. 

I'm perhaps one of the most optimistic people when it comes to the web video space, but with the projections how can you not be. The shift from old media to new media is on, and it's an honor to be part of such an exciting time in the web industry.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Open Video Player

Over the next couple years we will be seeing more and more industry standards put in place for web video. This will lead to increased revenues for producers, streamlined purchases for advertisers, and help to push the industry forward to hit the high projections for the web video advertising space.


A new initiative has been put in place by Akamai called Open Video Player. The goal here is to get video producers and web video sharing sites on board so that video players across the web are standardized, kind of like how the TV is today. 

There seems to be a lack of interest from brands and advertisers that want to place their products and messages in front of the web audience, because they are hesitant to do so for a lack of standards both in terms of ad and video player specifications. 

Web video ad formats are now being put in place, but as for the video player formats, well this is a new area now going under investigation. 

Initiative partners already include: Microsoft, Adobe, Panache, KickApps, ScanScout, and a few others. I wouldn't doubt that other large players will join in at some point in the near future. 

I think that this is a pretty good idea from Akamai since the web is moving more towards open models on all fronts. Not sure my company's web video sharing site will get involved just yet, I think we will wait until the dust settles and see if the benefits outlined are the ones that are in fact achieved.