Archive for the ‘Media Industry’ Category

Social media reality check (again)

April 22nd, 2010 5 comments

Social media is hot.

It’s also one of the hottest refuges for scammers and BS artists.

I recently made the mistake of doing some pro bono work for a good cause run by amateurs. (Long story and a mistake I will never repeat.)

Throughout the process, I’ve been told I have to meet with this social marketing expert and that one, the implication being they have something of value to bring to the party that’s more important than actually getting the job done. (These folks LOVE meetings. They don’t like work.)

Meanwhile, I patiently try to explain to these wing nuts that the only currency that means anything in Internet marketing is the size of your e-mail list (prospects and customers). Not how many “friends” you have, how many people “follow” you on Twitter, or how much chatter there is about you in the blogosphere.

Hey, I like Twitter and I know people who get some good things from Facebook, but I don’t know anyone who would trade a solid e-mail list to become king of Twitter or Facebook.

Conversely, I know plenty of social media masters who are one step away from living in a “van down by the river.” (Google it. If you don’t know the Saturday Night Live routine that phrase is from, you’re in for some serious laughter.)

Anyway, after listening the the millionth and one social media “genius” I took a look at some of my own social media stats. (My social media weapon of choice being video.)

Here are my numbers:

1. I’ve pushed one video over the 2,800,000 views mark
2. I’ve pushed two over the 1,200,000 views mark
3. I’ve pushed seventeen over the 100,000 view mark (sixteen singehandedly, one in partnership)

Total cash expenditure: zero dollars.

It was all accomplished by viral marketing, also know as “word of mouth” and all these hits were kicked off with mailing to an e-mail list. No Twitter. No Facebook.

I’m sure there are social media “gurus” who could turn these stats into speaking gigs at the latest social media conferences, television appearances, and books on how to “crush it.”


I’m very unimpressed by my own accomplishments.


I’m in SALES.

How many leads did I generate? How many sales did I close? How many people did I induce to come back and buy a second and third and fourth time?

Let’s get real folks.

Social media is gravy.

You better have a meal to put it on.

Focus on what matters.

At last, a reason for HD: Prairie Home Companion

January 9th, 2010 No comments

I like the way HD looks, but for the longest time it seemed like overkill.

I mean do we really need digital transmission and HD quality on our television sets? Really?

But here’s a use of HD that is truly exciting: real time transmission of live performances to theater audiences around the world.

A variation of this has existed for a long time (ex. championship boxing matches), but this is a much more interesting use.

The next best thing to being there

The pioneer of this new approach seems to have been the NY Metropolitan Opera.

Make senses.

Opera is expensive to produce and it’s near impossible to take a Met show on the road which means hard core opera fans (and there are few thing more hard core than a hard core opera fan) were deprived of the Met experience.

Prairie Home Companion is another logical candidate

Much of Prairie Home Companion’s charm is the fact that it’s a LIVE show, but of course, a live show can only be in one place at a time.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of fans listen to the show on the radio every week. It will be interesting to see how this works. I have a feeling it will be a hit. It’s great to people watch, eat popcorn and laugh along with a good show.

How to create a viral video

October 1st, 2008 Comments off

Well, I have one.

A genuine viral video

How about 1,234,411 views for one page in September – with no advertising, no SEO, no nothing? Just raw viral power. 

Just in case you didn’t read that right, that’s over ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND views for one page in one month.

Now that I am a genuine viral marketing "expert", here’s what I’ve learned…

Read more…

One million again + 10%

September 1st, 2008 Comments off

In July, my "hobby" site broke one million views per month.

The numbers are in for August.

We did it again PLUS 10%.

I’ll be revealing the formula I used to create this amazing traffic magnet at the London, UK System Intensive and the Chicago System Boot Camp.

Cash required to start: zero. My total time commitment: 15 minutes per day.

Revenue: Currently just a hair away from five figures net per month. And growing at 10% per month. Perfectly scalable. Could be ten times the size with no additional work required and the market has at least that much room to grow.

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Virtual worlds: $1 billion in

May 18th, 2008 Comments off

I had friends who played in virtual worlds in the late 1970s (they needed mainframe access back then.)

I didn’t get it then – and I don’t get it now – but whether I get it or not doesn’t matter.

This year $1 billion was invested in various "virtual world" ventures.  OK, there’s a lot of hot money around right now, but it can’t ALL be dumb money.

Also, if "community" is the key to the Internet, what could be more of a community than a place where you completely immerse yourself in another world with fellow virtual world inhabitants.

Two resources for you if you want to keep up-to-date with what’s going on:

!. Virtual World Management

The virtual world industry is big enough to have its own conferences, expos and industry analysts.

2. Machinima

What is it?

It’s "animated filmmaking within a real-time virtual 3-D environment."

Frankly, I’ve yet to see a good machinima (I haven’t looked all that hard), but clearly this is a medium to watch.  It’s growing fast and the current fan base is very passionate.

You can get a crash course here:


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The cognitive surplus – Clay Shirky

May 12th, 2008 Comments off

A bit long-winded (he’s an academic) but when he finally makes his point at the end, it’s a pretty good one.

Actually, John Walker, co-founder founder of AutoCAD, made this same point brilliantly way back in the early nineties. The folks who are going to make a killing in software, he said, are the folks who create tools that let people make their own stuff.

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Apple #1 music retailer now

April 4th, 2008 Comments off

Did you feel the earth shake?

You should have.

Little Apple, Inc. (formerly Apple Computer) which many were ready to write off as dead as recently as ten years ago is now the world’s biggest music retailer. It just beat out the former champion Wal-Mart.

Who says this is so? The NPD group.

There was no online music industry to speak up five years ago. Chalk up another one to the Internet.

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Internet TV triumphs

March 11th, 2008 Comments off

If you haven’t heard from me lately it’s because I’ve been far too busy making and promoting Internet videos to take the time to write about them.

If you’re new to the site, just check out the archive. It’s got plenty of very useful, on-target information on Internet video – including the original premise of the site itself.

This is my 15th year of talking about the impending impact of the Internet on TV and my third year of this blog. 

Since then, my clients and I have used Internet video to sell millions of dollars worth of products in all categories. I routinely get uploaded videos to 10,000+ viral view status and have occasionally hit 100,000 plus with one video crossing the 500,000 views mark – all viral without penny one of advertising (or real effort for that matter.) 

A casual, extremely part time video publishing experiment I started in August of 2006 with a mailing to 50 colleagues has now blossomed into an active subscriber list of 23,000 and growing.  Again, all without a penny in advertising. Amazingly, because it wasn’t my intention, the site accidentally nets over $3,000 a month. Imagine if I invested in it a little bit.

A quote in an article in yesterday’s New York Times by Alan Wutzel, the head of research for NBC put it best:

"(Watching video on the Internet) has become a mainstream behavior in an extraordinarily quick time. It isn’t just the province of college students or generation Y-ers. It spans all ages."

I know. I called it three years ago (fifteen really, but who’s counting?)

It was inevitable. After all, corporate TV sucks. Always has. The only reason they were able to get away with it for so long was because an alternate distribution hadn’t emerged. Now it has. "Game Over" for the bad guys.

In the same article, Quincy Smith, the president of CBS Interactive summed up the big broadcasting industry’s problem quite nicely:

"The four and a half billion we make on broadcast is never going to equate to four and a half billion online."

Well, boo-hoo.  After all the big networks have done such a good job maintaining and raising cultural standards and educating people about health, personal finance and citizenship that it would be tragic to see them go out of business. NOT.

Internet television will generate many billions of dollars in revenue and that revenue will be distributed broadly. Network executives may actually have to work for a living some day. Meanwhile, people with their wits about them and content that people want will be doing just fine.

Will it all be good? No, of course not, but a lot of voices that are currently not being heard thanks to what amounts to Corporate Amerikan censorship will be heard and the country and world will be a better place for it.

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Will video crash the Net?

August 18th, 2007 9 comments

You’re going to hear a lot on this topic in the months and years to come.

In a way, it’s an old concern. The web’s inventor was reportedly furious with Marc Andreessen for creating the image tag because he was afraid that the increased bandwidth demand of transferring tiff and jpeg files would crash the Internet.

It  didn’t happen. Then again, video files are exponentially bigger than graphics files and video watching on the Internet is evolving into a very popular activity with a hockey stick like growth curve.

Here’s a video produced by an industry group that has a stake in the outcome. Great example of using video to make complex ideas more easily comprehensible.

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Told you so

May 19th, 2007 Comments off

When Google bought YouTube I resisted the urge to tell the naysayers who said I was overdoing the video on the web thing: "Told you so."

Because actually, these days, what’s $1.2 billion? Not much to get excited about in the grand scheme of things.

But Google including VIDEO in its main search listings. That’s huge.

I have no idea how Google is selecting videos for including in search results. From the looks of things I’m not sure that they know either, but this is a SIGN.

The Internet is heading towards becoming a video-on-demand system with text as a sideline. Mark my words.  The browser will become the new remote with an infinite choice of channels. Video will become as common as paper.

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