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“It’s a Wonderful Web” 2013!

cb-ipadThe first edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter for 2013 is out. It includes the following articles:

  • 2013: The Year of Anything is Possible
  • Special Offers!
  • Free 1-Hour Audio: Web Radio Interview
  • Luscious Links

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to read it online.

TokBox Online Video Platform Looks Interesting…

Tokbox LogoNext Wednesday, I’ll be blogging and tweeting from GigaOM’s Net:Work 2010 conference. And while browsing their site, I noticed an honorable mention of TokBox and started exploring. Their online video platform supports group video chat and much more.

This afternoon I was able to have an instant video chat hooking up to a friend via Facebook (whose API along with Twitter’s and others has apparently been integrated). We also easily and seamlessly shared a YouTube video. Pretty cool right out of the freebie level “box.”

I also watched a video message from a member of the TokBox team and will be investigating their Video Conferencing platform for NewMarU, our New Marketing University project about which you’ll be hearing more soon.

Meanwhile, here’s an embedded Tokbox window (I thought I was going to leave you a Holiday Greeting, but that didn’t work out). I’d love to hear your feedback and you can even send me a video message at – jon -at- combridges -dot- com-. If any of you have any experience with TokBox or comparable platforms that support multiple video presenters et. al. for webinars I’d be especially interested. Thanks!

TokBox – Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

Why Video is the Web’s New Mission Critical Next Level: Do Not Miss

As many of you know, I’ve been writing and producing videos about “The Video Web” and the digital video revolution for many years. But, it’s another day; and, I’ve taken another step.

The video embedded below, Why Online Video is a ‘Must Have’ for Internet Marketing describes what I believe is the next mission critical level of Internet communications as the importance of video has emerged in broad new ways.

And while you’re while you’re visiting this blog post, please don’t miss the second video embedded below from TED’s curator, Chris Anderson about the global implications of this trend (scroll down).

By way of text summary, the five reasons why video is a “must have” that are illuminated in the short four-minute video above are:

  1. The Medium of the Web is Morphing Dramatically and Rapidly
  2. Video is Now the Web’s Leading Media Type
    (even though in some ways “The Web is Dead”)
  3. Video Has Become a Viable & Powerful SEO Strategy
  4. Business is Basically About Relationship Building and
    What Better Way to Build Relationships Online Than Via Video?
  5. Video is the Web’s Future. (“Be in it to win it.”)

In addition, if I had my way, I would love to make this second video, from TED conference curator Chris Anderson, How Web Video Powers Global Innovation required viewing for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.

That’s how important I think video is becoming as a communication medium. Anderson explains dramatic increases in the power, reach and accessibility of online video from a higher level perspective, even comparing online video to the paradigm shift in communications that happened when Gutenberg invented the printing press!

Yes, Chris and I agree, The Coming of The Video Web is THAT important. 😉

Bottom line, there has never been a more powerful or mobile way to communicate either your ideas or the benefits of your products or services. This is combined, of course, with the convergence of broadband internet connection speeds and the proliferation of digital cameras and mobile phones with video capabilities. The cost of doing video has become radically more affordable and accessible.

Call it “The Age of YouTube” if you like. But, more importantly in my opinion, it is time for everybody to recognize that video is now a ‘must have.’ It is no longer an option.

Mission Critical Data Points
If you’re not convinced, you may also want to consider the following:

  • One-Third of US Adults Skip Live TV: Report
    56 million Americans have begun skipping live TV in favor of time-shifted viewing and online content. Traditional TV advertising is rapidly losing any remaining effectiveness, thus undermining whatever financial stability still exists in everything but the biggest ticket broadcasts. Much more to come!
  • Netflix CEO: We’re a Streaming Company
    66% of Netflix subscribers are using their streaming services vs only 41% a year ago. Even premium entertainment is finding massive acceptance via non-cable, non-broadcast, non-satellite distribution. This ‘toothpaste’ is out of the tube. There’s no putting it back. This trend will only accelerate. Broadcasters beware. Online video producers rev your engines… Stay tuned.

Online Video is Rockin’ with Measurable Momentum, Increased Ad Spending & More

This week’s New Media New Marketing TheTVNews.tv report (Wednesday, not Tuesday, due to technical issues) covers four recent research reports that underscore the powerful, measurable growth and increasing impact of online video.

First, the video report (I’m at the top of this show). Then, all four referenced pieces of research on online video are linked below.

1. Eighty Percent of Net Users Watch Video as Global Consumption Explodes, comScore
Beet.tv’s interview with Tania Yuki, comScore’s VP product manager for online video research products has lots of insights, including her perception that worldwide, 80% of Internet users are watching video. Wow, that’s huge. And as a researcher, her observation of double-digit growth in time spent viewing as well as viewers are also impressive. Part 1 of the interview can be viewed right here:

2. Online Video Goes Mainstream
eMarketer’s report puts 18 to 34 year olds at the forefront and underscores that 29% of Internet users under 25 say they watch all or most of their TV online. Clearly there is a gravitation of TV viewers to the online realm and this trend is certain to continue if not accelerate.

3. Ad Agencies Shift Spend to Video
Another eMarketer report reveals that most ad agencies already saw online video as a place they need to be a year ago, with 87% in Q1, 2009 saying that they plan to devote more budget to online video. But the trend is towards “pretty much everyone” with 94% of ad agencies saying the same thing during Q1 of this year.

4. Online Video Ads More Effective Than TV Among U.S. Viewers
At the end of the day, the bottom line is effectiveness. No wonder the momentum to online video is accelerating. When the research tells you that the same TV ad presented online delivers more recall, more brand linkage, more likeability and more, how could you not make it a priority?

Have you produced your online video today?

Watch for more to come on my YouTube channel, for sure! 😉

Thanks for reading and, as always, I welcome your feedback, comments and YouTube ratings. Much appreciated.

Top 5 Online Video & TV on the Web Mega-Trends

On Tuesday’s edition of TheTVNews.tv, I talk about how hard it is to keep perspective on how fast things are changing, when things are changing this fast.

To help put some perspective on at least some of these changes, here are five key online video “Mega-Trends” that I think are worth noting—each illustrated by a current news story from the past week with at least one relevant link for your browsing pleasure.

Please let me know if you like this post and/or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

1. Online Video Just Keeps on Growing.
The latest example: CBS and NCAA set a record for broadband viewing: 3.4 million viewers watched the opening round on computers. That was just on just the first day of March Madness, the national collegiate basketball tournament. CBS and the NCAA put video of all of these big games, held around the country, online at a website they call March Madness on Demand (mmod.ncaa.com). Read more at the Washington Examiner >>

2. Social Networking Usage Surges Globally
The Nielsen Company is reporting that the audience for social networks is growing at a whopping 29% year-over-year. Driven largely by Facebook, the GLOBAL average user’s time spent social networking more than doubled from just more than 2 hours/month in Feb 2009 to nearly 5.5 hours/month in Feb 2010. Interesting, Italy tops the specific country list at nearly 6.5 hours/user/month and the US is just over six hours per user a month. And this doesn’t even include YouTube as a social networking site, which it is (at least in part). I promise you that this trend will continue. The public’s appetite for making connections online and sharing blog posts, digital pictures and videos is just ramping up. Read more details on Mashable >>

3. Online Video Advertising Is Poised for Growth Thanks to Analytics
Beet.Tv posted a very interesting video interview with Mike Bologna, director of emerging communications at GroupM, the giant corporate parent of the WPP advertising and media agencies. Bologna sees formerly cautious advertisers jumping into online video thanks to the availability of browser and viewer use statistics, or analytics as we call user tracking on the web. This valuable info is drawing more advertisers into becoming willing to leverage the power of online video. Here’s the Beet.tv clip so you can hear Bologna’s insights from “the horse’s mouth”:

4. More High Quality & Professional Resources Are Being Committed to Online Video
Here are just two of the many examples of this trend. Again, both announced within the last week:

  • NYTimes.com has launched a new daily video program called TimesCast that features behind the scenes footage of the Times editorial team at work, mixed with coverage of the day’s headlines. TimesCast is now at the top of the right column on http://video.times.com Here’s a direct link to Monday’s edition >>
  • The leading tech blog, TechCrunch is upping its video content creation capabilities by hiring Evelyn Rusli, an anchor from Forbes video who made over 200 appearance on Fox News in the “Forbes on Fox” segment. In it’s typically cheeky fashion, TechCrunch announced, Welcome To Evelyn Rusli, Whom We Stole From Forbes

Of course, these are just a couple of examples of the way that important players are continuously making important steps to increase the attractiveness and viability of their online video offerings. That said, I think both NYTimes.com and TechCrunch are good examples to watch. Both are attracting both a significant volume of viewership as well as meaningful advertising revenues.

5. Major Internet Players, like Google, Are Creating New TV Hardware To Put More Online Video on Your TV
We all know that Google is a software king whose reach goes way beyond being king of the hill in search to include Google Apps (like Google Mail), Google Buzz, they own YouTube, and more. And, then there’s the Google Phone manufactured by HTC. Well now, there’s Google TV.

As the New York Times reports: Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold. Expected to bring a  new kind of Internet video experience to living rooms everywhere, Google TV is a new kind of set top box that is being created in partnership with Sony and Intel. It uses Google’s Android operating system and will compete Internet video boxes like the Boxee Box, Roku, Popbox, and the innovative Sezmi system that I profiled a few Tuesdays ago on TheTVNews.tv.

As you can tell and probably already know, Online TV / Video is not just one thing, but the trends above are clear. This “toothpaste” is not going back into “the tube.” (pun intended)

And, underneath all of this is what you might call “The New Rules of Communication” that the Web has inspired. To be successful, whatever you are doing online, you can’t just be a “broadcaster,” you need to be truly interactive and authentically engage viewers and visitors in such a way that you create real relationships with them. That’s something most TV companies still need to learn… which is good news for the rest of us.

Speaking of relationships, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below with what you like or do not like (and rate and comment on the YouTube clips if you are so moved). I’d love to hear your feedback. I’d love to hear your ideas for what stories you’d like me to cover on TheTVNews.tv or on this blog. What would be most useful to YOU? Thanks!

The Real People in the Middle of this Election (and the TV hype)


Errol Morris is arguably one of the most important documentary film makers of our time. More than just an Academy Award winner (for “The Fog of War“), he has an amazing talent for listening to people and letting them tell their own stories in ways that inform and even illuminate reality.

Now, he has written for the NYTimes blog site an extremely insightful perspective, including an impressive selection of historical examples, on real “everyday” people in election advertising campaigns. This perspective, “People in the Middle” also includes discussion and links to Morris’ brand new web video site, PeopleintheMiddleforObama.org which was sponsored by People for the American Way.

About this new work, Morris says, “If you’re not going to put words in people’s mouths, if you’re really listening to what they have to say, you’re going to learn something. Admittedly, the evidence is anecdotal. I haven’t selected these people through some kind of statistical sampling. These people are self-selected. They wrote in and said that they were registered Republicans, Independents or switch-voters who were planning to vote for Obama. People in the middle. And I was interested in talking to them on film about why they were making the switch from voting for a Republican to voting for a Democrat.”

Most interesting to me was this conclusion, “The people I interviewed have embraced Obama. They are voting for a candidate, not against a candidate.”

Read more of Errol Morris on “People in the Middle” by clicking here.

Enhancements to the Video Web: The Mini-Camcorder Du Jour & Intelligent Video Conversations

A couple of quick blog bites (vs sound bites) from the NYTimes website which indicate continually brighter days ahead for what I affectionately call The Video Web:

First of all, my fave tech writer David Pogue not only reviewed my Christmas present (see posts and demo video below), The Flip Ultra, but his latest “State of the Art” column, “Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot” pretty much nails it. It also informed me–and I had no idea about this–that the Flip is now garnering a rich 17% of all US camcorder sales and “has been the best-selling camcorder on Amazon.com since the day of its debut. For Pogue’s finely articulated perspective, click here.

The other item is what appears to be a new feature on the NYT website, which is Bloggingheads.tv “diavlogs.” Language-wise this is a double-derivative term. I’ll bet most people don’t even know that the term “blog” is derived from “web log” let alone that a “vlog” is a video blog. Just the same I welcome this combination that creates a new kind of conversation. (kind of rolls off the tongue) I’ve been thinking and occasionally saying that the use of webcams and the ease of the current state of video conferencing should be put to more use. Little did I know that this kind of video dialog, oh OK, diavlog was being so widely distributed. And then imagine my delight when I found at least these two commentators talking about the Barak Obama race speech being more articulate and interesting than most of those duds on cable TV news shows. Right on. It was also nice to see the NYTimes editing down and providing a solid 4-minute excerpt of what appears to be an almost hour-long original conversation on BloggingHeads.TV At least the whole thing is there for you if you want it.

Click here to watch the NYTimes-BloggingHeads edit: “Obama’s Grandmother” which asks the scintillating question: “Is everyone missing the whole point?”

I have to add that the intelligence of this BloggingHeads conversation is in stark contrast to my experience experimenting with the Seesmic.com video “conversation” website which is mentioned in the Davos post below. That turned out to be an interesting attempt from a technological point-of-view, but extremely boring overall. Even Seesmic’s specially produced (and apparently funded) posts were disappointing (to say the least). Sorry. I liked their bushy-eyed enthusiasm, but there’s good web video and a lot that is not so good. Like everything else…

Google Mail Video Best Viral Video User-Generated Video Marketing I’ve Seen

Geez, I’m always posting about how hot the online viral video space is becoming, and wouldn’t you know it, here comes Google with not only my 2nd viral video post of the night, but one that leverages user-generated content to the max. Great stuff you all, and I really mean you all. And, oh yea, nice job Google for editing it all together in such a snappy fashion. More info here: http://mail.google.com/mvideo

Seniors Nintendo Wii Bowling Video Scores as Viral Video Marketing

Here’s a video that’s not only entertaining and about seniors using the innovative Nintendo Wii video game, but it is also a clever form of viral video marketing which subtly promotes a senior assisted living company. Expect to see more of this kind of thing in the future. This one is unusually well done, and they save the low-key pitch for last. Appropriately putting the fun first…

New Easy Way to Monetize Your Internet Video Clips

(Sometimes I still feel like I’m covering the “Video Web” the way I did in my “old days” at Videography, yet I know not how many of you readers even know or care.)

I not only think that AdBrite’s new InVideo service is useful and practical, but I really like the fact that they’re walking their talk with a quick, clean and illustrative video that does a good job (see below) of explaining the advantages of and how this new way to place ads in your internet video clips works (still in invitation-only beta).

Maybe some day I’ll get around to producing some online video content? Especially now that I know that I can produce video clips with easily self-embedded video ads that are not offensive and which will travel with an embedded video player to anyone else’s website. Nice!