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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.

Super Bowl Ads Still Lack Social Media Marketing Success (Mostly)

Thanks to everyone who participated in our live, interactive Super Bowl Commercial Rating Party in partnership with TheTVNews.tv, the TV industry’s only daily video newscast. (Watch this space and TheTVNews.tv for details on our Oscars Party.)

Reprise Media Search Marketing Scorecard on Super BowlBy way of follow up, Jeff and I did a segment on tomorrow, Wednesday 2/10’s show (my New Media / New Marketing starts at 2:50) discussing my view of the winner and loser Super Bowl advertisers in terms of social media marketing. We referenced Reprise Media’s Search Marketing Scorecard on the Super Bowl (a free PDF download) which points out a surprising fact: While 93% of the advertisers—who shelled out a reported average of $2.6 million for each spot—do have an official Facebook profile, (get this) only 5% promoted their social profiles in order to leverage or take better advantage of their massive investment (a.k.a. marketing expense).

The single biggest social media marketing loser was Denny’s. Here’s the link to Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion author, Gary Vaynerchuk’s rant about how Denny’s missed the boat with their multi-million dollar expense. Gary is totally right. Why not use an incentive like a free breakfast to capture customer information and build a platform for better engagement? Duh!

The viral marketing buzz winner was the Audi Green Police spot below which got the most Twitter buzz according to Trendrr (via a chart referenced in the Repris Media report):

Bonus Category: My “nominee” for the Super Bowl TV spot with “Best Script,” at least the script that hit closest to home for me had to be this creative “Man’s Last Stand” spot for Dodge Charger:

Too bad I don’t relate better to the product. 😉

Bonus Just for Fun Video Link: Business Insider’s 10 Best Tech Super Bowl Ads Ever

Bonus Link #2: USA Today’s Super Bowl “Ad Meter” (pretty slick, including green screen video intro)

As always, your comments, suggestions, rants, and any other insights you care to offer are welcome via the comments space below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Google Gets Simple, Elegant in New Tech Videos (Google Real Time Search & Google Goggles)

I like clear and simple. I heard Steve Jobs quoted today as saying that simplicity is “the ultimate elegance.” I especially like simplicity when it’s used to describe complex new technologies, and so much the better if that simplicity is being offered on YouTube, via video clips that are less than two minutes in length.

Thus, the two-clip salute below to Google and two major new (complex) technologies that are designed to make our lives simpler.

The first is real time search. A hot new trend that’s featured in the #1 spot on the American Express OPEN Forum post, “5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2010.” Don’t look now, but the web has taken on a whole new dimension:

The second video demonstrates something even more powerful, Google Goggles, which searches by objects using your cell phone’s camera rather than text or voice to initiate the search. I like the tweet description that I just read by @faris: “Seriously – no messin’ – Google Goggles is an entirely new paradigm of human computer interaction – ‘hey Internet – what’s that?’ ”

Let’s let Google explain it visually in two minutes:

Yes, I hear that Google Goggles WILL be coming out for the iPhone.

And, come to think of it, Google always did get simple. Just think of their home page.

What do you think? Are these exciting new technologies? Are these videos any good? I’d love to hear your opinion, view and/or feedback.

The State-of-the-Art of Sponsored Internet Videos?

Beet.TV interview about the Bebo internet video channelsThe world of Internet videos keeps getting richer. Yes, there’s more interesting stuff than what’s on YouTube (not that’s YouTube is bad, there are just more channels on the “Internet TV system” than most people know). For example, this Beet.TV interview with Ziv Navoth, VP Marketing & Business Development at Bebo (which is one of the slickest, high quality internet video sites) offers one of the most passionate and somewhat persuasive pitches I’ve seen for a monetized opportunity for video producers. What do you think? Is it time for you (or me) to finally do an online video series?

OMG, Twitter is like so totally busted! “Twitter Whore” shows all…

I mentioned below the “In Plain English” Twitter video which actually explains Twitter to the uninitiated or un-techie amongst us. But, on the other hand, if you want to laugh a little, and sorta, kinda experience the frenetic experience of what I believe Twitter to be (and why I’m not a participant… go on, comment below about why I’m missing out!), then OMG! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Twitter parody videos below, produced by and staring one of YouTube’s rising stars, Lisa Donovan (screen name LisaNova), a self-described “Twitter Whore” (video is in two parts below). As they used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Be careful out there.”

More Very Useful Explanations in Plain English

I’m going to claim this might be the best resource for explaining Web 2.0 communication platforms to newbies ever! See my post below about CommonCraft, and if you’re someone who would like a better understanding of stuff like blogs, RSS, social networking, podcasting, Twitter and more, there are easy to understand and remarkably clear and enjoyable CommonCraft videos about each of these subjects on the CommonCraft YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Podcasting (and Twitter) in Plain English

OK. I’m someone who has been doing his best to “span the Grand Canyon Gap between people and technology” for quite a number of years, so when I say this is impressive, I at least have some vague idea of what I’m talking about… 😉

I was trying to explain Twitter to my associate and went to Twitter.com and clicked “Watch a Video” Ta-da! A simple, cleverly animated, and impressively clear (and that’s the main thing) explanation. What a concept! No kidding. As I once wrote, “making it look easy is the hard part.” The creative production company is CommonCraft.com They say, “Our product is explanation.” I love that and I love their work.

I’ll let their work speak for them and maybe you’ll agree it’s impressive. Here’s “Podcasting in Plain English”:

My First Pocket Camera Video is on YouTube

I mentioned that I got a Flip mini-video camera for Christmas:

My favorite new gizmo is The Flip (Ultra), a pocket-sized, web-ready video digi-cam. No tape, just 60 mins of MPEG-4 video in Flash memory and a flip-up USB port.

This camera is about the size of a pack of cigarettes. It’s easy to use and for what it is, it works quite well.

So, I took it out for a drive… my buddy Keith Bailey had a photography show open at a restaurant in San Francisco last week. I shot the following while in attendance, in a very noisy atmosphere, in some instances with virtually no light… and the results are not bad. I edited it in about 1 and 1/2 hours with iMovie and “borrowed” some music from a friend, Gary Malkin (his collaboration with Tito La Rosa will be for sale soon.)

Anyway, here’s my quick first effort at pocket-cam event videography. It’s about 3 minutes. Please let me know what you think:

Yet Another Stupid (yet entertaining) Web 2.0 Video

Another tech bubble? Who are you kidding?!? Or not…