Vevo takes over YouTube
Vevo, the spinoff of YouTube meant for professional music videos, has finally launched—with the usual sputter that comes with highly-anticipated website debuts. The site, which has been in the works since at least March of this year , is aimed at allowing the major record labels to put their stuff online on their own sanitized part of YouTube, outside the user-generated YouTube ghetto. Vevo videos are embeddable, though there doesn’t seem to be anyway for users to participate or mash them up beyond leaving a comment. Vevo is meant to provide an online clearinghouse for label-approved music videos–the kind of professionally shot videos that often cost half a million dollars or more and used to form the backbone of MTV. Vevo will be the exclusive distributor of these videos, and will handle all licensing and ad sales, although partner Google is handling the actual video hosting and streaming.
Vevo was just launched, but it seems they didn’t do their capacity planning very well as the site is very unstable. It is currently hard to connect to the Vevo site and when you manage to connect the pages load very slow and most videos won’t play. Vevo is not available in all countries. Most music videos were viewable by all users at Youtube but Vevo locks out everyone who is not coming from the United States. Vevo, the Recorded Music Industries answer to its business woes, launched last night with a star-studded party in Manhattan. It’s a new business model powered by YouTube.
VEVO sells all the ads for the videos, and while watching videos I?ve seen everything from pre-roll ads to the next-to-video ads YouTube users are used to. Since the content is all so high-grade, VEVO can charge more for ads, meaning more money for labels, VEVO, and YouTube (who?s hosting, and showing, nearly all the videos). Vevo lets the labels take a small piece of the pie back into their pockets. I actually think this is less evil then the old model of shutting down unauthorized videos on youtube and not re-posting them anywhere. VEVO is the leading innovative online premium music and entertainment service for consumers, advertisers and content owners that blends the very best in musical content with cutting-edge video technology and a thriving user community powered by YouTube. The content is made available on YouTube through a VEVO-branded channel, on VEVO.com (the service’s marquee destination site) and through a VEVO-branded embedded player.
Vevo’s experience stinks and YouTube should be getting slammed in the media for all the problems they have. But I think the media loves YouTube and does not want to make them mad. Vevo will take a similar tack to Hulu in offering “premium music video content.”. VEVO will be an EPIC failure because users like myself will not support it plain and simple. UMG has gone from the coolest music label in the world to horrible almost overnight.
Vevo President and CEO Rio Caraeff says the company is looking to hire about 35 people to do Vevo jobs. He says they’re hiring for positions including ad sales, engineering, accounting, music programming and others. Vevo is an immense pain in the rear especially for those of us looking for videos for project use, especially official Music videos. People go online so they don’t have to worry about advertisements, and commercials, if that’s where Youtube is headed I want no part in it. Vevo simply says “we have created a unique partnership. Vevo ony works if you live in the USA.
Amazon Niche Store
Amazon has a great affiliate program and makes it easy to take advantage of their API to create your own Amazon Niche Stores. Up until now there has not been a truly easy way to create an Amazon Niche Store. I recently had the opportunity to test out a new WordPress Plugin that allows you to create a Niche Amazon store that is really a true store. So far the only options available that we found are CRAP!!! This new WordPress Plugin allows you to have a full blown Amazon Niche Store literally within minutes. I suggest using a WordPress Hosting company to get your WordPress site setup, and then second just simply enable the plugin. The next few steps are just configuring the plugin to have your information and the products you want the store to have. But best of all the plugin is free!
The Amazon Niche Store WordPress Plugin will be available to the public and for free to everyone.
Amazon Associates Program
Amazon’s Associate Program is perhaps one of the most popular ones for bloggers because it is pretty simple to use and has such a wide range of products in their system ranging from books, to electronics, to jewelry, to CDs and DVDs etc. It’s also great because there are many tools that can be used to integrate it into your blog including WordPress Plug ins. Some bloggers even integrate Amazon stores into their blogs (something I need to get set up).
Another beauty of the Amazon program is the variety of ways that they give you to link to their products. Even using just their basic tools on the Associates page you have the option to link to products using text links, pictures, buttons and a variety of keyword triggered techniques.
I personally use Amazon’s program quite a bit on some of my blogs and find it quite effective. While my earnings from Amazon are far less than my Adsense income it’s a nice bonus each quarter (they pay every three months). This quarter (just over half way) my total is just over $900 (USD).
Amazon’s affiliate program pays out in either gift vouchers (to be spent in the store), cheque (check) or direct deposit (if you’re in the US).
Amazon Associates Program Pros:
- massive array of products to choose from
- reliable payment system
- options for different payment types
- reasonably easy to use
- variety of linking tools
- Amazon are fairly well regarded and trusted by consumers
Amazon Associates Program Cons:
- only quarterly payments (many other programs are monthly)
- commissions can be lower than some other programs (although they have an incentive/bonus program that increases the % when you sell certain targets)
- incentive program can be a little complicated to understand
- some of their buttons and link methods are a little dated
- not great on some products internationally (ie while Amazon will send books and some products internationally some of the bigger ticket items will not be sent overseas. So if you have a non US readership you might have to also sign up for other Amazon affiliate programs (ie they also have a UK, Canadian, Japanese one etc this can get a little messy)).
I’ll share more tips to help maximise Amazon earnings later in this series – but in the mean time I’m sure others have a variety of experiences with Amazon and can shed some light on it as a program for us. Share your thoughts on the Amazon Affiliate program in comments below.
Visuals are an important part of advertising, so it’s not surprising that so many companies have jumped on the augmented reality bandwagon, offering tools that visualize their products in a magical and memorable way.
Here we take a look at some pretty amazing promotional uses of this new tech that work with common webcams, giving everyone a chance to experience augmented reality — a trend that will be big in 2010.
This BMW interpretation ties in with a TV ad that sees artist Robin Rhode using the Z4 as a giant paintbrush (think big-scale finger-painting with the car’s tyres). Downloading the software, printing out the 3D symbol and holding it up to your webcam will allow you to see your own miniature Z4 on your screen, which you can then drive around using keyboard commands, creating your own Rhode-esque car painting.
Taking the trading card into the 21st century, the Topps “3D LIVE” range offers baseball (and now also football) stars that leap from the special cards onto your desk, as viewed via webcam. As well as creating miniature holographic representations of the players — a neat enough trick that would impress most kids — the concept is taken a step further with the angle that you can control the player’s signature moves via your keyboard.
As well as augmented reality, this example uses clever face-tracking technology to stick the original 3D CGI head of Optimus Prime atop your own visage. The campaign to promote “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” also includes a hidden holographic message from Bumblebee, again developed using the original 3D model of the robot that appeared in the movie, suggesting CGI films may be ripe for more AR apps in the future.
What we like about Doritos’ take on the tech for the Brazilian market is that the webcam code is printed on the back of the chip packet, adding value to something normally disposable. Perhaps this also means less chip bags littering the streets. Holding up the code on the Sweet Chilli chips packets initiates the appearance of a little cartoon character, which can then be used in an extended online game.
Erring on the functional side of promotion, the USPS Priority Mail Virtual Box Simulator is a wickedly clever use of the tech that lets users compare the size of an item they need sent to the size of boxes available from the postal service, by seeing how well their item fits inside a transparent box. Although not particularly high octane excitement, it does illustrate the practical use of AR which is yet to be fully explored.
These kind of applications work particularly well with a techie audience, or in this instance a Trekkie one. The front cover of certain versions of the Star Trek movie on DVD and Blu ()-ray doubles as a webcam code to initiate the “cadet orientation” program. It offers a holographic tour around the USS Enterprise (that appears as a hovering apparition on your screen), incorporating a look at the bridge, and best of all, a trigger to fire the ship’s weapons, complete with sound effects.
Created for the launch of Wrigley’s “5″ chewing gum in France (although the site is also available in English) this interactive example of AR sees five symbols (each representing one of the five gum flavors) becoming a different track that only plays when the webcam can “see” it. The desktop DJ experience is probably best explained by watching the demo video above, populated appropriately by masticating teens.
Although many items of apparel can be bought online, sunglasses are one of those tricky products that you really need to try on to ensure you look more chic than geek. Ray-Ban’s Virtual Mirror (ably demonstrated here by YouTuber NickHearne) lets you virtually try on glasses (after a quick bit of face-mapping). The software lets you move your head around to see how the shades look from different angles. Depending on the opacity of the glass, you can even see your eyes through some of the shades. Seeing this app in action makes us think this could be where the real commercial future of AR lies.
John Mayer, Eminem and Julian Perretta are three other musicians that have dabbled with AR as a way of making their music videos more compelling, but this effort from the Lost Valentinos — with each printable code representing a member of the band to be arranged as you see fit — is a great example of how to keep it tight. In addition, the band’s site doubles as a video gallery for fans to share how they interacted with the AR by uploaded webcam video clips.
This time round we’ve saved the worst for last. How best to promote feminine hygiene products? With an augmented reality white bunny of course. We think the world can do without this irrelevant foray into the AR arena that assumes a female audience will be blown away by an incredibly basic application of the tech.
SEO Smart Links Plugin for WordPress
SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and keyword phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. Further SEO Smart links allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs. Finally SEO Smart links allows you to set nofollow attribute and open links in new window. It is a perfect solution to get your blog posts interlinked or add affiliate links to other sites. Everything happens completely transparent, and you can edit the options from the administration settings panel.
WordPress Plugin SEO Links Plugin
SEO Smart Links looks for keyword phrases that match the titles of your posts and pages by default (and you can enable categories and tags matching too). These phrases are then turned into the links. The matching is case insensitive and the original case is preserved. So If I mention Amazing Grace, which is my theme and also the title of one of my pages, it will be automatically converted into a link. Everything happens completely transparent, and you can edit the options from the administration settings panel.
SEO Smart Links allows you to interlink the content on your WordPress site automatically. For example if I mention my wordpress theme Amazing Grace, it will be automatically linked to the matching page on my blog. You can edit the option what you want to be parsed for possible links (posts, pages and comments) and what should the plugin target with keywords (posts, pages, categories and tags). Category Search allows you to add category names to your search results. For example if you have 200 categories and you wanted them to appear in search results, you couldn’t. Now you are able to include those categories as well.
Why use No-Follow Links
- As long as search engines are concerned, on most blogs category pages will carry irrelevant information since category names are likely to be too general to rank for (like my categories WordPress, SEO etc.)
- Category pages are source of duplicate content
- No-follow links allow you to direct the flow of your link equity to the pages or websites that you want to share link value with.
In-site linking is extremely important as it tells search engines what pages have the highest level of importance to you. Its for this very reason that tags are very important for any blog.
How to use the WordPress plugin – SEO Smart Links
Just install activate it on your blog. Default options are enough to get you going. If you want to tweak it, you can always edit the options. Be sure to check “ignore” options where you can state what keywords and phrases not to link.
- = How do I enable SEO Smart Links cache?
- Make sure you have enabled WordPress cache by adding this line to your wp-config.php
- define(ENABLE_CACHE, true);
Please be careful when editing this file and always make a backup!
SEO Smart Links Installation Instructions
- Upload the whole plugin folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
- Go to the Plugins page and activate the plugin.
- Use the Options page to change your options
- That is all. You can check your posts for new links.
All-In-One-SEO for Joomla
As most of you know I love WordPress and am a fan of one of the plugins called “All-In-One-SEO”. Unfortunately their hasnt been a lot of solutions that are similar to the All-In-One-SEO but for Joomla. I came across www.artio.net and I have to say it is about the best solution I have found for Joomla. Joomla is less constrictive for some applications and purposes.
- rewrites original Joomla! URLs to be Search Engine Friendly (SEF) and human understandable
- improves your overall Joomla site SEO rating
- capability of meta-data auto generation
- provides support for multilingual sites using JoomFish
- URLs internationalization (translated URLs)
- support for multiple formats of URLs when using multiple languages – domain based: en.yoursite.com, de.yoursite.com, … or path-based: yoursite.com/en, yoursite.com/de
- wide range of editable meta-tags for any URL in your Joomla!
- fully customizable URLs, many configuration options for automatic URL generation
- customizable 404 page
- helps you handle 301 redirects, allow custom 301 redirect definitions
- support for Google News URL format
- duplicate URL prevention and management
- .htaccess file easy editing
- works with Apache and IIS, platform independent
- online free! updates (free updates also for the paid versions)
- caching system for improved performance
- automatic updates of existing URLs on configuration change
- modularity – supports 3rd party modules
- adjustable parameters for add-on extensions to customize way of URL appearance
- plug-in system – easily add more extensions for your components
- support for sef_ext.php files written for OpenSEF or SEF Advance (since v1.4.0)
- easy URL imports from sh404sef and AceSEF components
- Joomla 1.0.x (JoomSEF 2) and 1.5 support (JoomSEF 3)
- and many more…
Expandibility, Modularity, Advanced
3rd party Components Support
JoomSEF includes built-in support of all core Joomla components and JoomFish. 3rd party components are supported via a modular and open API. Currently there are about 60 available JoomSEF SEO extensions which include support of AdsManager, AlphaContent, Datso Gallery, DocMan, EZ Realty, iJoomla Magazine, JEvents, JoomlaBoard, JoomSuite Resource, Mosets Tree, Mosets Hot Property, Marketplace, ReMOSitory, RSGallery2, Seyret Video, SMF (Simple Machine Forums) Bridge, SOBI2, VirtueMart and other Joomla components. If you are interested in support for your component, please contact us.
Some of the extensions are provided for free, either as part of JoomSEF installation package or in downloads section of our website. Others can be purchased from our E-Shop or delivered by 3rd parties.
The Pope tells Priests: We Must Blog
Pope Benedict XVI has demanded in a recent message that the Priests start using Social Media outlets including Blogs. As the Catholics 265th Pope, Pope Benedict XVI has been a very surprising and extremely supportive advocate of Social Media and Social Marketing. After the support and momentium gained by social media for the now President Barack Obama it appears as if many of the world leaders has chosen to start using the internet to help them gain and retain followers.
It looks like even though Pope Benedict XVI is a fan of Social Marketing and Blogs, he does not have a Twitter account yet. Last year, he launched a YouTube channel, and six months ago, he released Facebook and iPhone apps to spread the Church’s message. It looks like that he hopes Catholic priests will follow his digital example. It is going to be very interesting to watch the evolution of the Catholic Church’s Social Strategy.
Here is a very small excerpt from the Popes message:
“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich “menu of options” might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different “voices” provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.”
Best gadgets of 2010
I have compiled several 2010 lists due to popular demand, and I am getting a lot of positive feedback on them. As far as this list it was inspired by a conversation I had over Christmas Holiday that talked about some of the gadgets that came out in 2010 and which ones were preferred. After doing more research on the topic I have put together the best list of gadgets for 2010, as always enjoy.
Here is a list of the TOP … best gadgets of 2010
- vPhone: The vPhone is a new promising gadget of 2010. The main reason this has made the top of the list is its ability to allow you to perform video calls from your cell phone. The Video Phone (vPhone) is being developed by Saygus a small firm that specializes in video-calling software. Verizon will be the first to carry a two-way video-conferencing phone complete with a large touch screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a 3D accelerometer. This phone is meant to compete directly with the iPhone and to out-perform Droid (Droid is the current device Verizon is using for this market). The vPhone is set to be the first mobile device approved through Verizon’s Open Development initiative, a program designed to allow developers to build technologies to operate on the Verizon network. The vPhone from Saygus will not be available in stores but only through the Utah based company Saygus.
- The mCube90 developed by Innergie is a universal power adapter and surge protector that can be used on airplanes, in cars, or at home. This adapter is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (comparable size to an iPhone) and solved the problem that most of us who travel face… How do you keep track of all your chords and adapters for your mobile devices, but more so this device powers your mobile devices with its battery power. It has the ability to power your laptop, cell phone, MP3 Player, or any other device that has a USB power input.
- Copenhagen Wheel, a dream come true for any cyclist
Compare Maps online with ‘Maps Compare’. This is a unique tool that allows you to see the same map results from the 4 leading map sites; Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, Bing Maps, and Google Earth. This is a very simple idea and does not include a lot for programing to make it happen but the idea is still a good one. You are able to compare the map data from the main 4 map sites. For anyone interested in exact map data for comparisons this can come in very handy.
Google the “Giant Monopoly”
German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger calls Google a “Giant Monopoly”
BERLIN (Reuters) – Microsoft and could face legal action if it does not become more transparent, Germany’s justice minister said.is becoming a “giant monopoly” like
In an interview with weekly magazine Google Earth and Google Books.said she was concerned the firm was accruing too much power and information about citizens via programs like
“All in all, what’s taking shape there to a large extent is a giant monopoly, similar to Microsoft,” the minister said.
“My initial response is not to ban something or stop something. But I do want to create more transparency and ensure that users know what is going on with their data,” she added.
“I think the companies have an obligation here, and a lot of things ought to be improved. If that doesn’t happen soon we may have to take action as legislators.”
A liberal member of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger also served as justice minister between 1992 and 1996, when she stood down in protest about moves to allow the state more scope to snoop on citizens.
A spokesman for Google in Germany said offering users full transparency was central to how the company operated and that it was constantly working to make improvements in this realm.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Klaus-Peter Senger)
The Skiff Reader
The Skiff Reader is similar to the PC tablet with some of the functionality but is geared more towards being the eReader of choice at a reasonable price. The Skiff Reader is from Hearst and Sprint.
The sole purpose of the Skiff Reader is to turn newspapers, magazines, and other paper only products into a digitized electronic copy. The eReader is not a new idea and was considered to be brain-child of Bill Gates and has since been adapted by Amazon with the Amazon Kindle & its newer version Amazon Kindle 2. The Skiff Reader was released at the 2010 CES show. As mentioned in the video below you will notice that the Skiff Reader has one feature that makes it stand out more than any other eReader and that is the simple fact that you can bend the Skiff Reader just like a newspaper or magazine without breaking it. Cool idea.