Arizona Blue Moon

Some really interesting photos of tonights blue moon from my back porch, here in Cottonwood, AZ. Enjoy!
[postcasa size=large]http://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/base/user/jamesdkirk/albumid/5421586025662514529?alt=rss&kind=photo&hl=en_US[/postcasa]

Pondering the Vidli.com Contest

Camera Sony HDR-FX1 HDV Handycam Camcorder
Image via Wikipedia

Still only a few hours left in the contest being run by soon to be released Vidli.com. If you spend any time at all reading the posts here at BG, you likely know that I’ve been participating in their Social Media challenge. They designed an interesting way to weed out the wannabe Social Media “expert” types from those that can actually produce results.
The rules? Simple: sign up, get URL that points people to Vidli’s Beta Invitation sign up form, get people to sign up for their free beta program to be launched early 2010. The top five referrers are then invited to talk with Vidli folk in order to be further considered for the new position they are hiring for.
Some saw this as an exploitation of unemployed workers to further Vidli’s cause. Obviously, even in a losing effort, I never considered this to be taking advantage of me. Just like my response to those that argue Boxing is an exploitive sport: no one makes fighters step into the ring and compete based upon mutually agreeable rules and regulations.
Hell, even Nelson Mandela is on record as being a big fight fan. It’s true!
Anyway, if you are into making videos for whatever topic or niche, being able to monetize them is usually a lofty goal. Sure some of them are simply created to market other products or brands, but of the billions of videos viewed everyday online, only a super small percentage have any sort of video monetization associated with them.
If Vidli.com lives up to its self professed promises, the opportunities for you Camtasia, Pling, screen grabbing, Audacity recording junkies to make some money seems quite good.
Even though I didn’t get into the top five, I know the methods I chose to employ in this contest were sound, longer tail applications of using both social media marketing and solid content creation. There were several contestants that started emulating my techniques after they observed my efforts in action. Must be something to that, you know?
In a nutshell, this pursuit isn’t over. 2010 is just a few hours away. As such, I’m already working on taking advantage of this exercise in its fullest. As those products are ready, I’ll be sure to post information here for you lucky friends of mine that subscribe to this feed. If you don’t subscribe to this feed, no worries, just click here.
If you were among the 35 who took the time and put forth the effort to sign up thank you so very much. I am grateful that you efforted to help me out. Promise to make you proud!

Ebay Stuff

[affmage source=”ebay” results=”2″]audio video equipment[/affmage]

Amazon Stuff

[affmage source=”amazon” results=”2″]video creation[/affmage]

Overstock Stuff

[affmage source=”overstock” results=”2″]video camera[/affmage]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ebay Partner Captcha: Are You Kidding?

ebay-partner-captchWTF? I’ve always been a big supporter of using CAPTCHA’s to reduce spam and increase security. I even try to use reCAPTCHA as much as I can, mostly because there is an actual cause behind them.
But as you can see with this quick screen grab from a password reset inside the Ebay Partners network, I feel like I’m writing a damn book just to get them to do something for me.
YIKES!! Next I’ll have to re-type a complete book from the Bible! (or any other holy book of scriptures!)
Crazy stuff. Loco indeed!

Pie Crust Protector vs. Pie Shields

pie-shield

Christmas dinner was fantastic. Mom’s “new” technique of cooking the turkey outside of the oven in a giant slow cooker creates the most moist and amazingly good meat ever. We do put it into the oven as soon as the thingy pops out telling us it’s ready inside.
While its skin is browning we pop in some dinner rolls and really work the heck out of that conventional oven.
This holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas pie baking I helped mom to try and keep those crusts from burning. As you probably know just like we do, you’re supposed to cover them with foil.
Well, if you’ve attempted this feat of magic, you know how tough it can be. I thought I’d be slick this year and break tooth picks in half and joust the overlapping pieces of foil into the edge of the crust.
And to be fair, that actually worked rather well. Except for one thing. I discovered, via some online research that I wasn’t supposed to press the foil down on the crusts. Well, it does make a difference.
So, I thought I’d invent the Pie Crust Protector. Of course, as great as this idea is, someone’s already done it. Pie Shields they’re known as. Oh well.
But as you can see by the embedded Amazon link above, they are readily available and rather inexpensive. I’m ordering 2 of them as soon as I’m done with this post. Having them might just make me want to delve deeper into baking homemade pies.
Which reminds me, I need to start posting up about my bread machine adventures. Let me tell you a little sneak peak: I am a damned good (bread machine) baker! More on that soon!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

An 11th Online Video Prediction Added to Unleash Video's 10

unleash-video-logo

Straight from @TimJahn his 10 Online Video Predictions for 2010 are available over at his UnleashVideo.com site. Have to say I agree with most all of them, though maybe a bit askewedly (is that a word? :))
Here’s my take on each of his items. You’ll obviously want to click through to read his post to know what the heck I’m talking about!

10 Online Video Predictions for 2010

  1. There’s a lot of money out there for company’s to spend advertising. Recession? Blah!
  2. Sounds like social media video production. I’m for it, however not to overlook the value of creative juice production when working in close proximity to other creatives.
  3. If Apple doesn’t do this, someone else will. From what I read Hulu.com is likely to move into subscriptions as well.
  4. Too much “creative integration” of product marketing might harm video monetization. But only if done in cheesy fashion.
  5. Very excited to see what creative minds will do with live, streaming services from an entertainment vs. reporting perspective.
  6. Not looking forward to 500,000,000 channels of lifestreams 🙁
  7. I really liked Joost and its first application. Much better than MCE, at least in my eyes.
  8. The players are all mostly the same that are making “real” movies, so it makes sense they’d find funding based upon fame and marketshare in their online pursuits.
  9. Pre-roll ads are fine. 12 pre-roll ad units: NOT!
  10. A little scared about small businesses getting into video promotions of their wares. Have you seen some small business websites? Yikes!
  11. My 11th? I’d like to see company’s like Vidli.com and even Youtube extend the earnings potential to sites that embed other’s video content. If you’re making money when it is shown, and it gets seen on my site, share the wealth!
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Rendering Video Monetization with the Best Metrics

$5700
Creative Commons License photo credit: AMagill

From ripping off live MMA to trying to figure out just what works and doesn’t regarding the monetization of online video, today’s stories are all about searching for the answers.
Startup companies like Vidli.com will definitely need to be way on top of their game if they are going to go head to head with the Ooyala’s, Apple’s and Ustream’s of the video delivery world.
We shall see! In the meantime, here’s what seems to be more pertinent snippets about licensing video and delivering profitability and ROI to the content owners and network operators. Just click through on the headlines to read their entire stories.

The Future of In-Stream Video Advertising for Yu and Me

On the topic of measuring performance for online video advertising campaigns, Jayant agrees that what may be considered acceptable performance metrics for many interactive ad formats does not necessarily translate in terms of measuring the complete success of a video advertising initiative.
“In the search business and in the display business, the primary metric people use is clicks… In video, depending on the campaign, a click may not be the best metric… You have a myriad of things that you can try…”

Apple TV Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk

Once again, talking about Apple’s future as a multichannel video distributor is all the rage. But people familiar with the discussions between Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and video programmers over a possible subscription package say the talk is far ahead of the action, one reason why details are still murky. If the subscription package could be pulled off with an announcement from a single player, I have no doubt Disney (NYSE: DIS), which isn’t commenting about this but multiple sources tell me is open to the idea, would be first in line.

UFC targets online piracy. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go all RIAA on us

It’s been a running theme for the past few years, and as more and more people get faster Internet connections, and as video compression technology continues to improve, we’re going to be hearing a lot more about it. I refer, of course (of course!), to illegal streams of live sporting events. Whether you’re firing up TVAnts on Sunday to watch Arsenal take on Aston Villa, or trolling USTREAM for a live feed of WWE’s Royal Rumble, or looking for MMA-TV to watch this month’s UFC pay-per-view, you are, in fact, breaking the law. Not only are you breaking the law, but you may even be taking money away from the companies/teams/sports you purport to support. But is that all there is to it?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Cool Amazon Stuff

[affmage source=”amazon” results=”3″]blueray[/affmage]

Cool Overstock.com Stuff

[affmage source=”overstock” results=”3″]blueray[/affmage]

Vidli.com's Licensing Model Appears on Right Track

As I’ve reported here over the past weeks, Vidli.com, The Official Video Licensor is launching in early 2010. They hope to provide the copyright owners of videos with the ability to monetize them with licensing fees. This instead of the current generally accepted model of placing ads in front of, during and after the playing of the video.
The other way to generate revenues to charge for subscriptions to a site that plays all of your favorite videos. In veiled promises, both Youtube and Ooyala have indicated they are leaning towards pay to watch models “in the near future”.
None of the video delivery networks are yet willing to make the stand on just when they are going to start charging visitors to watch videos they serve. It’s clear this business model, one which Vidli.com hopes to compete in is heading somewhere. Vidli just hopes it’s towards profitability.
Some of today’s pertinent stories about video monetization, pay per view (or pay per video as Ooyala’s calling it now), and video licensing:

YouTube Is the Top Social Media Innovation of the Decade

YouTube didn’t even exist for more than half the decade, but a perfect storm of increasing bandwidth, advances in Flash, and the rise of social networks (where YouTube content could be embedded) made 2005 the perfect time for the site to make its debut. The growth was meteoric, and within 18 months, the website became one of the most trafficked on the web and the company was sold to Google for $1.6 billion

Video Monetization via Pay Per View – Ooyala Interview

I Interviewed Bismark Lepe, Founder and President of Products for the online video platform Ooyala , about how their solution also allows content providers to make money from their “premium” video content via subscription models and pay-per-video (PPV) models – or what I refer to as, “video for sale.” I caught up with Bismark after his session at the recent Streaming Media West / Online Video Platform Summit in San Jose, California, where he was speaking on the panel, Defining Online Video Platforms . As the session preview stated, “There have never been more people publishing online video, and there have never been more online video platform solutions on the market. But with so many choices, it can be confusing to decide what services are right for your online video initiatives.”

YouTube Paid Video Could Come “In the Not Too Distant Future”

YouTube is serving up more than a billion videos per day and all of them are free. That could change soon, says YouTube executive David Eun. Eun, who runs partnerships for Google’s site, confirmed earlier reports that YouTube is looking to stream movies and/or TV shows that aren’t available on the site now and won’t be supported by advertising. So someone, either consumers themselves or a sponsor who picks up the tab, would need to pay for them directly. When? “In the not too distant future,” Eun says–while leaving enough wiggle room for Google (GOOG) to avoid actually saying that it is committed to any particular plan.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Great Buys at Amazon.com

[affmage source=”amazon” results=”3″]video[/affmage]

Great Buys at Overstock.com

[affmage source=”overstock” results=”3″]video[/affmage]

Where will Vidli.com Fit into the Value Add Chain of Online Video Monetization?

As the new year is strapping up its boots and getting ready to launch us all into a brand new decade, those of you (and I) interested in online video may be wondering what’s next. As I continue my quest to become Vidli.com’s next Social Media person (you can help by clicking here and signing up to receive a free beta invite. TIA!) I find myself learning more and more about the marketplace.
The work I’ve done in the past for EPI, LLC (where I’m a founding partner) as we attempt to launch TheFightChannel.com, an all fighting online video network has been very educational. In fact, during 2008 I actually designed and submitted to applications for patent protection on processes to deliver audio and video online in new and unique fashion.
Couple the above with the thousands of hours of fight related video we hope to one day launch to fight fans around the world, and you can better understand why having all this knowledge around video licensing and monetization is important. From a business model perspective, we needed to be able to talk to content owners in terms they could understand.
So, now I’m more closely following the happenings in delivery, licensing, monetization and more in the world of online video. Following are some interesting stories from the past couple of days.

Internet TV advances with Boxee Beta and FCC probe

The maturation of Internet TV software like Boxee signals a shift to a more distributed media environment. However, bridging the gap between television and online media is a difficult proposition, not least because traditional content producers are slow to embrace these services.

How Digital Distribution is Changing Viewers Habits {Web Strategies for storytelling}

This paper will identify the current advancement of digital distribution channels and its viewers imminent behavior habits. I hope to prove that today filmmakers, storytellers, and documentary producers can now bypass the traditional methods of video circulation and target their own markets directly using social media websites, live streaming and video podcasting.

New Year’s Wishes For Online Video In 2010

The very best thing to happen to the execution side of our business in 2009 was the emergence and adoption of the VAST standard. VAST compliance allows buyers of inventory to integrate with publishers in a matter of hours, as opposed to custom integration processes that could take days, weeks or months. The efficiencies inherent to VAST enable increased productivity across the board by letting buyers get time-sensitive campaigns up faster, dramatically reducing the potential for errors caused through manual trafficking, and by allowing publishers to significantly reduce trafficking burden. A growing VAST adoption rate coupled with more embracement of standards will benefit all participants in the online video value chain.

[affmage source=”amazon” results=”3″]online video[/affmage]
[affmage source=”overstock” results=”3″]video camera[/affmage]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Early Christmas Taco Dinner

From Early Christmas Dinner

Because my Sister and her husband have plans to be with their daughter’s boyfriend’s family during the actual holiday and that weekend, we decided to have our dinner and gift giving yesterday.
As such, we made one of our favorite family style meals, tacos. Mom has that wonderful serving tray that houses 9 different bowl containers for all the yummy stuff that you might want to put on your taco. And you can’t see it in this picture, however, if you click through to the complete album, you’ll see the entire table setting.
Have to say that it was a super delicious meal and the four of us thoroughly enjoyed dining together. And that was before we opened up all of our gifts. Woo Hoo!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Where Were You During My Ratatouille and Sirloin Experience?

Top Sirloin and Ratatouille
I decided I needed to use the makings I had bought for ratatouille, else risk losing perfectly good vegetables to the compost heap. Are you like me that way? Just despise allowing your laziness to cost you? Money. Time? Effectiveness? Yeah, I dislike it as well.
So, I made sure I had the time (i.e., all my tasks were done and submitted properly) and simply spent the afternoon in the kitchen. I’ve been making ratatouille for about 6 months now. Guessing at least a dozen times. Really!
Why so much, you ask? Mainly because I like experimenting with recipes I enjoy. Tweaking ingredients, methods, flavor profiles. Starting with the same recipe that Julia Child used on her television show, my first attempt was hatched. I enjoyed it well enough to make it again (from the same recipe) and liked it again, even more.
Then I went online searching for other recipes, finding about a gazillion, of course! There’s really a lot of different philosophies when it comes to making this pleasant peasant dish. I even found and tried a couple of times the biyaldi recipe that was the basis of the dish in the movie “[asin=B000VBJEEG]Ratatouille[/asin]”. I especially liked the addition of yellow squash in that one.
Anyway, the meal was a great thick cut Top Sirloin broiled to a juicy rare (but fully safe!) and the ratatouille served over fluffy white rice. I must admit that Mom and I were very pleased! You would have been too. Where were you? Next time! 😉

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]