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Archive for August, 2008

YouTube’s New Advertising + Viral Video Of The Day

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
Before I display the “Viral Video of The Day”, I recently read an AlleyInsider article that sheds new light on YouTube’s advertising capabilities. As quoted from – YouTube Finally Figures Out How To Make Money: Big Ads On Its Homepage

Advertising sources say YouTube is revamping the homepage to accommodate a huge new banner ad that will span the entire width of the page. The ad will is roughly the same height as the current video ad unit on the upper right of the page, and designed to accommodate high-definition video, similar to the campaign Sony Pictures ran on YouTube to market “Pineapple Express.” Sources who have seen the unit describe it having multiple tabs that activate when rolled over by a cursor.

And now for the “Viral Video of The Day”…as featured on ViralVideoChat.com as the most viral video of today. Stats:

  • 4,999,706 views
  • 2 duplicate videos
  • 1,882 blog posts
  • 8,048 comments

A World Without Internet

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
I was playing with Stumble Upon and discovered a great depiction of a world without internet, in cartoon narrated story form (with pop-ups). Very entertaining if you need a break from work….(*To move through each story, click the arrow on the bottom right of the book)

Web2.0 Applications Are Getting Easier To Hack

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
Forbes Article Reformed Hacker Looks Back, brings to light just how vulnerable Web2.0 technology is to hackers like hacker legend Kevin Mitnick.
Kevin David Mitnick is a computer security consultant who was a controversial computer hacker in the late 20th century. In 1999, Mitnick admitted to the authorities [...]. Mitnick served five years in prison, of which four and a half years were pre-trial, and eight months were in solitary confinement. He was released on January 21, 2000. During his supervised release, which ended on January 21, 2003, he was initially restricted from using any communications technology other than a landline telephone. Mitnick fought this decision in court, and the judge ruled in his favor, allowing him to access the Internet. (Wikipedia)
Where’s Kevin Now? Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, a computer security consultancy (Wikipedia).
As for the weaknesses in Web2.0, quoted from Forbes:

What do you see as the biggest threats to cybersecurity today?
Cybersecurity used to be about the network or operating system. Now it’s more at the application layer. Companies and their contractors build their own applications hosted on a public Web site, and the people who write them aren’t trained in secure coding. The mistakes they make can be leveraged to break the system.

…and he’s right. People are pumping out web-based applications all the time and I imagine the only protection they have remain vulnerable hackers like Kevin. I imagine this will become a bigger issue as software becomes a thing of the past and everything is web-based.

Blake Peeble’s “Guitar Hero” Career

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

Teen Dropout to be Pro Guitar Hero

I’m pleased to write that North Carolina decided to “ok” 16 year old Blake Peebles decision to drop out of high school and pursue his dream of becoming a music legend – on Guitar Hero!
Say it out loud this time “Blake Peeble’s “Guitar Hero” Career”. Feels weird to say it, but according to the RollingStone article Teen Drops Out of High School To Become Professional “Guitar Here” , “Peebles was doing poorly to begin with in school, and his parents have since hired him a private tutor.” His parents basically let him drop out of school to persue a career of his choice…one of which I feel is necessary to define Guitar Hero to truly get an understanding and illustrate the current situation. As defined by Wikipedia…

Guitar Hero is a series of music video games published by RedOctane in partnership with Activision. The series is notable for its use of a guitar-shaped peripheral to simulate the playing of music, represented on-screen by colored notes that correspond to fret buttons on the controller.”

EscapistMagazine article Teen Dropout to be Pro Guitar Hero quoted his parents saying, “We couldn’t take the complaining anymore,” said [his father] Hunter. “He always told me that he thought school was a waste of time.”
He must have had a real taste of the “good life” and sense of success from his earlier winnings to make such a life altering situation…right? Well, let’s see what lead Blake Peebles to make this decision: “At the contests he has entered thus far in his career, he has won the typical takeaway prizes for local game contests: $1000 in prizes, gift certificates, gaming equipment and chicken sandwiches.” (escapistMagazine)
It is possible in some parallel universe that one could earn up to $80,000 a year on the competitive circuit, though I imagine those are 1 in a million. Could this be Blakes break? Could he be the 1 in a Million? Well, to get an idea of what he’s up against I took a look at the Guitar Hero Community, where I found no sign of Blake Peebles anywhere…though it could be that his username is one of many attempts to sound more like a distant cousin to R2D2.
Oh and I have great news…. Blake was just on Dr. Blogstein’s radio show. I have t admit this is a great attempt to get some serious attention. I’m not saying he’ll find Michael Phelps level endorsements, as I discussed last week in my article Michael Phelps Pulls in $5MM in Endorsements, but he’s definitely on his way to gaining Activision’s attention. He may remain a “blip” on our radar, but in the world of gaming, this is real news.
On a more personal level, I just want the world to know I LOVE GUITAR HERO! I’m not afraid to admit it. My past room mate and good friend, Mitchell Goldford and my room mate and my true Guitar Hero, Sam Shron have been rocking the plastic guitar and mastering the game on Expert. You try “Through Fire and Flames” on Expert without ending up with some level of Alzheimer’s! Try and imagine a world without Guitar Hero? …wait, stop, that’s just not okay for me to make such demanding requests. Instead, just imagine that there would have been no “South Park” episode about Guitar hero…
South Park Guitar Hero scene 2 — HILLARIOUS

…and that’s just not right to say! Either way, I promise to follow up on him in due time. Until then, he needs our support and I have no doubt there’ll be a “fan” site where we could all do just that.

People love commercials…it’s true!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
Every time the TV is on or the internet movie is rolling, everyone knows not to bug me during “commercial” time. I once thought that I was part of a small sect of “commercial” lovers, commenting on them, critiquing them, or simply sitting back and enjoying them. Well, I recently discovered an article that claims there are many more “commercial lovers” out there…
As I was browsing the AlleyInsider Blog for some good material and up-to-date news, I came across Video Ad Companies: People Love Watching Video Ads! …That’s right! 3 Companies support the idea that someone “out there” manages to make it through the commercial. Now I’m not going to go as far as to say they enjoy the commercials as much as I do, but at least they’re not flipping the channel any-time soon. Check out the stats below as quoted from AlleyInsider:

  • Tremor Media says [...] only 20% of Web video watchers give up and leave when confronted with the pre-rolls it serves up. Or, as Tremor is putting it in a release later today, 80% watch the ads all the way through. [...] [A]udiences are willing to accept pre-roll advertising in exchange for content they want, on demand.” And Tremor also says that its stuff is so good (it measured 65 million ad impressions across 100 different ad campaigns) that the bail-out rate didn’t change if the ads were 15 or 30 seconds long.
  • Break Media is claiming an even higher “completion rate” — 87% — for its pre-rolls, which includes a whole lot of user-generated video. Break’s sample was a lot smaller than Tremor’s — 5.85 million impresssions. But we’re equally skeptical of both numbers. We’re certainly not anti-advertising, and we will indeed sit through some pre-rolls, when we know were getting good stuff we want to see. But there’s no way we do that 8 out of 10 times.

Now they haven’t exactly pinpointed WHY, but the money is there and that’s usually all that matters in order to convince the public that this form/method of advertising works. As for my commercial loving companions, our time to shine is just over the hill. Beware!

Michael Phelps Pulls in $5mm in Endorsements

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

Michael Phelps Swimming

As usual, my Friday blogging habbits seem to lead towards a selected “Viral Video”…which leads me to my 4th “VIRAL VIDEO OF THE DAY”…but at the same time I totally got sucked into Reuters YouTube Posting covering Michael Phelps and his Marketing success.

Michael Phelps is a “Marketing Dream” to companies like Speedo, AT&T, and Visa. He earns $5mm a year in endorsements, but can expect more post-Olympics. But none of this could happen without the Marketing Magic behind Phelps, Octagon.
Want a little humor? Well, according to the Video above, VISA immediately launched a commercial congratulated Phelps on the most metals in Olympic History, yet the marketing firm behind Phelps hasn’t seemed to update their own web-site: http://www.octagon.com/worldwide-overview/athletes-and-personalities. Check it out…they still have him down for “8″. Looks like VISA was a step ahead ;)
…Now that’s some good Blogging right there! As for Phelps, have fun buddy!

Online Video’s 2008 Predictions Down By 65% to $505 Million

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
YouTube, which accounts for more than half of all video views, will generate a mere $200 million in sales in 2008…yet they still are among other “losers” failing to be a profitable company in the Online Video space. According to Dow Jones investors have spilled more than $8 billion into Online Video. Here’s some #’s (though they don’t add up to $8 Billion) that give you an idea of Online Video Spending over the past 3 years:

2005: $1.764 billion
2006: $2.117 billion
2007: $2.009 billion
2008: $453 million (Q1 only)

These numbers come primarily from AlleyInsider’s reporting on the Dow Jones VentureSource, which provided them with a running tally of venture investment in online video startups since 2005. The dealflow includes “video infrastructure (Brightcove), ad platforms (YuMe), service providers (VideoEgg), and consumer sites (FunnyOrDie, Veoh, Joost, etc). Between 2005 and Q1 2008, that tally is $6.06 billion. Add in one big acquisition — the $1.65 billion deal for YouTube ($1.65 billion) — and a few smaller ones — like Sony’s pickup of Grouper/Crackle for $65 million — and the grand total comes to $8.06 billion. Keep in mind this doesn’t include any of the billions invested in Europe or in China.”
Now according to a more recent AI article, Sorry, Investors: The Online Video Pie Just Shrank By 65%, according to eMarketer, “In February, the Web prognosticator said YouTube et al would sell $1.4 billion in ads in the U.S. this year. Now it says it was overzealous: It has ratcheted its estimate back by 64%, to $505 million.”
I really liked how AI broke down the $505mm and decided to copy and paste the text for all to see:

…here’s how a $505 million market would break down this year:

That means the remaining $215 million, then, is divided between the following:

  • Big media companies like ABC/Disney, CBS, Time Warner, Yahoo, News Corp/MySpace, NBC U, and Viacom.
  • Video aggregators like Veoh, Joost, Metacafe and DailyMotion
  • And ad networks like Brightroll, Tremor, Husky and Broadband Enterprises

It’s really hard to see Online Video draw back it’s yearly quote predictions for the 2nd time this year, but there’s hope yet in terms of IAB taking yet another step closer to determining Online Video perameters. This is the first I’ve seen of it: Digital Video Ad Measurement Guidelines by the IAB. 3 CATEGORIES all committed to Online Video, while I find it interesting to see E-Mail only has 1 guideline. EVEN MORE INTERESTING, is the fact that it Digital Video is now a whole new category in “Emerging Interactive Platforms”, along with Games Advertising, Mobile and User-Gen Content & Social Media. I’m interested to see when these will be in full completion and what will take their place as “Emerging”. Either, I hope the best for Video and look forward to seeing YouTube lockdown their Ad-Model and finally bringing in the big bucks!

AlleyInsider says NBC’s Fault US Blew Gold

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

OlympicNBC.jpg

I was in search for an article to “blog” about and came across a rather interesting post by AlleyInsider’s creater himself, Mr. Henry Blodget. It’s a big statement, but they claimed It Was NBC’s Fault US Gymnasts Blew Gold Medal. I mean, I personally thought it was because team captain Alicia Sacramone lost her balance on the “BALANCE BEAM” and floored her “FLOOR ROUTINE” (puns intended).
Well, Martha Karolyi, the team co-ordinator, was quick to blame officials at Beijing’s stadium as quoted from this Yahoo article, US clears Beijing officials of blame for gymnastics loss.

Karolyi said immediately after the US loss to China that officials at Beijing’s National Indoor Stadium disrupted Sacramone’s beam routine by delaying her performance for an extended period, breaking her concentration
“First they called her name up, then they did not even put her name up even though the Chinese had finished … (it was) totally unusual holding,” she said.
“She was mentally prepared and then she had a mental break, then after not doing the job, the beam, on the floor exercise her concentration was bothered.”…
Karolyi insisted the world champion US team would have won gold if Sacramone had not become unsettled.

Well, AlleyInsider did it’s investigative work and found the heart of that article, quoting Alas: It was NBC’s fault…

USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said the delay involving Sacramone’s beam routine happened because of scheduling issues related to the Games’ television feed.
“It’s a normal television thing that’s typical in international competition,” he told AFP.

Well, in the end, there’s really no need for blame! China still out-did America by over 2 points and on their home-turf. China’s first time team-gold-medal in this category is worth clapping for and everything else aside, Sacramone herself didn’t play the blame game, saying “I think everybody knows there’ll be good days and bad days, I just wish this was a good day for me.”

Top 5 Things To Do When Google Shuts Down

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
You may be asking yourself, “yea, like that would ever happen!” Well, guess what? IT DID! And if you don’t believe me, check out these three articles:

According to Reuters (a reliable source) “Users across the United States, Canada and India reported problems with Gmail and a Google employee also reported that the company’s own corporate e-mail account was down.” The problems started at about 5 p.m. EDT (and around 2:30pm Pacific Standard Time here in Seattle, WA.).
And it seems this isn’t a one time occurance. Quoting GigaOm, “in recent weeks, not only Google’s services but those of Amazon’s S3 and Apple’s MobileMe have gone on the blink, leading us to rethink our assumptions about the reliability of the web as a platform. Clearly a lot of work still needs to be done.”
So what did you do during “the G-Crash”? Well, considering this may happen again, I suggest you come prepared. I call out to all of you Gmail, GApp, Googler Lovin’ Hippie Geeks…stand tall and heed my words of wisdom…
Here are your “Top 5 Things To Do When Google Shuts Down”:

  • Take a nap and when you wake, hope the world hasn’t collapsed into itself.
  • Revert to your SmartPhone in hopes that it has found a loop hole during these depressing moments of your internet life
  • Pick up a newspaper and “read it”.
  • Oh wait, Blogs still work so there’s no need to go to such lengths…I suggest www.RedRussak.com
  • If you made it this far, I’d assume that Google’s 19,604 full-time employees and $23 Billion have come up with a solution.

…I’m glad we made it through these tough times. It’s funny, I can’t imagine what would happen if Google decided to take a vacation for longer than 5 minutes. That would make for a great blog post :)

Viral Video of The Day – #3

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
Hands down, this may be one of the funniest videos related to advertising…