Archive for February, 2006

Google Teams Up With Sony Ericsson

28 Feb 2006

Texutally reports that Sony Ericsson has signed a deal with Google that will mean owners of the Sony Ericsson mobile phones will be able to file to a personal blog on the move as soon as they turn on their new phone.

“The company today announced that it will be integrating Google’s Blogger and Web Search features on all its future mobile phones. Owners of a account will be able to file stories via their mobile phone on the move with the included software.”

Darla Mack links to an article on Search Engine Journal and says:

Google and Sony claim to be the first in the US cell market to provide pre-loaded blogging application with a tight integration to the mobile camera and easy set-up for mobile users who do not already have a Blogger blog. Have we forgotten that Nokia’s Lifeblog integrated with Typepad and comes preinstalled on certain Nokia devices?

Indeed, somewhere in 2005 Nokia came up with Lifeblog, so Google & Sony Ericsson are definitely not the first companies to team up and deliver this kind of service. I do however think that they are a worthy competitor to Nokia and Typepad. Any speculation on the next team that will deliver a combo for mobile & blogs.


Nike Rockstar Dance Lessons

28 Feb 2006

Nikewomen came up with dance classes online with the ‘Dance like a rockstar’ campaign to promote fitness with music. Girls (and maybe boys) can join the workout video class to learn the basic moves for Salsa Dance. If salsa isn’t your dada, you can choose some other groovy sample movies like Extreme Step, Brazillian Dance, Forza, Marathon Training, Hip Hop Spin, Rockstar Dance or a Cardio Cross-Training. Besides the interactive training videos, there’s also a fun Dance Personality Quiz to help you determine what kind of dancer you are.

Nike Dance 1

Dance-based classes are the hottest new trend in fitness. Nike’s Rockstar Workout by Jamie King breaks down moves that get your hear pounding, body pulsating and mind invigorated.

Nike Dance 2

Nike Dance 3

Visit the Nike Workout Center and give it a go.
Watch Rihanna’s Interactive Music Video.
Take the Dance Personality Quiz


My Beef With YouTube

28 Feb 2006

I’ve been quite busy removing clips on YouTube. It seems that due to the growing popularity, YouTube suffers under the claims of copyright infringement from TV stations and content owners worldwide. I’ve been ordered to remove all content that’s not mine in order to prevent my account from being deleted. These last few days, I’ve been going throught the archive, deleting whatever content that had been broadcasted on TV. Apparently some content which had been online for months already is suddenly flagged as ‘inappropriate’, so I just received my ’strike two’. One more and I’m out.

Now here’s the problem: what do I do with the commercials? Commercials have copyrights too, but the entire point of a commercial is that it’s shown and distributed, so that the brand or product can be seen. I know I don’t pay for the rights to publish the commercials, and I know I’m using YouTube as a channel to broadcast commercials via links or players in iframes. Hundreds, maybe thousands of other people do it too. It’s part of the viral effect commercials have. If you like them, you share them.

So, I deleted over 200 clips and only left some 3D Animations and commercials online, hoping that this will do to comply to the YouTube standards. If they still cancel my account, I don’t think I’ll ever open up a new one again, not even on another video sharing website.

Read the rest of this entry »


NASA World Wind

28 Feb 2006

World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.”… and it’s open source!

World Wind comes with data you can zoom into. After a certain point, World Wind will begin to download more images automatically. The servers hosting this information are very busy and may be unresponsive until we get the necessary infrastructure.

NASA World Wind leverages Microsoft .NET technology for rapid development and to easily access open standards such as XML, WMS, and other graphics standards. Real-time 3D graphics are driven by DirectX allowing a wide base of compatibility with accelerated video hardware.

World Wind is developed at NASA Ames Research Center by Chris Maxwell, Randy Kim, Tom Gaskins, Bruce Lam and project manager Patrick Hogan.

Screenshots from the site:

World Wind 1

World Wind 2

World Wind 3

More impressive screenshots
Visit the NASA World Wind Site
Download World Wind

via Digg.

More reviews on World Wind:
From Gary Price over at Resource Shelf, almost a year ago (!)
Also at SearchEngineWatch (Thanks for the tip, Gary!)

Gary, currently and since recently working for also pointed me to
World Wind’s 3D imagery from the Moon.


Rich Media & Video Ads

28 Feb 2006

Nathan was at SES and asked me if he should attend the ‘Rich Media & Video Ads’ talk or choose for “Podcast Search” or “Searcher Behavior Research” or “Search Engine Friendly Design”. I advised him to go to the rich media thing, because that seemed the most interesting bit. Also because Google has recently launched Video Adsense, this session seemed to be a ‘must’. That resulted in a really long post from Nathan of which I’m going to quote some stuff:

Maria Mandel from Ogilvy kicks it off by saying that adding audio and video to online advertising increases the impact 2.5 times, according to a study. Most companies think they can just take their TV commercials and put them online. This doesn’t work as well as they’d think. By creating an ad that, while similar to a TV ad, is designed for online (designed for people sitting closer to a screen, having links within the creative), the advertiser saw a 3.5 times increase in effectiveness.

She shows a “You Make The Call” ad Miller Lite ran, where you click the sidebar to slideout a video area, and the user is asked what they want to happen in the ad. Maria says the average user spent more than two minutes with the ad. Another ad, for a car, had, if you moused over the ad, the guy in the ad would yell at you to stop touching his car.

One thing during the whole presentation: the popup blocker and other security features continued interrupting and slowing down the demo. This proves the biggest problem with this type of advertising, and was not acknowledged.

She also showed an ad campaign they ran for Sprite called “Miles Thirst”, where they did a viral campaign inserting this character everywhere. They bought search ads on various pop culture references, with the character commenting on them.

Nathan went to talk to Maria Mandel after the presentation:

Now, after the session, I approached the first presenter, Maria Mandel, and pointed out that during her demo, she had to move around popup blockers and Flash error messages, and asked if she was worried that users are finding ways, like Firefox’s Flashblock, to block the same rich media content, the entire panel is trying to make money off of, and pointed out that the fault for this lies in the misuse of rich media we’ve had for year, with this sort of things getting shoved down our throats.

She made a good point that all users are finding ways away from push advertising, precisely because all of it has being annoying us for years. In fact, we buy Tivos not just to time-shift shows, but to skip the commercials interrupting our entertainment. She believes all advertising is moving away from that model to one that the user seeks out and engages on their own, and thus enjoys, and is more effective, an on-demand form of advertising.

Read the entire article about Rich Media
Also read:
SES NY Lunch With The Google Engineers
SES NY: Contextual Advertising

Because of Nathan’s absence, I filled in for him and blogged over at InsideGoogle, so posting was a little low on this blog. But I’ll make it up later today, if I find some time.


Beastie Boys Media 2.0

27 Feb 2006

Consumer generated media is very hot, but it isn’t new. The Beastie Boys did it already almost two years ago, when they handed out over 50 videocams to fans at a concert and told them to just shoot to their hearts content. The footage was edited and the resulting film, “Awesome, I Fucking Shot That!” is breakthrough.

From The New York Times:

New York punk rockers turned rappers turned caring hip-hop artists and family men, members of the Beastie Boys have more than most musicians used technology to involve fans in the creative process. They have been posting a capella songs on, for instance, and inviting fans to use those building blocks for remixes of their own. [...]

Three days before the October 2004 concert at Madison Square Garden, the Beastie Boys decided to go ahead. The band posted a notice on its Web site seeking volunteers. The instructions were simple: ” ‘Start it when the Beastie Boys hit the stage and don’t stop till it’s over,’ ” recalled one cameraman, Fred Zilliox, a 35-year-old cook from Keansburg, N.J. “Other than that, it was up to us to do whatever we wanted.”[...]

The longest cut in “Awesome” barely breaks a minute. Many shots clock in at less than a second. All told, the hour-and-a-half “Awesome” contains 6,732 edits. [...]

At Sundance the Beastie Boys will be the headliners at a party next week being given by MySpace, the social-networking Web site, to celebrate the debut of its filmmaker-community site. And MySpace will hold a contest urging its members to create a video of one of two Beastie Boys songs, “Sabotage” and “Shake Your Rump.”

Read more at the New York Times | via Ernie Schenck

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Posted in 2.0 +, Trends


Democracy Video Player

27 Feb 2006

The world’s first open source internet tv system has been launched, and it’s called Democracy. It’s available free for Windows, Mac and Linux and takes advantage of open internet technologies to deliver an online video experience. Democracy builds on RSS, Firefox and BitTorrent technologies to allow users to watch, share, broadcast and download video over the internet as high digital resolution, full screen, continuous non-buffered play, on an open standards environment free of adware or spyware.

Democracy iTV

“While every major media corporation in the world is trying to find a way to lock users into closed and proprietary technologies, we want to ensure that video on the internet is as open and accessible as websites and blogs.”

There are more than 300 channels in the Channel Guide that is built-in to Democracy. They’re as interesting and diverse as the internet itself. You can subscribe to any of them for free with a single click.

This seems to be like the open source version of Veoh, of which I’ve done a review somewhere in December. Veoh also has a lot of channels and also allows anyone to become a publisher. The only matter that remains, and also here with Democracy is: copyright violation. Some sort of regulation needs to be set, without any doubt. The idea of free motion over IP is very exciting, but if anyone can become a publisher, that leaves the door open for ‘republication’ of other people’s work.

Download the Democracy Player | Download the code | via VNUNet


Un-Pimp Your Ride

27 Feb 2006

Three new GTI commercials are now airing with a simple theme: “Unpimp your auto!” An obvious parody of the hit TV series, “Pimp My Ride,” the ads feature the German engineers at VW smashing “pimped” economy cars, and replacing them with the new GTI. The “un-pimp your ride” clips are starring Peter Stormare, known from the cult movies The Big Lebowski or Minority Report. Agency: cpbgroup.

See two more clips. Read the rest of this entry »