photo compliments of iStockphoto.com
Facebook has been growing by leaps and bounds and with over 500 Million Users it's no longer just for kids nor can it be ignored. I've noticed that more and more companies are not only staking out a presence on Facebook, but they are even using their Facebook Pages in lieu of their corporate sites when they advertise on TV and in print. All of these screen grabs (Pepsi, Gerber, Carnival, etc.) were from the last frame of their respective TV commercials…
People don't wake up to go your site every day
One thing I came to the realization of last year was that while we may flatter ourselves in thinking that our customers love to come to our sites on a regular basis, chances are the vast majority don't visit your corporate site each day. Think about it. You probably go to most corporate sites when you either have a problem or you're ready to buy something new. It's probably not your daily hangout. You probably don't think to go there to "connect" with the company. On the other hand people go to Facebook EVERY DAY with the sole purpose of connectingt with others. While I definitely appreciate those of you who come here and read my posts, I know that there are millions of people out there that will NEVER come here. In 2010 I had the goal of "being everywhere." What that meant to me was expanding beyond my own .com and placing my content in more places. I was very happy with the results. I now have over 8,000 Twitter followers and over 3,000 Facebook Fans (Likes). I also have over 3 Million views of my YouTube content as well as millions of downloads of my content on iTunes. In most cases many of these users would never see my content on the other/opposite sites.
Why are more companies using Facebook?
Besides the obvious reason of there being a potential audience of 500 million users, Facebook makes it easy for companies to have DIRECT contact with customers without resorting to spam, opt-in policies, building microsites, etc. Also existing Facebook users are more likely to check out their favorite brands on Facebook.com than they are to visit those same corporate sites on a regular/daily basis.
The other benefit is that while many of these companies have their own "forums" for direct communication, users don't have to setup logins for multiple sites. Just log in once to Facebook and visit any company you want and post on their wall. I think that another reason why companies are putting themselves on Facebook is that it's much easier and faster updating a Facebook Page than it is going through the usual red tape, legal, political fronts getting the main corporate site updated. Usually the larger the corporation, the harder it is to get something on the official company website. Sometimes I think the US Congress moves faster! Companies tend to be a little more lax and "casual" when it comes to their social media presence and that's actually a good thing! It feels more "friendly".
You have to be prepared to take the bad with the good
Continue reading “Is Facebook the New “.com”?”
Now you can review Video Projects online with your customers and colleagues even if they don't have any video editing tools or knowhow. Adobe CS Review has now been integrated into Adobe Premiere CS5 allowing you to do review and commenting online of your various video projects. So now in addition to reviewing your Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign projects your clients can review and provide feedback on your videos too. Check out my demo here:
Find out more about CS Review here.
In light of yesterday's post about ratings, I decided to return to a product/topic that I wanted to give everyone an update on. With each iPhone OS update that has come out since Apple switched .Mac to MobileMe I've tried to use it to wirelessly sync all my data between not only my Macs, but my iPhone as well. Each attempt in the past has lead to problems. One of the most frustrating problems I had over and over was the loss of ringtone associations with the 50+ contacts that I assigned custom ringtones too. Since you still can't assign ringtones to a group of contacts, I would have to manually go in and reassign them each time. I would typically get so frustrated that by the 3rd time this would happen, I would go back to syncing manually in iTunes.
Now it works!
Apple has been tweaking (ie. fixing bugs) MobileMe all along. So I tried it again when the iPhone OS 3.0 update came out. It's been working fine ever since. I've not once lost my ringtone/contact associations and it's been syncing flawlessly between my iPhone 3GS and various Macs. For me, it's finally working as advertised and I'm happy!
Much too often people are quick to tell you that something doesn't work! So I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you that MobileMe does work.
Yes, there is still room for improvement
Although MobileMe syncing is now working for me as advertised, that doesn't mean that the service itself couldn't be better. For example, I'm still stunned that to this day the iPhone doesn't support syncing of To Do items in iCal/Outlook without a 3rd party App (I use ToDo) and even more stunned that although you can finally sync Notes from Mail, that you can still only do so via the USB cable and iTunes. Notes themselves seem to sync up to the MobileMe cloud so why is it that we still have to plug in to get them to sync on the iPhone/iPod touch?
I could go on and on about things I would like to see implemented or improved, but for the most part I'm happy that it finally works the way it's supposed to.
You can get MobileMe here at a discounted price. It works on both Macs and PCs.
While I love recording some of my reviews via HD video and sharing them on YouTube, I can't get over this really cool service that my buddy Jack Beckman turned me on to with his review here.
What is Livestream?
Livestream.com is a website that allows you to setup your own internet broadcast channel for free. You can go on the air whenever you want and broadcast your message. It could be used for regular shows, broadcasting meetings and events, webcam monitoring, whatever you can imagine.
How is this different from YouTube, Vimeo and others?
All of the others that typically come to mind allow you to share your message, but only after you first record it and upload it as a video file. Livestream is BOTH live broadcasting with the ability to record it for later playback (video on demand VOD). Livestream even has support for multiple cameras. You can even bring in video that you pre-recorded or have posted elsewhere such as YouTube or your podcast. There's a whole studio environment included.
Why is it FREE?
Like most free services including YouTube, there is money in advertising. So while people are viewing your channel there could be ads on the side, top or bottom of the viewer window. There is a way to eliminate the ads with the paid version that starts at $350/month! Most people will be quite happy with the free version. Also there is a limit of the number of people that can watch your broadcast until your account is verified. The limit is 50. That is still pretty good for an unverified account! Verification is beyond simple email verification. You have to prove yourself worthy by putting up some content first. This gives the verification committee at Livestream a chance to see what kind of content you plan on broadcasting. I tried to have my account verified right away and it was declined because I didn't have any content up yet.
Continue reading “Broadcast Live Video with Livestream.com for FREE”
This is my 3rd installment on showing off your Photography. First I talked about Moo cards and then yesterday about Gelaskins. If you have a shot that you really want to show off in your home or office, why not go the extra mile and have it printed on canvas in the form of a Gallery Wrap? I'm really addicted to this kind of print/mounting done by MPIX.com. First let me tell you that it's not cheap! Before I even consider having a gallery wrap done, I have to really be in LOVE with the shot. Otherwise I'll just stick to traditional prints in frames. Gallery Wraps are for those shots that are really important to you. The ones that you just can't stop looking at.
Once I got approved to become an MPIX Pro Customer, I was lucky that MPIX had a sale on Gallery Wraps. I thought this was my chance to get a few of my favorite shots mounted this way and save a little money at the same time. Whether you're an MPIX Pro customer or regular MPIX customer the quality is equally the same — OUTSTANDING! I've gotten several compliments on the ones I've gotten done so far and the next thing that they want to know is "where did you get those done?"
Continue reading “Creative Ways to Showoff Your Photography – Gallery Wraps”
Yesterday I talked about showing off your Photography with Moo Cards. Today it's all about skins. My guess is that you have a cellphone, mp3 player, laptop or gaming device if not all of the above. So why not add some custom bling to your electronic devices.
Gelaskins has been around for a while selling all kinds of creative looking skins for your various devices. Honestly I'm not really a skin kind of guy. The reason is that I usually don't find an image that I like so much that I want it on a device that I use/look at every day. However, once I found out that they now allow you to use YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY, I couldn't get the site fast enough.
Continue reading “Creative Ways to Showoff Your Photography – Gelaskins”
As a photographer I'm always looking for creative ways to showoff my work. So I thought I would spend the next day or so showing some of the products I've recently discovered or been turned on to to do just that. It's pretty common to have photographic business cards these days. However, the hard part is picking the one or two images that you'll use. Of course the minute you submit the order, you'll take an even more impressive shot the next day. So when my buddy Scott Kelby turned me on to Moo.com I was all over it.
Pick your favorite 50!
That's Right Moo.com lets you design your business cards with up to 50 different images. You can get 50 different business cards for only $21.99. Now you don't have to have 50 different images. That's the max. However, let's say that you have 10 images that you love. You can get say 200 cards with those 10 images and you'd end up with 20 cards of each image. For example, I picked 48 of my favorite images (I know, but I just couldn't come up with 2 more that I would want on a card) and I ordered 200 cards. I ended up with each image at least 4 times and two of the images ended up on 6 cards instead of 4.
So now when I want to give out a business card I can choose one based on either landscapes or portraits. The opposite side of the card, which contains your information is the same for every card.
The Quality, Cost and Ordering
The card stock used is very good. I've had as much praise over the quality of the card and printing as the images that are on them. Ordering was very easy and straight forward. I was glad and impressed that I could upload all the images at once. The prices are 50 for $21.99, 100 for $43.98 and 200 for $69.99. Head over to Moo.com to place your order. Turnaround time was very quick.
If you know anything about computers, chances are you have a friend, relative or colleague that knows less than you do and they come to you for help. I have a couple of friends that come to me from time to time and ask me "how do you do______ again?" Usually it's something that they actually have done before but they've either forgotten how or they've missed a step. Well if you've ever tried to help someone remotely with a computer problem before you know that half the battle is for them to explain what's going on on screen or what the actual problem is?
Look at their screen over the Internet
There's actually a way for you to see EXACTLY what's going on as long as you and your friend have access to the Internet. Adobe provides this service FREE of charge and it's called Acrobat Connect Now. As a matter of fact if you're in one of the CS4 products you can get to it even quicker by choosing "Share My Screen" from the file menu. However, even if you're not in a CS4 product and even if you don't even own an Adobe product you can still use this great service for FREE. Just head over to acrobat.com and sign up for an account. If you already have an Adobe I.D. then you're all set.
When I saw this story come across my RSS reader, I almost spit out my drink. It seems that Blockbuster (in an attempt to remain relevant) is trying all kinds of new things. Let's face it! Netflix kicked your butt and you're in a fight for your survival. I get it. However, you have to realize that while you were hell bent on charging me obscene(more than the movie cost) late fees back in the day that someone (Netflix) figured out a way to eat your lunch by letting customers keep their movies as long as they wanted for one flat rate. Netflix continued to grow their business by moving BEYOND THE DISC (MEDIA) MODEL and partnered with every company they could on delivering (TiVo, Sony, Microsoft, etc.) streaming movies.
The fact that one of your newest ideas involves customers walking up to a kiosk and downloading a rental or getting a rental on a memory card shows me that you still don't get it. The "drive to my local movie rental store to pick up media" model has a very short life ahead of it. Maybe it's just me, but I think you should be investing more towards getting movies into the hands of your customers via the Internet and on mobile devices. You made a great first step by hooking up with TiVo. Although I'm happy with Netflix and iTunes I did cheer for you. You should really continue in this direction!
iTunes isn't going away!
The fact I can rent a movie right on my Apple TV in my living room should make you guys really nervous. Partner, Partner, Partner. This will be the key to your survival. Look at the boxes people are buying and hooking up to their HDTVs and do whatever it takes to get on those boxes at a reasonable price to your customers. Competition is great! Compete!
I love social networking! I'm on Facebook and Twitter and I find these sites really useful to get the word out about things that I'm doing or working on and where I'm going to be presenting. However, I do work a day job and can't be spending all my time tweeting and facebooking (yeah it's a word now) all day long. However, sometimes I want my message to get out at specific times during the work day. With my blog or podcasts it's easy! I can write a post any time and schedule it to go live any day or time that I want. However, for Twitter.com it's not so easy. The Tweets are in real-time.
That's where FutureTweets.com comes in
Thanks to my friend Stevie Lynn for sharing this site with me. If you login at FutureTweets.com you can schedule your tweets (announcements) to go out whenever you want. It's that simple. So now you can have the appearance of never sleeping. 🙂
Continue reading “Appear to Never Sleep with FutureTweets”