Archive for November, 2011
YouTube has upgraded its viewer demographics and video tracking tools and changed the name from Insight to Analytics. The changes should be rolling out to “everyone with a modern browser” today, though you can still access Insight if you want to do a little comparison of capabilities.
The changes are non-destructive; some existing features have been tweaked and expanded, and there are a few new tools that could help the struggling YouTube-jockey pull in more views and better understand their viewers.
The look has been overhauled to give the stats a little more space around them, and the amount of simple clickable text is removed. The layout has been mixed up somewhat and some crucial social stats (likes, comments, net subscriber change) are front and center. Search has also been made more obvious and some drilldown controls are placed prominently.
All the usual reports supposedly now have more detailed information, perhaps only of interest to stat hounds, but appreciated nonetheless. The audience retention measure looks like a handy tool:
Comparing to other videos of the same length seems ridiculous (this was the retention tool from Insight), but seeing the points of the video at which people stopped watching, or had their attention grabbed, is certainly handy. Is the intro sequence too long? Did that lull in the conversation kill viewship? Good info here for people looking to tweak their content.
HP, which bought webOS-creator Palm last year for $1.2 billion, is in a precarious position about what to do with the troubled mobile operating system. After HP axed the HP TouchPad and then saw incredible demand for the discontinued device at a $99 fire-sale price, it was unclear what the best course of action would be. Many rumors have swirled about what the final fate of webOS, with sources saying Amazon wants the OS and a new report suggesting HP will keep webOS working for printers.
Whitman’s latest remarks on webOS came in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro that was spotted by The Verge. On top of saying the decision would come in two weeks, Whitman said “we need to have another operating system,” which presumably means Windows 8. But Windows 8 on tablets won’t come until 2012, so we’ll have to just see what happens with webOS and the 600 or so employees HP still has working on it.
In early November, Whitman said the company still was unsure what to do with webOS. “It’s really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision,” she reportedly said at the time to a room full of HP employees.
Filed under: mobile
Today, businesses can do all their application development in the cloud, thanks to Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology. This is a fast-moving trend in enterprise technology, and while it sounds dry, things start to get very interesting when it touches people’s lives.
For example, shoe maker Asics created a very visible PaaS web application for the New York City Marathon that tracked the position of runners through radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers on the bottoms of their shoes. The Asics app, SupportYourMarathoner, collected data from tens of thousands of runners at once, and beamed that information to the Web. The tool also let online viewers send personalized video messages to their friends and family members in the race, which played on screens along the marathon route.
It was a pretty hefty task, and one example of what could be accomplished with PaaS and the help of a company like Heroku.
The company is working with enterprises on a number of fronts. Social applications are becoming important to a growing number of businesses. Enterprise customers are also looking for ways to use mobile devices, such as the iPad, in their processes. Platform as a Service is at the heart of making business applications social as well as mobile. Heroku has developed the Heroku Facebook App Package, making it easier for developers to quickly build and scale up Facebook applications to take advantage of the social network’s enormous user base, and customer’s growing reliance on all things social.
Sebastian said that Heroku is a knowledge base that continually evolves. The data from older applications creates a richer experience. “The person who deployed the 500,000th application got much more value than the person who deployed a year ago,” he said.
You can check out live video coverage of CloudBeat here: http://venturebeat.com/cloudbeat-2011-video/
There’s a pissing contest going on. Google+ launched saying it has no character limit, though my tests show it stops publishing at 100,000. Surely unrelated, Facebook upped its limit from 500 to 5,000 in September, and today announced it’s limit is now over 60,000. That’s 1/9th the length of a novel. This gives users the flexibility to write full-fledged blog posts or even longer content. However, I suspect that Facebook was also trying to neutralize one more selling point of its competitor.
I tested the character limits of both Facebook and Google+ today. If you try to publish any more than 63,206 characters on Facebook, it tells you “Status Update Too Long” and asks if you want to publish that text as a Note instead. That’s a pretty graceful move, actually. Google+ was less transperent. It wouldn’t publish anything over 100,000 characters, giving me the excuse that “There was a problem saving your post. Please try again.” So much for an infinite limit.
Facebook’s enormous user base means people are using it in all sorts of ways. Maybe someone out there wanted to publish wordy blog posts or whole chapters of their book in installments. Both Google+ and Facebook thankfully curtail epic status updates with “Expand this post” and “Continue reading” links respectively. Still, a 60,000 character Facebook post is probably never going to be read in the tiny width of the news feed, and Notes are better place for them.
That’s why I think this is another move by Facebook to whittle away Google+’s quantitative advantages. Facebook has been aggressively launching features found in Google+ since its competitor launched. In-line privacy controls, asymmetrical subscribe, better public posting capabilities, improved Friend Lists, and video chat are just a few examples. Facebook wants people comparing the user counts, time-on-site, and social graph density of the two services — things where it’s the clear front-runner. It doesn’t want people citing things Facebook doesn’t have, even if they’re unnecessary. Like 60,000 character status updates.
Jim Burns from Avitage recently asked me a question.
The answer is no…no almost across the board. Marketers view spending on content marketing as an expense. This is something we as marketing professionals have to change.
First some questions.
What Is an Asset?
According to Investopedia, an asset is “a resource with economic value that …a corporation… owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.”
Assets, like a house or a stock investment, is a purchase that can increase in value over time.
Traditionally, marketing spend has been viewed as an expense. Take advertising for example: We create the ad and distribute it over a fixed time, then it’s over. Hopefully that expense has been transferred into some brand value or direct sales exchange, but the event itself is over.
Content marketing is different and needs to be viewed and treated differently.
Acquiring the Asset of Content
For whatever your goals, whether they be direct sales goals, lead generation goals, search engine optimization tactics or social media tactics, you are spending more money on content acquisition and distribution. In our soon-to-be-released content marketing study, six of 10 marketing professionals are increasing their investment in content marketing (less than 5% are decreasing investment).
For that reason alone, we need to think differently about acquiring content assets.
Yes, you are not acquiring content expenses.
Thinking Like a Publisher
We are all publishers, and that means thinking differently about content.
When you invest in a video, a podcast, or a white paper, those pieces of content create value for you in a couple ways.
- The finished content can be engaged in over a long period of time. It has shelf life. That means the content creates value long after the investment is paid off (fitting the definition of an asset). The easiest example is for search engine optimization. One blog post can deliver returns for years after production.
- Content can and should be reimagined/repurposed. You may start by investing in a video, but at the end of the year, that one video may result in 10 videos, five blog posts, two podcasts and 30 sales tools fit for different levels of buying cycle.
How Does This Thinking Help?
Thinking in these terms will help you in a couple ways:
- If you treat content in this way, the executives in your organization will stop treating content as that “soft, fluffy thing” that they can take or leave. Every meeting or conversation you have, use the word “asset”. Live it. It will start to rub off and will gain importance in the company.
- By thinking this way, you will be more active in marketing the asset. I heard a story recently about a company that invested $30,000 USD in a white paper and received one download. Sounds like a marketing problem, not necessarily a content problem. Would you plan to sell your house but not tell anyone about it? A lot of organizations do that with their content. Make sure it’s not you.
We need to elevate the practice of content marketing. This will help get us there. Please do your part!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
CIOs get pitched on “the cloud” more than the rest of us, but when it comes to dealing with legacy vendors — the big boys like Dell, HP and IBM — they might hear a lot more cloudwashing and a lot more fear, uncertainty and doubt (a.k.a. FUD) than the rest of us, too.
At the CloudBeat conference today, we sat down with Scott Bils, a partner at Everest Group, a consultancy with an eye on the cloud. Bils told quite a bit about the wool that vendors sometimes try to pull over executives’ eyes — and he gives some choice advice for CIOs considering new cloud technologies, too.
Stay tuned for more from CloudBeat today and tomorrow.
At the CloudBeat conference today, we got to chat with Netflix’s cloud architecture guru, Adrian Cockcroft.
Cockcroft took a moment to explain the massive changes Netflix had to go through to transition from a physical DVD rental company to a worldwide streaming video service. Of course, Netflix didn’t simply need the huge amount of bandwidth required for streaming video; it also needed to roll it out at human scale, and fast.
It was a tall order; the company chose to work with Amazon Web Services to fulfill it.
Cockcroft also tells us a bit about how Netflix will continue to scale as its streaming media services branch out across new regions around the globe.
Stay tuned for more from CloudBeat today and tomorrow.
If you have more than just one mobile device—say, an Android phone and an iPod—carrying multiple cables can get pretty annoying. The Innergie Magic Cable ingeniously combines a micro USB cable, Apple 9-pin connector, and optionally a mini USB cable into one simple charger. More »
Bias works with large enterprises and telecoms on cloud solutions for massive-scale applications — they call their products “the world’s largest clouds,” in fact.
So he knows a thing or two about what holds water in his industry and what doesn’t. In this brief interview, we chat a little bit about “cloudwashing,” the practice of applying an expensive-sounding “cloud” sticker to a run-of-the-mill technology.
Stay tuned for lots more from CloudBeat today and tomorrow.
Changing Leaves. Black Friday. And Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. These are the cornerstones of the month of November. Releasing new phones, however, is not. Unfortunately, this means that our Android Smartphone Round-Up for November is a bit lean, but we’ve still managed to pick out a few handsets worth your valuable consideration.
Without further ado, these are our favorite November releases of the Gingerbread (2.3) persuasion: The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket (AT&T), the HTC Rezound (Verizon), and the Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T). They range between a solid $300 to a cool $149 (all with a two-year agreement, of course), and each has its claim to fame.
- 4.3-inch 720×1280 S-LCD display
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 8MP rear camera (1080p video capture), 2MP front camera
- Sense 3.5
- That 720p display is no joke, and one of the first of its kind
- Beats Audio integration, and accompanying Beats earbuds
- 4G LTE support from Verizon
- It’s a fat little guy — steer clear, Razr fans
- 4.3-inch is admittedly a pretty large screen, but we also have a few 4.5-inchers on the market that provide an advantage in gaming
- Sense 3.5
The HTC Rezound is certainly a powerful little beast, but you can tell it’s already started packing on the pounds for winter (that joke was reaching at best, forgive me). It’s more than half an inch thick, and it feels that way at 6oz. It does have a nice textured finish on the back for extra grip, and seems to pull from the Droid Incredible 2 design style.
Under the hood, things get way more impressive: the combination of that dual-core 1.5GHz processor and Verizon’s LTE is pretty unbeatable. It’s super responsive, and you can’t help but fall in love with its 4.3-inch 720p display. Beats integration doesn’t change my entire perspective on audio or anything, but the included set of Beats ear buds is definitely a plus.
The Rezound is available now from Verizon for $299 on-contract.
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket
- 4.5-inch 480×800 Super AMOLED Plus display
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 8MP rear camera (1080p video capture), 1.3MP front camrea
- 4G LTE support from AT&T
- The Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the best-selling Android phones out there, and the Skyrocket just adds AT&T 4G LTE
- Thin, light, elegant design
- Beautiful Super AMOLED Plus display
- TouchWiz, TouchWiz, TouchWiz…
- Not everyone lives in one of AT&T’s 14 LTE-supported markets
- Feels a bit plasticky
I won’t be shy about how much I like the Samsung Galaxy S II, and the Skyrocket merely adds faster speeds. It packs everything you can ask for out of an Android device, and at a relatively reasonable price. The screen is beautiful, the phone itself is super snappy, and it looks and feels pretty slick.
What’s better, AT&T’s 4G support isn’t the only advantage the Skyrocket has over the other Galaxy S II variants. It also upgrades to a 1.5GHz dual-core processor instead of its original 1.2GHz CPU.
The Galaxy S II Skyrocket is available now at AT&T for $249 on-contract.
- 4-inch 800×480 Super AMOLEDdisplay
- 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
- 8MP rear camera (with 1080p video capture), 1.3MP rear camera
- Full four-row sliding QWERTY keyboard
- Super responsive
- Strong battery life
- It’s a comfortable size for a QWERTY
- Somewhat chintzy build quality
- Keyboard is super flat, makes typing tough to get used to
- Too much plastic (again, Samsung)
The Captivate Glide is a nice marriage between the Samsung Galaxy S II and a full QWERTY keyboard, however the keyboard itself seems to be “irritatingly flat.” That said, the specs on this guy are pretty great considering its $149 price point, so if you can deal with a somewhat cheap feeling phone (re: plastic), the Glide certainly performs well. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?
The Samsung Captivate Glide is available now at AT&T for $149 on-contract.