Archive for the ‘editing’ tag
It’s already Sunday?! Man, the weekends fly by so quickly in the summer. And at the speed this summer is passing, I’d say it’s time to hightail it to somewhere warm and sandy for a week and just relax ’til next weekend. Summer doesn’t fly by when you’re on a beach, right? If you need some reading material for the plane/train/bus/car, scroll on and check out the best inbound marketing stories we found this week across the web.
How Top Brands Are Using Instagram, From Simply Measured
This story comes to us from the Simply Measured analytics blog. Instagram recently made headlines with the news that it had surpassed the 80 million user mark (up from just 15 million in January 2012!). It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, then, that among those 80 million users are 40% of the world’s top brands, as classified by the Interbrand Top 100 list. B2C brands like MTV and Starbucks dominate on Instagram, and 25% of the brands that are leveraging Instagram post at least once per week. It seems like Instagram is going to keep growing, and the 60% of top brands who are missing out have created a unique opening for smaller brands to make a name for themselves on the photo-sharing social network. Check out the full story here.
Facebook Launches New Ad Creation Tool to Help Marketers Align Campaigns With Goals, From HubSpot
This week in Facebook updates, we covered the news of a new ad creation tool that will take some of the anxiety out of Facebook advertising. With Facebook elaborating upon an earlier-released feature allowing advertisers to measure the success of their campaigns based on their stated objectives, this updated ad creation interface will make it easier for Facebook advertisers to create ads and Sponsored Stories that are more closely aligned with those stated goals, such as generating more business page likes or promoting page posts. These changes will aim to give advertisers more guidance as they’re building their Facebook ad campaigns and help them achieve the right balance of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories to achieve their particular goals. Facebook has also added a preview option to the process, allowing marketers to view what their ad will look like in actual news feeds. The changes will be especially beneficial to marketers trying out Facebook ads for the first time. Check out the full story here.
Brands Missing Out On Mobile Ad Opportunities, From MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs highlights the takeaways of a HipCricket study on mobile advertisement opportunities — namely, that many brands are leaving those opportunities on the table, and then walking away. Yikes. According to the study, 46% of mobile users have viewed a mobile ad, and 64% have completed a mobile purchase as a result of viewing a mobile ad. But an astonishing 74% of mobile users claim that their favorite brands have never advertised to them on a mobile platform. That’s a lot of brands missing the chance to convert some mobile purchases! Additional details in the study revealed demographic differences in those who take advantage of mobile ads: 55% of those who clicked have an annual income of greater than $75,000, and 29% who clicked have an annual income of greater than $100,000. Check out the full story here.
YouTube’s Built-In Video Editor Gets Better, From Mashable
Our last story this week is from the folks at Mashable. For about a year now, YouTube has been offering a built-in video editing tool as a feature that all users can take advantage of in their video publishing endeavors. But as of Thursday, video editing in YouTube has gotten even easier. YouTube shipped some new features, including quick views of every filter and a real-time, interactive preview of the changes you’ve made, consistently available throughout the editing process. The editor is gradually rolling out to all YouTube users. We’ve still noticed a few flaws with the editor, so we’re eager to see what changes YouTube has in store for the future. Check out the full story here.
Repurposing Content With a Purpose, From Smart Insights
The Smart Insights blog brings us this excellent guide to repurposing content — with a purpose! Aimed at making your content strategy more efficient, the post highlights the advantages of repurposing content, as well as eight ideas for efficient and effective repurposing. Some of the ideas we like best? Repurposing the audio track from video content as a downloadable podcast, creating textual transcripts from your video content, curating your best content into ebooks, and publishing the recordings of live webinars. We’d also venture to add that the reverse is also true; ebook and webinar content can be repurposed as blog content, too. Check out the full story here.
Did you come across any other excellent inbound marketing stories in the past week? Share them in the comments!
Image credit: kansasphoto
Software bundles are a great way to pick up some handy new apps at a huge discount, and MacBundler’s latest offering is no exception. It offers up eight discounted downloads that handle common tasks from editing PDFs to creating a logo. More »
Android: If you’ve taken photos with your Android phone and wished you could spruce them up a little before uploading them to the web, you have plenty of options, but Perfectly Clear is a new photo editing utility that makes the process incredibly simple. Just tap the type of correction you want to apply to your photo, preview the effect, and apply it if you like the way it looks. More »
Even though Nuance’s technology is powering the speech recognition revolution across iOS and Android, the company hasn’t forgotten about its bread-and-butter software suite.
Today Nuance announced Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12, the latest entry in the long-running voice-recognition software series, which boasts 20 percent better accuracy than the previous version. Overall, the company says the new release has over 100 new features.
If you’re upgrading from an earlier version of Dragon, the accuracy benefits are even better: the company says the new version of the software is 35 percent more accurate than Dragon 10, 55 percent more accurate that Dragon 9, and 75 percent more accurate then Dragon 8 (which, to be fair, was released way back in 2004).
Unsurprisingly, performance is also dramatically improved. Not only will Dragon perform better on the same hardware as previous versions, it can also adapt to better hardware. If you have a computer with a quad core processor and 4 gigabytes of RAM, Dragon will automatically use the fastest speech model, according to Nuance’s senior manager of corporate communications Erica Hill.
Having used earlier versions of Dragon in the past (and training plenty of users on it as well), I decided to give the new version of spin for writing much of this post. The setup process is still pretty much the same: the installation takes about 5 to 10 minutes, but you’ll have to spend 15 minutes or so training the dictation. While annoying, the training period is worth it — otherwise Dragon is nowhere near as accurate as it could be.
Based on my first impressions, Dragon 12 is definitely far more accurate than Dragon 10 from the get-go. After my initial training, Dragon rarely stumbled with complex words or expressions. Indeed, dictation feels more natural this time around (it helps that Nuance bundles a decent Plantronics headset in the box) — though editing text using your voice still remains a chore. You’ll still need to do a final editing pass on most text with a keyboard, but that will obviously be less necessary as you use Dragon and get used to its quirks.
While Dragon previously adapted to your speech mannerisms over time, the software is even smarter now thanks to a new feature called Smart Format Rules. Dragon 12 will keep track of your word, phrase and format corrections, which should ultimately make its dictations indistinguishable from your own writing style.
Among other new features, Dragon 12 now supports Wideband Bluetooth audio, which will enable a 25 percent increase in accuracy for compatible wireless headsets. The software now also works better with Gmail and Hotmail on recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Nuance has also released an Android version of its Dragon Remote Mic app, which lets you use your phone as a Dragon input on your computer.
Given just how much more ubiquitous speech recognition is becoming in mobile devices thanks to Nuance, I’m hoping the company steps it up with a more modern-looking Dragon for the next version. With the release of Mountain Lion yesterday, Apple has also made Nuance-powered dictation a standard part of its OS, which makes the Dragon suite even less relevant.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is available for pre-order now and will ship the week of August 13 starting at $99.99.
Photo via Shutterstock
Filed under: VentureBeat
Social video startup SnappyTV launched last year with a platform for making clips of live videos and then sharing them on social networks. Now it’s moving beyond custom implementations and launching a platform that will allow any video publisher to enable real-time clipping and social sharing of those videos on Facebook and Twitter.
SnappyTV already works with some major TV networks and media companies, offering up tools to allow their viewers to quickly and easily share video moments with friends and followers on social networks. Using SnappyTV’s editing tools, TV networks, online video publishers, and sports leagues have published and pushed clips onto Facebook and Twitter virtually in real-time, making them instantly shareable.
With its new self-service video clipping and sharing tools, small and medium-sized companies can easily integrate the SnappyTV platform with their video delivery systems. That includes working with major live-streaming providers, as well as YouTube and video content management systems like Brightcove and Ooyala. While SnappyTV has been working with major media companies on custom implementations, now basically anyone can deploy the same technology.
That technology can be used by companies to share live video clips during live-streaming events, such as conferences or other programs. It was used during TechCrunch Disrupt, for instance, to share more than 350 clips on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
With the new product, SnappyTV has introduced three offerings, in addition to its custom enterprise services. There’s the $49 a month Express offering, which supports recording and editing of live events and social sharing. The Pro offering, which is prices at $499 a month, enables editing, scheduling and publishing to social networks, as well as importing to YouTube and content management systems like Brightcove and Ooyala. And its conferences and live events offering makes the came capabilities available to conference promoters on live streaming platforms. That costs $999 per event.
I love startups. Not only do they bring the promise of rapid growth and real change, but everything is up for grabs. Organizations that start with a clean sheet of paper have the difficult task of paying the bills, but they also have the luxury of ignoring yesterday in order to focus exclusively on tomorrow.
Through the years, I’ve started a bunch of companies and enjoyed brainstorming with the people who have launched companies big and small, from AOL when they only had a dozen employees to some of the very cool organizations that come through the doors of NY Techstars.
Next month, I’m going to be running a small school–a few days for a few dozen startup founders. You can find details and tickets right here.
If you know someone who might benefit from this, I hope you’ll tell them about it.
For those that won’t be able to make it, I’ll be recording the session and editing it down into something I can share here on the blog for free a few months later.
Coming up: a larger, less expensive session over a weekend this fall (for all sorts of organizations) as well as a no-cost session for non-profit leaders later in the year. Watch this blog for updates. Thanks.
HTML5 Work Splits Into ‘Living’ And ‘Snapshot’ Standards. Developers Need Not Worry, Says Living Standard Leader
It’s not often in the mobile world that you hear of a split in standards development that doesn’t make you groan thinking of the complications that it will imply moving ahead (hello, Android!). But a new development for HTML5 will apparently do just that. The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3G), the two bodies working on HTML5, are parting ways with WHATWG taking charge of an evolving, “living standard” and W3C working on a more static “snapshot.” Some are already raising the issue of forking (“Overall this doesn’t seem to be a good development. It will no longer be possible to say exactly what HTML5 is,” writes developer Ian Elliot), but the head of WHATWG, Ian Hickson, told TechCrunch in an email exchange late last night: ”We’re probably going to make a lot more rapid progress now.”
(Quick background: HTML5 is the web-based, non-native mobile web protocol championed by Facebook, Opera and other developers for the promise of developing apps and other mobile content that works across different operating systems without significant customization or special code work. It still has a long way to go, though, before it’s as functional as a native platform like iOS or Android.)
The news of the split was described earlier this week by Hickson in an open letter on W3C’s forums, where he notes that over the years, the two sides have already been working on different parts of the standards. That separation of duties has meant that the two sides have “slowly slightly forked”, and now that has been formalized into an administrative split: one person responsible for editing the W3C HTML5 Canvas and specifications (yet to be named), and another editing the WHATWG specification (that will be Hickson, whose email signature tagline is “Things that are impossible just take longer.”).
We contacted Hickson to answer a few questions about what this might mean for developers, and for us users in terms of getting an increasingly better experience out of HMTL5 web apps. This is an issue for companies like Facebook, which in April revealed it had twice as many users of its HTML5 apps as it did its native iOS and Android apps, but that these users were limited in what they could do because of Apple and Google’s slow progress on the standard.
An interesting thing Hickson pointed out to me was that there is value in what both sides are doing. His side will be looking to put in more functionality, while W3C will be looking to make this something that can be appropriated by the tech world on another level: in the case of patents and contracts. Here’s the Q&A we had late last night:
TC: Will this split set progress back, do you think?
Hickson: No, quite the contrary. We’re probably going to make a lot more rapid progress now, because we’ve essentially separated the research and development part of the effort (working on new features, describing how things got implemented, and so on) from the technical report snapshot process, so the two parts of the effort do not need to block each other. (For example, it’s hard to keep adding new features when you’re trying to freeze the spec’s feature set!)
TC: What will companies like Facebook and Opera have to do going foward (both have put a lot of effort into HTML5).
Hickson: Nothing has really changed for developers, browser vendors, and people sending feedback on the spec. In theory it should only really affect the people doing the spec editing work. Browser vendors will still have to decide whether to follow the specs, just as they always did. Developers will still need to check what the browser vendors actually implemented, as they always did. People sending feedback on the specs can continue sending them to the same places they sent their feedback before; for the WHATWG side I will continue to monitor the same places, and for the W3C side I assume they will do likewise.
TC: How does the living standard work filter back into what W3G will be doing setting the standard?
Hickson: Both specs are “standards” in their own way; the WHATWG spec is what we call a “living standard”, meaning it is what we recommend that browsers implement and is updated based on feedback to fix any problems that we found as we find them, while the W3C spec uses a more traditional draft-draft-draft-snapshot model where once a version is released it is frozen and errors are typically no longer corrected. There are important uses for both; obviously the “always updated” version is good for making sure implementors and Web authors are working to the most up to date knowledge, but the snapshot model is also important, in particular for things like patent licenses (so that the lawyers know exactly what is being licensed), and for contracts (so that lawyers can agree on whether something matches what was agreed or not without having to worry about us changing the document out from under them).
Hickson also noted to me that the W3C has yet to make clear how it will track changes on the WHATWG side although it started discussing this as far back as April (you can see the posts from an Apple engineer working on W3C here, and a Microsoft engineer here calling for a new editor) .
On his side, Hickson says he plans to keep a close eye on the HTML working group’s deliverables, and will be taking into account any work they do. “There’s no guarantee that everything that the W3C does will end up in the WHATWG spec; the higher priority is that the WHATWG spec represent what implementors, mainly browsers but also editors and validators, implement (or will implement). So obviously if the W3C spec says something that doesn’t match “reality” it won’t make its way into the WHATWG spec.” He points out that this “isn’t an entirely academic concern, but hopefully it’ll be rare.”
We’ve spoken with one developer to get his take on this and he concurs with Hickson that the main priority here is what browser leaders will do, although he also thinks that “separation rarely indicates things are going well.”
“To a large extent, on the ground this potentially doesn’t matter,” says Matt Baxter-Reynolds, an independent software development consultant based in London. “From the developer’s perspective the idea that there is an ‘HTML5 standard’ is something of a myth. There is no ‘standard’, because it’s under development. Seeing as there are only three browsers in the world that actually matter – Chrome, Firefox, and IE – it’s really down to how the vendors implement proposals which is the important part. Where those proposals come from – W3C or WHATWG – shouldn’t matter.
“Saying that, separating rarely indicates that things are going well. It suggests to me that WHATWG didn’t like the W3C working method and it appears WHATWG wants to play faster and looser with the methodology. One of my key concerns about web standards generally is that the vendors have commercial imperatives. That desire to follow commercial goals first, standards second, was balanced out with the strong methodology from W3C. With that methodology being sidelined I wonder if we’ll see more splitting of capability as commercial goals are prioritised rather than working towards a defined standard. And splitting of capability rarely serves the consumer.”
This seems to be the crux of the situation: navigating through the choppy waters of progress while making sure everyone stays on board.
We are reaching out to both Facebook and Opera, two of the bigger names that have put a lot of effort into developing content on HTML5, to get their take on the situation.
[Image: NCBrian on Flickr, HTML5 logo]
AT&T announces shared data plans, YouTube launches new face-blurring editing tool, Evernote for Mac updates with Retina support and Activity Stream, and Bing gets Foursquare integrations. More »
South African startup Motribe is proving that you don’t need to cater to smartphone users to build a million-strong community on the mobile web in under three months.
Motribe announced today that two apps that it launched on Africa’s largest social network, Mxit, have each garnered over a million users. The apps, JudgeMe and MxPix, let people and brands share photos and status updates from any mobile device, including low-end handsets.
The success of MxPix, Africa’s version of Instagram, proves that the magic of editing photos with vintage-inspired filters is universal. In the first two weeks, users uploaded over 70,000 photos and dished out 130,000 “likes”.
The explosive uptake for these apps is unsurprising given that Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world. The most popular handset is a low-cost slider phone like a Samsung e250.
Motribe is a high-performing mobile social networking platform that’s designed for users in the most rural parts of Africa and India. The Cape Town–based company launched in 2010 to take advantage of the growing market in Africa — a “mobile-first continent,” according to founder Nic Haralambous.
The founders told us they developed and marketed the technology with less than half a million dollars in seed funding — an impressive feat.
The vision? ”We wanted to empower users in the emerging markets who can’t afford smartphones and can only access the Internet using a mobile phone,” Haralambous said.
Haralambous explained that he was inspired to start a company to give local people the capability to blog, share their photographs, and connect using feature phones. He noticed that communities in his native South Africa like to congregate around specific topics and shared interests, like a soccer team or church group.
Cofounder Vincent Maher said the idea to build a mobile web platform was validated when he set up a small mobile community for his wife, and they made a profit from it within two months.
There is a huge opportunity for brands to reach an under-served market of a billion people. Already, Motribe is seeing competition encroach on the space from the likes of Netbiscuits, Mobify, and GoMobi.
“Motribe’s focus on connecting this demographic and building tools exclusively for them provides users, brands, and businesses across the globe with the ability to reach the mass market across a multitude of mobile devices,” Haralambous said.
Filed under: VentureBeat
PC users rejoice. On July 10, Intel showed off the latest Ultrabook devices in New York City. Powered by third generation Intel Core Processors, the new laptop computers are designed to be ultra thin, lightning fast, and to have an extended battery life. But they also make it easier to play games, edit and share videos, and work remotely. Here are three of the devices’ best features.
1. More Responsive Gaming Platform with Better Visuals
The new processors enhance the gaming experience with 3D graphics that are up to 19 times better than those of a three-year-old Core 2 Duo laptop and 30 times the video processing power. At the demo, we caught a glimpse of how the FIFA 2012 game looks on a Toshiba Portege Z930. (With a 0.63-inch profile, this laptop was the slimmest of the bunch.)
2. Easier to Edit and Share HD and 3D Home Videos
The same technology that makes the processors work well for games also helps with editing and publishing videos. We needed 3D glasses to see this video shown on the Lenovo IdeaPad U310. The video was shot with a GoPro 3D camera (sold separately) and edited with GoPro’s free CineForm Studio software. On the new laptop, the upgraded processor cuts the video processing time in half. This particular software also comes with a button for optimizing and sharing the videos on YouTube, although it doesn’t have as many editing tools as something like Adobe Premiere.
3. Touchscreens and Convertible Designs Make Laptops More Like Tablets
Later this year, Intel will release 30 laptops that have touchscreen designs. There will be a “snap” feature that lets you work with two apps side by side, like updating your status on Facebook while you watch a video on YouTube.
Check out the flip-and-fold design of the Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA. On one side is a traditional keypad with a touchscreen. Flip it over to work with the tablet alone. With a 13.3″ screen, the YOGA a little bigger than an iPad, but it’s still pretty lightweight considering that it doubles as a laptop. This device is one of 10 convertible designs that should be on the market later this year. At the demo, the YOGA had been running, unplugged, for about two hours. The convertible laptop had only used up a fourth of its battery life at this point, which means it could run for about eight hours total.
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