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Announcing The NMX New Media Lounge at NAB Show 2014

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I say we, but I am personally unbelievably excited to announce that NMX we will hosting the New Media Lounge at The NAB Show this April 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV!

Over the years, you may have heard me say NMX is the NAB Show of the future.  Sometimes I would get a blank stare, and the person would ask me, “What is the NAB Show®?”

First of all, NAB stands for National Association of Broadcasters. The NAB Show is where all the filmmakers, radio and TV stations in the world go to get the stuff they need to create, distribute and monetize their content. Any business that creates traditional audio and video like training videos, Television and radio commercials also attends NAB. Continue Reading

Protect Your Favorite Podcast from the Patent Trolls

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There are often very good reasons people and companies must defend their patents. The Patent system protects inventors. When a patent is infringed on, the holder must take action or risk losing their patent. That is how it works when the system is being used properly. Patent Trolls are not using the system as it was designed.

Patent trolls are not in the business of defending their patents. They are in the business of extortion. They purchase broad general patents and then make claims about infringement. They send out letters claiming a patent infringement and asking for “licensing” fees. It is nearly always cheaper to pay the fee than to fight it in court. Often these patent infringement claims would not likely hold up in court but few businesses are able to fund the 1.5 + million it would take to survive a legal battle.  Even Apple gave in and settled

For us non legal folks, that’s known as a shake down.

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In 2013 one of these trolls sent letters to several leading podcasters such as HowStuffWorks podcast (Discovery Channel), Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Adam Carolla  and more. They claim that a patent for their failed “Magazines on tape” Continue Reading

Why Blogs Are the Future for 2014 and How to Prepare Your Blog for the New Year

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blogs are the future

As the calendar inches ever closer toward the new year, there’s never been a better time to talk about blogging. Everywhere you go these days, someone’s saying something about how many blogs there are and how the blog world is over-saturated. Could these ideas actually be true? Are blogs over, or is 2014 a good time to start your own? What will 2014 hold for blogs—how will things change, and how will they stay the same? If you already blog, how can you prepare your blog for the next season?

To help answer those questions, let’s look at what the experts are saying about why blogs do matter—along with strategies for making the most of your blogging efforts.

Blogs Still Matter

Despite what you may have heard, blogs are not done yet. “The need for an online presence has never been stronger,” says Jayson DeMers at Search Engine Watch. “[But] the landscape has never been more competitive.” Whether you’re thinking about improving your business’s search results or looking to become an authority in a specific niche, blogs are powerful, especially when you know how to use them. Below, consider what experts are saying:

  • “Extremely Relevant.” In February 2013, Clayton Lainsbury wrote at the content marketing site Crowd Content Resources that “intelligent marketers still know that blogging is extremely relevant if you apply it properly in a social and mobile driven world.” His point is that the world is online—and blogging gives you a way to reach it.
  • “There’s No Better Way.” In an April 2013 blog post at Social Media Today entitled “Blogging is More Important Today than Ever Before,” author Nicole Beachum said, “There is not a better way to add relevant content to your website on a regular basis than to utilize a blog.” Citing reasons like search engine optimization and keeping up with the competition, Beachum goes so far as to say hiring a professional is a savvy step.
  • “Effective Marketing Strategy.” According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 Report for B2B content marketers, 62% of marketers still see blogging as an effective content strategy.
  • “A Public Record.” There are intangible benefits to blogging, which is something personal bloggers like Lisa Endlich understand well. For individuals as well as businesses, blogging offers a place to chronicle your story and connect with like minds.

How to Blog Strategically in 2014

Based on a Google Talk given in October at PubCon 2013, staying ahead in the blog world is simply a matter of knowing what to expect. With that in mind, here are some tips for making the most of your blogging efforts, at least in terms of search results, next year:

  • Focus on Quality: Search engine algorithms are always changing, but one bottom-line principle stays the same: High quality content works. Rather than worrying about how to trick the search giants, focus on publishing the highest quality content you can.
  • Benefit Your Reader: If you aren’t answering the #1 reader question of “Why should I care?” you’re sabotaging your own blogging efforts. Look at your blog right now—what does it offer? What do your readers gain? Why should they come back? Make those answers crystal clear in order to prepare your blog for the new year.
  • Blog Like You Talk: As voice searching grows in popularity, blogs that are written the way people talk may rank higher.
  • Niche = Authority: The more specific and focused your blog topic, the better your chances of becoming an authority in your field. Rather than blogging about food, for example, blog about gluten-free, dairy-free recipes. Rather than blogging about lifestyle, blog about being a stay-at-home dad of twins in New York City. Look for ways to specialize, and you become more valuable.
  • Make the Most of Social Media: Social profiles are not only good for building relationships, but also they help you increase online authority. Search engines look at social activity—how often your blog is mentioned, linked to, etc.—to determine ranks.
  • Know Your Goals: Gone are the days when all you hope for with a blog is a reader. Moving forward, bloggers will need to determine their exact goals (Conversions? Subscribers? New leads?) to quantify success.

Your Thoughts

Will you or your business be blogging in 2014? What changes are you making to prepare for the new year? What changes do you think are important?

Image credit: Bigstock (altered)

Celebrating Our Freedom to Read: See What the #NMX Community is Reading for Banned Book Week

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This week is Banned Book Week, a week where we celebrate the freedom to read here in the United States. Actually, this celebration has gone international ever since Amnesty International began celebrating it to help raise awareness for individuals who are persecuted for writing and reading books that governments and other organizations want to censor.

Banning books is a step down a very dangerous path. NMX is all about the media revolution…but some things will never change. Wherever there are people voicing their opinions about the world, whether that is in books or on your blog/podcast/videos or on social networks, there are people who want to keep them quiet. This is an issue that affects all of us.

To help celebrate our freedom to read, I asked NMX speakers, attendees, and staff to share their favorite banned books. Their answers (along with my own) are listed below, and you can get involved too: just tweet about your favorite banned book, and make sure to use the hashtag #NMX (and follow this hashtag to see what others are recommending you read). You can also leave a comment below to join the conversation! You can see a list of just some of the books that have been banned here.

Without further ado, here are some of the book the NMX community wants to encourage you to read:

rick headshot The Bible and Canterbury Tales
– Rick Calvert, NMX CEO, @blogworld and @NewMediaExpo
deb cole Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume – I can’t believe this book was banned!!! This was a pivotal book in my teens! And since I am unable to choose ONLY one (avid book lover) I’m also choosing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. In SHOCK this was also banned. W-T-F?!” – Deb Cole, NMX Media Marketing Director, @CoachDeb
tina baljian Arabian Nights. I love it because it reminds me somewhat of my grandma’s stories, because I am middle eastern. Its a medieval Middle-Eastern literary epic which tells the story of Scheherazade, who tells stories to her husband, the King, to delay her execution. The stories are told over a period of 1001 nights, and every night she ends the story with a suspenseful situation, forcing the King to keep her alive for another day.” – Tina Baljian, NMX Travel Manager/Executive Assistant, @Tina_Baljian
CC Chapman Call of the Wild will always hold a special place in my heart. That and Tom Sawyer were the first books that filled me with the wanderlust that I still have to this day. I have yet to get up to the Yukon, but it is a life long dream of mine and I can trace it back to reading that book.” – C.C. Chapman, Storyteller, Explorer & Humanitarian, @cc_chapman
john dumas Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut!! Being a US Army Veteran of the Iraqi War, I have always thought it important to remember the suffering soldiers go through during war. War is an easy thing to glorify when you are not experiencing it, and books like Slaughterhouse-Five bring to light the true colors of war.” – John Lee Dumas, EntrepreneurOnFire.com, @johnleedumas
Sam Fiorella “My favorite banned book: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The book focuses on the psychosis experienced by Billy Pilgrim, an inexperienced American soldier, who was captured and imprisoned at the famous “Slaughterhouse number 5” by the Germans.  The American government and educational institutions believed the explicit story about the hallucinations and visions he experienced while held prisoner, including a vision of his own death, was too much for the general public. In a time where war is so highly politicized and  quickly called upon to right the world’s wrongs, it is important to have more personal accounts of the cost to those who actually fight the wars.” – Sam Fiorella, Sensei Inc, @samfiorella
Glenda Watson Hyatt “Looking through the list of books, I was surprised to see Black Beauty. I read it as a young girl while I was going through my horse phase. Before homework overtook my life, I loved crawling into bed, with a dog or cat or both beside me, and get lost in book. Black Beauty was enjoyed by this uber animal lover.” – Glenda Watson Hyatt, Motivational Speaker, @GlendaWH
Dustin Hartzler “My favorite banned books are: Goosebumps – definitely important because kids need to read fiction. The choose your own adventures were the best ones ;) And Where’s Waldo – kids and adults alike need to be able to keep their memory sharp. Finding Waldo allows the time to pass quickly as well as helps to keep your brain active.” – Dustin Hartzler, Your Website Engineer, @dustinhartzler
ffc “Favorite banned book: Fahrenheit 451. It’s the ultimate book-burning book. ‘Nuff said.” – Jonathan Raines, ForeignFilmcast.com, @foreignfilmcast
ric dragon Satanic Verses. As I went through the list of banned books on Wikipedia, I was thrown into an inner conflict. I’m horrible at making choices and here were several books that are near and dear to me. Finally, I settled on Satanic Verses. The turmoil around Salman Rushdie figured largely in the news of the late 80’s, and besides the death threats to the author, did result in the death of Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator.  When I finally read the book, I was mesmerized by the wonderful storytelling.” – Ric Dragon, DragonSearch, @ricdragon
allison headshot And here are my picks (yes, I have two favorites!): Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time. I think these books share something in common; they are both about exploring a whole new world that you never thought existed. That’s what books have always been to me, and I try to allow that to spill over into my everyday life as well. We can only grow if we’re willing to learn and explore.Also, they’re just plain fun!

Okay, your turn! Don’t forget to TWEET about your favorite banned book using the hashtag #NMX! We’ve even made a handy click to tweet link – just make sure you fill in your favorite title!

TweetButton

Or, comment below to join the conversation!

(And if you want to be involved with more community questions just like this, make sure you sign up for our email list on the sidebar! That way, you can answer the question ahead of time and be featured here like the above NMX community members!)

Your Blog: An Asset Worth Protecting? (Sponsored Post)

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BloggerShield_Logo_RGB While many journalists and other types of media professionals have had the opportunity to secure insurance protection for their profession, bloggers have been ignored…until now. BloggerShield™, a brand new liability insurance product created exclusively for bloggers, is now available.

Unlike journalists, whose content often includes more reporting and less personal opinion, bloggers are typically valued for their point of view or their own personal brand. Often times, bloggers have a dedicated following, become social influencers, and are relied upon for information, insights, or even product promotions and reviews. With this power to influence, bloggers become vulnerable to an array of liability exposures as well as the potential backlash of critics.

Any reader may go so far as to use legal recourse to pause, halt, or counter one’s blogging activities. A blogger may experience this in the form of having a claim or lawsuit brought against them for defamation, slander, copyright infringement, or privacy violation. Regardless of the circumstances and the validity of a claim or lawsuit, bloggers are still faced with managing any legal action taken against them and keeping their blog and personal assets protected in the process. In addition, many bloggers are still unclear as to what their liability exposures are until it’s too late.

Let’s take a look at a few recent cases in which bloggers have found themselves facing litigation:

Woman Awarded $338,000 in Damages for Defamation as a Result of Anonymous Submissions

On July 11, 2013, jurors awarded Sarah Jones $338,000 in damages for defamation against gossip website thedirty.com. This high profile case arose out of two anonymous submissions posted in 2009 that claimed that Jones, a former cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals, had sex with every Bengals player and was afflicted with sexually transmitted diseases.

Nik Richie, the operator for the website, argued that he was protected under the Federal Communications Decency Act which provides immunity to website operators for content that comes from third parties. However, Jones argued that the protections did not apply as thedirty.com admitted to screening and adding comments before posting third party submissions. The jury agreed with Jones, finding that Richie acted with malice or reckless disregard in posting the submissions.

The posts were unrelated to Jones’ previous guilty plea to charges that she had sex with an underage former student. For more on the case, prior history can be found at Jones v. Dirty World Entm’t Recordings, LLC, 766 F. Supp. 2d 828 (E.D. Ky. 2011).

Blog Article Results in Libel Suit

On July 19, the District of Columbia Superior Court denied a motion to dismiss brought under DC’s 2010 Anti-SLAPP statute.  Separate but similar motions were filed by defendants National Review and the conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute after climate scientist Michael Mann brought a libel suit over an article published last summer on the organization’s blog, Openmarket.org.

Mann accused the publication of defaming him by accusing him of fraud in his research and by drawing comparisons between Penn State’s investigations into his research and the school’s previous investigations of assistant football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

In denying the motions, Judge Natalia Combs Greene found that the statements in the blog had crossed the line from protected opinion to factual assertions. Accordingly, Judge Greene wrote, “there is a strong probability that the NR Defendants disregarded the falsity of their statements and did so with reckless disregard.”

For more on this story, the case has been filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court under the docket number 2012 CA 0008263 B.

Anonymous Blogger Compelled to Identify Himself for Making Defamatory Statements

A New York trial court recently directed Google Inc. to identify an anonymous blogger who had been criticizing New York attorney Frederick Shulman on blogspot.com, a Google owned company.  In his affirmation before New York Supreme Court, Shulman argued that Google should be compelled pursuant to the New York rules governing pre-action discovery to disclose the identity of the blogger posting defamatory statements to stopfrederickschulman.blogspot.com and frederickschulmancrookedattorney.com. Shulman further argued that “in the era of internet savvy individuals . . . the damage continues to mount with each day these web blogs continue to remain visible to the public.”

Justice Debra A. James found that Shulman had sufficiently shown a meritorious cause of action for defamation and the necessity of the information. Accordingly, the Court ordered Google, barring objections, to disclose reasonably available creation IP addresses as well as the name(s) and email addresses(es) used to register the blogs.

Counsel for Schulman has since disclosed that Google has cooperated with the order and that ongoing litigation is expected.

For more on this story, see In re The Matter of Schulman, Frederick Esq. v. The Go Daddy Group, Inc., et. al. at New York County, Index Number 155629/13.

So what can bloggers do to stay protected from lawsuit?

Most bloggers have some idea as to standard blogging best practices, i.e., using proper disclosures, correctly citing sources, etc. However, in many cases, this is simply not enough to stay protected from the consequences of legal action.

With the formation of BloggerShield™, a new insurance coverage created specifically for bloggers, protection is now available to bloggers. BloggerShield™ is a form of liability insurance designed to help mitigate loss and cover legal fees associated with issues arising out of a claim or lawsuit for one’s blogging activities. To learn more about blog liability exposures and BloggerShield™ Insurance, please visit www.bloggershield.com or call 888-228-7988.

Mark Malkoff Skypes with Skypes with People in 160+ Countries [Video]

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Skype turned ten this year, and to celebrate, one of our favorite speakers, Mark Malkoff, used Skype to talk to people in 162 countries from around the world. He “high-fived” a girl from the Bahamas. He got yelled at by a a guy in Indonesia for accidentally calling at 2 AM. He even talked to a tour guide in North Korea who was at a football (soccer) match in Kim Il-Sung Stadium.

What I like about this project is that it is a reminder just how small the world is and how new media platforms like Skype are changing world. And I love what Mark had to say about the project: “Though the world is separated by geography and cultural differences, this project illustrates that smiles and love are universal.”

An End to EdgeRank: What Does Facebook’s New Feed Algorithm Mean for Your Page?

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facebook like button Facebook EdgeRank has officially been retired, but that still doesn’t mean every single user will see every single post you write. Facebook has a new feed algorithm, and if you’re managing a page on this platform for your business, blog, podcast, or web series, it’s important to understand how Facebook’s changes are going to effect you.

Storybumping: It’s Good News

The feature everyone is talking about right now is called storybumping. In the past, Facebook annoyingly decided which posts users would and would not see based on a calculated value. A post that got a lot of attention quickly could go viral, but if you didn’t post at exactly the right time, it didn’t matter what your update was about: people wouldn’t see it. In a few hours, that post would be buried by newer posts.

Now, Facebook is “bumping” stories that you haven’t seen yet, instead of just looking at the publish time. That means Facebook users still have a chance of seeing your posts, even if they’re older. Post timing isn’t as important as it was before.

The results are extremely positive for those of us wanting our page updates to be seen. In initial tests, TechCrunch reports that these changes mean an “8% boost in interactions for stories from Pages and public figures” and that people are seeing about 70% of all possible updates in their stream, as compared to just 57% in the past.

As a user, this means that Facebook will be more interesting for you, since you’ll see new updates whenever you log in, even if the posts are a bit older, instead of just seeing recent stories that you’ve already read.

Last Actor: It’s Even Better News

Even more interesting that storybumping is the “last actor” concept. This way of showing posts to users runs on the theory that the people/pages you’re interacting with most (by looking at their profiles/pages, liking, commenting, browsing their photos, etc.) are the updates you want to see.

This is good news for anyone actively engaging with users on Facebook. If people are interacting with your page, that means they’ll be more likely to see updates from you in the future. It keeps your most rabid fans involved with what’s going on with your page.

So What Does This Mean for Your Page?

It’s all pretty good news, in my opinion, for people who are consistently sharing awesome content and actually engaging with fans on Facebook. It’s bad news for people who just “check in” occasionally, even if your posts do tend to be interesting.

But more importantly, what it means in a broader sense is that if you market a business online or create content online, you have to be flexible. The rules for any platform are fluid, so being stuck in your ways of doing things will bite you in the behind in the the end. Always be experimenting, learning and evolving, on Facebook and otherwise, so you can continue to tweak the way your share and create content. If you stop, you’re really just going backward.

Occupy Conan: A New Level of Community Interaction for Television or a Lame Stunt?

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When we talk about video and new media, we’re usually talking about web series. But I think we would be wrong to ignore the ways traditional television shows and networks are also finding new and interesting ways to connect with their online audiences.

So, last night when I was channel surfing and happened upon the very beginning of Conan, I knew I had to blog about their “Occupy Conan” show today.

For “Occupy Conan,” the producers posted an entire episode of the show online and asked users to submit videos of their favorite parts, being as creative as possible. They then stitched together the video submissions in small blips to recreate the entire episode. Submissions included clay-mation, live action with green screens, puppets, videos from celebrities like Tina Fey and Joel McHale, and even an homage to Stick Stickly. At some parts, they showed the real show in a split-screen action, but most of the time they simply showed the user submissions.

Through the entire episode, Conan himself was live-blogging from the duel-screen app, available for download on his website.

Here are a few of my thoughts on this show:

The Good

  • This was an amazing idea to build community by making them part of the content creation process.

As many online content creators know, video is hard. Although many fell into the so-bad-they-are-good, some of the submissions were amazing in terms of quality. When someone spends that much time creating content for you, it really solidifies their fandom. Even people who didn’t create videos get the warm fuzzy feeling because the submissions are from “us” – the Team Coco community.

  • It encouraged people to watch the entire show.

If you were one of the people who submitted a video, you definitely watched the entire show to see if clips of yours were used. However, I certainly didn’t submit a video, but I still watched the entire show. Why? Several of the clips were really goofy. I wanted to see what they’d show next!

  • Pattern interrupts are good.

“Occupy Conan” was really different. I’m usually a “sometimes I catch it while flipping” Conan viewer, but this was so weird that I had to watch. Late shows are all pretty similar, so even though an entirely fan-created show was definitely a risky idea, doing something different is a breath of fresh air.

  • It was great promotion for their social sync app.

I bet a lot of new people checked out the duel screen app in order to see what Conan was live blogging. After every commercial break, he had a short clip promoting the app and talking about what they were doing.

  • If they do it again, it will likely be even better.

Now that people have seen one, I bet the next time, people will create even cooler stuff to submit. It’s a contest of sorts, since there’s only so much airtime and they can’t show everything. The bar has been set.

  • The episode is sure to get press attention.

Whenever you do something weird, you get attention from the press. I’m sure Conan will be heavily discussed over the next few days, and whether people liked the show or hated it, starting a conversation online, especially where people can debate, is definitely a major way to promote your show while spending no advertising dollars.

  • They used social media to keep the experience live.

Not only did Conan live blog the episode, but they also took the conversation to social media. The episode had its own hashtag, which was mentioned several times, giving fans a way to interact on Twitter. Creating an episode-specific or even just show-specific hashtag is something I think more shows need to be doing. Chris Hardwick announces a hashtag during each episode of The Talking Dead, for example, and it is a great way for fans to interact with one another.

The Bad

  • They didn’t receive that many submissions.

At the start of the show, they said they received “hundreds” of submissions. Now, to you or I, getting hundreds of video submissions might seem amazing, but Conan averaged 1.1 million viewers per episode in 2012, according to Nielson. That’s a huge community, so to receive only “hundreds” of submissions makes me think that that they didn’t advertise enough, didn’t give people much time, didn’t explain the directions well enough, or had some other problems. They should have gotten thousands, not hundreds.

  • This isn’t something they can do often.

It was a good idea, but it’s not something they can do every week. Once a year, if ratings were good enough, is pretty much as often as they can do something like this without it losing its appeal. So, although an interesting idea, it’s not one with a lot of mileage.

  • This was likely an expensive episode for TBS.

One of the appeals of late night talk shows is that they are relatively inexpensive to produce. Sure, you have to pay the host, but the set doesn’t change from week to week, and guests are there to promote stuff, not get paid. This show, however, undoubtedly took a long time to create because people had to sort through submissions and edit them together. Time is money, so I’m sure this wasn’t a cheap endeavor.

  • They missed an opportunity to credit fans.

As far as I know, there were no prizes for people whose clips were used. However, they missed an amazing opportunity to give a little prize of credit and encourage even more social media action. With each clip, they could have put the creator’s Twitter handle somewhere small on screen so that people could Tweet at and follow their favorites.

The Ugly

  • There were butts.

Not every submission was a winner, and I’m sad they showed that one. If you saw the episode, you know which one I mean. Talk about ugly.

My final verdict is that this was a great idea, despite having some problems. Did you see the show? What did you think of it? What would you add to my good/bad/ugly list? Was it great strategy for competing with web TV or a silly publicity stunt? What have you seen other shows doing to be more interactive? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Image Credit: John J. Kruzel/American Forces Press Service

Make an NMX Infographic

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At NMX this month, many conference go-ers filled out fun infographics about their NMX experience. The fine folks at Lemon.ly created these for attendees to color in at its booth and at our infographics session led by John Meyer. We loved this idea and thought we’d share photos of some of the finished products.

Want to create your own NMX infographic as you reflect on your conference experience? Just download the updated infographic below, fill it in, and send it to our Community Manager Deb Ng at deb@nmxevents.com. She’ll share them on our Facebook page!

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