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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.”

Creative Blogging with a Persona: An Artist, Journalist, and Reviewer Walk into a Blog…

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We’re all guilty of going on auto-pilot with our blog once in a while: maybe we missed our deadline and need to whip up something quick, or we have to churn out a piece on a hot topic everyone else has done already, or worse yet, our eyes glaze over at the same old format on a blank screen. Such is the life of a blogger and time-crunched small business owner.

But what if you had someone else writing your posts occasionally? No, I’m not talking about a guest blogger, ghostwriter, or God forbid copying and pasting content from elsewhere…It’s You. Take on a new persona and “profession” for your next post. Who knows? By being creative, you could end up enjoying it, learn a new skill, and best of all, attract new readers and shares.

The Amazing Artiste

We hear over and over that visual web content—be it graphics, video, or presentations, is much more likely to be looked at, engaged with, and shared than its less sexy but equally important counterpart, text. Our brains are wired to pretty, shiny things. It’s no wonder Pinterest and Instagram have grown by leaps and bounds.

Graphic content also helps us digest information quicker: In fact, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than to plain text. And with all the choices on the Internet, our attention spans have shrunken to ADD proportions, so we are instantly attracted to snackable web moments. In other words, serve up imagery to tell your story quickly instead of relying on numerous keystrokes.

When it comes to visual storytelling, pretty much anything you can say with words will work with images. Find that challenging? For starters, you can keep it simple with brief commentary on an animated gif, a baffling series of Tweets from a major brand, one stark photo, or slideshow.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, go the data visualization route and combine data and graphic elements that blend well as an information shortcut. Create graphical representations of content with Infographics, the fastest growing way to display facts. There are many free resources to help. Or consider Mind Maps to explain big and small concepts alike.

More interested in videos to show your artisitc prowess? Photobucket, Vine, and Instagram Video are a few that can help. Or grab an existing video and write a few choice sentences about it. Some examples include: How a TED Talk inspires your work or makes a point about your industry, or an educational video for your readers. The only barrier is your  imagination. Either way you’ll be pulling double-duty delivering pre-packaged content that is already validated, while reinforcing your brand.

Reminder: Before you post content on your blog that is not yours, always check content usage guidelines.

The Rugged Reporter

Add instant color and flavor with interviews and quotes to your post by playing the enterprising journalist. Whether it’s a tech celebrity, industry luminary, or the chef at the hottest restaurant in town, get the words directly from the source to breathe new life into your blog. Also, the Q&A format of the interview is easily digestible and ready-made for readers to scan.

When interviewing someone “famous” or better known than yourself (which happens often), it can be intimidating. Believe it or not, though, by virtue of the fact that you have a blog, you’ll be granted instant credibility (even more so if you’re a published writer).

Truth be told, most people love to talk about themselves no matter who they are, and will happily promote their latest book, or whatever is most important to them at that time. For instance, in my post about bogus cosmetics claims, I located, researched, and interviewed the lead FDA attorney on a related and well-known case as an expert without any red tape (impressive for the government!). Or do a straight up interview. Posting a conversation with web-famous people also helps to build your SEO and traffic.

The Rogue Reviewer

Or take the opposite approach: Give your opinion, no holds barred. But let me clear about “reviewing.” We’re not talking about pay-for-play: I’m not advocating sponsored and/or paid reviews (unless they are clearly disclosed as such), but rather  expressing your opinion, and sharing your knowledge.

Do your homework before you try this style, and research the type of review you are doing. For instance, if you are doing a book review, take a look at popular review sites, or, if you’re doing a roundup on the latest phone apps, note the style and soak up some inspiration for what works (and what doesn’t) in that circle. Your readers will appreciate that you are doing the work for them, from product reviews to industry trends.

Be Everyone You Want to Be, Anytime

If you’re getting bored with your blog, chances are so is your audience. Why not shake things up for yourself and your readers?

9 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Video Podcasting

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Video Podcasting

Lots of people are blogging. More and more people are podcasting. But video? There are still relatively few people consistently producing quality video content. If you’re already a podcaster or thinking about starting a podcast, consider a video element. Video podcasting isn’t much different from audio podcasting, and adding this visual element can open you to a world of new listeners.

We covered video podcasting in the past on this blog after Perry Lawrence presented a session on this topic at one of our past events. But for even more knowledge, check out what the brilliant bloggers (and podcasters) below have to say about video podcasting.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

ryan matthew Five Tips for Professional Video Podcasting by Ryan Matthew Pierson

I like this post because it is a great overview of video podcasting for beginners, and also includes some tips for more experienced podcasters.

He writes, “After seeing several professional YouTube talents hit the big time, you may have considered creating your own video podcast (or vlog) in an effort to stake your own claim in the world of Internet television. You may have a brilliant concept and have tried your hand at shooting video and editing. You’re pretty set, right?” Ryan then goes on to cover tips you may not have previously considered, such has working with a co-host and hiring an editor.

Check out the post, then don’t forget to follow Ryan on Twitter at @FrugalGeek.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about video podcasting? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Writing Persuasive Content

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Secrets to Web Series Success from Successful Producers [Video]

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At the web series festival “HollyWeb 2013,” Web Series Channel took to the red carpet to ask successful producers, creators, and actors what it takes to have success in the web series world. Check out their advice:

Some highlights:

“The secret behind a successful web series is marketing it correctly. Seriously. You have to have all of the major things in order to make it look good, but beyond that, if you’re not spending any money advertising it on Facebook or anywhere else, nobody’s going to see it. So really get out there. Push it. Do an hour worth of social media a day and you can really get it going.”

“You know, a lot of people have said, I think it starts with story. It’s nice to have a lot of dollars for production value, but if you have an engaging story, interesting characters, you know, you’ll find your fans and they will follow you to the end.”

“If you make something that you would want to watch, you’re on the good path. Don’t worry about what you think people want to watch, as long as you make something you want to watch.”

“What’s the secret? Hard work.”

Check out the full video for even more great web series advice.

25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Vine

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Vine

Vine is the hottest new kid on the block, and although people are still a little tentative about using anything that involved video, this is really helping to introduce a new medium to people in the least intimidating way possible. The thought of creating a 10-minute video is terrifying to a lot of people. A 6-second video? Well, that’s not so bad.

Using Vine can be fun, but it can also be a promotional tool for your brand or content. So this week’s Brilliant Bloggers is filled with advice on making the most of this new platform.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

craig fifield Vine App: The Ultimate Guide to More Likes and Followers by Craig Fifield

Vine is still pretty new, so if you haven’t checked out this platform yet, don’t worry: you aren’t alone. That’s why I love this post from Craig Fifield at Social Media Today. It’s everything you need to know to get started plus lots of tips for users of all experience levels. This is an especially helpful post if you are using (or thinking about using) Vine for your small business, your blog, or something else you’re trying to promote, rather than just for fun.

After you check it out on the post, you can also follow Craig on Twitter at @craigfifield.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Vine? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Writing Viral Posts

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Top Advice for Video Creators from IAWTV Award Winners

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IAWTV sponsored an awesome video track at NMX 2013, and after the conference, they also hosted an awards ceremony for web TV content creators. NMX sponsor .tv got a chance to work the red carpet, interviewing some of the nominees and winners.

But in this case, the question wasn’t “Who are you wearing?” Instead, correspondent Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff asked these top content creators to share their very best tips for up-and-coming video creators. Check out what pros like Kristyn Burtt, Grace Helbig, Goldie Chen, Chris Hardwick, and Tim Street had to say:

Many winners and nominees at the IAWTV awards were actually speakers at NXM 2013. Want to see their presentations? You can get all of the conference recordings as a premium member of NMX University with our 2013 Virtual Ticket. Learn how to sign up here.

How to Use Live Streaming to Create the Ultimate Community Experience

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Nikki in Stitches Live Online Craft Classes

Nikki McGonigal leads a live, interactive online craft class.

Ever since I first clicked on a link to a live-streamed show, I’ve been bullish on live.  This was back in April of 2007 just a few weeks after the first live-streaming platforms launched. As an actor turned producer I had awakened to the realization that in the 21st century artists no longer had to wait for other people to make their dreams come true – finally we had the tools to green light our own work, so by 2007 I was already deeply enmeshed in the online video world and active in social media, shooting podcasts, writing blog posts, Facebooking and Twittering away.  And then came that live-streamed show.  Just 15 minutes into it my heart began to beat a little faster, I began to envision all the possibilities…it was crystal clear to me that live streaming video has as much potential as podcasting, blogging, Facebooking and Twittering combined.

Why Live?

First of all, live is exciting! The knowledge that you are seeing something unfold, in real time right before your eyes is magnetic. Secondly, with live-streaming you get two for the price of one, both a live, interactive show and an on-demand video you can edit and upload to any site you wish. Thirdly, live-streaming manages to be both inclusive and exclusive at the same time. Anyone is free to watch the show and join in the chat room, and anyone can watch the recorded show at a later date,  but only those people who are actually there live get to feel as if they have personal ownership of the content that was created. Lastly, and most significantly, live-streaming is inherently about community.I have long felt that online video soars when it stays true to the interactive platform it is built for, rather than the story telling models we are so used to watching on television. Community – the ability to interact with other people from all over the world, in real time, has been the  greatest differentiator and power of the online world since it’s earliest days. Live-streaming is all about that community.

People come to a live-streamed show from all over the world, not just to see the show, but to see the other people in the chat rooms. Then they come back, episode after episode, partly to see all their chat room friends. So while appointment viewing may seem counterintuitive in a YouTube world, passionate members of your live-streamed show’s community will make a point of putting your show on their calendar. Your live-streamed show? It has now been transformed into an event, and the more your show embraces that community, the more passionate and devoted that community becomes – it’s like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube rolled up into one.

Nervous about live-streaming?

Don’t be! There are so many options and so many of them require nothing more than a computer and an internet connection,and a free account on Ustream or Livestream  or SpreeCast or Justin.tv.  The platform and methods you use depend on what you are trying to achieve…

  • Are you a social media blogger, a political blogger, an inspirational blogger?  Is your main goal to develop deeper ties with a community you have carefully cultivated? You can probably keep it pretty simple –  just a webcam, a live-streaming site, and off you go.
  • Are you a craft blogger or a food blogger and you want to invite your community to create along with you? Spreecast is a simple way to invite up to three viewers right into the video with you – you can all create together and chat with the rest of the audience as you go.
You can of course, get much more complicated as well. My company, VirtualArtsTV works in the performing arts, specializing in translating live theater, dance and music into a live-streaming event tailored specifically to the online video experience.  In order to make sure our audience is always engaged, excited and leaning forward we utilize multiple cameras in every one one of our shoots, we shoot with a small video screen in mind and keep the action and the cuts moving as quickly as possible. While a lot of sites will facilitate switching multiple cameras right in their software, we go one step further and use Newtek’s marvelous Tricaster – which is simply described as a TV studio in a box.  The demands of translating live performance  into a live streamed event require a much higher level of technology than perhaps a talk-show might, but that is the point. There are so many ways to make live streaming work for you, from a simple one webcam experience to a high definition 8 camera event.
Live-streaming enabled us to engage a world-wide community in the performing arts

A few pointers as you begin to experiment with live streaming

  • Embed, embed, embed!  Not all platforms facilitate embeds, but if yours does place your video on your site, on your blog, on Facebook – let your readers embed it on their blogs.  The further your show travels the larger your reach.
  • Create a strong connection!  You can’t control your audience’s bandwidth size, but you can control the quality of the file you upload.  Turn off the wi-fi and use an ethernet connection to ensure you are sending the highest quality video possible to your live-streaming platform.
  • Make it social. Always utilize the Facebook and Twitter options in the chat rooms to further spread the word and grow your community.
  • Shoot with the end goal in mind. If you want your show to be as effective on-demand as it is live, then create it as if you were shooting a regular video.  Search for similar shows on YouTube and play close attention to their camera angles, their editing, their graphics and their speed.
  • And lastly, Embrace your community. Chat with them, call out their names, invite them onto the show with you.
If you haven’t experimented yet with the possibilities of live, now is the time. It is the ultimate, community building, lean forward experience and one of the most exciting, malleable and promising tools of our wired twenty-first century. And if you have experimented with live, what was it like?  What would you do differently next time? And what advice would you give to a live-streaming newbie?

Video Content Ideas from NMX Speaker Chris Ducker

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Chris Ducker is one of the best people I’ve met at past NMX (BlogWorld) events, so I was completely bummed when I found out he wouldn’t be speaking in New York due to surgery. I’m happy to report, however, that Chris has recovered (woo hoo!) and will be speaking at NMX Las Vegas (double woo hoo!). Chris is a virtual assistant maven, so he’ll be presenting “45 Things New Media Content Creators Can Outsource to Virtual Assistants to Help Grow Their Business” during the event, which you definitely don’t want to miss.

Did you know that Chris is also a talented video producer. Video is a hot way to reach your audience, but it can be frustrating to come up with content ideas. So in this video, Chris gives you ten great video content ideas that anyone can produce – no fancy equipment needed!

Here is the “show notes” version of Chris’ great ideas for video content:

  • Idea #1: The Talking Head
  • Idea #2: Location Shots
  • Idea #3: Interviews
  • Idea #4: Split Screen Interview
  • Idea #5: Live Speaking Footage
  • Idea #6: Behind the Scenes Footage
  • Idea #7: Unboxing Clips
  • Idea #8: Event Walk Throughs
  • Idea #9: Business Promos
  • Idea #10: Answers to Questions

Don’t miss out on your chance to meet Chris in person, attend his virtual assistant session, and check out more video tips in our Web TV and Video track sessions. You can register today here – See you in Vegas!

How to Get More Fans for Your Web Series

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No matter what kind of content you create online, it can be hard to find new fans who are interested in checking out what you’re offering. In this short video from Jonathan Robbins, creator of the dramatic web series Clutch, he gives some advice on how to reach a half a million views – without even giving up your creative license.

In this video, Robbins makes a good point: often, it is challenging to make strides growing your audience if you are also sticking true to the story you want to tell. It’s a balancing act between giving the people what they want and doing what you think is best. But as he points out, you don’t have to sacrifice your artistic freedom in order to get more fans. It’s about being smart with your resources.

Do you think you have to sell out to make money with your web series? Sound off in the comments below!

If you want more great advice straight from the experts about creating web series, check out the Web TV & Video track at NMX Las Vegas. See what the pros like Andre Meadows, Tara Platt, Kristen Nedopak, and Casey McKinnon have to say about finding your audience in their panel, In Search of Super Fans, just one of the sessions you can attend this January!

Recording Professional Voice Overs for Your Videos

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Sound is arguably the most important part of video production. People are willing to put up with a fuzzy image or shaky camera if they really want the information, but if they can’t hear you well, they won’t give you the time of day.

In this video from Videomaker, video production expert Jeremy Votava goes over the ins and outs of recording great voice overs. You can record a voice over yourself if you’re going to try some video scribing or doing a simple screen capture, or you can work with vocal talent to do a voice over. In either case, following Jeremy’s tips will help set you up for sound success.

If you want to learn more about creating, distributing, and monetizing professional videos, check out the web TV and video track at NMX this January!

 

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