Maybe, Just Maybe, Twitter’s On To Something With Metrics

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Now, I hate this change. I think it breaks the very idea of what I loved about Twitter, and I strongly advocate for alternatives that are more supportive of independent developers of new experiences.But what Williams said Monday made me take a longer view for the first time.If Twitter controls its entire information pipeline, it can get more accurate readings of what’s going on in there. Everyone who’s opposed to Twitter’s trajectory knows that this will help the company make a lot of money by better targeting ads.That’s the whole problem; it feels like what’s good for ads is bad for us.But what if there really are “dream metrics” that would make Twitter more meaningful to us, too?No one likes a popularity contest, and that’s what follower counts are. By definition, they’re discouraging to most people. They make some feel insignificant. A more robust metric could create a more nuanced and useful picture of how people succeed or fail on Twitter.Maybe Twitter will find some lasting value in its messages that that can only be captured if it controls the whole service. Maybe that value is a more personally empowering way to use Twitter.Maybe. Speaking Monday, Twitter co-founder and board member Ev Williams described what he’d like the microblog to be when it grows up. Some fear that he wants to merchandise tweets the way Hollywood merchanises movies. But for the first time in months and months, I saw the glimmer of a Twitter that I could learn to love.“The ‘dream’ metric is how many people saw your tweet,” Williams said. What does he mean, exactly? Williams pointed to the follower count as a blunt instrument. It has always been the de facto measurement of how powerful a Twitter poster is, but it doesn’t mean much. Not all followers are equal. Hundreds might be porn bots. Or you might have just 31 followers who lovingly retweet everything you post.So a better measurement of how important you are on Twitter is how many people you reach, not just how many once clicked “Follow.” Reach is how many Twitter feeds your tweet ended up in, whether directly or from a retweet. It’s also how many people viewed your tweet embedded on a site or in a blog post. And those aren’t even all Twitter members!But that’s not all that Williams dreams of measuring. Twitter could also measure the activity generated by your tweets — retweets, favorites, replies — to see how much people care about them.All this stuff would be would be much more useful for figuring out one’s Twitter strength at a glance.Here’s the rub.Twitter is cut from some data when people use third-party Twitter clients like Twitterific and Tweetbot. Those apps add all kinds of ways of interacting with tweets that are built on top of Twitter, not built into it.In August, after promising to do so for a long time, Twitter began to crack down on third-party apps and unofficial ways to display tweets. Twitter isn’t cutting off outside Twitter apps — at least not right away — but itis being much more strict, particularly about displaying tweets. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Tags:#twitter#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification jon mitchell A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

HP’s New ElitePad Business Tablet Is All About The Accessories

first_img There’s a docking station, for example, with connections for an external monitor and other ports to turn it into a desktop. (Other options include a simple external Bluetooth keyboard, an optical drive and a Tablet Pen.)But by far the most interesting accessory is HP’s “smart jacket,” designed to add capabilities for specific roles. Slipping on the productivity smart jacket adds a hard-connected keyboard, a second battery, better speakers, more ports and more slots. Presto, you’ve got a fully functional laptop. Will the idea of using a tablet as a primary computing device take off in corporate America? That depends on pricing, of course, and HP is not saying how much any of this will cost when it hits the market early next year.But the bigger question is how well a Swiss Army knife of a computer can perform each task it attempts. If it fails significantly on any one of them, the whole value propostion crumbles.Either way, though, I give HP — and ultimately Microsoft, too — credit for at least trying to expand the category and to address computing problems. Since the introduction of the iPad, we haven’t seen that much innovation in form factor, but Windows 8 seems to be starting that process. Not all of the results will be pretty or successful but it’s still a good thing. Tags:#enterprise#Microsoft#mobile fredric paul Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… If nothing else, Windows 8 is spurring some creativity in tablet design, even for business users. Hewlett-Packard’s new ElitePad 900, for example, offers an innovative expansion strategy and other accessories to try to position it as a primary business computer. One big question: How much will it all cost?I got a chance to play with the new ElitePad at a recent HP launch event in San Francisco, and I was intrigued by the sleek device and accessories designed to turn the tablet into a primary computing device. I instinctively support any attempt to expand computer and mobile-device options, and my initial impression is that this felt like a truly new approach that could add real value.But many questions remain as to whether professionals, who HP is aiming at with the ElitePad, will embrace the new model.First The BasicsThe ElitePad’s machined aluminum case holds Intel’s new Clover Trail processors,  a 10.1-inch Gorilla Glass screen with 1280 x 800 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The screen looked great in a dimly lit hotel room.There are twin cameras, a dual-array microphone and stereo speakers. There are 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. A service door opens to reveal slots for a SIM card (the ElitePad supports 3G, 4G and NFC wireless connections) as well as a MicroSD slot. (In a very un-Apple approach, many parts of the ElitePad are consumer-servicable, a perk that corporate IT shops will no doubt appreciate.)The whole thing weighs 1.5 pounds and is 9.2mm thick. But those numbers are misleading because the ElitePad doesn’t really get going until you start adding accessories.One Tablet For All Tasks?Because the ElitePad is fully compatible with Windows 8, HP wants to position it as a professional’s primary computer, but computing horsepower aside, clearly a tablet lacks all of the required connectivity and interface options. So HP has surrounded the tablet with a collection of options designed to configure it for whatever purpose is required at the time. IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

Predicting Facebook’s Q3 Earnings: Reasons For Cautious Optimism

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#advertising#e-commerce#earnings#Facebook#mobile dave copeland Facebook will release its second set of quarterly earnings as a public company on Tuesday, and early indications are they will be better than the results the social network announced in July. But even if they aren’t, Wall Street seems to be falling in love with the company all over again, as Facebook now seems to have an actual plan to get more of your money.Like a lot of Web companies, Facebook adopted the drug dealer’s business model: The first one’s free. That is, give the product to the users for free so they get hooked on it and start spending real money. But unlike a lot of other tech companies, Facebook promised early on it would never charge users. That means while competitors like LinkedIn pull in a few dollars per user per month on average as a result of premium subscription models, Facebook has to eke out about 40 cents per user per month through display advertising.When you have more than a billion users, a few cents per user per month is still a lot of money, but not nearly as much as Wall Street had hoped Facebook would earn.A Better Ad StrategyFacebook matched analysts estimated when it released second-quarter earnings in July, but the company’s shares still fell, mostly because comments made by its top executives in a conference call with analysts failed to offer concrete proof the company had a plan for growth.Facebook has spent the past three months hoping its actions will speak louder than words. It released faster mobile platforms for iOS and Android. Faster platforms mean more content consumption which means more ads served. It has struck partnerships to better understand how its ads work and convince advertisers that an unclicked ad on Facebook may still lead to an offline purchase.Digital media management company Spruce Media is already seeing its clients spend more on Facebook ads as a result of the improvements to the programs and mobile platform, according to COO Lucy Jacobs. She expects spending to increase even more this quarter, as her clients take advantage of targeted advertising and promoted posts through Facebook’s platform.“Overall Facebook spending is healthy,” she said. We’re “seeing sequential increases in spend and advertiser excitement about the company’s new ad products.”But the biggest change, and one that drew praise in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, has nothing to do with advertising. But it may be why investors may be taking a second, third or fourth look at Facebook shares.Going Beyond AdvertisingThe Journal was enamored by Facebook Gifts, a product that makes it easy for users to send each other gifts – including real, physical gifts, not just online tokens. It fits in nicely with Facebook’s birthday reminders, not to mention congratulations gifts when someone posts about an engagement, a new job, a new baby or any other life event. Unlike Amazon, you don’t need to know the recipients address, as they will have filled that in on their own.But there’s another reason why Wall Street likes the product – and a reason why users might want to be wary. In the process of sending that gift, Facebook also gets your credit card number.“Facebook probably can build a sizable business around gift-giving, but having credit-card data opens up a new range of revenue opportunities,” the newspaper noted. “The ability to generate cash from ‘likes’ isn’t clear. But the commercial potential from a ‘buy’ button, with commissions coming back to Facebook, could be quite large.” The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

Should TED Ban Marketing Pitches? Google Glass Talk Was Pure Promotion

first_imgSergey Brin’s Google Glass presentation at last week’s TED2013 conference came off as little more than a product pitch. Wearing his “Google Glass” throughout the presentation, Brin begins by noting that “when we (Brin and Larry Page) started Google 15 years ago, my vision was that information would come to you as you need it. You wouldn’t have to search query at all.”The implication to all in attendance at TED2013 was clear: Google Glass delivers on the lofty Google vision.  Is that the right approach for the TED Conferences?Non-Profit For Whom?TED bill itself as “a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.” In TED presentations and videos, seen by millions, these ideas range from unlocking new opportunities to improving global health, stopping the spread of violence, combatting global warming and crafting new ways to support the arts in the 21st Century. TED talks can be moving, inspiring, provocative, informative. Brin’s presentation, however, could also be classified as marketing. Google Glass is Google’s much-hyped voice-activated eyewear headset. As ReadWrite has documented, Google has been aggressively promoting Google Glass for the past year. In April, Google debuted “Project Glass” on Google Plus. That same month, Brin promoted the devices at a charity event for fighting blindness. In May, Google generated significant buzz at Google I/O when it streamed video from a skydiver wearing the device. Just last month, Google launched the #ifihadglass campaign, a contest to determine who will win the chance to be among the very first to buy Google Glass – for $1,500.   Brin’s TED presentation included more of the same, going so far as to mock smartphones and even smartphone users: Is the future of connection just people walking around hunched up, looking down, rubbing a featureless piece of glass? It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?While many pundits were quick to pounce on Brin’s use of the word ‘emasculating,’ the question not asked was whether TED should have allowed his talk at all. For its part, TED seems to have no problem with Google’s pitch. Brin was joined onstage by TED’s “curator,” Chris Anderson. Anderson’s question was effectively the stuff of late-night informercials: “How much and when?” Though Google Glass is not yet available for purchase, the TED site links directly  to a nearly year-old Google video that starkly promotes the technology – along with the benefits of Google Maps and Google+. “Check out how Glass works,” TED states.  If the video is to be believed, Google Glass works really, really well. Until the product is available, however, we’ll have to take Google’s word for it. Tags:#Google#Google Glass#privacy#TED 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… brian s hall Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts While Google’s augmented-reality glasses do seem potentially revolutionary, there is a danger that such obviously self-serving presentations from large corporations could ultimately hurt the TED brand. Changing The World – At $1,500 A PopThe TED blog site does include a link to an external post decrying the potential privacy violations of Google Glass. This is likely not enough to overcome the perception that TED has essentially provided a seal of approval for the product. According to the non-profit TED: The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas. An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.An idea weighs nothing.It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.It seems difficult to equate that goal with what, intended or not, serves as a commercial for an upcoming Google product, priced at $1,500 – a princely sum for much of the world.NOTE: TED has not yet posted the video of Sergey Brin’s Google Glass presentation. Lead image from the Google Glass video.  IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

Do We Really Need Amazon TV? No, But Amazon Does

first_imgRelated Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Whether we want one or not, Amazon is building a connected TV set top box for us, according to BusinessWeek. The so-called Amazon TV device will stream Internet video to our televisions, presumably with a bias towards the company’s own Instant Video selections. It may not be something consumers are clamoring for, but then again, neither was Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Indeed, Amazon’s tablets offer a useful analogy for what we should expect from Amazon TV: an affordable device that mimics  existing offerings with direct connections into Amazons products and services. The idea is to provide just enough value to carve out a respectable slice of the market. In the process, Amazon sets up another entryway into its universe of content and goods. As The Verge smartly put it, it’s all about the ecosystem. See Also: What The New Kindle Means To AmazonThe Kindle Fire didn’t turn out to be the “iPad killer” some predicted, but it appears to be selling fairly well. The class of 7-inch tablets it helped popularize were popular enough to induce Apple to release the iPad Mini. For Amazon, the Kindle Fire isn’t a huge money maker, but it plugs millions of people (and their credit cards) into Amazon’s storefront. Expect the Amazon TV to do the same. Another Streaming TV Box? Really? This makes total sense for Amazon as a business, but why do we, the buyers, need another set top box?Each of the devices on the market has its own benefits, but none of them are a slam dunk. Boxee’s buzz has given way to an identity crisis, while Google has yet to apply the proper amount of polish to Google TV. The Roku has tons of content, but Apple TV’s AirPlay feature offers even more, letting iPhone and iPad users stream anything from their devices onto the big screen. It’s really the Apple TV that Amazon is taking aim at here. And the Apple TV, it’s worth noting, has not generated iPad levels of popularity or excitement. Maybe that’s the point. This could be a preemptive strike on Amazon’s part. Whether Apple launches an HDTV set or not, the company is widely expected to make a splash in the Internet TV market sometime this year. By launching something with a TV app store, or at least an AirPlay equivalent, Amazon could beat Apple to the punch. That sounds a lot better than launching an inferior (albeit still good and, crucially, cheaper) competitor after the fact, as Amazon did with the Kindle Fire. How Amazon Can Nail This – And Apple In that sense, this is a huge opportunity for Amazon. A super-cheap device with a bulletproof user experience (this is TV, after all) that taps into a rich app development ecosystem could blow away the Rokus, Boxees and Apple TVs of the world. For consumers, the goal is to get as much content as possible on the new device, including a Web browser. If Aereo survives, Amazon should have an app for that, right alongside Hulu, Netflix and all the little guys building innovative video apps with awesome user interfaces.See Also: The Internet Assault On Traditional TV Is WorkingWhatever shows it plays, the Amazon TV box has to be absolutely painless to operate. Television has been dead-simple to use for decades, a fact that the makers of many Internet TV products seem to forget. None of these boxes will truly take off TV watchers find them the slightest bit confusing or intimidating.Don’t Mess This Up, AmazonHere’s what we don’t want: A half-decent piece of hardware that pushes you toward Amazon’s content but doesn’t let you stream Hulu Plus or YouTube videos. The things most people want to watch are fractured across these devices as it is. The reason Apple’s AirPlay is so promising is that I can get almost everything I want to see on my iPad – and then beam it to my TV. You know what doesn’t work with AirPlay though? The Amazon Prime iPad app. There’s no good reason for that other than the fact that Apple and Amazon are rivals. We consumers shouldn’t get caught in the middle of a corporate spitting match and get stuck with a crappier experience as a result (I’m talking to you, Apple Maps). It’s clear why Amazon is working on a device like this. It makes total sense from the company’s perspective. As long as Amazon also takes the consumer’s perspective into account ours, this could be huge.   12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img john paul titlow 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#Amazon#Internet TV#television last_img read more

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon vs. Skydrive: Which One Is Fastest?

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… If my tests convinced me of anything, it is that Skydrive is a work in progress and has a long way to go. I even had trouble setting up the tests on Skydrive.My tests also revealed a number of odd results. When testing files saved from Word, strange extra files sometimes showed up on all the cloud drives except Dropbox. The file names always began with the characters “~$”. Sometimes the mystery files disappeared and sometimes they hung around.Cloud Drive RecommendationsSo here are some quick recommendations:First, do not treat your cloud drive as one huge dumping ground. Create folders and try to force a little organization on yourself.If you save a file to the cloud in order to work on it from another computer, quit the application or close the file on the first computer after you have saved the file to the cloud drive.Make sure you have a local copy of important files in your documents folder – not just the replicated cloud folder on your computer. Interesting things sometimes happen when cloud files get updated or deleted from another computer. When you come back to the computer where you first created a file, you could be in for a nasty surprise.If you cannot get a cloud folder on your computer to update, trying quitting the cloud application or rebooting your system.Dropbox and Amazon appear to be the most reliable solutions with only occasional delays. Google isn’t far behind, and I can’t imagine that Microsoft won’t work hard to improve Skydrive – the company’s subscription model depends on it.Even so, I have no plans to throw away my USB thumb drives. Fighting The Randomization FactorAfter running the tests a few times, I noticed what can only be described as random operating system differences. Sometimes the file would pop up first on my Mac and other times it showed up first on my Windows 7 laptop.In order to eliminate the operating system differences, I restarted the tests and this time stopped the timer when the file showed up on either my Mac running Mountain Lion or my Windows 7 laptop. I also reran my tests with a variety of sizes and types of files. In all I ran twenty-five sets of tests.The differences were significant, if not overwhelmingly huge. The fastest synchs took less than 3 seconds, while a few others took several minutes. The biggest chunk of tests clocked in between 10 seconds and one minute. A few synchs never completed. But which service recorded the best times with the fewest problems? david sobotta Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#Amazon#Cloud Providers#cloud service providers#cloud storage#Dropbox#google drive#Microsoft Dropbox FTW!Dropbox ended up being fastest 56% of the time. Even more importantly, it was slowest only 4% of the time.Skydrive brought up the rear. It was fastest on 12% of the tests, but but slowest on a whopping 80% of the tests. It also had two files that never showed up on the Mac and one that never showed on the Windows 7 laptop.The Amazon Cloud slightly outpaced Google Drive – which had one file that never showed up on the Mac and another that took a very long time to complete. How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud As cloud computing services become ever more popular, you might begin to wonder how much you can really trust them to perform when you need them? I decided to find out – by testing the top file-transfer/file-storage/file-backup services.In many ways, getting a file from one computer to multiple computers is the most challenging task for the cloud. And because I like to use multiple computers running multiple operating systems, including Linux, Windows and the Mac, that function is particularly important to me.Cloud Services Can LagI am pretty agnostic when it comes to cloud providers – as long as they are free or close to it. However, as I was moving files around while preparing my most recent book A Week at the Beach The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide I was a little surprised at the lags I sometimes experienced using the big-name cloud-based file-transfer services.More than once when I wanted to use a file from one computer to another, I was disappointed by my cloud services. There were a few times that I got so tired of waiting for a file to show up on my other computer’s cloud drive that I resorted to sneakernet using a USB thumb drive.After my book was published, I decided to go back and run some simple tests to see just how long the four best-known file-transfer/backup services actually take to put the files where you want them.To compare Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive I started by exporting a 500K JPEG test image from Lightroom on my Windows 8 computer directly to each of the four services.last_img read more

The New Mad Men Of Advertising Are… Everywhere

first_imgCrowdsourced advertising platforms – some with Silicon Valley backing – are sprouting up to liberate untapped talent from around the world and remake television (and video) advertising. Companies such as Tongal, Zooppa, Poptent and others are tapping the crowd for talent and hoping to leverage social media’s expanding reach and real-time impact to strengthen ties between products and people. Can you tell who made the Dannon yogurt commercial below starring John Stamos? It aired during last year’s Super Bowl:>In fact, the ad was created by Remy and Andrew Neymarc, a pair of twenty-something brothers raised in France and possessing no formal video training. Their concept was chosen amongst thousands via the crowdsource advertising platform Poptent.The crowd is seizing control.Talent is EverywhereCollege students – think Michael Dell and Mark Zuckerberg – can launch highly disruptive multi-billion dollar businesses right from their dorm room. But can they direct? Can they create mega-popular, award-winning television advertisements for global brands? The answer is a resounding yes. Ideas can come from anywhere, and talent resides everywhere. The commercial below, for example, is the direct result of crowd participation. The original idea for the ad and then, later, the finished commercial, were selected from entries by creators – some professional, many amateur – around the world. Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… brian s hall Deconstructing the AdvertisementWhereas companies like Poptent have created a platform that connects global talent with big brands, Tongal has taken the crowdsourcing model one step further – by deconstructing the advertisement into its constituent parts.For example, I may have the perfect idea for the next great iPhone commercial. Note: Idea for next great iPhone ad: a virtual 3D Steve Jobs and Tupac Shakur share iTunes Radio playlists and wisdom as they are seated cross-legged on a barren desert.Problem: I have absolutely no filming talent. Using Tongal’s platform, big brands offer “challenge rewards” not only for fully edited video advertisements, but for ideas for commercials. Tongal president and co-founder, James DeJulio, told me that this new model will permanently disrupt how television advertising gets made:So many talented people have until now had little access to do really creative work. In Hollywood, for example, every studio relies on the same ten names for every action. (Crowdsourcing) rearranges the labor market for creative work.Tongal has received $15 million in venture capital funding. The company works with popular brands by crafting an advertising “challenge.” First, is the idea challenge – anyone can submit a idea for the brand’s next commercial. The crowd – at least, those registered on the Tongal site – can submit and/or vote on these ideas. The most popular ones are then awarded a cash prize of, say, $500.Video artists can then craft an advertisement based on the top five most popular ideas, for example. Again, these videos are voted on and the winner receives, say, $25,000. In addition, each winning participant across the challenge’s several stages has a chance for an additional slice of the reward pool. If the second most popular “idea” is ultimately used in the winning video, for example, the person with that idea receives an additional reward.The entire process, from creating the challenge, generating ideas, and developing a finished advertisement takes about 8 weeks – far faster than the traditional model. Throughout the process the challenge is simultaneously being aggressively promoted on Twitter and Facebook. DeJulio estimates that “easily 10-20% of all television advertising over the next few years” will be based on a crowdsourced model. That’s tens of billions of dollars.Surprisingly, money is not the driving factor for many participants. “More money typically equals better participation,” says DeJulio, but this is not always the case. The more people that use a product, such as a toothbrush or deodorant, the more likely it is that more and better ideas are generated via the crowd. This is doubly so, he suggests, for products that have a rabid fan base – for instance, women’s shoes.A Whole New WorldThe rapid advancement of low-cost HD video tools, steady cams, and professional editing software, combined with globally accessible social media platforms which aggregate and empower the crowd, are finally disrupting the insular, highly profitable television advertising business.Lego, Pringles, Axe, Pepsi, Nokia, and numerous others now rely upon crowdsourcing to generate ideas and foster new talent. Everyone wins. Big brands get a great commercial, possibly at a much lower price, and far faster than ever before. At the same time, talented folks from around the world have a chance to build a career in a new industry. Teens such as Zach Boivin have already earned thousands. Consider this advertising challenge linking Pringles and Star Wars. It yielded thousands of fan-generated entries, such as the one below. Big brands use the crowd not just for ideas, talent and inspiration, but to help generate brand awareness – even at the ad concept stage.Pizza Hut, for example, encouraged football fans to submit videos incorporating the idea of quarterbacks shouting “hut” to hike the ball. Along with many great entries received, the campaign itself was a clever means of increasing brand awareness long before any finished advertisement even made it onto the television screen.While Pizza Hut selected the finalists in its crowdsourced challenge, a popular vote was used to decide which ad made it to the Super Bowl. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos This is in large part because viewers place a higher level of trust in television advertisements. Even in the second decade of the 21st century, television ads influence viewers far more than most other forms. Yes, this is also true for tech-savvy teens and young adults.Television Advertising In A Multi-Screen WorldTelevision may command a disproportionate share of trust and influence among advertising media, but each new advertising channel – your Twitter feed, or your smartphone screen, for example – has the potential to distract once faithful viewers.It’s also now much harder for brands to develop and distribute a consistent message across these multiple channels, screens and media platforms. What works on the television screen may do nothing for someone updating their Facebook page on their iPhone. Multiple ads with varying sensibilities are thus required even for a single brand or product. This has forced advertisers to seek out new talent and new avenues for promotion.Kurt Lohse is marketing director for Poptent, a social media platform that links brands looking for advertising with freelancers from around the world. The 65,000 independent filmmakers registered with Poptent, he told me, “run the gamut from boutique ad agencies to film school students with basic training.”In a multi-screen world, well-made video content remains one of the most effective sales tools available, and demand continues to grow as the range of possible media outlets expands. Think “Super Bowl commercials to viral videos, web videos and everything in between,” as Lohse puts it.In this new world, big brands need the crowd just to meet demand.The Crowd Wants What The Crowd WantsWith more screens, more channels and more media platforms, it’s also become much harder for advertisers to deeply connect with every group or demographic. The top-down model no longer works. Asking a crowd to create an ad is much more likely to result in something that resonates with, well, that specific crowd. PepsiCo, which owns a number of food brands, including Doritos, has done just that in order to appeal to multiple demographics, particularly younger ones. In this case, the rather odd crowdsourced advertisement featuring a goat ultimately made it into the company’s Super Bowl ad blitz.  Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Crowdsourced participation in the traditional world of television advertising is a big deal. The global advertising market has an estimated value in excess of half a trillion dollars. In a world of tablets and “second screens,” DVRs and YouTube, television still grabs the majority of this bounty. The winner, to be selected later this month, will receive a $25,000 fee, and the winning ad will be shown on national TV.  Tags:#advertising#crowdsourcing#television A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

U.S. DoD needs “immediate action” to win the AI war

first_imgThe Department of Defense (DOD) Science Board has released a broad study on autonomy, recommending “immediate action” to counter enemy artificial intelligence.In the study, the science board found that commercial and academic AI is moving at a faster speed than military operations. It warned that if this continued, the U.S. military may face the same threats from adversaries that used cyber warfare to extract information from the Pentagon and other high value military targets, but on a much grander scale.See Also: BAE Systems debuts wearable charging tactical vest“For years, it has been clear that certain countries could, and most likely would, develop the technology to use cyber and electronic warfare against U.S. forces,” said the study’s authors. “Yet most of the U.S. effort focused on developing offensive cyber capabilities without commensurate attention to hardening U.S. systems against attacks from others.”“Unfortunately, in both domains, that neglect has resulted in DoD spending large sums of money today to ‘patch’ systems against potential attacks.”It advised the DOD to gather intelligence on other nation’s AI developments, especially China and Russia. Once it has found sufficient data, teams at the DOD should develop “counter-autonomy” solutions and ways to overwhelm the system, says the science board.DoD late out of the blocks with adversariesThe DOD should also invest resources into developing learning AI systems that can be deployed onto the battlefield. These systems could recognize weaknesses in the enemy’s defense or strategy, though self-thinking systems are far away from becoming reality.China and Russia are both supposedly developing AI systems to deploy on the battlefield. China has even boasted about AI robots and autonomous tanks, which could be deployed in the next few years.According to the report, China has an advantage in the AI battle, since it does not have the same worries that a truly self-thinking system could cause catastrophic damage if it goes rogue. That could be a massive disadvantage, if the U.S. or any other nation is able to create programs to attack the AI and manipulate it.DARPA, the research and development wing of the DOD, has ran a few autonomous tests in the past decade. It could be influential in finding engineers and startups to shore up the U.S. AI deficiencies. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#DoD#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#military#Pentagon#robots#top Follow the Puck David Currylast_img read more

Meet the new C-level executives born of smart cities

first_imgRelated Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Tags:#Amsterdam#Atlanta#Boston#Internet of Things#IoT#Miami#New Orleans#Paris#Smart Cities#Zurich How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Donal Powercenter_img Startup-land is populated with vaguely named denizens like “data ninjas”, “digital sherpas” and “chief evangelists.” However, the fast-growing smart cities space is adding new C-suite roles to the executive roster that actually have meaning.Network World discussed some of the new smart city specialists that are appearing as advisors for governments that are leading the smart cities charge.A significant new addition to city executive councils around the globe is the Chief Data Officer, who can be found in such cities as Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego.The proliferation of this new role is thanks to the greater presence of Internet of Things (IoT) technology where torrents of new data need to be harnessed. As well, more cities are seeing value in furthering open data strategies that raise complex technical and privacy issues.“The chief data officer would likely be responsible for championing and driving the use of data throughout every department in the city and for breaking down the silos of data, ensuring that data becomes part of everyone’s responsibility,” said TM Forum vice president Carl Piva. “Indeed, with the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation and an increasing push for a data-driven approach in cities, this role is likely to grow in importance.”Another new role is the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) who is responsible for strategies that bolster a city’s ability to cope with unforeseen events that have widespread urban impact.The CRO not only plans for such natural catastrophes as hurricanes and climate change, but human-made stresses like terrorism, economic inequality and racial strife.Cities with Chief Resilience Officers include New York, Boston, New Orleans and Miami.Meanwhile, cities that are incorporating more active-transportation strategies have prioritized projects to make the urban space more bicycle friendly. And so is born the Chief Bicycle Officer.Meet your Chief Bicycle OfficerAtlanta appointed Becky Katz its Chief Bicycle Officer last year as the city vowed to get serious with its two-wheeled strategy.Katz’s role involves project development, public outreach, keeping new development cycle-friendly and implementing the city’s Relay Bike Share program.And for those that like to burn the midnight oil, an increasing number of citizens and tourists desire 24/7 access to such amenities as restaurants, offices, libraries and night clubs. And with an increasingly globalized workforce, smart cities must accommodate chunks of its population who work and play at night.However, the traditional city is designed around the daylight hours, with the nighttime often a lawless afterthought to city hall.To bridge this diurnal divide we meet the Night Mayor, who reigns over a metropolis’ hours of darkness.  Their job is essentially in keeping the peace between the day-oriented population, city hall and the elements of the public and business who prefer the nighttime hours.Such cities as Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich have already installed night mayors to keep the lively wee hours in harmony with the 9-5 world. Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

Smart city startups plumb the waterworks for IoT data

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Donal Power Related Posts How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Data-related opportunities await Internet of Things (IoT) entrepreneurs in smart city water programs as top-down utilities allow smaller players to play.Ecopreneurist recounted some of the more interesting ideas to emerge from a recent MIT conference on smart city water issues.Smart water management is seen as a blooming opportunity for eco-startups, with the market expected to grow to $20 billion in 2021 from $8.5 billion in 2016.See also: Can IoT turn back climate change?Driving these opportunities is the emerging trend towards approaching city water utilities from a holistic perspective rather than from the traditional top-down approach.This means that utility managers are now turning to smaller players to boost efficiency and increase value through better use of IoT innovation.This opens the door for opportunities in the area of smart water metering, which can reduce carbon footprints, while enhancing management and operational efficiencies.“Cities need to identify endpoint leakage; gain clarity between leakage, non-revenue water and chargeable consumption; establish consumption patterns; use predictive analytics to regulate supply; and, set up adjustable alarm notifications to predict/prevent end point anomalies,” summarized Ecopreneurist from the conference.Conference speakers cited water leaks as the biggest problem facing city water managers, with leak detection as a critical opportunity area for IoT improvements.“Software can sync with meters and controllers on a customer’s property to remotely control outdoor irrigation use and monitor flow through pipes into a building,” said the article. “The impact can have up to 50% water savings and ongoing, real-time leak detection.”More opportunities in weather forecastingAnother opportunity area is weather anticipation and adjustment, powered by intelligent systems that can think on their own.In order to cope with fast changing weather-driven challenges, such systems will need to redesign themselves minute by minute to maximize efficiencies.And of course new software and hardware developments are enabling data opportunities that were previously unknown.Measuring detailed, time-based information is being powered by technological breakthroughs that enable remote communications and interval data measurement.For consumers, this can create capabilities to monitor water usage via smart sprinklers and faucets.center_img Tags:#data analysis#IoT#Smart Cities#smart city#smart water How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

B2B Customer Experience, 13 Actions Bringing Better Results

first_imgTechnology is always making headway in the business world, entrepreneurs and many business veterans have been incorporating the innovational ways to transcend their rivals.            They say if Content is the king, Customer experience is the queen.  Customer experience purely depends on how you make your customers feel during the interactions. The way you sort your priorities and your business representation needs to excel.Compared to B2C, B2B is more demanding in terms of productivity and thus needs special attention for the providers. And why not, a B2B buyer offers you orders in big volumes. Remember the efforts you put on for insisting a B2C customer to purchase one item. This time, the desired effort magnitude is a thousand times higher.This article illustrates everything you need to know about how you can improve the B2B customer experience with your e-commerce endeavours. But before delving deep, let’s have: A sneak-peak at why customer experience matters in B2BThe B2B decision-makers every time have a vendor selected in mind even before a purchasing group is formed. As a result, the stakeholders offer a fat chance to let a new party in. And, that is the only space you are provided in the process.B2B offers very little room to allow aberrations. You can’t just play around when your prospects are that reserved with their choices. It turns really important to strike the right note in the limited time frame. Above all, their existing vendors have set a threshold with the services and retention offers. Your strategies need to whipsaw the existing filters to initiate the possibilities.Now, here is a pie-chart that explains the ill-effect of serving bad. According to Groove, 82% of customers let go of a company due to bad customer experience in the past.From the sales point of view, the ratio is alarmingly high and needs to be addressed right.The same source also claims that the customers are willing to pay extra, in exchange for a better CX. The clients are ready to spend around 140% more than usual, based upon their past user experience with the company. That being said, a B2B owner can expect their clients to come round again with more revenue. The only condition is if they develop a more Customer-centric approach.Proven Steps To Improve B2B customer experienceB2B business owners can dramatically enhance customer experience and achieve the bottom line gains by utilizing buyers’ familiarity with some common B2C site functions. Above all, they need to make sure that they are saving the clients’ precious time and pitching their best in the nutshell.Being said that, we have jotted down the most tried-and-tested ways that can level up the way customers perceive your business.An interactive ChatBot optimizes the chances of conversionA famous quote says “The first impression is the last impression.” That’s why Chatbots find themselves useful on most websites these days. Keeping the prospects engaged is one way of making the interaction more riveting. Attending the customer can actually take them down the lead funnel quicker. Compared to Email Marketing and cold call attempts, Chatbots are rather dynamic and can fetch their details with much ease.Modern-age Chatbots can make the rate negotiations on your behalf, even when you are off the system. Concise Content that defines your purposeThe businesses are well aware of the market and prefer to research before entering into any deal. While they are in touch with you, they are alongside considering other vendors to get the best product at the best price, they have already explored your websites deep and the surveys that relate to you.You can take this as an advantage; strengthen your contents, let them speak of your motto well aloud, let them define your endeavours and objectives with clarity. All this be done in a well-directed manner.User case studies bridge the gap effectivelyCase studies have played a crucial role in bridging the gap between a customer and the business. It needs a good grip on the buyer’s persona and a clear understanding of your product. The B2B owner can take help of their existing clients, who play the lead character in the plot. Case study portrays main character’s problem and the solution offered by the product.In most cases, the customers find themselves on the character’s shoes thus offering the much-needed connection.With Product Personalisation, customers can have a better choiceWhat if the customer liked the design of your product, but not the colour? What if he denied just because he disfavored the text? There are tools that can save you from losing the ground.Product Personalization allows your customers to have products of their choice. They can select the design and variant on their own. It is now a part of the major State of the art eCommerce websites. With several variants of the same product, the customer has better chances of getting converted.B2B owners can find such applications across all the major e-commerce platforms. Image SourceWith personalized recommendations, make them feel more valuedKeeping in mind that the other side of the B2B model is a procurer, the content needs to be highly personalized for specific customers. Features like product recommendations and customised best-seller lists can give B2B companies the chance to grow personal relations with the buyers.The Sellers can pitch Upselling and Cross-selling strategies to enhance the possibility of closing the deal.Influencing the C-Level decision makerA chain of multiple decision-making layers is one of the major factors that differentiate B2C from B2B. At an average, 6.8 people are involved while making a B2B purchase. The Champion stakeholder among the decision makers plays the lead role. Friendly referrals or impressing the champion can effectively break the obstacles.C-Level decision makers seek concise and focussed interactions. Time is a big constraint at these sessions. The best part- they favour a lasting relationship.Adding a lead score on customer’s growing interestAttaining a lead is not the end of the journey. A lead, if nurtured well can get you bulk orders. Adding lead score for every advancement by the customer can help you classify their status and the chances of them being converted. Most B2B owners pitch further knowledge of services with the rising lead score. Image SourceThe picture above is an example that represents the way, the lead score is offered at every step.Managing Abandoned Cart to remind them of the purchaseB2B prioritises a lot of segments, thus wrapping up for the deal can often take time. On average, more than 60% of the purchases are cancelled during the checkout. It is thus necessary to manage the cart abandonment with utmost priority.Most B2B owners pitch discounts within 15-30 minutes of cart abandonment. As per Salecycle, 28% of the carts are rescued in the process.Data Analytics attracts BuyersThe B2B customer is a marketer, and data is their native language. How easy would it be for the buyer if you lt them keep a track of their orders on the website?With Data Analytics being integrated into the b2b website, the Buyer can view order histories and other related information. These user-specific graphs are highly personalized and offer a special treatment to your buyers. Here is an example of the same: Handshake for B2B.Detailed Data Sheets with important points making the top of the listData Sheet is a must in the store. You need to describe your product for sure. More than that, are you prioritizing the descriptives?For instance, if your business is selling PCs in bulks to organizations, you are expected to put up the screen size and CPU specifications more than the mouse and keyboard.You must understand, figure out and present the data that is crucial to your sellers, which can be represented in datasheetsMoreover, you need to keep the description brief, yet detailed. An article here will help you with the same.Standard Certification and Easy Return policy for the productsB2B relies on trustworthiness. With standard certifications by your name, you can easily replace the existing vendors in the list.With your landing page showcasing the awards and the certificates, your branding is already a few levels up.Easy Return plays a key role in offering high-end customer experience. The option to return, reassures them for the quality of service offered and thus steering them to the next stage of the lead funnel. Here is one example of the same where the business owner is a SaaS provider and offers B2B services:The B2B owner presents the certifications they received on the landing page while they take charge of the product quality as wellA precise search engine saves time and trustA customer at B2C often scrolls for random products and is quite unpredictable with the choices. However, a customer at B2B is more focussed and understands his niche products better. Your Internal search engine should offer the customer highly refined searches with lesser possible inputs. The best-known eCommerce sites keep a track of the searches and repeat purchases in the past to make things more precise for specific buyers.B2B Progressive Web Apps to empower your mobile presenceMobile phones have certainly helped to boost B2B and B2C models at large. The involvement of a regular mobile phone in the business endeavour is credited to Progressive Web apps or PWA.The new-age application model combines the features offered by modern browsers along with the benefits of mobile experience. The parties can thus engage in a continuous loop on and off the systems.Final Thoughts On B2B Customer ExperienceIn a survey of about 10,000 US-based consumers, Tempkin Group once found that around 86 per cent of the users who received a great customer experience were more likely to resume. There are several more stats that advocate the importance of Customer Experience in recent times, across all the known business models. B2B is a highly focussed arena where the customer is specific to its needs. The Seller thus needs to come up with better efforts to channelise a highly delivering business. Above all, it is the way you approach and retain your customers, that matters the most. The demand for B2B services and competition are at an all-time high; differentiate yourself from the crowd and earn the right to ask for the place. Tags:#B2B#customer experience#Ecommerce business ideas Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry With This One Question, You’ll Never Need an Ic… Kunal Khullar Related Posts Kunal has 10+ years of experience in software services, development, and team management with diverse offshore software consulting firms in India and abroad. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not…last_img read more

Premiere Pro Shortcut: Switching Between Panels in the Editing Interface

first_img SHIFT and 3 = Timeline SHIFT and 4 = Program Monitor  SHIFT and 5 = Effects Controls SHIFT and 6 = Audio Mixer  SHIFT and 7 = Effects SHIFT and 8 = Media Browser Activate Premiere Pro panels in rotation to the right:Hold down CTRL and SHIFT and tap the period key.Activate Premiere Pro panels in rotation to the left:Hold down CTRL and SHIFT and tap the comma key.A gold line appears around a panel when it’s selected:Interested in learning more Adobe Premiere Pro shortcuts?Check out our previous post showing you how to customize your own.center_img Save time in post by quickly navigating the Premiere Pro interface with a set of keyboard shortcuts.If you’re already a Premiere Pro shortcut user, you can give your edits an additional speed boost by learning the shortcuts for switching between the panels.  Sure, you can use your mouse and click the panels to select them, but reaching for your mouse will slow you down.Either use one of the following shortcuts to select an exact panel or cycle through the each of the panels in the Premiere Pro user interface.   Shortcuts increase your editing efficiency – use them!  SHIFT and 1 = Project Panel SHIFT and 2 = Source Monitorlast_img read more

Time Remapping In Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgFreeze motion and vary speed overtime by using the handy time remapping feature in Adobe Premiere.Use time mapping in Adobe Premiere Pro to create cool speed changes in footage. From slo-mo to super speed, time shifts will add visual interest to your edits!In this Adobe Premiere Pro tutorial you will learn:Creating time remap keyframesChanging speeds and smoothing the speed transitionCreating a freeze frame and time reverseCreating Time Remapping Keyframes in the TimelineTo start time remapping your footage, in the timeline click on the word opacity for the clip you want to speed change.  Then, select Time Remapping > Speed from the pulldown menu.Add keyframes where you want a speed change by holding Command (Mac) or Control (Win) and clicking on the yellow line. This creates speed segments.Changing Speeds and smoothing the speed transition in Premiere ProHold Shift and drag down the yellow line (rubber band)to change in increments of 5%. (I changed mine to 50%). 2 “gotchas” to be aware of:Time remapping doesn’t effect the audio (it stays normal speed)If an another clip immediately follows this one it will trim the time remapped clip.Adobe recommends time remapping a clip without another clip immediately following it for this reason.Once you’ve added your time remapping keyframes, click and drag on a speed keyframe to smooth the speed transition.Creating a Freeze Frame and Time Reverse in Premiere ProTo create a freeze frame segment, hold Command (Mac) or Control (Win)  and  Option/Alt while dragging a keyframe.To create a time reversed segment, hold Command (Mac) or Control (PC) and drag a keyframe.Use Adobe Premiere Pro’s time remapping tools to give your footage an edgy stylized look!Was this tutorial helpful for you?  Do you have other tricks for applying slo-mo in your video edits?We want to hear from you in the comments!last_img read more

6 Things You May Have Missed in the News

first_imgNew cameras, lenses, software, and record breaking box office numbers. Here are the latest and greatest articles from the past few weeks.We’ve seen plenty of headlines since our last news roundup. Check out this list of industry news you may have missed.1. Rokinon Announces XEEN, a New Line of Cinema Prime LensesImage via nofilmschool.comSamyang/Rokinon have announced XEEN cinema prime lenses. It’s rumored that they will offer Canon EF mount, Nikon F, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, and PL mounts. Check out more details about these new lenses over at No Film School. You can also try to decipher the new homepage for the lenses at xeenglobal.com.2. Panasonic GX8Panasonic’s latest mirrorless camera is the new GX8. The camera shoots 4K and apparently offers some revolutionary stabilization. The classic style body boasts a 20.3 megapixel sensor, making it the first micro four thirds camera to surpass 16 megapixels. The camera will set you back $1200. See more over at Gizmodo. 5. Universal Pictures Already Has the Highest Grossing Year Ever for a StudioUniversal Pictures has already grossed $5.53 Billion in 2015, and it’s only August. That breaks 20th Century Fox’s $5.52 Billion record for the entire 2014 year. Jurassic World had the biggest global opening of all time, following the studios box office domination for Furious 7. Minions had the second biggest opening weekend for a animated film, while 50 Shades of Grey and Pitch Perfect 2 rounded out the highest-grossing films. All this and the studio is about to release the anticipated N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Check out more at Entertainment Weekly.6. DJI Releases the Phantom 3 StandardAfter the release of the Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 3 Advanced, DJI released a new camera for this beginner edition of their famous entry-level quadcopter. The Phantom 3 Standard comes with a camera that shoots 2.7K video at 30fps and 12 megapixels photos in RAW or JPG.The camera settings and controls will and run through the updated DJI Go app. A single charged battery averages 25 minutes of flight time. The Phantom 3 Standard starts at $799. This version is $200 cheaper than the Phantom 3 Advanced, and honestly feels like an unnecessary addition to the Phantom series. 4. DaVinci Resolve 12 Beta Release & TutorialWe previously mentioned the release of the DaVinci Resolve 12 Beta. As users begin checking out the changes, we are starting to get a taste of the improvements in this color grading software.Casey Faris, from Ground Control Color, sent us this awesome in-depth tutorial. Not only does it show off some of the new features, but it’s also a great intro to DaVinci Resolve for newcomers. 3. Canon C300 Mark IIWhen Canon first announced the ME20F-SH, we questioned the need for a 4 million+ ISO camera. Now they’ve finally released some updated info on the highly anticipated C300 Mark II. Canon’s Jon Sagud met up with Zacuto for a great look at the new features. When released, the body alone will cost you $15,999. That price point may be enough to make people jump from Canon to another brand. Discover any new gear you need to buy? Was this news roundup helpful? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Grips, Gaffers, and Best Boys: The Grip and Electric Departments

first_imgTo achieve the best looking shot, a cinematographer not only relies on the camera department, but also the lighting technicians, electricians, and grips. But what do they all do on set?A Director of Photography is usually associated with the camera department, but the DP actually oversees the Electrical Department and Grips as well. Before the days of unions, there was not a differentiating line between members of these departments. As job titles have become more solidified, so have the departments.You may also hear the term Lighting Department, but it’s not accurate. Most of the time you will hear Grips and Electric called G&E. Here is a breakdown of the G&E Departments.The Electrical DepartmentThis department is in charge of all electrical needs on set. That covers everything from powering set lights to powering the coffee machine.GafferImage via FM Grip and LightingA gaffer is the head of the electrical department. They may also be referred to as the Chief Lighting Technician. The gaffer is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They work directly with the Director of Photography to achieve the desired look. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Key Grip to shape the light.Best BoyThe Best Boy in the Electric department is the head assistant to the gaffer. They are the second in charge, typically watching over the electric truck and rentals, while managing and scheduling the rest of the electricians and lighting technicians. Where the Gaffer remains on set with the Director of Photography, the Best Boy carries out and manages all other jobs in the Electrical Department.They may also be referred to as Best Boy Electric or Assistant Chief Lighting Technician. Before the different departments were established, the Gaffer would ask the Key Grip to borrow his “best boy” to assist in the electric department. It became a common term in both departments, which is why there are two different Best Boys. If a female holds this position, she is still referred to as the Best Boy.Electrical Lighting TechnicianImage via ShutterstockThey are responsible for getting power to the set. They are also called; ELT, Electrician, Set Lighting Technicians, Lamp Operator, Electric, Spark or Juicer. They not only get power to the lights, but also everywhere on set. This includes trailers, catering, offices, and more.Generator OperatorFor location shoots, films will use generators for power. Generators, commonly called a Genny, produce electricity from diesel fuel. The person in charge of a generator is called the Genny Operator.Lighting Board OperatorDepending on the size of the set, or the amount of lights, there may be a Lighting Board Operator. These are not common on small sets with a few fixed lights. They are really only used if the scene being shot requires dimmable lights. All the set lights will be run to a control panel that this person will use to adjust and dim the lights. This position is more common on television sets, especially those with a live studio audience.The Grip DepartmentThis department supports all non-electrical components on set. They set up any gear for the camera, like tripods or cranes.Key GripImage: Key Grip Robert Adams on set of Wild Safari via Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryThe Key Grip, also called a Key for short, is the chief of the grip department. They work with the Director of Photography to achieve the correct lighting and blocking for shots. They diffuse and cut light on set. They are also in charge of the physical camera movement, covering everything from a dolly, to cranes, to vehicle mounts.Best BoyThe chief assistant to the Key Grip. Also knows as the Best Boy Grip. Just like the Best Boy Electric, they are in charge of the organizing and maintaining the grip truck and all other grips working on the project.GripImage via ShutterstockGrips are specialized as camera and lighting rigging technicians.  They work with the non-electrical components of light and camera setups. This includes setting up tripods, cranes, flagging, overheads, and bounces. They make any adjustments and perform maintenance on production equipments. They will cover all duties from camera movement, focusing lights, and any mechanical rigging like dolly tracks.Dolly GripImage via What If MovieThis grip is specifically in charge of working with the camera dolly. They lay and level the dolly track on set.  They will also push and pull the dolly during filming.Do you now know the difference between a Best Boy and a Best Boy? Want more articles like this? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Six Technologies Poised to Change the Future of Film

first_imgWhat does the future hold for filmmaking? These six new technologies may change things in ways you haven’t imagined.Top image via LytroIn 1885 two French brothers invented the first moving picture machine and filmed a train arriving at a station and everyone lost their minds. Since then, the medium has evolved; film has added color and sound and become digital and three-dimensional. We’ve seen the likes of D. W. Griffith, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Keanu Reeves, and Steven Spielberg all work to redefine what we consider to be movies, film, cinema and good.Now it’s 2016 and we’re over a hundred years removed from The Great Train Robbery. Screens are getting smaller and smarter, while films are getting bigger and more diverse and easier to consume than ever before. At the current rate, what we perceive as films will change much more drastically in the next hundred years than the last. Here are six emerging filmmaking technologies that just might be the instruments of that change.1. Light Field TechnologyImage via LytroCameras are progressing at a rate that can only be described as “whoa” and are even beginning to break the rules of image capture. A new camera by Lytro, the ILLUM, is the world’s first commercially available “light field camera.” What does it do?Well, basically when you take a picture with the ILLUM, you capture all of the image with all of the available information. Not just the parts in focus. Not just the light you see. All of it. Everything. Which essentially lets you decide in post what you want your aperture and focus to be.You can read more about the science here and explore the company’s other high-tech endeavors here.2. Flat LensesImage via Harvard SEASA team of Harvard researchers are working to patent a new type of optical lens that is flat rather than curved. Why you ask? Because a flat, ultra-thin lens can theoretically offer complete accuracy over a wider range of wavelengths and reduce chromatic aberrations usually associated with curved-lens capture. The new technology would certainly re-image how we create and package cameras — possibly resulting in doing away with any connotations of what a “camera” does and looks like.3. iPhone 7 Dual-Lens CameraWhile, the iPhone 7 won’t be the first phone camera to use dual lenses — it’ll probably be the best. Apple’s purchase of LinX Imaging gives the company the technology to give their phones SLR-quality image capturing capabilities, along with the always included fun gimmicks and features. There have already been some celebrated feature films shot on iPhones in the past, so it may not be too long before it becomes less of a gimmick and more of a trend.4. Canon PatentsImage via CanonAs we posted about earlier this month, there have been some hints and patent leaks that point to some major Canon announcements by the end of the summer. Highlights include a new Canon 5D, a camera which has routinely shaken up the world of digital video and photography over the last decade. And a possible Canon C700 to compete with the ARRI AMIRA. Regardless of your feelings about the brand, the breakthroughs seem to be speeding up as pixel counts sky rocket and the high-end bottoms out toward better cameras in the hands of more and more people.5. Computerized Sound DesignImage via MIT CSAILFrom this Washington Post article, MIT researchers have developed a computer system that can analyze silent video and add in realistic sound. While this is a work in progress based on the findings in the report, the notion of computerized algorithms sound designing an entire film could open up a whole world of possibilities for other elements of production.6. AI-written ScreenplaysWhich leads into this eerie and odd look into how a computer’s “mind” works.  New York University AI researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up with director Oscar Sharp to create Benjamin: a self-named recurrent neural network that penned its own screenplay after being fed dozens of science fiction movies as source material.You can watch the finished product (starring Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) awkwardly unfold above. (Thankfully, it doesn’t appear Benjamin is on the fast-track to taking over Hollywood anytime soon.)There’s no real way to tell what the future holds in store. If the last century has served as any indication (the jump from Buster Keaton silent comedies to fully rendered interspecies adventures), there really aren’t any good ways to predict what will ever be next. As long as artists keep creating stories and audiences keep watching, it’s really just up to us to enjoy the ride. Have any other imaginations on the future of film? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Easily Create Captions in Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgStep 1: Create a New Caption FileClick the New Item button at the bottom of the Project Panel and select Captions. The new caption file will be a video file, and the settings will match with the current sequence you have open. You can manually adjust width and height, frame rate, and pixel aspect ratio before creating your new caption file.You have four choices of captions, including three options for closed captions. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll create a CEA-708 closed caption file. Be sure to Enable the Closed Captions Display in the Program Monitor and select the correct caption type. Drag the Caption video file onto the timeline.Step 2: Adding, Timing, and Formatting Your CaptionsSelect the Caption file and use the Caption Panel to add text, time, or to format your text. If you can’t see the Caption Panel, simply go to the window menu, and select Captions. Click the Plus button to add a new text box. Make sure your In and Out points match up with the spoken word.You can view the captions in the timeline by expanding the video track. You have a few formatting options, including the type of caption (pop-on, paint-on, 2-4 roll-up lines) and some simple positioning options. With open captions, you have a few extra options, such as additional fonts and size adjustments.Step 3: ExportIn the Export Settings dialog box, use the Caption tab to export the captions as Burn-in or as a Sidecar file. A Burn-in will naturally “burn” the captions into the video file, and viewers will not have the option to turn them off. When you export as a Sidecar file, you will be provided with an additional .scc file which you can upload or deliver with your video files.For more helpful walk-throughs and video tutorials, head on over to PremiumBeats YouTube channel! Creating captions can be a tedious process — but with Adobe Premiere Pro, you can easily create both open and closed captions, all from within the program.Top image via ShutterstockCaptions are simply text over video. You can create closed or open captions, the main difference being that viewers can turn off closed captions, while open captions are always on screen. Whichever option you go with, captions are always a good idea.Adobe’s latest update adds the ability to easily create open captions from within Premiere. Let’s take a look at how to add captions in Adobe Premiere Pro with a few simple steps. Watch the video tutorial directly below and then follow the step-by-step directions to add the technique to your skill set.last_img read more

Interview: The First Filmmakers to Shoot with the Canon C200

first_imgGet insights from the director and DP behind Canon’s From Dock to Dish.Images via Canon Pro.When the Canon C200 was first announced, the camera manufacturer released the short documentary, From Dock to Dish. We had the chance to interview Director Andrew Fried and Director of Photography Bryant Fisher to discuss their experience shooting and working with the Canon C200. Here’s what we learned.PB: Andrew Fried, From Dock to Dish is a beautiful film. Why did you gravitate toward this concept to highlight the new features of the Canon C200?Andrew: Over the last few years, I have had the distinct privilege to spend time filming in some of the best restaurants in the world. I’ve been consumed lately with the idea that so many people come to these restaurants, enjoy such a special experience and loft such high praise about the food that they’ve eaten, but rarely look past their plate to truly consider all of the people that have played a role in bringing this food to their table. That was the seed of the idea here: to see the entire process and everyone who is truly involved from start to finish.PB: Bryant Fisher, the concept behind “From Dock to Dish” features a lot of different lighting scenarios. What was it like to know you’d be testing and challenging this new camera in a variety of scenarios?Bryant: This was an exciting challenge to me. I’ve used Canon cameras in the past and know they hold up in well in all kinds of scenarios. I wanted to see what Canon packed into this new camera to handle those kinds of scenarios even better. The C200 gave us a very rich image with hardly any help in front of the lens. It felt very consistent and natural with its color and exposure handling.PB: The Cinema RAW Light is an exciting new feature. Why was this a valuable tool for you and for other filmmakers?Bryant: The Cinema RAW Light format is a big step forward for Canon. I think it speaks largely to where they are putting their focus. I hope they implement this format in all of their cinema cameras down the line. You are getting a 12bit 4K image at around 1gbps data rate. Thats an enormous amount of information to capture, but they’ve managed to get it to 1/3-1/5 the size of typical RAW. This is exciting and empowering to filmmakers because for the first time, you have this format as a real option at a relatively low price point. For us, it only strengthened our film to help illustrate the colorful journey of our fish.PB: How was working with the Canon ecosystem of products from the camera to the lenses and monitors?Andrew: As a filmmaker, we each have our own set of gear that we like to bring out with us in the field. Generally, it’s pieced together from things made by different manufacturers, and often it can be a challenge for the camera team to “make it all work together.” Going out with only Canon gear actually made it a whole lot easier in the field. As much as we all hold on to the tools that we have always worked with, the Canon lenses actually do complement the Canon camera nicely, and having the Canon monitor with us out in the field was really beneficial. The pieces all do actually want to work together, which at the very least, makes the AC’s day a whole lot more efficient.Bryant: It is exactly that. An ecosystem. Canon seems to be focusing on capturing quality in the image and its evident through the whole pipeline. The lenses work well and interact with their cameras. The images display very well on their monitors. We sent an ungraded LOG 3 image to their 2420 Reference Display, and it debayered that signal to show us a rec2020 image. It was seamless integration.PB: 4K at 60fps is refreshing to see on this camera. How useful was this for the film and how did it perform?Andrew: We were really happy with how the 60-frame footage looked in post. I think it held up really nicely and being able to shoot high speed at 4K is a huge benefit at this point.Bryant: This was a very useful feature. We could easily switch right into 59.94 and then slow it down later in post. The image looks graceful and showed no signs of blocking or pattern issues. It performed quite well for us.PB: What types of projects do you see the Canon C200 excelling at?Bryant: The gear is only getting better. I see the C200 excelling in many different situations. You can use it on virtually anything as long as you can handle the data. They’ve kept the form factor small enough that you could throw a nice prime or even L series zoom on it and go rogue or you can build it out for a studio type configuration. The possibilities are almost endless. You can see in our BTS we had it in a few different configurations to achieve different shots, and that’s because of its small size.Andrew: The C200 offers a really high end look and color spectrum, while maintaining a relatively small footprint.  I can see using this on a variety of projects, especially those that want to balance the flexibility of a verité approach with more high-end, commercial cinematography.PB: Bryant, how did the C200 perform with skin tones and overall image quality?Bryant: Canon is known for their color science. They’ve certainly kept true to that with the C200. And that is only enhanced further with the RAW Light format. Having a 12bit image to push around later gives tremendous flexibility to achieve any kind of look you may want. We were going for something very natural and clean. We got that and some with this camera.PB: Bryant, I noticed you had a lot of gimbal shots in the film. How was the process of setting up the camera with the gimbal?Bryant: It was like setting up any other camera. The exciting thing about the C200 was its size and weight. It didn’t take very long to balance because it’s all conveniently packed into a small body. The gimbals we used had no trouble with it.PB: What surprised you the most about working with the Canon C200?Andrew: Honestly, my only pleasant surprise was that everything worked so well on the prototype camera.  I was so worried that we would get this un-tested camera out in the field and it just wouldn’t work.  Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about.  It all worked perfectly.Bryant: The most surprising thing to me was the level of detail the camera captures especially with the RAW Light format. When you see the image for yourself on a proper display, it’s really stunning. It’s refreshing to see the level of color and soft sharpness (if that makes sense) this camera delivers.How do you feel about the new C200? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

HBO’s New Documentary “Spielberg” Is a Must-See for Aspiring Directors

first_imgHBO’s “Spielberg” is more than a biography, it’s a mini masterclass detailing some of the most influential scenes in the history of American cinema.Cover image via HBO.Warning: contains spoilers!The opening scenes of HBO’s newest documentary, Spielberg, might leave you at a loss of words. You aren’t expecting the iconic, creeping sunrise of the entrance into the desert sequence from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. Even more, you don’t expect to hear Spielberg say that it was Lean’s masterpiece that “set the bar too high” for the sixteen-year-old filmmaker — and that he no longer wanted to make movies. Fortunately, he didn’t quit.In fact, Lawrence of Arabia was a catalyst for the young filmmaker, who would return each week to watch, analyze, and dissect the film.It was the first time seeing a movie [wherein] I realized there are themes that are not narrative story themes, but themes that are character themes … David Lean created a portraiture; surrounded the portrait with a mural of scope and epic action; but at the heart and core of Lawrence of Arabia is “Who am I?” —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergIt’s the question “Who am I” that defines the arc of Spielberg’s career and serves as a focal point in Susan Lacy‘s newest documentary on one of American cinema’s greatest filmmakers.Video via HBO.What Can Aspiring Filmmakers Learn from Spielberg?The documentary is epic in scope: a veritable 2.5 hours of Spielberg unpacking pivotal scenes from films like Munich, Schindler’s List, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as several of his lesser-known early films and flops.Aspiring directors, screenwriters, and cinematographers can glean strategies and approaches for creating memorable and relatable characters, crafting visual stories using the tools of the cinema, and how Spielberg thrived in uncertain situations.But perhaps more importantly, we see the man behind the movies. And for those of us who grew up watching those movies, it’s a dose of inspiration on par with rapture.On Visual StorytellingImage via British Film Institute.For me, directing is camera work. So I’m very on the frontline of that. I’ve got to set up the shot, I’ve got to block the actors, choreograph the movement of the scene, bring the camera into the choreography, figure out where the camera stops, where it moves, how far it moves … so I’ve always got my eye on the lens and that’s what I do. —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergIt’s evident, even in his earliest films, that Spielberg understands the medium; he just gets “camera work,” as he calls it. Moreover, he doesn’t rely on dialogue, music, or any sound effects to tell a story. In other words, he uses the visual nature of moving pictures and images to propel the narrative forward.To demonstrate this, turn off your sound, and watch this nail-biting scene from Munich.Video via YouTube.Without hearing a single line of dialogue, or swell in music, we know the following about the scene:The scenario (or location).The players involved.The stakes.The ticking clock.All of the things necessary for creating suspense.“Geography is one of the most important things to me,” says Spielberg, “so the audience isn’t thrown into chaos trying to figure out the story that you’re telling.”In this scene from Munich, Spielberg made deliberate choices about subject, camera placement, and movement. Not a single shot appears unless it earned its way into the reel — and thus propels the story forward. As audience members, we get a clear picture of who and where the players are — and in this case what would happen if the clock runs out.This is an excellent scene for directors and cinematographers to study.On LightingImage via I Can’t Unsee That Movie.Everything we do in this medium is about light and shadow. It’s how the cinematographer lights the actors, lights the set. —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergGood lighting makes your actors look pretty; great lighting tells a story. Schindler’s List is an excellent example of this. Spielberg, working alongside his long-time friend and go-to cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, crafted lighting setups that emphasized the personality and emotions of the characters at different stages of the story.Let’s examine the approach taken to light Amon Goethe and Oskar Schindler, the story’s main antagonist and protagonist, respectively.Amon Goethe, played by Ralph Fiennes, is a Nazi officer who is inhumane and unapologetically cruel in his treatment of Jews. Although he’s an extremely nasty fellow, he is never conflicted by his actions. You’ll notice in the film that he’s always lit beautifully from the front, with very minimal shadows — his character (and conscience for that matter) was very clear.In contrast, Oskar Schindler was a conflicted individual. Beginning the story as a shrewd businessman and member of the Nazi party, he slowly begins to question the morality of his by-standing. During this time of inner conflict, his lighting is directional and from the side, creating shadows on his face (see picture above). However, as the film progresses, his inner conflict subsides, and he’s lit with more frontal, softer light, because he’s learning who he is.Find opportunities to use light as a storytelling device — not only a means to expose your shot.On Uncertainty and FailureImage via Whale Bone Mag.There are going to be moments, where you get to set, and you are not going to know what the hell you’re doing. It happens to all of us; you’ve got to guard that secret with your life. Let no one see when you’re unsure of yourself … or you lose the respect of everyone. —Steven Spielberg quoting his mentor Henry Hathaway, SpielbergFailure is not optional — at least not for filmmakers. What Spielberg teaches us is that, with a little creativity, failure can lead to great success. There’s no better film that demonstrates this than Jaws.You may have heard the stories of the shark breaking down and sinking … all of it’s true.The original script for Jaws featured the shark everywhere, and it called for the great white to be on-screen far more often than what we saw in the finished film. However, due to frequent breakdowns and mechanical failures, the shark was in repair for a majority of the 100+ day shoot.Therefore, Spielberg and his team had to get creative. How could they employ a device that suggested the shark was near without actually showing the shark on-screen?“The yellow barrels were a godsend,” says Spielberg, who used the props to indicate that the shark was near and ready to attack. Paired with John Williams‘s, unforgettable score, the audience knew exactly when the shark was about to strike … and we were terrified.“If the shark had been available visually,” says Williams, “it would’ve changed the whole psychology of the experience.”Image via The Soul of the Plot.Spielberg premiered on HBO on October 7.Looking for more filmmaking inspiration? Check out these articles.Navigating the Challenges of the One-Take Short FilmA Look Inside the Post-Production Process Behind “It”Interview: Director of Photography Jake Swantko of Netflix’s Icarus“Five Came Back” — Lessons from Famous Directors During WWIIThe Power of Shooting with a Shallow Depth of Fieldlast_img read more

Opportunity Lifespans Are Measured in Dog Years

first_imgI know that you love your opportunity. You’ve had this opportunity for a long, long time. You were thrilled when you got it, and you rushed back to the office to enter it into your pipeline. You spent a lot of time with your then new opportunity, and you helped it to grow and mature.But opportunities don’t age well. They don’t live as long as humans. You aren’t that much older than when you first found your opportunity, but your opportunity has grown to be quite old. The longer an opportunity lives in your pipeline, the more certain it is that the opportunity has serious health problems. It is no longer a healthy opportunity.I know that you love this opportunity. He’s like an old friend, a trusted companion. You have had all kinds of adventures together. You have lots of cute and funny stories about you and your opportunity. Each day when you open up your sales force automation software, your opportunity is there, waiting for you, protecting you from an otherwise too shallow pipeline.But you aren’t going to be able to keep your opportunity for your whole adult life. There comes a time when you have to part with your old opportunity. It’s old, its health has failed, and you have to let it go. You’ve only been keeping this opportunity alive because you can’t stand to part with it. You can’t imagine your life without your special opportunity. But it’s time to say goodbye and finally part with your opportunity.It’s sad. It hurts. I know.But this doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Over time, the pain will subside, and life will go on. I know nothing will ever replace your special opportunity, but you can go and find another opportunity. Many of your dream clients are suffering from neglect and abuse. They need a good home. You can go out and get yourself a new one.If you want to keep an opportunity forever, make sure you help it grow into a client. That’s the only way you get to keep it.QuestionsWhy don’t opportunities age well?What kind of health problems do old opportunities typically suffer from as they age?How do you know when an opportunity is no longer really an opportunity?Why do some salespeople struggle to part with old opportunities that aren’t ever going to result in a deal? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more