Online Fun | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 2

Category Archives for "Online Fun"

Big Brown Box Update – Over $18k Now In The Box

Just posted a new update at Big Brown Box. An online company called the Karcher Group donated about $2,100 worth of stuff to the box, including one year of free webhosting and a search report. Nice stuff, and the box will gladly accept it.

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Got anything for our big brown box? Lots of stuff in there already. Check out the blog for details.

The Most Overlooked Aspect In Business Online: Fun!

revenews_kukral.jpgOne year ago in June 2006 Awesome Dave and I launched AwesomeMillion.com, a fun project that allows anyone or anyplace or anything to be really awesome at their own personal url. Example: JimKukral.Isreallyawesome.com. Since then we’ve helped make thousands of people, places and things really awesome.

Through my experience of designing, building and marketing this fun project, I’ve come to realize that this is what I want to do for a living.

In other words, I want to do “fun”. Fun to me is building these, ahem, “fun”, projects. So I guess you could say I’m having fun, building fun.

Here are some of the projects I’ve created since that time.

Awesome Million – Be awesome, you know you are!
Big Brown Box – It’s big, it’s brown, it’s full of stuff!
ReasonstoLove.com – Love something? Make a list!
IPayTooMuchForHosting.com – I do, find out why.
onegoodthought.tv – Send me yours, I’ll give you mine.
Complete Rip Off – Why wait, just get ripped off now!
Top Bananas – $1 is cheap, be a top banana!
Affiliate Marketing Friends – Join the community!
The Wassup! Project – Get your Wassup! on!
Countdown to Mac – Tick, tick, tick.

Next up is Scratchback.com. Details to come in July, but what I can tell you now is that it will be way more than a project. It will be a fun business.

My biggest challenge as a web entrepreneur is sticking with the mantra of “fun first” before business/profit. Fun only works if the money doesn’t get in the way. However, making money can be a benefit of fun.

Do you do fun? Got any examples of businesses that were built on “fun”?

Shareasale Star Thingy Vs. MacGyver? No Contest!

As Shawn mentions, Shareasale is running a contest where they try to get their affiliates and merchants to submit videos explaining the purpose of their “ShareASale Star Thingys”. Those “thingys” are yellow spongey stars that they gave out at the last Affiliate Summit event. Great idea Brian and company.

So I had to participate in my own way. But this is NOT my entry, rather, an introduction to my entry.

Or view it at Youtube direct.

Here’s the SAS entry video.

Here’s Shawn’s video entry.

Online Success Lessons From ZEfrank

ZE’s gone, but not forgotten. Well at least “The Show” is over, and yeah, ZE’s still around in spirit, that’s apparant by reading one of his post “the show” interviews over at Slate.com.

070322_brow_zefrank.jpgThis piece is for anyone who wishes to learn how to be a successful online, in any capacity. Why? Because if you read it, you’ll learn just how accidental this type of stuff can be at first.

Ze Frank tasted Internet stardom early. In 2001, he made a party invitation of funny dance moves for a few friends. The invite went viral, and he had the experience of refreshing his e-mail to find 60 to 70 new messages from around the world. He was a network star, and the attention was addictive. The dance thing, however, was a fluke. The real challenge would be to create that kind of attention purposefully, from scratch. He quit his job and built up his personal Web site. He had a few successes, but nothing on the level of The Show.

This breaks the perception that a lot of people seem to have that ZE’s early dance skit was what propelled him into the world spotlight, it’s not. The “Show” is what did that. In other words, he didn’t stop when his first “hit” was scored, he kept pushing.

The Point?

The point is. You have to keep trying. You have to keep pushing. You have to believe in your ideas and keep working hard and doing what you love.

ONLY then will you have a chance at the success/happiness/money/love/whatever you desire.

At the very least, if you do all that, you’re doing what your passionate about, so even if you don’t become rich and famous, you’ve won already.

One More Point?

ZE didn’t get where he is today because he was trying to get rich. Think about that.

New BUMPzee Community Launched Today: How To Be Successful Online

You all know how much I love BUMPzee! Well, I love it even more now that I was chosen as one of the select few to manage my very own community while it’s still in beta. So what community did I make?

bzheaderlogo1.pngIntroducing the ‘How To Be Successful Online’ BUMPzee Community

Bookmark this: http://www.bumpzee.com/onlinesuccess/

What is the community all about?

The How To Be Successful Online community is for anyone who is interested in learning how to be successful on the Internet. The blogs and members of this community will focus on and discuss the world of Internet marketing, professional blogging and making money online. Join today for free, or submit your related blog for free as well.

That description you just read is really what JimKukral.com is all about, and many, many others like it that I read every day. Like those blogs, I don’t write about one topic like affiliate marketing only, but rather, I focus on writing about all types of online marketing, with the specific goal of trying to help businesses, brands and individuals be successful online.

Do you fit that mold? Are you someone who’s looking for more information about how to be successful online? Join the community for free!

Do you have a blog that talks about ways to be successful online? Submit your blog to the community for free!

FYI. I’ve preloaded the community with about 14 blogs, listed below (in no particular order & if I missed your blog, I’m sorry, just go add it).

If your blog is on the list below, go sign up and claim your blog, and most importantly, add the bump widget to your entries and sidebar. If your blog isn’t in the list below, what are you waiting for, submit it!

Not sure about BUMPzee yet. Read this.

Super Affiliate Marketing Blog
Earners Blog
Revenews
WaynePorter.com
Shoe Money
CostPerNews
Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Copyblogger
Andy Wibbels
Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.com
The Blog Herald
Ask the Blogger!
901am
ProBlogger Blog Tips
Jim Kukral Online Marketing Ideas

Oh yeah, and make sure to check out the other new beta BUMPzee community managed by CostPerNews’s Sam Harrelson.

Called “Next Gen Marketing”. In a nutshell, this community on BUMPzee will serve as an aggregator of blogs and insights focusing on developing trends and emerging tactics to address the rising tide of social media, attention economies and “web2.0″ platforms. It should be fun to see the discussions which arise there.

There’s also some new interface changes at BUMPzee too, so check it out!

ZEfrank’s Last ‘The Show’ Today

I gotta tell you, I’m a bit weepy after watching his last show today. Why? Well, I’m a sucker for sappy music and slow-motion montages, plus, you know, ZE is THAT good. It sucks this run is over.

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You can watch ZE’s first show one year ago here. My only solace is that I can be sure of meeting ZE in person and seeing him speak at the Affiliate Summit this summer in Miami. Bring it ZE, I know you will.

Thanks for the content and follow through, you have no idea how much what you have done has inspired me, on multiple levels.

Oh yeah, Happy St. Patrick’s day to everyone.

BigBrownBox.com Project Goes Live – Over $13k Value In The Box In Less Than An Hour

The Big Brown Box project just went live. Check it out, in less than an hour of it going live, the big brown box has over $13,200 worth of stuff in it. Including a $1700 Dell XPS gaming laptop.

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Want to put something in the big brown box? It’s easy, find out more here.

Here are the first four items in the big brown box.

Item #4: $10,000 Web Traffic Package From Jon At Wickedfire Forums!
Item #3: $500 Podcast Design Consultation from David Lawrence
Item #2: $1000 Professional Logo Design Package
Item #1: Dell XPS Laptop Valued at $1700

So What Is The Big Brown Box?

The best way to know what the big brown box project is, is to read this page.

Questions???

What kind of stuff can I send in for the big brown box?

What kind of stuff DON’T you want in the big brown box?

Am I donating these things I send in for the big brown box? Will I ever get them back?

How do I know what you’ll accept into the big brown box?

When will the big brown box fill up & what will happen to it?

Are you guys gonna just steal my stuff?

So if you put my item in the big brown box do I get a link on your site?

The Big Brown Box Logo Revealed

We’re almost done with BigBrownBox.com. Just wrapping up some final touches on content and rules. Here’s our logo.

big brown box

Will you be ready for the Big Brown Box? What’s in the Big Brown Box? Stay tuned.

JimKukral.com Was Hacked!

By me. :) Please excuse the horrible link bait-ish headline, but I wanted to get your attention for a special announcement I need to tell you about.

You can view the announcement at JimKukral.com.

Online Video Lighting Tips To Help You Produce High-Quality Online Videos

If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve been harping on online video for quite some time now. Well, I’ve actually done more than just talk about it, I’ve taken the plunge off the high dive and worked very hard to create video content over the past month or so.

I’m here to tell you one thing. If you’re going to do video production, you gotta get the lighting right.

Case in point, here are two examples of videos of me talking on a white lit backdrop. The first is me using lights from Home Depot setup in my small little office. The second is a professional shoot for an entrepreneurial event I’m speaking at in May.

Jim’s Home Depot Lighting Setup
(The green border on the sides showed up because my white backdrop wasn’t big enough)

Professional Video Shoot Lighting Setup

Much nicer, eh? Video owned and shot by New Image Media, Inc.

Why Didn’t Your Home Depot Video Lighting Experiment Work?

It did, and it didn’t. As you can see from the two video samples above, one is much, much nicer than the other.

Online Video Lighting Problem #1
As you can see in all the videos that I shot, the first problem is that there is a green border appearing on the sides. That is because I first tried to shoot video on a green screen (so I could put scenes behind me), but I couldn’t get the lighting right, it’s very tricky. So I brought in a white backdrop instead, except, my home video camera picked up video outside of the white backdrop, even though the view finder only showed white.

Lessons learned: Never trust the view finder, and make sure you have tons of background space to work with.

Online Video Lighting Problem #2
The lights I bought from Home Depot were 300 watt Halogen work lights. I bought three lights for a total of $48.00 or so. I positioned one light on the floor shining on the wall behind me. The second light was on a stand to the side of me, but turned to the wall to reflect light onto me (you do this so it won’t make a shadow). The third light was in front of me, and I ended up bouncing that light off the ceiling back down onto me.


The arrows point where the light is pointing to. The front light is pointing to the ceiling.

Lessons learned: Cheap work lights are extremely hot, so be prepared to sweat when filming. Also, don’t think you’re going to set this up quickly, take your time and get it right.

Online Video Lighting Problem #3
It may look bright enough on camera before it goes into your computer, but it’s not. I used a piece of software called Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD 7 Platinum Edition (my amazon affiliate link) to import and edit my videos. After I imported my video in, it became very dark, nothing like how it looked on the camera. I had to apply a “levels” filter onto each video where I adjusted the contrast and the gamma to make the background drop out completely, and to ensure I didn’t look like I had a major sun tan. It was difficult to find the right settings.

Lessons learned: Cheap software like I used can get you by, but won’t really cut it. You’ll have to play with the settings and filters to achieve the effects you want.

Summary: Can You Shoot Videos Yourself Successfully?

Sure, but it’s not going to be easy, especially with non-professional equipment. However, I think that in time, and in practice of getting the lighting right, you can produce good quality video that is acceptable (and frankly much nicer) than yourself sitting behind a webcam at your computer.

Stay tuned to this blog as I’ll update my progress and findings about lighting videos over time.