Web 2.0 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 2

Category Archives for "Web 2.0"

How To Download & Steal Raw YouTube Video Files In 3 Easy Steps

Yep, it’s pretty easy, and I’ll show you how below. But first know something. I think this is wrong, and I hope that it can be stopped. If you’re not fully aware of copyright issues, you should know that stealing content (video or otherwise) is an offense, and stealing someone’s video out of YouTube is probably going to get you sued quick. Don’t do it.


Step 1 To Stealing YouTube Videos
The first thing you do is visit a site called KissYouTube.com. I don’t believe they’re associated with YouTube, which means that the site will probably be taken down any minute as it’s in violation of the brand. Just enter in the YouTube code for any video you want to download and hit go.

Here’s the link I put in about the NBC hit show ‘Heroes’:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWJJBwKhvp4

Here’s a result page:
http://www.kissyoutube.com/watch?v=IWJJBwKhvp4

This let’s you download a .flv of the YouTube movie. Download to your hard drive.

Step 2 To Stealing YouTube Videos

Just do a search on Google for how to convert files. I found this tool right away that costs $29.95.

http://www.applian.com/replay-converter/index_flv.php

Notice the yellow arrow in the screen shot? Just use this tool to convert the .flv file into anything that you want, like a .avi, or .wmv.

Step 3 To Stealing YouTube Videos

Simply import your converted files into your video software and edit away!


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Video Search Results Making Their Way Into Major Search Engines

Take a look at one of the results for “kukral” over at Icerocket.com, which is a blog search engine. What will you see? You’ll see a video result, with direct links back to “kukral” tagged video in YouTube.

(By the way, Technorati is doing this as well for tags already.)

I predict Google will begin posting similar results for regular searches by mid-Summer 2007. Tell me why they wouldn’t. They own YouTube, and this is the natural progression of search. They themselves through their own investment have proven that they are making a huge play into video.

What Does This All Mean?

Again, as I said before, and will keep saying. You need to be building videos that are uploaded to YouTube and optimized with tags that WILL be indexed in the major search engines results eventually.

So think about your biggest keyword. Maybe it’s “birthday invitations“? In 2007, I’m betting that Google will start showing video results, DIRECTLY AS ICEROCKET IS DOING, right into their main index.

Will your video be there? Your competitor’s will be probably be, and then you’re playing catch up, again.

Get on it. Do a video today. You’ll thank me next year.

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.

Online Marketing Idea: Keep The Conversations Alive On Non-Blog Content

What if you have a blog, and a website? I know, it sounds so archaic, believe me, I know. But even blogging geeks like me still sometimes have “non-blog” pages as part of their blogs, or, have pages that were created years and years ago before the blog ate the main part of the site.

The problem with those old pages is that they aren’t interactive without comments, right? It’s foolish to not attempt to keep the conversation alive, even on old non-blog content. How can we solve this issue?

One solution would be to convert your old static html pages over to blog entries and back date them. That’s a lot of work. Or, instead, you can find an easier way to bring the comments to your static html.

Check out an amazingly simple, yet very powerful script I found last fall called Js-Kit.com.

JS-Kit.com allows you to add dynamic functionality to your own site.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that does it?

Want to see it action? I made up a sample static html page that has a YouTube video on it. Then I inserted the simple line of code below the video, saved the page, and wella!, instant comments.

Try it for yourself, visit this page and leave a comment. If you use your real email address, it even sends you updated when anyone else comments.

Techcrunch has an archived write up if you want to read more.

How To Manipulate The Media & Get Free Publicity With Creative Marketing Ideas

Got 10 bucks, an hour of time and a creative idea? Because that’s all it really takes to get all the media publicity and exposure you or your business could ask for, all for almost free.

Don’t believe it? I can prove it. This is a story about how I did it, why I did it and the results I got from it. You can do it too. What, you don’t like free publicity for little work? I know you do, read on.

The Setup

I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I’m a die-hard Cleveland Browns football fan. If you don’t follow football, the team has not been good for close to 10 years with losing season after losing season… the fans stay true, yet at the same time, they get very disgruntled come the end of the season. The Browns had one final home game left in December 2006, on Christmas eve, a horrible day to leave your family to go watch a losing football team in the snow and cold.

The Opportunity

This is key in your strategy to get publicity and attention. You have to focus on what is a “story” to a news person. You have to have the awareness to understand how a news person or show producer thinks. They’re thinking, “What stories are available that are topical and timely and most importantly, interesting?”

Those are the stories they want to cover. So your opportunity is to create a story. You need to figure out an angle about something that gives that reporter a story, and then present it to them in a manner which makes it attractive. It’s not that hard, read on.

What I Did To Exploit That Opportunity

So I asked myself, “what does a reporter want right now?” The Browns are always a huge story here in Cleveland, so I decided that I’d concentrate on them and their final game in 6-days. All I needed was an angle.

The idea came quickly. I’d call for a boycott of the Browns game on Christmas eve. But wait, that’s not good enough. That’s been done before, and a reporter isn’t going to bite on a story that simple unless there’s a hook, or a unique angle to it.

Aha! I thought of a unique, cheap and effective angle. Something that could be done in an afternoon or less.

Here’s Exactly What I Did

1. I registered a domain name called www.fanprotest.com. It cost me $10 at Godaddy.

2. I built a one-page website on the domain and wrote a few paragraphs about how I was calling for a protest of the game on Christmas eve.

3. I recorded a short, unedited, simple computer webcam video at my computer in one take where I wore my Browns jersey and called for the boycott. Here’s the video.

4. I uploaded the video to Google and YouTube (free) and added the video to show on my webpage.

5. I looked up all the local television news stations in town and found their contact emails for stories, and sent off a simple email with a short summary of what I did and a link to my page to view the video.

That’s It. It Took Me About An Hour And A Half Total

I sent the emails off at about 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, and I went back to my regular working day. At 6pm I got in the car to drive home, and at home I was chatting with my wife and playing with my kids when the phone rings, my wife picks up, she looks confused.

She says, “Scott from Channel 3 news is calling and wants to talk to you about some fan protest story?” I hadn’t even told my wife what I did yet, hence the confusion in her eyes.

The Results

The reporter asked to come to my house to film a story about me and my website and idea. I said “when”, and he said, “now”. So less than an hour later, and less than 4-hours after I sent the email, I had a television news crew and reporter in my kitchen filming me for a story. That story then ran that very same night, about 4 hours later, on the 11 o’clock newscast.

You can view the actual story here on the Channel 3 website in video form.

Summary

Why did I do this? To see if I could. Could this be done by anyone? Yes. What did I get out of it? Well, I get to tell you about it here, and I get to prove a point that it’s not that hard to do.

Don’t let your highly paid public relations firm tell you this kind of stuff isn’t possible. The media is begging for you to feed them stories that are interesting and unique and frankly, helps them not have to work so hard. I’m not saying that the media is lazy, not at all. What I’m saying is that the easier and more interesting you make it for them, the more likely it is that your story will be picked up.

Anyone can do this, the key is concentrating on what the media wants and giving it to them. What I do/did is use online media tools and marketing techniques to create unique angles to get attention.

Sales Pitch Alert!!!! – Jim Kukral is currently providing similar type consulting services to customers who are looking for more publicity, sales or leads, or who simply need to find new ways to be successful online. Find out how Jim can help your business.

Why Are More People Making Money Online?

Matt at Netbusinessblog.com posted a detailed analysis today entitled ‘Making a Living Online – All the Cool Kids are Doing it‘.

I’ve been noticing a lot of extra activity in the web business world over the last year. At first I thought it might just be because the few sites I visit were marketing themselves better or that the internet was just becoming more popular altogether. After a little bit of looking at recent traffic trends, I think it just boils down to more people are engaging in online business.

This is something I have noticed as well. Matt’s empirical research (including traffic charts) builds a decent case for “real” data to suggest that our assumptions are true.

However, I think the question that needs to be asked isn’t “if” they are, but rather, “why are people making money online”?

Two Reasons Why More People Are Making Money Online

Reason #1 – Easy To Use Tools
It’s not hard to understand that things get adopted much faster when the tools exist to foster ideas. Look at the things we have now that we never did before. Stuff like YouTube and BUMPzee, and heck, just simple blogging/cms tools that are now even easier to setup.

Take a look at this video resource where the top Internet gurus upload their videos about making money online, for free!

Reason #2 – Marketing Butterflies
I’ve always argued that today’s bloggers are like the webmasters of 10 years ago. In other words, they are not marketers… yet. Who’s the super-successful innovators online today? Right, it’s the people who had a jump start as webmasters, or designers, or programmers years ago.

You know what happened? Those people learned how to become marketers. They learned to take their skills and sell it. That’s what bloggers are learning to do right now as well. Watch out, because in 3-5 years, you’re going to see millions of budding marketers grab the reigns, and when they do, you’re going to see trillions and trillions of user generated content pumped into the mainstream.

Matt sums it up nicely.

2006 is Just the Beginning

Just about everyone I know claims to have experienced tremendous personal growth (as far as online earnings) in 2006, and I’m fairly certain that this is just the beginning. We’re standing at the gates of a new business phenomenon that few have started taking advantage of. Now is the time to build your online businesses and learn the industry. Stop putting it off because if you do you may find yourself left out.

And he’s right. The question for you reading this now is simple.

What are you doing right now, today, that will bring success for you down the road? If you’re not at least trying, you’re going to be left behind. Go for it.

MyBlogLog Teeters On The Uncool Ledge, Will They Fall?

mybloglog.jpgIt doesn’t take much to become “uncool”. I’m telling you, one minute you can be the Fonz, and the next minute they catch you picking your nose and the Fonz becomes the dweeb. ‘Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy!, Nerd!’

I’ve got a message for the crew at MyBlogLog. In case you missed the drama, here’s a recap over at Techmeme.

Summary: Shoemoney has been messing with security flaws in MyBlogLog and posting about them. MyBlogLog got fed up and banned his account, and now the backlash against MBL is beginning to build in the form of protests and removal of the code from some popular bloggers’ sites.

I Wrote About MyBlogLog & This Scenario Earlier This Year

Over at my blog at MarketinProfs.com, I wrote ‘You Can’t Just Be Cool, You Either Are, Or You Aren’t‘.

Don Dodge wrote… “Yahoo has acquired MyBlogLog reportedly for $10 million. Does anyone stop to do the math on these things? MyBlogLog started business in July…just 6 months ago, and they have 5 employees. They reportedly serve 45,000 blogs, have 33,000 registered users, and zero revenue. Valuing startups is an inexact science for sure, but there are some guidelines. Here are a few “back of the napkin” approaches without the benefit of any due diligence or facts.”

potsie.jpgDon certainly seems right. His argument makes a lot of sense from a financial standpoint (I guess), however, what Don is missing is one key factor that “numbers guys” can’t seem to buy into, and that is…

You can’t just be cool, you either are, or you aren’t.

MyBlogLog didn’t get acquired because of the money, it got acquired because Yahoo! knows cool when it sees it, and realized that no matter how much less $$$ they could spend on developing something similar, it would be extremely hard to reinvent cool. The challenge for Yahoo! now is to keep the cool bottled up and fresh.

The Moral Of This Story Is?

Banning Shoemoney is a big mistake, regardless if he deserved to banned or not. A mistake that could, and might just take MBL from being the Fonz and turning it into Potsie Weber.

5 Reasons Why BumpZee Will Be The Next Digg, But Even Bigger

Digg may have been the best “user driven social content website” out there, but not anymore. BumpZee, a new, innovative and unique community/tool built by Scott Jangro, is better than Digg, on may levels. In fact, BumpZee might be better than Digg, Techmeme, MyBlogLog and many others, combined.

Don’t believe it? Here’s 5 reasons why BumpZee is better, and why BumpZee will blaze a trail as a pioneer of successful web 2.0 mashups.

Note: BumpZee is currently beta testing with only one community focused on the affiliate marketing industry.

BumpZee

#5 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
BumpZee is more than “bumping”, Digg is not. All you can do on Digg is submit and/or “digg” stories. Sure, BumpZee does that too, called “bumps”, but that’s only a small part of the core functionality in BumpZee. In all reality, that simple functionality is about all there really is to Digg.

BumpZee is so much more. Specifically, BumpZee combines…

  • the functionality of a feed reader (Google Reader)
  • a meme/blog tracker (Techmeme/Technorati)
  • a user content aggregator (Digg)
  • and publisher (Blogger)
  • as well as a community/social network (MyBlogLog)
  • all in one tight little fun package

    #4 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee is new, so it’s not gamed, Digg is (documented). In BumpZee, the community polices itself. How? Users can not only bump entries they think are worthwhile, they are encouraged to dump ones that are not.

    bz_newentries1.jpg

    #3 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee is professional, Digg is not. Since the BumpZee community is built from extraneous blogs that feed it, and because it polices itself, it is so far absent of massive amounts of unprofessional users looking to yell “lame” or “sucks” to every piece of content that isn’t about Apple or the iPhone or Bill Gates sucking “d00d”!

    Instead, it maintains a useful and friendly tone and provides an helpful experience to each user. Doesn’t matter if they are participants, or just readers. They all can enjoy.

    bz_community.jpg

    #2 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee solves problems for the busy professional. Digg is just a time waster. When you visit BumpZee, you are able to do so many things at once, like track conversations, bump stories, learn about new blogs in your industry, meet new people, and even participate in creating your own blog listing (if you don’t have a blog of your own), and much, much more.

    bz_discuss.jpg

    The ability to do so many things within one place, amongst your niche group of industry peers makes BumpZee an invaluable tool and time saving, problem solving application.

    bz_recent.png#1 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee has widgets that are actually easy to use, easy to setup and are actually useful. Digg widgets aren’t very robust and are hard to implement, and their core usefullness can be questioned.

    In fact, if you take a deeper look at the BumpZee widget page, you’ll see that there is an actual WordPress plugin design and distributed for download to anyone’s blog, as well as some easy to copy/paste code to get the widget on your blog.

    Summary: BumpZee Is The Future – Mashups Will Win
    You have to hand it to Scott Jangro, the creator of BumpZee. His vision has mashed up the very best pieces of social media and user generated content communities and tools, and put them all together into a fun, and extremely useful utility.

    Once this launches in more verticals besides affiliate marketing, I predict it will become bigger than Digg, and faster. It’s just that good.

    Go ahead, you tell me what’s better?

  • Cleveland Internet & Marketing Gurus Know How To Deliver The Goods

    You know, I always thought I was the only Internet marketing geek here in Cleveland. Not true, over the past year or so I’ve begun to find out that many talented Cleveland people are also pushing the envelope of web technology and creative marketing ideas. Here’s mashup of a few finds just from this week alone.

    turtle-small2.jpgCleveland’s own recruiting/HR blogging expert, Joel Cheeseman has just been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

    “I can work in my pajamas and set my own hours,” says Joel Cheesman, author of Cheezhead.com, a blog about the recruiting industry. Notes Mr. Layne, who has worked at Wonkette for two years and generally acts as his own editor: “I get to be a national political columnist and comedy writer.”

    Sage Lewis of Sagerock.com has been sneakily doing a new video blog called Webmarketingwatch.com, where he films himself talking about web marketing every day and broadcasts it for the world to see. This is amazing stuff Sage, and a great initiative. Here’s a sample video of Sage talking about the Overture keyword search tool. Very informative.

    Greg H. has started a new blog called SMOMashup.com. Awesome concept.

    I’ve decided to focus my efforts on a specific part of our industry: Social Media Optimization. Though most all of us deal in some way or another with various forms of marketing on the internet, I’ve decided to go where I’m unnaturally called… the land of MySpace, YouTube, Digg and beyond to see where it is the rest of us can fall into place.

    Clevelander’s, or shall we say, North East Ohioans to be more general, are on top of the game. I’m going to have to step it up to keep up the pace.

    Best New Web 2.0 Company Ever! Useless Account!

    Ok, I don’t think it’s as funny as my CompleteRipoff.com, but it’s pretty darn funny.
    Get an account at UselessAccount.com. Via Techcrunch.

    uselessaccount.png

    The trick to any good humor or hoax site is an attention to detail and a seriousness about your work. Useless Account is the best recent example I’ve seen. It’s clear, for example, that more work has gone into this joke than many of the startups we see every day.

    The site has a single function – to create a new account. “Open ID is a pipe dream” the site argues, which also has a fake quote from “TechLunch” that says “Slightly more useful than Twitter.” Once you’ve created your account, you can log in, and edit your account. That’s it. The reason this is really, really funny (for us) is because that’s what we do all day – create new account after new account at every new Internet startup that comes along. I am a seriously huge expert on account creation.

    Pretty darn funny. I love satire. Full coverage at Techmeme.