So the expo is now over and I fly back home first thing in the morning. It’s time to reflect back on if I reached my goals that I wrote out earlier.
Here’s how I did…
1. How to Podcast – SCORE! I totally figured this one out. I’m ready to get the things I need and do my first podcast very soon.
2. Community Monetization Concepts – Not so well. But then again, I may have gotten a shift in thinking on this one. It’s much more important to grow your community. The monetiztion comes later. (Not so easy to explain to my financial advisor – also known as my wife.)
3. Add “Answer-People” to My Network – I got a few contacts. Not as many as I would have liked, but I got some.
4. Learn How and If I Should Do Video – Big SCORE on this one too. I have some definite ideas and know the tools I should use.
5. Increased Motivation to Create Content – Definitely! I’m charged and ready to go. I also signed up for a podcaster/blogger magazine that may help throughout the year.
6. Enhanced Strategic Understanding of how to use New Media for my clients, students, and community. This is another big score! I learned a ton and can’t wait to share it.
Looks like I did extremely well in 4 out of 6. I did moderately well in the other 2.
A great reason to attend trade show conferences is to meet the vendors in the expo hall. It’s not just about getting free pens, t-shirts, and cool pens. (Really Ty, it’s not!)
Personally, I like learning about new companies I’ve never heard of. In fact, I try to gather materials the first day and research them on the Internet when I go back to my hotel the first night. If anything is interesting, I go back the next day and talk with them.
Here are some of the interesting companies at New Media Expo 2008 this year. I have added my comments for each. I bolded the ones I found to be the most noteworthy.
Tubemogul – The provide online video distribution and analytics. In other words, you upload your video to them and they send it to YouTube, Viddler, etc. Several presenters spoke very favorably about them.
All voices – An open global community of reporting news from anywhere in the world. This is amazing. They aggregate video worldwide from all news channels, both amateur and professional. They then have a proprietary system that ranks which ones are best.
NOTE: Allvoices is like NPR meets Google meets Digg. Amazing stuff. You have to poke around the site a little to really get it. But when you do, it’s cool.
Noble Transcription Service – They transcribe your podcast. (Check Google, I think several companies do this.)
These guys are working with Qik so that you can have multiple users with streaming cell phone cameras and switch between them to create a seamless program. Incredible! Oh, and it’s all FREE!
Story Bids – They auction off product placement in-video advertising.
Sound Dogs – Their website may be a little weak, but they have a tremendous amount of sounds available. They gave us free CDs.
Stickam – Live broadcasting over the web. (This is what Leo LaPorte uses for TWIT live.) They have a great new service called PayPerLive which allows you to record a live event and collect a ticket price for users to watch it online.
UStream – Live broadcasting over the web.
Veotag – This is a great idea for instructional or information video. It allows you to outline what is in the video so that anyone can skip to the section they want.
Blog Talk Radio – An easy to use web-based service that allows you to use an ordinary telephone to create free, live, call-in radio shows. They are then archived as podcasts.
Viddler – I don’t know that I saw them at the expo hall, but they were one of the most talked about companies there. Use Viddler to show your videos on your own site. They allow you to brand with your own logo and player. But don’t forget to also distribute using tubemogul (see above).
Here are some more miscellaneous tips I learned about getting started podcasting.
These tips mostly come from sessions and conversations while at New Media Expo 2008. But I’m also including some facts I’ve gained in my research over the last few weeks.
When you are just getting started, just go get a USB microphone. Most everyone starts this way and it’s easy and quick. It sounds “good enough”.
Most everyone starts with a Plantronics DSP-400 and they say it worked great, especially if you are doing phone interviews.
Use Audacity to edit your program. Note: Close Audacity whenever you make audio settings adjustments in your operating system (Win XP, Mac, etc.)
Use Soundsoap 2 to remove any background white noise. (Record 5–10 secconds of blank air time before and after talking for this purpose.)
Use Levelator to even out the volume of your entire program.
Be sure to setup a good file system for all files you use in creating your podcast. Save all your original recordings. Don’t change your folder system. Backup all files periodically.
Use Skype. It now works as good as being in person.
Ideally, the participant will use Skype and a USB headset. In fact, I recently read that Leo LaPorte (long time popular podcaster) asks his other participants (on TWIT) to use Skype and a Plantronics headset ($40) and will even mail them one if they don’t have one.
If your participant just wants to use the phone, that will work too. Just use SkypeOut. It is very inexpensive. This sounds good, but not as good.
Note: Brandon Uttley recently pointed me at a great video to watch if you really want to get into the absolute best setup for Skype. It involves setting router settings for optimum results.
You can use CallBurner to record Skype calls.
You should have your participants review a waiver/release. Here’s a good example.
As you get more advanced with podcasting, it is advantageous to have a slightly more complex setup.
The SM-58 microphone is highly recommended by many for quality and durability. Several other styles and varieties of microphones are available. But don’t bother spending the money until you are sure you want to do this long-term.
Recorders, such as the Marantz PMD-600 will allow you to record without being worried about having your computer crash.
Edirol makes some nice portable digital recorders.
The new Podcasting for Dummies was highly recommended as well.
The first session (after the keynote) for this morning is from Rebecca Weeks from Real Girls Media. She is clearly a tallented and professional lady with a strong background in advertising.
She started with a nice fundamental principle of New Media…
Your current followers are your best and cheapest source of new readers. Find out who they are and what they like. Thank them. Ask them. Find out what other sites they visit and partner with them.
Interestingly, she is talking extensively about what I wrote about last week, namely Generation V. Good stuff. I agree.
She shared Hitwise information on which websites are the hot ones for social news sites. Yahoo Buzz is taking over Digg in terms of traffic. You need to be pre-approved to get into Yahoo Buzz. She got 500,000 visitors in about an hour by getting onto the home page of Yahoo. Of course, if your site crashes, you will never be invited back.
She spoke extensively about a site she works with called Divine Caroline. It was launced about a year and a half ago and competes with big powerhouses such as iVillage, Martha Stewart, & Glam.
Below are the results of her working partnerships and social marketing.
NOTE: All of her marketing techniques were free.
Important points from some other sites:
The best part was the final question. Someone asked how she got such an incredible looking site with so many features. She mentioned that she started with excellent connections in the advertising world. She also had a connection with a tallented and professional programming team.
She also admitted to having funding. How much? 6 million!
Today’s opening keynote was from George Wright. This guy is basically a celebrity in this world of New World Media. He saw an opportunity to do something fun and post it on the Internet.
Since then, the “Will it Blend” series has gone absolutely viral and has become the ultimate success story for New Media and Internet Marketing.
Below were some of his comments..
Blendtec is located in Utah. They create high-performance blending and dispensing equipment for restaurants, etc. Their good quality products are used in coffee shops and other commercial locations.
Their cornerstone product is the Total Blender. It is a comercial grade home product but had weak branding. Weak brand meant weak sales. So they needed a “big idea” to get it more attention.
One day, George was walking through the “demo room”. He had only worked there a couple months and found wood chips. The CEO had put a 2 x 4 into the blender to see how strong it is. Everyone in the company thought this was normal. LESSON: The next big video might be right under your nose. Keep an eye out for it.
What happened next? It started with $50. George bought a lab coat, six-pack of coke, a rake, and a domain name. He got with the CEO and recorded him blending unusual things and posted the videos online.
The resulting media value is estimated at $40 million. His marketing department now generates revenue. (Amazing!)
They now use phrases that allow them to rank on Google for popular terms (Google “chuck norris” and you will get their video.)
NOTE: Small companies can have a BIG online presence.
Advertising is now content. It needs to be compelling.
To end the show, he blended a rake and a cell phone from someone in the audience. Pretty cool.
(Extra comment worth noting: use Revver to distribute videos. It pays.)
WordPress has been a favorite program of mine for a while now. We have several WordPress blogs and they work great. So attending this session at the New Media Expo was a definite for me.
How to go from using WordPress for just a blog to using it for a podcast was something I plan to do very soon. Charles Stricklin from The WordPress Podcast gave this session on the topic. He seems like a very helpful person and I enjoyed talking with him in person afterward.
Here are some important points from the session…
To hinder hackers and thieves from hurting your site, rename your table prefix or restrict access to wp-content and wp-includes directories. (I doubt I’ll do that.) He also recommended using a limited account when posting. In other words, don’t use the admin account regularly. (This is easier. I should do it.)
WordPress feeds are available for not only the entire blog, but for a particular tag or category. (I did not know that!)
Use Feedburner. (I did know that.)
To assist with the problematic “Digg effect” of running out of bandwidth due to popularity, use “WP Super Cache” plugin.
Veronical Belmont and Tom Merritt handled the first session I attended. It is about how to give your community a voice but also how to handle trouble-makers (aka trolls).
Tips for building an engaged community
What about the angry people? (The Trolls)
There are different types of trolls…
For HOPELESS TROLLS, you may be able to ban them. You may need to mention it to the others for the sake of full disclosure.
For some, you may need to go all the way to law enforcement. But that is extremely unusual. Usually, just ignoring them will eventually work. They will slowly go away.
Q&A: Veronica mentioned that she spends about 70% of her time working with her community. That’s interesting because she is a content creator.
Q&A: Tom mentioned that he does not use Ping.fm to communicate with one service to all areas. Both of them use each social network in a different way. However, Tom mentioned that he does use Ping.fm for announcements that a show is started or posted. (Nice idea!) Friendfeed is a similar service that will aggregate.
Gary was the first keynote speaker of New Media Expo this wek in Las Vegas.
Gary is obviously a very passionate person and enjoys what he does. He had some very good fundamental principles that he tried to instill into this audience of content creators.
His overall theme was “How to get people to care about what you do”.
1. If it is not in your DNA, it’s not going to happen. It is important to know who you are. If you are blogging, podcasting, or creating video it needs to be your passion. You need to love your first 7 fans, 25 fans, etc.
You don’t need to worry about the technology. You need to do what you do. Use a low-quality camera, microphone, etc. It does not matter. What is important is that you love what you do.
You need to do whatever you love. What it takes to win is patience and lots of effort.
2. Care about your COMMUNITY. You need to care about them. Be passionate about your community. That is your competitive advantage over old media. If you have 17 fans, work hard to communicate well with them. Be thankful to your audience. Answer every email!
Sometimes I twitter out my IM account. People start talking to me.
Don’t rely on the technology. Rely on the content. Give back to your community. Care about people.
3. Make sure your CONTENT is compelling. Content is king.
4. However, MARKETING is queen. The queen rules the house.
Become part of the community. Get into forums, Facebook, etc. Start getting involved everywhere. Don’t ask about where you should be. Should you be on Facebook? MySpace? Elsewhere? The answer: EVERYWHERE!
If there was no cost of renting, how many locations would you have? Everywhere! You have to be everywhere! You need to be a part of the community. Make a fan page on MySpace! (Good advice. I should probably do more that way. Of course, Gary admitted that he works 18 hours per day. I’d rather not.)
5. “Legacy is better than currency!” Your grandchildren will know what you did someday. You gotta build equity in the world. Take what you can get. Be patient. Be happy with what you have. Keep growing. Don’t try to get the homerun. Just make progress.
We are in a gold rush. The people that will establish themselves within their niches are going to win.
6. Build your brand. The top online brand for every subject has not emerged yet. There is tremendous potential for building a brand from an existing offline one or a new one from scratch.
Use Viddler instead of YouTube. Grow your own brand. Viddler lets you pick your own logo for the bottom right corner.
7. Be Patient! No one has patience in this business. Everyone starts small. You have to be the one that knows what you want to do and stick with it. (I agree 100% !)
You don’t need to hit the homerun. You don’t need to go viral. You just need consistent growth of your community.
8. Be authentic. Forget editing. Be real. Do great content. Put out hundreds of shows. Be real. Be genuine.
9. Don’t pay others to promote your content. We have the leverage as content creators. You are the game. You do not need the gatekeepers anymore. The entry is zero. Don’t try to get recognized. You will get found. But you need to hustle your face off. You need to work long hours and be patient. Community town.
The new social media way of growing a brand costs no money. Don’t control the message. You will be defined by the universe. So you better get good real quick. Become the best. Grow your network. Build good content. It takes patience and community.
What if my niche is too small? You need to recognize who the high dollar players are in your niche. Monetize via them. Bug them non-stop until they will want to get rid of you or pay you money.
I landed in Vegas yesterday and will be at the New Media Expo until Sunday. The flight was five hours long from Charlotte, NC to Las Vegas, so I had plenty of time to think about why I was going and what I wanted to get out of this.
Here’s what I came up with..
1. How to Podcast. I know the technology for this is not the important part. But I am hoping to get a little clarity on exactly what tools I should start with.
2. Community Monetization Concepts. My current community is somewhat small. But I really enjoy interacting with those that have connected with me. I’d like to do more of that, but I need to know how to monetize it so that it is not just time being eaten up with little initial financial impact.
3. Add “Answer-People” to my Network. Now that I spend very little time reading blogs and newsletters, I would like to grow my network. I appreciate meeting people that I could call upon to answer the natural questions that will come as I continue to grow my online businesses.
4. Learn how and if I should use video. Lately, I’ve been planning on starting a podcast. But should it be a video? How should I use video? I’d like to have a plan.
Other non-tangible goals…
1. Increased motivation to continue to creating content.
2. Enhanced strategic understanding of how to effectively use New Media for my clients, students, and community.
The conference should be a good one. I’m really excited about it.
Who uses Twitter in Charlotte, North Carolina?
I’ve been following anyone I can find in the region and am trying to gather a “Top 100” list.
Today (8/11/08) I post my list with 77 names. I’d like to reach 100.
Top 100 Twitter Users in Charlotte, NC
1. http://twitter.com/Charlotte_SEO – (me)
2. http://twitter.com/uttley – (Thanks for your help)
17. http://twitter.com/brianbaute *
26. http://twitter.com/cltraffic – Charlotte Traffic updates
27. http://twitter.com/CoreyCreed (my personal account)
34. http://twitter.com/HuckC21 *
39. http://twitter.com/JeffElder *
44. http://twitter.com/KaylaC *
46. http://twitter.com/lisahoffmann *
56. http://twitter.com/MyCreativeTeam *
60. http://twitter.com/RoMustGo *
67. http://twitter.com/shrop *
70. http://twitter.com/theobserver – Charlotte Observer Newspaper
74. http://twitter.com/wcnc – WCNC Television
76. http://twitter.com/wx_charlotte – Charlotte Weather Report
* = Noteworthy Twitterers
NEW TO TWITTER? I wrote an e-book on how to get started. You can download it for free here.
ARE WE MISSING SOMEONE? Post a comment. We’ll update this list.