Lycos Integrates blinkx Video Search on Lycos MIX Platform

lycos     blinkx

Lycos is teaming up with the video search engine blinkx to fully integrate the blinkx functionality on the Lycox MIX Platform. On mix.lycos.com, you’ll now be able to create video playlists, as well as search for and view video results powered by blinkx within MIX–without ever having to leave the site.

Lycos MIX was developed internally by the Lycos Labs product team and made its debut in early 2007 as a tool for Lycos users to create an “amalgamation” of video content to share with other Lycos users. Lycos MIX visitors can participate in the Lycos MIX by viewing, commenting on, and adding more video clips to Lycos MIX. Since its Launch in February 2007, thousands of video playlists, ranging from rap videos to Japanese cartoons, have been created on Lycos MIX.

In early June 2007, Lycos launched the Lycos MIX widget, which allows Tripod (www.tripod.com) and Angelfire (www.angelfire.com) members to embed MIXes onto Tripod and Angelfire blogs and sites. Similar to other video sites, the ratio of active MIX creators versus passive MIX viewers is heavily skewed towards the viewers, with 99% of visitors coming to the site to watch MIX videos, and 1% of users actively making MIXes.

Lycos introduced its proprietary “Watch & Chat” technology in November of 2006, with the launch of Lycos Cinema (http://cinema.lycos.com/), a video-based socialization product that allows multiple users to watch simultaneously and chat about video content in real-time. Since then, Lycos MIX (http://mix.lycos.com/) has taken “Watch & Chat” to another level, allowing groups of people to pull video clips from different sources across the internet to create playlists of video content.

Lycos teamed with blinkx in August of 2006 to power video search across the Lycos Network.

How to Incorporate Social Media Into Public Relations

Vocus is sponsoring a free webinar that will offer marketing and PR professionals tips on how to incorporate social media into their public relations strategy.

Entitled “Maneuvering the New Media Landscape,” the webinar will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 3:00pm ET. To register for the webinar and download Vocus’ accompanying whitepaper, “Optimizing Your Public Relations with Social Media,” go here.

The emergence of social media has significantly altered today’s media landscape and presents public relations professionals with new opportunities to promote their organization as well as a wide array of risks.

“Maneuvering the New Media Landscape,” will feature Tim Cox of Zing Public Relations sharing his experience adding social media into the PR strategy. Cox will provide tips for working within the new media landscape using Vocus and PRWeb, including:

This free webinar is part of the monthly “Vocus PR Best Practices Webinar Series” designed to provide an educational and informational resource for organizations to gain insight into the best practices for public relations and practical techniques that can be applied to their everyday communications campaigns. Each session follows real-life customer case studies focused on the challenges and issues PR professionals face every day.

A replay of the webinar will be available free of charge following the event on the Vocus web site here, under Events.

The Vocus White Paper has some interesting information about the benefits and advantages of social media:

Advantages of Social Media
Social media is important for a number of key reasons:

Stickier than traditional media – Social media has the potential to attract and hold the attention of a vast demographic of people who have grown numb to more traditional forms of marketing and advertising. According to a study conducted by InsightExpress, a market research firm, consumer trust in advertising has decreased 41% over the past three years (Elkin, 2005). Meanwhile social media engages consumers in a way that encourages trust and profoundly increases message retention. According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), 92% of consumers cite word of mouth as the best source of information on new product ideas.

Viral Nature – Social media has a tremendous viral capacity to reach wide audiences in just a short amount of time, a substantial opportunity and threat for communications professionals. While a well-placed outreach effort can reap tremendous rewards if executed properly, it can just as easily result in a negative viral outcome for organizations that were not properly prepared to deal with the ensuing firestorm. For example, Warner Brothers has attributed almost $100 million in revenue for March of the Penguins, to positive buzz generated from the independent podcast ‘Mommycast’ (Gillin, 2006). Whereas, Dan Rather can attribute his demise to Rathergate, when rumblings of unauthenticated documents spread throughout social media and ended up in the celebrated news mans early retirement.

Interactive – Traditionally, media organizations would make investments in research in order to assess the efficacy of their media efforts. Through social media, organizations can now communicate and get immediate feedback from users, encouraging a process of dialogue between user and organization. Enabling comments on a corporate blog, for example, has resulted
in a positive impact for many organizations that have been able to gain valuable customer feedback from the practice. [Read more...]

Gomez Introduces On-Demand QA Solutions for Web 2.0 Apps

Gomez, a company that provides on-demand web application experience management solutions, has introduced the first on-demand QA (Quality Assurance) solutions for Web 2.0 Applications. These new “Reality XF” applications ensure quality web experiences through design, development and testing.

According to their press release today, the new Gomez(R) On-Demand QA Solutions help web development organizations reduce design cycles, perform true production-based testing for new web applications, and ultimately increase the quality of the user experience. The Reality XF solutions allow for simple and cost-effective testing of web applications prior to deployment, across any browser, operating system, geography or connection type.

These newest on-demand solutions expand the Gomez ExperienceFirst(TM) platform, eliminating up-front license fees and protracted implementation periods of traditional QA and proprietary test solutions. Gomez On-Demand QA Solutions leverage open source frameworks and are delivered in a software-as- a-service (SaaS) model, enabling web development operations of all sizes to benefit from them.

Gomez On-Demand QA Solutions address the challenges posed by today’s web applications, which increasingly depend on aggregating third-party functionality at the point of delivery – the browser. The implementation of new client-side delivery tools like Ajax and the proliferation of alternative browsers have given rise to a host of variables – including operating system, geography and connection speed – that can affect the performance of an application.

The Solutions
The initial Gomez On-Demand QA Solutions, which are part of the Gomez ExperienceFirst platform, include three new applications – Reality Load XF, Reality Check XF and Reality View XF.

Reality Load XF is the industry’s only solution that lets users load-test applications under real-world peak loads using real devices connected to the Internet. Unlike traditional load-testing solutions which either test against simulated behind-the-firewall or limited outside-the-firewall environments, Reality Load XF leverages more than 14,000 “last mile” measurement locations on the Gomez ExperienceFirst Network to deliver tests that realistically emulate the profile and load characteristics of a customer’s actual production user base.

Reality Check XF is the first solution for cross-browser functional QA testing of Ajax-enabled applications. Reality Check XF allows users to load scripts of business transactions recorded using the leading open source web- testing framework, Selenium. Once loaded into the system, these scripts can be played back manually or on a scheduled basis against the desired combination of browsers and operating systems. In addition to providing a pass/fail determination of the web application’s functionality, the product captures screen shots and movies of each test. This unique capability enables developers to see precisely how an end user would experience the application, which is critical for Ajax-enabled and other Web 2.0 type applications.

Reality View XF allows a web developer to profile the visual performance of a web page across multiple browsers using a single-click test. It supports the most heavily used browsers, including IE6, IE7, Firefox 2.0, Opera 9 and Safari at multiple screen resolutions; and the major operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux and Mac OS X. Reality View XF provides detailed, actionable information on how each browser renders the page, enabling the developer to optimize its performance for end users. [Read more...]

Survey Proves Huge Demand for User-Generated Website Content Among Millennial Generation

Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry group released the results of a US media consumption survey—apparently 71 percent of the “Millennial Generation” (people aged 13 to 24) enjoy reading print magazines even though they know they could find the same information online. This suggests that even though “Millennials have “an affinity for traditional media”, 58 percent say that they use magazines to find out what’s hip and cool, such as music, cars, and clothes.

“Our survey offers a reality check on Millennials and sheds new light on their distinctive blending of both traditional and new media. While it confirmed that Millennials are leading the way with newer forms of communications such as text messaging, the survey also highlighted their desire for more time for hanging out with friends – a perennial teenage favorite, and decidedly low-tech,” said Tony Kern, principal with Deloitte & Touche LLP and Media & Entertainment sector leader. “And, notably, even when using high-tech communications, such as instant messaging (IM) or text messaging, their most frequent topic of conversation is quite traditional: their favorite TV shows.”

When Millennials find something they like, they “broadcast it to their friends”, and the power of this is extremely extensive. Of those who were surveyed, the majority said that they maintain large IM and texting lists. The average list size is 37 people, When they find a particular television show or website that they enjoy, they tell an average of 18 people. According to the survey, word of mouth is the most common reason for them to visit a website, followed by an ad on TV. Almost half (48 percent) visit television websites in a typical week.

The survey confirms that there is a huge demand for “User-Generated Content”. Apparently the 13 to 24 year olds spend the same amount of time at user-generated content sites as they do commercially-produced sites. 58 percent of those surveyed create personal content in a typical week, like videos, personal web pages, and blogs, and 71 percent of those surveyed regularly consume that content.

Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry group went on to say in their press release today that according to the survey, “user-generated content is not just for kids – there is a ‘trickle up’ effect, and the older generations are creating and consuming personal content as well. In fact, over a third of Matures (current ages 61-75) – 36 percent – reported that they regularly consume user-generated content.”

“Clearly, Millennials are the generation whose tastes, behavior and demands will define the future of media,” concluded Kern. “But, all generations have in fact been affected by convergence and the resulting media democracy. The big issues for the broadcast industry, as well as device manufacturers, are understanding how consumer behaviors will impact ad dollars, what devices need to be developed, and how internal operations need to be realigned.”

The online survey was commissioned by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and conducted by Harrison Group, an independent research company, between February 23 and March 6, 2007. The survey polled 2,211 consumers between the ages of 13 and 75. The survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. [Read more...]

New Study Says Social Video Marketing Going Mainstream

Feed Company has released the results of a new study that shows brand advertisers and their advertising agencies are continuing to add “social video marketing” to their list of service offerings. The report also details what Feed Company is calling “best practices”. Feed Company is a video view optimization firm.

Feed Company defines social video as “video content that is viral in nature and embraced and shared by users within social video networks such as YouTube and MySpace Video.”

According to the report, interest in social video marketing seems to be building among advertisers following the success of high-profile, video-driven campaigns such as Volkswagen “Un-Pimp My Ride” and Dove “Evolution.”

In the report, Feed Company includes best practices for advertisers considering social video marketing, which specifically includes these points:

- Choose what should be viral carefully.
- Strive for integration across media and budget for it.
- Have your video content and campaign creative be consistent with each other.
- Commit to being a part of the social conversation.
- Establish your metrics upfront.

Feed Company says that a social video campaign is different than a traditional media buy:

“Social video is not bought. It’s not pre-roll. It’s not a banner. It’s video content that’s distributed by a service to social video networks where users of the networks pass the content on to others. This creates the potential for exponential exposure of your brand message, delivering more ROI for your integrated media campaign.”

Video sharing websites are growing exponentially:
- Overall unique visitors for the month of December 2005 on top 20 video share sites: 23,468,000
- Overall unique visitors for the month of December 2006 on top 20 video share sites: 58,000,000

And since these video sharing websites are growing, there are five main reasons why a brand campaign should include social video:
1. It’s a large audience.
2. It’s growing.
3. It’s a two-way conversation.
4. It’s immediate.
5. It’s where your consumers are.

As a marketer, it’s very important to understand the audience of these video sharing websites. The users are very savvy to corporate marketing. They would rather be a part of the campaign then be marketed to. They also have quick attention spans but will embrace thematic content and compelling storylines. [Read more...]