Tag: product

What's Newsified Today December 20, 2011

What's Newsified Today December 20, 2011

Here’s the top recent articles from my favourite blogs and news sites:

Apple New TV Rumoured

Apple New TV Rumoured

Apple is working hard redefining the future of the TV, and that includes a TV set that supports wireless streaming, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources close to the matter.

According to “people familiar with the matter,” Apple is in talks with media executives at many massive corporations and is developing a TV with wireless streaming capabilities.

Unfortunately, this latest in the long line of Apple iTV rumors doesn’t bring many specifics on what exactly Apple’s next-gen TV will look like.
One issue that may play a vital part in Apple’s upcoming TV product is voice recognition software, the same as Siri. The software “might permit users to use their voices to look for a show or change channels,” the WSJ says.

For more info: read on

Apple TV Dev Man

Get Ready for Google+ Games

Get Ready for Google+ Games

Interesting article from mashable about the possibility of Google+ Games…

Amplify’d from mashable.com

It looks like Google has some big features planned for Google+, including a Google Games product.

Engadget dug up some interesting pieces of the Google+ code. Specifically, I was interested in the references to “Google+ Games.”

The references to game invites and Google+ Games seem pretty clear. And while Google could always choose to scrap a Google+ Games product before its launch, we don’t think that’s what will happen here. The reason being Zynga, the creator of FarmVille, CityVille and many more social games.

Google invested more than $100 million in Zynga last year. The investment was designed to be part of a larger partnership, sources have told us. That partnership, we believe, will culminate with the launch of Google+ Games. And you can bet that Google+ will prominently feature games from the social gaming giant.

We doubt it will be long before we learn more about Google+ Games. Zynga is expected to file for its IPO in the next few days, and we bet there will be a few references to what kind of partnerships it’s exploring with the search giant.

Read more at mashable.com


10+ Points About Google +1

10+ Points About Google +1

Google +1 launched earlier this week, here’s the details!

Amplify’d from searchenginewatch.com

10+ Points About Google +1

Google +1 hit the press yesterday and many are wondering whether Google can get a truly social product off the ground. However, the product announcement is more of an invitation to join an experiment rather than a Google-wide launch.

The success of Google +1 really is in our hands. Here is a summary of the fundamentals:

1. It’s just a voting button for search results pages.
In line with Google’s latest social strategy, Google +1 is a social layer for search results pages, rather than a proper social network.


2. Everyone needs a Google Profile to use it.
Yet, it sort of is a social network because it can only be used by users with a public Google profile. Anyone who uses any Google products, already has a Google Profile, but it has to be upgraded to be made public.

Strictly speaking Google +1 is not a social network. At this stage it is more like a collaborative set of tools for users of Google products.

However, pay attention because, the bad news is that regardless of whether you want to use Google +1 or not, all Google Profiles will go public or be deleted July 31.

Read more at searchenginewatch.com


8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business

8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business

Quick takeaways:
1. Position yourself as an expert.
2. Share experiences and information.
3. Keep it fresh and mix it up.
4. Encourage interaction and feedback.
5. Use schedulers and update apps.
6. Make your blog the central hub.
7. Link back to your website.
8. Use a personal touch.

Amplify’d from www.inc.com

Use continuous updates and punchy messages to heighten interest and keep your customers informed about products or services which in turn can boost sales.

Social networking. The big corporations have bought into it. Smaller companies, too. Even independent consultants use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to do business. It is a great way to get the word out about your product or service. It boosts brand awareness, it builds loyalty, and it attracts and retains customers.

But more companies are exploring ways to get a bigger pay off with social media. The next frontier of social networking and weblogging is social blogging. This ever-changing construct represents a way of communicating for people who like to inform each other about their daily activities and share common points of interest, according to Wikipedia authors Lambert M. Surhone, Mariam T. Tennoe, and Susan F. Henssonow. This is usually done through continual updates that often include text, pictures, audio, or video.

In general, you want to use social media to increase your visibility, improve your search engine results, and drive more traffic to your company’s website, which stands a good chance of increasing sales and growing the business. Social blogging is simply another tool to add to your overall social media strategic toolkit.

Business owners whose companies are at all levels of growth, from promising start-ups to established and mature firms, are looking for effective promotional tools that are also cost-effective, says Gail Z. Martin, author of 30 Days To Social Media Success. “Though social media is one of the most exciting new communications tools to emerge in the last twenty years and can provide cost effective marketing, it’s one of the most misunderstood mediums,” says Martin.

Social media, be it weblogging, microblogging (i.e., Twitter), or posting status updates, is a different kind of marketing. It’s not about creating a sales pitch for your product or service. Instead, it’s about generating interest and keeping your audience current on news, events, and the latest product developments. A social blog is essentially a form or combination of microblogs (short posts) and status updates. Users post content such as short sentences, images, or video links to large groups of friends, followers, or co-workers. As with traditional weblogging, users can write messages on topics that range from “what am I doing right now” to thematic ones such as “best places to eat sushi.” These messages can be transmitted via posting, text messaging, or e-mailing.

Businesses can use the concept of social blogging to provide up-to-the-minute news as they will find the need for quicker, current, and condensed information far more useful to their audiences, say social media gurus. But social blogs and status updates on Twitter and Facebook, for instance, aren’t just limited to news content, businesses also can use these as effective forms of communication to reach large groups of consumers and associates instantaneously to learn about their needs and wants.

Starbucks Corporation is a social media giant when it comes to engagement, including incorporating blogs, status updates, tweets, and forums. When the trendy Seattle-based coffeehouse chain realized that its sales were stagnating and that competition was becoming fierce, it had to find ways to solidify and expand its market share. In 2009, Starbucks launched the interactive MyStarbucksIdea website and corporate blog. While some industry analysts doubted whether the site would catch on, well over 100,000 internet users had visited the site by the end of its first week online. The site allows users to submit ideas for new drinks, food items, packages, even store designs. Suggestions are voted on by Starbucks consumers with the most popular ones getting highlighted.

But Starbucks took it a step further, adding an “Ideas in Action” blog that gives updates to users on the status of suggested changes. Starbucks doesn’t just communicate news and business developments with its audience, but it also lets them know which of their suggestions the company has really taken to heart. Starbucks also has fully embraced Twitter beyond notifying consumers about bargains; @Starbucks focuses on sharing interesting events and music information or brand- and charity-related topics the company would like to address. It’s not a one-way monologue. Followers are not just entertained. They are being engaged in a brand and conversations around it.

Like Starbucks, Zappos embraces microblogging to manage customer relations. Tweets @Zappos are used to highlight interesting facts, and to talk to customers in a way that is friendly, helpful, funny and trustworthy. The Brooklyn Kitchen keeps foodies up to date on events from notices about the new book club in full swing to the next skills knife class kicking off. Amateur chefs Taylor Erkkinen and Harry Rosenblum opened The Brooklyn Kitchen in 2006 after scouring the neighborhood for kitchenware and coming up empty-handed. Today, their homegrown shop is crammed wall to wall with tools for both serious cooks and hobbyists. The duo focuses on providing useful and targeted information in their posts whether it’s through their website, weblog, or twitter account. From videos on how to shuck oysters or saber a champagne bottle, Erkkinen and Rosenblum always provide real value for enthusiastic cooking fans.

Dig Deeper: 5 Ways to Actually Make Money on Twitter

This type of added-value and engagement translates to increased brand awareness and direct sales. These companies demonstrate the effective use of compelling and condensed content aligned with ta
ngible business objectives. Here are some tips to help you make the most of social blogging:

1. Position yourself as an expert. When people are looking for a product or service, oftentimes they will first look for information about the subject on the Internet. In general, blogging is about having conversations in a public space that position you as a subject matter expert. “The type of discussions you ideally should have ought to be answering questions that people out there on the Internet are searching for,” says Adria Richards, Organic Technology Consultant and blogger. “For me, social blogging is a way to have conversations with potential customers and to draw traffic to your site.” For instance, you can answer questions from consumers via Twitter, which is a popular thing to do.

2. Share experiences and information. Social blogging is often used to share experiences in addition to business ideas and concepts. Always seek unique opportunities to share your ideas and offerings with not only your readers, but their associates as well, which will eventually bring in more prospects. Announce upcoming events, awards, and other news. But do it in a conversational tone. Hopefully, your target audience will retweet or share your story. Don’t overlook Tunmblr, which is popular in the microblogging realm. Users can post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows and “Tumble” other posts. Tumblr provides the option of custom domains. You can auto-syndicate to Facebook and Twitter. Users can track stats with Google Analytics.

Read more at www.inc.com


Google Product Search launched in Australia

Google Product Search launched in Australia

Google secretly launched their shopping comparison site here in Australia: http://www.google.com.au/prdhp

Merchant Center, advertisers need to list their products: http://www.google.com.au/merchants/default

Getting Started: http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=188493

Be interesting to see how this goes down under.

Good to see one of my clients (GetPrice) getting a good wrap for our SEM campaign

Good to see one of my clients (GetPrice) getting a good wrap for our SEM campaign

The traditional retailers didn’t come off to well, but sites such as GetPrice with millions of long-tail keywords and targeted ad copies across multiple search engines are getting a great wrap for consumer experience and visibility.

Amplify’d from digitalministry.com

Google AdWords – Aussie Retailers Behind the Eight Ball

Written by Sean Wyld | January 31st 2011 What is your opinion?

With the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on advertising by the major electrical retailers, why do the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith, Myer and Co seem more interested in complaining about GST then utilising Google AdWords effectively? And why aren’t the leading online retailers like Deals Direct and OO.com.au maximising the opportunity?

Walk into your local JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman or Dick Smith and tell them you’re interested in buying a Samsung UA55C9000.  The sales person will take you to the TV section show you a shiny new Samsung UA55C9000 55” LED TV, tell you the price and tell you how much better your life will be with it sitting in your living room.

Now try the same thing online.  Go to Google.com.au and search for Samsung UA55C9000:

Out of all of the retailers in Australia, how many are interested in selling you a Samsung UA55C9000 TV, e.g. how many have an Google AdWords ad? Only one, the Electrical Discounter.  An honourable mention to price comparison sites, Get Price and Price Dumper and a thanks for playing to Optus with an ad for the right brand but wrong product.  With the hundreds of millions of advertising dollars spent each year by the major electrical retailers, where are the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith and Myer?  Or for that matter, where are the leading Australian online retailers like Deals Direct, OO.com.au and Dstore?

Read more at digitalministry.com

Facebook ad formats getting more social

Facebook ad formats getting more social

(via www.clickz.com)

Facebook has launched “Sponsored Stories” ads, which let marketers utilize messages from their “likes” community for paid promotions on the site. The ads contain word-for-word Facebook user posts, while appearing in the right-hand column with other paid promotions on the website.

A bevy of launch partners have already readied campaigns involving the new ads. They include Coca Cola, Levi’s, and Anheuser Busch, as well as nonprofits like Amnesty International, UNICEF, Autism Speaks, and Women for Women.

Jim Squires, marketing products manager for the Palo Alto, CA-based social giant, told ClickZ that Sponsored Stories will be available on the site’s self-service platform in a comparable manner to other ads. They will be purchased on an impression- or per-click basis, he said.

For a brand like Starbucks, an endorsement that looks like this:


May appear in an ad unit like this:


“Essentially, the recommended approach is to use [them] in conjunction with a campaign you are already running,” Squires said. “So, you say, ‘I want to add Sponsored Stories to this.’ In that case, when a Sponsored Story is able to show, it is showing [instead of] the controlled advertiser message.”

Read more at www.clickz.com

Interlaken (Switzerland) '08

Interlaken (Switzerland) '08


We arrive in the soaking rain about 10pm and start trekking to the accommodation by foot… the place was very hard to find but we finally got there around 11pm… soaked.

So we quickly sorted out our accommodation (found out that we needed to pay an extra $9 per night), showered and got our beds.

We ventured downstairs to find that there were some Yanks and Brits drinking and talking. Within no time we were getting on splendidly, and getting into trouble for the noise.


We awake to find that the mountains are still covered in cloud and its still raining. After eating a huge European breakie (and acquiring some for lunch) we headed into town to check it out.

“Swiss Art and Craft” we soon discovered means expensive watches, knives and chocolate. So we still decided to browse all the Swiss Art and Craft, taking free samples. After walking around town, checking it out we finally decided to go white water rafting with the Brits later that afternoon.

The white water rafting people picked us up from our hostel and we headed off to the white water rafting base. Once at the start of the rapids we were teamed up with a Yank and Canadian to form a team full of testosterone! You can imagine the outcome of our team (with our Canadian guide too) up against a similar team… lots of racing and outdoing each other. We rocked though!

After getting our free beer we were dropped back to the accommodation, cooked dinner (2 minute noodles) and soon found ourselves in the middle of a game of Kings Cup.


Ben and I headed out with the other Aussie (Chris) to go hiking. We were recommended to go to the Trummelbach Falls so Ben and I went there. The Canadian and American that we met the day before were at the falls too (with a couple more randoms).


The falls were absolutely incredible! It is hard to explain them in a way that does them justice but the long and short of it is a waterfall that had cut through the side of the mountain, resulting in a series of chutes that the water took inside caves to make its way to the bottom.

We then headed back to finally go hike a mountain, although it was still too cloudy to see anything. Only half an hour into it my migraine was getting very bad and I started to lose vision and feel ill. So I turned around and headed back to the train station to get some food into me (I hadn’t eaten properly for some time).

Eventually I got back to the accommodation and slept for a few hours until my head started to clear a bit.

When we started to think about dinner we realised that everything was closed because it was a Sunday! Eventually we found out that the camp ground next to us had a convenience store so we picked up some pasta and pasta sauce.

After eating dinner, talking for a while and swimming in glacier water (4 degrees) I made the break for bed to try and get rid of my headache.


Time to use the 30 minutes of free internet from McDonalds, use the postal service and of course…buy some Swiss chocolate! After coming back from town I took the obligatory skinny dip in glacier water in a quiet part of the lake, 5 min from our hostel. I only lasted about 10 minutes before seriously fearing for my future reproductive capabilities.

Back in the hostel we started playing table tennis! I eventually started to get into the swing of it and not play too badly for a rumb dower…holding my own at least. This lasted for quite a while before we went and started on dinner. Another round of pasta and sauce…this time with a bit of meat and veg!!

After that we somehow ended up doing physical challenges as you do! The one I am most proud of as usual was my limbo ability. Even with my horribly ruined spine I managed to beat the shortest guy (5ft) and all the girls (one was a dancer). Ahh… trust the rowers to end up with a physical challenge!

In the end, absolutely everyone had lost something or another and ended up having to skinny dip in the freezing lake! Haha, at least I knew what to expect! It seemed like that’s all Corbs and Ben wanted to do all day was to make people get naked in the lake, so they finally had their way – good thing it was pitch black!


Finally after 4 days in Switzerland the clouds lift and we can see the mountains that surround us! What an amazing, beautiful place!!

Just in time for us to pack our bags and get on the train to Munich (or Munchen as the Germans say).

Digital Cinema Evaluated – Essay

Digital Cinema Evaluated – Essay

I’ve been doing an essay on Digital Cinema, there is some pretty interesting stuff out there and how it is probably going to affect us… I would really love to see cinemas start to screen more alternative content (e.g. live concerts and independent films!!!) and I look forward to the idea that small independent cinemas might pop up with interesting content (Mac Uni already screens stuff in one of their lecture halls).

Its a long read and not quite an interesting journaistic style, but I’ll leave it here for future reference.

The rise of digital independence

The introduction of digital technology arguably represents the most exhaustive technical and social changes in the history of cinema, greater than both sound and colour (Ford 2005). In analysing who benefits from the proliferation of digital cinema, it is helpful to review it in the context of the traditional film making process and then to define digital cinema in regard to this. Developments in digital media are having a significant impact on the spectrum of cinema production (filming, editing and effects) and distribution (printing, shipping and screening). This results in both positive and negative ramifications that can be addressed in relation to a number of recent Australian films with digital processes.

The world of cinema began to change with the advent of films like the original “Star Wars“ (Associated Press 2005) which pioneered and developed digital editing and rendering techniques. This explosion has led not only to digital film industry but also the proliferation of technologies as video games, DVDs and video podcasts (Manovich 2007). Digital technology has also allowed the possibility of interactivity (e.g. alternate endings on DVDs), however this essay will instead focus on the feature/short film productions which are designed to be projected in a theatre.

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