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Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Draw.chat free online whiteboard (etc) collaboration tool

Screengrab of draw.chat's homepage.

Draw.chat is an innovative collaborative progressive web app, or PWA, which allows users to communicate in visual drawings as well as through text chat, audio, videos and by uploading files.

Progressive web apps are technically normal web pages available through modern browsers such as Google Chrome, but they look more like something users would see on a mobile. They allow all kinds of tricks that regular web pages wouldn’t too, such as being able to draw a response in a chat window, swap files and work on a mobile as seamlessly as a PC.

Draw.chat describes itself as a free online whiteboard, but the site also allows video conferencing and text messages with offline notification. The video conferencing side allows images and files to be dragged and dropped into the chat, while the text messaging option will suit those more used to chatrooms than video conferencing.

Draw.chat is powered by Sketchpad.pro and has an extensive lexicon of keyboard shortcuts available for Windows and Mac systems, These cover all aspects of tool use, navigation and editing functions. It looks fairly simple to use, whether on the elderly Mac laptop I own or my more modern Android phone.

A meeting is initiated via the Start Meeting button available on most pages of the site. It’s as simple as that. Collaboration is easy, whether users write, draw or speak their ideas by preference. I can see this PWA appealing to the severely dyslexic people I have worked with, who were able to understand pictures much quicker than words, as well as those who prefer to speak to someone face to face and people like me who prefer words on a page.

Yes, there have been drawing apps before which have a chat element; the similarly named DrawChat or Draw Something (both 2012 releases), for instance. But this isn’t an app. It doesn’t appear in Google Play. Users simply type draw.chat into their browser and the site will load. On a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile, it looks and works the same. And unlike many apps, this PWA has a solid business purpose. It can bring together collaborators from around the world in a couple of clicks, and allow them to share ideas across different media simply and quickly, crossing boundaries of language and expression.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wizdiary - bringing even more customers and businesses together two years on



Wizdiary video 2017.
YouTube link provided and used with permission.


When I first wrote about Wizdiary, almost two years ago in June 2015 (WizDiary.com, bringing customers and businesses together online), it was a very new company which didn’t even have a complete website yet. It could almost have been called a ‘concept’ rather than a fully fledged business at that stage.

Wizdiary’s USP back then was a series of innovative multilingual YouTube videos explaining the business’ aims to provide a social-media-style gateway for small and medium sized companies to connect online with their potential worldwide customers. The idea was to allow businesses to advertise for new clients by showing photographs of their products or sharing examples of their work, almost like an online version of the newspaper back pages classified advertising service.

Two years later, I am pleased to say that the company is now fully operational and doing well. Businesses can advertise via the Billboard and Posted Jobs areas to bring their skills to the attention of potential clients. Billboard allows businesses to post images of goods or projects to share with those in a particular location, while Posted Jobs allows companies to advertise for specific staff or requirements for a particular project.

This simple move of filtering traffic has helped to streamline the site and point users in the right direction. Registration is free and a Billboard entry is required as part of the normal profile setup to educate future clients about the company behind the advertisement. The explanatory video for Wizdiary's Billboard and Posted Jobs areas emphasises Wizdiary’s social side while the updated introductory video goes into more detail about the clientele-locating strengths of the company. It explains the simplicity of the site and the chance for advertisers to showcase unique selling points, special products, experience or talents using photographs and existing work.

Wizdiary’s videos make the point that not everyone is looking for the same thing. A company which specialises in offering simple solutions at lean prices to small business owners and startups is not likely to be looking for a client who wants all the bells and whistles from a vastly experienced provider. A lean entrepreneur is not likely to choose the most expensive business, because their prices will be beyond a small budget and their solution could well be too complicated for the limited interest a smaller business is likely to get. Similarly, depending on the market, not everyone will want a University-educated worker; some may prefer an experienced seller who has fewer qualifications.

All kinds of people and companies can use Wizdiary to be found by new clients, connect with like minded people with similar skills and expertise or to find people with the knowledge they need. That’s the beauty of Wizdiary. It is totally adaptable to individual circumstances. If you’re a business owner who is prepared to give a new worker a break, or an experienced provider wishing to use your experience to help new businesses get off the ground, Wizdiary has a place for you.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Again Studios: explainer video production company

Again Studios, explainer video production company
Image provided and used with permission

Again Studios make individual and stylish animated ‘explainer’ videos to meet every need. For many people, a video has a more immediate impact than an article, flyer or other advertisement, especially when it is created specifically for an individual client and audience rather than being a cookie-cutter catch-all boring marketing blurb.

Again Studios’ videos are designed to sit unobtrusively on the front page of any website, not annoying potential customers by using autostart or expanding to full screen immediately the website opens. The one on Again Studios’ own homepage shows a simple stickman character explaining the great thing about having a video on your website. Again Studios’ main office is in Kalka near Chandigarh, India, and they also have a satellite office in Stockton, California. The team at Again Studios will bring the full force of their combined talent to bear on creating a short and snappy explainer video to suit any scenario.

The Portfolio page has over 30 examples of the kinds of videos Again Studios can produce. They are all in the same simple, uncluttered caricature style, often with a slick US mid-Atlantic accented voiceover. Previous clients have included IT companies, a recruitment portal, a freelance skills marketing site and providers of various software solutions. Many of the videos are aimed at small businesses or self employed freelancers, and are selling other SMEs to them as ways to simplify their business administration.

Again Studios also provide voiceovers in other commonly spoken languages including Spanish, Hindi, French and German. Videos generally take around a month to create and typically run for between one and two minutes. Short and sweet, but a video of this length can easily get any client’s message across without laboring the point. Quotes are individual to every customer, with 50% of the cost paid up front and the rest once the video has been completed and delivered to the buyer. The buyer is also at liberty to request revisions, as shown by the comments in the Reviews section. In fact, Ankit’s team at Again Studios have proved themselves versatile and adaptive to many different business video requirements and sectors. Phrases such as ‘professional’, ‘a lot of patience’, ‘highest quality’, ‘good communication’ and ‘responsive’ are just typical of the feedback received.

For small businesses and freelancers who need to give their businesses a kick, or developers wanting to promote their latest app, a short explainer video from Again Studios could be the best way to raise awareness. A link to a video detailing the new product or range can easily be shared on any social media site, included as part of an email signature or added on business cards or print on demand stationery. Once the video has been produced there is no end to the marketing opportunities it can generate. All a buyer has to do is to open dialogue with Again Studios to see how this small but powerful tool can help their business.

Monday, October 19, 2015

DHD Films



DHD Films of Dallas, Texas. Logo supplied and used with permission.


http://dhdfilms.com/4-marketing-tips-to-finish-the-year-with-a-bang/

DHD Films is based in Dallas, Texas. The company, whose initials stand for ‘Dallas HD’, is headed by Hussain and Shezad Manjee, and from Chief Success Officer Hussain to company mascot (and executive squirrel-chaser) Posh, the team are the kind of vibrant, creative mix you would expect to be working at an Emmy-nominated studio. They achieve a 4.9 of 5 rating on Google and were finalists in the 2015 Greater Dallas Better Business Award.

DHD Films is a full service video production and motion graphics studio. These guys will make your videos extra special, whether it's a simple holiday greeting, a client testimonial or a promo for next season's new ranges. They have all kinds of tips and tricks to make the best use of video in your marketing, as shown in their latest blog post Four Marketing Tips to Finish the Year with a Bang

Other topics covered in their blog include how video technology changes us plus tips on using video as a recruitment or training tool. Interspersed with this are posts written by and about the team, highlighting their community involvement and interests outside work as well as aspects of their job.

DHD Films' client roster is impressive. That's what happens when you're Emmy-nominated, I guess. Over the last 15 years, they have worked with many international brands including Mastercard, Four Seasons hotel group, H&M, Microsoft and Jaguar. Under the hashtag of #storyforward, and with the strapline 'Powered by Storytellers', they have highlighted these brands using cutting edge video footage techniques. The company produces many different types of content including 'explainer videos' which cover everything from upcoming theater releases to annual results. As you would expect from a company with great community involvement, the team also produce films for non-profits. These have run from work for civic authorities to promotional videos for community assistance projects and commemorative events. Identity videos are important, getting the word out about events and initiatives, promoting businesses and plans, and scouting for new talent. DHD Films also offers the chance for events to be filmed, and even live streamed, which is a further way to reinforce a brand or organization and its success. Aerial footage, broadcasts and training videos are also within their remit, perhaps unsurprisingly.

More or less whatever a company needs by way of video publicity, DHD Films will work to provide. They're open to dialogue with potential customers and look forward to welcoming more new clients soon.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Klink - Share Content, Get Paid

Klink app logo. Image supplied and used with permission.
This could be interesting. I’m not a video fan and I’m too old to ‘get’ Instagram. Anyway, Instagram is a Facebook company and I don’t ‘get’ that either.

But for those who love those little Vine video clips and share Instagrams the way I share Tweets, the new Klink social media app is a mix of the two. And you get paid for sharing your content too. Well, it was going to happen eventually, after the rise and fall of revshare sites for words, as the fashion moved on to videos and images, so the revshare model would follow.


Interested potential users should be aware that this app requires a 5th generation Apple device running iOS7. My iPod Touch is a 4th generation so stops at version 6.1.6. Shame, because being paid to find out about the fuss surrounding Instagram-style apps would have been fun.


This app is brand new, only available on Apple (no Android version yet as they only launched a month ago). The developers tell me the app supports full screen, high quality photos and video, which makes it easy to capture, share and monetize your still or moving images. Yes, monetize. This app works just like the revshare sites for writers, or YouTube for podcasters, and pays you for sharing your content. This is achieved by including small banner ads with your content and sharing the revenues between all those users whose work has displayed those adverts. The screenshot on the support page link indicates a rate of $1 for 1,000 views which is around the industry average for written or visual content on this new breed of mobile social media. Anyone familiar with the Like system on Facebook will feel right at home here, where a like more or less indicates having viewed the content. A featured post can be purchased for 99 cents, or you can save the money earned from your views and withdraw it at a later date.


If you check the hashtag #klinkapp on Twitter or Instagram, you will see examples of the app in use and find out more about how it works. The latest version is only a couple of days old and features a live feed of all new content and better video quality, including video ads. Even though I can’t download it, it looks from the screenshots as if it should be fairly easy to use, and certainly the comments seem to bear that out. There’s a toggle switch to swipe between video and photo and buttons to like, comment and upload content. Swiping corrects blurred view and the piggy bank icon allows you to share the app and invite friends to join too. Naturally, the main idea is that you share your content across other social media sites. Facebook may not take too kindly to monetized content from other sites being shared on feeds, but Instagram and Twitter seem to be pretty cool about it, at least judging from the site’s popularity on those platforms.


videoOf course, Klink app is new, and despite serious testing there have still been reports of bugs. The developers hope they have ironed many of them out with the latest update but comments, moans, gripes and suggestions are all welcome via the support email. Early adopters are eligible for a Super Elite Klink Creator badge, and should email the developers for more information on applying.

Now, if the developers could just release an Android version, I would be able to give it a really good test and report back in a month or so with my findings. Anyone fancy seeing photographs of the neighborhood cats?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Orly Lobel at TEDx UCIrvine: Too Many Secrets and Too Few Sparks



Orly Lobel gave a TEDx talk entitled 'Too Many Secrets and Too Few Sparks' a month or so ago. It is around 15 minutes in length and deals with the idea that today's culture of protection of ideas is not allowing the spread of creativity.

Orly believes that this attitude of secrecy is affecting all areas of life, not just technological innovation. Developers in many fields are bound by nondisclosure agreements, copyright and non-compete clauses.


From my own experience, writers often have to sign nondisclosure agreements even when writing short articles. Vast sums of money can be charged for copyright, with hundreds of dollars/pounds/Euros being earned by authors for even a short extract from a successful book or research paper. Damages awarded to companies for intellectual property and trademark infringement cases can run into billions of pounds, as demonstrated by the long running Apple v Samsung court case.


Orly feels that all this protectiveness is throwing great creative ideas off balance and that we are simply not sharing enough sparks these days. It's something where she has had personal experience. Her background is in military intelligence, so she was trained in keeping secrets. During her time in the military, she was unable to tell friends and family about her role, telling the audience that she used the line 'I could tell you but then I would have to kill you'. The military is good at keeping secrets secret, encrypting information and only sharing what needs to be shared.


Military life taught Orly and her fellow recruits about many fields where information could be shared but did not always need to be. The recruits were encouraged to build trusted networks to take beyond the military, and many companies today trace their origins to these networks. They operate on a simple premise; secrets are kept secret while all the rest of their information is in the public domain.


The only problem is that there are people who would like everything to be in the public domain. This leads to situations where talented programmers in various industries are being arrested and charged for sharing secrets. This is not just Wikileaks-style sharing, this is as simple as someone emailing a work document to their home email.


The FBI tells us that the risk of spreading knowledge is as dangerous as terrorism these days. If information that should have been kept secret finds its way to someone with a use for it, intentionally or by accident, then it could certainly be turned against the originating company or even their country.


Orly goes on to explain that major companies, previously feverishly innovative, are now more protective of information. In some cases, she opines, they are spending more time, money and effort enclosing and protecting their existing innovation than on new research and development. Copyright is now held well beyond the creator's lifetime. Anything in the fields of music, art, and literature is now protected by a copyright term of the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.


The problem is that in some environments, research and ideas are like rabbits - they will breed no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Universities are particularly fertile ground, and ideas almost appear out of the air to manifest themselves on paper. Orly suggests that 'knowledge spread is power'; those who have the ability to spread knowledge will acquire the power. No wonder universities and Silicon Valley are so productive! Some companies, though, are stagnating in their industry, they need to show their hand as leaders. The only way to do that is to share knowledge.


Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has decided to share the technology knowledge behind the cars. He has made all of the company’s development open source so that everyone, even competitors, can benefit. Often, companies which have adopted this strategy have experienced rapid growth when the knowledge is shared. Orly summarizes it as ‘loose lips build ships’, meaning that knowledge is not just for entrepreneurs but for everyone.


The best way to engage with knowledge, at least for the scientific community, is to work together. Knowledge is not a weapon of terror, but rather a tool for engagement, according to Orly Lobel. Connectivity and networking is the best way to win the global talent war these days, she reckons. Given the multinational representation in most labs and teaching hospitals, that wouldn’t seem too far off the mark. This multicultural, multilingual, multi-influence mix harks back to the likes of 15th Century Florence. More recently, Hollywood, Nashville and Silicon Valley have become hotbeds of creativity and knowledge sharing, therefore also power centres of the same. We are sharing, not enclosing, innovation; creating the next generation of inventors and trend setters. This is the right balance between secrets and sparks - enough secrets to make it interesting, enough sparks to drive invention.


The Tower of Babel (or as Orly calls it, 'Babylon') is an allegory of not being able to work together. We speak different languages, metaphorically and physically, and even if we have the same ideas we are sometimes unable to communicate them to each other. Destroying the Tower of Babel will allow us to communicate effectively, hide or share ideas accordingly and learn from each other where possible.

Friday, June 26, 2015

WizDiary.com, bringing customers and businesses together online

 WizDiary.com, matching businesses to clients around the world.
Video shared with permission.

WizDiary.com is a new online business for clients to find and work with businesses of all sizes. It is so new that there is no website as yet (although it is under development at WizDiary.com) and all the currently available information about the business is found in a set of multi lingual animated videos on YouTube.

So, what is Wizdiary.com? It is a free online business social network offering a gateway for small and medium sized companies globally to connect with their customers no matter where they are in the world. The video describes the firm as a company which provides professional services to other businesses, and its aim is to act as a platform for organizations and individuals to work one-on-one or collaboratively as a group. Once a company’s user profile is completed, the users can upload photographs of the products or services the business provides, giving potential clients a clearer idea of the range of services on offer. When the client knows what they are getting, they will be far happier, and may even feel that they are getting better value for money.

Wizdiary.com is essentially customer oriented, aiming to enhance communication between clients and customers, leading to more satisfied and better informed customers. This platform is designed to appeal to all levels of company in many different fields, from professionals to mom-and-pop style small family firms and work at home enterprises.

As a business owner, with Wizdiary.com, your clientele can see the difference between you and your competitors through photographs and examples of your work, designs, projects or expertise. You can showcase your skills, highlight any unique selling points about your services or highlight any specific qualities you believe you can bring to a task. A photograph speaks a thousand words, as the saying goes. You can have your portfolio not just speaking for you, but shouting out your abilities from the rooftops, a really vivid visual image.

It is said that sometimes, a potential client may well choose someone with day-to-day experience of a situation over someone who holds a University degree. It could be that the client is looking for someone with specific knowledge, rather than theoretical learning. You will have the opportunity with Wizdiary to highlight why your particular brand of knowledge can benefit your clients, and gain an audience and recognition as a result.

Wizdiary.com aims to bring customers and businesses together in one location and offers an easy to use template to allow you to start showcasing your business quickly and easily. You can reach a global audience, and maybe even break into new markets as a result. If you feel your business needs greater visibility and a wider audience, then Wizdiary.com could be for you. Sign up today, create your profile, upload your photographs and watch your business grow.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Perelmuters Studio, New Jersey: Wedding and Celebration Photographs and Video

Perelmuters Studio; wedding and event photography with an edge
Photograph used with permission of Perelmuters Studio.

Your wedding is your big day. The photographs and increasingly, the video too, are important parts of the experience and provide memories to cherish and share. The audio visual experience has evolved into as important a part of the ceremony today as the photographer was for earlier generations.

With Perelmuters Studio in New Jersey, you can have all that and more. These days, the lead up to your wedding is as important as the day itself. Owner Alex Perelmuters recognizes that and has packages available to make the most of the planning for your wedding, capturing the engagement party as well as the ceremonial trying on of the dress and new suit for posterity, among other options.

On the day, Perelmuters' staff will work with you throughout to give your guests something to remember. You can have a photographer snapping guests as they arrive at the wedding or reception then have individual printed copies distributed later as favors. You could even opt to show a slideshow or video highlights during the reception.

Alex Perelmuters has been in the business of capturing weddings since 1984. That's a considerable wealth of experience. The family company, which now also involves his own wife, introduced videos a decade ago and are constantly innovating. Their team of photojournalists can give a distinctive twist to your images and the video operators are always on the lookout for that special defining moment. They don’t just cover weddings, either, but are happy to quote for any large event requiring video coverage or photographic memories. The Perelmuters website has a wealth of information on topics to consider for your video, whether it be to celebrate a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, anniversary or birthday party.

Much of Perelmuters’ business comes from word of mouth recommendations. That means happy guests pleasantly surprised at the way they were treated by Perelmuters’ staff at a ceremony or function or friends and coworkers commenting positively on the way the photographs and event video have turned out. Prices run from $1,500 and the various packages include several hours of video, a wireless microphone at the ceremony, a highlights reel and 3 DVD master copies in Blu-ray format.

The way social media sharing works these days, you could find yourself viewing a Perelmuters video without knowing it when an online friend shares a snippet of their New Jersey located wedding video. If you're looking around for ideas and recommendations for a company to capture your wedding, retirement party or anniversary get together, this could be all you need to decide to contact Perelmuters Studio, New Jersey.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

CHARLES - Teardrops Start to Taste

CHARLES - Teardrops Start to Taste

You’ve heard of people who write their way out of trouble (Jeffrey Archer and J K Rowling both had money problems when they came up with their first successful novel), while Cambridge Satchel Company founder Julie Deane wanted to make enough money to be sure she could send both her children to a private fee-paying school.

It applies to singer-songwriters too, as amply proved by CHARLES.

"Teardrops Start to Taste" is a lush, string-laden ballad in the manner of Boyzone, Enrique Iglesias or Robbie Williams. It is written for CHARLES’ wife, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and in memory of his father, who died recently. The doctors say there isn’t much they can do for his wife, so CHARLES turned to his first love, music. He was an active jazz and opera singer in the 90s, he tells me, and is now returning to music after a 20 year hiatus, with the hope of making his wife’s remaining time with him as comfortable as possible. He is emphatic that he does not want anyone setting up a crowdfunding page for his wife, but he would rather like people to share his music and buy a copy of the song. Listen to it, feel uplifted, and you’ll understand why he would rather you buy his music than simply contributing a sum to a charity page. CHARLES’ voice is as strong as you would expect from someone with his experience; powerful, on key, in tune and able to soar over the backing track with ease. He holds a strong note steadily while still being able to play the piano, a skill I have always envied. I can either sing or play, but never managed both successfully at the same time.

CHARLES has established a YouTube channel and tells viewers there will be more content in a few weeks. In the meantime, there is “Teardrops Start to Taste”, described in several comments as a song with the power of healing. The audio is available on iTunes and Amazon and the video on YouTube can be shared across all the usual channels. The video features a pair of dancers, first the ballerina alone, then later joined by a male, with whom she manages to pull off some amazing feats of strength holding. The video flips between CHARLES playing Steinway piano in a panelled room with the ballerina in the background and a warehouse where the ballerina is dancing alone. This is where the male dancer is also seen towards the end of the video, after the ballerina has withdrawn to a corner. Viewers might suspect that the whole piece is about love and loss, and yet finding your true love again. Take a look at the filigree cross on CHARLES’ piano and there is a small figurine entwined around the bottom of it, perhaps representative of his wife.

The comments and views so far have mainly been from CHARLES’ friends, and having heard the song (and watched the video) a number of times now, I can see why. The recording was made across several continents, with musicians in New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Germany, the US and the UK. Despite its diverse creation, it is a song which really should be successful, as it is worthy of a place alongside the chart hits from those televised music competition winners who always seem to grab the limelight. If only because of its history and the reason for its writing, "Teardrops Start to Taste" deserves to be downloaded across the globe, so that CHARLES and his wife can make the most of their remaining time together.