Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goodbye WebMarketCentral; Hello Webbiquity!

Webbiquity logoAfter four and a half years and 440 posts, this will be the final entry on the WebMarketCentral blog. But fear not loyal fans of this blog (yes, all three of you)—I will continue to write about b2b marketing, social media, SEO, interactive PR and whatever else pops into my mind at the new Webbiquity blog.

To those who've enjoyed and/or been enlightened by this blog, thank you for your support, and I'll hope you'll continue reading my new blog. For those who have followed WebMarketCentral in an RSS reader, here is the new feed:

http://webbiquity.com/feed/

For those subscribed to this blog by email: in order to avoid any risk of spamming, I will not be moving subscribers over automatically. You'll need to resubscribe on the new blog (but it's easier than on this one).

If you link to this blog (bless you!), please update your link to:

The Webbiquity Blog
http://webbiquity.com

I'd be most grateful.

Why the change?

When I first created this blog and the companion website at webmarketcentral.com, having a separate blog and site seemed to make sense strategically. Now it's just confusing. Also, the development platforms chosen—Blogger for this blog, FrontPage for the website—were solid picks in early 2005, but aren't the tools I would use, or recommend, today. WordPress is now a powerful and flexible enough platform to accomplish everything I was formerly trying to do with two separate web venues.

I'll continue to write on similar topics, but with more of a focus on using SEO, social media, content marketing and other techniques to maximize individual and organizational online presence, as well as taking advantage of increasing interactivity to make and expand connections with customers, prospects and industry influencers online.

Thanks again for reading WebMarketCentral, and I hope you'll follow me to the new blog. I look forward to your comments and feedback.

*****


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Monday, January 11, 2010

7 Reasons Every Business Needs to Twitter

This post has been moved to 7 Reasons Every Business Needs to be on Twitter on the Webbiquity blog.

*****


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Six Ways to Produce Online Video on a Budget

Online video is hot. (Yeah, and people gamble in casinos, I know; what a profound observation of the blatantly obvious.) According to Compete.com, YouTube had nearly 86 million unique visitors and more than half a billion site visits last month. Business-friendly video sites like Vimeo, Viddler and Blip.tv are also seeing impressive traffic growth.

But small businesses who want to take advantage of online video can be caught in a quandary. Shooting a basic home-video style piece with a Flip Mino or Samsung SMX-F34 (my personal favorite YouTube-friendly camcorder) may not project sufficient sophistication, while a professionally-produced video costing $8,000-$10,000 or more is simply not in the budget.

Here are six options for producing reasonably high-quality videos, or at least something beyond standard home video camera fare, at a modest cost.

Convert PowerPoint to Flash

While Flash programming is a challenging and specialized skill few business people probably want to master, almost everyone can use PowerPoint. There are several tools available for converting manual or self-running animated PowerPoint presentations to Flash, with or without narration. Robin Good reviews three tools here: E.M. PowerPoint Video Converter ($46), Lecturnity ($215), and iSpring PRESENTER. Other options include PresentationPro's PowerCONVERTER ($149) and PowerFlashPoint ($199). Your best bet is take advantage of the free trials offered by most vendors to find out which product works best for you.

Capture Screen Action with Camtasia or Captivate

Both Camtasia Studio ($299 from TechSmith) and Captivate ($799 from Adobe) enable you to capture any on-screen action (e.g. a software demo, PowerPoint presentation, online video) along with narration, edit the production, and output the final result to a variety of common file formats including Flash. Captivate offers greater options for interactivity, but also a significantly higher price tag. Either will work for basic screen-to-video production.

Jing

For really limited budgets—and simple needs—Jing Pro provides the ability to capture any on-screen action (including web video), add commentary, and upload it to YouTube with one button. The negligible $14.95 annual fee even includes a free 2GB Screencast account. Editing capabilities are limited, but the price makes it worth checking out for straightforward needs.

Faculte

Though technically more of a video distribution platform than a production tool (similar to Flimp), Faculte does offer some useful video assembly functions, such as the ability to upload video and images; arrange the elements; add narration; and add notes, drawings and annotations to the video mix. Pricing starts at free, which includes full video editing/production features, but is limited to 200 views. The $50/month base plan allows 4,000 views, plus adds advanced viewer tracking, the ability to use a unique URL for the video, and faster load times than the free option.

ArticleVideoRobot

Got the need for speed? ArticleVideoRobot will turn any written article into a narrated video in minutes, no camera needed. The basic package ($47/month) provides basic editing capabilities; one-click distribution to 17+ video sites including YouTube, Metacafe, Break, Vimeo, etc.; and a choice of "human-like" voices to narrate your video. The Pro package ($97/month) offers higher video quality, a Flash output option, and an advanced video editing tool. Since you aren't recording your own narration, the results can be...interesting. Check out a few sample videos here.

SlideSix

With SlideSix, you can upload a presentation (e.g. from PowerPoint or OpenOffice), record audio and narration, attach external video files, and create a widget to share your SlideSix presentations on your blog. Though editing, distribution and formatting options are more limited than with other tools, SlideSix is free.

With the explosive proliferation of online video, the key to making your video stand out is creativity. To maximize the impact of your video production, think beyond conventional ideas both in terms of your content and your video production options.

*****


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Social Media Marketing, Part 4

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: Social Media Marketing, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): SEO Guidance, Part 4

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: SEO Tips, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Twitter Tips and Tactics, Part 2

This content has been moved to Best Twitter Tips, Tools and Tactics of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Blogging for Business, Part 2

This content has been moved to Best Business Blogging Tips of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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