Building a Niche Website-

 Building a Niche Website

 Building a Niche Website

I ventured to the Adtech conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco this week. My goal was to find out more about monetizing the new niche website ventures we have embarked on. While I was there I saw a few folks I admire;
David Spark my techie nerd celebrity friend who always is a great resource for whats going on in the tech world. He also is a great guy and I always enjoy hearing his take on everything. (except my beard) He was just on Cranky Geeks this week also spewing his tech knowledge for the World Wide Web.
Pete Fulford who is a creative writer who is really talented and a great guy I have worked with for years. Pete has just completed a fantastic production of his own – his new son young Oscar Fulford. Hs wife Kate Fulford has been a world of help on our new Niche website which is fashion based.
Tim Street of French Maid TV. I have been reading Tims blog and met him a few times at conferences. I have learned a ton from him. I ran my idea about the site and in my exuberance to talk to him I walked away feeling like a boob. This whole internet celebrity thing is kinda crazy. I know all about him (or what he writes in his blog and gives in his speeches like the podcast academy this year) and he doesn’t know me at all so I always feel funny. Not like a clown funny but like a job interview. As we were talking Rob Walch of PodCast411
came walking up. A few years back I tried to push podcasting on my clients and had Rob featured as our Podcast Kahuna. Sadly I think we did one small project together. But it was fun to see him. It was interesting to hear him asking Tim if he would be coming to work for Wizard /Libsyn where Rob now works.

I really wanted to talk to the Commission Junction folks because they have several of the companies we wanted to feature on our niche site for affiliate marketing. Since we are building our site to maximize our revenue (wow did I just type that) they rejected us because we dont havea proven website. It was great to chat with the reps at the booth they were very helpful and promised to help us navigate the build.

As for Adtech I walked around the floor to find Video monetizing help. I honestly have to say I saw some cool things. But most are so new they seem to be promising the world but have no track record. Most were in Beta and just getting the word out about their companies.

Here is some companies I saw from best (in my view) to not so best. I of course did not see everything and if you saw something cool please comment here or email me at

I based this on the ads design and unrelated non targeted ads.

1) Adjustables- I spoke with Neal Blaak who guided me through the different Ad insertion models they have. One worry I have is the ads being to obtrusive to the viewer and Neal had many different options. I could also see how this might be a good option for sponsorship ads for events. My other concern is unrelated ads and Neal assured me that this was not a probelm we could direct any ads we wanted to the video.
they have lower third or smaller overlay, ticker text overlay, A great upper right animated logo which is click-able and a picture in picture option. It also works with windows media files, microsoft silverlight and flash players. I look forward to working with Neal and his team.

2) VideoClix- Had two distinct impressions of Videoclix. Really cool idea and this isn’t ready yet. The first time I rolled by the booth I really enjoyed their Entourage demo. You can click on everything in the video and buy it or go to where you can buy it or get info on it. For example Kevin Dillon is sitting in a convertible. You can click on Kevin and get information on the actor. You can click on the car and see where the car can be bought. Click on Kevins t-shirt and you can go buy his shirt. So you get the idea. The video pauses when this happens. I walked away thinking this is perfect. Then I walked around formulated some questions and went back. The next rep was excited and I asked to see more demos or other sites that use the technology for sales. Well they didnt have any yet. Plus the affiliate program wasn’t online yet. All of these things aren’t big deals but when the site crashed whie he was showing it to me I understood this is really new and not ready to use yet. I think this will be awesome –>eventually. Actually, my cousin Eastman worked on this kind of technology for TV a few years back.

3) Aditall- Aditall is designed to put video producers like our company out of business. (I jest) It is really a cool affordable way small companies can go online and make video commercials have a video presense for websites etc. The commercials are generic and you can put your logo at the end. Clever idea. I am thinking of shooting videos to just put up there. It is a lot like istock photo. Again talking to the sales lady I felt like she didnt have a grasp of what the site did completely because they are so new. They are aligned with Google TV network. (I dont know what this is yet- will post about it later) Again I think this is a cool idea but oh so new.
Steps for ad it all- Advertiser selects a video clip for customization then its customized with soundtracks, audio, narration and graphics, then the payment rights are completed and the Advertiser can download the clip (s)

I also have a few more to chat about but this post is getting way to long. And I cant write like David Spark or Pete Fulford.

All in all Adtech was a good time. Check out the videos on David Sparks blog. One even features my beard. I am looking forward to Web 2.0 next week. I just signed up. If you are going Ping me lets meetup.

Mrs Sandman!

I highlighted The Sandman yesterday but then thanks to a reader Pete Fulford we have Mrs Sandman (no relation to Mr Sandman) Ilana Yahav !

She does the same thing as Mr.Sandman working on a glass table the images she does to music tell a story. It is projected behind her on a large screen (s)

Think of the options…openings for conferences, parties, videos.

New Media Question -poised to LinkedIn

As we move into a more of New Media centric world I asked a question on today.
My question was:

What are the elements of your last New Media marketing plan? Which of these elements brought more call to action from your intended audience?

This comes from having a long conversation with Kent Jones about the ways New Media can be used to hype products, to start conversations virally and virtually. I wondered what sort of tools or elements people were using and what was the most effective.
The answers I received were interesting.

Pete Fulford a writer I know said. “Poop Poetry”

David Spark of Spark Media Solutions who recently wrote a great article “12 Principles of New Media” wrote this to my questions:

Well obviously, more nudity.

That’s a big d’uh.

But to answer your question seriously bud, most of my elements are spelled out in my last few articles that I emailed to you. My general theory is as follows:

1. Create content that’s targeted to your intended audience. So if your audience reads a ton of blogs, go there. If they’re video watchers, go there. If they expect a certain level of quality, do it. If they expect a more informal communication, do that. It’s important to understand what they expect and communicate on that level.

2. Go where they already are. If they’re reading TechCrunch, then become a part of that community.

3. Be as transparent as possible. And keep communicating. Nothing in new media happens overnight. It takes time.

I think David hit the nail on the head. He also gives his audience what they want. If you go to his web page (which I recommend you do) he gives the 12 Principles in a PDF (written) a podcast (audio) and a video (visual) formats. Something for everyone. This is the way of the future. Audiences want it when they want it and how they want it.

Roxanne Darling of Beachwalks with Rox and Bizzy Cast said this:

The main point I would put on the table is that though the tools may be free/cheap, the real investment is in time and leadership. It takes a dedicated person who is outgoing and creative, and willing to talk into the ether for a measurable period of time before expecting results.

This type of person is not that easy to find. The checklist ideally includes:
– outgoing personality
– technologically inclined (though this is the most trainable piece)
– willing and happy to work independently
– able to reach out to others without expectations
– creative in a very conversational way
– curious and able to learn by watching others and adapting (this takes a mindset where you can observe the underlying structures, not be distracted by the content of the discussion)
– it really helps if the person is literate in the underlying topic that is the raison d’etre for the SN group.
– ability to work with conflict and ability to be ignored without taking it personally. (This involves understanding web user psychology – 95% plus are lurkers and people can be much harsher and more reactionary than in face to face encounters.)

In my experience, the best intentions and set up often fail if there is not a pied piper committed for the long haul to make it happen.

Rox makes some great points and I agree with her that leadership is the most important in getting New Media initiatives off the ground and keep driving it. Check out the Bizzy Cast for more New Media info.