Everything looks like a nail Streamline project management with Twitter-like corporate tool Yammer

Posted by maggie.hunsucker December 2, 2008 at 2:52 pm

These days, it might seem like a luxury to get everyone in your company in the same room.

With a service called Yammer, getting all your departments, offices, telecommuters, and contractors on the same page just got a lot easier.

Yammer is part social network, part microblogging service, part Twitter – repackaged and re-imagined for the business class. At its core, Yammer is designed to help employees share status updates; naturally, the “what are you working on?” feature, the equivalent of a Facebook status or Twitter tweet, is a key ingredient. From your Yammer homepage, you can see what all the employees in your network are working on and follow conversations and updates on individual topics in your personal feed. You can ask co-workers questions, share links and files, or track the progress of a project. Yammer archives all your company activity and topic tagging makes conversations easily searchable – a handy tool if a new employee needs to get up to speed on an active project.

Creating a Yammer account is free and easy; the service identifies workers by their email address and routes them to a private corporate network (i.e. only @feedgrowth.com addresses can join my Yammer network). Administrative tools like member and content management, as well as custom appearances (colors and logos) are available for $1/month per admin member, with bulk pricing available for larger networks.

You can sign-up for mobile Yammer and receive text message updates. The service also offers both Blackberry & iPhone applications, letting users view and post messages from their smartphone. Blackberry users can download Yammer from their mobile browser; the iPhone version is available in the App Store.

Yammer was born out of one office's necessity. They saw a hole in the market, where social networking and web 2.0 technologies didn't really address the needs of the enterprise-class, and designed Yammer as the answer. They must be on to something as Yammer took the top prize in the TechCrunch50 start-up competition.

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  Video drone Host & share video across your company with Google Video for business

Posted by tom klein September 8, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Chances are, your company has a video library, but it’s on a shelf somewhere instead of online. The cost of managing and hosting videos in house has held many companies back. And while sites like YouTube and Vimeo are free, do you really want to post your company earnings call video next to the latest animal sensation on the internet (spaghetti cat, anyone?).

Now you can host and share videos on your own domain with Google Video for business. The latest edition to the Google Apps family gives companies, both big and small, the power to stream high-quality video on their own site – no redirects or links to outside sources needed. And regardless of technical expertise, anyone in your organization can upload and share videos through the application.

Google Video is available through the Premier edition, which costs $50 per user per year. Each user account comes with 3GB of video storage. Just as with YouTube, viewers can add tags, comments, or ratings to video content. Administrators have the ability to make videos public or private access. So whether it’s corporate training videos or your next advertising piece, you choose what videos employees can access.

Unlike YouTube, Google Video gives you improved streaming quality and complete control over your own content. Google is currently offering a free 30-day trial of their Premier Apps edition, so the question is – is your company ready for its closeup?

While the video capabilities are a major draw, the Premier Apps edition comes loaded with cool features and support options for your entire Google product suite.

Check out this demo to see how you browse and view Google Video. Users have the ability to control their video displays, including skipping to specific "chapters" through the scenes browser.

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  Lilliput attacks! Add a virtual spokesperson to your site with Rovion’s InPerson

Posted by tom klein August 27, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Considering how complicated some websites can become and the short attention spans of visitors, it’s only natural to think about providing a guided tour of your “property.”

With Rovion’s InPerson, you can add a “virtual host” to your website, providing an engaging, rich media experience for your visitors. We’ve covered similar products (see We the people… ), but InPerson builds upon the concept and refines it. With InPerson, you can be the virtual host or choose an actor or spokesperson connected with your brand, like this example featuring Emeril Lagasse on the Barnes & Noble website. Your virtual host plays on top of your content and can easily be paused, muted, or deleted by clicking on the actor. Virtual hosts can greet visitors, show them how to navigate your site, or inform them of special offers and promotions.

There is no need to alter your website code or content with InPerson or even download a special media player. The platform works on all browsers and automatically detects user bandwidth, ensuring that videos play smoothly and consistently throughout the virtual host’s presentation and never slows down your site’s load time.

InPerson counts AOL, Fox Interactive, and a host of big names as their clients. Are your site visitors in need of a little guidance?

Your virtual host is more than a pretty face. You can get a full range of user metrics and reporting for your virtual host and monitor the effectiveness of your overall web-based marketing campaign.

The idea here is you can't literally be on your site, pointing visitors in the right direction, but you can provide an interactive (and sometimes alluring) tool that nudges them to the content and sections of your site you want them to pay attention to.

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  Go to slide 93 Record and stream video in real-time to your site with Kyte

Posted by tom klein August 22, 2008 at 11:34 am

Chances are, your sales presentations could use some help. Between the outdated technology (dial-in conference call, anyone?) and the Powerpoint assault, is it any wonder you can’t connect with your targeted buyer?

Now you can have a tool that makes it easier to integrate real video in your presentations. Kyte is a single solution for both multimedia content production and online distribution. With Kyte, you can record video with your cell phone or webcam and stream it in real-time on your website, blog, or mobile device. Kyte is a free platform and requires no prior media experience to work. Want to get credit for those pre-sales store checks? Maybe show that you’ve done your homework by showing what’s happening at your targeted client’s competitor.

To get started, create a user account and name your Kyte channel. Choose your media format (image slide-show, video, or live webcam), and upload the files to Kyte. If you choose, you can edit your materials or add a soundtrack. When your presentation is Steve Jobs-worthy, hit the broadcast button. Kyte provides you with a channel link and the embed code to put the Kyte media player and your channel on any site, even social networks like Facebook and Myspace.

Another cool feature is the ability to alter or add to your presentation as it plays live. Need to add a graph or chart after a key point? No problem. Kyte’s drag-and drop slideshow widget lets you insert text and images on the fly. Want to poll your audience on a topic or field questions? Kyte lets you do that too with an interactive polling feature and multimedia chat windows.

Looking to monetize your personal Kyte channel? Publishers can choose from the Kyte advertiser inventory and offer up display space on their channel. Choose from a pre-roll format, motion graphics, or post-roll images.

Kyte can definitely give your sales presentation some razzle dazzle , but in the end, it's all up to the speaker to hold the floor. Check out our latest minnow- Deliver a presentation like Steve Jobs - to see how the pro's give a worthwhile keynote speech.

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  Bringing sexy back Enliven your video with YouTube Video Annotations

Posted by tom klein August 20, 2008 at 11:26 am

Online video is not the same as TV. It can be much, much more.

One way to make it more is to use a tool like YouTube Video Annotations to add interactive elements to video content. You can jazz up your movies with commentary bubbles, background information, and links to other videos or sites.

To get started, login to your YouTube account or create one (it’s free). Start playing your video and locate the annotations menu on the right side. Choose the appropriate button – speech bubble, note, or spotlight – and activate a pop-up editing screen. Type your text, then simply drag-and-drop the annotation on your video. YouTube provides simple editing tools to fine-tune the timing on your annotations or delete extraneous annotations all together. When finished, save and publish your creation as you would any other YouTube video. Check out this example to see Annotations in action:

Smart marketers have learned to utilize video as a selling tool, often putting real customers and brand enthusiasts in the spotlight. Here is an opportunity to strengthen that message and add an exciting interactive element to your video content.

Videos with Annotations play as the default, but users who prefer their video the old fashioned way can turn them off by simply pushing a button in the player menu.

For every compelling video on a website, there seems to be one that should have never made the cut. Dry speeches, long run times, and poor video quality often ruin the experience. Unless you have the time and money to invest in post-editing, tools like Annotations are your best bet to elevate your video content above the mundane.

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