Saturday, October 30, 2010

[G] Handy tools to help Americans vote

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Official Google Blog: Handy tools to help Americans vote

As Americans gear up for the midterm elections on November 2, we wanted to share a few tools that make it easier to gather voting information.

When you search on Google for [polling place] or [where to vote], you’ll see a search box to help you find your polling place, candidates, and local election office. Just type in the home address where you’re registered to vote. The search looks like this:



This feature is powered by the Google Election Center, an experimental service that lets election officials provide data directly to Google in order to create a set of search tools. Anyone with a website can also provide this same functionality by embedding the open source Election Center gadget on your site, or use the gadget code or API to build your own.



And you don’t need to be at your computer to easily find this information. If you’d rather get it on your mobile device, we’ve also created a mobile landing page: m.google.com/elections.



As for election news, you’ll find a special Google News section with stories for each state so you can easily catch up on the latest headlines.


We hope all of these tools help you get and stay informed throughout the election season.

Posted by Dan Berlin, Public Sector Engineering Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/handy-tools-to-help-americans-vote.html

[G] A Halloween hello

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Inside AdSense: A Halloween hello

Happy Halloween from the Google AdSense Team!




Posted by Katrina Kurnit - Inside AdSense Team
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2010/10/halloween-hello.html

[G] Release Notes: Community-designed Doodle, global Halloween films, easier bug reporting, virtual keyboard...

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YouTube Blog: Release Notes: Community-designed Doodle, global Halloween films, easier bug reporting, virtual keyboard...

With it being Halloween season and all, we've got an especially spoooooky edition of Release Notes for you.


First-ever user-designed Doodle:
You may have noticed that once in a while, we change our homepage logo to match a special occasion -- for example, we've done it for Earth Day, the finale of YouTube Play, and yesterday's one billionth subscription milestone. But this Halloween we're especially jazzed because the Doodle you'll see on the homepage was designed by xperpetualmotion, a YouTube community member and Rhode Island School of Design student. Here's how she came up with the icon you see below: "I tried out a lot of different Halloween imagery before deciding on the classic 'holes cut out of a white sheet' ghost. It makes me smile every time, because what else could this kid possibly have under there that makes him that shape? I wanted the logo to be something fun and clever, and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do!" We certainly do! Thank you, Karen.






YouTube's first user-designed Doodle, by xperpetualmotion



Global Halloween films: If you're in the U.S., U.K., Canada or Australia, we've got some exciting news to add to your seasonal mirth: our friends at Crackle made sure their Halloween offerings could be viewed by horror fans around the world, marking the first time a studio's made several full-length movies simultaneously available in multiple territories on YouTube. Click here for regional viewing dates for Underworld: Evolution, Idle Hands, Mary Reilly, The Blob and The Bride.



Report a bug: No, we don't mean the creepy crawly kind, but the kind that may indicate something's broken. If you come across a problem on the site, scroll down to the new "report a bug" link at the bottom of any YouTube page. Clicking it will allow you to take an easy screenshot of the page and add further details in the pop-up box:






New "Send feedback" form



African language launches: YouTube's now available in Amharic and Swahili. Click on the language link at the bottom of the page to change your language settings.



Type non-English text with the virtual keyboard: We've made it easy for people to find videos in non-Latin script-based languages; the on-screen keyboard is available in 26 languages (Amharic, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Swahili, Swedish, Vietnamese, Slovenian, Romanian, Ukrainian). To use the virtual keyboard, switch the language of the site to one of the supported languages and click on the keyboard icon in the search box.






Here's where you can turn on the virtual keyboard



More efficient 3D player: Our new player for 3D videos is much faster than the previous player, especially for HD resolution. Try enjoying your favorite 3D clips in high resolution and full screen with no lag.



The BooooooTube Team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/O-K1PmziYcA/release-notes-community-designed-doodle.html

[G] Handy tools to help Americans vote

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Google LatLong: Handy tools to help Americans vote

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

As Americans gear up for the midterm elections on November 2, we wanted to share a few tools that make it easier to gather voting information.

When you search on Google for [polling place] or [where to vote], you’ll see a search box to help you find your polling place, candidates, and local election office. Just type in the home address where you’re registered to vote. The search looks like this:



This feature is powered by the Google Election Center, an experimental service that lets election officials provide data directly to Google in order to create a set of search tools. Anyone with a website can also provide this same functionality by embedding the open source Election Center gadget on your site, or use the gadget code or API to build your own.



And you don’t need to be at your computer to easily find this information. If you’d rather get it on your mobile device, we’ve also created a mobile landing page: m.google.com/elections.



As for election news, you’ll find a special Google News section with stories for each state so you can easily catch up on the latest headlines.


We hope all of these tools help you get and stay informed throughout the election season.

Posted by Dan Berlin, Public Sector Engineering Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/10/handy-tools-to-help-americans-vote.html

[G] Going Google across the 50 States: Texas brothers convert 30% more leads by staying on track with Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Going Google across the 50 States: Texas brothers convert 30% more leads by staying on track with Google Apps

Editor's note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from David Bullock, CFO of YETI Coolers based in Austin, Texas. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.


YETI Coolers, co-founded in 2005 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders, offers durable, super-insulated ice chests for serious outdoor enthusiasts. Roy first recognized the potential of a premium cooler during an early entrepreneurial endeavor and decided to design his own. He recruited his brother to help and the two settled on YETI for the company name – a new brand that consumers could easily associate with frigid toughness. Today, YETI coolers are “certified grizzly-proof” and distributed through over 500 dealers across the country.


When Roy and Ryan started the company, they recognized the value of Google’s free email service, Gmail, and started with one email address – yeticoolers@gmail.com. However, fast forward three years and the company had grown to 10 employees. We hit a tipping point where we needed to expand and create a more professional look with @yeticoolers.com email addresses. The question was how to retain three years of information and still offer the entire office the same easy-to-use interface and access to remotely-stored email history. The solution was Google Apps.

Soon after implementing Google Apps, we hired our first National Sales Director who resides in North Carolina. Despite the geographical barrier, Google Docs has allowed us to collaborate with him and other remote employees in real time, and has became a critical component of our sales process.

Our goal is to increase the number of dealers that sell YETI coolers but for a long time, our volume of dealer inquiries was unmanageable and we missed out on sales opportunities. This is where a Google spreadsheet saved us. We created a “Potential Dealer Tracker” to track, prioritize, and, most importantly follow up with potential YETI dealers. By capitalizing on dealer inquiries in an organized, methodical way, we’ve been able to convert 30% more leads just this year. The profit from the new accounts nearly pays our National Sales Director’s salary!

We also use Google Calendar to track internal and external meetings and even non-work events like Red Raider and Longhorn football games. More recently, we started using Google Sites and launched our company’s first intranet. We look forward to adding even richer content to the site as the company continues to expand.

Given the rapid growth we’ve experienced over the last few years, it has been extremely difficult to stay on top of all areas of the business. Google Apps has changed this, providing the tools we need to succeed. It’s low cost, secure and easy to use – from our standpoint, Google Apps is the perfect solution for any small business.

Posted by David Bullock, YETI Coolers
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/10/going-google-across-50-states-texas.html

[G] YouTube Promoted Videos serves its 500,000,000th video view

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Inside AdWords: YouTube Promoted Videos serves its 500,000,000th video view

YouTube served its 500,000,000th Promoted Video view this week. Using Promoted Videos (available in your AdWords account), businesses can promote a video against search results on YouTube. But Promoted Videos offers a discovery component as well, allowing advertiser’s messages to be promoted against related content (BBQ grills shown against recipes for hamburgers) that someone may be viewing as they browse videos on YouTube. For more information on new product enhancements, please see the full story on the YouTube blog.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2010/10/youtube-promoted-videos-serves-its.html

[G] Find your polling place and follow the US Election on the go

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Find your polling place and follow the US Election on the go

The United States midterm election is on Tuesday, November 2, and we encourage all eligible US citizens to get out and vote. We’ve made it easy to find your polling place and follow election news by visiting our Election Center mobile site at m.google.com/elections on your Android-powered phone or iPhone.






Enter the address where you’re registered to vote, and we’ll show you a Google Map of your polling place. The Election Center site also has information about candidates running for office in your area.


So come Tuesday, let your mobile phone guide you to your polling place, and let sanity guide your vote!


Posted by Ryan Pollock, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/10/find-your-polling-place-and-follow-us.html

[G] Analytics In The Palm Of Your Hand

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Google Analytics Blog: Analytics In The Palm Of Your Hand

This weeks’ featured app on the Analytics App Gallery is the BAM Analytics Pro app for the iPhone. If you have ever needed to reference your site metrics in a meeting or situation where it wasn’t appropriate to fire up the laptop and open up your account, then you may find a Google Analytics smart phone app valuable.

This app, developed by Blast Advanced Media (one of our Certified Partners), uses the Google Analytics API to quickly and securely access all of your reports, apply your Advanced Segments, and even create Custom Reports right within the app. You can view common preset date ranges, set a custom date range, or compare to a previous date range for additional context. All the functionality you could need within a clean, user-friendly interface. Here's a sample of custom reports functionality:


BAM Analytics Pro can be purchased here on the iTunes app store for $1.99. Our Google Analytics Certified Partners are some of the most inventive users and developers of our free API. Many of their business-driven tools and applications make it to our Analytics App Gallery, where you can find a variety of solutions that compliment and enhance our product.


Great work BAM!


Posted by Jesse Nichols, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/10/analytics-in-palm-of-your-hand.html

[G] Remember these tips for safer shopping

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Remember these tips for safer shopping

National Cyber Security Awareness Month may be coming to an end, but online security is something to think about year-round. With the exciting holiday shopping season coming up, we wanted to share some tips for keeping your buying and selling experience online safe and secure.
  • Beware of money-transfer and seller scams: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never wire money to a seller you haven’t reviewed very thoroughly, and stay alert for phishing attempts. Note that Google Checkout does NOT support payments through wire transfer and will never ask for your username or password via email. See our previous post on fake Checkout invoices for more details.
  • Work with legitimate businesses: Before you make a purchase from an unfamiliar seller online, make sure to investigate them. For example, do a web search for reviews from other buyers with experience with the seller. Legitimate merchants should provide you with contact information that you can reference if you have any questions or problems with your transaction.
  • Make sure your passwords are strong: Don't reuse passwords across multiple accounts, and remember to change them periodically, especially if you suspect your account may be at risk. Check out more tips on how to choose a smart password.
  • Type web addresses into your browser's address bar: Never navigate to sensitive accounts by clicking a link or cutting and pasting the address. Instead, enter the address yourself, (e.g. type “www.bankofamerica.com”).
  • Only send information over secure connections: Look for the https connection in the address bar (and the padlock icon in your address bar if you’re using Google Chrome or IE) when transmitting any sensitive information like credit card or bank numbers. When accessing financial accounts, check that the website has an Extended Validation Certificate — the URL or website name should show up as green in the URL bar, meaning the organization that operates the website has been validated.
  • Avoid conducting financial transactions on public computers: Avoid logging into accounts that contain sensitive financial information (e.g. bank or credit card accounts or commerce websites) on public or shared computers. If you do access such information on a public or shared computer, remember to sign out completely and close your browser window after you're done.
Shopping online can be fun and easy, and Google Checkout wants it to be safe and secure as well. For even more information, visit Google’s Online Security Blog to read about keeping your data safe in the the cloud.

Posted by Eve Hu, Google Checkout Risk Operations
URL: http://googlecheckout.blogspot.com/2010/10/remember-these-tips-for-safer-shopping.html

Friday, October 29, 2010

[G] This week in search 10/29/10

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Official Google Blog: This week in search 10/29/10

This is one of a regular series of posts on search experience updates. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week we’ve overhauled local search and made other tweaks to help you find the places, products and people you’re looking for. As you plan for the World Series and Halloween, we want to help you find the perfect sports bar, costume store and chocolate bar. Here are latest updates from this week:

Google Place Search
This week we introduced Place Search, a new kind of search result that organizes the world’s information around places. Whether you’re looking for a park, a great restaurant or a local plumber, you’ll find what you’re looking for more quickly and easily. We’ve clustered search results around specific locations so you can make comparisons and right the best sites. You should already be seeing place results automatically for many local searches. If you don’t see Place Search results at first, you can always click Places in the left-hand panel of the results page.


New product search refinements
People often come to Google to do product research, so in the past couple weeks we’ve expanded Google Product Search to France and Japan. Our goal is to help you find the product information and sites you’re looking for as quickly as possible, so in May we made it easier to find relevant brands for popular product searches. Now we’re providing additional refinements for popular stores and product types. For example, search for [chocolate] and now you’ll find links for related searches for brands (Godiva, Lindt, etc.) and types (dark, hot, etc.). These refinements are unpaid and ranked algorithmically to show the most relevant searches you may be interested in.


Other example searches: [running shoes], [blenders], [binoculars]

Real-time results in Social Search
This week we’ve added real-time to Social Search, so you’ll find the freshest tweets and other updates from your friends right on Google. Here in the Bay Area, everyone has been excited about watching the Giants in this year’s World Series. With our improvements to Social Search, now when you search for information about the game on Google you can see right on the results page if your friends are watching. Just look for the heading “Results from people in your social circle” to check it out.


Social Search is currently available in the U.S. For more information about Social Search, check out our blog post and help center article.

This week in searches—Halloween edition
Still don’t have a costume? You’re not alone—searches for “costume ideas” continue to spike on Google. Check out this week’s special Halloween edition of the Google Beat to find out what costumes, candy and scary movies people are searching for this year.

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Mike Cassidy, Director of Product Management
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/this-week-in-search-102910.html

[G] Ghosts, goblins and haunting Halloween search trends

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Official Google Blog: Ghosts, goblins and haunting Halloween search trends

Every October, it seems like every third question you hear is “What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?” We see this question reflected annually in Google searches, as millions of people turn to the Internet to help them prepare for this creepy-crawliest of holidays. Searches for “costume” have steadily risen since early August, while people look for [ideas] and then [stores] to help them carry out their vision. We’re taking our annual peek at what Halloween fun has people going to Google for inspiration.

Lady Gaga may have topped the charts of costume searches last year, but there’s a new girl in town in 2010: Snooki, one of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” stars. [snooki] topped the list of fastest rising costume searches:


Jersey Shore fans seem interested in how to get Snooki’s hair just right—[snooki wig] and [snooki costume wig] are popular related searches. People from Pennsylvania were most likely to search for [snooki costume] in October, followed—fittingly—by folks from New Jersey. Not to be left out, however, Snooki’s costars Pauly D and The Situation are also showing up as popular Halloween ideas in the past few months.

[neytiri] tops the list of related searches for [avatar costume], as people try to figure out the complexities of becoming a blue resident of another planet. Gaga folks are trying to mimic an equally tough outfit: the singer’s famous meat dress. Searches for “meat costume” have grown more than 5,000% since July. We’ve also seen rising searches for [glee cheerios costume], [justin bieber costume], [katy perry costume], [kenny powers costume] and more.

Just in the last week, we’ve seen many other Halloween-related searches on Google. On today’s Hot Trends list, for example, we’ve seen rising interest in things like [monster mash song] and [halloween sounds]. Here’s more from the Google Beat’s All Hallows Eve special:



Turning from the U.S. to other countries, we see similar costume searches, minus our favorite reality TV stars: in Canada, Australia, Ireland and the U.K., Avatar and Lady Gaga come out on top. “Alice in Wonderland” characters are popular everywhere, but only in Australia are people looking to turn themselves into the [queen of hearts]. And the U.K. distinguishes itself with searches for good old-fashioned Halloween standbys [skeleton] and [zombie]. Brits are also looking to transform themselves into [mario] and [buzz lightyear].

One of my favorite things about Halloween at Google is all the Googlers’ children who visit campus with their parents for a special kiddie celebration. Their costumes are always creative and more importantly, adorable. That seems to be universal across the U.S.—look at the fastest rising searches related to [baby costume] in 2010:


We also saw searches for [baby lobster costume], [baby yoda costume], [baby ladybug]. [baby bat] and [baby lion]. (And [baby spice], but that’s neither here nor there.) Costumes for kids aren’t too far off from adult costumes, with Avatar and Gaga atop the heap, however, you might see a lot of [werewolf kids] trick-or-treating this weekend, and the occasional [strawberry shortcake].

Last but not least, we can’t leave our canine friends out of the fun. This year, it seems people are taking inspiration from the movies to turn their pups into [slinky dog]s—the term has gone up 350%. People also seem to like to make their dogs another beast for the day, whether a [pig dog] or a [shark dog], or into a food item in a [taco dog costume] or the classic [hot dog costume]. Finally, you might see some dogs matching babies in your neighborhood, as we’ve seen growing interest in [lobster dog costume] and [yoda dog costume], although the latter is not rising as fast as [ewok dog costume].

We're celebrating "Googleween" today, and as always, Googlers and their kids are dressing to the nines in costumes of all kinds:



One thing’s for sure—with all these ideas, there’s no excuse not to dress up! So whether you’re going as Gaga or Yoda this weekend—or something we couldn’t even dream of—we hope you have a happy Halloween.

Update 4:06PM: Added slideshow.

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/ghosts-goblins-and-haunting-halloween.html

[G] Google Apps highlights – 10/29/2010

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 10/29/2010

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

In the last few weeks, we made Gmail better for iPhone and iPad users and improved Google Docs with easier image uploads to documents and enhanced charts in spreadsheets. The business and education crowd will enjoy the addition of automated workflow capabilities in Google Sites, the ability to remotely manage security on Android devices and a new batch of third-party applications that integrate with Google Apps.

Improvements to Gmail in mobile Safari
If you’re reading this post on an iPhone or an iPad, head over to gmail.com to see how we made the Gmail experience in mobile Safari work more like a native application. First, scrolling is a whole lot more responsive to your touch gestures. A quick flick will scroll the page much faster than before. We’ve also improved the toolbar so it stays put at the top of the screen, even when you scroll down a long page. This keeps the most common actions in Gmail right at your fingertips—literally.


Chart improvements and drag-and-drop images in Google Docs
Last Tuesday we added the ability to drag and drop images to Google documents from your desktop or from folders on your computer. You can still add images through the image upload wizard, but this new method can save time, especially when you have several images to add. This week we also rolled out improvements to charts and visualizations in Google spreadsheets. You can now add annotated timelines, organizational charts, gauges, motion charts that visualize data changing over time, and other chart types more easily. The new chart editor helps you customize the design of your charts, and now you can publish dynamic charts on other web pages that automatically update when data in the source spreadsheet changes.



Automated workflow in Google Sites with Google Apps Script
Last week we introduced the ability for you to add automated workflow to Google Sites, powered by Google Apps Script. Scripts automate tasks such as sending emails, scheduling calendar events, creating and updating site pages using data from other systems, and more. For example, you can put a button on a course registration page that adds the course to the user’s calendar, sends them a confirmation email and includes their name in the course roster within the site.


Android device management
Just yesterday, we added the ability for businesses and schools using Google Apps to remotely manage security on users’ Android devices (Android 2.2 and beyond), whether those devices are user-owned or provided by the organization. This update rounds out our device management capabilities; now administrators can perform functions like remotely wiping Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile and many Nokia phones from the Google Apps control panel without needing any special hardware or software. Administrators running BlackBerry® Enterprise Server can manage their users’ BlackBerry® devices from the control panel as well.


App Tuesday: seven new additions to the Apps Marketplace
The number of third-party software applications available in the Google Apps Marketplace that seamlessly integrate with Google Apps continues on its rapid growth trajectory. This month, we added seven new applications that complement the growing set of applications offered directly by Google. We were especially pleased to see strong international representation among this new crop.

Who’s gone Google?
Google Apps is really taking off, and we’re excited to team up in the cloud with Virgin America. But they’re not the only large organization to “go Google” recently. Multnomah County in Oregon is moving 4,500 county employees to Google Apps, and the state of Wyoming is doing an even larger deployment with 10,000 state employees. Across the board, these organizations chose to switch because of substantial cost savings and tremendous productivity improvements made possible with Google Apps.

In the last few weeks alone, tens of thousands of small and mid-size businesses have switched to Google Apps, too. Several of these new customers have shared their stories with us, and we invite you to read more here: Jason’s Deli, MainStreet Advisors, Melrose Resources, American Support and Premier Guitar.

We also reached a big milestone in the education world recently: more than 10 million students, faculty and staff are actively using Google Apps at schools and universities worldwide. While we’re focused on bringing the next 10 million education users onto Google Apps, we still took some time to celebrate how far we’ve already come—with the help of the USC marching band!



I hope these updates help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For details and the latest news in this area, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/google-apps-highlights-10292010.html

[G] Slamming the boring, old tech demo

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YouTube Blog: Slamming the boring, old tech demo

Tech demos. They’ve been around as long as... well, technology. They’re helpful. They’re useful. They’re also a little boring. That’s why tech demos often go overlooked by so many people. Unfortunately, it’s generally the people who could benefit most from them that never even see them.



So we figured, what tech demos need is a fresh start. A few creative minds willing to take a shot at making them worth watching and sharing. And maybe, just maybe, make tech demos so cool, that they’ll inspire others to make their own.



That’s why we created Demo Slam. It’s a platform that allows you to put a new twist on sharing tech goodness. Demo Slam rests on the belief that the world’s creativity is all it takes to turn boring, old tech demos into entertaining, exciting awesomeness. For example, watch Zach Miller do a 20-foot search:




The YouTube community has shown the world time and time again, just how incredibly far a little imagination can go. We’d love to see that same YouTube magic become a part of Demo Slam. If you triumph, you’ll be featured in the Demo Slam Hall of Champs. That also means you’ll get exposure elsewhere online, courtesy of Google. Best of all, it’s a way to help a lot of people discover something cool.

There’s just too much great tech out there for everyone to go on not knowing it exists. And now, with the help of people like you, the whole world will have a place where they can find out about it. So be different, be crazy, be unique, and submit a demo. All it takes is one to teach millions something new.

Let the slamming begin!

Robert Wong, Creative Director, Creative Lab, recently watched "Demo Slam: 20ft Search."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/CuzVrkMpulA/slamming-boring-old-tech-demo.html

[G] Should quality matter in web video?

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YouTube Blog: Should quality matter in web video?

Heather Menicucci, Director, Howcast Filmmakers Program, is writing weekly guest posts for the YouTube blog on filmmaking in the digital age. You can catch up on previous posts here.



Since I started working in web video, the most common misconception I face is, web video equals low quality video. This week we asked “What do you think the differences are between making videos for the web versus other venues like film festivals or TV?” on YouTube's Facebook fan page. Though there were a lot of positive voices talking about the immediacy, democracy and audience engagement of web video, some of the comments unsurprisingly echoed this idea.



Quality, quality and um.... quality!

Quality, length, content, plot.

The web accepts anything.




Sure, one of the most exciting things about the web is that anyone can upload. Of course, that means that not all the videos we see are going to reflect even our most basic standards for quality video -- a steady camera, clean images, good lighting, clear sound. On the other hand, right alongside the cat videos (which I admit, I do get a kick out of), works of video art can happily coexist.



We've spent the first "section" of our “Modern 101 for Emerging Digital Filmmakers" providing an overview of web video -- talking to filmmakers about why they make web video, sharing websites every filmmaker should know, and offering tips on taking your first digital steps as a filmmaker. We're about to move into our production section where we'll interview filmmakers on the equipment they use, go behind the scenes to hear how they make their videos, and demystify uploading, codecs and metadata.



Before we enter this nuts and bolts section of the series, I wanted to tackle this last misconception regarding quality. Quality concerns are some of the most common reasons I hear filmmakers saying they aren’t interested in uploading their work, and there are a couple counterpoints I’d like to offer:


  • Player, length and file sizes are increasing because viewers actually want to watch high resolution, great-looking video on their computers and even TV, as devices like Google TV come on the market.

  • Filmmakers, like the Neistat Brothers who recently landed an HBO series, but also like our very own filmmakers who use their Howcast spots to woo clients, are getting jobs based on the videos they upload to the web. Make sure every spot you upload is one you’re proud to put your name on because web videos = calling cards.

  • 60% of internet users watch videos online and that number is up 33% in 2.5 years. In other words, the audience is here and growing. And as more and more television viewers migrate to the web or simply plug their televisions into their computers, they will come to expect and want higher and higher quality video from the web.


Click around. Don’t just watch the videos that appear in your Facebook feed. Sure, I got that video with those poor fainting kittens emailed to me yesterday too, but I also spent 15 minutes watching this beautiful, quiet short, “Mei Ling,” which I discovered on the Futureshorts channel.



I asked Luke Neumann, a filmmaker who constantly impresses us with his stellar Howcast videos, why he puts so much effort into his web videos and he said, “Because you never know who could stumble across them." When you watch his videos, I think you can see he’s driven by much more than that -- for this spot alone he rented a crane and “moved” a building in After Effects:







Still, access to potential fans, funders and future employees is at least one simple, solid argument for filmmakers who are skeptical about quality work having a place on the web.



Next Friday, we’ll learn Neumann’s tricks for making great video like this on a budget while he walks us through how he shot “Zombie Attack.”



Heather Menicucci, Director, Howcast Filmmakers Program, recently watched “Mei Ling.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/WaWXrVEBxUs/should-quality-matter-in-web-video.html