Amazon has got into the movie-making business with the launch of a new portal called Amazon Studios. The sales giant is trying to implement the crowdsourced movie production model, democratizing the process of breaking into Hollywood.
Amazon Studios invites independent filmmakers and screenwriters to submit their content to the site –be it a script or a full-lenght test movie– in order to get discovered and possibly even have their movie made by Warner Bros. Once online, other Amazon members can provide general feedback, read the scripts, watch the movies and even edit the movies, by uploading their own alternate or reviser versions.
Amazon will award cash prizes in regular contents to those with the best scripts or movies. Winners are selected by a judging committee, who will determine which items are worthy of Warner Bros.' attention.
Since the launching in November 2010, more than a thousand scripts have been uploaded.
The company hopes that the new site will help filmmakers experiment and collaborate with each other. Filmmakers can make movies with the scripts posted online, while screenwriters can upload scripts to get their movies made.
Question here is: does the Internet community have the best judgement when it comes to what makes a great movie. In other words: does the crowdsourcing method work here?
The sudden popularity of HDSLR (digital single-lens reflex) affordable cameras (from $700) is changing the video shooting landscape. Please pay attention if you are not aware.
HDSRL cameras were introduced a few years ago. But it was only this year that their sales have increased dramatically. Why?
Because of their ability to shoot High Definition video. Compared to camcorders, the image sensors are much larger (28mm X 17mm vs 9mm X 7mm). Also the lensesare interchangeable and have higher quality optics, which provide more sharpness.
These HDSLR video cameras allow the shooter to adjust the depth of field. Each lens is optimized for a specific purpose (zoom, ultra wide, telephoto, macro...).
YouTube has added new features to its annotation software (located on My Videos tab), which allows to placing links in videos and getting cross promotion.
"Annotations can be a very powerful creative tool and make videos that are engaging, informative and interactive; however it’s important to realize that overlay text and hotspots can also interrupt and distract viewers. Not every use of annotation is necessarily a good use - there is an art to it", YouTube explains in its blog.
So far YouTube has close to 100 million individual annotations in the system.
Among the improvements, there is a brand new annotation editor, new font size and new color options.
Google has started to warn about hacked sites. So better you keep the security of your site or everyone will know about your problem.
Google already notifies user when a Website has been infiltrated by a malware attach, which can download malicious software to someone's computer. Now, it says, it will use automated tools to detect a hacking a it will notify people of possible hacking incident by appending the Website's search result with a label that notes, "This site may be compromised." Imagine how embarrassing is that for your brand and how can it impact traffic from search.
The search giant will try to notify the site's owner about suspicious activity, and it will remove the warning label when the problem has been fixed.
For me this issue is very serious. And it is pretty scary how Google has become the Big Brother.
Word Lens is a magical app that can translate text from English to Spanish, and Spanish to English, instantly through the iPhone camera.
For me, it is the most practical augmented reality app I've seen, although the translation quality isn't the best. It costs $5.
There are a growing number of augmented reality apps. Soon you will hold your phone over a shirt you want to buy, and see comments from other shoppers, get a coupon or find more info about its fabric. Or experience a richer narrative while watching a movie.
Forrester predicts that in the next few years augmented reality will become a norm in society, with people holding up their smartphone to interact with their environment as a totally natural gesture. This will change consumers behavior.
The word Google has become synonymous with searching. Twitter has been verbified with the word "tweet". Facebook, Skype, Photoshop and many more technology brands pop up as verbs in daily conversation. Also Xerox and FedEx have become "generified"
The dream of many start-ups is that their name becomes a verb. This type of free marketing is even bigger glory than cash!
Want to know how the mobile phone industry will be in 2014?
See the designs of Astonishing Tribe, a respected interface and design company, which has been bought by R.I.M. / BlackBerry.
R.I.M. is counting on this technology for their future smart phones.
The Astonishing Tribe has worked with a number of big-name companies over the last several years, including Fujitsu, Google, Samsung and Motorola. This company consists of a "growing group of engineers, visual artists and interaction designers who eat, sleep, and breathe user interfaces."
Nice video about how the world searched with Google in 2010.
In this short movie, Google notes that 2010 has been a year of struggles, with people searching for information on the European debt crisis, unemployment in the U.S. and the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
Quickly she found that lots of African-American women had posted video blogs, o vlogs, about choosing one product over other. So she jumped into the comments sections of the vlogs, offering advice and answering question about her products.
The result: a surge of support. And a boost sales of 40%.
In other words, find success by joining conversations on YouTube –always avoiding sales pitches.
Social media teaching tip I: Instead of just uploading commercials, reach out to the community and cultivate relationships with vloggers and other people.
Social media teaching tip II: Be accessible. That promotes brand loyalty.
Social media teaching tip III: Listening is as important as talking.