Saturday, July 31, 2010

HOW do you Promote Video Through Email? or Avoiding the RED X Box of Death

NetWits Think Tank has a very informative piece here related to management and placement of video for email distribution - I recall having this conversation years ago. In fact every so often we run into this same problem today even with something as simple as images and how they get deployed within emails.

In a recent discussion one of our staff members in Montana was trying to distribute a vanity plate image for the state that would help promote the 'No Child Left Inside" legislation. NCLI would put environmental sciences back front and center in our education system as there is a "Nature deficit" that is a real concern to many of us with kids.

Getting back to the issue of emailing the image reminded me of the steps NetWits promotes for sharing video. How many times have you waited for a simple image to process because the sender didn't bother to reduce the size? I don't need a 3MB JPG file, I get the same results with a 70KB file. And then the annoying "RED X Box of Death" that Outlook will put out there when trying to protect me from seeing Allysa Milano in a towel . . . stepping out of a shower no less - I think the towel is moist but again I digress.

Sharing video and images via email is a tried and true method of promoting. It polishes up the message and gives that "wow" factor. And while social networking provides even greater means to distribute such material, email still remains as a viable tool. Knowing how to properly use these tools is key to effective messaging.

So let's be careful out there . . . did I mention the towel was moist?

Resources for this post:

- Keith Power / Milano Real Man Challenge:
- Outlook management of images:
- National Wildlife Federation - Reversing Nature Deficit:
- My brain . . . there isn't a link for that, it's way big

Posted via email from Michael's Ramblings

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Has Facebook Fatigue Set In?

Numbers always speak volumes in my world but sometimes it's whats behind the numbers which intrigues me.

While some will look at the May / June new accounts in social networking behemoth Facebook user base as modest you have to factor in the change of seasons, school and graduations, holiday and vacations. But then again as this article from Wired suggests: have we become Facebook fatigued?

With over 41 percent of Americans already using Facebook in some capacity I do see a decline in the interactions and frequency of use. This could translate into less "hype" from those already on it or perhaps it's translated into a "blah" syndrome that isn't exciting newbies from joining.

I don't know if as a culture we have reached a saturation point, certainly you can't seem to escape the media attention, the groups and individuals who are capitalizing on the "fan" and "like" aspects. Calls to action remain specific to what tugs at the heart strings - giving for causes still remains a challenge but that's not surprising given the demographics and generational expectations of how this medium is being used.

Let's not kid ourselves, Facebook / Twitter - none of that is going away as it's now part of the everyday medium, but I do see more niche services using the same approach. Take the UK based service: SkinBook. I'm not kidding, social networking for people who accept nudist as the norm . . . don't worry the link is the Time Magazine article, you can click and be safe!

Hey I'm no prude and to each his own as they say but it shows to what levels of connecting we are looking to go when services of this type are popping up all over the net. And here's something else to consider, Full Emersion in the Cyberworld is Coming meaning within 10 years so much of what we do will be virtual that Facebook and Twitter will become folklore.

I wonder who my avatar will be in 10 years?

Posted via email from Michael's Ramblings

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gulf Could be Saved by Oil-Eating Microbes

I've been on a rant lately between my Tweets along with my Facebook posts on what is or rather what ISN'T happening in the Gulf. It breaks my heart when I hear the plight of the families, the waterman, the Americans who on this 4th of July don't have a lot to celebrate as their way of life - their culture has for the most part fallen apart due to greed, mismanagement and a total disregard for the very lives these bastards are making a fortune on.

I originally saw a video from another story about Microbes and how in Texas many many years ago this Gutsy Solution could restore the environment in Just 6 Weeks. Cleaning and saving wildlife is just a small piece, we have to control and destroy what is in the water before the dead zone kills it all. This microbe solution looks promising but here's the kicker, it's NOT being used!

I sometimes go back to the premise "what if I was King" - what would I do if I was in charge. For one thing I would put into action every tool, every resource and try anything and everything. I watched the Presidents address a few weeks back about the spill and he mentioned the bringing together of the best minds and I sarcastically said: "you're doing that now? how many weeks has it been and you're bringing great minds together now?"

How about loosening restrictions that allow foreign boats designed for oil extraction to come closer to US coast lines for help or don't restrict access of the press as the Coast Guard is now doing or tell BP they can't muzzle the volunteers and groups doing the work as they try with their "non disclosure" agreements forced upon all who work for them and if you don't believe me take a listen to Kindra Arnesen of Venice LA

You remember the movie Dazed and Confused? There was a line said by a teacher just as school was letting out which in a sense applies: "Okay guys, one more thing, this summer when you're being inundated with all this
American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don't forget what you're celebrating: that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn't want to pay their taxes."

Let's not kid ourselves, this is all about greed. It's not about slavery and not necessarily about taxes but what I'm seeing as the obstacles in making things right and changing our dependency is very much connected to greed. When is that going to change?

- Michael Sola heads up the IT Dept at NWF, blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own

Posted via email from Michael's Ramblings