Category Archives: YouTube

What Should You Do When Your Content is Copied?

Life in the Security Experiment Room

My twelve year-old loves smoke alarms.  Some guys are crazy about football.  He knows the stats of almost every smoke detector- whether it’s a BG-12, Simplex, Wheelock, or Gentex.

After he started writing letters to companies, conversing with CMOs, creating reviews, editing videos, and playing around with You Tube, it became clear that his interest would be a gateway to acquiring valuable skills and practical lessons.

He Copied Me!

But then it happened.  A couple kids plagiarized his ideas and material.  One YouTube youngster “borrowed” most of his intro.  Grant invests hours editing these videos, so he was pretty ticked after he discovered the infringement.

“Mom, what should I do?”

I understood how he felt.  This happens to writers all the time.  It’s frustrating- especially when you’re the one who spent time or dollars on the original idea or work.

Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

Just to be clear, if you borrow an idea, quote, picture, or video you should credit your sources. If you want to be official with formatting that credit, read how to cite sources from MLA or APA. However, don’t cry “copyright infringement” if your idea was one that anyone could pick off just by living.  All people are allowed fair use of ideas for educating, discussing, and conjecture. If the idea is already swimming in public, it can be taken and altered.

What If Someone Steals Your Content or Ideas?

#1. Inform the accused what was done.  Define plagiarism for him or her because some people- especially kids, just don’t know.  Plagiarism.com says, “

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE CONSIDERED PLAGIARISM:

  • turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)”

#2.  Add a © (copyright symbol) with the current year and the owner’s name to the bottoms of your websites, pictures, articles, or videos.  This symbol notifies would-be borrowers that you own the material. Most will ask for permission or provide credit to your page with links.

#3. Ask for credit if you feel that your idea or content was borrowed and be prepared to back up your claim.  But then, simmer down.  If you’re the original and most people know you’re the original, this is your moment to shine.

Look at the MKC commercials from 2014.  Lincoln’s sales soared up by 25%.  Ellen’s and SNL’s spoofs helped to catapult the original. Going viral is good for business.

“Borrowing” is flattery.  Properly documented spoofs or borrows can turn into more views for your channel.  Create brand ambassadors that will grow your channel. When someone copies your content, look at the action as flattery and opportunity. Embrace the marketing boost!

#4. If a serious offender ignores your request to receive a link and hat tip to your page, hire an attorney.  Sometimes, “borrowing” is not so innocent.  If it’s costly and the stakes are high, let your attorney do the talking.

In general, most people want to get copyright right. If you keep a positive attitude and work through the situation, you’ll probably end up with decent backlinks and some new partnerships.  Sharing and take-offs can help your SEO to soar.

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Filed under Capturing Audience, Citing Sources, Editors, Favorite Websites, Research Tips, Revising & Proofreading, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Website Linking, YouTube

Seven Social Media Mistakes

thumb downIn this day and age, social media is the quickest way to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. With at least five popular platforms, social media is also turning into another way for businesses and individuals to promote themselves to others. Whether you’re just starting to dip your toes into the world of social media or you’ve been active for a while, there are certain guidelines to follow. An article from Business Insider (based on a survey of sorts conducted by a small business consultant by way of LinkedIn) helped narrow down the list of social media mistakes that are regularly being made.

Don’t post too often! Sometimes, often when people get bored or have time to kill, posting on Facebook or sending a tweet on Twitter becomes an hourly activity. Not only does this clog newsfeeds, it takes away from productivity. Think how much more you could get done at work if you weren’t posting every hour on the hour, even if it’s just a quick comment on something. While you want to actively post if you’re promoting a business, don’t post multiple times each day—keep it in moderation. However, do make sure to check your page often. Many times customers will post to your page or send you a message consisting either of praise or a complaint. More often than not, these comments go completely unnoticed and are left without a response.

Don’t avoid posting—followers do want you to be active on social media! Posting once or twice (at most) a day will suffice. Sometimes business only post once or twice a week! Followers may be more likely to interact with you if they see your name once or twice in a newsfeed where they see other names upwards of four times. Keep in mind that commenting on posts is very different from posting in itself—customers will be happy to receive a response from you on something they posted on your page, whether they gave negative or positive feedback.

Don’t post or share irrelevant information or content. If you’re a small business owner, say an online store specializing in clothing, don’t share political content or science-related articles via your business page. Instead, share a link to a new product you have in stock. Customers and followers want to hear about things relevant to them—they made the choice to follow your page, so make sure to consistently post things pertaining to your page.

Don’t limit your social media activity to just one forum. Many businesses create a Facebook page and think it is sufficient social media coverage. There is also Twitter, Instagram, G+, and LinkedIn (just to name a few). Why limit yourself? The only thing that could happen is your business could grow!

Don’t overshare on personal matters. Even if the focus of your time on social media is your business, you will likely end up making a page for yourself. When that happens, keep the private details of your life private. On each page, you represent your company, so your followers don’t need to visit your company’s page, find the link to your page, and see that your relationship just ended and you were out on the town the night before. Yes, posting pictures is fun, it’s a way for people to see you are enjoying life, but keep in mind all the people who could view your page. Each social media site offers a privacy setting, some even offer a way  to change who can see what you post—use these settings. Do not toe the line between what should remain personal and what should remain professional.

Don’t link to articles or products if the content isn’t complete! Everyone has come across it at one time or another—click on an article and begin reading only to notice grammar mistakes, simple spelling errors, or captions that are completely missing from pictures. It’s frustrating for the reader and it’s not going to give your company a professional image.

Don’t get involved in social media for the wrong reasons. Many companies are heavily involved with social media, but don’t jump the gun—work on building your company first, focusing on creating the relationships. After you have a solid customer base, progress to social media as a way to stay connected and keep customers updated. Creating, building, and maintaining relationships is a big focus for companies with social media activity.

It may seem daunting at first, but remember to start small and build your social media reputation as a small extension of your company. Keep the focus on your customers and your company, not on your personal life. With this list of basic social media mistakes, you’ll be able to build a strong social media profile to better connect with your customers and grow your business!  ~Hollysocial media icons

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Filed under Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Social Media, Social Media contests, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, YouTube

The 10 Most Popular Social Media Sites and Why They’re Successful

Humans are social by nature and the multitude of social media sites tries to meet that need. Their popularity is measured by the number of unique visitors that each site has each month. With so many sites what makes the top ten stand out from the crowd? Each site identifies a new way for the members to connect with each other and makes it as easy as possible for them to make that connection.

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mkhmarketing

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mkhmarketing

1. Facebook – The most popular site with an estimated 900 million unique visitors each month. This incredible popularity comes from the wide range of ways that users can share information and connect with other users. Facebook has also taken full advantage of APIs and allowed their users to embed external content on to their personal profiles.

2. Twitter – Short tweets have become big news with an estimated 310 million unique visitors each month. Twitter’s popularity is based on the immediacy of the internet. Users can post short updates about their lives and easily keep their followers up to date on their daily lives. The final component of Twitter’s success is the ability for users to follow their favorite celebrities and feel as if they have a small connection to these incredible people.

3. LinkedIn – This is the first social media site with a specific audience in mind. This site is dedicated to individuals looking for professional networking. LinkedIn gives its users ways to publish their skills for potential employers to find. There is also a feature which allows the users to ask for an introduction to individuals through a mutual contact. Asking for introductions creates a method of networking that very closely resembles networking in person.

4. Pinterest – Pinterest owes its popularity to focusing on one function and then performing that function extremely well. On top of doing that single function well it is also simple to use so that no one will be intimidated by complicated methods of sharing information. Pinterest also focuses on what its users want their lives to be in the future instead of what they are right now. The focus on future hopes and dreams provides another type of connection that other social media sides do not address as plainly as Pinterest does.

5. Google+ – Google+ allows the users to customize circles of connections who all share the same interests. It also allows users to stay connected through all the Google applications instead of only on the Google+ site. The strength of Google’s software also allows its users to have video chats with multiple people at the same time. Finally by building a strong profile on Google+ individuals are building up their Google authorship and increasing web traffic to other sites created by the same individual.

6. Tumblr – Tumblr represents a combination of the immediacy of Twitter with the informative nature of blogs. Users are given the strong connection that comes from blogs as well as a much more social aspect that comes from easily sharing information to other users. Users are able to create customized profiles to highlight their individuality in a more visual way above and beyond the content of the blog itself. One difference between Tumblr and other social media sites is that the content can be found by individuals who are not Tumblr users.

7. Instagram – Instagram capitalizes on the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Instagram is targeted at the millions of mobile users who enjoy taking and viewing pictures on their phones and tablets instead of a traditional computer. Instagram also focuses simply on the images themselves and provides a simple method for viewing beautiful pictures. Instagram also provides a simple way for users to share their pictures across many social media sites without having to upload the same picture multiple times.

8. Flickr – Instagram may focus on quickly sharing pictures Flickr allows users to better organize and display a large collection of images. Instead of searching through cluttered news feeds or unorganized albums pictures can be easily organized and shared. Above sharing beautiful images Flickr boasts a large collection of communities focused on all aspects of photography from specific locations to the color orange.

9. Vine – Vine allows users a platform to post their short looped videos with the immediacy of a Twitter news feed. The incredible popularity if this app has created many Vine celebrities who are able to tell their stories in seconds. Vine, like Instagram, has capitalized on the number of people using their phones as cameras and has given them a simple way to display their creativity to other mobile users.

10. YouTube – YouTube has long been a popular site to search for a wide range of information. With 100 hours of video posted each minute there is a wealth of information to be found. YouTube also appeals to the new trend of video logging which is similar to the traditional blog but using a visual medium. Now YouTube is taking steps to become more social by allowing users to post videos as comments and increase their interaction with others who are watching the same videos.

Knowing why each site is popular can help you know how information is shared and who it is shared with on each site. This knowledge will help you create social content that others will appreciate and share.

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Filed under Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social Media, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, YouTube

How “Tour the States” Was Made and Went Viral

In June 2014, Angie Seaman, E-Commerce Manager for Marbles: The Brain Store, shared with an IRCE video workshop audience how Marbles: The Brain Store’s Tour the States video was made and successfully went viral with over 2,760,519 hits and counting.

“That was basically a very low-tech solution to making a video.  We had the cartoonist actually come into the office, get a big white piece of paper, and he’s only holding a marker. It took him about a week to get the thing done and the video.  We were crossing our fingers the whole time that he wouldn’t make a mistake. We did have a couple things that we had to fix, but it wasn’t too bad and it took our video director about two weeks to edit all of the footage together and get it synced up with music.  It turned out great and was well worth it for us.”

As a parent who had to help a fifth grader memorize the states and capitals in the fall of 2013, I can tell you that there was nothing like it on You Tube at the time.  The song is catchy and it not only highlighted the states, but also the capitals in their locations, which was surprisingly unique for You Tube videos about states and capitals.  Marbles: The Brain Store found a need and fulfilled it for kids (and parents).

“It <the video> introduced The Brain Store as an authority on the product, which is important because these are people who don’t know our brand.  It makes customers more comfortable to transact with us and we’ve seen our conversion rate increase over time. Part of it has to do with video.”

To make a low-budget video, Seaman suggests budgeting time to experiment, picking a room with good acoustics, and finding talent who can do it all.  She says that you can get going with video for less than $1000.

“It took us a year and a half or so to really get everything.  We saw results right away, but our conversion rate has increased and actually doubled every year. Part of it has to do with other things we’re doing, but I think a lot of it has to do with video.”

From lighting and sound to editing and effects, how is your company using video this year?

~Jean at My Web Writers

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Filed under Capturing Audience, Conferences, Television Script Writing, Video Production, YouTube

Marketing Short-Clip Videos: Vine versus Instagram

By My Web WritersVideo Marketing new

Video clips are a heavily used resource for brand promotion and marketing. They are more interactive and captivating than images alone and have the ability to convey a message without words. While not everyone possesses the talent to create award-winning films, technology has provided us with a few key tools which allows us to come pretty close – at least on an amateur level. Two phone apps, Vine and Instagram have recently hit the market and are making quite a splash. Both allow for users to record short clips and make them go viral in seconds. While the uses of these apps may appear similar, their features and functionality make them quite different. With a closer look at each app, you’ll see that they have a core audience and key purpose in mind.

Let’s look at Vine…

Pros:

Through Vine, you are able to create video clips that are six seconds in length. The concept behind such a specific time frame is to create a clip that is easily consumed by viewers. It doesn’t require as much commitment or attention span as a video of greater length. Also, with only six seconds to capture a moment, you have to be more creative with what you shoot and how you edit it. Vine also allows for videos to be looped, giving them GIF-like qualities. Finally, Vine videos are able to be embedded which is ideal for sharing on social media and placing on your web site or in an email.

Cons:

On the other side of the coin, Vine does not give you the option of filters or editing for your videos. This means that how you shoot it is how you see it. Also, Vine videos can currently only be shared to Facebook and Twitter. Other social media sites like Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare and by email require extra steps to market your video.

To summarize, Vine is the best video app for someone looking to create a clip with a moving/GIF-like quality image that loops. It requires creativity to stick to the six second time limit, but the reward is that such a short clip will likely be viewed more times.  Vine is not for the masses. It appeals to a niche market of users who appreciate the talent it takes to create a short clip without editing or filter features.

Now let’s compare Instagram…

Pros:

In the battle of video apps, Instagram has differentiated itself from Vine by allowing users to create clips that are 15 seconds in length. This is a great advantage to the video’s creator who has more than double the time to tell a story. And telling a story is exactly what Instagram is designed to do! This length of time allows for a beginning, middle and end all within a quarter of a minute. Instagram offers filters to enhance how your video looks, image stabilization and the ability to delete the last clip. Unlike Vine, you can share your video to six different platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Email and Foursquare.

Cons:

Although Instagram has many advantages, it’s important to also consider its drawbacks. This app does not feature looping, meaning viewers must click to replay the video each time. Also, videos are not embeddable which limits how you can share and promote your work. Finally, the 15 second video length is a pro to the creator, but it can be a con to the viewer. With our ever-decreasing attention span, even 15 seconds can feel too long and you risk viewers tuning out or turning it off before your message if fully relayed.

To summarize, the Instagram video app is ideal if you want to tell a story in a brief period of time. The fancy features such as filters, stabilization and editing allow you to run a “mini cinema” from your phone and easily share it across your social networks. This app is made for the masses. But when trying to be everything to everyone, it loses its niche appeal. ~Stephanie


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Filed under Instagram, Social Media, Video Production, Vine, YouTube

How to Optimize YouTube Content and Maximize Hits

By My Web WritersYouTube-Official-Logo

YouTube stores videos of every genre imaginable. From inspiring, educational and serious videos to funny, cute and creative ones, if you search for something on YouTube you will likely find hundreds of results. But the videos that appear in searches are not as random as you might think. Rather, they are the result of content that has been properly optimized to maximize its visibility. Content optimization is a critical part of increasing search traffic, views, subscribers and ultimately hits to your web site. The good news is that you too can optimize your YouTube video content by paying special attention to these areas when uploading your next big hit:

Title

You video’s title is the first way it communicates with potential viewers. This means it’s critical that the title captures interest and compels people to not only click play, but to continue watching the entire video. First, be sure that the title accurately represents the content that is within the video. Don’t trick the viewer or use gimmicky language like “YOU MUST WATCH THIS NOW” which can make people feel as though they’re being solicited rather than informed or entertained. Next, incorporate the most important keywords from the video into the title first. Finally, be sure to include words that help promote your brand or business after the keywords. For examples of some optimized titles, simply check out YouTube’s homepage! These are the videos that have made it to the top for their popular content and optimization.

Tags

Pay attention to your tags! First think, “What are popular search terms people may use to find my type of video?” These are the general tags you should aim to include with every video you post. Examples may include: sports, news, events, funny, prank, educational, inspiring. In addition to these general tags, you will also want to add specific tags that are unique to your video. This is a good opportunity to include your business name or branding in the tags. General tags are great for including you in the big pool of search results, but specific tags will help your video get more visibility since its competing against such fewer results. Finally, be sure to place any phrases in quotations. This will ensure YouTube will read them as one term and will keep your tagging accurate and optimized.

Description

Your video’s description should tell a story, but not just any story. It should tell the most compelling story possible while strategically using keywords related to your video’s content. That’s right, the importance of keywords continues into the description as well. Keep the description concise and carefully craft the first sentence so that if viewers read nothing else, they would have a good understanding of what they’re supposed to take from the video. Finally, think of what call to action you want to leave viewers with. If the goal is to get them to visit your blog or web site, be sure to include the URL. If the goal is to get them to view your other videos or become a subscriber to your channel, be sure to include links to these videos and their titles. The description is an important opportunity to say with words what your video is showing with action. And don’t overlook the power of keywords!

In closing, it is important to remember that it is never too late to improve the optimization of your YouTube videos. You can put these strategies to use for videos that were uploaded two days ago or two years ago and achieve effective results. ~Stephanie


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Filed under Algorithms, Social Media, Video Production, YouTube

Five Video Perfect, Speech Opener Ideas

My Web WritersVideo Perfect Speech Ideas

If you’re not using video yet– you should be.  When using video as a way to communicate mass messages, these following five ideas will help you to open with strong and compelling calls-to-attention and to pique your audiences’ interests.

1. Start with a demonstration.

Video presentations can do what would not be nearly as effective in front of a large, live audience. You can open your speech with a hands-on demonstration, talent, or trick – especially one that can be zoomed in on. Many people learn by doing and so a speech that begins with an immediate action captures interest and improves retention. This makes the audience want to know the connection between your demonstration and what you’re about to say next. We like the Shindigz video collection because of the quality and quantity of helpful tips and the ways in which these party products are demonstrated by Wendy and Mary.

2. Add emotion.

A video speech or presentation is also a key opportunity to employ an emotional appeal to your audience. You can begin with a montage of photos with a voiceover, words or a story from someone else or tell a story that is personal to you. Music can greatly enhance the effect of this. Another important benefit of this speech opener is that it helps to create a relationship with the audience. Through video you can sometimes lose that “human element” that you get from a live presentation, but by incorporating emotion you ensure this important element is still present right from the start. We think the Dove Real Beauty Sketches demonstrate how to effectively tug at heartstrings.

3. Incorporate humor.

The use of humor is a tried-and-true technique for many different styles of speeches. Remember that with video, you have the advantage of zooming in on facial expressions to really emphasize the humor in a story.  Telling a joke is a perfect speech opener idea for this medium because it helps to break the ice and set a warm and friendly tone. Whether dry or sarcastic, humor like Apple Coasting will bring a welcome chuckle.

4. Reference another well known speech or video clip.

Countless video clips have risen to stardom overnight after going viral on social media. These have become just about as well known as classic novels, especially depending upon the generation you ask. Including a short clip from a well known viral video as the opener of your own video speech is a great way to capture an audience’s attention and to prime them for your message. Ideally, such a clip should be relatable to the rest of your speech. With the many, many viral videos to choose from, you should be able to find something that can be woven into almost any message.  We think this Cimorelli and Matty B spoof of Cary Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe is a fun way for up-and-coming singers to partner and credit a well-known singer.

5. Do something completely unexpected.

Finally, video speeches are a great opportunity to do something completely unexpected and harness this as an effective opener to capture your audience’s attention. You’re able to zoom-in, edit, add special features and use props much more easily than you could in front of a large, live audience. So stretch your creativity and really think outside the box for an unexpected opener like a special effects trick, goofy song or sound effect. This can be in relation to the topic of the rest of your video speech or it could be a complete contrast that will keep the audience guessing.

There are many great opportunities to open your video speech that will capture your audience’s attention, build your credibility and set the stage for a powerful message.  These are just five to help get you started. They key is to remember that you must tailor your message to your audience and your medium. A video presentation or speech has unique challenges and advantages of which you should be aware and take into consideration. With the right opener and ever-advancing technology, your message can travel as far and as fast as your viewers are inspired to take it!    ~Stephanie & Jean

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Filed under Giving a Toast, Introductions, Speech Openers, Speeches, Video Production, YouTube