Online Video Article in HBJ by Katie Laird

Katie Laird has an article in this weeks Houston Business Journal!

Online video packs huge punch as part of marketing strategy

It’s probably already happened. A colleague, relative or friend sends a "This is so cool!" e-mail with a link to an online video on YouTube or another Web site. It may be a news clip, silly home video or a heart-warming snippet from a family gathering.

The mass appeal and growing availability of online videos is changing the way people consume information on the Web, and savvy businesses are trying to keep up.

Cross posted here. Congrats Katie!

The GE Equation: “What we can imagine, we can make happen”

  The GE equation 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

"What we can imagine, we can make happen" – GE Equation

Working on our vision and values statements. Well, I side with Jack Welch that I am accountable for the vision and the team must generate the values. And they did. And they are awesome!

So awesome in fact, that I now need to be sure the vision statement is big enough to handle the scope of what we are doing. Only time will tell.

The photo is from the American Advertising Federation Annual Conference last year. It is the GE Equation. Click through to all sizes to see the whole formula. I apologize for the resolution, but content is there.

Creating Passionate Users Guru Cancels Due to Attacks

Kathy Sierra, a usability guru and phenomenal communicator, was forced to cancel her presentations at eTech because of threats against her personally in the blogosphere.

First and foremost – our thoughts and prayers are with you Kathy on a quick and just resolution.

From Kathy’s blog post (please click through and read the whole thing)

Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)

As I type this, I am supposed to be in San Diego, delivering a workshop
at the ETech conference. But I’m not. I’m at home, with the doors
locked, terrified. For the last four weeks, I’ve been getting death
threat comments on this blog. But that’s not what pushed me over the
edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and
sex posted on two other blogs… blogs authored and/or owned by a group that includes prominent bloggers.

These are not your normal attacks, there are actual death threats. It is one thing for someone to do a nasty blog post, it is another for a human to tip the scales to the really insane side. In this case, the attackers are certifiable. And unfortunately they are hurting Kathy. And the community.

I do not have the skills to articulate a next set of steps. And the Tech community rallying trying to find Jim Gray was not successful. Hopefully this time with log files and research, we will be able to nail the bastards with criminal charges. Some things are definitely not free speech. And this is one of those times.

Now lets see if those blogs, most of which are now shut down, cooperate turning over their log files. Please may common sense rule the day.

I am at eTech as I type this so I’ll update if I hear anything. This is beyond crisis comm, this is criminal activity that must be stopped.

On the Growing Accessibility of Screencasting

  Learn How To Screencast! 
  Originally uploaded by cambodia4kidsorg.

From Beth’s blog, I liked the following excerpt from her Screencasting Primer. It gets to the heart of the matter on tools to use for video demonstrations of software or web sites:

I started off using the free video editing software that came with my PC and Camstudio and a $10 microphone. Later, as my skills improved I invested in Camtasia (approximately $300) which is considered the gold standard for screencasting and a decent USB microphone. Other PC users have told me they use SnagIt ($40) which captures screen and audio and an entry level video editing programs like Adobe Preimere Elements or Sony Vegas which retail for approximately $100. Many people who work on the MAC platform use Snapz for screen capture and pull it into Final Cut Pro for editing. A new MAC tool called "IshowU" is gaining popularity.

We use Camstudio at our shop. However we found that we could NOT use youTube
or any of the other hosted services and keep the screen resolution
acceptable. And it gets old really fast to look at fuzzy screens
zooming in and out. So our videos are a combination of video and flash
and are self hosted.

Example video here on adding an article to Tendenci. And on that note, here are the Tendenci help videos and the Tendenci software update blog.

Designathon/Codeathon 2.0 – Austin April 14th-15th

Warning – geek posting today. Via whurley and silona, if you are a programmer and want to dig into some fun non profit projects, consider attending the Codeathon in Austin on April 14th and 15th.

Designathon/Codeathon 2.0 — Help build open source web apps for non-profits!

This April, put your stunning design skills to use for charity! Designathon/Codeathon 2.0 is the second in a series of volunteer events based in Austin, Texas to help build usable, accessible, open source web tools for use by the non-profit community.

Full text of the email after the jump.

Continue reading “Designathon/Codeathon 2.0 – Austin April 14th-15th”

What’s Best for Web Analytics? – Article in CIO

Blatant self promotion warning. CIO today web ran an article with a few quotes from me in it. I think the author, Jennifer LeClaire did a good job of being balanced in her approach on a fairly technical subject.

What’s Best for Web Analytics: Client, Server or Hosted?
By Jennifer LeClaire, March 20, 2007 11:59AM

… The Web analytics industry is moving from visits and pageviews to analytics
that reflect more about what people are paying attention to, according to Ed
Schipul, CEO of the Houston-based Schipul Web marketing company that created
Tendenci — a hosted application designed for management associations.

Schipul says companies need to record "events" that reflect actions. It may
be, for example, that a visitor to your site first clicks to watch a video, then
reads more about the product, and then finally makes contact. All of those
activities may occur on the same page. Enterprise-grade server-side solutions
can offer critical insights. (continued…)

I definitely recommend the full article if you are interested in web analytics options.

SMS Text Shortcode Howto Roundup for Advertisers

Twitter is doing a great job of blasting down barriers between web and SMS texting. While at SXSW when the SMS stopped, I popped over to a web browser on the blackberry and kept going. But SMS was more convenient.

So if a you want their own short code, how do you get one? Well luckily this shortcode post on GigaOM answers that question.

10 Things to Know About Short Codes

Do you need one? If you want to market or promote something to mobile users, manage mobile communications to members of a group or organization, or get cell phone users to access your mobile application or service “” then, maybe. How much are you willing to spend and what kind do you need? Here’s 10 things to know about short codes, how to get them and what to avoid:

1). There are two kinds of short codes, shared and dedicated. (finish the shortcode article here)

Update: Note the comments regarding qtags – a Houston based Short Code Service! Thanks for the comments Allison!

Netsquared Next Week – And Nominate!

This month’s Houston Net2 meeting with Robert Brackenridge IS scheduled for next Tuesday March 20th. Same place – stag’s head. Sign up with meetup for the Houston Net2. And on the topic of Net2 – please NOMINATE!

Nominate a Project for a NetSquared Innovation Fund Award by April 6

What do CoolPeopleCare, Map the Van, Grant Wrangler, NewsTrust and TakingITGlobal have in common? They are some of the projects that have been nominated for a NetSquared Innovation Fund Award. You can read their nonprofit project proposals here:

If you are working on a project, or know of a project (including your own) that you think should be nominated, fill out the quick and easy Net2 submission form by April 6th.

Note that the innovation fund has some $$ and I can’t think of a non profit that would not benefit from a little cash. So NOMINATE!

New Hire Training – Read These First

I get to run a small company. Really we have some brilliant people so I am coach and cheerleader but they really run the show. While definitely not as cool as Google, we have a really good thing going. And I get asked a lot how we hire. So I wanted to take a moment to comment on that. Our philosophy is

“Set a clear vision. Hire good people based on integrity, attitude and
intelligence. Train the heck out of them. Let them run.“

Lots of things trip folks up in the interview process. No conspiracy. Just, to be blunt, laziness at times. Examples?

Continue reading “New Hire Training – Read These First”

BMC Goes Open Source? – Whurley on board!

  Originally uploaded by whurley.

I found out at SXSW that BMC may take portions of their systems management software open source in the future. From the press release:

“BMC really understands the value and benefits of open source,“ said Hurley.  “The company is defining the future of systems management with BSM, eliminating complexity in the IT infrastructure, and aligning IT with business.  BMC’s leadership and clear BSM vision, combined with the company’s interest in doing open source correctly, is absolutely something I wanted to be a part of.“ (more)

Link and emphasis added by me. A couple of thoughts on this. So far we have only the intent. But hiring Whurley is a big step for a company like BMC. So I will keep on the lookout for the official source code available for download. And I am not the only one surprised. From this post on 451.

I wouldn’t have guessed that it would be BMC to make the first move. IBM with
Tivoli seemed like the natural play due to IBM’s history with open source. HP
and CA were less clear, but BMC? This is an interesting move that wil have
repercussions in the software management sector.

Now – the press release clearly was written by a PR guy. Whurley
doesn’t talk like that. And they didn’t link to his blog so that looks like corporate speak. But, I did talk to him at Barcamp Austin and he
IS very excited about his role at BMC and the open source moves by BMC.

Now for the bad news. To play the devil’s advocate, this could also be a shrewd move on the
part of BMC to reduce the threat to their very profitable line of
against the Open Management Consortium where Whurley is very active. So only time will tell.

Last thought. That picture. Whurley with the shot lady at Barcamp. Because friends pick ridiculous photos of you to go with big announcements about open source software. <grin>

Twitter – at the Tipping Point and May Not Survive SXSW

This just in. Twitter is officially at the tipping point. Twitter is an SMS like or IM (Instant Messaging) like service that asks one questions; "what are you doing?"

I like the twitter explanation on twistimage:

It’s being called a micro-Blogging platform. I’m not sure that is the
best way to describe it. Simply put you can send a text message (SMS
length) either through a website, instant messenger or mobile device to
your own customized Twitter page (mine is here: Twitter ““ Mitch Joel). From there you add friends (like MySpace)
who are also using Twitter. The point? To tell people what you are
doing now (for instance, take a look at my Twitter widget on the left
which shows you my latest posting). It’s another way to let other know
what you’re up to”¦ right now.

Inkoluv pushed me over the edge to sign up. So yes Erica, you have been bugging me about twitter for months. You too Kelsey. And now I am on twitter at Are you people happy now?

Mainly I don’t miss out on any of the SXSW action over the next few days. It will be interesting to see if it "has legs" after the conference.

Dodgeball? Always had potential. Never worked right. I declare it dead. Sorry!

$3212 in Metacafe Producer Rewards for Beer Chucking Fridge

The beer launching fridge has been making the rounds of email and blogs. And indeed, anything that launches a beer across the room so you don’t have to get up? Well that is a good thing here in Texas. And apparently elsewhere as well.

Yet watching the video I saw something I found amazing. $3212.09 in earnings from MetaCafe. Probably enough to cover this guys beer project. So if he posted it on youTube he makes nothing. Metacafe Producer Rewards and he makes 3k? Um. Beer or Free Beer. 3k = carbon-neutral-free-beer – so HECK YA!

So youTube is like community theater, and metacafe is like Hollywood? I am just saying talent WILL follow the money.