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December 13, 2006

List of Video Aggregators

Posted by Sanford Dickert | Discussion: 2 Comments

In many campaigns, people are looking for ways of distributing their content to various web hosting sites - in order to share the video with constituents and potentially save the money in hosting. The challenge I have is, beyond the big sites, where else can I distribute the video? For that, I offer the following list of video aggregators/hosting sites which I will continually update as new ones come, and old ones disappear.

I will divide these sites based on the features and capabilities (including ad insertion and Terms of Service), but will start with a simple listing of the ones I am aware of. Last Update: December 25, 2006

YouTube-like Sites
These sites are similar in nature to YouTube, providing hosting, directory services and syndication (read: embed tools) for distribution on blogs or websites.

Hosting and/or Syndication Sites
These sites are simplistic hosting services either without directory tools or syndication tools. Broadband Television Sites
These sites are building premium, MSM or selective content into television "channels". Directory Sites
These sites have directory listings - either with a taxonomy, hierarchy or general social filters. Other Video Sites
These sites are either tools, widget solutions or others.

Special shout out to Phil Harvey of LightReading, Mediathink and Deirdré Straughan of Beginning with I.

If you see any mistakes or would like to be added to this list, please comment on this post.

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October 6, 2006

Podcasting 101 - How do I get started?

Posted by Sanford Dickert | Discussion: 0 Comments

podcast_logo.gifOne of the most amusing discussions I have been having with people have been on the discussion of social media, which you can read as podcasting, vidcasting, vblogging, videoblogging, audioblogging - whatever. People are doing it any number of ways - using Macs, PCs, simple MP3 recorders, video cameras, Treos, etcera - and, from an outsider's point-of-view, it can seem somewhat daunting. What is RSS? What is an "enclosure"? Can I "blog" it? How do I work it? Do I need a "techie"?

Too many questions!
There are a number of solutions for podcasting - both video and audio - and, depending upon your needs, you can do it yourself, if you are willing to invest the time (I promise, not that much time is needed). To help in this, I am leveraging some of my experiences from my corporate business, Contagious Conversations, where I will interspirse posts on the basics of podcasting in the coming weeks. To make it easier to understand (and less expensive), I will focus on audio podcasting, since most campaigns will not be spending an inordinate amount of time doing video production (okay, there is always an exception). So, to begin with, let's start with a very simple question: what is a podcast?

MP3 files alone do not make a podcast, and no iPod needed
One of the funniest lessons I had discussing social media with other people was the overuse of the word "podcast". If you look at ABCNews' "This Week" page, scroll down to the This Week Podcasts - and note the name of the MP3 link, "Listen to the 'This Week' Podcast". While ABCNews has learned from their prior misnomers, the MP3 file is still called a podcast - and a number of sites that allow for people to download audio or video files are not "podcasting".

Podcasting, to quote directly from the ABCNews' site is:

Podcasting is the latest in on-the-go, on-demand technology. With podcasting, you can listen to radio programs or events whenever and wherever you choose. Podcasts are MP3 audio files that are automatically downloaded to your personal computer, and then transferred to an iPod or other MP3 player using a podcasting application. (my emphasis)

You might wonder why I am making such an issue out of this - many of you know what a podcast is, you listen to them via iTunes on your iPod. But, the number of political campaigns that think a podcast is putting an audio file on a website for download misses the fundamental benefit of podcasting: the file becomes viral campaign collateral if it is properly marketed and disseminated through the networks already formed for podcasts. Rather than thinking that the website is the end-all of the campaign's online presence, consider the viral nature of the Jib-Jab flash animation in 2004, or the "kiss" video on YouTube that impacted Lieberman's primary campaign. Podcasting is the ability to make your media content transportable and delivering it to where other people can find it - without coming back to the website.

This is not any different than thinking about having campaign offices in different geographic areas - everyone does not have to come back to the main office to get their lawn signs or bumper stickers. If you know where the podcasts can be found (e.g. Odeo, Blubrry, PodShow, Podcast Alley, Podcast Pickle to name a few), you can submit your podcast feed (now here is where it gets tricky...) and then supporters can find your podcast!

Now that this is clear, let's get to the next question: why are you doing a podcast?

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