Popular Posts

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The New Facebook News Feed and What It Means - NYTimes.com

Hi Gang now here we have something that is correctly seen as an important shift in how people relate to one another on the web. What's the most interesting is thing here is that Facebook is deciding to change how people relate to their information for them, rather than letting them decide how to organize it for themselves. In other words they are going to edit your data for you based on their algorithms interpretation  of what you see as important. Now if you were able to tell this virtual assistant what you wanted it to do , that would be interesting, but they assumme that you are to lazy of dumb to do it for yourself, sooo. I will bet a lot of research went into this decision, Right!
Dr. Media

The New Facebook News Feed and What It Means - NYTimes.com
The New

October 23, 2009
The New Facebook News Feed and What It Means

Facebook just made one of the biggest changes to the site's user experience since the introduction of the News Feed three years ago. News Feed was the place in the very center of the site where all the activities of a user's friends were displayed in reverse chronological order. That feature is now called the Live Feed and the News Feed has become a filtered display of activity highlights instead.

In September 2006 the News Feed was a radical idea; thousands of Facebook users revolted against the idea that all their friends would be shown every photo they uploaded, when their relationship status changed and other information as soon as it was available. Today we live in a different world. Almost everything is social and the new challenge is tackling information overload. That's what Facebook just did today and it's going to be very important for the future.

The real-time flow of social activity data is very exciting, but many people have cautioned that it will be a net-negative for users' experience of the web as we're flooded with an overwhelming quantity of low-quality information. Confronting this issue is an obvious next step for social software.

Everyone's trying to solve this problem. There are inbox filtering services like ReMail, Threadsy and the experimental new Mozilla Raindrop. There are column filters in stream readers like Tweetdeck and Seesmic. Google Reader yesterday introduced a "magic" filter view for the most popular items across the whole network. FriendFeed, a small but innovative social aggregator started by one of the creators of GMail and acquired by Facebook for $50 million this summer, offers a "best of day" view of any stream of updates you're looking at.

That FriendFeed view is the closest thing to the new Facebook News Feed, but a Facebook spokesperson told us that the two products are unrelated.

Everyone's trying to tackle information overload. Step one, get more people sharing information. Step two, figure out how to create a personalized, high-value view of all that information by surfacing the most important updates for each user. Step three, profit!

How It Works

The new News Feed view is based on an algorithm that scores every update coming in through what's now called the Live Feed. That scoring is based on the number of "likes" and comments an item has received and how much you personally have interacted with the update's author in the past.

A related algorithm was used in the past to create the "highlights" section on the right-hand side of the Facebook home page. That section was getting too little interaction and didn't include things like important status updates, the company says. If your sister posted a status update saying that she's pregnant, a Facebook spokesperson told us today, that wouldn't show up in the old highlights view. It should show up in your News Feed now.

So three big changes: 1. The new Live Feed is linked-to at the top of the page and shows a number of new items since your last visit. 2. Highlights plus hot status updates are now the default, the new News Feed. 3. Birthdays and other important events have taken the place of the old Highlights section; they are of particular interest to users and will now be easier to see.

What It Means

Facebook says that after viewing your new News Feed, you can go check out the raw Live Stream of all the most recent updates from your contacts. That's the opposite of the way FriendFeed did it and neither strategy should be taken for granted. Decisions like this impact a major method of communication for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

By showing the News Feed highlights as the default view, Facebook will probably encourage users to pay more attention to, interact with more and grow closer to the people they already have a history of interacting with and the events that are already popular. Weak social connections and your personal long-tail of content are less prioritized in this view.

The inclusion of a user's past behavior as a criteria for hotness is key, though. It's not just a popularity contest. Your News Feed is your little universe and popularity is defined in relative terms.

What It Could Mean In the Future

Someday social networking is going to be like the telephone. Today you can't send messages from Facebook to people on MySpace or LinkedIn but that isn't going to last forever. Just as you can call someone who uses T-Mobile from your Sprint phone, someday sharing and messaging between online social networks will be a given.

How will social networks retain users then? Why stick with Facebook when some smaller service offers a decentralized social networking service outside of Facebook's control but still tied into your friends on Facebook and elsewhere?

These services will someday have to compete on user experience, when they no longer have your social connections locked-in. The service that does the best job filtering up the most important information you have coming your way will likely be the service you stick with. That's going to be a key area of competition between social networks.

How well will Facebook do at filtering the Live Stream of content? We're about to find out and it's going to make a big difference in how we experience the web. That will only be more true and more and more people begin publishing content.

Copyright 2009 ReadWriteWeb. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Declaration of Independence: The Ten Principles of Hybrid Distribution

Hi Folks,
I wanted to bring your attention to Peter's excellent analysis. What is most important here is that you need to KNOW where your audience may be, WHO they are, and HOW to reach them.
In order to do these things you need to have a business strategy, and a story to tell them. The interesting thing, especially for media makers, is to tell your story, you need to tell your story on the web. The meta story, the story of you, the project, why you made it, how you made it, who wants to see it, why, etc.
Who better to do this than filmmakers.
Dr. Media says stick to your vision and learn the new media methods, musicians did, now its your turn.

Declaration of Independence: The Ten Principles of Hybrid Distribution - indieWIRE

Declaration of Independence: The Ten Principles of Hybrid Distribution
iw by Peter Broderick (September 21, 2009)
Declaration of Independence: The Ten Principles of Hybrid Distribution
Peter Broderick, this morning in Manhattan. Photo by indieWIRE

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That whenever any form of distribution becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new distribution most likely to effect their livelihood and happiness.

When a long train of abuses and usurpations reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such distribution.

- Thomas Jefferson (liberties taken by Peter Broderick)

Hybrid distribution is the state-of-the-art model more and more filmmakers are using to succeed. It enables them to have unprecedented access to audiences, to maintain overall control of their distribution, and to receive a significantly larger share of revenues.

This article is a sequel to my report, “Welcome to the New World of Distribution,” which was published exactly a year ago in indieWIRE. Since the report appeared, the Old World of Distribution has continued to decline. The vast majority of filmmakers making Old World deals (in which they give all of their distribution rights to one company for up to 25 years) are ending up dissatisfied, including producers and directors who had previously succeeded in the Old World. Many of them have told me that the traditional distribution system is broken and that they are determined to find a new approach.

Meanwhile it has been a banner year in the New World. Hybrid distribution has come into its own with such successes as “Valentino: The Last Emperor” and “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” both of which hired service deal companies to handle their theatrical distribution. Working with Abramorama, ANVIL has grossed over $675,000 in U.S. theaters. Through Truly Indie and Vitagraph Films, “Valentino” grossed more than $1,755,000 theatrically. In addition to consulting on “Valentino,” I also consulted on a number of other films that successfully combined theatrical service deals and semi-theatrical runs, including “The Singing Revolution” (Abramorama), “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” (theatrical: Balcony Releasing; semi-theatrical: Film Sprout), “Note by Note” (Argot Pictures) and “Throw Down Your Heart” (Argot Pictures).

I coined the term “hybrid distribution” in 2005 to describe the innovative model I had been developing for several years alongside a handful of pioneering independents. Inspired by the example of “Reversal” (which Jimi Petulla sold so lucratively from his website), I helped design the strategy for one of the first hybrid breakthroughs—Mark Neale’s documentary “Faster.” Since then I’ve worked with hundreds of filmmakers to develop and implement hybrid strategies. Each film I’ve consulted on—from features such as “Ballast” and “Good Dick” to documentaries like “King Corn” and “The Future of Food”—has helped me refine the hybrid distribution model.

As this model has been used more widely, the meaning of the term “hybrid distribution” has become less precise. When Thom Powers asked me to give a presentation at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, I took the opportunity to define the core principles of hybrid distribution. My goal was to break the concept into essential components that filmmakers can use to create customized distribution strategies. This article expands on my Toronto presentation.

Let’s start with a definition. Hybrid distribution combines direct sales by filmmakers with distribution by third parties (e.g. DVD distributors, TV channels, VOD companies, educational distributors). In the Old World of Distribution, Plan A was to give all your distribution rights to one company and Plan B was self-distribution. In the New World, Plan A is doing your own direct sales while splitting up the other rights; Plan B is making an all-rights deal with one company.

Today many filmmakers are as determined to retain “distribution control” as they are to maintain “creative control.” Distribution control is the power to determine the overall structure and sequence of distribution, select distribution partners, and divide up distribution rights. While single source production financing usually means the loss of some measure of creative control, single source distribution through an all-rights deal always means the loss of distribution control.

A hybrid approach enables filmmakers to choose partners with the resources and expertise to maximize distribution in different channels while allowing filmmakers themselves to do what they do best—reach core audiences directly.

The following ten principles are distilled from the experience of filmmakers I have worked with across the country and overseas. As their distribution strategist, I have been by their side as they have explored the New World of Distribution.

1. Design a customized distribution strategy.

Every film needs a customized distribution strategy. Ideally this strategy should be designed before the film is made, increasing the chances of securing financing. To create a strategy, filmmakers must clearly define their goals and priorities, identify the film’s initial core audiences, plan different versions of the film (e.g. theatrical, television, DVD, foreign, educational), determine distribution avenues and a release sequence, identify potential partners, and decide how to initially position the film both online and off. The strategy should be flexible, implemented one stage at a time, and regularly assessed and refined.

2. Split distribution rights.

While in the Old World of Distribution all domestic rights were usually given to one company, hybrid distribution enables rights to be split more finely and effectively. Filmmakers retain direct sales rights, including the right to sell DVDs from their websites and at screenings, and the right to sell downloads and rentals from their sites. Most often filmmakers also retain theatrical and semi-theatrical. VOD, television, and retail DVD deals are usually made with separate distribution partners. Deals are often made with educational partners but some filmmakers are retaining these rights. Digital rights for avenues like iTunes are more complicated—they are sometimes given to the retail DVD distributor or the VOD distributor and sometimes licensed separately.

Rights can be usefully divided into eight domestic and two international categories:

Semi-Theatrical & Non-theatrical
Retail DVD
Direct DVD
Digital Rental & Download

Other (Theatrical, DVD & Digital)

While splitting up rights is complicated and time consuming, it allows each right to be exploited well, avoids cross-collateralization (where expenses from one area of distribution eat away at revenues from others), and allows a filmmaker to retain overall distribution control.

3. Choose effective distribution partners.

In the Old World where all domestic distribution rights were usually lumped together, certain rights were often poorly utilized or completely overlooked. In the New World, it is important to determine how best to exploit every right without neglecting any of them. Filmmakers can handle some rights most successfully on their own. In other areas, the goal is to find the distribution partner with the skills and experience to be most effective. Ideally this partner has an impressive track record with similar films or particular niche audiences. Before signing any deal with a distribution partner, it is essential to speak with other filmmakers currently or recently in business with the company.

4. Circumscribe rights.

Grant each distribution partner only the specific rights they can handle well. For example, if a company is strong in retail DVD and digital, give them these rights, but do not also give them VOD if they have no experience with VOD.

Carefully limit the rights (scope, term, exclusivity) granted to each partner. Make sure the rights given to different distributors complement each other without conflicting. Make as many deals as possible at the same time so the rights given in one area do not subsequently prevent you from making deals in other areas.

5. Craft win-win deals.

Design deals that will work well for both your distribution partner and you. Divide revenues fairly and define responsibilities clearly. Build in guarantees (e.g. minimum number of cities and marketing spend, performance guarantee), approvals (e.g. deals, marketing, editing), and safeguards (e.g. escape clauses, expense cap, bankruptcy protection, limits on assignment, dispute resolution).

6. Retain direct sales rights.

Retain the domestic and international rights to sell DVDs (from your
website and at screenings) and downloads and streams (from your
website). Also retain the rights to screen the film theatrically and

Direct sales are the lynchpin of a hybrid distribution strategy. They have four significant advantages over third-party sales:

• Higher profit margins – A DVD sold directly from a filmmaker’s website can easily yield profit margins 7-8 times as high as DVDs sold in retail.

• Faster payment – Filmmakers usually receive payments faster from PayPal or a fulfillment company than they would from a distributor.

• Revenues aren’t split with middlemen – Filmmakers receive all of the revenues, after manufacturing and fulfillment costs.

• Customer information – Filmmakers receive data on all
customers who make purchases from their websites, but do not get any
information on consumers who buy through third-party retailers. This
data enables filmmakers to stay in touch with purchasers and offer them
other products.

7. Assemble a distribution team.

It is as important to have a distribution team, as it is to have a
production team. This team includes some or all of the following:
strategist, producer’s rep, foreign sales agent, webmaster, outreach
coordinator, theatrical and semi-theatrical bookers, print and online
publicists, and fulfillment company.

8. Partner with nonprofits and online communities.

Nonprofits can be indispensable distribution partners. They can
build awareness among key core audiences by hosting screenings at
national conventions and local chapters, by co-sponsoring house
parties, and by promoting films through their publications and
websites. Online communities can also increase buzz, audience, and
sales (through affiliate marketing), potentially helping your film go

9. Maximize direct revenues.

In addition to selling DVDs directly from their websites, filmmakers
can also sell other products they produce (e.g. soundtrack albums,
companion books, posters, hats, and t-shirts). Filmmakers can also
purchase related products from third parties (e.g. books, DVDs, CDs)
that will be of particular interest to their audiences. As online
retailers, they can buy these products at wholesale and resell them
from their sites at retail.

10. Grow and nurture audiences.

Independents can expand their films’ audiences by building mailing
lists, communicating effectively and developing ongoing relationships
with subscribers. They should provide them with valuable and engaging
content, while keeping sales pitches to a minimum. They should also
create a content-rich, dynamic, and interactive website that encourages
participation. Their ultimate goal is to develop a core personal
audience that can support future projects through contributions and

While hybrid distribution is the state-of-the-art model for the New
World, it is not the best approach for all independent films. Some
movies are better served by an Old World all-rights deal with an
experienced distributor. The best distributors have resources,
relationships, and expertise, which can be essential to a wide
theatrical release. They may also have advantageous deals in place for
VOD, DVD, and digital rights. If filmmakers do due diligence (by
speaking with other filmmakers involved with the distributor they are
considering) and are able to negotiate a fair deal, their best choice
may be an all-rights deal. Higher budget, more mainstream features are
better suited for an Old World approach.

Hybrid strategies are ideal for most documentaries. Lower budget,
more distinctive features, like “Good Dick,” may also be better off
splitting up their rights in the New World. Features with strong core
audiences can also do well implementing a hybrid model. “My Big Fat
Greek Wedding” used a theatrical service deal to gross over $241
million domestically.

Just as the development of digital filmmaking tools in the ‘90s
meant that no one could stop determined independents from making
movies, the evolution of hybrid distribution in this decade means that
no one can stop tenacious filmmakers from bringing their films into the

As the New World of Distribution continues to expand, hybrid
distribution will become the optimal model for a wider array of films.
It offers three major advantages over an all-rights deal. By enabling
filmmakers to retain “distribution control,” it allows them to use
strategies that are much more customized and better targeted. Hybrid
distribution gives filmmakers a significantly larger share of revenues
through direct sales and fairer terms in third-party deals. By
providing filmmakers direct access to viewers, it also lets
independents develop a supportive audience around films and to build a
personal fan base that can help sustain them over time. Hybrid
distribution can make the difference between being a dependent
filmmaker in the Old World or an independent filmmaker in the New World.

FEEDBACK WELCOME: These principles of hybrid distribution emerged
from the experiences of hundreds of filmmakers. They will continue to
evolve as more and more independents use these strategies. I’d welcome
any thoughts, techniques, or case studies you want to send my way
(peter@peterbroderick.com). My goal is to create a living document that
evolves with the latest hybrid experiences and empowers filmmakers to
realize their full potential. Visit www.peterbroderick.com to sign up for the “Distribution Bulletin,” featuring the latest in independent film distribution and marketing.

(c) 2009 Peter Broderick

Google's YouTube Finds Money In Analytics

Hi Folks, so now we have a claim that content id technology will allow media owners to track their content and this is being turned into money .Really? I for one would like to see the real data which supports that claim, and I would bet the advertisers would as well. The skinny I got from the techies that work for some of these companies is that the metrics are dicey at best.
Is interesting to note that Sony tracked down the use of a tune in a wedding video, now THAT could get real interesting.
Dr. Media

MediaPost Publications Google's YouTube Finds Money In Analytics 09/29/2009

First Google found a way to generate revenue from YouTube video through Content ID. Now the Mountain View, Calif. company gives copyright holders a tool to track viewer sentiment to determine the best distribution and marketing strategy for music, video and other content clips that are generated and uploaded by the community.

Think Google Analytics for YouTube. The content management feature integrates Content ID, which allows copyright holders to find and monetize content uploaded across the YouTube network with YouTube Insights, a free analytics tool that lets media companies mine information. The combined tool could help copyright owners generate revenue from the data, which in theory should boost profits for YouTube.

ComScore released August 2009 data from the comScore Video Metrix service Monday. The data shows that 161 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month. Online video reached another all-time high in August with more than 25 billion videos viewed during the month, with Google Sites accounting for more than 10 billion.

Google sites continue to rank No. 1 in the U.S., surpassing 10 billion videos viewed in August, which represents 40% of all videos viewed online. YouTube.com accounted for 99% of all videos viewed on Google properties. Microsoft sites ranked No. 2 with 547 million, or 2.2%, followed by Viacom Digital with 539 million videos viewed, 2.1%, and Hulu with 488 million, or 1.9%, according to comScore.

Combining Content ID with YouTube Insights gives media companies data on view count, geographic region, most-viewed part of the video, and audience demographics. It allows content owners -- such as music labels, movie studios and advertisers -- to compare audience demographics between "claimed videos" and "official versions." It also provides data and insight into Web sites or search terms that drive the most traffic to versions of the content uploaded by YouTube members.

Now, all the statistics and the data from YouTube Insights is also available to Content ID partners -- making the content management tools more useful, especially for media companies claiming and complaining that videos uploaded by YouTube members generate lots of views.

"Some partners have millions of claims in the system," says David King, product manager of Content ID at Google. "From a marketing and business intelligence perspective, we needed to find a better way for them to understand their audience."

Aside from tracking the blogs where the videos appear, media companies now know the keyword terms that people search on to find the videos, and the sites that link back to videos that YouTube members upload. This allows media companies to understand their audience -- people who become passionate about a subject and take time to upload and distribute a video.

And this also provides fodder to design new distribution strategies after realizing that people uploading the videos have different ideas on distributing content than executives at major music labels, broadcasters and movie studio had thought.

A feature called Hot Spots identifies the hottest parts people rewind to within a video. It also gives media companies the exact location when viewers close the clip and lose interest. The feature enables copyright owners to understand why YouTube members edited, mashed-up and uploaded the videos in the way they did.

Sony Music used Content ID to claim a user-generated wedding video featuring a Chris Brown song. "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" became the music label's eighth-most-popular video on YouTube. While Sony learned about the demographics from their own upload, it also analyzed the wedding video to determine whether the demographics differed and sparked new ideas for distribution, sales and marketing that were not previously considered.

All major labels, broadcasters and studios in the United States rely on Content ID to protect copyrighted content. In fact, more than 1,000 companies worldwide tap into the technology. Rather than copyright holders turning their back on fans, media companies have begun to make money on consumers who take time to share their passions.