Blip.tv Deleted Me

Blip.tv closed me accountI didn’t care much when some of the online video sites retired “consumer generated” accounts, and killed my Nalts channels. Metacafe, Revver, Yahoo video, Google video. But I’ve been rooting for the Blip.tv underdog since its infancy. So when I learned today they deleted my account, I felt totally betrayed.

Blip.tv is now owned by Internet studio, Maker. They’ve never much liked me, unfortunately.

Here’s one of my early articles of Blip sharing ad revenue. An article about how it paid better than other ad-sharing properties. And one of my favorite blog posts ever… my experience with Blip.tv’s awesome customer service in 2006 when founder Mike Hudack actually answered my call during dinner.

Unfortunately many of my Blip.tv videos are gone for good… not uploaded to other video-sharing sites and not backed up. Whey they began killing some accounts I wasn’t surprised. I expected some of my secondary “staging” accounts at Blip.tv to go away, so I backed them up. But didn’t expect they’d kill my Nalts one. 🙁

Part of my Internet youth died today. Not since Revver closed shop has the internet made me so sad.

Et, tu, Blip? Et tu?

Blip.tv killed me after 7 loyal years
Blip.tv killed me after 7 loyal years

 

How is Google Site Retargeting is Like Santa?

Nothing on Santa, but the big guy can't possibly track this kid like Google "Site Retargeting" ads

He knows when you’ve been sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve filled a shopping cart, so don’t abandon it for goodness sakes. Those banner ads you’ve been seeing on random web pages are quite smart, are they not? Perhaps too smart? Almost like they know who you are? Maybe watching you while YOU sleep? Maybe the ad contains some items you left behind, and might otherwise be sent to the Island of Misfit Purchases?
In the case of “Santa vs. Site Retargeting” let’s examine Exhibit A. To my right is a wonderfully simple and precise example of a non-intrusive (compared to e-mail spam or telemarketing) but highly sophisticated online-ad campaign by CafePress, the company that sells and markets my customized Nalts merchandise despite the fact that few hard-working Americans have yet purchased dingle.

CafePress pays Google a tiny amount of money, and Google shared a tiny portion with the site that served this ad.

Hang in there, folks. We’re building toward the moment you’ll see how it’s not for a lack of smart marketing on CafePress’ side (I had nothing to do with this ad except as a consumer). Now I’ve not yet created clever merchandise for my little CafePress Nalts store, or a significant “call to action” of my audience for this loot because, well, I’m lazy and even I don’t want to appear too pushy. That said, I certainly notice my fellow YouTubers going mental pushing t-shirts, hoodies and custom shoes).

While researching site retargeting (I mean “remarketing) I literallly came across the ad that I’ve copied into the right column. Go ahead and click it. No really, click it. It won’t bite…. It took you to the CafePress Nalts store (which I’m trying to diversify with some products that aren’t so, well, “Nalts”). If you go so far as to select and item and put it into your basket, it’s not the last you’ll see of those luxurious items.

Skip this paragraph if you’re a digital marketing dude familiar with Adwords and Adsense. For the rest? The quickest summary on Google’s Adwords vs. Adsense. Google Adwords is a tool that allows marketers/sellers to “target” ads to individual audiences. Google Adsense is a money maker for publishers or audience generates, hence how YouTube creators receive income based on their portion of the ads we viewers endure. More commonly Adsense is the marketplace vehicle for website publishers or bloggers to to receive income by inviting Google to place these ads in whatever units they prefer (horizontal, squares, banners). It’s mostly an auction model where advertisers pay small amounts by how many ads appear (CPM, cost per thousand) or are clicked (CPC, cost per click).

Google AdWords quietly launched “site remarketing” this year, and avoided the term “retargeting,” perhaps to distinguish itself from the somewhat creepier origin of this practice (which involved cookies and sometimes some breaches on personal data). In fact it shows off some very smart strategies that would normally be available to agencies or media buyers.

Here’s the key paragraph from this post that will be on the test. This CafePress ad unit to your above right is dynamically generated to EXACTLY resemble my abandoned shopping cart on Cafepress! That’s not a dumb banner ad that says “click here” or “ignore me.” It’s the friggin ghost of my abandoned shopping basket! It’s a polite reminder saying “yes, pardon me, sir… we hate to bother you, but did you want us to put these things back on the shelf or would you care to take them home? Most importantly, the ad does not know who you are. It just knows that the person using your browser at one point shopped at a store or visited a website.

Abandoned shopping carts use site-remarketing to tell you they're sad, scared and lonely.

Why is this important? Remember, folks, I’m not just a blogger and video fart guy. I’m also consulting with big brands, and trust me when I say this… site retargeting (remarketing) kicks the ass of about any other form of advertising. It’s insanely targeted, efficient, and drives a measurable ROI that is almost unsurpassed.

Let’s put this in physical terms for the few of you who haven’t dozed off. My wife and I load a shopping cart at a Marshalls stores ever few weeks, and about 30% of the time we actually buy the loot. The other 70% of the time we decide the crap’s not quite good enough for the chaotic line. Given the Marshall’s operations team’s inability staff appropriately, what if a bright Marshalls marketing executive later posted a sign on Route 611 that said, (without mentioning our names): “50% off off-season beach towels, a size 49.5 men’s belt, $35 Bostonian shoes.” I’d say to my lady, “Yeah we almost bought them there goods, honey. What say we go back for them, and pick up them kids who’ve been missing since last time we was at Marshalls?”

When I'm done dropping these prices, I suppose I'll be returning Nalts' abandoned shopping cart to the shelves

To sum it up:

  1. Santa knows you’ve been bad or good, but site retargeting (er, remarketing) knows where, when, and how. It’s like a sad and lonely shopping cart that knows the “sun will come out tomorrow… bet your bottom dollar.”
  2. Santa brings you the loot… or not. But site retargeting politely follows you around until you finally say — okay, you’re right. I wanted those goodies, and I’ll just have to swallow the shipping price (I think free shipping would be more effective than the code for 15% off, which doesn’t even appear to work).
  3. It’s time to expand the old marketing truism that “it’s easier to sell more things to an existing customer than a new one.” Let’s treat site visitors — whether to the homepage or to an abandoned cart — as customers not prospects. We can serve their needs (whether they need them or not) with the efficient tools at even a small business’ disposal.

And hell, compared to elves, they’re cheaper, less likely to unionize, and slightly less creepy.

"All I ever wanted to be was a dentist... or marketer."
creepy elves

Revver 3.0 Launches With “Quilty”

revver quiltyTwo years ago I discovered Revver (the pioneer of creator ad-sharing via video), and she’s growing up. Here’s a Revver blog announcing the new Revver, which includes the ability of viewers to finally comment.

Revver has always suffered from low views relative to larger sites, and the new “Quilty” (see Revver homepage) addresses that. It’s an addictive-like series of thumbnails that rotate and provide instant access to quality content. Not sure if this is editorial or viewer populated, but I assume a blend.

The gulf between sites like Revver and the market leader (YouTube) is widening despite the better quality/crap ratio on Revver. And, until recently, Revver was dense with Adsense and “house” advertisements, which makes me worry about its longevity.

But Revver’s model is unique, the technology is innovative and it has a quirky, creator-friendly soul. And a monkey. Don’t underestimate the monkey.

The Daily Reel (TDR) Goes RIP?

I’m always the last guy to realize someone got laid off. Or someone took a new job. Or the company I worked for shut down 6 months ago, which explains the lack of paycheck and the movers trying to box my computer.

The Daily Reel Goes DarkSo it shouldn’t surprise me that months after The Daily Reel (TDR) apparently died, I’m starting to realize it. No message on the company blog. No new headlines on the homepage. Ads promote an event that happened in October. Heck I free, freelanced for them and I don’t remember getting a memo.

Everything just frozen in time like some of the homes in New Orleans even two years after Katrina. Can’t they hire a temp to turn the lights out?

Halfway through this post, I decided to do a Google News search. New TeeVee writer Liz Gannes was a full 5 days ahead of me in noticing TDR’s dormancy.

I have been tracking some of the alumnae, who are diplomatic about their former employer but extatic about their new gigs:

This reminds me a little of a video spoof I did about online video called Chapter11TV (someone has since squatted the domain name, which used to host a fake site).

The major lesson? Know what you want to be when you grow up. TDR, to me, started as an Entertainment Weekly of online video. Then it started hosting video podcasts, which I thought was complementary. What confused me is when the site invited creators to post their own videos (as opposed to using Revver or another provider). Eventually it was trying to become a community for online video enthusiasts, which gave it an identity crisis and made it, to a degree, competition with some of the sites it was covering. Its final act was facilitating a conference in October.

There were some smart folks involved, so I’m guessing the demise was a result of investor impatience and desperation. Sorry for the folks that set up Reeled In accounts at my urging. Want to do a pool for how long before the site has a 404?