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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s chief financial officer, guest-blogs for Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International, reflecting on the Economy and Marriott’s Prospects for 2009.

Audio Podcast:

“With the slowdown, our stock value has eroded meaningfully in the past year. Just because we have plenty of company doesn’t make the decline any easier. Before things get better, we’re going to have to navigate through a tough 2009… Despite this, and even though the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, we have much to be thankful for. First and foremost, we have a terrific management team, beginning with Bill Marriott, who has been through significant downturns before and has noted that each time we’ve come back stronger…Our business strategy of managing and franchising hotels protects us in slowdowns and primes us for better days. Marriott is a remarkably resilient cash flow generator, even when business slows. Our balance sheet is in good shape and we have access to cash through our revolving line of credit, which has over a billion dollars remaining available. Because of our excellent financial shape, the revolver, as it is called, is free of many of the complex restrictions companies can often experience. In fact, with our solid cash flow and more modest investment spending in 2009, we expect our debt levels will decline next year…”

Marriott People, Places and Purpose:

Continue reading at http://www.blogs.marriott.com/default.asp?item=2298372

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Whether they’re being groomed for acquisition or poised for long-term profit as standalone entities, Web 2.0 startups continue gorging on investors’ millions, according to a new report today from Internet Evolution. Despite the confusion of the current economic climate, “Web 2.0’s Biggest $inkholes” highlights key areas where VCs and angel investors think big Web 2.0 payoffs await:

  • Targeted advertising: JellyCloud couldn’t hack it and $11.5 million later went belly up; Lotame is staying afloat with its $28 million purse.
  • Social networking: All-purpose inbox company Xoopit is working on a $6 million round, while Orgoo is on indefinite hiatus; AOL’s $850 million for Bebo ended up being largely a write-off for the company.
  • Video: Lots of money’s chasing the desire to be the next YouTube – too bad most of the hosted content is porn; Trooker and others are betting there’s a market for video search.
  • Search: Cuil ($33 million) and SearchMe ($43.6 million) might imagine themselves Google killers, or at least viable alternatives. For investors, imagination makes for a crummy investment strategy.
  • Self-publishing/social-publishing: Uber.com and Bricabox litter this landscape, having shuttered themselves as things got rocky. It’s unclear whether ShareNow.com can thrive here.

“These startups are gambling that they’ll be acquired by the dominant players in each of these Web 2.0 sectors – Google, Facebook, YouTube, MSN, and Yahoo,” says Terry Sweeney, Editor in Chief of Internet Evolution. “As if today’s market wasn’t enough of a hindrance, many of these startups also suffer from fuzzy business plans, poor execution, and even crummy company names. Incredibly, that’s not stopping the flow of investment in some below-average companies.”

About Internet Evolution: Internet Evolution hosts more than 100 world-famous Internet experts – such as Kevin Mitnick, once the most-wanted computer hacker in the world; Dr. Lawrence Roberts, inventor of packet switching, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on telecom network architectures; Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.com; Paul Mockapetris, inventor of the Domain Name System (DNS); Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser; and Andrew Keen, author of Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is killing our culture — all of whom are addressing today’s critical socio-economic issues within its ThinkerNet blogosphere. Internet Evolution also offers broadcast-quality broadband video documentaries and interviews; investigative reports; and user-generated content facilitated via the latest Web 2.0 technology.

About TechWeb: TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events, Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat, and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise, InformationWeek.com, bMighty.com, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, and Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services including next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

About United Business Media Limited: United Business Media Limited (UBM) is a global media and marketing services company that informs markets and brings the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print, and with the information they need to do business successfully. UBM serves professional and commercial communities, from IT professionals to doctors, from journalists to jewelry dealers, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. UBM employs more than 6,500 people in more than 30 countries. UBM’s businesses operating in the US include CMPMedica, Commonwealth Business Media, Everything Channel, PR Newswire, RISI, TechInsights, TechWeb and Think Services. UBM is listed on the London Stock Exchange (UBM.L) and has a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.

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StumbleVideoStumbleUpon, one of the most popular ways to discover new Web sites and videos on the Internet, announces the addition of six new content providers to StumbleVideo, including: College Humor, Funny or Die, Vimeo, Dailymotion, veoh.com and vbs.tv. These six new sites are added to StumbleUpon’s current list of content providers including YouTube, Google, MySpace and Metacafe.

Launched in December 2006, StumbleVideo discovers videos based on your interests, learns what you like and brings you more. Each video on StumbleVideo has been discovered and rated by StumbleUpon’s fast growing community of 5 million users.

A recent study by comScore found that there were over 10 billion videos viewed online in February 2008; a 66% gain from February 2007. As the popularity of online video content continues to soar, users need a more engaging way to discover videos that are personally relevant to them. With StumbleVideo, users can easily channel surf the best rated videos that are suited to their interests – directly within the StumbleVideo page.

Michael Buhr, General Manager, StumbleUpon.“With so much video continuing to go online, people are moving away from their televisions for entertainment and looking to the Web,” said Michael Buhr, general manager, StumbleUpon. “StumbleVideo provides a very simple and engaging way for StumbleUpon fans to experience and discover new video content.”

StumbleUpon also delivers the engaging simplicity of online video discovery into the living room with a customized version of StumbleVideo for the Wii, Nintendo’s acclaimed video game console. According to BusinessWeek, there are approximately 24.5M Wiis in the market today. Wii users simply need to open their browser to http://video.stumbleupon.com/ to be entertained.

Start discovering new videos with StumbleVideo.

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Summary: Indie rock band Kindred Souls is sponsoring a photo contest on http://www.Fotki.com. The winning photos selected from entries worldwide will be used in their ‘Leap of Faith’ music video bringing together people from around the globe and celebrating their personal triumphs.

A band, a song, a website, and hundreds possibly thousands of music lovers worldwide will soon join forces to produce a user-generated music video about taking their “Leap of Faith.”

What is a “Leap of Faith?” First, it is an inspirational song by Indie rock band Kindred Souls that is about overcoming obstacles and achieving personal triumphs.

“The song is about saying to yourself, ‘I believe in you!’ It means taking a great leap towards believing in yourself and what you can accomplish,” says Kindred Souls singer-songwriter Jeff Rafferty.

Kindred Souls joined forces with international media social network website http://www.Fotki.com to ask people to share photographs of their “Leap of Faith” – whatever that means to them. Fotki.com is based in 215 countries. This is an opportunity to collaborate on producing a video with people around the globe including photographers, proud parents and grandparents, students, athletes, performers, and non-profits.

To be in the music video, visit http://www.Fotki.com or http://www.kindred-souls.com. Download the song for free, and submit a photo and a brief story about your “Leap of Faith.”

The contest started May 7 and photos will be accepted for two weeks. After that, fans will be asked to vote for their favorites. The photos will be compiled into a music video for the song “Leap of Faith” and launched on YouTube and on http://www.kindred-souls.com.

Lon Bachrach“We will include as many photos as possible in the video and donate $100 to the favorite charity of whoever submits the most popular photo,” says Kindred Souls songwriter and keyboardist Lon Bachrach.

What inspired Leap of Faith? Band founders Rafferty and Bachrach agree it was drawn from overcoming some of their own personal struggles, which includes trying to achieve success for their music.

Playing in clubs ranging from Asbury Park’s Stone Pony to New York’s Knitting Factory, Kindred Souls is an all-original rock-n-roll band whose music has shades of blues, jazz, R&B, funk, and soul. The band features bassist Stan Quincy Adams, guitarists Ted Heman and Jeff Samet, and drummer PauPreview this Postl Lavenhar.

“There isn’t anything else that I can do but make music. Being a musician is who I am,” says Bachrach. “Part of our message is to tell other artists and folks of vision, who are the carriers of creativity’s torch, don’t stop! Continue to share, to create, and to believe. Take your leap of faith!”

Music video by Kindred Souls from their CD “Takes Two”.

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DeepRockDrive, the world’s first interactive online concert venue, has launched a global free concert series in partnership with Pepsi. Featuring five of today’s hottest musical artists including multi-platinum Disturbed, the series reinforces DeepRockDrive’s prominence as the world’s most popular destination for online, interactive concerts.

Presented by Pepsi, five compelling live acts will be performing to global audiences beginning May 16th through May 29th 2008. Kicking off with country music’s hottest new act, Lady Antebellum on May 16, the series continues with YouTube sensation Marie Digby on May 18, singer/songwriter/ guitarist Matt Nathanson on May 27, R&B performer Lloyd on May 25 and culminating with hard rock’s Disturbed on May 29.

Each concert will feature interaction between fans and artists using the revolutionary service that DeepRockDrive has created.

By logging on to http://www.DeepRockDrive.com, music fans around the world will experience a live, online, interactive exchange between performers and their audience where the fans collaborate with artists in real-time to build magical live experiences. Fans can send shout outs to the stage, vote on the next song in the set, personalize camera angle selections and send digital applause to the artists on stage in the form of emot-applause(TM), which are video game-like icons, such as hearts, fists, and lips that blow a kiss. These animated icons appear on giant screens in front of the artists while they perform.

Thanks to the support of Pepsi, the shows in this series are available free of charge, bringing a front row seat to music fans from Las Vegas to London, San Francisco to Singapore, and anywhere where a broadband connection is available.

Of the band’s participation in DeepRockDrive, Disturbed singer David Draiman said, “We are looking forward to taking part of something this unique and powerful.”

The innovation extends to the marketing of the concerts, as DeepRockDrive’s service enables a direct bridge between artists and their fans. Marie Digby, born from her channel on YouTube, created this direct invitation to her fans to attend the show – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzcKij_1RK8

“We jumped at the chance to be a part of this innovative, online experience with DeepRockDrive and the Pepsi Concert series, exposing Matt Nathanson to a worldwide audience,” said Tricia Rice, the Director of Digital Media at Vanguard Records.

“Thanks to the early support and commitment to innovation from Pepsi, DeepRockDrive has built the next generation of live entertainment,” said DeepRockDrive co-founder Danny Socolof.

Free tickets for all shows are available now at http://www.DeepRockDrive.com. Fans can grab a ticket and invite all of their friends. Live music has a new home…yours, and it’s powered by Pepsi!

About the Artists

Disturbed, which is frontman David Draiman, guitarist Dan Donegan, drummer Mike Wengren and bassist John Moyer, self-produced their forthcoming album “Indestructible” which will be released June 3rd on Reprise Records. The first single from the album, “Inside The Fire,” marks the band’s sixth Number One single at Active Rock, and their fastest-rising single to date. Known for their punishingly powerful music and Draiman’s passionate, socially conscious lyrics, Disturbed has sold a collective 10 million copies worldwide of their three albums – 2000’s RIAA-certified triple-platinum The Sickness, 2002’s Billboard album chart-topper Believe, and their second consecutive Number One Ten Thousand Fists – since forming in Chicago in 1996.

Lady Antebellum – Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – blend classic and contemporary country with R&B soulfulness, giving them a unique sound that’s generating a deafening buzz as one of modern country’s brightest hopes. Their self-titled debut, LADY ANTEBELLUM, debuted at the top of the Billboard Country Charts, their debut single, “Love Don’t Live Here,” is a Top Ten hit and still climbing, and the trio has been nominated for “Top New Group” at the 2008 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards. They’ve performed on the legendary Grand Ole Opry, and have opened shows for some of the top names in country music including Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson. Lady Antebellum will be touring all across the country this summer, giving their enthusiastic fan base many opportunities to see them live.

Lloyd is mid-stream in a solid career growth mode: his 2007 album, Street Love, which debuted at No. 2 on both the national Billboard Top 200 album chart and the R&B/Hip-Hop album chart, was certified gold within eight weeks of its release, and spun off two major smashes: “You” featuring Lil Wayne, an R&B/Hip-Hop No. 1 and Top 10 pop hit; and “Get It Shawty,” a No. 4 R&B/Hip-Hop track and Top 20 Hot 100 entry. Lloyd’s upcoming LESSONS IN LOVE is in stores on July 15th with a top-tier list of collaborators including Nelly, Tricky and The-Dream, Polow Da Don, J-Lack, Jasper and Big Reese and Eric Hudson.

Marie Digby’s recently released debut album, Unfold (Hollywood Records) debuted at # 29 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart. The album, described by People Magazine as “radiant guitar pop,” also reached # 2 on the iTunes album chart and # 3 on Billboard’s Digital Top 100 album chart. The first single, “Say It Again,” is in heavy rotation on Hot AC stations across the country. Since Digby burst onto the national stage in 2007 via YouTube, she has become the 7th most subscribed artist, and her homemade videos have accumulated more than 26 million views. Marie also became one of the faces of GAP’s “The Sound of Color” campaign, landed on top 40 radio charting with her version of Rhianna’s “Umbrellla,” and has had her music featuredon MTV’s the Hills, CW’s One Tree Hill, and Smallville. Marie will embark on a nationwide tour kicking off on May 20.

Matt Nathanson’s current Vanguard CD, Some Mad Hope, has spawned two singles, “Car Crash” and “Come On Get Higher” which continue to grow in popularity with fans and radio alike. I “Come On Get Higher” was featured in the Amazon/Pepsi Stuff national radio campaign in the past few months and the track is currently rising up both Triple A and Hot AC radio charts. His music has been prominent in such acclaimed shows as Private Practice, NCIS, One Tree Hill, Women’s Murder Club and will be heard in upcoming episodes of Men In Trees.

About DeepRockDrive

DeepRockDrive was founded in 2007 by music industry marketing veteran and MEGA founder Danny Socolof, and former Microsoft Xbox executive producer Jeff Henshaw. By harnessing the excitement of live performance and the interactivity of the Internet, DeepRockDrive is creating the world’s most popular online destination for interactive live performances. The Company is headquartered in Las Vegas and Seattle with 25 employees and a community comprised of over 50,000 passionate artists and fans worldwide.

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Publishers of many major children’s Web sites should do a better job disclosing sales and advertising information to parents, especially as more kids at younger ages go online to play and meet friends, says a study released today by Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Mediatech Foundation of Flemington, N.J.

httpFor the study, parents in 10 families used video cameras to keep journals, providing insights into the way children use sites such as Club Penguin, Webkinz, Nick Jr., Barbie.com and others. Footage from those journals, which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/cwwkids, illustrates how young children respond to advertising and marketing tactics online.

The study, “Like Taking Candy from a Baby: How Young Children Interact with Online Environments,” used ethnographic methods and focused on young children, ages 2 1/2 to 8. It can be found in its entirety online at: http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/pdfs/kidsonline.pdf

Some key findings:

  • Children as young as 2 1/2 years of age are able to go online.
  • The most popular young children’s sites are moderately to heavily commercialized. When rated by our test parents on a scale from 1 (not commercialized) to 5 (extremely commercialized), the 21 sites considered in this study scored a mean rating of 3.47.
  • Web sites frequently tantalize children, presenting enticing options and even threats that their online creations will become inaccessible unless a purchase is made. Some sites show attractive options that invite a click, but lead to a registration form instead. Some sell a child’s prior experience – a room they’ve built for a virtual pet, for instance – back to them, using statements such as, “If you cancel your membership, then your belongings will go into storage and will be automatically retrieved when you re-subscribe.”
  • Most sites we observed promote the idea of consumerism. The most common technique uses a reward-for-work basis, awarding “points, coins or dollars” for success and achievement that can then be used to “buy” items such as clothing, makeup, big-screen TVs or other accessories for virtual pets or avatars.
  • The games we observed vary widely in quality, in educational value, and in their developmental match with children’s abilities. Such mismatches often result in frequent cries for help.

How Young Children Interact with Online Environments.“There’s no doubt young children love to go online, and we observed examples of wholesome, good quality, Web-delivered content,” said Warren Buckleitner, the study’s author. “But after watching ten hours of typical online play, we were shocked at the extent of manipulative behavior. This study shows that no one – neither parents nor publishers – really knows what is going on when children start up a browser. Ideally, the sites kids encounter should be designed by people with degrees in child development instead of MBAs.

“There’s nothing more painful than watching a young child cry,” Buckleitner said. “But unfortunately, that’s the end result for too many children who are spending time with ‘state-of the-art’ children’s online content.”

The study makes these and other recommendations for parents:

  • Keep an eye on the screen. Set up the home computer in a central location so you can see what your child is doing. Lend a hand or suggest an activity that matches your child’s interests or abilities and pay attention to the directions his or her activities take.
  • How Young Children Interact with Online Environments.Be suspicious of “free” offers. As in the real world, free lunches are rare, and this is a concept children can’t understand. Don’t expect young children (and many adults) to understand the well-worn caution: “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
  • Read before you click. Before you or your children click on the “I agree” button, scour terms-of-use agreements and privacy policies to make sure you aren’t agreeing to share information you don’t want known. At worst, publishers make such disclosures inconvenient to read and awkward, so you are tempted to click an agreement and move on. Those emotions can be amplified when you have an anxious toddler pressing you. Also, don’t download software before verifying it won’t alter your computer’s settings.

“We believe parents need a more complete picture of the Web sites where their young children are spending an increasing amount of time,” said Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Reports WebWatch. “One test family spent $1,316 in a year on stuffed animals on a single site. Some sites play for profit on a child’s emotions to the degree we saw begging, tantrums and even tears in the videos.”

The study will be available at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s inaugural symposium, “Logging Into the Playground: How Digital Media Are Shaping Children’s Learning” on Friday, May 9, in New York City. Details at http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/events/index.html

Methodology

This study used ethnographic methodology and cannot be considered representative of any whole population. A total of 15 children participated in the study from ten families, all residing in Hunterdon County, New Jersey – six girls and nine boys, ranging in age from 2 years 9 months, to 8 years 3 months, with the mean age just under 5 1/2 years (5.36 years). All families had high-speed Internet access. Nine used Windows operating systems, one used Macintosh.

The study makes recommendations for Web publishers of children’s sites, based in part on WebWatch’s guidelines for Web site credibility, first published in 2002.

About Consumer Reports WebWatch

Consumer Reports WebWatch is the Internet integrity division of Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine, the Consumer Reports on Health and Money Adviser newsletters, and a variety of sites advocating consumer rights in the marketplace. We research and investigate Web sites on behalf of consumers, and we advocate for consumer-focused Internet policy and governance. Consumer Reports WebWatch accepts no advertising. Consumer Reports WebWatch is a member of the W3C consortium for developing Internet standards; the Internet Society, a grass-roots group focused on Internet policy; and is an at-large structure (ALS) in the user community of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers. WebWatch also serves as an unpaid special adviser to StopBadware.org, a “Neighborhood Watch” initiative led by Harvard University’s Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute devoted to helping Internet users avoid downloading malicious spyware, adware and malware programs. With the Center for Media and Democracy, WebWatch publishes Full Frontal Scrutiny (http://www.frontgroups.org), dedicated to exposing the activities of front groups in modern media and culture. For further information about Consumer Reports WebWatch, including staff biographies, visit ConsumerWebwatch.org

About Mediatech Foundation

Mediatech Foundation is a non¬profit public community technology center based in Flemington, N.J. Warren Buckleitner, PhD., an adviser to Consumer Reports WebWatch and founder of the Mediatech Foundation, wrote this report. Buckleitner is editor of Children’s Technology Review, a periodical covering children’s interactive media. A former teacher of preschool children and 2nd-, 4th- and 6th- graders, Buckleitner has been studying the design of interactive learning products since 1982. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in human development and a doctorate in educational psychology learning, culture and technology from Michigan State University. Study sites were screened by Debbie O’Grady, a reviewer for Children’s Technology Review. Buckleitner and Brendler interpreted video footage.

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In commemoration of its 55th anniversary, Playboy today announced that it will leverage its new Channel on YouTube to host an online search for the best video submissions from hopeful Playboy models. This unprecedented nationwide online search will enable girls 18 and over to submit videos on YouTube, the world’s most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch, and share originally created videos. By submitting their videos at http://www.YouTube.com/PlayboyCasting, these ladies will compete for a private audition with Playboy’s assistant photo editor Holly Madison, the star of E!’s top-rated show “The Girls Next Door.”

Playboy Talent Search at YouTube; Casting Call for hopeful 18+ Models with Assets, Figure, Face

The best submissions will be honored with a trip to Los Angeles for an exciting two days with the Playboy team that will include: a Playboy pictorial that will appear on Playboy.com, a tour of the world-renowned Playboy Mansion, participation in a catalog fashion shoot featuring Playboy’s latest apparel collections, and a private Playmate test-shoot with Holly Madison that could result in one of the winners being selected as the prized 55th Anniversary Playmate for Playboy magazine’s January 2009 issue.

“If you think you have what it takes to become part of the Playboy family – and possibly the 55th Anniversary Playmate – then the YouTube talent-search is the perfect opportunity to get discovered, especially if you can’t make it to one of our casting calls,” said Madison. “Just post a short video on YouTube that highlights your best assets – your figure, your face, your sense of humor, and especially your fantastic personality. The women with the most impressive videos will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the Playboy Mansion and participate in a Playmate test-shoot with me!”

Interested women can visit Playboy’s YouTube Channel (http://www.YouTube.com/PlayboyCasting) to post a two-minute, non-nude video response to Holly’s digital invitation by answering a question or telling a story. The best videos on YouTube will be selected as finalists and will appear on Playboy.com where they will be ranked by Playboy fans before the winners are selected by Holly and Playboy’s editorial team.

Full details, an FAQ, and rules for video submission can be found at http://www.playboy.com/pm55. In addition, all submissions must comply with the YouTube “Terms of Use” policy (http://www.youtube.com/t/terms). Submissions via YouTube will be accepted through June 1, 2008.

Playmate editor and co-star of E!’s The Girls Next Door Holly Madison invites you to upload your audition video through YouTube.

Sultry Playboy Cyber Girl Dana Dicillo shows you how an audition video is done.

Sexy Playboy Cyber Girl Destiny White’s home-made YouTube video audition.

About Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Playboy Enterprises is a brand-driven, international multimedia entertainment company that publishes editions of Playboy magazine around the world; operates television networks and distributes programming globally; owns Playboy.com, a leading men’s lifestyle and entertainment website; and licenses the Playboy trademark internationally for a range of consumer products and services. For more information please visit http://www.playboyenterprises.com.

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