Tendo Dev Blog

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The age of Internet video is finally upon us

News flash, right? Water is wet, too.

What tipped me off, you ask? Was it the fact that Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube last year? The fact that YouTube now owns the #3 spot in Alexa’s traffic rankings? The fact that I’ve already received seven viral video emails today, and it’s just now 10 AM?

Actually, it was none of those things. It’s the fact that an English major and admitted technophobe can edit, produce, and post videos in an embedded player almost entirely on his own!

The link above points to a page we helped our client, Bishop Ranch, build to host videos from a recent forum they held. We brought a single DV camera, taped the proceedings, and output the tape to DVD with the eventual goal of posting clips of the forum on the Bishop Ranch website. Unfortunately for us, we were between interactive producers, and our new producer wasn’t due to come on board for another week or so. Which means that we had to find an in-house solution, which essentially meant “give it to the guy who edits his wife’s trapeze videos and posts them on YouTube.” Continue reading

November 21, 2007 Posted by | Ian Miller, Multimedia, Web Content | Leave a comment

Are you inducing content coma?

I love Thanksgiving. It’s not so much the gathering and appreciating our lives together that makes me love it, although that does play a role. It’s because I’m a classic glutton. I love to pile my plate way too high (extra gravy) and eat my way into a happily self-induced food coma. I trust I’m not alone here.

I’ve been invited to indulge my gluttony at a huge Thanksgiving feast hosted by some dear friends. Rather than the traditional, run-of-the-mill dishes, they’ve decided on a Latin-themed menu: Yucatan style turkey with achiote, orange and pineapple marinade; cranberry, jalapeño, and tequila relish; pearl barley and levain stuffing with corn, dried cherries, and cilantro; roasted garlic and Yukon gold mashed potatoes…I could go on, but I don’t want to brag (well, maybe just a little).

This is an exciting twist on the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Sure, the typical roasted turkey with giblet gravy would match my expectations, but that wouldn’t excite me like this menu does. This menu surprises me. It’s memorable. I can visualize it. All of the expected components are there—turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing—but they are presented in an original way.

Is your website copy serving up the same tired menu? Are you blindly following tradition because it’s what you think your guests are expecting? Much website copy is woven with the typically meaningless marketing speak that proliferates all over the Web. And why? Well, because that’s how it’s done. That’s what makes it sound “professional.” But that’s what also makes it sound bland, generic, and completely unmemorable. That’s not the kind of coma you want to treat your guests to.

Maybe it’s time to spice up your menu a bit. Consider the messages that you need to deliver, and find a unique way of presenting them. Give your visitors a reason to pick your dinner invitation over the many others. Serve them something memorable.

On that note, enjoy your holiday feasting! —Selena Welz, associate managing editor

November 21, 2007 Posted by | Content Strategy, Selena Welz, Web Content | Leave a comment

Three takes on customer engagement on the Web

Yesterday, two colleagues and I started the day at BtoB Magazine’s NetMarketing breakfast down the street here in San Francisco.

The event featured three high-tech marketing executives who spoke about how they’re engaging customers on the Web. Aside from a sponsor’s painfully long pitch at the outset, which ironically led to quite a few people suddenly spreading out their free copies of the New York Times, the well-attended event was worth checking out.

Speakers included Scott Anderson, VP of customer communications at HP (our very own client and by far the most impressive); Martyn Etherington, VP of worldwide field marketing, Tektronix; and Stephanie Dillard, global media manager, integrated marketing group, Intel. While they didn’t have time to outline their entire Web marketing strategy, it was interesting to see the differences in each company’s approach. They each shared more than a few nuggets of good information. Continue reading

November 19, 2007 Posted by | Bill Golden, Content Strategy, Customer Care, Web Content | Leave a comment

Elections and MySpace

It’s Election Day in San Francisco and I forgot to vote this morning. Mayor Gavin doesn’t need me, but Measure D might. To assuage my guilt about not supporting the city’s libraries with my vote, I’m brushing up on my presidential candidates so I’m not in the same predicament next year.

I consulted the MySpace Impact “channel.” It launched in the spring and it features profiles of the presidential candidates and other info on current events and politics. Turns out that not only are MySpace and social networking important tools for companies (see John Kovacevich’s recent post), but they are also becoming increasingly important for political candidates. But how are these presidential hopefuls using MySpace? Very differently. Here are my initial thoughts:

Chris Dodd’s site could use some attention from his campaign. His “about me” section sounds canned, even as he sings the praises of two-way communication and not talking “at” people. I, for one, feel talked at. Plus the posted comments include spam—fake offers for free Coach handbags and $500 gift certificates at Macy’s—and he asks visitors to join the Dodd Squad. Puh-leeze. Pretty dated reference, especially for the MySpace crowd.

Fred Thompson hasn’t updated his MySpace blog since early September (come on!), yet he has still collected 12,344 friends (more than Dodd and Giuliani, fewer than McCain and Edwards, and way behind Obama, who had 190,120 friends at last count). Mitt Romney has more than 30,000 friends, and five of them are his photogenic sons.

Rudy’s page is approachable. His “about me” blurb is casual, and one of his campaign workers, Dan Meyers, tells us that he and his colleagues are updating the page. Nice that they don’t pretend to be Rudy. Hillary also tries to be approachable, telling us that she’s a “lousy cook,” “never did well at math,” and recently bought a Carly Simon CD.

Most candidates post only positive comments (Rudy, Hillary, McCain), but I noticed a negative comment on Bill Richardson’s page. A mistake? A deliberate decision to let every voice be heard? Probably the former.

Do you think these candidates are making good use of MySpace? Take a look at their profiles and let me know what you think. —Julie Jares, managing editor

November 6, 2007 Posted by | In the News, Julie Jares, Multimedia, Web Content | 1 Comment