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The landscape of the Internet is changing dramatically thanks to higher bandwidth, social media, and video technology. Self-publishing has moved out of the realm of vanity publishing, and into the realm of serious communication. Social media is giving traditional media a run for its money, as individuals and small businesses now have affordable access to easy and intuitive technology.
Technology is creating new words, as we move from Blog (Web-log) to Vlog (Video-blog). In fact, video is becoming the preferred method of communication for many people, surpassing e-mail. Social media is no fad, and the numbers prove it!
Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, by Eric Qualman, is one of the top selling books on Web Marketing. The book, the website http://socialnomics.net, and its videos will open your eyes as well as your mouth when you discover just how big this has become.
Here are just a few of the surprising statistics.
How long does it take to reach 50 million users? That depends on your media, and when you were born. It took radio 38 years, television 13 years, the Internet 4 years, iPod 3 years, Facebook reached 100 million users in just 9 months, and iPhone applications hit 1 billion users in just 9 months.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the 4th largest nation on earth, sandwiched between the United States and Indonesia. Social media is indisputably a global phenomenon. China’s QZone has over 300 million users. Russians are avid participants in Social Media, and 78% of the articles on Wikipedia are non-English.
How much of this communication is video based? YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. The vast majority of people, 78% trust peer recommendations, compared to a mere 14% who trust advertisements.
If you are in the job market, either looking for work or looking for talent, it might be worth knowing that 80% of companies use Linkedin as their primary tool to find employees. These and other statistics are documented in the book, along with unmistakable evidence of how social media is changing the way we communicate.
A mistreated customer doesn’t go to the company complaint department anymore. After his guitar was smashed by careless baggage handlers, musician Dave Carroll produced a short video called United Breaks Guitars, which didn’t take long to reach over 5.3 million views on YouTube, certainly a nightmare scenario for United Airlines.
Video is more accessible and harder to fake. It is also much easier to produce and proliferate than you may think. You can even get started without a camera! YouTube and many other online hosted video services conveniently provide both the URL and an embedded HTML code, so that you can easily upload the video of your choice onto your own website or blog.
With a modest investment in software, you can create a slideshow, add narration with your voice, export it as a QuickTime movie, and you can deliver your message to millions in a video that works even for the camera shy. Even without the software, you can create a slideshow online at http://animoto.com adding professional effects and royalty-free music.
With a webcam or affordable video camera, you can shoot your own videos and upload them in high definition. People on the Internet have fairly short attention spans, so your video should be entertaining, enlightening, or engaging in some way, and should probably be about 3 to 5 minutes long. To go into more depth, you simply do a series and title or list the links in such a way that people know how to follow the story.
If you are a Mac user, then it doesn’t get any easier. You can practically do anything with smoothly integrated and highly intuitive software. With iPhone 3GS you can even shoot, edit, and upload a video from practically anywhere.
There are also dozens of alternatives to YouTube for hosting your video, and you can upload your videos to as many as you like to broaden your online visibility. Take your pick from Vimeo, Revver, Google Videos, Grouper, Dailymotion, Videoegg, Eyespot, Jumpcut, vSocial, and dozens of other services, many of which allow you to edit, remix, and combine your videos online.
The technical hurdles are so low, that there is practically no excuse left not to get involved in online video. The only remaining hurdle is that of how to produce quality content and leverage it to the best effect. If you want to get started on the right foot and considerably shorten your learning curve, it makes sense to get some help. I recommend two resources that are simply the very best.
Online Video Made Easy is a comprehensive downloadable home study program, for beginners and anyone serious about learning how to produce, upload, and leverage video for personal branding or business promotion. For more information visit: http://budurl.com/vhqc
Ask Mr. Video will take you from mystery to mastery with tips and tutorials, as well as downloadable resources that make video marketing easy, enjoyable, and profitable. For more information visit: http://budurl.com/vevr
YOUTUBE Channel: http://www.YouTube.com/taproot55
William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.