Virtual Events – So many Questions, Not Enough Answers

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How can you create an engaging, interactive, virtual conference, that will keep people interested, even though they are hundreds of miles away? This is the challenge that we at IMTC is facing this year, while planning its annual event.

IMTC’s Annual event is a meeting point of industry experts in the fields of video communication and interoperability. This year we decided to do a full day conference virtually, using available technologies. We are doing it because of three reasons:

1. This is the conference of the future: Though nothing can replace a handshake, virtual conferences are appealing from economic and efficiency perspective

2. This is what we do: IMTC is all about collaboration, unified communication, and content delivery. Virtual conference is best way to practice what we preach. We also would like to support our members by letting them showcase their technology in real life scenarios, and not only in booths and exhibitions.

3. This is the right thing in the current economic climate: With companies cutting their travel budgets, we should, as an industry organization, enable as many people possible to be a part of the experience. Virtual conference is a great solution for those who can’t travel, but still interested in the content or participants of the event. Also, in times when companies invest a lot in order to reduce their carbon footprint, virtual events are the way to go to help our planet a bit.

So what is the biggest challenge?

For me, the biggest challenge is not technical, but the experience :How can we prevent the conference from turning into a string of webinars or a list of audio presentations?How can we encourage people in the “audience” to interact with speakers and with each other?What should be the role of social platforms in the event?And how to make an extraordinary event, that pushes the boundaries of virtual conferences, with a shoe string budget?

Luckily, I am a part of a great team that is trying to make this project a reality, including Anatoli Levine from Radvision, Andrea Basso from AT&T, Shantanu Sarkar from Cisco, and many other volunteers.

Want to be a part of the effort to create the conference of the future? have a relevant technology? Consider this as an open call for the industry and drop me an email at kfir AT Pravdam DOT com

Published originally at IMTC’s Blog

More Information Proves: Twitter is Heaven for Media Companies

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I’ve recently published an article about click thorough rates (CTR) of Twitter users when receiving media content. We saw amazing CTR of 10% and more, 70 times more than regular display banners.
Today I’ve recived additional data from another resource, showing the opportunity in Twitter and micro-blogging for media companies. In short, it solidifies the notion that Twitter is the most engaging platform today.
TubeMogul, my favorite video distribution and analytics comapny, released data showing that Twitter users watch a video 36% longer than any other originating social platform:


Despite Twitter’s erstwhile reputation as a soapbox for ephemeral thoughts (i.e. “long line at Starbucks…argh!”), the data tells another story: as a platform, Twitter refers among the most engaged video viewers out there.

Couple this with the CTR numbers mentioned above, and you have a winning platform for media engagement.

The challenge is still to combine platforms and channels in orderĀ  to utilize their strengths while mitigate its weaknesses.

Data Shows: Twitter + TV = Explosive Combination

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Twitter is, by far, the most engaging online platform today, and represent a huge opportunity for traditional media and brands – read on to see the numbers.

In the last couple of months, Pravda Media was working with Israel’s biggest TV News Company, Channel 2 News, on integrating Twitter in their ongoing operation.
We looked at twitter in two ways:
1. Distribution Channel – Channel 2 News website is populated with video news section, both pre-recorded and and live. We wanted to use Twitter to drive more traffic to the site and increase video viewership.
2. Interaction Channel – We chose one TV show, called Meet The Press, and interacted with the audience via Twitter. Viewers were asked to send questions to the host before the live broadcast of the show, and twits were displayed on TV screen during the live show.

Twitter, though still a small network in Israel, proven to be the most engaging online platform today, with highest click through rates , and responses from TV audience


3 Free Tickets to TWS2009 [UPDATE]

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I am excited being a judge and participant in TWS2009, as well as interviewing Dave Sifry on stage. If you are excited from this event too, I have 3 free tickets to give my blog readers. Please RT this post and leave a comment if you are interested. Young entrepreneurs and students are especially welcome.The winners will be announced tomorrow morning CET, so hurry šŸ™‚

Even if you don’t get a free ticket, you can apply for 40% discountĀ  ticketsĀ  here:
Since there are only limited amount of such tickets, make sure you don’t miss that opportunity.
Here is some more information about the event: More

TWS 2009 – Join the Competition!

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Like last year, I am a judge at TWS 2009, Israel’s web start ups competition. Among the judges are Brian Solis, Meir Brand (CEO of Google Israel), Deb Schultz, Ayelet Noff , Jeff Pulver, and others.
Submit your startup by the 24th of June (yes! in two days!).

The event is taking place on the 13th of July.

See you all there!

Open Letter to Steve Jobs – Don't Forget The Pro Users

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Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Dear Mr. Jobs,

I was happy to hear that soon you’ll be back at the helm of the most inspiring company in the market today. We are all looking forward to your next keynote.

However, I have a request for you – please don’t forget your Pro users. And no, I am not talking about Final Cut Studio 3.

I have a Mac for couple of years, and I’ve become one of the most active Mac ambassadors in Israel. I have a video podcast called Mac Anonymous, the first Hebrew video podcast about Mac. I’ve written several blogs about Mac and the transition from PC, and convinced many of my friends to buy one, even though they cost so much in Israel.

When asked what do I like Mac so much, I would say two things:

1. I see my laptop more than anything else during the day, so it better be beautiful.

2. With a Mac, the gap between vision and reality is a single click, with Final Studio and iLife.

However, I am afraid that Apple’s latest announcements are changing my second statement. More

New York Times Releases An Amazing New Application, Misses The Point

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New York Times released a slick new new version of itsĀ  Adobe Air application called Times Reader. The innovative application allows readers to read and subscribe to NYT rich content, including articles, images and videos.

New York Times are fairly advanced in the US journalism field. I use their iPhone Application regularly, and enjoy their well produced videos.

But their new application won’t change a thing.

Unlike Serege Jespers, who in his post announced that this application is the future of journalism, it is still based on the idea that people will subscribe to NYT content, and pay for it. And this is yet to be seen. Ok, I am way too kind – IT DOESN’T WORK.

Why should I pay for their content if so much of it is free? And does the NYT really believe that a well developed application change the fundamental flaw in their industry?

I hope, for them, that this isn’t the case.

NYT application.png

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Choosing Camera For Online Video Production – Part 1.5

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Bell & Howell 8mm home camera
Image via Wikipedia

In the first post in this series I’ve reviewed the basic considerations in buying a camera for online video production. This post will cover advanced camera features, for savvy buyers (or latent video geeks like me). Understanding them can help you make better choices when buying your next video camera. Just like the previous post, I will focus on sub $1,000 cameras, as an entry level for most videographers. So let’s start: More

Gmail, Google App Slow Recently, Not Noticed by Mainstream Blogs

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At start I thought it was just me, but when I asked my Twitter and Facebook friends about it I got a lot of similar experiences: Gmail and Google Apps are slow in the recent week

Picture 21.png

Many business functions in my company are based on Google’s products. However, their recent service failures, and the service issues now, make me think that cloud is good, but maybe not good enough…

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Wix, Nuconomy, GarageGeeks, Pulver in Current.TV

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Last year I had the pleasure to help out Current.TV  in a piece about Israeli Hi-Tech. The show covered Garagegeeks, Jeff Pulver, Wix, Save an Alien, Nuconomy and other prominent Israeli figures. Enjoy!