Captivation Videos

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Jonathan Edwards Vineyard/Winery Harvest Festival in 78 Seconds

Jonathan Edwards Vineyard/Winery Harvest Festival in 78 Seconds

Illustrated by David Flanagan

Jonathan Edwards Vineyard/Winery Harvest Festival in 78 Seconds

Amanda & Patrick: Ready for some grape stomping.

“Bringing Napa home” at the Jonathan Edwards Vineyard/Winery Harvest Festival

If you’ve ever vacationed in Napa, California you’re probably like the rest of us suckers, trying to “bring Napa home” and recreate the experience wherever it is that you live. You start by paying more attention to wine tastings at your local liquor stores, then you find wineries in your state that are a reasonable distance to drive.

If you’re like Patrick and I, you might start hopping on your local “wine trail” and make a weekend out of it. In fact, Patrick and I drove from Rhode Island to Colorado and paved our own wine trail.

Sadly, it’s hard to bring a place like Napa home. A town and area where you can drive down a single road, in valleys and between mountains, to stop at big beautiful wineries every five minutes or so. Some are small and quaint where you might spend three hours making friends with the owners and trying secret barrels in the back. And others are big with incredibly landscaped grounds where you can picnic and take in the fresh air.

Of course, everything is made better with a sip of wine here and there, which you remember based half on your experience and half what it tastes like.

Wine tasting is an emotional hobby. Every glass you drink and bottle you buy reminds you of a day, time and a place. Speaking of which…

Day & Time: Afternoon, a random weekend, sometime in August.

Place: Jonathan Edwards Vineyard and Winery in North Stonington, Connecticut.

Jonathan Edwards Winery was recommended to us highly by one of their wine club members. “The closest thing you’ll get to Napa,” Robert told us. Finding that incredibly hard to believe, Patrick and I ventured to JE the following weekend.

We were not disappointed. There were pristine, incredibly manicured vineyards you could walk around, hidden picnic tables to sit down at, a barrel room you could peruse, and most importantly, a woman pouring our glasses who had no trouble talking about wine for a couple hours. Even better, Jonathan Edwards owns vineyards in Napa, making his wines a beautiful balance between the East and West coast.

Long story short and two cases later, we excitedly decided to attend the Jonathan Edwards Harvest Party. Promises of grape stomping contests, live music, wine tasting and a grilled cheese food truck led us to the front gates where we decided at the last minute, to turn this casual weekend into another BuzzFarmers mini project.

You see, Patrick and myself are do-ers. We love to see, feel and experience everything and go everywhere. The trouble is that it’s so hard to captivate experiences that impact you so deeply, and so we’re starting a series of “captivation videos” where we take an experience and document it from every angle possible. As business people, we obviously hope to turn this into a product, considering the 15-20 hour shoot and production time. In the meantime, we’ll be sharing these videos with you from places of our choosing.

So, as one of the first in a lineup of captivation videos (see Podcamp in 73 seconds too), we give you The Jonathan Edwards Vineyard/Winery Harvest Festival 2011 in 78 seconds. Enjoy!

And P.S. if you have an event or something else you’d like us to capture, get in touch!

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[VIDEO] The Mequoda Summit East in 60 Seconds

[VIDEO] The Mequoda Summit East in 60 Seconds

Illustrated by David Flanagan

[VIDEO] The Mequoda Summit East in 60 Seconds

I’ve been attending, speaking at, and teaching workshops for the Mequoda Summit since 2007-ish. If you’re unfamiliar with Mequoda, it’s probably because you’re not a magazine, newspaper or newsletter publisher. If you are, then you’re likely one of tens of thousands of publishing professionals who look to them for new research and guidance on what’s working in online publishing.

My marketing roots didn’t begin in publishing, but they certainly flourished once I got there and I’ve been working intimately with publishers on their social media, SEO, design and email strategies ever since.

So the Mequoda Summit is a guilty pleasure for me. Guilty because it’s fun, and because even I don’t think you should have that much fun at work. Or should you? And even after attending for several years, I’m still excitedly surprised at the quality of people who attend.

And by quality, I’m not referring to the fact that David Zinczenko, Managing Editor of Men’s Health has come to hang out. Or even Steve Sachs, Executive VP, Consumer Marketing & Sales at Time Inc. I could name-drop all day about who I’ve rubbed elbows (and emptied hotel mini bars) with at the Summit.

What I’m referring to is how awesome these folks are. This isn’t your pretentious magazine conference. Regardless of who shows up (which isn’t only publishers, by the way) everyone is there for the same reason—to move his or her business forward.

Most conferences I’ve been to follow the same formula.

  1. Get your badge
  2. Choose which topics and speakers you like best
  3. Enter session you like
  4. Speaker spouts off the same rehearsed presentation as he has at the last five conferences
  5. Audience claps
  6. Food break
  7. Repeat

The Summit is a little different because it’s smaller and is reserved for decision-makers and their most passionate employees. While there’s always a speaker or presenter, there’s also more conversation going on from the seats than from the front of the room. Your butt never goes numb and neither does your brain.

Basically, the Mequoda Summit is a giant open discussion where everyone shares their best strategies and their worst strategies. Everyone is open to learning what comes next, and nobody is afraid to ask the big questions. The environment is made so open and comfortable that everyone feels like they’re a part of the event. And somehow, they keep it all together and on-topic at all the right times.

There’s no real way for us to truly capture this event in the way that it’s meant to be represented, however at the last Mequoda Summit we decided at the last minute to use our iPhones to put together this 60-second video in the hopes that we could give everyone at least a taste of the awesomeness that is the Mequoda Summit (and they didn’t pay me to say that or make the video either.) Enjoy!

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PodCamp Boston in 73 Seconds [video] & 1392 Words [blog]

PodCamp Boston in 73 Seconds [video] & 1392 Words [blog]Video, Tips, Tricks and Take-Aways from this New Media & Social Media Conference Boston

This weekend Patrick and I left the BuzzFarm for the big city and stayed in Cambridge, MA for Podcamp Boston 5. We have a combined total of having attended 7 Podcamps in both Boston and New York and whole-heartedly agreed that this event was the best one yet.

It wasn’t as big as recent Podcamps due to the lack of room in the facility (Microsoft NERD Center), but the intimacy of the crowd and quality of the people who attended was just remarkable.

We’ve got a whole big breakdown for you below, but let’s start with a kick-butt video intro, cause you know we love video!

As always, the “hallways” are often where you learn the most at Podcamp. Let’s be honest… half the crowd at Podcamp is working in the same field, competing for the same clients: businesses who want to start using social media.

The non-competitive nature of Podcamp brings about exciting new business relationships between would-be competitors and opens doors for others who are looking to connect with the networks of those would-be competitors. Even if we offer similar services, we all have our own unique views, ideas and strategies.

To make a friend at Podcamp is to open a new door for your business. You can’t say that about most conferences you attend. I love Podcamp. There, I said it!

Ok enough mushy stuff. (OMG – I love you! All of you! Ehem…)

Besides all the awesome networking that went on, there was also a whole lot of discussions and sharing to be had. While you might be able to find bits here and there on the #pcb5 Twitter stream, good luck fishing through all the madness!

Instead, here’s what I thought were the most share-able bits and pieces from this weekend. I’ve done my best to give credit wherever I could remember. First the tips, then the tools.

Podcamp Boston Tips & Take-Aways

  • The Perfect Podcast Length: The average commute time is between 18-22 minutes, so when you time your own, try to stick to that length. People have started listening to TED Talks in the car for this very reason; they all under 18 minutes.

“Always be creating content. Content is the currency of social media.” -  @davidwells

  • Tame Social Media Madness Scientifically: Break down your approach for diving into social media. The always insightful @tamadearrecommends first answering the question, “What am I trying to figure out about social media?” Then figure it out.Next, try practicing with social media, possibly not with an official business account. Look up competitors and gauge what they’re doing. Get into the community to fine tune your skills.Next, find your audience to see what networks they’re on and what tools they’re using. Don’t use platforms that your customers aren’t using. Decide what your desired outcome is.Finally, create a plan of attack and go for it. More on all of this here.

“I’ll give you four inbound links for a bag of chips!” - @eastofprov

  • The Key to Being a Successful Author: In a group discussion led by @LenEdgerly, it was agreed upon by everyone in the room that being a great marketer is the key to selling a book. Have great contacts, market the crap out of your book, and be a perceived authority.The marketing sells the book, not the actual content.Of course, if you want to keep selling the book, you should probably follow up with being just as good of a writer as a marketer.

“New media is NOT free. Our time is not free and our audience’s time is not free.” – @cspenn

  • How to Get More Clients with No Marketing Budget: We’ve already thought of this one (take a look at our referral page), but try employing the help of a “citizens” sales staff. In other words, offer an incentive to anyone who refers you clients. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool.

“Twitter and Facebook seem like public utilities but they’re not; they are private companies and can go away.” – @cspenn

  • Time Online Videos According to Content Type: Audiences won’t mind watching a longer video if it’s educational and contains great content. Instructional videos can go longer than news or opinion videos. Marketing videos should be even shorter. @JoselinMane recommends:
    • 30-60 seconds for an ad
    • 60 seconds to 3 minutes for marketing
    • one to seven minutes for a sales video
    • seven to forty-five minutes for an instructional video
    • thirty to ninety minutes for a webinar

Networking tip: start with “Here’s what I know… Here’s what I want to know more about…” – @chrisbrogan

  • Study Your Competitors: There are so many ways to analyze your competitors these days. Compete.com will tell you their traffic, while watching Twitter will tell you how they communicate with customers and often give you behind-the-scenes looks at new upcoming products meant for potential customers.Podcamp organizer @chelpixie recommends searching sites like LinkedIn to find job postings from your competitors to see what they need and what direction they’re headed in. Oh, and keep an RSS feed of all your competitors too!

“The Internet is not a medium… By now it is at least an extra large.”

  • SEO Video You Put Online: This is another thing we try to remind people time and time again – video has been being indexed for a while now. The advantage here is that by keyword optimizing your videos, you may not be able to land on the front page of Google with an article that has competitive competition, but a video is a much easier. Even better – videos usually show up above the fold.

“If you’ve got something, throw it out there. You could be the chunky tomato sauce of podcasting.” – @cspenn

  • Geolocation is about to get crazy: It really is. Just like regular social networks that started out broad and then went into niche overkill, geolocation apps are headed in the same direction. In a hallway conversation with @mmpartee, I learned that the less popular Where app is incredibly profitable, while the wildly popular FourSquare app is…. not.The new difference in geolocation apps will be business models, and how they plan to sustain after VC funding. I actually think niche apps have a greater possibility of achieving this. The IAmHungry app is monetized by restaurants, while the funny yet convenient Sit or Squatapp—which will find you a public bathroom in a flash—simply takes ads.

“Planning for failure is one of the most underrated activities” – @tamadear

  • Just do it: People get so caught up in the planning of a podcast, web show or new start-up project that it seems like most just get burnt out in the planning process. Maybe this weeds out the doers from the talkers, but if there was one big theme here it was to JUST DO IT. Don’t stop thinking, just don’t let it get in the way of actually doing what you want to do.

Podcamp Boston Tools & Tricks

A good amount of helpful social and new media tools were recommended at PodCamp. I’m sure it’d be impossible to catch all of them, but here were some pretty notable ones:

  • Prettylink WP Plugin lets you create your own URL shortener from your domain name. It sends Google juice to your site instead of an external URL shortener. The premium version enables you to shrink, cloak, track, organize, share and test all of your links on your own domain and server.
  • Knowem.com & Namechk.com will both let you see if your username or vanity URL is available across 150+ sites.
  • FreeKindleBooks.org has a bunch of books that you can download for free to your Kindle while InkMesh will help you comparison shop for prices on eBooks.
  • PolicyTool.net is a free company policy generating tool which can also help you create create social media policies.
  • Wiki.KenBurbary.com was added as a larger database to find difference social media monitoring solutions.
  • Twiangulate.com can be used to find common Tweeps amongst the people you follow and those that they follow. Great tool for competitive research.
  • Twubs.com can be used to register a hashtag, organize it and list it in the Twubs directory.
  • Paper.li organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. Newspapers can be created for any Twitter user, list or #tag and shared via Twitter automatically.

Feel free to add any additional ones in the comments!

And by the way, huge awesome round of applause for the hand-working team that made Podcamp happen: @chelpixie @ellenrossano @CarissaO @shersteve @DougH @cspenn and @chrisbrogan.

See you next time!

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