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Monthly Archives: August 2008

YouTube’s New Advertising + Viral Video Of The Day

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

Before I display the “Viral Video of The Day”, I recently read an AlleyInsider article that sheds new light on YouTube’s advertising capabilities. As quoted from – YouTube Finally Figures Out How To Make Money: Big Ads On Its Homepage

Advertising sources say YouTube is revamping the homepage to accommodate a huge new banner ad that will span the entire width of the page. The ad will is roughly the same height as the current video ad unit on the upper right of the page, and designed to accommodate high-definition video, similar to the campaign Sony Pictures ran on YouTube to market “Pineapple Express.” Sources who have seen the unit describe it having multiple tabs that activate when rolled over by a cursor.

And now for the “Viral Video of The Day”…as featured on as the most viral video of today. Stats:

  • 2 duplicate videos
  • 1,882 blog posts

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Web2.0 Applications Are Getting Easier To Hack

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

Forbes Article Reformed Hacker Looks Back, brings to light just how vulnerable Web2.0 technology is to hackers like hacker legend Kevin Mitnick.
Kevin David Mitnick is a computer security consultant who was a controversial computer hacker in the late 20th century. In 1999, Mitnick admitted to the authorities […]. Mitnick served five years in prison, of which four and a half years were pre-trial, and eight months were in solitary confinement. He was released on January 21, 2000. During his supervised release, which ended on January 21, 2003, he was initially restricted from using any communications technology other than a landline telephone. Mitnick fought this decision in court, and the judge ruled in his favor, allowing him to access the Internet. (Wikipedia)
Where’s Kevin Now? Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, a computer security consultancy (Wikipedia).
As for the weaknesses in Web2.0, quoted from Forbes:

What do you see as the biggest threats to cybersecurity today?
Cybersecurity used to be about the network or operating system. Now it’s more at the application layer. Companies and their contractors build their own applications hosted on a public Web site, and the people who write them aren’t trained in secure coding. The mistakes they make can be leveraged to break the system.

…and he’s right. People are pumping out web-based applications all the time and I imagine the only protection they have remain vulnerable hackers like Kevin. I imagine this will become a bigger issue as software becomes a thing of the past and everything is web-based.

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Blake Peeble’s “Guitar Hero” Career

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

I’m pleased to write that North Carolina decided to “ok” 16 year old Blake Peebles decision to drop out of high school and pursue his dream of becoming a music legend – on Guitar Hero!
Say it out loud this time “Blake Peeble’s “Guitar Hero” Career”. Feels weird to say it, but according to the RollingStone article Teen Drops Out of High School To Become Professional “Guitar Here” , “Peebles was doing poorly to begin with in school, and his parents have since hired him a private tutor.” His parents basically let him drop out of school to persue a career of his choice…one of which I feel is necessary to define Guitar Hero to truly get an understanding and illustrate the current situation. As defined by Wikipedia…

Guitar Hero is a series of music video games published by RedOctane in partnership with Activision. The series is notable for its use of a guitar-shaped peripheral to simulate the playing of music, represented on-screen by colored notes that correspond to fret buttons on the controller.”

EscapistMagazine article Teen Dropout to be Pro Guitar Hero quoted his parents saying, “We couldn’t take the complaining anymore,” said [his father] Hunter. “He always told me that he thought school was a waste of time.”
He must have had a real taste of the “good life” and sense of success from his earlier winnings to make such a life altering situation…right? Well, let’s see what lead Blake Peebles to make this decision: “At the contests he has entered thus far in his career, he has won the typical takeaway prizes for local game contests: $1000 in prizes, gift certificates, gaming equipment and chicken sandwiches.” (escapistMagazine)
It is possible in some parallel universe that one could earn up to $80,000 a year on the competitive circuit, though I imagine those are 1 in a million. Could this be Blakes break? Could he be the 1 in a Million? Well, to get an idea of what he’s up against I took a look at the Guitar Hero Community, where I found no sign of Blake Peebles anywhere…though it could be that his username is one of many attempts to sound more like a distant cousin to R2D2.
Oh and I have great news…. Blake was just on Dr. Blogstein’s radio show. I have t admit this is a great attempt to get some serious attention. I’m not saying he’ll find Michael Phelps level endorsements, as I discussed last week in my article Michael Phelps Pulls in $5MM in Endorsements, but he’s definitely on his way to gaining Activision’s attention. He may remain a “blip” on our radar, but in the world of gaming, this is real news.
On a more personal level, I just want the world to know I LOVE GUITAR HERO! I’m not afraid to admit it. My past room mate and good friend, Mitchell Goldford and my room mate and my true Guitar Hero, Sam Shron have been rocking the plastic guitar and mastering the game on Expert. You try “Through Fire and Flames” on Expert without ending up with some level of Alzheimer’s! Try and imagine a world without Guitar Hero? …wait, stop, that’s just not okay for me to make such demanding requests. Instead, just imagine that there would have been no “South Park” episode about Guitar hero…
South Park Guitar Hero scene 2 — HILLARIOUS
…and that’s just not right to say! Either way, I promise to follow up on him in due time. Until then, he needs our support and I have no doubt there’ll be a “fan” site where we could all do just that.

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People love commercials…it’s true!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

Every time the TV is on or the internet movie is rolling, everyone knows not to bug me during “commercial” time. I once thought that I was part of a small sect of “commercial” lovers, commenting on them, critiquing them, or simply sitting back and enjoying them. Well, I recently discovered an article that claims there are many more “commercial lovers” out there…
As I was browsing the AlleyInsider Blog for some good material and up-to-date news, I came across Video Ad Companies: People Love Watching Video Ads! …That’s right! 3 Companies support the idea that someone “out there” manages to make it through the commercial. Now I’m not going to go as far as to say they enjoy the commercials as much as I do, but at least they’re not flipping the channel any-time soon. Check out the stats below as quoted from AlleyInsider:

  • Tremor Media says […] only 20% of Web video watchers give up and leave when confronted with the pre-rolls it serves up. Or, as Tremor is putting it in a release later today, 80% watch the ads all the way through. […] [A]udiences are willing to accept pre-roll advertising in exchange for content they want, on demand.” And Tremor also says that its stuff is so good (it measured 65 million ad impressions across 100 different ad campaigns) that the bail-out rate didn’t change if the ads were 15 or 30 seconds long.
  • Break Media is claiming an even higher “completion rate” — 87% — for its pre-rolls, which includes a whole lot of user-generated video. Break’s sample was a lot smaller than Tremor’s — 5.85 million impresssions. But we’re equally skeptical of both numbers. We’re certainly not anti-advertising, and we will indeed sit through some pre-rolls, when we know were getting good stuff we want to see. But there’s no way we do that 8 out of 10 times.
  • Brightroll, said last week it had just booked a $1 million pre-roll campaign, and that pre-rolls account for 50% of their business.”

Now they haven’t exactly pinpointed WHY, but the money is there and that’s usually all that matters in order to convince the public that this form/method of advertising works. As for my commercial loving companions, our time to shine is just over the hill. Beware!

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Online Video’s 2008 Predictions Down By 65% to $505 Million

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

YouTube, which accounts for more than half of all video views, will generate a mere $200 million in sales in 2008…yet they still are among other “losers” failing to be a profitable company in the Online Video space. According to Dow Jones investors have spilled more than $8 billion into Online Video. Here’s some #’s (though they don’t add up to $8 Billion) that give you an idea of Online Video Spending over the past 3 years:

2005: $1.764 billion
2006: $2.117 billion
2007: $2.009 billion
2008: $453 million (Q1 only)

These numbers come primarily from AlleyInsider’s reporting on the Dow Jones VentureSource, which provided them with a running tally of venture investment in online video startups since 2005. The dealflow includes “video infrastructure (Brightcove), ad platforms (YuMe), service providers (VideoEgg), and consumer sites (FunnyOrDie, Veoh, Joost, etc). Between 2005 and Q1 2008, that tally is $6.06 billion. Add in one big acquisition — the $1.65 billion deal for YouTube ($1.65 billion) — and a few smaller ones — like Sony’s pickup of Grouper/Crackle for $65 million — and the grand total comes to $8.06 billion. Keep in mind this doesn’t include any of the billions invested in Europe or in China.”
Now according to a more recent AI article, Sorry, Investors: The Online Video Pie Just Shrank By 65%, according to eMarketer, “In February, the Web prognosticator said YouTube et al would sell $1.4 billion in ads in the U.S. this year. Now it says it was overzealous: It has ratcheted its estimate back by 64%, to $505 million.”
I really liked how AI broke down the $505mm and decided to copy and paste the text for all to see:

…here’s how a $505 million market would break down this year:

  • YouTube says it will generate $200 million in advertising in 2008.
  • We’ve estimated that Hulu will sell as much as $90 million.

That means the remaining $215 million, then, is divided between the following:

  • Big media companies like ABC/Disney, CBS, Time Warner, Yahoo, News Corp/MySpace, NBC U, and Viacom.
  • Video aggregators like Veoh, Joost, Metacafe and DailyMotion
  • And ad networks like Brightroll, Tremor, Husky and Broadband Enterprises

It’s really hard to see Online Video draw back it’s yearly quote predictions for the 2nd time this year, but there’s hope yet in terms of IAB taking yet another step closer to determining Online Video perameters. This is the first I’ve seen of it: Digital Video Ad Measurement Guidelines by the IAB. 3 CATEGORIES all committed to Online Video, while I find it interesting to see E-Mail only has 1 guideline. EVEN MORE INTERESTING, is the fact that it Digital Video is now a whole new category in “Emerging Interactive Platforms”, along with Games Advertising, Mobile and User-Gen Content & Social Media. I’m interested to see when these will be in full completion and what will take their place as “Emerging”. Either, I hope the best for Video and look forward to seeing YouTube lockdown their Ad-Model and finally bringing in the big bucks!

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AlleyInsider says NBC’s Fault US Blew Gold

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

I was in search for an article to “blog” about and came across a rather interesting post by AlleyInsider’s creater himself, Mr. Henry Blodget. It’s a big statement, but they claimed It Was NBC’s Fault US Gymnasts Blew Gold Medal. I mean, I personally thought it was because team captain Alicia Sacramone lost her balance on the “BALANCE BEAM” and floored her “FLOOR ROUTINE” (puns intended).
Well, Martha Karolyi, the team co-ordinator, was quick to blame officials at Beijing’s stadium as quoted from this Yahoo article, US clears Beijing officials of blame for gymnastics loss.

Karolyi said immediately after the US loss to China that officials at Beijing’s National Indoor Stadium disrupted Sacramone’s beam routine by delaying her performance for an extended period, breaking her concentration
“First they called her name up, then they did not even put her name up even though the Chinese had finished … (it was) totally unusual holding,” she said.
“She was mentally prepared and then she had a mental break, then after not doing the job, the beam, on the floor exercise her concentration was bothered.”…
Karolyi insisted the world champion US team would have won gold if Sacramone had not become unsettled.

Well, AlleyInsider did it’s investigative work and found the heart of that article, quoting Alas: It was NBC’s fault…

USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said the delay involving Sacramone’s beam routine happened because of scheduling issues related to the Games’ television feed.
“It’s a normal television thing that’s typical in international competition,” he told AFP.

Well, in the end, there’s really no need for blame! China still out-did America by over 2 points and on their home-turf. China’s first time team-gold-medal in this category is worth clapping for and everything else aside, Sacramone herself didn’t play the blame game, saying “I think everybody knows there’ll be good days and bad days, I just wish this was a good day for me.”

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Top 5 Things To Do When Google Shuts Down

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

You may be asking yourself, “yea, like that would ever happen!” Well, guess what? IT DID! And if you don’t believe me, check out these three articles:

According to Reuters (a reliable source) “Users across the United States, Canada and India reported problems with Gmail and a Google employee also reported that the company’s own corporate e-mail account was down.” The problems started at about 5 p.m. EDT (and around 2:30pm Pacific Standard Time here in Seattle, WA.).
And it seems this isn’t a one time occurance. Quoting GigaOm, “in recent weeks, not only Google’s services but those of Amazon’s S3 and Apple’s MobileMe have gone on the blink, leading us to rethink our assumptions about the reliability of the web as a platform. Clearly a lot of work still needs to be done.”
So what did you do during “the G-Crash”? Well, considering this may happen again, I suggest you come prepared. I call out to all of you Gmail, GApp, Googler Lovin’ Hippie Geeks…stand tall and heed my words of wisdom…
Here are your “Top 5 Things To Do When Google Shuts Down”:

  • Take a nap and when you wake, hope the world hasn’t collapsed into itself.
  • Revert to your SmartPhone in hopes that it has found a loop hole during these depressing moments of your internet life
  • Pick up a newspaper and “read it”.
  • Oh wait, Blogs still work so there’s no need to go to such lengths…I suggest
  • If you made it this far, I’d assume that Google’s 19,604 full-time employees and $23 Billion have come up with a solution.

…I’m glad we made it through these tough times. It’s funny, I can’t imagine what would happen if Google decided to take a vacation for longer than 5 minutes. That would make for a great blog post

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Publicis Acquires Performics From Google

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

French advertising company Publicis Group has acquired the Performics Search Marketing business from Google. Performics housed more than 200 search marketing specialists and since its 1998 inceptions has expanded from Chicago, San Francisco, New York, London, Hamburg, Sydney, to Singapore and Beijing.
According to MediaPost article,Publicis Acquires Performics From Google, Expands Search Marketing Capabilities

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Publicis, the parent of Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia Group, Digitas, Denuo, and agencies such as Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, said Chicago-based Performics would be integrated into Publicis’ new VivaKi Nerve Center. […] Google did not comment on the reasons for its divestiture of the unit, but in a statement, Chairman-CEO Eric Schmidt said, “We look forward to working with Performics as a partner.”

According to an AlleyInsider article, Google Sells DoubleClick’s SEM Business To Ad Conglom Publicis (GOOG)

Publicis has been “cooperating” with Google for more than a year, but we’re not exactly sure what that means — mostly because the companies didn’t reveal any details in a cryptic press conference in January. They did say that “Google would exchange its technological know-how for Publicis’s analytical and media planning expertise,” according to Reuters. We’re assuming this deal won’t have an effect on their prior relationship.

So why would a Search Company giant sell of part of their search services? After Google acquired DoubleClick, the SEM portion created a “conflict of interest” for a search company to own a search engine marketing company under a different entity. Google just took on the Affiliate Marketing division of Performics and sold the rest to to Publicis.
A great move by Google, but I think everyone is asking the same question: “At what cost?”

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AC Lion has the Online Space covered, and then some…

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (

AC Lion specializes in sales and technology recruitment and in particular the nexus between the two. I recruited there for close to a year before I was promoted to Marketing/Sales Coordinator handling PM, WebDev, DBA, Social Media and other Marketing aspects. Really, it’s a high level of leg-work combined with flexible schedules and great sources of motivation and collaboration.
Over the past decade, AC Lion has developed a leading reputation in the marketplace by helping the industries’ most innovative companies maintain their competitive edge by sourcing and placing superior talent.
In our industry, knowing people delivers results. Whether building a new sales team, replacing a corporate executive, transitioning to the interactive world or augmenting the technology team – our clients come to AC Lion because we know the people that know the industry.
Our vertical (industry) specialists work with top corporate executives from a variety of firms within the media (traditional and interactive agencies, publishers, and client side), 3rd party technology/software providers, emerging technology (mobile wireless/PDA, IPTV), e-commerce, and financial industries.
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environments, it is critical to have a specialized recruiter with an established track record and a broad network who truly understands your needs. Here at AC Lion, our vertical specialists focus all of their efforts in your space. Because of this philosophy, we know your company, your competitors and your clients.

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MobiTV hits 4MM subscribers, but the world’s not ready to “pay”!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (
MobiTV global TV and digital radio service, recently stated in July 31st press release MobiTV Soars Past Four Million Subscribers it now has 4 million subscribers to its mobile TV and radio services, available in more than 15 carrier networks, including giants AT&T, and Sprint. The Service costs $10 monthly. Their competitors include Verizon, Modeo and Joost and Babelgum (on PCs).
That’s great for them and better for the mobile and online video industry, but According to Silicon Alley Insider article How Big Is The Market For Tiny, Mobile TV Ever Going To Get?

“It’s been more than 9 months since MobiTV announced its 3 millionth subscriber; it only took 8 months to get to 3 million (Oct. 22, ’07) from 2 million (Feb. 28, ’07).”

It looks as if their numbers are slowing in a time where Mobile capabilities are constantly increasing. Still, it’s alarming to see’s site analytics! Take a look at their Unique Visitors decline over the past year:
That’s a 40% decrease this year, but that could be caused by many different factors and we also have to rely on their subscriber numbers over the visitor numbers any day! We also have to be aware of the fact that the “slow” increase can be blamed on usability level of smart-phones, limited 3G networks, etc? That could directly influence the amount of people willing to pay for mobile TV.
Again, according to the SAI (Silicon Alley Insider) article:

“About 4.8 million Americans — 2.1% of the U.S. mobile market — watched programmed TV/video at least once a month on their phones this spring, according to research firm comScore M:Metrics. Meanwhile, more than twice that — 11.7 million subscribers, or 5.2% of the market — watched free video sent by family or friends.”

But again, this brings us back to recent articles concerning online video metrics. Take a look at for more info to bring you up to speed. Other than that, things are looking up for MobiTV now and I’m going to follow their growth to see how it pans out over the next 2 years of which mobile capabilities will play a huge part. Familiarize yourselves with companies like these, because we are beginning to move into a highly-technical advanced MOBILE future where video plays a key role in both news, entertainment and advertising.

Location: Emeryville, California, United States
Founded: November, 2003
Funding: $115M

MobiTV is a global leader in delivering live and on-demand video to any screen, connecting media reliably and securely anytime, anywhere, on any device. The company’s end-to-end platform delivers a true TV everywhere experience that helps service… Learn More

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