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Community and Collaboration = Keys to Engaging Digital Content

It was less than 24 hours ago when I blogged about a few interesting examples of engaging digital content.Well here’s more! Today a series of engaging videos and songs came my way from a musician known as Kutiman, aka Ophir Kutiel. You can find them at a site Kutiman calls “Thru You”. The keys to Kutiman’s success and engaging content are community and collaboration. We certainly talk about collaboration a lot at Cisco and the great results that come from collaborating with your community (link to a good video interview on the results of collaboration)… but anyways I digress. Collaboration in the enterprise is great, but its also fun in the production world and this new digital content example clearly demonstrates the impact collaboration and community have on the production of media and entertainment content.So what is “Thru You” exactly? Kutiman created a series of songs and accompanying music videos by cutting up and mixing content from the YouTube community of musicians. Kutiman went through hundreds of hours of music lesson videos and user generated music content on YouTube and remixed bits of content into full songs. I am likely not explaining the concept that well. Check out this Kutiman music video below, and you’ll get it. Following the music video, is an explanation from Kutiman himself on how he put this all together. All of the musicians involved with the “Thru You” project got credit for their collaboration with Kutiman. Of course, Kutiman is not the only one creating digital media through community and collaborative web tools. Yet, this project was too fun, too engaging to not bring it to your attention. I also know of one web site and service called MixMatchMusic which also allows for music writing collaboration, and there is also another one called eJamming. Comment below if you know of other examples of engaging digital media content created by communities collaborating together on the content. Thanks!“Thru You” -- Kutiman Remixes YouTube -- Music Video for “The Mother of All Funk Chords”“Thru You” -- Kutiman Remixes YouTube -- About the “Thru You” Project

Engaging Digital Content Examples

I was recently watching a couple of new music videos -- on the net -- and they made me recall a conversation I had with digital media producer / programmer Damon Berger about what makes for engaging online content.In our discussion, one of the most important points Damon made was that content companies should treat the internet as a unique medium to communicate with audiences. That is a point that my colleague Scott Brown also echoed in an earlier blog post. Yet when online, I bet often most of us just come across TV content that has been re-purposed for the net -- which is fine too if you need to play catch up and you consider your PC as equivalent to a sort of “online DVR”. But what kind of content just seems tailor made for the internet? A few recently discovered examples in the form of music videos follow. Read More »

Digital Media Programming Development Part 2

Last week I put up the first part of an interview I held with Damon Berger, who is director of Branded Entertainment at a company called Moderati. Damon has great perspective on digital media, and in fact, he is a mentor at the American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab. We discussed Damon’s production experiences as a creative executive at Disney, where he helped launch the company’s first digital studio, known as ‘Stage 9′.In this second installment, we talk about how his work at the smaller digital entertainment studio Revision3, differed from working at a large studio like Disney. Next week, we’ll roll out part 3 which delves deeper into how to create and sell branded entertainment content. Meanwhile this episode has lots of lessons -- Damon and I talk about what tools Revision3 offered him to create audience engagement. Also, we get Damon’s take on key elements of success needed to create a digital hit.

Digital Media Programming Development

A few months ago, I met Damon Berger over at Revision3. When we met, Damon was the senior director of creative and business development at the digital media studio. We hit it off right away -- and besides really enjoying Damon personally -- I quickly realized he’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the development, production, and distribution of digital media. He’s also a mentor at the American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab.
Damon recently took on a new role at a company called Moderati. Here’s a link to the Hollywood Reporter’s article about Moderati’s recent launch. At Moderati, Damon will be developing new branded entertainment content. But what does ‘branded entertainment’ really mean? On Damon’s official bio for Moderati, it says he “oversees development of original multi-platform entertainment properties for major brands, agencies and programming outlets.” That makes sense to me, but I thought it would be great to really understand what ‘branded entertainment’ is all about. So Damon and I sat down at our Cisco Media Solutions Group offices -- we discussed his perspective on what advertisers are looking for when it comes to sponsoring or creating original content to tie to their brand.
We touched on a lot of topics in the video interview, so I split up the content into several episodes. We will roll out the series from the interview over the next couple of weeks here on the DigMediaRev blog. There is a lot to learn here.
In the first part of our talk, we talked about Damon’s career to date, and explored how he got involved in digital media content creation. I think anyone who is interested in how digital media programming gets developed and created will find that topic interesting. Damon was a creative executive at Disney and helped form the company’s first digital studio, known as ‘Stage 9′. Here, Damon discusses his experiences at Disney’s ‘Stage 9′. Some key takeaways from this first part of the interview -- 1) content companies should treat the internet as a unique medium (as my colleague Scott Brown blogged about earlier) and 2) internet content offers producers new ways to engage audiences.

Syndication and Aggregation of UGC

Ok here’s a quick post, something I just thought of. What two types of digital media tools do I find to be the most useful right now? Tools that aggregate and syndicate my user generated content. Regarding aggregation -- well I wound up spending a half hour of my time today playing with a site called extendr.com. I discovered extendr.com through a friends Twitter profile this morning. The main feature of extendr is that it allows you to aggregate links to all the social networks you belong to, and all of your contact information. It presents the aggregated links to your social networks in a very nice interface, and it’s pretty easy to edit your page. Here’s mine http://chuck.extendr.comimageRegarding syndication -- I’ve been playing with a web content syndication service called TubeMogul.com. I create videos for my band that I want to put on multiple video sites. Uploading my video to every site over and over again is quite a pain -- certainly time consuming, and I’m entering the video metadata related to the video over and over again when I do this. You can see from this screen shot overview of TubeMogul.com that using the service will syndicate your content to several video sites at once:imageTubeMogul.com may not work for every site you are trying to get video uploaded to -- it’s not fool proof (it didn’t work with my MySpace account well). The good news is that TubeMogul.com offers a free version and overall it works pretty well. I would love to hear about other aggregation and content syndication tools that you have used -- just post in the comments below.As we use the web more to share more of our personal content, I believe aggregation and syndication of that content are two important activities we will engage in to make such sharing easier. Aggregation and syndication leads to further distribution and discovery of the content you do share on the web.