Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Adobe and Disney Make Big Announcement at NAB Conference

Well, to those of you already deep in the Flash community and/or understand how IPTV has been rolling out on both the PC screen and the TV screen, this will come as old news.

For those of you who have viewed Flash as kind of a superficial means to a more creative web site, this will expose the tool and the technology for what it truly is - a deeper, more interactive portal to a further reaching media experience. Beyond the small screen, beyond crappy intros.

Marketers who understand that you have to entertain, educate and offer it all in a very convenient, intuitive and interactive package will read this piece and rejoice. Marketers who are still stuck in a "push, push, push" mentality and still don't see the value of a highly interactive, audience driven 21st Century experience, will read this, scratch their head and continue wasting their budgets on antiquated techniques.

Flash developers, you might want to get ready, once these technologies start trickling out into the market, you will be busy, very busy. It will not stop with mobile and television. Think any connected screen anywhere. That is the missing detail from this story.

Click on the excerpt below to visit the entire story on the New York Times web site.

Pulled from the New York Times...

Flash was once known primarily as the technology behind those niggling Web ads in the 1990s that gyrated and flickered on the screen. Today, it is a ubiquitous but behind-the-scenes Web format used to display Facebook applications, interactive ads and, most notably, the video on sites like YouTube and Hulu.com.

Now Adobe Systems, which owns the technology and sells the tools to create and distribute it, wants to extend Flash’s reach even further. On Monday, Adobe’s chief executive, Shantanu Narayen, will announce at the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas that Adobe is extending Flash to the television screen. He expects TVs and set-top boxes that support the Flash format to start selling later this year.

For consumers, what sounds like a bit of inconsequential Internet plumbing actually means that a long overhyped notion is a step closer to reality: viewing a video clip or Internet application on a TV or mobile phone.

For Hollywood studios and other content creators, a single format for Web video is even more enticing. It means they can create their entertainment once in Flash — as the animated documentary “Waltz With Bashir,” from Sony Pictures Classics, was made — and distribute it cheaply throughout the expanding ecosystem of digital devices.

“Coming generations of consumers clearly expect to get their content wherever they want on it, on any device, when they want it,” said Bud Albers, the chief technology officer of the Disney Interactive Media Group, who will join Adobe executives at the convention to voice Disney’s support for the Flash format. “This gets us where we want to go.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Basement Design + Motion Named a Techpoint Mira Award Finalist

TechPoint Releases Finalists for Prestigious Mira Awards Program Presented by BKD CPAs & Advisors

Four independent panels of judges have chosen 63 Indiana companies, schools
and individuals to compete for state’s top technology honors

INDIANAPOLIS (April 15, 2009) — Now in its 10th year, the 2009 TechPoint Mira Awards presented by BKD represent the top technology businesses, business professionals and educators in the state of Indiana. Four independent panels of judges chose 63 finalists from a record number of nominations in 11 categories this year.

“To receive a record number of entries into the Mira Awards competition and to see so many technology-related companies thriving—particularly during the current national economic downturn—is a real testament to the strength of Indiana’s tech sector,” said Jim Jay, president and CEO of TechPoint. “The Mira Awards recognize the achievements of some outstanding performers and contributors, and it’s also a great way to focus attention on the broader issue of the important role technology plays in our state’s economy.”

According to the 2009 TechAmerica CyberStates report, Indiana's high-tech economy employs more than 71,000 technology professionals representing an annual payroll of $4.2 billion. CyberStates reports that these in-demand positions pay an average of $83,000 annually, more than double Indiana's latest reported per-capita income of $32,000.

The 2009 winners will be announced at an “Oscars-style” award ceremony being held Sat., May 16 at The Westin Indianapolis. TechPoint will also honor the past Mira Awards winners and finalists attending the ceremony. Visit http://www.techpoint.org/Mira/Pastwinners.htm for a complete list of previous Mira Awards winners and finalists.

The finalists for the 2009 TechPoint Mira Awards presented by BKD are as follows. The “gazelle” designation indicates that a company has been in business less than three years:

• Innovation of the Year
o AIGalCo, LLC
o ComfortMotion Technologies
o ExactTarget
o Intelliphage Inc.
o LacPro Industries, Inc.
o Precise Path Robotics
o Solstice Medical, LLC
o Swift Enterprises Ltd

• Information Technology
o ANGEL Learning, Inc.
o Apparatus
o eImagine Technology Group, Inc.
o ENTAP, Inc.
o ExactTarget
o Information in Place, Inc.
o Passageways, LLC
o Perpetual Technologies, Inc.
o WebLink International

• Information Technology Gazelle
o BlueLock, LLC
o Cantaloupe.tv, LLC
o Compendium Blogware
o FormSpring
o Right On Interactive
o Scale Computing
o Sensory Ventures, LLC
o The Basement Design + Motion, LLC
o Vontoo

• Health & Life Sciences
o BioStorage Technologies, Inc.
o EHOB, Inc.
o Safis-Solutions, LLC

• Health & Life Sciences Gazelle
o Indiana Health Information Exchange
o Jinsitec, LLC
o OrthoPediatrics Corporation
o Predictive Physiology and Medicine (PPM)

• Education Contribution- Dept/Prog/Team
o Ball State's Institute for Digital Fabrication, Ball State University
o Ball State's Digital Corps, Ball State University
o Global Research Network Operations Center, part of University Information Technology Services at Indiana University, Indiana University
o Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University: Polar Grid Project Team, Indiana University
o Purdue University Department of Computer Science K - 12 Outreach Program, Purdue University - Department of Computer Science
o Rose-Hulman's Homework Hotline, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
o Surprising Possibilities Imagined and Realized through Information Technology (SPIRIT) at Purdue University, Purdue University

• Education Contribution- Individual
o Beth Kiggins, University of Indianapolis
o Brian Tanner, Space Port Indiana
o Daniel G. Aliaga, Department of Computer Science, Purdue University
o Fred Kitchens, Ball State University
o Jennifer George-Palilonis, Ball State University
o Jessica Seaton, The Insititute for Digital Entertianment and Education at Ball State University
o Rodger Smith, The Insititute for Digital Entertianment and Education at Ball State University
o Yung C. Shin, Purdue University

• Education Contribution- K-12
o Barb Underwood, Carmel Clay Schools
o Robbie Grimes, Brownsburg Community School Corporation
o Dr. Sheila Boehning, Doe Creek Middle School

• Advanced Manufacturing
o CloudBlue Technologies, Inc.
o Hurco Companies, Inc.

• Excellence in Corporate IT
o FORUM Solutions

• Healthcare IT Innovation Award
o Angie's List
o HealthCall, LLC
o Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE)
o Intelliphage Inc.
o OBS Medical
o Orbis Education
o Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University with Purdue University – The CTSI Hub Team
o Solstice Medical, LLC

Visit http://www.techpoint.org/Mira for more information about the 2009 TechPoint Mira Awards presented by BKD.

About TechPoint
TechPoint is Indiana’s only statewide technology initiative, representing industry stakeholders including publicly-traded companies, private businesses, colleges and research universities, and local economic development organizations. The mission of TechPoint is to accelerate Indiana’s emerging and vibrant information technology sector by: promoting the successes of IT companies and professionals; supporting the formation, expansion, and attraction of IT companies; and advocating appropriate public policy. Visit www.techpoint.org.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Social Media Event in Louisville April 14

I received a head's up from Jason Falls about this event coming up next week. Jason is a friend and puts on a good show. I recommend this event if you are looking to learn more about social media from a very solid resource.

The Social Media Club Louisville is conducting a 1/2 day boot camp for advertising, marketing and PR professionals on Tuesday, April 14, from 8:30-11:30 at the Frazier Museum. The cost is just $150.00 and you'll get both a primer on using social media tools and technologies but an overview on how to appropriately reach your target audiences through social media channels. Proceeds support the Social Media Club Louisville which provides monthly free events with national speakers and actionable learning around social media tools, programs and strategies.

For more information about the event, visit:


The registration button is on that page or here:


Friday, April 3, 2009

The Basement Gets a Nod from Mira and Douglas Karr

Nominees were announced yesterday for this year's Mira Awards and The Basement Design + Motion is a nominee in the Information Technology Gazelle Company category alongside a handful of solid companies.

In addition to the nomination, we got some mention in Douglas Karr's blog for the same nomination. He does a nice job of summarizing each company and what they do. Check it out HERE.

Thank you Techpoint and thank you Douglas!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Integrated Campaigns, Multiple Partners?

Would you take your car to get body work done by Jiffy Lube? If your dentist offered you a great deal on an appendectomy in conjunction with your regular teeth cleaning would you take advantage of the deal? If you had the desire for really really good ice cream would you go to the gas station convenience store to buy it?

I will go out on a limb and assume most would answer "no" to these questions. If that is the case why do so many businesses try to get "one stop shopping" for marketing services? I have been in business in some shape or form for the last 12 years and have never, let me repeat this, NEVER seen a "one stop shop" that can execute best in class services across the board. Usually these shops start out as specialized providers who get coerced by a client or two to expand their services because they do such a great job in their area of expertise. Despite all of the market studies, expert advice to not extend (see any Al Ries marketing book) and all of the specific disaster stories that exist regarding extending services unsuccessfully, service providers extend.

Specifically as it relates to digital services it is commonplace to have a shop that sells it all - SEO, SEM, design, development, email, mobile, social consulting/services, PR, branding, logo design, copy writing and the list goes on. 99% of the time these shops do one or two of these services really really well, and the rest suffer greatly. The "also ran" services are teetering on the verge of malpractice.

No wonder there is so much ineffective work in the market. Recent market research has exposed the fact that there are no less than 150 - 200 advertising agencies/marketing communication and/or marketing consultancies in the city of Chicago alone. Many of these firms claim to offer "web site" design/development and/or interactive services. If you go the portfolio section of many of these firms
web sites, you understand what effective web design and development is and you objectively reviewed the digital work presented you would quickly come to the conclusion that a. the market is glutted b. 85% of these firms have no business performing this work for their clients and c. these firms were founded on other services that they do well.

The result of this mistake of trying to be everything to everyone? You do yourself and your clients a disservice and in the long run you damage your brand and the brand of your client(s).

The solution?? Lose whatever is motivating you to offer services outside your expertise and partner with organizations that specialize in the services you want to offer, but do not have the expertise to execute. A successful integrated campaign requires an integrated group of specialists.

If you choose to go down this path you will realize a few benefits:
1. A higher quality of work for you or your clients
2. Higher returns on your marketing budget or higher margins on service/product offerings
3. Variable costs vs. fixed costs - a good benefit in a poor economy
4. Better results
5. Potentially getting reciprocal referrals from your strategic partners. After all they are specialists too and their clients may need your skills.

I have never met one person or one shop who could perform truly effective SEM, SEO, .NET development, Flash development and high end quailty print and digital design. That person and/or firm does not exist. To be effective with these skills (as examples) it requires different training, high levels of specialized abilities and different personalities. To think one firm can offer all of this in a fashion that is of an expert level for each service is ludicrous.

You don't go to Wal-Mart for custom lamp shades, you go for commodity goods at low prices. Why go to your SEO shop for effective branding or logo design?

Select specialists if you want truly effective products/services. One size rarely fits all. Successful integration requires multiple partners. Lose the ego, find the right partners and watch the positive results flourish.