Minnesota’s New Golf Show: The Craig Show

No Gimmies

The Craig Show launched today. What’s that? A new locally produced online golf show for people who think golf can be an enjoyable sport. Craig is local golfer, Craig Teiken, who has some strong opinions about golf’s stuffiness, reliance on gadgets, and worthless teaching fads. In some ways, this reminds me of what Gary Vaynerchuk has been doing with Wine Library TV.

Local golfers may recognize some of the courses used to shoot early episodes, including Francis Gross and Hiawatha. Craig also has an office in Minneapolis’ Longfellow Neighborhood that’s used for shooting indoor episodes on chipping and putting. They’re also hitting local golf domes so they can swing away in the winter.

612im is the group behind this show and includes the crew from 612 Authentic along with additional creative, sales, and administrative folks.

I’m fired up about the creative things Minnesotans are doing with online video these days. Sure, newspapers are now tapking themselves reading the news to people, but there are actual cool things happening like Chuck Olsen’s Eskimo Witch and Ben from BenCredible’s SpaceVidcast.

Going deep on topics the creators truly care about can build a community around a show. From there, interesting things can happen. More interesting than selling remnant ads at marginal CPM rates.

Video's Influence on Online Conversions

I’ve been in Las Vegas this week at the Electronic Retailer’s Association’s annual conference. One of the sessions I attended called, “Increase your ROI with New Technologies” took at look at emerging (or already emerged, depending on your perspective) technologies that can driving business for retailers.

One of the presenters, Todd Narwid from Narrowstep, brought up some interesting points about how the retail industry is changing:

Marketers are not keeping up with shifting changes. He sees marketers as slow adopters of social networking and online video as marketing solutions. As I see it, there are two reasons for this: 1. It’s easy to stick with what’s worked; 2. Metrics are in place for older marketing strategies; 3. Companies billing based on a percentage of ad spend have no interest in advertising strategies that are more labor than cost intensive.

Todd Narwid

Narwid suggests that first mover advantages are huge in areas like online video, which makes sense since any new marketing strategy will reward first movers.

Broadband penetration and online video continue to grow. Is this still an effective marketing talking point? Are businesses really clueless enough to think, “I suppose people aren’t dialing-up that much anymore?”

Anecdotal data can win over empirical data in many cases when it comes to justifying ad spends. In no way unique to this discussion, but clearly an interesting point. I could see pitches being developed around the concept of, “Your kids are on YouTube all night, right? So why aren’t you advertising there and creating company videos for YouTube?” A compelling, but not necessarily rational, argument.

Narwid’s most interesting nugget came when he mentioned this:

Online conversions increased 5x for a client among people who watched a video associated with the product.

Video is powerful stuff. Having a video that helps explain the features and benefits of a product is clearly going to help close more business than a web page without video. In a sense, we’re seeing the creating of an entirely new division of the infomercial industry around on-demand web-based infomercials.

Narwid built upon that by explaining the relationship between online and offline advertising, explaining that advertisers should, “Drive people to a more compelling argument.”

And that’s really the point. The web allows people to go deep in their research of products and services that interest them. Their interest may not have started online, but that’s where the research is done. Effective use of advertising – online or off – drives people to a website where people can hear your most compelling arguments on why they should buy from you or work with you.

Video on the Net – Danny Kastner, FanRocket

Do you remember Season 3 of The Apprentice? I was a HUGE fan of Season 1, a
moderate fan of Season 2, and by Season 3, I was just barely hanging on.
However, there was one character on Season 3 who made things interesting, and
that was Danny Kastner. He was the guy on the book smarts team who carried
around a guitar and tried to turn every situation into a singable moment.

As his
3 bio mentions, he is a dot.com kinda guy, having run a company called
POPstick back in the day.
Now he’s the CEO of
FanRocket. What does
FanRocket do? Watch the video to find out . . . I guess. If the video doesn’t
explain it, FanRocket creates web video based community websites for businesses
such as televisions shows.

Kanster opened his pitch on why he should be the next Apprentice with the
sentence, “Donald Trump is not looking for clones.” He certainly wouldn’t have
gotten a clone out of Danny.

Click To Play

France Bans Citizen Journalism

The French have gone further than even George W. Bush when it comes to banning civil liberties:

France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

Banning citizen journalism is banning The Truth.

I don’t think this will stop the cameras. YouTube will become the venue of choice for airing French violence.