Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Entertainment for free

We all know that it's pretty easy to download any movie or TV show, but why go through the mission of finding it, downloading it, and then wasting your hard drive space to keep it?

There are a new crop of websites popping up that are extremely clever and actually legal. Basically, they direct you to where you can watch streaming video's online. Depending on what site the original video has been placed on, you will either be able to watch it in parts (eg. feature film over 5 or so parts on you tube) or, on some sites you will be able to view a full length film on full screen view (eg. VEOH)

These sites are perfectly legal, as their disclaimers will tell you - they are not responsible for the content - they only point you to where it is. Being a new concept, the sites are not visually impressive by any means, but you will always be able to find something to watch. is what i use at the moment, and when i find more i will post them here.

Quality is not always the best, but if you don't like it, get up off your couch and actually go pay to watch a movie for once!

Trend Hunting

This has to be one of my favorite websites - much more entertaining than the mind numbing reality shows busy polluting TV. If you are at all interested in innovative ideas, new gadgets and technology, excellent marketing, and even things that you never knew existed - this is the place for you.

I really don't have to say anymore, have a look at trendhunter

Turning piracy into marketing

Clever record label exec's and marketers have realised that they can't fight the way the digital music industry is changing, and have picked up ways to turn what is considered piracy into great innovative marketing tactics.

Using peer to peer file sharing applications and downloading sites - they are slowly sneaking advertising into our free music we love so much. The best example i have seen (because it is viral) is the band Yellowcard - they place 'snippets' of their new tracks onto the net for free - and encourage people to download and share it - with the promise that once enough people have sent it around, the rest of the track will be 'unlocked'. Genius

For the Gin Blossom's campaign - when hopeful music seekers searched for the band and tried to download a song, they got a pop-up asking them to enter a comp to win an ipod full of the bands music. Through this you build a database of marketing details, of people who are actively seeking that specific artist.

Jay-z and Coke tied up to do a campaign that was hugely succesful in terms of p2p marketing, which proves this as a viable marketing channel. Things will change again, and advertisers will always find a way in - and it's interesting for us to see what they come up with

Essential networking

If like me you think myspace looks like a 13 year old girl threw up into her sticker book, then these social networks might strike some interest...

I'm sure you have heard about facebook which is a brilliant tool for keeping in touch with people from around the world, but more specifically, if you are a working individual you should be joined up on linked in

It is a social network aimed at working professionals, and these days could count as much as your CV or resume. Brilliant for making contacts, keeping contacts, as well as having an interactive platform for references and contact information. If you take yourself seriously in the working world, these days you must be a part of this.

Update: They have just launched a corporate blog here

Video Tracking

If you are a serial video seeder, or if like me you use video seeding for work, i'm sure you know how hard it is to keep track of what video's you have loaded onto what site and, how many views they've had and where to find them - then this will save you a lot of time.

Yes youtube might be the McDonalds of online video, but there are lots of alternatives - and depending on what you are using them for, are in a lot of cases much better than youtube. Quick example - Metacafepays you for video's that do well. Enough said

Anyway, Vidmeteris a great application that will track all of your videos, and let you access everything you might need from one page. It shows a total number of views a video had had across all the sharing sites you might have loaded it onto, and will link you to where it is on that site at the click of a button.

Another very useful way to use this is that it tracks the most popular videos across a network of sites. You can browse by category and time frame. Very useful if you want to see what is popular and realize that your options don't stop at McVideo

Great iTunes idea

These guys have really impressed me with this one. Being a music lover in a big city, it's difficult to keep up with all the concerts and gigs that are happening, and i used to miss a lot of them. Until now.

is a brilliant plug in for your itunes, and yes it's free, and simple to use. Download it, install it, then pick your city. Here's the exciting part - it then scans your music library and automatically creates a calendar of events going in your city based on all the artist and music you have. You know that obscure band or DJ you thought you'd never get to see? With this you have a good chance of catching a gig.

Highly recommended!

Gateway to the info

If you haven't already heard of RSS feeds, you might actually learn something from this blog. And if you have, you might not know about these useful applications yet. We all know how much info is out there - but how the hell are we supposed to keep up?

Bookmarking your favorite sites and blogs used to be an option, but not anymore. I don't have time to sit and look at all the things that interest me everyday. The answer - let the info come to you. RSS feeds automatically keep an updated eye on your favorite destinations. There are a lot of RSS readers out there, but these two stand out as being the most innovative and user friendly.

Personally i prefer netvibes and use it as my default home page, but pageflakes is just as good

On one page i can have google search, youtube, flickr, updates on all the blogs i read, news from around the world, music charts, weather etc - you get the idea. Gmail works well with it as it provides pop email integration. So basically, this is your way to keep up with all the info that is relevant to and chosen by you.

Check it out. now. go

Web based music players

If you like you music digital and easy to get to - these two applications are exactly what you need. Different to online radio stations in that they reccomend you music on what you are listening to. You can build up a personal profile and then track what you're listening to, see what others are listening to - as well as sharing it with friends or embedding the player into your blog like i have so cleverly done.

The two most prominent ones are and which i use. From what i've seen content wise, Pandora is U.S. based and is U.K. based - but they are both worth a go. All you need is a musical imagination, first world broadband and time - as you will be finding and recommending a lot of new artists that you have never heard of. Enjoy