Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visiting Athens

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Pay homage to Athen’s most impressive legacy- the Acropolis, haggled with

the merchants in the old Turkish bazaar around Monastiraki Square and Explored the 19th-century quarter of Plaka…all before noon. Now you are ready to drink like Dionysus.

Where to crash

 Athens ‘ first “hip hotel,” the Semiramis, is located in Kifissia, a wealthy suburb about 10 miles north of the  city   center .

Styled by trendy designer Karim Rashid, the hotel has such features as a glowing-pink cube in the entrance, a rotating collection of contemporary art in the rooms, and digitally

programmed door signs.

NightLife

What’s a Flagrant without checking out the nightlife?

Bars are the staple of Greek nightlife, with new establishments opening every week. In summer, many of the most popular spots, especially dance clubs, move to temporary venues along the coast (check with your hotel concierge on seasonal whereabouts of clubs).

Frequented by the under-30 crowd, these clubs are usually huge, lively, and packed.

Getting to them can be a nightmare, especially on weekends, when the coastal road, Poseidonos, becomes a kilometers-long traffic jam.

Most bars stay open at least until 3 AM. Drinks are rather steep (around EUR6) but generous, and often there is a surcharge on weekend nights at the most popular clubs. Foreigners usually get in automatically; large groups of single men may have some trouble on a busy night. Most clubs and bars do not take credit cards for drinks.

From September to May, Athen’s beautiful people make an appearance at Central to see and be seen in the cool, creamy interior while enjoying cocktails and sushi.

From May to September, Central is closed in town; it reopens on the coast as Island, which is dreamily decked out in gauzy linens and directly overlooks the Aegean.

with notes from Fodors and USA Today

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Make An International Conference Call

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A lot of technological advancements in communication and broadcasting have paved the way for bringing people from across the globe closer through an international conference call. However, people have been calling internationally without so much the thought of doing it the right way to save costs. If not, their telephone bill could amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month.

On the bright side, thanks to technology and modern times, there are a lot of international calling methods that are existent nowadays than there did many years ago. The humble telephone is not anymore the only means to call someone half a world away, but there is now a new method that relies on new technology like VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP makes phone calls over the Internet possible instead of traditional long distance calls.

To effectively communicate with other people across the globe without making a hole in your wallet is fairly easy. Just like making a regular conference call, an international conference call follows the same basic principles:

(1) participants dial in to a conference call access number, (2) they enter the access code or PIN for their conference, and (3) they join the conference.

International conference calling is unique in a way that international participants need special access numbers to avoid paying expensive international call rates. If you go to the larger services providers you might get an international toll-free number to access the conference. Other providers set up local access numbers in countries where their customers normally call.

For instance, you want to hold a conference call with clients in England, Japan, and Canada and you’re located in the United States. All you need to do is dial either an international toll-free access number or a local access number. Those who use the local access number are right away connected to the central conference bridge via a global IP network.

Using a dial-out system rather than a dial-in system is another economical way of making these kinds of calls. In a dial-out system the moderator dials out to each participant individually, thus absorbing the costs of each international call.

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Delivering Highly Successful Online Video and Viral Campaigns

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There are many that say that the creation of high traffic viral campaigns is a science and not an art and that luck has little to do with it. There are arguments for and against, although there are some expert providers in this space who may ether agree or disagree with this argument and there are some that actually it is both a science and an art.

Recent examples of online videos going viral include:

Konyvideo– This video was clearly designed to go viral, but it is unlikely that the author thought that it would attract an audience of over 75 million viewers across the planet however was this because that it ticked the “Social Controversy” box?

Anfield Cat – This is a more uplifting online video clip, but I ask myself was the cat let out of the bag by accident or was it a cleverly designed video campaign by an animal lover who knew how to create and design a viral campaign.

1. Capture the Moment

There are several events that enable us to Capture the Moment and companies are using these events to project their brands onto the consumer. One example would be Paddy Power’s video campaign “Chav Tranquilizer’s“. This clearly combines humour with the traditional, more commonly viewed stiff upper lip event of the Cheltenham Festival.

Paddy Power has clearly captured the moment and integrated the content and the Cheltenham event with the brand making use of laughter and light humour.

2. High Quality and Relevant Content

Using the same Paddy Power example, the content and setting was clearly relevant in terms of the brand and capturing the audience in a funny way. This campaign was genuinely creative and the content was highly relevant to the target audience. This was clearly meant to be controversial which typically engenders “Social Sharing“;

3. Social Sharing

The Paddy Power campaign was clearly designed as a viral marketing tool; hence it was designed with Social Sharing in mind. People use all types of social sharing mechanisms, such as traditional email.

If you Google Chav Tranquilizer’s“, you will see comments about this campaign being banned on TV. This brings into play the “Social Controversy” approach, which has clearly been integrated into this video ad with a view to creating Social Conversations on a grand scale;

4. Brands and Products

It is vital that the content, the campaign theme and the setting are clearly identifiable and relevant to the brand and to the product. This is to ensure the brand and ultimately the end product engages with the target audience. Remember, not to be too commercial, this is generally a consumer put-off and will not engender “Social Sharing”. Viral campaigns are largely used to engender brand awareness; however brands are also now using online video advertising to launch products and services.

5. Consumer Attention Span

Content length is vital to get right. Too short and you can lose the message, too long and you can lose the audience. Therefore, it is important to ensure the first ten to fifteen seconds really captivate the viewer and at all costs avoid long load times for videos and games. Rememberevery consumer is just one click away from your competitor. With technology, consumers are becoming increasing impatient; hence their attention span is reducing.

capture your consumer, draw them into your world and make your message stick in their mind;

6. Viral Video Seeding

Unless the content is exposed to high numbers of users it is unlikely that the video advertisement will become a truly viral campaign.

To improve the likelihood of a truly viral campaign, it is vital that the video ad is properly seeded (geography / brand / product / context / relevance) with relevant distributors as well as with the highly known video viewing sites and blogs.

Once seeding is properly undertaken the content should take care of itself via “Social Sharing” hence on the basis that that the content works this will lead to a successful viral campaign;

7. Technical issues and bandwidth

Bandwidth has been an issue in the past but most providers have overcome this with much more robust technical solutions.

High volume viral campaigns would usually be viewed from sites like YouTube or similar video sharing sites; once the word spreads you then need to ensure that:

(i) other distributors have similar levels of bandwidth capabilities and that the quality of the content is not spoiled by bandwidth viewing issues;

(ii) the video ad formats you provide are used by the large majority of consumers and have minimum resistance to viewing; hence be wary of video formats that require special plug-ins or software upgrades. Use a few of the most common formats and ensure that consumer compatibility remains in the high ninety-nine percentile;

8. What’s in it for the Consumer?

The reason commercial radio and TV advertising has been and continues to successful is due to the fact that there is something in it for the consumer.

Radio stations generally play the latest and most popular music whereas commercial TV content is generally of a high-quality to attract a certain audience, with TV commercials being shown in between TV advertisement breaks. Therefore there is clearly something in it for the consumer with commercial radio and TV media.

However in the online world this is sometimes amiss as brands prefer their online video ads to be free of “Rewarded Media”.

Rewarded media has its place and can play an important part in terms of “Social Sharing” (everyone likes to receive and share a bargain with their friends). Whilst Rewarded Media seems to be a taboo in this segment it could play an important part for product launches and film releases especially if “Social Sharing” can be integrated someway with “Rewarded Media”;

9. Analytics and key metrics

All viral campaigns should have a campaign distribution plan. This is vital to ensure that the video ad achieves all of the targets and metrics that were initially set-out with the brand.

To ensure that all viral campaigns stay on plan, they should be properly tracked with continual analytics and using key performance metrics. This will help the advertiser to better understand the consumer audiences, who have interacted with the content, providing data such as times of use, places of use etc. Be wary of gathering too much information on potential consumers (for example email addresses) as this can turn-off your audience and create a barrier for the online video advertisement.

10. Continual Improvement

Post campaign evaluation is essential for continued improvement. This will enable you to ascertain important data such as: what has worked and what hasn’t, traffic sources, what consumers were saying in forums and social networking sites.

Try to understand why the video ad generated the level of traffic it did and this should enable you to identify key tools that can be replicated for a future viral campaign.

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A Quick History of Stores

Why Handcrafted Leather Products Remain Unique Individuals no longer consider the price of a product as the only factor on whether they will or will not purchase a given product. While price dominated the traditional market, the modern market is more controlled by the value and uniqueness of a product and not its price. Initially, individuals always wanted to be associated with the most expensive things. Assuming it was purchased by so many people, some people would be willing to forego such a shoe due to the fact that it is a shoe with so many people. A shoe worth ten dollars that look elegant but with few people would be a preferable choice for individuals who love unique things. As a result, the individual considering unique would view the thousand dollar pair of shoe, accept it is elegant but due to the fact that it has been purchased by so many people, he or she would end up foregoing it. Unlike the traditional market where fashion was associated with price, the current market on matters of fashion is purely driven by elegance and quality where the price follows. Some people will dislike being seen with a shoe or a sandal that is too common in the hood. These individuals end up searching far and wide until they find that unique product that is not with as many people. Among the things people in the world have not known about their existence include the handcrafted leather products. It is worth noting that the reason as to why handcrafted leather products remain unique is due to the fact that despite the fact that they are quality and elegant, they are . The good thing about handcrafted leather products is that they can easily be identified as they easily stand out. Among the things handcrafted leather products makers make include sandals. Hand-made scandals come with uniqueness and also tend to be long lasting making them be like by individuals who have had initial interaction with them. Bearing in mind that leather products are durable, the best individuals in the market come to craft them in such a manner that they become unique and differentiate themselves in the market when compared to other sandals. Belts and sandals also have that expensive look a factor that makes them attractive making individuals search for them. With the mention of an expensive look, everyone would wish to possess one of such a belt. Where one is lucky to come across handcrafted leather products whether online or in a shop, he or she should take time and have a look and maybe consider purchasing one as he or she can be assured of quality and elegance.A Quick History of Stores

If You Read One Article About Stores, Read This One

Surviving the Threat – How TV Learned to Love the Internet

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When it comes to “old”   media ,  TV  seems to be the one form of traditional media that has learned how to utilize the net to its advantage. The internet is still a content threat, but the TV world, unlike the worlds of music, film and publishing seems to have more quickly understood the pitfalls and opportunities. Instead of pulling up the drawbridge and preparing for battle, TV joined in and utilized the internet.

Companies that make their living selling content are reeling. Newspapers have been closing at a record rate. The music business is reeling like never before. ITunes has helped reset the playing field, but it’s nothing like it was before. Book publishing has been hit, particularly the brick and mortar bookstores and for the film industry it could just be a matter of time, before the ability to download free content (legal or otherwise) will make a true dent in their profits.

When it comes to “old”  media ,  TV  seems to be the one form of traditional media that has learned how to utilize the net to its advantage. Advertising took a huge hit last year, but the economy was also in the throws of the worst recession since the (strangely named) Great Depression. Just about everyone took a huge hit last year, not just TV ad revenues. But apart from basic economic ebbs and flows, TV seems to be the one form of media that has not only been able to weather the internet threat, but to utilize it.

To quote a recent article in The Economist: “In the final quarter of 2009 the average American spent almost 37 hours a week watching television. Earlier this year 116 million of them saw the Super Bowl-a record for a single program. Far from being cowed by the new  media ,  TV  is colonizing it.” The article goes on to explain how shows like “American Idol” and “Britain’s Got Talent” utilize the net to their advantage. Watchers are constantly messaging one another about such shows on email IM, Facebook or Twitter.

Plus, TV is a reactive media. It doesn’t require much from the viewer. You turn it on, put on the channel you want and there you are. Although many programs are available online, most viewers are not going to do the work it takes to find their programs through nontraditional outlets. The internet is still a content threat, but the TV world, unlike the worlds of music and publishing seems to have more quickly understood the possible pitfalls and opportunities. Instead of pulling up the drawbridge and preparing for battle, TV joined in creating sites such as Hulu a joint venture of ABC, Fox and NBC; an unlikely partnership, but a smart one.

Other content providers are beginning to understand that the way to fight the internet is not to fight it at all, but to blend with it and make it an extension of their brand and their information outlets, but the TV world is way ahead of the game

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010

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Verizon FiOS TV Rocks the House

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Verizon FiOS TV (fiber-optic television) is the fastest and largest growing network in the United States! And it keeps spreading becoming even more popular as people stand in the showrooms to find out just how well FiOS stands up against regular television.

People are discovering how clear and close to life Verizon FiOS TV really is. Once you see it for yourself, you will never want to go back to your old TV service providers. The perfectly clear picture is not the only great thing about Verizon FiOS; you get over 200 all digital channels and a very unique home media DVR that offers multi room functions.

The one DVR can record a movie while the family watches TV, then you can set it up at a later date to play the movie in any room in the house. This will save you a lot of money because you only have to have one DVR. You will be able to watch 3 different recorded shows on three different TV sets at once. The plus to having the DVR is that you can record 80 hours of SD programming and 20 hours of High Definition programming. You can also choose the HD Receiver, which allows you to access Verizon FiOS TV’s HD programming. Or you could choose the SD Receiver as an option as well.

You can also view over 14,000 movies every month with the On Demand Options. If you are tired of watching the same old boring TV stations that you see over and over, the On Demand will allow you to watch movies 24/7 if you choose to.

When it comes to the installation, you are treated with the utmost respect and the skilled technicians will be more than happy to set up your entire home and they will not leave until you are completely satisfied. They will explain the process of the installations and everything that you get with it, all for no extra charge.

Verizon FiOS TV gives you several convenient plans, plus you can customize a package to meet your desire. If you prefer, or are unsure what sort of programming you want, you can start with the basic package and customize it at any time in the future. The bundled package include the Verizon FiOS Triple Play and Double Play where you package more than 1 service up to get a better discount. These FiOS packages are most popular because of the maximum savings you will achieve!

Why wait to have the greatest TV set in town, join the rest of the Verizon FiOS community. You can be the talk of your town with your big screen TV and FiOS – which make a great combo. Get the thrill of your life. You will be glad you did. Check to see if you can get Verizon FiOS in your area right now.

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Dishing Out Television!

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It’s almost the beginning of July 2006. The Direct to Home (DTH) scene in India is getting ready for the mother-of-all battles. The Subhash Chandra owned Dish TV is going to have a competitor in the Rupert Murdoch backed TATASKY DTH platform soon. Though TATA owns seventy odd percent in the venture we all know where the technical expertise is going to come from.

Newscorp via STAR TV will no doubt be building a strong product for Indian households. Let us not forget that they own and operate BSKYB in the United Kingdom where they are almost considered untouchable in both quality of service and reach. DISH TV too is not sitting still. Only a few months from their launch, they started offering services like Movie On Demand and of course the more recent announcement of the inclusion of extra channels including SONY on their DTH platform.

STAR having stayed off the DISH TV platform with only STAR UTSAV making a token appearance, have made their intentions clear. This year promises to be an all out exciting one for television viewers in the country. Both the players are known to be aggressive. They are not going to pull any punches and surely aren’t taking any prisoners. When BSKYB launched to a lukewarm reception in the UK, SKY started giving the set top boxes free, they also bought all the exclusive football rights for an astronomical amount to bring in the viewers. Free set top boxes plus the only place to watch their football the Brits bought into BSKYB big time making it a thundering success. ZEE on the other hand back home is constantly updating their services portfolio. The latest addition to their list is Mobile DISH TV. Yes, that’s right you will be able to watch all their channels on the move in a car or a bus. They have a year’s head start over TATASKY and are looking to consolidate their lead.

TATASKY on the other hand has deep pockets and a vast library of content to dish out on their platform. It’s too early to tell who will win this fight but signals are out there that the fight will be long and fought hard. Especially now since SONY has joined DISH TV the lines are drawn. Like I mentioned some time back, people do want all the goodies that a DTH service brings but how many will want two different boxes at home is the question? Maybe it will lead to the mother-of-all mergers…the TATASKYDISH TV Network!

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Characteristics of Modern Media Technology

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Media has evolved a lot. Modern media depends on Technology to send information or gather them at a faster speed. The following are the characteristics:  

Speed: The information reaches at a faster speed.     

Reach: The information must have mass reach.  

Preventing Calamities: Modern media broadcasts 24 hours. So high technology is used to beat natural calamities.     

Constant Transmission: Technology is used for constant transmission.  

The following tools of technology is used to achieve the aforesaid targets:  

 

Use of Satellites: Satellite Technology is used to ensure constant transmission. A satellite hardly  gets affected by climatic conditions.     

Use of Video Conferencing: It is used to get live and personalized feedback without physical presence.  

Use of Television Conferencing: It is used to get audio inputs from far off places.  

Use of Internet: Internet is being relied upon for information.  

Use of high end Computer Technology: Computing and high speed processors are used for fast and able data processing.  

Use of Mobile Satellite Vans for News Coverage: Satellite vans are used for high mobility and anytime coverage.    

Use of high end Audio visual equipments: Use of high end audio visual equipments have emerged that leads to clear sound and picture. Tape recorders and high end video cameras are used by media persons to take interviews fast and transmit news ina proper and efficient manner.    

Thus these are the characteristics of Modern Media Technology that has made media more fast, accurate and improved and has made it an indispensable tool for protecting the  largest democracy of the world named India by making it more transparent and accountable to people. Hence these are the characteristics of modern media technology.  

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What Satellite TV Programming Do I Need?

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Because there are typically a number of package choices it may be a good idea to have a good guesstimate of what a person is looking for before making the decision. There are so many combinations that customers can purchase and even add on additional channels to their likening. Programming generally depends on the amount of monthly costs that a subscriber is willing to pay. The more the package the larger number of channels, even additional movie, adult and sports channels. These may include premium packages that are not a part of the regular or lower package deals provided by the satellite company.

The type of programming that is needed is solely dependent on a couple of factors. First, the types of shows, movies and events that are desired will help the consumer make the determination of which to pick from. There are the most basic packages that simply give subscribers channels such as local, regular programming and the bare necessities. Then there are those that have premium channels and allow the ordering of movie events, NFL Sunday tickets and much more. The nice thing about the choices is the fact that there are so many different needs and desires when it comes to television programming. These vast packages allow everyone from single individuals to families with children to decide the type of package that they will have.

Members can also choose between the different pay-per-view and subscription features that are offered by most satellite providers. The pay-per-view is generally those that are ordered on a one time basis. It may be a particular movie or sporting event that the viewer wishes to see, but there is just the onetime fee, not an ongoing one. This pay as you go is very popular because it doesn’t lock the viewer into any recurring monthly charges and gives them the freedom to choose which programs that they want to see for additional costs. If there is a particular channel or programming that the subscriber watches often, then they may consider a monthly subscription. This allows them to watch that channel on an ongoing basis without incurring any additional costs. Sports channels, adult channels and movie channels are all examples of this type of subscription services.

For most satellite providers there is some necessary equipment that allows their customers to choose the type of programming that they receive. Just like the ordering of movies or other paid events must have a box or other equipment to send the signal and purchase the event. It is important for the member to ensure that they have a package that allows for the viewing or paid services so that they can order when they wish. Nothing is more aggravating than preparing to watch an event or movie and find out that it is not allowed because the appropriate programming or equipment doesn’t exist. Prepare early to ensure that the best programming and services are available before being disappointed. There are many programming choices to view and sign up for, the best way to determine the best for you is to review the choices and find the best fit!

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Increase Online Video Marketing Reach Through Social Media

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Online video marketing is increasingly the chosen option of businesses to establish their online presence. One of the most effective video marketing strategies is the use of social media to widen and diversify audience reach. There are many ways to create a social media presence but statistics show that the use of video is the most popular way. There is no question about video’s popularity by now as its claim to popularity is fully backed by impressive statistics.

Another important thing to remember about videos is that it can work well with various forms of social media. For example, a YouTube video that viewer like can be shared with other Facebook accounts, blogs as well as other social media sites. It will be the viewers themselves who will make the video go viral for the following reasons:

1. Easy to Share

If you have a fun, exciting and informative video, viewers will not only ‘like” or click a thumbs sign, they will share it with other people so that they can talk about it later. It’s a natural tendency to share something that makes one excited, sad, happy or inspired. The same thing will happen to those who were affected by the shared video because it only takes a click to share.

Even news videos now have links to share with various social media platforms. Viewers usually want to share videos with controversial topics. Eventually, if more sharing recipients like the video, it will go viral. Videos are not only easy to share, they are the type of content people would like to share. Generally, videos are easier to understand than text.

2. Billions of Potential Video Viewers

You can’t share if there’s nobody to share with, right? But there are hundreds of millions of users in the top social media sites. Facebook alone has over 1 billion users. In 2013, eMarketer forecasts social networking users to reach 1.43 billion, an increase of 19.2% from 2012.

Targeting social media users is like targeting a captive audience for your videos. That’s why it’s one of the most considered video marketing tactics to promote brand awareness.

3. Extended Accessibility

TV commercials are played only based on how much air time you bought. It’s not something that’s available if you want to see it. For example, a friend can only tell you about an impressive TV commercial. You have to watch TV and hope it will be shown. On the other hand, online videos are continuously available unless you delete them.

For instance, Justin Bieber’s music video “Baby” with over 756.4 million views has been continuously available at YouTube since April 25 2010. Until now there are still viewers without the need to buy more air time. It’s the same with the popular Volkswagen advertisement with over 53 million hits and counting. If the Justin Beiber video was shown only on a music site like MTV, it would have been taken off after a few months to give way to newer releases. It couldn’t have been viewed at least 756.4 million times.

If you are not using online video marketing strategies to establish your social media presence, you could be limiting the reach of your online marketing efforts.

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