Friday, December 11, 2009

Elf Yourself!

I found this site called It is hilarious and the ultimate example of interactivity on the web. On this site the user literally becomes a part of the animation. It is sponsored by Office Max to bring holiday cheer to all of its customers, and gain a few more in the process. I posted earlier about how interactive sites boost sales!

The website works by uploading a photo of yourself. The website allows you to adjust the size and cropping to get the perfect picture of your face! Next you will adjust your mouth, so your animation can sing, of course! After this is done you can add friends. You can have up to 5 elves within your animation.

Finish adjusting your friends and play your animation. If that doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, I don't know what will!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Online Video Statistics

Online videos are viewed by nearly 73% of the internet population. This is about 123 million Americans that watch online videos every week. 26% are humorous 60% are ads. 44% of people watching these videos will take action on an issue because of an online video. 76% of viewers will share a video they have seen with a friend.

These videos are short and easy to access. Of the 2.5 billion videos being viewed on the web, 2.4 billion come from YouTube. The average length of these videos is 2.6 minutes. The average viewer watches 68 videos a month, or 3 hours worth of videos. Businesses also have seen a 35% increase in sales when they offered some kind of virtual tour or video showcasing their product.

I found this article interesting because the internet and online media has become part of our everyday lives. In recent years the YouTube internet video phenomenon has started. Videos are everywhere on the internet and these statistics just show how useful internet videos can be, especially in marketing and sales or products.

Google Real Time Search Results

Google is one of the top search engines used on the web today. A single term can render thousands and thousands of results. Google has now added a new feature to its site. Now when entering a term into the search criteria, the user can view results from Facebook and Twitter in their search results. If your Facebook profile is set to public then anything posted in your status could possibly turn up in Google's search results.

The same is also applicable to Twitter. Anything that you post on a Twitter site can also show up in Google's search results. The Facebook and Twitter results will show up in their own section. They are constantly update. Four or five results will show up at a time and will update as soon as new results that match the search criteria are posted.

Rule the Stars

Interactivity has been a consistent theme throughout my classes this semester. Interactivity is a way of creating an application or website that allows the user to have a greater experience when visiting a website. They become a part of the website and get to adjust the atmosphere they are in.

I was searching for different examples of interactive websites when I cam across This is a fun interactive website. It isn’t meant to teach a certain message, it is purely recreational. The website opens with a main page that asks, “What would you do if you could rule all the stars in the sky?” The viewer is now left in there own world that they are totally in control of.

The tool used is similar to the Pen tool in illustrator. It allows the user to create shapes using points. These shapes can be bent or manipulated however the user wants. My favorite part of the site is when you navigate to the link that says “Preview”. This allows the viewer to see their star creation in the sky, and it is rotated 360 degrees, so it actually looks as it is floating in space. I thought this was a unique website and a good example of the interactive pieces that we have talked about.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stopping Internet Piracy

Internet piracy happens everyday. It is the biggest threat to the film industry. Low budget, independent films are hit the hardest by piracy and large film studios lose millions. The Internet is huge and impossible to patrol, and on top of that the Internet is anonymous in most cases. It is very hard to catch those that download film illegally from the Internet.

France is the first country to create a government agency that specifically targets, and punishes, Internet pirates. England has also compromised and come up with a way of dealing with Internet pirates. Representatives from Greece think that the best way to stop Internet piracy is to educate the people about it, and what the punishment for being caught may be. Repeat offenders are easier to catch. Other countries addressing the piracy issue think that punishing repeat offenders will put Internet pirates and the film industries on the same playing field. France has even proposed shutting off the Internet connection of those repeat offenders that are caught.

Regardless of the punishment, the fact remains that the digital world we now live in brings its own new set of criminals, which must be addressed. Completely cutting off a persons Internet connection seems harsh, but we lived without the Internet at some point. Maybe this is just what we need to stop Internet pirates, but will the US ever adopt this method?

Article Link

Team of Rivals Assemble to Harness Digital Media

Everything today is digital. If it can’t be found on an iPhone or Blackberry, then it isn’t important. This is the view of a lot of the worlds population. This move to a digital world has brought together some of the biggest rivals in the magazine industry. In an effort to take part in the digital world some top names in the magazine industry may be joining forces.

A new company would be formed that would bring together magazines like Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, etc. This new company would act as a “library” where digital copies of each magazine could be purchased. Printed magazines will still be for sale, but this new company would help these magazines account for those readers that are in need of digital copies. The layout of this application would unify each magazine into one easy to use area. However, each magazine would be responsible for the digital design of their magazine.

Social Networking vs. Google

Google has spent the last decade at the top, when it comes to online business. To many people it is the place to get your information. The search engine can yield billions of results for a single search. However, some say that Google’s reign may be coming to an end in the near future. The billions given by a Google search was once seen as a good thing. But, in our ever-busy lives we are constantly looking for the quickest easiest solution.

Social networking has taken over the web in recent years. It is much easier to get answers through social networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter. People are more likely to take the quick, easy route, and get answers from people close to them that they trust. No one wants to sift through thousands of pages of results anymore. Also, because Google is such a big business, and one of the pioneers of internet business, it is slow to adopt new philosophies. Google has not undergone many significant changes in its decade on the top. Only time will tell the fate of Google, but what is known is that Google will never fully disappear. Google has become one of the icons of our generation.