YouTube Goes Widescreen (16:9)!

“Is it just me, or has YouTube gone widescreen?” Just do a search on youtube wide in Google and you’ll get an endless list of blog posts (including this one). YouTube has apparently changed all videos on its site to play in widescreen by default, and not the standard ratio of 4:3. They’ve had the option to go widescreen in the past, but now it’s their Default. As a result, most of the videos have these horizontal black bars on the sides. Check out JagerBomb video to see what I mean. (Take note, that is how Jager Bombing is supposed to happen!)

According to the YouTube Blog article Bigger Isn’t Always Better… But in This Case, We Believe It Is, this is what they had to say:

“Over the years we’ve heard a lot of feedback from you about what you’d like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind. That’s why today we’re excited to announce a bigger YouTube player. We’re expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience.”

I’m not really sure what they’re doing. Maybe they’re playing the game of ‘catch up to the competitors’. Just a few days ago YouTube went Live! and now they’re going Widescreen. According to TechCrunch “YouTube is by no means the first video site to go widescreen – (my favorite YouTube alternative) has long had the feature. And as the comments point out, sites like Vimeo and SmugMug already offer video in HD”. (TechCrunch)

You know what doesn’t make any sense? When you embed the video on other sites, it maintains the 4:3 ratio! Well, one thing is for sure, YouTube is making improvements and the world is noticing!

Posted under Online Video, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 25, 2008

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Internet Advertising Revenues at $5.9 Billion for Q3 ’08

Today I received an alarming e-mail from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) with a link to their press-release that read the following:

“NEW YORK, NY (November 20, 2008) — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and  PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) today announced that Internet advertising revenues reached almost $5.9 billion for the third quarter of 2008″

That’s only a 11% increase from Q3 ’07 and only a 2% increase from the Q2 ’08. I remember when the Q1 ’08 report came out, I wrote an article titled “IAB Q1 ’08 Report in Perspective“. 1/2 a year later and if you look at the graph above, you’ll see very little growth…more like a “bunny hill” than anything else.

“The growth of interactive advertising that we’ve been experiencing over the past few years has stabilized due in large part to the difficult current economic climate,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB.”(IAB)

Now that the Retail industry is predicting huge cuts in online spending, the Automotive industry in shambles,”the fourth quarter could see an actual decline in both U.S. and global growth.” (TechCrunch) Bear in mind this is highly speculative and there are more factors out there than our current economic situation. Online marketers are coming up with highly innovative and revenue generating cost-effective methods that may help fix this “situation”. Keep your fingers crossed, hold on tight, and hope Q4’s report is nothing more than a bunny-hill.

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 20, 2008

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When Gmail Customizes Their Themes, You Better Blog About It!

I learned something new about Blogging today. I made a mistake and must learn from it. Learn from my mistake: I didn’t think to blog about “Gmail Customizable Themes” when I was given access before anyone else yesterday. I called a few friends and they all responded “How can I get it? How did you get it?” I should have know that things like that are extremely valuable in the blogging world. Just check out TechCrunch’s article Gmail Themes. That’s Totally Ninja. They openly said “Thanks for the tip Dan” to a guy who sent in a screen-shot. I bet Dan is getting huge amount of traffic for being providing TechCrunch with that tip. Hats off to you Dan!

So what did I learn about Blogging today? When something new, innovative and long awaited comes out and you’re only one of a few with access…BLOG ABOUT IT! There ya go. Learn from this event. Now for your viewing pleasure, check out my theme’s screen-shot below. I decided to go with the “Shiny” Theme:

Posted under E-Mail

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 20, 2008

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CrunchGear Breaks Down The “Blackberry Storm”

For the best review of the the new Blackberry Storm, there is no better place to go than TechCrunch’s CrunchGear. They do a fantastic job covering every issue and comparing it to the iPhone 3G and Blackberry Bold’s capabilities.

If you’re like me and work forces you to stick with the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), then it’s not easy to jump to iPhone knowing you’ll lose work e-mail connectivity. The exchange server forwards just don’t cut it! So it really comes down to the New Bold or the Storm, AT&T vs. Verizon…mono vs mono…which is why this review is extremely important. Click the picture below to check it out for yourself:

Posted under Blogs

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 20, 2008

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