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YouTube Goes Cosmic with New Interface Design

Posted by Production Productive IT on Monday, July 11, 2011

YouTube

Announced just last week on their official blog, the purveyors of video hosting at YouTube have opened their latest TestTube project (dubbed Cosmic Panda) to the public. Basically a redesign, Cosmic Panda features a radically overhauled interface that indicates a shift towards premium ad placement, but otherwise seems mostly aesthetic.

It's difficult to say without testing the functionality first hand if this redesign is more than skin deep. However, from a visual standpoint, the new design takes more than a few cues from its competitor (*cough*Hulu*cough*) and while YouTube is still clearly an open forum for all creators I get the feeling that many of these changes were made more with film studios and TV networks in mind (MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment, and CBS).

YouTube

The new charcoal-grey background for videos makes them easier on the eyes and does mark improvement. There are also new video size options that add to the "cinematic" experience, but for the average video not optimized at those dimensions it leaves them pixelated and/or distorted. 

The placement of certain elements seem a little odd, several users have noted the "Flag as inappropriate" button as being particularly hard to find. Much of this could be chalked up to learning something new, though. Actual video pages are no longer customizable, but the main profile pages still allow for personalized background images.

Those fearing change shouldn't worry too much, at least not yet. For now, Cosmic Panda is opt-in only which means that you can turn it on and off at will. What this test holds for the future of YouTube users remains to be seen, but you can count that we'll see at least some of these changes in a future redesign.

Want to try it out for yourself? Check out the official Cosmic Panda page to get started.

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Why Social Media Makes a Difference for Small Business

Posted by Hanan Wilson on Friday, March 11, 2011

Social Media

With so many options available to connect with customers, not to mention all of the tasks required just to keep the day-to-day aspects of your business functioning, you many find the prospect of entering the maelstrom of social media more than a little daunting. Not becoming involved, however, even in the slightest way, could be having a unseen (and growing) negative impact on your business.

I'm sure that you've heard of tools like Twitter, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Vimeo. If not over the course of your own experience than on television, your kids, or your business partners and peers. These tools have changed the way in which we work, play and even how we live our daily lives. In short they matter and they're beginning to matter to more and more people every day.

These people, your employees and your customers, are using these tools to rapidly change the way that modern marketing (and to a degree society) works. The ease and accessibility of things like Twitter and Facebook especially allow you to interact directly with your customers on their level. This sort of relationship also tends to make them better customers.

There have been some amazing stories, from both large corporations and small business, emerge from the proper leveraging of social media and each share a common element: engagement. Social media allows you to genuinely engage your customers (and even employees) by allowing them to express their feedback and opinions on your product/service, participate in exclusive information/announcements, and build buzz (ie. interest) in your message. The point being, if you don't have a social media strategy in place, you're losing out on an entire fan base.

But perhaps, as I mentioned above, you don't have the time or skill to use social media effectively. That's where we can help guide you through the process, making it even simpler for you to not only create all of the social profiles you'll need, but manage them as well. 

For more information on how our Internet Marketing services can help you, be sure to drop us a line or give us a call at 334-356-3561.

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