Sunday, April 23, 2006

Streaming Media

In 2005, broadband Internet access surpassed 50 percent of U.S. households and is expected to reach 75 percent by 2011 according to a new research report released Friday. Along with high-speed connection comes the capability to deliver quality video content.

An increasing number of Websites are offering video content, not only in the form of entertainment (Lost and
Desperate Housewives), but also in the form of product demos, educational seminars, and other so-called "streaming media" service offerings.

For additional information about the report findings access a
press release and a market research report summary available from Insight Research.

So, what is streaming media? Two definitions follow:
  • media (Web content) that is consumed (read, heard, viewed) while it is being delivered (source: Wikipedia)
  • the transmission of digital audio and video files over an IP network or wireless network in real time or on-demand, while prohibiting users from storing the files locally (source: Insight Research)

The most important factor driving the consumer segment is content-on-demand -- the desire by consumers to listen and watch what they want at the time and place of their choosing.

The practical implication for Web developers is that clients will increasingly seek to differentiate their Web-based offerings via streaming media content and designers and developers should become knowledgeable and proficient in educating clients on the available options.

To learn more about streaming media access University of Wisconsin's Understanding Streaming Media tutorial series. Then visit the Creation and Production section to learn more about the five most popular streaming media technologies.

To understand the specific HTML code you would use to add rich media content to a Website access Embedding Streaming Video in a Web Page available from Media College. In particular, check out the technique used to enable video to be displayed in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Code is available in the following formats:

As the Web evolves so must a Web professional's skills. And rich media content development is a skill consistent with the recent increase in demand for Web Marketing skills.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Skilled Tech Workers in Demand

Virtually all CEOs of the fastest growing technology companies say they have plans to grow their workforce over the next 12 months. However, 41 percent said finding, hiring and retaining qualified employees remains the major challenge.

Here are some of the strategies technology companies are using to attract quality workers:

  • increase stock options or some form of ownership interest (71 percent)
  • offer flexible work hours (49 percent)
  • offer additional vacation days (23 percent)
  • offer training and development programs (35 percent)
  • provide a career growth plan (28 percent)

So, what does it take to succeed at a fast growing high tech company? According to CEOs their success can be attributed to the following qualities:

  • entrepreneurial spirit (72 percent)
  • sheer determination to succeed (66 percent)

Making a lesser contribution were factors such as technical knowledge, upbringing, luck, personal relationships, and education.

A press release of The Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey can be found at the Deloitte Website. To access the websites of the 50 Fastest Growing Technology Companies in New England visit the Web Apprentices Career Center.

Monday, April 17, 2006

New Year, New Life

Behind every runner is a story. And today more than 22,000 stories will unfold in the 110th running of the Boston Marathon. Setting an ambitious goal, such as completing a marathon, can be uplifting for the individual and inspirational for others. I can personally attest to the power of accomplishing such a "feet" having successfully navigated the Hopkinton to Boston course in 1990. My desire to help others set and achieve this special goal lead to the publication of The Race to Boston.

If today's event fuels a desire to dream big and make a change in your life, then resources are available to help you navigate the course. Whether that change is professional or personal, having a plan and consistently implementing the plan are just a few of the cornerstones for unlocking the secrets of motivation.

You may be familiar with the work of Anthony Robbins through his infomercials and audio training products Personal Power and Get the Edge. Tony wants to help you set and achieve one significant goal of your choosing and he has offered a FREE online mini-seminar,
New Year, New Life to help guide you though the process. This audio coaching service will help you turn your resolutions into actions and results.

If you find yourself inspired by the stories that will emerge from today's race, then use the power of momentum to script your own story of achievement that you can use to help inspire others next year.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Boston Market -- April

Demand for business and financial workers surged in March as corporations staff up due to continued expansion efforts. Details of this increasing job expansion can be viewed in the Monster Employment Index which reached another all-time high last month.

In keeping with the marketing focus in the last two articles, this month's market analysis highlights a few of the technology skills needed to help businesses market their products and services.

A quick search on the "e-commerce" keyword reveals the following job listings in the greater Boston area (number of listings):

  • (77)
  • (390)

According to an annual survey of 250 e-commerce executives conducted by the e-tailing group, "e-commerce is becoming an important, stand-alone sales channel and websites are increasingly seen as revenue generators and important profit centers." A summary of the survey can be accessed for a limited time via eMarketer.

According to the survey the top three Web-related initiatives planned for 2006 are as follows (percentage of executive responding):

  • enhanced onsite merchandising features (75%)
  • more targeted e-mail marketing programs (74%)
  • improving onsite search (70%)

If your skill-set includes knowledge and experience in these areas then your skills are in demand. To obtain knowledge and experience in these in-demand Web marketing areas consider the following FREE training plan that focuses on two popular Web development technologies that can be used to develop and maintain a company's e-commerce strategy:

ASP.NET focus:

PHP focus:

Web technology + marketing skills = career opportunities

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

IAC Award Winners

The Web Marketing Association has announced its 2006 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Award winners. The awards were developed to honor excellence in online advertising, recognize the individuals and organizations responsible, and showcase the award winning Internet advertising.

The judging criteria was as follows:
  • creativity
  • innovation
  • impact
  • design
  • copywriting
  • use of the medium

The Best of Show winners for 2006 are as follows:

Additional winners in the The Best of Industry award level can be accessed at the IAC Winners website.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Wanted: Marketing Skills

Question: Where are corporate marketing departments spending their money in 2006?
Answer: Internet marketing

A survey of more than 1,700 marketing professionals at Fortune 500 companies across the United States and Canada provides insights into what areas of marketing large companies plan to focus their attention on in 2006.

More than half of all large companies plan to increase spending on Internet marketing, according to the "2006 Spending & Staffing Trends for Corporate Marketing Departments" study. Other areas receiving increased focus are brand marketing (42%) and advertising (39%).

The survey also found that an improving economy and an impending labor shortage combine to raise the following concerns among large corporations:

  • 59 percent of companies are concerned about employee retention
  • 78 percent believe employee turnover will be a challenge over the next five years
So, large companies are concerned about retention and turnover and they are looking for workers with marketing and Internet experience. Web designers and Web developers who can document Web-based marketing project expertise can position themselves today to take advantage of the opportunities of tomorrow.

To supplement your technical training with marketing knowledge sign up for one of three Web-based marketing classes:

You can review the highlights of the marketing survey in a press release or obtain a free copy by contacting Kelly Shumaker at Aquent Marketing Staffing, a Boston-based a global professional services firm.