Archives for March 2014

March 28, 2014Published by: Steph Bennett

Tips for Preparing for #BattenVEDA

Vlogging

In the countdown to #BattenVEDA we’ve pulled together some top tips to ensure that you’re fully prepared to get the most out of your vlogging experience this April. Whether you’re new to YouTube or not, it’s always good to check you’ve got all angles covered.

Your YouTube Channel - How do you look?

It’s time to check your appearance and we’re not just talking about you as the vlogger. So, facepacks, hairdresser appointments and beauty sleep aside, you need to make sure every aspect of your YouTube channel is looking great and working to your advantage.

  1. Customise your YouTube URL - Make it easy for people to find you on YouTube as those auto-generated URLs are long, complicated and not really very pretty.

  2. Choose a profile image / avatar - This the first thing people see when searching for you, when you appear in their subscriptions feed and when content is shared to other platforms.

  3. Add a cover image - Make the most of the opportunity to add a touch of personality to your channel showing the world who you are and how you want to be seen.

  4. Get connected - Showcase your presence on other social media networks, blogs and websites right on your cover image. Simply click the edit button in the top right hand corner of your cover image and you’ll be presented with the option of custom links for you website or blog by adding their name and URL.

  5. About You - Introduce yourself in a punchy but informative way and give people good reasons as to why they should watch your videos.

  6. WaterMark - Consider adding a branded watermark in the form of your avatar on to all of your videos. This watermark doubles up as subscribe button which links viewers directly to your channel home page. You can add your own by going to going to to Video Manager, Channel Settings, InVideo Programming.

Your Social Networks - Have you told anyone you’re there?

One of the main reasons we’ve started #BattenVEDA is to build a community for vloggers taking part in the VEDA challenge. The more people that know you’re taking part and where to find you, the more views your videos will receive on YouTube.

  1. Share your YouTube channel - Make the most out of your existing following on social media channels let your friends, fans and followers where they can find you on YouTube and how to subscribe to your channel.

  2. Post links to your vlogs on social media - Each time you upload a video to YouTube for #BattenVEDA, share it on social media too. Tweet it, Pin it, make an Instagram or Vine trailer to entice people to your channel and get them to see the great video content you’re producing.
  3. Use keywords and hashtags - Using keyword tags on your videos will allow YouTube users find you more easily. We would totally recommend using your channel name as one of the keywords as this will help viewers find other videos you produce in the suggested viewing list. Equally, use hashtags on the key topics you’re talking about and of course #BattenVEDA.

Your Tools - What will you use to edit and upload your vlogs?

The tools of the trade vary from vlogger to vlogger but there are some things that are essential for everyone who chooses to vlog: a camera, editing software, memory cards and batteries.

  1. Select your camera - There are no rules as to which camera you should use to vlog so try out a few options and see what works best for you. If you’re vlogging from home or your desk, you could use your laptop or a digital camera or if you’re on the move, a smartphone is a great way to vlog.

  2. Editing tools - YouTube offers it’s own editing suite if you don’t have your own software at home which is pretty intuitive to use. If you prefer to edit on your laptop or PC, basic tools such as MovieMaker and iMovie are a good starting point. And again, if you’re on the move there is an iMovie app which is very cool.

  3. Memory cards & Batteries - There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of memory or battery power when you’re trying to vlog so make sure you always have space available to film and a charger on hand to keep you powered up.

#BattenChat - Let’s talk more about vlogging

For more vlogging tips and tricks join us for #BattenChat hosted by @Battenhall and @StephsBubble every Monday at 8pm throughout April. Our first #BattenChat will take place on Monday 31st March. We’d love you to join us.

March 27, 2014Published by: Drew

Anonymous, hyperlocal app Firechat breaks new boundaries in social messaging

Firechat

The last week saw a new app launch which we're loving at Battenhall. FireChat, which allows anonymous, hyperlocal social messaging, is rising up the charts and seeing 100k downloads a day as it becomes the new hot property of the web. It's ridiculously simple to get started with. Signup requires just a name - any name - then you're in. What's new about this app is it doesn't need mobile signal to work. It uses a new feature in the iPhone that skips around from Bluetooth, wifi and mobile signal to connect you with people nearby.

Already this app which is only one week old is the number one social networking app in two countries, and number two in five countries, according to Apple App Store data.

The implications for this new app are huge in so many areas in both consumer and business comms, from retail and leisure to entertainment, events and anything underground or where there's poor signal. Currently FireChat only allows the sending of text, but I have read staff messages in FireChat that say they are testing photo sharing, which would surely be the killer app.

Look out for the first brand/s to start making use of this beauty in the near future.


March 26, 2014Published by: Drew

The implications of Facebook purchasing Oculus

Facebook buys Oculus Rift

It seemed no one in the tech space saw it coming. On Tuesday the 25th of March 2014, Facebook announced that it had purchased Oculus, developers of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, for $2bn. According to Oculus' company statement on its website, Facebook "understands the potential for VR" and the social networking giant can see "virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate."

Despite some excitement at the thought of Facebook entering the VR market, not everyone in the VR industry was enthralled by the acquisition. Noticeably, Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft who is planning a Oculus Rift version of his sandbox game, posted a particularly scathing view on the whole deal. In his blog, he mentions that he finds Facebook "creepy" and is unsure of the social network's motives.

Regardless of the negative and positive reactions Facebook's acquisition of Oculus is bound to receive, there is no denying that it presents opportunities for brands, education and the way we consume social media.

Brands 

Apart from simply creating more immersive gaming experiences, VR provides opportunities for brands as well that goes beyond gamification. According to Marketing Week, Facebook entering the VR space enables marketers to take on a more indie games developer role, developing immersive gaming content for their audience.

Additionally, VR on social networks presents marketers with the opportunity to create even deeper brand experiences for their target market. Mobile operator and England Rugby sponsor 02 is already being a first mover with the Oculus Rift by offering fans a chance to go behind the scenes with the England Rugby squad.  With this acquisition, we're bound to see more brands, who already have a strong presence on Facebook, experiment with VR.

Health

Virtual reality has huge implications for the real world - one of the most important areas being health. The Oculus Rift enables individuals to rehabilitate from experiences physical and mental as well as to experience things which they may not have otherwise been able to due to limitations. From a more in-depth perspective, the Oculus Rift enables health professionals to more deeply study organic matter and perform research, insights or study things which might be difficult to do in previous tech environments.

Education

Where education has been based around broadening the horizons of the young and old, virtual reality adds a layer to the toolkit of professors and teachers around the world. From a research perspective and a teaching point of view, Education fulfils this remit to broaden horizons and provide access to parts of the globe which were not accessible before. A PhD student can explore relevant elements of their study in the OR, or a teacher can show students a part of the world they're studying. Facebook wants to tap into this and become a 'go-to' source for knowledge, plus an incredible medium to view it on.

Photo courtesy of Kotaku

March 25, 2014Published by: Steph Bennett

Register to be part of the #BattenVEDA Community

BattenVEDA What is VEDA?

VEDA is a YouTube Challenge taken up by vloggers around the world to Vlog Every Day in April.

This year we're inviting you to take part in VEDA and become part of the #BattenVEDA community. It doesn't matter whether you're a YouTubing Pro with millions of followers, a blogger who's looking for their next big challenge or someone who's never dared to talk to camera before.

We'll be here to guide you with regular vlogging tips and tricks via the Battenhall blog as well as providing you with a network of incredible people who've all decided to get involved too. We're all in it together and connected via the hashtag #BattenVEDA. We've even put together an entire calendar of topics for you to talk about every day to help keep you focused and plan your vlogs. Of course you're welcome to freestyle too!

Are you up for the #BattenVEDA challenge?

Yeah? Okay! Let's get you registered, connected and ready to vlog! Simply complete this little form to let us know you'll be taking part so that we can follow your progress on YouTube and Twitter.

The entire #BattenVEDA community will appear in this lovely spreadsheet below. Go forth and connect with everyone on Twitter and subscribe to each others YouTube channels. You'll find this is a great way to get ideas and tips and also a great way to share and receive positive feedback to keep you motivated throughout the month. This is also an awesome list for all the non-vloggers out there to follow if you're just interested in seeing how it works!

Here you'll find the beloved #BattenVEDA calendar complete with your carefully selected daily vlogging topics. We hope you'll be inspired and have a lot of fun taking part in the whole VEDA experience.

Finally, always remember to use the #BattenVEDA hashtag when you share your vlogs on social media. We can't wait to connect and start watching your vlogs! See you all on April 1st!


March 24, 2014Published by: Drew

Project Morpheus: Sony’s new virtual reality headset

During GDC 2014, Shuhei Yoshida, Head of the Sony Computer Entertainment arm, announced Project Morpheus-the head mounted, virtual reality prototype built for the Playstation 4. A release date wasn't announced however Mr Yoshida did state that the device would be made available for game developers.  The prototype  currently features  specs which include 1080p display and full 360 degree positional tracing and Mr Yoshida wasn't sheepish in believing the device could "shape the future of games."

Sony's Project Morpheus isn't the first VR headset announced which aims to offer gamers a more immersive gaming experience. Occulus VR, which managed to raise $2.4 million dollars from crowdfunding site Kickstarter, is developing its own VR headset called Occulus Rift. Currently, the technology is only available to developers through a dev kit. At this year's GDC, Occulus announced a second dev kit for developers with the consumer version of the VR headset expected to be released in late 2014 or early 2015.

As wearable tech continues to capture the public's interest with the likes of fuel bands and smart watches, it's looking increasingly likely that, with the Occulus Rift and now Sony's Project Morpheus, virtual reality may be the next technology to captivate consumers.

 

March 20, 2014Published by: Drew

The Moto 360: A smart watch with a focus on style

Moto 360

This week saw the announcement of Motorolla's new smart watch, the Moto 360, one of the first that sports Android Wear. If you haven't yet read about Android Wear, it's an extension of the Android mobile operating system developed specifically for wearable tech.

The Moto 360 has been positioned as a reinvention of the classic timepiece, with a focus on using quality leather and metal; this is a premium offering. One of the designers described the smart watch as "distilled, elegant and beautiful", which seems to be the main focus as Motorolla’s promotional video and blog post revolve around aesthetics.

In terms of functionality, the watch offers subtle alerts and notifications, you can see who’s emailing or calling, keep a track on meetings and an eye on your social feeds. The watch responds to your voice, say "OK Google" to ask questions, send a text, take notes or set an alarm.

The key differentiator is the choice of a round face at a time when the smart watch market is dominated by square designs. It feels like the Moto 360 is an attempt to branch out and offer up an option to a slightly more mainstream audience of later adopters.

With statements that say the watch "feels comfortable and familiar on your wrist" the Moto 360 is most probably looking to replace your old friend, that Swatch or Rotary wrapped snuggly around your wrist.


March 19, 2014Published by: Drew

UK launch today: why Google’s £30 Smart TV plug is less about TV and all about brands

Courtesy of The Guardian

Big news. Google launches Chromecast today in the UK. In case you're not familiar with the product, it is a dongle-like plug that slots into your TV's HDMI socket and turns a dumb television set into a Google Android powered online entertainment experience. The end result is a fusion of TV and tablet.

While it's a no-brainer for those who enjoy Netflix and iPlayer more than the old fashioned way of watching the googlebox, the real revolution here is bringing the app experience to the silver screen, in a way that has transformed the way brands can engage with consumers through phones and tablets. Think gaming, brand experiences and innovation that can be brought about through an app developer environment similar to the one we have on smart phones. Expect new apps tailored for TV to begin coming through thick and fast.

The official Google announcement has not yet come through about availability, but check your favourite electronics retailers and you'll see the item is already appearing ready for sale online.

 

March 14, 2014Published by: Drew

Calling all future Battenhallers… we’re hiring

Life in an agency is never dull, that's for certain. At Battenhall our client work involves above and below the line campaigns, social, traditional and mainstream, planning, audits, business consulting and a lot of design & build. We're looking for new talent across the board to add to our rapidly growing team - we're hiring at all levels and would love to hear from you if you're thinking about your next career move.

What we're looking for in particular:

  • Account executives - if you have up to three  years experience, we have some awesome work for you to get stuck into.
  • Design / build - can you make things that look awesome? We're looking for someone who's as comfortable designing as they are coding, who knows how to bring an idea to life, and who would like to work in an environment of mixed disciplines like our place.
  • Our jobs page has a full lowdown of other opportunities too.

What we offer:

  • Awesome salary to attract the best
  • Unlimited holiday
  • Tech fund of £1,200 for you to spend on a bespoke set-up
  • Flexible and remote working as standard
  • 20% of work time to spend on side projects
  • A beer fridge and Lavazza coffee in our London HQ

How to apply