Friday, February 22, 2008

Quicks way to add video to your website

This month's cover story in Inc. Magazine is about how the Ford Model agency has become a runaway hit on YouTube. They started producing short "how to" videos of models applying make-up, cooking, putting together outfits and doing other things that gorgeous, thin creatures do with their spare time, and it's caught on like wild fire with young girls (and I'm sure guys of all ages). So now the modeling agency not only gets to extend their brand into a new medium, but they're also accepting juicy sponsorships from manufacturers, so they're making money from it too. Which is definitely something to think about if you have a product or service that might go well with a tutorial (for more ideas on how to use video for your business see Gary Vaynerchuck's Wine Library, plus tips on how to create buzz in "Wine and Web 2.0?").

I decided to test the waters by acting/directing/producing my own video, "Me 'n My PDA" (regrettably too late for entry into this Sunday's Oscars...but maybe next year!), to show off my brand spanking new HTC Touch smartphone, which I finally purchased after doing a little background research (see all the options I looked at on my recent post, Mobile Means of Communications). The HTC Touch offered the best features, including the touch screen (like the Apple iPhone), simple software (MS Windows), a camera, a decent screen and a pretty good price.

I used my web cam - which nowadays comes built in to many PC's - to record the 3-minute clip. My digital camera also has video capabilities - as does my new PDA (this will come in handy when acting/directing/producing the "sequel"). Since it was a simple script I didn't need to edit it (phew!), but for more ambitious projects I'm teaching myself how to use Movie Maker, which was part of the MS Office bundle that came with my computer.

The beauty of video is that it gets better ranking on search engines than regular text content might, so you'll want to post it on a video hosting site, like YouTube. I'm testing out Viddler based on this review from, but you may want to download it to more than one site. Meanwhile over at they've done an amazingly thorough job of compiling a list of links any novice or experienced web videographer (in other words, artist/director/producer, like myself) would want to know: The Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources.

Check out my "masterpiece" below and let me know what you think (but please disregard that silly expression on my face!).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mogulette Blog on Guy Kawasaki's

If you're having a hard time keeping track of all the great websites you'd like to follow and don't have the time or inclination to program your own bookmark page, a new website called will do it for you. Created by uber blogger, entrepreneur & venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki (How to Change the World), the site aggregates news feeds from the top sources and groups them into 18 categories. There's a page for Politics, Sports, Fashion, Celebrities - even Ego (Rosie's there, Donald's there, you get the picture...). Their tagline reads: "all the top stories from all the top sources", so for each website listed you'll see the most recent 5 entries, making it really easy to scan through the page and select the story you're most interested in. Brilliant! And I am happy, thrilled, overjoyed to report that Guy (one of my heroes!) has included my blog, Mogulette-in-the-making, in the small business category!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Small Business Summit Recap

It was the bright orange suede vest that first caught my eye, among a sea of entrepreneurs in corporate attire at the recent Small Business Summit in New York. Then came the bright blue striped bell bottomed pants. Who was the funky mama among all the "suits"? When I finally saw her face I felt a tinge of recognition. It was Laurel Touby - one of my role models, a huge inspiration to me, the type of fempreneur that I aspire to be (for more on Laurel see my post: "Mediabistro: Timeline to Success"). She looked like a hippie bohemian artist that somehow got lost on her way to Soho or the West Village and mistakenly landed instead at a conference for entrepreneurs.

There was no question - I had to go up to her and say "hi". Any shyness that I might have felt went completely out the window as I stretched out my hand and introduced myself. She was very friendly and approachable, listening as I told her about my blog, among expressive gushes of admiration. The petite blond multi-millionaire later spoke at one of the panel presentations (she's the one that stands out with the funky, boho-chic outfit above on the right) about her company's rise to success and gave a few insights as to how she made her business grow.

"Listen to your clients", was one of the first things Laurel said, which was made easier for her since she started out by giving cocktail parties for journalists. Every month she had a steady stream of followers that were very willing to tell her what they needed. They were the ones she listened to when she received her first infusion of venture capital money and was deciding how to spend it. And it worked - she sold her company for a cool $23 mil last year. That's one piece of advice I definitely will follow.

Among the familiar faces I bumped into at the show were Laura Allen from 15secondpitch who participated at one of the panels, Lena West, who writes the TechForward blog I mentioned on my last post, Stephanie Cockerl who does wonderful things to optimize blogs (, Kevin Kennedy of Webgrrls and of Ulas Neftci of Baruch's Small Business Development Center. All in all it was a fabulous day of schmoozing, networking, meeting fantastic people and picking up a few new best practices. I was even able to get a picture with my idol!

Update: Nelly Yusupova of Webgrrls wrote a great summary of the panel entitled: “How to transform your business in 40 minutes”. Visit her blog to get all the details.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mobile Means of Communication

"Don't get caught in analysis/paralysis", was the advice my fellow blogger Lena West gave me recently when I mentioned I'd been stuck choosing between all the different kinds of PDAs and smartphones available. Lena, who writes the Tech Forward blog at, suggested narrowing it down to the 2 or 3 main features that are most important - the "deal breakers" as she calls them.

Now that I have my own business I find myself away from my computer a lot, so I regularly go through "email withdrawal". That means a plan with unlimited internet is a must. I also want to be able to text quickly, so I'd like a full qwerty board (the one with all the keys in it, as opposed to having 2-3 letters in each key). The screen should have a nice size, especially now that my eyes ain't what they used to be. I'm often kicking myself for not remembering to bring my camera to events, so I'd like that built-in to the phone. Other little extras that would be nice are a media player, since I totally skipped the iPod craze and don't own one (that means it needs to come with a decent amount of memory to store the music), and an organizer with a phone book, calculator, calendar and stopwatch. Less important to me are things like Bluetooth, for using a wireless headset; GPS, for finding yourself!; or speakerphone capabilities.

After a little research I narrowed it down to the 4 choices you see below. To help me see things clearly I created a PDA comparison table, which you can click here to see. Keep in mind that these are only online prices - the brick and mortar stores may offer different/better deals so I would check with them as well.

Since the cost varies depending on the service plans and the phones, I totaled up the expenses for the first year, to even things out. Believe it or not the best prices were generally on (free Blackberry Curve if you sign up to a two year plan!), so I put direct links to their specific pages next to the pictures below.

MP6900SP HTC "Touch"

To start out slowly I chose the packages with lowest number of minutes and texting, but they all have unlimited internet. I didn't include Verizon because their plans exclude Puerto Rico so that would mean extra roaming charges for me and who needs that. Also T-Mobile's price is less for me because they are my current carrier, so I qualify for a discount.

In the end I'm leaning towards the HTC Touch, only because it's got all the bells and whistles I want plus it's so similar to the iPhone and it actually has the lowest total cost. I'll let you know when I take the plunge...!

For more on smart phones and PDA's, read Entrepreneur Magazine's review in this month's issue: Pack a Punch.

Have you had good luck/bad luck with your portable computing devices? Please share!