Real Estate Mobility

realestateappsphoneWe recently wrote an article for the folks over at Home Gain, where I am a guest Blogger on the Technology front for the Real Estate industry. My article entitled, Is an iPhone Under Your Tree This Christmas? discusses the merits that the iPhone has ushered in for consumers and the reason why Real Estate agents and Brokers should give some serious thought into developing a mobile version of their web site.

A few of the screen shots used in the article are from the  recent upgrade we did for the Greater Tampa Bay Real Estate Team, where we not only added video capability but made the platform Mobile aware with specific emphasis for those using iPhones and the new Goggle Android platform.

We will be posting as press release here shortly on all the things we did for the Real Estate platform upgrade, it will blow your mind at how much functionality we added to their site.  Anyways back to the article on Home Gain.

Unfortunately, one area of the article did not make it past the editorial cut due the fact that the application I referenced is one from Trulia a competitor to Home Gain. So, I am including that portion on our site here because it is very good information on how to do an iPhone application for Real Estate consumers the right way. It is by no means perfect but of the applications now available on the iPhone in the Real Estate category, this ones does the best job by far.homegainlogo As we know competition can spur technology so I only hope that Home Gain picks up the gauntlet and comes out with an even better application. So read the blog post over at the Home Gain Blog and then come back here for more. [Read more…]

Online printing services extraordinaire


With Christmas fast approaching, I often get customers that have rather large projects that need to be done in a hurry.  This is in itself not a problem but if my resources are tied up and the project results in needing more than (1) or (2) DVD’s, well it can be quite hectic getting the labeling and jackets ready for that finished professional touch that our customers expect from us.  Recently I came across a company that can help us out in this area.

Since we are all about Web services at Virtual Interactive we also tend to use vendors like ourselves that work or support a web based business model.

After taking a look at their offerings, I thought this was something that I should pass on to others who regularly frequent our site.

What am I talking about?  Printing services that produce top quality full-color CD/DVD sleeves. Hey this beats the old plastic jewel case, looks very professional and they can save us money and a lot of hassle.

After looking at their site, I was very surprised at the range of additional service that they offer.
One that caught the eye of my daughter was their poster printing. She is a budding artist and I may be having a discussion with the bearded guy….if you know who I am talking about ….for a special Christmas order?   The samples on their site look great.  Come to think of it, I may have a use here as well for another upcoming video project.  I can just see the look on my client’s face when we present them with their finished DVD and full size movie poster to boot.

I also liked the easy to navigate site and their pricing is straight forward, calculated based on details of your project and delivery requirements. So weather you’re an artist, musician or budding film maker, it looks like PsPrint has something for you.

BTW here’s a quote from their site that I think sums it up quite well.

“By combining the very best in web technologies with state-of-the-art production facilities, PsPrint delivers online convenience combined with lightening-fast turnaround and very competitive prices”

You can bet that we will be using them on our next project.

Preserve old movies, photos, music with Digital Technology

Film_cansThis last Saturday my local News Paper printed a pretty good article in the Homes section regarding preservation of old films and photos stored away in peoples attics closets etc.

Of course this article is very near and dear to my heart and actually is a good cause to write about. Recently my father passed away at 90 years old. He has a ton of old photographs many of them from vintage periods of his hey days in the 30’s 40’s, 50’ 60’s etc. So what to do with all of these photos ? Very simple for me since I am in the business of not only creating memories for clients but also in the preservation of those memories.

They are in the process of being scanned, cleaned up and categorized. In the case of my fathers photos, I will be using them as part of a documentary project on the Merchant Marines serving in WW II and the US foray into the war with our entry into the campaign in New Guinea, for which my father played an active role.

“The campaign on New Guinea is all but forgotten except by those who served there. Battles with names like Tarawa, Saipan, and Iwo Jima overshadow it. Yet Allied operations in New Guinea were essential to the U.S. Navy’s drive across the Central Pacific and to the U.S. Army’s liberation of the Philippine Islands from Japanese occupation.”

Did not mean to digress off track here, the point that the article makes as well as the one that I am talking about merge into the same theme. You see as we age, so does the media on which we’ve stored our memories and moments of the past. The older storage medium of film and photographs is referred to as Analog and the new medium of computers and DVD’s is referred to as Digital.

If you still have old film footage lying around: be it old 8 mm, Super 8 or 16mm film or even old phonographic albums – LP records old 78’s or 45s!, or even fading black-and-white snapshots, not to mention color slides and prints and lets not forget VHS tapes, then the time to transfer that over to a DVD for long lasting storage is now.

The longer you wait the more the material degrades to the point that very soon it may not even be salvageable. Basically, the preservation of old film footage should be done as soon as possible.

You might have a few questions regarding the process and cost and that is understandable.

Lets’ see if I can help here:

[Read more…]

DIVX Exit’s Stage 6 and Disney Enters Stage 9



Another month and another change in the video landscape. Last week I received an email from the folks over at the video sharing site Stage 6 (that was run by DIVX) informing me that they were shutting down operations the end of February. With the flood of new video sharing sites on the ever expanding landscape for User Generated Content (USG) it was inevitable that DIVX would shut this service down, as it was not a money maker at all. So no surprise here. Effective March 1st former users of the DIVX site are now redirected via a link to VEOHwho who has assumed most of the clients from DIVX, that is the ones that did not move their content some where else.

In a totally coincidental event with interesting timing was ABC’s DISNEY company making the formal announcement of their foray into the online video scene with the advent of STAGE 9. Where DIVX and DISNEY differ is that DISNEY is going after full on BROADBAND content vs. the USG format that DIVX embarked on. Disney is also developing projects for full series created specifically for the broadband video markets. In this respect they can achieve monetization via add revenue just because of who they are and what they will bring to the table.

I think this year we will see a lot more firms move away from the basic garage made, USG ,YouTube type of video entry, and will see the filed morph into more professionally done video projects. The cutesy stuff on the USG sites is just that. It has not made much money for those users or for those that have created the content. If the companies that host the content are to become profitable they will all need to adopt some form of add revenue policy. This means that in order to attract advertising dollars, the quality of the content will have to increase. That is were firms like Virtual Interactive Systems based in Tampa Florida, come into play. We are working with Small to Medium Business to add video advertising content to get their products and services discovered in their local markets and beyond to even international exposure.

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Video Sharing Landscape changes as LiveUniverse buys Revver

Video Sharing Landscape changes as LiveUniverse buys Revver

BradBack in January I wrote about the perennial favorite (REVVER) of many web Video enthusiast, and mentioned that they were going through some tough times that indicated a change was in the wind. Well the wind has now settled and as of Thursday the 14th of February REVVER is now part of Brad Greenspan’s LIVE UNIVERSE family. It also appears that the final numbers were quite a bit higher than originally speculated. Numbers being mentioned were closer to $5 Million dollars, and all though the final purchase price is still a closely guarded secret it appears that both sides were happy with the outcome. The folks over at NewTeVee covered the Revver story rather well and today they released a follow-up article discussing the options of continuing with Revvers business model. It will be interesting to see how the landscape evolves for us content creators in addition to what happens to the add base home front, now that Brad has three horses in the stable with: Revver Video, LiveUniverse and LiveVideo to contemplate?

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Video Sharing sites and your business

Video Sharing sites and your business

So you know about You Tube and Google Video and maybe three or four other sites that will let you post your videos for free?. Now let’s ad to the mix with the Social Networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to name a few and soon the numbers start to swell to over a hundred. These sites are often categorized into different arenas based on usage of the content and the services they provide such as user generated, video sharing web sites, video sharing platform / white label providers and web based video editing.

The landscape on these sites continues to ebb and flow like the tides and as the New Media Generation continues to evolve, new names will pop up and some businesses will be swallowed by the larger video fishes of the media ocean. Some will survive, as You Tube was purchased by Google last year and thrives. Some will die and some will morph into other businesses or be bought and merged into existing service providers.

Last year’s big buzz of course was You Tube…..right now all the talk is centered on another shake-up in the developing video sharing sites. One of the originators of the user generated content form Revver Video may be going through some changes.

It appears the Revverhad an executive shake-up in December 2006 that resulted in two of its three co-founders, Ian Clarke and Oliver Luckett, along with some of the support staff, leaving. There is speculation now regarding the site’s well being and it is being fueled by the rumored departure of their CEO Steven Starr. This could very well signal trouble for the video-sharing site. Some have even speculated that Revver would be taken over by Live Universe. “Los Angeles-based LiveUniverse is run by MySpace founder Brad Greenspan. Though its flagship site is the somewhat obscure LiveVideo, the company would add Revver to its network of video sites.”

Revver has had problems with attracting the kind of traffic that You Tube enjoys. It is one of the first sites that took on the revenue-sharing model. Will it be able to continue in its current model if it continues to lack in traffic or if its CEO departs?

With the recent inclusion of ad-sharing revenue models, this year will prove even more difficult for video-sharing sites to compete with the like of You Tube. Guba is another video-sharing site that has seen some execs leave, in this case to start their own video-sharing site and .

Whatever the outcome, you can be sure that Virtual Interactive will be right in the thick of things.When it comes to promoting your business or products, Video Sharing Sites can add real buzz to your business with very little impact on your bottom line. The key here is keeping track of who does what and when in the over all landscape of the Web 2.0 , Social Networks and New Media world. You can rest assured that when it comes to any thing Video related we are on top of it. This is the marketing edge that separates us from our competitors and that our customers have come to expect and where we will consistently deliver on.

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Wall Street Journal: Online Videos can increase your business
Adding Web 2.0 Services will increase business

Video for a New Media Generation

With all the opportunity in online video, it is interesting that many traditional Videographers or Production Studios do not really get it. Oh they know how to create video but in todays on-line world you have to improve upon your craft and become very Web 2.0 savvy. You also have to ensure that the content you create is accessible across a wide array of platforms.

Understanding the medium is but one aspect.

The winners will actually be those video content creators and distributors who build platforms that are compatible with both Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight video codecs and of course, their respective ad formats. And if you can monetize the content by turning it into add revenue, you just may have touched the holy grail of online video.

Of course advertisers love the idea of social networks: delivering specific ads to people based on personal information posted on the site or passed along to friends.

There’s also talk of video pervading the Business to Business markets, the corporate communications market and new realms of the business-to-consumer market with even new in-roads in the consumer-to-consumer market. ABI Research even released a new estimate that, by 2011, the market for online video will be $1.87 billion.

Virtual Interactive Systems is dedicated to spreading information about audio and video podcasting, blogging, and other new media technologies to the masses. We specialize in creation of Video for the New Media Generation, we get it !

Real Estate Technology – basics for increasing sales

Virtual Interactive Systems offers customized services for Real Estate Professionals. The Art of Real Estate Technology and New Media Marketing for Residential and Commercial Properties is coming of age.

How can you tell that the service provider you are working with knows the Real Estate industry and better yet, knows enough about the technology that they will guarantee that your listings will be viewed or that you will increase the reader base to your site?

We cut to the chase and work with only those services that we have reviewed and tested as reliable. We keep abreast of the latest updates in MLS services and other listing technologies that will help increase your brand awareness and gain you new buyers or potential sellers. “It’s all about the content”.

Content management and distribution networks are all over the Internet and increasing rapidly where the best Virtual Tours and Listings data can be pushed to a massive, relevant audience, and the content becomes a marketing juggernaut to increase your business . Though this content is trickling in from different entry points (iTunes, Revver, YouTube, Goggle Video, Metacafe, etc), the programs and clips are coming to the web because the business of online video is being realized.

The key to increasing and solidifying your business leads, of course, is the massive, relevant audience; and the key to that audience? Context.

The valuation of video for virtual tours will be based on how many people view the video and its contextual relevance to the groups viewing it. In the online world, making sure that content is as available and easily found as possible, and investigating the context-to-content relationship of the user-circles choosing to view the video are a key to lasting reward for Real Estate professionals.

We specialize in Virtual Tour Creation, Viral Videos and Web Based Marketing Strategies for Blogs,Vlogs and Podcast Syndication across the Blogosphere, the Internet Nationally and Globally for Real Estate Professionals.

Virtual Interactive creates media content for your listings that get viewed. We provide metrics that show you were your site is placing in the search engines and how often your content is being viewed. We use Analytics and Landing Page Optimization to continually update your site and ensure that your traffic is ever increasing.

Get your Real Estate Business the Web 2.0 advantage and let VISIN develop the winning campaign that your sellers will love and gets buyers to call you.

Adding Web 2.0 Services will increase business

Virtual Interactive Systems NOW offers Web 2.0 Services. “Take your site to the next level. If your Internet Presence does not include Web 2.0 Technologies then you are most likely giving money away to your competitors”.

What are Web 2.0 Technologies ? They are Blogs filled with relevant content about your products and or services. Today Blogs including Audio and Video content should be a major part of your site that will also incorporate Social Network Marketing to further increase brand awareness.

Blogging Systems provide a media rich forum for you to engage your current customers and at the same time solicit new customers and educate them about your company and product offerings.

“Many business web-sites today are the cyber equivalent of having a storefront without signage and a door that won’t open”. If you have a static web site but want to add a Blogging component to increase your business then VISIN can lead the way.

We work with clients to develop a compelling message. With the addition of a customized Word Press Blog, including media rich content developed specifically to your unique business offerings and customer base.

When combined with the Blogging Systems and Internet Presence Management developed by Virtual Interactive Systems, your business will increase and new customers will find your offerings increasingly moving up on organic page searches.

Web Design Services with New Media Synergy

Virtual Interactive Systems NOW offers customized Web Design Services. “We go beyond the traditional Static Web Site Development”. If your Internet Presence does not include Web 2.0 Technologies (herein referred to as New Media) then you are most likely giving money away to your competitors. The rules have changed and they continue to evolve every month by the major search engines. Today Blogs, Audio and Video content should be a major part of your site.

Web applications can be engaging and intuitive enough to make data entry or filling out a purchase form not just functional but enjoyable. We can provide your site the power of a truly interactive web design that creates emotional bonds between your company and your customers.

VISIN works with clients to develop a compelling message to help increase the sales of your product and services. When combined with the Blogging Systems and Internet Presence Management your business will increase and new customers will also find your offerings increasingly moving up on organic page searches.