Archive for the ‘Digital Media’ Category

Social media applications like blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be
useful tools to help you publicize, gain attendees and supporters for
fundraisers such as benefit auctions. Not only are these tools free to use,
but they enable you to relay short, constant reminders about your
fundraiser.

Creating “something to write” can be overwhelming for some people, so here
are 12 auction-related ideas on what you (or your public relations
volunteer) can post on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or other social
networking sites to promote your benefit auction.

1. Announce donations: When an auction donation arrives, announce the item,
thank the donor, and provide a link back to the donor’s website. Be sure to
include a photo, if possible.

2. Ask for a donation to round out a package: “We need a florist to donate a
bouquet to complete our Mother’s Day package at our Fabulous Fundraising
Auction for Children.”

3. Testimonials: Auction fundraisers should be mission-focused. Keep your
supporters updated with successes. For instance, “Peggy is off the streets,
thanks to our non-profit,” or “Jeremy credits St. Stephens’s art teacher in
giving him the confidence to pursue art in college.”

4. Event Preparations: Share a photo of the decor committee drawing
backdrops for the auction, or the Gala Chairs meeting to send out
invitations. This shows that others are involved in auction planning and
preparing to attend the event.

5. Special announcements: Share news. “In just three weeks, we’ve surpassed
50 raffle ticket sales.” Or, “Only 200 seats left before our school auction
sells-out!”

6. Apply gentle pressure to past auction donors: A post such as, “We sold a
lovely 2-night stay at the Fairmont last year, and are hoping they’ll donate
again,” might work. Include a link to the hotel, and then contact the hotel
so they see how you are treating them kindly – even before they donate.

7. Answer questions: Make the questions up, if you need to. “A new family to
our school asked what was appropriate to wear to the benefit auction. Here’s
our answer, and we included three photos of past guests.”

8. Create a list: You can create a list on almost anything. “Top 5 Reasons
to Attend our Auction Fundraiser.” “Three Ways You Can Volunteer That Will
Take Less Than 2 Hours per Week.”

9. Seek specific volunteers: “Any math lovers out there? We need an auction
clerk, and your primary job is recording numbers during the live auction.
Any takers?”

10. Link to relevant websites: “In 55 days, our charity auction will be
raising money for cancer research. Here’s a link to fascinating article
written by XYZ about the need for a cure.”

These days, there are an unbelievable amount of video formats because of all the various operating systems, mobile phones, Internet formats (like DivX and Flash), etc. etc. etc. To decide what video players are best for the Windows platform, then, we need to find players that support as many formats as possible, including streaming videos, and that are fast, simple, and reliable.

1. VLC Media Player – First designed by a group of French programmers and academics who called their group VideoLAN, it took this player quite a few years to get the respect it deserved. VLC Media Player is far and away one of the top (open-source) video players you can find on any operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux). It supports practically any codec automatically, and is very light and fast. Honestly, its a bit surprising that it hasn’t been relased as the default video player on more Linux distros for that matter.

2. KMPlayer – This rising star is a nerd’s dream, as it easily allows users to capture audio, video, and screenshots in a variety of ways. Additionally, KMPlayer supports tons of container formats like VCD, DVD, AVI, MKV, Ogg Theora, OGM, 3GP, MPEG-1/2/4, WMV, RealMedia, and QuickTime, just to name a few. In their words, “the player provides both internal and external filters with a fully controlled environment.” Sounds pretty sweet.

3. Miro Player – The interesting thing about Miro is that it not only plays tons of video formats, but it can also download videos from websites like YouTube or Yahoo, or even via BitTorrent. It is fully featured with all kinds of constantly updated tidbits. The only drawback perhaps is that its a bit overkill for people who just want a simple, reliable video player.

4. WinAmp – One of the first popular media player ever, WinAmp continues to maintain its fan base because of its awesome skinning options, attractive and easy interface, and wide support of many formats. They continue to think up new features that no other company does. Think of it as Windows Media Player plus iTunes, plus a ton of other stuff. WinAmp is also proud of the wide support it has for streaming formats, including Internet radio, Internet television, XM Radio, Singingfish, podcasts, RSS, and more. It also has extend-able support for portable media players, and users can access their media libraries anywhere via internet connections.

5. RulesPlayer – Not very well known, this video player by AfterVista is a codec lover and also a language lover. RulesPlayer supports all kinds of fonts and subtitles, and pretty much any video file you throw at it. You can even watch video files while downloading them! Light and safe, it deserves more recognition. And honestly, probably its own website!

6. GOM Player – Another not so well known player that deserves more respect. One of the claim to fames of GOM Player is that it can playback broken AVI files by skipping corrupted frames. Also, if you ever toss it a video format that it doesn’t support, it simply brings you to the proper codec download page, installs the missing codec, and you are back in business.

7. BSPlayer – Again, this program is awesome but its a bit overkill it seems. BSPlayer can play TV streams, podcasts, DVDs, and more. It automatically detects and manages most codec types, and is overall pretty reliable.

8. ZoomPlayer – Although not as supportive of every codec under the sun, ZoomPlayer is one of the quickest players around, built to use as few system resources as possible. It is light and attractive, and perhaps worth checking out sometime.

There are a number of handy tools to help you target and monitor relevant online conversations. Here are several:

You may set up Pipes to create one RSS feed that aggregates results from Flickr, Digg, YouTube, Technorati and other social media sites. Yahoo Pipes is a widely used resource to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.

Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services. The results are aggregated from the top social media
sources, such as Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Twitter and more. Like the other services, you can subscribe to your results by RSS or email.

BlogPulse is a specialized search engine that helps you patrol the blogosphere with four tools – (1) Trend Search, (2) Featured Trends, (3) Conversation Tracker and (4) BlogPulse Profiles. Use them to track the conversation about you or your competitors.

Trendpedia is a buzz-monitoring service that allows you to search the world of blogs by keyword, brand or topic to see whose blogging about the target topic and what they’re saying. Moreover, you may compare one keyword vs. two
more related keywords or brands.
Keotag offers a simple search tool for single-word tags or combinations of them. It allows searching for tags across several search engines and social media sites, including Google, Technorati, Del.icio.us, Twitter, BlogPulse,
Newsvine, Digg, YouTube and others.

Summarize is a search tool designed for Twitter that allows you to search by keyword to find out who’s tweeting on any topic and what they are saying.

About GordonGus
"Whether selling products, services or information I have helped others succeed online by clarifying goals, simplifying technologies, motivating players and executing tasks. My energy and perseverance has helped others reach their goals. Of course, some wanted to shoot me in the process."
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