Google kills third party review star ratings


This was bound to happen and I kept warning my friends and clients to focus on getting more reviews on their Google places page in addition to other review sites.  They would constantly tell me to look and see that Google shows over 100 reviews but what I had to explain was that Google was being generous to the consumer and scraping other review websites and generating stars based on all that info.  I warned, that if  Google wanted to stop providing the third party site aggregation service the star ratings would drop drastically if most of the rating were on other sites.

Sure enough, and to a shock of many, Google has dropped third party ratings from their stars and is now only displaying their own ratings and reviews to generate star count — although Google is still showing third parties review counts in brackets — but they do not have any impact on the star rating which you should focus on building.  Additionally, some reports are stating that not all third party reviews are being displayed.  So what can you do — well first calm down and start focusing on customers with Google accounts and Google Phones and get them to post on your places page — but that doesn’t mean stop posting to the other rating sites all together — just shift your focus to more ratings on Google.

Once you start to generate some more Google ratings you can use Google Boost to kick-up the heat on your places pay-per-click campaign.

 

Victoria Starr – No One Else Like You | Official Video Release

Electric Head is excited to announce the official release of New Jersey recording artist, Victoria Starr’s debut single and music video for No One Else Like You.   New Jersey based recording artist, Victoria Starr has officially released the music video for her debut single, No One Else Like You.  Her debut release of her single “No One Else Like You” became her creative essence – her signature sound. This song is about a person that is in love and finds someone that is a unique individual and how hard it would be to set them free. It is representative of the story lines and style of music Victoria writes about.  She writes songs that people can relate to – about love, forgiveness, needs and hurt – emotions, life experiences.

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Allen will make Skydive Jump to support MOCEANS

If you thought it couldn’t get any crazier then plunging into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the winter — think again.

MB Motorsports and Skydive Jersey Shore have teamed up to help raise awareness of the local NJ based non-profit organization, MOCEANS (www.moceanscil.org). Celebrating their 20th year of serving the local community, MOCEANS is dedicated to supporting and serving people with all disabilities in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

To raise awareness and help make a contribution to the non-profit organization, MB Motorsports will be sending their very own Allen Gottfried to make his first-ever skydive on June 2 2011 in Wall, NJ with Skydive Jersey Shore starting at 10 a.m.
Using the MB Motorsports Facebook page to promote the event, fans will be asked to click like or comment to help MB Motorsports to help raise money. Each like or comment will count as $1 and if you skydive, MB Motorsports will donate $50 for each jumper. Gottfried has agreed to make the jump and Jersey Shore Skydive will be shooting video of the event too. “This is going to be really fun and ultimately we hope that this helps to raise awareness of a wonderful non-profit like MOCEANS.” Said, Gottfried.

You can join MB Motorsports, Skydive Jersey Shore and MOCEANS at Wall Executive Airport to watch the jump in-person or join Allen in the air. If interested, Skydive Jersey Shore will be offering a special discounted rate of $185 or $175 cash and ask that you register in advance. To get all the details and to like this event please logon to facebook.com/mbmotorsport

Music Video Production for the Indie Artist.

A few years ago I wrote an article for the print publication, The Indie Bible. The publication focuses on everything music — from record labels, clubs, radio stations and more. Also, they are known for great articles on a variety of topics and I wrote one all about producing a music video.  There are many more things to know then just getting your friend with a pocket-cam to shoot your latest video… not to say you can’t shoot with a pocket-cam.

So. Here is the original article I wrote as published in the 2005 Indie Bible and in the august 2005 IB newsletter.  I  hope you enjoy.

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7. MUSIC VIDEOS FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS AND LABELS
by Allen M. Gottfried, Owner/Director Electric Head
© 2007 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

With constant advancements in today’s video production world, more and more high-end equipment is available at lower costs than ever before. This affords independent artists and labels a way to shoot high-end looking music videos for a budget they can afford, while being able to compete with some of today’s top artists and videos that are currently in rotation.

Budgeting, Production Cost, Distribution, Networks
As can be expected, artists are always looking for ways to save money but don’t realize that this can compromise the quality of the production. Sure the band’s close friend will produce a video with his home camera for a beer and pizza, but what outlets are going to play that video? Probably not many at all. If you feel your band is ready to shoot a professional music video, that you want to promote for national airplay, you need to hire a professional production company to provide the creative talent, crew and cast to deliver a video up to the highest standards.

Budgeting
I speak to many bands and labels on a day-to-day basis and many ask what is a good budget for a video. That is always a rough question to answer because you have to realize the many factors that are involved in producing and distributing a music video. When it comes to developing a budget, I always tell my clients to think logically. You can’t shoot on 35mm film, on a big set, with huge explosions, fast cars, and cast, crews and everything in between on a budget of $500…. it’s just not going to happen.

Many artists and production companies are opting to shoot on digital tape (Mini-DV, HD) because of the cost savings of equipment, and media, time reductions to set up shots, and increased delivery speeds from camera to editor to label to air.

When you approach a production company and director, you should have some idea of a budget in mind for the video. When you contact the director, you should have the subject song selected, and a rough idea of the creative approach to the video. The director will then write and submit a treatment for the label’s and artist’s approval along with a budget projection for review and negotiations.

Production Cost
You must remember that the company and production people still have to make a living, even though they are all doing what they love. They all need to make a profit to put food on the table. Here are some things to consider when reviewing a budget projection.

 

     

  • Crew (Directors, Producers, Cameramen, Art Directors, Grips, PA’s) And yes sometimes on a smaller shoot some people will do multiple tasks to save money.
  • Cast (Does your shoot require actors and actresses or extras?) (Union, Non-Union?) Many rising stars are willing to work for a much lower amount of money since they are trying to establish their careers, but still expect to be paid a fair amount for their work.
  • Locations (Where do you want to shoot your video. In a huge hotel, old house, on city streets?) Depending upon the location of the shoot, certain fees may apply. There are ways to work around or get lower rates or fees, Many private owners typically want to show off what they have, and may charge a lower fee or none for use of their property.
  • Insurance / Permits If you have a legit production, you will need insurance and most likely permits to shoot, especially in major cities like NYC and Los Angeles. Minimum required insurance is usually a $1(one) million dollar liability policy for the duration of the shoot. I also recommend adding third party coverage as well. Coverage like this runs from $1000+ depending on how long you are shooting and what insurance requirements there are (i.e. stunts, rentals, pyro). You will also have a better chance of securing a location when you have an insurance policy. The owners feel safer and may cut you more slack.
  • Transportation (Is cast, crew or the band flying, driving in from somewhere?)
  • Rentals (Rain Machines, Cars, Planes, Limos, Props)
  • Food (A fed crew is a happy crew.)
  • Duplication and Distribution (How many copies and where to send it?) Duplications usually runs about $30+ for (Beta SP) tapes most stations require. Some of the smaller networks will take Mini-DV, VHS, and DVD, which will save you money and still get you video airplay. Don’t forget shipping costs.
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Distribution, Networks
Music videos have been around since MTV launched its groundbreaking station in 1981. Ever since, places like MTV, VH1 and BET all helped to promote artists and their videos to the masses. As many may know, such stations as the above adhere to a very strict play list, usually within the top 40 market. What many artists and labels are not aware of is that there are 1000’s of other locations nationwide that will potentially get your video major exposure. Everyday, more and more cable TV shows, internet shows and websites are popping up, giving even more exposure options to artists with music videos. Other outlets always looking for new videos include shows produced and developed for nationwide and regional distribution to retail stores, bars, night clubs, bowling alleys, concert venues, etc.

Usually a video will start to be talked up a few months before a CD release, if the track is ready before hand. Just like radio airplay, it is usually best to have your new video added to rotation a few weeks before your CD release date. This will get people familiar with you new track and band, and hopefully they will want to buy that CD as soon as it is out.

Whether you are an unsigned, indie or major label artist, the cost to produce a high quality music video has substantially decreased but the value of having a video to air and compete with other artists is greater than ever and will aid in your musical success.

Electric Head, LLC is an award winning music video and commercial production company based on the East Coast. Our goal is to provide top-notch productions at budget-conscious costs so that bands, corporate and other clients of all sizes promote themselves via media that gets results and competes with the best out there! You can visit Electric Head on the web at www.electricheadonline.com or contact them at (732)903-4418 to discuss your next project.

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