"The Present"

We asked Jacki Schklar, of Southern Jewish Princess Media, to create a funny demo movie to feature Swyzzle and our unique multimedia features. Jacki produces video and interactive content with a funny slant, so we knew she could come up with something entertaining. Jacki brought on board some of her favorite cast and crew to shoot “The Present.” It’s story about a boy and his birthday surprise, and how he manages to make his family wish they had chosen an iPod for him instead!



Creating a Personalized Wedding Registry on Swyzzle

This month we are featuring a new type of Swyzzle show, a wedding registry. How and why would anyone create a wedding registry as a Swyzzle show?

Here’s why…

A Swyzzle show is a creative way to tell the story of your courtship while passing along a list of your most appreciated wedding gifts. Invited guests (or anyone else viewing the show) can buy any of the gift ideas from Amazon – with the click of a button. On top of that, the bride and groom get a little extra spending money for each item that their friends buy. That money comes to them directly from Swyzzle (in case you haven’t heard, we write checks!). So, anything your friends buy, they are contributing to an additional gift of cash for you, the happy couple. And who wouldn’t like to add a bonus to their gift, just by buying from Amazon exactly what their friends ask for?

Our friends, Charity and Blake, were happy to sit down and chat about their relationship in front of a video camera. They are musically inclined so they also recorded a song on video. Then, they got to go shopping for Amazon products which is a feature built right into Swyzzle’s editor. Finally, they added a few photos and a show title. This show was relatively easy to create, it is made up of just a couple of videos, some text for the title page and 10 gifts.

And here’s Charity and Blake’s wedding registry. We wish them all the best!


</p> <p>musician,actor</p> <p>NEW Slim USB 2.0 External CD-ROM CD-RW Burner Drive,M-Audio Pro Tools M-Powered 7 M-Audio Compatible World-Class Production Software,Nintendo DSi + 2GB SD Card Bundle,Deluxe Rugged Mobile Carrying Case for Nintendo DS / DS Lite / Dsi Handheld Gaming Systems &#8211; Holds Chargers, Games, Earphones and MORE &#8211; Includes BONUS LCD (2x) Screen Protectors and SD Card Reader,Olympus WS-331M Digital Voice Recorder and WMA Music Player,Memorex 40x Music CD-R Media (50-Pack Spindle),Sony ICF-C7IP Clock Radio for iPod and iPhone with Hidden Sliding Dock Tray,M-Audio Session Music Producer with USB micorphone,String Swing CC08 Music Stand Violin Hanger with Bow Hanger &#8211; Black Metal Base,Manhasset Voyager Music Stand,</p> <p><a href="http://www.swyzzle.com/SWApp/?lid=ea42f527-4952-4dbe-af89-ded6f92ac197">Charity and Blake </a><br />

Adding An Amazon Product To A Swyzzle Show

We’ve created a new tutorial which explains the steps to add an Amazon product to your Swyzzle show (and how your show’s viewers will be able purchase that product).

You can start making money now. Once you have a Swyzzle show, embed it in your blog or website and we’ll keep track of what’s been ordered from your show. Then, each month we’ll deposit your commissions from those purchases into your PayPal account.

It’s easy to add Amazon products to your show. This is how you MAKE MONEY with Swyzzle shows. If you’re curious about how it’s done, just watch this short Swyzzle show and you’ll know the secret!


</p> <p>Kindle: Amazon&apos;s 6&quot; Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation),</p> <p><a href="http://www.swyzzle.com/SWApp/?lid=fb9ae13d-6830-4c83-9df7-e4e2adb0aa3c">The Kindle Show</a><br />

New Updates to Swyzzle

We’ve been very busy the last few weeks! There are some enhancements that you should know about. We have been listening to our users and have worked tirelessly to improve the useability of Swyzzle. Below are a couple of key changes that we think you’ll appreciate.

Swyzzle Looks a Little Like PowerPoint

When you click Create a Show in Swyzzle, the editor will open. Then, if you upload and drag a video into the player and put nothing else into the show, you’ll have one scene displayed. If you decide to add text, images, sound, callouts or more videos, you will have many more scenes. Scenes represent a change in what is displayed on the player. If you like to move things around a lot during your show (like I do), you’ll create a new scene as something moves on or off the player. When you building a show, it may help to think of a scene as a slide in PowerPoint.

I’ll give you an example of a show with three scenes. I’ve called it: “I Love My Poodle”

First, I’m going to display a show title, “I Love My Poodle”, as rich text. Each scene has a duration, I’ve set my title to display for 2 seconds. (Scene 1)

Second, I’m going to run a short video of my poodle. My video is 10 seconds, so, I’ve set my scene to 10 seconds. (Scene 2)

In the third scene, I give a clickable link (www.poodlerescuene.org) for a poodle rescue organization and another link to a book from Amazon.com called Everything About Poodles. This image is clickable, so you can purchase the recommended book from Amazon — right then and there. (Don’t forget show authors get a commission for purchases made from their show) I’ve set this scene to 4 seconds. (Scene 3)



<p> &lt;p&gt;The Everything Poodle Book: A complete guide to raising, training, and caring for your poodle (Everything Series),&lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;a href=&#8221;http://www.swyzzle.com/SWApp/?lid=ab2ce69b-f89e-42b2-bfa2-c9b933cb2c34&#8243;&gt;I Love My Poodle&lt;/a&gt; </p> <p>

We’ve Got Your Number (in $$$)

We are now keeping detailed records of every time someone clicks an Amazon product on your show and “proceeds to checkout”. This is important because that’s how you get paid the commission you deserve.

New home page

 

It’s more informative as to what Swyzzle is and why you’d want to use it.

Swyzzle – Multimedia with a Purpose

We’re big fans of sites like Animoto, a great way to turn photos, video and music into a multimedia movie. We also really like user generated video sites like YouTube and Vimeo that give us a way to share videos. We’re different from those sites in one important way: we’re focused on people who  create multimedia with a purpose.

People join Swyzzle because they create multimedia with a little higher purpose. It might be to make money selling products, to enhance your online personality, or produce compelling visual shows for marketing or sales. And when you have a purpose, you want to know if you are getting the right results: are people watching your shows, do they quit after a couple seconds, do they talk about it with their friends? That’s why we’ve improved Swyzzle by giving you more control over the shows you create and tools to measure the results you are getting.

So if you’re trying to entertain or inform other people, make money from your blog or get your product or business out there in front of people, we’re here for you. We’re working to make it easier to achieve your purpose. What is your purpose? Tell us what you’re doing and what we can do to make it easier.

Swyzzle Flies the Coop for Startup Chicks

Startup Chicks Logo

I was invited to be on a panel discussion at a recent Startup Chicks event. The organizer, Jennifer Bonnett, was in need of someone on the panel who was “knee deep” in her startup. I couldn’t be more knee deep.

It was a great event and I enjoyed meeting new friends who are doing the startup thing. The panel discussion was about legalities, human resources, finding co-founders, funding and mistakes made. I got to talk about Swyzzle a bit and people genuinely were intrigued by it.

Now that I’ve flown back to the coop, I’m knee deep in it again!

Increase Your Online Sales by Double?

We are betting on it! According to Anna Yeaman, stylecampaign.com,

“Video can double your email click-through rates, and increase online sales. A video gift guide is a no brainer. Place it on your homepage, in emails, YouTube, Facebook and all your other social media sites.”

While building Swyzzle we’ve noticed a lot of missed opportunities where bloggers could increase their income by selling merchandise they quietly endorse. How do you quietly endorse something? The reader of your blog has found YOU. You have the readers attention! You are not pushing a product, you are simply sharing your knowledge.There’s your opportunity to add an interactive engaging Swyzzle show to your blog while making it a snap to order that merchandise you love to blog about. Now, you are providing a great convenience to your readers AND increasing your income.

We like to use our local pizza expert, Jeff Varasano,  to drive the point home. Jeff has a very popular blog about pizza because he is passionate about it. On his site, he writes about how he makes pizza that tastes just like his favorite pizza place in NYC. He loves to explain the intricate details of how he makes his awesome pizza. However, he doesn’t earn a dime from all the endorsements he makes in his blog. He has no way to receive a commission from all those high end blenders he’s grown to love and recommend, but readers went out and bought them! The blender manufacturer made money, but not him!  It’s a shame, because he could have created a Swyzzle show (with the blender included) and he would have earned a percentage of the purchase price of each blender purchased from his show.

Almost everyone has something they are passionate about and with that passion comes a whole host of stuff they need to feed that passion. If you’ve got a hobby, then you’ve got supplies. And if you’ve got supplies you prefer– recommend them in a Swyzzle show! The Swyzzle show will grab your readers attention AND they’ll be ready, willing and able to click that checkout button.

New Swyzzle Show Editor to be Released

Within the next week, we'll be announcing the release of our new, improved Show Editor.

The feedback we've been getting tells us that Swyzzle's show editor is not as easy as we thought. After much hand wringing, the show editor is now being tweaked to have an MS PowerPoint look-and-feel. Have you ever used PowerPoint? Then, you'll be comfortable with creating a Swyzzle show!

Here's a snapshot of the new show editor:


New Swyzzle Editor

 

When you look at the editor you'll see "slides" along the left side of the editor (like PowerPoint). However, in Swyzzle, we don't call these slides, we call them scenes. Scenes are created when the content of the show changes. With the new editor, you can click through can each scene to make your changes.

Let's say you wanted to play a video about how to make cupcakes and while the video plays you want to add instructions in text. When instructions change, a new scene would be created. The video can be running continuously through all the show's scenes in the exact same position and size while the instructions come up.

To further simplify creating a Swyzzle show, we've been able to eliminate terminology and concepts that were potential "confusers". Removing new concepts, reduces the time it takes to "get it" and that's what we are shooting for.

We hope you'll create a show and let us know if we've hit the mark.

Music City USA: Nashville TN

This week I’ve posted a Swyzzle show about my trip to Nashville, TN. The trip was jam packed with music, food and sightseeing. We went to Tootsie’s, The Stage, Rippy’s, B.B. King’s, Brick Top and Zambuca. I can’t leave out Noshville, the NY deli with the best bagels in town. I couldn’t wait to share the photos. I only wish I had shot some video to bring this show alive. That’s what happens when you’re having too much fun.

Why don’t I just use Flickr or some other photo posting site?

Swyzzle has been designed to give you the freedom to do what you want with your show and at the same time, sell products related to your show. For example, I have included the Brooks and Dunn Greatest Hits album. Anyone viewing the show can buy the CD from Amazon by clicking the button below the show. When the product button is clicked, Swyzzle displays its window to Amazon’s inventory, specifically, the product that was clicked. It can be purchased by selecting the item and adding it to the cart, then click Proceed to Checkout. Amazon takes it from there.

How does the show author earn money?

Swyzzle knows that a product was purchased from the author’s show and credits the author with that purchase. Swyzzle sends a monthly check to the author which is determined by how many products were sold and the commission on that sale. The commission is equal to an Amazon’s Associate commission minus 1%. This makes it easy for you to sell products without troubling yourself with Amazon’s Associate agreement.

How does the show author add products for sale?

When you create your Swyzzle show, you may decide to add a product or two. It’s very simple to do. You search for products within Swyzzle’s editor and add them to the show the same way you add any other item. Use the Insert dropdown menu, then select Products, then you’ll get a Product Search pop-up. This pop-up gives you the ability to search Amazon for the product you’d like to add. Once you find it, you’ll just select it and click Add Product. Your show now has a product! There is money to be made.

Embed a show in your blog and see what happens!



&lt;p&gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Tennessee, &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;The Greatest Hits Collection,&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;http://www.swyzzle.com/SWApp/?lid=b4828959-9384-47da-b6be-ca97c3470412&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Music City, U.S.A.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&lt;/p&gt;

Useability for a Powerful Web Application

The toughest part of creating a powerful presentation tool like Swyzzle’s editor is that we want to make it easy to use. Each time we add a new capability, we question whether we just complicated the tool. New features are great, but add one more icon to the editor and it’s one more concept the user has to grasp. Yet many users are asking for these features. It’s a tough proposition for us. For example, Swyzzle’s most underutilized feature is it’s most powerful: You can include a product in a show and receive a “commission” from Swyzzle on any purchase of this product. Yes, we write checks and send them to you!

Anyone who is slightly digital savvy and creative can easily monetize a Swyzzle show by including Amazon products for sale. Exploiting Swyzzle’s features in this way can make you a lot of money with minimal effort. With a little imagination and some technical know-how, you can create an engaging show that can be embedded on any web page. The better the show, the more viewers, the more purchases, the larger the checks!

How do you do it?

First come up with a topic. It can be anything you want, but we’d suggest it’s something you’re knowledgeable or passionate about. That’s usually pretty easy. If you want to monetize your show, then you should think about the products you would recommend for that topic. Make sure you can find the product on Amazon by using Swyzzle’s search feature, no need to go to Amazon.com, it’s built in to Swyzzle’s show editor. (We’ll be adding other online stores as Swyzzle matures)

You’ve got a subject, now what?

You may want to storyboard your show, mapping out your show, as you would any presentation, like a slide show. Then, decide what type of media do you want to use. Does it exist or do you need to create it? Of course, you’ll have photos, art or logos. You may have the perfect sound bite or music that will enhance the show. You may have shot some video on your cellphone or your Flip video camera. Remember, you can run more than one video simultaneously in a Swyzzle show, this is what makes Swyzzle different from YouTube, Animoto, SlideShare or other Flash presentation tools. Well, that and the monetization part.

Next?

Get yourself a login on Swyzzle and you can create a show. So, there’s a lot of digital media sitting around your desktop. Gather it up (it helps if you put it all in one folder) and get on with uploading it. Once you’ve uploaded your media, you can drag it from your library into the show player. Then, you can move it around if you want, so it changes position as the show plays. Try, changing the timing for the media to appear, you may want a photo to appear for the entire show or you may only want it to show for 2 seconds. You can add links within your show that can be clicked at any time by your viewer. You can change the sound volume, so that music fades in or out. If you’ve got products to recommend from Amazon, you’ll just insert them as easily as adding a photo. These are just a few ways you can play around with the Swyzzle editor to see what it can do.

I’m done with my show

Once your done with your show, save it. It’s a good idea to use the
show keywords and descriptions vigorously so that people can find your
show. It’s easy to embed the show on your blog. Just create your embed tag (while logged in go to Share My Shows tab), make sure you’ve checked the Published flag, click the generate embed tag button and copy the tag to your clipboard. You may want to make a copy of the HTML before embedding your show, in case you want to revert back to your original page. Now, find where you want the show to be on your website and paste the whole tag into your website’s HTML. We said you have to be a little technically saavy, but this isn’t hard.

You don’t have to embed the show anywhere, you can simply make it published. You can invite people to see it on Swyzzle.com. You can send a link in your own email without using our invitation feature. If you’re recommending products, we think embedding is the best way to get the right people to watch your show, especially if you want to make money.

Lastly

I may have oversimplified this post, but I did it intentionally. It does take a little time to familiarize yourself with the Swyzzle editor. We have done our best to make it easy and we continually strive improve its useability, but Swyzzle is powerful and it is worthwhile to spend a little time playing with it.

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