Through the joint venture company Citadel of New York LLC, film distribution company Film Annex and IT development company Afghan Citadel Software Company are working together to create a new online advertising network to Central Asia and Southern Asia.
An online ad network connects content creators and advertisers to publishers who want to host advertisements on the Internet. The network utilizes available ad space supply and inserts advertisements that are based on target marketing to reach specific audiences for each website. Many types of online ads are delivered by an ad server and include search engine results pages, blogs, banner ads, preroll videos, and social network advertising, among others.
Film Annex was founded by Francesco Rulli. The company has experience working with other ad neworkers, partnering with online video advertising and interactive software companies such as Altitude Digital, Tremor Media, Adap.tv, YuMe, Advertise.com and Specific Media. Film Annex strives to connect filmmakers, writers, and other artists to worldwide audiences through its WebTVs. The more attention content creators obtain, the higher their BuzzScores climb and the more funding and resources they receive.
Afghan Citadel Software Company, founded by Roya Mahboob, is a full-service software development company. It provides opportunities for jobs in the technology field for students and women in Afghanistan. It also creates applications for mobile phones and computers, in addition to computer pools in schools throughout Afghanistan in order to teach students and women how to use social platforms to become financially independent. One such platform is Women’s Annex, which provides an outlet for women to post videos and blogs that help to dispell prejudices about Afghan culture and lifestyles, in addition to helping women to become financially secure.
In this film, Film Annex Creative Director Eren Gulfidan explains how filmmakers and content creators can make more money with a higher Buzz Score. Now with the expanding reach of Central Asia, advertisers, filmmakers, and content creators have new markets to grow into.
Women’s Annex, an interactive platform that promotes and supports women’s empowerment, started as a project of Film Annex, but has grown to become its own entity. Founded by Roya Mahboob, a 2013 Time 100 honoree, the website hosts 6,000 license-free professional films across a variety of topics. Women in Central Asia are encouraged to write articles for the site and host videos on their WebTV. Both actions help them earn money, increasing their agency by allowing them to be financial self-starters.
Roya Mahboob, Fereshteh Forough, and Elaha Mahboob of Women's Annex
Women in developing countries have traditionally had very few opportunities to earn money outside the home. Women’s Annex is poised to change that by giving women a jumpstart on digital media. To that end, Women’s Annex sponsors the Afghan Development Project. This initiative helps build classrooms throughout Afghanistan. Currently, 10 classrooms have been built, with a goal of 40 total.
These Internet classrooms are powered with Examer software, which allows students in Afghanistan and Central Asia an easy interactive and social educational platform. It combines learning with a micro-scholarship program that rewards high performing students with small scholarships to apply toward their education.
In addition to their premium content and education outreach efforts, Women’s Annex is the official online distributor of the Esteqlal Football Team’s games, interviews and videos. Although typically, football clubs are operated by men, the Esteqlal Football Team has women managing its social media, advertising and online presence.
Mahboob, who has previously founded and is currently CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, says:
“The goal of this project is to empower the women of Afghanistan and Central Asia by educating them in all facets of society, whether it be economics, health, business, or education. With the power of the internet, Women’s Annex will reach women on a global scale.”
Other partners include Fereshteh Forough, Elaha Mahboob and Francesco Rulli, the founder of Film Annex.
Women’s Annex is currently seeking corporate partners to accomplish its goals of building classrooms in Afghanistan. With this funding, Women’s Annex will be able to bring social media, filmmaking and other technology education information to students in Afghanistan and throughout Central Asia. Women’s Annex is also seeking 501(c)3 status, which will help facilitate building these classrooms, as well as Women’s Annex Training Centers.
Learn more about Women’s Annex.
In a step designed to further democratize online advertising revenues, Film Annex is lowering its payout amount for the site’s users to $5. Formerly, the minimum for payouts was $200, which could be quite a challenge for some users to reach.
By lowering the minimum, more people in varied countries, including Afghanistan and other countries in Central Asia, will be better positioned to take advantage of Film Annex’s WebTV feature. Users on the website are automatically granted a Web TV for free when they register with the site. Web TVs are a great way for filmmakers to show off their talents or for audiences to share their favorite videos. Users who are not filmmakers can curate videos to their Web TV by getting permission from the filmmaker or by adding films from Film Annex’s open film library.
Each Web TV generates money from online advertising, typically in the form of pre-roll ads which air before the film starts. Every time somebody watches a user’s Web TV, that user gets money added to their account. Users get 50% of the money generated by their Web TV and Film Annex account. Film Annex pays for hosting and bandwidth, as well as the video player. Users simply need to add their films or curate videos to create a great Web TV. Then, users can share the link to their Web TV to their own social media networks, increasing their potential for revenues.
Users that do a great job of curating and sharing their Web TV even have the opportunity to get shared on the Film Annex main page through Eren’s Picks. Getting featured on the main page of the site creates additional opportunities for growing revenue on the site - some users are able to earn thousands of dollars a week.
Film Annex offers content in several languages for viewers from all around the world. Lowering the minimum payout amount is a way to increase the site’s accessibility for users from other countries, giving them an opportunity to earn income.
Learn more about Web TVs here.
Film distribution company Film Annex Capital Partners and philanthropy leader Global Impact are setting out to make the world a better place. The two companies have recently become networking partners and collaborators in their efforts to advocate for international causes.
Since 1956, Global Impact has provided donors and organizations with charitable methods of helping during international crises, bettering the quality of life regions, and promoting causes. Through this recent collaboration, Global Impact has officially designated FACP as a “Global Impact Consulting Network Partner.”
In this film, Global Impact lays out their mission:
Together, the two companies will produce “Target Interviews” that will help support Global Impact's outreach program and other initiatives. These interviews will be conducted by Film Annex’s Managing Partner Michael Sweeney, Women’s Annex’s Co-Founder Fereshteh Forough and Global Impact’s Cassie Grose. Below, Michael Sweeney talks about the growing relationship with Global Impact:
Global Impact's Director of Marketing and Communications, Joe Mettimano, will play a key role in the new relationship. Global Impact board member and author Edward Zellem will provide liaison, guidance, and coordination as the project evolves.
Global Impact President and CEO Scott Jackson's recent interview with Film Annex on his vision for "International Corporate Philanthropy and Social Enterprise" sets the standard for Target Interviews and the combined FACP and Global Impact relationship.
Interview questions will cover topics such as Global Impact initiatives; the role of Global Impact and its partners in supporting humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and international development; its role in developing countries; sustainable philanthropy; and favorite success stories from the large Global Impact network of charitable projects, partners and clients all over the world.
Global Impact is one of the world's key thought leaders in brokering global philanthropy. Next steps will include Film Annex interviews with Global Impact partners and clients. This will help Global Impact's partner charities, and the private sector companies that support them, to better share success stories in Sustainable Philanthropy with the rest of the world.
Selectica (Nasdaq: SLTC), a software as a service (SaaS) company that creates software solutions for the sales and contracting process, recently closed a private placement transaction for $6.4 million, to be received in two tranches. The first tranche, around $5.7 million, closed on May 31st, while the second will likely close at Selectica’s annual stockholder meeting, tenatively scheduled for September 2013, pending stockholder approval.
According to an article published on SeekingAlpha, “New, fundamental-focused institutional investors including three of the Special Situations Funds, members of management and member of the board of directors joined the Company's largest existing shareholder in the current round of financing. Lake Street Capital Markets, LLC served as the exclusive placement agent for the transaction.”
Selectica’s software solutions for companies include Selectica Guided Selling, Selectica Contract Lifecycle Management and a sales configuration platform. Their products are designed to help customers simplify the processes behind products and selling channels while increasing deal value and shortening the sales cycle for companies selling online and offline.
This equity deal comes on the back of Oracle’s major acquisition of Eloqua, an automated marketing and lead generation tool and another SaaS company. In an article published in January, SeekingAlpha called the SaaS “streamlining” industry “sexy” - mentioning other companies like ExactTarget and E2open. While companies like ExactTarget focus on lifestyle marketing while E2open is a global supply-chain management tool, they operate in a similar role within the B2B and online sales world.
SaaS companies seem poised to take over the business world, and if Selectica’s private equity financing is any sign of things to come, these companies may be even better equipped to grow. The industry may be poised to truly take off in 2013, as this software delivery business model continues to accumulate both interest and financing.
Learn more about Selectica’s equity financing.
Roughly once a year, my wife agrees with something that I say :).
This morning, my wife and I were talking about my excitement for Peter Bordes' of Internet Media Labs Beta of oneQube™, which is a modular, cloud-based platform that powers the Social Enterprise, with a focus on Twitter. Now my wife is very respected in the Qualitative Research industry, and her firm OutsideIn Strategies works with some major brands. She was very impressed that IBM was using oneQube at their Smarter Conference Summit, and she actually agreed with me when I shared Peter's vision:
"The internet world is now shifting from "shouting your message" to a wide audience to "having a conversation with an interested audience".
"Target Thinking" is the brand that we are establishing as leaders in this shift and Peter's oneQube technology take this to another level. From oneQube's website:
Social Media has changed the way we connect, communicate, and consume globally, creating unprecedented volumes of content and relationships. Once you start connecting with more than a couple hundred people, it becomes increasingly harder to find the “Signal in the Noise,” which in turn makes it harder to engage in and manage meaningful connections with consumers, fans, or other businesses. OneQube™, from Internet Media Labs, changes all that.
OneQube™ enables you to manage your followers in a searchable database where their profile, tweets, website, social graph and demographic data is instantly accessible. Users can now identify & categorize influencers, analyze & engage in relevant conversations w/ groups & individuals in a way that has never been possible.
Last week when I saw where the oneQube Alpha in a closed door presentation, I got so excited about where the targeting market is going. I forget that 95% of the world still sends out traditional press releases and wonders why nobody is listening.
Today, Roya Mahboob was able to meet with Peter and discuss our plans for Central Asia. More to follow as we build our relationship with Peter Bordes and Internet Media Labs.....
Digital Design Annex LLC is a portfolio company of Film Annex Capital Partners, and Film Annex founder Francesco Rulli has had a longstanding relationship with the founder of Digital Design, Lorenzo Meriggi. Digital Design is a company that facilitates website development and complex database systems. Over a decade ago FilmAnnex founder Francesco Rulli asked the Digital Design founder, Lorenzo Meriggi, to collaborate on several projects he was working on, and this lead to Digital Design's birth in 1997.
Digital Design also partners with other IT companies to give business owners today the opportunity to outsource website development. Their services are mainly focused on website design and web applications, and they hope to increase their work with mobile applications. Here are some of the logos for clients of Digital Design in 2012:
For a complete list of their clients be sure to visit their website.
Digital Design founder Lorenzo Meriggi worked with Franceso Rulli during a collaboration for Mrs Mudd, the John Malkovich collection around 2003. Due to the success of their work together on that project Francesco naturally reached out to Lorenzo in 2006 when he started FilmAnnex, a very small site at the time. FilmAnnex has since transformed into an innovative business model helming the online film distribution world as a leading platform for independent filmmakers. FilmAnnex currently offers free video content for viewers, and assists filmmakers with building traffic and raising money through ad revenue on user generated content.
In 2013 Lorenzo launched his website development studio as Digital Design Annex LLC, officially announcing their new name and official partnership with FilmAnnex. Digital Design Annex is the main development firm behind the success of the Film Annex player and platform. Digital Design is based in Florence Italy, but has been taking on projects from South and Central Asia, America, and the Caribbean.
Film Annex is grateful for their working relationship with Digital Design Annex LLC!
One of the platforms that film distribution company Film Annex uses to reach its audience is Hubspot, a blogging platform that provides integrated marketing techniques in one spot. The platform recently released a sample presentation from The Science of Marketing, a book by Dan Zarrella that explains what marketing tools Hubspot has to offer as well as suggestions about when to post, what to post, how to blog, and other proven strategies. It also includes the same information about other social media platforms, such as Twitter. Hubspot can complement the information Zarrella’s book by using its marketing analytics to test whether a company’s investment in Twitter, for example, is beneficial.
Hubspot provides email marketing, social contacts, contacts database, workflows, smart fields, and analytics. According to the presentation, “engaging in the conversation” is one of the most important functions of social media marketing. On Twitter, highly followed accounts tend to tweet links and spend a small amount of time replying to other accounts—they built followings by sharing interesting content. In this way, “engaging in the conversation” is not with the follows but, instead, with broadcasting current news and information. In addition, retweets should focus on interesting and relevant content rather than replying to every mention.
In addition, Zarrella found that accounts with more followers tend to not use “self-referential language,” which means how many times accounts refer to themselves as an individual or a company. The follower count also decreases if an account posts negative remarks.
“People don’t go to social media to get bummed out about the world around them; they can just turn on the TV news if that’s what they want. They go to social media to talk to their friends and generally feel good.”
He then explains what users can do to gain more followers. This includes having a profile picture, using self-referential language that incorporates authoritative titles and language. But the bio page is the only area on which the user can use language such as “I,” “me,” and “we.” He also claims that the best time to tweet is around 4 p.m. in order to gain the most views and engagement.
Follow this link for more information.
A recent video on NBC New York explores mobile app development company Cupcake Digital’s mission to provide multicultural experiences by creating bilingual preschool apps. In the video, Cupcake Digital’s Vice President of Operations Jennifer Powers and Vice President of Marketing and Communications Carmen Hernandez speak to NBC New York’s Lynda Baquero about bilingual apps for kids.
In the video, Powers states that she grew up in Puerto Rico. Her seven-year-old son doesn’t know how to speak Spanish, so she has made it a point to teach him. She says that her and Hernandez’s hope in Cupcake Digital was to not only provide fun and educational apps for children, but also make the apps able to provide Spanish experiences for children. This creates opportunities to not only target Hispanic families but also children who may wish to learn a new language or who are growing up in bilingual households. By creating multicultural and bilingual apps, Cupcake Digital is able to reach new audiences and stay ahead of the curve with interactive storybooks and children’s apps.
To reach bilingual children, Cupcake Digital used its Wubbzy character from the Nick Jr. Emmy award-winning show “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” Wubbzy in Space, or “Wubbzy En Una Aventura Espacial, was the first app to have a Spanish counterpart. In the video, Hernandez explains the various features of the Spanish Wubbzy apps. She says:
“One of the best things about the way that these apps are built is that you can toggle back and forth between English and Spanish at just the touch of a button. So our goal, as Jennifer said, is to make it as entertaining as possible for kids and get them into the narrative in both languages. Hopefully by having it mirrored, they’ll start to pick up a little of it.”
Hernandez also states that she and Powers speak to their children in both languages in their homes. She adds that there are also games as well as Read to Me and Read Along options that provide Spanish narration for children to follow. Future Cupcake Digital apps will contain more educational games with sight words, letter recognition, and number recognition in Spanish. Powers states that the next Wubbzy app to be bilingual is Wubbzy’s Dinosaur Adventure, which will also have more educational components. These apps cost $1.99 each, the same as the English version on smartphones and tablets.
Follow this link for more information.
A recent video showcases Fereshteh Forough and the new formatting changes to her WebTV channel, Afghan Perspective.
Forough is like the Katie Couric of Afghanistan because of her approach to changing society’s perceptions and providing new perspectives and interviews. She is also a co-founder of Women’s Annex, a social media platform that empowers women by enabling them to post videos, blogs, and content in order to connect with each other and people around the world. They can also read blogs about Afghanistan education, politics, sports, and other topics that help to change the perception and stereotype of the Afghan culture.
Afghan Perspective is a WebTV on film distribution company Film Annex’s website. Afghan writers can watch new episodes and relate them to current events in their country. The goal of the WebTV is to connect people and show how Afghan people have the same experiences as Americans in various industries. The WebTV channel is part of a Women’s Annex initiative to promote and support women’s empowerment outside and within Central and South Asia.
In the video, Forough comments about the beautiful weather and her immediate surroundings while she stays in New York City. She also lists what she will change in Afghan Perspective. She said:
“I’m going to bring more fun, more new people, and more entertainment into the Afghan Perspective. So you will see a lot of changes in Afghan Perspective. I’m going to different places in New York and speak about my impressions and how I love that, and mix it a little bit with my culture from Afghanistan.”
Another change includes the way the videos are presented. Instead of Forough sitting in front of a white screen and being interviewed, she will visit various places and interact with the people she encounters.
Follow this link for more information.