Global TV Tech Buzz: Kids And Their iHoliday Wishes

A recent Nielsen study is showing once again Santa will be making a stop in Cupertino to load up before Christmas. 48% of kids aged 6 to 12 want an iPad, the most asked for item on Christmas lists. The Nintendo Wii U is in 2nd at 39% while iPod Touch, iPad Mini, and iPhones fill out the rest of the top 5.

Wii U [$349.99]
I had one on reserve to bring to Global TV for my segment, and Future Shop sold it because they were sold out. More than 400 000 were sold on the opening weekend and they continue to fly off shelves.

Smartphones and tablets are quickly encroaching on the home console business, especially the niche that Nintendo had carved out. Nintendo’s roster isn’t about super sound and visuals, it more emphasizes fun gameplay and whimsy. Exactly what you can do on your phone with Fruit Ninja, Cut The Rope, or Angry Birds. So the Wii U is a success for the console manufacturer. It is a screen based controller that can have you playing on your lap or on your big screen.

iPod Touch [$299 – 32GB]
The new iPod Touch is going straight after the point and shoot camera crowd. If you have a kid on your list who is wanting an iDevice, is too young for an iPhone, and you don’t want to break out for an iPad, an iPod Touch is the perfect compromise. It’s the original iPad Mini (which, btw, is only $30 more)

The camera is upgraded on the new edition and it comes with a nifty camera strap that makes it feel just like a camera – that can play games, surf the internet, and NOT ring up your mobile bill.

Survivor iPad Case [$79.99]
If they are lucky enough to be scoring an iPad for Christmas, make sure you get something to protect it. The Survivor Case is military tested against sand, dust, shock, drop, wind, and rain. If you don’t want them crying because they shattered the screen halfway through Boxing Day, a sturdy case like this is a good idea.

VTech Brilliant Creations Tablet [$59.99]
If you want kids to have a digital place to play, but aren’t into the price points of the ‘real’ technology, then starting them off with a kid-sized tablet device is a great way to make them ‘feel’ like Mom and Dad without getting in and messing with your stuff. It teaches math, language, and a knowledge of a keyboard. It’s motion and touch controlled.

Nexus 7 [$239.99 – 16GB]
If your household is an Android play place, then you’ll love the price point on the Nexus 7 from Asus. It’s a kid-friendly 7″ tablet with 10 hours of battery life. If you’ve fallen in love with a phone like the Samsung Galaxy, than a tablet like this is where you want to go so your apps can work on both devices.

Board Games
There is an interesting kind of convergence happening in the game world right now. New school and old school are blending with digital games moving to analog spin offs, and analog games going digital. Monopoly Zapped [$29.99] is a new way to play the classic board game with your iPad as a centre piece. You download the free app and run it on the device in the centre of the board to make instant money transfers, play money games, and get game advice. Meanwhile, the popular mobile phone and Facebook game, Word With Friends [$19.99] has morphed into a board game. Both of these games are great ways to bridge the digital divide to get families sitting around the kitchen table instead of talking over text.

Apptivity Add Ons
And to make digital games more analog, there are apptivity accessories that have made their way to market this year. Fruit Ninja’s [$14.99] Sensei will help you slice and dice the flying mangos. The Pig King from Angry Birds [$14.99] gets his own chance to fly with their apptivity game. Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, [$14.99] has a series of apptivity add ons, each with different powers and game play.

elf on the shelf appsAPP OF THE WEEK: Elf On The Shelf [free]
There are 8 extravaganzalorious apps to show off this week, all spin-offs from The Elf on The Shelf. They are all free, and if you have elf obsessed kids in your household, this is a fun way way for them to actually “touch” and play with their elves without getting in to trouble. There are snowball fights, tree trimming games, flying games, hide and seek, music making, and more.

How To Cash In When Your Content Goes Viral

Want to make money with your blog? Have a viral video. Okay, that’s easier said than done, but if you can have video content go viral, it’s much easier to capitalize on the attention for revenue.

This fall I’ve had 3 pieces of content “hit.” I wrote a piece about having a favorite child for Babble that was picked up by everyone from Good Morning America, to Fox and Friends, to Maclean’s Magazine.

I wrote a piece about Charlie Brown being too much about bullying without consequence that was the topic of newspaper editorials and radio station chatter.

Now I’ve posted a video from the Calgary Hitmen’s Teddy Bear Toss that has caught the eye of ESPN, NBC Sports and more than 260 000 YouTube watchers.


I’ve noticed something very interesting about the curation of viral content. When it is a viral word document that is being spread, it’s very easy for people to paraphrase and explain what was happening in the original piece. There is little or no reason for people to move past the secondary source to read the primary source of the content.

All the blogs that wrote about my favorite kid syndrome, or belittled me for saying Charlie Brown was bullying simply piggybacked on the viral content idea I had created and kept the traffic for themselves.

The video I posted, however, is the key piece of information that needs to be shared. Even if a secondary source online is sharing the video, it’s hard to paraphrase or describe the video and leave the audience happy. They will embed the video, or link to it, thereby driving up the views of the content. I don’t need people to click back to my content, they can watch my video on Yahoo!, HuffPo, or SportsNet and I still win.


I have my blogs and video channels monetized. It’s nothing special, I have had Google Adsense since it debuted and have made a few hundred dollars a year off my content – nothing special. When I had the huge spike in virality for creating controversial content, there was no radical increase in revenue. My web traffic increased marginally, but it was nothing dramatic.

Then my video took off. People shared it. People embedded it. I gave permission to mainstream media to use my footage in their broadcasts, and it didn’t dent my traffic. It went from 15 000 in the first few hours to more than 100 000 the first day.

The click through rate on video ads is about 10%, the click through rate on banner ads next to my written content is < 1%. The rate paid for video ads is very small compared to the rate paid for banner ads in written content, but you make up for it in volume very very quickly. When my video went viral I made more in a day than I had made the entire year.


video referralsWhen you write catchy content, it’s too easy for people to rip it off, paraphrase it, and steal your eyeballs. When you produce catchy visual content, people will still rip it off, and embed it in their stream, but now you get the benefit of having your ad code follow the content. They can get the traffic to their pages, but you will get the revenue the video creates. It’s a great way to win the battle of content creation vs content curation.

With a little rough math based on my views and revenue, I figure PSY has made nearly $2M just in the ads running alongside the more than 850M plays of Gangnam Style. Not bad.


One footnote to this story: I actually posted 2 videos of the Teddy Bear Toss to YouTube. One told the story of our visit to the arena, had some highlights from the game before climaxing in the tossing bears about 1:40 in. The other video was right to the money shot – 4 seconds after the video started, bears were flying.

The videos were also headlined differently. One talked about the 2012 Teddy Bear Toss, while the other specifically told people to Watch 25 000 Teddy Bears. The money shot with the active headline has trumped in viewership by a factor of at least 100.