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Weavly: legally create video mashups from YouTube

Want to spice up your blog or press release with a remixed video made from completely legal content? Weavly’s in Beta right now, and free to use, adding interactivity to any website.

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Weavly: improve interactivity on your website

Using videos on your social media pages and your website is a great way to create a more dynamic experience for your users. A video is also a great way to provide information quickly, and there is a large generation out there that would rather watch a video than read text any day. No matter if that generation is your target market or not, a video on your page is a great way to spice it up. But you don’t have to have a budget for video production. You can actually use what’s already available on the web, all thanks to Weavly.

Weavly gives you the tools to create video mashups by using content from YouTube, Loopcam, and SoundCloud, and they say it’s completely legal and doesn’t infringe on any copyrights. Before we move on to the legalities of it, let’s start with the features and the professional possibilities.

How Weavly works:

Imagine you want to feature a really awesome video clip that emphasizes why your product is so important or useful, but the video has awful music attached to it. Or maybe the clip is too long and would ultimately distract from the rest of the content on your page or in your article. Weavly helps you cut a YouTube video to the right length so you only have to include the best parts of the video. And then you can add your own music or sound bites to make it just what you need (click here for an example video made with Weavly).

Think of the last press release your company put out. Now think of how fantastic it would be if you had the perfect video clip to go with it? It would potentially open up your press release to a whole different group of viewers. Ultimately, Weavly lets you enhance what you already have going for you by video and audio content already created by others.

How Weavly avoids infringing upon copyrights

Now, let’s go over the legal aspect of incorporating Weavly into your business. Because Weavly completely follows the Terms of Service of both YouTube and SoundCloud, there should be no copyright issues to deal with. Everything you use from YouTube stays on the YouTube platform, and Weavly only allows you to access the content that the content owner has deemed available for distribution.

If the content owner changes that permission in the future, Weavly will respect that and that specific content will no longer be available to Weavly users. Remember, the key is that you don’t store the videos you use. The videos are simply streamed.

The takeaway

Weavly can be a great resource for businesses that are looking to add a new, creative element to their online content. It is for those who value the video and audio content that’s already available and can think of unique ways to use and morph that content to fit their needs. Weavly is in Beta and is free to use. Give it a try and see if you can give your online content a little something special to help it stand out from the competition.

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. righteousMENACE

    December 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    So, as someone who has spent their “career” in the creative realm, a product like this puts one more notch in the massive headboard that devalues creative content. And when I say creative content, I’m talking about, not only, video, but music, live events, experiential marketing, writing and a host of other things. For whatever reason so many people that I and others in this space deal with, think that creative content shouldn’t have to cost anything, or as much as it does. So businesses wind up going for the cheapest option possible and then when it sucks, they blame the creative (person and/or content.) As opposed to the fact that they weren’t willing to spend what was necessary/hire the right person or agency/develop the right creative to begin with. Odds are, as a client, you’re not nearly as funny as you think, your “nephew” isn’t nearly as creative as you think and no one wants to see your god awful talking head video. A client builds a good product or service. A good creative (should) develop great, relevant content that builds brand recognition and helps move the sales curve north. And with the number of horrible videos, commercials, music, presentations and events that we’ve all seen and/or heard, I would hope that my point is pretty evident. A product like this takes this devaluation many steps further, and parallels what happened in the music industry. Not only does it encourage clients to continue to ignore the costs of developing a proper creative campaign, it also encourages stealing of existing content from others. Now if Weavly has a way for people that want to use existing video/music/etc. to contact the creators and discuss compensation then that’s fine (free market principles apply.) But I didn’t see any mention of compensating the creators for their work, only a mention of avoiding copyright issues. And no I didn’t go over the Weavly site very thoroughly. From a brand building perspective, I would hope a client would avoid using others content like the plague. Your brand should be unique. Nothing else out there should be able to say what your brand says. Everything that your brand says has to be authentic. Your brand should be about building relationships with your consumers. How many real friendships do you have with phony or inauthentic people? And with social media having the power it does, anything that has even a hint of a lack of authenticity is dead in the water. Yes building these relationships will take more time, but if you do it right, you’ll also have many more loyal customers.As a consumer I wouldn’t want to deal with a brand that values my attention so little that they think they can just cut up someone else’s existing content, add new music (that they probably didn’t pay for) and think I’ll want to buy what they’re selling. I’ve got a lot of other options for how I’d want to spend my time and if you’re pushing something someone else did, especially to sell what you’ve done, you just went several rungs down the ladder in my opinion, if not fell off completely. Now, mind you, I’m well aware that there are exceptions to every rule, so if you or anyone has a good one, by all means let me know (I’ve got a few too.)OK, that’s enough of a rant for today. Sweet Jesus. And did you notice? Not one F-bomb.

    • Butchershy

      June 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      It was awesome for slapping together AMVs. Not the best work, and yes I "stole" from others. But just to have some fun and maybe show people and just get the creative juices flowing.

      Now it's dead and won't load a single YouTube video. RIP Weavly. :/

  2. Lanre Folayan

    December 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Got to check this out. Thanks.

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Tech News

Chatbots: Are they still useful, or ready to be retired?

(TECH NEWS) Chatbots have proven themselves to be equally problematic as they are helpful – is it time to let them go the way of the floppy disk?

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Man texting chatbots leaning against a brick wall.

All chatbots must die. I’d like to say it was fun while it lasted, but was it really?

I understand the appeal, truly. It’s a well established 21st century business mantra for all the side hustlers and serial entrepreneurs out there: “Automation is the key to scaling.” If we can save time, labor, and therefore money by automating systems, that means we have more time to build our brands and sell our goods and services.

Automation makes sense in many ways, but not all automation tools were created equal. While many tools for automation are extremely effective and useful, chatbots have been problematic from the start. Tools for email marketing, social media, internal team communication, and project management are a few examples of automation that have helped many a startup or other small business kick things into high gear quickly, so that they can spend time wooing clients and raising capital. They definitely have their place in the world of business.

However promising or intriguing chatbots seemed when they were shiny and new, they have lost their luster. If we have seen any life lesson in 2020, it is that humans are uniquely adept at finding ways to make a mess of things.

The artificial intelligence of most chatbots has to be loaded, over time, into the system, by humans. We try to come up with every possible customer-business interaction to respond to with the aim of being helpful. However, language is dynamic, interactive, with near infinite combinations, not to mention dialects, misspellings, and slang.

It would take an unrealistic amount of time to be able to program a chatbot to compute, much less reply to, all possible interactions. If you don’t believe me, consider your voice-activated phone bot or autocorrect spelling. It doesn’t take a whole lot to run those trains off the rails, at least temporarily. There will always be someone trying to confuse the bots, to get a terse, funny, or nonsensical answer, too.

Chatbots can work well when you are asking straightforward questions about a single topic. Even then, they can fall short. A report by AI Multiple showed that some chatbots were manipulated into expressing agreement with racist, violent, or unpatriotic (to China, where they were created) ideas. Others, like CNN and WSJ, had problems helping people unsubscribe from their messages.

Funny, shocking, or simply unhelpful answers abound in the world of chatbot fails. People are bound to make it messy, either accidentally or on purpose.

In general, it feels like the time has come to put chatbots out to pasture. Here are some helpful questions from azumbrunnen.me to help you decide when it’s worth keeping yours.

  1. Is the case simple enough to work on chatbot? Chatbots are good with direct and short statements and requests, generally. However, considering that Comcast’s research shows at least 1,700 ways to say “I want to pay my bill,” according to Netomi, the definition of “simple enough” is not so simple.
  2. Is your Natural Language Processor capable and sophisticated enough? Pre-scripted chatbots are often the ones to fail more quickly than chatbots built with an NLP. It will take a solid NLP to deal with the intricacies of conversational human language.
  3. Are your users in chat based environments? If so, then it could be useful, as you are meeting your customers where they are. Otherwise, if chatbots pop up whenever someone visits your website or Facebook page, it can really stress them out or turn them off.

I personally treat most chatbots like moles in a digital whack-a-mole game. The race is on to close every popup as quickly as possible, including chatbots. I understand that from time to time, in certain, clearly defined and specific scenarios, having a chatbot field the first few questions can help direct the customer to the correct person to resolve their problems or direct them to FAQs.

They are difficult to program within the expansiveness of the human mind and human language, though, and a lot of people find them terribly annoying. It’s time to move on.

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Get all your digital organization in one place with Routine

(TECH NEWS) Routine makes note-taking and task-creating a lot easier by merging all your common processes into one productivity tool.

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A desk with a laptop, notepad, smartphone, and cup of coffee settled into an organized routine.

Your inbox can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Without organization, important emails with tasks, notes, and meetings can become a trash pile pretty quickly. Luckily, there are a lot of tools that aim to help you improve your efficiency, and the latest to add to that list is Routine.

Routine is a productivity app that combines your tasks, notes, and calendar into one easy-to-use app so you can increase your performance. Instead of having to switch between different apps to jot down important information, create to-do lists, and glance at your calendar, Routine marries them all into one cool productivity tool. By simply using a keyboard shortcut, you can do all these things.

If you receive an email that contains an actionable item, you can convert that email into a task you can view later. Tasks are all saved in your inbox, and you can even schedule a task for a specific day. So, if Obi-Wan wants to have Jedi lessons on Thursday, you can schedule your Force task for that day. Likewise, chat messages that need follow-up can also be converted into tasks and be scheduled.

To enrich your tasks, notes can be attached to them. In your notes, you can also embed checkboxes, which are tasks of their own. And if you have tasks that aren’t coming from your inbox, you can import them from other services, such as Gmail, Notion, and Trello.

To make sure you can stay focused on the events and tasks at hand, Routine makes it easy to take everything in. By using the tool’s keyboard-controlled console, you can access your dashboard to quickly see what tasks need to be addressed, what’s on your calendar, and even join an upcoming Zoom session and take notes about the meeting.

Routine is available for macOS, iOS, web, and Google accounts only. Overall, the app centralizes notes and tasks by letting you create and view everything in one place, which helps make sure you stay on top of things. Currently, Routine is still in beta, but you can get on a waitlist to test the product out for yourself.

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The paradox of CAPTCHAs: Too smart for humans vs AI?

(TECH NEWS) AI is catching up to our cybersecurity technology and often tricking humans too — so what’s next for CAPTCHAs and the internet?

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Person using phone with laptop to verify CAPTCHAs and code.

We’ve all encountered it before: The occasional robot test that feels impossible to beat. If you’ve felt like these tests, also known as CAPTCHAs, have gotten harder in the last couple of years, you aren’t wrong—and the reason is as ironic as it is baffling.

Simply put, AI are just as good as—and often better than—humans at completing CAPTCHAs in their classic format. As machine learning and AI become more advanced, the fundamental human attributes that make consistent CAPTCHA formats possible become less impactful, raising the question of how to determine the difference between AI and humans in the future.

The biggest barrier to universal CAPTCHA doctrine is purely cultural. Humans may share experiences across the board, but such experiences are typically basic enough to fall victim to the same machine learning which has rendered lower-level CAPTCHAs moot. Adding a cultural component to CAPTCHAs could prevent AI from bypassing them, but it also might prevent some humans from understanding the objective.

Therein lies the root of the CAPTCHA paradox. Humans are far more diverse than any one test can possibly account for, and what they do have in common is also shared by—you guessed it—AI. To create a truly AI-proof test would be to alienate a notable portion of human users by virtue of lived experience. The irony is palpable, but one can only imagine the sheer frustration developers are going through in attempting to address this problem.

But all isn’t lost. While litmus tests such as determining the number of traffic cones in a plaza or checking off squares with bicycles (but not unicycles, you fool) may be beatable by machines, some experts posit that “human entropy” is almost impossible to mimic—and, thus, a viable solution to the CAPTCHA paradox.

“A real human being doesn’t have very good control over their own motor functions, and so they can’t move the mouse the same way more than once over multiple interactions,” says Shuman Ghosemajumder, a former click fraud expert from Google. While AI could attempt to feign this same level of “entropy”, the odds of a successful attempt appear low.

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