Social media presents a rather attractive business proposition: provide your users with social services and let them generate content, traffic, and exposure for you. Last week (November 26-30) in Singapore I was restating this case in Outblaze’s bid for the Asia Pacific Information & Communication Technology Alliance Awards, one of the best and most comprehensive technology award schemes in the region and known more briefly as the APICTA Awards (see this site for more information). Our entry in the competition was OutblazeVideo, a white label hosted social video platform for portals and media companies.
To make a long story short – this event lasted most of the week – Outblaze won the APICTA Award in the category Tools & Infrastructure Application. I was there solo, and between all the cocktail receptions, networking events, exhibits, presentations, judging sessions and the excitement of victory I completely forgot to take photographs. I do have a picture of me with the award kindly sent in by Janice AuYeung and Karman Li of the Hong Kong Computer society (Janice and Karman, also in the picture, did a great job coordinating the Hong Kong delegation activities):
APICTA is a network of 16 Asian and Australasian countries and economies whose common goal is to increase awareness of information & communication technologies, stimulate ICT innovation and creativity, promote economic and trade relations, facilitate technology transfer, etc. Their yearly awards are among the most coveted by all manner of IT firms in the Eastern hemisphere.
Hong Kong companies tend to do quite well at these awards, and in fact the Merit Award in our category went to Team and Concepts Limited for EditGrid, an AJAX online spreadsheet that is really innovative. In order to qualify for a Merit Award a product must receive a final judges’ score that is within a certain range of the score of the category winner – otherwise there is only one APICTA Award in each category. Congratulations to EditGrid are therefore in order: well done guys! Here is Editgrid’s rather understated blog entry.
The winner in the E-Government category was the electronic passport system of the Hong Kong Immigration Department, which is not surprising: in all my travels I have never come across such an efficient and pleasant immigration department (and I realize that “efficient” and “pleasant” are not words normally used to describe anything related to immigration procedures). PCCW‘s “Seye” won the Media & Entertainment category, and Cardisys, Mobigator‘s cardiology management system, took the merit in General Applications.
Here is the complete list of APICTA winners. Owing to the nature of APICTA Awards, simply being a nominee is an honour because it means a product or service has taken part in a domestic award scheme and made it through a rigorous selection process. I therefore link to the APICTA nominees‘ page in the hope that it will be updated soon.
So what exactly is OutblazeVideo?
The simplest way to explain it is that it is a white label service, meaning that it is customizable and integrates seamlessly with your brand. It is hosted and maintained by Outblaze, so you don’t have to worry about issues like upgrades, bandwidth, disk space, etc. It deploys an online video sharing and editing service on your existing web site with all the features (and then some) of leading consumer video sharing portals. In addition to video, this service also lets you create photo slides and presentations. And, unlike the vast majority of other video sharing services, OutblazeVideo includes hundreds of editing options, manipulation & layout tools, transitions, special effects, and an option to add background music – all accomplished without downloading and installing any programs. All you require is a web browser with the commonly available Flash plugin for browsers.
You can see OutblazeVideo in action at SanrioTown’s Dream Studio (you’ll have to sign up if you want to upload and edit videos, but it’s fast and free of charge).
Although it has a solid customer base, OutblazeVideo is a relatively recent product and the teams involved in its creation could not have asked for a better endorsement of their achievements. We are very honoured indeed to be the recipients of this APICTA Award, and extend our deepest appreciation to the Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS) and the Hong Kong ICT Awards for nominating us to APICTA.