Video’s role in the social enterprise

June 30, 2009
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pro-video_catos_camcorder._V258284064_ A week after the introduction of the new iPhone 3G S YouTube uploads have increased something like 400%. I’m starting to think that this was the tipping point for mobile video, I mean, nothing up to this point has had this kind of impact on video uploads, including the Flip cameras. So what does that mean? Well, for one thing, putting that many more mobile video cameras out into the world just increases the “coverage” of the citizen journalists that have shown up in rapidly increasing numbers. But that’s not really my point.

Video is everywhere, YouTube, Ustream, Flickr, 12Seconds.tv… posting on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Facebook is even adding live streaming video through Ustream and Wikipedia recently announced a partnership with Kaltura to deploy video enabled Wiki’s. We’re also seeing new sites arise to help us use the Internet and other emerging technologies more effectively. Building 43, which was just launched recently by Rackspace and Robert Scoble makes extensive use of video.

Video is a growing part of the Web 2.0 world and for good reason. In a world where we meet, interact, build trust and relationships online video is unique in its ability

pro-video_catos_camcorder._V258284064_ A week after the introduction of the new iPhone 3G S YouTube uploads have increased something like 400%. I’m starting to think that this was the tipping point for mobile video, I mean, nothing up to this point has had this kind of impact on video uploads, including the Flip cameras. So what does that mean? Well, for one thing, putting that many more mobile video cameras out into the world just increases the “coverage” of the citizen journalists that have shown up in rapidly increasing numbers. But that’s not really my point.

Video is everywhere, YouTube, Ustream, Flickr, 12Seconds.tv… posting on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Facebook is even adding live streaming video through Ustream and Wikipedia recently announced a partnership with Kaltura to deploy video enabled Wiki’s. We’re also seeing new sites arise to help us use the Internet and other emerging technologies more effectively. Building 43, which was just launched recently by Rackspace and Robert Scoble makes extensive use of video.

Video is a growing part of the Web 2.0 world and for good reason. In a world where we meet, interact, build trust and relationships online video is unique in its ability to give the more complete visual cues that we are accustom to in our offline social interaction. You can learn a lot about an individual from their avatar, profile information and if available, their blog or Twitter stream but none of those have the impact of a simple video of the person.

I experienced the power of this concept personally a few months ago when Carter Lusher posted 2 video interviews that I did for him at a networking event and I linked to them on my blog. My readership increased rapidly and significantly just after the post went up. Part of the increase was simply increased exposure to Carter’s audience of course, but I don’t think that was the only reason. I think it is a clear demonstration of the power of video to build trust and connection.  

From a consumer and a media perspective it’s fairly easy to see the application of video and its value. When we start to look at the enterprise though, is there also a use case (or cases)? I believe we will see the enterprise use of video explode over the next few years. There are several business applications for video and some companies are already experimenting with it.

Jet Blue, for example, is using YouTube videos for marketing, as seen in this very humorous video (check out the whole series). Dassault Solidworks has a YouTube channel for marketing (demonstrating new features, for example) and for providing software end user training. Marketing use of video is the most common use today but I think there are several other business areas that can effectively use video.

Product Marketing could use video to help explain potential features to customers to facilitate their ranking and rating that would help prioritize the most useful and desired enhancements. Sales could use video to demonstrate products and their use by other customers, making videos available on the web site and drawing prospects to them. Customer support could make use of video to explain and answer service inquiries. Real time video could be used to provide a richer customer service experience over voice only.

In addition, customers could access training and use videos to become more proficient on product features and functions and to get new employees up to speed faster. I’m sure there are many more uses that will come out as video moves mainstream in the social enterprise. And these examples are only external, there are an equal number of ideas for internal use of video as well. These are only a few examples of enterprise video applications, what else are you seeing?