Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Life After Death by Powerpoint

When I first had the idea to start this blog I thought about posting this video right away. A colleague of mine had sent me this a few months ago and I crack up every time I watch it, because I see these mistakes on a daily basis at my job.

Life After Death by PowerPoint

Don McMillan | MySpace Video

The video is from one of his comedy sketches and you can view more of his video on his MySpace page.

Here's another must-see slideshow created by presentation consultant Alexei Kapterev called “Death by PowerPoint (and how to fight it)”. He describes the slideshow as, "Fighting death by PowerPoint... How to make a presentation and not to bore your audience to death"

If you want some advise on creating better Powerpoints for video, I've included a link below to a document I created a number of years ago for my videoconferencing clients called, "Designing Effective Graphics for Videoconferencing."

DivShare File - designing_ppt.pdf

You can also check Garr Reynolds' web site for his Top 10 Slide Tips. His blog Presentation Zen also offers a wealth of professional design and presentation tips.

Finally, if you can't get enough of Powerpoint you can also check out Master Views International.

The web site is devoted to "Information Design and Powerpoint Skills, Tools and Resources: For International Presenters." I highly recommend it but be warned, if you're not careful you could spend hours there.

Monday, November 26, 2007

YouTube for the Enterprise

It seems that every Corporate Communications department is trying to figure out how to integrate Web 2.0 into their organization. At the Streaming Media West conference earlier this month, there were the many discussions on the subject of social media and participation. In fact, the first panel presentation of the conference was aptly titled, "YouTube for the Enterprise." The session description stated that, "A new breed of user-friendly video centric sites and video software has helped to make video as much a part of our online experience as music and photos. More and more, we're seeing enterprise companies invest in equipment that provides their employees with new ways to communicate using video, or even to create their own content. Whether companies are leveraging web video to conduct employee trainings, bring together geographically disparate employees, or enhance corporate communications, the technology fosters easy and effective collaboration that is critical to achieving and maintaining a competitive edge. Come hear how this shift is spurring a new model of business communication across the enterprise, both internally and externally."

The Speakers included Rod Bacon, Founder, Media Publisher (Moderator); Chris Knowlton, Sr. Lead Program Manager, Microsoft; Gladys Alegre-Kimura, Product Marketing Manager, Polycom Corporation; and John Bowen, Director, Covington Associates LLC.

You can download their Powerpoint slides here

The session was recorded and should be available for viewing within the next week on I'll post that link once it's available but if you want to read on I've included my notes from the session.

YouTube for the Enterprise
Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - Track A: (A101) 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

YouTube is more of an evolution of video communications. Content is king.

The Enterprise Video Eco System

  • Enterprise video
  • Studio web cast
  • Training
  • Videoconferencing – capture and stream
  • Signage – syndicated content
  • Enterprise portals
  • Storage/Database
  • Network distribution
Where is it coming from?

  • Studio broadcast
  • Virtual training room authoring
  • Conference room streaming
  • User generated
How should we define the concepts of YouTube content?
  • Within Microsoft, handheld video camera interviews of MS engineers, answering questions from sales and customers. Get the message out without creating a Powerpoint slideshow or going into the studio. Short format, rough cut, UGC (User Generated Content).
  • Polycom's approach - Creating content with the ability to search, create comments, collaborative aspects of YouTube. You can create a dialog around any message.
  • Anyone is a creator, most important content rises to the top, collaborative nature, linking relevancy automatically. Voice of the individual, searching what you like.
How do we relate that to the enterprise?
  • We can create relevant content to educate ourselves. Power of the individual. It pulls from all the aspect of enterprise video. You can pull snippets from longer videos.
What is UGC?

  • User Generated Content - short form content (2-10 minutes), produced using low budget gear, lower production quality, rough cut feel "authentic and personal", little or no editing, fun easy to watch, plays immediately
What is YouTube?

  • Social interactions around video, tagging, ratings, sharing, able to leave comments, easy to use (content transcoded), fun, engaging content
Is “YouTube type of video” appropriate and relevant for the Enterprise?
  • Yes, once it’s out there, how do you find it? Send an email with a URL. It’s something that can be enabled from an operations standpoint. It can work well for large size geographically dispersed locations.
  • People get value from YouTube content. Social networking allows people to connect, find content quickly, and create community quickly. Flow of information tends to be slow in Enterprise and YouTube video can suggest ways to speed up communication around sales, marketing, R&D, training. Reduction of barriers and collective video can help put power in the hands of users. Enterprises have control for a reason and where to insert control and where do you allow flexibility.
  • Social networking aspect in Polycom has been traditionally via conferencing and this mode has been difficult to get people informed and trained in a timely manner. YouTube video gives people that ability to reach and grab the content that they want when they want it.
Social interaction Social Networking 2.0 or UGC? Which is more important?
  • Both. Why strip individual of either.
It can be a danger, how do you regulate communication? (e.g. Justen Deal, "Send All" email message to Kaiser Permanente employees)
  • You have to take a hard look at it from a compliance and legal standpoint.
  • At Microsoft, more focus on getting people the information they need when they need it.
  • At Polycom, Videoconferencing technology can be leveraged and can be the source of UGC. Either as a conference or using the system to pre-record content.
Unique requirements? What are the pieces we need to manage content? Should we enable or kill the concept?
  • Wall Street Journal article on CEOs said that top execs are more insulated and communication flow can be filtered, and UGC can help break down the wall to get closer to the source. Dow is using it to attract get younger generation. Other companies are using for outreach to new employees.
  • UGC is about "Democratization of Media" and corporations are traditionally not wired that way. There needs to governance and management of UGC to better align with org structure and goals. Distribution of content is key - to the right audience and internal vs. external.
  • We need to look at how it adds value and create a measurement tool to track it. Then content needs to be tagged take make it more meaningful. People can link directly to the point of the video and hear right from the speaker to hear the context, tone and tenor how it’s said and in what context.
Provocative Statements
  • "YouTube is fun to use and that can be leveraged over existing Enterprise video. People are happy to use it..." (The tribal knowledge piece.) - Rod Boothby, of Innovation Creators, A YouTube Business Model in the Enterprise
  • “Video as Social Software” for Enterprise 2.0 more than just hype and the value of social software is shaping up to be a multi-billion dollar market opportunity." - Jay Cross, of Internet Time Group LLC, Big money in Enterprise 2.0
  • Social networking becomes a destination.
  • Flash had a huge impact on the success of YouTube. Cross platform and ubiquity of Flash were major enablers. Ease of use and instant access, one touch and it plays.
What about corporate side of business for marketing and advertising?
  • Anything that’s sanctioned can be used. Blurring the line when YouTube is used for both internal and external communications.
What about best practices?

  • Microsoft Channel 9 for external posting of internal UGC. Establish guidelines for external portal. For channels distribution you can create a UCG channel through collaboration with partners. Look at all aspects of communication. In Polycom, using UGC to market channels to communicate to 600+ channels across the enterprise. Organizations need central channel management to manage internal and external UGC content. Right now, Polycom is not posting to YouTube.
  • Microsoft Channel 9, how they created guidelines and how to police? A select group posts content and there’s an editorial group with stated guidelines.
Move from toy box to tool box
Streaming Media West was very inspiring for me this year. I came out of it wanting to move forward and several fronts. This panel discussion really hit close to home since I work in a corporate multimedia department. So on the very next day after the conference, I got back to the office and I helped my CFO create her own UGC video message to her staff. I'll share that story in an upcoming post.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Larry & Ryan’s Podcast - Streaming Media West

I had the opportunity to be guest host on this episode of the Lame Podcast, which was created as part of Jose Castillo's pre-conference seminar on, "Planning, Building, and Launching a Successful Podcast" at the Streaming Media West. It was my first attempt at podcasting and turned out to be a lot of fun and incredibly easy to do.

Here's the description from the program:
"This hands-on workshop walks you through the details of starting an audio podcast, from concept to delivery: RSS, blogs, hardware, software, etc. You’ll learn how to use some of Apple's tools and other devices as we create our own podcast within the workshop. How do I syndicate my show? What hardware/software do I need? How can I get listeners? All these questions will be answered by Jose Castillo, who was podcasting long before it had a cool name."

Link to the workshop handout and slides on

Jose is an excellent instructor and I highly recommend that you attend one of his seminars if you get a chance.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The iPod lecture circuit - Los Angeles Times

"Technology is bringing the ivory tower to big rigs and fishing boats, offering second chances to study existentialism or theoretical physics."

How about this one from today's LA Times? It's an interesting article on how institutions of higher education are making their lectures available to the masses through iTunes U.

The article follows several everyday people, like truck driver Baxter Wood, who listen to podcasts as part of their distance learning experience. Wood drives his big rig back and forth across the country listening to UC Berkeley Philosphy lectures he downloaded from iTunes U.

Arthur Marquis, a retired federal attorney loves to walk. He listens to philosophy classes from UC Berkeley on his iPod as he walks at least 10 miles every other day.

iTunes U launched in May 2007 and of course it's good for Apple because it helps sell more iPods. While universities have been providing downloads of lectures for several years this model is a real egalitarian approach to education. I share this as another example of converging technologies and attitudes that help break down the same/place same/time model.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

How They Saw The New World

This is my first post and it's appropriate that I re-purpose an image from one of my early experimental videos, "How They Saw The New World" which predated the world wide web by a few years.

I produced it in 1991 as part of series of films and videos I was making that had a political edge. It had it's roots in the Found Footage film movement that had been popularized by films and video artists like Phil Patiris and Craig Baldwin of the Other Cinema in San Francisco, California.

Check out Canyon Cinema for more on the independent film scene "Canyon Cinema's unrivaled collection of more than 3500 films traces the history of the experimental and avant-garde filmmaking movement from the 1930s to the present." I have several films and videos in the Canyon Cinema collection. It's all work my pre-corporate video days. I can't think of any stupid cliche to say so that's it for now. Stay tuned in this space for my coverage from Streaming Media West 2007!

Happy Thanksgiving!
- Larry