Saturday, April 26, 2008 How to Execute a Successful Webcast

This article comes from and was written by Nico McLane. It first appeared in the February/March 2008 issue of Streaming Media Magazine ( Table of ContentsDigital Version) and is described as, "A primer on selecting the right equipment, making the right production decisions, and establishing a solid webcasting plan."

While webcasts are generally a considered a business tool for corporate presentations they are fast becoming a way for content producers to widen their reach to a global audience. Oprah's 10-week web cast series "A New Earth" is a prime example of how an existing brand can embrace a new medium and garner success as a live and on-demand webcast.

McLane writes that, "While a webcast is, by definition, a live event, a key part of a webcast’s success is the value it retains when it is accessed and repurposed after the fact. An effective webcast will live on long after the event has ended, and it has the potential to be repackaged across infinite channels that have a deeper “measure” of return on investment. If you deliver a meaningful, quality product in the live webcast, these are the opportunities that should not be missed or mismanaged."

Within the business setting it's all about numbers and ROI (Return On Investment) and McLane points out that the companies can save significant annual costs by replacing expensive operator-assisted conference calls with live webcasts and webinars. In additional, the viewers of these web-based presentations become active participants in a rich media experience through the use of live chat, document sharing, full motion video and other features which you won't find in an audio-only teleconference feed.

In her article, McLane highlights several key components on how to execute a successful webcast, which are:
  • The “Grade A” Live Webcast Experience: Click and Go (more...)
  • Respect the Product (more...)
  • Site Inspection (more...)
  • Learn the Jargon (more...)
  • Equipment Check (more...)
  • Other Elements of Best Practice Preparation (more...)
  • Monitor Your Webcast Onsite (more...)
  • The Walkthrough Checklist (more...)
Her "Walkthrough Checklist" offers practical tips for success and are all important considerations when you produce a webcast. Such as, lighting, backdrops, what type of microphones to use, projection, camera positions and room layout. Whether it's a webcast or not, these are all fundamental details I cover with each of my productions.

Since it's related to this post, I included the video from the Streaming Media West panel discussion that I participated in "Best Practices in Webcast Production" which I had previously featured here.

UPDATE: (More from Nico McLane)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Get on the Bus Obscura!

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Dublin, California and the Bus Obscura rode through town. Dublin is an East Bay suburb 25 miles east from Oakland at the intersection of interstate highways 580 and 680. The Bus Obsura is a piece of art on wheels and the creation of artist Simon Lee.

The bus is town for week and passengers like myself had the opportunity to take a little magical mystery of our own through familiar streets which looked completely different. There are no windows but as Simon Lee explains, in the short homegrown video I produced with Nikon L18 8MP still camera, there are 1,000+ pin hole cameras that project the images from outside within the bus.

Gina Halfert of the Tri-Valley Herald reported that, "the Bus Obscura is an everyday school bus converted into a multiple aperture camera obscura, wherein the windows are transformed into projection screens showing the world outside as upside-down multiple images. The Bus Obscura will be making several appearances in Dublin through April 26; the visits are sponsored by the Dublin Fine Arts Foundation and the City of Dublin."

Here's a mini-documentary video from Colgate University that describes Bus Obscura in more detail. Video description: " Artist Simon Lee and Colgate University students and professors created an art project called Bus Obscura" (View article...)

This type of post is a first for me on this blog as I haven't really done my own citizen journalism piece here so I offer this post as something new of which you may see more. I had fun creating the short UGC video and it didn't really take long to produce, maybe 30 minutes. as I mentioned, I used my Nikon L18 still camera to shoot the photos and the video. The videos were created as 640x480 AVI files that I easily transferred to my PC through the SD card reader and edited the video in Windows Movie Maker, which was the only application I had available on the PC. I added titles, dissolves, Ken Burns effect of the photos and an audio track from an mp3 file I created in Garageband and which I transferred from my iMac to the PC. For delivery, I exported it as a 768k WMV file and uploaded to both my and YouTube accounts. I like the quality of the version better and embedded that one instead.

In the spirit of independent production, use what you have available to get it done!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Robin Good on How To Make Better News

Robin Good published a new online content strategy on how to make better and more useful news so that you don't just echo the same story. He says, "already 25 guys (are) doing that same job please wake up and realize that that's not very useful."

I share his advise here because, as someone like myself who does a share of news reporting within the online video niche, it's a style of content publishing that I try to subscribe to with this blog. He offers this suggestion, "So one way you can stay on top of your wave, is start ahead of the game to focus only on the news that are very relevant to your niche rather than just bringing up news about technology or about marketing which we have zillions of websites out there doing this."

You can view his video below or go to the go here to view the transcript.

A special thanks Robin for sharing this online content publishing strategy. Check out Robin Good's Master New Media: Professional Online Publishing: New Media Trends, Com

Grazie Robin, per dare questa strategia della pubblicazione in linea! Ciao!

- Video posted by Robin Good on Friday, April 18 2008, as Online Content Strategy: How To Do Better News When Everyone Else Does News Too - Video for Master New Media

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Buy it Now! eBay Considers Selling Skype to the Highest Bidder

All the major blogs are reporting the news that Financial Times broke yesterday Thursday, "Ebay considers sale of Skype subsidiary." wrote, "Ebay will consider selling off its Skype internet phone subsidiary at the end of this year if it fails to find ways to use the fast-growing service to support its core e-commerce business, according to (John Donahoe) the company's chief executive."

eBay bought Skype for $3.1 billion but wrote down the value to $1.4 billion after it failed to integrate it online markets. Waters added that, "While the acquisition of Skype has widely come to be seen as a blunder for Ebay, the phone service itself has continued to grow fast, adding another 33m registered users in the first three months of this year to reach 309m. Although most use it for free internet phone calls, the addition of extra paid services helped Skype to increase its revenues to $126m in the first three months of this year, up 61 per cent from the year before."

Om Malik
, wrote an interesting post, eBay Snoring, Skype Roaring, pointing Skype's profitability which created some good discussion. A few comments suggested that Google purchase Skype and mash it up with it's telephone service Grand Central. Another reader recommended this link to the No Agenda PodShow where Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak have an interesting conversation about Skype.

Curry said
that while on a 6-hour flight he had spied on a Skype marketing person in the seat in front of him who was working on a PR plan which stated, "email is becoming the snail mail of our age that is being replaced by the use of Skype." Curry said he had a perfect view her laptop through the seats and read along as she created the Powerpoint presentation. He added a few other bits of information, like Hearst media and Skype have struck a deal to make Skype the platform for the presidential candidates to speak with constituents; Skype was being hyped as a tool for TV producers to integrate into their programming; and Skype has deal with Harpo Productions and is now a regular feature on Oprah's show along A New Earth webcast series. Curry and Dvorak both agreed that eBay may be working on a plan to prop up Skype's value before it unloads it.

Anyone care to make a prediction on who will be the highest bidder?

I still think Google is the likely suitor. It could the blend of Skype with Grand Central, and take could take advantage of Skype's mainstream acceptance, in part thanks to Oprah, and the estimated 30 million Skype users. Just imagine the ad revenue alone if Google could introduce Adsense to Skype as it's done to YouTube.

Related news:
UPDATE: (4/20/08)
Here's another perspective on a Google owned Skype, » Blog Archive » Why Google should buy Skype, Blog writer Jose Miguel Cansado says, "Add GMail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Skype in a package. Is there a better value proposition for SMEs and SOHOs for their IT and Communications infrastructure? Add a Linux distro for the business desktop, supported by Google, and you have a killing package for the small and medium business, with an unbeaten TCO..." (more)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beet.TV Live from NAB 2008

Andy Plesser is in Las Vegas this week broadcasting live from the floor of the 2008 NAB show. His Mogulus channel is embedded below and the live feeds are scheduled at 4:00 PM PDT. Try out the new on-demand feature to see interviews with Bill Joel, CEO of On2 Technologies, Cory Bergman of Lost Remote and Max Haot, CEO of Mogulus, Thomas R Wilde, CEO of multimedia SEO solution EveryZing, Art Mimnaugh of Digital Fountain, John Griffin of UK-based ioko, with more to come. Thanks again to for providing the videos!

Notably absent from NAB this year were competitors Avid and Apple who both pulled out of the show leaving Adobe to slug it out with Microsoft. I recall when I went to NAB in 2006 that Avid, Apple and Adobe all had very large competing booths right across from each other. At that time I saw several emerging trends which now two years later are becoming the norm.
  • H.264 as standard video delivery format
  • Mobile content
  • Alternate distribution channels
  • Tapeless acquisition
  • Move from SD to HD

These are a few links I've been checking to get updates from the show:

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Production Process

I've been in the corporate video business for the last 18 years and have done my share of production work. I've had the opportunity to work with some of the most creative and talented people and always found that teamwork is the key to success.

The most important aspect of the production process is planning and managing the details. So many changes can take place in the course of a production, but if you have your process nailed down you'll have a template that can be applied to each of your projects. Sure, you have to make some tweaks and exceptions along the way but you need to have a good structure to start. I still learn something new with every production and I incorporate those key learnings into the next one.

Over the years, I've read numerous books, articles, blog posts and have collected them in various forms - but I've never had a good filing system for magazine articles, web sites and notes from direct experiences. I've written many of my own from equipment training guides, Powerpoint and camera tips, best practices for videoconferencing, just to name a few. There are so many millions of resources on the web and sometimes when you're not looking you strike gold.

That's the case with the articles I'm featuring here in this post. They appeared as a 3-part post on Reel SEO Video Marketing by a guest writer. I followed the link to the writer's web site Video One Productions and found they were written by Irwin Myers who is president of the Chicago-based video production company. He's written several other related articles that can be found at Video One Productions > Video Production Articles and Resources.

The articles are well written being both comprehensive and succinct and full of many pearls of wisdom. So without further ado, here are the articles with brief intros and links to the originals.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Beet.TV: More on H.264 with Adobe's Kevin Towes

Andy Plesser posted this follow up interview with Kevin Towes from Adobe who goes into more detail about H.264 and the difference between high quality and high definition video. Towes describes container formats like .flv, .rm and .wmv as "end of the line" formats because that's all you can use them for since they are encoded to their proprietary formats. H.264 is more of a universal format that can delivered in both Quicktime and Flash formats which offers a greater ROI on your transcoding.

How do you deliver a HD experience through broadband? 1080p demands 15 Mbps and the web can't sustain that level of streaming. Towes says that we need to develop a "Web HD Concept" that can emulate a HD viewing experience but not deliver a true HD signal. You could have widescreen video, a certain frame size with a variable bit rate to achieve high quality with H.264.

The fact is that H.264 video looks great, it's scalable, standards based and can easily be delivered in a variety of formats. It's been several years in the making to reach its current state of adoption and could be widespread throughout the online video ecosystem by the end of the year. From digital device, to digital television and Blu-Ray disc you'll start seeing it more and more.

Kevin Towes' interview continues as he describes that file size is based on frame size, frame rate and but rate and how it can be estimated.

- Videos courtesy of Beet.TV

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Adobe Media Player is Here - RSS feeds and Offline Viewing Now Available

Adobe Media Player is finally here and it sets a new standard for the delivery of video content in a rich media experience for both online and offline viewing. I just read posts by Dan Rayburn, Andy Plesser and Duncan Reily who have all reported that it's official and now available for public download. So without hesitation I raced over to Adobe and downloaded it myself to get the party started. I've already set up a few subscriptions including Beet.TV, The GigaOm Show and The Digg Reel just to name a few but there's plenty more to choose from including the Twilight Zone channel or Yo' MTV Raps.

Silicon Alley Insider reported a few days ago that Adobe Media Player (AMP) would be released to the public this week and it would offer many new features. In the report explained that Adobe Media Player is different from other players by offering playback of high quality MPEG-4 content and unlike other players like Joost or Blinkx, also Adobe will not have to deal with big bandwidth costs since the content is downloaded and played back locally but will see only a small cut in advertising revenue since most of that will go to content owners, and the new player will most likely be widely adopted with since people are accustomed to Flash Player downloads and will see AMP as an upgrade option.

A pre-release version of AMP had already available at Adobe Labs and had been used to test user experience and for content owners to test the RSS feeds. The new player is based on Adode Air which enables content to be viewed on-line and off-line. With AMP you'll be able to add your own RSS feeds to get automatic content downloads. You'll also be able to play .flv files outside of the browser, something you haven't been able to do before with out the aid of another player.

Andy Plesser notes, "Unlike iTunes, which provides little opportunities for video producers to monetize through advertising, the AMP platform is highly customizable. AMP supports banner advertising and all sorts of in-stream media. (Implementation is not that simple and requires some coding skills.)"

In his post, "Hold the Presses: Adobe Enters the Media Business: Advertising Sales as Software Services", Plesser describes how AMP's advertising model works and that he's proud to have Beet.TV be part of the launch. He included an interview with Adobe's Laurel Reitman who discusses the rich media experience , file formats and servers.

Dan Rayburn explains, "One of the biggest things that Adobe is promoting about the new player is the ability for you to be able search within the player for free content you can to subscribe to and the new features for monetization and branding options. Content owners now have the ability to take downloadable Flash content and include offline advertising, customize the look of the player and collect measurement data of offline content consumption."

Two video interviews with Ashley Still, Adobe Sr. Product manager that are featured below. One is from by Rafe Needleman who says, "I see AMP as a competitor to Hulu (related stories), although Adobe's Ashley Manning Still, who demonstrated the product for me, considers Hulu--an online-only Flash-based player--as complementary or perhaps a partner. But since both AMP and Hulu are competing for the same advertising revenues, I'd say that puts them at odds."

Ashley Still contended that Hulu is big partner with Adobe while Joost is a competitor and that Adobe is an enabling technology provider and will be adding more content partners in the future.

Robert Scoble also interviewed Ashley Still in this Qik video who says for content owners it's a compelling way to redistribute content and Adobe is looking at this as a big distribution platform. It will have free subscriptions to shows and along with different pricing structures to purchase content. There is a SDK that will be available but no APIs as of yet but you'll be able to brand your player. Different resolutions will be supported from SD to HD video all the way up to 1080p. It will work on Mac and Windows and Linux soon.

Adobe also debuts Adobe TV which Duncan Reily notes, "Adobe TV is available at or as a network in Adobe Media Player and offers “expert instruction and original series programming” about Adobe products. Adobe TV offers four channels targeted at Photographers, Designers, Video Professionals, and Developers. Content comes from “Adobe evangelists, leading trainers, subject matter experts, and luminaries.” Over 200 videos are available for the launch."


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CenterNetworks: 10 Great and Fun Mobile Video and Photo Apps

Allen Stern from CenterNetworks reviewed "10 Great and Fun Mobile Video and Photo Apps" with several familiar names rounding out the list.

He says, "Mobile photo and video are game changers for individuals and news organizations. As more mobile devices (and carriers) are supported, this market is going to skyrocket. Here are 10 apps that are in the mobile photo and video space. Some are well known and some might be new to you, in any event, give them all a try! And as always add your own faves in the comments."

  1. Flixwagon - live mobile streaming service, you can broadcast live or keep videos for later, upload to your blog, and much more.
  2. Qik - live mobile streaming service made popular by Scoble, stream live video f
  3. Kyte - platform for producing channels of live streaming or uploaded shows in branded embedded player. Produce, broadcast, connect, monetize.
  4. JuiceCaster - upload videos and photos from your mobile to your own widget and share on MySpace, Facebook and other sites.
  5. Movino - live mobile video streaming onto your blog or Web site over 3G or WiFi, started as a University project as a proof of concept and released as Open Source applications.
  6. mywaves - video content site with free videos for your phone
  7. GoTV - watch TV on your mobile phone, 10 channels of cutting edge music and comedy
  8. ITookThisOnMyPhone - a free service that automatically uploads photos and video to create on-line galleries of your mobile content
  9. Phoja - a free "social photo discussion" service, where users can share photos and discuss about them with the rest of the community. It offers a community-driven Digg-like popularity index for all photo submissions.
  10. Radar - instant picture and video sharing with your friends and contacts for community conversations.
- from CenterNetworks, April 5, 2008Here are a few more that didn't make it on the list:
  • Shozu - your mobile phone and on-line life connected, upload photos and videos from your mobile, download friends' feeds, communit conversations, add tagsm descriptions, titles and Geo-tagging
  • Bambuser - lets you broadcast live video from your mobile phone onto your website or blog

Monday, April 7, 2008

Steve Garfield on How to Make Your Videos "Spreadable"

This is a follow up to my post last month on, "Steve Garfield on "Rebooting Your Newsroom" with LIVE Mobile Broadcasting."
and offers another "How To" for making your videos "spreadable."

Steve Garfield gave a 15-minute talk on the use of live mobile streaming at the New England Press Association annual convention last month. Today, in his article from "Making Your Videos "Spreadable" for Media, he says, "My 15-minute mobile video broadcasting presentation was included in a 90-minute video. I extracted that 15-minute excerpt and shared it. The resulting video became something that people wanted to watch, share and write about."

The longer video, “Rebooting Your Newsroom: Adding blogs, podcasts, citizens and the web.” was made available by the The New England News Forum but Garfield's shorter version became viral and he he says "spreadable" and was shared and discussed on several blogs including this one. Garfield asks, "Why would a 15-minute video get more views than a 90-minute one? It depends on the content, ease of access, and the ability to share."

I would add that Steve's name recognition as a pioneer video blogger and the title of his blog post made his shorter video popular. As of today, he explained that the longer version available from The New England News Forum web archive has been downloaded 87 times while his short version available from has been viewed 413 times. He highly recommends saying, "I host my videos on because of the people who work there. In addition to the features and functions of the site, the support staff is very responsive to any support requests that I have. I like to be able to use a site that I can recommend without hesitation."

Like Steve Garfield, you can create your own "spreadable" video by producing it as a form content (15 minutes or less) and distribute it in a video player (like that has embed tags and direct links for syndication giving viewers the ability to easily link, embed on their web site or email it. This combination gives you the producer the ease of use to share your content and spread your message.

Here's a few other blogs that embedded Steve's 15-minute video:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Making Your Video Viral

This video Exclusive! Leaked! How to make Viral Videos! is from runawaybox and comes by way of Virginia Heffernan from The Medium who says, "If viral is what you want to be, this is about right."

runawaybox says, "This parody video will teach you the "secret strategies" behind many viral videos! Check out the original TechCrunch article by Dan Ackerman Greenberg."

The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Video
- November 22 2007

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's All About Integration (Seesmic + Twhirl) and (Qik, Flixwagon + YouTube)

Convergence, acquisitions and integration are the synergy that feeds our social networks, entertainment outlets and information feeds. It was big news for Seesmic yesterday as Loic Le Meur announced the acquisition Twhirl, a popular Adode Air Twitter client by German developer Marco Kaiser that lets users connect with text messaging social services like Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku outside of a browser interface.

Loic Le Meur says, "Staying in touch with your friends using microblogging is much easier using a client than through your browser" and offers 20 reasons why this integration will benefit the Seesmic community on his blog and in the video below.

There has been plenty of coverage on the acquisition TechMeme and on Le Meur's blog. and ReadwriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick sums up the benefits an in depth review, Seesmic + Twhirl is a Vision of the Web's Future, saying that, "Video + Microblogging = Rich User Experience" and that, "How long until even more services are rolled into this new dynamo? Seesmic already integrates outbound publishing with YouTube, Qik and Twitter. How long until the company rolls out lifestreaming capabilities ala FriendFeed, displaying recent user and aggregate-friend activity on any number of other services - then storming the Facebook Newsfeed as a packaged solution to the 3rd party RSS feed dilemma there? Probably not very long... Lifestreaming apps are making this a service, FriendFeed is the leader today, but somehow this functionality is a logical thing to come to Seesmic/Twhirl next."

Doug Caverly from WebProNews says, "There are obviously some potential sticking points - Seesmic is still in alpha, and Twitter itself is notorious for suffering untimely outages. Yet on the whole, the deal looks like it could give quite a boost to microblogging."

Rich media user experiences combined with real-time social interaction drives integration. Whether it's an acquisition or partnership the result is a new and improved tool set for us to communicate.

Live streaming from mobile phones is another red hot area of integration with Qik and Flixwagon announcing their ability to directly upload videos to YouTube a few weeks back.

Robert Scoble reported the Qik news on March 15th and generated some good discussion on quality settings for Qik videos. On the Qik blog Bhaskar Roy said, "Keeping with the mantra of being able to stream video from your cell phone to the world - with this integration, Qikkers can now stream to YouTube, Mogulus, Seesmic, Mobuzz, and all your blogs and websites - automatically just by pressing "Stream" on your cell phone!"

According to a Flixwagon press release, they announced their users will have a new tool,"the FliXee Widget which will stream live mobile-to-web broadcasts directly to Flixwagon users Websites, Blogs, and Social Networking sites. Additionally, Flixwagon users will now have the capability to deliver their mobile-to-web broadcasts directly to YouTube through their Flixwagon account."

Flixwagon media darling and Pop17 producer Sarah Meyers talked with Andy Plesser in this Beet.TV interview about the evolution of live streaming and the new Qik and Flixwagon mobile streaming APIs for YouTube.

It's all about integration.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Google to Buy Skype?

As I was writing my post the other day, about a possible Google Videoconferencing Killer App sometime in the future, news broke that Google was planning to buy Skype from eBay. I read a few news stories and I thought that it makes a lot of sense for Skype to be in Google's portfolio along with GoogleTalk and the already released Ajax Language API. It would make this videoconferencing killer app idea more of a reality with Skype's average of 12 million users online and Skype already on mobiles and the PSP and Google poised to release the Android handset .

Although Skype has been devalued since eBay purchased it Skype does have brand name recognition and has become a mainstream videoconferencing tool though the help of Oprah who uses it on her television show and her current A New Earth web cast series.

So I checked my RSS feeds and found a number of posts from the last two days to try to substantiate the rumors. Here's a sampling of the discussion:
  • Google/Skype Acquisition or Partnership Imminent? from TechCrunch by Michael Arrington
    "Something big is brewing between Google and Ebay’s Skype, we’ve heard from multiple sources. Actually, for weeks now there have been low level rumors of the two companies talking, but nailing down any details was difficult. New information, however, suggests that they are in current talks and that a partnership or outright acquisition may be announced in the near future.

    Skype, acquired in late 2005 for $3.1 billion, has been a financial albatross around Ebay’s neck. eBay removed Skype co-founder and CEO Niklas Zennstrom in October 2007, reportedly due to frustration at the financial performance of Skype. Ebay also negotiated down the huge earnout due to Skype stockholders and took a $936 million one-time loss around the transaction. It’s clear that eBay wants to either unload Skype, or significantly drive performance.

    What does Skype bring to the table? Scalable technology and a proven platform in the VOIP, VOIP2POTS and P2P Video, to start - 100 billion VOIP minutes have been logged on Skype to date. At any given time there are 10 million simultaneous users on Skype. Skype is the glue that can pull all the nascent Google products together."
  • eBay Selling Skype to Google? Let Us Pray* from Silicon Alley Insider by Henry Blodget
    "As we've argued here ad nauseum, eBay (EBAY) has no reason to own Skype and every reason to sell it. Skype, meanwhile, would fit nicely within the communications platforms of Google, Microsoft (MSFT), or Yahoo (YHOO).

    With its strength in mail, Yahoo would be the best fit. Alas, Yahoo can't afford Skype anymore (except by using Microsoft-bid-inflated stock, which, for obvious reasons, eBay would probably be unwilling to take). Microsoft has its hands full with Yahoo, although one imagines that it could find room to at least take a peek at this one. And that leaves Google...

    ... Once integrated with Gmail, contacs, etc., Skype would give Google the most complete all around communications platform on the web. Google's global dominance, meanwhile, would provide an awesome distribution platform for Skype. Sounds like a match made in heaven. (Unlike eBay-Skype, which has always been a match made in delusion)."

Here's a few more sources:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Seesmic's New Introduction Video Is Cool

Loic Le Meur and his team produced a new video introduction to Seesmic of which he says, "Okay I know, an intro video really sounds like something boring and marketing-ish but we tried to make this one entertaining, especially check out vinvin going all over the screen."

I think they did a great job showing off the features in a fun and informative way. So what are you waiting for? Join the video conversation!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Google Videoconferencing Killer App on the Way?

I'm in deep with Google. Not from a financial investment but from a content publishing and productivity work investment. My blog is Google, my documents are Google, my gmail, videos and search are through Google and it seems all my transactions have some sort of Google effect. It would seem likely that live interactive video would be next combined with translation and language detection.

Kristen Nicole from Mashable noted in her March 26th post, Hosted Google Apps to Get Translations and Video Tools, that, "According to a Computerworld report, Google plans on enabling electronic language translation to be applied to several other hosted Google applications, including email and instant messaging chat. That’s handy for all you global communicators. And if that wasn’t enough, Google also plans to release interactive video tools as a hosted alternative to other videoconferencing services out there. Both the video and the language translation options are set to be part of the hosted Google Apps suite"

The Computerworld report Google developing hosted translation, video tools was written by Brian Fonseca and based on a recent Computerworld interview with Matt Glotzbach, Google's director of product management for Enterprise. Glotzbach said, "researchers at the firm are working on technology that would enable rapid electronic language translation... (Google is) also looking to develop interactive video tools to augment internal training programs and to serve as a hosted alternative to pricey videoconferencing software."

The language and translation application would work in real-time and across the suite of Google Apps. Glotzbach added that, "What you need for real-time automated machine translation is large amounts of compute power, which we have, and large amounts of data, which we have... Imagine a system that can do on-the-fly translation of things like e-mail, documents and IM chat. That's a feature of [Google Apps] you can see on the horizon."

Regarding the introduction of an interactive Google video application, Brian Fonseca noted that, "the popularity of YouTube prompted many users to ask Google officials about whether it plans to offer hosted video business tools. Google will initially focus its tools on collaboration and videoconferencing applications."

"But what about the video?" asked Kristen Nicole, "Aside from presenting the video service as a set of videoconferencing tools, Google may in fact expand on the video offering in order to integrate video with email and chat as well."

Google hasn't set a date for when a language translation tool for video would be available. But the idea of an instant translation service for real-time video communication is not only incredibly cool but a positive step in bridging the linguistic boundaries of our global communities.