May 16, 2011
video sharing

Why Don’t You Have an Internal YouTube Video Sharing Service?

A few facts about YouTube:

  1. 24 hours of content is uploaded every minute
  2. YouTube has more than 490 million unique users worldwide per month
  3. There are over 92 billion page views each month
  4. Users spend roughly 2.9 billion hours on YouTube in a month
  5. The average user spends 15 minutes each day viewing videos

Clearly, as a consumer society, we are beginning to evolve both our sharing and viewing habits. Sure, much of the content on YouTube may be coming from traditional media (clips of TV shows or movies, music videos, commercials, etc.) but it doesn’t negate the point that we are sharing the content in the first place and viewing it at our convenience through our favorite YouTube player on whatever device suits our fancy.

Secondly, there seems to be an infinite amount of user generated content being created and shared in the same manner through YouTube which is assisting thousands and thousands of people with their own personal learning. There is Salman Khan and his brilliant work with The Khan Academy; the epitome of user generated content for the good of society. What about the offspring of TED, the TEDx series of events whom (usually) self record their events and upload to the TEDx YouTube channel itself?

We have passed the so-called tipping point of online video sharing and viewing. In fact, with the April 8, 2011 announcement that YouTube will begin streaming live events, we’re well past the tipping point.

Which now begs the question, why aren’t we doing this inside our organizations?

Employees must be feeling schizophrenic. On one hand, they are at home happily sharing the basics of car engine repairs, yet inside the walls of their organization they are prevented from sharing any work specific knowledge through short, user generated recorded videos.

Through my conversations and travels, there seem to be three main reasons why this is not occurring:

  1. fear
  2. security
  3. technology

Fear is born from those organizations that are replete with cultures of hoarding, hierarchy and hebetude. IT, HR, Learning and Executives are collectively to blame for this cultural malfeasance.

Security issues arise from an organization’s inability to trust their people, thus believing employees would inappropriately share videos and knowledge with those outside the organization and/or firewall. There is also the perceived security issue concerning videos being stored on the cloud for some CIO’s, etc. (think Patriot Act if you’re not an American company – whether right or wrong)

Technology has more to do with whether an organization has the video sharing system in place in the first place and the wherewithal to fund such a system for its employees, be it internally or on the cloud if they don’t.

What occurs once the aforementioned issues are mitigated?

For starters, it’s another achievement in our quest to drive The Collaboration Cycle throughout the organization.

Specifically, an internal YouTube or video-sharing system permits purposeful, user generated business knowledge, ideas and opinions to be shared between employees. It’s a way to engage and explore with the organization before execution begins. It’s a wonderful method in which employee expertise can be shared through informal and social means. It’s an important tactic to surface an idea for feedback and further opinion.

It’s also a fantastic culture building tool.

When organizations allow their people to surface user generated videos of internal BBQ’s, roadshows, offsite events and the like, it brings people together, it produces a sense of humility, and it can clearly help enhance organizational engagement.

Two great examples of this in action includes the Alcatel-Lucent ALU YouTube Service and the great work that my buddy Bert Sandie has accomplished over at Electronic Arts.

What would I use to build out such a system?

It really depends on what technology you currently have in play at your organization. If you utilize Jive, SharePoint, Confluence, Liferay, etc. you can easily develop a video sharing system embedded into the platform. There are also hosted solutions such as Jambok and the Google Video for Business initiative that you may want to consider.

It doesn’t have to be slick, polished or professional.

It just has to be made available. That’s the first step.

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