Monday, April 27, 2009

Looking Forward to Kaleidoscope

Watching this interview with Mike Riley of ODTUG reminds me of how proud he is of his user group’s annual conference, Kaleidoscope. He knows people get a lot out of attending, and he convinced me; I’ll be there. This was Mikes first interview as president of the group and he did a great job for a guy who isn’t used to being peppered with questions on camera. You can also read my column on Mike, "Seriously Practical", in the May/June 2009 issue of Oracle Magazine.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Video Breakfast Takeaway: Work with a Storyteller

Corporations are beginning to wrap their heads around Web video. Here are my quick impressions from a Web video leadership breakfast last Thursday morning. It was attended mostly by large Bay Area firms and the ad agencies that server them:

Basic take away:
There is nothing better, of course, than having your customers or rank-and-file employees tell the world how great you are. So encourage and display user-generated videos. Or, when you create your own videos, take time up front to work with a writer and story teller to make your content compelling and enjoyable. Regardless of what video you run, put the video where readers can lean more, or better yet, where they can (or must) provide contact information to become a sales lead.

Autodesk does a good job of incorporating video from their users. As a company who’s software enables 3D design, they get cool videos from users. Note that if you try to watch several videos, they will ask you to register; an example of turning video into lead generation.

Autodesk’s presenter used an acronym I like: SPLAP. It’s used by the creative underclass at Autodesk when dealing with company marketing people and executives. It means “Speak Like a Person”.

Cisco discussed, among other things, how they bring video into their internal corporate communication. Their advice in a nutshell:
  • Keep it short (60 seconds, 90 seconds are best.)
  • Keep it human
  • Integrate your brand look and feel
  • Invest in communication (drive people to the video, give them somewhere to go after)
One simple thing that tells me Cisco knows what it’s doing is the quick, well-branded intro to this Web videos.

Sun presented what they’ve learned on Channel Sun. Because they were early adopters of Web video there is a lot of stuff here that doesn’t work. What I think works best are the round table discussions where you get the opinions of several different people guided by a moderator.

PR Newswire showed their video enabled, multimedia press releases.

I was unaware that Oracle would be presenting and found the most interesting part of our presentation to be the company’s attempts to host virtual events and virtual trade shows. But those are mostly behind the firewall, so no links here.

I managed to ask one question during the panel session. I asked whether solid script writing and storytelling was something these people valued. I got a pretty honest response. The said that they valued it, but that it was hard to come by. Often they just had to shoot, edit, and post a video with no storytelling oversight. That, they agreed, was regrettable.