Friday, February 13, 2009

Get The Picture

I just found an interesting press release issued on Dec. 10 2008 by Gartner Inc. (OK, for some it's ancient history). The release highlights the findings of a Gartner Report called "Video Killed the Document Czar". To summarize:

About 73 percent of the Internet audience watch a video online at least monthly

The popularity of online video with consumers will trigger a similar interest in video within enterprises

Software for the management of images and video is the fastest segment of the content management market - 44 percent of enterprises having such products today, but 22 percent intending to install it in 2009

Users will find the ability to incorporate video into other document types to be compelling, so that by 2013 more than 25 percent of content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video, or audio

Some might be shocked and horrified at the prospect of all this visual and auditory information transfer (another nail in the coffin of 'The Word'). Others might be concerned that this will lead to employees at all levels becoming star-struck, concerned more with performing and posturing rather than efficiency and effectiveness. As always, the problems won't be with the tools, but with how we use them and for what purpose.

Some years ago, my late father-in-law built a wonderful grandfather clock for my wife's older sister. When she picked it up in Virginia - in pieces - he gave her a video of how to put it together when she got home to New York. My father-in-law was too ill to travel at this time, and what he was able to do in the video was to show not just tell. He was able to communicate more of his tacit knowledge than if he had just tried writing down instructions. Sine that time, we have seen an explosion in short instructional videos on sites like VideoJug and YouTube. Imagine the power of that learning medium in virtual teams; imagine the possibilities for knowledge transfer and skill development.

Are there challenges to be overcome, and likely downsides? Of course! But for now, imagine the possibilities!

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