Thinking of blocking YouTube? Please don’t

I must be getting old! I didn’t get the whole YouTube thing. Until recently my experience was limited to watching a couple of high profile videos, such as the baby panda making mummy panda jump with a sneeze, circulated in the usual way, via viral email.

Stairway to heaven, a classic viral YouTube video

Then I saw the light. It started with a website that linked to reviews of iPad cases, and more recently a video from a spares company.

A video by

I found these reviews very helpful. It helped to see the dynamics of the iPad case, how it handled, how it folded and how sturdy it was. Visual content can help a user appraise a subject far more efficiently than reviewing pages of text and all sorts of companies and individuals are embedding video to enhance their content.

I then progressed to more professional tutorials and guides. It’s not just YouTube either, there are a number of alternatives including Vimeo and Viddler.  Microsoft have a large library of videos.  Pluralsight thrives on producing high quality videos for software developers.

The challenge for organisations is managing access to appropriate content on these sites and it is increasingly common for companies to set their firewall to block YouTube.  After all, we don’t want people surfing YouTube looking for the latest cool viral video.

How to curate a list of videos appropriate for your company

Ideally what you need is a personal YouTube for your company, a curated list of the best videos appropriate to your needs, one you have control over and can put in front of your staff. This will help people quickly locate the videos they need. The Enterprise Study Video Learning module allows you to do just this by compiling videos into chapters and ‘books’. These videos can be:

  • uploaded to your dedicated secure area on our site
  • self hosted on your own servers
  • or uploaded to YouTube

You can configure the content to record plays in the user’s training records, or just allow them to be played anonymously.

I’ve put together a small selection of videos to demonstrate what I mean and I hope it will convince you that there is a good business case to keep YouTube on your network.

The Library – by Enterprise Study [opens in a new window]. Go take a look – I’ll be here when you’re done.

Tips for creating your own videos

Once you are sold on the idea of video, I’m sure you will want to produce your own.

Here are some tips:

  • Watch several videos related to the topic or style that you want to produce and see how they do it. Make notes about what works and what doesn’t. Is the camera moving or fixed? How did they light it? Were they zoomed in close enough. That reminds me of the great Keith Floyd – “don’t film me, film the food“.
  • If you are filming objects then get a tripod for your camera. Shaky camera work should be avoided.
  • A good microphone can make a big difference too.
  • If at first you don’t succeed – try again. The videos you are watching are almost certainly not their first attempt – so be prepared for a second take or two.
  • Get other people in your company involved, it could be a good team building exercise.
  • Write a story board. It doesn’t need to be complicated, you just need to understand what you want to say. This will help you understand what content you will need and who you might need to involve.
  • Have fun! Being passionate about what you do makes for really engaging content.

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