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Simple – and smart

May 26th, 2006

Until now, video has been used mostly for entertainment, sales and education. Productions have been elaborate, expensive and relatively rare – and distribution costs significant.

Now… imagine a world where video is as common as paper… a world where it’s no big deal to put a short program together and the cost of distributing it is trivial.

How will our use of video expand in a world like this?

Here’s one example of a use of video I think we can expect to see a lot more of: detailed customer service videos.

I don’t know the company and I don’t know anything about the quality of their service, but if I were in the market for what they offer, this web hosting company would go to the top of my list.


Because they have a method for answering all my questions instantly in a way that I can easily understand. How rare is that?

In the new world of Internet net video, it might not be that rare at all. And that’s a good thing.

Check it out: simple – and smart

Can you point readers to other examples of customer service-type Internet video?


Ken McCarthy

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  1. May 26th, 2006 at 08:52 | #1

    Yes, it is neat. We are using mini-tutorial videos (usually less than half a minute) within our 3D add-in for PowerPoint software to show people how to do common tasks, such as to rotate a shape, and we are just moving into adding them to our website support pages, but this example will spur us along that route, I’m sure. Thanks!

  2. May 26th, 2006 at 09:22 | #2

    If you have an educational product or service, consider what we did to promote Construction Industry OSHA required minimum 10-hour Outreach Health and Safety Training at http://oshaworksafe.learnhub.net.
    This approach also causes an almost immediate pick up by search engine spiders / crawlers and listing in all major search engines!
    If this tip helps you, please consider linking to http://www.i-work-safe.com for “Safety Training” to help us promote our “FREE Online Safety Training” that is coming very soon.

  3. May 26th, 2006 at 10:47 | #3

    I have seen this approach used extensively in many sites. They use screen recoding applications (there are more than 10 programs to do that). Most of those programs allow recording sound as well, so the person doing the demo can narrate what he/she is doing.
    A similar approach is to produce PowerPoint slides and then use a ppt2swf type of application to convert it to Flash.

  4. May 26th, 2006 at 11:54 | #4

    Creating and posting easy to follow video tutorials on everything from software aps to online services is indeed not only considerate of the user, it additionally postures the vendor above their competition.
    For my taste, an audio voice-over leading the viewer along would make the presentations much more effective. In this case, I suspect the vendor did not take into account the fact that there are many different learning strategies and it’s important to offer instruction via several different modalities simultaneously.

  5. May 26th, 2006 at 14:04 | #5

    These training videos have become very common in the “geek” world in the past couple of years. Most likely this host bought the videos and rebranded them. Many control panels, shopping carts and software packagers are offering video help files.
    They do indeed make a big difference. I’ve been training my web clients on content management via phone and email, but a fair number of them don’t “get” it. Which is why I’m moving into video training. Software is much easier to learn when you can see the actions being performed. I agree that voiceovers help even more.

  6. alles
    May 27th, 2006 at 15:36 | #6

    always thanks to Ken. wish you all the best

  7. May 27th, 2006 at 19:56 | #7

    What you’re watching here are videos created by DemoDemo.com. These videos are usually created for some function and then offered to websites, ISPs, etc. A number of web hosts use these videos to keep their support costs down. I know that LunarPages.com uses them too. And of course, for an extra fee you can have them private labeled. You can also see these videos at http://www.phpbb.com/support/tutorials/. They make it much easier to install this open source phpBB software (one video showed a critical step that was never explained in the phpBB instructions). And while you’ll see text messages in these videos describing what is happening, somehow the publisher of these videos has included sound… you can hear the keyboard clicks. I believe the original idea of text messages was to keep the videos small or to make them universal. But having audio (just those clicks) has not helped the file size. But they are worth their weight in gold when you’re setting up a website or phpBB!

  8. July 13th, 2006 at 14:11 | #8

    Hi Ken,
    I thought you might be interested to know how we are moving beyond V-Cam Clips!
    Here’s the link to our new Blog Site where you can view and comment on the 1st segment (10 minutes) of our OSHA Outreach Construction Industry Safety & Health Training TV show.
    This “OSHA Outreach Construction Industry Safety Training Video” is the 1st segment of the made for “Local Cable TV OSHA Safety Training Series” produced by I-Work-Safe.com, Inc. with Attleboro High School summer interns at the Attleboro Access Cable System studios to help construction workers meet the requirements for successful completion of the 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Course in “Construction Safety & Health.
    It’s a little rough and future presentations promise to be much better but for now with over 200 hours into making just the 1st hour (6 segments) it’s a significant step forward. Thanks to our 2 dedicated Attleboro High School summer interns, Vanessa and Stephanie, and the terrific folks at Attleboro Access Cable System who are eager to get this program on the air, we are slowly but surely setting the standards for Construction Safety & Health Training.
    By next week this time I hope to have at least all six segments, the 1st one hour lesson (without PSA’s), up for review.
    Please feel free to post your comments on the Blog and share this URL with everyone you know.
    There are a lot more exciting developments on the way so check back often.

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