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YouTube for the Enterprise

September 22nd, 2007

I’m going to keep saying this until it become "common sense":

Video is the new paper.

Some quick history…before the second half of the 19th century, paper was fairly expensive and it not rare, it was not ubiquitous.  There were no mass market books; newspapers existed, but sparingly; and there were no catalogs.

Industrial sophistication made paper cheap and launched the print explosion. Yes, Gutenburg invented the printing press way back in the late Renaissance, but in those days printing presses were like mainframes or television studios. They existed, but they were high capital items.

Moving pictures have been around for a little over 100 years. Video for about half that. Most of the population has been conditioned to think of moving pictures in terms of movie theaters and television screens. This conditioning has been so strong that most people over the age of say 25, don’t get that we are in a Brave New World as far as moving pictures are concerned.

Video is going to be EVERYWHERE.  (It already is for those who use the Internet with awareness.)

Here’s what this means:

Just as print communication became a necessity for businesses once paper became inexpensive, so will video.

Video won’t be a relatively rare experience that only shows up on certain screens according to a railroad- like timetable (how 19th century!) and produced only by specialists in NY and California. 24/7 on demand video will become part and parcel of every day commercial life: to sell products, to provide customer service, to train…you name it.

A little more history:

The web started with engineers and scientists, then migrated to digital artist/activist types, then spread to bleeding edge entrepreneurs and consumers with lots of random time on their hands, then colonized "the enterprise" (aka Big Business staffs), and then became ubiquitous.

That’s the very path that Internet video is on.

The bleeding edge entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs) are all over it and Internet video is slowly being seen as a useful internal communications tool for The Enterprise. The next stop: true mass market ubiquity, or as I’ve been putting it for the last three years: Video is the new paper.

Here’s a sign of how seriously The Enterprise is talking the idea of Internet video as an everyday corporate communications tool: YouTube for the Enterprise

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