Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is "Govtube" in Our Future?

In February of 2005, a couple of guys went to a dinner party and shot some videos. After the party they wanted to share the videos and realized there wasn't an easy way to do this (at least this is how the story was said to have started). They guys saw a need and Youtube was founded. The first video that was shot and uploaded to the site was called Me at the zoo.

Now, Youtube is the 3rd most popular website on the internet.

Pretty significant, wouldn't you say?

In terms of social media sharing/transparency within the government, lately I've been thinking about the use of video. Recently I heard Jay Berkowitz, author of 10 Golden Rules, speak and he confirmed my thinking that despite the benefits video can offer in educating an audience or promoting a product, it is the most underutilized channel for information sharing (& not just within the government).

Lately, however, I've been hearing more and more buzz around using video in the government. In fact, today I got an email from Government Computer News for a webinar tomorrow @2pm EDT called "Top 5 Strategies for Using Online Video." The webinar outlines participants will learn:

* 5 Strategies that will help you to make the most of having video on your website
* Real-world examples of how some Government Agencies are already using video on their website both internally
and externally
* The value of viral sharing - enable your constituents to help spread the word and educate the community
* Building a community with online video - Expand your audience for meetings, speeches and announcements
* Educating and informing the community of new programs or laws with online video
* How you can add video to your website quickly and easily

I'm rather curious why video is so underutilized. We blog, twitter, email, photograph...but clearly not as many of us shoot video. Like any public speaker knows, speaking in front of an audience is much more difficult than it looks. Is this one of the roadblocks? Is video simply a format many of us are not accustomed to? Are we concerned about privacy issues? Do we feel for a video to be successful it has to be very well scripted or humorous?

And as the title of my post suggests, I am most interested in finding out if you think there is a real opportunity for video in government? Is Govtube in our future? Do you already use video in your agency or company?

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