August 6th, 2013

Content Creation Best Practices

by Asef.Ahmed

videobiologo

If you are an enterprise chances are that you are or have thought about using video to enhance your organization’s activities.  There are already a variety of established use cases- from internal communications, knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and employee engagement all the way to marketing, profiling employees and user generated content. But now that you can use your video across your enterprise-how do you produce high-quality content cheaply and quickly?

This is where content creation companies such as videoBIO come into play. videoBIO assists companies with content creation through their cloud-based “Do it Yourself” content generation tools and a variety of globally available services such as video capture, editing, and full production. What content creation companies are really addressing is the larger topic of “employees as content”- companies featuring their employees as the spokesperson for the brand “you are your brand”.

Join Kaltura and videoBIO on August 8th for a webinar that will show you how companies are achieving this and teach you how to simplify video content creation in the distributed enterprise. We will cover specific case studies that demonstrate how to:

 

  • Create a branded sales presentation in minutes
  • Engage your customer by generating user generated video contests, ideation and feedback surveys
  • Create video profiles and video bios for your national team without having to fly them to a studio
  • Deliver personalized professional video email messages while maintaining a company wide branded message
  • Deliver the latest information to your clients with a personalized video cover letter.
  • Encourage feedback, engagement and interaction from your customers with user generated video surveys and contests.
  • Maintain communication and interaction with your global team using video questionnaires and interview

This free and informative webinar will provide you with great tips for video screening and recruiting, branding, collaboration, communication, and much more. The date (Thursday August 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST) is approaching quickly so make sure you register today!

images

August 5th, 2013

Sneak Peek: Kaltura MediaSpace 5 Video Portal

by Damian Rochman

RWDIt is no surprise that online video consumption increases year over year, as video becomes the standard form of communication and collaboration. With the increasing popularity of connected smart phones and tablets, mobile video views jumped 300% in the last year alone. Delivering a cross device video experience doesn’t stop at the transcoding and playback – it requires an optimized and engaging experience in the application itself. To address these requirements, we have worked feverishly with our customers to take MediaSpace to the next level and deliver an optimized cross device experience by using responsive web technology.


Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a form of design that adapts to the screen size on which a website is being displayed. It addresses the evolving landscape of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets by building a fluid layout that looks great no matter which size or shape device they are viewed in. After evaluating different approaches and frameworks we chose to base the MediaSpace user interface on Bootstrap, which is the leading open source RWD framework and most popular project in GitHub.

Since we were implementing a new user interface, we took advantage of this process to rethink and rebuild the entire user experience from the ground up. Every section in the application has been optimized for speed and usability. We’ve rethought the way that content and channels are organized, how we can streamline processes by decentralizing entitlement management and how to make it easier to customize the look and feel of MediaSpace.

More detailed information will be communicated in the coming weeks leading up to the release, but we wanted to share with you a few snippets of the new look and some draft documentation so you can get ready for this major release.

Navigation

The navigation has been unified and now you can assign both media and channels to the same hierarchy of categories, allowing you to browse both content and user curated collections in the same place.

KMS_Browse

View Media

The newly designed media page provides the central engagement functionality for the media in the same view rather than having it all split between different tabs. When you view a media entry, you will have direct access to the metadata, comments, share, like and in-video search without any additional clicks.

KMS_View_Media

In addition, we have created a unique experience for different types of media allowing you to use a different player for video, audio and image entries.

MediaSpace Skinning

One of the major advantages of MediaSpace is that it is an expandable and modular platform. In MediaSpace 5 we made it even easier to create your own custom CSS, by adopting the standard Bootstrap CSS format. There are different free tools that allow you to build a standard Bootstrap CSS without the need to do any coding and you will be able to upload that custom CSS directly from your MediaSpace admin console to quickly adapt the look to your own brand style. You can refer to the draft styling guide to see the possibilities and start creating your custom MediaSpace 5 CSS.

We look forward to your feedback and continued collaboration to make MediaSpace even better!

 

July 30th, 2013

Video Recommendations Do’s and Dont’s – Taboola Webinar (Video)

by Asef.Ahmed

Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 3.23.26 PM“People used to say content is king and that the main focus should be on creating the best content and if you do that everything is going to fall into place. We think thats actually a mistake….Does it even matter if you don’t have an audience? Does it even matter if you have the best subtitles, the best SEO efforts, the best Facebook page if no one is watching your videos?” In case you missed it, this is a quote from Taboola founder and CEO, Adam Singold, from our collaborative webinar from a couple weeks ago titled: “The Content Recommendation Revolution-Getting More from Video.” Adam’s point is that content is king but only if you have a kingdom (i.e. audience).

But how do you build that kingdom? The answer currently lies in content recommendations. Content recommendation distributors such as Taboola  help build your audience and monetize your content by having your content matched to the right viewers on top sites such as BBC, TMZ, and ESPN. This webinar breaks down the evolution of content discovery and promoted content, the best ways to build your audience, and the best practices for content discovery and monetization.

You can check out the full webinar for free on our website. In the meantime, enjoy this clip that demonstrates the do’s and dont’s of video recommendations.

July 17th, 2013

3 Ways MOOCs Benefit Teachers

by Asef.Ahmed

MOOCbetterwordbubbleMOOCs, massive online open courses, such as Coursera and MIT and Harvard’s EDx have been the talk of the educational town for the past few months. While the concept is not an entirely novel phenomenon, recent technological innovations in streaming video in addition to the backing of several top universities have made them wildly popular; validating the “M” in MOOC (Coursera alone has about 4 million users).

MOOCs have been a controversial topic with some educational experts seeing them as the rebirth of higher education and others; like Amherst’s Stephen A. George (who recently led the faculty’s rejection of partnering edX) who regard it more as its demise. The majority of the debate on MOOCs centers on the (supposed) benefits that face students. But don’t teachers stand to be impacted just as much if not more than students? Why then is the dialogue so student-centric? Today, we are going to focus on our thoroughly underappreciated and unrecognized teachers and discuss how MOOCs can benefit them as well.

 

1. MOOCs Allow Participating Professors to Rethink Their Course

Typically, a professor who has taught the same course for a few years has his lectures, syllabus, and material more or less set in stone. By joining a MOOC, teachers can look at their course with completely new eyes. Take Professor Gregory Nagy of Harvard University. For the past 35 years, Nagy has been teaching his very popular class “Concepts of the Hero in Classical Greek Civilization”. Nagy has moved his class to the online realm offering his course, re-dubbed “The Ancient Greek Hero”, on edX. The course forced Nagy to completely rethink his course that he has been teaching for the better part of half a century by dividing his lectures into 24, 1 hour long, segments and further subdividing those sections into dramatic clips. Nagy claims, “I had this real revelation…and I thought, My God, Greg, you’ve been spoiled by the system!”

Additionally, colleagues who teach similar courses can see how experts like Nagy teach their material. This helps professors by indirectly giving them teaching tips and ways to structure their course as well as directly providing them with knowledge they may not have known that they can apply to their own lectures.

 

2. MOOCs Encourage Teachers to Become Tech Savvy

MOOC_poster_mathplourdeMOOCs are not just a tool to teach students; they are also being used to educate teachers. New Teacher Center (NTC) has partnered with Coursera to offer a high quality solution to develop young K-12 teachers. NTC plans on providing courses such as “First Year Teaching-Success from the Start“, that provide lessons and strategies aimed at “setting and communicating expectations to students”, “building positive relationships with and between students”, “behavioral preventions and interventions”, “organizing the learning environment”, and “establishing and maintaining routines and procedures that support student learning.” NTC is also rolling out more subject related courses such as Literacy Design Collaborative” and “Math Design Collaborative” that focus primarily on developing teaching  skills for their respective concentrations.

NTC Founder and CEO Ellen Moir says that she started NTC because she saw an unfortunate number of the best and brightest new teachers quit their profession due to a lack of adequate support. She believes that through MOOCs, NTC can reach a much wider array of teachers that could not be previously reached. She writes, “ In the future teachers will increasingly take responsibility for their own professional learning and it is our job to ensure they have easy access to high-quality professional development opportunities. This is a step in that direction.”

 

3. MOOCs Provide Analytics that Improve Learning

MIT physics professor David Pritchard has been using data from MOOCs to see how students use their course material. Pritchard’s findings suggest that students are more likely to use videos as a tool to aid in homework problems but are more often utilizing the online textbook for exams. This raises significant questions about the effectiveness of textbook learning.

Pritchard is not the only professor gathering data from MOOCs. Experimenting professors love MOOCs as they provide an absurdly large sample size in a naturally randomized setting. Professors, like Pritchard, are using A/B testing where one fraction receives one educational experience and the other fraction receives a different kind and then measure the difference in performance (course completement, grades, etc.) to show which educational experience is more effective.

But how do they gather this data? MOOCs track every click. This means that when a student pauses, rewinds, clicks one answer, fast forwards, etc. it is being recorded. The massive amounts of data that this provides on student behavior is staggering. President of edX  Anarat Angarwal estimates that his first course alone received 230 million clicks- providing enough data to  fill 110,000 research books by Pritchard’s estimations.

Check out Coursera co-founder and Stanford Professor Daphne Koller explains the benefits of data gathering in this TED talk clip.

(14:05-16:00)

July 12th, 2013

The Content Recommendation Revolution- Getting More From Video – Free Webinar

by Asef.Ahmed

 

taboola_logo-new-large

After countless hours of work, numerous edits, and seemingly an infinite amount of caffeine, you have finally finished creating your video. Now comes the hard part, how do you get people to watch it? Unless you are a major publisher, you will probably find it difficult to have your content stand out amongst the endless sea of videos online without shelling out big bucks.

At least that used to be the case. Thanks to content recommendation and distribution platforms like Taboola, you can more efficiently and effectively monetize your content and build your audience by having your content matched to the right viewers on top sites such as BBC, TMZ, and Time.com.

 Join Kaltura and Taboola for a free webinar that will cover do’s and dont’s of content discovery, share case studies of today’s leaders in video, and enable you time for Q&A.

This live webinar will be hosted on Thursday, July 18 at 2pm (EST). The date is approaching fast, so make sure you register today!

images

July 9th, 2013

Collaborating with Customers and Colleagues: How We Learn at Kaltura

by Charlotte.Copeman

I came across a great article this week on the importance of “soft skills” for graduates. It’s a great read and really resonated with me in my role at Kaltura.

Having a highly technical team is a great asset to any technology company, but team work and communication are the skills that bring your technology to life.

Education is a really hot topic at Kaltura, both for training internally and for training customers. It’s great to provide great technology and a strong set of features for your customers, but features don’t grow a business or school, application of those features is what makes your customers soar.

video.kaltura.comExternally, we have a great Community Team that provide a range custom training to customers, from how to upload your videos to how to troubleshoot your server. They also provide a knowledge centre, free training videos, a forum, meetups and free webinars. Customers can call on these sessions at any time in their customer lifecycle and they can either help to refresh your team’s knowledge or to provide you with a whole new skill set. As they say “knowledge is power” and the more we can educate our customers, the more they can grow.

Internally, technical information is shared with the whole team as it grows and develops and we’re all kept well informed of upgrades with core technology, upgrades with partners in exchange.kaltura.com and upgrades with Kaltura Building Blocks and plugins. What makes our internal learning different is the education on why and how a customer would use these.

There’s a big focus on use cases, formal case studies and also on working closely with the Product Team to not only learn about new features but also to feedback from customers. We all learn a huge amount about our technology by listening to our customers, inviting regular feedback on roadmap ideas and also on customer’s experience of using Kaltura. There are both formal and informal channels for feedback, ranging from CEO calls with customers to regular catch-up calls with a customer’s Account Manager and all of these help to make Kaltura stronger every year.

In any organization, when overwhelmed with email, updating written records, responding to customer requests and managing internal information flow, it can be difficult to take time out to process your learning and experience. So how do we manage this information? How do you keep your team working together towards the greater good?

“Soft skills” include a wide skill set that comes with experience. For some, it comes naturally, for others, they are learned as are any other skill. “Team work” is an often-used phrase in organisations, but it takes hard work to build true collaboration, particularly when you have a global team. It’s also essential to remember that your “team” isn’t just internal: your team is built from developers, sales teams, product managers, support teams, billing teams…but most important, customers. If you view customers as part of your team, your organization becomes truly world-class.

As we begin Q3 in our calendar, there are a number of initiatives that are taking place:

Know Your Team

Kino-300x206-2We’ve just completed a great internal global project at Kaltura called “The Point of You”. Each global team was set a challenge to create a video showcasing your team members and the work that each individual does. The value of this is that you not only learn about the role of each team, but you also learn about the individuals that work in that team. Needless to say, most teams took a fun approach to their video task, ranging from Star Wars themes to James Bond, and whilst this was great fun to do, it was also hugely educational for Kaltura as a global company. The videos gave every single employee an opportunity to show their personality and tell you what they do and why they do it. Because the videos were fun, they were engaging and the outcome was a huge strengthening of collaboration and team relationships.

Q3 Kickoff

Each internal Kaltura team approaches the kickoff of a new quarter differently. There are no hard and fast rules, but each team works on a project that benefits Kaltura as a whole. We are usually paired up with colleagues and set a task. Some teams work on improving customer communication, others work on how to improve internal communications between teams, others work on how we recognize our individual achievements and how we work together to strengthen our personal career growth…there are no strict guidelines on what we work to improve, but the challenge itself helps us to grow as both individuals and teams and the close teamwork and open sharing makes us the solid global team that we are today.

Implementation Feedback

Once a customer implementation has been completed, it’s easy to put a “tick in the box”, mark it as done and hand the customer over to their Account Manager. At Kaltura, we think it’s important to revisit that customer after a period of time, when they have had a chance to use the technology for some time and perform a review of their experience. The Professional Services Team and the Product Teams set up both formal and informal customer reviews, and use this opportunity to discuss in detail what the customer experience was like and how we can improve. What were we great at, where can we improve, what features would you like to see on the roadmap? It’s this constant circle of collaboration with customers that helps us to both decide on the roadmap and to improve our internal processes.

CEO Calls

Your customers often get to speak to multiple teams in your organization, but if they had a chance to speak to “The Boss”, what would they tell them? We truly value our customers and every member of the Kaltura team has direct contact with customers, including “The Boss”! We recently had a number of calls set up with customers to speak to Ron, our CEO. Rather than setting up calls with customers who had a smooth ride, we tried to focus on customers who had very specific requirements and challenged us to the best of our ability. The calls have been invaluable and the reason they have been so successful is that once the calls had happened, there were action items for all. We set up follow-up calls with Product, Account Management, Professional Services and many other teams so that the customer could continue the conversation and we all learned from their great feedback.

International Teams

We truly are a global team and that doesn’t just mean that we have offices around the world. I work in the EMEA London office and we have team members from the US, Israel, the UK, France, Austria, Germany, Spain and Holland. Not only do we have team members from around the world in every office, but movement between the offices is strongly encouraged. All staff have the opportunity to work in other global offices and this is incredible for both sharing your experience and also for sharing international experience. Business in the US is different to business in Germany, different again to business in Israel, and by having your team members move between your global offices, they bring the benefit of their experience to the wider team.

Do You Know The Answer To…

We have an internal forum that anyone can send a question out to, and anyone can answer. It doesn’t matter which team you work in, a question lands in all of our inboxes and we can all reach out to help a colleague. This also works in reverse, because as you read through these, you learn something new every day and have a huge body of knowledge to refer to.

Internal MediaSpace

Kaltura Internal MediaSpaceWe’ve all heard the phrase “eating your own dog food” (or if you haven’t, I’ll explain!). What this means is that if you believe in your product, use it! We have our own implementation of MediaSpace called KINO (Kaltura Internal Knowledge) to share knowledge and training internally. We have a number of galleries that each have permissions based on your team membership and these can be used to share video on new features, new releases, what your team is doing this month, training sessions on new technologies…there are no rules and you can upload any video that will help to educate your fellow team members. In addition, there are channels that are open to all where we share and learn with the whole company.

As is written in the article:

“The world’s top employers are picker than ever. And they want to see more than high marks and the right degree. They want graduates with so-called soft skills — those who can work well in teams, write and speak with clarity, adapt quickly to changes in technology and business conditions and interact with colleagues from different countries and cultures.”

We continue to learn and grow at Kaltura, but the focus placed on team collaboration, written and spoken communication, sharing technology updates, business insight and working within a truly global team is taking us from strength to strength.

Oh…and most important…we use video ;)

 

 

July 2nd, 2013

Will HTML5 Force Apple’s Hand Over Online Video Standards?

by Asef.Ahmed

Kaltura-Video-Platform-Device-Detection-and-SupportOur very own Michael Dale was featured in a Broadcast Engineering article about how HTML5 may end Apple’s hegemonic authority and force the company to adopt the same standards as everybody else.  The new standards that HTML5 is setting such as: adaptive streaming with MPEG-Dash and Media Stream API, content protection via Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), and the lack of a need for plugins, combined with the inevitable large rise in the number of HTML5 developers over the number of iOS developers, could significantly reduce Apple’s market power. As Dale puts it, ” Apple will continue to be one of the major targets for app and service development but it will no longer be setting the pace.”

Read the full article here:http://broadcastengineering.com/blog/html5-could-last-force-apple-fall-line-over-online-video-standards

June 19th, 2013

5 Industries that are Excelling via Instructional Video

by Asef.Ahmed

Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 12.00.36 PM“How to tie a tie” is the first thing that Google autosuggests once you type in the words “how to”. The first search result is a YouTube video that was watched over 14 million times. This is just one example of how video triumphs any other media. Texts or still images are just not enough when you need to pick up the complexity of the Windsor Knot.

These days, major media outlets and large enterprises produce highly professional (yet simple) instructional videos to improve customer engagement, increase views, improve SEO and in some cases comply with various authority requirements.

Before we go into specific examples, what are the benefits of instructional videos?

1.     Video is always available: Many consumers (myself included) typically throw instructions for various medicines or other products straight in to the trash as soon as they open the package only to regret it later. Having instructional videos online for your product allows the user to always have access to instructions to help them.

2.     Video meets special needs: Using online video will improve communications with customers who have difficulty reading for medical or other reasons.

3.     Video messaging connects better with customers:  Videos are more engaging. The use of instructional video has been shown to increase the probability that the consumer will follow instructions and reduces the risk of handling errors more than written instructions alone.

 

Industries Using Instructional Video

1. Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical providers are required by the EU and FDA in the U.S. to provide some training mechanism for patients and healthcare professionals to get market approval. As a result, pharmaceutical companies have been complimenting their instructions with videos that help ensure that patients and doctors have adequate knowledge to avoid misusing medication.

Watch Rune Bergendorf explain how NNIT uses instructional videos:

2. “Ready to Assemble” Companies

Companies such as IKEA have found that video greatly facilitates the challenge of assembling a product from its bare parts. IKEA’s product videos address the common criticism that their instructions are infuriatingly difficult to follow. Their videos’ charming animations, bright soundtracks, and helpful tips will alleviate your stress and exasperation (and will certainly leave you less inclined to smash the coffee table you are trying to build). Check out their video of how to assemble a “MALM Bed frame”.

3. Education

E-learning is a rapidly growing industry. Many universities have begun to use online video as a mechanism to enhance their students learning experience. Additionally, organizations such as Khan Academy provide a website filled with instructional videos that explain concepts and themes for various subjects. For those that are not familiar with the non-profit website that boasts over 4,200 lectures and 240 million lessons delivered, Khan Academy provides a virtual classroom experience with educational videos for student and teachers alike. Additionally, Khan Academy not only provides easy to follow videos but also further engages their users with creative gimmicks such as video lessons with Lebron James.

4. Engineering Software/Hardware

Higher tech products can be difficult to use. Many companies, including Texas Instruments, have begun to supplement their products with training tutorials. The Texas Instruments training videos are tailored towards professionals in the industry and provide an in depth technical examination of their products and how to use them.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

5. Golf

Yes, golf. If you search “best video instructions” on Google, you will find that the first 9 search results are golf related. Instructional golf videos are a means of attracting people to the sport (thus leading them to purchase golf gear) who normally would not play because of the prohibitively high cost of golf lessons.What is really great about these videos is that they whittle down what could be an hour long golf lesson into a series of short videos. Now you can learn how to add more yards to your drive in under two minutes.

For more information on instructional videos, check out the Kaltura Video Summit 2013 presentations, including a presentation by NNIT on their use case.

June 11th, 2013

7 Reasons Virtual Conferences Will Transform Industries Worldwide

by Michal Tsur

image001Until a couple of years ago, I never seriously considered attending or launching a virtual conference. It seemed to me that I would miss out on the main benefits that I found in face-to-face conferences – networking, meeting new people and enjoying the exhibit hall browsing experience. But after attending and later exhibiting at Campus Technology’s virtual conference, my perception started to change, and we subsequently decided to try hosting one at my company, Kaltura.

In the past, hosting major conferences was a luxury typically affordable to only large corporations and businesses with deep pockets. Today, organizations of all sizes are empowered by the Web and the reduction in production costs to host their own conferences – virtually (provided that they can create interesting, valuable and engaging content).

Last December, we conducted our first Kaltura Education Video Summit, a virtual conference that showcased speeches and discussions with industry leaders and decision-makers in education, learning and training. The summit allowed users to connect and network with leaders in the education industry via a virtual, interactive environment. With just a few clicks, attendees could meet thought leaders, collaborate with peers, and download information – all from the comfort of their office or home. We even had a virtual exhibit hall, where companies had “booths” that attendees could stop by.

The event was extremely successful. Thousands of people signed up for the live event, which featured speakers from the likes of Yale Law School, Oracle, Cornell University, and more. Thousands more viewed the on-demand content after the live event. Following last year’s success, we are now conducting a bigger virtual summit this year, tommorow.

Watch a sneak preview of the 2013 Kaltura Virtual Summit:

Virtual conferences are not only an amazing marketing tool, but also a great networking and learning experience for audiences attending them. They are actually fun and engaging, and are environmentally friendly.

Virtual Conferences are here to stay for many reasons:

Easy and cost effective for organizers and participants. The main cost associated with a virtual conference is that of producing the content for the conference and delivering such content in an engaging and interactive way. My company teamed up with InterCall, an industry leader in virtual conference environments and webcasting, to create our summit, which in turn allowed us to focus on the content. Audiences from around the globe could easily join our summit at no cost.

Anywhere, anytime. People can attend virtual events from anywhere in the world, and if they can’t make the live event, they can still benefit from the VOD content later. All you need in order to attend is a connected device and decent Internet connection. . .

Networking made easy. Attendees of a physical conference often need to scour exhibition rooms and corridors searching for nametags and tracking down industry leaders with whom they want to speak. With a virtual conference, these physical barriers are stripped away. Attendees have immediate access to fellow attendees, as well as speakers and exhibitors, with just a few clicks of the mouse..

Accelerates pipeline deals. Feedback from our virtual summit clearly showed that organizations that were deliberating using our technology found the virtual event extremely helpful and accelerated their decision to close the deal. Learning from the sessions, and having access to their peers, resulted in a faster decision.

Valuable analytics. Virtual conferences offer analytics that cannot be typically gathered accurately in a physical event. You can see for example which sessions attendees watched, which virtual booths they visited, what resources they downloaded from booths, and with whom they spoke.

Environmentally friendly. A virtual conference does not involve travel. Additionally, all collateral (brochures, data-sheets, and give-aways) are virtual, hence avoiding all printed material in conferences that anyhow gets trashed later on.

As businesses look for new ways to engage audiences and push branded content, virtual conferences will undoubtedly become more popular and will help transform the way we do business in our increasingly global village for years to come.

 

This article was published in the Huffington Post.

May 30th, 2013

Watch: Philips, Zappos, Oracle, Cornell, Intercall at Kaltura Video Summit 2013 (Video)

by Iddo Shai

Here at Kaltura we have been hard at work producing our next video summit. This year, our virtual conference will include two exciting days of video presentations, live Q&A and networking opportunities. Here is a sneak peek:

  • Kaltura Education Video Summit - Wednesday, June 12 2013
  • Kaltura Enterprise Video Summit - Thursday, June 13 2013

The presentations were shot in the US and across Europe with great speakers from Philips, Oracle, Zappos, Intercall, Cornell, Copenhagen Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University and many more. You can find the full agenda here. The conference will take place online and admission is completely free!

We hope to (virtually) see you at the event!