• by Sean Brown
    on March 30, 2015

    I’ve been reminiscing. I’ll never forget the first week in May, 2007, when we gathered in Madison, Wis. for our first Mediasite User Conference. We saw demand for online video growing unabated, and we realized our customers pined to know more about how to best leverage this new form of communication. They wanted to learn from each other, they wanted to learn from us and they wanted a first-hand look into what was coming next.

    Unleash was born, and we hosted about 75 Mediasite users that week. We got to know our customers a little better, we laughed, we listened and we learned. What we didn’t know then was how our modest gathering of power users would grow over the next decade. And there are more of you than I can count who rearrange your calendars to make sure you can come back every single year.

    Like your favorite indie band that becomes famous, we outgrew that first venue, and moved to the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace. We started with one track of sessions and now have four to ensure you’re able to customize your conference experience to extract exactly what you want. And while our social events have grown, they’ve also taken on the feeling of a reunion you really don’t want to miss, because you know you’ll see an old friend.

    I’ve also been reminiscing about what we, as a group, have accomplished with video. We’ve and I’ll be excited to share that with you during my keynote, The History of the Future of Video.

    Here’s where you can register for Unleash 2015 if you haven’t already. It’s April 27 – 29 in Madison. I look forward to seeing you again this year. 

  • on February 26, 2015 (All day)

    Want to read the rest of the predictions? Head over to AVNetwork to view the full infographic

  • by Ted Hoch
    on February 13, 2015
    Tech Tip: Playing Mediasite Presentations in Chrome or Firefox

    We’ve noticed lately that browsers such as Chrome and Firefox are starting to block plugins that give you the best Mediasite viewing experience. You might notice a puzzle piece like the one pictured above on the video window when you’re trying to watch via Chrome:

    …or this when you’re watching Mediasite in Firefox:


    Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to solve this. You simply need to enable the Silverlight plugin in your browser. In Chrome click on the “Plug-in blocked” message in your URL bar, and choose “Always allow plug-ins.” Here is how that looks:

    In Firefox, simply click on the “Activate Silverlight” link that appears in Mediasite’s video window. 

    (Or, you can go to Settings > Extensions > Plugins, and select “Always Activate for Silverlight.”)

    We predict other browsers will follow this trend of blocking plugins, so we’re actively working to head this situation off at the pass. First, we’re updating the Mediasite Player to use browser-trusted plugins, and eventually evolving the Player to be independent of plugins altogether. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, happy viewing. 


  • by Sean Brown
    on January 23, 2015
    Why Webcast? Because it Can Generate Millions in Revenue

    Photo courtesy of Florida State University

    Florida State Conference Center creates new partnerships and revenue streams without adding staff or raising additional funds.

    It’s a reality thanks to the power of webcasting. The center's widely popular AlwaysLearning initiative is one of the most impressive programs I’ve seen. It makes it easy and affordable for people to attend academic symposiums, government meetings, business conferences and community gatherings online live or on-demand via Mediasite.

    Each year, more than 25,000 people attend events at the Center, a $15 million, 30,000-square-foot building on Florida State University’s campus that boasts one of the largest video walls in the country. Every meeting room in the Center is equipped with Mediasite, and the Center has the ability to simultaneously webcast from multiple rooms. Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform manages the content from these events in interactive, searchable and secure online libraries.

    The Center charges its clients a small fee to post their full-length recorded videos in its Presentation Gallery for on-demand viewing. The captured content is converted into online professional development certificate programs, complete with enhancements that allow for interaction and evaluation. This extends the event’s life and creates a revenue-generator for both parties.

    It’s seen demand for webcasting grow by nearly 20 percent year-over-year for the last few years, and the director of the center, Bill Lindner told me he believes using Mediasite to capture, package and distribute the content has the potential to be a significant and recurring revenue stream.


    Learn more about the revenue-sharing model by watching videos Mr. Lindner and I recorded during my visit to the Center here.

    Florida State Conference Center’s model is paving the way for this rapidly-growing use of video, and we’re seeing others follow suit. For example:

    It’s exciting to see colleges and universities recognize the power of video to create revenue and new partnerships. Institutions are facing increased pressure to create programs with measurable and profitable results, and Mediasite allows them to use webcasting, recording and video content management to offer revenue-generating, online training businesses. It’s rewarding to support institutions such as these as they extend their reach and resources to the world.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on January 21, 2015

    It’s been a whirlwind four months at University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Since the university began its video capture and management program in September 2014, faculty and staff have created 16,500 videos — 14,000+ hours — that received 185,000 views.

    With impressive numbers like that it’s only fitting that the university be represented at the world’s leading learning technology event, BETT 2015 (British Educational Training and Technology Show) Jan. 21-24 at ExCel London.

    Professor Neil Morris, Director of Digital Learning at Leeds, along with Sonic Foundry’s vice president international Ray Hassell, will share with the show’s 35,000+ attendees how the university’s new state-of-the art Mediasite lecture capture system – the largest automated lecture capture deployment in the world – is changing the way instructors teach and students learn. Be sure to catch their session, “Campus-wide implementation of integrated lecture capture: Impact on student learning at University of Leeds” on Jan. 23.

    The university invested more than $3 million to set up the new system which will record up to 50,000 hours of teaching activity each year. About 250 learning spaces in the university have been equipped with Mediasite. Mediasite Recorders capture and manage what's happening in the classroom for students to watch live or on-demand within the university’s learning management system, Blackboard. In addition, My Mediasite desktop capture gives faculty and students the ability to create and share presentations from desktops or mobile devices.

    “Mediasite provides us with a really strong and robust infrastructure underneath everything that we do. It provides a platform for all our video, audio and slide resources in a very seamless and integrated way that allows students and teachers to get a much more enriched learning experience,” said Professor Neil Morris, Director of Digital Learning at Leeds. “The new technology gives students the chance to learn and study at their own pace and will let them revisit course content at any point in the year.”

    University of Leeds applies a blended learning approach to everything, which means that face-to-face interaction with students is the most important thing. That can be quite traditional in its forms, but the university is starting to use more in-classroom technologies.

    “For example, mobile voting and use of much more video-based materials in the lecture, as opposed to just the academic talking. It’s all supplemented by additional resources provided through the LMS where we can do interactive activities, link to video and provide opportunities for discussion and collaboration. It’s the combination of those technologies together that is enriching the student learning experience. Students have different preferences for how they learn. You need to provide all the resources in multiple formats for different kinds of learning.”

    Learn more about Leeds’ system in their news article, “New Lecture Capture System Benefits Students from the Start of Term.”

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on January 16, 2015
    Watch: How Mediasite Integrates with Canvas

    Video is at the heart of every modern teaching and learning approach.

    Recent research shows more than half of all faculty use video to flip at least part of their classes (Center for Digital Education), and over 7.1 million students are taking at least one online course (Online Learning Consortium).

    So, since supporting engaging online educational experiences is what we do, it only makes sense that Mediasite plays well with learning management systems.

    Take Canvas, for example. With the ability to launch My Mediasite from within the LMS, faculty can upload video or record flipped modules, full lectures and other supporting videos, all of which are automatically published to the Canvas course.

    “My Mediasite gives them one launch place to manage and publish video, and it shortens the amount of time and effort needed to create it. The only thing faculty need to learn is the Canvas URL and Canvas login to start adding video anywhere in the course – including in assignments, quizzes and announcements – not just on content pages,” said Matt McCurdy, vice president of education for Sonic Foundry. “It makes them more effective and efficient at using academic video and lets them focus on what they love, which is teaching.”

    Mediasite’s viewership analytics show who’s watching what video and when, helping instructors uncover potentially difficult course material requiring further clarification. Students have more flexible access to academic video and are ensured they are seeing the most recent, relevant content.

    Matt explains more in this video:  

  • by Nicole Wise
    on January 12, 2015

    Photo courtesty of PCMA

    This week our Mediasite Events team is in Chicago, Ill. to webcast the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) largest annual conference, Convening Leaders.

    We’re recording more than 65 sessions, allowing professionals unable to make it to the conference to attend online live or on-demand regardless of location.

    PCMA represents more than 6,000 planner professionals, suppliers, faculty and students globally with 17 chapters in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and holds several professional development opportunities annually. All PCMA events this year and next will be supported by Mediasite Events, including PCMA Education Conference June 14-17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    “PCMA recognizes that hybrid events are essential to reach larger audiences, and we’ve been increasingly using webcasting, and the expertise of Mediasite Events over the last few years to do so,” said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA COO. “We’ve been able to build our membership, expand our reach and increase our relevance by partnering with Sonic Foundry. The Mediasite Events team captures and preserves all the inspirational knowledge shared, making our conferences so transformative that they can’t be contained by conference walls.”

    “It’s exciting to see PCMA placing a high value on hybrid events. The most influential thinkers in the meetings industry come to PCMA’s conferences,” said Shane Tracy, Director of Events at Sonic Foundry. “By capturing and preserving the knowledge shared there, those conversations are not only being preserved but PCMA is showing the industry firsthand the value of hybrid events."

    Learn more about how PCMA drives engagement through hybrid events in our on-demand webinar here.

    And if you’re attending Convening Leaders, be sure to catch Shane’s presentation, “Behind the Scenes: Planning PCMA’s Hybrid Event,” Tuesday. 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on December 30, 2014
    Professor Bob van den Brand Nominated for “Best Lecturer of the Year”

    Ten-minute video lectures when everyone else sets their timers for an hour? Check.
    Flipping course modules so students learn better? Check.
    Vying for nationwide title of “Best Lecturer of the Year?” Check.

    We’ve known for years that Bob van den Brand, Tilburg University’s Associate Professor of Accountancy and Enterprise Video Award alum, has been pushing pedagogical boundaries, measurably increasing student performance and boosting instructor satisfaction with the i-STAR method.

    Now, it seems, the Dutch Ministry of Education is taking notice as well.

    It was announced last week that van den Brand is one of five lecturers in The Netherlands nominated for the Best Lecturer award, organized by the Dutch National Student Association.

    Van den Brand is known as a committed and enthusiastic educator who uses innovation and interaction to enrich his teaching. He started incorporating video into his lectures in 2008, focusing on difficult first-year subjects known to be stumbling blocks for new students.

    From there the i-STAR method was born, with Mediasite as the core technology, to capture the attention of the “YouTube Generation.” Students are encouraged to develop efficient study habits by selecting when and where they want to learn, and instructors are encouraged to support the model with more modern teaching practices – like 10-minute lectures.

    His contributions have led to a substantial rise in students' pass rates – in one case more than 20 percent in just four years.

    Nominations were accepted from all research and applied science universities in the Netherlands, and a jury selected the finalists based on letters of motivation submitted by the nominating institutions, assessing the lecturers on the criteria of commitment, didactic ability, interaction with students, innovation, and passion for their work. Winners will be announced by Education Minister Jet Bussemaker on Saturday January 17.

    You can read more in Tilburg University’s press release

  • by Sean Brown
    on December 22, 2014
    2015 Video Predictions: Sonic Foundry Forecasts Next Year’s Trends

    Video is the single most transformative asset for a campus or the enterprise. Video-based online learning is now a standard offering in higher education and the enterprise as more and more people realize its power to span distance and time and streamline communication. Here are our predictions for the top five big trends in video for 2015.

    1. Big Data/Analytics/Search: This year digital video drastically increased the data footprint of individuals due to the ubiquitous availability of creation and capture tools. In 2015, universities and enterprises will move beyond streaming and content management, and focus on making that video data smart and searchable with powerful analytics. Indexing will help people search the audio and text to pinpoint critical concepts. Stakeholders will leverage analytics to show the dramatic impact video is making on their organizations, with the ability to track viewing behavior and measure ROI to make informed decisions about the effectiveness of eLearning programs. People are watching, and in 2015 using big data and analytics to help prove that will be more prevalent.

    2. Cloud: Private cloud adoption will rise in 2015. IT organizations are realizing significant benefits to hosting their content in their own secure cloud to divert heavy viewing traffic from their on-premises infrastructures. Infrastructure barriers to video adoption will decrease in 2015, yielding larger campus- or enterprise-wide video investments.

    3. Multi-Perspective Video: Multi-perspective video capture and delivery will be the answer for complex learning and communication environments. Being able to watch several video feeds simultaneously gives real-life dimension and deepens engagement to better show complex medical, engineering and technical procedures, how-to-trainings, product demonstrations and role-play scenarios like moot court or high profile events. 

    4. Campus and Enterprise “YouTubes:” Universities and enterprises are creating video at a prolific rate, increasing demand for a secure, central video home. In 2015, valuable content will move to secure video portals like Mediasite Showcase, with YouTube-esque user interfaces so employees, faculty and students can easily reference it for years to come.

    5. Collaborative Video: Video collaboration will become universal in businesses as telecommuting becomes more prevalent. Video collaboration tools are evolving to increasingly use synchronous video, as well as audio and supporting content, as a source. Watch for enterprise video systems to become more collaborative in the new year.
  • by Tammy Jackson
    on December 12, 2014
    The Attendee Journey

    Your attendees embark on a journey the moment they register for an event. And whether that journey is bumpy and rife with confusion or smooth sailing and packed with information depends largely on the event technology plan you’ve put in place to guide them.

    Is your plan up to the task? Do you trust it to take your attendees all the way through to the closing reception? Have you considered solid registration software, mobile apps, social media, AV and a streaming platform to create a truly hybrid event?

    If not, don’t worry. Sign up for our live webinar on Tuesday, December 16 at 1:00pm Central to hear from industry experts who will get you up to speed on the latest trends in event design and meeting technology.

    Kevin Iwamoto, vice president of industry strategy at Lanyon, and Donny Neufuss, senior account rep for Mediasite Events, will guide you through the process of selecting the right technology partners to execute and manage successful events every time. You’ll be able to take your attendees on an unforgettable journey with event technology as a partner, and learn how to:

    • Create persistent online communities to connect online and on-site attendees before, during and after the event
    • Identify the technologies and partners that are right for your event
    • Learn why streaming conference sessions, creating a “hybrid event,” will keep your event alive long after it’s over

    Here’s that link again to sign up. We hope you join us Tuesday.