• by Tammy Jackson
    on September 20, 2013
    The Cure for Common Corporate Video

    “At Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services we utilize Mediasite to help explain benefits to plan participants and to sell and market our services. It’s a very complex subject matter. We’ve had good feedback in the use of video to simplify that approach and deliver that complex message.”

    ~Mariah Lynne, Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services

    Find out more about how Mariah’s team uses video for corporate communications and marketing on her Why Mediasite page and in the on-demand webinar, The Cure for Common Corporate Video.


  • by Nicole Wise
    on September 13, 2013

    (Part of an informal blog series on the people who make Sonic Foundry tick. See more stories here.)

    You probably know Kristin Zurovitch as our director of marketing, the face behind the Mediasite Community and one of the founders and go-to-people for our annual user conference, Unleash.

    But not so fast, you need to add one more thing to that list: A gardener, both at home and in the community.  

    “I’ve always been a gardener. It’s relaxing for me and I just feel good that I’m eating healthy food,” Kristin said. 

    For the past 10 years, Kristin has been volunteering with the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens (MAFPG), a local non-profit group that provides freshly-grown local produce to people in need. From spring to fall, Kristin and many other volunteers share their time to plant, tend and harvest five local gardens, producing more than 100,000 pounds of fresh produce each year. All the harvested veggies are delivered directly to area food pantries and meal programs. (Check out this recent article in Edible Madison featuring Kristin.) 

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 12 percent — more than 60,000 people — in Dane County (where Madison, Wis. is located) are living below the poverty line. 

    “Many people don’t have access to fresh produce or healthy food for that matter. I don’t feel that financial situations should limit anyone’s available food choices,” Kristin said. 

    This time of year — harvest time — is always the best for Kristin, who currently volunteers at the Hershberger North Garden. “My favorite moment is when you’re at one of the harvesting events, usually taking place July through September. You’re out in the garden with several people and after about an hour you’ve filled the back of two trucks with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lots of other fresh produce. You think, ‘Wow, we did that,’ ” Kristin said. “It’s gratifying that we can have such a big impact.”

    Kristin is putting her marketing talents to good use with MAFPG as she sits on the board of directors and public relations committee. Their mission: to raise awareness about the gardens and how people can help.

    If you’re in the Madison area this weekend, she’s inviting you to check out what it’s all about during Garden Days, put on by the Community Action Coalition (CAC) for South Central Wisconsin, Inc. The annual event celebrates community and food pantry gardens with events for the whole family. Tour one or all of the gardens. Learn more here.  

    “Some people are scared of gardening. It seems like it’s difficult,” she said. “But Garden Days will give you a glimpse into how you can produce your own food very easily and how to improve your health, as well as your community’s health.” 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on September 11, 2013
    The Cure for Common Corporate Video

    Could your executive communications and training use a little more pep? Are the customers you’re trying to reach bored by your approach? Does your ho-hum corporate holiday greeting go straight into the recycling bin?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, fear not. The marketing and communications team at Alliance Benefit Group will show you how to inject some life into your corporate video strategy in a free webinar on Tuesday, September 17, from 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. (You can register here.)

    Not long ago, Abby Murray and Mariah Lynne were faced with a rapidly-growing customer base, an expectation of high-touch, red-carpet style customer service, and the need to convey complicated investment topics in an ever changing regulatory landscape. They knew they had to say goodbye to traditional communication tactics and get creative.

    The solution? Video. Short, informative – and in many cases even fun – video.

    Join Abby and Mariah for a lively webinar as they share how to create:

    • Modules that lead customers to the resources they’re looking for
    • Prospect campaigns
    • Personalized executive messages, and
    • Fun employee profiles – all with video

    See you next week as we work together to find a cure for the plague known as “common video.” Here’s that link again

  • by Nicole Wise
    on September 11, 2013
    Free Whitepaper and Webinar: The Tipping Point of Video on Campus

    Learn how to prepare your campus for the future with a new whitepaper and webinar from University Business Magazine.

    Register to read “Academic Video at A Tipping Point: Preparing Your Campus for the Future” by industry-recognized author and journalist JD Solomon, editorial director for University Business, (sponsored by Sonic Foundry) at www.sonicfoundry.com/UBwhitepaper

    Also, be sure to check out his companion webinar at www.sonicfoundry.com/UBwebcast

    Learn more: Sonic Foundry, University Business Magazine Unveil New Tools to Help Prepare for Future of Academic Video

  • by Thorleif Hallén
    on September 10, 2013
    The Rapid Expansion of Lecture Capture in Norway

    There is great demand for lecture capture in Norway. Just ask any student and he or she will confirm that. The only problem is many of the smaller colleges and universities can’t afford the technology to make that happen.

    But when UNINETT, the network and internet services provider for all Norwegian colleges, universities and research institutions, offered a cost-effective solution, the use of academic video across the country exploded.

    UNINETT is owned by the Ministry of Education and Research and is in charge of Norway’s National Research and Education Network (NREN), connecting over 200 Norwegian schools and research institutions and more than 300,000 students and teachers to top educational technologies. By removing barriers to technology, UNINETT hopes to empower institutions to use technologies in classrooms.

    Schools and research institutions can choose from a list of cost-effective services available to them for infrastructure, research and education, finance and administration and other general services through UNINETT. Member school representatives told UNINETT they wanted a technology that would allow them to share lectures, support mobile devices and use videoconferencing. So UNINETT added Mediasite by Sonic Foundry as the comprehensive option for recording lectures to its list. Lecturers and academic staff can give students access to their teaching digitally now. This is part of UNINETT’s eCampus program, which defined lecture recording as a special focus area.

    UNINETT offers the Mediasite EX video management platform as one of NREN-supported network applications. Schools and research institutions can connect their Mediasite Recorders to UNINETT’s centrally-managed Mediasite webcasting and management platform, which provides an economical and scalable infrastructure to record, deliver and manage rich video. The institutions aren’t hosting their own content, and that allows them to only pay 25 percent of what they would normally pay if they had to host the content themselves. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, a Mediasite university since 2005, recently moved to UNINETTs platform for this reason.

    This column first appeared in AV Technology Magazine. Click hear to finish reading

    Thorleif Hallén is a senior adviser at UNINETT. Follow him on Twitter @thorleif and learn more at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/thorleif-hallen

  • by Donny Neufuss
    on September 06, 2013
    Mediasite Events hybrid event webcasting

    You’ve heard of hybrid events. You know that they can help you expand the reach of your event by including those who simply cannot attend via webcasting. But do you know what those remote attendees should experience and what the easiest and most reliable way to make that happen is?

    Asking yourself the following questions will help you define your goals for webcasting your event, and help you find the right partner who can hide the complexity and execute a flawless hybrid experience.

    1. Live. Not all webcasting vendors are created equal, and many of them don’t go live. Is it important to you to deliver live content to your remote audience? If so, make sure your partner and venue can accommodate that request.
    2. Impact on the Presenter. Will your speaker be limited to PowerPoint slides and turn them in weeks in advance? Or will they be able to simply walk in, connect their tablet or laptop and start presenting? 
    3. Playback experience. Can the audience watch the stream from their mobile device in addition to a laptop or tablet? What’s the quality of the content being played back? Is the player customizable? Can the content be embedded into a blog post or community site and still give you all the functionality you expect? Asking these questions will ensure that every seat is a great one for the remote audience.
    4. Remote interaction. How can the presenter interact with the online audience? Is there polling, Q&A or a live Twitter feed? The type of audience interaction is important.
    5. On-demand playback. What happens after the live stream is over? Is managing that video important to you? Who is responsible for the on-demand playback and hosting? Will you get a file dump that you’ll have to sort through, or will everything you need be just a link away?
    6. Analytics. Analytics not only tell you in real time how much traction you’re getting from the live webcast, but they’re invaluable in figuring out what works when planning future events.  What resonated? What sessions had the most engagement? What’s the most popular on-demand session?
    7. Scalable services. Is your event jumping from 10 breakout rooms to 50?  How can your streaming provider help you keep costs down and reliably scale up?
    8. Security. Do you want the event to be free and open, or do you need to limit access to paying customers or exclusive members? Either way, choosing a webcasting partner who can secure your content is crucial.
    9. Company credibility. Is it important to confidently go through steps 1 – 8? Check references and choose a streaming partner wisely.

    (This post first appeared on RegOnline. Read it here.)

  • by Sean Brown
    on August 28, 2013
    Streaming Media Article: The Big Data Wagon

    An interesting fact: Every 10 days there are almost 500 articles written on big data. In the first half of 2013, there were nearly 14,000 articles. That’s according to an article in Streaming Media Magazine called The Big Data Wagon, by Tim Siglin.  

    I think it’s safe to call “big data” the industry buzzword in 2013, but what is it? Big data references a massive volume of data so large that it’s difficult to process using traditional database and software techniques. Capturing, storing, searching, sharing and reviewing analytics is a struggle.  

    Tim wrote that big data streaming boils down to three things — “content management, mission-critical delivery and indexing and metadata usability.”  

    Sonic Foundry is addressing each of these issues. I spoke with Tim earlier this summer at InfoComm 2013 in Orlando, Fla. about Mediasite’s big data story. Here’s a snippet of what he wrote: 

    "Speaking to Sonic Foundry vice president Sean Brown at the 2013 InfoComm show, it became apparent the company is thinking beyond the streaming and content management aspects, focusing on retrieving added value for its customers from what might be otherwise stagnant assets.

    The key to this, according to Brown, is combining the critical mass of education and enterprise content with the power of indexing. “Even just a few years ago, we didn’t have the critical mass of content within the enterprise to warrant deep-dive indexing,” says Brown. “Last year, we quietly added a feature that has been increasing the accuracy and depth of results: optical character recognition.” 

    Learn more about Mediasite’s big data story in Tim’s article here.

  • by Nicole Wise
    on August 26, 2013
    Beloit College Mindset List: 60 Clues to the Class of 2017

    Here are a few reasons to feel really old.

    Freshmen entering college this fall were born in 1995. While you probably had a cassette player or Discman, answering machine and an Apple IIe, life without a smart phone is almost unimaginable for this generation. 

    Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car. Your car CD player is so ancient and embarrassing to them, and they never really have to go over to their friends’ houses to study. They can just do that virtually. 

    Recently, Beloit Mindset List authors introduced the 16th annual Mindset List via webcast using Mediasite by Sonic Foundry, giving the world a look at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of this year’s incoming college freshmen. The annual list began as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and it has morphed into an international look of the rapidly changing worldview of each new college generation. 

    Feeling ancient yet? If not, read on:

    1. As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the TV screen.
    2. Having a chat has seldom involved talking.
    3. Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
    4. Gaga has never been baby talk.
    5. They have known only two presidents.
    6. PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend online.
    7. Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline.
    8. As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.
    9. Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.
    10. They could always get rid of outdated toys on eBay.

    Want more of the Mindset List? 

  • by Tammy Jackson
    on August 20, 2013
    Preparing Your Campus for the Future of Academic Video

    Demand for academic video from the “YouTube generation” of students is growing at an astronomical rate, and universities large and small are evaluating how best to harness the power of video to meet this new level of student expectations and broaden the reach of their institutions. Video is foundational to the cutting edge trends in higher education today, including personalized education, flipped instruction and MOOCs.

    Do you have an academic video strategy?

    Join us today at 1:00 p.m. CDT for a live webinar as JD Solomon, Editorial Director for University Business, reveals research findings from a new white paper about how universities are preparing for a campus future with video at its core.

    Topics will include:

    • The strategies, tactics and technologies best suited to secure, search, index, archive and stream the video created on your campus
    • Case studies from universities that have already deployed enterprise-wide video capture and management
    • First-person faculty findings on transforming existing courses into interactive personalized learning environments


    He’ll also take your questions live. Here’s that link again to register

  • by Donny Neufuss
    on August 13, 2013
    Mediasite Events

    It’s day one of a big conference and while most attendees are shaking hands, trading business cards and clamoring for the best seat to catch the opening keynote, there’s a small number of individuals sitting at their office computers sipping coffee and firing up their internet connection.

    For the next several hours these in-office folks network with other attendees, watch live sessions via event webcasting and ask questions of presenters and panelists. While lack of time and money might have kept them from going in person, the hybrid event helps bridge time and distance, giving them a rich, interesting and customized experience.

    Event technology and meeting planning are becoming even more fused, making hybrid meetings – complementing your face-to-face live sessions with viewing over the web either in real-time or on-demand – prevalent in practically every industry.

    A recent study on hybrid events revealed that 70% of event planners say hybrid meetings are rapidly becoming an important part of the meeting and events industry, so chances are you’ll be planning your own hybrid event soon. We believe event webcasting is the best way to maximize that online experience. Read on for a hit list of event webcasting features and five reasons you need to incorporate it into your next conference.

    Features of event webcasting:

    • Captures what happens in the room
    • In many cases contains rich media, including video of the speaker and a separate window for slides or video – For exampleThe Elite Meetings Alliance event for meeting planners earlier this spring in San Diego was captured via Mediasite. Watch some of the on-demand presentations.
    • Real-time and on-demand – so both groups can see it later
    • Registration, security, reporting
    • Cost effective – there’s no editing or post-production
    • Ecommerce – you can charge for an entire conference pass or individual presentations
    • Easy-to-use – the speaker just walks in, plugs in their laptop and begins

    Why is webcasting essential for conferences?

    • Allows individuals to save time and money on travel and still attend
    • Gives the content a longer life. It’s available for review 365 days a year; not just during the meeting
    • Online attendees can engage with people on-site through a mix of social media channels or dedicated chat streams
    • Helps you increase awareness of your brand
    • Individuals who attend online are more likely to show up in person next year

    This post first appeared at Active’s RegOnline Product Blog. You can read it here