• by Nicole Wise
    on May 31, 2012

    Imagine this: You’re sitting in a one-day training session about something super techy and complicated. A ton of information is coming at you at a rapid pace and, while you take good notes, it’s impossible to remember everything. You’d most likely leave feeling overwhelmed wishing you had an online video library where you could go back and review the content, right? 

    Mona Aldana-Ramirez, director of retention support services for San Antonio College, knows all too well that one-time trainings aren’t the best ways to teach. For years she held face-to-face trainings for teachers one Saturday a month about how to use technology in the classroom and there was always the same predictable result – teachers left with way too much information and no way to remember it all. She wanted a searchable online video library of webcasts and once she realized how much easier Mediasite could make her job, she never looked back. 

    Now, instead of holding multiple trainings during the year, she records one training via Mediasite and sends it to teachers so they can watch it on-demand wherever and whenever they want. That saves Mona time, money and allows teachers to stay more informed about the newest technologies. A win-win for everyone involved. 

    “I haven’t stopped singing Mediasite’s praises since. Mediasite allows me to be many different places at once. It has helped us tremendously on the operation side of the college to be able to train our people more efficiently without me having to go face to face,” she said. 

    Mona’s online video library is just the tip of the iceberg for how she’s using Mediasite. To learn more check out our press release San Antonio College Uses Mediasite Webcasting Platform for Online Training.


  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 24, 2012

    Graduation season is upon us and through the magic of Mediasite the world is watching. 

    Two dozen schools across the country are live streaming their commencement ceremonies to the public so that regardless of where the graduates’ family and friends are they can watch in real time as they walk across the stage. The ceremonies are also available on-demand so students can relive the moment they graduated over and over. 

    For some students their families and friends have to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to physically attend their ceremonies. That’s quite the strain on the pocketbook. Plus, graduation tickets are limited so students can’t invite everyone they want to be there. Mediasite allows everyone to share in the special days no matter where they are. 

    These are some of the commencement ceremonies streamed with Mediasite that we’ve recently caught on Twitter. If we missed yours, please leave a comment and share your link and some thoughts about streaming your commencement with Mediasite.  

    Also check out Sonic Foundry’s VP of marketing Erica St. Angel’s post “9 Reasons to Webcast Your Commencement” for some words of wisdom and our press release "High-Tech Pomp and Circumstance: Universities Webcast Commencement Ceremonies Worldwide to Remote Audiences via Mediasite." 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 17, 2012

    John DeAngelo is affectionately known around our office as the “Godfather of lecture capture.” 

    We don’t throw that title around lightly. John, the director of educational technology services at the University of California San Francisco and former associate dean for information technology in Temple’s Fox School of Business, has put almost every lecture capture brand to the test. He was one of the first college-level CIOs in higher-ed, supervising the installations of some of the largest capture projects in the country. 

    He’s basically seen and used it all, outfitting hundreds of classrooms during his almost decade-long look into what works.  

    Last month John came to Sonic Foundry headquarters here in Madison, Wis. to share his expertise about classroom capture systems and how he uses Mediasite to impact faculty feedback and student outcomes. 

    In the spring of 2011 UCSF started a pilot lecture capture project with a vendor other than Mediasite. They did 11 installs and it took the school several months to get the program up and running. UCSF had a very high adoption rate from the department of medicine and the school of nursing  and a high demand for streaming from other departments for things like special events and lectures. But John noticed some problems, especially the fact that the videos couldn’t be streamed to mobile devices. 

    “We learned that this particular vendor had no roadmap for mobility which caused real problems for us,” he said. 

    So he decided to submit RFPs for other vendors and ultimately went with Mediasite for its better management system and roadmap for mobility. (Mediasite 6 allows for live and on-demand streaming to mobile devices.)

    “At UCSF we started in June 2011 with Mediasite. After installation, once we went live, every Mediasite box worked the next day. That was not the case with the preceding vendor. It took us a couple months to get it to work the way we wanted it to work.”

    “It’s a school of roughly 3,500 graduate medical students and health professionals and in 10 months we recorded 2,050 presentations.”

    There were 63,000 views on those presentations and 136,000 hours of viewing, which is an amazing feat. Compare that to when John was at Temple University using a different vendor for lecture capture.

    Capture at Temple between July 2004 to 2006 (26 months) for 7,000 students resulted in 1,700 presentations. 

    Bottom line: UCSF records online classes faster with Mediasite over other lecture capture systems. 

    Faculty adoption of Mediasite lecture capture is very high. Basically all John had to do was ask them: “Would you like to come on board, do nothing, and we capture all your instruction?”It was just that easy.

    “Many people obviously thought that was a win-win for them,” he said. “I think the value (of lecture capture) has been primarily on the student side of things. Students love capture. I’ve been struck by the degree by which it’s been embraced at UCSF medical school, but I understand why because the material that is taught in class is dense, very complex. The most valuable thing in a medical education is time. They just don’t have very much time,” he said. 

    Medical students need to be able to watch grand rounds, lectures, presentations by authors, etc.  

    “Capture affords them to time shift and say ‘Well, I’m going to miss this but I’ll watch it later,’ ” he said. 

    Students can also watch presentations over and over again for review. John said Mediasite is also being used for the flipped classroom approach. He suggests to faculty that an alternative to capturing the class is using the flipped model that allows them to record a lecture ahead of time, ask students to watch it outside of class and use the class time for valuable interaction with students. 

    Hundreds of people around the world tuned in for this live webcast. If you missed it or just want to see it again, click here to register and watch. You can also read more in our press release University of California San Francisco Webcasts Over Two Thousand Classes in 10 Months via Mediasite Lecture Capture Technology

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 09, 2012

    I’m hearing things throughout UNLEASH that are pure gold. The journalist in me gets so excited every time I hear one and I think to myself “Oh that’s definitely hitting the blog.” And then there are the things people say that are so golden that it’s just inappropriate to say on here. Let’s just say this has been a great time and what happens at UNLEASH stays at UNLEASH. 

    But here are a few blog-appropriate things I’ve overheard or seen on Twitter. 

    Jerome Rork, University of Michigan: I feel like I’m being prepped to be cooked. All these Madison people are stuffing me with bacon & cheese & being soaked in beer.

    Mark Dashper, University of Auckland, while I’m snapping a picture of him before he performed at MUG Jam: “If I turn my cello sideways does it make it look slimmer?” and “Fascinating developments in pay-per-view of webcasting from Canadian Todd Hutchings #mediasite is breaking new ground. Like!

    Larry Sleznikow, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse: #Mediasite is EVERYWHERE! Japan, India, Germany, Asia, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, and more! Great Pecha Kucha! pic.twitter.com/yEWXoa0q

    Hugo Neves, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany: #mediasite you go to a round table discussion with a desire for a small feature and leave wanting the heavens. Great brainstorming

    Terry Wirkus, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse: #mediasite Did Buzz Lightyear register for the conference or did he beam in without permission? Nice prop!!!

    Alison Kwiatkowski, University of Florida: Just had my first meal without bacon since arriving in Madison, WI #mediasite

    Brian Smith, University of Florida: I’m still waiting for a bacon-garnished cupcake

    Jim Jorstad, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse: Networking after luncheon #unleash12. Excellent conference with professional and collaborative colleagues from around the globe @Mediasite

    Scott Holcomb, Memphis City Schools: #Mediasite – it’s like you get me! Ice Cream Sundae Bar!!! pic.twitter.com/cVxVMama

    Some people joined Twitter at UNLEASH like Kevin Thomas, University of Michigan: #mediasite I’m tweeting (thanks for sharing, Kevin.)

    There are also meaty discussions going on in our MUG Community about food. Get it, “meaty,” “food.” Sorry..bad joke. Attendees have been chatting the past couple days about the Madison food scene. If you’re a MUG member you can check out the conversation here


    Ahhh . . . Tuesday. It was great eating again. Of course, went to Marigold Cafe for breakfast, beefy little chicken sausages, eggs and that always good rosemary toast. For lunch we went to Graze, right up Pickney, a glass box with farm-fresh stuff inside. The beautiful people are there, young families and healthy hipsters. I had a throwback to the 60s with a summer sausage and cheese sandwich on white bread. Like fancy baloney and Velveeta slices out of the Elmer Fudd lunch box. It sounded better reading the menu than it was eating it. No fault of the chef, just a bad choice driven by nostalgia. Lydia was wiser (as always) and had a crunchy coated Perch sandwich with a crazy cup of ginger/orange/spice soup reminiscent of yellow curry, but not as hot. Later, back at Unleash, I ate the perfect bite of cupcake, in the Unleash tradition. Those little cakes wake up one sense after being bowled over by the great tech announcements from Dharmesh and . . . um . . . that other guy in the nice sports coat.  :-)At night it was dance party time with a smokin' band followed by those other guys with guitars. They were good, but the opening show UNLEASHED the power of the user group! Mark D., you are a force! Lydia and I snuck out and hoofed it to the far side of the capitol to try out Nostrano. Another top choice serving stuff on par with the world's finest cities. From the Salumi Plate to the Lamb Ragu this place is fantastic! After that we walked a bit to clear our minds from being dissolved in mind-bending combinations of pork, pistachios, and peppers and ended back at the Majestic theater for a beer and dancing. The party over, we had a "leftover" bottle of Turley Zinfandel we brought and were looking for victims with which to share. Most we accosted on the street spilling out of the MUG JAM were un-interested, only wanted to Karoke and so walking back we bumped into Rob Lipps, who, upon seeing the bottle, exclaimed: "Where did you get that?" We explained, he smiled and between he, Evan, Lydia, the bartender at Merchant and I polished of the bottle to cap the night.



    A day late and a (few) dollars short . . . but here's the foodie update from for Sunday and Monday! Sunday we drove to Taliesin to check out what Frank Lllyod Wright built (and burned) and stopped at the Country Store in Spring Green. Nice homemade quiche and veg. chili in a quaint artist-town setting. Back in Madison for dinner and checked out the Blue Marlin. Wow! Really, some of the best mussels we have had in our travels. We ordered the "angry" with jalapeno, with nice smoke and soft little pillow of shellfish delight. Went perfect with the bottle of Booker White we brought from CA. If you like seafood, this is the place to some. The soft shell crab was great and my wife was "having a moment" of joy over her rainbow trout with crispy shredded carrots. 5 minute walk from the conference. On Monday, after doing some MUG steering committee "work" we went over to the Old Fashioned for lunch (no URL nec. for this one!). We NEEDED the cheese curds. Seriously. This is a delight one should not take for granted. Gotta eat them right away while warm in all their soft and squeaky glory. It fades fast and the sauce is good, but somehow just covers up the clean Wisconsiny taste. Now, we were happy! After a rest, more work, registration, a brisk long walk in the sun, and the SOFO office tour (is that where the support people work their magic on my desperate issues!), we of course made it to the welcome party. Good stuff there, had some local Wisconsin wine from Wollersheim Winery (While Riesling) and a spotted Cow (of course!) and the ducked out to go to dinner at 43 North, just down the block. Modern bistro food, super refined. I had a lobster bisque dotted with rosemary marshmallows. Really! Sounds odd, but the bit of hereby sweetness was fan-tas-tic. My Game Hen with Potato Gnocchi, was earthy fatty crispy juicy and just perfect to absorb the parting that SOFO puts us through. Dreaming of pillowy goodness from Gnocchi, marshmallows, cheese curds, I hit my hotel pillow dreaming of Unleash!


    I had such a great time at my first UNLEASH, and I'm so glad I was finally able to meet all the Mediasite users from around the world that I've been talking to during my first six months at Sonic Foundry. Thanks to all for coming and we'll see you in 2013!

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 09, 2012

    If you're a fan of Lock Haven University (LHU) athletics you don't have to live in Pennsylvania to watch sporting events.

    The university uses Mediasite to broadcast its sports coverage to parents, fans, boosters, and alumni across the globe, to places like Australia, England, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

    Students in the university's HAVENc@st club in the Sports Information Office receive experience in sports announcing and production by handling various positions in the cable TV and web radio coverage of the university's sports. The program uses Mediasite to webcast every sporting event played in the Thomas Field House -- Lock Haven's home turf. It's also instilling passion and skill in aspiring young broadcasters who cover the games from the sidelines.

    Peter Campbell, senior associate director of athletics at the university, presented at UNLEASH 2012 today. His presentation “Webcasting and Athletics: Reaching Out to the Community,” focused on ideas and collaboration with other groups on campus to generate revenue and expand its reach using Mediasite. 

    Lock Haven is a small state school with about 4,700 students and an emphasis on international education. It competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and has 18 varsity level sports and students from several different countries. So using Mediasite to record and live stream athletic events is “invaluable.” 

    The school began using Mediasite primarily for academics but the athletic department wanted a way to have more media coverage and expand its reach. 

    “We looked at Mediasite as the perfect answer,” he said. 

    In 2005 the university became a laptop campus, meaning every freshman has a laptop, so that greatly enhanced the department’s ability to do Mediasite webcasts and reach a large audience. For parents, the recordings are perfect because a lot of the sporting events occur during the day when they are at work. Parents can watch live from their offices or watch it on-demand at home. 

    Mediasite allows the school to reach alumni to keep them up to date with the school, and that hopefully results in donations. 

    The webcasts even work for recruits, because before and at intermissions during webcasts the school plays an admissions video that provides some information about the university. 

    And finally advertisers – Mediasite generates revenue for the school this way, too. There are different levels of advertising. For example, a sports broadcast sponsor involves a company (in Lock Haven’s case it’s a travel company) providing supplies to the team(s) and in turn the company’s name is displayed during webcasts and recognized as a sponsor. The general ad package generates between $30,000 and $40,000 for the school through online media guides, links on the athletic website and links on the webcasts. 

    Another way the school generates revenue with Mediasite is with a phone-a-thon from the Lacrosse team. They raised over $12,000 for their program by streaming their program on Mediasite and having viewers call in to make donations. The school also helps with other campus events outside athletics and is working to purchase an ML (mobile) Recorder so it can live stream away games and also events in the community. 

    He said it’s all about thinking outside the box and suggested an online auction as a way to generate revenue with Mediasite. Have people call in and place bids for what they see on their screens. 

    Above is a photo of one of Peter’s slides that shows examples of what they record and how many views they received. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 09, 2012

    Hi Tracy

    You can always set up a Skype webcam link from a well placed laptop at location 2, calling back to location1, keeping the audio muted during the training period to allow for the webcast lag, then do a followup watch and listen via webcam while pausing the Mediasite webcast.  It works fine for simple training activities.


    Mark - thank you.  That is an option I will try out.  Skype seems to be the tool most used in this type of situation.  If you know of anything else, please don't hesitate to let me know!

    Thanks agai

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 09, 2012

    Last night we held yet another celebration for our UNLEASH attendees, this time at the historic Majestic Theatre, a popular and trendy music venue in downtown Madison.

    This was the first time we held it at that venue, and it was definitely a beautiful and unique one. Last year’s birthday bash paved the way for this year’s MUG Jam at the theatre, and people hung out with new and long-time Mediasite friends. We had a great band, Mark Croft, play all night and the place was packed with people on both the main floor and the balcony.

    Plus, like I mentioned yesterday, we saw fellow conference attendees take the stage to play at our first MUG Jam (Mediasite User Group Jam). I was really looking forward to seeing our very own Mediasite users play together, because it was the first time they have ever played together live. Last year at UNLEASH a few attendees got together and said that they should jam together sometime. Being from all over the world, like New Zealand, Alaska, California and Texas, they couldn’t actually practice together in the traditional sense. Instead, they did it over Mediasite webcasts, and when they arrived in Madison Monday they had a few short hours to get ready for the MUG Jam. Monday was the first time they played together in person. 

    Being that this party was in a theatre, we made sure that when attendees arrived they got Sonic Foundry swag. We had a table full of goodies, including ribbons with fun sayings on them that they could add to their conference badges like “I love Spotted Cow,” a favorite Wisconsin beer, “I love cheese curds,” and “Backstage Pass.” Cheese curds were obviously served, and it was funny to hear everyone who tried the cheese curds for the first time. People were asking what they were and then once they tried them they ran back to our swag table to grab an “I love cheese curds” ribbon. They’d say things like “I didn’t know they’d be THAT good,” or “I definitely earned this ribbon by how many I ate.” Here's my badge. I got a little carried away. I don't even like beer. 

    Today’s our last day of the conference and we’ve got another packed day of presentations by Sonic Foundry folks and Mediasite users. We also had Jan Ozer, a Streaming Media Magazine writer, present our keynote this morning, “Sharpen Your Streaming Edge: The Future of Video Streaming or Content Consumers, Producers and Distributors.” 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 08, 2012

    We’re at the historic Majestic Theater in downtown Madison for an evening of networking with dinner, drinks and music. And if last night’s festivities were any indication of what’s to come, tonight will be an even bigger celebration. It was obvious lots of attendees today were wiped out after last night and they took a little break this afternoon to nap and refresh for tonight. For some, they’ll  be trying their first cheese curds. I’m sitting up in the balcony of the theater waiting for the party to start, and I wanted to quick share why I think tonight is so unique.

    At last year’s UNLEASH, a few attendees were enjoying some beer (of course) and they got to talking about who plays instruments. Mark Dashper of University of Auckland in New Zealand mentioned he plays cello and a few other people piped in. Mark suggested they jam together sometime. Well, being they are all from different parts of the world that’s a little difficult. But with the wonders of Mediasite they were able to practice together online via Mediasite webcasts. Was I right? That’s pretty awesome. They met for the first time yesterday and practiced for a few hours – the first time they had ever played together in person. Tonight they are going to perform in their MUG Jam (Mediasite User Group Jam).

    I’ll let you know how it goes. 

    Favorite quote today: Mark Dashper -- "If I turn my cello sideways does it make it look slimmer?" (while we were taking a picture of the band)

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 08, 2012

    Think about this: In your work, what are you trying to sell?

    Communication?  Knowledge? Solutions? Opportunities?

    These are all great answers and true, but they’re the wrong answers. Human beings are only purchasing one thing in 2012 – an experience.

    Mike Staver, our keynote speaker for today at UNLEASH, gave a very entertaining presentation called “Leadership isn’t for cowards: How to drive performance by challenging people and confronting problems.” Mike told our Mediasite users to figure out what that experience is that people are looking for and then try to sell it. 

    What motivates people? Sure, people are motivated by things like money and fear, but what truly drives every decision? According to Mike, it’s pain. Relating that to Mediasite, people resist new technology because they fear it would be more painful than their current situations.  The reason people love Mediasite is because, according to Mike, it provides a positive experience. It reduces pain for them by being easy to use.  

    So no matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s education, enterprise, government, etc., you’ll be successful if you create a story that reduces pain. Mike said he’s been telling all his clients about Mediasite technology “because I think it’s so cool.” He doesn’t actually talk about the technology but rather the story and experience behind it. Instead he starts the story with “Imagine that you could …”

    He suggested the following steps to keep using Mediasite in innovative, new ways and make sure others are willing to continuously update the way technology is used. 


    1. Accept current circumstances

    2. Take action

    3. Take responsibility

    4. Acknowledge progress

    5. Commit to doing different things (it’s more about the experience than the technology)

    6. Kindle new relationships

    If you want to have an edge with Mediasite you have to make little incremental shifts in the way you do things to always progress. 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on May 08, 2012
    welcome reception

    I'd say day one of UNLEASH, our Mediasite User Conference, was a huge success. The reason: I would have blogged about the welcome reception at Francesca’s last night, but frankly it went too late. We were all back at Monona Terrace bright and early this morning at 7 a.m. for a jam—packed day of presentations and networking. 

    What a great time had by all yesterday, and I was just overwhelmed by the complimentary things everyone was saying about our city, Madison … of course everyone loved the Wisconsin beers, specifically Spotted Cow and they couldn’t wait to have some Wisconsin cheese curds. One person said he’s never had them before, which of course got a big gasp from many. Hopefully we can remedy that for him this week. 

    Taylor Scott of Bellevue University, right outside of Omaha, Nebraska, said my favorite thing all night: “Madison is like a surreal college town that you see in the movies.”

    That gave you chills, right? I sure got them. 

    She and her colleague Sarah Cleveland always love roaming the streets of Madison for the cute boutiques and yummy restaurants and just to get the overall college town vibe. 

    Mona Aldana-Ramirez of San Antonio College also said something pretty awesome last night: "Mediasite mojo comes from within." 

    One UNLEASH veteran attendee told me that the support at Sonic Foundry is just great and he enjoys attending the conference every year so much. Someone else said that if he could transplant himself anywhere in the world, Sonic Foundry would be the place he would want to be. Those are just a few of the complimentary things I heard last night, and it was very rewarding to hear and we all appreciate it very much.

    The networking here is unparalleled. I’m sorry I keep bringing this up but there are people from 37 states and 12 countries here (I just think that is so cool), so you can imagine attendees meet a lot of people they normally would never come in contact with. They learn off of each other and leave with connections all over the world that they can work with to constantly improve how they use Mediasite.  

    Perfect example: Larry Rowe and Lonnie Schneider of the Missouri Association of School Administrators are attending UNLEASH for the first time this year. They didn’t know what to expect but were excited for the networking. First night – they were chatting with David Olsen of Northland Community and Technical College. 

    “The networking is really interesting. It's great to meet other people, share some commonalities,” Lonnie said.

    Jeremy Rowan of Hospice Education Network, has been using Mediasite for nearly 10 years, and this is his first UNLEASH. 

    "It's getting in front of the Mediasite people to talk about the technology. Seeing them in person is a lot different," he said. "Wisconsin is always great for cheese curds and beer. You gotta love the squeeky cheese and Spotted Cow." 

    The reception at Francesca’s lasted four hours, but afterwards many people still stayed out for more drinks and catching up with their friends from all around the world that they get to see once a year at UNLEASH.  I was out for a drink with a few Sonic Foundry colleagues and some UNLEASH attendees after the reception and the minute our group entered the bar everyone was toasting to UNLEASH and soon we had the whole place toasting and cheering with us.  Such a great energy this conference has. 

    Now it’s Tuesday morning, and I’m sitting in the Monona Terrace overlooking Lake Monona with a full day ahead of me. I just attended the very entertaining keynote speaker Mike Staver about leadership. Check back here later for a recap. Some powerful insights he had to share. Stay tuned.