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Communications, Intranet

The Trouble with Podcasts and Videos

podcastSomething different for you; an audio file for you to listen to. You can listen right now below, or you can ‘follow’ my audio blogs over at AudioBoo. A ‘Boo’ is three minutes long or less, and seem an easy way to audio-blog by iPhone or phone call. I say it’s the Twitter of podcasting.

Or you can read my thoughts on podcasting within your company below – not an exact transcript, but identical content to the short audio blog.

Listen!

The popularity of podcasting and video blogging, ala YouTube, must have some impact on the way we communicate within our companies. I know when I publish messages from our CEO on our intranet they are popular and valued, generating a wealth of feedback. There are many people within the company who don’t have access to the intranet though, so our CEO, and other execs, record the message on a phone line, so people can ring up and listen. Basically, it’s podcasting over the phone. Several people listen each week. Not a huge audience, but if they don’t have access to the intranet article, we have a duty to provide alternative communications.

But personally, I’m not sure the popularity of podcasting and video blogging on the world wide web should influence professional business critical communications too much.

My main concern, outside of the technological hurdles for the listener or viewer, is the signal to noise ratio.

Even in a high-quality podcast, packed with news, relevant information and clear instructions, it’s still incredibly time consuming to take in, and almost impossible to refer back to.

A 1000 word company news bulletin can be understood in under a minute, or scan read for the juicy bits in a matter of seconds. It’s always there to quickly refer back to as well.

A podcast of vodcast on the other hand, takes minutes to get to the crux of the matter, and is damn near impossible to refer back to a month later.

So why am I mini-podcasting (with AudioBoo) now for kilobox communiqué? Because this isn’t inside the company I work for, and I accept that podcasting reaches a different audience than the usual written method of communicating.

Prove me right and help me understand how new media can improve Internal Communications.

[Wedge]

If you would like to share or tweet this article, the Short URL is: http://kilobox.net/1104

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.

4 thoughts on “The Trouble with Podcasts and Videos

  • What you say may be true about videos is probably true when applied to conveying information. But I think they can be much better than text at generating ideas, motivating, casting useful doubt.

  • Hi Dion,

    there’s something valuable about video guides (how tos) and big, nice announcements when one wants engagement (conveying emotional information). So I don’t disagree with you.

    I do think video is hard to consume (tech, context, location, time taken), and very hard to reference again later.

    Also, when people are poor writers one can just actively scan-read and look for the relevant stuff, but when a person is a poor video maker or speaker, one is trapped in passive viewing.

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