Video Killed the Intranet Star

Home>Best Practices, Social Intranets>Video Killed the Intranet Star

Video Killed the Intranet Star

By | 2017-09-15T09:50:01+00:00 April 7, 2010|Best Practices, Social Intranets|

I’m a big fan of Twitter. I love it for the flow of information. It’s a great tool to measure the “pulse” of your industry. The amount of idea and knowledge sharing keeps me glued to my TweetDeck screen throughout the day. But what I love most about Twitter is that everything is in short, sweet snippets. I’m an addicted speed reader. I need short bursts of data or I’ll be distracted by the million-and-one things I have to accomplish in my day.

So with this in mind, I found myself frustrated after deciding to click on three interesting blog post links off Twitter last week. All three posts had a short intro blurb and then an embedded video. I understand the power of video – I really do – but in this context it annoyed me. It’s pretty hard to scan and jump to an area of the video that really holds my interest. I can do this with the written blog post. It’s impossible to highlight and copy the portion of the video that I would really like to forward to a co-worker. I can’t grab a piece of that video and blog about it myself providing a quote from the original post. I managed approximately 1 minute into the first video (because I really wanted to hear about the subject) and then something took my attention away. Returning to video, I found it frustrating because it was hard to find the spot I left the video at, so I just gave up and re-watched the first minute, only to get pulled off again by an impromptu meeting. I gave up and didn’t even bother watching the other two videos.

Because there is so much information flow on Twitter, I find myself by-passing any video blogs. It’s a rare occasion when I will sit through a 3-5 minute video during my work day.

This got me thinking about your intranets. I suspect your employees may feel the same way. How many employees will sit through a 5 minute weekly video blog of the company CEO talking about corporate initiatives? Videos do have their place on the intranet, but (in my humble opinion) they should be used in very specific circumstances like video tutorials and how-to’s, or something with entertainment value.

So if you are contemplating adding video blogs to your intranet, consider how your employees will interact with that content. Yes it’s cool; yes it’s oh-so-web-2.0. But is it practical? Does the use of video support the goal of the content? Will people sit through it and benefit?

Some tips to consider before breaking out the Flip video camera

  • Keep it short & sweet – do a series of 1 min clips instead of a 7 min piece
  • Add humor if you can
  • Be engaging
  • Ask yourself: will this video deliver the message more effectively than written words
  • Remember! Videos are not searchable – written words are

What do you think? Is the use of videos on your intranet gaining (or losing) ground?

Related Posts

By | 2017-09-15T09:50:01+00:00 April 7, 2010|Best Practices, Social Intranets|

About the Author:

Carolyn Douglas, Founder of the software Intranet Connections, started her endeavor of creating intranets out of a passion to cater to employees rather than technology. Her philosophy is your intranet can have all the bells and whistles but without employees using it, your intranet is gathering dust. This commitment to simple and easy to use intranet software, combined with amazing customer service that delivers the best of employee engagement ideas and practices, has secured Intranet Connections as one of the leading intranet solutions since its inception in 1999.


  1. Toby Ward April 8, 2010 at 4:21 am - Reply

    The intranet has stars?! I just though the intranet was a cos-center, a necessary ‘evil’ and the people that worked on them were geeks who couldn’t cut it in PR or on the Internet?!?


    Good post though — very good recommendations. (Hope one of the videos wasn’t mine 🙂

  2. Christy Season April 8, 2010 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Great post! I feel the exact same way when I see an interesting ‘tweet’ about a particular topic…click on it..only to find a video.

    I think you make a great point — everyone is so busy, so besides during your lunch break, who really has time to sit and watch a 5 minute video. Personally I prefer podcasts (can multi-task while listening) or blog posts. And if it must be video, then very short clips.

    We have a video site on our intranet and we recently published videos of our senior leaderships’ presentations from the most recent Leadership Meeting. Instead of posting a single video of an exec’s entire presentation, we edited them down into very short clips by subject or points before adding them to our video site. This makes it super easy to click on the topics that interest you and not have to sit through a lengthy presentation.

    I also feel like it’s more engaging. I found that even I after clicking on one short snippet, tended to click on more because it wasn’t taking up much time. So I probably ended up watching all of the presentation of a particular exec just by clicking on all of the short snippets…plus the editing takes out all the in between and irrelevant info… uh…not that our execs ever say anything irrelevant or not important. 🙂

    I would also be curious if anyone out there uses SlideShare type functionality on their intranet. I’ll admit that we’ve put PowerPoint presentations on intranet sites (boo) which I hate waiting for PowerPoint to load, etc. I don’t mind flipping through an engaging PowerPoint, but I prefer to do it simliar to SlideShare…embedded in the page with the option to comment, ability to download and ability to share the link.

    Sometimes with training, etc. PowerPoint can’t be avoided…and it’s something our employees are used to and prefer for particular communications. So, we’ve also started using the ‘short and sweet’ approach with these by splicing presentations into ‘Chapters’ or modules and providing links to each…so you can skip to the info you need the most and just view that section, but still have the option of viewing the entire presentation from another link if you wanted to. Hmm…another blog post topic? PowerPoint on the intranet…bad idea? And if you can’t avoid it, best way approach to using it? And SlideShare inside the firewall?

    Ok, sorry for the long comment! You’ve got my brain wheels turning!

  3. Carolyn Douglas April 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Great feedback Christy – thanks for sharing. I love the idea of using slideshare / powerpoint presentations on the intranet. It’s visual, snappy, and the end user can control their speed and placement in the slideshow. It might be some work to split up presentations into chapters but ultimately the benefits you’ve listed (inter-linking, skipping to chapters) is more user-friendly (in my humble opinion).

    It seems in the age of social media, our consumption of information needs to be in a format that is quick, lean, and smart – which should extend to our thinking of how we provide and process information on the intranet.

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment and share the great ideas and mode of communication you are using on your intranet. Much appreciated.

    PS Toby: Your videos are actually one of the few I’ll sit through and watch 🙂 You are such a straight shooter and it’s refreshing to hear your point of view.

    If you are reading these comments and have not yet discovered the wealth of information from Toby Ward’s intranet blog, check it out at


  4. John Scott April 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Some good thoughts here – particularly the point about keeping videos very short.

    I think there is definitely a place for video on intranets. A video of a senior leader making an important announcement about the business adds a lot of gravitas compared to a page of text.

    Of course it costs more to produce so I definitely agree that it should be used sparingly.

    Also I think that you can somewhat negate the effect of content hidden from search by ensuring that you always use descriptive summaries for the video.

  5. Carolyn Douglas April 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Very true John – good point about the cost of video vs text, and to include your meta data when publishing videos. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Matt Moore April 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Carolyn – I totally agree that video is often not the best medium for many communications. Regarding John’s point, its very expense makes it attractive to some executives (splashing out on vodcasts is like buying a Bentley as opposed to the Toyota of text).

    Christy – I think many corporate intranets would have problems embedding slideshare into their intranets due to security restrictions. Does Sharepoint 2010 allow any Slideshare-like performance with Powerpoint? N.B. I especially like the “slidecast” feature on Slideshare that allows you to add audio.

    Three points to be made:
    – We’re starting to see video tagging tools such as this emerging: – they won’t solve everything but they will make video more findable.
    – There is a power to visuals that most organizations do not use. Visuals do not necessarily mean video. Again I think the the “slidecast” model is awesome.
    – Low cost video tools like the Flip camera make tactical uses of video now feasible. Short instruction videos (3 mins or less) by staff to demonstrate how to do something can be really handy.

  7. Carolyn Douglas April 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Todd, thanks for your comment. This post has elicited a lot of views. I agree with your statement that it’s a matter of deciding which medium is best for the message you are wanting to convey.

    Carolyn Douglas

Leave A Comment