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How Microsoft is using internal videos to promote employee productivity

Academy Mobile is a site focused on connecting Microsoft employees around the globe. Combined with something called the Podcast-In-A-Box program, employees are provided a Flip HD camera, a Zoom H2 microphone, and Camtasia screencasting and video editing software. Employees check out the pack, shoot and edit their video, and then return it for someone else to use. Or they can keep it–provided they produce three podcasts or videos each month. Microsoft spent $80,000 just on the equipment for Podcast-In-A-Box.

The employees are able to follow certain filmmakers and rate videos on a five-star rating system–just like YouTube. One of the highest-rated video creators, Mike Gannotti, has 15,000 followers (nearly 20% of the entire company).

Employees are drawn to create videos and podcasts for the same reason regular citizens are drawn to sign up for a YouTube channel–they want followers, and they enjoy sharing what they’re working on. The videos entertain, educate, and even inspire fellow workers.

That doesn’t mean that every small business in the U.S. will have their own custom-branded YouTube clone. They won’t need to–YouTube lets you keep videos hidden from the public if you wish, and the fact that it’s free will be appealing as well, I’m sure. But there’s simply too much educational power for businesses to hold out too much longer. 15 years ago, many companies didn’t think they’d ever need a website or use email for business, but they eventually did. And video’s on the same trajectory. The days of online video production being a medium used primarily for entertainment are over.

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