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Thursday, March 06, 2008

The video test (2)

You can view the construction of the new hospital in Sault. Ste. Marie by video link from the hospital's website. We'll be profiling this project in an upcoming issue of the Northern Ontario Construction News.

Well, my first ever 'official' web video broadcast came and went -- with no response (though the broadcast service suggested that perhaps two people were actually viewing it.) The experience is kind of like giving a speech at the top of your voice in a forest, where no one can actually see or hear you. Here, of course, theoretically, everyone in the world can know you are there -- but that doesn't mean anyone is listening.

Not that it matters much, right now. But I know it will be important, if not within the next year; certainly within the next two or three. How can I be so confident? Instinct, perhaps. I remember when I got my first email account in the mid-1990s, and eagerly awaited someone, anyone, to send me an email in response to a print publication article giving the information to everyone. No one responded.

We were early adaptors with digital cameras, as well. This had immediate practical business value -- with remote operations in the U.S., the costs of delivering images would have been astronomical, without the ability to upload e-files with the camera images. Of course, the early cameras could do a fraction of what current models are capable of achieving, at a fraction of the cost.

Then there is wireless Internet. I signed up early for home use. But the real value is in our office. Employees working from home can 'drop in' and quickly connect to the secured server. And working from home, the family room sofa is now my primary work space during the day -- I get lots of stuff done, in relative comfort.

I've written about Social Networking for the SMPS Marketer and believe these resources, while of limited immediate significance, will soon become extremely important for the construction marketing process.

Finally, we have this blog and broadcast emails through Constant Contact. A year ago, virtually no one viewed this blog; now the audience is usually more than 50 readers per day and often more than 100. And the blog and e-letter have, indeed, brought our business valid and useful leads.

The interesting thing about the new video technologies is the way they integrate with other Internet resources. for example, allows you to set a feed right to your blog (I did). As well, it is easy to send out by email notifications about an upcoming broadcast. I used a small list for this morning's test -- it is not my intention to bother people unnecessarily as we get the technical glitches out of the system.

Video streaming and broadcasting isn't quite ready for prime time, in my opinion, but I expect within the year you'll see this has real applications and is a relevant part of your marketing mix.

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