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10 March 2009 | Shirley Lacy Blog
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On-line Videos and Virtual Exhibitions
This week Shirley looks at virtual worlds and business videos as being key business drivers for marketing for 2009..

  Shirley Lacy

I am blogging from the US this week. In USA Today was the headline. “Promoters of all kinds take a shot at online video.” Apparently all kinds of businesses, colleges and institutions are leaping into online video as well as the media companies. It seems that everyone is marketing, communicating, educating via the web.

Forrester predicts that 187 billion videos will be streamed over the web in 2009, up 24% from 2008. So why has it all suddenly taken off? The major enablers are better Internet connectivity, video technology and on line video services. High definition camcorders and editing software are becoming affordable too. You Tube helped to make the Flash video format into a de-facto standard. Many people use You Tube in their personal life and have then transferred their usage into the business arena. The convergence of personal and business use is a growing trend.

As many organisations have cut their budgets for training, conferences and networking, people are looking for alternative and cheaper methods – so business videos will fill a niche.  People can manage with the knowledge that they have accumulated in the good times, for a while, but how long does this last? Now is the time to keep learning – it is not time to be a laggard. With the economic and “green” pressures, it seems like a good time for adoption.

Add to on-line videos, a virtual world such as Second Life and we could stay in front of our screens forever (only kidding!). CNN reported that Second Life has 16 million users– up from 2 million in 2007. According to the analyst firm Gartner, "By the end of 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will be part of a virtual world.  This sounds exciting but does this sound like the dot com lemmings all over again?

If organisations rush into a virtual world with insufficient thought and planning they are probably doomed to failure. Gartner says that nine out of 10 virtual world projects fail within 18 months. I have no doubt that there will be many successful business models. With thought, planning and great execution there are potentially great many rewards.

On the BCS Configuration Management committee (CMSG) committee we have facilitated one of our key objectives - the free and open exchange of Configuration, Change and Release Management experiences and ideas – often between the systems engineering, software and service management specialists. However, this is usually if you come to London or look on the website for the presentations after the event. We have tried several times to create an on line catalogue of vendors as their solutions are an essential part of a configuration management solution. The inertia and maintenance for voluntary committee members has always become too great.

This year we have a joint conference with the itSMF on 15 June, Pragmatic Configuration Management reducing cost and risk. In order to limit our costs we have a smaller venue and limited space for vendor stands. This seemed like a great opportunity to explore alternative options and we are going to offer sponsorship packages for the physical conference and a 3D virtual exhibition. I am keen on this as it offers the opportunity to our members a great facility and finally deliver some of our key objectives in an exciting way.

 We have enthusiasts and sceptics on the committee so we are planning what we do carefully. We are aiming to pilot the 3D virtual world and include videos captured at the conference. By demonstrating the virtual exhibition at the June conference we will be able to gather direct feedback in the interactive sessions.

Please join us as sponsors or conference delegates. It promises to be an experience.

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!

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