Are You Empowering Employees, Or Watching Them Empower Themselves?

Today, Forrester and Harvard Business Review Press released the print version of Empowered, a book by Forrester veterans Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler. This book is a quick and worthwhile read for just about anyone who wants to consider the changing role of technology in the workplace. After several reads of this book, I have found that in addition to a lot of great statistics, quotes, and case studies, there is a valuable message for how companies MUST change their philosophy and approach toward new technologies in order to stay innovative.

As a quick example of how quickly the technology landscape is changing, stop for a moment to consider just how many times in the past few days you have:

  • Received an invitation to LinkedIn.
  • Seen a personal acquaintance using Facebook.
  • “Tweeted” or heard someone comment on “tweeting.”
  • Checked your mobile phone — or seen a commercial for a cool new mobile app.
  • Heard reference to social media in a news story.
  • Watched a video clip on YouTube.
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Can Marketers Create Compelling Online Video Content?

Can marketers create great content? Can they bridge the gap between an appealing 30-second viral video and TV comedy? Because that’s the competition in the emerging Web landscape — where media companies and marketers are competing for the same eyeballs.

Company creation of original video content to promote its products and services isn’t new, but this week, I was intrigued to see Philips trying something different. It launched a new “online sitcom” — Nigel and Victoria — that follows a love-struck marketing manager (a bumbling twit and therefore, naturally, English) and an actress (playing an actress) who hosts a Web series about Philips products. It’s amiable, knowing, and reasonably amusing, and a presence across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter ticks those social media boxes. It’ll be interesting to see if it finds a larger audience than the other video content — some of which is actually decent — lurking unloved in the recesses of Philips' own Web site.

The notion of Web-specific video content, or Webisodes, as a new format for content — somewhere between lo-fi UGC and broadcast-quality TV — took a hit in the economic downturn. The budgetary gap between TV and the Web was a difficult one to straddle. The sums didn’t add up, and the likes of Kate Modern, though effective at generating buzz, hinted at a future that never quite happened.

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