Streaming Media East '07: Observations

- To justify video on the Web, don't look at direct "ROI," look also at replacement costs or savings. A few people pointed out that you can't say "how much money are we making with Web video," but rather should say, "what else did we used to do that we spend less on now because of the Web video" – anything from saving on travel costs, to satellite to mailing DVDs or videotapes. One person told me about a presenter who bought every person she taught in a seminar a video iPod, and loaded all the documents and what-not on there, saving herself hundreds of dollars in printing and binder costs.

- Streaming, as I said earlier, is a misnomer. Very seldom, really, is there a reason to watch live. Even so-called "live" national news at 6:30 is really packaged and highly produced, as is "live" TV such as talk shows or sketch comedy. Most everything is just fine on demand.

- People are starting to talk about "deep linking" into video the way they used to talk about deep linking into internal pages of Web sites. Meaning, in video's case, that instead of linking to a page and having to watch a video until it reaches the part you're interested in, you link right to the part – the sentence, the action – you're interested in. Search engines start to find material inside a portion of a video.

My assertion: assume that everything possible with text is going to be possible with video. It's all bits and bytes, just more of them. But it's coming.

- A few favorite quotes:

* From Tine Kirkegaard, Web manager for Carlsberg beer. She talked about a software coder whose friend almost died in a plane crash and who became very nervous about flying. So, he talked to the pilots, which made him feel better, because until then all the stuff going on in the cockpit had been a dark mystery. "Maybe our customers feel the same way about us," she quoted him as saying. And, thus, she said, Channel9 was born on the Microsoft Developer Network

* From Bart Feder, CEO of The Feedroom, on why you should, if you're a company, encourage all comments in your own venue and give up some control in the process: "Even if it's negative, they're going to do it anyway. How do you engage them in away that's productive."

* "Five years ago, no media company had a head of digital media. Now every media company has a head of digital media." Also by Feder.

* From chief Martin Nisenholtz to kick of his keynote address: "The fact that an executive from a 156-year-old media company is the featured speaker say lot about how times are changing."

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