Dynamic and Smooth

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I am sure you got this wrong. I am neither talking about kPoint engineers nor the scotch I tried on Friday. I am talking about kPoint’s new version 6.3, which offers innovative features. Still interested in reading further? I promise you will like what you read.

Dynamic window layout
One of the unique features of kPoint is the two window layout. If you have got a presenter and slides, you can see them next to each other. This helps you re-live the presentations, but what if the kapsule doesn’t have two media all the time? Well, no -worries. kPoint can now switch between one window and two window layouts easily. This is how it helps.
Let’s face it. We are not actors. The moment we are in front of a camera, we are often not natural. With a dynamic layout in kPoint, you can be in front of the camera for some time and then switch it off. Then may be bring it up again at the end to conclude. You can pretty much read a script in between.
See this kapsule.
Are you using kPoint as a hosting platform? If not, I am sure you will at some point of time. kPoint supports video to kapsule. With our new single window layout, your video will maintain its glory. Watch this kapsule.

Smooth media transitions
What is the difference between a luxury car and a normal car? The “thunk” when you close the door. Did you observe how smooth the windows transitioned in kPoint? At the end of the day, when you are working so hard on your content, kPoint – gives justice to your hard work. Check out the media transitions in your kapsule.
Hey, we have done a lot of things in this release.

Keep an eye for the next blog around our mobile story.

Why enterprise LD needs kPoint

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ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) quotes a 2013 L&D Technology report by the Impact Instruction Group to emphasize the paradigm shift to innovative ways of delivering learning. 56% of the respondents to their survey plan to invest in video-learning in the coming months.
Enterprises are already adopting video-learning as a formal part of their L&D strategy.
Delivering video-learning effectively requires

• Rapid multimedia content creation
• Personalized and interactive content for effective learning
• Indexing and cataloging to formalize content as L&D assets
• Efficient enterprise-wide distribution with access control
• Tracking and analytics for assessment
• Integration with existing L&D systems and processes

Most enterprise L&D departments have many existing solutions, none of which unfortunately meet the above requirements for video-learning. Typically, these solutions have the following drawbacks:

Video Streaming Solutions: Live video streaming solutions are usually ineffective in delivering learning content alongside video, and cannot be easily integrated into the enterprise L&D processes and systems.

Video Conferencing Solutions: These solutions are restricted to live interactions. Even if they provide session recordings, they are in a proprietary format which is usually monolithic video with no navigation aids or content search. They are ineffective for learning delivery.
E-learning Solutions: Traditional e-learning courses are impersonal and do not engage the learner. Multimedia e-learning courses are expensive and time-consuming to create.

Knowledge Management Solutions and LMS: These can only be used as a knowledge repository, with no support for content creation or interactivity.

kPoint addresses these challenges by offering an innovative platform for video-learning in enterprises. L& D departments across our customers are successfully using kPoint for

Instant creation and sharing of multimedia content: Simulating a live training environment for SMEs, trainers and content creators, kPoint makes it easy to create multimedia mashups from everyday interactions. It automatically captures voice, slides, desktop share, multimedia and whiteboards as synchronized, hi-fidelity kapsules. There are zero editing or post-processing efforts before you can share the content across your organization.

Automatic indexing, search and visualmarks within video content: kPoint automatically indexes the content used in the kapsule, making it easy to search, find and consume. Your learning videos are no longer monolithic; the content within is fully searchable and easy to navigate with kapsule visualmarks.

Interactivity: kPoint kapsules have a number of cool features that make them highly interactive and engaging. Bookmarks, queries to experts, comments, tags, snippets to share highlights of the kapsule – all of these enhance the trainee’s experience and improves retention in courses. It also provides for a more collaborative experience, which has been proven to be essential for effective learning.

Personalized learning delivery: Since kPoint kapsules can be recorded by your own SMEs and trainers, the content delivery is backed by solid reputation and expertise within your enterprise. The personalized delivery of content using presenter video in kapsules, makes it even more effective.

Analytics is the new ‘black’.

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There was a news report in a prominent financial daily the other day on the growing demand for ‘data scientists’ across industries. ‘Data scientist’ was not even a term a few years ago, let alone a job profile in much demand! The explosion of available information and the volumes of data collected from various sources has opened a completely new area of computing.‘Big Data’ has been the flavor of the season for a while now, but using data analytics for decision-making has been around for a while. The ubiquity of analysis tools and frameworks has made it imperative for almost all professions to pay attention, analyze and draw insights from the data that is being collected by their systems and applications.

One of the key challenges intersecting this growing data is the exponential growth in online multimedia content. Recent trends in the rich-media space have seen content go beyond videos. Videos are moving from one-way entertainment to an interactive medium of communication, promotion and learning. And, they involve significant amount of content. Content is data. And data can be analyzed! You are no longer limited to publishing a monolithic video with a simple counter for the number of views it gathers. Today’s advanced multimedia delivery platforms collect insightful data for your video content and its viewership – what are the most popular search terms used to find your video, which are the most popular bookmarks accessed by your viewers, where are your viewers coming from and how long are they staying, which sections of your video are most popular, how many people are successfully able to answer the pop-quizzes in your interactive video. Data, data and even more data! Useful data that can be analyzed to fine-tune your video content to make it more effective and targeted. Any video-delivery solution worth its salt has to have analytics functionality that dives deep into this data and brings these insights to the fore. You shouldn’t have to hire a data scientist to analyze this!

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

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U2, Joshua Tree

I bet you all have heard it and were a little perturbed when you did. Some months back, I was over for breakfast at a friends’ home. My friend told her pre-teen daughter in their sunny kitchen that Sunday morning that she should just “Google” the question that was bothering her so early in the day. My initial reaction was to chide my friend about her ignorance. But then I didn’t know the answer to the child’s question either! So I pondered questions and answers as I waited for my breakfast.

Two things jumped out.

Firstly, people who traditionally had answers for our questions, parents, teachers in schools or university and trainers at the workplace don’t have them ALL anymore. They hopefully know WHERE you could get your answers rather than GIVE you a specific answer. And it’s not their fault either. Our need for specific information is so vast and varied that it is almost impossible to have it all in one’s head. Or anyone else’s head for that matter. The ability to search and find information has become critical. I just googled “How to use honey in your shelf that got crystallized”. (You have to warm it. Not add water and dissolve it as I originally imagined. The glucose monohydrate with heat will assume a liquid form temporarily.) No one could tell me. Fifteen minutes my employer will never get back.

Secondly, the thing that scares and bothers one about information from “out there” is its source. Did some kid in Tunisia bored out of his mind recommend that crystallized honey could be mildly microwaved? (My answer was cross checked with the infallible logic that “…so many food websites couldn’t all be wrong!”). This will always be a problem. The World Wide Web has many contributors and we can’t vouch for them all.

So buyer beware. And perhaps it was the best thing my friend was doing by getting her young daughter to come to grips with this new reality of learning.

What you really want to know when a video is watched

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Recently I got interested in understanding what is going on with video content on the Internet. Any statistics you look at will tell you that video content is on the rise. Here are some numbers from 2012 http://www.magnetvideo.com/content/101+online+video+statistics+for+2012/26169 that should encourage anyone thinking of using videos.

Some numbers that caught my eye are – 52% marketers say they are using videos in email marketing and that there is a higher percentage of folks who watch a combination of user generated content (UGC) and studio-produced marketing videos. Higher video content quality would pull in another 30% viewers and flexibility of watching from anywhere would bring in another 26%. It is clear that video content is here to stay and, grow. As with any other content, creators of the content want to know who is viewing and what are they doing with the content.

Let’s take a closer look at UGC video content which can be further divided into consumer vs enterprise.

Consumer UGC is created using readily available equipment such as webcams. A cat playing the piano or the ireport on CNN fall into this category. This content is typically created and posted on a public site such as YouTube without any thought of monetization though sometimes high viewership can result in monetization.

Enterprise UGC is generated with a business purpose such as conveying a story about the company, its people, its products and services, how to fix them, etc. Enterprise content tends to be multifaceted with one or more of slides, screenshots, videos, speaker videos, whiteboards, etc.

Since monetization is typically not the purpose f or consumer content, number of views adequately represents the value to viewers. For example, if you had greater than about 2-3 thousand viewers for your content, you could become a YouTube partner and get paid by them for the ads they inject in your content.

For enterprise content, one needs to know more about what is happening with the content. The main parameters that are typically tracked – who, from where, how, how many. Let me elaborate – we want to know who is watching it (does the viewer match our target customer profile?), from which part of the world are they coming (is that the target geography?), how did they arrive at our content (search?, email?, social media?), how many users view the content per day, month, year, etc.

What is missing from this is – what are the viewers looking at? Did they jump around? Did they linger somewhere? Did they interact with the content? Did they search for something specific?

kPoint addresses these questions in its analytics.

Using multiple streams to get rid of camera/mic shyness.

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The whole idea behind kPoint is to give the viewer of a kapsule an experience pretty much the same as that of being there live! This is the reason why kPoint puts so much power into the hands of the kapsule creator – in addition to her own audio and video, she can use a presentation, share any application from the desktop, or play another video. The additional streams need to be used by the author effectively to create that being-there-in-person experience for the viewer.

There is one gotcha however, for most people while creating a kapsule. They become camera shy, and even if the video is not used, they become mic shy! We want to help all such users get rid of this shyness. So, here are a couple of tips.

When you talk to your viewers in person, you share-all-of-yourself subconsciously while delivering your “message”. You make sure that the viewers are focused on what you are showing them. While doing this there may be an occasional missed pronunciation, that odd word you stutter on, or a sentence that you repeat. No one minds it. When you are live, you are focused on delivering the “message”, showing them what you have, and your viewers are there to see it. Neither of you is focused on anything else. That’s what makes being-there-in-person experience so effective.

So, if you wish to create an effective kapsule, focus on the “message” and share-all-of-yourself with the kPoint camera. Do not mind the missed word, an occasional umm… etc. Help the viewer focus on what you wish to show them from one of the many streams kPoint supports. This will take the pressure off you and are sure to come out with a kapsule that you like.

And yes, please do not “script” what you wish to say. Just keep the bullet points with you in the presentation and let it flow. You as well as your viewers will like it that way since it will come out so naturally.

Here is a something I found by Matthew Loop that elaborates on these points and provides you some more tips. Have fun with kPoint!

Matthew Loop on “How to stop camera shyness”.

“Can you please share your screen?”

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I recently attended a lecture by Prof. Lu of USC at NASSCOM Engineering Summit* where he talked about how engineers are oversupplying technology to 1% of population. Engineers keep on adding features at the risk of losing the simplicity of a product. The differentiation is added in a dimension where it hardly matters. Over the period, the technology companies keep supplying more and more technology. It was a fresh perspective on engineering.
Something similar is happening in the web conference space. Every two months there is a new product added which claims to be a differentiated product.

Let’s take the 2 cases of conference calls viz. planned and unplanned. In a planned meeting, people join the web-conference and most of them use teleconference to reduce bandwidth requirement. Hardly anyone turns the camera on. The coordinator passes control to the presenter and the screens are shared. People discuss updates, problems and the coordinator takes notes and circulates the action items after the meeting.

In an unplanned meeting like a support call, you get on a call. Now you suddenly realize that it would have been nice if all of you were seeing the same screen.

In both the scenarios, for the meetings, you essentially need to share the screen. You need all the “good to have” features if you are conducting a webinar or training. Now if you need to share just the screens, why should you pay lots of $s? Secondly why do want the viewers to go through the hassle of installation just for sharing the screen? Why can’t they use browsers?

So here is a new product and only point of differentiation is that is simple, free, and works well with mobile devices. Just go to skreen.me** using your browser. Share your screen and allow your colleagues to view it from any device. No apps, no installs, no sign ups, no JAVA. It is fast, simple and FREE. Now you can start saving $s spent on so called web conferences which are actually screen sharing sessions.

**http://skreen.me is powered by kPoint and incubated by GS Lab.