Yammer 202: Video Yammercasting

As I learned by trial and error, and as Keith from the Yammer team confirmed in the comments on Yammer 201, there is a limit on the file sizes you can share through Yammer: 20 MB. I had tried a 35 MB file, but that was rejected as being too large.

But there doesn’t seem to be a file type limitation. I did a 1:25 video yammercast (17 MB) yesterday and it worked well. I interviewed myself via Flip and then sent the QuickTime file via Yammer to one of my work teams.


It did take them a couple of minutes to download, so when you yammercast a larger file you may want to be sure to include some significant text in the Yammer post, so that in case the recipients don’t download the video they would still get the main point of the communication.

Keith included a helpful link to the Yammer blog that gives more detail on the file-sharing feature.

Yammer has built a lean, efficient platform for sharing. I like how photos that can be suitably displayed through the Yammer interface are embedded in posts, but larger, more complicated audio and video files can just be downloaded to be seen or heard in QuickTime or Windows Media Player.

If you want to share video with the world, YouTube is your great choice. But if you want to confine the distribution to your company, or to a work group within your company, try a yammercast.

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Yammer 201: Yammer as Internal Podcast Platform

The fact that we’re in the 200-level courses doesn’t mean we’re done with the 100 level, but that we’re talking about an unorthodox and somewhat creative use of the Yammer platform.

As I indicated in Yammer 110, Yammer now allows the upload and sharing of documents or files. And it’s not just limited to PDFs, spreadsheets or Word documents. You also can upload mp3 files, and I did one of those that was 18 MB.

That got me thinking: what if a company decided to use Yammer as a way of distributing “podcasts” to its employees?

It would be unconventional, which is why I put “podcasts” in quotes. A podcast is typically considered a series of audio or video files to which you can subscribe via RSS. By that measure, a Yammer “podcast” wouldn’t exactly fit the definition.

So I’m coining a new term:


A yammercast is an audio file you distribute through Yammer, and it has some significant advantages over other means of distribution.

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Five Free Follow-Ups For Before 5 p.m.

I enjoy giving webinar presentations like this one, but I often think of slides I wish I would have added, and examples I would like to share, after I’ve submitted the presentation file to the organizers. And sometimes I forget to mention some points that I had intended.

One of the beauties of blogging is that I can share some additional notes and highlights so that people who participated in the webinar can explore on their own. It lets me make sure I covered the key points before the presentation even starts. Some of this may be review for long-time SMUGgles, but you may find portions helpful as well.

The main point about doing this before 5 p.m. is to not procrastinate. Those in the EST time zone will have a couple of hours after the webinar, while the PST gang has the whole afternoon. But since you’re reading this now, why not get started right away?

  1. Observe some examples. Check out our Mayo Clinic Podcast Blog (and particularly this post on Niemann-Pick Disease Type C), our Mayo Clinic YouTube Channel, our Facebook page and our News Blog. See this story from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that includes a link to a Mayo Clinic Medical Edge video story, and this post from the WSJ’s Health Blog, which included one of our Flip videos from our YouTube channel. Besides providing information directly to consumers and potential patients, “new media” tools like web video and audio can help generate or enhance your traditional news coverage.
  2. Complete Podcasting 101, which is the first course in the Podcasting curriculum at SMUG. In the coming days, as you work through the 100-level courses, you will be able to create your own podcast and have it listed in iTunes for exactly $0.00. It’s all free. Like my podcast, Chancellor Conversations, this won’t have the production quality you would want for your official organization podcasts, but by working through the process step-by-step you will strip away the mystery, and no one will be able to tell you “it’s too complicated.” Then you can spend a few hundred dollars for some better recording equipment, and develop a really solid, low-cost, high-quality communication vehicle.
  3. Enroll in SMUG. The tuition is $37,700 less than Johns Hopkins. If you or your organization spend at least a few hundred dollars on a webinar, or thousands to attend a conference, to learn about social media, wouldn’t it be silly to not take the next step and get some hands-on experience, particularly when it’s free? Besides joining the SMUG Facebook group, you can friend me (be sure to mention the webinar), or follow me on Twitter. SMUG’s mission is reflected in our motto, and our goal is to help you discover what you can do at a ridiculously low cost (or perhaps even for free) and without any support from your IT department. In economic times like this, as Jacopo asked Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Christo, “How is that a bad plan?”
  4. Check out Slideshare.net. I thought Elizabeth Tracey’s point about connecting audio files with Powerpoint presentations was good, and Slideshare is a way you can do it today, for free. Here’s a link to one of my slidecasts from the Podcasting curriculum to demonstrate. Slideshare is like YouTube for PowerPoints; you can embed it in your own blog or site, and also can make it available in the “marketplace” for others to find and embed, increasing your reach.
  5. Complete Social Media 101, which is part of the Core Courses curriculum at SMUG and originally was my “12-Step Social Media Program for PR Professionals.” As in all similar programs, the first step is to admit that you have a problem. Social Media 101 will give you an introduction to the broad scope of social media tools that may have application in your work.

In addition to the five free things before 5 p.m., here’s a bonus you should do after 6 tonight. It’s not free, but you’ll be glad you did it:

Get a Flip video camera.

You can find them for $150 or so at Wal-Mart or Best Buy. If you’re into the delayed gratification thing and want to work through more of the SMUG curriculum, I hear you can get them even cheaper at Amazon.com. Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself. Spend another $15 or so for a tripod. You’ll want to have this for personal use; it’s the video camera you can always have with you, so you never miss those magic moments because you forgot to bring the camera bag. But then take the Flip to work and see how you can use it for business purposes.

I hope you found the presentation (and this post) helpful, and would appreciate any feedback in the comments below.

50 Ways Marketers Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing

As part of her homework for Facebook 107, SMUG Student Peggy Hoffman used Facebook to send me this helpful overview list from Chris Brogan. It’s worth a look.

Social media isn’t always the right tool for the job. Not every company needs a blog. YouTube worked for BlendTec, but it might not work for your company. And yet, there’s something to this. Over the last three days, I’ve spoken to four HUGE brands in America that are considering social media for one project or another, and there are many more out there working on how these tools might integrate into their business needs. Here’s a list of 50 ideas (in no particular order) to help move the conversation along. Note: I mix PR and Marketing. They should get back together again.

50 Ways Marketers Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing | chrisbrogan.com.

Chris has created a nice list of some potential ways to use social media; SMUG’s objective is to give you hands-on experience using the tools, so you can go to management with confidence both that a given tool is right for your organization AND that you know how to use it.

For example, the Podcasting curriculum, and in particular the 10 Steps to Your Own FREE Podcast post, walks you through the process to recording, publishing and promoting your own personal podcast.

So please follow Peg’s example by using Facebook to share some more of these good finds (or put them in the comments below.)

Have a great weekend. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain so we can begin painting the SMUG North Annex. Video reports about our construction process will be coming soon.

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Jeff Jarvis on “The myth of the creative class”

I’ve been a little quiet for the last couple of days, as I’ve dived back into work after a five-day family trip. I’ve been learning some really interesting things that will revolutionize SMUGs teaching methods, and look forward to implementing some of this. I’ll have a post demonstrating this soon.

But meanwhile, here’s a good read from Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine.

Internet curmudgeons argue that Google et al are bringing society to ruin precisely because they rob the creative class of its financial support and exclusivity: its pedestal. But internet triumphalists, like me, argue that the internet opens up creativity past one-size-fits-all mass measurements and priestly definitions and lets us not only find what we like but find people who like what we do. The internet kills the mass, once and for all. With it comes the death of mass economics and mass media, but I don’t lament that, not for a moment.

BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » The myth of the creative class.

I sometimes disagree with Jeff because of his almost religious antipathy for religion Update: frequently and caustically expressed opposition to at least “certain policies of certain churches” (see his comment below, and my clarification), and with his new book attributing deity to Google his irreverence goes too far, but more often than not he’s on target when he talks about the new economics of media.

This post is particularly good. The celebrity-oriented “creative class” is an artifact of the mass media, when access was scarce and limited by gatekeepers.

Now millions of bloggers, podcasters and video producers have access to low-cost equipment through which their creativity can flourish.

The days of moving to Nashville or LA to pursue a record deal (“Record? Daddy, what’s a record?”) are gone. Anyone can have access to the world through social media tools.

Will many make a living at it? Nope. Fewer will than did in the “old days.” Just ask the newspaper guild. When everyone can publish, and there is no monopoly or oligopoly control on the means of publication, the guilds no longer can command premium prices.

But if, as Jeff says, 81 percent of us think we have a book inside of us, we now have a chance to let it out.

You don’t need to get a book deal, and an advance from a publisher, and get permission to speak out. You can just do it. And if people find what you have to say is worthwhile, they’ll link to it. Like I just have to Jeff.

How about you? What story, or song, or book, or short movie do you have inside you? 

What’s keeping you from just starting?