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Why YouTube Makes Sense for Corporate Blogs

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 546px-YouTube_logo_svg This is one of those posts that’s been waiting for me to write it. What got me started was Jason Kottke’s High quality YouTube video hack post. Since then, there’s been a flurry of YouTube-related things floating about in the blogosphere while I’ve been thinking about it. YouTube quietly introduced a widescreen player, then official HD support came along soon afterward. And YouTube HD support is still generating lots of chatter on Twitter.

We started using YouTube to host all of our blog videos back in July this year, about two years after we launched Direct2Dell. If you blog for a bigger company, chances are good that you’ll get pressure to use a proprietary video player. And I do think there are some valid reasons for that argument on the e-commerce side. That said, for social media efforts, I don’t buy it. I’ll explain that a bit later.

Before I do that, let’s look at the negatives. One of the most common complaints that I heard in the past was that video quality wasn’t good enough. That point is moot now that high quality and HD videos are possible on YouTube. Another big one is access. Lots of corporations are still afraid to give employees access to sites like YouTube. If that’s the case, providing partial access may make sense—allow your employees access to videos published on your company’s YouTube channel. Dell’s is www.youtube.com/dellvlog.

I’ve been a huge evangelist for two main reasons 1) Millions of people use YouTube everyday to view, embed and share videos. 2) YouTube videos are accessible from millions of mobile devices. Since the iPhone kicked things off now tons of phones like the new Blackberrys and Samsung’s Omnia and Nokia’s N97 can play YouTube videos. This is important because many customers outside the US use mobile devices to access content. Plus, there’s something satisfying about giving millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users the ability to watch Dell videos.

So what does this mean to Dell’s blogs? We’ve already started embedding higher quality videos in blog posts (thanks again, Jason!), and where it makes sense, we may even feature a couple of videos in 720P.

If you haven’t checked out Dell’s YouTube channel, you can see it at www.youtube.com/dellvlog.  And one more thing: hats off to Andy Sernovitz for recommending that we go the YouTube route a couple of years ago. It took a while, but I’m glad we did.

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