I’m a casualty of war

By | February 15, 2008

My company has recently shut down all access to YouTube. I get that. I completely believe that many people are using company time and bandwidth to watch all sorts of inappropriate — or just plain time wasting — content. From a certain perspective, I can support the decision to prevent that from happening.

There is a war between those who would waste company time and resources, and those who are tasked with keeping that from happening.

I am collateral damage.

Part of my job within the training department is to research new content creation and distribution technology, and to integrate that into our training delivery. YouTube is, for better or worse, an important part of that responsibility for two main reasons:

  1. It is itself one of the most popular examples of that new technology.
  2. Due to it’s popularity, it is used by many other people to showcase their own discoveries and new uses for content and distribution technology – thereby making it a valuable resource for me to do my job.

Information sharing is critical to my job. The ability to see what other people are doing/have done in converging technology and training is a significant way for me to not keep reinventing the wheel. The ability to create and deliver training products that appeal to a culture steeped in these new technologies requires me to have access to these technologies to begin with.

Is YouTube the only way for me to keep up with these advancements and new ideas? Not at all — far from it, actually. For example, blogs are actually a great source for these ideas as well (in fact, here are two that I keep a sharp eye on: e-Learning Technology, and Corporate e-Learning Strategies and Development). The interesting thing about these blogs, though, is that they frequently use embedded movies from YouTube as examples of what they are talking about! I can’t see these things when I’m inside the Corporate firewall, so I’m missing a significant portion of the point!

I’ve also used YouTube videos to help me explain the concepts and technology that I am trying to ‘sell’ internally. For example, I used this video to help me showcase the concept of a wiki – and even embedded it in my wiki for the pilot group to see. Now it’s just an unexplained blank space on the page because the video is blocked.

That same video, and others like it, are also good examples I can use with our training team to help think about other ways to create training that may appeal more to a large portion of our employee base. Now I can’t share those examples anymore.

Collaboration, sharing, and openness – that’s where we should be going. That’s what would help us work more efficiently, smarter, and more effectively, in many cases. But the barriers to doing this at a large organization (like mine) are hard to overcome. There are times it feels like I’m fighting an uphill battle. This is just the latest setback.


[tags]corporate IT policies, YouTube, productivity, training, development, new technologies[/tags]

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