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How to monitor user-generated content in a video world

User-generated enterprise video is gaining popularity but can cause headaches for IT if left unchecked. Learn how to manage and monitor user-generated content.

Consumer markets have long embraced user-created video. For more than a decade, sites like YouTube have enabled users to upload and share their videos. Now, enterprise adoption of user-generated video is on the rise, prompting questions about monitoring, management and storage.

User-generated video is one of the emerging use cases for enterprise video, according to a report from Aragon Research, based in Morgan Hill, Calif. The rise in user-generated content is due, in part, to vendors making it easier to shoot, edit and distribute video, the report found.

Today, employees can use smartphones to shoot, edit and upload video at a moment's notice. People are inherently visual, and organizations are shifting to more visual communications, said David Maldow, founder of market research firm Let's Do Video, based in Davie, Fla.

"When we want to learn something, we don't want to read about it," he said. "We go to YouTube."

Employees create videos for multiple reasons, such as updates on team projects, tutorials on new tools and weekly progress reports. These quick-to-make-and-distribute videos lead to fewer emails and phone calls, he said.

Organizations no longer need to invest in elaborate setups with lights, microphones and expensive cameras to shoot video, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. But making video more accessible also means organizations need a plan to monitor user-generated content, he said.

Monitoring user-generated content

Unchecked user-generated video can create security problems. Monitoring the content of a video is as important as managing where it's published, Maldow said. If an unmonitored video is published, it could result in sensitive company information becoming public, he said.

Monitoring user-generated content primarily focuses on ensuring the video content is appropriate for the organization. Content needs to be monitored for factors like language, private information and potential copyright violations. Organizations should have a review system to avoid publishing unmonitored content.

Vendors that specialize in video streaming, management and distribution, such as Kaltura and Mediasite, enable organizations to set permissions for actions like publishing a video. Placing barriers, such as a designated person to approve video, prevents unvetted content from being published, Maldow said.

In addition to setting publishing permissions, video vendors can provide provisioning for access to published videos. Video tutorials or training material make sense for everyone to have, but not everyone in an organization needs access to a recording of a meeting that discusses quarterly projections, Maldow said.

Provisioning access to published content enables organizations to ensure videos with sensitive information are only seen by the appropriate parties, Lazar said.

AI management for user-generated content

Though not yet widely available, some vendors are exploring how AI can help with user-generated enterprise video management. Media management company Cloudinary, for example, uses AI to monitor and edit videos, auto tag videos, provide structured metadata and search video libraries. AI can also analyze video network traffic.

"Video files are huge; they take up a lot of space," Maldow said. "If someone posts a video and it suddenly starts getting a lot of traffic, it can eat up all of your bandwidth and prevent people from sending emails."

Some video platforms, such as Kaltura, offer AI-driven analytics for bandwidth and storage. These dashboards can track how much bandwidth video uses over time, as well as how storage space is being used for video. The information from these analytics tools enables organizations to better manage video traffic.

User-generated video needs storage and search functionality

Organizations that support user-generated video need to make uploaded videos easily searchable. Video is only effective if it's readily available when needed, Lazar said.

For example, someone could shoot a video tutorial explaining how to navigate a tool, instead of answering repeated emails from team members. Video needs to be tagged and stored in a way that's easily found, Maldow said. Tagging enables users to give a video searchable context by ascribing keywords about its content.

While some organizations have turned to consumer video hosting sites, like YouTube -- with its tagging system, playlist capabilities and familiar interface -- for their video hosting needs, they aren't the ideal option for enterprise video, Maldow said.

YouTube is a public site, and while videos on a channel can be set to private, it lacks the security measures and cohesive branding that an enterprise video channel will likely need. But video platform vendors, such as Mediasite, are including many of the same sought-after features, such as tagging and playlists.

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