Videos about the e-discovery /e-disclosure industry can be by captains of industry or the junior trainee, can cover everything from pure technology to business commentary, and can be formal or otherwise. A set of short videos by Mike Lynch of Autonomy shows that informed informality from the top can come across well.
I am, as I have mentioned, finding some interest in the idea of using videos, and specifically videos delivered by YouTube, as a means of getting the e-disclosure / e-discovery messages across. I was attracted partly by their immediacy and accessibility, but also by the fact that they suited the times both as to their cost (which can be minimal) and their use of popular technology to convey technology messages.
The potential scope is extremely wide, ranging from technical explanations (“here is an example of conceptual search”) to putting illustrative flesh on narrative bones so that bald references to, say, forensic collection of data might be illustrated by a short film showing somebody doing just that.
Such videos do not have to be technical. Electronic discovery / disclosure involves businesses of all sizes, from established giants to hopeful start-ups. There is value in hearing from those who have made it with messages for those who hope to follow them.
Mike Lynch, founder and CEO of Autonomy, has little to prove about turning sound technology ideas into a successful business. Autonomy, founded in 1996, is a $4 billion company, and the second largest pure software company in Europe with offices worldwide. One would expect its founder to have some hints and tips for the rest of us. The interviews which appear in The Times periodically catch the eye partly because few headlines in the business section convey much optimism about British companies, and Autonomy has continued to rise during the recession. The (typically long and respectful) interviews usually contain nuggets worth repeating.
Relatively few people read long articles in The Times business news, however, and fewer (even me with my squirrel-like approach to written sources) get around to pulling out the nuggets for wider audiences. A short video containing just the best bits is an easier way to get the point across.
I came across three video interviews in which Mike Lynch does just that called, respectively, “the secrets of business success”, “the UK tech industry” and “Autonomy’s present and future”. I started noting the interesting points and found that I was effectively transcribing the whole thing, which is fairly pointless when I am trying to suggest that video is a great medium for conveying punchy ideas. Lynch obviously does not pass up the opportunity to convey Autonomy’s success, but what he says is of wider application and greater interest than mere promotion of his own company.
The videos are as interesting for the manner of presentation as for the content. It is perhaps easier to look relaxed when you have made it, and these videos are not made by amateurs with a high-street camera. Nevertheless, they are worth watching by anyone who is contemplating doing something similar and who (like me) is struck into rigid formality when put in front of a camera. Take off the tie, look at the interviewer not the camera, and just talk as if between courses at lunch.
I have not looked at the other videos on the same site, but I am attracted by a series called “60 second pitch”. There is room in my half thought-through ideas on this for longer and more discursive films, but short and focused videos perhaps make the best use of the medium.
Please let me know of any others you find which, whether narrowly about the e-disclosure / e-disclosure world or about anything else, have the potential to attract wider audiences.