August 5, 2011




July 8, 2011

Webcasting and Web Streaming

Get your videos out to your online audience

For nonprofits, video can be a powerful medium for promoting social change, mobilizing support, and showcasing work. Not only can you create influential advocacy videos, but you can also use video to broadcast important meetings, press conferences, and other events.

Of course, for video to have an impact, it needs to reach an audience. One way to accomplish this is through the Web. By offering archived video (video-on-demand) or streaming video of live events (webcasting), you can get your message to your entire online audience.
Streaming Versus Progressive Download

Live webcasting is the ability to deliver a live video signal in real-time to Web viewers. Video-on-demand is the ability for Web users to view archived material at any time. Often webcasts are recorded and also made available as video-on-demand files later.

The term "streaming" is often used loosely to describe both streaming and progressive downloading (also called "FastStart" or "pseudo-streaming") of media. Progressive downloading is usually used for video-on-demand (this way, viewers don't have to download an entire video before they can begin watching).

Progressive downloading allows media files to be served through a Web (HTTP) server. Once the viewing application (e.g. Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player) has enough data, the video plays. The viewer does not have to wait for the entire file to download. Progressive downloads do not require special server software and can be hosted by most Web servers.

The big advantage to progressive downloading is that the quality of the playback is often higher than true streaming quality and once the entire clip is downloaded, the quality remains high since the file is stored locally. The disadvantage is that media files can remain locally stored and therefore can be copied or stored by the viewer.

Because progressive downloading does not sacrifice quality, it may take longer for viewers to watch the clip the first time if their connection speed is not fast enough. Viewers may also experience short breaks in viewing as the player waits for additional data.

True streaming delivers time-dependent media files, such as live broadcasts, using special streaming server software. Using a streaming server is the only way to deliver live broadcasts since they are able to sacrifice quality in order to ensure that video is delivered in real-time. A 30-minute broadcast of a show will take exactly 30 minutes to broadcast regardless of viewers' bandwidth or the load on the servers. If the viewer's connection is slow, quality will be sacrificed to ensure timely delivery of media.

Streaming media does not remain on the viewer's computer, so content is better protected. But streaming media requires more intensive resources and additional server software licenses. However, using a Streaming Media ISP (see below) may eliminate some of these problems.
What You'll Need

To put video on your site, you'll need video in the proper format, access to a Web server, a streaming media server, and adequate bandwidth. In addition, you'll need to factor in the cost of staff time and training.

Your video data needs to be in a format that can be viewed on the Web. While most of the streaming media ISPs listed below in the Resources (Streaming Providers) section can provide these encoding services, it's also possible to do this in-house with the help of a high-end workstation.

For live webcasting, you must transmit your live signal to an appropriate format in real-time. A computer with a high performance processor, significant disk space, a DVD-Burner (for archiving digital media files) and a high-speed Internet connection is essential.

The infrastructure necessary to host streaming media can be complex. Organizations should look into service providers that specialize in streaming media (streaming media ISPs) to host video-on-demand media and to facilitate live streaming to viewers. While it is possible to purchase the appropriate hardware, software, bandwidth, and training, it may be significantly cheaper to use an ISP.

Video requires bandwidth, and organizations also need a high-speed connection to support live webcasting. This connection is necessary to relay a live stream to a streaming ISP that can support a large number of viewers.
Streaming Media Internet Service Providers

Most standard Web hosting services can host video files designed for progressive downloading without any special configuration. This usually works well for limited video-on-demand needs. However, in order to provide a high-quality streaming experience to a very large number of Web viewers or to provide live webcasting, a significant investment is required in hardware, software licenses, bandwidth, and training. By using shared servers and shared bandwidth, streaming media ISPs can provide streaming services at a cost that is often much lower than for an individual organization that would have to maintain full-time high-speed Internet connections designed for peak performance, high-performance servers, and appropriate software licenses.

In addition to providing basic hardware, software, and expertise, streaming media ISPs usually have geographically-distributed networks optimized for streaming that can provide the best user experience for viewers based on their physical location.

Streaming video must be offered in a format that can be played on the Web. Usually, one of the following formats is used: Real-Network's Real-Media, Microsoft's Windows Media, Apple's QuickTime, and ISO-standard MPEG-4. (MPEG-4 is a newer standard which is playable by all three proprietary viewers as well as a variety of mobile devices and open-source players.)

In addition, you'll need to decide how large the video should be and what quality should be offered. Sometimes it's helpful to have several versions of the same video in order to offer a choice of quality or size based on users' connection speeds.

Lastly, depending on the method of delivery, a file may be encoded as a variable bit-rate file that provides optimal playback for various connection speeds using a single file, saving disk space and minimizing inconvenience for viewers.
Preparing Streaming Video

Preparing video for the Internet requires several steps:

Step 1: Acquisition

Video-on-demand: If the video source is in a digital tape format such as MiniDV, video can be transferred from the tape to the computer using FireWire or USB 2.0. Since digital video cameras digitize video when recording, no conversion from an analog format is required; the camera has already done this. If the source is an analog tape such as a Beta or VHS tape, video must be digitized -- converted to a digital format -- while it is transferred to computer.

Live webcasting: For a live signal, real-time video-capture hardware, similar to that needed to acquire video from analog tape sources, is required to digitize the video in real-time. This hardware is usually available as an computer add-on card or as a USB or FireWire device.

For analog media (analog tape and live signals), it is important to use the highest quality media possible (i.e. high-end tape formats are better than VHS, and better broadcast quality results in better Web quality) as encoding and compression work best this way (see next step for details).

The length of time required to acquire video is generally the same as the length of the media that is being acquired (i.e. a 30-minute tape takes 30 minutes to acquire).

Step 2: Encoding

Raw video acquired from tape must be then encoded in a streaming format using a chosen method of representing and compressing video (often referred to as a CODEC) to produce an appropriate Real-Media, QuickTime, Windows Media, or MPEG-4 file. This step is usually accomplished at the same time as the acquisition. For streaming servers to provide the best user experience or for files to be progressively downloaded, additional data needs to be added to the video file. Tools for compressing and preparing digital video files for each format are provided directly by each video vendor:

Real-Networks: Real-Producer Basic (Free) and Real Producer Pro
Apple: QuickTime Pro (minor cost of $35)
Windows Media: Windows Media Tools (Free)

The length of time needed to encode and prepare video is dependent on the speed of the computer that is performing this task, the length of the video, and the quality settings that are used. As a practical matter, it is important to note that the computer performing this step will generally be required to be dedicated to this task so it will be unavailable for other uses.

Since acquiring and compressing digital video requires a great deal of staff and computer time, it may be a better use of funds to outsource this task. Most streaming ISPs offer this service.


Once files are prepared they need to be uploaded to a streaming media server. While it is possible to serve video in-house, the bandwidth requirements and server requirements to support multiple users at peak times may be prohibitively expensive. By using a streaming media ISP to host streaming content or to relay a live broadcast, an organization can take advantage of greater bandwidth, high-end servers, and advanced networks at a reasonable price. If files are to be created daily and timeliness is a factor, it is recommended that a high-speed broadband connection be used to transmit files to the streaming server. Most standard DSL (ADSL)/Cable connections do not have a very high upload speed; therefore, it is advised to evaluate faster ADSL service options or consider switching to SDSL. For live webcasting, a high-speed Internet connection (384K or better upload) is advised for transmitting the stream to the streaming provider.
Resources (Streaming Providers)

RealImpact: offers streaming services for nonprofits based on Real Networks technology
Online Video Service: Provides streaming services for QuickTime, WindowsMedia, and RealMedia; clientele includes nonprofits, NGOs, and arts organizations
DVLabs: Provides streaming services for QuickTime, WindowsMedia, and RealMedia formats using advanced networking technology
PlayStream: Provides streaming services using a geographically distributed network for QuickTime, Windows Media, and RealMedia
AudioVideoWeb: Provides streaming services for QuickTime, WindowsMedia, and RealMedia
SingleReel: Provides free video hosting services for basic (5 MB files up to 25MB total) video streaming needs using QuickTime

Resources (Streaming Technologies)

Networks : Provides content encoding tools, streaming servers, and playback software for the Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems

Windows Media : Provides content encoding tools, streaming servers, and playback software for the Windows operating system and provides playback software for the Macintosh and some handheld devices.
Apple QuickTime : Provides content encoding tools and playback software for Macintosh and Windows operating systems and provides streaming servers for Macintosh OS X and provides a multi-platform Open Source version.
MPEG-4.NET: Provides industry information and resources for the MPEG-4 digital video format.

Resources (Packaged Services for Nonprofits)

ActionStudio by GroundSpring: Provides a comprehensive set of services for Web site content management, membership management, donation acceptance, and audio and video streaming services for nonprofit.

Resources (Learning and Software)

Deliver Your Media: Online resource to help understand online streaming media.
RealMedia How-To: Embedding RealMedia in a Web page reference.
FlaskMPEG: Free open-source application to convert and manipulate MPEG4 video on Windows-based computers.
VirtualDub: Free open-source application to do simple editing and manipulation of MPEG4, WindowsMedia, and MP3 files.


April 6, 2009

WEB 2.0 Technologies

RSS[Really Simple Syndication] in Plain English

Twitter in Plain English

Social Networking in Plain English

Blogs in Plain English

Social Bookmarking [Tagging] in Plain English

Podcasting in Plain English

Online Photo Sharing in Plain English

What is LinkedIn?

Wetpaint Wikis in Plain English

PR Web In Plain English

Note: This Blog is not another YOUTUBE. Its about Social Networkin, WEB 2.0 Technologies


March 6, 2009

WEB 2.0 Technologies in Organisations using Knowledge Management

    In today's market competition is on peak every product you see would have a competitors on the other hand, companies need to understand the importance of effectively managing their knowledge to gain competitive advantage. Years ago, employees would stay with a company for many years before moving on while many planned upon a lifetime of dedication to their organisation. But in today industries, it is not uncommon to find employees who stay no more than 3 to 4 year without looking for a change. Indirectly company is losing the intellectual capital.

    Web 2.0 emerged in 2004 by O'Reilly Media as a way to explain the revolution that was being observed in the web since its start. "Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences." O'Reilly, T., (2004)

    In my opinion Web2.0 technology in a business background will be more accepted by knowledge management systems, as employee will be already is comfortable using these tools in their personal time. So it won't be a new technology for employees to use in their companies. Web has become a universal platform for all to develop. If business could create interactive networking sites for the employees like Facebook, It would reduce the gap between employee's interaction, communication and knowledge sharing across organisation would increase.

    Implementing web2.0 in an organisation is termed as Enterprise 2.0. It enables the internet technologies to work within the organisation which is termed as Intranet. There are several technologies used in enterprise 2.0 where knowledge management is just a part of it. Knowledge management is compared with Web2.0 in four aspects; they are Conceptual, Principles, Functional abilities of tools and applications and Organisational Culture. Levy, M., (2009)

    Following are the few technologies compared to knowledge management attribute,

Web 2.0

Knowledge Management attribute


Web content management tools are part of the knowledge management toolbox. Following are the other known tools CMS, Stellent and Interwoven


It can be used for sharing new knowledge or posting articles which can be of any incident occurring can help others to avoid the problems.

Tagging [Folksonomy]

Tags narrow downs the searching context which help consume time.

Social Computing

Communities of Practice

Note: Ideas for table taken from Levy, M., (2009)

    Web2.0 would bring revolution in the organisation on the KM area where if implemented successfully will definitely help companies to gain value and gain competitive edge. For an example one of the call centre company where employees were not staying for long, it's due to the culture and pressure of work which had created problems. After implementing knowledge management and adding web2.0 technologies it helped the company to create good cultures which keep employees satisfy and by the means of Social Computing an employee was also able to be a part of a community which would help further growth or self development of an employee.


O'Reilly, T., "Web 2.0: Compact Definition?" O'Reilly Radar blog, Available at (, 01/04/2009, 2009)

Levy, M., (2009), "Web 2.0 implications on knowledge management", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol 13 No. 1 2009, pp 120-134, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1367-3270

February 26, 2009

Classification of Knowledge Management System....?

Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) refers to a class of systems developed to support the processes of knowledge creation, storage/retrieval, transfer and application (Alavi and Leidner, 2001). Knowledge Management idea in organisation is becoming important and firms are making significant IT investments in deploying knowledge management systems.


There are several authors and there are several standpoints on there classification of KMS. In 2004, Becerra- Fernandez, et al. KM systems can be classified into four kinds they are,

  1. Knowledge Discovery Systems

        It supports the development of new tacit or explicit knowledge from data and information or from the mixture of prior knowledge. Knowledge discovery systems rely on mechanisms and technologies that can support the combination and the socialization processes.    

  2. Knowledge Capture Systems

        It supports the process of retrieving either explicit or tacit knowledge that resides within people, artefacts, or organisational entities. Knowledge capture systems rely on Mechanisms and Technologies that support Externalization and Internalization.

  3. Knowledge Sharing Systems

        It supports the process through which explicit or implicit knowledge is communicated to other individuals. Knowledge sharing systems rely on Mechanisms and Technologies that support socialisation.

  4. Knowledge Applications Systems

        It supports the process through which some individuals utilize knowledge possessed by other individuals without actually acquiring or learning that knowledge. Mechanisms and Technologies support knowledge application systems by facilitation routines and direction

According to Alavi and Leidner (2001) there are three common applications of IT to organisational knowledge management initiatives:

  1. Knowledge Creation

        This model views organizational knowledge creation as continuous interaction between the tacit and explicit dimensions of knowledge and the flow of knowledge passes through individual, group, and organizational levels.

  2. Knowledge Storage / Retrieval

        This organisational memory resides in various forms, including written documentation, structured information stored in electronic databases.

  3. Knowledge Transfer

        Its being an important process in knowledge management where transfer occurs at various levels, transfer of knowledge between individuals, from individuals to explicit sources, from individuals to groups, between groups, across groups and from the group to the organisation.

  4. Knowledge Application

        Technology can support knowledge application by embedding knowledge into organizational routines. Procedures that are culture-bound can be embedded into IT

    After comparing both the author's views, it seems that they both have similar classification but moulded differently, lets consider Knowledge Discovery systems and Knowledge Creation which to an extend have a similar meaning of newly knowledge creation. In knowledge capture systems and knowledge storage /retrieval process have the same objective of capturing knowledge and storing it for further process. In knowledge sharing systems and Knowledge Transfer there is one disparity where in knowledge sharing systems, knowledge is shared with one another whereas in knowledge transfer knowledge is passed from one person to another. Last but not least knowledge applications systems and knowledge application have similar understanding

    A knowledge management system captures a view of the person's knowledge representation. Then further knowledge representation is passed onto others by means of a verbal view or In case of a computer program, it resides in a database that may be utilized by others. It is only a view as further experiences and learning's within the creator may change the knowledge representation, while the views remain the same. Others may make use of the knowledge representation views by using into the KM system and then combining it with their prior knowledge. This in turn forms a new or modified knowledge representation. This knowledge representation is then applied to solve a personal or business need, or explain a phenomenon. [Clark, D (2004)]


Alavi, Maryam and Dorothy Leidner, "Review: Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues" In MIS Quarterly, March 2001. Volume 25 (3)

Becerra-Fernandez, I., Gonzalez, A., and Sabherwal, R. 2004. Knowledge Management – Challenges, Solutions and Technologies. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Clark, D., 2004, Knowledge Management, Available at [, 27/03/09, 2009]

Knowledge Management in a Business Environment..?

A knowledge organisation is been defined as "…an entity that realizes the importance of its knowledge, internal and external, to the organisation, and applies techniques to maximize the use of this knowledge to its employees, shareholders and customers." [Liebowitz and Beckman, 1998]

In today's modern world organisations mainly depends on decision makers to make "mission-critical" decisions based on the inputs from multiple sources. In an ideal scenario where decision makers are making decision on the basis of either others conclusions or from its own lengthy experience which allow them to act quickly and decisively on the information. Further going in depth of organisation the most vital resource is Collective Knowledge which resides in the minds of an organisation's employees, customers and vendors. If the organisation knows how to manage this knowledge they can have many benefits in terms of business competencies, accelerating innovation and time to market, improving cycle times and decision making, strengthening organisational commitment and building sustainable competitive advantage [Davenport and Prusak, 1998]

An organisation contains widespread hierarchy structure. There are several departments which may be interlinked with each others, where knowledge sharing is taking place. In my view organisational structure is underpinned by knowledge management. According to Becerra- Fernandez, et al., (2004), Organisation impacts of Knowledge Management are categorized with four P's i.e. People, Processes, Products and Performance which is shown in Fig 1.0 and classified in the following points.

Impacts on People –

KM can help develop employees to learn and give exposure to upgrade their knowledge with the updating market, In addition with upgrading knowledge or adopting shared information, if employees are well aware of ongoing and future changes they are less likely to get surprised or in other words employees would be better prepared for change. Job Satisfaction impacts on people where knowledge acquisition and skill enhancement and also enhance the market value compare to the other organisation. KM also provides employees with solution to problems they face in case somebody else would have faced and would have solution to it, which can be shared to consume valuable time and effective piece of work.

Impacts on Processes –

Processes are the step by step guide for performing a task or action, where KM enables improvements in organisational process in all the departments by providing suitable effective process for decision making with fewer errors. It also enables process to complete early with low cost and generate efficient values which directly links to Cost Savings and Improved Productivity, Innovating new process for either improving the existing process or creating a new step for a certain process which would result in better use of new ideas and improved brainstorming.

Impacts on Products –

Organisation Products are also impacted by KM where the impact is seen in two ways value-added products and knowledge-based products, The Value-added products are the products which are already exist in the market but added offers, it's either a new products or improved product which add value as compared with earlier products. Due to organisational process innovation value added products get benefited from KM. Knowledge Based products are basically gained by naturally or with lengthy experienced knowledge for example Consulting and Software Development Industries, Lets consider an auto consultant who goes for a car bid and quickly access and combine the best knowledge and bid on proposal. In such industries, knowledge management is necessary for survivals.

Impacts on Organisational Performance –

KM in an organisation could also cause either direct or indirect impact on organisational performance. Direct impact of KM on organisational performance occurs when knowledge is properly used in an organisation where revenue is generated from the implemented KM and where KM strategy is aligned with Business strategy. Indirect KM on organisational performance would impact on the activities which are not linked with strategy, revenue and cost. For example, by using KM if the bank customer executives convince the customer who would in turn gives the customer loyalty, therefore these activities cannot be measured easily.


The above diagram explains about the knowledge management in an organisation which is directly linked to People, Process, Products and Performance which is interlinked in some or the other form where knowledge gain by the people is result in good products and efficient process results in high performance.

The process of sharing knowledge or transfer of knowledge within the organisation brings the self development within the employees as well increase the capital of the company in term of Intellectual Wealth. Organisational knowledge assets are a major component of these intangible assets which is also known as intellectual capital. In one of the magazine a collective view of many CEOs who agree that their most competitive advantage is their "Brainware" or their "Human Capital". According to Liebowitz, j. (1999)

"Knowledge Management deals with the process of creating value from an organisation's intangible assets….."

Some companies, like Caterpillar, got a problem where one third of their employees will retire in the next five years. Caterpillar is looking at knowledge management strategies to best collect their knowledge and make it available in an interactive mode to those at Caterpillar who could benefit from their knowledge.


Liebowitz, J. and Beckman, T. 1998. Knowledge Organizations: What Every Manager Should Know. Boca Raton, Florida: St. Lucie Press.

Davenport, T.H., and Prusak, L. 1998. Working Knowledge: How Organisations Manage What They Know. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Becerra-Fernandez, I., Gonzalez, A., and Sabherwal, R. 2004. Knowledge Management – Challenges, Solutions and Technologies. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Liebowitz, j. (Ed.) (1999), The Knowledge Management Handbook, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.