I review some of the most popular (and upcoming) Web-based Project management and collaboration services are providing for video content – and which features are best suited for business projects where online video is crucial to a campaign's success. Listen to our podcast episode by clicking the "play" icon.
What is web-based project management?
"Project management," can be any activity that requires more than a single task, simply put. Web-based project management and collaboration services – like Google Docs, Basecamp, etcetera – allow everyone in your project team (which can include your staff, your colleagues, and your clients) – to work whenever you're ready, share all your digital files (both new and earlier versions), and keep a record of all comments and correspondence in a single location.
Why businesses are using video more for project management
Mark Robertson's recent article, "Executives Turn to Web Video for Business Information, cites a major report on how online video is growing in importance for not just businesses in general, but also with the C-Suite exectuvies, for how they filter and review business information. The findings prove that more businesses aren't just looking to passively watch video, but are engaging with video more frequently in collaborations on their own company projects.
As Mark reports, "video is changing the way that consumers as well as top level executives access and share information." It affects their business decisions, purchasing decisions, client and vendor acquisitions, and so much more. And now, web-based project management solutions providers are beefing up their own video features to deliver higher value to their clients.
What video features look for with a web-based project management service
As someone who has worked with a number of project management tools (both web-based and desktop based), and who had done many projects involving both self-produced video content and 3rd party video content, I came up with a list of my own criteria for business professionals – be them video producers, video marketers, video analysts, or even primarily project managers – to look for when considering a web-based project management service for their own projects where video is an important part of the project at hand.
Note that I am not just talking about digital files in general – like multiple users being able to upload and share video files, or comment on files (which is the same service for most any other type of digital files). I'm talking about features specific to video itself.
Video-specific project management criteria includes:
- Can multiple videos include direct sharing links?
- Can the videos be shared in emails?
- Can the video be embedded right on a page, watched on that page, and comments posted on the same page the video plays?
- Can the file sizes of these uploaded videos be substantial?
- Can it accept 3rd party embedded links to video? (I.e., can you embed and display a working 3rd party video player in the web page?)
- Can it accept multiple file formats for your own video to play on the site?
- Can you have video capabilities on free accounts?
- Can it integrate with the rest of your project files? (Web pages, docs, images, audio, etc.)
- And of course, is it simple enough and easy to use, and productive?
Interviewing the web-based project management companies
Over the next few days, you'll get to read my interviews and reviews of several of the popular web-based services about their video capabilities:
- 37signals (Basecamp)
Now I didn't get to interview Google, but I will be reviewing their Google Apps Video service here. And I also interviewed a newcomer to the field – Wistia – a video management application (yes, primarily built around video content) that has some excellent project tools both for private and public collaboration and sharing. (A very nifty feature is how Wistia is able to have project managers tracking video performance right within both project members and the public's own viewing experiences. More on that next week!)
Tips for web-based project management with video
- Set up a folder just for videos. As far as collaboration, users can create a folder of content and invite other people to view, edit and contribute to it. For example, if you have a folder set up for exchanging a video you're working on with colleagues or external production partners, you can invite them as collaborators. They can make comments and create discussions around files right inside the folder and people can upload new versions of a file and track version history to make everyone's using the most current file.
- Create tasks specific to your video(s) – creating and assigning common tasks around video files is great for managing workflow. You can set them up for yourself or send to others, requesting approval/rejection, review a file or update a file with new version.
- Embed videos to play within the page – Being able watch the video on the same page is much easier for people to remember what they're watching, and makes them more likely to share their comments or full-blown text articles. (We already know that with YouTube.)