SEARCHING for something online the other day, I bumped into Thomson Financial’s channel on YouTube.
The channel is a mix of market reports, research updates and — what I thought was nice — advice on investor relations from the company’s Corporate Advisory Services division.
Looks like they’ve been posting short videos on YouTube for about four months. I had no idea, but then I’m not exactly on Thomson’s speed dial (and they’re not particularly good at outreach).
I’ve watched a handful of videos so far and enjoyed them all. They’re just talking heads really, but they’re informative and real. I liked being able to put faces to the names on the reports I get from Thomson Financial.
There’s Arzu Cevik who talks about Targeting European investors, a topic she wrote a very good report about recently. I also watched Glenn Curtis talk about crisis communications and Mike Tamas doing an educational bit on 13F institutional ownership filings.
|After initially allowing them, Thomson has disabled comments and ratings on its YouTube channel.|
One thing I noticed is that Thomson Financial is using YouTube only as a way to push information at people rather than to engage them. Most of the feedback capabilities, such as being able to rate videos, leave replies or embed videos on a website have been disabled. These seem to have been turned off after Thomson initially allowed them.
Of course, there’s no law that says you can’t use YouTube in this way. However, you give up something if you do. There’s a lot you can learn from the good and bad feedback you get from viewers. There’s also a risk that you can look aloof or defensive when you shut down the dialogue.
But in this case, I think turning off comments is the right decision for the employees who are in front of the camera, especially if being in the public spotlight isn’t part of their job description and they’re doing it on behalf of the company.
|Letting people embed your videos on their sites shouldn’t be disabled because it prevents the video reaching new audiences.|
However, I don’t think it makes any sense to shut off embedding or the star ratings. Embedding is good because it’s like free advertising. And ratings are a low risk way to provide web users with the opportunity to express an opinion.
Update: Within hours of this post, Thomson turned commenting and rating back on, but embedding is still disabled. I still think they should either moderate or disable comments. Employees shouldn’t be subjected to public comments referencing their gender, looks, etc. It can get pretty creepy.