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Chris Murphy
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YouTube Or Not, Make Your Web Video Plans

You don't have to believe in YouTube's business prospects to believe there's a place for Web video in your company.

You don't have to believe in YouTube's business prospects to believe there's a place for Web video in your company.YouTube is getting some nasty glances of late, most recently in a blog post by a Forrester analyst saying the company would be done in by lawsuits over copyright content.

Two thoughts: YouTube's success or failure isn't going to be a big factor in whether there's a future for Web video. And it's even less a factor in whether there's a role for it in your company.

We just wrote about why businesses need to consider uses for Web video and looked at some vendor tools for delivering it. The argument: People are getting used to viewing and even creating video without all the formality that business puts around it today. Companies need to be ready for that.

YouTube is a big part of the momentum behind that. But it's a mere curiosity whether YouTube itself will make it. Online music moved forward while Napster worked out a legal future, and Web video has a lot more legal content than music file sharing ever did. So with or without YouTube:

• There will be plenty of places to post and share user-generated video.

• The novelty of watching amateurish video will wear off, but enough good and occasionally brilliant stuff will be made that there will be a growing market.

• Young people increasingly will come to your company well-versed in watching, sharing, and even creating ad hoc video. Be ready for them.

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