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51 - Microsoft Launches New Streaming & Content Delivery Technologies; Talk About the PAIN or GAIN Rather Than Learning Process; Growth of On-Line Registrations for Training & Conferences

1. Microsoft Launches New Streaming & Content Delivery Technologies. This week, Microsoft launched a new set of technologies and solutions aimed at the delivery of content via streaming over the intranet or internet. The Microsoft New Windows Media Technologies include a new Media Player and 2 Media Streaming Servers. These technologies, when used with a wide variety of authoring tools and content development tools being launched by other vendors, expand the abilities of an organization to deliver learning and training events in an on-line fashion.

The player is available as a free download and the NetShow Server is also available as a free add-in to NT. The higher end server product has a per user license fee. There is a robust integration with tools like Macromedia Flash, to allow for higher degrees of interactivity and linking.

Check out the demo of this technology at .

2. Talk About the PAIN or GAIN Rather Than Learning Process. The training industry doesn't always talk about its product in a compelling way. When you ask learners why they would want to take a piece of training, they will usually talk about 2 reasons:

PAIN: They want to get skills, information or processes that will LOWER THE PAIN they are experiencing. This pain could be the inability to do a function on their computer program, the difficulty they are having with the team members, the poor performance review they fear they may get or the recent quality control rejection of a product. When we address and affiliate with PAIN REDUCTION, we are closer to the nerve of learners.

GAIN: They wan to get skills, information or processes that will INCREASE THE GAIN. This gain could be a higher sales commission or salary, a greater satisfaction with customer interaction, a career opportunity, or a better performance review. When we address and affiliate with GAIN, we are closer to the nerve of learners.

Yet, so much of our training dialogue is about courses, events, and curriculum. When we talk about "putting our courses on-line" this doesn't always get a great response from the workforce. However, if we talk about giving them access to PAIN REDUCTION at their desktops (eg. Immediate Problem Solutions on Your Laptop) or GAIN at their workstations (eg. Examples of Successful Selling Pitches On-Line), we get a different reaction. Remember, stay focused on PAIN or GAIN.

3. Growth of On-Line Registrations for Training & Conferences. We have seen an enormous movement towards the use of on-line registrations for learning events. This phase of e-commerce, focused on doing our core transactions for registration for learning events has been soaring in the past few months. Learners as customers are getting comfortable with the idea of conducting their registration transactions on-line. New tools for on-line registrations are hitting the market and organizations are adding it to their internal and external sites. We have been amazed at The MASIE Center with the rate of shift in this area. Every day we get about 10 to 12 registrations for TechLearn over the internet. The key to a good on-line registration process includes:

* Provide as much information as possible for the learner. Expand the content way beyond what they might get in those all too often mailed brochures. Consider adding audio or video segments, handouts from the events and deeper lists of previous attendees and benefits.

* Provide people with multiple options about payment, if this is applicable. Some folks do not want to give credit card information over the phone. We offer an option to register and then we call for your credit card numbers. Include the widest set of billing and bill-back options.
* Confirm with multiple methods. We now use an email response, a fax confirmation and a follow-up physical packet.
* Experiment and get user feedback. We just added the email response based on comments from a few colleagues who wanted to get the information in a printable format.
* Target multiple decision makers. Use the flexible nature of the web site to offer more than just marketing information. Be generous with content and also address the different levels of decision making, including the information needs of the approving managers.

Even though we haven't sent out a brochure, we already have 872 registrations for our TechLearn '98 November Conference ( . About 63% of our registrations are now coming via on-line format and the percentage grows every week. Why, we might even save some trees and cut back on the normal deluge of conference brochure mailing. Wouldn't that be nice?

4. Help! Input for New Free Resources on Vidcon Learning. In a few weeks, we will be launching a new web site and free on-line newsletter called VICON LEARNING. This site and newsletter will focus on the technologies of conducting video conferencing for learning. We have an intern from Cornell, Laura Tocco, who is reseaching and developing this site. She would love to get any ideas for content and Frequently Asked Questions that you would like to see on this site. If you could send her a quick note with your ideas and feedback for resources that would better help you understand and implement video-conferencing for learning, email it to Thanks for your help. We will make an announcement of the url in about 15 days.

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