I told my nine-year old that before he was born we didn’t have Google. He thought about that for a while and asked, “How did you find out stuff?”

It is truly amazing how search engines have changed the way we access information. What used to require thousands of “channels” – encyclopedias, maps, yellow pages, books – can now be found pretty much instantly through a single source.

Content consumption trends are a bit behind information access trends, but the same collapse of channels is in the works. YouTube and Netflix are steps towards a consumption model that serves up whatever I want in the universe of content through a single channel.

However, video is different than traditionally searched information in an important way: it is hard to skim.  That’s not a problem when I’m watching a video to be entertained.  But what if I’m looking to be informed?

Accessing business knowledge in video

This is actually a big deal for business.  As video becomes an increasingly common collaboration tool, enterprises are accumulating thousands of hours of video that contain valuable corporate knowledge. It’s critical that these businesses find ways to give their employees the same unfettered access to this information that Google Search – and their content management platform – provide them for their more traditional content.

One way corporations are doing this is with video speech search. This is a new technology within enterprise video management platforms that indexes the spoken words within videos so that any word or phrase can be searched and located at a specific point in the video’s timeline.

Employees can enter a search term and skip directly to the seconds of video content that matter to them. Very Googlesque. And very powerful as a knowledge transfer tool.

Someday my kid will say, “Remember when we used to watch videos from beginning to end?”