If you think video documentation is something only large companies with big budgets can create, think again. A new service called Viddler will change your mind. Viddler is a web 2.0 service that allows anyone with a webcam and a computer connected to the internet to easily create and share video content with others. But that’s not all. Viddler differs from other services like YouTube in that it also helps you (and those who view your content) to add metadata, including tags (think of these as post-it-notes for video files) and video responses (video files created in response to a very specific segment of your video). And, as an added bonus, you don’t need any additional software to make the video files. Viddler handles it all—online!

These features (and others) make Viddler a service worthy of your attention. The very fact that they use their own product to document how you use Viddler software is sufficient evidence of its usefulness. Of course, it’s a very simple example, but a good one, nonetheless.

The social networking features provide both a sense of community and some valuable quality improvement benefits. Those who view your Viddler video content can also add content to the files. Users can tag individual places in the video they don’t want to forget. Or, they can tag the content with comments they want you to know about. Most organizations would love to know what customers are thinking—what they like, what they don’t, where they get lost, which part of the procedure is confusing—but have to resort to wild guesses or the dreaded focus group for answers of questionable value. With Viddler, you can see exactly where a user experienced difficulties with your documentation. And, perhaps more importantly, you can see your customer and benefit from the additional information video provides that traditional feedback mechanisms cannot.