Penton groups step out in video

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Engineering TV, a joint effort of two Penton Media publication groups that debuted Jan. 4, is part of a broader initiative to incorporate video into the company’s engineering and electronics sites.

Penton’s Design Engineering Group and its Electronics OEM Group have teamed up to launch Engineering TV, a series of twice-weekly short video programs that will focus on trends and people on the forefront of design engineering. The freestanding URL,, is linked to the sites of Penton’s Machine Design, Electronic Design, Motion Systems Design, EEPN, Microwave & RF and Medical Design.

“ETV is an excellent example of cross-company cooperation,” said Eric Shanfelt, Penton’s senior VP-e-media strategy and development. He added that two charter sponsors, National Instruments Corp. and Analog Devices, have signed on to support 96 episodes of Engineering TV this year.

Tom Morgan, director of Penton’s Electronics OEM Group, said: “Just about every new media and Web 2.0 survey we’ve seen suggests that video makes online content more compelling and is making the broadest impact within the b-to-b marketplace today. With the global engineering community having already proven itself to be an early adopter when it comes to usage of new media technology, the time is right for the launch of Engineering TV.”

While the chief editors of the six engineering design publications will be involved with the project as part of an editorial oversight group, the production of the five-to-eight-minute episodes has been outsourced to a professional video company.

“In some episodes, our editors will appear on camera as they go to key trade shows or site visits, or when they moderate an episode. Other episodes may not have any Penton editors on screen at all,” Shanfelt said, adding, “We want this to come out of the gate at near-broadcast quality.”

Engineering TV is one of a number of video initiatives emanating from Penton’s design and engineering groups.

The Electronics OEM Group launched two video channels last month on its EEPN and Microwaves & RF Web sites. Both channels take advantage of the free capabilities of the popular video-sharing site YouTube.

“When customers like LedTronics were already posting on YouTube, we figured that was the best place to start,” Morgan said.

In addition to posting short videos overseen by the two publications’ editors and video content from the supplier community, “we’ve been pulling down relevant videos from YouTube to get our brand channel sites started,” he added.

Meanwhile, the team from Penton’s Electronic Design and Electronic Design Europe has been experimenting with video coverage of industry events.

The first effort was for Electronica, a show held in Munich, Germany, in November. Electronic Design Publisher Bill Baumann noted that the time difference between Germany and the U.S. was beneficial because editors in the States could edit and post video during the overnight hours in Germany.

“In the ‘old days,’ it took weeks to get coverage from a show into print,” Baumann said. “Video offers an immediacy print can’t match. It is our intent to cover all the market’s key trade shows this way in 2007.”

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