This document describes the video content plans for Hadoop-based Service for Windows and Windows Azure.  This Plan complements the Documentation Plan.




  • Identify what video content will be produced
  • Identify when video content will be delivered
  • Identify where video content will be delivered
  • Identify who will create the video content
  • Identify how success will be measured
  • Identify outstanding TBD issues

 Guiding Principles

  • Video is integrated with other content so that learners find what they need when they need it – regardless of format.
  • Video is also available in a ‘video only’ section of the wiki, for learners who prefer video content.
  • Once we have identified topics, upfront decisions will be made by the Team as to whether the topic is best served by written content or video content. 
    • We can use the When To Use Video, and When to NOT Use Video CCKB whitepaper for guidance.
    • Input at all stages from TAP (and later RTM) customers
  • Videos should have a Dev-to-Dev instead of Marketing feel.
  • Reuse when we can. If great video content exists elsewhere, link to it instead of reinventing it. For RTM, we will need introductory Hadoop content.  Instead of creating it ourselves, we will link to Level 100 content on partner and community sites.




 The Community and Content team has been asked to produce content for the Hadoop-based Service for Windows and Windows Azure. This distribution has three main ‘editions’:

  •  Private Hadoop on Windows AzureElastic
  • Map Reduce (EMR) on Windows Azure
  • Private Hadoop on Windows Server

The initial focus will be on private Hadoop and EMR on Windows Azure, with a target audience of TAP customers.


 Video Content Lead

 Content Producers


 Additional Stakeholders

 PMs and Developers


 Customers who need to process large amounts of data. 

  •  Customers who will use it
  • Community of influencers in the Apache community

These audiences are comprised of:

  • Web application developers
  • Business Intelligence workers

Our initial audience is unique.  They are TAP customers who are 1) already familiar with Hadoop and 2) have proactively expressed interest in Microsoft’s Hadoop-based products.   They span the industry and are likely to already have a positive and/or optimistic impression of our offerings. 

Future audiences will have much different levels of Hadoop knowledge and may even be skeptical of Microsoft’s entry into the Hadoop arena.   For this secondary audience, we will need to create a different set of video deliverables.


 There are no current plans for localization.


  •  Transcripts will be provided for all videos.
  • Video Lead will investigate closed captioning and subtitling for RTM


Video content will be uploaded to either the MSBI or SQL Server channel on YouTube and be embedded in the wiki.  The name of the playlist will be Big Data and will be co-managed by Marketing and CCxG.

We are looking into whether it makes sense to also have video content available from the Portal, TechNet/MSDN/Bing, (although I could not find any videos there), partner sites, and Channel9.

All videos should be sent to the Video Lead, who will

  • Add any necessary elements not already included in the video (logo, official templates, bumpers, etc)
  • Recommend additional editing, if necessary.
  • Provide suggestions for future videos
  • Once approved, upload to YouTube
  • Track and report on metrics
  • Add closed captioning (until team can be trained)
  • Add transcript (until team can be trained)

The video creator will:

  •  Ensure proper branding (see below)
  • Remove or blur proprietary content
  • Upload completed video and zipped Camtasia Project to CCxG share
  • Submit via MSVideo tool and manage approvals
    • Description
    • Identify reviewers
    • Keywords
    • Authors
    • Etc.

Marketing will:

  •  Co-manage the YouTube channel
  • Share  access to YouTube analytics
  • Communicate branding, messaging, and naming guidelines
  • Attend Monday meetings to share content creation

MSVideo will:

  •  Centralize video upload
  • Manage and centralize the approval process.  (legal, Director-level, other assigned Reviewers)
  • Manage and centralize video distribution to Showcase, YouTube, Bing Video, and more
  • Provide metrics

 TechNet Wiki

Videos will be available from the Apache Hadoop on Windows TechNet Wiki.   Video authors are responsible for creating and maintaining the wiki topic (launch page) and embedding the YouTube video.  Video authors are also responsible for adding a link to their video launch page from the wiki Video page/table.


Initial delivery of video during TAP will be via the TechNet Wiki and directly from YouTube. 

  • Embedded YouTube players will be used for video topics within wiki articles.
  • Each video will also have a dedicated launch page.   Launch pages are both strategic (improve SEO) and functional (direct the customer down other learning paths). Launch pages contain:
    • Transcripts
    • Related videos
    • Related content
    • Description of the video, author, date, #views
    • Feedback  link or control
    • Revision history
    • Subscribe and Share options
    • Keywords
    • Microsoft Translator (won’t translate the video, but will translate the transcript)

 Showcase and YouTube

 Videos will be hosted on YouTube. 


Despite the advantages listed below, at this point there is no compelling reason to cross-post on Showcase as our open-source users don’t have Silverlight-capable devices or access.  

Advantages over YouTube

  • Microsoft property
  • Allows simultaneous upload to Showcase, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and more.
  • Provides more robust online metrics
  • More control – over SEO and posting
  • Access to Support
  • Homepage has more customizable areas and features
  • Automatically converts your video to 14 other downloadable formats ranging from mobile to HD
  • Automatically published to Bing Video, so video is discoverable through Bing’s player as well.
  • RSS feed of all new videos published that Google and Bing crawl every 15 minutes


Marketing has created a Playlist for us as part of the MicrosoftBI channel.   This playlist will be moved to the SQL Server channel and renamed Microsoft Big Data. Because we are new, we are currently a ‘Featured Playlist.’ 

  1. Our playlist will have 3 (for now) categories. In the future we may also want to create playlists based on function or level.
    • Private Hadoop-based services on Windows Azure
    • Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) on Windows Azure
    • Private Hadoop-based services on Windows Server
  2. We will include the Featured Channels area, and link to Microsoft as well as Community Hadoop channels (e.g., Cloudera, Hortonworks, SQLServer, etc.), as identified and approved by our Team. We will request reciprocal links.
  1. Videos will be posted using a team alias. This makes it easier to identify our videos in a search and allows us to build reputation.  Also improves SEO in general.
  2. Video quality will meet minimum standards.  The quality of the video (resolution, display, etc.) reflects on the message (see Production Specifications below).

For reference, check out these other Hadoop-related channels on YouTube:

Yahoo Developer Network videos

MapR Technology Academy

MapR Technology

IBM Big Data


SEO Considerations & Getting the Word Out

It doesn’t matter how brilliant our videos are if no one can find them!

  • Video titles, descriptions, and/or H1 tags will accurately describe the task
  • Video titles will contain the word ‘video’ 
  • Video titles and descriptions will contain the word ‘Hadoop’ 
  • Video topics will be indexed, tagged, and searchable.
  • All videos will include a transcript
  • TBD will work with community to give and receive reciprocal links
  • TBD will work on video publicity via top blog sites, related sites, Twitter, and other social media
  • TBD will work with our partners to cross promote video content
  • Michele will consult with SEO Lead for best practices for video SEO
  • Videos will be publicized via RSS Feed.


Good-enough videos.  Additionally, our videos will utilize a high screen resolution, zooms, highlights, and graphics to improve the viewing experience (see Production Specifications below).   

Screencast: How-To videos of actions taking place on computer screen, ~5 minutes or less

Webcasts: How-To videos of actions taking place on computer screen, ~5 minutes or more

Presentations: videos of live presentations, both edited and unedited

Combo: not sure what to call these yet, but combination of screencast and live-action, any length

Podcasts – audio-only

For specifics, see Schedule below.

Production Specifications

It is not our plan to make slick highly-produced video content.  The plan is for the video to be ‘good enough’ to achieve its goal – whether that be educating or informing or explaining.  Recording and production specs can be found on the CC Knowledgebase.

At a minimum, videos will:

  • Be 16:9 ratio
  • Be at least 1280x720 resolution (prior to editing)
  • Include approved elements
    • Intro and Outro slides
    • BI bumpers, beginning and end
    • Current legal branding
    • Utilize zooming for viewability
    • Use yellow mouse highlighting
    • Have leveled audio


To improve success and satisfaction, we will clearly identify videos by content, type, and level.  We don’t want our learners to be surprised by the video content – what they see should match their expectations.

  • All videos will have descriptive titles that clearly indicate the product and task.
  • The word ‘video’ will appear in parenthesis at the end of each video title. 
  • Each video will include a level (100-400) on the launch page. 
  • If the video is part of a progressive series, links to the other videos in the series will be provided within the video (if possible) as well as on the launchpage and within the video. 
  • All videos will include a link back to the wiki and to ???.  Ideally these links will appear at the beginning and at the end of each video.
  • The video descriptions will be clear and basic and not assume prior knowledge.

Measuring Success

Producing video content is a cycle:  research, create, publish, measure and test, improve, repeat.  We will use qualitative and quantitative feedback in the form of comments, emails, listening to customers, conversing with customer, usability studies, A/B testing, and online metrics. 

Authors will work with the Metrics team to create and maintain reports and dashboards that will be accessible by the organization.  We will also work with UX to conduct usability studies.

The metrics we collect will serve 3 main functions:

  1. Identify issues with how our video delivery functions – if learners cannot launch or cannot view our videos, that needs to be addressed first.
  2. Analyze the success and popularity of our videos – collect data about watching/downloading behavior, sharing behavior, and listen to our customers.  Benchmark and improve.
  3. Measure improvement – we need metrics that we can use to measure the success of our improvements and our testing.

Data will be collected from the following sources, acknowledging that the amount of data we can get from these sources will vary greatly:  wiki, MSDN/TechNet/STO, MSVideo, YouTube, other as needed/available.

 Functional Data

  1. Download success rate (for downloads)
  2. Launch success rate (for online viewing)
  3. Time To Glass (page load time)
  4. Findability

 Core Data

  1. Page hits
  2. Watching the video began
  3. At least 50% of the video was watched
  4. Entire video was watched
  5. Any other %watched metric we can get
  6. Downloaded started
  7. Download completed
  8. Path Analysis

Audience-generated Data

  1. Ratings (average, total)
  2. Comments and Feedback
  3. Social - Are videos shared (linked, tweeted, blogged about)

Video Factors Analysis - ways to slice the data

  1. Length
  2. Author
  3. Date Published
  4. Level (100-400)
  5. Type (screencast, presentation, combo, animation, webcast)
  6. Format (wmv, mpg, flv, etc.)
  7. Video language (TBD)

Other Data to Collect

  1. RSS Subscriptions for each video feed
  2. A/B testing of same topics in text vs video
  3. Audience geography – location and video version (en-us, etc.)


The current plan is to have a few videos ready by 12/15 for initial TAP, and add additional content incrementally. Once TAP is underway, existing content will be updated based on customer feedback. Future content will also be created based on customer feedback.

12/12 Milestone 1 – TAP

  • Video plan (this document)
  • Video section on portal page

 Milestone 2 – TAP

  • YouTube playlist created
  • Templates approved
  • Motion graphics approved
  • Intro/Outro bumpers approved
  • Accessing Hadoop via Excel Hive Add-in (video)  
  • Interactive JS (video)  
  • Hive Interactive Portal (video)
  • Accessing Hive via Excel PowerPivot (video)

 Milestone 3 – TAP

  • 4 Samples Videos  
  • Deployment video(s)
    • On-premise deployment  
    • Hadoop on Azure (EMR)  
    • Dedicated Hadoop on Azure  
    • Command line deployment  
  • Introductory Video - Introduction to Hadoop-based Service for Windows and Windows Azure
  • Outstanding deployment video(s)

 Milestone 4 - TAP

  • Tracking and Success metrics defined, ticket submitted
  • Meeting with UX to discuss, plan, and schedule usability testing
  • Metrics findings communicated internally
  • How to videos
    • DataMarket Import  
    • Deep Dive into Hive Interactive Portal  
    • Others TBD

Milestone 5 – TAP

  • SQOOP data into and out of SQL (video)  
  • Begin updating video content based on TAP feedback and metrics


  • First round of usability completed
  • Tracking and Success Metrics report/dashboard goes live (internal only)
  • Hadoop Streaming: Creating a Simple Mapper and Reducer in C# (video),
  • Configuring HIVE to use SQL Server as Meta Store (video)

 Post- -RTM

  • Subtitling and/or Closed Captioning

 Unscheduled/Content Ideas

  • Video Plan feedback from TAP customers  
  • MR demo
  • Hive demo
  • Pig demo
  • How to: get an Azure certificate
  • Performance Tuning
  • Do an interview series; for instance, interview Dave Vronay, folks from the content team, others. Again, keep it on the dev-to-dev level. Not a technical demo, but rather “Here’s the process that went into this design,” for instance.
  • JavaScript
  • Third-party products ('karma sphere?')
  • Here's how you allocate and tear down a cluster (from a phone)

Content Quality Gates




Technical Accuracy

Content must be in sync with specifications published by the product team

Content must be fully reviewed by the product team, CAT PM , Marketing  


  • Content strategy developed in cooperation with the product team
  • Solicit feedback from TAP customers in order to verify plan and prioritize content
  • All planned content written

Content must be fully reviewed for completeness by the product team


  • Customers should be directed to content as part of the TAP package
  • A landing page that links to relevant content should be available
  • Content should be published to a public location accessible to search engines
  • transcripts
  • Content should be published to a public location accessible to search engines
  • Content titles should include the action users are attempting to perform or common keywords for the information being described
  • The video description should describe what viewing will help you accomplish

Security & Legal Review

  • All samples and instructions published should be reviewed to ensure they reflect security best practices
  • All videos will be approved by the Microsoft Video Approvals Board.
  • All videos will be approved by the Microsoft Video Approval Board– via the MSVideo tool.



Refer to Documentation Plan.  Also:

  • Branding decisions – product name, messaging, etc.
  • Stability of the software and readiness for screencasting
  • Availability of other people resources to commit to our dates (e.g., CSHelp folks, YouTube, Usability)
  • We have 2 different audiences – how do we succeed with both?
  • For the time being, refer to the products as:  “Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure” and “Hadoop-based distribution for Windows Server.”  The official product name will be announced by end of March.

Terminology and Messaging

  • Do not use “Microsoft Hadoop” or “Microsoft distribution.” 
  • Do not use codenames in video narration, though it is OK to show the term as part of the code.
  • Do not mention any specific release dates or schedules for the product.
  • Reinforce as possible, our products:
  • Broader access of Hadoop to end users, IT professionals and Developers, through easy installation and configuration and simplified programming with JavaScript.
  • Enterprise-ready Hadoop distribution with greater security, performance and ease of management.
  • Breakthrough insights through the use of familiar tools such as PowerPivot for Excel, SQL Server Analysis and Reporting Services.

See Documentation Plan for additional information.

Related Documents

Documentation Plan

When To Use Video, and When to NOT Use Video

Video and/or Text

Why Video? Video in CCxG WhitePaper

Video FAQ

Technical Review

TBD by stakeholders.

Content Maintenance

Refer to Documentation Plan


  • Downloadable training virtual machine?  Or use our partners’?
  • Do we need to be careful what training we develop – not step on toes of our partners for example? Or, should we engage with partners to share content?

When will we have official logos and product name