Why Automation Companies should NOT block YouTube

Recently I got into a discussion about YouTube with Emerson's Chief Blogger, Jim Cahill. Jim noted that he was concerned because many companies' IT departments are now blocking YouTube, Flicker, and other so-called "social media" websites on the grounds that employees are fritterin' away just man-weeks of valuable company time. That may be so, but think again. A cursory search of YouTube for the searchstring "automation" returns about 3500 (!!!) entries, many of which are relevant. If you get looking deeper, you find:
  • "process control" - over 1800 entries
  • "pressure measurement" -- 16 entries
  • "temperature measurement" -- 35 entries
  • "industrial wireless" -- 47 entries (including a very long lecture series by Kris Pister of UC Berkeley (and Dust Networks) who is arguably one of the "inventors" of mesh networking.
There are many, including many videos from companies like Krohne, Toshiba, Dynalectric, and on and on...go look for yourself. The same thing goes for iTunes, which has an absolutely huge channel for automation, including myself, Gary Mintchell, and a horde of others. What really convinced me, though, to write this was the fact that I saw yesterday that the US Chemical Safety Board has its own official YouTube Channel. Here's the link to the 2005 video they made on the BP Texas City disaster. If you can't see it, get your IT people to unblock YouTube.
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  • <p>Walt, Thanks for raising visibility on this! </p> <p>Tools like YouTube for videos and Flickr for pictures can always be misused but they definitely can have positive uses, like the link you have to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board video.</p> <p>In fact that link was such a great find, I subscribed to USB's YouTube channel and anxiously await their future posts.</p> <p>I join you in encouraging those with IT Group blocking these sites that its a requirement for the job to have access to them.</p> <p>Take it easy, Jim</p>


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