I run a side business that offers extremely in-depth professional development online. I use a blogging platform for the business, partly because it’s so easy to add multimedia elements to the courses. I incorporate videos and screencasts, along with a fair amount of audio content, all of which supplements the text and breaks up the chore of too much reading online.
In order to make the multimedia content available without killing my small server, I host it on a multimedia hosting site. The one I use is LibSyn — Liberated Syndication — which is primarily a podcast hosting service. A number of companies, it turns out, block access to LibSyn. I guess they don’t want employees listening to podcasts. I can think of a number of issues that might lead companies to block sites like this, none of them insurmountable.
But here’s the rub: Companies pay the registration fee for employees to participate in these professional development sessions, then block access to the service that delivers the audio and video files, keeping employees from taking advantage of the workshop they paid for. As a result, employees have to go home to participate in the workshop, a work-related activity they undertake on their own time. Then they get slammed for doing non-work-related activities at work.
The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife.