my thoughts on making YouTube videos

December 20, 2006

As promised, I wanted to say a few more thoughts about making my first YouTube video (see below).  I had fun doing it, but I won’t be giving up my day job just yet.

Old tech:  Even before I could start editing, I consumed a lot of time.  As I said before, I don’t own a video camera and the one I borrowed was an old High 8 camera.  (I’ll spare you the details of how I got it converted to an editable digital format.)  Also, I shopped around for a video editing program and asked a number of different people for advice, so that took some more time.  I couldn’t figure out how to work the iMovies program on my old iMac, and was just about to plunk down some money to buy a Windows application when — lo and behold — I discovered I already own Windows Movie Maker on my new laptop.

Windows Movie Maker:  A very easy program to use.  I knew nothing about editing before using it.  WMM did the trick.

Telling a story:  Once I got the hang of editing, I had a lot of fun trying to tell a story from the raw video and photos taken by my students.  It also helped to have an amazing original song from one of my students that I really liked.  My goal was to make a very short, tightly strung video.  My long version was over 5 minutes, the shorter version a little over 3 minutes.  Still a little long by YouTube standards, but I needed to get in as many of my students in the footage.

So what did I learn?:  Besides editing, I learned that one of the real advantages of video is that it captures a memory almost like nothing else can.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video may be worth a million.  When I watch the video of my class, the memory is priceless.  YouTube fits into the picture by providing an easy way for me to share the video with my class and others.  That’s the original idea — sharing video — that prompted YouTube’s invention.  That the YouTube founders perfected their idea so well is a blessing for innovation.

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Adults still prefer TV news to YouTube news – go figure?

December 20, 2006

News:  Zogby International took a survey of 1,203 adults.  By a 2-1 margin, adults said they still preferred the news on TV over a “citizen” video of an event.  But 83% said they believed 12 year olds know more about the Internet than members of Congress.   66% said the printing press was a more important invention than the Internet. (More here)

Analysis: Fascinating numbers.  But Zogby apparently failed to ask the $64,000 question:  how many adults prefer YouTube over TV for entertainment.  That’s a more important question, in my view, than the news-related question Zogby asked.  (Who in their right mind would think that YouTube today is an adequate substitute for news media?)