IN MY OPINION
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VLOGGING vs. YOU-TUBING
4 September 2006
I love Blip.TV. It wasn't the first place I uploaded videos. The first place was Our Media, which I found to be frustrating, slow and cumbersome. When I found Blip.TV, I never looked back. I started posting videos on Blip.
But not everybody could see Quicktime videos and I don't think Blip was converting them into flash format at that time (which they are now), so I found YouTube and did mirror posting; I posted movies to Blip that would appear in QuickTime and the same movie to YouTube because it converted them to flash format, which those who could not see QT were able to see.
(I'm not even going to get into the other video hosting sites around, but just stick with these two.)
It's not like I have thousands of people viewing my movies. In fact, if I get two dozen, I'm happy, but I kid myself that they are there in case anybody stumbles across them.
Initially, YouTube bothered me. While it says plainly that you are not permitted to upload copyrighted material, nobody seemed to pay attention to that warning. The thing is rampant with stuff taken off of a TV or movie screen, mixed in with the videos of teenagers on their skate boards, wannabe femme fatales, and cute cat tricks.
But now YouTube seems to have been "discovered" by the media. (It's so much fun when, at my age, you can be in on the ground floor of something that begins sweeping the countryand you knew about it in the early days!) It has become such a phenomenon that networks are actually giving permission for copyrighted material to be uploaded. I very rarely see that something has been removed for copyright infringement...there are the odd videos here and there which are, but basically, I guess that You Tube seems to have become so popular that people are looking on it as a good way to get free publicity.
As YouTube's popularity has grown, I don't recall ever seeing anything mainstream about Blip. I love Blip. I think it has the better looking screen, the more logical kind of structure. I met several of the staff people at Vloggercon and liked all of them. You'll never find a more accessible, prompt customer service staff, for sure. But I think that there is a real division that is developing with video. I think we now have two types of people with videocameras: vloggers and YouTubers.
There is overlap. I sometimes overlap, but basically I think of Blip people as being the "vloggers." The people who are producing quality video, original video. The citizen journalists like Josh Wolf who are going out into the streets and attending political events, reporting on them, and then fighting the law to keep their sources secret. People like Carl Weaver, who has started "D.C. Metro Stories," a video blog to cover things going on in and around the DC Area. Sites like Minnesota Stories, a collaborative venture which spotlights personal stories and commentary on local politics, independent film, music, and eateries the kind of think the local news doesn't find space to air.
Vloggers attended Vlogger con. They are up to date on all the latest technology, the latest cameras, the latest editing equipment, the latest sound recording equipment. Whether they have the money to buy them, they can at least know what they're talking about--and many do spend thousands of dollars on the very latest, the very best.
YouTubers, on the other hand, have digital cameras with video capability, or webcams, or cell phone cams. They may or may not make quality original material. They may or may not go out and act as private reporters. They often blatantly post copyrighted material (but thanks to that, there is a wealth of wonderful stuff out there, from snatches of Broadway musicals, to old commercials, to classic TV bits).
A big difference between YouTube and Blip is that YouTube has begun to create a sense of community. People like Renetto will pose a question or suggest a topic of conversation and people will make videos in response and post them to Renetto's site. Kind of like the old CompuServe forums, but with video added. I've seen all sorts of conversation starters by several different people. Some catch fire and hundreds of people will post videos in response. Some just sort of lie there, but there is always the hope that a "conversation" will begin.
Senior citizens like Geriatric1927, a 79 year old man from England have discovered YouTube. Geriatric (whose real name is Peter) sits there with a web cam (or perhaps an iMovie), not really looking at the lens and he just talks about his life. He has made 19 videos and the very first one, when he was still learning what he was doing, has been viewed (as of this writing) 1,794,424 times. The subsequent ones haven't quite hit that number, but he still has thousands of people who watch each of his videos. Younger people feel he reminds them of their grandfather. Senior Citizens think "if he can do that, I can do that!" The media wanted to interview him (it scared him because he wants no media attention).
Several other older folks, like jimsan1 (another Brit, this guy only 78) have also posted to YouTube, with far less success (Jim's views are in the hundreds, not thousands), but still their own little following.
YouTube videos are frequently (but not always) of poorer quality than you find on Blip. In addition to the method of filming, something about the transfer of video to their flash format reduces the quality my own videos look much more clear on Blip than on YouTube, and it's exactly the same video that I'm uploading.
But still YouTube is emerging as a real power in the world of sharing videos on line.
After attending VloggerCon and after trying to make heads or tails out of 99% of the messages on the yahoo videoblogging group, and after watching the progression of both Blip and YouTube, I have to admit that I will probably never be your average Blip user. My content, my abilities, and my interests are more in line with the YouTubers, even though I get more people actually watching the videos on Blip (so will continue to post to both sites!).
But, to be honest, my interest is in all those home movies, the ones I make today, and the ones that the kids did 20 years ago. I don't take the time to do careful editing, don't have the imagination to do something devastatingly clever and if I do produce something devastatingly clever, it's usually a fluke!
I'm really happy to be able to straddle both worlds, the Blip world and the YouTube world. There is very definitely a place for both Blippers and YouTubes in the vlogosphere and the community of each is steadily growing.
All things considered, what it leaves us with is a great selection of video from which to choose. Now matter how "ee-ka-lek-tik" (as the man in the White House pronounces it), I guarantee there is something on either Blip or YouTube for you, if you have the time and interesting to look.
I did a search on the Broadway show,Wicked, today, since I've recently discovered that there is such a wealth of Broadway and other show performances on YouTube. So I've removed all the old "Look at these Videos" entries and replaced them with excerpts from Wicked, both excerpts from the stage show itself, and a deliciously wicked parody by Forbidden Broadway.
PHOTO OF THE DAY