Saturday, April 01, 2006

Motion.tv Threatens Blogger for "Infringement"

"Be careful of what you say about motion.tv in your blog"

That's the "lead" of the love note I just received about Motion.tv.
Weeks ago Shawn McCoy, a Content Manager from Motion TV, contacted me about uploading my videos on his site. I gave him and Motion.tv a plug on Revverberation with this March 13 post highlighting MotionTV. Shawn posted a response.

I previously had a logo of Motion TV on this post, but just removed it. Below is the message from a friendly CEO of Apollo Interactive in LA (not sure how they're tied to Motion.tv). Needless to say, you won't be hearing anything else on Revverberation about Motion.tv. I'm pulling the link off CubeBreak.com too.

Initially I was intruiged by Motion.tv as a worthy competitor of Revver, and brought it to attention to Revverberation readers despite this blog being about Revver. I'm not sure why they took offense to the post. It gave them free access to a core group of content creators. That said, you won't ever find any Nalts videos on MotionTV even if it becomes the next eBay.

Here's the note I received on March 14 (I just found it in my SPAM folder). I'm glad to know Yahoo mail filters cranky messages as spam!

----------------------------------

please remove the motion.tv logo from your blog immediately.
(you are in violation of Motion.TV's intellectual property rights)

i also strongly suggest that you be careful of what you say about
motion.tv in your blog as your remarks may constitute unfair business
practices.

thank you

--
Justin B. Woo
woo@apollointeractive.com

Chief Executive Officer
Apollo Interactive, Inc.
"America's Leading Interactive Agency"

(Out of respect and fear, I've removed his phone number from this post).

Revver Announces Chapter 11!

Well this is not a fun piece of news to start the weekend...

Revver Files Voluntary Chapter 11 Petition
San Francisco, LA. March 29, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via REVVER/ --
REVVER Corporation filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code late yesterday. The Company had announced its plans to file earlier in the week.
Today the Bankruptcy Court approved the interim post-petition financing from the Company's lenders, The ATC Group, Inc. and Hodges Partners II, L.P. ("Hodges"), that will be used to continue the operation of Revver's video business. The Company can use the financing to pay vendors for goods and services received after the filing in the ordinary course of business. For more details, see this release on PRNewswire or this article from The Wall Street Journal.

How do you spell it? Rever? Revver? Revher?

I like the name Revver. It's simple and implies speed. But I'm endlessly surprised with how hard it is for people to remember or spell. How many times have you, dear Revver posters, told a friend about your stuff, and days later they say "can you send me the link?" or "how do you spell it again"?

Then if they manage to make it to Revver, finding your videos on Revver is another complex milestone. Even if they search your username, there's no guarantee they'll find it. And if other people tag using your name, they'll find a mess o' stuff. And then there's my family that are lucky if they can get on the Internet much less use a search tool and remember my userID).

So what do you do? I guess send them to Revver.com/user/you (example- http://www.revver.com/user/nalts/)? But who's going to remember that?

So here's my solution that I baked for myself, and want to share with others. I just parked "IForgotTheDomain.com" and have it redirecting to a page on Cubebreak that provides convenient hyperlinks to my stuff and the videos of some of the regular posters to Revverberation.com. I'm not trying to grab 20% affiliate fees as a passthrough or hijack your visitors (although I did sneak a CubeBreak logo on the page since I'm using that site to host this page). You can tell me how you want it setup.

Check it out: www.IForgotTheDomain.com.

Now you can send people to that URL (who can't remember or spell it?) as a last resort. Right now I have it pointing to your USERID, but if you want I can change it to a certain tag that you use exclusively (at which point you can add your affiliate feeand get an extra 20%). Keep in mind that sending them to your USERID is safer than to a specific tag, because sooner or later some idiot is going to start tagging their videos with your words to steal your traffic. Again- two choices, and e-mail me your preference at nalts at cubebreak.com:
1) The USERID. Example: www.revver.com/user/nalts/ (can't add affiliate tag)
2) The Tag. Example: http://www.revver.com/tags/cubebreak/3331/

Having said all this, it's possible that the "I forgot" or "I can't find it" excuse is a red herring for "I have other more important things than watching your videos, nerd."

Friday, March 31, 2006

Get Revverberation Delivered to You

Many of you have figured this out already, I think. But to get Revverberation posts delivered to you, just paste this URL in your RSS feeder or Google homepage:

http://revverberation.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Now here's the question. I get every post delivered to my inbox. How can other people do that? There's nothing that keeps me awake at work like when I get a Revverberation post on my Crackberry.

Revver Account Page Back in Action


Thanks for the posts. It was great to see the account page alive. You get a nice breakdown of earnings and "payable" money. Even better, we get a pie chart showing the high earners!

Thanks, Revver!

Tom Brokaw: Dead or Alive

So I mentioned Tom Brokaw in my futuristic story in a post this morning. My wife, who so rarely reads Revverberation.com (but she caught me blogging) says "didn't he die?" So now I think I've got to revise the future.

But I did a search on the "Dead or Alive" site. Indeed, Tom Brokaw is alive as of this post.

My wife's usually right, but not this time.

Nice URL for sale: www.FreeViralVideos.com

I got this e-mail today, and found it worth sharing. Of course I can't make a reasonable offer to buy www.freeviralvideos.com, as I'm trying to manage my expenses on Revverberation and Cubebreak (not ready to plunge into this as an investment until I get my feet wet). And as the last post revealed, I'm already too deep in debt to finance a new domain!

Here's the note (truncated slightly)
-------------
Hi,
I'm the broker for FreeViralVideos.com my client wishes to contact you regarding
his featured auction of freeviralvideos.com on sedo.com if your company is interested please don't hesitate visiting Sedo Auction Showcase. This industry is fresh and new but taking off at a phenomenal rate, I believe this is the best time to contact my client.

Best Regards,
Chris Sorenski

Bank Robbery Makes Hostage Rich

Hostage Victim, Not Bank Robbers, Get the Money
Wall Street Times: January 14, 2008

The two Brooklyn teenagers that attempted to rob the Manhattan Ameribank last Wednesday took home no cash, but a bank hostage is quickly profiting from the event. Melissa Trinkle -- one of 17 hostages that was held at gunpoint for 4 hours during the attempted robbery -- captured video footage of the dramatic event via her cell phone. In the three days following the robbery, she has earned more than $7,500 from advertisements that accompany her video.
Trinkle used her Samsung video cell phone to record the bank robbery, and received offers for the footage as high as $10,000 from CNN, ABCNews and NBC. Trinkle declined, and chose to upload her footage to Revver.com, a company that gives video content owners 50% of the ad revenue generated from people clicking a single "ad frame" at the end of the video. More than 250,000 people watched the video in the days following the event, and 5 percent clicked an advertisement by Sony. The video is available at Revver.com, but more than 80 percent of the viewers watched Trinkle's video via Revver's broadcast partners Comcast-Google and Verizon-Blinkx.

Okay, so this is fiction.

But it's inspired by three real events. First, the study yesterday that announced that news is the biggest attraction for online video viewers. Second- do you remember the amateur video footage taken last fall from the inside of the JetBlue flight that had landing-gear probems? Compelling stuff. Third, while in NYC Tuesday waiting for a Google meeting, two of my colleagues and I browsed a Samsung showroom. We saw this Samsung video camera phone, and I would have spontaniously driven myself into further debt if they actually sold them there. Like people in Japan and Finland, many of us will be carrying videocameras embedded into our cell phones in the next 18 months.

Something like this bank robbery story will happen, of course. It is "citizen journalism" at its finest- we're all roving reporters with the video cell phones, and we won't stand to give away our exclusive video footage without upside potential directly tied to the number of people viewing it. No more selling footage to networks for a fixed amount and letting the networks profit if it becomes "hot." Naturally, there will always be a role for the news equivalent of the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" provided by a WSJ, CNN or ABCNews. We naive Americans need a credible and trusted source to tell us what's news and what's bogus (after all, Bloggers aren't usually journalists and we're known for fiction). But Tom Brokaw's field reporters in 2008 be you and me. And we'll gladly invite the news channels to "point" to our video, but we'll expect a piece of the ongoing advertising action. This reduces the risk of a network wasting big dollars on amateur video that doesn't turn out to be so popular, and increases the content creator's upside potential if the video is viral.

Finally, I'd say one of the most interesting parts of this speculative tale is the realization that although Revver may be the broker between video creators and advertisers, someone else likely will find the eyeballs. And that will be a BIG player like Verizon, Comcast, Google and maybe even Blinkx.tv. The trick for Revver will be to gain a foothold with distribution channels (as evidenced by the Blinkx deal) soon before the broadcasters decide to dissintermediate them. And that's not fiction.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jenny, I've Got Your Number

Revverberation.com just got its first post from a Blinkxter. Welcome to the family, Jenny. Hopefully you can give us some clues about when/how we get our Revverized videos up on Blinkx. Revver's Reponsive Rob (RRR) would normally cover us here, but he's been quiet. Too quiet.

Glad you're reading. Your site is eye candy. This video online thing is a nice little fad, isn't it?

We're Not Alone: Online Video Achieves Mass Appeal

Online Video Achieving Mass Appeal with
News Leading the Way, According to
Online Publishers Association Study


Here are some highlights of a publication called the Measuring Local Audiences Online report. The excerpts are from a joint press release issued today (March 29) by Online Publishers Association and Frank N. Magid Associates.

One-in-Four Internet Users Access Video Weekly;
Video Advertisements Drive Specific Actions
>>
Video viewing online has reached the point where it is a routine practice for many Internet users. “From Early Adoption to Common Practice: A Primer on Online Video Viewing” is the first OPA study to look at how the U.S. online population perceives video and video advertising.
>> News Leads: While humor gets the buzz, news/current events is the most frequently viewed online video category.
>> From Ads to Action: The vast majority of video viewers have seen video ads and many are being driven to take action.
>> Specific Destinations Popular. Visiting specific Web sites -- such as CubeBreak.com ;) --is a very popular way to find online video; general surfing is nearly as common.
>> The OPA video study found that 24 percent of Internet users access video at least once a week, while 46 percent watch video at least once a month. News leads the way in frequency of viewing, with 27 percent of online video viewers watching at least once a week, followed closely by funny videos (26 percent watch at least once a week).
>> Online video viewing is very common at home (39 percent of those with home Internet access watch at least once a week) compared to 19% of those who watch at least once a week at work.
>> Video ad watchers generally prefer short ads, however 39 percent said they would watch ads lasting longer than 30 seconds.

Top Rated Section of Revver: Getting Stale

A Revverberation Reader writes...

I was wondering if the elite who are listed in the "Top Rated" bar could do me a favor: change your thumbnail once in a while if you're gonna be up there on the splash page a long time. I had a nightmare last night that Dawn Westlake came out of her thumbnail at me like that little girl in "The Ring." (James Jarvis)

If you read Revverberation regularly, you probably see the homepage of Revver more than the Revver editors and employees. So there are actually two points here:
1) Whether by accident or on purpose, any video that sits on the homepage for long should change its thumbnail for two reasons. First, we get sick of certain images. Second, your chances of getting a repeat visitor to your video increases. I just found that "America's Funniest Bloopers" somehow made top rating, so I just changed the thumbnail.
2) Clearly the Top Rated section is broken. My worst video ever has almost 1200 views and a 2.16 rating, but it still has a place on the Top Rated charts. I think Revver actually fired the guy that was in charge of the ratings functionality and the "Top Rated" criteria. Here he is caught on film...



P.S. It's ironic to hear that Revver is giving Jarvis nightmares, considering that 74.4 percent of my nightmares are a direct result of watching his deeply disturbing but compelling pieces. All 323 of them. With that kind of frequency, he's got two of his own self-created tags- jarvis and yildiz. But don't try this at home. I've been tagging a bunch of mine with the word "zump" so I could own the last "popular tag" and it hasn't worked.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Laughing at "The Office" - Viral Video and Copyright Issues

Some of the faithful readers of Revverberation will remember that I tried to submit a video of my son laughing at "The Office."

Here's the update: Revver hasn't given green light to it (it has been stuck for 6 days in "REVIEW: VERIFY" mode. Even more surprising, NBC hasn't even responded to my e-mail about it last Friday...

To: webmaster@nbc.com

Hello. I'm a RAVING fan of "The Office," and have been promoting it endlessly among my friends. Brilliant.

I took a video of my son watching a clip, and he's bursting into laughter (see below): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pirWW0BqnI&search=nalts

I think it falls into "fair use," since this clip isn't really about "The Office," but about my son's raving reaction to it. And it's not a bad plug for the show.

I've placed it on YouTube (above link), but I'd also like to put it on Revver.com and they need to ensure I have permission. I want it on Revver, so I can post it to my new site, www.Cubebreak.com.

Thanks,
Nalts

Copyright implications of "Citizen Created Commercials"

AquaDad inspired another post with his question about Citizen Created Commercials (CCC).

Said AquaDad: What are the copyright ramifications when doing a Citizen Created Commercial (CCC)? And, will Revver allow it?


Nalts is no attorney, but his dad and brother are so that counts. I suppose I would argue that viral commercials are usually welcomed by brands and companies, and would likely be safe even if a company might have ground for legal action. Why take the public-relations risk of looking aggressive and paranoid over something that is effectively free promotion? The new world of "citizen journalists" (like this blog) would work to bring attention to petty acts like that. It's petty... like when Disney -- one of the most vigilant copyright protectors -- takes action when it happens to have dozens of movies based on royalty free characters (Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Aladin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc).

"Citizen created commercials" that are not as favorable (maybe sacrcastic or inflamatory) are a different case. I'd expect a company to take action against those, even if the creator might be afforded some legal protection under "fair use" laws for parodies.

The Copyright Act in Section 107 enumerates four "fair use factors" that must be analyzed to determine whether a particular use of a copyrighted work, such as a parody, is fair use. These factors are the (1) purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is commercially motivated or instead is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) nature of the copyrighted work; (3) amount and substantiality of the portion used in the newly created work in relation to the copyrighted work; and (4) effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (Source: Publaw.com).

Saturday Night Live (NBC)is a good case study of the distinction between parody and copyright infringmenet. As we all know, SNL is known to take extreme liberties in the area of parody. Remember Swiffer Sleeper? And SNL constantly uses copyrighted audio for its cartoon parodies. But NBC has a different opinion about use of its copyrighted material. The New York Times wrote an article about the strong stance SNL took against YouTube when the Lazy Sunday clip went crazy viral. You can buy the video on iTunes or see it for free on NBC.com (good luck finding it).

P.S. I'm going to try to convince my cousin from Washington, D.C. (who does copyright law) to post a comment on this).

Citizen Created Commercials

One of the things to watch for as viral videos are racing past "tipping point," are citizen created commercials (CCC). I think I made up that term, so toss me a track back link if you use it, eh?

What is CCC? It's when one of us becomes so enchanted with a product, company or service that we make our own ad. Why is it important? Because the advertising model is based on "interuption marketing," and TiVo is just one tool that is burrying that. Fewer than 10 percent of TiVo viewers actually watch the ads.

Advertainment is the only option- ads so viral that people CHOOSE to watch them. And I would contend that customers will figure this out before ad agencies.

The first time CCC hit mainstream was with an iPod ad created by a school teacher George Masters in December 2004. Watch the video and you won't know it's not a product of Madison Avenue.

More recently here's a low budget music video of two guys rapping about McDonalds Chicken McNuggets. As of this post 1,400 people have watched it since March 8. Check in a couple weeks, and I'll bet it's well more than that. Fernando and Thomas, the creators, will have achieved some level of fame. But they won't be buying any nuggets from their ad revenue because they posted on YouTube instead of Revver. But I'm speaking the converted, dear faithful Revverberation readers.

By the way, two defininitive source on consumer generated media are The Church of the Customer Blog and the omnipresent Steve Rubel, who through Micropersuasion (his blog) has been trying to convince corporations about the criticality of those of us with video cameras and agendas- positive or not.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blinkx is Crack Cocaine


Wow. Until now, I hadn't spent a lot of time with blinkx (note that it's blinkx.tv), and it's strangely addicting.

First a warning. Don't get trigger happy and upload your Revver videos to Blinkx. The RevTag doesn't stick when Blinkx converts Quicktime to Flash (as I expected since Google and YouTube are also guilty of this). Presumably The BlinkxRevver partnership will address this creatively. Since one of the unique features about Blinkx is that one video rolls into the next seamlessly, I'm going to be interested to see if the Revver ad stops this flow or "sticks" for a certain duration. Bottom line, let's see how this is addressed because you can risk wasting your time and giving away your stuff for free. Even if you download a Revver video with the tag and upload it to Blinkx, the ad goes away.

Four things I especially like about Blinkx:
1) The uploading tool is far easier than any other video site. It's like uploading photos- you can put several in at once. And the tagging requirements are minimal. I hope Revver can immitate it.
2) Here's the incredible feature of Blinkx that has my jaw dropping. It actually converts the images and audio to searchable text. Example: I uploaded "America's Funniest Bloopers" but accidentally typed "America's Funniest Bloppers." It doesn't matter. No sooner had I uploaded it, the search for some of the intro narration surfaced the video. That attribute alone transforms Blinkx from a video portal to a killer application- it's what Google Video should be.
3) The Blinkx user interface is a differentiator. When one video ends another begins. It's very easy to sit back and get consumed like you would watching the boob tube... only it's YOUR choice what you watch. This takes a while to get used to, but I enjoyed watching some clips on the keyword "video." I watched a few interesting podcasts of people reviewing new video gadgets at a tradeshow. Then another starts unless you stop it. You can also customize your own "SelfCast" based on channels you set.
4) Finally, I forgot until now about the major quality difference between Quicktime and Flash (although download speed has always favored Flash). The quality of AFV is far superior in Flash thank Quicktime. See for yourself:
AFV on Revver (Quicktime)
AFV on Blinkx (Flash)

Blinkx has something called Pico (which is featured on the blinkx.COM site). This 1MB download (Windows only) gives you a search bar that provides different types of media content- news, video, web, images, and even communities like MySpace.com.

Blinkx has set a high bar for Google Video, and I wouldn't be surprised if Google decides to buy Blinkx instead of cooking up something else.

Maybe I'm in the "honeymoon" phase, but I'm jazzed about this Blinkx and Revver relationship. I still hope that Revver will evolve itself as a portal for unique content creators, since it will be very easy for Revver creators to get lost on Blinkx, just as we might in Google or YouTube (even if a lot more people watch my videos on the latter)... there's just WAY too much stuff there. And I hope the Revver technical team can borrow from some of the brilliant advancements of Blinkx- user interface, flash, search features, uploading tools.

Monday, March 27, 2006

G'Day Mate... At Least the Australian Press Knows Revver

At the risk of going overkill on the "clipping service" blog, here's an article that finally mentions Revver...

"Policy Needed on Podcasting" by Australian IT.

Questions remain as to whether internet broadcasting will make money, although experiments by Google and others to incorporate advertisements into podcasts suggest the potential is there.

Google has built a successful business with web-based advertising that combines Google's knowledge about the user's profile with links to active advertisement servers to deliver ads that are relevant and of interest. This technique is being applied to video also.

Revver.com is applying similar principles to provide digital videos supported by advertising tailored to the interests of the viewer and the needs of the advertiser.

Revver Creators: Meet Blinkx!

I'm eager to see the posts, but I can't tell you how excited I am about this deal. Revver's achilles heal was the limited reach and lack of organization of the site itself. This changes a lot, and I look forward to seeing the broader exposure the Revver videos get.

Partnership Adds New and Exciting User-Generated Video Content to blinkx.tv;
Provides Additional Revenue Opportunities to Revver Users


SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- blinkx, the smartest thing on the Web, today announced a content partnership with Revver Inc. (http://www.revver.com), a service that allows video creators to freely distribute, track and monetize their original videos anywhere online. Under the terms of the agreement, blinkx will index Revver content in multiple formats, so that users can easily search for and view Revver content directly from http://www.blinkx.tv.

blinkx.tv users will now have access to hundreds of hours of user-generated content from Revver, and Revver's creators will have access to blinkx's millions of online viewers.

Revver is revolutionizing the marketplace for online video by appending ads to videos, allowing video creators and owners to earn money when viewers click on the ads. As a result of this partnership, Revver content will be widely vailable and searchable on blinkx. The partnership will increase the visibility of Revver content and benefit the company's creators and advertisers.

"By monetizing video content, Revver is empowering people to earn money from their creativity. In the marketplace for online video, this is a big leap forward, and we are delighted to be a part of it," said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CTO, blinkx.

As the only search engine optimized for rich media content, blinkx is an ideal partner for Revver. blinkx uses advanced speech recognition technology to automatically index and transcribe Revver content, which will play back through the blinkx.tv player. blinkx supports multiple file formats, so users can view Revver content on full screen playback mode or upload Revver content through RSS, ATOM feeds and iTunes Video iPod or other portable media player.

"blinkx is a great place for people to easily find and watch videos online, and we are always looking for new ways to distribute our creators' work. This partnership creates a win-win for everyone." said Steven Starr, Founder and CEO, Revver.

Blogger Thinks Revverberation is a Spam Blog

Nice. Just when I thought Revverberation was getting more interesting, I get this notice from Blogger:

"This blog has been locked by Blogger's spam-prevention robots. You will not be able to publish your posts, but you will be able to save them as drafts. Save your post as a draft or click here for more about what's going on and how to get your blog unlocked."

The most irritating thing is that Blogger would, by default, pull the blog down within 10 days if I didn't respond. And I'm writing this on Monday, March 26, but who knows when it will publish.

Here's a link about spam blogging. Maybe I have too many links to www. revver .com (notice I put the spaces as not to set off the vigilant spam-prevention robots).

P.S. At least they fixed this while I slept last night.

Cubicle Dwellers' Funniest Home Video

Ironic that the NYTimes chose the headline "Cubicle Dwellers' Funniest Home Video," just two days before CubeBreak.com's launch press release goes out (which highlights the spoof on America's Funniest Videos (see below).

Two of my favorite quotes about this piece:

[Viral videos are]...an updated version of the long-running series "America's Funniest Home Videos," but with a twist: "The distinction," said Mr. Graden, "would be that I would call 'America's Funniest Home Videos' accidentally created, and these are often purposely created by people to express their own sense of comedy and commentary."

With four viral video shows soon to be on the air, what's the next wave of user-generated content? "One could imagine a next generation version of 'Saturday Night Live' that's created entirely by the viewers," Mr. Hirschorn speculated. "It might even be better."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Online Media & Offline Networks (Boston Globe)

This "Clip and Play" article from today's The Boston Globe references some of the offline/online synergies I mentioned in a previous post today:

An excerpt:
VH1 still runs its oldfangled ''Top 20 Video Countdown," where James Blunt and Kelly Clarkson reign, but it has also introduced ''Web Junk 20," a show featuring comic Patrice O'Neal poking fun at a series of Internet clips. Bravo has a series called ''Outrageous and Contagious: Viral Videos," a similarly themed clip show with a voice-over that's almost as sarcastic but less profane.

The USA Network, meanwhile, has ordered a pilot for a late-night talk show based on ebaumsworld.com, a Howard Stern favorite that features videos and prank phone calls made with clips of celebrity voices. NBC is planning a show called ''Carson's Cyberhood," an ''America's Funniest Home Videos" knockoff starring MTV-host-gone-mainstream Carson Daly.

Roiland says Channel 101 has opened industry doors for him; several network executives have said they love his work, even if they're not quite sure what to do with it. Still, he worries that the very qualities that make online videos so appealing -- the no-holds-barred creativity, the instant gratification -- aren't always easy to translate to TV.

''If you're making something for a network or anybody, if they're paying for it, they're going to want to get in there and meddle and change things and compromise your vision," Roiland says.

For TV producers, the appeal of Web content is obvious: It's popular, abundant, interactive, and often free. ''Purely from a production standpoint, these shows are the next generation of reality TV. We're just providing the forum," says Michael Hirschorn, VH1's executive vice president for original programming. And he figures most Web videographers would love the recognition. ''For all the success of MySpace and things of that sort," he says, ''there still is a magic to being on television."

Revver Finally Gets Mention in Video Article

Video sites simplify sharing
The Star-Ledger, New Jersey
Sunday, March 26, 2006

Call it video on demand for amateurs. Seemingly overnight, free video-sharing Web sites have been transformed from little-known players in the online world into popular destinations for people interested in wacky video clips, cute home movies and just about anything else able to be captured on video.

Video-sharing sites seem to appear as quickly as entrepreneurs can raise a few bucks and come up with a catchy name. The sites include ClipShack, Google Video, Grouper, Metacafe, Revver, Sharkle, Streamload, Stickam, TagWorld, Vimeo, vMix and YouTube, among others.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, an Internet research firm, video-sharing sites are booming, spurred largely by increased numbers of consumers with fast Internet connections. The number of broadband users in U.S. homes jumped from 74.3 million in February 2005 to 95.5 million last month.

Among the top players in sharing amateur videos, YouTube and Google Video grew from relative obscurity a year earlier to garner 9 million and 6.2 million visitors, respectively.

Viewing the videos at these sites is easy enough, but how about getting your videos off your camera and onto the Web in order to share them with friends, family or maybe even people around the world?

That can be relatively easy, too, depending on your experience with video cameras and the video capabilities of digital cameras. The process is likely to get even easier as these sites mature and work out their kinks.

To get started in video sharing, you will need to transfer the clips to your computer -- sometimes called capturing the video. That is typically accomplished with the help of video-editing software, such as iMovie (for the Macintosh) and Movie Maker (for Windows).

Aside from helping you to transfer and store video on your computer, such software will let you add music, titles and effects -- a step often skipped by the amateurs sharing video online.

Once you have the video on your computer, you will need to sign up for an account at YouTube (www.youtube.com) or another site and make sure your video file isn't too big to upload to the service. YouTube, for instance, places a 100-megabyte (or 10-minute) limit on video files.

I tried YouTube, largely because it is popular, works with Macintosh and isn't quite as recent (and potentially buggy) as some of the newcomers.

One caution, if you try video sharing: Before you share videos, check to see whether the site works with a variety of computers and Web browsers. There's no sense going to the trouble to transfer a clip to a site, only to learn your mom or your nephew can't see the clips because they have a Macintosh or don't use a specific Web browser.

At YouTube, uploading a video is as simple as filling out a form to label the video, then navigating to the video file on your PC using your Web browser. (Some other video spots require that you download and install special software to upload your clips.) YouTube lets you mark the video as private or public. You have the option of sharing the video with friends, via an e-mail link, and placing your video on pages at MySpace, Friendster or eBay.

Like a number of other video-sharing spots, YouTube encourages you to share clips with everyone, rather than make them private. Think twice before you do this. If you have a clip that's very, very funny -- or, let's face it, downright embarrassing -- you may find it being traded online by amused strangers all around the world.

You might become an unintentional celebrity -- just one of the hazards (or perks, depending on your perspective) of the expanding world of video sharing.

TECHscan

For those more interested in viewing videos than sharing them, KeepVid (www.keepvid.com) helps you save the videos that you view on sites such as Google Video and YouTube. As you would expect, the site is in "beta" mode.

Revver and MTV

I'm really hoping Revver teams up with a broadcast player (like MTV) to do what VH1and iFilm with the "Web Junk" show.

It's a perfect combination. iFilm isn't as good as Revver for amateur flicks, and some broadcast tie-in would give Revver the visibility it deserves.

Favorite Revverberation Post

James Joyce posted this piece, which brings you deep into the mind of a Revverite.

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With all the technical hubbub, I almost forgot why I started (participating in) this whole thing in the first place: to get my stuff SEEN ... and to use that visibility to drive traffic to my websites. To get...to use ...to drive.

Then the ratings system distracted me.

The occassional high rating of my stuff is good for getting me extra face time on Revver's front page, but some twisted EMO teenaged gamer in Vancouver, B.C. always comes along with the 1 rating that exiles my videos to the Land of The Dead. I think that kid gives everyone a 1 and gets off on it. I wear my aluminum foil hat when uploading to Revver so the kid won't read my mind and know right way I'm uploading.
Then the Most Viewed section distracted me.

Thank God that thing is gone. What a bummer that was. That dancing housewife thumbnail stayed there so long I thought the image would burn itself into my retina.

I guess better production value in my videos would get me more face time and hits, but what agoraphobic veteran living in a makeshift bedroom in Garland, Texas can afford that?

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Posted by James Jarvis to Revverberation: The Unofficial Revver Blog at 3/24/2006 07:11:05 PM

Even Oregon is Hip to "Brave New World of Online Videos"

Here's a piece by the Covallis, Oregon "Gazette-Times" about online videos. Title: "The New World of Online Video." Headline is almost as creative as the newspaper's name, but there are a few interesting pieces. I hadn't seen this spoof called Brokeback Mountain Dew.