Hungry for Films

Looking at Youtube

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Most social media discussions center around websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, but Youtube also counts within the sphere of social media.  There are many users that establish video blogs, known as vlogs, and Youtube has crafted services to allow communication to flow back and forth between users.  Users can comment on videos or create response videos that are directly tied to the original.

In addition to channels run by CNN and other news entities, there are a string of Youtube news reporters that put their content up exclusively online. Phillip DeFranco, known as SXEPhil, runs a successful news channel where he tells viewers about the news stories that interested him most on a particular day.  Most of his photos come from the original stories he read and he posts links to the originals in the description box of his video.  DeFranco has also opened up a (Warning: Adult Content) website (Warning: Adult Content) and started other projects outside of the SXEPhil channel, but he continues to update with five-minute vlogs every day.

Another group that updated regularly was Auto-Tune the News.  The group took current stories and edited them together to create a song.  They used the auto-tune software made famous by T-Pain to give the news reports a melody and added their own sections to tie the stories together.

I experimented with Youtube today to start-up my vlog under my starvingfilmcritic name.  I posted an introduction video and a review of “Winnie the Pooh” (2011) as my first contributions.  While both of these videos took place in the comfort of my apartment, I believe that Youtube could allow for users to upload video from anywhere they have internet access.

One of the users I follow, Kurtjmac mentioned that he was contacted by a news organization to use a video of Jupiter he had uploaded to his channel.  Many news organizations are now turning to Youtube to help collect clips for reports, which makes Youtube a valuable social resource because of the original user-generated content.  News organizations can turn to Youtube to find video of a local fire, first person video of a riot, the aftermath of a natural disaster, or even video of fans going wild after their team won a sporting event.  The costs of sending out video crews to tape events is a major drain on studios, but many can now turn to Youtube and ask users for permission to air their material.  This can save the organization money if they needed a clip but don’t have the money to produce it themselves.

While Youtube doesn’t fall into the traditional viewpoint of social media, it does work as a very social and open aspect because it uses video instead of text.  This could allow for real face-to-face communication between journalists and their audience.  Journalists could upload video of events they witness directly as they go about building a story.  Most smart phones record video in addition to taking photos, so a reporter could take video of a particularly memorable area if they were reporting on an accident or disaster.  They could then use the phone to upload the video to Youtube or another video service and share it with their readership right away before they sit down and spend time writing up and producing a full story.  This would be using Youtube like Twitter, where short updates about a current story are given before the reporter puts the entire story together for his readership.  These techniques would generate interest in what the reporter is working on before they’re even done.

Youtube lets users produce media for an audience at a low-cost.  There are no fees tied to airing their work on TV or renting a theater and giving the proceeds to a distributor.  While the service doesn’t necessarily generate profits for those that use it, Youtube does allow someone to create video media and share it with millions of people without having to spend money.


Written by Christopher Siler

2011/08/03 at 00:43

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