Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and share videos

by tosca on Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hola! So the discovery exercise for this piece is to explore YouTube and find a video worth adding as an entry into my blog, and then creating a post about the experience. Like a lot of other sites I am able to sign in immediately using my Google account details.

If I've missed the week's wrestling I'll catch it on YouTube. There are some users whose stuff I'm familiar with (if only because they're quite quick to upload recent vids and organise them in playlists by date) and I have them bookmarked. One user whose playlists I visit quite a bit is 'hbkislife'. Although hmm was going to use them as an example but their account is suspended. Eek! Try again - so, let's try SheltonBenjamin instead. Think we found his/her stuff by accident looking for recent Smackdown vids. Performed a search for 'Smackdown 7/25/08' and got the following results. Third video down is titled 'Smackdown 7/25/08 Part 1', check the details beside it and you'll see that it was added 5 days ago, by SheltonBenjamin, with 28,159 views, 5 star review and is 11 minutes long. If you click on SheltonBenjamin's name, which is highlighted and underlined, you'll be taken to his/her YouTube page which will show all of their playlists. The reason I use dates when searching for wrestling vids is because if I don't I'll end up with everything from the year dot - and then have to plow through them all to find what I really want. Otherwise, for things like music vids etc. will just use general search terms, e.g. 'usher my way' (apparently he has his own channel) or 'kate nash foundations' or even 'kate perry kissed a girl' and that's usually good enough to net the results you want.

Have only joined one channel and that's the UFC channel. Found it quite by accident. Was playing in YouTube and typed 'UFC' in the general Videos search box and the results list first listing (highlighted in yellow) was for the UFC Channel. The details beside it show me that they currently have 45 videos with some 14,774 subscribers (of which I am one). If I click on the channel title 'Ultimate Fighting Championship' it gives me more info on who/what they are: background info, how long they've been a member of the YouTube community, when they last signed in, how many videos have been watched, how many subscribers they currently have as well as how many channel views they've had. There should also be a link to their official website, 'Most Viewed' list, their videos and profiles of their subscribers.

The video I've chosen for this post is good for a giggle. Thought I wouldn't bore everyone and shove up a vid of Batista wrestling or of Josh Barnett knockin' out Babalu Sobral in UFC earlier this month. Decided to perform just a general search for 'library' videos. Desultorily scrolled down and almost chose 'No cookies in the library - classic Sesame Street' if only for nostalgic reasons. Only when I watched it it didn't seem as funny as I remembered. So carried on scrolling down and came across this gem - 'Tour the library' - instead, which you can view below.

What I like about YouTube: videos! If I'm experiencing some kind of a weird nostalgic buzz I'll jump on YouTube and look up music vids for artists like Milli Vanilli, Neneh Cherry, Salt & Pepa, En Vogue, For Real etc. As mentioned before, will also keep up to date with wrestling if I miss my weekly fix on Sky, and keep abreast of UFC bouts. I don't use it to upload vids myself - ain't got nothing worth uploading, really. If I did it might be a different story. Hunted around online to see what libraries do with YouTube (curiosity, really) and found this listing of libraries using videos for marketing, instruction and entertainment (is dated 2006). There are some pretty good commercials in here, too, promoting local library services. Another search led me to Denver Public Library's YouTube contest held in 2006. It was a YA competition asking for entrants to submit videos roughly 1-5 mins long, with the theme 'How I have fun at the Library.' Videos had to include a scene inside or outside of a Denver Public Library, the words 'Denver Public Library' shown/mentioned at least once, as well as the eVolver website shown/mentioned at least once, and upload said entry directly to YouTube. As ideas go, that's a pretty damn novel way to get youth in having fun AND marketing the library! You can view the winning entry here. If you're wondering about the picture of the horse on the chair, it's Donald Lipski's 'The Yearling' sculpture which sits outside the Denver Public Library. The chair is roughly 21 feet tall and 10 feet wide, and the pinto pony that sits on the top is 6 feet tall. If you're that way inclined you can read more about it here.

Michael Stephens' weblog 'Tame the web: libraries and technology' features a number of YouTube videos about or by libraries. One video I found particularly interesting was 'Library Student Sit In' which talks to students who are in Finals Week with nowhere to study when the library closes at midnight. Issue for students: libraries not being open 24 hours. View the vid on the weblog page and then view the video in context with people's comments on its YouTube page here. Changes the way you perhaps viewed the vid first time around. If you want to skip the comments, and your pc will let you, you can simply click on the video right here on the blog without having to pull up a new window - it's the 3rd page element from the top on the far left. The settings were initially set for width 425 by height 355 and it was waaay too big, so popped into the html code and changed it to 300x300 which seems to fit better (i.e. within the 'page element' space and not overlapping into my post GRRR).

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