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YouTube: The Power of Video -

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YouTube: The Power of Video


Revision as of 00:04, 16 October 2007 by (Talk) (What is it?)

Back To: SPED-Outreach
Rondo Workshop Schedule -- A schedule of Monday night workshops at Rondo Library presented by St. Paul E-Democracy.

This is a draft outline of our workshop for Monday, October 15 at Rondo Library.

Please make suggestions, and feel free to edit this page.

For this workshop, it seems reasonable to ask that all participants be age 13 or older. (This is fine with the library. We've talked to them about this before.)

What is it?

Video can be a powerful medium, and today it is easier than ever to produce and publish your own video clips.

In this workshop, we'll show you how to do that using a the website YouTube. While there are other websites out there that allow you to publish video (and you may want to look around a little, since some offer incentives to choose their service), YouTube is by far the best known and most popular.

What makes YouTube a powerful tool for individuals or community organizers?

  • Free
  • Easy
    • Easy to upload videos
    • Easy to embed or link to videos
      (click here for a tutorial on embedding YouTube videos in a blog)
    • Easy to watch videos
      (note that the YouTube viewer has a preloader, but, when embedded in another site, it doesn't start downloading until you tell it to (this is good))
  • Popular
    (people are more likely to stumble upon your video on YouTube, and more likely to know how to distribute it themselves)
  • Doesn't not work

In other words, instead of hosting the video yourself, it's usually much easier (and much cheaper) to upload to YouTube and let them worry about the technical issues (storage, bandwidth, making sure the video is viewable, etc). Plus, with YouTube it's easy for someone else to put the video on their site as well. (Remember: only post things online that you want other people to see and show to others.)

What can you do with it?


(I suggest we show the "Christmas" video, one of the "Critical Mass" videos and both of the "Tell a Story" videos)


The basic steps in this process are:

  1. Record
  2. Edit
  3. Publish

The biggest challenge may be getting access to a camera. One thing to keep in mind about this is that if you're planning to publish the video online, the screen will fairly small, which means the quality of the recording does not need to be very high. In practical terms, this means you can make an effective video using just a cheap webcam. Also, something else to keep in mind is that many nicer cell phones and some digital cameras can record short video clips, and depending on your goals this may be all you need.

If you are having trouble finding a camera, you may be able to borrow one from the St. Paul Neighborhood Network (For more info, watch this video). SPNN requires that you become a member (fees range from $20 for limited income to $110 for a non-Minnesota resident) and that you take a certification class before checking out equipment (fees range from $10 - $40). They also have some restrictions on what you can film. SPNN does have a lot of nice equipment, however, and they offer a lot of classes and support, so membership may be something to look into even if you do have a camcorder at home.

Once you have some raw footage, the next step is editing it into a finished product. There are a variety of ways to do this, including the old-fashioned double-VCR method. What we're going to show you today is how easy it can be to quickly edit and publish digital video using Windows Movie Maker, which comes free with Windows and should be available on most PCs. As a side note, if you have access to a Mac, many people prefer using iMovie, so that's something to look into as well.

Finally, we're going to show you what to do once you have a finished video. Perhaps the easiest way to make your video available to a wide audience is to publish it online, and perhaps the easiest website to use (both for the publisher and the viewer) is YouTube. YouTube does require that you join before posting, but all that requires is an email account. Also, if you're part of a 501(c)(3) organization, you can apparently sign up for a special "nonprofit" membership; they're also talking about giving away cameras, so you may want to look into that. And one more side note: anything newsworthy can also be posted to the Twin Cities Daily Planet for a little extra visibility.

We're going to demonstrate the process for you now, and hopefully by the end of the workshop you'll all have chance to record, edit and upload a video to YouTube yourselves.


Go through the process of uploading a video.

Discuss tags

For an example of a finished, posted and embedded video, use the St Paul Election 2007 page.


  • Possible questions:
    • What's your favorite thing about St. Paul?
    • <other ideas?>
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