Last Spring I started shooting a series of impromptu, unscripted and unrehearsed videos to update my supporters on what was going on in Kosovo. I shot one video at an outreach event, another at an empty square during the funeral of our country’s president, and so forth. When I was done I would usually add a title using Movie Maker (hey, it’s free and comes with Windows XP) and post it up to my web server. I got a many, many positive responses from these videos precisely because they were short and unscripted. People even started using them in church services, though that wasn’t really my intent.
YouTube, the ubiquitous host-er of all-that-is-video, has just begun offering a way to record video right to their servers. Not only can you record right from your computer, but you can upload video straight from your mobile phone as well.
YouTube gives the following guidelines for putting your video directly on YouTube.
- Uploads will usually take 1-5 minutes per MB on a high-speed connection.
- Converting your video takes a few minutes; you can add more info or upload more videos while it's processing.
- Videos are limited to 10 minutes (unless you're a Director) and 100 MB.
- Videos saved with the following settings convert the best:
- MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format
- 320x240 resolution
- MP3 audio
- 30 frames per second frame-rate
This could make a pretty positive impact on missionary vloggers for a number of reasons. First, you don’t have to have a server anywhere to host your videos; YouTube does that for you. Second, you don’t have to worry about editing…and you won’t want to. Honestly, for what I want to do, editing makes the whole process take too long and takes all the fun and authenticity out of it. Third, it makes very easy to insert video into blogs and web-pages, since YouTube’s posting tools make it pretty simple. Okay, I could go on, but this makes the whole thing pretty simple.
I tried my hand at making a quick video, but it took three takes. The first gave me a “unknown file format” when I was done and wouldn't work. I thought that was odd since YouTube did the encoding. The second attempt….aside from my ugly mug…had awful audio. I’m not sure why this is, but I used the built-in mic on my camera. It wasn’t that the sound quality was poor, it just kept cutting in and out. The third time worked just fine though.
You can see it here. You can also embed the videos quite easily into a blog. YouTube is offering a pretty handy service and best of all, it's free.