YouTube 102: Broadcast Yourself Globally

This is a more philosophical follow-up post to “7 Steps to Getting the Most Out of YouTube.” While the former gave you some practical steps, this one looks at how advances in video equipment and the Web make it possible for anyone to be a worldwide broadcaster

Let’s take a minute to reflect on how the world of video has changed in just a quarter century (or to fit my personal example below, it’s more like 27 years.)

In 1981, most local television markets had three commercial network affiliates, and in some major metro markets there would be a PBS affiliate and occasionally an independent station. Station owners paid millions of dollars for FCC licenses, cameras, studios, transmitters and staff to create programming and pass it along to local viewers. Sometimes they had to pay fees for the exclusive right to broadcast events. Then they had to hire commercial sales staff to sell ads to car dealers, furniture stores and other local merchants, so they could interrupt your viewing pleasure with messages hawking their wares.

Today, by contrast, you can

  • buy a Flip video camera for $150 or less,
  • use a computer you already have (there are a few hundred million computers in the U.S. today) and free video editing software, and
  • create and upload programming that can be seen not just locally but worldwide, for free.

And frankly, a lot of what is being produced by amateurs today is of better quality than the professional grade of the 70s and 80s. For example, here’s some video from the 1981 Minnesota High School Boys Basketball Tournament:


The vintage video has degraded somewhat over the decades (as has your Chancellor’s physical condition), but if you compare the professional-grade graphical titles from ’81 with what comes free in iMovie today, and the clarity of picture from today’s $400 camera with what we used to see from cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars, it’s amazing to see how far technology has come. Also, the fact that I even have this historical footage is due to a friend who recorded the action with his $1,000 VHS VCR (which would be about $25 today!)

Here as a more recent example is your Chancellor’s daughter, jumping center at Target Center in this year’s Minnesota Girls Class AAA Tournament:


Of course, the even better thing is that you don’t need to get to a state tournament in order to see yourself “on TV.” In fact, here’s the Facebook group I set up for my daughter’s team, where I uploaded videos from almost every one of their games from this past year.

And thanks to Facebook and YouTube, the members of the team (and their parents) will be able to share highlights of their special season with family, friends and descendants for decades to come.

YouTube 101: 7 Steps to Getting the Most Out of YouTube

In a way, this course isn’t completely necessary because:

  1. You’ve undoubtedly watched YouTube videos
  2. The interface in YouTube is so well designed that most people “get” it

In fact, my daughter Rebekah just said, “Dad, you’re such a nerd. Seven steps to getting the most out of YouTube..who needs that?” But SMUG exists to provide background, explanation and training in social media even for those of the 30+ generation who aren’t so-called “digital natives.” So here are seven ways you can get the most out of YouTube.

1. Share a Video. Suppose you’re out surfing through YouTube and you come across this interesting one from Mayo Clinic on Coblation Tonsillectomy, which is a cool (pardon the pun) alternative to cutting out tonsils.


After you’ve watched this, you may think, “That’s just what my nephew Justin with the raspy voice and chronic sore throat needs.” Just click on the “share” button, enter your sister’s e-mail address and a personal note, and hit “send.”

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Transplant Games 2008 Highlights

The games haven’t even started yet; today was just the first half-day of registration and setting up our Mayo Clinic booth.

I heard some great stories, both from organ recipients and from donor families (as well as some from families in which one member had donated to another) and we uploaded them to the Mayo Clinic YouTube channel.

Here’s one that was especially touching for me, because it involved a Dad (about my age, or maybe a bit younger) with five kids (I have six), none of whom had been born when he received his donated kidney.


Here’s a photo taken on the medal stand in the Mayo Clinic booth, of Katie Schnell and her father, who was her kidney donor.

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You also can listen to Kati tell her story on YouTube.

There were lots of other moving and inspirational stories, and you can see them by clicking here (more will be uploaded soon) or by searching for transplantgames08 on YouTube. More videos will be shot and uploaded tomorrow, and I hope others who are staying for the entire games will shoot videos, and upload photos, and write blog posts giving them the transplantgames08 tag, so we can see and hear more about the difference transplant can make.

New York Trip Highlights

I’m in my hotel (Quality Hotel Times) at the end of a two-day trip to New York City. The location of the hotel was great, in that I was able to walk to all of my appointments and thereby avoid the nausea induced by NY cab rides. Tomorrow I leave at 4:15 a.m. for LaGuardia, so I’m hoping my cabbie will feel less need for the rapid acceleration and deceleration I experienced Tuesday.

One of the unexpected bonuses from my trip was getting to see a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. Guests were Charlize Theron, Richard Belzer and Motley Crue. Other than using oxygen to metabolize carbohydrates, I don’t have a lot in common with any of them, but it was an interesting experience. Hard to imagine that people find this fulfilling, though.

Then I went to check out the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, to return a MacBook battery that had failed 11 months into its 12-month warranty. It turned out that this store is too busy to take walk-in appointments, but it’s open 24/7, so I had to schedule an appointment at 6:40 this morning to see one of the guys at the Genius Bar. The good news is I have a replacement battery. Here’s a little shot of the store from last night when it was hopping. The design of the store is every bit as elegant as the iPod, even if the video I shot isn’t.


After having dinner in the ESPN Zone last night, and watching both the Yankees and Mets lose in interleague play, I walked back to the hotel and caught some video of one of the big huge lighted signs in Times Square. Since this is a family-oriented blog, I decided to feature M&M’s instead of one of the less wholesome signs.


This all just is intended to document my trip to some extent, and also to show how easy it is to do so with the Flip, YouTube and a blog.

Blog Council Dinner in Chicago

Last night I made it back from Galena, IL, where I spoke to the ILCMA group about blogs and social media (and also played my first 9 holes of golf in a couple of years and achieved a par on the second hole, as verified by this video.)


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