We recently conducted an (unscientific) survey of media professionals to answer the question “Does self-hosting videos on a website make them appear more professional than embedding them from a service such as YouTube or Vimeo?” Responses fell into three major categories:
“Use a video hosting service.”
A plurality of respondants felt that there is no longer a stigma of hosting videos on external services like YouTube and Vimeo and that, in fact, using these services provided additional benefits such as ease of accessibility and avoided the undesirable characteristics of a walled garden model. They strongly preferred service-hosted to self-hosted videos.
“It doesn’t matter how you host it.”
The second, smaller group were agnostic to the hosting method as long as it was quality content. They asserted that the credibility stems from the creator, not the delivery mechanism. This suggests that while the hosting of your videos may not matter, the rest of your web presence should project an air of professionalism if you want your videos to be viewed that way.
The final group of media professionals felt that the circumstances mattered a good deal. One respondant pointed out that signalling theory (as in economics or biology) applies to the degree that if an organization can waste money on self-hosting, then they are signalling economic health by showing that they have money to waste, in the same way that an opulent lobby is a signal of economic prosperity. While this might be of important to some organizations (investment banks for instance), others (such as non-profits) might be negatively impacted by the appearance of profligate spending.
As for individuals and job seekers, the entire third group agreed that YouTube, Vimeo, and other video hosting services were perfectly acceptable solutions for portfolios of creative work.
While perceptions of self- vs service-hosting may be different outside of the media industry, it does seem that, among media professionals, there is only a percieved benefit to self-hosting in very specific cirumstances. In general, the old adage still reigns: Content is King. So focus your efforts on creating good content, and take advantage of the work others have put into providing ways to host it.
Teague and I met Louie Psihoyos, director of The Cove, at AFI SILVERDOCS. Psihoyos talked about how he made The Cove, which documents his team’s mission to expose the destruction of ocean wildlife in a secret cove in Japan. We really enjoyed his stories about getting footage using both high and low tech spy tools – many of which are featured in the film. We asked Louie Psihoyos about the role of the web in distributing his film, and about how he ended up making a documentary that feels more like a thriller. Take a look at our interview below!
Two weeks ago, we featured a series of interviews with the team leaders of three films entered in the 48 Hour Film Project in DC. Two of these films were selected for a second screening in the Best Of DC series, but all three are now available online for your viewing pleasure. The perfect distraction for a Friday afternoon. If you don’t see the clips embedded below, click through to our site.
Jasmine Bulin‘s team, Hugs Productions, drew the “holiday film” genre and their film, “Make a Difference Day”, was selected by the judges for the Best Of DC screening as well as winning an Audience Award.
If you are a true fangirl or fanboy, then news of “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” will be old hat by now. Bear with us, we’re excited: Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly) is about to release what he’s calling an “Internet Miniseries Event.” You can watch a trailer via vimeo, or you can read his comments on the Whedonesque blog.
The premise looks hysterical: Neil Patrick Harris is a supervillain, Nathan Fillion is a superhero. They sing, and potentially fight over a girl. What more could you want? The answer is, of course, to watch it free, streaming through your interwebs starting July 15th.
The format looks gosh darn revolutionary: 3 episodes, staggered throughout 1 week in July, free to watch. After that, they’ll be sold online for a “nominal fee,” then they’ll potentially go to DVD.
According to Whedon (or Joss as he likes to call himself), this all started during the writers’ strike, when he and other writer/producers started looking around for alternates to creating studio fare. Joss Whedon has a history of working in mixed media: Buffy was originally a film (a flop), then a TV show (a success), then a comic (wildly praised by pretty much everyone) [Editor’s Note: We’ve even seen the musical episode produced for the stage]. Science fiction in general seems to be ahead of the curve on this yes-people-watch-the-internet thing: Battlestar Galactica has released web-exclusive content, as has Heroes. But no one has ever tried to launch a potential brand from the internet, using known actors who are creating original characters specifically for the web. What’s more, Whedon’s “make it on the fly, on the cheap” concept makes it better matched to the bulk of current web content.
I’m sure this is not the last post we’ll do for Dr. Horrible, since (a) Teague is eventually going to get jealous [Editor’s Note: So jealous…]that I got to post about Joss Whedon and he didn’t and (b) This is pretty much the content we’ve been waiting to cover: Big names with big ideas experimenting in free web formats, rather than running around trying to shut them down.