Friday, March 6, 2009

Re-Think YouTube

This is my series on Social Media and the Church. I am no expert. Truth is there are not many real social networking experts out there. Social Networking is one big social experiment and it changes everyday. I oversee the social networking at Discover Point Church in Conyers Georgia. I love social networking and I love how the power it gives the church to connect to people in new ways. Again I am no expert. Just a guy who loves the Jesus, the web and finding way to connect the two.
I love YouTube and the freedom it gives you to load your content to the web. what I hate is that other people have that same freedom. Don't get me wrong I am all for people being creative and posting videos. Heck I even get that people are going to post semi-pornographic material or material that is just gross on YouTube and believe it or not I am okay with that because we are trying to reach that culture and unless their hearts are changed they are going to post that stuff. What kills me is that after YOUR video plays you have to play Russian Roulette and take the chance that the video previews that follow are not Semi-Pornographic. YouTube is a great place to show off your church to people who are going to look at YouTube anyways. I market our YouTube site, I promote it as much as I can to people who are not regulars at the church or as a place for regulars to send their friends. The group I am forgetting are the regulars. These are people who may not want to go to YouTube because they may have a had a porn addiction in the past and want to stay away from temptation. I have been thinking hard about how to restructure how I do our church video lately. I have actually quit posting videos on YouTube for the past month so I can plan my strategy and re introduce it to my church. There are a lot of things to think about. Here are a few.
1. If I use other sites what sites should I use?
Church Media Design just did an episode on 3rd Party Video sites and Embedded Flash Players (Great episode go watch it). The long and short of it was like I just said 3rd Party sites are great but you have little control over what plays after your video. Embed flash players let you control what shows after your videos but you host everything locally and you have to deal with bandwidth issues.
By the way here is a list of third Party Video Sites you might want to Check out
Vimeo is the largest of these and I personally use them to host my After Effects Projects. The do a great job and don't have much questionable content on their site.
I really don't want to post the videos to just our website because it is harder to find than the third party sites and I want to share with everyone. I also think embedding content into blogs such as this one is easier to do with third party sites. It is also a lot harder to do quick capture videos (if you just want to do a quick announcement to everyone on video) with embedded flash players.
So here is the plan. I came up with to re work our Video.
1. Leave YouTube up and continue to send people there who are not regulars at the church. Because Everyone know about YouTube well more than any of the others.
2. Post all videos to Vimeo and use Vimeo to embed videos into blogs and other web pages.
3. Will use Vimeo for quick capture announcements.
4. Will make our motion graphic work available for everyone to download (work in progress) You can see it now on Vimeo and YouTube.

So what do you all think is this a better idea than just posting everything on YouTube? What Are your thoughts?

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