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.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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