My Virtual Community Report

May 8, 2006

YouTube is a video sharing online community for creative expressions and self-gratifications! It’s for hosting short films, commercials, MTVs, trailers, home videos, even TV programs. Basically, anything goes as long as it meets copyright and ethical obligations. They are usually no more than 10 minutes and 100MB in size for uploading, but occasionally you can find much longer videos.

The public can only view the videos. Membership is free and members can rate and comment on the videos. They can also tag their favorite clips, join a group base on certain themes, genres or events, and upload their own videos. It has a Friendster-like community to encourage networking, where members post their personal profiles and send messages. Overall, it is a user-friendly site, easy to navigate, upload and view videos.

Success can be measure in many ways – the number of members and videos, and the popularity of certain videos. For example, this Final Fantasy MTV has been viewed more than 2 million times!

The videos are classified into broad categories such as Entertainment, Sports, Art & Animation etc. Their visual quality and production value can defer greatly, from unedited mobile phone clips to professionally shot and edited pieces. However, even the best quality video will be dumped down to enable quick online streaming.

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