Don't be outdone by the "mass media" propagandists - add video to your website!

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I have long admired the skills of my computer teacher and friend, Rick Castellini. He's the quiet unassuming kind of guy who, just when you think you're getting a handle on how much he knows, surpises you with whole other areas of knowledge you didn't know he had. You know the type. Because Rick is such a bona fide nice guy and great teacher, I wanted to take this opportunity — the arrival of my own video content on my website — to publicly express my eternal gratitude for what he has taught me. Thanks, Rick! May The Force be with you!

I'm especially fascinated by the way Rick puts his video tips into the articles and archives on his website. So I sucked it up, opened an account on YouTube, and posted a video to my account there. Then, in this blog article, I will attempt to link that video to this article and see if it works. Are ya all ready? OK, here goes. My first video content is actually a slide show titled "Our House" which Phyliss made for my birthday present last year, partly because she knows how much I love CSN&Y's "Deja Vu" album. (The CD is available at Amazon.com.) To play the video, just click on one of the little "play" triangles (aka "arrow") pointing to the right in the middle of the picture and at the bottom left corner.


Cowabunga! It works! Yippee! Now I can make videos to combat the video propaganda put out by the "big boys" (and girls, of course) in the Mass Media in the Culture Wars. Cool beans! (I have no idea how YouTube's programming decides what image goes on the front. In this case, it's Phyliss on a tractor, one of the jpg files in the video.)

YouTube is incredibly cool. It's the "little guy's" tool to even the information-dissemination playing field with Big Brother Media. If you place your cursor over the picture, you will see a relatively new feature at YouTube, which is their search engine. So now the viewers on your website can actually search for other videos right from your webpage.

Here is another video I really like, it's a "world" version of Ben E. King's famous song, "Stand By Me", starting out with great blues singer Roger Ridley.


You can compare the appearance and functionality of YouTube's video format to that of BrightCove, a good example of the type of service used by the so-called "professional" media. Below is an image of "Over The Top", essentially an opinion "vlog" (aka video blog) by Bob Silbernagel, the editorial page editor of our local propaganda rag, er, "journal of record" here in Grand Junction, Colorado. The image, which, in the context of this type of article, clearly constitutes what lawyers call "fair use" is linked to the real video over at BrightCove which the Daily Sentinel uploaded to BrightCove and then linked back to its website much in the same manner as I have uploaded my video to YouTube and then linked it back to my website. If you require absolute proof that BrightCove is no better or more "official" than YouTube, check out the disgusting and phony "X-Rated" (my NOT FOR CHILDREN rating) self-mutilation video at http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid6555681001/bctid9486066001. If you can take my word for it, then I recommend you not watch the video. Children should NOT watch it under any circumstances.

Perhaps the coolest thing about all this is that the Mass Media propagandists have to pay expert IT people big bucks to put out their stuff. With a few skills, you can put out your stuff MUCH less expensively. Since the advent of the Internet, and the demise of the printed media, money is no longer the "mother's milk" of politics or the dissemination of information. Anybody with a remotely average marble count and enough determination to hump a few learning curves can join in the reindeer games. And that is a truly wonderful development!


For my money, I like YouTube's appearance at least as well if not better than the "high priced brand", and YouTube's search engine feature gives YouTube, not to mention the average Internet surfer and website builder, a noticeable advantage over "the big boys". As for the actual quality of the video itself, well, that would be up to the maker of the video, hopefully you. As you can see for yourself, the video-making skills of some of the so-called "big boys" aren't in every case all that intimidating. So why not get yourself a bang-for-the-buck video camera and join the crowd?! In fact, as Rick explained to me, you can get started posting videos with an inexpensive little "webcam".

There are custom website video service companies in cyberspace who do amazing things with video to spice up their customers' websites and attract more traffic. A couple of these are "PageGravy" and "Website Talking Heads" (WTH). Here is one "startling" example of one of PageGravy's demo customers which PageGravy posted on their website just to show you what they can do. Click on the picture and see what happens!


Pretty cool, huh?! I especially like the way WTH let's their customers choose which model they want to be the spokesperson for their websites. WTH really shows off their skills when you click either the "Male Actors" or "Female Actors" button on that page! Click on one of the actors as they move by, and watch what happens! Very cool! Another PageGravy customer is Fishing Vallarta.com. And you can check out a bunch of cool websites at WTH's "Examples" page. One of WTH's customers is professional comedian Adam Johnson who has made a couple of hillarious videos on the very serious subject of testicular cancer at CarpeTestes.org.

You can do a lot, video-wise with free tools on the Internet, but if you really want to improve your skill level, I suspect you may have to learn to use the Adobe Flash platform, and Action Script, which is the official programming language of Adobe Flash. I haven't risen to the skill level where I can use Adobe Flash yet, but when I do, I've researched enough to believe I will need a copy of a book such as "Essential Action Script 3.0" by Colin Moock, or "Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!" by Keith Peters.

Any person who seriously wants to make his or her own webpage would do well to research the materials I have been using. Just click on the banner links in the "Computer self-help" block in my navigation column on the far left side of the page. It's just a little farther (4"-5") down the page from where you are at right now.

Remember, just as I consider Drudge to be the gateway to news, and Wikipedia to be the gateway to research, so I consider Rick Castellini to be the gateway to computer information on the Web.

Happy surfing!

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