Jan Leow's Press Blog

YouTube and making movies for your own website

Recently I have decided to give the YouTube video phenomena a try. After all, the other competing Cameron Highlands website has not done it and so made myself one up against their content. Besides, a lot of them have not been very original in their content and I have encountered some of them ripping my articles into their website despite the copyright warning against them. Some have tried to rewrite my articles but did so very badly, I don’t know whether to laugh at them for bungling the rewrite or fume at their audacity for plagiarizing my work without mentioning the original site where they got their source from.

Anyway, showing some movies about Cameron Highlands seems like a good idea, and I have amassed some videos in my recent trip up to Cameron Highlands. It wasn’t easy to become a director, editor, narrator, and camera man all roll into one. It was a case of “Jack of all trades and master of none” kinda-thingy.

First thing first was to sign up with YouTube. That was rather easy. Since YouTube belonged to Google, I could also sign up using my Google Gmail account. Similar I suppose as per the Blogspot blogger account.

Then came the matter of stringing up the various movie files by selecting which video clip that would let show and tell what I had in mind. Mind you, it wasn’t easy because while you are there on location, already you must have something in mind so that you will take the opportunity to film the clips required that will make up the movie sequence later when you do the editing in your own “dark room” aka your home PC.

Sometimes, sitting there by the PC, I would say to myself, “Ah, should have take so-and-so shot while I was there…” because I’m now missing some portion to tell the story. So no choice but to make do with whatever video clip I have in hand. Now I understand why those National Geographic guys capture so much footage, but in the end only some of the shots were use to make their documentary. A clip may be beautifully taken but if it didn’t flow with the story, then it wasn’t useful. Of course you could archive it for future use.

Archiving is fine, but with thousands of pictures, photos and videos combined and stored in my little hard disk, I seem to be running out of storage space. Thank goodness I’ve just recently upgraded my burner to DVD. But without some kind of proper labeling, some pictures or footage do get forgotten and lie buried somewhere inside my archive.

Same goes with all my research material, I think it I have a lot reference articles and information, some of which might be relevant in the future but not immediately used for writing the Cameron Highland travel articles and it would probably be buried in a pile of papers somewhere. Even my wife asked me do I still need those. Can she throw them away? Wait! No, I still need them!

I wonder how the newspaper company stores all their reference information, photos and still be able to find them when they need it immediately. It’s no joke considering they have tons of information and churning out more daily. I guess they have some kind of tracking system to located all their disparate information.

The YouTube interface wasn’t the easiest to use, though it has many features. At first I was not aware about them and straight away used their HTML code and paste them onto my website. But that result in other people’s video being shown on my website as well. After playing with YouTube website for several weeks I finally found out how to exclude other people’s movie from showing up. The idea was to keep the visitors to your website as much as possible so that hopefully they would clicked on one of those adsense sponsors and help finance my website. It is like a brick and mortar business where walk in customer has to be enticed to stay longer in the store in the hope that their impulse buying behaviour would make them reach out for an item that might strike their fancy.

So much for marketing, but that’s how business stay afloat in order to survive and continue to give good service to the people. Give the people what they want and do it so that you will be able to garner an income, and with that income apart from feeding yourself, create jobs for people and fuel the economy.

But life is a learning process. Learning new things, using new system, new software, new equipment, the world is ever revolving. Change is a constant and one must continuously update oneself to keep up with the times, the Jones, and also your competitors and hopefully garner an income from it as sort of a bonus. Yeah, so I will keep on going then and do enjoy those home made documentary I made about Cameron Highlands.

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