Beyond Youtube

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If you haven’t heard of Youtube, maybe it’s time to crawl out from under that rock. It’s hard to ignore Youtube because of all it provides: thousands of hours of mindless fun and entertainment. But it’s not the only site offering user-generated video. Here’s a look at some others.

I was immediately impressed by digg.com. The interface is user-friendly and not only was I offered videos on the items I searched, but sometimes articles as well. After I searched for the TV shows I watch on a nightly basis I began to look for the goofy things readily found on Youtube. There weren’t many. Digg turned out to be more of a media info site—not a bad find, but not quite a substitute for youtube.

Highlights: Guys doing trick basketball shots from their skateboards

Over at vimeo.com,a lot of the videos I found were made by kids and young adults with storyboards and a coherent point. Don’t get me wrong, many videos leave you scratching your head, as they do on Youtube. But this site, although needing much construction, has a lot of creative clips.

Highlights: The ‘Segway to Bourbon Street’ offered 10 seconds’ worth of post-Katrina Mardi Gras. The streets look pretty desolate.

I came across filmplayground.com hopeful, but in a few seconds I was extremely disappointed. There is no functioning search engine and, if I used the site correctly, I found only a handful of videos. I won’t waste your time with a review; it isn’t worth looking at.

Highlights: A kid breaking his arm. Nasty.

Revver.com, on the other hand, is a great site with the same ease of use as Youtube. It can take a while to load, but the image is streamed through a large window. If you’re in the mood for something random, the links on the right side of the screen will start you off with an arbitrary word to watch something useless, but nonetheless entertaining.

Highlights: Piranhas in a Rolls Royce fish tank; front row views from roller coasters.

Guba.com has its fair share of free video feeds but it also contains downloadable full length movies that are near-DVD quality. Its interface is neat and organized and even has categories for country of origin and genre. Although its library doesn’t boast thousands of videos, each one is a decent length and appears to be picked from a larger pool. The site also has a unique function that transfers videos to iPod format. With a few more videos and less of a hard sell on the movies, Guba would be a worthy alternative to Youtube.

Highlights: A husband and wife making their own video for “What is Love?”; a short documentary on a marine drill team.

Is there life for user-generated video sites not named Youtube? Whatever the other sites may have, 9 times out of 10, Youtube will have it as well. But that 1 out of 10 video might be something that makes your day.

By Intern Michael Singer

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