How to Share Videos
So, you finally got that video off of your digital camera and on to your computer. Maybe it was from a family event or a night on the town with a bunch of friends. But, it had been sitting there on your camera for weeks and everyone else was dying to see it.
Now that the video is ready to go, the question is: how do you share it with everyone else? You could e-mail the file, but if it’s too large, that will simply take too long. The best idea is to make the video available as a streaming video. That way your friends and relatives won’t have to download anything. They will just click the link, wait a few seconds and the video should play smoothly.
There are three services that are becoming extremely popular for free video sharing: YouTube.com , Google Video  and PutFile.com. Each one will allow you to upload your video and let you send the link to your friends and family to watch it. These services are also great if you’ve filmed something, such as a short movie or music video, that you just want to share with the world.
All the services work relatively similarly, but we’ll use YouTube for this example. In preparation for any video upload, you’ll want to make sure you’ve saved your video in one of the file types that are supported on the Web. This usually includes .avi, .mov and .mpg (some accept .wmv as well). When you download your video from your digital camera to your computer, you should select one of these file types.
Most of these services require you to sign up for free before you can do anything. For YouTube, the sign up option is in the upper right hand corner. Click the link and it will walk you through the process.
Once that is done, you should be back on the main page and ready to upload your video. YouTube has a 100 MB file size limit and a 10 minute time limit. Other services have more or less, so make sure the video you choose is within those standards.
Click the link titled Upload on the top menu towards the right. This will bring you to the Video Upload page.
First, they want you to input some information about your video. In the first form field, enter a title. You can title it whatever you want, such as “Family Reunion,” if that reflects your video.
In the second form field, enter a description of your video.
And in the third form field, where it says Tags, you will want to enter a few keywords that describe your video. This is very important only if you want others to be able to search and find your video.
Below that, under Video Channels, choose a few categories that your video fits in to. This part is also important if you want to share your video with the whole YouTube community.
Once that is done, click the button that says Continue at the bottom of the page to go to the next step.
You’re now ready to upload your video. You should see a yellow box, an empty form field and a button that says Browse next to it. Hit the Browse button. A window should pop up and your computer’s file system should be visible. Click the drop down menu next to the words Look In. Choose the file on your computer where your video is saved and once you find the exact video, click it and hit the Open button in the bottom right corner of the window. Now, you should see the path to your file in that same form field.
The next section is Broadcast. This is where you choose if you want to share your video with the entire Internet or not. If you choose Private, only you and those you give access to your video will be able to see it. Your video will not be found on the YouTube general search engine. Make your choice by clicking the radio button next to your selection.
When you’re finished, hit the button that says Upload Video towards the bottom of the page. Your video is now officially being uploaded to the YouTube server. You should see an animated graphic that resembles a star. This means your upload is still being processed. The uploads can take quite awhile, depending on the length of your file. Don’t be surprised if you end up waiting 10 to 15 minutes. As long as you still see the graphic moving, the upload has not stopped.
Once the upload is complete, you will be taken to a new screen where you will be allowed to change any of the information you included with your video.
When you’re ready to send this to your friends, click your username in the upper right hand corner (it should say, “hello, your username”). Next, click My Videos on the top menu. Your video should be listed there, but it may take a few minutes after uploading for it to show up. Underneath each video in your account, you should see a form field with a URL in it (highlighted in blue in the picture above). Copy and paste that URL and include it in an e-mail to your friends and family. All they have to do is click that link and they will be able to view your video.
Make sure to watch the video yourself also by clicking that same link. You can also embed this video into your Web site using the html code provided in the form next to the words Embeddable Player.
Your friends and family will really appreciate this and they will enjoy your videos more than you will ever know!
~ Kimberly Lawson