Monday, January 14, 2008

User-generated content and YawpBox

Just a few months ago, I was dragging my feet about user-generated video. I know videos get millions of hits, but I just wasn't into it. I mean, if my mother can get all excited about the skateboard riding dog and the people out there who made their wedding party dance to Thriller, how cool can online videos be?

Then, I realized how easy it is to upload videos to these sites. How easy it is to embed them onto my own sites to show potential employers that, not only do I know how to make videos, but hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people are interested in seeing them.

Now YawpBox has a way to reach millions of viewers in a format that brings user-generated videos to the world audience in a viewer-friendly format. Every week, they show a new episode of YawpBoxTV, featuring the best videos from their network, with the hosts Lex and Terry discussing the footage. The show gives anyone with their own video camera a chance to compete with others for their own 15 minutes of fame on the show, 15 minutes that could potentially reach millions of viewers, producers, and company heads.

For YawpBoxTv, YawpBox has a special Lex and Terry challenge page, where users can see the video topics Lex and Terry are looking for for the show. The topics range from "Have you ever had a mullet" to "Show us your craziest holiday footage." It makes me think YawpBoxTV will soon become an America's Funniest Home Videos for the digital age.

It also gives millions of people the chance to have their voices heard on important topics. User-generated content gives everyone an equal chance to speak for and against the topics they are passionate about. Think about Joy Nash from Fat Rant. A few years ago, the only outlet she would have had for her rant was friends and family, maybe the men and women who read feminist magazines. Now, her rant has gone world-wide.

Even better, user-generated videos allow us to see what others are watching and share what we like, even if it is a dog riding a skateboard.

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