When talking about uploading and sharing of videos online, the vast majority of people automatically think of YouTube. However, YouTube is definitely not the only site which offers these online services. Another popular site (especially in the US) is Vimeo.
Vimeo is a video-centric social networking site, launched by InterActiveCorp in 2004. Its name, "Vimeo", is, in fact, an anagram of the word "movie". The site hosts around 13,000 video uploads daily, 10% of which in HD. Most notably, the White House regularly uploads HD versions of Barac Obama's broadcasts on Vimeo.
Although Vimeo is primarily used to upload videos, its core purpose is very different from that of YouTube. It is not commonly used to download music videos or cartoons or excerpts from movies. Vimeo is essentially a social networking site, where people of similar interests can create groups and upload instructional, demonstrative or simply entertaining videos. It offers a somewhat safer, cleaner environment in which to work with our students.
Although anyone can access Vimeo, it is always best to create an account first (otherwise you will find yourself locked out of many features). When signing in for the first time, it will ask you if you want to link you Vimeo account with your own Facebook account for convenience - I did, of course :) When you first log in, your display should look something like this...
On the top right hand side of the screen one can find the Menu Bar with a series of drop-down menus. Clicking on Me will allow the user to edit the Home Page, Profile, Settings and Contacts. The Me menu will also allow the user to engage in private messages and conversations with their contacts on Vimeo. From the Video menu one can, apart from uploading Videos, manage Albums, Groups, Channels and Subscriptions. Alternatively, to upload a video, simply click on the Upload menu.
To upload a video, simply click on the Upload Video button. Vimeo offers the user the possibility to upload up to 500MB of videos every week (including HD). Videos can be tagged so that they are labelled and more easily found. Altough it allows users to share videos and to download each other's videos, its rigid privacy settings mean that the users can decide if they want their video to be available for others to watch or download from the site, or not. In other words, uploaded videos can be kept totally secret from the general viewing public. Users may opt to use Vimeo purely to keep a backup of their videos.
This short screen cast was developed by the Vimeo team, and shows how one may upload a video and keep it private...
Below is a list of some additional stuff that can be done with Vimeo. To learn more about these features, click on the Explore menu on the top right hand side of the screen.
Groups: Creating a Group in Vimeo is like creating a mini community within Vimeo of people with common interests like yourself. Within a group users are able to share and discuss videos, music, photos, events, etc. (When searching Groups, I managed to find a good number of teachers' groups).
Channels: A simple way to showcase videos is to create a Channel where your viewers can watch your creations.
Projects: Users here can discuss ongoing or future audio-visual projects they wish to embark upon. It is also a sort of forum, where the users may engage in discussions about technical issues, requested features, general discussions about videos, etc.
Toys: Vimeo Toys are discovery applications that enable users to check out the latest videos and activity on the Vimeo service. Vimeo Land is a cartoon-style 2D world, while Pulse is one huge collage of all the videos being uploaded in real time. Users can actually engage in and create their own "Vimeo Toys".
As one can see, there is more to Vimeo than just uploading and sharing of videos. It is more of a specialised community of people who share videos and ideas with each other. It is very, very different from YouTube, and do take my word for it. It can be safely used to upload children's content videos online and embed them into a Blog or even on Skola portal. Try it out at http://www.vimeo.com/