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Your video audience: quantity vs. quality

Your video audience: quantity vs. quality

Today, YouTube welcomes AOL's Uncut Video [story on TechCrunch] to the morass of sites that host user-created (or user-appropriated) videos. The product looks decent enough, and since it's part of the AOL mothership, it integrates with other AOL properties, such as AIM.

How's a potential online video mogul supposed to pick a site? Partly it depends on how you want people to find your content. If you have a general-interest video and you hope that users will stumble upon it, you want to post on a big site, such as YouTube, AOL, or Google, where huge numbers of drive-by visitors might be exposed to your work. But if your goal is to put up video that you're going to post on your own site or blog, the smaller sites have features that you may find much more useful. For example, Grouper allows users to download your videos to their iPod or PSP. VideoEgg has an especially simple upload utility. Revver can insert ads in your work. JumpCut has editing and remixing features.

If you're aiming to serve your own audience and not the world at large, the most important feature is the capability to embed your video wherever you want it--in your blog, on your MySpace page, on your business's site, and so on. All of the video sites offer this; most will generate embeddable HTML code with the click of one button. But you still have to muck around in your site to embed the player. VideoEgg, on the other hand, will do the lifting for you and post directly to popular blog sites (TypePad and Blogger), as well as to eBay, and it gets my nod as the best site for users who want to quickly post videos to their own site. (AOL, by contrast, will post directly to AOL Journal but not other blogs.)