Blog Post

HOW TO: Make Internet TV

As much as I love online video, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think most of it is crap — crap I say! Shaky hand-held shots zoomed digitally, terrible lighting, no scripting or storyboarding and audio that sounds like it was recorded with a cell phone (which it often is). Don’t try to argue that the clip of your cat licking its privates is an attempt at making a Dogme 95 statement. Yes, it’s video, but it sure ain’t filmmaking.

Enter Make Internet TV, a newly released site from the Participatory Culture Foundation that also brought you the Miro, nee Democracy player, Broadcast Machine and other free, open-source alternatives to offerings from Microsoft, Apple and Google.

I got a sneak peek at it back in Austin during South by Southwest, and was impressed with the slick design, but now there’s actually lots of content. It will be particularly interesting to see how much activity the MITV Wiki attracts. It certainly achieves the goal of being a brief and simple tutorial to help people determine what they need, and need to know, in order to accomplish an online video project.

When people asked me how to get started in online video, I have been recommending Freevlog, which recently was redesigned. Freevlog has more video content, especially tutorials, and a larger community already in place, though I imagine there will be plenty of cross pollination between the two. Make Internet TV promises to post more video soon, but going forward I’ll be recommending them both.

Where Make Internet TV shines is in the explanations of actual filmmaking techniques — everything from the “vlogger hold” for interviews to three point lighting, dollying and homemade steadycams to editing tips for Windows Movie Maker.

It’s a laudable effort, and is part of a wider movement in online video circles – especially amongst those with previous experience in production – to improve the quality of citizen media through education. After all, now that anyone can theoretically compete with the studios and networks, the reality is that the hard part is crafting quality content that people will actually prefer to watch.

5 Responses to “HOW TO: Make Internet TV”

  1. Missb,

    We get a lot of push back for using the term TV w/ our projects.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to defend our decision:
    Internet TV is a readily graspable metaphor for the non-initiated (it makes a lot more sense than ‘vlogging’ to 9.6 out of 10 people). Furthermore, we think it’s important to shape this highly recognizable metaphor in a positive fashion. Otherwise, it will be co-opted by big business, and end up as nothing more than old fashioned broadcast TV over ethernet.

    Our ideal is to re-invent TV on a base of open standards, which means that it will be easy for anyone to be a creator, aggregator, or innovator.

    I’m interested to hear counter-viewpoints and/or suggestions… post ’em if you got ’em :)

    –Dean (of PCF)

  2. My only beef: I don’t want the word “TV” anywhere near my internetstuffs. Nowhere near it! We don’t need to keep using “TV” to describe video on the web! It’s not TV dang it.

    Of course, I don’t have any idea what we should call it. So in the meantime I will be calling internet video “Clyde”.

  3. You have to hand it over to Democracy for being a very pioneering company when it comes to internet video. They are really driving a revolution to the more open internet TV platform.

    even if I dont actually like their software that much I’ll say they’ve come out with some really good tutorials and articles in the past