Lights, Camera, Take Action! Making, Watching, and Sharing Videos Online

Content From: Josie Halpern-Finnerty Project Coordinator, AIDS.govPublished: July 21, 20093 min read

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Over half of internet users watch and download online videosExit Disclaimer. In the last month, we’ve shared numerous videos with you of individuals talking about the importance of HIV testing through this blog. Today’s post is dedicated to how you can use online videos to respond to HIV—by watching, making, and sharing them!

Video-sharing sitesExit Disclaimer allow you to upload, share, and store online videos (similar to photo sharing sites. Others include GoogleVideoExit Disclaimer, Yahoo!VideoExit Disclaimer, dotSUBExit Disclaimer (for captioned videos) and ICYou (for health-focused videos). These sites share much in common with online social network sites, such as Facebook and MySpace—users can connect with each other, send messages, leave comments, and share videos.

So, how can individuals and organizations use video sharing to respond to HIV? Online videos are another way to disseminate HIV information. Video sharing can also allow you to connect, listen, and learn from volunteers, patients, and colleagues. We recently used videos to share HIV testing messages from President Barack Obama and our HIV.gov YouTube Channel. Other examples of HIV-related YouTube channels include UNAIDS, amfAR, POZ, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The CDC's Act Against AIDS Campaign series, in which individuals living with HIV offer support and discuss steps to avoid the onset of AIDS. Online video can also be a way to share events, such as conferences. Last week week we wrote about ways to participate virtually in the 5th International AIDS Society Conference, U.S.–Global HIV Policy, Research and Implementation Under the New Administration, featuring U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.

Another way to use video in response to HIV is to hold a contest to educate and engage new audiences. For example, HHS just launched a video contest in response to the H1N1 flu that encourages people to make a short video about flu preparedness — the winning video will receive $2,500 and appear on national television!

Getting started and creating your own videos can be easier than you might think – all you need is content, a little technology, and a little bit of time. Beth Kanter, social media strategist, wrote a blog post on video sharingExit Disclaimer that links to guides on developing content. One of these is a video guide from See3Exit Disclaimer, and Michael Hoffman of See3 also recently wrote a guest post on Beth's blog all about online video strategyExit Disclaimer.

Once you've thought about the content, you're ready to move on to technology. You can make your video with a video camera, digital camera, web cam or certain cell phones. Then, edit your movie with programs such as Mac's iMovieExit Disclaimer or Windows' MovieMakerExit Disclaimer. Now all you need to do is check out how your video sharing site wants you to upload video (and what their file size and length requirements are). Some video sharing sites, such as YouTubeExit Disclaimer and FacebookExit Disclaimer, have thorough help sections to walk you through this step. Your editing program may be able to help you here, too — for example, iMovie has a tutorial on how to upload from their program directly to YouTubeExit Disclaimer.

Now you are ready to share — and we can't wait to see what you come up with! Already using video sharing sites to respond to HIV? Leave a comment and let us know!