For those of you who have been following the online video hype, but haven't yet started uploading and sharing videos online, we like to share some basic instructions to get started with video online. For those of you who have started sharing video but have only experimented with Youtube, I have a suggestion for you. Blip.tv is one of my favorite online video sharing sites (actually tied with Revver) in that it has more options than Youtube, higher quality videos, and overall, it just delivers a more pleasurable and professional experience.
Blip.tv has been around for awhile and from the looks of it they will be a major player in the video arena for years to come. Another cool thing about Blip is that they put forth effort to monetize video content, and if you start producing videos that become popular, they'll find some sponsors and split things with you 50/50.
So, lets get started with basic instructions for creating an account, uploading and sharing a video:
As with all places, you need an account. This is no different than signing up for many other website; you provide them with an email address, username, password etc. You will want to choose your show name carefully because that will be how people find your videos. In other words, if were to name it 'HowToBlip' it would then become http://HowToBlip.blip.tv, though if you don't like the name you can change it later and it should auto redirect.
Once you are all set with the signup you will login to find the dashboard. This is the central control panel for your account with Blip.tv. From here you can do a wide variety of things including manage your account details, see your statistics, publish, distribute and more. From the Dashboard home there is a menu on the right side with the following options:
- Dashboard Home – What you're looking at right now
- Community – The place to interact with other Blip.tv users including comments on your show, blogs, mailing lists and other resources.
- Publishing – Where to go when you are ready to post a video. I will talk more about this later.
- Distribution – This is the place you go to spread the word about your show. It includes places like iTunes, MySpace, FaceBook as well as a video player that you can embed in any website that allows you to embed a Flash-based object.
- Advertising – If you managed to garner some attention and get some advertisers this is the place you go to manage all that.
- Statistics – Who is watching, what and how often? This will give you the skinny on your viewers, which videos they're watching and when they were watching them.
- My Show – The basic information and configuration for your show. Name, contact info, and description of the show along with some other settings.
- My Account – Need to change your password or upgrade your account to Blip Pro? Then do that here.
- Express Goodness – The quick links section to what are probably the most often used pages, so you don't have to search through the dashboard menu.
Video editing is a massive area and can be the subject of many articles itself so I will assume you have a piece of video you are ready to share with the world here and talk about getting it on Blip.tv.
Head over to Blip.tv, log into your account and click the Upload link at the top of the Dashboard page. There are only a few things you need to fill in here: title, Description, license type, category which covers language, content and tags to make your video easier to find in searches. There's also a distribute/Publish option. This allows you to automatically cross-post your video to popular social networking sites and internet archives to gain more exposure, always a good idea. Once you have all the settings in that you want be sure you browsed to the video file you want to upload and click Upload File. Then sit back and wait while your video is sent, the time will depend on your connection to Internet. My 5.1Mb test file took about 2.5 minutes on the broadband connection. When the upload completes your file is available right away.
If you haven't chosen a thumbnail the default Blip.tv one will be assigned. Sometimes there will be problems, for example the first video I uploaded as a test was an .avi and Firefox was unable to load the codec from the server, however Internet Explorer played it without a problem. This is part of the reason Blip.tv has some guidelines on what you should upload. After a few minutes the file was automatically converted to an .flv which is a flash-based video that then allowed Firefox to play the file correctly, so patience might be the key at times.
Once you have the video uploaded you can change the settings, category, tags and even the thumbnail as you see fit. Congratulations, you've successfully uploaded your first video to Blip.tv. Good luck!