We all know that the online world is filled with weirdos, and if you don’t believe us, clearly you’re only wading in the shallow end of the Internet pool. But if you think that those bad jokes and silly comic strips your colleague has been circulating via the office email is the extent of it, you’re in for a surprise.
With the recent advent of community-driven Internet video hosting sites—the three most popular being YouTube (www.youtube.com), Google Video (http://video.google.com) and Yahoo! Video (http://video.yahoo.com)—the nut jobs have come out of the woodwork, with some hilarious results.
We decided to brave the insanity and explore what these sites have to offer. Be warned though—you may never want to return to conventional television after checking these videos out.
1. Treading New Ground
Much like how indie Brit band The Artic Monkeys broke out because of Internet word-of-mouth, indie band OK Go shot to fame thanks to their rather, um, unique video for the track “Here It Goes Again.” Featuring the band doing—we kid you not—a series of synchronized dances on treadmills, OK Go released the video onto YouTube, resulting in the band becoming a commonly emulated cult success—and changing the way the world looked at treadmills forever.
Ah, the wonders of technology! With a webcam, no matter how far away you are from your loved one, you can still say good night face-to-face. Unfortunately, this means they can also get an eye-full of the other man that accidentally walks into your room, wearing only a towel while you’re having your video conversation. Check out this brief, but hilarious video at Google Video—search for “caught.”
3. Illegal Downloading. It’s Illegal.
We’ve all been subjected to those anti-piracy advertisements that equate piracy to other heinous crimes like carjacking. These ads often overdo it so much that they unintentionally come off as more comical than anything. The guys at Awkward Pictures decided to turn those commercials onto their head, by spoofing the ads and exposing just how over-the-top and ineffective they really are.
4. Hard Time
Some things just can’t get lost in translation, no matter how much you want them to. Originally getting his start in various Japanese TV variety programs, Razor Ramon Hard Gay (more popularly known as HG) became an online phenomenon when word of his antics spread on YouTube. The premise of HG is simple: A rather flamboyant young man, dressed in a kinky leather S&M get-up, struts around the streets of Tokyo, dry humping anything (and anyone) in sight and frightening the natives with hilarious results. Pay a visit to the HG site www.hard-gay.org, which has a list of YouTube links to check out
5. Milli Vanilli Complex
There are just some people out there who don’t seem to understand how ridiculous they look when they’re lip-synching along to their favorite tunes. It only gets worse when these same people post movies of themselves online. The most popular of these is of a rather chunky young man shaking and grooving along to that infamously annoying O-Zone track “Dragostea din Tei,” better known as “that Numa Numa song” (go to Google Video and search for “Numa Numa”). The video became such a huge phenomenon that it’s actually still being ripped off by other shameless online denizens today.
Astonished by the sheer strangeness that can be found online? Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Online video sites are quite addictive, so don’t be surprised to find yourself browsing and searching their seemingly limitless libraries for hours—and not just for these oddities either. There are clips like stand-up comedy routines (comedian Russell Peters’ fame locally could arguably be attributed to fans sharing his skits on the sites), music videos and snippets from your favorite TV shows.
But these sites are not just for geeks. Contrary to the examples we’ve listed, Internet video sites aren’t just about silliness. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker looking for a platform and audience for your work, a blogger interested in making the jump to the latest trend of video blogging, or you simply want to impress your future employer with a video resume, the only limits to the uses for these sites is what you make of them.
YouTube is arguably the most talked about Internet video site. Its popularity stems from being one of the first video hosting services to catch users’ attentions. The user-friendliness of its interface also helps—signing up is a synch, and once you’ve validated your membership, you’re ready to get your videos online. You’re allowed to upload files up to 100MB in size and ten minutes in length only, so be sure to keep it brief.
YouTube’s nearest competitor is Google Video. If you’ve got a Gmail account, you can just log in with that. If not, it’ll take a few steps before you can start uploading. Like YouTube, your video needs to be no more than 100MB in size. It may not be as popular as YouTube, but Google Video also offers cool features like the ability to legally download your favorite shows.
Even though Yahoo! Video is the least popular of the three, this certainly isn’t a reflection of its user-friendliness; it’s as easy to get into as the aforementioned hosting site, but unfortunately just isn’t as talked about. Like Google Video, if you have a Yahoo! Mail account, you can already start uploading. It’s a simple interface, which produces rather ordinary results and nothing to really set itself apart from its competitors, but if you’re not looking to do anything complicated, Yahoo!’s fine.
All three allow you to embed videos onto your blogs or websites, by copying and pasting the embed code that’s usually located next to or right under the video itself.