Before people start calling me a Grinch or worse, I’m not suggesting we stop sharing videos. This isn’t about copyrights or digital rights management. It’s about common courtesy. And yes, most of the videos I receive are funny and entertaining. The problem is people are sending these emails without regard to the recipient. For example, a 4mb file could take 10 minutes on a 56k dial up line for that file. Even with high speed connections, users encounter additional virus and spyware scans.
What this boils down to is you and the recipient may agree the video content is worthy of sharing, but your delivery method needs help. Forwarding the videos as attachments can pose problems for your recipients.
Items to consider before sending video attachments
- Is the recipient in a corporate setting where they have a storage space allotment?
- Is the video offensive and might create a disturbance if played in a corporate or family setting?
- Have you described the video so that if people have already seen it, they can skip it?
- Have you played the video to know that it opens and is free of malware?
- Is the video in a format the recipient can view or will they need another program or codec?
- Did you check that the person you’re sending the video to is NOT listed as a recipient on the email you received?
- Does the recipient have broadband access?
- Does the recipient’s ISP allow large files to be received?
- How large a file does your ISP allow you to send?
- Are you sending this email from a corporate email account?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you may be creating a problem for someone else.
An Alternate Method for Sharing Videos
I think the reason this problem has grown is a combination of bad email habits and a surge in video content. People still find it easier to hit the Forward button in their email application. Some don’t even remove the previous recipients or add comments. Also, the barrier to creating videos has dropped. Several years ago, we would accept getting these attachments as they were infrequent and much smaller. In fact, you probably wanted to save the video as there weren’t video sharing sites.
I’m suggesting that instead of attaching the video file or forwarding it to your friends, you link to the video. Except for two family movies all the attached videos I’ve received could be found on popular video services such as YouTube, Yahoo! Video and Google video.
How to find and send a link to your online video,
1. In the email someone sent you, see if they’ve provided a title or other clues such as the author. If not, jot down what you remember about the video and subject. Sometimes it helps to think of tags that you might assign if you were saving it to a bookmark service.
2. Go to one of the video search engines such as YouTube.
3. Type your search terms into the Search for text box and click Search (See label 1 in screen snap).
4. The search engine will return matching items. If you don’t see your video, click the View Count or Ratings links on the left side. (See label 2 in screen snap.) This will resort your list based on popularity.
5. Click the blue title for the video you want. The video’s page will display.
6. Copy the URL from your browser’s address bar. Or, you can use the Share Video link at the bottom.
7. Create a new email and paste the URL from your clipboard.
If your content is original and doesn’t exist on these video sharing services, you have two options. You can upload your videos to their service. If the content is something only a few would appreciate such as your baby’s first steps, you might try a service like Drop Load or Drop Send.
The next time a video find its way to your inbox, take a few minutes to find the link. It may take you an extra five minutes but it is the safer and more professional way to share files.
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Last Updated (Friday, 18 June 2010 20:25)