Since February 2005 YouTube has been a popular video-sharing web site which enables users to upload and view short videos.
In July 2006 the company announced that more than 100 million videos were being watched every day and that on average some 65,000 new videos were being added every day.
It has been estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.
Google Inc. acquired YouTube for $US1.65 billion in 2006.
YouTube has as its slogan "Broadcast yourself". It was originally a site aimed mainly at young persons, but it now attracts a much wider audience.
YouTube has been used extensively by Democrat Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 United States presidential campaign. At the time of writing one of his speeches has attracted over 4.4 million hits - quite a remarkable effort for a political video lasting 37 minutes 39 seconds.
In Australia, during the 2007 election campaign the former Australian prime minister, John Howard, often posted his campaign videos on YouTube at five o'clock in the morning. These were clearly not aimed at the electorate; rather, they were a hugely successful device to get media exposure.
Three examples of what can be done very effectively by ordinary persons at minimal cost follow. They are promotional videos made by Nick Renton and posted on YouTube. They were created in a normal room rather than a proper studio, using a cheap webcam and a cheap microphone.
These rather simple amateur videos were made using the AVS video editor software from AVS Media, a vastly superior program to the more familiar Windows moviemaker.
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