Thursday, February 12, 2009


Alternatives are being sought for those who teach and conduct research with YouTube, as scholarly critiques of the Google-owned commercial site begin to appear, such as the recent Video Vortex Reader, a collection of articles that includes the work of Geert Lovink, Lev Manovich, Alexandra Juhasz, and myself. Higher education is just beginning to realize the difficulty of making accommodations to this omnivorous database of videos that fundamentally relies on fostering proprietary technologies and gathering consumer data in ways that trouble privacy advocates.

In "YouTube Goes Offline," the official blog of the video sharing site explains a pilot project that will be better suited to universities that use the site for disseminating online lectures.

We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to find, watch, and share videos. Many of you have told us that you wanted to take your favorite videos offline. So we've started working with a few partners who want their videos shared universally and even enjoyed away from an Internet connection.

Many video creators on YouTube want their work to be seen far and wide. They don't mind sharing their work, provided that they get the proper credit. Using Creative Commons licenses, we're giving our partners and community more choices to make that happen. Creative Commons licenses permit people to reuse downloaded content under certain conditions.

Unfortunately, as the posting goes on to explain, the company is also making plans to monetize these downloads, obviously with the intend of furthering partnerships with distance learning initiatives that would benefit from pay-t0-play models for displaying and archiving content.

At the same time, the New Media Consortium, which presented recently at the traditionally technology-averse MLA, about new forms of publication and scholarship in the digital humanities. Their presentation is available in two parts on YouTube.

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