Since its launch in 2005 (history), YouTube has grown to be the definitive place to find and share video shorts. By 2012, 60 minutes of new video content were being posted to YouTube every minute, with over 2 billion videos viewed worldwide each day. It’s the default place to post short clips, with Vimeo as a distant second for longer videos. YouTube is now the world’s second-largest search interface, after Google.
The ‘print communication culture’ that lasted since the invention of the printing press is being rapidly superseded by the new ‘digital communication culture’. The differences are far-reaching and transformative, because not only are digital media a different means to communicate, but they are transforming the way our culture thinks. For a detailed unpacking of this ongoing change, read Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival by Len Sweet.
Print culture was, naturally, text-based, but also tended to be ‘left-brain’ and analytical. Digital culture is visual ‘right-brain’ intuitive, and story-based. In many ways, it is nearer to the oral communication cultures of many countries outside the West. Indeed Christians, being generally bookish people, do not realise the extent to which many even in the West read little, especially books, and have always learned orally via TV and film.
Video shorts are therefore a natural expression of digital culture, and hugely significant for ‘unexpected’ social-networking evangelism. (For an intentional audience, longer films up to feature length are also strategic.)
There is huge potential, both in sharing conversation-starting video clips on Facebook and other social networking systems, and in creating new video shorts.