YA Clicks February 2012
How’d They Do That? Making Your Own Viral Media
Tips and tutorials for creating cool movies, photos and presentations.
Rebecca Purdy and the Web Surfers from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
Teen Tech Week is approaching and our summer reading consortium is hosting a video contest. It seems like more frequently than ever, we’re inviting and encouraging teens to create videos and submit photos, usually taken with cell phones. The assumption is always that teens are tech savvy in every way, but we’ve found, as Kira states in her Vimeo review, that many teens don’t know how to make a video. Let’s help them by sharing sites and tutorials to get them on their way.
3I 5R 5U
M J S
I made a video! A free Animoto account allowed me to create free 30-second video. Of course, for a fee ($5 a month) I can create longer ones, but 30-seconds is more than enough for an occasional school or work project. It was so easy! Users work their way through step-by-step menus. First, choose an optional background, and then upload stills or videos from a computer or an online sharing site like Flickr. There’s some free music to choose from on the site, or you can upload your choice. Text can be added and videos can be edited. Despite the fact this site charges for increased content, the basics that it offers for free make it worthwhile.
Through YA Eyes
5I 5R 5U
M J S
Everyone has heard of YouTube; maybe only in passing, or maybe you spend days and nights scrolling the pages to add another cat video to your “Favorites.” If you’re yearning to add your own fantastical video to the mix, with one glaring barrier–you don’t know how to edit or even upload your footage–Creator’s Corner can help. The site has a plethora of information that’s so well-organized, you can spend fifteen minutes or a whole day. It is easily usable by video creators of any level or age and offers explanations in the common vernacular of the video realm. If you need clarification about the tutorials, or maybe just want to know the “Secrets to YouTube Success” there are videos filmed by YouTube celebrities and creators. In the event you don’t know where to start in making your video, have no fear! Creator’s Corner has a list of ideas, and also a very helpful “Do’s and Don’ts” chart. After you’re finished making your video, the site also supplies you with links and downloads to lots of tools and resources for editing. Creator’s Corner is perfect and essential for any current or up-and-coming video creator. – Sarah Nichols
5I 4R 5U
M J S
These days almost everyone has a cell phone. One of the most compelling features is its ability to double as a mini-camera. However, you may discover that the photos are less than perfect. Fortunately, Lifehacker has an entire page to help you turn your snapshots into works of art. With Lifehacker’s helpful tips, you will be capturing images like a pro! Presented in an easy-to-read bulleted list, Lifehacker provides tips on how to hold your phone and what lighting conditions are best. It encourages you to get up-close and personal with your subjects—whether they are a clump of flowers or a furry little hamster! Written professionally and accentuated with images, Lifehacker’s tips introduce you to all the essential photography terminology and cellphone camera techniques that make for great photos. But, ultimately, these tips inspire you to admire the world around you and capture it in a stunning photograph.– Jacob Hopkins
4I 3R 4U
M J S
As many of us know, taking pictures from our cell phones can often be a difficult and unrewarding task. This article is helpful for those that are looking for a beginner’s guide to creating clear, professional looking photos from a cell phone. The site explains how to manipulate your phone settings or use apps when taking photos. It provides links to outside sources that offer examples, tutorials, and application reviews. The interface is simple and aesthetically pleasing. Few ads are present and graphics are used as examples for specific aspects of cell phone photography. The need to navigate is minimal, as the article offers step-by-step guidance. Overall, this site is a great guide for novice cell phone photographers who would like to improve their skills, as well as seasoned photographers hoping to make some changes to their photography style.-Alysha Lewis
PhotoImaging Information Council
5I 4R 5U
Are you an aspiring photographer, but maybe lack the intuition to capture a masterpiece? If you are, then think about visiting takegreatpictures.com. The site offers tips from experienced photographers and novices alike; tips that can help you with scrapbooking, travel shots, home projects, software tips, and techniques. It provides users with new and exciting ways to utilize their full potential while working behind a camera. One of the first things you notice upon entering the site is how organized it is. Everything you need is neatly placed on the left-hand column, divided into different headings and sub-headings for ample perusing. One of my personal favorites is that upon entering; you are greeted by a daily poll that immerses you in the feel of the site. This, along with multiple contests with prizes, makes the site a fun place to visit again and again. If you happen to be looking for ways to better your skills, there are many sections written by master photographers. Overall, the site gives you access to the knowledge of professional photographers all bundled up in a neat, fun little package that anyone can use with the click of a button.– Ethan Robbins
Video Production Tips: Cell Phone Videos
5I 3R 5R
This website is for those who are really interested in making good videos with their cell phones. It has all the information that you will ever need and all of the steps that will help you make a video of your own. There are interviews with a professor who teaches a class on cell phone video taking at NYU, and an interview with one of his students. It is trying to show the world that cell phone videos are a really a new form of art and are to be treated and respected as one. I like that right at the top of the page there are videos about cell phone video production and the heading is really eye-catching, but as you scroll down, I think that some people might not want to read the articles because they are so long. I like to read and this was very interesting, but this was almost too much for me. I would recommend this site to anyone who is serious, or interested, in the art of cell phone video making.—Jessica Utz
51 3R 4U
M J S
While YouTube is the world’s premiere video-sharing website, it ought to watch its back–Vimeo, Youtube‘s hipster little sister, is just as impressive. Vimeo has a clean, fun setup, easy navigation, and video-making tutorials. Even as a tech-savvy teenager, I confess I was lost when I had to film a video for English class last year. If only I had known about Vimeo! Their video-making tutorials take you through the step-by-step process of making a video, all down to the type of camera to use, with quirky, fun, informative videos. And for those more inclined to reading, bulleted overviews accompany the tutorials at the bottom of the webpage. I was extremely impressed to see an editing tutorial for iMovie, since most websites seem to forget Mac users like myself. The graphics and explanations are aimed more towards teens and young adults, but can be understood by anyone. While not the most interesting of websites, Vimeo is extremely informative and user-friendly, and I look forward to using it more in the future. -Kira Zahedi
Kudos for Library Teen Sites
Central Arkansas Library System
Sometimes the best design is a simple one. The Central Arkansas site is clear and easy to navigate, but still visually appealing. The top menu and navigation tabs are found on every page, the latter enlarging as the mouse hovers. The title banner also provides continuity. It has a similar look on each page, but the photos change to match the audience, clearly grounding the user to their new location. The single photo on the Teens homepage shows their beautiful, new 9,700 square feet teen space. Of course, there are the expected subpages like “Books & More,” “Cool Stuff,” and “Teen Topics,” whose strength is their crispness, hyperlinked titles, and brief descriptions, where appropriate. They showcase their latest arrivals in books, audios, and DVDs and have a “Teen Reviews” section–the book cover prominently featured next to each review. There is much for other libraries to peruse and emulate here.
Rebecca Purdy is the youth services coordinator for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Web Surfers are a collection of teens willing to volunteer some of their time to see their names in print and help young adult librarians find good sites for their library blogs and Web pages.