Surfing the Web's Video Wave

Websites that can help you navigate the internet's video stream


| February 22, 2007


Hold on to your productivity and prepare to procrastinate. The World Wide Web is hosting an endless line-up of sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-inane videos that are available for your viewing pleasure, free of charge. Just as the remote control allowed people to flip through hundreds of channels without having to leave the couch, a number of new sites are helping viewers sift through the static (and avoid wasting hours digging for gold on YouTube). This is not an exhaustive list of online video filtering sites, but it should be enough to get you watching.

Stumble Video
Much like MySpace or Facebook, StumbleUpon is a social networking site where people can create a profile, blog, and make 'friends.' What makes this site different is that visitors, even without a profile, can view a plethora of videos suggested by the StumbleUpon community. Just click on the 'stumble' button to watch a segment. If you don't like it, stumble again. Viewers can voice their opinions on the videos with a 'thumbs up' or a 'thumbs down' -- preferences that StumbleUpon says it takes note of in preparing its video rosters.

Super Deluxe
This comedy-centric website is like YouTube for the foul mouthed. Videos featured include those from Fark TV -- a video series from the popular news filtering site Fark.com -- which lampoon real headlines. Other highlights of the site include Chelsea Peretti's 'Making Friends,' a video that pokes fun at the 'friendly' culture of New York City.

World Wide Internet TeleVision
In what may be the ultimate World Wide Web watching experience, wwiTV showcases programs from across the globe. According to Louis Goddard of the internet magazine Flak, wwiTV is 'a treasure trove of bizarre entertainment.' Godard points viewers to such varied programming as BBC Parliament ('essentially the British equivalent of C-SPAN') to the EMS Police Channel (which he describes as 'clearly aimed to fulfill the off-duty American police officer -- at least?the ones that watch a lot of cable and/or internet TV'). With free streaming videos, viewers can get a look at broadcasts from Albania to Zimbabwe, all from the comfort of their own homes.

Democracy
Like QuickTime with a conscience, Democracy is a free, downloadable media player designed by the nonprofit Participatory Culture Foundation. Like many media players (e.g. QuickTime, iTunes), Democracy plays most types of music and video files. You can also subscribe to different internet TV shows and podcasts. What makes this player unique is that it was created with a philanthropic mission -- to promote greater access to open-source, free information.

Go there >> Stumble Video