Do you have a computer with a modem? Do you have Internet access? Do you know what the World Wide Web is?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, there’s a good reason for you to learn more about the Web. We now have a place that you can visit on the Web called Videomaker‘s Camcorder & Desktop Video Site. If you have a Web browser, you can find us at http://www.videomaker.com. If you don’t have a browser, you’re probably wondering what http:// means.
You probably know that you need a computer with a modem to get connected to the Internet; beyond that, it gets kind of fuzzy for many people. I’ll try to explain. If the Internet is like a highway, then a Web site is like a drive-in. It’s easy to stop by; you don’t even have to get out of your car. We don’t serve burgers at our drive-in and we don’t show full-length movies; we show mostly text. Many of our past articles are available on our Web site.
If you have a sound card in your computer, you’ll be able to hear sounds from our site. We’ve also got plenty of graphics available. You can download some of these sounds and graphics into your computer and use them in your video productions. We have title graphics (or mattes) that you can use like those that we’ve published in the pages of this magazine. You’ll also find sound effects like doorbells, traffic and other basic sound effects that you may find handy for you own videos. We even have a few short MPEG movies available.
As I’ve said before, video consumes a hefty chunk of bandwidth and your phone line isn’t capable of receiving too much of it. But we do have some short videos that you’ll find amusing. In the future, we hope that technology will progress to a point where we can easily place the entire Videomaker TV show on our Web site.
There’s also a place for you to ask questions of our editors and leave messages for fellow Web browsers. We feel that user submissions are as valuable as our own information. If you visit our site, you can play a role in the ongoing development of the content. If you’re good at it, you can become a regular guest or ambassador.
Once you visit the site, expect to make friends with others who share your interests. You might be invited to join an on-line users group, or you may even form one of your own. We have our editors logged on every day answering questions and adding fresh articles and material, so there’s always someone handy to answer your questions.
If you are new to videomaking, our site will be an especially valuable learning tool. In this magazine, there are times when either newcomers or seasoned professionals feel that there isn’t enough information for them. We have a lot more room on our Web site than we have in our monthly paper magazine. For newbies (newcomers), we have answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). For the pros, we have some of our unpublished materials that just didn’t quite make it to print.
What I find amazing is that I can hold our web site’s hard drive with one hand and it can hold more information than all the issues we’ve ever published. At the same time, the total weight of all the paper that we use for just one issue of this magazine is over 100,000 pounds.
In the future, we hope to have areas for polling, chat and quizzes. These areas are highly interactive and will reflect the personality of our collective visitors. We will also consider posting proceedings from our Videomaker Expo.
I’m afraid that this column is reading to much like an ad for our Web site. But it isn’t, because the Web site is free.
I personally have spent a great deal of time researching and developing our site and I’m really happy with it. I fully expect our site to reach as many people and become as important as this magazine someday soon.
If you haven’t seen the site, come visit. If you don’t have access, get connected. The Web is the future.
Matthew York is Videomaker‘s publisher/editor.