The Flip: It’s What’s for Christmas

If you have kids, parents, teachers, grandparents, or people in general on your Christmas list that you love enough to spend $150 or more on, The Flip cam is the thing this year.

YouTube tells us, “People are watching hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.”

YouTube and other video sharing sites have grown at a phenomenal rate this year, putting us firmly in the realm of “everyone is doing it.”

At Digital Is and Youth Voices I heard about elementary schools that require all of their students to do video projects for school. We’re talking fourth, fifth, sixth graders here. If we want to keep up with the fifth graders, we’ve got to get on the stick cam.

The good news is, though, that to children these cameras are just fun. They are also fun for adults if those adults happen to be filming children or child-like behavior. And if you are an adult who isn’t sure what to do with one, all you need is to put one in the hands of a child. Natural curiosity and creativity will take over. Great and wonderful things will happen.

I’m here to tell you today that video sharing and video production as school and work related activity is now so ubiquitous as to be a basic necessary literacy in our world. You need to know and your young people need to know the process of taking video, transferring it to a computer and uploading it to a social sharing site.

That process starts with having the camera in hand. The Flip is a good one because it is so easy. One button records it all, and the camera contains within itself both the USB connection for the computer and the software necessary for transferring and processing the video.

Alternatives to The Flip in the same stick style include The Sony Webbie, The Kodak Zx1, and the Creative Vado Pocket Video Cam. As my mother would say, “It’s six to one, half a dozen to the other,” but if you want to read reviews before purchasing, try CNET.

These aren’t cameras for professional videography. They are cameras for everyday use by everyday people. I think they have the most potential to inspire us to actually follow through on making video just because that’s all they do and they do it so easily. If you want to put your money into something that offers other features as well, however, just buy a regular old point and shoot digital camera. Most of them come with video capabilities now, and YouTube makes sharing easy no matter what path you take to get there.

**Yes, I have written about this before. This post is just a Christmas bonus for those of you looking for something to buy me or someone else you love.

**Cross-Posted to Writerly Haphazardry.

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