English |  Español |  Français |  Italiano |  Português |  Русский |  Shqip

Guide to Hosting your own Video Site


This guide focuses on approaches and tools to host, showcase and aggregate video content. it includes hands on sections for doing it yourself and also outlines possible hybrid approaches using commercial video sharing sites and your own resources.

Scope of this Guide

The guide will give different paths to groups that want to reduce their reliance on services like YouTube and Vimeo. The intended audience is:

  • citizen journalists, video activists and other producers looking to be more independent in their hosting solutions
  • experienced website developers new to the area of video hosting
  • anyone interested in learning about what is possible with video distribution on the Internet

Throughout this guide we will aim to communicate some of the means of making good choices about technology to use.

Why be Independent? Advantages and Costs

Why not just use YouTube?

Organisations like WITNESS have worked hard to help YouTube and other commercial video sharing websites help distributing the work of social movements and other independent producers. There exists a dedicated Human Rights channel giving more more profile to key videos.

However, the context in which you watch video is important. While many people have the impression that Youtube helps to bring an audience to your video, the business model of YouTube and other similar sites involves collecting informaton about who views your video and from where.

This information, along with any comments posted or additional data, is prodominately collected to sell targetted advertising. This agreement also includes the right to remove your video from the iIternet or pass your contact and location to various governments and other authorities.

The future consequences of corporations (in this case Google, who own Youtube) owning and sharing detailed information about the online behaviour of a vast amount of people is not very well understood yet.

The challenges of avoiding YouTube

There are quite a few challenges to overcome, both technical and social, if you want to avoid using a large video services like YouTube. When faced with the prospect of

  • If my videos don't show up in YouTube searches will I lose out on viewers?
  • If my video is very sucessful, will all the viewers it crash our website?
  • How can I deliver video in different quality levels responsively?

We will deal with how to overcome or address these challenges step by step in many of the following chapters.

About this Guide

The guide has a focus on using online video for positive social change and has been commissioned as part of the Human Rights Connect project of Internews Europe. The writers of this guide are Mick Fuzz an active community member of the FLOSS Manuals project and Anna Helme from Engagemedia. The writing is co-ordinated by the v4c.org network.

There has been error in communication with Booktype server. Not sure right now where is the problem.

You should refresh this page.