Yesterday on Twitter I got aware of a new portal called politube. On the one hand, this finding confirms to me that my twitter strategy of following relatively few people but actually reading the things they tweet is still valid.
On the other hand, politube in itself is something worth writing about. Some time ago I wrote an article about Projekt Wissenswerte which is political education for the YouTube generation and its creator Jan Künzl also wrote a guest post for EDUKWEST on the importance to pick the so called YouTube generation up where the hang out anyway – on YouTube that is – and give them civic education in that place.
politube takes another spin to this. As the name suggests it’s a platform for sharing video and audio on politics which is also their tagline. We could say a refined YouTube and dedicated to one topic only.
The platform operates as a not for profit, so unlike YouTube you won’t have to watch any advertising as a pre-roll or see advertising on the site itself. The ways to contribute to the site’s success are following the grassroots movement of telling other people about it (on social media for instance) or help them with the portal itself thus dedicate a certain amount of your time but also help them get funding.
Talking design and usability of the portal they’re pretty straight forward, nothing fancy but it gives you all you need. You can make the basic choice between audio and video and when you’re a registered user you can of course upload files or leave a comment, email a clip to someone, basically all the options YouTube has developed over the past couple of years and educated us to use.
What I like is that the creators have paid attention to how I can actually download the stuff. There is usually an audio only version available or also a download for users who only have access to low bandwidth which is pretty democratic.
For all of us non-coders the platform makes it very easy to get the code to embed a certain video on another website: simply click embed and copy paste the few lines of code. That’s convenient, thought through and saves time.
Talking about the content, there is quite a bit going on; files regularly get uploaded to the service and are available in various different languages. If you currently have a look at the main page, there is something in German, Polish, English of course and Spanish available.
The search is not as sophisticated as you may be used to from other video portals, so you should know what you’re looking for as there are no recommendations or related videos available. You can either use the search per keyword or a chronological search – speaking for the moment at least.
I conclude that the whole movement of civic education is speeding up, certainly fueled by the whole occupy movement.
That said, it is nice to see that people dedicate their time and make an effort to either provide quality content around politics like Projekt Wissenswerte or build and independent audio and video platform for users to upload their content to.
I believe, dedicated places to go to and find relevant content and curation will become increasing important in 2012.