Get off your soapbox!

If you either post or watch videos on-line then you know YouTube… but how about SoapBox?  A couple of years ago MSN started a competing service to YouTube which I have found very convenient.  I don’t use it often – I have posted precisely six videos on-line, and four of them were shot (and posted) the same day  (they are all linked to from my blog or Facebook page). 

I posted them on Soapbox instead of YouTube… but not because of loyalty to Microsoft. I did it for convenience; when I click on Publish in Live Writer (the application I use to write and post blog articles) it asked me ‘Do you want to store these videos on Soapbox?  I did.

Yesterday I got the following e-mail (in 18 languages!):

Attention Soapbox Users,

MSN will no longer offer Soapbox, the user generated video service within MSN Video, as of August 31, 2009. Beginning on July 29, you will no longer be able to upload videos to Soapbox. People who have uploaded videos to Soapbox will have until August 31, 2009 to download them. Please make sure you download your videos by this date if you would like to keep them. We will have a notice running in the Soapbox service to remind you to download your videos. It is our goal that you download and keep all of the videos you uploaded that are important to you. Online video is a key part of the MSN experience and we will continue to offer a rich experience on MSN Video. We will also continue to invest in delivering great customer experiences, while keeping a keen eye on our business objectives during this tough economic climate. Thank you for your support of MSN Video. More details and download instructions are available at: http://video.msn.com/shutdown.html

Thank you for using Soapbox.

The MSN Video Team

I came to the video world late in the game… My first digital camera took lousy video and it wasn’t until the end of 2007 that I bought a decent one.  I record video sparingly and am far from an expert; however I found that recording any videos – from ‘I’m a PC’ commercials to my wedding ceremony to my tae kwon do belt tests -  can produce large files that are unruly.  It was only when I realized what a great job Camtasia Studio (www.techsmith.com) does of editing down those files – including resolution, bit rate, and cutting off bits at either end, not to mention great editing functionality – that I really said ‘Ok, I can now start working with videos.  Between Facebook and Soapbox I suppose there are now about a dozen videos of mine on-line.

I am not saddened that Soapbox is shutting down… possibly slightly inconvenienced, but not as much as if I had dozens or hundred of videos.  I guess I will have to find another service that I can use to smoothly integrate videos into blog articles though, and that will take a little research.

Thanks for they time Soapbox… and thanks for the ample notice for me to take action!

M

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