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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Vimeo is a video-sharing site where users can post their created shorts or movies for others to see. Users also can choose to allow or prevent comments and downloads of their videos and can share links to other personal sites. But the focus on creativity could expose users to potentially objectionable content. The site doesn't censor for language, so users can stumble upon clips that frequently use language such as "f--k." Viewers also could stumble upon a mix of anti-drug PSAs from one user and clips that glorify drug use from the next user. Although Vimeo outlaws outright pornography, it's possible to find topless women on the site, as well as varying amounts of violence.
What's it about?
VIMEO is a video-sharing site where users are encouraged to share clips. The site encourages artistic expression and highlights some creative videos in its staff viewing picks, which appear when you log in. You also can follow other user posts through the site's Feed Manager or make your page fairly private. Users have a weekly upload limit -- 500 MB and one HD video upload -- with a free subscription. To upload and store more videos, users need to purchase an annual $59.95 Vimeo Plus subscription.
Is it any good?
Vimeo has some solid selling points: With a free account, users can share a fair amount of content each week; account settings let you make things essentially as private or public as you want -- and budding filmmakers can benefit from the site's Video School section. But, as with many video-sharing sites, Vimeo presents a few opportunities for kids to stray off-course. Although the site says it tries to restrict nudity in its videos to only artistic situations, kids can easily find exceptions, such as a montage of topless women at the beach. Some videos also feature considerable violence and swearing.
Unfortunately, uploading videos isn't always as easy as it could be. Kids may get frustrated if they run into any problems and receive an error message telling them to use a valid video file. Tracking down which types Vimeo accepts isn't exactly easy; you're taken to the compression guidelines, which don't list accepted file formats -- and may be too technical for some users. (The site's support section is detailed but wasn't much help when several attempts to upload a clip on two different Vimeo-compatible browsers were unsuccessful. Uploading videos via cell phone seems to be a much simpler process.) Although it encourages a certain degree of creativity, Vimeo is one of those sites for older video makers willing to put up with some glitches and iffy content to fully enjoy its media.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss how you can gauge which content is OK to watch on video sites and which isn't. How can you tell if content was meant for adults or kids?
Talk about what to do if your child accidentally stumbles across something inappropriate on a video site. Should you report the video to site administrators? Tell a parent? Do both?
Vimeo features some instruction on how to make short movies. Ask how your child would turn a favorite book or story into a film, showing plot points and other elements visually, instead of in writing.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion
- Skills: Creativity: producing new content
Communication: conveying messages effectively
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Genre: Video Sites
- Pricing structure: Free (A $59.95-a-year Vimeo Plus subscription lets users upload and store more videos; companies can purchase a $199-a-year Vimeo PRO membership to promote goods and services.)