On Vimeo they criticize because they care

A few months ago I provided some constructive criticism to an initial edit of a video shot by the talented Mr. Philip Bloom on Vimeo. Another user immediately told me that Vimeo comments should only be supportive and positive, unless the owner requested other kinds of feedback.

There’s a debate about this on one of their forums: “Totalitarian Positivity versus Constructive Criticism.”

Lucky for me, Eugenia Loli-Queru cared enough to point out some problems with one of the video doodles I posted yesterday:

Very nice idea, very nice shots, but poor execution I am afraid. The editing part needed more… editing. This is a piece that doesn’t need to be more than 2:00 to 2′:20″, and it needs the wobbly shots, or less-than-good shots, removed. Also, the music is not a great fit either.

Please re-edit this footage because you have a great idea there, and great footage in your disposal. I’d suggest you go a bit more artsy on it, check some of Charlie McCarthy pieces on similar looks for ideas on the way he edits and cuts his clips together.

That’s more useful to me than just leaving me the first two clauses and not giving me useful feedback. I should have followed my gut and not posted the video. Oh well.

Vimeo could be defined as a social media platform where a community can share high quality video. Now that competitors have better quality encodes, less limits on uploads and are less expensive, all that’s left is the community of people who share their videos. HD video is the Web 2.0 media that Vimeo shares.

Maybe support amongst creative people and people who are good at understanding the meaning of videos is what Vimeo should spend more time on – that’s more of a Web 3.0 definition. Luckily the support many Vimeo users offer each other is designed into the system. I’d probably trust the opinion of someone who’d decided to follow other people’s videos (‘Contacts’ in Vimeo parlance), ‘Liked’ many videos, set up communities of people interested in specific films (‘Channels’ and ‘Groups’), posted many of their own and provided useful feedback to others. Most of this information is visible on each user’s profile page:

My stats are OK:

Looks like I post enough videos to know some stuff, though they may not be any good – you could watch some linked to my profile page. I’ve been quite good at showing my appreciation of other people’s work. I don’t seem to be following the work of that many other people, but have set up a couple of communities of videos based around a theme.

Here is Eugenia’s stats:

She hasn’t uploaded as many videos as me, but 32 is a lot, so she probably doesn’t upload any old thing. She spends more time marking other people’s videos that she likes. She also follows the uploads of a good number of people.

One of the people I have marked as a ‘Contact’ is Remyyy. His stats are different again:
He is prolific and spends time looking at other people’s work.

Here are two of his videos:

It was the ideas in Remyyy’s videos that made me want to hang out at Vimeo. Before that I considered it a place to host my videos without needing to upload them to my own website.

Maybe other people would have a different measure for Vimeo authority, but at least the stats are there on each person’s profile page. We can all roll our own…

PS: If I only had the time to fix that video!

  1. Constructive criticism and YouTube-style flaming (as I assume the “Vimeo comments should be supportive” comment referred to) are two very different things. And I agree with you totally on the *caring* enough to comment for the greater good. If there’s one thing that film school’s taught me it’s how to use the comments made with those intentions and ignore/ find the good within the malicious and/or commenting for the sake of commenting.

  2. I also host my Videos at vimeo, and I would not have any Problem with a Comment like the one Eugenia Loli-Queru gave you.

    What’s not okay are the Posts that say your Work sucks and doesn’t explain why ;-(

    And I like Vimeo because of good Comments and because you can ask how anything was done and most of the Time you get an Explanation for that. That weights so much more.

  3. amanda said:

    Jeeze not sure if I could cope wth the bitchiness, I’d be tempted to block those that are critiscing and not productive as I wouldn’t be able to ignore them

  4. Alex said:

    There is almost no bitchiness on Vimeo. Eugenia is one of the Vimeo ‘personalities’ – I suppose it’s up to me whether she has earned the right to criticize without being asked. In this case, she has.

  5. Amanda, it’s up to you if you want to see my comment as “bitching”, but thankfully, Alex saw it as constructive criticism. In fact, if you actually read my SECOND comment to his video page, I suggested even ways to better the editing part. So I didn’t sit on my bum, opened my mouth, and let it be. In fact, I downloaded the video because I loved the shots, and I also “liked” the video on vimeo. So I obviously cared for it, but I believe that the editing could be done more artsy, more impressive, to captivate even more than it does right now. Now, I agree that I could try to be more polite, but thing is, I prefer to be direct. I see no point using words and sentences I don’t mean to just so I can make my comment more generally acceptable to people who have thin skin, because that would not be a frank representation of my thoughts. I don’t like lying, and I am not shy.

    Alex, thanks for the blog post btw. Remyyy is indeed a great artist. He’s in fact in quite some “virtual competition” with the other guy I mentioned to you, Charlie McCarthy, so if you like Remyyy, you will like Charlie too. Between the two, I’d say that Remyyy is more story-based videographer, while Charlie is more visual-based one. I love them both. 🙂

  6. David said:

    You actually learn more when you just allow comments to flow. The problem I have with Vimeo, I learn nothing from the comments except “I used a color grading and an adapter on the lens”. Now, go to MYSPACE film forums and people can hammer you and yes, sometimes those people have no clue what they are talking about but on the other hand there are people who do know what they are talking about. Vimeo has become blowing leaves, stop motion and visuals and for me, I don’t learn a damn thing. So toughen up filmmakers and if you don’t liek the comments or don’t agree…well….they may be right, thye may be wrong but you decide

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