We are living in the world where the entire face of video media is changing. Where once the idea of video was for most intents and purposes a passive form of entertainment, (we sit in front of the TV and watch whatever the networks decide to put on there for us to watch) now we are a part of the creation of entertainment. Just about anyone can be a video director, producer, actor, etc., etc. All it takes is a digital camera, a computer and an Internet connection.

This is the world of user generated video networks. YouTube is the largest user generated video network currently on the World Wide Web, and many have sought to imitate its successes. While many of the videos are derived from commercial sources (and this has led to a lot of legal troubles for YouTube in the past few years), the heart of the network are videos 100% generated by its users.

Videos on these networks can be just about anything. Some use the world of user generated video as a form to make commentaries on the world around them. Some create their own mini-movies or television shows. Others have moved beyond the world of blogging into the world of vlogging: video logging, creating an online video journal to share their thoughts and experiences with the world.

One of the hallmarks of user generated video networks is the amount of interactivity possible in this format. Viewers of this online video content can make their thoughts known through comments to the video, which can lead to lengthy, fun and informative discussions. Users can even respond to a video with their own video to increase the amount of participation.

In our new world people are tired of the passivity of the old media. User generated video networks allow instant access to video content of all shapes and sizes, types and varieties. It is an outlet for the creative individual to express themselves to an audience that they could most likely never hope to reach in the world of traditional media.

User generated video networks are also a major part of what is known to in general as Web 2.0. This is the second generation of online technologies; one that seeks to fully utilize the Internet’s potential as a development platform. These networks are a part of the social networking framework of the Internet, although this social networking is done through the creation of online video content rather than, say, simple text and images such as one sees in a blog.

There are many other user generated video networks around than simply YouTube. One service which has sought to follow the YouTube model is GodTube: essentially it is set up just like YouTube only it has a Christian bent. Google Video, Yahoo! Video, and many, many others are just the tip of the iceberg in this new and rapidly developing world of online video content.

Getting started with creating your own user generated video content is simple. All you need is a video camera with the ability to plug it into your PC or a digital camera with video capabilities, plus some video editing software. Windows users already have access to one of the most popular video editing programs around: Windows Movie Maker. This is a very simple program that let’s anyone feel like they are a professional video editor.