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NewTeeVee is a real eye-opener

There's more to the world of online video than catching Michael Richards dropping verbal bombs in a comedy club. (Though before that topic is exhausted, be sure to see the National Lampoon's "Seinfeld: The Lost Episode" at Brightcove.com.)

A blog called NewTeeVee debuted last week, with the mission of pointing readers to "hot startups, hot videos and hot pipes" to the exploding world of online video. The blog is a sister site to the San Francisco technology blog, GigaOm.com.

For many of us, online video is synonymous with YouTube.com, which does have a staggering amount of footage. But there is plenty of content to be found elsewhere, too. Liz Gannes, the leader of NewTeeVee's writing staff, wades through more than 200 aggregators of video. Gannes mentioned Revver, Metacafe, Veoh, Bolt Break and Blip.TV, as well as Google, Yahoo, AOL and MySpace as other starting points.

"Individual videos are often posted across the Web, so I find myself following links to many of the sites rather than settling down with just one," Gannes said via e-mail.

Gannes last week reported the story behind the college woman who ate a live praying mantis while cameras rolled. The video shot to the top of the play lists on Google Video, iFilm and YouTube, and NewTeeVee estimated the clip has been viewed by 12 million people.

That kind of fame doesn't equate to fortune, however. The woman in the video, Joanna Repsold, told Gannes she had made a total of $75 from the project, which came about as the result of a deal she made with friends. Repsold had wanted two buddies to attend church, which they agreed to on the condition that Repsold eat a live praying mantis. The rest is online history.

Repsold has since graduated from college and is hoping for a career in Hollywood. Being the "praying mantis chick" probably won't hurt her chances. It remains to be seen whether she will find crossover success like the video-log stars Amanda Congdon (Rocketboom) and Jessia Rose (Lonelygirl15). But NewTeeVee's Gannes says there is plenty of talent out there waiting to be discovered online.

"The accessibility of high-quality cameras, editing software, and publishing sites means aspiring stars can pull themselves through the ranks faster than ever," Gannes said. "You don't have to spend very much money to create content and put it in front of an audience.
"I definitely expect new stars to break through, especially the natural self-promoters who use online tools to build communities around their content."

NewTeeVee isn't just a guide for people who like to watch. They also cover the business end of video making, software and technology innovations, "and anything else that catches our eye," Gannes said.

There are several other valuable blogs and sites that skim out the best in online video, including:

AOL Video (www.video.aol.com) -- A great variety of entertainment channels, including classic TV shows.

The 9 on Yahoo (http://9.yahoo.com) -- A v-log hosted by Maria Sansone, who counts down the day's top nine videos.

ThrowAwayYourTV.com -- Informative, educational and entertainment clips, including full-length documentaries.

Greg Connors' column about blogs appears every other Monday in The Link. E-mail: gconnors@buffnews.com.

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