Making friends in the online food world

This project is allowing me to stem beyond completing a semester full of work and allowing me to make connections that will hopefully last beyond December 15th. Through my research in blogs that support the idea of local food and sustainability I came across Grant Kessler’s Foodshed. In Grant’s terms a foodshed is used to describe ‘the flow and origins of foodstuff’. The opening note on the home page stresses his views on how he has turned his food mentality into one that supports the local accumulation of vegetables, dried goods, meats and more.

At the bottom of this homepage is my attempt to make a relationship. I commented on the blogsite explaining my interest in Slow Food ideals and the need for a local mentality when being a consumer and thanked him for his outstanding photography and wealth of knowledge. The exciting part is that within an hour I was contacted via email from Grant himself thanking me for my kind words and continuing to make a relationship.

As a result of this connection I am now a ‘Good Food Ambassador’. This is a title labeling me as a local food advocate helping him spread the importance of local practices across the midwest. Grant resides in Chicago’s food scene, however, has been eager to reach out to Madison. Our similarities and my sometimes obsession with Twitter has allowed us to find common ground and both find a way we can work together.

Beyond our new connection I continued to explore Grant’s blog, and photography website. The information he provides is extremely helpful, especially for Chicago citizens. Each tab on the top of his blog explores a different section that allows visitors to find reading material, local establishments that practice the importance of good, clean, fair food, a featured photo highlighting a fellow foodie and a newsletter. From this one site the reader can experience many other sites online and hopefully make a new connection like I was able to.

  

    

On a side note, his photography is extravagent and here are some samples to give you a taste.

        

Bon appetit.


Hulu vs YouTube

Hulu is a great source for watching excellent quality TV shows. YouTube is a great resource for watching user-made videos, finding advertisements, watching Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin episode, upside down. (This episode was posted by a user in a format where you must change your monitor settings to view it, because it was recorded upside down. This way, it was a creative alteration to the original episode, and the maker’s of the episode could not demand it be taken down.)

The downfall to Hulu is that often, depending on the TV series, it often does not post the newest episodes until the day later from air date, a week later, or even a month later. I’m not sure why they delay the posting of these episodes, but it’s really frustrating when you just want to watch the latest episode, and you don’t have cable television. Not all TV series are on Hulu either, so you must find another medium to stream your other TV series that are from, say, HBO.

The downfall to YouTube is often times you cannot find the episode you want. I’ve searched and searched and it took a very long time for me to find Hocus Pocus this past halloween. Users who post these episodes give them strange and random titles and keywords, so it makes it difficult to actually locate a relevant episode, rather than a musical remix or home-made version of the original.


Hulu for this, YouTube for that.

I actually think that these sites are both very useful and they seem to serve different purposes in my eyes. I would not use one over the other, I think that there are times when I would use Hulu, like if I wanted to watch a full TV show, and times when I would use YouTube like if I want to watch a funny video or listen to a certain song.

Hulu does seem more professional and the videos all look for crisp. I searched for “Glee” (totally a gleek!) and full episodes were available on Hulu and the quality of the video was great. When I searched for “Glee” on YouTube only clips form an episode or videos of Glee songs with lyrics that someone had posted were available. I searched the words “Loser Like Me” which is an original Glee song and the video clip of the performance came up on YouTube right away. When I searched the same phrase on Hulu the video came up but when I clicked on it I was taken to a different site and when I clicked on the video at this new site it said “this content has expired.” So if my goal was to hear a song or watch a music video YouTube would be my first choice. Hulu is awesome for full episodes, though. The YouTube video clip of “Loser Like Me” did have some glitches at certain points and the first few minutes of the full episode that I watched on Hulu was not glitchy at all.

Hulu does seem more professional but there are certain clips and videos that can only be found on YouTube. I think that they are both valuable sites.


Switching over to Hulu

Before this blog assignment, I had never used Hulu before. I hardly ever watch TV because I always miss the showtimes in regular television. After exploring Hulu, I see how easy it is for users to watch shows that he/she may miss during airtime on regular television. Also, after exploring the site, I realized how much I have been missing out on! Youtube is a site that I have gone on to watch music video clips with friends or funny videos that people have posted, but as far as watching a television show, I would never use YouTube because I think the quality is horrible. Additionally, this is also why I have not been so quick to trying a site like Hulu to watch TV. So, a few nights ago, the American Music Awards were on, and I missed them! That is the one awards show I look forward to watching, and plus, one of my favorite singers Justin Beiber performed!(I am not embarrassed to say that). Although I was very upset about this, I decided to go on Hulu and watch the clip of Justin Beiber’s performance of his song Mistletoe. The only issue was that I couldn’t find it. The only results were Justin’s Beiber’s music video Mistletoe so I watched that instead. The quality was perfect and watching his music video was great, but I was surprised that Hulu did not have it, and I wrote “Justin Beiber Mistletoe American Music Awards 2011” in the search box. Afterwards, I checked the clip out of YouTube. The quality was not nearly as good as Hulu and the overall design of the website is just less attractive. Overall, with the advertisment display before the clip on Hulu and the overall quality, Hulu seems to be more professional. Not only can not just anybody post clips of Music Videos, but with Hulu, I actually felt like I was watching tv. Watching the video on YouTube, it seemed as if any videographer taped the Justin Beiber video and posted it. Additionally, there’s an area on YouTube for comments, which lowers the professional level of the site as well. Thus, I will definitely be watching any future music videos on Hulu!


Hulu vs. YouTube

To compare Hulu and YouTube, I decided to go with an SNL clip about Kim Kardashian’s divorce.  I had viewed this video on YouTube about a week ago, so when I found it on Hulu, I thought it would be a great idea to compare the two.  The first thing I noticed was the clearness and quality of the videos.  The video on YouTube, when I watched it the very first time about a week ago, I didn’t think anything of the quality.  It was the quality I expected from YouTube.  However, after I watched the video on Hulu, I realized just how much better the quality on this site was.  The colors were not as bright or distinct on the YouTube video, the smoothness between scenes was less clear, and the sound clarity was not as good as it could have been.

I also noticed that at the beginning of the clip, a brief ad was presented saying that a particular company was sponsoring the viewing of this video.  Also, at the end of the clip, the SNL weekly airing date and time was displayed, giving credit to the show for putting on the skit.  The clip I watched on YouTube did not do this.  To me, this shows that Hulu is more professional and is more “lawful” in the sense that I don’t suspect Hulu of committing any copyright crimes since the shows are sponsored and give credit to their original source.

Overall, I found Hulu to be more appeasing and easier to use.  I typed in “Kim Kardashian SNL” and immediately found the video I was looking for.  YouTube, although not in this circumstance, has so many videos that sometimes I find it hard to find exactly what I’m looking for, and when I do, it’s not always the right version or of good quality.  I’ve definitely come to like Hulu more and more as time goes on.  However, YouTube, because it is less professional and anyone can put whatever videos up they want, has a better variety. There are certainly pros and cons to both sites.


Hulu vs. Youtube

For my Hulu/Youtube comparison, I decided to watch a clip from SNL when Jason Segel was the host.  Going into it I assumed that Hulu would be better quality than Youtube, just based on previous experience.  I was proven correct. Youtube is definitely less sophisticated than Hulu.  Youtube is a great way for an average person to put whatever they want on the internet.  There are many original video clips, but there are also parodies of different things, re-makes/re-mixes, music videos, etc.  Youtube will also have various clips of TV shows, but in the SNL skit that I watched, the video was very blurry and it was clearly a video of a camera filming a television.  Hulu is a much better way to watch your TV shows; it allows viewers to watch videos on their computers on their own time.  However, the advertisements can get a little annoying.  There is one ad before the video and one after.  There are no advertisements like this on Youtube, however, I guess the ads are the price you have to pay in order to receive a better quality clip.


Hulu vs. YouTube

I chose to watch an SNL clip with Jason Segel to compare and contrast Hulu and YouTube. Before doing the assignment I assumed that the YouTube video would have less advertisements than Hulu because Hulu is a more reputable source and is known to have more substantial licensing agreements. Anyone can upload a video to Youtube, which is completely different to the very organized Hulu site. After watching both videos, I realized that my assumptions were correct. There is a tradeoff, if you want better quality you must watch advertisements. The Youtube clip was a video of someone videotapping the skit on their television screen, which clearly compromised the quality of the video. The “camera man’s” hand was shaking while he was tapping, so the it looked unstable. The lighting was poor as well, which left the video too dark. On the other hand, the Hulu video had perfect quality of the clip, as if I was watching it straight from my television. The negative aspect of this viewing was that the clip had advertisements before and after the clip aired. They were only five seconds each, which isn’t enough to complain about how annoying commercials are.

I think YouTube is a good platform for watching short clips and videos because the quality is decent and often times it isn’t necessary for a short and less serious video to be perfect quality, but when I sit down to watch a tv show or a movie, and am investing a greater amount of my time, waiting for the advertisements to run is not a big deal.