YouTube is for more than just broadcasting goofy videos and pirated clips. The site offers unlimited, free storage for personal videos and makes it possible to keep them private except for designated viewers. Videos are limited to 10 minutes or 2 gigabytes but within those limits can be shared in high definition. Support is largely limited to online options, but it is ample in its many help topics, tutorial videos, and thriving user forums. YouTube, of course, also offers the chance to share your better videos with a world community of viewers.
Phanfare is a multifaceted service that makes it easy to upload and share videos at a website of your choosing (yourchoice.phanfare.com). Users can keep the videos private with a password they can send to friends and family. After a 14-day trial, users must pay $50 a year. The fee buys unlimited storage for videos, though each clip is limited to 10 minutes. Users can also store and share full-resolution photos through the site, which is one of the best in combining photo- and video-sharing. No ads compete with your precious memories, and Phanfare provides good support, including live techs available by phone during business hours.
Metacafe is a site that's more about short-form documentaries or films than vacation clips or videos of the kids. Aspiring Hollywood types can test their skills with 80,000 volunteer reviewers, who boost popular films to the top of the site's well-ordered categories. Categories include "how to," "news and events," and professionally produced content from media partners. Metacafe will even pay producers for popular clips, with some amateurs reportedly doing well. Membership is free.
[Read how cameras themselves are making it easier to snap great pics.]