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How to Find and Use the Best Platforms for Your Online Art Portfolio, Pt. I: Vimeo

Updated on July 10, 2015

Your Videos on Vimeo

Hooking an audience is admittedly tough & time-consuming. But finding a site on which to build your kingdom doesn't have to be. Vimeo provides filmmakers and businesses* with a simple, attractive platform on which to share their videos.
Hooking an audience is admittedly tough & time-consuming. But finding a site on which to build your kingdom doesn't have to be. Vimeo provides filmmakers and businesses* with a simple, attractive platform on which to share their videos. | Source

Don't Let More Mean Less

In this modern age of ever-changing technology and widespread Internet access, swimming to the top of a globally massive pool of publishing and sharing creators, thinkers, and pseudo-opinionated bloggers feels increasingly pointless and impossible.

But there is a positive to this smothering and packed reality. With so many websites created for those in Internetland looking to see and be seen, it is absolutely possible to find one that suits your aesthetic needs and desires, and provides the right kind of audience--and, hopefully, exposure.

In this three-article series, we'll tackle three art-sharing platforms with equally pleasing and easy-to-use interfaces:

- Ello (ello.co)

- Behance (behance.net) and

- Vimeo (vimeo.com).

First off, let's look at Vimeo, your first and only stop for streamlined, ad-free video sharing.

Vimeo

Vimeo is the go-to website for both professionals seeking exposure and employment and aficionados in the independent Film and Video industry. As an associate coordinator, programmer and curator for two film festivals (the Latina Women's League's Gainesville Latino Film Festival, or GLFF, and the Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival, or FLEXfest), I can tell you: up-and-coming filmmakers love Vimeo. Or at least use it widely. After all, it allows fans and filmmakers to:

- Create a personal profile, or website

- Showcase, organize, display and share work

- Effortlessly track statistics for the number of plays and likes each video receives daily, weekly, and overall

- Check and compare the popularity of your video embeds (the videos you post on other sites using a specific code similar to a link) to see which site is receiving the most views

- Network with fellow filmmakers and cinephiles, film and video collectives, film festivals, audiences, and employers

- Watch new videos and discover new artists

- Purchase series and videos


Plus, Vimeo displays your videos in what they call "super crisp" HD. And it is crisp indeed.

Art over Ads

Vimeo's strictly enforced ad-free practice creates aesthetically pleasing, uncluttered pages that place your video cleanly up-center, sans distractions.
Vimeo's strictly enforced ad-free practice creates aesthetically pleasing, uncluttered pages that place your video cleanly up-center, sans distractions. | Source

Another advantage of Vimeo is that there are ads neither before nor after any videos. Yes; ad-free video streaming. In fact, Vimeo makes the ad-free experience and aesthetic a priority. It keeps the site looking clean, simple and uncluttered by enforcing strict rules (found in the Vimeo Guidelines) to keep spammers and clunky, bothersome commercial content out. By doing so, they provide audiences and artists a platform on which the focal--and only--point is the creative work they produce, explore, discover, and share.

First Things First: Account Basics & Perks

Making an account is easy. Simply follow the link below to Vimeo's homepage and select one of two options: Connect through Facebook, or create a brand-new Vimeo account from scratch. Don't worry; they don't ask for too much information.
Making an account is easy. Simply follow the link below to Vimeo's homepage and select one of two options: Connect through Facebook, or create a brand-new Vimeo account from scratch. Don't worry; they don't ask for too much information. | Source
Vimeo is not only great for professionals looking for exposure. Friends and families can also upload and share their own videos, and access them on any device at any time--all for free with the Basic membership.
Vimeo is not only great for professionals looking for exposure. Friends and families can also upload and share their own videos, and access them on any device at any time--all for free with the Basic membership. | Source
For fans: Vimeo also allows you to purchase films and shows for full and unlimited access. Plus, it's a great way to support the artists and works you love. More for them, more for you; it's a win-win.
For fans: Vimeo also allows you to purchase films and shows for full and unlimited access. Plus, it's a great way to support the artists and works you love. More for them, more for you; it's a win-win. | Source

Couch Mode

In the top right corner of most video pages, you will notice a little white couch. This is Vimeo's "Couch Mode" feature, which allows users and audiences to choose an artist or playlist and automatically stream video after video on a clean, black screen.

Within Couch Mode, you can still access all basic video-play controls, as well as more in-depth information about the video you are currently watching. The Control Menu (which appears and disappears at the bottom of the page on command), also provides useful links, including Search, My Stuff, Watch Later, Staff Picks and Inbox.

Sit Right Down

See what's Up Next before your video starts, and access big and bold basic controls such as play/pause, fast-forward and next.
See what's Up Next before your video starts, and access big and bold basic controls such as play/pause, fast-forward and next. | Source
Your video, and nothing but your video (automatically in Widescreen).
Your video, and nothing but your video (automatically in Widescreen). | Source
For quick and easy access, you can click on the arrow at the bottom of the page to make the other videos lined up on the playlist visible. This also lets you access other pages and tools such as Inbox, Watch Later, My Stuff, and Search.
For quick and easy access, you can click on the arrow at the bottom of the page to make the other videos lined up on the playlist visible. This also lets you access other pages and tools such as Inbox, Watch Later, My Stuff, and Search. | Source
Click on More Info (down in the Controls Menu) to see credits and other information for your video, as well as the other videos in your current Couch Mode playlist. Your video will keep playing in the top right corner; click on it for full screen.
Click on More Info (down in the Controls Menu) to see credits and other information for your video, as well as the other videos in your current Couch Mode playlist. Your video will keep playing in the top right corner; click on it for full screen. | Source

Filter Your Audience

Uploaders can choose between:

a) unlimited access to their work to anyone on the web, and

b) coded access to specific parties and individuals.


Private Videos

The option to code videos is particularly useful to artists with a decent audience size who wish to promote their work through a trailer rather than by making the entire film visible to all. In the festival circuit, we often receive codes from filmmakers who have made their short films private, but allow us access for programming and screening.

Coding videos is a good and practical choice for recently released films, as it allows full access and visibility only to audiences at physical screenings (such as film festivals) of the artist's choosing, as well as to others who have received the code personally from the filmmaker.

A Vimeo Plus or PRO member can take advantage of the increased storage and uploading capacity and speed to promote the film with an accompanying trailer. Alongside the public description on the private film's page, this trailer spikes the audience's interest and encourages the on-demand purchase of the film--also available through Vimeo to PRO users.

Your Feed: A Quick Summary of All You Need

First off, the most recent activity of those you follow. In the sidebars, find out What's New on the site, check your video Stats (mine aren't looking too sharp this week), see who's online, and Explore Vimeo through Staff Picks and other links.
First off, the most recent activity of those you follow. In the sidebars, find out What's New on the site, check your video Stats (mine aren't looking too sharp this week), see who's online, and Explore Vimeo through Staff Picks and other links. | Source

Choose Your Membership

Although Vimeo offers two upgraded membership plans with multiple perks not available to Basic users, the Basic plan is nevertheless a good place to start. For free, you can create a profile, follow and connect with other users (including other filmmakers), and upload up to 500 MB each week (equal to a five-minute video, approximately).

Unlike Plus and PRO users, however, Basic membership holders must wait in a queue after uploading each video. Luckily, the wait time is usually about 40 minutes (not long at all, unless you are sitting at a public computer and your seconds are ticking away with your cents), and the site allows you to leave or close the page without losing your place or your progress. In fact, Vimeo even sends you an e-mail to notify you that your video has been uploaded successfully and is ready for viewing--and sharing.

All the Options

(click column header to sort results)
Basic (Free)  
Plus ($59.95/year)  
PRO ($199/year)  
500 MB/week (25 GB/year)
5 GB/week (250 GB/year)
20 GB/week (1,000 GB/year)
Basic video conversion
Priority video conversion
Priority video conversion
Basic privacy (password protection)
Advanced privacy (password protection + domain-level privacy)
PRO privacy (password protection + domain-level privacy + private, unlisted review pages)
Basic support (e-mail responses within three days)
Priority support (e-mail responses around the clock, within 4 hours on business days and 24 hours on weekends)
VIP support (e-mail responses around the clock, within 1 hour on business days and 24 hours on weekends)
Basic stats
Advanced stats
Advanced stats
 
Advanced customization (customize video player + custom outro)
PRO customization (add your logo to the video player + custom outro + third-party player support)
 
 
Vimeo On Demand worldwide distribution (sell your videos + package as rent, buy, or subscription + set your own price + choose distribution regions)
Source: vimeo.com/upgrade

Uploading Videos on Vimeo Basic

Easily upload videos to Vimeo using the Choose a Video link; from your Dropbox account; or through one of Vimeo's own apps.
Easily upload videos to Vimeo using the Choose a Video link; from your Dropbox account; or through one of Vimeo's own apps. | Source

Easy As Pie

Uploading a video is easy, and Vimeo provides you with a few options:

- Click on Choose a Video to upload one straight from your computer or external drive (or whatever external storage device you keep your videos in)

- Upload directly from your Dropbox account

- Access and upload from one of Vimeo's mobile or desktop apps (find the link for those on the Upload page)

This Is What Your Video's Vimeo Page Looks Like

Source

This Is What Your Vimeo Videos Look Like, Embedded

Businesses Be Warned

Although Vimeo is a great and optionally free tool for artists, businesses do have to follow stricter guidelines. In fact, businesses can only post videos (in other words, videos with commercial content) with a PRO membership.

Exceptions are reasonably made for independent production companies and non-profits, which can upload and share their creative work on any of the three available account types.

Source: Vimeo Guidelines, https://vimeo.com/help/guidelines#commercial

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