The 1½ year old internet video clip broadcasting system YouTube (the moving pictures counterpart to flickr.com) is expanding rapidly. Much of it is private rubbish from the horizon of a mobile camera and the technical quality of most clips is still pretty mediocre. But the range of topics is astounding and with an acquisition rate of about 65,000 new clips a day (yes!), there will soon be quite a lot to see, and statistically there will be some interesting quality stuff in between.
There are actually already a few pieces of interest for the biomedical museologist if you use their search engine creatively.
As of today, there are 3025 video clips from museums, for example this four minute shot with a handheld camera (probably a digital camera in video mode) around the National Museum of Funeral History, “a great little museum in Houston, Texas” which I had never heard of, but would certainly take a look at if I happen to pass by.
Interestingly there are also a small but growing number of medical videos, most of them very instructive (if not for the faint-hearted!). See for example this teaching clip of a laparoscopic ventral hernial repair operation or this beating human heart.
YouTube and similar services are potential online alternatives to physical museums. And things may happen more quickly than we think, as investors’ money is flowing in. Videos on blogs is another possibility. You can alrady use YouTube’s clips on Blogger; they don’t support the WordPress platform (including this humble blog) yet, but they say they are working on it. So we may soon be able to show video clips from Medical Museion and the collections directly on the blog.