NORMAL - In spring 2006, Mike Macfadden and his Illinois State University lacrosse teammates did something the club had never done before: They beat the University of Illinois. | ISU lacrosse video
U of I boasted of its exploits over the years, Macfadden said, even posting a highlight reel on the Web that included a win over ISU set to Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way?"
So what did Macfadden do after ISU finally conquered the Illini?
He posted a highlight reel of every goal scored in ISU's win on the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube - set, of course, to "Are You Gonna Go My Way?"
It's revenge, for the digital age.
Few places in Bloomington-Normal have been touched by the YouTube revolution as much as ISU, and to some extent Illinois Wesleyan University and Heartland Community College.
For many media-savvy ISU students, high-speed Internet connections, knowledge of video production, editing and Web design and the understanding that an online portfolio is sometimes more important than a resume combine for a strong showing on YouTube.
And it's not just the mass communication students.
Macfadden, 22, graduated last spring as a history education major and now substitute teaches outside of Chicago.
The ISU lacrosse team had its rookies tape games so players could watch them together to practice, Macfadden said. But he found that lining up all the goals and saves in a highlight reel looked pretty cool, so he posted the clips on YouTube for his teammates, alumni who didn't make the matches, and to help raise the popularity of the sport in Central Illinois.
The U of I clip is his most popular, with 2,170 views, and all of them are cut together with high-energy music using consumer-level software.
"It can enable anyone to put together a video worth watching if you have a little know-how," Macfadden said.
ISU alumnus Michael Durr has more than a little know-how.
Durr, 25, graduated in 2004 with a degree in mass communication and now works at CLTV, the Oak Brook-based 24-hour TV news station.
Durr interned at ISU's Student Television Workshop, a student-run organization that produces original content for campus television. Soon, he had his own show.
"I recruited my friends for a show that we kind of just made up," said Durr, who later put clips from Flatline TV on YouTube. "We didn't know what it was going to be."
Durr said ISU students have even greater access to video editing software today than when he was in college, before high-speed connections made Web video king.
"I felt like I was the first person who did it that way," he said of taking full advantage of ISU's production tools and going online.
Heartland got into the YouTube mix by asking the company that shot promotional videos for its new athletics program to post them on YouTube.
One of the most-viewed videos from IWU, with more than 27,400 hits, is a video posted by student Julie Boyer of when Adam Pascal from Broadway's "Rent" performed on campus in spring 2006. Halfway through a song, he forgets the words and asks for help.
Embedding YouTube clips
One of YouTube's most popular features lets people use its technology to embed clips on their personal Web sites.
ISU alum Jason Parkinson, 24, said he did that for his online resume because it was so convenient.
Parkinson graduated in 2005 with a degree in mass communication, earning on-air and Web design gigs at Peoria's WFYR-FM straight out of college.
He worked at ISU's TV-10, the campus television news station, later posting to YouTube (and his own site) what would become his portfolio: "Dinner with Jason," a weekly feature at TV-10; his student reporting on racial profiling; and many other videos.
Now, his station has its own YouTube membership, and a professional reel of promo clips he's produced is online.
But in a Web of free creative content, Parkinson tries to protect his own ideas from getting ripped off, even though the copyright tag at the start of each of his clips doesn't actually mean anything's registered, he said.
"I've been very lucky. I've heard stories from people getting their work stolen," Parkinson said.
Durr hasn't gone so far to protect content, but "you have to be careful if you have a unique idea," he said.
"If you had a great idea, you wouldn't talk about it in a big group of people," Durr said. "That's the thing with the Internet."