A while ago, I did a statistical comparison of our YouTube channel versus many of our peers. In terms of sheer output volume, we fall short. That’s OK, though. It’s an area where we look to make big strides in 2010 — call it one of our new year’s resolutions. But posting videos to YouTube is only one use of the service.
Right now, on YouTube, people are talking about Tufts. Whether it’s positive, critical, neutral, or on some other plane entirely, they’re talking about the university by publishing content about it. Relatedly, did you know that YouTube is now the second most popular search engine, just after Google (and hey, it’s owned by Google, fancy that).
What that means is, a lot of people are talking about Tufts on YouTube who aren’t us. We can’t control what content gets published — that’s the nature of the medium — but what we can do is curate it.
For a while, we’ve been tracking videos on YouTube tagged “tufts” and favoriting them. Another step we’ve been taking is categorizing those Favorites into Playlists. The next step? Embedding those playlists on pages around our site. Voila — instant, dynamic, relevant content. Just add code.
That still just scratches the surface of what you can do with YouTube. Annotations allow you to make a series of videos an interactive experience. Captions and subtitles also enhance your video experience, beyond a mere entertainment value and into the realm of accessibility.
The beauty of YouTube is that with as little as a camera and a computer, you can share your message with the world, but the service also provides means of taking that message and making it even more powerful and widespread, both in the YouTube network and on your own site. And from my chair, I can easily sift through these messages and pull out the ones that, organically, tell the Tufts story.
Pretty wild, huh?