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Build a better university YouTube channel


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Synopsis: Without their own channels on YouTube, universities miss an opportunity to connect with their target demographics. But can you build an effective channel for a university that’s as large as some cities and comes with a huge decentralized bureaucracy?

Find out how we did it – and how the “take-aways” from the research and planning can inform every social media effort.

Published in: Technology
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Build a better university YouTube channel

  1. 1. Building a better university channel on YouTube   Genevieve Haines
  2. 2.   In 2008, it turned out that people were getting information about UCLA from YouTube. But UCLA didn’t have an official channel on YouTube.
  3. 3.   Plus UCLA wanted to share complete courses (for free) with the world.
  4. 4.   <ul><li>We had goals… </li></ul><ul><li>Be useful. ( Otherwise what’s the point? ) </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easy. </li></ul><ul><li>Clear everything with legal. </li></ul>
  5. 5.   … and a question: “ How can we build an awesome channel using free resources available to us as a university?”
  6. 6.   First stop – a UX (user experience) course in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.
  7. 7. Woo hoo! A dozen students agreed to study the new channel (for free) as their course project.
  8. 8.   The first group of students worked on goal #1 – make sure the channel was useful. They studied prospective viewers, like future students, current students and alumni.
  9. 9.   The students asked, “How do viewers find videos? What videos are they looking for? How do they categorize them?”
  10. 10.   They made like anthropologists – observing people playing around on YouTube. They also did a fun thing called a card sort.
  11. 11.   Revelation! User testing showed that viewers would have an easier time finding UCLA videos if they were grouped into a single “UCLA on YouTube” channel, rather than a bunch of department-level channels.
  12. 12.   That revelation created a win-win.
  13. 13.   Making it easier for viewers to find UCLA videos meant that more people watched UCLA videos. Working together, departments across campus could find larger and larger audiences for their videos.
  14. 14.   Still, it only takes a few minutes to start a new channel on YouTube. Could we make it easier for any department on campus to go through a centralized process than to create their own channel?
  15. 15.   So we asked the other students to work on goal #2 – make it easy.
  16. 16.   They interviewed departments across campus, discussing ways to streamline the process of centralizing videos onto a single YouTube channel.
  17. 17. Back in the office, we developed a workflow. Our programming genius Joseph built a Web-based remote video uploader, so anyone in the UCLA family could submit videos to us from their desktop.
  18. 18.   We built a final safeguard into the process – a student worker would review incoming videos for copyright violations and privacy concerns before uploading to UCLA’s YouTube channel.
  19. 19. Voilà! It was super easy for departments to submit videos for a central channel.
  20. 20.   All the while, we worked on goal #3 – clearing everything with legal. There was the little matter of UCLA being a public university with a deeply felt commitment to freedom of speech. New YouTube policies had to uphold that commitment.
  21. 21.   Then we were ready for launch.
  22. 23.   Today the channel has 1,500+ videos and 2.2+ million views.
  23. 24.   Yippee! That was goal #1 – be useful.
  24. 25.   Other universities now study UCLA’s channel.
  25. 26. One researcher said UCLA’s workflow and remote uploader were unique among the top universities on YouTube. Instead of chasing down video from across campus, videos funnel into UCLA’s channel.
  26. 27.   Cheers! That was goal #2 – make it easy.
  27. 28.   YouTube selected it as a beta-test site and the Wall Street Journal reported on it.
  28. 29.   OK, that’s unrelated to goal #3 (clear everything with legal), but it’s still pretty cool.
  29. 30.   <ul><li>Take-aways: </li></ul><ul><li>Really focus on your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the power of the network (working together = more visibility) </li></ul>
  30. 31.   <ul><li>Take-aways: </li></ul><ul><li>Take care of the nitty-gritty (few people will see our remote video uploader, but many will see our videos) </li></ul><ul><li>Love your legal department </li></ul>
  31. 32. Find me, learn more: Genevieve Haines [email_address] Twitter: @genevievehaines